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August 28, 2014: A (Slight) Change in Routine

Pete’s sabbatical has now come to a screeching, and very abrupt halt. He’s back teaching again, back doing the same old same old. This is not really a grind; rather, it’s a groan. His is not a bad job, after 11 years of teaching pretty much the same classes, he has what he has to do down to a science. He teaches on Wednesdays and Thursdays, four classes, two of which are public speaking. He’s been teaching the latter for so long that he’s removed all the fleas from the dogs.

Wednesdays and Thursday are long days for me because Pete doesn’t get home until near 11 p.m., and this is when the

weather’s good. Yesterday was the first day of class. It feels odd not having him around since I can now only confer with him by phone. Plus, I must tend to the place myself.

Tending to this place includes taking care of the garden. We (me and the critters) are now in pre-harvest mode. Last night I walked around and removed some of the garden deadfall; that is, the dead cabbage leaves and errant weeds—because they harbor slugs. I did a good job of weeding early on—so the chickweed was minimal, making for less attractive slug habitat. My friend Alice didn’t have the time to weed early on, and so she has a thriving slug population. She’s a very kind person, and tosses her slugs over the garden fence. Alice has so much chickweed that this year that she’s calling her garden her chia pet area.

Tending to this place also includes taking care of all the animals. The count right now is two chickens, two goats, three dogs, and three horses. I have always liked multiples of three -- I’d like to even things up a bit, and get one more chicken and one more goat. However, more animals means more time spent caring for them, something always to consider when two becomes one on the home front.

For instance, I must now exercise the horses by myself. This would be fine; the problem is that I am not as adept at ponying Hrimmi as Pete is. Add to this, it’s now hunting season. I can’t risk having Hrimmi get away in the woods because to an untrained eye (and there are many, many untrained eyes) she resembles a moose. Yep, there are numerous pinto moose out there, though the ones with bushy red manes are a bit fewer in number. No matter, the hunters, like the gunfighters of old, go by the adage “I shoot to kill, and I always will.”

What to do? Yesterday I took Hrimmi and Tinni for a leisurely jaunt around the loop, well knowing that this wasn’t going to suffice. In fact, when we came to the upper road trailhead, Hrimmi stopped and pulled me in the direction of the trail. I considered our walking it, but then decided against it. But what I did worked time-wise, because I was also able to get the dogs and Raudi out on the trail. The dogs (fortunately) stuck really close, Rainbow staying behind, and Ryder staying out front. And the dogs came right to me at the ride’s end, when we arrived at the trailhead.

So we are all quickly adjusting to our new routine. I’m going (today) to take Raudi and Hrimmi out for a road ride. Then I’ll next take Tinni and the dogs out. This will then leave me with enough time to do my inside stuff, hanging up clean clothes included.

The sun is now setting much earlier – around 10 p.m., which is something else to take into consideration as we head in the direction of winter.

Next: 233. 8/29/14: Trail Tales