The word I am carrying with me this year is "NEW". As usual, I did not search for it, it came to me.
(For an explanation of "word for the year" go to January blogs from last year.)
It is the noun NEW not the adjective. It is the new that comes from something.
Amelia, Mira, and Charlotte (the 3 sheep furthest to the right in the above picture taken last year) died late December and the first half of January. I posted about Amelia a couple of posts ago. Mira died late January 11th or early the 12th. Charlotte died exactly a week later.
Most likely they died from the Meningeal worm (a brain/spinal column affliction), though they all had different symptoms. This worm uses the white tailed deer as a host and is expelled when the deer poops. Then a snail or slug come along and eats the worm and travels along. If sheep are grazing in the area where deer have been, they can eat the snail or slug or even get the worm from excreted snail slime. I had been letting the sheep graze outside the pasture because there was so much grass outside and the pastures had been heavily grazed. We do have a regular occurrence of deer in the yard but I guess I took a chance. When you do something and nothing happens for 10 years, you think it won't happen. And the sheep loved to go out.
Mira was the matriarch of the flock. Even when she was struggling the past year with arthritis, and not leading in a robust way, she was the gentle boss. The other sheep respected her at all times. I had longer conversations with Mira than any of the other sheep. She liked attention (most of the time) and even occasionally opted for rubs over hay.
Speaking of attention, Charlotte came looking for attention regularly and loved rubs. If I was giving out grain, I knew not to have Charlotte behind me because she would paw my pant leg to get my attention. She thought her turn was between each of the others. Charlotte would have taken over leading the flock if she were still alive, I think.
Amelia, Mira, and Charlotte were the 3 Cotswolds in the flock. They are survived by Norma Jean and Gretta (Cotswold/CVM crosses) and of course the rest of the flock of Finns and Finn crosses.
So, who are we without them? I don't think we have figured out "the New".