I am thankful that I can laugh about this now, though I am not sure Mr. Darcy thinks it is all that funny. On Monday, we began the process of shearing our sheep. We have Leicester Longwools and their wool really is long! We prepared for this moment by watching others who are much more experienced than we...even a fellow from New Zealand who has been at it his whole life! We have the Premier 1 poster hanging in the barn, just to remind us, lest we forget what comes next. I have used shears on my husband's head (I should have remembered how difficult THAT was, with a willing participant and smaller shears!). I ought to have been content as the photographer, recording for time and eternity this historical moment at Providence Farm...our first sheep shearing event. But, nooooooo, I had to get in the middle of the fray! As I watched my husband wrestling the ram, I offered to help. I am, after all, his helpmeet. I got in a few strokes with the shears and then it happened. The unthinkable. I cut Mr. Darcy right on the tummy. I don't do well with the sight of blood...I even turn my head when having my own blood drawn. I shudder when the little guys suffer the inevitable boo-boos that come with adventurous boyhood on a farm. But, here I was in a situation where I could not turn my head. My precious children were watching. My husband could not let go of Mr. Darcy. I had to act. I ran to get the sutures. Now, mind you, I like to sew lovely fabrics and will stitch whenever the opportunity arises. I have mended beloved creatures of the stuffed variety. But, never in my life would I have imagined I'd be stitching a live animal. My husband has regaled me as a trooper...told all his buddies at the office that I earned my Combat Medical Badge. From his vantage point, he couldn't see my knees knocking under my skirt! He couldn't feel all the blood drain from my head to my toes. Though, I think he would confess he was a tad concerned that I might faint or be kicked! I prayed for grace, and liberally received it. I did it. I sewed up Mr. Darcy. Then I made a gracious exit (read: hasty retreat) from the barn to my domain....the kitchen. I said to call me if they needed me. They didn't. I was glad. I can whip up supper on a whim and whipstitch with ease. But please, Lord, don't make me whipstitch a sheep again....unless it is the baby's toy. My loving mother called yesterday to see if Mr. Darcy said "baaa" or "Brrrr." My dear friend asked if I was singing "oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow" (or white as a sheet!). As she so aptly said, "washed in the blood of the lamb," has new meaning for me now. I will never be the same. The thing is, now everyone knows I have done it. That means, if necessary, I may be called upon to do it again. I hope not. But if so, Lord help me...give me grace...let me faint not... Thankfully, I have no photo to share of this memorable moment. You'll just have to settle for the "before," and be patient for the "after."