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.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Early Morning

A rare treat, these three calmly posed for me as I stopped the truck and took their picture.

Looking at these lovely peaceful pictures, you might think the last week was very peaceful around here. But you would think wrong. It wasn't a bad week, just not....quiet and peaceful. Let's see, the best I can recall, it all did start rather peacefully last Monday, when I took a nice vacation day. It rained quite persistently all day which was rather nice as we needed it. There are always inside projects to do as it were. I even managed to get a couple of scarves put together--not felted yet--but at least they are ready. Another project on my always growing list, was to run ads on the sheep, yet again. My ram/wether lambs all sold pretty fast this year, but it's been quiet on the ewe sales front. Very odd, not even the usual interest, just quiet---I was beginning to worry a bit (yes, Allena, I'm sure I was just beginning to worry! ;-). Every month I continued to list them on the groups.

The old Moon Valley Ranch---used to be a huge sheep farm

Things began to pick up Monday night. Monday night was the night of the four legged thugs...'coons invaded Butterfly's space and stuck their rotten paws in her cage, dragging any and all food out. When I was out there at 10:30 p.m. I saw all the mess and a very nervous cat. I was nervous too. Scared they'd go after the babies. Up and down all night checking to make sure all was well, wasn't conducive to a good nights rest. Kittens were fine, Butterfly was fine, but shook up, new container for cat food wasn't so fine.

Tuesday it was back to work, tired or no. Tuesday I wracked my brain trying to figure out how to keep Butterfly and the kittens safe. Finally that night I set up a huge (xxl plastic dog taxi) crate in the breezeway, and moved momma and babies to the hallway for the night. Thus began what I call kitty daycare commute. Every night Butterfly goes into a small pet taxi and with the box of babies under one arm, I carry her and the kittens to the breezeway. Every morning the process is reversed and everyone moves back out to the kitty condo for the day. In the meantime I set the live trap and caught one large (most likely female) 'coon (no I won't kill them, yes I relocate them, and no I don't relocate them around other peoples homes or farms).

Tuesday night was also the night the two legged thugs came to town. Around 12:45 a.m. five vehicles came screaming into town. Yelling obscenities, throwing rocks at the old store and acting like total idiots they tore around the vicinity having a great old time. My neighbor who owns (but does not live in) the house across from me, heard them from where he lives about a mile and a half away. He came charging up to see what was going on, forgetting the signal (honking) before he stealthily pulled into his driveway and doused his lights. This resulted in the unfortunate consequence of being spotlighted by the ever vigilant neighbor (that would be me). He was quite flustered, but I found out later he thought my Dad did it.

So, the sheriff's department was called, showing up much later after all the ruckus was over, and the hoodlums had driven off, after subjecting the neighborhood to their crude rudeness and getting their pictures taken by my Dad (for which they screamed more obscenities). By the time the ruckus died down, with phone calls back and forth to my folks, it was getting on two. Second night very little sleep.

Tuesday was also the day, of not one, but two separate inquiries into buying sheep--both from Texas. Since there was some crossover in the sheep they wanted, there followed a flurry of back and forth emails and deposits, as well as a frantic phone call to the vet to set up inspections for health papers. To the vet who was leaving in three days for an extended vacation of six weeks or so. Also arrangements with Allena to pick up my ram Orion (one of the sheep sold) and an ewe lamb of hers that would complete the package on one of the buyers, since I ran out of sheepies.

That all sounds pretty simple, but trust me, it wasn't and took several days to accomplish. Wednesday night I got home from work and took a nap. Yes. I. did. That helped. I think that night was quiet, but I wouldn't swear to it. Thursday and Friday involved continuing to work on the sheep sales, oh, and pesky real work of course.

Somewhere along there, my Mom spotted the UPS driver at my house. She asked me if I got a package. No, no package. I'm expecting a couple of wool roving deliveries so emailed to see if either place had mailed a package and yes, one had. Let's just say that humanity has been overwhelmed by the machine of idiocy and leave it at that. Okay, I won't leave it at that. Calling an 800 number gets you someone far removed from the package and problem, who can't give intelligent answers to your questions. Yes, the UPS driver had attempted delivery. No he hadn't left it or a note. He determined, based on my missing mailbox, that I had 'moved'. Forget the dogs in the yard and other signs of occupancy. They were going to send me a postcard. (A postcard?) Did I want to go and pick it up at the center where it was being held hostage? No I did not. I have to work, and the center is 50 miles one way. Could they perhaps deliver it to my folks address? (Which is what the regular driver always does) Well, he would check, did I care to hold? Oh yes, I would hold. So the driver tried to deliver it two days later to my folks. My Mom happened to see him out the window, otherwise, he wasn't going to leave it! The roving is very nice, by the way...

Saturday, I was off to the little city, to pick up health papers from the vet, and a certified letter from one of the buyers. (Which, by the way, if I had a mailbox and the regular driver, she would have honked or something to let me know it was there, instead of taking it all the way back into town...)

So, things actually came together well in the end, papers are in order, sheep are finally tagged. (hate that job) This Thursday night I have to go over to Allena's and pick up my ram and the ewe lamb...I hope to get home by dark, but it's not looking promising. I'll try and unload them into the garage, where I built a divided pen. Then I'll need to get the three ewes that are leaving from here penned up. The buyer is suppose to be here at 7:00 a.m. in the morning! He is driving up from Texas Thursday, staying overnight at a rest area, then heading over to my house to load up. Then he will start on the ten hour trip back home. Yikes. As soon as we get the transaction done and they are on the way, I'll head in to work. I've already made arrangements to use some vacation time.

Next weekend three more ewe lambs will be picked up by their new owners, also from Texas. They are tagged, health papered and ready to go, so hopefully things won't be too stressful.

Oh and did I mention the torrential rains and the one of the most horrendous sounding storms I've ever experienced?

Niangua River Early Morning

(pictures were taken early a.m. as I took the back roads to work so I could empty my live trap)


Michelle said...

My goodness, I think I'm panting a little after reading all that! But I'm THRILLED you ran out of sheepies -- yay you!

Pat in east TN said...

I think I"m going to go and take a nap now that I've read about your week ... exhausting!

Vicki Lane said...

I'm with Pat and Michelle -- completely wore out just thinking about your week.

Fingers crossed that your Sunday, at least, will be a day of rest/

Tina T-P said...

How awful to be submitted to that kind of terrorism - makes you wish you had an armored tank vehicle to go out to "meet" them, doesn't it - Were you the one looking for some kind of a camera system - email me - we have some good ones that can be installed by the homeowner at the place where I work. T.

Tammy said...

It was just one of those weeks, but a good deal of positive came out of it..I was just overwhelmed though at times. :-)
Tina, yes it was me, I'll email you about the security cameras. (and yes, Vickie, I've just about rested all this fine Sunday--church, then a nice lunch, read a good book til I dozed off for a long nap!)

thecrazysheeplady said...

Well, the pictures were nice... ;-). Whew - what a week!