Though winter was kind of rough for us in the tiny house, spring came early! We have enjoyed a major thaw the past month or so with warmer temperatures and happier living. We no longer are in fear of our water freezing or quite as concerned with our heat sources. We've already packed away our winter coats (though it may still be a bit premature for that) and are looking forward to a season of enjoying tiny living without constantly being in survival mode.
Along with budding trees, the signs that spring has arrived are everywhere. Yesterday, two baby goats were born with several more pregnant goats soon to deliver. Today, Jordan and I got to hold the day-old babies and enjoy hearing their tiny little bleats. Having never held a goat before, or hardly ever even touched one, I was surprised at how docile they were. It was like holding a little puppy! They were so soft and calm--except for their tiny hearts that were beating a mile-a-minute. We had the best time watching them experience their first day of life!
Having grown up in suburbia and then living most of my adult life in places like Chicago, Paris, and Madison, this city-girl is not accustomed to seeing baby animals be birthed or holding them. I also had my first insight into sheep-shearing. Today was the day that over 150 sheep were being sheared at the farm. Their wool was collected and will be sold, and I got to learn just about anything I ever wanted to and more about wool! Today they were shearing the pregnant sheep, not only because they produce the best wool but also because they will soon be delivering their lambs. If they aren't sheared (shorn?) then they get too hot during delivery and won't want to stay in the barn. This way, they can be more comfortable during their labor and can stay safe and dry in the barn until they're bonded with their new-borns.
It was so interesting to watch the process. The sheep-shearers that came to the farm today have been shearing for 35 years! Sheep are herded into a pen where shearers await to hold them in place while cutting their hair. The animals are really compliant during their haircuts, as the shearers move them every-which-way, which surprised me. I worried that they were in pain during this process but I was assured that they weren't.
Jordan and I have been discussing the future of our tiny arrangement. This winter was difficult with a hard learning curve and we are trying to figure out if we want to stay another year or do something different before next winter. Today, as we walked throughout the farm and gardened in the garlic patch for a bit, I sighed and told Jordan how much I love this life. He made the (astute) comment that I maybe wouldn't enjoy tiny house living quite as much if we didn't live on a farm. And he's probably right. There's so much about this life and adventure that we are on that I love. But it may not be quite so fun or easy to romanticize if we were in someone's backyard or parked on a small lot in a city. Being tiny in a large open space makes us get out of our home, be outside in the sun, work with our hands, and experience things we never have before. It also means we are part of a community. We get to learn from the family on this farm about food and nature in a way that we were previously so disconnected from. It has been an incredible journey and no matter what we decide for next winter, I am looking forward to several months of warmer weather, gardening, and hearing sheep bleats and chicken clucks all day long.