The Lord is near

to those who have a broken heart… Ps.34:18 NKJV 

SonnyEatsHayCrop

Oh, how I miss you, Sonny. Would love to be able to wrap my arms around you, feel your raspy tongue lick me, and let your soul touch me one more time.

Goodnight my dear friend, until we meet in spirit.

Reminding myself: “When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.”  Micah 7:8 NKJV

JackSonnyBebe

Though He causes grief

Yet He will show compassion, according to the multitude of His mercies. Lam. 3:32 NKJV

Sonny with snow

My world is not as bright as it once was since the loss of my dearly beloved friend, Sonny. After  photographing him pulled to life by a dairy farmer in June 1998, I proceeded to adopt this leggy, reddish-brown and white coated calf when he was 11 days old. Before bringing him home to live with me, on my lunch hour, every day I drove 20 minutes to the dairy to give him a bottle of his mother’s milk.

At six months Sonny’s color changed to black-and-white and all his playmates were rescued and abandoned dogs. The size of a fawn, at night he reclined outside my bedroom window adjacent to the front door so he could keep tabs on my comings and goings.

Once as a young bull, he escaped his confines and was found at the bottom of a ravine prancing about with a 10-12 foot long tree branch between his horns. Then he ran up and back down the bank, as if to say, “Look at me!”

Bottle-fed, at 16 years, he still would suckle my fingers and groom me with well placed licks. Sonny could be pushy at times, if he thought someone was going to remove his feed dish before he was ready to relinquish it. Yet, of all three of my bovines, he was the most closely attuned to human behavior. He understood some basic language commands, and was always curious about anything I was doing.

Sonny was totally loyal to those he loved, particularly Holly, the love-of-his-life. When she first joined the farm as a 45-day old heifer, he was smitten. His love for her never waned.

Unexpectedly, Sonny died Thursday morning, March 5, 2015. Some moments, the pain of not seeing and interacting with him is overwhelming, and other times wistful remembering his various actions. Time will heal. I know this from past experience. Yet, my grief is fresh and deep.

Bien qu’il cause de chagrin et pourtant, il va faire preuve de compassion, selon la multitude de ses compassions. Lam. 3:32 NKJV

Mon monde n’est pas aussi brillant qu’il l’était autrefois depuis la perte de mon cher ami bien-aimé, Sonny. Après avoir pris des photos lui tiré à la vie par un producteur laitier de juin 1998, j’ai procédé à adopter cette revue “teasing”, brun-rouge et blanc couché veau quand il était de 11 jours. Avant de l’amener chez lui de vivre avec moi, sur mon heure de dîner, tous les jours ma voiture 20 minutes à la laiterie à lui donner une bouteille de le lait de sa mère.

Au cours de six mois Sonny’s couleur a changé en noir et blanc et tous ses camarades ont été secourus et abandonné les chiens. La taille d’un fauve, la nuit, il se mit en dehors de ma fenêtre de chambre adjacente à la porte avant pour qu’il puisse garder un œil sur mes allées et venues.

Une fois qu’un jeune taureau, il a échappé à son cadre et a été trouvé au fond d’un ravin matamore avec un 10-12 pieds de long branche arborescente entre ses cornes. Ensuite, il a couru de haut en bas la banque, comme pour dire “Regardez-moi!”

Nourris au biberon, à 16 ans, il serait toujours téter mes doigts et le marié avec moi bien placé salifères. Sonny pourrait être agressif par moments, s’il avait pensé que quelqu’un allait déposer son alimentation antenne parabolique avant qu’il était prêt à renoncer. Pourtant, de tous les trois de mes bovins, il était le plus étroitement adapté au comportement de l’homme. Il comprenait certaines langues de base commandes et il était toujours curieux de savoir ce que je faisais.

Sonny a été totalement fidèles à ceux qu’il aimait, et en particulier le houx, l’amour de sa vie. Lorsqu’elle a pour la première fois rejoint la ferme comme un 45-jour vieux génisse, il a été frappé. Son amour pour son jamais faibli.

Inopinément, Sonny est décédé jeudi matin, 5 mars 2015. Quelques instants après, la douleur de ne pas voir et interagir avec lui est écrasante, et d’autres fois flamboie sans oublier ses différentes actions. Temps va guérir. Je le sais par expérience. Et pourtant, ma douleur est fraîche et profonde.

…God is love and he who abides in love

abides in God, and God in him 1John 4:16 NKJV

With 15 new t-posts outfitted around the circumference of his space, Sonny is secure in his treed environment. The laminated 18×28 inch gesture-line drawing of a dancer from Whippoorwill Calls was placed beside his fence line. After eating some hay Sonny meandered over to investigate the piece created for a future book signing.

1_19_15TighterCropCloneSonnyDancerDSC_0054

1_19_15CropCloneSonnyDancerDSC_0056

But seek first the kingdom of God

and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matt. 6:33 NKJV

Cutting back on Sonny’s and Holly’s grain ration to avoid health problems has not suited the Brahma. For the last five days he has pressed his weight against four strands of barbwire and snapped them. Not satisfied with remaining in the heifer’s space, which rings his confine, he has gone over her fence to munch on leaves and whatever he found pleasing to his palate. I don’t blame him. He lives in the trees.

The entire reason I published Whippoorwill Calls is to earn income to buy pastureland for the Brahma Sonny, Holly, the baby bull Buff and the two horses, Jack and Bebe. Yearning for my home state, to visit with friends and family, I wanted to move the entire kit and kaboodle east of the Cascades ideally in view of Mt. Rainier, providing it was in keeping with God’s Will for us.

398Entrance East15EastPasturefrmpadThis latest wrinkle and some health challenges facing Buff have led me to look closer. From our home just 3.2 miles along country back roads or seven miles by major streets is a bank owned property. There are numerous amenities specific to our needs with electricity, septic and well water, not to mention a rudimentary barn and outbuildings right down to a cattle chute.

In the meantime I have secured a radio interview with our local arts and entertainment personality with public radio for February 13, but do not, as yet, have a scheduled book signing with a local independent bookstore. Signs measuring 18×28 inches of several drawings are laminated with a gloss finish just waiting to be set on an easel for such an event. Yes, I am following my cues taking steps within my arena and waiting for God to do the rest.

 

 

Fill us full every morning with your faithful love

Howdy, Jack says

Howdy, Jack says

so we can rejoice and celebrate our whole life long. Ps. 90:14 CEB

Links to YouTube video of Jack, (R), and Bebe, (below L), have been added to this site and a link to my blog was placed this morning at my Amazon.com  Author Page for Whippoorwill Calls.

 

Bebe in halter

Bebe in halter

 

Life is filled with joy!

Ask, and it will be given

to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  Matt. 7:7-8 NKJV

Sonny L of trees

Abba, Father, I am asking, not for myself but for the animals: abundant green pastures, winter and summer shelter, no piles of limbs and broken trees brought down by storms, no ankle-deep mud, no barbwire.  Instead please provide pipe fencing which safely allows the horses and cattle to commune again, and bless me the pleasure of telling their story, Your story. I delight in all that You are and You have promised to give me the desires of my heart (Ps. 37:4). You said nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). I believe.

Sonny finishes grain with down trees behind

The Lord is near

The Lord is near.  Phil. 4:5b CEBBebe Jack wait for breakfast long view

Three minutes before midnight the electricity flickered, then shut down–heat and lights. Having called in the outage to the power cooperative, at 4:00 a.m. when the alarm went off, we were still in the dark.

Taking Sam by flashlight out for his constitutional I checked on the horses. Jack came up to me, got his nose kissed and I could see Bebe was OK too. The night’s deluge of rain, thunder and soft snow drifts had stopped, but the wind was high. Outside it was 20 degrees. It could have been so much worse.

Sonny in snow 2

Inside the cabin the temperature was 64 degrees. Crawling back under the covers was the best of all options. Later I heard the whir of the refrigerator. What a terrific sound. I rose, turned on heat, lights and brewed coffee before sitting down for my devotional time.

Holly Bebe & Jack in distance

Thank you, Lord, for Your protection for me and mine.

There are persons for companionship

but then there are friends who are more loyal than family.  Prov. 18:24 CEB

Bebe and Sonny

Bebe licks Sonny (2)

Living in adjacent spaces the horses and bovines became grooming partners. It all began when Buff, the copper-colored Charolais-Angus bull, started licking Bebe’s mane.  Soon Jack, the Palomino paint, began grooming Buff and then both horses included Sonny, the Brahma bull.

Jack licks Buff Mon 5_24_10Bebe hugs Buff

Jesus came and stood among them and said…

“Peace be with you.” John 20:19 (NOAB)

Sonny close up at gate

Sonny peers over gate after trees removed

Recently Sonny brought down several two-inch diameter trees, 15 ft. tall or more. From the cabin the crunching of branches under hooves and backside scratching on hanging debris rang, “I’m looking for a way out!”

This morning with axe and loppers I loosed remnants from root and stump. Next they were thrown outside of Sonny’s space.

When finished I sighed. Now he can amble around clutter-free and peace filled me.

For thou hast delivered my soul from death

yea, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life. 

Ps 56:13 (NOAB)

You are in the wilderness now but not for 40 years, I vow.  You are safe.  We are blessed to have this land. The trees serve not only as fence posts but shelter as well. And soon there will be warm, dry weather.  We can plant grass. You’ll see.

In the forest looking toward Jack and Bebe

Jack flanked by Bebe

Holly, our beautiful heifer

There is no market for pine,” he said—“Nothing here but pulp and fence posts.  Lumber harvested after Katrina is still plentiful and construction is down, you know“ from one among an extended family who still logs with horses and mules. “Since you just want to create pasture, perhaps you can find someone just to take if off your hands.  I recommend heavy equipment to clear the rest.”

Every now and then I peer through the brush to glimpse the golden hue of Shangri-La less than 100 yards away.

Shangri-La

Welcoming the New Year

with peace and joy

 

Fed grain to lure her into the new space Holly rests

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Sonny believes in sharing

as long as the sharing is with Holly

Holly has learned Sonny gets two helpings of grain

In an effort to stimulate weight gain Sonny has been receiving two helpings of grain in the morning along with a cup of alfalfa pellets.

Sonny shares his grain with Holly

Foxy Holly has learned when she finishes her ration and meanders down Sonny’s way he will share with her. And she does not really need any extra. Workers installing our HVAC system said they had never seen a bovine with such a flat topped backside.

Getting every last pellet

Another September day

just before a sprinkling of rain                                                               

Jack comes downhill to Sonny to see if more food is on the way

What’s a little barbwire between friends?

Sonny’s share of hay captures Holly’s interest

Holly is welcome to Sonny's hay and even his grain

A lick of the ear shows appreciation

Settling into life

on our new farm

Sonny and Holly together

The Brahma Sonny and 12 year old heifer Holly have been extraordinarily lovey-dovey of late. It must be spring!

Palomino paint Jack has moved to a space adjoining Buff, the Charolais-Angus bull who has been spending time up against their shared fence.

Sweetest of all, chestnut Bebe, whose leg was injured the end of April, is nearly healed. She began prancing about as her grain was served yesterday. New tissue has filled the gouge and a sulfur-oil antifungal crème is being applied to complete the repair. Soon her bandage will be reduced to expose the edges of her wound to the air.

Tiger stripe kittens Ty and Mimi turned one year the end of May and both are solicitous of affection just like their mother Nikki. Tab, Alma, Gordy—orange tabbies—and sister Audrey enjoyed their first anniversary the beginning of June.

The only long hair in the group, Gordy, goes everywhere including the kitchen counter despite my admonitions. He is quick, whether leaping in the air on fly-catching missions or escaping capture jumping from the loft to the living room below.

When storms arrive, which have been occurring frequently, Peek, an all-American canine, panics. So she, and another canine Sam, and 17 year old feline Patches join me in the living room where we watch through the glass door tree branches sway and listen to the rain and sometimes hail spitter-spat on the metal roof.

Watching nature’s showy display with some trepidation we see lightning strikes and hear the thunder on its heels.

By grace we are settling into our new home.

A spring greeting

from rural West Tenn.

Cabin will now keep us cool or warm and cozy

as weather fluctuates

 

Brahma bull and dogs

Not only canines Peek and Sam watch the HVAC installation but so does The Brahma Sonny

 

While the cabin has a fireplace unit that has provided some heat when the temperature drops as it did last night, it has not been sufficient to make our home toasty.
And during the last few days temperatures have reached the mid-80’s. Even with windows open and two ceiling fans, it was a  might too warm inside.
All that was remedied today when the heating and air conditioning installers attached an outdoor unit to our small living space.
Yesterday I created a dog run with the gate yet to be mounted knowing the installers would need access to the bedroom with the electrical panel where canines Peek and Sam stay.  The dog run was secure enough for the work to go forward and be completed today.
dogs

Peek and Sam watch HVAC installers from their newly created outdoor run

Living simply

and simply living

Brahma bull and Lineback dun

With the cabin behind them up on the hill Sonny and Bebe share a meal

This weekend is filled with joy and sunshine. Our move completed by day’s end Friday all tasks ahead seem lightweight by comparison.

Palomino paint

Jack

Oh there is a creosote post to place, some wire to tighten, contents of plastic containers to sort, writing, photography and advertisers to obtain to sustain us.

Charolais-Angus heifer

Holly at her new home

Most importantly all 18 pals are safe and becoming acquainted with their new surroundings.

Palomino paint, Lineback dun, Charolais-Angus bull

Jack and Bebe with Buff in background

Life is simple, and we are simply living.

Nikki is learning the window sill is off limits

kittens

Tiger stripes Ty, Mimi, Nikki and orange tabby Gordy inside the cabin

Thanks to you, God, for peace now.