Ahhhh, we've all had one of those days, haven't we?
Yup, just one of those days.
But when you've got a little farm going, having "one of those days" is a whole new experience.
It started normally enough. Handsome goes to bed early and I take the night shift, do the last check, shut down the house, stay up with our nocturnal Spud if he needs it. So while he gets up nice and early, I sleep in till 8. Sometimes even 8:30. Very late, I know.
This morning, just as I was opening my eyes, there was a horrible chicken-shriek in the back of the house that launched me out of bed like being shot from a cannon. One of our hens is missing, I was hoping that she went broody - though if she has she's probably drowned by now with the weather we've been having. No, I'm serious. But if another is gone then it's a fox or a coon, and possibly rabid if it's that close to the house in broad daylight!
I go dashing out in a flannel shirt, ahem, only a flannel shirt, to find nothing. Absolutely nothing. The birds look at me as if I'm insane. I consider the fact that I may be insane, standing in my backyard in a flannel shirt holding a stick.
As I ponder this, the pigs come up to say hello. Because they have broken out of their pen. They have been practicing beating up the gate, so I go down to assess the damage. Only to find, once again, nothing. The gate is in one piece and latched shut, the electric wire is functioning well, the wire mesh fence behind it is in perfect shape. Perhaps they used The Force to lift each other up and over. No treats are coming, so they happily grunt off to root up some poison ivy and I am glad to leave them to it. I want coffee and pants.
I see that I have missed a call from one of Punkins little friends while I have been outside. It's past time for the kids to be up anyway. I tell Punkin that she can call her friend. But unfortunately, she, likely in a fog of pre-adolescent hormones, seems to be trying to discover just how much backtalk she can give me before I convert to a religion that sacrifices their firstborn. And the long and the short was that now she can call her friend back after she gets her morning chores done - and it would probably be a good idea to not speak to me again until they are. Feeling horribly wronged, she bursts into tears and stomps off, presumably to get her morning chores done.
At this point Spud is up, and also cranky, and I am late giving our baby goat her bottle. Honeysuckle the goat is still in a pen in our kitchen. The weather here has been beyond foul and it's been easier to just have her here then re-work the goat shed so she has her own stall. Though I am considering just building an entirely new goat shed and giving their old one to the chickens, who have been laying all over.
Last week, apparently by bribing a cat, Honeysuckle managed to pull a half a loaf of what bread into her pen and eat it. True disaster was averted, but her tummy has been fussy ever since and this morning she decides to give me heart palpitations by jumping all over me for her bottle and then not drinking. I leave Spud with Punkin and bring Honeysuckle out to do the rest of the morning rounds with me. Perhaps that will perk up her appetite.
Getting the rest of the chores done, I come back in to discover that Punkin's sick coturnix that she has been nursing has died. Spud, who doesn't like to eat until he's been up for a while, has gotten over some cranky and is ready to eat. Honeysuckle isn't. I sit down to give him breakfast and get on the computer. Perhaps one of my goat friends will give me some advice.
I am not too long into this when a car pulls up. It is Punkin's friend and her mom, here to pick Punkin up for a sleepover. This is news to me.
It seems little friend had told her mom that she had spoken to Punkin and Punkin had spoken to me and it was ok. There was a message on my machine. We spoke to little friend about the whole process of making plans and I let Punkin go. Happy surprise for her.
Not so happy surprise for me after they drive off and I discover that none of her morning chores are done.
Now I get to do them.
I am already behind, the skies are threatening so my laundry still isn't hung, the neighbor's chicks are peeping in my incubator, waiting to be delivered, and when I go back inside, Spud, who we've been letting go without a diaper for a couple of hours after every BM because he's been getting rashes, poops on the floor while I am boxing chicks.
And the pigs are up by the house again.
I call the neighbor who, is happy to come get her chicks. But when she does, the ducklings and goslings promptly follow her home, as they like the yellow clover in her yard much more then the grass in mine. I go to get them and 4 pigs, assorted cats, Deacon and a dancing baby goat try to follow me over. I tell her that I will come grab them as soon as I'm not a one woman parade. As I walk down to return the pigs to the drycreek, I look over and see the big, CX hen that we were going to butcher this afternoon is sprawled out. She had been slowing down and we thought it was time, but she had been fine an hour ago. I remembered a rooster courting her. It seems she went the way politicians sometimes do.
There goes Memorial day dinner.
The neighbor takes pity on me and herds the fuzzies back over. They are irresistible to hold at this stage. I decide to try to salvage the breast meat. Bertha was a big girl and that's a lot of meat. I get it done as quickly as possible, slap up a quick pen, pray it holds the fuzzies in at least for the afternoon, lock up the pigs, who are back up at the house, hope they don't teleport themselves back out and bring Spud in for a nap. For a miracle he actually falls asleep. For another, now Honeysuckle wants her bottle.
I am wiped, still no coffee, my laundry is still wet in a hamper on the table, sky keeps getting darker but no rain and I decide that while he is asleep I am going to ignore everything, sit on the computer and eat Cocoa Crispies. Not that I even like Cocoa Crispies but they are the only chocolate in the house. And I never did get around to my own breakfast - or lunch, for that matter. It's after 3 now.
Handsome will be home from work soon. He has a sit-down job in an air-conditioned building. He wonders why, sometimes, when he gets home I just hand him Spud, wave at everything, tell him "Yours" and disappear for an hour.