Lynne: I have been on a working vacation for the past few weeks. My grandparents had a farm and I have always held an affection for the rural life, but the thought of having a library nearby has kept me firmly within the city limits. Every now and then, however, I have the good fortune to be able to pretend I am a farmer.
The farm I pretend is mine sits on 140 acres of prairie and woods and has a large pond. I can sit on the deck and watch ducks, geese and even bald eagles go about their daily tasks. The night is so dark, I have to use my cell phone to see. There has to be a moral in there somewhere.
I have not been posting much because rural Indiana is woefully behind in its broadband coverage. Blogging is not possible on a dial-up connection. At least, I cannot do it. I begin to froth at the mouth when a page takes 30 seconds to load. It is hard to remember that the internet is really a new thing and not so long ago 3 minutes to download a page seemed a miracle. Anyway, I will be posting a few notes I have taken during my stay.
I get up in the morning and put on the clothes I wore the day before. I have found that changing clothes 3 or 4 times a day is ridiculous and wearing the dirty clothes for morning chores is the smart thing to do. I also put on rubber boots. It may feel weird to clump around in boots to your knees, but it is really necessary when you are caring for horses. Mucking out horse stalls is a good way to ruin even your oldest shoes. I have found also that I have to stop and put on socks with these boots because they will wear gurry sores on your ankles. (Captain’s Courageous by Rudyard Kipling is my information on gurry sores–the results of the chafing of oil-skins on bare flesh.) In this day and age, gurry sores are treated by antibiotics and a tetanus shot. (Has it really been 10 years since I had one? Ouch…)
I will continue my tales of the farm in more posts, but I will leave with this musing on the vagaries of chickens. If you have food in your hand they gather under your feet, if you don’t have food they are under your feet and if you are even thinking about food they are under your feet. I stepped on one this morning in my rubber boots. Luckily, the stable floor and the boots were soft and I only stepped on the chicken’s foot. I believe chicken feet are tough. At least, this one has tough feet, it squawked and didn’t budge an inch. I was giving grain to the horses. Silly chickens, they think the horses are going to let them have some.
Next time, I will muse on the the chore of watering…everything.