Usually I wake up in the morning feeling great. Well rested. I can easily convince myself that the decaf I'm drinking is actually leaded. Today, not so much. In fact, not yesterday either.
It's after noon and I'm sitting here nursing another cup of Two Roasting Joes spiked with loads of sugar and cream to help me along through schooling Young'un. I think I might feel human again soon.
I know, I know, now you're wondering why. Well, you see, I've been shearing sheep day and night. Yes, I said night, too. It's like a never ending shear fest.
I spent a good chunk of Saturday and most of Sunday shearing. I'm in no way a professional. I use the old fashioned hand shears and don't follow the guidelines. Why? Because I'm me and when it comes down to the nitty gritty of it, the way I do it is what works. It takes me a long time to get to the end results because we both get a little nervous around the front of the neck area, privates, and the flappy bits of skin at the legs, but when I reach the finish line I have a well skirted fleece to work with and a happy to be cool again sheep.
I don't have a shearing stand, although it would be nice. Instead, I pick out my wooly victim, run around like an idiot until I catch her (ahem, or him - I really need to learn how to lasso), get a harness on her, tie her to the stall, and get down to business. If the lucky winner isn't cooperative, I have a way with bracing her up against the wall with my hip and getting the job done. Sometimes I'll utilize one of the family to help if I have an extra unwilling participant. Either way I get 'er done.
Here's the problem... Shearing has crossed over into my dreams. I've spent the last two nights shearing all night. Alllll. Niiiiiiight. I close my eyes and next thing I know *WHAM-O* I'm shearing sheep. It's never ending. There's a line up of sheep just waiting for my attention. Well behaved sheep, reluctant sheep, big sheep, little sheep, horned sheep, polled sheep, sheep with spots ~ I think you get the picture. It's just me, my hand shears, a rope harness, and sheep.
What's not fair about it isn't just the lack of sleep because I'm working so hard in my dreams, but the fact that I look like I've lost a good 10 lbs from all the work...and they never pee in my boot when I'm working at the back. When I wake up I'm bone tired, stiff, and the weight I lost is mysteriously back. GAH! I won't even get into what's on my clothes (or in my boots) from daytime shearing after I've been sitting, kneeling, and scooting around on the barn floor.
So there you have it, folks. That is why I sit here enjoying yet another cup of leaded Two Roasting Joes heavily laced with sugar and cream. I've been shearing during the day and I've been shearing throughout the night. Next time you're counting sheep to go to sleep, just remember when they leap over that fence as you drift off they're leaping into our pasture for me to get to work on. Little Bo Peep's sheep are also here. So are the sheep from the Serta mattress commercials. All sheep, it seems, eventually end up in my dreams. Time to get a move on. I don't have much daylight left before it's time to get back to work. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
Of all the books I read to our children growing up, there's one in particular that stands out. I only saw it once at a little gift shop in Arthurdale, WV, when we lived there many years ago, and never regretted buying it. We were years away from starting our own family, and money was tight, but the Fates just wouldn't let me put it down. The book is titled What Makes a Rainbow, by Betty Ann Schwartz. Over the years I have enjoyed reading this book to our sons and my students many times, and will enjoy reading it to our grandchildren some day, too. It's not only a pop-up book, but one that has rainbow colored ribbons threaded throughout the pages. I was captivated. Every young child I read it to was also captivated.
What Makes a Rainbow begins like this - “Little Rabbit and his mother were sitting under a big, red flower petal. 'Look!' said Little Rabbit. 'It stopped raining.' 'Yes,' said Mama Rabbit. 'Soon we'll see a rainbow.' 'What makes a rainbow?' asked Little Rabbit. 'Why don't you ask your friends?' said Mama Rabbit.”
Now you're wondering why I've shared this wonderful little book with you. Is it because I want you to go out and comb the local bookshop for it? Well, you're more than welcome to. It really is a lovely book. Is it because I want you to read this to children? Reading sure is important, and I highly recommend doing that for yourself and to others, but still...not what I'm thinking.
Ever since we brought our first Icelandics home six years ago I would on occasion think of this book. Not in quite the same way, though. When I take a look out over our little pasture I see a rainbow. Not one of reds and oranges, yellows and greens. Not even of blues and purples. I see an Icelandic rainbow.
If I had the opportunity to write a book about a rainbow of colors along the same lines as What Makes a Rainbow?, it might go something like this:
Young'un and his mother were sitting under a big old Silver Maple tree.
“Look!” said Young'un, “It stopped raining.” “Yes,” said his mama, “Soon
we'll see a rainbow.” “What makes a rainbow, Mama?” asked Young'un.
“Look towards the barn, and under the trees.” said Mama, “Soon you'll see
one begin to form.”
Young'un looked to the barn and then it began. As he saw Daisy, he asked,
“Miss Daisy, what makes a rainbow?” Daisy gave a shake to her dark thick
wool and replied, “Black. Black makes a rainbow.” Next came Dahlia.
She, too, was asked what makes a rainbow. She stood proudly next to Daisy
and said, “Moorit. Moorit also makes a rainbow.” After Dahlia the parade of
Icelandics continued, spilling out from behind the trees. There were solids and spots,
whites and greys, even mouflons and badgerfaces. It was the most beautiful rainbow
Young'un and his mother had ever seen.
“So, now you know what makes a rainbow,” said Mama.
And that, folks, is the end of my story...for now.... Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals wouldn't agree. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm just called Mom. Life on a farm is full of family and hard work and I wouldn't have it any other way.