Down in the barn, my thinking place, the subject for the day was proprioception. Proprioception is almost a sixth sense; it is the body's sense of self and position. It allows one to walk without looking at the feet, to put out one hand with accuracy for a coffee cup while still reading a book, and to touch the nose with eyes closed (part of the drunk test). It is proprioception that automatically differentiates the strength needed to pick up an egg or a full bucket of milk. One of the hardest things to teach a first-time guest to the barn is how hard to squeeze the teat and to stop the squeeze just short of pinching the sides together. It is more than the sense of touch. Touch transmits the feel of the goat's hair; proprioception tells how hard to use the brush, how much pressure to smooth the coat and yet not hurt the animal.
Okay, fine. What can I say, there's a lot of time to think in the barn.
If one more truck had pulled into the driveway yesterday, I'd have needed a traffic director. Kellan and Wil and then Joel drove up nearly simultaneously for milk and/or eggs. I think Joel felt he knew the young couple though they'd never met; he's read about them in this journal. The hens are in moult and production has dropped and I was nearly in an egg crisis. Kellan has a standing order for two dozen a week, and Joel also needed eggs. To eke out the third dozen for Kellan, I gave her six large eggs and twelve of the half-size Silkie eggs (a kind of two-fer deal). I put in my request for squash blossoms, and she promised some for Monday (yum).
Nothing comes easy. Out in the garden, there was a tall, unused, industrial-plastic barrel that had just been gathering rain water, a haven for mosquito larvae. Steve had had some plan or other that never came to fruition. I offered the barrel and lid to Wil, who said he could think of three uses for it right off the bat. Half full of water, the thing was too heavy to tilt so it was a case of finding a bucket and him perching on top and bailing it out (syphoning with a hose hadn't worked). Getting it into their little truck (with a camper shell) was another ambitious chore. The barrel didn't quite fit and had to be tied in with bungee cords and baling twine. Wil seemed as pleased as Steve was when he brought the monster home. What is it they say about one man's junk being another's treasure?
It was a good day.