One night while letting Roe out, Tim and I noticed that all the cats were up on the porch table. They were very upset and Momma Cat was growling but it wasn't very loud nor were any of the cats running off! I walked over to talk to them and told Tim, one of Megan's male cats must have come up and was in one of their winter houses. I proceed to check it out and this is what I found, a Opossum!
As I was walking very fast to go back into the house Tim asked me what is it? I handed him my phone through a very small opening I had made with the screen door and told him take a picture. As I closed the door he was laughing and within a few minutes he had named her Gladys and yes she comes on the porch every night to eat the cat food!
Update since that night another Opossum comes up with her and is much bigger, his name is John Henry and yes I named him. Through the screen door of course:)
The Porch and The Kittens!
I do enjoy our cats very much and I really love when they have kittens. However I may just change my mind about that after the events of today.
As our kittens are getting bigger, the mother cats have decided it is time to teach them to hunt, kill, and eat mice. I am okay with that as I have never had to experience this training that goes on.
While I was sweeping off the porch today I could hear the kittens running all over the other end of the porch..., I turn to see what they were up to and both mother cats had brought them mice to chase and I am guessing to kill. I immediately decided I wanted no part of that and jumped off the end of porch and went around to the back door to go into the house only to discover it was locked.
With broom in hand I went to the front of the house to go up the stairs onto the porch intent to sweep away anything that ran my way.
But to my horror there on the stairs was a half eaten Rat waiting to be discovered by the kittens.
I was walking down the driveway when Tim drove the tractor up, he saw me from the field he was mowing and was checking on me, one because he said I was still in my slippers and gown and because I still had the broom in my hand.
All I got out was the mother cats and he started laughing, he held up his hand and said say no more I will take care of it.
As he rode away laughing I thought I will just stay here while he handles that and let him know when he comes back that wasn't funny......that is until a Rat Snake crossed over the road down from me, then I thought to hell with the dead Rat I'm going inside.
I really love living on the farm however at times getting older does not make things easier and somethings it makes more dangerous.
It is that time of year that not only are the animals getting yearly shots and checkups this Farmer’s Wife is doing the same. I recently went to the optometrist to get my eyes checked for what I thought would be just a routine check with no changes made in my prescriptions, when to my disbelief my right eye was weaker and a new prescription was handed to me.
On the way home of course I was trying to justify why I didn’t need my new prescription and that sometimes I really didn’t need to wear my old glasses when I was driving, which in response Tim gave me That Look, I don’t even need to explain the look because every wife knows that look. Anyway after justifying all the way home and even stating a few medical facts Tim replied to just think about it, you don’t need to go get the new ones for a few days.
At the sink I was thinking about our conversation while washing dishes. I looked out into the woods behind our house and saw my handsome cat Boss, at first I thought he was just rolling his beautiful white fur into the dirt but somehow it looked like he was trying to get something off of him. Thinking maybe he got stung I went out the back door and headed into the woods walking nearly right up on him, to my horror there stood a beautiful yet stinky white skunk. Who thankfully just walked off like he didn’t even see me.
Well I thought as I walked back into the house I will be getting my new glasses, I told Tim what had happened he started laughing saying don’t you remember me telling you about him the other day I was out hunting? Are you getting a little forgetful now? This comment did not even make me mad because what I was really thinking was I have got to pay more attention to what he is saying when he comes in from hunting and less attention on watching The HouseWives!
A Piece of Cake
It was a beautiful day the rain had finally stopped, although the ground was still soaked. The sky was beautiful and the sun was out and shinning its warmth down upon us. I save carrots and crackers for the goats so I decided to walk down and check on everybody and give them a treat.
The goats were all waiting for me lined up and down the fence line. Because of the rain Tim and I had not gotten to fence around our garden yet. When Tim lets the goats out he can always handle them with what I thought looked like ease. So I decided to let the goats out and stretch their legs and graze in the fields and I would sit in a chair under a shade tree and drink iced tea and watch.
Well….things didn’t go quiet as I had hoped.
The first hour was great they grazed and milled about enjoying the break in the weather as much as I was. Then I decided to do the unthinkable put them back in the pen…the goats however decided I was not going to put them up.
The next hour was spent trying to trick, yell, run, and baby talk them into going back into the pen. I slid in the mud, got stuck in the mud and had to pull my shoe out and still when I stopped to take a breath we were nowhere near the pen.
The garden lay between me and the goats even though they were grazing I could tell they were eyeing the garden. I needed to go on the porch get the bucket run up to the shed get some feed, run back down to where the goats were grazing before they got into the garden and lead them back into the pen with their beloved feed.
So when I thought I might be getting a break I took off running, I made it to the porch only slightly out of breath grabbed the bucket and headed for the shed loaded the bucket with feed. Then to my horror I saw the goats slowly making their way to the garden. I picked up the pace and so did they. I am carrying the bucket running and waving my other arm in the air yelling, I made it just in time as they were stepping into the garden only they spun around and ran from me. I don’t blame them I must have looked like a lunatic running towards them.
I put the bucket on the ground and was gasping for breath as I leaned over to put my hands on my knees trying to catch my breath. I felt something tugging at my hat, when I raised my head it was our bottle fed baby Monkey. My heart just melted, Aww I thought he is checking to see if I am alright. So I put both of my hands on the sides of his face, Monkey shook me off and begin eating the feed out of the bucket. Well that’s about right I thought. Monkey followed me into the pen which made the others follow suit.
I slowly and I mean slowly made my way back to that shade tree and poured out my ice tea on my way to the house. Tim called just as I was coming back in; he asked me how my day was going. I told him good, he answered you seem a little out of breath. I admitted I was but I had just put the goats up because I let them out this morning. Really he said, and he sounded very surprised, he asked how that went. Now I could have told him the truth, but something about the tone of his voice lead me to believe he was surprised I could handle it.
So I just simply replied, it was a piece of cake.
There are days I love being a farmer's wife and well others I want to run away! One of our female Nubian goats has been ill for several weeks, and nothing we are doing just seems to help. Ruby's whole face swells up until she looks like a Ewok from Star Wars!!!
Now mind you I don't mind giving the shots, giving oral medications but catching the goat is a whole other ball game, and it's really not a ball game its a wrestling match. Ruby is not one of those goats that likes for you to touch her so it's on as soon as we enter the pen. Tim tells me to go around the other side of the barn and he will get on the other and he wants me to scare her to him.
I will catch her no problem, I think it sounds easy enough.
Well after eight tries that just doesn't work so my sweet husband decides to try one more time but now he runs several of the other goats in with her, well he then decides it would be a great ideal to just tackle her with the other goats standing next to her too.
He goes for it, she runs as well as the other goats with him holding on to Ruby right into me. Those of you that live out around here know it has also been raining.
Tim caught her held her while I gave her a shot and the oral medications all the while saying I am sorry.
When the goats and Tim ran toward me I turned to get out of the way but was to late, I slid down into mud and I don't even want to think about what else, but the trouper I am I got up covered head to toe in mud gave the medications and headed for the house, and no I didn't speak to Tim for a while not because I fell but because he asked to borrow the towel I had in my jacket pocket because he got a little something on his hands.....
Being a Farmer's Wife brings extremely happy days and sad. One of our sad days came recently when our beloved Lilly a dachshund died from cancer, she was 14 years old.
My story with Lilly begins 14 years ago one of my patient's from the clinic where I worked was selling her dachshund puppies. Well one thing lead to another and Lilly came to live with us at 6 weeks old. At the time both of my daughter's were expecting my first grandchildren, Lucus was born in September and Alivia came in October. Lilly and the babies were raised with one another.
One day as we were going to the store Lucus was crying like he did in those days sometimes non-stop until he went to sleep or we finally just got in the car and drove around for hours. My daughter Jennifer decided to put Lilly in the car seat with him. He was still crying for about a mile then there was silence except for a sucking sound. Jennifer said to me Finally, wow he really likes his pacifier. We both laughed as Jennifer looked back at him. Jennifer in what seemed like a calm voice asked me to pull over and look. I could see something in her eyes, it looked like disgust, fear, or shock I really couldn't tell. Well I pulled over and looked, there with my experienced mother's eyes saw that Lucus was asleep while holding onto Lilly's ear and sucking it!
I laughed and laughed about that all that day and to this day we still tell that story!
Lilly was many things to all of us and she has shared in our lives from grandbabies, furbabies, weddings and the death of a grandbaby who she mourned right along with us.
Everyone loved Lilly and Lilly truly loved everyone and every animal on the farm. All the animals knew she was grandma and she was in charge.
Those of you that have or had animals that have passed know the sadness we feel. She will be missed, and loved everyday. There will never be another Lilly......there just won't.
The Farmer’s Wife
Wasp & Men
Being a Farmer’s wife I hold many jobs a chef, housekeeper, and nurse. Tim and I no longer have children living at home but we are not empty nesters. Between the dogs inside and out, the goats, cats and Tim I have a number of children to take care of. Now I am not saying that Tim is a child however sometimes a little curious, void of fear child comes out in him.
At these times I have to act quickly to stop the action before it occurs or fix the injuries that happen after.
One afternoon I was enjoying having everything done the curtains were open and I loved the sunshine as its warmth came in through the windows. I was wondering where Tim was I had his tea ready and he told me he would be in shortly. A movement caught my eye from our den window I got up and went and looked out. I discovered to my horror Tim on a ladder with a can of raid spraying at a huge yellow jacket nest near the roof of our house. He would spray and jump from the ladder and run swatting at the wasps that were chasing him, on his face a huge smile. He ran toward the ladder again and had almost made it when I yelled his name, my foot tapping loudly on the porch.
“I am alright he promised, they are all gone, I just want to get the nest down so they don’t come back. I should have told you, I was going to,” he said looking at his hat he held in his hands.
“Get it down and come in, I have your tea ready,” I said raising my eyebrow at him as I turned to go inside.
I sat there thinking how Tim is allergic to stings of any kind, his throat swells and there he was doing such a thing.
I started shaking my head mad at myself I should have known he was being too quiet outside, I raised three children. I just should have known.
There are days on the farm when everything just falls into a slow steady pace. Other days you are at a dead run and still you can’t seem to ever catch up then before you ever get started its getting dark and the day is over. Not that you are not glad it’s over but you just don’t feel like you accomplished anything. There are also days on the farm when I don’t encounter what I like to call the farm critters. Then on the other days…
I grabbed the goat’s feeding bucket and headed out to the shed my first stop on my feeding extravaganza was the dogs, which I call my boys. I put down the bucket, opened the dog food container grabbed the plastic cup and filled it to the top, as I was walking to the pen I was admiring what a beautiful day it was going to be. I let my boys out and poured their breakfast into their bowls and handed out loving pats as well. They ate as if I never feed them, occasionally looking up at me with smiles on their faces, I turned making my way back to the shed but looked back one last time to see if my boys were following me. When I did this I walked right into a spider web that was coming down from the trees. I started walking faster trying to brush the webs from myself.
If someone had been watching this they would have thought I had gone crazy hitting myself with my hat and running around in circles. Then I just suddenly stopped and a thought came to me, could there possible be a spider on my back? Where I can’t see or feel it, could it have possible hung on during my fear seizure dance? I finally talked myself down that no there was no spider and continued on my way.
I grabbed up the goat bucket and made my way to the other shed that housed all the goat feed. I was feeling better about things as I scooped the feed into the bucket. I turned to push the door open and something caught my eye, there on the door was a tree lizard not a small gecko, a large lizard lying on top of the door that I had just come through. My first thought was….well we will just forget about that but my second was what if when I had open the door, that had fallen on me? I just couldn’t go there with my thoughts now I already wanted to throw up and I had to figure out how I was going to get out of the shed. I did consider staying all day if it took, but my phone was in the house and if I didn’t answer after so long Tim would come and check on me. I just couldn’t let that happen first I would never live that down and my pride would not let me, my fear would, but not my pride. I looked around the shed and discovered a long handled broom and smiled this just might work, I would just push him off of the door! He would fall on the outside allowing me to escape! I held the broom out in front of me, steady as a knight would hold his sword….Who am I trying to kid I was shaking like a washing machine and screaming at the same time. My precious boys who thought I was in trouble and needed help kept jumping on the outside of the door causing the lizard to venture towards my out reached broom as a possible escape route. I yelled at the boys to stop their barking feel silent and the lizard was watching them waiting for their next move. This was it my only chance I was going to get, I pushed the broom up against the lizard seeing him struggle I pushed with all my might and out he went into the yard with the broom and me standing in the doorway screaming as I watched him run off under one of Tim’s trailers. I did it!
I smiled the whole way down to the goat pen, proud after 30 minutes of captivity I was free and it felt great. I fed all the goats even spending some extra time loving on them. As my boys and I were headed for the gate, I heard running sounds thinking it was the boys I turned to tease them about racing me. To my horror the goats were racing towards me I looked to see why and realized in my blissful state I had left the gate open. Well I just started running barely beating them there.
Walking up to the house I was exhausted, the boys and I sat on the porch steps trying to catch our breaths. I took off my hat to fan myself with and there on the hat was the spider, I had no energy left for the first time in my entire life I just flicked the spider off.
I got up and proceed into the house for I had exceeded my bravery for the day maybe even the month and I needed a drink, I had been thinking of having a cup of tea, now I am not sure that would do the trick.