Between my husband’s insane shoeing schedule, and a week-long church conference that he attends every year, I’ve been on my own a lot lately. (I start a lot of posts kind of like this, don’t I?) This is fairly normal for us. Summers stay very busy in a farrier’s world, and most of his clientele are between 3 and 7 hours away. And when Jeremiah is away, I am called up to bat.
The ranch–especially right now, running it from a half an hour away–usually takes up most of both of our time. Our lives are a juggling act, split between maintenance and renovations…and the other things that make the money to pay for the former. When it’s only one of us, for more than a day or so, it starts to take up all of your time. (I am so behind at work…this week, while Jeremiah is home for a few days, I play catch up.)
He was gone for several days last week, back for part of the fourth, gone again, home for half a day on the 6th, left for his conference on the 7th, and just got back into town yesterday. In that time, I’ve been running ragged. Bookended by two emergency vet visits, this has been a week (+) that I won’t soon forget, and there are parts of it I kind of wish I could…
This year I celebrated our nation’s independence waiting on the vet. The littlest alpaca (that should be the name of a children’s book) caught her eyelid on something unsavory…and ripped it. I’ll be honest, I have a photo of what that looked like, but I’ll spare you.
I call the vet; the vet put us on a list of emergency calls and said he’d text when he got to the farm. I went to the house to wait. He came and treated the alpaca by himself, forgetting to text, and left. I proceed to wait on him for most of the rest of the afternoon, with Jeremiah taking over for me that evening when I head out to get ready for the cookout we were planning with my family. Jeremiah waits until I text the vet to ask about his progress…and he tells me that he had finished hours earlier. My busy husband was thrilled to have waited around all evening for nothing.
Day two of my week alone. I named my favorite chicken. Sweet and Cute and Beautiful, it took me longer for her than the others.
The day starts with a little headache that slowly progresses into a migraine. I am completely useless by the end of the day and very thankful that Jeremiah’s little sister is so capable of taking care of things at the ranch. (I’m not sure how well things would have fared out there without her help this week.)
Jeremiah’s little sister takes morning chores to help me out (still headachy, but way better than the night before). I get a phone call that one of my chickens is missing. Little miss Renegade got out the night before. Coon. Dead.
I never in a million years thought I would get teary-eyed over the death of a chicken, but, when I found her feathers (etc) in the woods, I had to work very hard to not cry. I spent the rest of the afternoon securing the chicken stall more thoroughly, all the while kicking myself for not being more careful earlier.
Came home to these:
Because I’m married to a guy who understands that his wife WILL cry over a dead chicken.
The evening was salvaged. Gabby and Katie did chores for me. I had dinner with colleagues from the University. (And discovered that I really like croquet.) After dinner and drinks and good conversation, I was feeling far better.
(Also, I brought them fresh eggs…because apparently I’m that person now.)
Spent 40 minutes chasing this little bugger around when she got out. (Stall is, in fact, more secure, but she was a tricksy hobbitses.)
Possibly my least favorite chicken, she is the least friendly and, of course, the most difficult bird to catch that I own. Gabby and I eventually got her. She has a very impolite name now…
Morning goes off with out a hitch. My guy comes home. We head out for an easy evening of chores before relaxing…
I head off to feed the horses, separating Vin, who gets picked on by the others.
And he slices himself open on the gate.
One emergency vet visit–different vet this time, who was there right away and very helpful–and twenty stitches later…
We finally make it off the farm at 8:30.
Last night, I had bad dreams about injured horses and dead chickens.
So there’s the latest in the tales of Eagle Ridge Ranch. (My husband has taken to calling it calamity acres…) The bad and the ugly are evident…
1. The injured alpaca is doing very well. She got her eyelid, but not her eye. No compromised vision.
2. I’m married to someone who sends me flowers from several states away because my chicken died.
3. I found a horse vet yesterday who came right away and was exceedingly helpful.
4. Despite the injury, Vin, who is an off-the-track rescue, proved to me just how far he’s come since moving in with us last October. When Jeremiah first went to bring him home, he reared and threw fits just walking down the lane. He didn’t want to load. For several months, he ran away every time we walked into the pasture, scared of almost everyone and everything. Last night, he let me catch him despite the gaping wound in his side. He stood calmly away from his herd. He left the pasture without a second thought. I was nearly in tears (happy ones this time) at how far he has come since he came home. It reinforced my belief that he and I might just have a future together.
(Yes, he’s a little underweight yet; we’re working on it.)