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Maude's Pages

December 2003

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sheep in the snow

I choose to see that my hay rack is half full instead of half empty, so I'm not going to complain. But I just want you to know that I think about all of you every day, and if my pages don't get up here on time, IT'S NOT MY FAULT!

I don't know about where you live, but here it sure seemed summer went by in a hurry and winter has come early. Here's a picture I asked my shepherd to take showing how our place looks from my point of view -- just before our first snowfall.


Do you see Roo? She's our Great Pyrenees servant who lives with us and keeps away the wolves and the coyotes and the bears! And I couldn't see this next one, but I asked my shepherd to take it anyway, 'cause I know Bove is always trying to look out and see how we're doing too, but she's got barn duty!

dog behind a door

Here are some of the folks she has to look after. Do you see Wally in the front there? She's gotten to be famous since she's lived to be so old and agile with only three legs. The vet who fixed her up has asked for pictures of her, so he can show people that they can help their animals to live long and happy lives even when they get into bad accidents. He says a lot of people don't care about taking care of their animals, so of course, we wanted to help out! Did you know that when people don't take care of us "critters," they also don't take care of each other? It's true! We're all in this together!

Here's someone else new who is in the barn: we couldn't tell whether she was a sheep or a goat! But my shepherd says she's a special kind of goat, called an Angora, and her wool is very soft and that they will mix it in with some of our wool to make an extra, extra soft yarn.
two sheep
Her name is Pearl -- NOT to be confused with Pearlina, one of the star does who are all busy working on their new families for the spring, just like we are.

That's Pearlina on the right with Pearl in the back -- and Pearlina told me to send a special "hello" to Emily!

Speaking of things my shepherds make with our wool -- here are some photos!
woolen hat
And all the colors come straight from us! This summer, my servants even took some of our things to the Farmers Museum in Cooperstown. They sold a lot, and even helped make money for our friends in Palestine -- you remember the sheep I showed you who hardly have anything to eat?

Well, their people are sometimes in even worse trouble, so we do everything we can to help them out, too! (Webmaster's note: See Arab Orthodox Society for more about Maude's friends, and also the monastery's catalog for more ways to help them by purchasing beautiful Palestinian embroidered items.)

My lambs grew up so fast! First, of course, Moses went away with his group, since ram lambs start acting up at a very young age (the only exception to the rule that we sheep are such nice animals). Then when it got to be time for us moms to start working on our families again, Matilda went with her group so they can wait another year. Our shepherds are very careful with us.

Matilda is definitely following in my footsteps. Did any of you hear how she took her first driving lesson? Our servants have a sort of car they call a "mule" that they drive all over, carrying water in the summer and hay in the winter, and sometimes they take one of us along if they want us to go someplace. Well, Matilda was going someplace and suddenly realized she could put her foot on the gas pedal! You should have heard my shepherds hollering! All they needed to do was ask her nicely to take her foot off and show her where the brake was... But since they didn't, she just kept pushing on the gas and they kept going faster and I guess it bothered them that they were on a hill... We wondered what all the commotion was about, and boy did we hear about it later! We've noticed ever since they haven't let her in the front seat, but I think she shows real promise! I fully expect my daughter to go even further than I've gone! They just need to give her another chance. (Webmaster's note: O.K. The nuns agreed to give Matilda another chance to drive so she could get her picture taken. Here are the photos:

We always have a lot of people visiting us, even from very far away! Some people have even visited here all the way from Australia! One woman never was on a farm before, but she wanted to stay for awhile and so she got lessons in how to be a servant for us.

Here she's helping Sister Eugenia put up some more fences for us (this is the pasture where I'm going to be spending the winter).
Here she is learning to milk the goats.
And here she is (on the left) with another woman who almost is part of our family, she lives so close and stops by so often!
Then we also had a visit from some of our friends from New Skete -- they told us about their German Shepherd dogs!

We didn't get to see them, though, because Bove and Roo really get nervous about dogs they don't know and our shepherds are very careful to not get any of us upset. Just before the cold weather came, our servants put up a big shelter where the chickens could come in and live, since the small barn where they used to spend the winter isn't safe any more.

We got to see it when we were moving to our new pasture. My shepherd calls this The Aviary! Quite a palace! Although I must say I don't know how they can stand being so cooped up.
They tell us they are happier that way -- just goes to show it takes all kinds of creatures to make this world! They are all supposed to be hens and lay eggs, but somehow Fowler, the rooster, got in the batch. (Martha Jane is holding him.)
He helps wake us all up in the morning, sometimes even before our servants head into that part of their barn where they go to pray for everyone. (Webmaster's Note: Daily Matins begins at the monastery at 5:00 A.M.) Here's Nektaria, the chicken's head servant, putting some of them in their new home.

Well, I think that is enough gossip. Especially since now we're all starting to get ready for that special day when we celebrate the time Our Shepherd in Heaven came down to live with us! Do you remember my first Christmas picture?

sheep in the snow

Well, it seems this year everybody is starting earlier than usual to practice their decorations. I'm wondering if my shepherds should hold a contest -- although I know I'd win!

sheep in snow

How do you get ready to celebrate Christmas? We all should do something special to show Our Shepherd in Heaven that we never forget everything He does for us! And that night is so special! You do know the whole story of the very first Christmas night, don't you?

This year, my Christmas present to you is a sort of poem that really explains how special every Christmas night is! Of course you won't find it in the Bible, but I think the words are so beautiful -- and anything that is really beautiful is ours, and so of course we sheep are born knowing it!

Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Savior's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long.
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is the time.

(Webmaster's Note: Maude doesn't seem to know, though, that this is from Shakespeare's play, Hamlet...)

I guess that's it for now, except to say: Have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!

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