A week on the ranch (June 22 - June 28, 2009) - Blogs - Frugal Village Forums
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A week on the ranch (June 22 - June 28, 2009)

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by , 06-29-2009 at 02:14 AM (1372 Views)
The week ends, and with it ends my vacation time. The summer of Mad Hen closes, and tomorrow, it is back to the grindstone.

When I decided to take a week off, I had grand intentions of doing all the things I've been putting off, getting things organized and cleaned up, and basically getting my personal life in order.

Of course, none of that happened.

Instead, I spent the week recharging my batteries and doing the things I love to do. I knitted, played around in the garden, and basically just acted like a retired person with no cares in the world. It was wonderful, but it made the week fly by, and now I have to face the reality of fighting commute traffic again and dealing with deadlines and commitments.

I think I'm actually more productive when I don't have loads of free time. I use my time more wisely when I have to ration it.

The most interesting thing that happened this week was my large animal vet coming to check on my little goat, Carly, who I thought had cataracts in one eye. Turns out that Carly has an infection, possibly brought on by a physical trauma to the eye. So I learned yet another skill this week - how to hold a goat's head perfectly still while the vet injects antibiotic directly into the animal's eyeball!! Yikes! The vet put a local anesthetic in first, and Carly actually didn't even seem to notice it, but it gave me the heebie-jeebies!! Having livestock has definitely made me far less squeamish about dealing with injuries than I used to be!! I can still remember the first time I had to give IM shots to a cockatiel. It was so traumatic at the time!! Now, I just HOPE for something as simple as having to give the animal a shot!

The good news is that the prognosis for Carly is good. The vet is coming back out again on the 9th to re-check her, but thought we caught it in time to save the eye.

We also vaccinated half the goats and the donkeys while she was here. I couldn't catch the rest of the goats, so the very next project on my list was to re-construct the pasture in such a way that I can channel the goats into a catch pen, when necessary. I was able to reach my trusty fencing guy (who has done ALL the fencing on my property since I moved in) and he was actually free and able to come out immediately, so he started today. I gave him a diagram of what I wanted and set him loose.

The garden is pumping out summer squash, peppers, broccoli, and beans right now. The tomatoes and cucumbers are ripening, but look like they'll be a few weeks yet. The peach and pear trees are LOADED with fruit, but are about a month or two from being ripe, and I'm already salivating at the thought of fresh peaches every day for breakfast!

100F+ temps yesterday and today, and more expected until the middle of next week, so I did spend a good part of the last two days just trying to stay cool!! I don't have air-conditioning in the house, except in some of the animals' rooms, to keep them comfortable, so the best I can do is take cold showers and stand in front of a fan! I am almost looking forward to being at work tomorrow, because at least the office is air-conditioned!! I have a couple of wall units, but I took them down this winter, and I have been too lazy to put them back in. In part, I don't want to hassle with them, but in part, I don't like to lose the window all summer. There are nights when I would definitely prefer to open a window and listen to the crickets and frogs than crank up the AC. So I have no one to blame for my suffering but myself.

My house sits on top of a bluff, and the house itself is three stories high, so last night, I sat in my bedroom (top floor) and watched while a neighboring town had their fireworks show. It is an annual tradition, and they always do it the weekend BEFORE July 4th. The town is across the valley from me, but I can see their fireworks from my house, although I'm not close enough to feel/hear the explosions. It is very peaceful to watch the light show, with none of the noise. As I sat in the dark and watched the blues and reds and yellows exploding in the night sky, I suddenly got an image of myself as an old woman, sitting in the same place at the same window, watching the same fireworks show. It was both a pleasant feeling and a sad one, for reasons too complicated to explain. Suffice it to say that it lent a depth to the show that the promoters probably didn't expect. I was almost relieved to see the ending volley that marks the end of every fireworks show, because the juxtaposition of happiness and melancholy was almost too much to bear.

Overall, it has been a lazy and wonderful week, and a much needed respite. I think I'm ready to stick my head back in the yoke and start the haul again!!

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Updated 06-29-2009 at 02:18 AM by madhen

Ranch Diary


  1. mauimagic's Avatar
    Madhen, I'm glad that you had some time off for yourself. You may have to go back to work, but it's still summer - that's how I'm looking at it. (I had five days off after school ended and the summer programs runs right into the beginning of school). Enjoy every bit that you can!!

    Your fireworks story was very poignant - I think it's good to reach that depth of emotion sometimes - good for the soul. And then life takes over and we're back in running again.

    Hope your return to the 'real world' is a smooth one!!
  2. phoeny_moonstar's Avatar
    Sounds like your week went superbly. I wish I could just putter around in the yard and knit etc all week long. Sounds like a wonderful staycation to me.
  3. Debbie-cat's Avatar
    Good intentions will sometimes go awry and when they do it is usually for a good reason. Obviously your body and your mind needed the time to 'catch up'. I think that is demonstrated by your melancholy mood while watching the fireworks.

    Hopefully your transition into the hustle and bustle of work and fighting traffic isn't too devastating.
  4. missyali's Avatar
    Recharging is necessary! Glad you had a chance to do it!
    I am glad Carly is doing well!

    Have you every published?! Amazing imagery you were able to create!

    Sending you a hug after your first day back.
  5. fixer's Avatar
    Another great entry. A good handling facility will greatly reduce stress on you and your goats.
  6. IndigoMom's Avatar
    Beautiful post - glad you had the week to just be - sometimes it's more important than anything else on the to-do list.