New year-new beginnings

A year ago today, we picked up our first flock of sheep, four very pregnant Jacob ewes.  We were excited, hopeful and we were looking towards the future. Little did I know, how much we would grow, both literally and figuratively. Now, we have approximately 80 sheep that we are tending to, and that number goes up each week.  With so many ewes pregnant, we will be filling up the barn soon, which is exciting but nerve-racking at the same time.  But, I am excited for what his year has to bring.  We will be starting at the farmers market at the beginning of the season, versus last year when we started in mid May.  Hooray for getting in early! 

For January 1st,  the weather was a mild 44 degrees, which makes doing chores much more bearable.  I have many friends that will comment on my photos when it is 75 and sunny, with beautiful flowers growing in the 30 acres, and will say "jealous!" or "Lucky!", and this is true. We are lucky. Undeniably lucky.  But, with those beautiful days also comes the days that are incredibly hot and incredibly cold, and I doubt anyone is going to say jealous or lucky on those days.  In Ohio, it can get hot,  like I have woke-up-in-the-depths-of-hell-hot, and I am going to share a little personal information; I HATE the heat.  I love sunny and 85, but much above that, I am a miserable person to be around. I get tired, and drained, and it's just not a good look for me.  Then, you have the cold days.  Days that are so cold, I could swear I was beyond the wall and at any moment, white walkers would start charging through the woods and into the fields.  Yes, we are talking that kind of cold.  Fortunately, cold isn't so much of a problem for me, but it does make farming hard. As long as I am bundled up and keep moving, I can do pretty well in very low temperatures.  But, it makes it harder to get around in so many layers, and water freezes, animals are born into the world wet, and get sick and die when it is that cold. Coyotes get hungry when the temperatures drop and need to feed, and I pray each night that it isn't on our beloved flock. Thus, cold weather has its fair share of problems too.    

So anyway, today at 44 degrees and sunny, we were able to accomplish a lot! Seth and I swapped out the four tires on the old F-150 (aka B.A.T.) and took the lambs that didn't survive coming into this world, down to the creek bed, far and away from the fields and the flock.  We don't want to attract any predators up near the barn where the sheep and young lambs are.  

Today, was a good day.  It was hard work swapping out all the tires. The tires are good in snow and mud, and I will feel much safer driving the truck in the snow knowing I've got trusty tires on my side.  Seth worked his butt off, and he didn't complain once, not that he ever does, but today was hard work.  I am thankful we got to work alongside each other in the cool sunshine.  We work really well as a team, and I am grateful for that.  We are going to be sore tomorrow, I am sure, so tonight we rest and watch reruns of Simpsons.  I hope everyone head a productive and good first day of the year! -B