Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Terrible, no good, very bad morning...

My big sister, Donna, has told me on more than one occasion that my blog is unrealistic. She said it is too upbeat and optimistic, and not like real life.  Because my general attitude is sunny, I have shrugged her criticism off, but this morning as a series of events happened I thought, "If I blog this, Donna will be surprised!

So here goes.  Let Daryl's terrible, no good, very bad morning unfold before you.

In the wee, dark hours, I was awakened by a sound.  An unusual sound.  A bad sound, that involved a dog. Bleary, I sat up. As consciousness gained a grip on my brain I did a quick "animal assessment." Flirt and Smooch were sound asleep on the bed.  Though the room was dark I could see little Bravo lying on his bed next to mine. Then I realized the sound was coming from Dutch, our beloved Golden Retriever. It was her claws scraping the wooden floor as she was experiencing a grand mal seizure. So, yanked from sweet, sweet sleep I went into action, sliding her to where she wouldn't injure herself as she flailed around, putting towels under her head to absorb the massive amounts of drool she was producing, and under her tush to absorb the urine that was leaking out.  The seizure lasted a long time, 5 minutes or more, and then there was an hour or so where she was panting horribly and stumbling about, disoriented. I fetched ice cubes for her to lick and made her comfortable by my bed. I spent the next hour or so gently stroking her head and ears until she fell into a deep sleep, and I fell into a fitful one.

Dutch has only been a part of our family for 10 months, but a sweeter, better dog never lived.  We all love her, (even the other dogs adore her!) and the thought that she is nearing the end of her time in this realm is a sad one.

So I woke up feeling melancholy as an overcast, muggy day dawned.  Happily, Dutch got down the steep stairs of her own accord, and asked for breakfast.  Once she was taken care of I headed out to care for the other critters. In the summer I wear ugly Croc shoes to do chores. They were abandoned here by sister Deb, and I have given them hard use. They look like clown shoes, but are comfortable and easy to clean when I step in poop. And I ALWAYS step in poop.

  I gave the greedy goat kids their bottles and headed for the hen yard to let the birds out of their coops.

 A neighbor was driving past and I waved merrily. Not looking where I was going, I stepped in a slippery, muddy spot and went down hard. Croc's have no traction, and are deadly on slick surfaces.  I laid in the mud (and lets be honest, chicken poo) and assessed the situation. Since I am still recovering from a dislocated shoulder, falls are extra scary.  I was unhurt, but covered in odoriferous muck from my feet to my chin. I got up gingerly, let the birds out and headed to milk the goats.

I milk two goats each morning.  Ella goes first.  Goats know what time they are milked, and wait at the gate. They also know which order things happen in. Ella is my naughtiest goat, but today's milking was mostly uneventful. She hopped up on the table and I fastened her hobbles. These are little fabric straps which I affix around her rear ankles. They prevent her from kicking while I milk.  She has no qualms whatsoever about kicking the milk bucket, or me, if the spirit moves her to do so.  After I milked her there was the daily game of "chase Ella around the garage."  She likes to get into things she shouldn't, (like the bucket of chicken food) wedge her chubby body into places it does not fit, (behind the stack of studded tires and garden tools) and just in general drive me to distraction.  I got her back to the pasture and let Celeste out.  She is my angelic goat. Walks right the milk stand, acts like a goat statue while I milk her, never kicking or doing anything that makes me cuss.  Until today.  Just as I was finishing up the job, quick as a blink, she lifted her left rear leg, shoved her hoof in the bucket and merrily pushed two quarts of warm, frothy milk over and into my lap.  It soaked into my cotton summer dress, and ran down my legs, oozing into the holes of  my ugly baby blue crocs and mixing with the muck from my earlier fall.

The rest of the morning chores were done with my milk-soaked dress clinging stickily to my legs, and my feet squishing in a mixed potion of dirt, poo and goat milk.  It felt as unappealing as it smelled.

 I may have neglected to mention that we added two more rabbits to the menagerie here. They have a nice, roomy calf hutch to live in, with an upended tote filled with sweet hay to snuggle up inside.  I move the hutch every day or two so they have clean, fresh grass and weeds to nibble.  I noticed this morning a little patch of bare soil under them... they were strategically posed here, hiding the escape hole they were working on tunneling.  I moved the hutch to fresh ground and began devising a way to prevent them for digging in the future.

Chores completed I came in to tidy the kitchen and make myself a little breakfast.  But I was vexed by....

Flies. The house is riddled with them.  Since we  live on a farmlette, there is a lot of manure. And where there is manure, there are flies. And at the end of summer the flies are frantic, trying to get their little pesky bucket lists completed before the first frost ends their horrid lives.  Our screening is not the best in spots, and the last week or so we have been besieged by buzzing, winged, horrors.  They found my milk and manure crusted outfit a treat, and drove me, cursing, upstairs to shower and change, all the while plotting their demise.

Add to all of this that fact that Flirt is "in season."  She would like to breed, thankyouverymuch. Bravo, (almost 5 months old) has no idea what the wee hussy has in mind, but she spends every moment she is near him with her posterior pushed as close to his face as she can manage to get it.
Since of course we do not intend to have puppies, I have to keep the two separated unless I am staring at them, in case Bravo figures things out.  So, it's baby gates and shut doors for a few weeks, and one more thing to worry about.

And that dear readers, and especially Donna, is the story of my unpleasant morning.  Proof that it is not all sunshine and rosebuds at Fairwinds.  We have our share of ugly shoes and poop, too.

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