Sometimes I open my eyes and rest awhile in the dark, contemplating a variety of things. I missed my kids a lot this morning. I hugged that little Izzy and whispered my secrets into his ear. As wonderful as the farm is, I wish I was closer to my children. People around here have extended families within a few miles. They are always going to school functions or family parties, sometimes complaining that they can't make it to all the gatherings in one weekend. They are so lucky. I've missed watching my grandchildren grow up. They've moved all over the country and are not seven hours away - the closest they've been to me in their lifetimes. That's where the farm comes in. My sheep fill in an enormous void. They ground me in a wonderful way. and give purpose to my life. The paradox is that they keep me grounded in another way. I can't get on a plane to visit my kids, or take a weekend break, without elaborate planning and expense...and someone always dies. They always do. I go anyway when I feel I have to, but there is always a price to pay. Nobody takes care of the farm like I do. Good news - when I opened the door this morning and looked into the barn I could see Lilly's ears silhouetted in front of the light bulb over the sick pen. She is slowly improving. I gave her selenium and vitamin e (BOSE), thiamine, LA200 (I feared pneumonia) and vitamin B. I've been making her swallow a healthy shake twice a day. Last night we brought her into the sick pen with the other Bluefaced ewe who was not doing well (she is coming around nicely). Lilly's ears were down and her vitamin shake was crusted on her pretty face. I covered her with the scratchy but warm Army blanket, which does not slip off and goes down to her feet, covering her legs. I called home and the report is that she nibbled on some cracked corn this morning. I'm hopeful but realistic. Lilly is a little a 99 year old lady in human terms. If she goes I want it to be after being lavished with much love and attention. She survived two moves, and some very hard times on the farm. There is something about an animal that's stuck with you through so much. They become part of your collective history. I no longer get attached to my sheep the way I did at the beginning of my shepherd adventure 13 years ago. Maybe that's a good thing, but something is lost. Better get home and mix that apple/oats/molasses shake and make sure Lilly's blanket is on her back. Blues don't have a lot of wool and it was minus 2 F. this morning. Don't think it's going to be much warmer tonight.