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! 


Lindsay said...

Hugs to you and Julia! I hope she feels better soon!

Dianne@sheepdreams said...

One of the good/bad things about living on a farm is that you never know what the day will bring! I know what you mean about your pups. Our boy is 6 months now and I feel as though I spend all day checking to be sure he's not slipped through the fence or trying to get a sheep to play with him by being an aggravation! They are such weird and wonderful dogs. When they finally reach adulthood and are doing their job, there's nothing better, but until they do, it can be challenging.
I hope Julia is on the mend and life becomes a little more manageable for you. Looking forward to a new book from you!

Auntie Shan said...

With the way the weather and the yo-yo temps have been, I'm not surprised that Julia isn't well. It's been a weird month. I'm surprised that you and FARMER haven't succombed to exhaustion yourselves with all of the goings on! -- The almost daily shovelling around here is close to doing me in! - We had about 4" of heavy snow earlier. No sooner had I cleared it up, another 2 on ICE-PELLETS covered everything AGAIN! And after that, RAIN...
After 3-hours, of redoing it all, I gave up. I'll probably have scooping tomorrow!

So, Sadie is the minx of the 2, huh? - Then she's well named. [Maugham]

You know, I've been so pre-occupied with being weather-weary, I haven't touched a needle or hook in almost 2-weeks!! - I really should try tonight... I'm surrounded by wool just taunting me to do SOMETHING!


Kathy said...

I'm hoping that your 'maybe' becomes reality, and if not, then just know that 'this too shall pass'. Good luck! Thanks for sharing with us.

Anita said...

You have a lot more to deal with than the average person. Lambing, young dogs, a sick teen, and inclement weather all add up to stress. You can only do your best. I think you are just wonderful.

LannieK said...

I so hope everything brightens up!
Watch out for those gutter balls! They get me every time ;-)

Linda said...

Love the little taste of Leyden and your Family. Miss you all, Hugs to Julia! Linda

Frances said...

Dear Kristin, i surely do hope that Julia is feeling better, and will be feeling even better tomorrow.

Yes, this February has been a strange one with chill and sudden thaw, and then repeat x times like some sort of knitting pattern.

I've known folks who live in New England and so have heard tales of the mud...and perhaps more welcome, the maple syrup.

We are somewhat cosseted here in NYC where even a record-breaking blizzard can be shoveled and snow plowed away in a day or two.


Gerri said...

What Anita said on top of the fact that you run a multi-faceted business of your own! Things will settle tomorrow or they won't but you'll move on through. First the right foot, then the left. Not a blast but you're headed to an easier time. Most of all, I hope Julia feels better.

Take care,


Luxury Flats Lady said...

Very much enjoyed the photos of all of these beautiful animals!

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