Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Winter is Back + Beau + Sadie at the Barns
We had a brief spell of beautiful spring weather at the beginning of the week and mud season all combined. That is following the 20 below zero nights of 10 days ago. Local maple trees were tapped and the sap started to run earlier than it usually does. Last night winter returned and there was snow and ice and general messiness. The roads were pretty treacherous this morning and there was a school delay - thank goodness.
When it rains or snows some of the sheep stay in the barn but some just tough it out in the elements. It does get real messy though and the sheep get wet and muddy. Some lambs just get dirtier than others. It is kind of comical to look at all their little faces and wonder why one is much muddier than the next. Look at the one below all the way to the left!
It's been a while since Beau and Sadie showed up on the blog. They are 7 months old now and weigh 84 and 90 pounds. They have spent the winter here at our farmhouse, sleeping in the mudroom because for a few nights they barked all night long keeping us and the neighbors up. Pyrs are famous for barking at night - it is in their DNA and helps to keep the predators away. Our barns are 5 miles from our farmhouse and this year there are no sheep in our fields directly outside our house. Beau and Sadie haven't seen a sheep since the beginning of December. This week I have been bringing them to the barns to hang out with the sheep and lambs while morning chores are happening. At first the sheep were terrified of them. After the first day, they were not quite as leary of the dogs. Today Beau and Sadie stayed for 3 hours. Tomorrow we will try for 4 hours.
Beau is totally laid back and comfortable at the barn. Sadie on the other hand is high-strung and pants the entire time she is there. If she wasn't tied to a fence, she would take off. They have been wandering away from our house the past week which Great Pyrs tend to do (although Winston never left). It is another great distraction for me - worrying about where they are, who is going to call me. It is very rural around here but still I worry. Next week, they are both getting fixed and I'm hoping it will help the wandering situation. Sadie is the instigator - Beau would stay put if it weren't for her.
Julia had school vacation last week and then got sick on the last day of it. I'm not sure what is wrong with her and we have been to the doctor and he can't find anything wrong with her. So I just have to hope she gets better soon. Her immune system isn't the strongest and her diabetes complicates everything.
I'm supposed to be working on my next book project which has proved to be very difficult and frustrating this winter with my current demands of family and farm life. It is stressing me out thinking about it all. I'm hoping to get going on it more this week as long as Julia feels okay. I'm also trying to figure out what classes I am going to run here at the farm this year. I've got to get them lined up and on the website or no one will come.
I had a friend that gave me a card before Julia was born and it said "Having a family is like having a bowling alley in your head." I think of Louise and all the other mothers I know (including my mom with me and my 4 sisters) who had/have more than one child and wonder how they do it all. I can barely manage with just one child.
Maybe tomorrow will be a sunny day and the LGD's (Livestock Guard Dogs) will settle in perfectly at the barns, there will be no lambing problems, and Julia will feel better. And I will get some work done. I can only hope.
Have a great week everyone!