Baldwin Acres is a state of mind.

For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33

 

For the two + years we lived at Baldwin Acres we were blessed.

Now, we face a new journey, one that will take us back to the land down under. Last time we lived there, 2010-2013 was like a three year vacation. I had just turned 50 and really doubted God was calling us to that place. But He was and evidenced by the friendships that still remain, and the spiritual growth I experienced, He was correct. We were adventurous and discovered much about the land, people and ourselves. However, this time, we reckon things will be a little different.

We are familiar with Australia and we understand the nuances that last time sent me to weeping. (No Tide detergent?! How will I survive?) We have, what we call, fRamily, waiting for us there, so there won’t be that vast space of emptiness we experienced last time. This time we know we want a piece of land, raise animals, and we intend to treat this time as living there and not a vacation. Last time we knew we would be there for three years, this time we’re not so sure how long we will be there.

People thinks it’s strange that we are moving back there, so far from family and all that is comfortable for us. We do have 13 grandchildren who will be in America  without us. But, in the three years we were here, we spent little time with them, in fact, I believe we spent more quality time with everyone when we came home from Australia  for a three week summer vacation. Do you know, with a family with six kids and a family of seven kids, those families are very busy?!?! In my head I understand the busy timetables but in my heart I want all their time with me and why can’t it be?( I have expressed this thought to a few other grandmas and they feel the same way, too. But, we refuse to be ‘that’ grandma who forces company via guilt. How awkward is that going to be? )

All lives change and move forward. Familiar relationships are very fluid and I love it that way. I certainly don’t want that to change that. Fluid is much better than stagnant. At certain times of their adult lives, we’ve been closer to our daughter than our son, or our son than our daughter. Yet, we always are  immensely proud of both of them and their spouses  and we completely get their schedules. So we encourage when needed, we attend sports events when able, we even bought the dreaded iPhone so we can have FaceTime with the grand’s. Not an easy purchase when you work for Microsoft.

Today, when chatting with my sister, she expressed how much she would miss me, and I agreed. But to put it in perspective I am moving not dying. And, yes, I am moving very far away, but they have the wold wide web there, too.

Living on Baldwin Acres enriched my life and the grandkids lives, too. We were exposed to situations that both challenged and refreshed us. I reckon that will continue in Oz.

We follow where Jesus leads us, (you can read previous blog posts to see how that works), and yes, it’s been a struggle. 2016 brought with it unexpected unemployment, surgeries, estrangements, illness, and a whole lot of other ailments. But, when I practice spiritual breathing: Breathe in Jesus, and breath out (name a thing here: anger) breath in Jesus, breath out – fear. Breathe in Jesus, breath out discord, breath in Jesus, breath out anxiety, breath in Jesus, breath out envy…well you get the picture. As long as it takes to breath it all out is what you should be prepared for. Sometimes, it’s a little as five minutes, sometimes longer. You might think, who has time to do that? The thing is,  as long as we are alive  we are always breathing so it adds nothing to your schedule. Keeping our heart and spirit focused on God makes all the difference.

Until then, thanks for reading and commenting and get prepared for some more adventures from the folks, who for now live not physically, but mentally, on Baldwin Acres.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Return of The Pig

Meet the swine of Baldwin Acres.

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Porky, female pig number two.

Beans

Beans. The only male swine at Baldwin Acres. He’s pretty happy to have two women keeping him company.

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Ollie. She went missing at Easter. Although the person who found her had seen our plea for our lost pig, she decided to keep her. At the time they named her Oliver and then found out she is a girl. We call her Ollie.

It was Easter Day 2015 as we introduced our two  Kune-Kune/AGH piglets to our grandchildren, when the female pig bolted out of the pen into the blackberry bushes. We immediately set live animal traps and sent lost pig posts out on social media, but to no avail. A few days later someone posted on our town’s Facebook  page that a little black pig had been seen over by the local Cemetery. My husband and I jumped in the car and headed to the graveyard. We rattled the slop pail and called for her, but she alluded us, or had already been snagged by a woman who decided she could just keep our little pig because she liked her. Disappointed we headed for home. Before she ran off, we had named the two piglets Pork and Beans. Reluctantly, we bought another black piglet one from the same litter and named her Pork 2.

We didn’t hear anything more about our little pig, and because  the homestead is busy and life and death is a reality, we thought maybe Pork 1 had become dinner to some coyote or bear or cougar. No way did we suspect a nieghbor had found her, seen our lost pigs posts and simply decided to ignore them.

Until July 4th.

On July 4th I got a notice via Facebook that a little black pig had been found and kept at a horse ranch on the same road as us. Could it be? Pork 1? We called the ranch and were told that yes, they had found a pig, and yes, she was a black female. They had found her over by the cemetery, but they really liked her. So, yes we could come see her but she would not be coming back to us.

Further notification from the lady who had initially  informed me revealed that the pig was being allowed to wander and riders were concerned she may be cougar prey. A flurry of events happened in a short amount of time. My son jumped on the ranch’s Facebook page and said he was so happy they had found his parents pig and he would be happy to come and get her. A few more of the ranch’s riders contacted me and said the pig had been there since the end of April/beginning of May and also that the owner had seen our posts (although she told some of them that she had not seen the lost pig posts). I tried to find out information about the ranch via our town Facebook page and then was banned from the page. (The moderator actually said, “how dare you try to use us to solve your legal problems). What?!?!

Small town drama ensued. People were very angry that the little pig had been kept from her rightful owners. Even the police officer, yes, the police were involved because the lady who by now I considered a pig thief, called the police on my son because she said she felt threatened. (Because he said he would come and get his parents pig).

Because it was a long weekend, and my birthday, we opted to file a police report online and then left for my birthday fishing trip. The online report was rejected because we had a suspect. I was directed to call the police. The Port Orchard police department was, for the most part, very helpful.  Although the hint of disbelief in the deputy’s voice that we were willing to go to small claims court over this was a little insulting. The thief offered $150.00 to replace the pig, while insisting , ‘it’s not your pig.”….she told the police that we were going to eat the pig. Remember she had no idea who were are (and we have never eaten any of our livestock, but, if we did,. that would be our business). We rejected the $150.00 offer. By now, we were standing on the principal of this nieghbor stealing our property and not owning it.. Finally, we told the police officer who was acting as the moderator, that we would pay for a DNA test. He presented that to the thief adding that he thought it was a fair and just way to go,  and her whole demeanor changed. She became angry and told him , “If they want the pig, they can come and get the pig.” So our son and his wife went to get the pig because we were three hours away. The thief demanded the police be there  because, she said we were ‘unreasonable.” Yes. WE were the unreasonable ones. ?!

I wasn’t there for the attempted capture of the pig, but from the description given, the woman was callous and mocking,  video taping  my son and daughter in law’s failed attempts at getting the pig, while occasionally calling the pig over to her. She said more than once, ‘want to catch a pig? Here’s how you catch a pig,” and then the pig would run off. (She seemed to take delight in the fact that the pig had ‘bonded’ to her and not my family, however, if she had done the right thing and answered our lost pig ads when she found the pig, the pig would not respond to her anymore than she did to my kids.)

Hearing  how our children were treated we  changed our plans and headed back. Our son and daughter in law felt like they had let us down because they couldn’t catch the pig, but we were glad that they left instead of subjecting themselves to the woman’s abuse.

When we got back home, we called on our son-in-law, our son, and I was going to accompany them, to get the pig. Communications and timing was off and I never did make it there. I think, though God may have kept me away. I’m not known for self control when my family is being abused. My son-in-law also brought five of our grandsons but made them stay in the car for safety.From what the men tell me, they got to the ranch and the woman was ready with her phone to video tape it all. She kept saying, “All I did was find a pig and take care of it.” SERIOUSLY? that’s the problem right there. We don’t live in a finders keepers world. You found the pig, then you ignored lost pig posts and decided you liked the pig and you kept the pig knowing the entire time it wasn’t yours.

What can be seen as a sort of unique justice, my son-in-law cornered the pig, my husband herded her into the dog kennel and closed the door. She shot out the side door and my son tackled her. He wheezed our, “I’ve got the pig.” YES!

My husband helped  her back into the kennel, all the while soothing her, and comforting her and telling her it certainly didn’t have to be this way. it could  have been solved a whole lot easier. The actions of this women are rather disconcerting, not only did she keep livestock that she never paid for and didn’t try to return it to it’s owners, although she had our information, she found out who had told me about the pig and kicked her and her horses off the property. This woman had worked with the ranch owner for a couple of years and was disheartened that she got booted out, but was also happy she had done the right thing in telling us where our pig was.

Ollie ( they had initially called her Oliver until they discovered she was a female, we call her Ollie)  obviously has been grossly overfed but we can fix that. We were concerned that she might not get along well with her sister and brother, but it was only a matter of minutes, before they were all romping and running around the pen.

Ollie returned to us with a red dog collar on, so we bought Beans a green one and Porky a pink one. Today, on a rather hot day, they took turns soaking in the wading pool and rooting out weeds. Before finally snoozing together in the shade.

I believe the swine at Baldwin Acres will be just fine.

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