Yesterday was colder than ever and the wind was blowing fiercely scoring the skin off my face and the water out of my own eyes. So cold that if you are doing the dishes and your hands are a little wet, and you pop outside for a piece of wood for the stove and then on your way back in you grab the metal handle on the kitchen door and.. shiver with horror… that hated feeling as your skin sticks to the metal, dragging it back off, leaving layers behind, epidermis breeched, teeth flinching, skin quivering .. that cold.
But look what greeted me in the barn yesterday afternoon.
Mama was finally up, all day we had been working on getting up, I would push her and pull her and force her to stand and walk about, giving her drinks of her tonic in between and here she was up by herself and whats more, she came over and ate out of a bucket – all by herself. So the force feeding period has ended. Now that she can move about I cannot sit down on the ground beside her to feed her those fluids anyway. She does not have to endure my mad tonic anymore, now that she can feed herself. Magic. Was that you? Because this old girl was staring right at deaths door. Dawn meant nothing to her for a while. Something brought her back. Big old sheep.
Sheila looking into the barn, looking for a scratch. The hoses are frozen so all the animal’s water is carried by hand in buckets. Two cows, four sheep, three pigs, a myriad of chickens and fowl and a ram. Our numbers are becoming more manageable for the winter but that is still a lot of water to be carried. This is water out of the tap, steaming in the frigid air.
We are still way below freezing, many of the animals and birds have heated bowls but there is no electricity in the fields, so I fill those bowls only as much as the animal will drink, three or four times a day. Mainly Hairy MacLairy and Sheila and the plonkers. Of course they all have barn access, but no heated waters.
This is Queenie’s: ‘I am sure you forgot to feed me’ look. She was galloping about in the yards yesterday, terrifying me. It is all ice in there.
Today I am undertaking a special challenge. I am going to write 10,000 words of my book. Everyone has a book – in fact everyone should be writing a book. They say everyone has one good book in them but not everyone can open the gate. Actually for me the main problem is WHICH bloodybook. So today I am going to give it a good boot and woosh the words right out there.
My bigger problem is that I type slower than I think. Much slower. And like you I think in words and conversations so there is a lot that can be written in a day. This was not my idea. It is the brainchild of Milli who I found through Charlotte Rains Dixon. I have not done this before, preferring the solitary bashing at the keys. I think am to pop into the site during the day and make a report, which will hold my cold pale feet to the fire! But we will see what happens. It might be fun!
Our John said, so can I take you out to dinner for your birthday then? Sure, I said,from the barn loft. Close your eyes!. Throwing a bale of hay down to him. (Dust you see.) It bounced about a bit on the floor. He pulled out his knife to cut the stings, the bale singing apart like a leafy accordion. Daisy unhinged her concertina neck and reached over the gate for an appetiser. But aren’t you writing ten thousand words? He said. Daisy stop that! Well, I said, gently moving Tui and Pania aside so I could reach past the hay to the straw for Mama’s clean bed.
Let’s just do both. I will get up early. The promise of dressing up and dinner OUT, should facilitate 10,000 words. Though I need to allow some time to do something about my Phyllis Diller hair. Silence from below. Wise man.
What about your .. um.. bottom? He ventured, throwing hay into the cow’s manger, the sheep squawking for their share. Wait Minty. Oh, I will be fine, I said. Climbing carefully back down the ladder; I will just perch. Maybe I can ask them for an old wooden chair with a broken seat. It works for me so far.
Have a lovely day.
your friend, celi.