Missed the deadline

When Our John goes off to work in the morning at 5 am,  he brings me a small strong hot freshly ground cup of coffee. Being the romantic soul that I am the first thing I say to him before he leaves for work and won’t be seen again for a good 12 hours,  is “What’s the weather like?”

“We’re in for a bit of wind” he said “Gusting up to 50 mph. Warm though.”

“Gale force winds” I said, grateful I was not at sea. “Don’t blow away” and fell straight back to sleep. I never go back to sleep!

I woke an hour later to a branch flying into the side of the house and the wind screaming past the window. TonTon was  looking at me through the French doors, his doggy hair blowing backwards,  saying  “Are you going to Do something? What are you Like? Are you sleeping in! Sleeping IN! The barn is blowing away, all the buckets are in the North 40, the chickens are walking sideways, you have missed your blog deadline and you are sleeping IN!!”

“Bugger.” I said and rolled out of bed.   When John’s grandfather’s tenant cut an enormous hole in the front of the barn to fit his new combine harvester many, many years ago, he  roughly hung those two enormous doors. They were and still are only fastened at the top, not the bottom.  They must be, (Oh I don’t know,)  about 16 feet tall.  You have seen them. Nothing holding them down. You can imagine what happens when it blows. Usually I have them  jammed into place with cement bricks and big hooks and lengths of timber.  An ingenious Celi system.  As I swung out of bed, pulling on whatever pants were handy  and ‘my cleanest dirty shirt over my nightie’ I remembered that I  had unhooked the doors and pushed everything open to let the spring in.  Nothing was holding the doors down, I had a 50 knot sou’west and I had slept in. I could hear the banging of them from the house.

Those 16 foot  doors were making like a kite and blowing right up and crashing down. And not a man in sight. Our John has been called back to work!   Ah well. 

And so I pulled and pushed and swore like a fisherman as I dragged those flying doors across and jimmied and heaved until I could lock them down and haul all my bricks and rocks and barriers and railway sleepers back into place. Without any brute to force with, I used the lulls in the wind. As each door fell I rushed in with the heavy stuff and jammed it back into place. The wind screaming as I slowly beat it,  I could  hear nothing but wind.

By then I was in a moody, so I decided to reorganise all the stock into pregnant and not pregnant. Like everyone I am running right to the day on feed and the pregnant girls need extra, so no wasting that extra feed on fat rams with nothing better to do but chase the girls off.  Or a steer that I will fatten on green pasture later.

Moaning Mia was determined to stay with her mother and so they are now in the central pen.  Daisy and Hairy MacLairy have set up housekeeping again in the Cow Side.  Hairy has the best fleece so I do try to keep him away from the cows  and their messes but needs must.  He cannot bully Daisy.  And the calves, including Queenie Wineti who is bullied by just about everyone, are in the Black Hole of Calcutta – which by the way opens onto the yards with the best trees, so why they all moan and carry on, when I put them in there, I do not know.

Later in the day we went to visit the Old Codger.  We talked about this and that, he likes the unit he is in, which I am very pleased about, he is well into his rehab and asked where TonTon was.   So I spoke to the staff and they said is he potty trained? I said, well yes! They said, fine, bring him in then.  As easy as that.

I told the old codger and it appears that he had already talked to the staff about His Dog. He said that the staff had told him that there was an old lady who lived there, who sat in a corner with her chin on her chest and did not move except to breathe for weeks on end.  Someone had brought in a dog a while back and she had opened her eyes into slits (he mimed this bit) put her two little fingers to her mouth ( he mimed that too) and whistled a fantastic sheep dog whistle loud enough to wake the whole place.   Scared everyone half to death including the dog – then she smiled, patted the trembling dog and went back to sleep. The Old Codger and I looked at each other. Both coveting her ability to do The Real Whistle.

All things being equal TonTon and I will be going to the Old Folks home on Friday.  Remind me to take your eyes in the camera.  We will see what we will see and you will see on Saturday.

Today is dawning cloudy but thankfully calm. No smashing doors and flying branches this morning. I am off to the barn to feed out, drag the hoses across and fill water tanks then finish my relocation stockwork. Then clear another garden.

Good morning!


88 Comments on “Missed the deadline

  1. It seems to me that you should have been better rewarded for having a lie in, but then again reading on, I was reminded that sometimes the work is the reward. At least you’ll be doing it in calmer weather today…

    • I do love my work and was appalled that i went back to sleep! It was very bad form, I slept through my writing time and then right into the farmy time.. terrible.. c

    • I still do not believe that that man cut the face off a perfectly good barn to fit a machine in there, he even cut the mezanine floor out, but we are slowly recovering it! c

  2. Morning C and all the farmy animals! Looking forward to seeing TonTon root the oldies from their chairs. He’ll have them all up, whistling and dancing within minutes, I bet. 🙂

    • As long as he does not pee on the floor in fright, he has been known to do that in the past, lets hope he has grown out of it! c

  3. I too slept in this morning. Haven’t had nearly the exciting morning you have had though. Always, always, enjoy your stories. Good morning! 🙂

  4. So this explains your absence yesterday. I worried.

    Great descriptions of you wrestling those flying barn doors. Not that I would expect anything less from an exceptional storyteller.

    Best part of this story, though, is the old lady who can sheep dog whistle. Think how happy you’re going to make her, the staff and your Old Codger when you show up with TonTon.

    • it was a funny thing describing a story as someone described it to me! I like this writing business! c

  5. Whew! You slept in and you still accomplished all that before 7:30! Cecilia, you make the rest of us look like lazy slugs! Our barn doors are just like yours, about as tall and only anchored at the top. We keep them barred and barricaded with cinder blocks against the wind. There’s a matching set of doors at the other end of the barn, which makes things interesting in high winds…So glad they’re letting TonTon in to visit the Old Codger. Those nurses do know how important animals are for the healing process.

    • I was thrilled that they are making it so easy for me to take a dog in..he will be ok once he gets used to the new smells so we will go slow on the first day! .. c

  6. Morning C, I was worrying about you. Glad you coped – I know what it’s like when there’s no brute in the force. You said to remind you: Take the camera tomorrow (Friday).
    x ViV

  7. We missed you – and there you were chasing your tail all day! Good news about TonTon, looking forward to seeing how he gets on with the Old Codger and his roomies!

    • Playing catch up is no fun, and am still doing it today! I will be extra fast today so that i can take the morning to try out the Therapy Dog! c

  8. Oh, the barn won’t blow away, TonTon! Hee, hee. I can understand his concern. When I was a kid, I thought the store was going to close for the night while we were still inside.

  9. I was a bit worried yesterday when there was no post to read with my coffee. Glad — and relieved — to hear it wasn’t any worse than it was, Celi. Especially glad to hear that the Powers will allow TonTon to visit the Folks at the Center. You friend, the Old Codger, will definitely benefit as will a number of the others, too. Common sense prevailed!

    • Isn’t it wonderful when you get such a logical answer.. and The Old Codger will achieve a little notoriety from having a dog visit too, which will be nice as he is the new boy in class! c

  10. What an evocative picture you paint of your battle with the barn doors. I’m imagining what a fisherman swears like now !
    And lovely to hear Old Codger will be getting a visit from both you and TonTon

    • Morning Claire, you never want to hear a fisherman swearing, my father used to give them the glare, then nod at my presence to shut them up when we were kids! c

  11. I was a bit worried, too…
    (early)Hmmm, where’s Celi?
    (later) Nope, not yet…
    (Still later) Oh, I wonder if Mama had her babies?
    (right before bedtime) Oh, Lordy! She’s been in a tornado, and the barn and the farm are all broken, and…and ..and…
    Just the way my silly brain works…
    Good to know it wasn’t serious, and can’t wait to see pictures from the Old Folk’s Home. Ton Ton will be a hit, for sure.

    • You are so lovely to worry, Wouldn’t it have been thrilling if indeed mama had got herself in gear and had the lambies, though the closer we get to Daisy and her milk the better just in case there is bottle feeding again! c

    • I hope he will let me get some photographs and not stay glued to my leg which is his usual response to strange places! c

  12. It’s just typical that such things happen when there’s no man around! great to hear that Ton Ton can go and visit your old codger – he’ll do him a power of good! Maybe keep him away from the whistling old lady!

  13. Phew, C – I am exhausted! I think we need a lil rest. ha. Boy, you do fit quite a bit into the day. 🙂
    You are an Angel , taking sweet TonTon to visit ….what a beautiful highlight to their day. When you leave [after your visit] I believe you your heart will be bursting with joy.


    • Morning Jess, I am so looking forward to taking him, i hope he does not get too afraid though.. the first time will be a bit scary for him.. c

    • Minus a few branches, which were dead anyway and have gone into the firewood shed!! Morning ted.. c

    • The timber in this barn is so old and some of the rotton boards are yet to be replaced so yes that was my worry! Morning Mad! c

  14. You haven’t lived until you’ve had to deal with strong winds and barn doors! (Just think, sometime in the future you may be able to offer “real life farm adventure vacations” to paying guests!) Enjoyed the dog whistler story – reserving a spot in that camera now.

  15. Yes, the wind here in Minnesota was terrible a few days ago, so I guess we sent it your way. Glad I didn’t have to fight a barn door, though! I’m glad you weren’t injured in the process.

    • Out on the plains the wind keeps up to May, though those gale force days can be pretty wild especially if i take my eye off the ball! c

  16. Glad the reason for your absence was a lie-in. I wondered yesterday when there was no email from the Kitchen Garden if something was wrong. 🙂

    • true i slept in until 6, and missed out on my writing time, the sun is rising even earlier every day so i shall have to adjust my wake up time soon!! c

  17. After you got your freshly ground coffee, I though, huh?? c’s not reading our blogs?? not leaping out of bed to feed her four legged friends (well, some two legged as well)?? What a wild and wooly day you’ve had and I could feel your heart pounding as you thrust the door shut! Now I’M going back to bed! I’m exhausted reading it all;) ps Love that she knew how to do a proper whistle!! Good on ‘er!!

      • Ahhh, top of the day to ya’! They need WordPress “live” or something so we can chat with whoever is on-line (that we follow)… that’d be cool, eh? But then I’d never get anything done around here;)

  18. My Goodness! This is the stuff of Oz!! Am very very glad that all of you are safe and sound.
    Cecilia, you simply amaze me!
    And LOVE TonTon!! Looking forward to reading about his visit. 🙂

  19. Sounds like you have your hands full Celi. I just never have had to deal with real “weather” here in sunny So. Cal and posts like these tell me that I should just stay where I am; all the time. I don’t believe I am made of the same strong thread you are and am always in awe of your obvious physical strength and mental fortitude to accomplish all that you do. I am in sales, at a desk, I do laundry and oversee teenagers. That’s about it. There is one Golden Retriever though.

    • I am small but have always been strong, and sometimes I have to use my head as well when I am without the physical weight of another person to help! c

  20. It always goes pear-shaped when you sneak a lie-in, ‘things’ know! I’m so glad that TonTon is going to be allowed to visit, I would love to whistle full stop not just sheep dog style. Please take my eyes with you on your visit! 🙂

  21. Like those before me, I was quite worried about you yesterday and kept checking back to see if you’d posted later on. Then today I couldn’t read until now, but was relieved at least to see you were still there after all those horrible storms came through. So glad it is calm again, that all is well, and that you got a little extra sleep…even if the animals weren’t happy about it! Hope you and TonTon have a great visit with the old codger tomorrow!

  22. I was wondering too about where you were yesterday – first thing in the morning with my first cuppa…. love your writings about the animals. We have pet cows/calves, chookies and 2 dogs but they seem to lead a very quiet life by comparison. I used to take one of my goldens to an aged persons home and the responses were amazing. A farmer in another life hadn’t patted (hugged) a dog for years …. a stroke victim with tears in his eyes stroking her …. even the lady who “couldn’t stand dogs – but I like a cat” was moved to some emotion even if not so favourable. Fingers crossed Ton Ton enjoys it. Joy

    • Thank you Joy and I am looking forward to taking TonTon in tomorrow, we will go early and I hope we can get some shots for you .. c

  23. It’s a wonder YOU didn’t blow away, Celi! My goodness! Those are big doors, and I’m glad you didn’t lose them in the storm. Your responsibilities with the animals are really significant, too, so storms with any strength must give you a huge adrenaline push…that and a lot of grit! You do exemplify the best of resourcefulness! Missed you yesterday. Debra

  24. You certainly had your hands full with the wind.
    I always wanted to whistle like that!
    Enjoy your outing with TonTon!

  25. Celi, I’m amazed you managed those doors! That must have taken a good strong curse word or two! I heard about that freak storm cutting across Illinois with no decent warning to anyone. Thank goodness all is well and everyone seems to have survived without trauma.

    Thank goodness the old fella is in a place that is smart enough to allow the comforting company of pets!

  26. Lol.. Just hearing TonTon speak through you was the highlight for me int his post lol. I can just see his eyes on you saying that if he could talk lol. I don’t know why but I could lol

  27. HiCeli!
    Is good to sleeping in once in a while (actually I wish I could do it more often…)
    I’m looking forward to watch the images of “our” trip to the Old Folks home 🙂

  28. Great job on the doors! Woman power!

    I can’t wait to see the new lives, soon I hope (not soon enough for you all, I’m sure!)

    Happy weekend, C!

  29. Love love love this post. I too rarely laugh out loud but did I!

  30. Oh how I know that wind, Cecilia! I’m sorry you had to deal with it! We called them Santa Ana’s in California and they used to pull down fences, trees, dump semis on the freeways and passes, and blow off roof shingles!!!
    Yup, that was a very rude awakening, and I am glad that you and the critters are all OK!
    ~ Lynda
    (PS: I think I am officially all caught up with your posts now 😉 )

  31. Celi, a true Footrot Flats post! 😉 I can just see you in the howling wind, trying to get the doors secured! You’re very brave, and seriously, you must be very strong, moving sleepers and concrete blocks is no mean feat!

  32. If all else fails, I’m gonna be one of those old ladies who can still thrust her fingers in her mouth and let out a powerful whistle!
    I can relate to the storm situation and inadequate barn doors, by the way. Good work, Ms. C! 😉

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