Some mornings

Some mornings you wake up and look out your window to see the pony on the lawn near the coop.  She’s stuffed her head into the chicken grain bin so that all that is visible are her shoulders and fat, round bod, long swishy beautiful black tail, 4 stick legs.  You dash out in your nightie that’s sort of damp because maybe you were sweating from being out from under 3 dogs on a narrow mattress that you shared a night with, or maybe its your age.  Anyway, one of the dogs is a puppy that molds your every contour as you attempt to adjust your sleeping posture for comfort.  One of the dogs is a panting, gassy, love that needs attachment to you to feel calm enough to string together an hour or more of sleep. The last of the three is hunkered in for the long haul, and she’s the one you worry about most since her incontinence issues began.

You slip your bare feet into rubber boots that belonged to a friend who got them from a dead guy and you hope that they don’t stick afterward so that you have to pry them off since you didn’t have time to find socks.  You fly across the backyard and discourage the pony from devouring more grain and she flees having been discovered.  You inspect the grain bin and it could be half-empty, you don’t remember how far up the can was filled the night before.

Off to the barn in the glam outfit with three dogs trailing, wondering why their breakfast was skipped while you find a halter and lead rope to pursue the escapee.  The lambs are all bawling in the barn and want their breakfast while you’re there, so you feed them a scoop of cereal with milk, which is actually lamb pellets & kelp meal.  They quiet down but one of them, Angus-the-bottle-lamb, insists on following you out the door to have a morning of free-ranging.

Down the driveway to locate the missing pony who is actually not that far, but far enough that you get to parade out to the road looking.  And she is, sure enough, by the mailbox in plain view of the neighbors.  They won’t notice you’re in your pale blue sleeping gown and oversized olive-colored rubber boots, right?  The pony sees you but feigns ignorance so you play her game. right back atcha honey.

You pretend to not notice each other all the way back to the pond where she decides to call upon her horse friends that are properly inside the fence and grazing contentedly.  She slows her pace and drops her neck to graze along the fence next to them, still keeping her attention on you in a “I’m not paying attention to you” way.  Which is what you’re doing, too, even though you’re tangled up with three dogs, one of them continuously bonking into your lower legs with his cone while he places a stick at your feet for fetching.  Oh, did I not mention that one of the pups, yes the panting, gassy one?  Did I forget to say that he is currently wearing a protective cone on his collar to keep him from nursing his hot spots on his hips?  So, right, throw that into the sleeping-mix too.

Thinking it smart to grab a little grain from the barn before the hunt, you now rattle it in the scoop to see if that gets the pony’s attention, which it does.  She makes her way over to you and you coo and slip the rope around her neck, haltering her to seal the deal.  She still thinks she’s won because she refuses to budge, but you give it a few minutes of just standing there and eventually she walks back to the barn, bored with the stand-off.

Next you stall that bad-girl and give her nothing but a bucket of water while putting her under surveillance to make sure she is not going to colic on you from overeating chicken grain.  She relieves any anxiety on that front by passing manure in every corner of the clean stall in a matter of no time.  You keep her in that stall for good measure until you can find a cup of coffee and feed those trailing dogs.

Dogs fed now.  Cats fed now.  Coffee brewing but you’ve got a dozen pies and other baked goods to bake and deliver, hopefully by 9a.m., to the local farmstand.  And then pick up your young neighbor that enjoys volunteering on your farm to help you with things like catching ponies, rubbing pig ears with fly ointment, pulling burrs from fiber animal’s coats, and watching the white clouds in the blue skies between soft sheep on the green grass.

Sheep Sky Grass

Sheep Sky Grass

 

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. You are one amazing woman. You get more done by 9:00 am than I get done in an entire weekend!

    1. Ha, Joan! I feel like I am spinning my wheels! But thank you, thank you, thank you for the kind words!!!

  2. Lol! What a morning, my friend! You’ve earned your coffee and some time to put your feet off, but I’m well aware that moment may not come until late today. x

    1. 🙂 Rebecca, I am finally putting my feet up. Decided to not start a new project after I got the garden harvested an hour ago. I’m so tired I don’t want to budge, but I made a date for a play in Bennington, so off I go!!! Thank you for the read, thank you for taking the time to comment!!!

    1. Thank you, thank you so much Loretta. That would be incredible, wouldn’t it? But ‘White’ is my married name! I did know a couple from church that lived next to him in Maine, that’s as close as I get to being related. Isn’t that cool, though? They said he was a wonderful neighbor/man!

  3. Tammy, I think I’m exhausted after reading this, perhaps from laughing so much! Great tale of the start of the day. I call my dog “velcro dog” as she attaches herself to me as much as possible and “molds to my every contour” in bed. You’ve got a great way of telling a story!

    1. Thank you! The days tell themselves if I have the energy to type them up! Life is always interesting, and those pups…what can I say? I can’t live with them, I can’t live without them! So grateful to you for pausing to leave me kind words. Hope your weekend has been wonderful and not too laborious!

  4. You’ve done a nice job describing what those of us who ‘live this way’ already know … and what those who don’t … should. There are so many nuances to our farm lives and it was fun to read your rendition which manages to hit the proverbial nail on the head. I drove by Bennington twice over the weekend (and saluted the exit sign at Shaftsbury … did you us say ‘hello’?). Daughter #2 is now living near White River Junction and working at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical as a lab-tech-type. We drove up to help her settle in to a new apartment. I brought all the camera gear and saw some many lovely places with photographic potential … but didn’t stop for having to adhere to a tight schedule. Joanna said we could be free to stop as many times as I wanted on the way home and, don’t you know, it rained the entire day! I’m so disappointed. Glad to know that all is well with you and that you managed to find a few moments to contribute to your blog … always a welcomed read. D

    1. Shucks! You guys were so close, yet again!!! But White River Junction is not too far, and next time you’re back & forthing, give me a heads’ up!!! I could give you a piece of pie & a cup of coffee or a meal, or nothing at all. Or wait, maybe you have a ram for me to borrow/rent? Also, you’d probably both enjoy a little tour of Southern VT and I could take you around or send you on your merry way with a list of must-sees!

      Darn my wordpress account – I can’t believe I am only just seeing this comment. My mobile app sometimes notifies me of comments and sometimes doesn’t, and my email account ditches them in the junk folders. So I’m not so savvy to always find the comments. Ugh, bad me.

      Ahh, the rain – we could use more of it. It is VERY dry.
      -Tammy

  5. Your writing is superb, the animal antics are hilarious and the fact that you can find the time to not only handle all the chores and then some but also recall and find the energy to write it down after such long days is impressive!

    Thank you for sharing your adventures ; )

    1. Thank you, Fran! I’m so happy to get such detailed critique! You made me glow for a moment, there! And I sure love my animals and their antics. Their stories tell themselves, if I only can stay upright to type them when I get a chance!!

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