When Everything Slows Down

The month of May is usually quite busy around The Ten Acre Ranch. I am continually planting and weeding in the gardens. The flower beds also need attention and I usually add more variety to them, though I say every year that I am done planting more flowers. Then I see hummingbirds, butterflies, and bumble bees flying around and I think they need more sources of nectar, so I plant more hummingbird- and insect-friendly plants. And then, mowing really kicks into gear in April and May. FD and I do a lot of shrub and tree trimming around this time as well. And, we were finally able to afford a storm shelter to keep us safe during tornado season, so there was work to do to get ready for installation. And of course, the pool needed to be opened and readied for the summer season. As one can see, we are never lacking for work to do in the spring.

Spring months also bring babies to the woodlands. We have seen lots of baby squirrels, birds, and foxes in the woods and around the house this year. For these new arrivals, there are all sorts of flying lessons, hunting lessons, and survival training going on. And of course there is our resident yard deer, Daisy, who comes back each year to have her babies in the area. In fact, she showed up just last evening, with a very full udder. I suspect she had her babies last night – in the rain, as usual! All four years she has delivered babies, her twin fawns have come in the rain.

With all the work that spring brings, the last thing I needed was an illness or physical impairment. But more than a month ago, I noticed a problem with my right shoulder. There were moments the pain in the shoulder and collar bone area was excruciating, but I kept working despite the discomfort. A couple of weeks later, my right leg became numb at times. I had to think about lifting my leg so my foot would not drag. Part of me was scared maybe I had a mini stroke. I have always held stroke and heart attack thoughts in the back of my mind, since my family history has strong connections with both! My Dad died of a stroke at the age of sixty-four. Fortunately, my symptoms turned out to be a problem with a pinched nerve in my spine. It took time and patience and not doing my usual chores and work to get things healed up. But as soon as I started feeling better, of course, I blew off the “lay low” plan and got back to my usual fast pace and hard work.

I should have known the Universe would conspire to make sure I took better care of myself when, just last week, I got a call from the game warden. He had a doe fawn who someone had reported to be walking along a fence line along a highway near a small town. Answering this call, the local police picked her up and took her to the local animal control shelter which I assume, in that small town, is very rudimentary housing for stray dogs and cats. When she first arrived, someone at the animal control facility tried feeding her cows milk which she, fortunately, rejected. They were, however, just beginning to have some luck with goat’s milk when the game warden was finally able to pick her up. By the time he delivered her to us, it was apparent she was very hungry and that no one had known to help her potty in almost two days.

Emma_5734

Emma has taken up digs in a corner of the reading room, and sleeps at night in our clothes closet.
Emma has taken up digs in a corner of the guest room, and sleeps at night in our clothes closet.

With that introduction, I would like you all to meet miss Emma. She is a very curious girl. She is an investigator – everything gets a thorough sniff with her wet nose!  She sucks down her formula in record time and stomps her front hooves while she is at it! Like all babies, she likes to sleep most of the time, but she is also known to kick up her hooves and do a little scampering around the living room carpet. Likely, she will be going to the barn by this weekend, as she is already showing signs of being a big girl by occasionally peeing on her own. That is not a problem right now since she is still small and tends to pee only where she is laying. I already have a lot of washable pee pads for our aging dogs around the house, and have strategically located others where miss Emma likes to nap. But as the weeks go by, she will begin squatting wherever she pleases… and, like cows, deer can pee buckets at a time!

Emma is very alert to any movement or noise as she investigates the garden.
Emma is very alert to any movement or noise as she investigates the garden.
Eating good dirt is an important part of a deer's diet.
Eating good, local dirt is an important part of a deer’s diet.
Emma did not like the deer pen. Maybe those ginormous chickory plants seem scary to a wee fawn!
Emma did not like the deer pen. Maybe those ginormous chicory plants seem scary to a wee fawn!
Emma gets comfy nestled between a tomato plant and the turnip row.
Emma gets comfy nestled between a tomato plant and the turnip row.
Emma finds cover in the weed row!
Emma finds cover in the weed row!

It was May 29, 2011 when we found orphaned Daisy deer, and I was in the middle of a personal crises. I had been on overload with anger and hurt and my coping skill was throwing myself into hard work. Taking on Daisy forced me to change the path I was on. She needed a mama and I needed to slow down, rest, and take better care of myself. There is something about nurturing another that also helps us get in touch with the nurturing we need as well. I know in the weeks and months to come, I will be out there sitting in the grass with Emma, reading a book or catching a little nap, just like I did with Daisy. I know I will have her in the garden with me – she will be kicking up her heels or maybe resting, while I weed or harvest vegetables. And, I am sure she’ll help me eat some of what we pick! Most of all though, I know I will have the joy of becoming a deer mother again – the alert being that watches over and protects her little one. The mother who notices and cherishes all the little things of sickness, well-being, and personality. And, maybe this time, I will be an even better deer mother, having had the blessing of instruction and wisdom from observing my sweet Daisy deer for the last five years…

One gets sleepy watching their mama weed the garden rows.
One gets sleepy watching their mama weed the garden rows. Ah, such WORK! I think I need a nap!

© 2016 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


59 thoughts on “When Everything Slows Down

    1. Aw, thank you! It is a good time for FD and I to raise another fawn. I had a dream the night before the game warden showed up. In my dream there were two little fawns down in the feeding pan, and I understood that I would be raising them. So… I’m hoping the dream is literal – that there will be a second fawn. I think having a little “herd” will be easier on everyone and a delight to observe. We are always learning.

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      1. The little ones are such marvels – and to watch them grow – true wonder and joy. (and we love being able to peek in with the pictures – that little velvet Emma – stomping hooves while eating. What a personality.)

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    1. Thank you! I am doing well… it’s a good thing for me to slow down and enjoy my time with Emma. Daisy truly changed my life. FD and I learned so much from her. What a beautiful experience she continues to be! 🙂

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        1. I was born and raised in Nebraska… and I never liked the extremely cold winters so Oklahoma is a wonderful improvement! I don’t even mind the wind blasting sand in my face! Ha ha!

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  1. Emma doesn’t know how lucky she is to have found a Mama like you! I am thrilled to be able to follow Emma’s journey as I have done with Daisy these past few years. Can’t wait to read about her antics! Bring it on!

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    1. Thank you, Cindy, for being here with me through the whole journey. That was back when I was fostering a large Chin gang… and adopting a couple along the way! Oh, the memories. So many of you with JCCARE supported me with Daisy. It has meant so much over the years.

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  2. Lori do you often have ESP dreams? Several weeks ago I was thinking about you and wondered when you’d get another fawn in your life. Emmie (my nickname for her) has a wonderful mama substitute since you are well educated on raising deer. You did a remarkable job with phone. The pics are so clear and the color is excellent.

    Be sure to take good care of your back, pinched nerves are the pits. I’ve had the experience myself and eventually resorted to a chiropractor. My injury was in my lower back and the pain was in my hip and leg. I’m wishing continued good health for you, Emmie, and that Daisy has good fortune with her fawns this year.

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    1. Hi Yvonne! I have always had remarkable dreams, but later years, most have had significance in my life. I have had a few premonitions, but they’re usually not understood until weeks or months later. I must have felt last fall that I was ready to raise a fawn (or two hopefully) because I ordered a small amount of white-tail formula along with my usual order for squirrel formula. It was “just in case” I told myself. But after the dream about two fawns in the canyon that I knew (in the dream) I would raise, I wasn’t at all surprised when the game warden called.

      I am seeing a great chiropractor (she’s intuitive) and my injury is actually in my lower back as yours is, but my pain continues to be in my shoulder/collar bone area and though I have no pain in my right foot/leg, I still have a numbness that comes and goes. I have much more to learn about slowing down. I suppose that is why Emma has arrived! 😀

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      1. It would be good if we could c0nnect to the dreams as soon as they happen. I’ve had only a few.

        You are so lucky to have a good chiropractor. Mine retired and I have not had an adjustment in over 10 years. I need to find one soon though. If I don’t lift or try to dig with a spade my back is generally ok. The numbness does get bothersome. I hope your “adjuster” can rid you of the pain.

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        1. Thank you, Yvonne. I have been VERY lucky to find the right people over the years to help me with issues, and treat with a holistic approach rather than conventional. I think some of my trouble stems from neuropathy in both feet, from injuries working on this place and probably being on my feet too much over the years. We never realize how we abuse our bodies in life, until we’re older and can’t do what we used to. I’m thinking of incorporating yoga into my morning schedule. I’ve tried over the years but got discouraged. Maybe it is time to try again! 🙂

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          1. Good luck with yoga. I wish that I had kept going with my own exercise routine which was not quite yoga. I kept at it when working but stopped when I was terribly depressed. I hope yoga will help with the numbness. I am curious to know if it does.I have numbness in my left foot and at times it is distracting.

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          2. I bet you have neuropathy in your feet as well. Mine is simply from overuse and injury over the years we’ve lived here. For many of the early years we couldn’t afford a tractor and I WAS the human tractor! Now my feet are letting me know I just can’t do all of that anymore. As soon as my feet begin to rebel, I stop pushing. I truly hope there is a way to heal. I’ll let you know if I have success! 🙂

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  3. So both of you have been sent help! What a gorgeous girl. How exciting to read this news and to think about the journey ahead with you telling us about it. I hope you heal and all goes well for you both. And I’m SO glad to read you have a tornado shelter. We have been hearing about all the many and terrible tornadoes this spring in the mid-west and I think of you and send thoughts of safety every time.xx

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    1. Oh, thank you Ardys! You know I never worried about storms, but this year I listened to an inner voice – and also my brother who kept nagging us about a shelter – and we made arrangements to have a safe room installed. I will be taking photos of the delivery and setup. It’s an outdoor building actually that they’ll bring in on a big truck with a crane. Unfortunately, we’ve had so much rain, they haven’t been able to deliver it. We have had to decline delivery once already and I’m afraid the scheduled date next week will be rained out too. 😦

      It will be exciting to share Emma’s journey… I am ready to be a student of nature and the ways of the white-tail deer again!

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  4. Emma is truly a beauty and she is so lucky to have you! 🙂 I’m sure you’ll be dedicated to her and will do the very best you can for her. Deer sure have it tough these days, with less and less room to be free and natural. Where we live many of the wooded areas are so limited and separated. There are some large forested areas near us… but not enough of them.

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    1. Thank you, Tom. We live just a half mile from the river, so there is a nice area to roam. It’s never been overpopulated with deer that I can tell. I think many of the yearlings and does, move on along the river to more dense wooded areas away from town. I wish we had money to purchase more land in this area. I would do it simply to keep wildlife safe in the region – a kind of refuge I suppose.

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  5. First of all, I’m glad you didn’t have a stroke – the older I get the more I panic when little things happen to me. I always think – well this is it! And then it turns out to be something minor. Secondly, I loved reading about your fawn. How wonderful to have this little creature to nurture! I did not know you have to help them pee – how do you do that? This fawn is very lucky to have ended up in your care. Enjoy!

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    1. I’m glad it wasn’t a stroke too! You and I are alike… thinking the worst and then have the ailment be some minor thing! Ha ha! Many mammals need stimulation in the genital area to get both bathroom duties to get started. Deer are easy, but for some reason smaller mammals like squirrels, take a little more time and patience to get the plumbing going. I take a Kleenex tissue and gently rub in a swirling motion – kind of tickling the genital area. Usually peeing starts, and once that lets up the poo comes. We are going through a LOT of tissue and baby wipes right now! Of course just like with human babies, we pay attention to the poo and pee to make sure everything is working as it should with digestion and elimination. I really felt bad for Emma when we got her. It was possibly two days of holding everything in before she got relief. That had to be mighty uncomfortable!

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    1. Margaret, you expressed exactly what I am wondering. I am hoping that Daisy will allow Emma to tag along with her and her babies when they are a few months old. But I have seen mothers hoof off other fawns. The interesting thing is, Daisy actually helped with her daughter Spirit’s first fawn, Willow. Daisy often babysat Willow right along with her own twins. So if Daisy thinks Emma is mine, perhaps (we are hoping) she will accept Emma as well. This will be an interesting experiment for sure. I am still hopeful that we get a second doe to raise. Raising two or more of any animal or bird is so much easier on me than just one. Two keep each other company. 🙂

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  6. Oh what a wonderful blessing! She is so precious! So excited to be able to get glimpses into her life as she grows up under your care. Wonder what Daisy will think of the new little one?
    Lori do please use caution in all that hard work with your physical issues. I unfortunately, know far too well the pain, suffering and physical limitations that spinal issues can cause. Can’t wait for your next post.

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    1. Oh thank you so much! It should be interesting to see how Daisy and her fawns accept Emma or not. I am hopeful that Daisy will at the very least let Emma tag along. I am seeing a chiropractor, but this is truly a difficult time to slow down. Summer is such a busy time of year. But, I am taking this very seriously.

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  7. Congratulations on the new baby. Emma is just what you needed and you’re just what she needs. Take care of yourself, Emma needs you, so does Daisy.

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  8. Lori, I am excited to see that you have a new resident in your care, but I worry about your bones and wonder if you went to have them checked… I know you are tough, but I want to caution you about not getting these things checked out. This is the voice of experience speaking. I put off getting my knee checked and when I finally got it fixed, well, it has taken me two years to get back into the garden. (Three if you take into consideration the previous year when I was too incapacitated from pain to even try.)

    I suppose in the end, knees can be replaced, but torn shoulder joints and your back cannot! Dragging your foot is a very bad sign and you need to have that checked as soon as possible, even if it seems better now.

    Please? ❤

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    1. Hello Lynda! I have been watching your weather lately. Do you ever catch a break? Goodness!

      I have slowed down a lot, and if the shoulder issue continues (though it is much improved) I will see a doctor. The chiropractor has done wonders, but I know deep down it is up to me to let go of some of this tough summer work. Like you and Bob, FD and I only have each other to rely on to get things done around here. I know both you and Bob have been down at times… it makes it mighty hard to get anything done, doesn’t it?

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  9. The cycle of life goes on and teaches us everything that we need to know so long as we watch carefully and learn from what it is teaching us. There is no WAY you would succumb to an heart attack or stroke with your diet Lori. I have been spending a lot of time wandering around looking at nature lately. It’s very cold here (well, for “us” it’s cold 😉 ) and as Steve has had a really bad cold for over a month now, I have been walking Earl myself in the mornings. I have been walking at 5am in the dark and walk without a torch. We walk in the middle of the road if we feel like it with only the stars and the moon to guide us. It’s a magnificent privilege to be aware of how very lucky you are to be alive. Living up close and personal with nature gives us that amazing blessing in bucket loads if we pay attention. I get the feeling that you go at life like a bull at a gate Lori. I also get the feeling that life keeps gently reminding you to slow down and take care of yourself. I am going to put the kettle on Brunhilda now so that I can share a mug of tea with you and I am going to slowly re-read this beautiful blog post. You have changed SO much since you found Daisy. Where once you were incredibly focused and honed to the point of being type A, now you are much more relaxed. Daisy (and her subsequent fawning’s) has taught you so much and you are a different person now. You really never know where a split decision will take you. Just imagine if you hadn’t figured that you had the time to take Daisy on and passed her to someone else? Life is so very unpredictable in a most predictable way ;). Big hugs from frigid Sidmouth 🙂

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    1. Well, you did it Fran – made me get all teary-eyed and emotional. As usual, you hit the nail on the head. I feel like I’m finally in a place where my eyes are wide open. There is no fooling myself or anyone about why I am here or what my life is about. And you have had me pegged all along too. It really made my eyes well up when you said I had changed SO much. What a compliment. Because I still remember that girl I used to be. And I remember what happened the year I raised Daisy and how it changed my life forever. Had it not been for FD, I’m pretty sure I would have taken Daisy on to Wildcare. If it wasn’t for FD encouraging me to start writing, I would never have thought I could be a writer either. Every decision we make takes us to where we need to be… and if we miss the ride and adventure at one time, Universe will present it again and again until we take hold and hang on!

      I’m pretty sure FD and I will have to visit you and Steve in the warmer months. As lovely as Brunhilda sounds, I think I’d prefer warmer temps. Gads… but then don’t you sometimes have those crazy wildfires to deal with in the summers?? Is there a pleasant time to visit?? 😀

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      1. Lol, Tassie is a great place to live and nowhere NEAR as hot as the mainland gets. We had a bad year last year and very little rain but that was thanks to the flip side of California having an El Nino year which means we get their usual lack of rains. Our rains are back now and everything is happy and soggy as usual. You get MUCH colder than we get. We had a minus two night the other night but that’s not anywhere near your zeroF temps.

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  10. So is Emma NOT Daisy’s fawn? I thought she might be but was wondering why she was wandering alone. Ah yes the Universe, what a marvelous being. Always knowing what’s best for us and when…Emma has come to help you as much as you to help her. It’s a perfect match…and now you can use all the knowledge you acquired from raising Miss Daisy! So if Emma is not one of Daisy’s fawns, how are they doing? Please take care of your back, as I’m sure you are, it can be an awful ailment! xo

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    1. Hello Deb! Emma is an orphan, and probably one that should have been left where she was. The person who called her in (she was walking alongside a fence on a highway near a small town), should have removed her from so close to the road and put her in a safer location in the area. Her mother was likely nearby. Because of needless human interference, Emma is now in our care. We learned a lot raising Daisy, and hopefully Emma will find a way into the local herd here in this area just as Daisy did. It was very rough on Daisy though… she was hoofed off a lot, and often wondered the woods alone until she became a yearling. Now she is the queen of the area!Though a small deer, I have seen her go up against the biggest does in the area and defend her place (the feeding area mostly! Ha ha) and her young.

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      1. I prefer to believe that Emma was meant to be with you for whatever reason and perhaps it’s to slow you down and heal you and you heal her! Queen Daisy will have her little ones but perhaps Emma could be a Lady in Waiting!!! hee hee…

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        1. That’s what we’re hoping, Deb. At the very least, if Daisy will let Emma tag along behind would be enough. That is what Daisy did when she was little. She finally found a doe with twins that allowed her to trail behind. But oh it’s rough out there… does are so territorial! Daisy took a lot of hoofings when she was little.

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          1. Oh my, even in nature life kicks us in the pants…all part of the natural cycle of life I guess. So it’s not like in the Disney movies where all the animals are happy and get along huh? I like Disney’s version better and that’s what I will continue to believe happens… 😉

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  11. I’m glad to see the “deer mother” back. Looking forward to lots of stories on her in the time to come. Take care of yourself, though! In our schedule, we tend to forget we are also machines that need to rest and replenish from time to time.

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    1. I will try to relax a little more. Maybe Emma will force that on me as Daisy did. I remember many afternoons, putting a cushion in the barnyard and falling asleep with Daisy. Hopefully, Emma and I can catch some much needed naps too! 😀

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  12. Lucky Emma! She couldn’t be in a better place. Thank you for the enormous effort on your part to raise her. I sure understand how our health sometimes gets in the way of those farm commitments, usually at the most inopportune time too right? Feel better friend and don’t overdo, these are the times we just have to swallow our pride and ask for an extra hand. Pinched nerves hurt, I know! But, you could be me… I’m having all my teeth pulled next week and having implants done. OMG! The farm work won’t go away and I’m thinking life is going to totally suck for weeks! Take it easy and enjoy Emma!

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    1. OMGoodness!! I hope you do alright with your mouth the next weeks! That’s serious business! I will send positive energy and good vibes your way Amy… take good care of yourself. Do you have anyone helping you with chores??

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