Monday, August 29, 2011

What a Farm Day!

Today was a true farm day. First thing this morning I took our 2 LGDs (livestock guardian dogs) – pups, really – Hans & Franz, to be neutered at the Claiborne County Animal Shelter. I also took Ember, our outdoor cat, but they couldn’t spay here because it turns out that she is very pregnant. I have mixed feelings about that. It is heartwarming to watch her take care of her kittens. She is a good mama. But the last thing we need is more kittens.

FYI – cats can start having kittens when they are 6 months old. Their gestation is only 9 weeks and they tend to get pregnant before or right after they wean the current litter. And they talk about rabbits… If she has her kittens in the next couple days, I am making a reservation for the October 11th spay & neuter clinic.

On the way home from the animal shelter, I stopped at the fairgrounds to enter 2 knit items in the fair. I’ve never entered anything in a fair before. I’ve admired the displays but it never occurred to me to enter until this year when a friend encouraged me to. It was fun to get a “sneak peek” at the entries. There were lots of vegetables, canned goods, flowers, baked goods, and handmade items. I don’t care if I win. It’s just fun to be part of the local festivities.

This afternoon, Ryan and I stopped at Rigsby’s, our local Hunting & Fishing store, so I could talk to the owner about buying a handgun. I’ve never owned a gun. In fact, I never even shot one until last December when we went to the shooting range with my father-in-law. He let us shoot a rifle and 2 handguns. I’m proud to say that I hit the bulls-eye a couple times.

I plan to get a concealed weapons permit. It’s not that I particularly feel like I need a gun. I think I’m embracing my inner redneck and I’ll feel safer knowing how to use one in case I ever need it.

From Rigsby’s we headed out to put up hay, but we had to stop at the vet’s office along the way to drop off a sick kitten. He was an outdoor cat and had diarrhea. Unfortunately, he had to be put down. He had a badly impacted colon.

For the benefit of my readers who are not farmers, putting up hay means we went to the farmer’s field, picked up 189 bales of hay (it took us 3 trips), stacked them on the trailer, brought them back to the barn and unloaded them. It’s the WORST farm job ever! By the time you’re done, you’re hot, sweaty, tired and ITCHY from all the hay dust. It gets everywhere – and I do mean EVERYWHERE!

Fortunately, I am usually the driver. That means I don’t get nearly as tired, dirty or sweaty as the guys doing the grunt work. Today I did just enough heaving lifting to be truly thankful for a shower.

After our first load of hay, I ran back to the animal shelter to pick up the pups and locked them in our bathroom so they don’t get too rambunctious or dirty. You’d never know that they’d had surgery, though. They are happy as ever.

That's when I noticed a bunch of tiny bugs crawling on the wall in our back hall. I don't know where they came from - a feed bag maybe - but I grabbed the bug spray and took care of those little buggers in a flash.

So now we’re done with our work, I am freshly showered and sitting on the couch writing this post. We treated ourselves to ice cream on the way home after the last load. It was a yummy ending to a productive day!

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