Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I Totally Forgot About That

Yo yo yo yo! (That's the only thing I can think of when I see this picture.)

I just got my new computer set up enough to get out the camera and hook it up. For the first time in months, I have actually uploaded some pictures I took long ago. And, surprise, surprise! What did I see there? Some projects I had been meaning to show off here but never got around to posting about.

Do you remember a while back when I had mentioned that I was knitting a bunch of hats? Yeah, you probably don't. That's my point. It's been a really long time. Well, here is a picture of one of them. This one is my favorite of all the hats I made. It just makes me laugh. There's a little story behind this one. I made a cute little Superman hat for Lambchop #2. I finished it up one night at dinner at my mother-in-law's. My brother-in-law happened to be there, and he was actually jealous. He instantly fell in love with the hat and said he'd love to have one, too. Did I mention he's in his mid-thirties? See, here in France, the height of fashion is to have a garment that is completely unique. Well, he definitely got that. So, anyway, I made him one, and I was really pleased with both how it turned out, as well as his reaction to it. He was very excited to see it, because I think he only half-expected me to make it for him. Then, he happened to receive it on the same day he lost his other hat. Couldn't get much better timing than that.

What I didn't forget about was the sheepies. You guys really like your animals - or is it just the furry ones that have the potential to produce knitting yarn? Unfortunately, these aren't really that kind. We won't hold that against them, though, because they are really cute. They are a local breed that is on the way out - I don't know if they would say extinction, but it's a rare breed. It's called the Caussenarde des Garrigues breed. There is a lot of tradition surrounding these sheep. They have these special bells they wear when in transit as well as these funny little red pompoms. My husband is interested in helping to preserve the breed. I'm interested in inviting them over for Sunday brunch, if you know what I mean. Okay, I'm teasing about that, but they are a meat breed. We'll just have to wait and see if I'll actually be able to eat them after having their cute little faces stare at me all wide-eyed like that.

So, how did I lose them? It's actually pretty easy to lose a small herd of sheep if you're really careful about it. All you have to do is put them between you and the gate. It's made even easier if, just on the outside of the gate, there is a huge pile of very appetising-looking hay. So, I had fed them, and was going over to get their water buckets to refill them when they saw that really tasty pile of hay. There wasn't much else I could do at that point. I then spent the next hour chasing them. First, I tried carefully maneuvering them back into their pin by putting myself in the places I didn't want them to go. Didn't work. They had too many options. I finally ended up accidentally startling them, and they bolted. They ran so fast, I decided to get the kids' help. Yes, I was going to count on a three-year-old and a five-year-old to help me round up 15 sheep. Forget the fact that they were both feverish with the flu and it was rainy outside. "Don't worry about changing clothes, kids, the sheep don't mind your pjs." Because I'm a caring mother.

So, we all piled into the Land Rover and hunted them down. They had actually gone pretty far. I found them in one of our lower vineyards munching on some bushes. So, I came at them with the car (slowly, of course), and made them want to go up hill to their pin. This was a slow process, but it was working. Then, I came to a fork in the road. I asked Lambchop #1 to get out and walk up one side of the fork while I walked up the other. She got a little overzealous and ran at them. This made them run, and boy do sheep run fast. I had no idea. They look all slow, but they're not at all. In fact, that's they're only line of defense. That and their herding instinct. They have no strength and no teeth or claws, so they can only run. And, run, they do.

So, we all got back in the car and headed up hill. They had ended up not too far from their pin. I tried placing a kid on either side of the winery in an attempt to get them back in their pin. I told Lambchop #2 to just wave his hands if he saw the sheep. Don't count on the help of a sick three-year-old for rounding up a herd of animals, though. It just didn't end well. The second I was out of sight, he started to cry and search for me. He was half-hysterical, saying he had waved his arms (forgetting the part about seeing sheep before you wave). He just didn't quite grasp the instructions. So, I gave up and called my husband. I whimpered to him about how sorry I was for losing his brand-new sheep. He and his father both reassured me that you just don't lose sheep like that, and they'd turn up. Sure enough, they did.

Took my husband all of 30 minutes to find them and get them back in their pin when he got home. In the meantime, they had a lovely couple days investigating the parts of our property they wouldn't normally get to see. And, I got to feel like I was on the Simple Life without my Gucci bag and Manolo Blahnik shoes. Talk about feeling underdressed for the party!

And, here is one last picture of them for you. See the one with her leg up? Those little legs really move, I'm telling you.