Tuesday, December 12, 2006

what do you do for fun?

Good morning all you holiday shoppers.
While I was shoving a couple of ewes into a pen with a ram yesterday....
Yes, I am still breeding, I had to break up all-but-one group during the storm.

And, now, while you DO understand that letting a wagging tailed ewe in with a ram during breeding season....is about as fun as it gets. I was thinking we almost never discuss real life here.
Yes, sheep are a big part of any shepherd's life.....but there is more.
The judge at Naile asked me half-way through the show's classes...."Are you having fun yet?"
Yes....I have fun going to shows....I like dragging my little sheep around on halters. But that's not all I do.
My best friend is my husband....and I still get a kick out of doing anything together....from a walk in the woods....to a ride to the store.
Yes, I can wander around the pastures petting sheep some days....but I like other stuff too. Right now, I am halfway through buying children's books from an old favorite author from my childhood. I used to love getting lost reading a book!
Now, I feel a twinge of guilt...like I have grown-up duties that are being neglected. But, I am working my way through the many books on my list....and some days will just read them cover-to-cover. When did you read a book.....just for fun?
And wow...don't you just love getting stuff in the mail?
Some day I am going to read all the Raggetty Ann and Andy books!
Remember how they used to go out in the deep, deep woods.?...that's where I live!
I know I have those books here in a box out somewhere in the barn.
And when I retire....I have boxes of old Uncle Scrooge comics to read.
I've been saving them for years!
My other passion is geneaology. I have been working on my own family since 1980. There are always a few lines of ancestors who seem to elude the written records.....and finding stuff out about them is as good as any mystery story.....which is what I am reading right now.
This year I found dna testing....and we are working our way through distant cousins for the information that dna testing tells us about our own ancestors.
I suppose loving a good mystery is why I love spotted sheep so much....although we can now say with a lot of certainity....that a certain pair of sheep will turn out spotted lambs....there is almost no way to know just WHAT those lambs will look like.
Just this morning, I was shooing do-si-do....a little black ewe with white in all the right places....away from old Pan and his horned friends. Now I enjoy a good mating, but there are limits to my breeding....and this girl just has to wait until next year!
I was also out casting a line into the pond this morning. It's staying above freezing and the pond is right where I walk from barn to house. Molly the goose is laying next to it right now. We have a few poles standing against the fence out by the bench.
I made a few casts, and Angel, our great pyr jumped in with two feet to see if there were any fish. Someday, I might even put a worm on my hook. There is something relaxing about casting a bobber into the water and just watching it.
Kind of like watching the bobbin going around with the yarn forming on it.
Which I also like....but never have a chance with 7 cats in the house.
I like to cook too. We bought a little waffle maker for the holidays. All our children are coming for a few days....and I wanted to try something more exciting than toast.
My favorite thing to make is dessert.
When my mom lived with us, Christmas dinner was the most important event of the year. All December we baked cookies. That was so we could test them properly before the day came.
One of her specialties was a lemon torte....we called it angel pie....and it always disappeared even after the big meal was done.
My grandmother always had Christmas dinner while we were kids. She lived next door....so it wasn't a big trip. My Grandmother was a German lady, and she made a form of Springerly cookie. It was a big production, and took years to figure out how she made them. They have no butter....but "frost" themselves while they are baking.
The other wonderful thing Grandmother Mary Kay made was holiday bread. A sweet dough with raisons and fruit and cinnamon. Any holiday of the year....Grandmother made a round loaf for all her families. If we didn't have home-made bread...it just wasn't a holiday.
My mother, Irene, never caught on to Grandmother's bread...but I snitched enough raw dough during my childhood to know how to make it taste right. So I am not bad with the sweet bread making either.
Unfortunately as we grow older....the good things often hang around our middles after eating them....so I don't bake much right now. The two of us are always trying to lose a couple of inches.
It's looking pretty green outside today....with a week of warm weather coming up...I expect the ewes will be grazing on new grass in a couple of days. I will still have to get some round bales delivered....but it takes the pressure off.

What are you going to do for fun this week?
Take some time out while you have the energy....and do something fun!
bopeep, looking out for you.


At 4:30 PM, Blogger Emporium said...

I've heard tell that Mary Ellen makes the BEST popcorn balls.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Becky Utecht said...

Good post Mary Ellen! I loved hearing about your family traditions. I've tried to make angel pie in the past and failed miserably. I feel like I'm having too much fun in my old age! I've been dyeing wool and enjoying our kittens and holiday lunches with friends this week. Then yesterday I won tickets to see a ballet performance of the Nutcracker on Friday after work, so this means dinner AND the ballet. Yes, lots of fun, but no Christmas gifts bought and no cookies baked and no cards sent yet...

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Juliann said...

Hey Peeps!
How wonderful to hear of your traditions. I can picture you crawling around under a Christmas tree eating candy canes.
I'm also a bookworm! I loved Felix Salton's "Bambi" as a kid, and a few years ago I found a new printing and snatched it up. I'm currently reading Maureen McCollough's "First Man in Rome" series, six books about a thousand pages each. As you know, my childhood wasn't the happiest, and reading was a way for me to escape reality and enter a different world, if only for a little while. The "downtime" to curl up with a book, even as adults, is something we deserve.


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