Thursday, April 16, 2015

All Bets Are Off

I would not have bet a farthing, a plugged nickle, or given a tinker's damn for Poppy's chances, but, as Mark Twain said (and I'm paraphrasing), "Reports of her death are greatly exaggerated."  I have been amazed in the past at the strength of the life force in animals and fowl, and now in Poppy.  Reluctantly, I approached her yesterday morning, calculating how I would remove her bulk from the pen.  She had been motionless for hours.  She raised her head and I darn near fell over.  By the time I'd finished with the goats, Poppy was on her feet and haltingly making her way up the hill for a drink of water.  She'd not even tried the day before, another sign I was sure the end was near.  She again refused to go in last night.  Postponed for the time being, I know there will be an inevitable conclusion.  It is not heartless to wish that it had come quickly and not be prolonged for this sweet girl.  My tears were shed prematurely and I will not address this story again until it's over.

Purple Tiger opened up yesterday.  Angel Face continues to bloom.  Life goes on.

Helper Dude came again and weed-whacked the yards.  Talk about job security!  HD really likes to use his chainsaw, so I set him the task of trimming up the live oak over the woodpile.  It's a huge tree with branches drooping nearly to the ground, a lovely, shady canopy.  I've always left it as is because it provided a natural windbreak.  However, given drought conditions, those low-hanging limbs were also a fire hazard.  Considering the options, trimming seemed to be the best choice.  HD cut everything back to about seven feet from the ground and hauled a huge pile of trimmings over to the burn pile.  (He also likes to putt around with his little John Deere and trailer; he's not quite fifteen.)

I took a big armload of leafy branches to toss to the girls who were pacing along the fence line, hoping for a handout.  There was a problem, however.  The herd has turned on Cindy.  They had taken turns butting her in the morning, but seemed to have calmed down during the day.  Why they oust one member, I'll never know, but they would not let Cindy come near for a leafy snack.  In the interest of fair play, I brought her a branch of her own, away from the others.  She didn't even get a nibble before Tessie rushed over to take it away.  Just pure meanness, in my opinion, but I've learned it doesn't do to try to interfere.

The day before, I'd weeded for a couple of hours in the pig garden.  The rose bushes the Kids had brought were doing well and I wanted to showcase them.  Yesterday while HD was whacking down the yards, I pulled weeds behind the first shed where the Spanish lavender and santolina live.  Two days of weeding have left me bent over like a crone.  Want to bet I won't be weeding today?

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