Sunday, May 27, 2018

Don't Tell Bess

For the working world, this is a long, three-day weekend.  One would think that, being retired, every day would be a day off; however, when one has livestock there is no such thing as a weekend.  I can't remember the last time I slept in until 6 a.m. as I did this morning, and I feel like I'm running late even though I have no set schedule.

Bessie Anne snores and has for some time.  Being asleep, I don't know whether I do or not, and she never says.  I'm used to hearing that gentle sound.  Yesterday my constant companion evidently had a problem in her gastrointestinal tract and was under a gas attack.  Don't tell her I said so, but she quietly tooted all day long, not loud enough to wake her from her nap(s), but enough to get my attention.  At least she gave fair warning, much better than the silent-but-deadly type.  Since her diet never changes, I can't imagine what caused the problem.

It's the time of year when I feel like I'd really like to fill all the pots on the deck with flowers, but it would be an exercise in futility.  Robert the Raider and his cohorts continue to run rampant on the deck, digging in the dirt and knocking pots over.  I might as well just feed the boogers dollar bills and not have to clean up their mess.  Sigh.

Well, like the White Rabbit said, "I'm late, I'm late!," and I'd best get a move on.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Perfect Timing

Sunup, such as it was, yesterday showed a grey, drizzly morning with clouds so low they looked like fog.  Okay, not too bad, but when I went out to feed, that's when it started really raining.  Crum.  My timing was off.  By the time I got to the barn, not only was my jacket wet, but after slogging through the high weeds, my britches were wet to the knees and my barn shoes, old ones that were in tatters, had leaked like sieves and my socks were soaked.  Let's just say I didn't dawdle giving the girls their breakfast.  I left the barn door open and squelched my way back to the house.

By happy circumstance, I'd bought a new pair of shoes when I was in town the other day so I had something dry to put on.  Of course, once I was inside, the rain stopped and it went back to just heavy mist.  It was a good day to get some housework done.  Whenever I did sit down, my lap was immediately filled with fur.  Even Bessie Anne got into the act and crowded her way in.  When the weather was warm, they mercifully let me be and stretched out in sunny spots on the floor.

This was the only glimpse of sun all day.  The sky above looks blue; it was not, and as I walked out the door, it started raining again.  Perfect timing.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Big Sister

Celeste is an affectionate big sister.  She spends a lot of time cuddled up napping with Ralph and they're never far apart from each other.  She is, however, just the least bit critical of her little brother.  He is pretty sloppy when it comes to the shared litter box, giving a few haphazard scratches and he's off again.  I can hear Celeste mumbling under her breath as she comes along behind him and does a thorough job of covering up for him.  She also thinks he's careless when it comes to self-grooming and will take Ralph's face in her paws and give him a good washing behind his ears.  She would have been a good mother.

The bed is pretty crowded these nights what with me, Bess, Ralph and Celeste, and now two piglets have joined us.  Like a little kid with a stuffed elephant or a favorite bankie, Celeste is bringing her toys to bed with her.

(Ralph evidently just went potty because Celeste has been scratching litter for the last five minutes.)

I was down at Wally World yesterday.  I'd put on a clean shirt, but was in the day's bibbies.  A clerk took a look at me and said, "I can check you out through the garden department if that's where you're parked."  I told her no thanks as the truck was just outside the front door.  She hurried off before I could say, "I raise goats, not plants," regardless of how I was dressed.  First impressions and all that.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

That Was Different

I'm not the only older person who has goofy mealtimes.  I eat when I'm hungry, and who's to say I'm wrong.  It was fortunate yesterday that I decided on an early dinner because the day took a strange twist.  I was frying a hamburger patty with onions, a pat of butter, and a splash of balsamic vinegar when I noticed the flame was getting low toward the end of cooking.  Hmmm.  Turning the knob had no effect and finally there was no flame at all.  What the heck?!  Luckily, dinner was done.

In all the years I've lived here, I've never run out of propane gas.  I'm not on a set delivery schedule.  Whenever the guys are in the area, they stop by and top off the tank and that keeps the charges low (or as low as they get).  There was just enough time to call the company and find out what had gone wrong before they closed for the day.  The nice lady did some checking, explaining while she did that the office had gone through a shake-up and changes were being made.  It turned out that someone had put a "stop delivery" order on my account and there was no explanation.  I'd never missed a payment, I had not called in such an order, I'd been a customer for many, many years.  The only reason I could think of was that some disgruntled employee messed with the system to hurt the company before leaving.

Nice Lady said she would send someone out ASAP, for which I was grateful.  Michael showed up within the hour, filled the tank and relit all the pilot lights; stove, water heater, and downstairs fireplace.  I'm back in business!  (I would say I'm in hot water again, but that has a different connotation.)

I don't need that kind of excitement, but there was a happy ending.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Which Is Better?

Which is better, seeing a single peony blossom or a whole bouquet (with more to come)?  They are hard to see, but there are four more of the single pink buds waiting to pop, and that's a second double white to the left.  The other eight plants are hanging back, waiting for their moment in the spotlight.  That's okay, it just extends my viewing pleasure.

Which is better, heading into summer with no A/C in the truck, or getting relief with cool air blowing?  Yup, I agree.  Knowing the checkbook would take a hit, I called the the little one-man shop in Mt. Aukum yesterday morning as soon as I'd finished barn chores to ask about an appointment.  I was taken aback when Jane, the co-owner, said if I could bring Truck down right then, Garage Guy could do it in one day.  Even better, she would provide taxi service so I didn't have to interrupt anyone else's day asking for a ride.  Man, I had my keys in hand as soon as I hung up the phone.  There was a bit of a hiccup when I found a 50-foot truck and trailer blocking my driveway.  The poor driver had made a turn onto the wrong road and gotten himself lost.  I'm sure he thought it was propitious timing that I showed up when I did.  I was just glad the truck hadn't broken down.  I gave him directions to his destination and he pulled his monster truck up far enough for me to make my getaway.  (I found out later that he had backed up all the way down to the paved road without incident.  Good man!)

Being without a vehicle out here in the boonies is a bit worrisome.  One never knows when an accident might occur, so I was really hoping the A/C would, in fact, be a one-day job.  I'd also asked if Garage Guy could take a look at the door handle that had been not only sticking, but had trapped me in the truck several times.  It's not easy to climb over the center console in a ladylike manner to escape out the other door, and I'm sure I had provided amusement to onlookers in the grocery store parking lot.  Imagine my amazement when Jane called about 2:00 to say that Truck was done.  The bill, even with new parts, came in well under what I had imagined, so I was one happy camper.  She came to pick me up right then, and I drove home with cold air blasting.  (The door handle acted like it had never done anything wrong.)

It was a good day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Watch Your Step

Ha Ha!  The WNTD list works!  I cleverly did not put laundry on the list because, of necessity, I had to wash some clothes and no, I did not consider that cheating.  Hey, my game, my rules.  It was a great satisfaction to cross off everything I did not do throughout the day.  I think I'm going to have to leave dusting off the list today; it's pretty bad when I can see Ralph's paw prints on the coffee table.

The ground at Farview is pockmarked with squirrel holes so it is important to watch where you step.  It's not just the holes you see; sometimes the little boogers make booby-trap tunnels that collapse and pitch you forward.  It might be my imagination, but I swear I can hear them snickering underground.

The weeds in the goat pen are up to my knees now and I high-step like a drum major on my way to the barn.  Trying to walk normally is impossible because the long, tough grasses bend over to trip me up.  The girls do make paths, but they walk single file and put one foot in front of the other so the path is only about four inches across.  While still comfortable, the weather is warming up and there are almost daily reports of rattlesnake sightings in the community.  With the weeds so high, I'm on constant alert for a snake in the grass.  I'm equally conscious when stepping into the barn.  It wouldn't be the first time one of those critters had come in.  I'm hoping that Missy has taken care of most of the food supply in there.

Speaking of Missy, she must have heard me say her name the other day because she was waiting in her room for breakfast and it was so nice to see that little girl.

It is almost daybreak and time to consider what to put on the list today.  I could get used to this.

Monday, May 21, 2018

What Not To Do

I'm getting pretty tired of making To-Do lists in the morning and then beating myself up in the evening because so few items got crossed off during the day.  It's very discouraging and disheartening.  Of course, the list is easier to make the next day because so many things are still there.  I think I've thought of a solution.  I'm going to start making a list of What Not To Do Today.  Success will be measured by crossing off everything I didn't do.  I'll bet I get the gold star in no time at all.  Where there's a will, there's a way.

There were a few accomplishments yesterday, first and foremost being the odious paying of bills and the hummingbird feeders got filled.  It's unreal how fast those tiny guys can suck up two quarts of juice.  They zoomed around my head and were Johnny on the spot as soon as the bottles were hung.  Dusting, of course, did not get crossed off.  That will undoubtedly be the top entry on the What Not To Do list (if I ever get around to making it).

I had been getting worried about Missy.  Not only had I not seen her for several days, her food bowl had not been touched.  I'd gotten to the point of hoping some kind soul had taken her in as a permanent pet; alternative choices were just too grim.  I don't know where she's been, but most of her kibble was gone yesterday morning.  Whew.

I've been hearing Camille weed-eating like a madwoman down at her place this weekend.  That should be an incentive to me to get more done here, but just listening to her makes me tired.  Oh well.