Wednesday, January 13, 2010
What a beautiful day out there. The sun is bright and the temperatures are almost warm. All of the animals have been lying on the warm what-used-to-be grass. The brownness of the pasture has hit its peak. The animals are no longer patient if the hay gets low. There isn't a stick of green grass anywhere. When the bale is gone they come to the gate with signs threatening strike, legal action, and vengeance! If you have ever read the stories by Doreen Cronin you will be familiar with the sociology of the barnyard already. Take a peak on the Amazon link, they are hysterical. Our favorite is Click-Clack-Moo.
We've been able to enjoy a few moments outdoors the last few days. Enough to discover that our youngest, Hannah-Jo, is a dead-eye. For those of you without guns, that means you can shoot the target and do it consistently. Seems she was out watching the big boys on Sunday and got bold enough to ask to give it a try. Shockingly they called up to the house to ask permission before handing the 22 to a nine year old. Turns out she and the 22 are kindred spirits. She was forced to shoot with her BB gun today and says she wants the 22 back. Unfortunately it belongs to Joseph and lives at his house. We might have to fix that come birthday time. Don't panic, she is a very cautious little girl and knows not to touch it without an adult. Besides, it will have a trigger lock that only adults can remove. So her name is now Hannie Oakley, and you should be watching for it in the 2016 summer Olympics.
I had a wake up call this morning. With the temperatures so cold we have been doing only the essential watering and feeding. In more temperate months I'm at the barn for about an hour per day. I can usually catch things that don't look right or pick up stuff that has been left from some project the day before. Today Nicholas went to the barn to find our beautiful doe Discovery bound about her leg, four times, with the cord that the guys used days ago to hang the killed sheep for butchering. In the barnyard what is least likely to happen is actually most likely to happen. Livestock are toddlers in every sense. Eat, poop, get into trouble, and make messes, all with a keen sense of mischief. I had become slack in simple surveillance, just looking out the window and doing a head count two or three times a day. She was calling at the top of her poor stranded lungs for help. Normally the other goats would have stayed with her, she must have been there a while, but they decided that hunger overrules herd. Off they went to find something to eat in a pasture with nothing but dead grass and leaves. She's no worse for the wear but it was scary nonetheless.
My new semester has begun. From here it is a whirlwind to graduation, five semesters hot and heavy (or six or seven if I can't keep up.) Each class lasts only five and a half weeks which leaves you panting. I like it this way because it means I only have one class to focus on at a time - still. I have no idea why I need a higher degree in nursing. I promised my mom. I keep promises, even when it means paying out of state tuition. All the other things she told me to do were good for me. Surely this is no different. "Be prepared" is the credo of the depression era? I'm not sure for what, but I'll be prepared for it anyway. *side note* I have been a nurse longer than anyone in my class. I'm not the oldest, which is small consolation, but the oldest in nursing. I hear that if I wait until I am 62 to get a doctorate degree it's free. Hmmmm - only 16 more years, I'll still be young.