Sunday, May 6

Cary Is One Year Old Today!

Hip Hip Hooray! It's Cary's Birthday Today!

Okay, actually Donkey Doodle Dandy (who is doing just fine, for those of you who have been asking) said the same thing he always says, "Hee HAW! Hee HAW! HEE HAW!" (yes, donkeys really say that) but everyone knew what he meant. And yes, this photo was taken today, and he's still wearing that incredibly ratty blue halter. (Kat, please don't faint.)

Don't know who Cary is? Click here to read her story--or to read it again if it's been awhile.

Dan has adored Cary since the first time they met (well, most of the time anyway).

Because life on the farm is full of the unexpected, we tend to shy away from making extravagant plans for holidays and other special occasions. Instead we'll end up taking an afternoon off, or cooking up a special dinner, or opening a bottle of champagne (or all three) simply because, as Joe likes to put it, "It's Tuesday." Or it's snowing. Or there's a full moon. Or the first tomatoes are ready in the garden. You don't have to look hard around here to find a reason to celebrate.

And so, in that tradition, Cary's birthday has been a rather quiet one. I spent some time poring over baby pictures, smiling and sniffling as I relived the past year. And several times during the day I went outside and just stood with Cary while she ate. Okay, okay, I stole some hugs and kisses, too.

There may not have been a lot of fanfare, but everyone definitely ate well, because today was officially Sheep Freedom Day. We've been warming up for it all week, as the sheep were already spending each day in a large fenced pen across from the barn. As I type this, though, 90 woolly beasts are outside and on the loose.

And while I have no doubt whatsoever that little foodie Cary (aka She Of The Always Empty Four Stomachs) would have taken a breather from frantically munching on sweet spring grass to eat a cake if I had baked her one, I opted instead to sneak her a bag of one of her very favorite foods--popcorn. She didn't inhale it in two seconds like she used to off the hardwood living room floor, but that was only because today it got stuck in between the blades of grass, forcing her to nibble on them as well, and that took a little longer.

For the most part, Cary adapted very quickly to life with a two legged mother. When she was very small, though, I would call out to her and she would often look at me in confusion. You could tell that her baby sheep brain was sending her mixed messages: This smells and sounds like your mother, but she should really be a lot shorter and wider and woollier.

As Cary grew up, my fears about her not learning how to be a real sheep went completely unfounded, and she slowly adapted herself back into the flock. It is truly amazing to watch animal instincts at work.

If somebody looked at Cary for the first time today, they would never be able to tell that she once had a badly broken leg. And if that somebody wandered among the sheep with me while they were out grazing, they would never be able to tell that, for a while, one of those sheep spent every waking moment of her life with me--working in the garden, lounging on the daybed in the living room, curled up at my feet while I sat at the computer. But I know, and Cary knows.

She's all grown up now, but once in a while, when she turns her head just so, like she did this afternoon, I can still see the baby in my little girl.

Happy Birthday, baby. It's been a year I will never, ever forget. And it's been wonderful to have shared it with so many of you.

Click here if you'd like to revisit some of the many previously posted Cary photos.

© Copyright 2007, the award-winning blog where Farmgirl Susan shares stories & photos of her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres.


  1. Happy Birthday little girl, and Happy early Mother's Day to your momma!

  2. Happy Birthday, Cary!

    From your 2 legged Grandma

  3. This is so much like the story of our little Doodle! I've been posting pictures of her on my blog and her story - she was born earlier this spring, a triplet -the smallest of the three. Her mother stepped on her leg and broke it when she was only 2 days old. She and her siblings were already bottle babies as mom had no milk, so into the house she came. She was inside for weeks and now she's back in a pen with her siblings.(no big sheep) She's the sweetest thing and naturally so tame. She really bonded with our house dogs so she loves when they go outside and visit her.

  4. Happy birthday little woolly girl!
    It's the first time I comment in your blog, but I read it everyday :_). I can't even remember how did I find you, but I've been hooked on Cary's story since then.

  5. Happy Birthday, Cary!

    I had an Angel who was born at Christmas time and her momma did NOT want her and had little milk. I didn't know about lambie diapers and my husband was not as willing as yours to have a lamb in the house. After the next ewe lambed, a week later, we put Angel out with her - she survived beautifully and we had a sweet lamb.

  6. I have so much enjoyed following the story of Cary over the last year. Don't know what I'd do without reading farmgirl fare most everyday!

    I tried your new beet recipe yesterday and it was wonderful.

  7. Happy Birthday Cary! She still looks the same, only a little older...

  8. Awww - Happy Birthday Cary!!!! You and the entire blog just make me start each day with a smile.

  9. Happy Birthday Cary! What a pleasure it has been following you for your first year. I have made all my kids, grandkids, and almost daughter in law read Cary's story, and they loved it! I hope your 2 legged mom is still thinking about the book.

  10. Okay so now I've been brought to tears and cannot help but comment. Babies growing up and all...bittersweet, isn't it? Love your blog.

  11. Oh I'm glad I'm not the only one welling up. Will you stop it Susan! Lovely pics as always. Bev.

  12. Hello cute. And Happy Birthday!


  13. Happy birthday Cary! Your story is so inspiring and I'm glad your mama kept us up on your doins'!

  14. Happy Birthday Cary!

    Thanks for sharing your adventures with us this past year. Here's to many more.

  15. Happy Birthday, Cary! Your Momma did a terrific job with you, as you look like one fine sheep to me. Maybe you can give her enough fleece to knit a warm sweater for herself!
    I love the fact that you get the fact that celebrating the simple things in life is the way to go. Happiness and contentment - priceless and to be celebrated!

  16. Oh Happy Birthday Cary. You look so grown up now but your Mom's still so proud of you.
    Can't believe a whole year has gone by so quickly.

  17. Beautiful post!! is so adorable,your animals help me a lot to do sketch :)

  18. I AIN'T the kind of guy who usually says this, but:

    Thanks for sharing!

  19. What a remarkable creature she is! She is fortuante to have such caring owners.

  20. Aww happy birthday, Cary! You just keep getting cuter as the days go by. :)

  21. Oh, man, this made me cry. I hate it when that happens: you fogged up my reading glasses.

    (How's my beautiful black baby boy? Lost and gone forever?)

    : D

  22. Happy Birthday Cary!

    (and congratulations, Mommy Susan!)

    I'm getting all weepy again!

  23. I talk about this precious girl all the time! What a wonderful year it's been for all of us thanks to you sharing her with us! Happy Birthday precious girly lamb!!

  24. Awwwwwww!!!


    What a sweet and touching birthday tribute to your woolly little girl. This totally made my day.

  25. Warmest (wooliest) wishes to that sweet creature Cary on her birthday. And sooo happy to see Dan again.

  26. What a wonderful story. I must say that I've been reading your blog for a while, but never commented.

    I was raised a bit of a country gal myself and now more than ever your blog is helping me cope with missing the rhythm of home (I just moved to NYC-- yikes!)

    so just...thanks. (and happy birthday to Cary!)

  27. She still has that great little smile on her face. She really looks like a happy girl.

    Happy Birthday, Cary

  28. They grow up so darned fast!

  29. Happy Belated Birthday, Baby Girl!

    Give Cary a hug for me. I'm just catching up on all the posts I've missed this past week.

    Take care

  30. Perhaps a fitting birthday feast would have been to allow her an unsupervised stroll through the vegetable garden?

    A short one.

    Happy Birthday, kiddo! You're my favorite lamb.

  31. Hi my name is David Hill great web page really great job. I had a question about your bran muffins I made them and they turned out very heavy. Did I do make a mistake please get back to me and give me any tips you may have. Thank you.


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

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