February 1, 2016
In our house right now, this is most often how you’ll see Sunshine.
All 5 of my sheep in one frame…success!
Our mid-winter days consist of a fairly predictable routine. The phrase “plodding along” comes to mind, but it isn’t at all mundane or uneventful. As the days are just beginning to noticeably lengthen, we may appear more home-based and quieter. Breakfast, farm chores, and homeschool work take us to late morning, at which point I’m often in the kitchen, making up lunch. After we eat, we read a bit or do some handwork, then head outdoors for a walk or just to play by the animals. It amazes me how the kids are drawn down to be close to the calm and observant critters, who quietly chew their cud and watch the energetic humans have fun at the creek’s edge, or have wrestling matches in the snow. Before we were a farm, almost four years ago now (whooooosh! that went fast!), our play was in the front yard, close to the house. Perhaps we spend so much time with our animals, we have adopted the communal space just outside the henhouse and paddocks as our new front yard. Besides, there’s always an audience down there.
Our studly visitor is leaving tomorrow. Hershey is returning to his farm after having been here over 3 weeks. While I certainly won’t miss his trademark aroma blowing all around the farmyard, I have to say that as far as billy goats go, Hershey was stellar. A true gentleman who was so discreet with his amorous feelings for our sweet doe, Heidi, that we aren’t even sure she was bred. When I asked an old time farmer how to tell for sure if your goat is pregnant, he replied, “Well, when there’s a baby kid on the ground in 5 months, I reckon she’s been serviced.” And so the wait begins…
Meanwhile, my four ewes are halfway along, due in April…at least, I’m fairly certain Romeo did his job! It really is so hard to tell, but in another few weeks, I will be able to palpitate their bellies and feel lambies inside! Not a day goes by that I don’t think about who is growing in there…what colour fleeces, boys or girls. I won’t let myself think about the lambing itself…I’ve got time to read about becoming a sheep midwife yet!
Indoors, there are all sorts of projects in progress…a littlest boy is having a bedroom makeover with a new coat of paint, kindling pieces are whittled into spears, our holiday puzzle of 1000 pieces was finally finished just today ~ and oh, the loud whoop of joy and happy dance from Sunshine when she laid that last piece had me laughing so hard my belly ached!
I’ve been keeping my own fingers nimble with a little embroidery work and wool dyeing…though, the truth be told, I am really experimenting and getting familiar with dyeing again after a long hiatus.
It is a cozy time of year, to be nestled all snug at home with the fire crackling and our hands busy. And whether it be drawing or stitching or knitting…or playdough…it is a wonderful way to pass a wintry afternoon, together.