I live for Sundays, the day of rest. I put off all kinds of "inside stuff" for Sundays like soap making, baking, artsy stuff. I like to sleep sort of late, as long as the dogs will allow. I like to make a semi-large breakfast and pick at it for awhile and then feed bits of it to the kids. Bertha in particular loves pancakes with syrup soaked in. After breakfast I hang out on the couch with several critters beaming around the TV. Around noon I finally head out to check on the animals. Checking the ranch is usually followed by a nap and more channel surfing until it's time to milk. Today didn't really go according to plan.
To start the morning off I got a cold, wet, Dane nose pushing me at 4am-ish. Hamlet had a tummy problem and HAD to go out. The dogs don't attempt to wake up Shelly anymore, she just groans and rolls over. After letting Ham out and back in, Taco wouldn't shut up, STOOPID CHIHUAHUA! Taco ended up on the bed burrowing under the covers. I finally got back to sleep around 7. At 7:02am the phone rang. I can't even remember what the phone call was about. Jeez! Shelly decided that the phone ringing meant it was time to get up. As she was exiting the now cat infested bed, the pager went off and so did her brain. The pager tends to shut off some of Shel's pathways and tweak some others. She frantically started throwing clothes on, as I was tuning to a food channel on TV. Shelly jetted out the house and I was left with spazzy dogs and a couple of bickering cats. I decided that I should just give up and get out of bed. I dug Shadow Cat out of his hiding place and sat on the porch and had a cup of tea. It was muggy and sticky, so unlike our normal dry weather. After the tea, I thought everything was gonna be okay, I was so wrong.
I had just removed myself from a nice, long, hot shower and Shelly came busting in the cabin yelling, looking for me. Apparently the Boss Lady was down at the barn and we needed to hurry up and get down there so we could utilize a dog to separate mama sheep from baby lambs as it is that time again. Time to wean! UGH! Upon arrival at the barn, I found my handsome, stinky, buck, Prince Charming sticking his stinky beard through the fence at the girls. Between grunts he would flip his head down and stick his sprinkler headed penis out of it's pocket and pee on his face! He would then bare his teeth and smile big at the girls again. Prince Charming weighs about 40lbs or so and his back comes just below my kneecap. I had put a collar on him yesterday as somehow he had escaped then too. Since he was preoccupied with the harem on the other side of the fence, I was able to stoop over and grab his collar without giving chase. Charming didn't think that was cool. He attempted to free himself by having a little twitchfest on the end of my arm. Lucky for me my shoulder doesn't stay in the socket very often and my arm just twisted around like a Stretch Armstrong's.
After I had the buck taken care of, I head back into the barn to check on the goat kids that were separated from their mamas yesterday. I turn around and guess who is standing behind me? The damn stinky buck. He had slipped out under the gate was headed back to the harem of Nigerians. I had to pick him up again, put him back, and find a post to plug the space at the bottom of the gate. As I'm squishing his musky gut back in the gate, Jersey Cow thinks it's time for her to come out. Keep in mind, eighteen inch goat and bigger than eighteen inch cow! After I squished Charming in, I stood up and bumped my head on Jersey's bell. Rung my bell, FO SHO. At this point Shelly and Boss Lady were working their way to the arena with the flock of Dorpers. They seemed to get he flock in without any problems at all. That was about the only thing that went according to plan today.
While pushing sheep through gates and trying to make little ones go one way and big ones go another way, I smashed my finger in a gate and now I have a purple nail. I vowed not to have purple body parts ever again when I graduated from high school. After finally getting the lambs separated, Shelly got thumped in the chin a couple times by a ram lamb as we were trying to catch him to put a pretty green rubber band around his testicles. (Incidentally, green castrator bands pass right through the digestive system of Dachshund/Jack Russel dogs that run around the ranch and eat tails and shriveled up testicles of Dorper Lambs.) After putting the mama ewes back out to pasture and saving the Border Collie Bear, from the grumpy Donkey Ellie, Shelly and I went back to the house to get lunch. We left the lambs in the shady part of the catch pens with water and hay. For some reason we thought that putting the lams in a covered area, with food and water would be the appropriate thing to do. Since the catch pens are in direct site of the pasture where we put the ewes, it proved to be an appropriate but LOUD place. The babies spent the next hour screaming at the mamas and the mamas screamed right back.
After lunch we headed back down to bring the lambs to a pen at the barn. Since the lambs are not bucket broke, when you open a gate and shake the orange bucket, they cock their heads to the side and look at you. After several attempts of pushing, pulling, shaking, and shooshing the wooly things were finally tucked away. Still screaming but out of site of the ewes. A couple of the bottle fed babies somehow escaped and where now eyeballing the milk goats. As I put Sofia Goat on the milking stand, the two lambs latched on to her teats. Oh well, no milk to strain this evening in the end it was a blessing of a few minutes I really needed. After we finished barn chores, I let the harem of Nigerians loose and led them back to their condo behind the cabin. They had been at the barn for a bit, weed eating and tree trimming. Now the grass in their yard needed mowing so back they went. While I was hanging out with them, getting kisses and listening to BB whisper in my ear I suddenly got a big ole whiff of a skunk.
I've been missing eggs and chickens lately. We thought maybe it was fox or a coyote. So the chickens have been confined to their coop yard on most days. Yesterday I went out to find a fairly large hole dug under the coop fence and a mess of feathers leading back to the old bunkhouse. UGH! Now they aren't even safe in the coop. I had filled the hole yesterday. Since we were smelling the skunky odor and I know skunks like eggs we decided to see what was up at the chicken house. Armed with the .22, Shelly and I found two more holes, a couple of piles of feathers and NO EGGS! No skunk either. As we are snooping around the old barn and the bunkhouses Shelly notices Mookey and Clover skipping along the road by the pond. Mookey and Clover are our two mini donkeys. They have been across the road at the In Law's house keeping Buster the old donkey company. Apparently the accommodations at the In Law's were not five star in mini donkey world so they decided to come home.
Of course eating as much as they could along the way. The two of them are FAT! Their fat rolls have fat rolls. Shelly took off her belt and handed it to me with instructions to put it around Clover's neck and lead her back across the street. She assured me that Mookey would follow. Boy, was she ever wrong. I got the belt around her flabby neck and started to turn her back and she took off. Shelly reminded me to hang on, which I of course assumed was the whole idea behind putting on the belt anyway. I tried to hang on, I really did. At some point I know that fat donkey was running so fast that my feet were in the air behind me and I looked like a bad Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloon. I could feel my good shoulder getting Stretch Armstrong-ish like the other had earlier and decided to cut my losses and I let go. Shelly hit her knees and groaned, complaining that I had lost her belt. In fact I did not lose her belt, it was on the fat neck of the fat donkey that she told me to lead back to whence she came. As I looked up from my face planted position on the ground I saw both donkeys making dust heading to the cabin. Shelly kept questioning me about what we were going to do with them. These are two itty bitty donkeys! Shelly kind of freaks out for a minute and I convince her she had better do something with them or they will just run all the way through the ranch to the county road. That of course will never happen because there is so much food along the way that they will have to stop and sample most of it. Shel takes off toward the house and I tell her that I have to fill holes in the coop again but I will be up soon. I spend a few moments sitting atop the gravel pile trying to figure out just where my Sunday went wrong. I fill the holes, and walk SLOWLY, ever so slowly back to the cabin. As I trudge up the drive, Shelly in her panic voice explains that Clover almost killed Jemma (goat). Huh? Evidently there was some chasing and some braying and some other behaviors. It seemed that Jemma was tucked away safely with the others and the two donkeys were now in the little dogs pen. I thought the donkeys would be making their way back to the In Law's house soon but there was glitch somewhere. I didn't care anymore. I just wanted to find a soft spot for a good curl into the fetal position. Although I probably wouldn't enjoy it much as the ewes were still screaming for the lambs.
I went inside instead to make some pasta, it is after all Sunday. What good is Sunday without pasta? While I'm cooking up some Rotini for some pasta salad with some artichoke hearts, Shelly calls me downstairs and asks if I could help her with the ducks. She needs someone to hold on to them while she cleans out their pen. Sure, I could do that, how hard are ducklings? Ducklings are hard. We have two right now about three weeks apart. So that makes one sort of small and the other small. Speedy the larger of the two, squirms and squacks and by doing so alerts every cat in the house. The smaller one which is so far unnamed starts squirming too. I look down to find a sea of felines with that wish of dropped duck stamped on their furry foreheads. I decided to take them into the bathroom to escape the chop licking cats. On the way both of them must have gotten freaked out and I ended up with two hands filled with duckling poo. In case one would wonder, duckling poo is much better than the musky scent of a buck in lust. I put the critters in the tub, give them a skim of water and take some pictures.
Between bowls of pasta, Taco decided that he needed to properly introduce himself to Pepsi Cat. Pepsi Cat thought that he would make a lasting impression and slapped Taco a couple of dozen times in just under a second. Pepsi left a pretty nail in the Chihuahua's head, right between his ears. Pepsi Cat is the best cat ever!
I thought for a minute that I could just curl up on the rug in that fetal position I was thinking about earlier. Alas, Pepsi Cat decides to interrupt my thoughts and scratches at the door. Shelly tells me she's done cleaning and I return the ducklings. I did come upstairs to find that Barack Obama had left a message on my answering machine. Imagine that? The president took time out of his Sunday to leave me a message and I accidentally erased it without hearing the whole thing. What kind of an American am I?
What a relaxing Sunday, I can hardly wait for Monday.