The good news is, it's been lovely, clear, sunny days lately. The bad news is, without any cloud cover, it's still getting sub-zero at my house every night.
Why is that bad news, you ask? Well, I'll tell you: I'm getting near lambing (the first ewe could go as early as 5 days from now, though it'll more likely be 10 or more) and there's still a foot of snow on the ground. The good news with that is that the pen isn't a foot deep in mud. The bad news is that it's a bit chilly for newborn lambs, and in the non-packed part of the pen, the snow is deep enough to swallow a lamb entirely.
The bad news on shearing is that it's just too cold to shear my ewes, and I hate to leave them in full wool for lambing; there are studies that demonstrate that shearing ewes before lambing results in better ewe health, better lamb survival and faster lamb growth (presumably because it's so much easier to get to the udder, and the ewes - being chilly themselves - are inclined to lamb under cover). The good news is that my shearer (who I love, because she's kind to my sheep and of a cheerful, sunny temperament) is adept at "tagging" (shearing around the vulva and udder for ease and cleanliness at lambing.) The bad news is that it'll cost twice as much to finish shearing because I'll have to have her out again in a month or 6 weeks.
The good news is that today (whilst tagging and hoof-trimming), all the ewes appear to be pregnant and none feel too thin. The bad news is that the one who had an unsuccessful lambing season last year is the one with the least udder, so now I'm wondering if she just isn't good reproductive material. The good news on that is that she may have bred on the second cycle, so she may simply be just "less pregnant" than the others. The bad news is that that could extend my lambing season by weeks. But the good news would be that by then it'll be warmer and we'll be less likely to have cold lambs who have trouble getting started.
If that one ewe is unsuccessful for the second year in a row, the bad news is that that means I'll probably have to cull her; I can't afford to have a non-productive sheep, particularly one who is (as she is) difficult to handle. The good news is that, even if that's the case, she won't go to waste; adult Shetland meat tastes identical to lamb.
Sigh. This is life with farm animals, I think; a balance between good news and bad. But, at the end of the day, if all the ewes have a lamb, and all the lambs have a ewe, it'll be a success.
Cross your fingers.