Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Notes To Self

Sometimes, getting used to living in an entirely different world, there are certain things that are REALLY important to remember.  Here are a few of mine.

Before you stab that pitchfork into the ground, be sure your foot isn't under your target stab zone.

If you've stabbed yourself in the foot before, wearing flipflops to fork hay for the horses PROBABLY isn't a good idea. 

Wearing flipflops around hay WILL make your feet itch.  The itch will travel at will around your body, making you think you're infested with ticks at random inopportune moments.  While your gyrations and facial expressions may be entertaining to your family, they aren't fun for you.

Wearing ankle bracelets (or toe rings) in the chicken coop is a very bad idea, unless you want to get hurt.

Always carry a shovel in your vehicle.  Even if it's not winter (and you get yourself stuck in a drift), a shovel comes in very handy.  If you're not digging something, you can clong someone over the head with it.

Whenever you're running late, count on the fact that every single animal you own will need both feed and water refilled right then.  So what if you just filled the big waterer or forked extra hay?  By the time you're ready to leave, they'll need more.  Hopefully yours are closer together than mine. 

When you keep a chicken brooder in your mud room, every last thing in said room is going to be coated with feather dust.  Including the cobwebs you keep meaning to clean out.  At least now you might remember to clean them up.

If your windshield is dirty, count on being out of washer fluid.  Stockpile that stuff.  (My truck is now a lovely two-tone shaded from limestone-powder-white on the bottom to maroon on top.  I just can't bring myself to spend the time or money to wash it, since I know it'll look just the same in about 2 days.  The bird and bug splats on my windshield, however, bother me.)

News Flash:  I've had 100 watt incandescent bulbs last much longer than those new twirly things that are supposed to save so much energy and last longer.  Besides, I don't have to call HazMat when I break one of the old ones.  Incandescents are also good for providing gentle heat to growing or sick animals. 

Weeds can be your friends.  Sometimes.  The chickens love to eat them.  It's a crying shame that they grow faster than they can be eaten and that so many of them are poison hemlock.

There is no such thing as too many tomatoes.  (If you need ideas, I'll be happy to supply you.  If you're in my area and giving them away, I'll take all of them, red or green.)

Swiss Chard is a terrific substitute for lettuce or Bok Choi.

Those tappings and scrapings you hear are not intruders.  You do not have to load your pistol.  They're June Bugs.  Stop jumping every time.
Fresh eggs are IMPORTANT.  Feel sorry for all of those people who have never had really fresh ones and had to eat the ones they bought at the supermarket.

Look out when anyone mows your ditch.  After all, the rock you found embedded in your barn (narrowly missing your chickens and horses) wouldn't look as cool if it was embedded in your head.

Go fishing.  Go fishing.  Go fishing.  Walleye season might not be over yet.  (special note:  get license first.)

You now have enough animals.  Stop already.  2 dogs, 3 house cats, 4 barn cats (one has 3 kittens), 10 adult chickens, 14 immature chickens, 8 more chicks on the way, 17 meat chickens, plus 2 rabbits . . .just stop there.  At least until next year.  THEN you can get ducks.  And meat rabbits.  And maybe some of those Sebastopol geese.  We're not going to count the guineas.

Your kids are old enough to do chores.  Start them.  Especially since you don't have a dishwasher.

Get your family to visit more.  Get Cousin Pat up on his bike (and organize a Siemens cousin reunion).  Get Cousin Al (and of course, Cousin Vickie--maybe even Jon and Cody!) to come down and fish--and teach you more Lakota.  Talk to your other cousins that you haven't seen in years.  Remember how important family is.  Mitakuye Oyasin.

The farm & art market will go FINE.  RELAX AND BREATHE.  This ain't no lemonade stand.  It's better.

Pick up the dog poos.  You know you're tired of stepping around the one that's on the way to the coop.

Get bigger waterers for the chickens.  Summer is coming and you really don't want to tote water that often, do you? 

At least you got that weather radio.  Finally, you listened.  Now if you were just smart enough to get it to broadcast an alarm without having to run the dang thing all the time, you'd be onto something.

Remember to do something extra special for your neighbors.  Remember that party you talked about last year?  DO IT.

Make the calls you're supposed to make.  You're wasting time.

Folks, these mostly pertain to me.  I hope you find some of them funny or helpful.  This is my "to do" list . . .in addition to daily chores, watching the kids, doing dishes, doing laundry, making meals, keeping the house in a relative state of non-filth, and fulfilling my writing obligations.  There are days when I literally don't know where to start.  Everything needs doing, and it needs doing NOW.  There are days when I feel so discombobulated that I can barely figure out what leg to put in my pants first.  Hopefully you never have that feeling.  If you do, you know what a daunting task it is to make a "do" list. 

I hope that everyone can find at least a little humor in every situation--laughter (no matter how short or quiet) truly IS the best medicine.  I'd love to hear your "to do" lists too!

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