Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Of Health Papers, Tires and Animal Bones
My weekend was a busy one. So much to cram into a few days, but there are always things to do and errands to run.
Friday I get off at noon now. This is a relatively new treat we enjoy. I've quickly become spoiled to it and would hate to go back to full day Fridays. This past Friday I had made an appointment with the vet to see two sheep that have been sold and will be crossing state lines. General health inspection as well as identifying ear tags are required. No blood tests or anything complicated. Mostly just paperwork being filled out and the vet looking them over. I had made the appointment for 2:00 p.m. I get off at noon, it takes 35 minutes (if I don't get behind slow traffic) to get home. Another half hour to catch and load the victims and a few minutes to spare, then another 25 minutes to the vet. It was definitely do-able. That is until I pulled into my driveway at home, got out to check the mail and heard a loud hissing noise coming from the rear of the truck. I stood there in disbelief as I watched my tire rapidly going flat. Then I jumped in the truck and got it up by the garage before it went down all the way. Fiddle sticks! What to do, what to do. I needed to get this done, as the people were coming the next weekend to get their sheep. I also knew there was no way to get the sheep loaded and change a tire and put on the spare. So, I called my trusty parents and sent out an S.O.S. Can I use your van and do you think Dad can take off a tire in 30 minutes or less??? Since I live out in the country, the idea was, if I borrowed their van, loaded the crate and sheep in the back and also took the flat tire, I could drop it off to get it fixed, thus eliminating the need to fight with getting the spare out from under the truck and put on. Then I rushed out to try and lure the sheep in. (Not always easy in the middle of the day!) Thankfully they were up for a bit of grain luring and the two wethers I needed went right in. Lock up the gates behind them, and then I see Dad in the van whirling around by the garage. Out there I went and he told me to go ahead and load the sheep and he would work on the tire. Of course the lug nuts were on super tight as they usually are, so it wasn't an easy job. While he was doing that, I got the crate in the van and grabbed a couple of halters to go and get the boys. Bless their little hearts, they both stood in a stall and let me slip the halters right on. Since they aren't really halter trained we had several episodes of 'dead-sheep-dragging' but all in all it didn't take to long to get them to the van, where I lifted them one by one(don't you just love the little Shetlands!) into the crate. Did I mention it was really hot and really humid? Sweat was pouring as I checked on my Dad--he told me to go and get ready to go, he almost had the tire off. So I ran in the house and washed a little sweat off, changed clothes and ran back out. By then the tire was off, loaded in the van, and I was on the road. It reminded me of a pit stop during a race car event! I left with 30 minutes to get to town. All windows were down, since the boys were in back and the air doesn't work that well in the van. Pretty soon I noticed a smell....not the manurey/hay/sheep smell coming from the boys--I'm used to that smell (only maybe not in so concentrated form as it comes on a hot day in a hot vehicle!) No this smell...it was worse...it smelled like something long dead. And it got worse. I sprayed body spray into the recesses of the van. I stuck my nose as close to the window as I could. I happened to have some potent muscle ointment in my purse. I opened it and held it under my nose.
Finally I made it to town. The boys were very vocal the whole way. You can get some really strange looks when you are driving a vehicle with the windows down and loud baa-s are coming from the inside. I had enough time to drop off the tire at the tire shop. I looked horrible---my face was red, my hair was still sweaty and windblown, and all that baa-ing behind me.... The attendant rushed over and asked if he could help me. Concern was evident on his face. I told him a needed a flat fixed, they looked at the sheep and then I was quickly out of there to the vet's. I made it right on time for my appointment. When I got there, I got out and propped open the back of the van with a stick that is kept for that purpose, so the boys would have a good airflow. They were still protesting. I went inside (looking like a wreck, obviously) and was greeted, and then a quick--can we get you some water? I told them no, I was fine, and went on to explain what had happened. We got the paperwork filled out as Doc finished up with another patient. Once that was done, Doc walked out to the van with me trailing along behind. He asked if I had tags in (they've had to help me tag a few in the past) and I said, yep, then he stuck his face right up by the crate and started talking to the boys. I told him we'd already got the paperwork filled out and he laughed and said, well I guess my job is about done then. The boys stood there and looked great for him. :-) As we started to walk away, I asked his advice on removing horns or parts of horns in a manner where there wouldn't be as much blood loss (Someday I'll post on the horn trimming nightmare...once I get over it!). He came back and propped himself up in the back of the van next to the boys and we had a 'learning' session. I got a few good tips from him. I also want to point out that the stick holding the back door of the van up? Where he was sitting? It broke when I got home and was unloading the boys. Snapped right in two, door crashed down... While we were working on the paperwork, I asked one of the gals if she had Pizza Hut's number. Of course she did! With paperwork in hand, I went out, tucked the boys back in and took off. I called Pizza Hut and ordered a couple of pizzas. A large one for the tire changing crew and van lenders! I appreciate it so much when they come to my rescue! While that was being prepared, I went by and picked up my tire. Now, I don't think it's a good sign when an attendant says things like... "you don't want to know what was in your tire". Oh yeah I did! He was working another tire and someone else was grabbing my tire for me. He said---I'm telling ya you aren't gonna believe it! An animal bone!! An animal bone?? I didn't believe it. I stood there in the middle of the garage with my mouth hanging open. Finally I recovered and realized the other guy had went outside with my tire. I rushed out there and apologized as I opened the side door so he could load the tire. I told him I was still pondering the animal bone thing. It cost $8 to have it fixed, but they were very fast, and very kind. By then the pizza was ready so I went in drive-thru and picked it up. Its amazing how fast you can get your order and change when you have sheep bellering through the window into the restaurant! Oh, and the smell was still there... on the tire I now knew, but the smell from the boys was growing stronger, and it all mingled with the fresh pizza smell. Farming isn't the place for those of queasy stomach! ;-0 I was worn out. All that adrenaline I guess. The boys were little angels when I put their halters on and unloaded them at home. The tire was put back on, and pizza was delivered! Oh, and that pizza was good!
Saturday was interesting too--but maybe on another post! The pictures have nothing to do with Friday, but are some things I worked on today. I washed the moorit fleece today, and it was still drying in this picture. It has a shorter staple and a lovely dark brown color. There isn't much of this one, but its part of a lamb's fleece and so soft. My 'plan' (yes, I woke up in the wee hours one morning with this idea...) is to use it to 'nuno-felt' a scarf for myself. With nuno felting, you use a background material, like a sheer silk and with hot water, soap and lots of rubbing you work you wool and other bits of material through the silk. It makes a gorgeous light weight, but warm item. I've only tried once before and didn't work the fiber enough to get it completely through the silk. Now I'm ready to try again. I'm not sure there will be enough of this, so I might use some merino (white) in tiny pieces and also some of the musket roving when I get it back.
The other picture is 'my version' of two Shepherd's Pies I made tonight. I'm trying to make dishes that I can divide up and take for lunch, instead of eating out or having a sandwich everyday. These were simple. Stew meat, simmered in the crock pot most of the day. (I used stew meat because roast was too expensive and I didn't need that much meat in them). Then I removed almost all the liquid, added peas, carrots, green beans, corn. I also seasoned it at the same time, and let it continue to simmer until done. I had two boughten deep dish pie shells, and filled those with the meat and veggies. In the meantime I made some instant potatoes and used those to top the 'pie' with. Then in the oven for about 25 minutes and its done. Yummy.
Have a good one!