Thursday, July 9, 2009

Unknown Futures, Depth of Twist

When we bred last year, up until we lambed this year, we thought Jari was going to be showing in 4-H again this fall. Well, things don't always work out as we plan. For instance, we tend to plan our children's lives from the moment they are born, as they negotiate the traps and hazards of life, all the way up until they do something that takes all that musing and planning out of our hands -- and theirs.
In short, I'm going to be a grandma. It's a mixed blessing to be sure. On the one hand, if something was bound to change Jari's future, I'm glad it didn't involve death or dismemberment. On the other, I am grieving for the future she will never have, the one she so casually discarded, the one that involves being her own person after high school; going off into the unknown and living a life separate from ours. Boyfriends, college parties, sororities, homework, self-enlightenment...
Well, I cant change the past, and obviously I have no control over the future.

So back to the reason I opened with lambs. We have always watched for the first few days to a week, to see which two have the best potential as 4-H market lambs and we wether them if needed. (I don't normally wether the males as in this breed it doesn't change the taste of the meat and they tend to grow better when left intact)
This year, one of the two is out of Scarlet, our oldest (actually foundation) ewe, and the other out of Babs. As I have watched Babs' boy grow I have been increasingly amazed at his structure! He is thick legged, thick necked, fairly long bodied, but the most amazing thing to me (and some of you may not understand this) is his depth of twist!
Here he is at a day or so old.
And this! This is him (from a different angle of course) today. Next time you go out and look at your lambs, look at them from the rear. Most people do this anyway, but for this exercise, I want you to look at the distance between the bum and where the legs meet. In 4-H, or other meat showing circles, the depth of twist is very important because the deeper it is, the more meat there is going to be on the leg roast. Every day I look at this lamb and wish I had left him intact! But, I didn't. The only saving grace is that I have the genetics on my farm and I will watch for this again. He is out of Carmine, who is still surprising me with the lambs that he throws.
As it is, I am anxiously awaiting his arrival in our freezer with his 8 lb leg roasts. Ummmmm!
I know, kinda morbid aren't I...


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Oh Becky, I'm sorry to hear of this change of plans for all your family -- for it surely affects ALL your family. May the character growth and blessings it can bring make up for the future "she so casually discarded," as you so eloquently put it. (((HUGS))) Is this why you didn't make it to BSG?

Laura said...

Not morbid at all - I'm looking at the piggies, whose date with destiny is Tuesday, and thinking barbeque!! Glad to hear you can repeat the breeding - sounds like a good one. Keep pictures - maybe you can sell the lambs to other 4-H'ers.

As for the G'ma thing - it's unplanned, unexpected, and definitely unsettling. However, next time I see you, I'll teach you to knit, and you can start making baby things - they're quick and really fun! The only downside is they grow really fast (and out of the clothes you make). Hopefully, this will be a big whack by the cosmic 2 x 4 upside of Jari's head, and she'll learn from this!!

Love you...

Fiber Floozie said...

Wow, on the Granma thing. Well one thing you can't say is that life isn't ever boring. It especially doesn’t like to be predictable. One road may close but another will open.
Love the lamb, btw, esp. grilled with mint jelly. I hope to see you at the Fair in August. I think you need a hug or dozens. We’ll have a beer or two. You guys are welcome to stay with us.

June said...

Becky, I am sorry to hear of the plans now being made for Jeri, and although I am by no means an expert on these things, I am just wondering if the adoption thing is something that is not being explored? I don't mean to step on toes, or be rude in any way shape or fashion, I am simply trying to throw that in the mix too - I guess we all have a different perspective on things -

Hugs from me to you and to Jeri too!

Kathy said...

Becky, I don't really know what to say re: being a Grandma. I do know the child will be loved and cherished, but can understand how this life change effects everyone involved. You are so right about this changing Jari's whole future. I guess you can only hope that she'll still get to do alot of those things you mentioned - just with offspring in tow. Damn those hormones anyway.

As for the lamb, I don't think it's morbid at all to think of the harvest. When the elk come by out back, others make comments about how beautiful they are. I think, yeah - they are beautiful, but even more so covered in gravy or simmered in wine sauce. I guess some of us have to be realists, eh? ;) Let's hope you can do the same breeding and get a repeat of may just have to wait a bit longer to make decisions about "gonad removal".

--donna said...

Becky, her future still can happen. When I found out I was pregnant and accepted to college, it was in the same week. I was already living on my own, had been working full time, and had always wanted to go to college but thought it was not in my future. It certainly wasn't a romp, but I got it all done and could stand tall knowing that it was possible to be a mom, wage earner, and full time student.

It's a challenge, but a challenge is rarely the end of a life. Oh, I also know a person who had her child at fifteen, and went on to become a jet airline mechanic.