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The Day Before the Day Before Christmas

As I write this at the desk in our kitchen, a cold rain is falling outside. Both the calendar and the weather suggest that Christmas morning is just around the corner. I can hear the woodstove ticking in the other room - I just added a piece of Douglas fir to the fire. I was awakened this morning by a phone call from one of our landlords - the rams and the guard dog were grazing in her backyard (not where they were supposed to be). I threw on some warm clothes, put the dogs in the pickup, and headed out to do chores. Now I'm home - a belly full of breakfast and my second cup of coffee in my hand.

I am usually very healthy, but for the last week and a half, I've been fighting first a cold and then the flu. I'll admit that I have difficulty doing nothing - 10 days of feeling under the weather makes me extremely restless! That said, I wonder if being sick is a reminder that I need to slow down on occasion. The short days and long nights of early winter reinforce this reminder - and help me recharge my batteries. The only other task on my agenda for today is to haul water to the rams at some point - I think I'll spend the rest of the day indoors reading and enjoying my family!

Raising livestock often means that we're outdoors in all kinds of weather. The well-being of the animals always comes first. Sometimes, this means we're building electric fence and moving sheep in the midst of a driving rain. But sometimes, like today, we only need to feed the guard dogs and walk through the sheep. Sometimes, we get to stay inside by the fire! Merry Christmas, everyone!


  1. Merry Christmas to you! Always enjoy your posts.....this one is special. Get well soon!

  2. As I remember, the first time I met you it was pouring down buckets. My daughter and I drove up to get the brown fleece. I for some unfathomable reason I didn't bring a jacket and had changed out of my rubber boots. Driving home, wet and cold, I breathed in the faint "sheepy"aroma and thought of my shepherding days. I kept a small flock, whose job it was to be moving lawn mowers. I'd milk the cows then check, water and maybe move the sheep. 30 plus years have passed since I unloaded my last sheep out at the Dixon sale yard.
    I remember when I seemed to live in rain gear and rubber boats, also seemed to often wear the faint scent of OU'deBarn. The desire or drive to always be busy is a hard one for some of us to kick. Sometimes it takes an illness either acute or chronic to slap some sense it to us old mules.


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