Posted on | December 13, 2012 | 6 Comments
Well, things went from bad to worse.
The hose sprung a leak after constantly being unattached and reattached to the water hydrant due to freezing temperatures at night. So a lovely mud slick developed outside the barn door.
One of the ducks turned up injured. Possibly broken leg. She can move around, but slowly. And kind of floppingly. Of course not floppingly enough to be an easy capture. Her wings still work and she’ll fly right down to the pond when we attempt to take her into protective custody. So the best we can do is guard her each day during the morning madness at the chicken trough, chasing others out of her space to ensure she gets a sufficient amount of food.
Isaac, one of the sheep, broke off a horn. We have no idea how. We wanted to examine it to figure out what happened and check for infection. But we settled for spraying it with Blu-Kote from a distance, which was all he would tolerate. He ended up with almost that entire side of his face blue, kind of like a Braveheart in the barn yard. Plus I had to go to work with blue fingers for the next 3 days.
Riccio developed another sebaceous cyst and we had to drain it and sprinkle it with wound powder. These cysts are common in guinea pigs, don’t seem to be painful, and can be cleaned up pretty well whenever you find him sitting in his cage oozing pus on everything. Draining them does require a strong stomach or apparently some kind of sick proclivity like those people that constantly post videos of bursting sores, boils, blisters, pimples and other disgusting growths on YouTube. Perhaps someone needs to buy them a guinea pig.
We are getting slews of Christmas cards every day in the mailbox. Which just reminds me that we have yet to make and order any cards yet. And what are the odds of that happening at this point?
Which also reminds me that we have failed to get out the Christmas decorations or put up a Christmas tree. Getting out the decorations means braving the disorganized mess in the shed. In addition to putting “clean out the shed” back on the To Do list. Where it will sit until summer arrives and I take it off the list because no one cleans out the shed during snake and spider season. And then I will ignore it until I need to get out the Christmas decorations next year. It’s an exhausting and dysfunctional cycle.
Should I even bother to mention that it rained throughout the entire Christmas parade—-leaving us soaked and dispirited on the sidewalk and with a mountain of wet blankets to wash afterwards?
Then there’s the fact that the little ones’ last day of school is tomorrow. They will be out for 3 weeks and bored after 3 days. So, at some point, I need to start planning activities, crafts, and outings to keep them off the iPad and away from the television. Perhaps they would enjoy clipping the stacks of coupons piled on the counter or cleaning the leaves out of the gutters.
All of this was complicated by the fact that the laptop broke and only turns on about once every 1,000,000 tries. All the usual tricks like taking off the battery or making it sit on an angle are beginning to fail. Too bad the real computer broke 2 years ago and is still sitting, dusty and impotent, in the office, waiting for someone to come up with $500 to fix its hard drive. Now The Other Half and I are forced to address questions like:
1. Is it cheaper to fix the computer or the laptop?
2. Should we even bother to fix the laptop or just replace it with another laptop?
3. Do we need to buy replacement software or risk using open source software that may not be compatible with work or school requirements?
4. Do we trust the repair departments at big electronic stores or should we try using tech friends who fix electronics on the side?
These are diffcult questions for people like us. We have a television where the bottom part of the picture is always cut off because we don’t know how to switch the display from regular to full screen. Any part of a program or movie with subtitles is completely lost on us. We have had a stereo sitting on the entertainment center for over a year that we cannot play because we don’t know how to hook up the speakers. We just settle for plugging in one of the kids’ portable radio/CD players on the kitchen counter when we want to hear music downstairs. We just don’t do electronics. Of any kind.
So the kids have repeatedly come home from school to find me laying curled up in blankets on the couch, wrapped in my latest scarf, too cold to move. Because the wood stove hasn’t worked since the chimney fire.
Oh, sure, I made meals and dragged myself through the housecleaning. I made it to Ultimate Frisbee games and basketball practice. But anyone could see that I was missing my usual pizazz.
“I think I could have seasonal affective disorder,” I mentioned when one of the kids asked if I was feeling sick.
They looked confused.
“It was sunny and 70 degrees all last week,” they pointed out.
“Right, but that was last week! It’s been gloomy and rainy for 4 days!”
“I thought you said you wanted rain in order for the grass seed to take hold, ” they countered.
Really. Can no one just empathize?
Obviously I had to take things into my own hands. I considered getting a pedicure but my last one didn’t have any chips yet. A massage would have been wonderful but I can only afford that once every 3 months and I had a hot towels and aromatherapy massage in November. I slept through $5 movie day at the local theatre.
Things were truly desperate.
Thank goodness, in a stroke of amazing luck, the laptop finally booted up! So after checking and jotting down the kids’ sports practice and game schedules; perusing emails about Christmas choir, field trips, and continuing education assignments; and printing off some Highlights hidden pictures and word searches for the boys, I did what any reasonable farmer would do.
I went straight to Craigslist. I looked under the farm & garden section. I searched for chickens. And wouldn’t you know it? Someone was looking to unload some 3 week old Silkie chicks at $5/each. Jackpot!
We made arrangements to meet up, I set up the brooder room while humming my favorite Christmas carols, and the next day I came home with my box full of sunshine. 6 adorable Silkie chicks, including a partridge and a couple splashes.
Aaah. That’s better. The perfect pick me up that I needed to get through these doldrums.
It can’t feel like winter when it’s spring in the brooder room!