Monday, February 22, 2016

Keep Running

It feels like spring around here, and it has nothing to do with the temperatures. It has to do with daylight. Mornings feel brighter and the light has more energy. It's not the tired, tuck-in, light of fall. It's that fresher get-your-ass-in-gear-glow of spring. Which is exactly what I have been doing. Little improvements to the farm, getting ready for the first order of meat bird chicks, arranging for piglets, and running around. I went out for a jog yesterday (a habit I am glad to be getting back into after a winter without much running), and the miles weren't easy but they also weren't awful. Running is supposed to hurt and be hard, that's why I do it, but somewhere between mile 2 and 3 I start to regret ever leaving the house. By mile 4 I get over it and turn up the music. By mile 5(right now) I am bored and my butt hurts from the paved roads and hills. I'll toughen up, I always do. Last summer 8 miles was my longest run. Hoping for 10 this summer being the new normal.

Last week I wasn't able to earn two mortgage payments, though I sure as hell tried. I was able to mail one though. That's a victory and I'll figure out another this week. The light, and me, are optimistic.

It's almost time to start regular riding with Merlin again. He is still covered in his mastodon fur and has a belly from a winter of not working out and mostly eating. (I can relate.) But we'll start out with just grooming and work on the long line with a flag. The kind of mental games that remind a thousand-pound animal that this little primate can make him move those feet. Whoever is moving the horse's feet is in charge, and getting him used to the idea that I'm the one making those calls on the ground is a lot wiser than jumping on his back and riding off into the woods expecting it to go as smooth as last August. By the end of this week I hope to have him in the saddle and working on the road a bit.

Lambing will happen before kidding, long before. I am starting to collect towels and gear, getting it into a bucket by the door. When a lamb is born I like to help dry it off, give it some vitamins, dock the tail with the bander, check her over, dip the cord in some iodine, and make sure she is drinking milk (and that milk is actually coming out of the ewe). This doesn't take long but it does help to have all the gear in one place. I also stock up on supplements for the moms, a heating lamp in the shed and a roughly-cobbed together jug in case anyone needs it. Four ewes are pregnant here. Hoping for some new girls, the youngest blackface ewe in my flock is now 7? Yikes.

Off to check on the crew outside and carry some more water around. Hope you are all doing well, as I'm sure you are just as tired of winter slog as I am. Maybe one more snowstorm and then I want to break ground, see grass instead of mud, and start the big job of another season of life, death, food, stories, and songs on this rock.


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