Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Cosmos Chocolate Blooms

I've been broken hearted and in mourning.  Due to continued harassment of the sheep and declining health, I chose to give away my flock of Icelandic sheep.  Degenerative disk disease and osteoporosis made the daily chores of feeding and cleaning life-threatening activities.

I kept only the bummer lamb.  He still thinks that I am his mother, only now he thinks that he is the boss.  He has given me three bags of wool.  Each fleece is fuller, loftier, and softer than the last.  His first fleece was solid black.  Now it is more silver than black.

I so wanted a lamb from his mother.  MaJoie was thirteen and had never had a lamb.  She was a spotted gray badger face.  Her mother came from Yeoman Farm in Canada to Thistledown Farm in Portland, OR, and on down to my place.  She died at a farm in Fortuna.  I lost half my flock at that farm, one year when I was recovering from surgery.

The sheep are spirit creatures.  Like llamas, they want to get close to you, exchange breath with you.  My huge sheep dogs, the Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherd, are the same way.  To keep peace on the farm, the sheep dogs become one with the flock and with the shepherd.  It's a special bond.

That is part of why I have been so sad.  I dream of the sheep and miss them but I can no longer safely muck out.  In fact, I can garden only in containers.  I have a number of pots on the deck.  One has the cosmos chocolate; it's blooming now.

Friends installed hand rails and, using a walker, I am able to make it down to Bummer's stall to feed him.   He loves to bang his gate and to protest loudly if I am late.  Then he will let me scratch his ears.

Sometimes the isolation here does get to me.  The neighborhood is car dependent.  During the rainy season, storms knock out electricity for days.  When there is no power, there is no running water; I am not able to use the phone or the computer.

When that happens, I talk to the dogs and live like the Amish folk who choose to live without electricity.  Electricity and running water, especially hot running water, are such great luxuries.

Of course Bummer doesn't care.  He cares only that his meals are on time and that he has clean drinking water.