Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Scrap the list.

Sigh. You ever have one of those days where you wake up with the best intentions to tackle a mountain of a to-do list, and are thwarted at every pass?

That was today on the farm. After a week in the shop, Kim's mom picked her up to go retrieve the subaru and she planned to run errands that were much overdue. We had worked pretty hard all morning handling some butchering chores, and I finished up solo so that she could get ready to leave the farm. After the last of the washing, I headed up to check the piglet's electric fence. Being stuck without a car meant we hadn't been able to buy any replacement batteries, and were running on borrowed time.

The piglets weren't out grazing or sunning themselves. And... they weren't in the barn.... 5 missing piglets. Much of the spring's income, gone. I started the search up in the woods, and in the now pretty died down vegetable patch. No luck. Suddenly, I saw a laying hen come flying out from a large pine tree along the perimeter of the farm. Running in.. fear? Then, the ruffled fowl was quickly followed by Pumba the elected leader of the piglet troop, by virtue of his size and domineering personality.

I wrangled the 5 back towards the fence and with some panting, running and scare tactics (and luck) herded them back into the barn, safely. I acted like a sheep dog, getting low and looking larger then my size, looking the beasts dead on. They blew past me several times before deciding that the miserable farmer wasn't going to leave them alone and it was just easier to go on.  I then jogged to the turkey fence and set them up with the weaker fence box, pulling the stronger 12-volt version for the pigs.

Back in the farm house for some leftovers, the phone rang. Kim had successfully picked up the car, and... three miles down the road it died again- despite a new radiator. She was now waiting for a tow truck to arrive.

I ate some lunch, and a friend stopped by to drop off some spent grain from his brewery (healthy snacks for livestock!). I was showing him around, and we headed up to the pig pen. Naturally, I had failed to notice a spot where they had uprooted the fence before. And so, the five were back out, merrily chewing on pasture outside of their fence. Repeat performance from above, and luck again- got them back in. Fixed the fence. Again.

I headed back down to the house, intending to do some dishes and get some pears we have turned into jam for the weekend delivery. While prepping I realized we were out of sugar, and small jars. And, our spare car has a flat and needs new tires before it can go back on the road. And the farm truck isn't really running off-farm. So no supply run possible.

Kim called again, the car had been towed, but getting replacement tires for the other car was going to be much more expensive then our plan to order online in a few weeks since we just paid for a new radiator on the subaru. With no choice, we bit the bullet to replace the tires- we have to have a car before Saturday.

Finally, I gave up on anything else on the to-do list and used the time honored method of dealing with stress- shoveling shit. A few cartloads in, and I felt better. With a fresh bunny pen, I was able to move two litters into our spacious grow-out area (we brood chicks there in the summer, but since we can't pasture the litters in the winter time the space serves as a great place to let them stretch out and graze on grain/hay/sprouts). Calmer, I headed up to fix a ripped turkey shelter (the dummies keep roosting on top, rather than inside their shelter) since the weather is calling for rain.

Some days, you just have to scrap the list. We're not religious or spiritual people, really- other than a deep belief in caring for animals and the earth. But if you've ever heard of mercury in retrograde- it has the habit of creating havoc in mechanics, and in communication- and we're seeing it. Maybe it's coincidence, maybe it's the planets- regardless- the sun will come up tomorrow and the list will still be there, and so will we.

**note- in the midst of writing this, I had to lock up the turkeys for the evening, and with Kim waiting for a ride from her mom after work, I had to do it alone. In the theme of the day, the turkeys acted like they had never before entered their shelter, and proceeded to play "ring around rosie" like a group of ugly school children rather than doing anything I needed them to. Eventually, all did get in, but I thought I'd treat you to the image of 30 turkeys giving me the run around to cap off this little fiasco of a day.

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