My Sheep, an Easy Decision


My sheep in the trailer

My Sheep came today!  Darryl, the farmer who brings his sheep to graze at the farm every summer dropped off some of his Tunis sheep and 3 black Border Leicester’s for me.  Two are yearlings, # 6 and #9  and  #27 is a few years old.  It didn’t take long for them to get used to me.  #27 came up to me and let me scratch her neck.   But then Simon came over and chased them all around the pasture for a bit.

Simon, Jon, Darryl and my three sheep

Eventually he left them alone and they started to grazed then laid down in the shade.  I sat next to them and they stayed there when Simon came over and  sniffed them, he even nudged #9 with his nose, but they stayed where they were. 

Then Fanny came over and sniffed around a bit   Eventually we all just sat around together. It made me pretty happy.  I’m a little embarrassed to say it, but it felt like a family.

I’ve never had my own sheep before, and hadn’t even thought about it until about a month ago, when we decided to get a new border collie.  It was one of those decisions that I didn’t even have to think about, it just seemed obvious. Red, the new border collie would have sheep to herd, Jon could take pictures of them and I could sell the wool   Why hadn’t I thought of it before?

Probably because for such a long time I was trying to keep my  identity separate from Jon.  I didn’t want to be known as Jon’s wife.  For years, I never even mentioned him or the animals or the farm on my blog. As my business and self confidence grew I stated to incorporate that part of my life into my blog and my work.   Actually,  it always felt dishonest to me, leaving out chunks of my life, but my need to  protect myself was even stronger.  I think the other reason is that I didn’t want the responsibility of having sheep.  Because of my anxiety, in the past,  I shied away from taking responsibility for my life.  I was afraid to make decisions and commitments, not trusting myself or thinking I was capable.

How freeing it was not to even be thinking any of these things today when the sheep ran from the truck into the pasture. (it wasn’t as direct as that, they took a few laps around the yard with Freida barking and the donkeys trying to get out of the gate, a lesson for me for the next time)  My sheep, I thought as I crouched down in the grass waiting for them to come to me.  It’s not only a good personal decision, it’s a good business decision.  I know I can sell their wool.  And it going to be so satisfying and  I’ll have so much fun doing it.

18 thoughts on “My Sheep, an Easy Decision

  1. Congratulations on your beautiful black sheep, Maria! I admire your new-found confidence in yourself. Your life, now that you trust it, is moving forward in wonderful ways and I’m happy for you.

    (Will you be naming your baa-baa black sheep? ;-))

  2. Congrats on the new arrivals! You have such a connection with every animal you meet, I have no doubt that the the new additions will be happy and content at Bedlam Farm. Year-round sheep seem like a great fit for you, Jon, and Red. I’ll look forward to reading about all the adventures to come.

  3. Maria, I know you will have a wonderful time with your little spinners’ flock! I had Navajo Churro sheep, and I still miss sitting with them in the pasture or sheep shed. I hope you’re considering selling some processed fiber for spinners like me in addition to finished yarn. And I’m looking forward to hearing all about your little family! XO

  4. Oh Maria, Congratulations! Your happiness is flying through cyber space to us here in our little home! It’s infectious! Woo Hoo!

  5. Taking responsibility for the well-being and happiness of another living creature was a monumental step for me. Daunting. And then transforming.

  6. A Family….very well said Maria. This is going to be grand with all the new changes coming about to see you spread your wings and take us along on the adventure. Thank you

  7. Maria: I am envious! Border leicester is so much fun to spin and it’s beautiful wool. You’ll sell lots of it! The donkeys will be great guardians for the sheep, too.

    Though I’ve never tended sheep, I have skirted, washed, carded fleece before. It can be messy, but it’s also very rewarding. It’s an amazing thing to create something from “sheep to shawl” (or sweater or whatever). Do you spin or will you learn? Very exciting – happy for you and the sheep (and for Red, who will love herding them, I’m sure).

    1. I’ve tried spinning Susan and it’s not for me. I’ll have the fleece made to wool at Battenkill Fibers a local mill. I’ll learn all about it this year.

  8. Congrats, Maria on the new sheep. Everything worked out fine, the new dog Red will have a “job.” Jon seems to be bonding with Tess, so I know he will enjoy taking her picture. I’m surprised that Simon chased the sheep all around the pasture. Could Simon be jealous of sheep?

    Also Happy Anniversary!

  9. Maria, you just shine. As you’ve grown more confident, it’s been fun to see you shine, open up like a rare and delicate flower, and trust that YOU know who you are, an uber talented artist, empathetic and trusting friend to animals and a lover of nature. It’s so fun to see you embrace it all, and that gives you strength in itself! BTW, Happy Anniversary! I saw Jon’s post, and it was a beautiful tribute to you and your relationship. xoxo

  10. maria i would love some of those leister locks to spin. when are you taking orders? (i know its a little early to be asking that question, but i do so love the dark colored sheep!)

  11. I love that you thought of them as family. That, and how you will be taking care of them….just shows how big your heart is.

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