Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Truths about Sheep

1. If the ground is soft, sheep hooves do not wear down and must be trimmed.
2. We've had 43+ inches of rain this year.
3. The hooves must be trimmed.
4. Sheep do not particularly care for hoof trimming.
5. Neither do I.
6. If one wishes to practice good animal husbandry, neither 4 or 5 matter.

7. A sheep chair makes trimming hooves easier.
8. Unlike humans, sheep do not go, "Ah, a recliner" and hop in.
9. A dog cannot put a sheep into the chair (in the correct position).
10. I can get the smaller sheep into the sheep chair, but not the heavy, husky ewes.
11. The majority of the flock is heavy, husky ewes.
12. If one wishes to practice good animal husbandry, neither 8, 9 or 11 matter.

13. If I catch, halter and tie a ewe, I can trim her hooves.
14. My ewes are not fond of being caught, haltered or tied.
15. Sheep are built low to the ground.
16. Trimming hooves requires a lot of stooping, bracing and contorting.
17. A dog cannot trim sheep hooves.
18. If ones wishes to practice good animal husbandry,  none of this matters.

19. To accomplish the task and save my body, I trim 4-5 sheep a day.
20. When one has 30 ewes, the process takes a week.
21. Not a single ewe said thank you.
22. Not a single ewe admired her pedicure.
23. Not a single ewe asked when we could do that again.
24. Neither did I.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Early Winter Surprises

When I put on my wool coat this week, my hand went to the pocket and pulled out $7--two ones and a five.

I did a little happy dance, and thought of a college roommate, and the joy I felt when she found a dollar bill in her pocket on that first cold day of fall.

This was 30 years ago, and we were poor college students. A dollar was a big deal.

"Oh, I put it there last spring," she said. "I do that every spring, put dollar bills in my coat pockets. I like the surprise."

But is it a surprise?

I'm not organized enough to schedule a dollar-bill-in-the-coat-pocket day in the spring. Because of that, my surprises are genuine. In addition to money, I've found some other mementos this week.

In my dress coats, I've found a ticket stub to a play from last winter, a to-do list, my favorite pen, a pair of glasses.

My non-dress coats are much more interesting. I often find running orders from dog trials that happened months ago. I'll also find gloves, used hand warmer packets, dog treats, hay chaff, grease markers, an ear tag.

Deep in the recesses of my brain, I know that an organized person is supposed to wash all her coats or take them to the dry cleaners once winter has passed. But when does winter really end?

I've worn coats in April and even May.

And who wants to put on a coat, stick their hand in the pocket and find nothing?