Last night was a night I rarely have to endure. I was cold and could not get warm. It probably was because I have spent the past five days or so in and out, wet and dry...and not even from doing any Christmas shopping! I could not get warm...no matter what I tried. I finally had enough layers for my top parts to warm back into the living, but my legs stayed stiff and cold, and achy. I spied many cat bodies in front of the woodburner. Aha! Thinking that they were almost rendered completely into piles of cat-goo, the same would work for me, I stood by the woodburning stove until I thought my jeans were going to self-ignite, it was so hot. I now know what an ironing board feels like. And that didn't even work! I was afraid to stand there any longer lest I become a pale impression of a human torch.
Now, even though they work hard and have kept on going, in truth my barn jeans are just shadows of their former selves. Oh, there's enough material there to cover pieces-parts admirably, but in reality - they are a wisp of their former selves. The sad thing is they are just now getting that lived-in-more-comfortable-than-your-favorite-shoes feel to them. There are times, however, I wonder if it's just sheep suint (from Websters Dictionary: suint: dried perspiration of sheep deposited in the wool and rich in potassium salts) and chicken poo that are holding them together...along with the odd splotch of paint adorning them from our last painting attempt. They have served me well...until now.
This morning I remembered my favorite winter undergarments. I had ordered a set of Merino wool, lace-weight, beautiful cream-colored, winter under-garments! They are as soft as Sea Island cotton but can keep you warm even if they get wet, which can be a problem if you are carrying buckets of warm water out to sheep each morning. They have been the best investment I have made with regards to clothing. If I slosh water down my leg I still stay warm. They are lightweight but oh-so warm...truly a godsend for anyone having to be outside with our temperatures.
Not to sound bizarre...I mean who really goes around extolling the virtues of knitted under-things? But these will make a difference between still enjoying my sheep, or hurrying through morning chores because I'm freezing. I can keep warm enough to take some time to still enjoy myself. Yes, I still do enjoy being outside with the sheep and around the barn, even in the middle of winter.
It's either the additional layer of clothing, or boarding an Air New Zealand jet with a Shetland sheep under each arm, the rest following behind. I don't think they'd like me bringing these friends along...come to think of it...Do Shetland sheep wear Merino under all that wool in Wintertime? ;-)