Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Year or So Ago

 I was thinking the other day about the changes in a year or so ago. A year or so ago we were just getting started in a long whirlwind month or two of daily interactions with these:

Sheep, now you have to remember I was not raised with sheep. In fact my first experiences with any sheep was when we lived in Montana. It was a learning curve, with most people I am sure, rolling their eyes as this girl tried to figure things out.  So back to  a year ago. A year ago our days were spent feeding baby lambs & boy did we spend out day feeding lambs. 
The sea of Sheep. Literally. And we weren't feeding just once, or twice, but 4 times a day. I think our daily average was 50 lambs every feeding. Sometimes more, sometimes less.  It was exhausting. 

It was fun, & the excitement of my little boys faces, who loved the sheep was wonderful. They helped us feed 3 out of the 4 feedings a day. The 4th was always a hot date with my hubby to the barn were we would end our night feeding  & visiting & it became quite lovely. It was hard work for little  boys, but just look at that face. 
Eventually they learned to do this: Eat off free choice feeders. Which made life so much easier once they figured that out. Because it was once less lamb, you had to handle & bottle feed. I remember one day figuring out that in bottle feeding alone I spent 8 hours. That doesn't count my hubby's hours, or my boys. That was my time spent in the barn feeding. My husband usually spent several hours a day driving around picking up the bums. And just as lambs started slowing down,  my father-in-law started kidding & we started bringing these home too. 

Baby Goats. Adorable, baby goats. These guys are tough & hardy & so much easier to feed then lambs.  So we spent our time working on feeding sheep & now goats & just when it started slowing down, our own sheep began to lamb. 
So we stayed busy & busy & busy. Doing checks & feeding & making sure in the nasty winter that we didn't miss any. Those we didn't catch soon enough (in other words found that they had lambed), sometimes baby lambs died. We would walk the pasture, & and as soon as they were done lambing you would go up grab the usually wet baby & hurry as fast as you can across the pasture carrying 1, 2 & sometimes 3 baby lambs, while the mother quickly followed behind. Some moms were quite aggressive & stuck to you like glue until you let go of her babies, in a warm jug in the barn. I had one mother literally run me over once I made it into the barn & set  down her babies. My husband could only stare & ask, "are you okay?"
Other mothers would follow you & then turn back & go to where they had them, trying to find your babies. It was frustrating  & would take forever. Then in our almost free time, we bottled feed more animals, adding bedding, fed & some days snuck a nap in because we were exhausted.  But it was our life  & I loved it. I especially loved when spring hit & the pasture started getting color & the lambs got bigger & stronger & I would watch these adorable animals just play. 

And I have decided I love sheep. If you would have told me years ago, I would have rolled my eyes, but it is true. I have learned to really enjoy sheep. Yes, some days I could have passed on things we had to do, but for the most part, I truly enjoyed it. Fast forward a few months & more.
We have since sold our sheep, it was a sad day for me, & many times I wish we still had them.  I have days I miss them, the other day was such a day. And then I tried to imagine doing everything I did last year, but 32 weeks pregnant.
     I can only imagine. My coveralls that kept me warm for the hours outside in the barn, no longer zip up. I can put them on, but that is about it. Tying my shoes is a chore, let a lone bending over for hours while feeding sheep. I could scale the side of our barn & was getting pretty fast at jumping & climbing over gates & such to get into areas. The thought climbing anything besides stairs makes me laugh, trying to do a wall with my belly sticking out, would surely mean me falling backwards & landing in something unpleasant. The thought of carrying straw & bedding, sounds near impossible at that weight. And as I was walking through the blizzard the other day, I tried to imagine how I would go about carrying 1,2 or 3 lambs at a jog across a pasture while their angry momma followed behind. It is a not only a scary sight, but one of great humor. And the aromas of animals, while being  pregnant,  I can't even imagine; as my husbands cologne (which I normally love) right now is enough to send me running to the bathroom.
And so I contemplated life a year ago & now. Trying to imagine  doing the things I did in life last year, in my current state.

And though I miss my sheep & baby lambs, & I am sure one day I will have them again.   I am grateful that someone else who knows  more than I do about the great scheme of things is a little more in charge then me.  

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know you guys lived in Montana. What an adventure and how fun for your boys. You're a good sport!