Sunday, April 17, 2011


Sisterhood.  This is such a foreign concept to me.  I did not join a sorority in college.  I usually had one on one relationships in high school rather than traveling with a "pack" of girls.  I played softball and basketball and had many friends from team sports, but not sisters.  My biological sister and I fought from the day she exited the womb.  Our fights were so often and so bad that my father would make us fight in the front yard like boys.  There were bald spots from hair pulling and long scratches down arms.  She was the queen of grabbing a chunk and ripping it right out of my scalp.  My forte was a little like Wolverine from X-Men...  My claws were a thing to be reckoned with.

To this day, my sister and I have a very rocky relationship.  I wish it were different but have accepted that it is what is.  It bothers me most during the holidays when we are sitting across the table from each other and the conversation is very cordial.  That's when I miss having a sister the most.

But it was not until a few weeks ago that God revealed to me that I have something very precious.  I have three sisters!!!  The first is my sister in law Karen.  Karen welcomed me with open arms into her family.  She accepts me for exactly the way I am.  She makes me laugh and her annual summer visit to the farm is something we look forward to for months.  Karen has mailed family photos to me of my husband's parents who were deceased before we married.  Although they are no longer with us, it makes me feel like I'm connected to their whole family.  Early on in our relationship we started calling each other SISTA and still do to this day.

My second sister is Vickie.  Vickie and I worked together and were assigned to implement a new customer in Mexico.  This required hours and hours of work and days on end of being cooped up with each other in a hotel.  We bonded immediately.  We've been through divorces, spiritual transformation, kids growing up and life trials.  Vickie and I pray together on the phone and tell each other things we really don't want to hear, but need to hear.  It's funny that Vickie started calling me TITA.  This is what my biological sister called me when she could not pronounce sister.

My third sister is Karen C.  Karen and I met at church.  She is 20+ years my senior.  I don't exactly remember how we bonded or why.  It just happened.  I felt an immediate connection to her.  Karen C. has been in my life for about 3 years now.  One day at church she took me aside and said "you remind me so much of myself at your age".  Little did I know that Karen would become my Stephen Minister and walk along with me during a very challenging time in my life.  We meet once per week and she just listens.  She reads scripture to me and loves me.  She calls me LITTLE SISTER.

Now, I started this blog telling you how much I've missed having a sister and being a part of that thing called sisterhood.  But now I realize that God hand picked not one, but THREE sisters for me.  They all have different names....SISTA, TITA, and BIG SISTER.  They are all precious to me.  I am a better person because they are a part of my life!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Shirley and the Great Escape

Last month friends from our church ask if we wanted a fainting goat.  They knew a lady near us who was trying to find a home for one of her baby goats.  Although I have always wanted a fainting goat, my initial thought was can we take on another animal?  Hubby and I had been talking about making goat's milk soap and knew we were going to have to try our hand at goat farming. 

After a few introduction phone calls, we were set to pick up the baby in about four weeks.  Several weeks late, my husband returned from a business trip with an idea for the goat pen/shelter.  I took several days off and we went to work constructing the pen.  After we finished, we felt so proud at our shelter and it was an wonderful opportunity for us to reconnect from his 2 weeks on the road.

We picked up the little black and white fainting goat and named him Sherman.  Upon putting Sherman in his newly constructed home, he was so little he jumped right through the holes in the pen.  We never imagined he'd fit through a 4 inch hole, but he did.  We put Sherman in our dog kennel in the kitchen and hubby went to work adding chicken wire to the outside of all the fenced area.  The extra wire worked and Sherman was happy in his new home.

Worried that Sherman would be lonely, we decided to go to the Saturday goat auction in Carthage.  We purchased a nanny and headed home.  We named the nanny "Shirley" and introduced her to Sherman.  After we felt comfortable that all was well, we headed into town for dinner.  As we sat at the long community table in the center of the restaurant, we told our goat adventures of the day. Including tales of me getting stuck in the dog kennel with Shirley after trying to get her out of the truck.  Hubby has pictures to prove it!

As we arrived home, my hubby went to close the chicken coop and check on the goats only to find Shirley was gone.  We think she jumped up on a hay bale and right over the fence.  Hubby searched for her by spotlight and four wheeler but she was no where to be found.  Our biggest concern was that she would end up being coyote food. 

We woke up the next morning had our coffee and decided we would take a ride around the farm.  We were not hopeful that we would find Shirley, but had to try.  We spent about an hour riding, visiting neighbors to see if anyone had seen a "rogue" goat, but no luck.  We gave up and headed home to get some projects done on the farm.

We had only been home about 10 minutes when we heard Sherman sound off and another goat calling in response.  IT WAS SHIRLEY!!!!  She made it through the night and was trying to find her way home.  It was obvious that she wanted to get back to Sherman.  We led her into the yard and cornered her near a tree.  My husband picked her up and we put her back in her pen. 

It was such an awesome miracle that she survived the night.  We said a few prayers for the divine help we received this morning.  We picked some dandelions and hand fed them to Shirley.  It was an even more beautiful morning than it had originally started.  The sun was shining and we spent the rest of the day working on the farm we love.