Yesterday morning I was out the door very early again to deliver a hog and as I sat on the steps, two dogs behind me, five cats behind them, to put on my “going off the property boots” I heard the sleepy good morning grunt of a very mature pig in the garden by the verandah. This was of some concern. Pigs should not be in the garden at the bottom of the steps in the early pre-dawn morning. “Excellent.” I said to the cats. I never wear my home boots off the farm as part of my own self-imposed biosecurity measures. The soles of your shoes/boots carry lots of nasties and when I go to the feed store or the abbatoir (the only two places I seem to go lately) my shoes exchange organisms with other farmers. Home boots are my NZ gumboots for my home fields and they never leave my property. Away boots are my ‘good’ work boots, they have laces and never go onto my own fields just the drive and the truck. So I sat down on the step to lace up my Away boots and came eye to eye with Molly the big baggy boobed sow, who was also sitting – at the bottom of the steps – yawning.
Literally yawning she lumbered up from her prone position under the hydrangeas to sitting then to a noisy stand on the path.
She had escaped sometime in the night and now she was complaining that her babies were all alone in the barn and she could not open the gate to get back in and I was out of chicken feed.
Once my laces were tied, I stood up and she led me and the dogs and the cats back to said gate – I opened it, she shuffled in, had a nice big drink then went in to check on the babies. I shut the gate and her garden gate until I could get home to sort her out.
She is in heat and when a sow is in heat anything can happen.
I delivered the hog to the abbatoir in the trailer and when I arrived there is the glistening dawn; the trailer had a flat tyre. I discovered it was going down as I travelled but a stock trailer had two tyres on either side of the trailer and the trailer is centred above these double sets of tyres so it can ride on three wheels in a pinch which I decided to do. I had an animal to deliver.
But this drive is an hour each way and I elected not to drive BACK on three tires. So I unhitched the empty trailer in an empty lot and drove back to the farm, changed to my gumboots, reconfigured Molly’s fence so she could get out to her garden but not OUT Out. I fed the cows and pigs and chickens, cleaned out the calves barn pen, milked the cows, then collected a really big, really heavy jack and tools and a tall young man, changed to my Away boots and back we went to change the tire.
I can’t tell you how grateful I was, both for the tall young man and the serviceable spare tire. One never knows. Finally we got the trailer back to the family workshop on the other farm and Our John will grumble his way over there after work tomorrow, fix the tire, then bring the trailer back and I will load it up again with hogs for another delivery on Wednesday.
The big machines have come and are taking down the wall of corn that surrounds me.
It is a little bit of a culture shock when the walls come down but a good one.
I hope you have a lovely day.
WEATHER: Some sun to begin then clouds again.
Tuesday 11/14 0% / 0 in
Sunny this morning then becoming cloudy during the afternoon. High near 50F/10C. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph.
Tuesday Night 11/14 90% / 0.1 in
Cloudy with occasional rain late. Thunder possible. Low 43F/6C. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 90%.
6:39 am 4:34 pm
Waning Crescent, 15% visible 2:37 am 3:01 pm
PS. This week will be a bit raggedy re: posts. I do another hog run early Wednesday morning, then up to Chicago that evening with Jake to meet some people, then on Friday I fly out to California to pick up the Family Matriarch who needs her Handmaiden to escort her back home. I will be back Sunday in time to load another hog who is sold then Monday morning another early morning delivery.
Then next week two sets of guests.
And I have run out of work pants and socks. I desperately need to do some laundry and at least clear the floors.
Yesterday evening I jogged around the farm doing chores. Which I don’t mind.
And in 32 days you and I are flying out of here to California again then New Zealand for Christmas. And a bit of a wander around my beloved home country. The pace will drop down to Travel Blog pace. Nice.
Lots ot do.