What’s the Buzz?

Observant followers will have noted that there have been no Herdy Girl posts for three weeks.

There’s a simple explanation. (Though, in the midst of things, it feels complicated.) The beautiful place we’ve come to call home has been put up for auction; the hammer falls tomorrow.

It was a shock.

And now we’ve less than two months to buzz around and find a new place to live.  Thus the lack of posts.

Before you ask why we are not going to bid on the property ourselves, let me show you the specific Lake District location.

That arrow? It is pointing to our not-for-much-longer abode. Stunning, isn’t it?

Who wouldn’t want to live in a postcard view? That’s why we forewent jumping on the property ladder and risked renting here by Crummock Water, in spite of flooding and an old house with all sorts of issues.

That said, a property such as this is well beyond our current budget, especially when you factor in the difficulty of getting any sort of mortgage for a house that floods.

All that said – It has been worth it.

The caring community of Buttermere, Loweswater and Lorton have made it doubly so.  (When they heard of our plight, a call went out for any options to keep us in the community. My heart swells thinking about it. I love these people, and this place.)

As getting on the property ladder is a huge endeavour, this Herdy Girl will be heading back into full-time employment, as well.

It’s a lot of change. Thank God Best Beloved and I have got each other.

We are determined to maintain a positive attitude, to remember to live in the moment, and to remind one another that God’s got this.

Like bees in the blossoms, we will draw from this beauty some sustenance, some sweetness. And I will share what I glean with you here on Herdy Girl.

If you’re a praying person, please remember us in your prayers – both for the right home and the right job for this next chapter. If you are not a praying person, please hope for the best for BB and I as we travel a new, and possibly bumpy, patch of road.

Bee happy.


Herdy Girl


What the heck’s a Herdy?

Hello! Glad you asked!

Two Herdwick hoggs or hoggets, at least a year old and before their first shearing.

Herdies, better known as Herdwick Sheep are the native breed of the Lake District and West Cumbria.  Their name is said to derive from the ancient Norse word herdvyck, meaning sheep pasture, and it is speculated that the ancestors of today’s Herdwick flocks were brought over during 10th and 11th century Viking invaders.

What historians do know is that 12th century documents highlight the importance of the breed to the area and its people.

Purebred Herdies are born black and are just as bouncy and cute as any lambs can be.
Like many of us, Herdies go through an awkward stage, during which their heads and legs turn white and their fleece a warm dark brown.

At a year old they are called hoggs or hoggets, and their distinctive ‘friendly’ face really glows against their dark wool.  They are the unofficial mascots of the beautiful Lake District.

Somehow they know we love them; they’ll even pose for the camera.

After their first shearing, their fleece is slatey-grey and it lightens as they age.  (Kind of like – ahem – my hair… )

Windswept ewe by Crummock Water

I think they are lovely at all stages of Herdiness.  They make me smile with their docile faces and stubborn, tough natures. I love that they wear their age and experience for all to see.

This mature ewe in Wasdale was quiet friendly.

Herdwick wool is coarse and tough, and was once much valued for the making of carpets.  Modern fibres put paid to that, and in recent times the wool has been so low in value that farmers sometimes were forced to burn countless unsold fleeces.  Times are again changing.  New uses for strong Herdwick wool are being thought up by creative people who love the breed and value their fleece. (More on this in future posts!)

Lovely Herdwick Tup (breeding male) catching 40 winks at Woolfest 2016 in Cockermouth.

Why did I choose Herdy Girl as my moniker?

Herdies are one of the few breeds that heft or heaf.  Becoming hefted means that each generation is taught a sense of belonging to a particular home in the fells.  Herdies are able to return to their hefted home even after being moved about during lambing, shearing or flood.

As a military brat who never truly felt a sense of home in any one place, I greatly admire this ability.  As a person of faith, I’ve felt a yearning toward something better, somewhere more. So, I’m working at becoming hefted to good things – beauty (so easy to find in the Lake District), gratitude, kindness, pure unadulterated laughter, attaining wisdom and knowledge, nurturing true relationships… You know, the good stuff.

Good Stuff. Like sitting in a field of wildflowers and soaking up birdsong.

Also, my hair is curly and has grey speed-stripes, and my Taller Half says I’m cute.  Charming Herdwick sheep are cute.  Herdy Girl.  I’ll go with that!


Herdy Girl

Scattered Roots (My first blog post ever.)

Looking forward to seeing what’s around the bend.


So… Mel Robbins’ Five Second Rule keeps showing up in my feed.  Has to be for a reason.

I can take a hint… Time to leap into the unknown.

Here it bloomin’ goes.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1:

Tiny me.

See that four-year old little girl?  That’s me.  By that age, we’d moved several times and were back in my father’s home state of South Carolina.  Dad had joined the United States Air Force straight out of high school, and he met my mother when he was stationed in England.  They married and out I popped just before my folks were sent to a base in Germany.

We moved a lot; we managed.  I was shy. A lovely sister joined us when I was seven. She was not shy. We moved within the US. The moving slowed down, we moved to England.  Suffolk, to be exact. I was a little less shy. Dad retired in 1984 and we moved stateside. I’ve always love both England and America (especially the South), their cultures and landscape and people. Hopefully, I have inherited some of the best traits of both!

In all that moving, my juvenile roots didn’t go deep. I never really knew either my paternal or maternal families very well. Friends came and went. (In gardening terms, my roots were just spinning around my little container, pot-bound.)

So much life ahead of us…

In quick order followed HS Graduation (30 years and one day ago), move to University and subsequent graduation, Marriage exactly one week later, two moves and Parenthood, five moves later…

Our unit of three, a container garden if you will, stayed in one place long enough to break out and entangle our roots with those around us.  We were watered by southern hospitality, and fed by several loving communities of faith and by friendships.

When our only child graduated from university, my Best Beloved and I found ourselves looking at the next phase and feeling a pull towards England. An opportunity to move there presented itself, so we sold up the farm (literally) and moved across the Atlantic Ocean.  We are now living in a part of the UK far from any of our previous homes.

One of my favourite views

We’ve lived in our rented accommodation for eighteen months. It’s a lovely home in an amazing setting.  I’ve grown to love it, and to find it both a balm and an inspiration.  Tentative roots have gone into the garden, the community and the entire region.

I’d like to share my journey in this beautiful place.  Please join me as I explore Cumbria and the Lake District.  I’ll welcome you into my kitchen and garden (even if those locations change, sadly).  We’ll become rooted in a new way in this (sometimes scary, sometimes heartwarming) place called the internet.


Herdy Girl