Saturday, October 17, 2020

Like a little gift from the dear departed

I found Blake dead in the Ram-ada Inn Tuesday morning. I was hurrying to get chores done so I could open Rick's clinic for the day, so all I could do was shut the gate so he wouldn't be disturbed.

Wednesday morning I was hurrying through chores again for the same reason. On my way back to the house I noticed something white at the sheep boys' fence line. A discarded plastic bag? No, a cluster of shaggy mane mushrooms was erupting in a spot I've never seen them before! I snapped a quick shot and went on my way.

That afternoon when I got home, an amazing sky show greeted me. The clouds, the clouds!


Rick didn't have a chance to dispose of Blake's body until Thursday morning. I've heard that animals come to terms with death if you give them time. Bing and Bittersweet had been able to see and even smell Blake for two days, but they still acted distressed when Rick took him away, baaing and running along the fence. That broke my heart all over again....
the lost boys


My friend Kate rode along with Poppy and me to agility class Thursday evening, and I told her about the mushrooms (she was the one who told me how good – and safe – shaggy manes are). She hoped I'd utilize them, reminding me they don't last long. But we got home after dark that night and I had to dash off to the clinic again Friday morning, so I mentally wrote them off.



Friday afternoon I was able to leave the clinic a little early while Rick stayed to man the phone. When I got home I turned the ewes out and worked with Stella, then decided to check the mushrooms. Amazingly, most of them were still in prime condition, and SO much bigger, more numerous, and cleaner than the ones that come up in our arena. I made a sling with my shirt and loaded it up. When I got to the house I weighed them – I had 2lbs 5oz!!! Before long they were simmering with butter, onion, garlic, and alderwood smoked sea salt. Today we had them mixed with whole wheat spaghetti for our Sabbath dinner; YUM. No, I don't believe Blake sent them, in spite of my title. They were more like a gesture from his Creator as well as mine, letting me know He cared about the hole in my flock and heart.



Thanks to a playdate at a friend's while I was at my regular part-time job on Monday, and getting to play with the neighbor dogs a couple times after working at clinic, Poppy survived her stint as 'office dog.' But she thought it was b-o-r-i-n-g.



That's it for now from . . .

10 comments:

Mama Pea said...

Your busy, busy, full life continues. Doesn't sound as if things have slowed down a bit even with your off-to-college son gone. The events of our days seem to fill just about every minute, no matter what. Papa Pea and were talking over dinner last night about how fast each and every day goes. He said it was just the same during his 40 years of teaching; he never remembers a slow day. I told him not many people could say that about their life's chosen career and he can be grateful his vocation was so rewarding. As we're now grateful and appreciative of our lives here and now.

Michelle said...

No, life is as busy as always, Mama Pea – maybe busier in some ways, since I have to add Brian's (limited) chores to my to-do list. But it IS a bit less stressful being a 'long-distance' parent!

Jeanne said...

Thank you, Michelle for posting this very touching story of Blake, Bing and Bittersweet.

It's so interesting, how the animals care so much for each other.

I'm glad you enjoyed the mushrooms. I've heard of them but never seen them, much less tasted them. They're so pretty!

Your cloud pictures are lovely. We actually had a fantastically beautiful sunset last evening! That's pretty rare here, and we really enjoyed the whole show.

A :-) said...

I'm so sorry you had to wait a couple of days to remove Blake. After you have time to grieve, will you be re-examining your breeding program and looking for a new ram?

Michelle said...

Jeanne, just wait until you see what shaggy mane mushrooms look like when they are past their prime! ;-)

A, I've been looking into a new ram for several years since I didn't want to use Blake on his daughters and granddaughters. But being committed to letting Blake live out his days here complicated things for him and a new flock sire. He could've hurt a ram lamb; a yearling or older could've hurt him. So I imagine I will eventually get a new ram, but I'm going to be very picky. My breeding goals haven't changed; I just have a firm idea about what qualities are needed to help me reach them.

re'New said...

I wish I could read my horses minds and talk to them- After putting down old Bug - sister to Queenie, mother to Buzz and Flutter - on Tuesday, we haven't been able to keep the 3 left contained in their single wire electric fence. They are very unsettled and keep ducking under it and heading down the driveway towards the highway. Yesterday we finally gave up with that endeavor and built a cross fence in one of the cattle yards( that had been planned) and put them there where the fences are more secure. I guess they are now in their winter quarters.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Amen.

Debby said...

That's the hardest part of life with animals: we deal with many endings. My condolences to you and the lost boys.

Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm said...

Michelle, I am so very sorry. The hardest part of having animals, for me, is saying good-bye. Whenever possible, I've always allowed the living to say good-bye to the dead; it seems to help us all. When Dave died, the dogs were able to say good-bye (I was away and couldn't) but it cause such separation anxiety in Sam. Even now he panics when I leave and is hysterical upon my return. Any day now we'll say good-bye to Hattie, a 24 year old calico whom Dave named. It won't be easy.
God bless the work of your hands and heart.
Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm

Susan said...

Blake's death is such a loss for you all. I know that, when I lost my heart dog, Scrappy, Lovey was inconsolable for days. I am amazed at how much you get done in a day - and those mushrooms look so wonderful! I did not realize they were edible. I will have to keep my eyes open. Sending you hugs...xo