Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mom To Many Kids...And Animals

I'm kind of doing the Fruit Stand Widow thing these days. Now that the market is open and the honey bee hives are in need of so much attention, I don't see or hear from Mark as much.
So. I find stuff to do, and hang out by myself more. It's good and bad, I guess. Good because I actually love to be alone sometimes, bad because I can get a little detached.
Most of what I did today after our giant family Mother's Day Lunch out (without Mark) was taking care of animals. The other 'children' on the farm. Well, wait. Before that I stopped and bought myself a couple extra Mother's Day presents: a new calf nursing bottle, some weedwacker line, and an electric fence tester. After all my work was done I also splurged on a Diet Dr. Pepper, pretzels, and Andy Capp fries. What can I say? The aloneness enhances my PMS cravings.
The calf nursing bottle was great because the old one leaked 'formula' all over me. I already had to get back in the groove of making up the bottle, measuring out the powder, heating the water to the right temperature. Having it slobbered all over my boots wasn't required. What was sweet though was how, at the end of his bottle, the calf's eyes got all heavy just like our human babies' eyes would when they were nursing and falling asleep at the same time.
The fence tester was a bonus because it meant that I didn't have to walk the entire fence line looking for shorts. Pigs are coming tomorrow and the fence has to be at full juice. Sam weedwacked the whole fence line yesterday and Mark checked the charge that evening. He said there was a short and that I'd have to walk the whole fence, but I'd already done it and suspected his tester was crapped out. My new fancy one said the charge was good. I guess we'll find out tomorrow! I also decorated the inside of the pigpen with pretty pink ribbons in celebration of the pigs' arrival. Actually, the ribbons are to warn the pigs about where the electric fence is, but it did look pretty festive.
The weedwacker line is basically just a reminder of many hot days ahead and being covered head to toe in grass and possibly poop if I hit a hidden 'land mine' left by one of the cats or dogs. I've done it and it is so unpleasant. So unpleasant.
So the calf was fed, cows fed, horses fed, cats fed, dogs fed, chickens fed and then I decided to let the dogs all out for a romp in the pond. Penny & Copper the labs can be trusted to go without a leash, but Jill the coondog can never be without one. I ended up using one of the horses' heavy longe lines. It's about 30 feet long, I guess, and I tied it around my waist because once she takes off you better be hanging on for dear life. They had fun swimming and finding dead floating muskrats. I tried to run to keep up with Jill so she wouldn't be left out of the play. I'm sure it was a sight: me with a rope around my waist running full speed after the coondog attached to the other end.

Yesterday Aggie had a friend over for the evening. Another country girl. I would say that our kids don't really get to have friends over often, and this friend had never been able to come over, so it was kind of a treat. Actually, Aggie wrote me a note to do the asking. "Can I possibly have X come over to play for a little bit? If I can't it's ok with me. It doesn't matter which one you pick. If you say no I understand but if you say yes 'Ya!' I don't care. {Cat Sticker} Just asking"
They rolled themselves down the hill inside a plastic feed barrel. They took a walk in the woods. When they returned, I haltered the horses and let the girls 'ride' bareback while the horses munched grass in the yard. They didn't go anywhere, but I think they still enjoyed it. There was a little excitement when Admiral walked off unexpectedly with Aggie's friend causing her to slide a little to the side. Well, Admiral and I weren't all that excited, I was two feet away at all times, but there was the possibility of her falling in a mud puddle. I learned after the fact that it was her first time on a horse. In that case, she did really well. She actually kept pretty calm even when she thought she was going down.
After that they wrangled Mark into taking them on a boat ride in the pond. He'd just got out of the market and he agreed but he made Sam do the rowing. That turned out to be a mistake when Sam sent them cruising right toward the fountain. By the time Mark took the oar and tried to correct them, it was too late. They landed pretty much right on top of it and it spouted right on top of Mark's head. He couldn't escape it. Aggie's friend got a little bit of it too. Nice boat ride, eh?
So when the friend's mother came to pick her up and the friend started telling her about everything that had happened in this maiden 4 hour play date my heart sunk a little. The mom and I had such a lovely chat when I'd gone over to pick the friend up. And this playdate was a long time in the making. We'd had many prior conversations about how she didn't do many playdates. Was it all ruined now? Are my kids just a bunch of hillbilly ruffians? Because what was extraordinary to the friend was a day in the life to them. Am I not safety-conscious enough? Did I let them get too filthy? And wet?
Ah well. I'm not going to fret anymore about it. Just gonna wait curiously to see how it pans out.


Becky said...

Don't fret yourself! I bet that girl thought it was the world's most awesome playdate, and she'll be begging her mom to call you and get her invited over again. Sounds pretty fun to me too. Except the rolling downhill in a barrel part!

And I loved the image of the calf drinking his bottle and getting sleepy. I read that a couple of times. Something very poignant about it.

Amy said...

Mmmm...Diet Dr Pepper. Delish.

Anyway--I'm with Becky, I'm sure that little girl had a grand time! And if not, can *I* come over for a playdate? Cause it sounds pretty great to me!

You've gotta be one of the coolest moms ever--who else gets a line tester for mothers day? I didn't even know what that WAS. Still not sure I do!

honeypiehorse said...

Wow I wish you guys lived near me. Sounds like a great playdate! I used to love barrel rolling.

Annette said...

I remember when I was a kid, play dates were rare, too. But my citykid friends LOVED coming out to play on the farm, wading in the creek (this is southwestern Pennsylvania, so that's pronounced "crick"), making up adventures as we explored the woods and fields, rounding up the cows, riding the horses.

How Aggie's friend's MOM interprets the day is up to her, but I'm with everyone else in waging that the girl had a BLAST.

ERageK said...

I kind of relate to the market widow. I become the "outage widowed mother of toddlers." Scary. At least you get quiet time. And if you need the noise, come over to my mud. I know you have your own.

Sara said...

Wha?! Noise? Mud?
I have no idea what you're talking about!

And there's especially no dog mauling at your house either. Or rowdy hockey game watching.