Jam to Lamb

November 2, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Two years ago tomorrow, I got a life-changing email from a lovely woman named Felice Austin. It started like this…

Dear Lani,

I got your name and email from Martha. She said that you are a fellow birth loving mamma. My name is Felice Austin and I am writing a spiritual birth book titled The Gift of Giving Life…

Needless to say, it only took a few nanoseconds for me to know I most definitely wanted to be a part of this project. And two years later I can say with every bit of my heart and soul that I know God brought Felice Austin and me (and all of my TGOGL sisters) together.

The day after I came into contact with Felice, she wrote a blogpost I will never forget. To this day it is still one of my all-time favorite blogposts. I hope you will enjoy this re-post from her archive as much as I did two years ago. -Lani


This is a friend’s daughter, Danika, leaning in to touch the orphan lambs. I made this image in Montana in 2005 on my second trip to Pachy’s ranch. I have this image up in my private workspace and every time I look at it, it makes me want to cuddle with the lambs.To be clear, I’m a city girl, and I was never an animal lover. I dislike shed hair of any kind, and my keen sense of smell has ruined many a trip to the state fair or zoo. But something powerful drew me to this all-female sheep ranch during lambing season.

Pachy Burns has an outfit of about 800 sheep in western Montana. When her daughters were maybe 8 or 9, Pachy left a corporate job and moved to Montana to become a sheep rancher. She had no experience, and she was a single mother. No men around to speak of. She and her daughters figured out how to do everything and somehow did it. But when the girls grew up and on, she needed help during the lambing season. (Lambing season is the month when all the pregnant lambs give birth. It happens 5 months after the introduction of several genetically well endowed bucks.) So she invited several of her female friends from around the country to come see what she was doing and also help her with the work during that crazy month long birth bonanza. That was 15 or more years ago. Since then, word spread and now women from all over come and participate and some even pay her (not much) for the privilege. She has dubbed it “Jam to Lamb.” [Read the rest of the post at The Gift of Giving Life.]