Leg of Lamb – Health Lessons From the Farm

Sometimes, the way you treat a health problem can be worse than the problem itself. This fact was made clear to us personally in a recent episode from our farm here in Hawaii.Actually, we don’t really have a “farm”, in that it is not a commercial food producing operation. More accurately, we have an “interspecies community”. We live in harmony and peace with our chickens, ducks, geese, milk goats, short-haired sheep, horses, dogs, cats, and all the wild animals that share our nature preserve with us. All the animals are free. A few chickens come up into our open-air house to lay their eggs. The dogs watch dutifully over their animal community, making sure no predatory dogs or hunters threaten our little world. It is as close to living with nature as you can get.The other day, unknown to us, a sheep was having her lambs out in the field. We had let a horse into that field, unaware of the birthing under way, and the horse accidentally spooked the mother and made her flee from her lambs. Once we realized what had happened, we tried to get the mother back to her babies. She still had the afterbirth hanging out, and the lambs were still wet, just barely licked and cleaned up by their mother before the horse had frightened the sheep away from her maternal duties. Unfortunately, she had no interest in her babies anymore. She may have developed some negative associations with her babies as a result of the scare. (Of course, this must make you wonder what impact a negative birthing experience has on women and their relationship with their human babies.)It was clear that we were going to become the surrogate parents for these now orphaned lambs. Making matters a bit more complicated was the fact that there were four of them! Our sheep had a 1 in 5000 birthing event, delivering quadruplets. All looked healthy and eager to nurse. We brought them to a small yard next to our house, and put their mother in with them, too, hopeful that she would calm down and decide to nurse her babies. But she still felt alienated from them and refused to let them have milk. So we hand milked her to get some colostrum and decided to rely on our goat milk and a baby bottle to nourish our four new lambs.All went fine for several days. All the babies were healthy and happy. After a few days, we decided to let them out of their yard and take them for a walk among the other animals in the community. Of course, the other sheep were very curious and came up to the lambs to smell them. Their mother stayed away, as though she felt slightly guilty. Then the goats came over to see the new members of the community. That was when the trouble began.The head goat (goats have a pecking order like all social animals), whose name is Sweetie, decided that she did not want the lambs to think they were so special, since they were getting so much attention from us humans. So she did what goats do — she banged one of the lambs to the ground with her horns.The baby was stunned by this, and we needed to hold her for a while to help her get over the shock. There were no external injuries, but we feared for internal damage. However, when she eagerly drank her milk later on, we felt some relief and hope that there was no permanent problem. The next morning we gave everyone their bottle of milk, as usual. But then something happened. The lamb that had been hit was lying on her side, legs stiff, unable to get up! We lifted her up, but she soon fell down onto her side again. She was clearly in pain, and when we held her she showed no interest in drinking milk, which was a bad sign.Naturally, we feared that there was some internal injury from the prior day’s goat assault. We thought we should isolate her to keep her from further damage, but she refused to rest or lie down normally. She was shaking with pain. We thought about other possibilities. Since the lambs had very little colostrum, we worried that she might have come down with some disease. Maybe we should be careful not to spread anything to the other lambs.If this were a human baby, we would have taken blood tests, performed X-rays to assess any internal injuries, and put her in the hospital for observation. But this is not a human, but only a little lamb, one of four. We began to rationalize that not every baby can survive all the time. If we hadn’t taken charge over the quadruplets, then the weakest two would probably have died, since the mother only has two teats. As we watched the poor lamb suffering, we wondered when it would be time to put it out of its misery. Should we euthanize the lamb for its own good, and to save our other lambs from potential disease?As these dark thoughts descended on our minds, we decided to hold the lamb to comfort her. As I held her close to his body, I could feel her shaking with pain. To make the lamb more comfortable, I folded the lamb’s front legs so she could be cradled more naturally, since the lambs usually lie down with their legs underneath them.It was folding her legs that stopped the problem.As the legs were folded, there came a loud “pop” sound from the lamb’s front knee. It had been locked! We have steps in the back of the house where the lambs are living, and they have learned to climb the steps to greet us. This lamb, which was the runt of the four, must have gotten her knee out of joint on the steps. That’s why she was on her side, legs straight out. She could not bend her knee to lie down, and the pain was frightening and disabling.As soon as the knee joint popped, the pain left the lamb. She immediately stopped shaking. And she was suddenly eager to drink her milk! We have given her and her siblings knee pops since, as a precaution, and all seem to enjoy and benefit from the “leg adjustment”. None have had any problems since.As we smiled in relief we reflected on what could have happened to this little lamb had we not accidentally discovered the simple cause of her problem. Lambs, like people and all social animals, need love and support, especially when they are feeling pain and discomfort. Isolation would have killed her. Giving her a shot of antibiotics would have been unnecessary and could have disturbed her immune system and developing intestinal bacterial flora. And it would not have helped. Seeing the lamb suffering would have left us little choice but euthanasia. In short, any intervention, but the accidental one, would have been a disaster.When it comes to humans, the lesson is clear. It would be wise to first look for a simple cause and solution to a health problem.Our medical system is designed to test and treat problems with an increasingly complex array of high tech diagnostic and treatment methods. Some of these methods themselves pose a risk to health. And looking for a complicated answer often distracts from the real cause of the problem, which could be very simple.Then there is the question of when to give up hope. Of course, many times we give up because of our own ignorance about what to do, not necessarily because there is no solution. Especially noteworthy was the fact that it was not our medical knowledge that helped the lamb, but our compassion. It was not until we held the lamb and lovingly caressed its pained body that the solution made itself apparent. We were not the healers of this lamb, but the accidental agents that popped her knee and ended her problem. Perhaps there are higher forces at work that answer to the prayers of baby lambs.Our lambs are now jumping and celebrating being alive. We are now popping their knee joints daily, like sheep chiropractors. And we make sure the lambs stay away from Sweetie, whose name is being changed to Meanie.

An Inside Look at the Importance of a Smile in Sales

If you’re in sales, then you’ve probably heard all sorts of advice, from “don’t oversell” to “focus on solving problems.” However, one of the best pieces of advice that many forget is to smile! After all, your smile is one of the first features people notice about you, and it plays an essential role in the first impression you make. Keep reading to learn all about the importance of a smile in sales (as well as how cosmetic dentistry can help!).

Smile: Your Sale Depends on It!

Knowing your product and knowing your audience are key in sales. However, you don’t get far if your client doesn’t trust you or believe you. That’s why it’s so important to make a good first impression! Here are a few ways a smile can help:

• Smiling is more powerful than you might think – One study found that smiling has the same effect on our brain as $25,000 in cash!

• Smiling communicates your state of mind – Smiling is a non-verbal cue that you are happy to be where you are, that you are confident in your product, and that you are ready and willing to help.

• Smiling creates a ripple effect of positivity – Have you ever seen a friend yawn and done the same? Or seen someone take a sip of water and immediately realized you’re thirsty? Thanks to the mirroring neurons in our brains, we naturally mimic the behavior of those around us.

But What If You Don’t Like Your Smile?

If you don’t like your smile, don’t worry – that’s where cosmetic dentistry comes in. Whether you’re struggling with misaligned, misshapen, cracked, or otherwise imperfect teeth, your smile goals aren’t out of reach. The first step? Scheduling an appointment with a skilled cosmetic dentist. For both my father and myself, providing high-quality, personalized, and judgment-free dentistry is a passion. There’s truly nothing better than seeing someone walk out of our office with a dazzling, confident smile! So, don’t wait to make your dream smile a reality – it could make all of the difference when it comes to your personal and professional life!

The Best Job In The World?

1999 was probably the worst year of my professional life. Unsatisfying office jobs followed by long periods of unemployment and claiming benefits. I’d also missed out on an opportunity to train as a Microsoft certified programmer because I was unable to find a placement. The dream of making my way into the world of employment had turned into an absolute nightmare, at times I felt like a total failure.

Towards the end of 1999 an opportunity arose for me to work in a casino. I’d always loved card games after seeing the glitz and glamour of casinos in James Bond movies. Dissatisfied with life in Northern Ireland, at the age of just 20, I packed a couple of suitcases and ended up going to the Isle of Man to train as a croupier (casino dealer) in January 2000. 18 months later I was working on my first cruise ship, and 18 months after that I was boarding the QE2 (the most famous ship of them all) to do a world cruise.

For a young man from a housing estate in Antrim, Northern Ireland this was beyond even my wildest dreams. On a ferry from Belfast to Liverpool in 1997, I’d once seen a pontoon table and croupier and dreamt what it may be to work as a casino dealer on the high seas.

Everything aboard the QE2 was as you would expect, starting with Captain Ron Warwick, who looked exactly what the captain of the QE2 should look like (Google the name if you don’t believe me). Passenger facing crew were immaculate in their appearance. I could probably have shaved with the crease on my pressed tuxedo shirts, and on a number of occassions when I had been sunburnt in port, I could feel the creases cutting into my tender skin as I dealt the cards that evening in the casino.

The great thing for croupiers on cruise ships is that they only work when the ship is in international waters, in port, the casino must close, and casino staff are free to do pretty much whatever they want. Casino staff have a cabin steward who cleans their cabin and takes away their dirty laundry and brings it back fresh each day. We did a 103 day world cruise which included stops in places like Hong Kong, Sydney, Cape Town, Hawaii, Mauritius, Nagasaki, Tahiti and Singapore to name a few. I managed to do some amazing excursions like diving in the great barrier reef, quad biking in the Namibian desert, and dining in all sorts of fine restaurants, trying delicacies like Springbok, Kangaroo, Crocodile and Kobe beef. We made stops in 5 continents, crossed the equator and even experienced living a Tuesday in consequetive days when we crossed the world timeline. Imagine that, you go to bed on Tuesday night, wake up the following morning and its Tuesday again, but this was far from groundhog day.

The role in the casino was not about taking passengers’ money like in a land-based casino, it was about providing them with fun and entertainment. The passengers were friendly and pleasant, many of them being extremely successful people (I understand the lowest cabin cost for a world cruise on the QE2 was about $50,000 in 2003). A lot of the passengers had never played in a casino and were fascinated to learn and experience the one onboard. Just getting to know some of these people was an experience in itself, and a large part of the role in the casino was simply to entertain them whilst they were in the casino.

There were also celebrity passengers. We would finish work and go to the crew/members bar where we would have guest entertainers like the late Des O’Connor and the magician, the late Paul Daniels down to have a drink. God bless them both.

Was my job the best job in the world? Maybe not for everyone, but it was beyond even my wildest dreams and the 6 month experience, as well as the amazing people I met will be something I treasure forever. I was very lucky to have lived this experience and will always be incredibly grateful for it.

Many years have passed since then and I’ve always missed the buzz of casinos which is how Fun 21 Casino Hire was created in 2021. My celebrities now are anyone who hires the No Money Fun Casino that I provide for parties and celebrations, and I aim to give the same experience that you would expect onboard the QE2.