RIP Misha

Jul. 30th, 2009 07:45 pm
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Learned yesterday that Misha, here being fed by Angela Stanley, along with another slightly older lamb named Elvis, got into something poisonous on the farm and died within hours of each other. In convulsions. Kathy thinks it may have been cherry leaves, but there's no way of knowing.

Reposted with kind permission of Phillip M. Jackson

A farmer's life is hard... and I only knew these little critters for a few weeks. I can't imagine what it's like when you're up at 0 Dark:30 in icy sleet helping them be born, only to lose them to some stupid fluke.

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Flickr photojournal of my summer adventure on the farm, as well as sights seen to and from. This is a representative sample of the pictures that were taken. Some of the farm shots are courtesy of Mark Stanley.

This took a while to do, but I promised. Enjoy!

Saga's End

Jun. 14th, 2009 04:14 pm
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The farm experience tapers off gracefully to a close. There may be a few more days, or not - remains to be discussed with the folks when they get back. I write this as I'm sitting in Charleston airport, waiting for their flight from Chicago - and I hope they had a wonderful time.

By the holy skull of Mogg's grandmother, I have stayed healthy. I completed my list of things on the farm that I wanted to accomplish this morning, just before leaving for the airport. There's enough left to keep a farmhand busy for two years, but I got the biggest rocks out of the way.

Finished the basement last night about midnight. Shovel, hoe, rake, hose, wet-dry vac - all were used in abundance to bring the place back to some semblance of normalcy. This morning I posted The Old Wolf's 10 Commandments above the door, one of which read "Thou shalt nevermore allow the basement to become the Abomination of Desolation, such that when the farmhand hath finished cleaning it, he must needs go shovel manure as a Pleasant Diversion." I still wouldn't want to eat off the floor, but at least going down there is not like a descent into Bolgia 10. And a check mark for Saturday.

Chatted with several good friends on the drive down to Charleston - makes the time go a lot faster. One blessed angel sent some See's candy to the farm to help overcome the stress of chasing sheep and being constantly assailed by - to put it charitably - an elderly lady who's just a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic. And it did the trick nicely, too.

Today is the last day of my 58th year on this backwater planet in an obscure arm of the galaxy. I was reflecting just the other day that I now have a clear memory of half a century's worth of triumphs, tragedies and progress. All it makes me think as I review the incredible developments I have been privileged to witness is, "What will my granddaughters see in their lifetimes? Unimaginable things."

Life is good. If I were any better, I'd have to be twins.


Jun. 12th, 2009 05:04 pm
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I have spent the day mucking out a basement that makes Shelob's lair look like Martha Stewart's pied à terre by comparison. The gods of West Virginia must be angry with me - it's been raining on and off all day, and as I got to the landfill with my second load, the skies unzipped - it was like a torrent. Soaked and muddy, I got to the landfill office, and the skies broke and the sun peeped out... Yarg!

Rewarded myself by visiting the China Palace - it was a good supper, groan belch groan. Hope I don't catch my death from the air conditioning, because I'm still wet.

Very little time left on the farm...
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So, mathematically speaking, the equation balances.

Got some good work done around the farm today, but the afternoon was the pits. Loaded up the truck with a ton of crap for the landfill, drove 30 miles to Lewisburg only to get to the dump at 4:15 and find out that they closed at 4:00. Yes, I do hate government, thank you for asking. Sheesh.

By this time it's started raining buckets, so I drive home in the deluge - stopped at WalMart to get some replacement wiper blades for the truck, which helped a lot - and got back to feed the critters in the downpour. Sheep don't like to move when it's raining - took me twice as long as usual to get them back into the paddock.

Went to repair a gate that had popped of its hinges and found I had one too many sheep on the lawn - had to chase one back to the other side to keep my count straight.

Was supposed to take the sheep with a sore leg to the vet again tomorrow morning at 8:30 - had to reschedule so I can unload the truck tomorrow morning before taking him in. Never a dull moment.

Saw no cows today. I'm tired, soaked, and hungry. About to go home and fix myself some farm-fresh scrambled eggs for supper. The clock is ticking down - only three work days left before the landlords come home, and still a huge project left to finish.


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