Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Found my Voice...for now

I have been looking for my blogging voice.  For now, it has returned.   

Looking back through the last year I feel as if all I do is repeat myself.  Same sh*t, different day.  You know the feeling.

So many things have changed in my life the past year, it seems a wee bit overwhelming at times.

We went from no sheep to 65 head (borrowing 5 range ewes, we own 52, Monique owns 8) in less than a year. With them comes the responsibility of caring for them and the huge impact that has had on our lives.

We seem to keep acquiring pasture to graze.  It is a wonderful thing!  But with the pasture comes work.  Fencing, moving sheep frequently, watching, caring, etc.   I love every single solitary moment. 

Slowly but surely the back pasture is being cleared and the fences fixed.  John and the kids have been hard at work.  Most of the fence line has been repaired.  A couple months ago there were downed trees, brush, and a long line of destroyed & smashed fencing.  This weekend John put the finishing touches on it and it is ready for livestock.  This side of the fence used to look like the other side...that gives you a bit of an idea how much work this has been. 

We have also been putting up other fencing. Three strands of hot tape has solved the rhododendron dilemma.  Now the sheep can be left in the back during the day while I work without fear they will eat things they shouldn't.  

A word from the wise.  Do NOT piss off your electrician husband while installing electric fence.  Just sayin, you may find yourself being a human voltage tester.  Trust me on this.  

The other night when we were having dinner with the pasture owners, Dick asked me "Did you imagine a year ago leasing this pasture would have transitioned into .... this?"

I looked at him, shook my head, leaned back, stared into what was left of my margarita, thinking about the overwhelming positive things that have entered my life this year.  It is mind boggling.

The sheep, new friends, new hobby, new job and a new found sense of worth & about 40 lbs less fat in my ass.   Things have just fallen into place.  Remarkable actually. 


Until recently I did not know what I wanted to be when I grew up.  The choices I made when I was younger were for the wrong reasons. 

From my choice of career, to where I lived and how I kept my yard, I did things for other people.  Seeking approval.  Feeling as if I am an bird in a cracked glass cage.  On the edge, afraid of everything, seeing nothing but inadequacy, failure and sadness reflected in the mirror.  I would try to please others, more and more, ignoring that small quiet voice inside.  My personal identity & self slowly dissolving.  A terrible self destructive spiral.

I am getting better.  Slowly.  Listening to my heart. 

Instead of trying to shove myself into the round hole anymore I am going to embrace my squareness.  I am NOT an extrovert.  I do not understand people.  I need to quit pretending I get all the jokes.  I am NOT good in a crowd.  My communication skills are less than stellar.  To describe me as social idiot would not be too far from the truth. Often I feel like the biggest idiot on the face of the earth, living in constant dismay at the utter stupidity that explodes from my mouth on a daily basis.  It is exhausting trying to pretend to be something I am not. 

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my friends immensely, but find most social situations absolutely exhausting.  If it is just me and my dog, a bunch of sheep & a camera I am good.  Rain or shine, I am good with it.  My dogs do not give a shit if I am fashion forward, have greasy hair, with alfalfa in my bra and manure on my boots. 


Enough of that prattle.  Moving on...

The lambs are getting huge!

Like a bunch of fat ticks they are growing.

This little ewe lamb is on top of my favorites list.  Her attitude and confidence make me giggle.  Her fleece makes me giddy with pleasure. 

We have a few visitors on the farm.  Five healthy rambouillet range ewes made a stop at the farm. Their sole purpose is for training the dogs & are not part of the general flock population.  They need to leave soon.  I am starting to like them. Alas, they will not do well in our climate. 

I have learned oodles working & watching them. 

Many of my hours are spent just watching and studying all of our sheep. Understanding their behaviors.  How each breed, group or individual reacts, relaxes, moves off the dogs among other things. 

Often my thoughts go back to the beginning when I started taking lessons.  The phrase "watch your sheep" was repeated over and over. 

Watching your sheep is absolutely essential, but when you are a beginner it is about the last thing you can comprehend. 

I find myself watching my sheep now, instead of my dog.  For example the sheep are telling me in this shot that my dog is being a brat, pushing them too damn hard and getting ready to flank around and head them. 

Most importantly the sheep are telling me if I do not take the camera off my face I may die.   

Life is pretty damn good right now.  Keep things in perspective, listen to your heart and put one foot in front of the other....one moment you look around and realize you are exactly where you are meant to be. 

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” C.S. Lewis


Billy said...

I continue to be amazed at where the dogs lead us. I'm glad you have found your voice...for now. ;-)
What fun you are having, amidst all that work. You probably don't have time or energy to keep a journal but if you did - wouldn't that be interesting to read a year or two later? ;-) Thanks for sharing!

Ann said...

Love it, Carolynn!!! Great to read this morning, after a tough day yesterday.

Unknown said...

So glad you found your voice. That voice sounds much more comfortable. I'd give anything to be able to spend my days working outside with dogs and livestock.

Anonymous said...

Lots of awesome in this post, great work

Shelly said...

I love your blog, especially the photos, but today I want to thank you for saying out loud the things I feel about myself right now. I too have lost me, who I was, trying to please someone else. Today you gave me hope that I can change the trajectory of my life and find my true self again. Thank you!