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Monday, April 29 2013

I had to share these pictures with you! The new babies haven't been introduced to the flock yet. When they were born one of the yearling lambs was already smushing the brown one before Other Half discovered the new arrivals. So all interaction is through the bars for a while. During the daytime I let the whole flock into the yard and lock the babies in a dog run for "day care."  Their mom comes in from time to time for "snack time" and after that they sack out in the dogloo.

Briar has been parking herself either outside the door of the dog run or inside the adjacent kennel so she can keep an eye on the little ones. They are as curious about Briar as she is about them.


I got so tickled today when I was in the pen with them and I heard someone calling my goats/sheep on the highway.  I heard a human say, "Baaaaa...."  and the goats answered.

And so did Briar.  That big dog can move fast.  Apparently two bicyclists had decided to talk to the sheep along their route. Briar raced out there and barked,

"MOVE ALONG!!!  Nothing to see here!  Move along!"

And the cyclists rolled away. Briar returned to the baby goats to touch noses. Yep. They're still okay. No one stole them while her back was turned.  Silly ol' dawg.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 05:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, April 27 2013

Correction!  One baby girl.

One baby boy.

     Once the sun came up we took a better look at everyone's anatomy and adjusted the farm log book accordingly. Both are healthy and happy. Crimson is taking great care of them. The white one is most definitely a loudmouth diva. 

I had toyed with the idea of naming them Liza Minelli and Aretha Franklin. (my favorite divas from the Snickers commercial!) but fortunately we discovered that Aretha was really a boy before the name stuck. And then we discovered that my sister's old reliable horse died yesterday just about when the babies were born, thus we named the white girl, "Bailey", to honor Danna's horse. Someone has already tentatively spoken for the little boy so I'll let her name him.

I LOVE baby goats. I love crawling around in the stall trying to take pictures of uncooperative babies and mammas who keep mugging the camera. Here is a smattering of our morning:


Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 03:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Friday, April 26 2013

Guess what Other Half found when he came home this afternoon?!!!!


Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 07:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Friday, April 26 2013

Because of time and space, we didn't breed the sheep this year, but I still bred the dairy goats because we need milk (for coffee and soap!) After months and months of wondering whether or not Baby Oscar had been able to get the job done, I finally gave up worrying whether my dairy goats were pregnant. (Yes, I could have drawn blood and run the test, but that kept getting put off too.)


Then Crimson started looking really poor. I mean REALLY poor. I got worried. She was anemic. Everyone else looked good, but she was wormy. Thus began the debate. Worm or not to worm? If I worm and she's pregnant, there could be problems. If I don't worm, it could be a moot discussion because she'd end up dead. So, I wormed. And later I wormed again.  Two weeks after that she started bagging up. Hmmmm.... Doesn't it just figure? Guess that answered the question about whether or not she was pregnant.


And since she is pregnant, it's a good bet that the Clover is pregnant too. Yes, I'm happy they are pregnant, but this richly illustrates why I hate to keep bucks or rams with my girls all the time. You never freakin' know when someone is due!!! It's impossible to juggle innoculations and worming when you never know when the girls have been bred!  That said, once this crop of babies hits the ground, Oscar's life is about to change. (take a moment for a collective sigh of sympathy for Oscar)

So now we are on Baby Watch. Yesterday Other Half installed video surveillance cameras on the property. I LOVE IT! When we put in the new barn at the ranch, we are already planning on having video surveillance on the goats and the chickens. There will be no more worries about when babies come in the middle of the night or it a raccoon is in the hen house. We will be High-Tech Rednecks!



Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:09 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, April 24 2013

While the last two weeks were chaotic here, things in the pasture just churned along happily. Little black calves are popping up everywhere and I really, really, REALLY appreciate good mamma cows.  Even Paisley The Pesky Cow stepped up to the plate this year and managed to not only deliver a healthy baby, but care for it much better this year. It was nice to just walk out to the pasture to find another set of four feet tagging along with Paisley. No worries there!

Bully once again proved why he's such an assest to the ranch. He's easy to handle and his calves could come out sideways and still be delivered with no problems. (just kiddin'! Wouldn't wanna try that!) The calves gain weight fast too. So each year when we think about replacing him with a younger bull, his calf crop hits the ground and we think again, "Maybe we should just keep Bully a little longer . . . "

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 08:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, April 23 2013

This is an excerpt from a real conversation that took place in the check-out line at Tractor Supply between Other Half and a K9 Officer from another agency. Both were off-duty and in plain clothes.

Other Half: "when are y'all working dope now?"

Friend: "Wednesdays."

Other Half: "Y'all usin' the real stuff?"

Friend: "Oh yeah! I've got marijuana, cocaine, meth, black tar herion, whatever you want!"

At this point I turned around and glanced at the line of people waiting with us. Eyes were bugging. Husband and Friend carried on, oblivious to their audience. Another check-out register opened and I walked away from both of them, pretending to be as shocked as everyone else.

Update on Oli:

Her new mommy reports that she is "undoubtedly a VERY smart dog." Apparently Oli is scamming her new roommate out of pig ears.  The roommate, Solly, was laying at New Mommy's feet, chewing a pig ear when Oli approached New Mommy for pets and kisses. When Solly saw what was going on, she left her pig ear to come put her head in New Mommy's lap too. Oli then snuck under the table and stole the pig ear. Feeling bad for Solly, New Mommy gave her another pig ear. Oli suckered Solly into leaving the pig ear to get attention from New Mommy and she stole the second pig ear too! What a clever little beast!

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 08:10 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, April 21 2013

Years ago I had the sweetest little Catahoula Leopard Dog named Frio. She wasn't much to look at: gray spots on a black body with tan points. Frio was the kind of farm dog that fought snakes and rats with the same ferocity that she protected children.

At the same time I had a beautiful Belgian Tervuren dog named Katy. She was one of the most beautiful dogs I'd ever seen. Sweet, goofy and very affectionate, she also had the heart of a killer. Katy was a high drive-low threshold dog who was very dog aggressive. For years I juggled Katy and everyone around her: people and dogs. Katy was an efficient chicken killer who actively hunted birds, waiting for her opportunity to strike. At the time I didn't have sheep or goats, but eventually Katy killed every chicken I had. Katy bullied gentle Frio every chance she got and many dog fights ensued as Katy (and Alice the Bloodhound) tag-teamed innocent Frio. And yet, I arrogantly tried to manage the dogs because I didn't think it was fair to Katy to put her down for dog aggression.

And one day I made a mistake. To make an ugly story short, Gentle Frio had to be euthanized because of her injuries. The next day Katy was euthanized for killing Frio. I lost two dogs in two days because of my arrogance. I was so concerned about doing what was right for Katy that I forgot the most important point: what about what was fair to Frio?

I still cry over that little dog.

If there was anything to be learned from Frio's lesson it was not to lose sight of the victim. Because no matter how good your intentions are, eventually you will make mistakes . . .

 . . . just like I made on Tuesday when I turned Oli out when the sheep were in the yard. Oli is the most efficient killing machine I've seen since Katy. Within two months of Oli moving onto my farm, she had already killed one sheep and injured another. Whose fault? Mine.

We juggled Oli for years and last December Oli was turned loose with the sheep again. Whose fault? Other Half's. Thankfully Briar had us covered and we skated on that one.

And last week? Whose fault? Mine.

But after Oli's adventure last week she kicked up her hunting a notch. No longer content to trot circles at the fence, Oli began to actively try to find ways over, under, or through the field fencing to get to the sheep. She could not be left unattended in the yard at all. To give Oli potty breaks I had to stand at the fence line with Briar to be sure that Oli didnt get through the fence. Even then, she would trot past and cast a look at us,

"Y'all still there? Bummer. Still there." And off she'd trot.

It was painfully apparent that we couldn't live like this anymore. Eventually we'd make a mistake and another sheep would die. Other Half wanted to put her down immediately after he heard she wouldn't call off the sheep. I argued that the incident was my fault. Oli is what she is. The fault was mine. And then I watched her continue to hunt them and I remembered Frio.

I was caught up in doing what was fair to Oli, but what about the victim?

What about Jamaica and Roanie?


What about Ma?

We'd already tried to find a home for her but no one who wanted her was qualified to handle such an efficient predator. And so I told Other Half to go ahead and put her down.

But we were both busy. Life was chaotic and we simply didn't have time this week to get to the vet's. I didn't want to do it, but I hardened my heart each time I stood in the dark at the fence line and watched her try to sneak past me. I had reached the point where I threw up my hands to God and said

 "I just can't deal with this any more! YOU handle it!"

(God apparently forgives my snarky behavior...)

Because wonder of wonders . . . I got an email from Julie. She is one of the folks I had contacted when the agency retired Oli and I was looking for a qualified home for her. At the time I had assured her that Oli was in no danger. We were happy to have Oli live with us for as long as it took to find a good 'forever' home for her. That was before Oli 'amped up' her attempts to get the sheep.

Julie wrote that she'd been thinking about Oli and was just checking on her.

So I told her about our little predator's recent activities and our decision to put her down this week. Although Julie had a 'full house' she told me she'd try to 'pull a rabbit out of a hat.'

And she did. Julie found Kym, who also has a full house, but who has a soft spot for adorable, snuggly little sheep killers who simply cannot live on farms but who are otherwise sweet little dogs. Kym runs Triumphant Tails Dog Rescue and after talking with her, I realized that she would be able to handle our little sheep killer. She agreed to keep her until she could find a qualified home for her (not on a farm!) and Oli is already fitting into Kym's home.

 It sounds like she's happy.  Couches, long walks, dog buddies, raw food (Kym said Oli LOVES the raw food diet. No surprise there!)


I'm certainly happy. I hated the idea of putting Oli down for no other crime than simply being a predator. A tiger is a tiger. One simply doesn't keep a tiger with sheep and then blame the tiger for being a tiger.

But if you don't do 'something' with the tiger, you WILL end up with a lot of dead sheep.

And Frio will always remain in the back of my mind, speaking for the victim . . .








Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:09 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Saturday, April 13 2013

The week has finally come to an end and I have a moment to breathe. The sun is shining and the temperatures are pleasant. Thus far, the sheep seem fine. Ma appears no worse for wear.

 Her tail is shorter, but she's eating well and seems to have recovered much better than me.  I now live in fear that Oli will be successful in her re-doubled efforts to get to the sheep. Any time she is loose in the yard, Briar and I stand beside the field fencing to make sure she doesn't attempt to get through. Clever little predator that she is, Oli makes regular reconnaissance passes to see if we are still on guard. Because of this she is spending more time in the house or behind bars.

Today is the first day I've let them back in the yard to graze. Everyone seemed okay until a low rumbling truck passed by. Ma visibly startled. Briar ambled over to check on her,


and then settled down in the sun, watching - while Oli ran circles in her kennel.  


Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, April 10 2013

It's been one helluva week already and it's only Wednesday. My schedule has been turned upside down because I'm in a crime scene investigation class that runs from 8 am to 4 pm. The problem is that to get there on time, I have to get up at 5 am. AND I quit drinking frappuccinos again. (But I'm weaning myself on to coffee, so it isn't as bad.)

Other Half is home, and I happily shoved ALL the care and feeding of the farm onto his shoulders. Just getting to class on time and home through rush-hour traffic is more than my feeble little, Starbucks-deprived, homicidal mind can handle.

Monday was bad. There is not enough caffeine in Texas for me to handle rush-hour traffic both coming and going.

Tuesday was better, but my entire routine was thrown off. (insert the theme music from "Jaws" here) People often ask how folks can leave their kids or dogs in cars to bake in the summer, or some other absent-minded tragedy, and I'll admit that on the surface, it's easy to judge, but here is the one common denominator in every case - their routine was upset in some way.

And that's what happened yesterday:  (more Jaws music)

I got out of class. I called Other Half. He had just left the house. He gave me this word of warning,

"Don't forget that the sheep are in the yard."

I assured him that I would remember. After all, they were in the yard on Monday, and I remembered then. (More Jaws music)

So I drove into the driveway and saw the sheep in the side yard.

"Yep! Sheep are in the yard. Don't forget that."

Stopped on the road and got the mail. Opened the gate. Briar and Ice bounced up to greet me. Ice is fine with the sheep. (i.e. too old to put forth that much effort) I pulled through and closed gate. Drove into yard, careful not to roll over Briar's toes as she escorted me in.  Got out of car. Pet Briar. Pet Ice. Gathered gear and brought it into house. Let Lily out. Dumped gear in house. Read mail. Went outside and let Dillon and Oli out. Went to water garden.

Checked hail damaged tomatoes. Turn on water hose. Note that Lily is not present. Lily is ALWAYS beside me. Briar was here. Briar was my Gardening Buddy. Hmmm....

Ohshit!Ohshit!OHSHIT! (Yes, I said it!)

Raced through breezeway to get to side of house while screaming Oli's name. (might as well have been screaming into a hurricane)  I rounded the corner to find Oli swinging Ma around by the tail. Oli is 45 pounds on a good day. Ma is probably 150 pounds. I was hysterical. I was screaming. I was cussing. I ran to them as Ma's tail CAME OFF! Oli darted out and began madly circling the sheep. The sheep and goats gathered around me and Briar as we tried to stop Oli. She was a Tasmanian Devil wildly racing around the flock, searching for a way through me and Briar. Oli was in full predator mode and I couldn't stop her. Briar couldn't catch her. Dillon, Ice, and Lily stood at the edges of the storm, completely aghast.

It seemed to go on forever, this endless frantic circling, as she waited for her opportunity. Finally she burst past me and grabbed Chuck. I was on her immediately, and she spat out Chuck who ran over Briar in her haste to get away. I dragged Oli away, still screaming like a crazy person. Oli was not in the least bit concerned. She hadn't had this much fun since 2010 when she maimed Roanie and Jamaica (who later died).

I was so angry - at myself.  Other Half asked me why I didn't just shoot Oli. Trust me, I was so mad that I wanted to, but this was 100% human error. Oli is a Predator Deluxe. She does not belong on a farm. Eventually someone will screw up and the sheep pay dearly for our mistakes. When Other Half screwed up last December we lucked out because clearly Briar was present before Oli started her attack and was able to change her mind.  But as we saw, once the missile that is Oli gets launched, there is little either of us could do to stop her before someone is seriously hurt.

So how bad was it?

Well, I don't know yet. Ma lost about 9 inches of tail. (sawed off, just like that!) Chuck had some marks, but I couldn't find punctures because she is wooly and I was on Oli pretty fast. Chuck had a lot of blood on her, but a lot of that may have been from Ma. A yearling lamb is limping but I can't catch her. (guess she isn't hurt too badly) So I got Ma and Chuck doctored up and I'll continue to shoot Ma up with penicillin to prevent infection.  Right now she seems fine, as if it were a really nasty dock job, but I worry about infection and tetanus.

This is what she should look like:


Other Half is home to watch her, and is a much better 'barn-yard veterinarian' than me, so she's in good hands. We'll just have to wait and see. (and don't forget Ma in your prayers!)

As for Oli, it is just painfully obvious that juggling a predator like Oli with farm animals is just a disaster waiting to happen, so Other Half has decided to place her. (in a home without livestock or children)

After last night, each time she is loose in the yard for a potty break, she is actively hunting the sheep, searching the yard, examining the fence, trying to figure out a way under, over, or through the barrier. I watch this, and it scares me. She's smart. She's fast. She's waiting. I'm not really angry at the dog. She is simply a dog - a wolf who appears civilized most of the time. But make no mistake, like the velociraptors of 'Jurassic Park' she is always testing the fence, waiting for her chance, waiting for us to make a mistake.

And Briar -

- watching Briar was almost heartbreaking. She was so upset. She tried to calm the sheep but they would have none of it. They decided that Briar was A DOG and they'd really had enough of dogs for the night, so I put the sheep in their pen and left Briar in the yard, where she has twice tried to attack Oli. (well no duh!) Briar holds a grudge.

And me?  I'm mad too, but mostly at myself. Other Half came home bearing an Emergency Kit. His plan was to put it in a jar with a note that read:  "In case of emergency, break glass."




Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 08:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  8 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, April 07 2013


We spent yesterday doing taxes. This involves a hurried run to the store for Turbo Tax and a frenzied hunt through truck door panels, soap baskets, and the 'catch-alls' that pass for office desks, in search of every receipt we have rat-holed away for this very day.

I know. I know. We should have a better filing system than the pizza box in the dining room, but every year it comes down to the same thing - a faded Totino's 'buy pizza by bulk' box.  And every year we talk about getting a better filing system. There is actually an old battered filing cabinet in the garage, just waiting to be put to service. But then again, we must haul it into the house, and we don't have enough room for the furniture already in this house. 

Son, Master Of Turbo Tax, offered what I thought was a most wonderful piece of advice - a filing folder in his pick-up truck! He keeps a file folder IN HIS TRUCK so that he can immediately file the receipt in its proper place immediately.  What genius!

His father then pointed out that Son's truck was stolen in February. Just sayin'. (so long truck filing system)

Each year I resolve to be better about writing things down in the farm journal so I'm not bouncing between wall calendars and day planners to figure out how many goats, sheep, and cattle had babies and how many were sold (and to whom) How much soap was made? How much did it cost EXACTLY to make it? How much was sold? How much was given away?

Can Dillon be considered a dependent? Is Lily a dependent or farm equipment? 

And what's the point of having an HSA account if every medical bill we pay from that money cannot be deducted as if it were paid from our regular checking account? This seems a bit unfair. After all, it was OUR paycheck money to begin with?

And tell me again what is the point of having health insurance if two people with decent salaries AND insurance still struggle to pay the health care bills? Our two trips to the hospital this year resulted in thousands of dollars out of our pocket and a hundred assorted bills. I swear they bill you 20 times for the same damned thing just hoping you won't remember you paid that bill already.

The major injury we treated ourselves with "at home veterinary skills used on ourselves" cost us exactly $145. (The same trip to the ER would have resulted in at least $14,000!) After our experience with the astronomical cost of health care this year, we decided to opt for the veterinarian instead of the human doctor. If we can't treat it ourselves, we may just die.  And we HAVE insurance!

(These are the things you think about when you start wading through receipts!) 

Doing taxes is always a group effort. In fact, no tax time is complete without the calls to friends: "How many sheep did I sell you? Do you remember what I charged?"

But in the end, the entire year is neatly (I use this word loosely.) bound in a folder. Receipts have been rounded up, placed in a corral (Ziploc bag) and labelled accordingly. It's always such an odd feeling to see a year of my life, condensed to one folder (and a day planner). It's also sobering to stare at the black and white of where your money went and what you got for it.

I just want to point out that Dillon's stay in the hospital cost me about $1200. He stayed approximately 18 hours and received all manner of tests and personal attention. My own stay in the ER was just about 5 hours. I also received all manner of tests. Thus far that stay has cost me many times over Dillon's bill and another bill came in last night.  OUCH!

So I ask you this: Is it too late for me to get Social Security numbers for some of these dogs and start claiming them as dependents? I'm just askin'.





Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 09:01 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Friday, April 05 2013

As you may recall, a few weeks ago we found a garden statue that reminded us of a certain dog troll.


See the resemblance?

And as you also recall, if it hadn't been $200 we would have bought it, but alas, we left it sitting on the deck of the "Garden-Center-Where-The-Pretty-People-Shop"

(But I took a picture of it so I could share it with you!)

Anyway, guess what came in the mail Wednesday?

Sue in Wyoming found this little gargoyle to guard our garden! (Thanks Sue!)

Trace the Troll doesn't quite know what to make of it . . .

but Ranger has found a kindred spirit!

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 09:36 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, April 04 2013

Dawn came way too early.  I stumbled outside at 7 AM to throw the dogs out. I glanced at the pasture and noted a large brown lump lying on the wet ground. Panic! Oh crap! Musket was down! Musket was down flat! Had he been struck by lightning?! Holy crap! Race to bedroom for clothes and glasses. Return to window. Oh.

It wasn't Musket. It was a log in the burn pile. Never mind. Glasses make a big difference. 

So I staggered back to bed to sneak a little more sleep. A couple hours later the phone rang. The neighbor had a UPS package for me. She also told me how bad the storm had been. Apparently the dogs had not been exaggerating. I put on some rubber boots and went to check out the damage.

My garden had been hit hard. The trucks were okay. Friends down the road had not been so lucky. Hail damage was the news of the day. We were lucky. The garden would survive. The animals were alive. Other Half called to check on us. He stayed on the phone with me as I did morning chores. I'm sure he dearly regretted that.

This is how the morning went:

Our Ruby cow is missing. She must have had her baby last night. Give rest of cattle cubes. Drive to back of pasture to find mother and new baby.  Baby is alive. Baby is dry. As I approach, she stands up. I dump her mom some cubes and walk over to examine her. I report to Other Half that she is a nice little heifer and proclaim that her name is now "Haily."  

Drive out of pasture and note that cows need another round bale of hay. Inform Other Half that I do not have time or energy to do this today. They will survive one more day. I do not want another rodeo of loose cattle. He assures me that the cows will not get out. I tell him that he is smoking crack. The cows WILL get out. I know this because I am tired. It is muddy. I cannot use Border Collies to get them back in because new calves make mothers mutate into Water Buffalo and it's too dangerous for the dogs. He continues to assure me that cows will not get out.  I inform him that Murphy's Law states that The Cows WILL Get Out when you have had not enough sleep, and you do not have time to deal with loose cows in the mud before work. He promises me cows will not get out. I have nagging image of Mother Cow with afterbirth still hanging out her butt. She probably would like a new bale of hay. Whatever . . .

Verbally abuse Other Half for leaving me with this mess - AGAIN!

Cuss Other Half and drive back to get another load of cubes to occupy cows. Snag up some pats of hay for wet horses. Field mouse runs out of hay that I have just picked up. Scream loudly and cuss Other Half. Hear him clarify my screams by saying "mouse" and realize that he probably has me on speaker phone so other agents can hear my rants and ravings. I am not amused.

Drive out to pasture. Continue to snarl about mice, mud, hail, broken windows, cows getting out, and him leaving me with all this responsibility while he jets out of town - again. He listens. I can hear him smile. This pisses me off.

Leave mule near pasture gate while I walk back to get tractor. 

Plan: Cattle will see mule with groceries and follow mule back to their feeder. While they are munching cubes, I will drive tractor with round bale through gate and dump it.

What Happened:  Climb on tractor. Note that seat is wet. Scream to Other Half that seat is soaked. He laughes. Accuse him of laughing. He stifles laugh. Tell him that I can no longer hear him when on tractor. Will talk to him later.

Hang up phone. Sit on wet seat and start tractor. Drive to hay. Spear round bale. Drive to pasture. Park tractor outside gate. Get in mule. Open gate and drive mule through gate. As expected, cows are ignoring mule (after all, they have already eaten once this morning!) Daisy Mae tries to bolt through gate. Run her over with the mule. She backs off. Dancing Cow does a football player move and dodges and weaves her way through the open gate. Cuss Dancing Cow. Cuss Other Half.

Race to trough as the rest of the herd is meandering toward gate. Dump cubes and call them back. They decide to follow the cubes and come to trough.  Thank God. Drive out gate and get on tractor. Drive back through gate with round bale. Dump it. Note that calves have seen Dancing Cow outside the pasture and are creeping through opened gate.

Cuss calves. Cuss Other Half.  Water Buffalo Mother Cow sees her calf exit pasture. She follows her calf.  Crap and Double Crap! Drive tractor out of pasture. Cuss cows. Cuss Other Half.

Call Other Half to scream at him while attempting to round up cattle on foot. Do my best Border Collie imitation and chase calves back toward gate. Mother cows follow calves. Slam gate. Step in water puddle. Mud and water sloshes through a hole in my rubber boot. Let loose on Other Half again. He listens patiently while I scream at the world in general.

Then he tells me that I have time to take a quick nap before work.

"A nap?!!  A NAP?!!!"

Inform him that I must wash and dry clothes so I have a clean uniform to wear to work today. There will be NO NAP today. He listens to me rave and is clearly happy to be six hours away. I challenge him to take a poll among the agents to see how many other wives would cheerfully deal with the situations he leaves for me. He is still amused.

I'm sure his co-workers think I'm insane. On the other hand, I can assure you, if their wives were dealing with 8 dogs, a broken window, 3 1/2 inches of rain in one night, mud in the house, mud in the yard, mud in the pasture, field mice in the feed bin, calving cows, hail damage in the garden, a murder report, and a murder diagram, then they too, I repeat, they TOO, might be just a tad bitchy!  I'm just sayin'. . .



Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, April 04 2013

As The Kids and The Neighbors will tell you, around here, you can easily plan floods and calving around one thing - Other Half WILL be out of town.  This is such a certainty that I'm sure the Weather Man consults Other Half's work schedule to determine when torrential rains will hit this area. (If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'!)

The rancher next door also knows this is when the calves will drop. And I will call him in a panic because labor is too long, or a calf is looking puny, or the mother hasn't passed the afterbirth, or for whatever other cow-related problem that he will climb the fence and solve for me.

So it was that despite the fact that Texas was once again in the throes of another drought, Other Half and Aja left, and guess what? The Weather Man called for Horrendous Rain & Hail. And I had 8 dogs to juggle. And I had to go to work. And a cow was about to calve . . .

So I left for work. Sure enough I caught a murder. (we say this like it was a virus) Anyway, I caught a murder. The worst of the storm held off until we were just about to load up and leave. (Thus insuring a wet run to the truck and the joy of wearing wet clothing the rest of the night.)  The storm was so bad that even while creeping along, when my suburban reached the top of a high-rise overpass, I literally felt the truck slide across the highway as it was pushed sideways by windgusts. (This, Ladies & Gentlemen, scared the crap out of me. Being pushed by the wind off the top of an overpass is NOT on my Bucket List! Just sayin'. . .)

Anyway, to speed the story up, I was frantic to get home and get my dogs out of the weather, and with Dear Friend Jeannie and her husband on the phone as my co-pilots, they safely navigated me through flooding situations and I arrived at home shortly after the worst of the storm had passed.

Even in the dark I could tell we had received a tremendous amount of rain. My garden was an island. We had received pea-sized hail but the baseball hail that smashed windows down the road had skipped us. Nevertheless, the dogs were frantic to get inside, everyone except Briar. Briar is a not a wuss. She puts on a patient face and deals with whatever the weather sends her way.

            And Lily.

Lily laughs in the face of thunder. In fact, she barks at the thunder and taunts the storm. This never fails to scare the beejeebers out of Trace, Cowboy, Ice, and Oli, who ARE scared of storms.

So I put Oli and Trace in the living room. I put Cowboy in the Muck Room which joins the bedroom. I put Ranger in a kennel in the bedroom and I went to bed with Dillon and Lily. Ice, (The Black Wolf), passed out on the bedroom floor. I think after the hailstorm, she was such an emotional wreck that she had nothing left, mentally or physically.  I went to bed at 1:30 AM. At 2:00 AM I heard a brief growl from Dillon and the bedroom exploded with breaking glass.

WTF! (pardon my French)

  "Ma bad."

It would appear that Cowboy heard the thunder roll and decided that he wanted in the bedroom. Cowboy was not taking another chance with a hailstorm. Dillon growled at him through the door, and the rest is history. A pane of glass (1 foot by 2 feet!) was all over the carpet and I was left to pick up glass for the next thirty minutes and figure out how I was going to plug the jagged hole. A cold wind was already blowing through the Muck Room and into the bedroom.

Both dogs were fine. Not a scratch on them.

I considered calling Other Half (happily sleeping in his hotel room with just one dog). I wanted to wake him up and scream at him for leaving me with this mess - by myself! AGAIN!

But I "cowgirled up" and found a metal sign and some gorilla tape. The problem was fixed enough to at least get back to bed. By then it was 3 AM. I put Cowboy in a kennel in the living room and tried to go to bed again. I was just getting snuggled back to sleep, listening to the thunder roll, when I heard a scratch at the bedroom door.


I ignored him.


I ignored him.

"Mom? Can I come sleep with you?"

The scratch was quiet, soft, pleading.

 The Troll Dog doesn't ask for much, but when he does want human attention, I try to listen to him. So I got up and opened the bedroom door. Oli shoved past Trace and rocketed into the bedroom.

(Big Bad Police Dog had decided that hail storms are NOT on her Bucket List.) Trace smiled at me and hopped in bed. Okay, whatever.

I climbed back in bed and thought of Other Half in his hotel room. One dog. Clean sheets. No storm. No mud. Lucky bastard. Then I curled up with his Labrador. My Border Collie snuggled in behind my legs. The Malinois snuggled in front of my legs. And Trace the Troll nestled himself on top of Other Half's pillow.  The thunder rolled in the distance. I thought about the hail damage and what tomorrow would bring when the sun came up - in less than 4 hours.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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