If y’all are tired of reading about our woes on the farm this month, trust me, I’m tired of writing about them too.  But a couple of days ago I mentioned Kelly’s stillborn kid, and now there is further news.

Yesterday morning Cherie realized that Kelly had another kid in her.  When this happened with Missy, Cherie had to put on the latex gloves, reach in and pull out the dead baby (thereby saving Missy’s life).  With Kelly, fortunately, the baby was partially delivered so Cherie just had to pull it the rest of the way out.  An unpleasant task nevertheless, to say the least.

Kelly is recovering now and will hopefully be OK. 

So of the 16 kids born this month, 7 were stillborn and 1 died a few days after being born.  Marla had 3 stillborn babies, then died herself.  All the other nannies, except for Kelly, have had healthy kids along with the stillborn ones.

And by the way, the 8 healthy babies are the happy, frolicing creatures we’re used to having on our farm.

So what accounts for all the bad births?  I don’t know.  The weather has been horrendous and unseasonably cold, but these babies haven’t died from exposure.  All but one died in the womb.

Perhaps all the snow and bitter cold weakened the mothers.  Probably we’ll never know why this happened.

We now have Juliette, the last remaining pregnant doe in this group, in a stall, where she is being pampered in the hope of a smooth kidding.

And Spring is on the way.

Here come better days.

Love Wins


Lonique in Port au Prince. 

Lonique being airlifted to Danita’s Children

And how do you like him now?  Cast removed, and a big smile with Mami Karris:

Love Wins


Another dead kid.  Yesterday Cherie discovered that Kelly had delivered a stillborn kid. 

I just don’t understand what going’s on.  We’ve never had anything like this happen before.

Fifteen kids have been born this month, and only eight of them are alive now.  And we lost Marla, and Jack, and Tobi.  A brutal month.

Hopefully Kelly will be OK.  Only Juliette remains in this cycle. 

We are so ready for this season to end.

As I type this, I am thinking of a line from Wendell Berry’s great poem from which I took the name of this blog.  I am trying to be joyful, though I have considered all the facts.

Love Wins


Check out Sustainable Traditions, founded by our friends Jason and Pamela Fowler.

And Renaissance Garden, my amazing wife Cherie’s blog:

Cherie is also starting a new blog, Haiti Calling:

And Bramble Trails, the blog of dear friend and soon-to-be White Flint farmer Rachel:

Our farm website is primitive and out of date, but soon to get a major facelift. Still, it’s worth a visit:

Love Wins


Remember Johnny? 

Left abandoned for ten days, naked and with a badly broken femur.  Family all dead or gone.  Made famous by Anderson Cooper.  Rescued by Danita’s Children.

Johnny in Port au Prince:

Johnny now:



Love Wins


In the past two weeks we’ve lost six kids, Marla (one of our favorite nanny goats), and our very good dog Jack.  And now Tobi.

When Cherie got home from church yesterday she found Tobi dead.

Tobi was our daughter Peyton’s pet rabbit.  He’s been living with us for a long time.  Over the years I’ve seen many children squeal with delight upon meeting Tobi and many have held and loved on him.  For children, playing with Tobi has always been a highlight of visits to our house.

Having to deal with all this death has been hard on Cherie, particularly since she’s been alone most of the time.  But she has been awesome.  Her medical intervention with Esmeralda and Layla surely saved their lives and when she acted to pull a dead kid from Missy she saved the life of that dying but now happy and healthy goat.  Bravo to the former city girl, now queen of the farm!

But I am sad that she has had to bear the loss of yet another animal.

When we lived in Florida we would let Tobi hop around in our screened pool area.  Then one day he vanished.  We realized that he must have escaped under the fence and we searched the neighborhood for him.  But he was nowhere to be found.  Of course he had never lived in the wild, and I was certain that he had met some violent death.  But a few days later Cherie found him happy and healthy in our next door neighbor’s back yard.  And he went on to live many more years.

But my fondest memories of Tobi are of seeing him in the arms of our very joyful little girl.   Peyton worked very hard to meet every difficult academic requirement I imposed as a prerequisite to getting him (she and Cherie rescued him from the animal shelter in Tampa), and she cheerfully accepted all responsibility for Tobi’s care and maintenance.  That little girl is now a freshman in college and I am sure this loss will be painful for her.  But Tobi brought her a lot of happiness over the years, and that’s what I’ll choose to set my mind upon today.

Love Wins