Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thanksgiving is past, the solstice is behind us, and Christmas, the celebration of the coming of light and the Word, was the day before yesterday. Family and friends gathered here at the farm for Christmas Eve, and we went to Mom's on Christmas. The tables were laden with our favorites and our specialties, the cooks were busy for days, and a wonderful holiday was had by all.

Today, Sunday, has been a day to reflect on our blessings, catch up with ourselves, and for me, to spin and dye after the long holiday hiatus. The rhythm of the treadle, the feel of wool in my hands, and the dyepot's warmth bring me back to the rhythms of the farm.

Gracie needs a new home. Last week she started biting the sheep's legs until they lay down, and then she won't let them up. Ken or I have to go out and call her so the sheep can get up, but they are so traumatized they just lay there until we make them get up. The ewes could lose their lambs (if they haven't already). I am at a loss how to stop her behavior, and the sheep aren't able to back her off. So for now Gracie is in a stall, and I am trying to find her a home. Maybe someone with goats, or bigger sheep, or a shepherd that spends more time with his flock than do I. She is such a sweet dog--I want to figure out a way to make it work, but not at the cost of one of the ewes or spring's lamb crop.

We took a walk this afternoon just as the storm began to let up. The silvery sun and lightly falling snow gave the woods a magical look as skeins of honking geese flew high overhead. We saw dog or coyote tracks from earlier in the day, and a pair of red-tailed hawks wheeled and soared and called as we walked along the edge of the woods. As for our dogs, Sadie was up to her chest in snow, leaping and running and playing on her short mini Aussie legs, but Seamus soon had paws full of painful ice balls. (I need to trim the hair between his toes!) We turned for home early because of Seamus's discomfort, just in time to see one of the neighbor's dogs running back the way he had come. He was at least a mile from home. I hope he doesn't "visit" the sheep or chickens on one of his forays . . .

Once back home, we nudged the fire back to life, I fed the dogs, and Ken gathered eggs and fed the sheep. A family of barred owls called close by just as the sun set behind the naked trees.

Now that the days are beginning to lengthen, my thoughts wander toward spring and planting. . . . It's time to order seeds!

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