Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ever Where ya Go, There ya Are

Well, I didn’t get to ride this weekend at the barn. We meant to but it just didn’t happen.

My first day home after a couple days there is always a catch up day. My family does a remarkable job making everything run smoothly while missing a member of their team, but I have a role I play here and without me here there are some things that just don’t get done. The day I’m back home is the day to catch up on those things.

But this week that didn’t quite happen. We meant for it to but it just didn’t happen.

When the girls went to find the equines to take them to graze, our queen goat came to get them and asked them to come with her so that she could show them her new baby! And I swear that is the way it happened. She doesn’t usually come and “baa” at you, and when she does you pay attention. She knew she was due some corn for having that magnificent baby. Sorry I don’t have a photo yet, maybe later. We were trying to figure out how old she is -- I remember seeing her born and I think this year she will be nine. She used to always have triplets, as did her mom most usually. The goats we are due to eat this year are hers and were triplets (we ate one last year so there are only two big boys left). Then one year she had quads, they were small, and it was raining, and they all were dead the next morning. Since then she’s had singles, which is fine with me. She looks good, is in good shape, and the baby had probably been on the ground at least 24 hours when we found him. He has his father’s speckled ears.

So we just got kind of settled down from getting a new goat, which it doesn’t matter how many times it happens, the thrill of holding such a small perfect thing is overwhelming. The equines went to the front to graze and I tried to catch up in the kitchen. But I got a call on the radio -- “there is something wrong with the horse, you better come here now” -- that had that strain of emergency in the voice.

I went to find a hole in my horse’s side. Well, flank, just on the underside of the flank. A literal hole. It was quite alarming at first. But then I got it cleaned up I determined it probably wasn’t so bad. So long as he didn’t get an infection. I don’t like to give prophylactic antibiotics because I want to know if there is an infection, I don’t want to cover it up. It was very scary because it is the sort of injury that could be more serious. He’d evidently found something sharp to scratch on and had scratched this hole in himself. His other flank was scratched too. So we found what we think was the object and removed it. And I cleaned him up and covered his wound with black salve (I went to the black salve school of medicine as I am of the opinion that it is often the treatment of choice, human or equine, although the jar clearly says not for use on humans) and took his temperature and his pulse (both normal) and turned him loose. He was waiting for supper as usual. He ate with his usual gusto. He was waiting for breakfast, impatiently I might add, this morning. His temp and pulse was still normal, as was his gusto.

So there I was, dealing with all that instead of doing much in the kitchen. When it comes down, my family got some supper and I consider that a victory. Life just isn’t always what you plan. Today, I got mostly caught up, and even got to write this, so I’m not doing badly.

And I’ll get to ride eventually. But I’ve thought about what if I don’t. If I don’t, I don’t. When I’m cleaning out a stall, it may be a bit of drudgery by the 10th one or so, but I get to take a break and kiss a horse’s nose instead of a person’s butt and I like that difference. It is also a great chance to think through some things.

Like how no matter how much is going on, it is always possible to add another thing. Eventually I guess something “suffers” but I think more accurately, things get re-prioritized. I remember a woman I knew who started milking goats and the first thing she said to me about how it was going was, “Gee, that’s an hour out of my day, and it isn’t like I don’t still have everything else I had to do before I was milking.” I knew what she meant because milking and handling the milk does take some time. That I’m not by myself in doing this helps a whole lot. But when the horse started losing weight and I needed to add feeding him to my list of things, that was more time out of my day that just didn’t exist. And yet, I’ve been feeding him, morning and night, for some time now and that’s become one of my favorite times of the day. He makes noises like a dinosaur, he minds so well, he is so personable. The goat tries to come and steal his grain and he doesn’t mind at all. He bonded with her when he first came and she was the only other hoofed animal we had and she was scared to death of him and he would follow her around. But he will chase the cow out. The cow will chase the donkey. And I sit there and watch and keep the goat from eating too much and thoroughly enjoy myself. I don’t have the time to do that, but I do it anyway. I still make all the bread, all the cheese, we still cook from scratch, we still do dishes by hand, we still don’t have any water. When I am away, we plan ahead, I make ahead, my family takes magnificent care of me making sure I get fed. I milk but they take care of the milk. That sort of thing. I sit and watch the horse eat, at least sometimes. I know how precious a baby goat is so I sit and hold him while his mamma eats some corn.

I guess what I’m saying is, it is ok if everything doesn’t happen NOW. Because everything is happening now anyway.
In a complete change of tone, did you notice the Saudi’s didn’t increase production again? It is because they can’t. The age of oil is over. What are you going to do without your own personal oil? Three dollar gas hasn’t changed people’s behavior. I suggest that that is a measure of addiction. What will the DTs be like? I can solve the mortgage crisis too. Folks, you bought insane McMansions you can’t afford. Get together in your neighborhood and two of you who can’t afford your houses, move in together and make that one mortgage payment instead of the two. I'm so tired of the whining. And for gawd’s sake, grow a garden.


lodestar said...

I like your blog and your take on things. I found you by clicking on the homesteading webloggers ring, which I belong to.

Snow here and cold...but tucked in nicely, in our underground house.

My website heading is Compass Rose


and I sign with the moniker of lodestar.

Peace on your homestead.

Anonymous said...
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Alecto said...

The plate does stretch, doesn't it? Cletus is reading up on what she is calling "chicklihoods". She's just gotten to the part where we have to keep the coop somewhat warm in the winter or at least manage to break the ice, then there's keeping the coyotes away from the birds. I'm trying very hard to convince her that she wants to start her chicken life in the spring, not the dead of winter.

CG said...

You flatterer Kmoo. Although we have rain, moisture, things aren't so dry. But the water table is months behind the surface water. While some areas mine fossil water, and others stockpile years worth behind dams, ours is stored by the earth and takes awhile to replenish. We are, however, glad to have the moisture.

Oh, and I should tell you the "slice of life" tonight, milking the cow and no horse showing up. I whistle for him while I am milking, thinking to save time, and sure enough hear him walk up (he does sound like a dinosaur after all, seriously). But when I was finished and turned around, he wasn't there. He and donkey were OUTSIDE the fence. Too late tonight to figure out where, although I have a good idea and shut the gate to that area. It was quite the ballet on mud for me carrying the bucket of his food, trying to get those to through the gate in one direction while not allowing the cow out in the other direction. Definitely ballet.

and Yes Alecto, Cletus does want to wait until spring. I don't like to get chicks until it isn't a struggle to keep them warm, something like the last week in May here. Before that and sure, you get earlier eggs, at quite a price in intensive care. Although if it takes a batch of winter chicks to convince her of that, well, join that club. Although I don't think most hatcheries even start hatching until maybe February?

Lodestar, nice to meet you, will check out your blog . . .

dragonfly183 said...

My horse did something like that once. she found a sapling tree to scratch herself on and walked over the top of it. She broke it in half while she was scratching and somehow managed to stab herself in the inner thigh with it. She had a 3 inch hole there. We spent several weeks flushing it out to keep it front getting infected.

clairesgarden said...

there is something nice about standing watching a horse eat. I start a saturday job next week mucking out 8 horses. there is no riding there but I have a perfectly nice horse to ride on wednesdays but sometimes I dont, I take him out and watch him eat.