Facing the Unknown

I am a person who likes to have everything planned out, not just for a day but for a year and further. I want to know where I am going and what I am doing. Since my husband’s dismissal from work, our plans for the future have disappeared, or at least the clarity of the vision. Things are changing and we do not know what all the change is. Currently I am functioning with unknown plans. Flying blind as some would say. There are more questions than answers. The struggle is being prepared for the unknown change that is coming.

Attitude determines altitude, I have always believed. Not knowing what the next month or year is going to be like, sends my mind on a thinking rollercoaster. We are looking at this unknow change like an adventure. We know certain facts will not change, such as we are going to have to sell our home and move. We can work on preparing for the sale and move.

Depending on where this flight is taking my husband and I, we do know the destination, we have started decluttering our processions in preparation for a move and change. There are three classifications for items we are not using or have not used in a year – give away, sell or throw away pile. Items with memories are being sent to my children, items they were going to receive when I no longer used them. Items that are useful, but unsure if we are going to need them such as extra beds are being sold. Then there is the throw away pile which is recyclable items and just plain trash.

How does a person decided what to sell and what to keep? Currently we are selling or giving away those items we do not use daily.

Extra beds used for when family visits are being sold. We do not know how big of a house we are going to be able to purchase, so we are getting rid of furniture we only use for family visits. We figure we can buy or build beds if we need to.

Then there are the sheep. I raise sheep for a small income. What am I to do with the sheep? and the horses? One factor in making a small income with the sheep is where we live has grass for feed most of the year. Locations he has been applying for work, has very little grass for feed. Will I need to sell them all or just some?

There are more questions than answers. When couples face unknown times, they can blame one another for the situation they are in. Determining the pathway or decisions to be made can pull at a couple, cause wounds and walls to form and perhaps destroying the relationship. Or they can pull together seeing the unknown as a time for growth and strength building as individuals, as a couple and their relationship. The answers will appear in time after prayer, decisions and moving forward. The shape of our relationship takes will be determined by us. We are on an this adventure together.

Life is an unknown adventure for everyone. We do not know what tomorrow brings. We can plan for tomorrow, but until tomorrow becomes today, tomorrow in itself is unknown.

amtolle

“Sale Barn” Day

Today I went to the sheep and goat sale barn. I have not been since April when the young owner of the sale barn shut down suddenly for unknown reasons. He reopened in July.

I took a four young sheep to sale. I was planning on keeping three of the young sheep for replacement ewes, and the ram lamb was going to the freezer. The drought in my area has created a shortage of winter hay. I purchased hay for winter this last spring. The lack of rain, the pasture is not growing. Since July I have been feeding the winter hay.

I made the decision to slow the growth of my flock by keeping only two young ewes for breeding ewes. I sold three of the five ewe lambs I was retaining for growing my flock.

I have another ram lamb, that I was growing up to see if he would make a herd sire. This ram lamb is not what I would consider a herd sire. He is larger and ready for the freezer. By putting him in the freezer, and selling the young ram lamb I was feeding out to put in the freezer, I remove two sheep from the feeding program.

Lastly, I took the little billy goat I had purchased to be a sire. The reason for selling him, he was too little to be a sire.

Totally I have removed six animals from the feeding program.

I have five baby lambs with their mothers and four more ewes due to lamb in the next month. Another group of thirteen ewes will start lambing in October through December. I will be adding more animals to the feeding program, but also some of these lambs will be sold to buy additional feed that will be needed. Raising sheep is a constant program of breeding, lambing, weaning and selecting animals to keep or sale as breeding stock, and those that will be sold for market.

I also went to catch up with friends and acquaintances. The talk at the sale barn was about being able to obtain hay, what condition pastures were in, and how many animals people were keeping and selling.

One acquaintance, I will call TOV, their auction name, said they were going to “roll the dice” and keep all their stock and not sell off any. Taking a chance that there will be rain and another cutting or two of hay before the cold weather hits. If we get rain for another cutting or two of hay, that means there will be pasture grass as well. They have finally built their breeding stock up to a good quality, and was not going to sell them at the low ewe prices, and pay more to rebuild next spring.

I can agree with not selling the ewes. The prices for breeding ewes is very low. It was tempting to purchase a couple of the ewes going through the sale, due to their price. But, I am concerned with the amount of feed, and I just sold some really nice young ewes from good bloodlines that I raised. Breeding ewes will be higher next spring, when everyone is trying to buy ewes because they sold theirs now. I have seen this happen before.

I am also “rolling the dice” as I do every day with my sheep farm. Calculating, watching the sheep market prices, feed prices, and praying for wisdom. I make plans on the direction of my sheep farm, only to be held at the mercy of the weather and the markets of supply and demand.

I was blessed today as my fat well cared for animals brought the top of the market prices for today. I feel good about the decision to sell some of my animals now, instead of waiting.

There are always decisions that need to be made. We can not see the future, but we can look at the information, pray for wisdom, and make a decision we are at peace with. I look for guidance in making choices. In the process of choosing which young ewe lambs would be sold, I sorted through them based on their conformation. As I sorted, I would separate the ones I was keeping, then sort through them again, until I had the number I needed to sell. One ewe lamb had my marks on her back, she was the last one I sorted off to sell. My marks on this ewe lamb showed the decision to sell her was not a random selection, but a decision of thought. Every decision needs to be a choice by thought and prayer, not a random choice of convenience.

As I continue with raising and selling sheep I will also continue to pray for wise choices in how to manage my sheep farm as well as for good lamb crops and rain.

amtolle

Weekend Workings

Change requires new ways of doing something, sometimes new plans and occasionally new location. The closure of the sheep and goat auction I have attended the past 5 years is a major change. Learning I am going to be a grandmother to triplets is a major change.

I am a sheep farmer, my income comes from the profit I make after paying expenses for selling the sheep I raise. Basic business plan is to keep expenses low in order to have more profit. The sheep auction was close to my farm. With the closure I had to determine where I am going to haul my market lambs in order to sell. I decided to sell the market lambs directly to the processor located three hour drive one way. The processor is honest and will give me a market price for the lambs. This processor purchased my market lambs at the sheep auction, I was saved the expense of transporting the market lambs the additional 2-3 hours farther.

My breeding sheep that I sell does not change. I have always sold the breeding stock directly off the farm. No change there. I will lose the opportunity to make contacts for those wanting breeding stock. I will have to go to social media to sell.

The one problem that took some time to work a plan on was where to sell the cull sheep. The cull sheep are ewes who have lived past 8 years of age or have problems delivering lambs. I have found a sheep auction located 3 hours drive from where I live, in the opposite direction of the processor to sell the cull ewes.

Sheep farm problems solved, at least for now.

Every week I receive information in the mail and phone calls of realtors stating they have a person interested in buying my home. The real estate market is very “hot” in my location. There are more people wanting to move into this area, than there are home available. Majority of real estate listings do not stay on the market past 30 days before being under contract of purchase. Quick sells are the norm for my location.

I received such a notice in the mail this past week, saying they were looking for a home for themselves. I decided to give them a call. They came out Saturday. People tell so many lies. They were not looking for themselves but was “fishing” for a listing in my area, for a quick sale and money in their pocket.

We have entertained the idea of selling our property with the desire to move closer to my daughter who is pregnant with triplets. I know that for the next several years a helping hand will be appreciated, or more a “taxi”. My daughter’s family wants their children to be around animals and see farm life. But with the size of their soon to be family, that is monetarily out of the picture. They will have to visit Granny’s and PawPaw’s place to see and experience farm life.

We will eventually move closer, but not today and not this year.

The other activity was planting the flower and vegetable garden area. I love working in the dirt. One of my favorite places to go shopping and even window shopping is a garden center or nursery. I love looking at plants. My husband took me to the local nursery. I was able to find some plants to add to my garden area.

I also discovered Chronicles Bells. They make the most lovely sounding windchimes. The soft, harmonious sound of the windchimes was relaxing and soothing to my busy mind. The drawback was the price, the windchimes I desired were $240.00 USD. More than my budget would allow at this time. They are on the waiting list, maybe Christmas gift list. If you have the opportunity to listen to these windchimes, they are worth the effort, and the money.

I planted and transplanted vegetables and flower in the garden area. I also had to do some clean up from the winter in order to plant. I took pictures and will have future posts on what and how I place plants in my garden area and containers.

We also did the regular activities of feeding animals, buying grain and dog food, groceries. There is always something that needs to be done on the farm. I enjoy what I do.

amtolle

Decisions are Made

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Some of life’s major events that affect us personally, are decisions made by others. I am adopted. I had no say in my adoption. The fact I was adopted was kept from me, my parents never once told me I was adopted. The grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, my husbands were told I was adopted, even my parents’ two natural children were told of my adoption. I was not. My mother denied I was adopted when I told her I had to be adopted when I was 30ish years old. At the age of 48, a cousin finally admitted to me I was adopted. The big life secret about me was finally in the open. The need to deny and not talk to me about being adopted is baffling, but not my decision.

I was 48 when I requested and received my adoption papers and information, including an original birth certificate. I had an organization called Adoption Angels locate my birth parents. My birth mother was already deceased. I supposedly have some half siblings for both my birth mother and birth father.

Lately, after some comments from a previous blog I posted, I made a decision to look into the adoption process of the time. The one question that had always troubled me was why I was put up for adoption. Previous research I discovered the wedding certificate of my birth parents. My birth parents were married as teenagers. According to the laws of the time period they would have required parental consent in order to get a marriage license and be married. It was not a runaway to Las Vegas to get married scenario.

They were married two years before I was born. So why was I put up for adoption by a married couple?

Those are decisions made where I have no consent or influence. I live with the consequences, but they did also.

Currently, I restarted the research of my adoption to perhaps find some answers. Those answers are going to be a little difficult to find considering my adopt took place over 50 almost 60 years ago. My adoption happened during what is termed the “Baby Scoop Era”. Where young pregnant usually unwed mothers were sent away to have their babies and return home without the child.

During this time was the sexual revolution, breaking the bonds of no sex until after matrimony. After World War II, women were experiencing new freedoms previous generations had not been given. But, some of the old rules of no sex until marriage were kept in place, since the only legal form of birth control was a condom. Yet, according to society, it was the woman’s fault if she got pregnant out of wedlock. These children who were born out of wedlock was their mother’s “dirty little secret” and was to be kept a secret for a lifetime.

Photo of babies at an unwed mothers home

In my research, I discovered that the women who gave children up for adoption kept their secret for a lifetime. They never told future husbands, their children or other family members. The only family members who knew of the given up child, was the mother’s parents.

Along with my research, I came across organizations who try to help adoptees reconnect with their biological families. I read the testimonies, one woman who was adopted during the time frame I was, found her biological mother. She was able to meet her biological mother, but not her half siblings. The biological mother was not ready to tell her children about her. The woman also shared, her biological mother never told her biological father about the pregnancy.

These women who became pregnant, went to an unwed mothers home and gave up their child, kept the secret of giving up a child as strongly as my parents refused to tell me I was adopted.

My biological father was an United States Marine at the time of my birth. Today, he is 80ish years old. If he knew of my birth, that I existed, would he even remember? Would his memory be clear? He has lived his life, do I have the right or would it be right to disrupt his golden years with my discovery? What type of shock of emotions if he did not know I existed, to suddenly learn he had a daughter when he was twenty?

My biological mother is deceased, she died before I was 48 years old and seen my adoption records. Her children, my half siblings, do I have the right to put a mark on their mother’s memory? They by all reason were never told of my existence, do I have a right to disrupt their lives?

The most important questions are what do I gain, how would contacting them be helpful for me? Answer some questions about why I was put up for adoption, doubtful. Medical family history, probably not much help since I have lived to be 60ish, doctors feel if I was going to have a health problem was could be prevented by knowing my family medical history, it would have already showed up. My biological family medical history is not necessary information that I need at this point in my life.

I have and continue to live my life by causing no harm to others. Even if the person deserves to get a “beating”, I am reluctant to give the beating. Example, I kicked a cheating boyfriend out of the house by beating him with the couch cushions, instead of the cast iron frying pan he deserved.

I choose to live in harmony and to not disturb the harmony of others’ lives. I can only see if I pursue the research of finding my biological father and half-siblings of causing a rift in the harmony of their lives. The reactions to my existence and possible interaction may cause hostility towards me and disrupt the harmony I have in my own life.

So, for once and for all, I am going to make the final decision. I am not going to not pursue the finding of my biological family. My oldest daughter has expressed a desire to search out my biological family, a desire I will discuss with her as to what the consequences of doing so may be.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I wish and pray for my biological family to have peace, joy and a good life. I will bury my questions under a rose bush in remembrance of my biological parents and family.

amtolle

P.S. I plant different rose bushes as remembrances of those were important in my life who are deceased.