Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Scared of Heights

Here's a lesson for sheepdogs everywhere: don't climb up into the hayloft if you're afraid of heights! Which was what Friday learned when she came along with me to get hay yesterday at Livingston Brook Farm. She usually has zero issue leaping up hay bales, but yesterday was different. The usually packed loft is a city of hay. You could leap off the loft and land safely at any point. But this is right before the first cutting of June, and all that is left in the loft is the stragglers of last summer's hay. So the loft is barren with a handful of bales making a smart little step ladder up to more in the loft. Friday came into the barn with me, and watched me scramble up the simple narrow (2-bales wide) steps to the second floor and I thought she wouldn't follow. After throwing my third bale out of the loft window she was beside me. I laughed and applauded her bravery and together we looked out the barn's high door to the green and lush farmland around us. Grateful for this chance to get the last of the hay, and looking forward to filling the barn up again in a few days time.

Then it was time to leave. So I easily walked down the happy stairs and Friday just watched from above. I patted my leg and called to her, but she laid down on the loft's floor watching me with her little eyes and ears over the edge. She didn't want to come down! This was not a mighty height, just a few stacked bales, but something about the once-filled hayloft being empty and seeing all those hard planks below kicked in her self-preservation. She wouldn't budge.

I ended up having to sit beside her as she belly-crawled, on her own, down each of the four bale stairs to the floor. It was hard not to giggle. The steps were safe as could be but for her, it was a moment of having to trust me and face a fear and when all four paws hit the planks she lit up and smiled back at me like a wolf. "That wasn't anything at all, Lady!" as she trotted off to see what the barn cats were up to outside. What a little firecracker.

I am in spring cleaning mode. Friends that recently painted a room gifted me their leftover paint and are teaching me the right way to paint a room, which in my case is the bathroom. Taking off baseboards to paint and learning to work with electrical outlets and such. It's been a wonderful lesson and really makes that room look brand new. It's something I wouldn't have been able to do without the offer of paint and now I am learning some new homeowner skills. Lord knows this place needs a woman's touch.

Besides hay and paint: things are pretty standard around here. The fireflies are out early and the barn owls hoot into the night. I am still worried about making the month and falling behind. The farm is settling into June under unsteady footing. Yesterday I was able to sell some soap which got the farm out of the red, but just, for the first time in this month. Now my mind is set on making daily income goals and keeping things safe and sound. I did make a small donation of $10 from the sale to BLM as I said I would every day this farm makes sales. I know it's a drop in the bucket, but every drop rises the level.

Luck to all the brave ones today, fighting for a better tomorrow.