Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Day in the Life

You know, when you think about living on a farm--even a small farmette, like ours--it seems so...bucolic? Romantic? Idyllic? Let me tell you about my day.

So, I wake up around 6:30, have a cup of coffee, feed the dog. Mind you, at this point, I'm already half an hour "late." How can I be late, you ask, if its my home, my day, my routine? Because critters don't let you have a home, a day, a routine. It starts with feeding the little goats. I have a rule; I do not eat breakfast until everyone else has theirs. But NOBODY gets their breakfast until I have my coffee! So I drink the elixir of life, check email and Facebook, and then head to the kitchen to mix goat formula.

The little darlings are bleating to beat the band when I open the door. Porter, who has figured out how to drink out of a tub, (he never did catch on to drinking out of a bottle, but that's neither here nor there) jumps at his milk so enthusiastically that he spills a third of it on the ground. Lego and Teddy tuck into their bottles, sucking them down in about 2 minutes. (We're talking a pint each, here. That's FAST!) I give them a bit of grain, and head to the barn.

Gimpy wants OUT, and right NOW! He lives in our barn at night, but has free run of the place most days. If we leave for the day, he has to stay in his stall, which does not make him happy, but it does keep him off of the highway. Once I let him out, he takes off after Skye, who is afraid of his horns. A sheepdog afraid of a goat. --hangs head in shame-- That's OK; Skye's been bringing me a Jolly ball to kick for the last little while, and its really starting to annoy. (Yes, a Jolly ball is a horse toy, and our dog plays with it. That's OK. I bought it for the pigs, originally.)

I get some hay out for Wakiya, who meets me at the gate with a whicker and a whinny. She'll be staying in our dry lot until mid-May, when the pasture is ready for her. She doesn't like it, but she's a horse, and (mostly) has no choice. I have started putting her on pasture in the evening, for an hour or so, to get her used to grass. If she starts too fast, I'm told it can cause problems. I've never seen those problems, and I don't want to.

I head back to the barn, measure a bit of grain for the sheep, and deliver it to them. The chickens have been watching all of this with interest, but they don't get fed until evening.

Son #2, whose drywalling job has nothing for him today, shows up to do farm work. I set him to cutting brush and trees from the shoreline of our pond. It's been ignored for at least 5 years, so it's a mess, and we want to reclaim it this year.

I have decided to work in the garden until noontime, when my extended family gets together at a local restaurant for lunch. But...the phone rings. Farm and Fleet calling, with an urgent message that my new chicks are in, and I NEED TO COME GET THEM IMMEDIATELY. Almost two hours later, I arrive home with the new kids. F&F and I have different meanings for the word "immediately; theirs involves having me, the customer, wait around for my order, after telling me to HURRY UP AND COME GET IT! I'll get over it, someday.

I fuss with extension cords, trying to provide electricity to one of our chicken huts, so I can put the little chicks under a heat lamp for the first two weeks of their little lives. I can't get power to it; not with different cords, not with different plugs. Our cords being ancient, I even head out to buy a new extension cord, heat lamp, and bulb. No joy. A call to John reminds me that there are such things as breakers, and I may have blown one. Yep, I did. And now we learn that the same breaker that governs the power to the chicken house also governs power to my chest freezer. I want that changed! I fuss with this for so long that I miss the extended family lunch date.

After lunch, (which I do get to eat, just in my kitchen, instead of someone else's) son heads back to the pond, and I transplant some herbs into the garden. I am creating a redneck-themed garden area this year; that's another blog post on another day. But the herbs are set and doing well.

I stop, after planting, for a cup of coffee. I have to decide between cleaning the barn or cleaning the house. Decisions...Decisions...The house won. There wasn't enough time left in the day, so I'll do the barn tomorrow.

The house is clean...ish. Dinner looms. After cooking a lovely steak, I head out to feed animals. Bleating goats...skittish sheep...Gimpy gets grain, and knows it, so, until I do that, he's underfoot. Fetch Wakiya from her pasture time, put her back in the dry lot. Feed the chickens, and collect eggs. Head inside to do dishes.

So, where did I lose you? Were you tired after morning feeding, or was it later in the day? I lost myself somewhere between electricity and herbs. But, Scarlett, tomorrow is another day!

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