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September 7, 2019: Stewardship: Switching Gears

It was on Pete’s list of things to do – work on goat shed. We agreed this was an important project bordering on urgent (see Steven Covey’s book The Seven Effective Habits of Highly Effective People). I tend to think in two dimensions rather than three – this goes hand in hand with limited depth perception, so it is very difficult for me to envision what he’s talking about when he begins telling me about a given project. So I go on blind faith, hoping that what he has in mind will meet my lowly expectations. I wasn’t worried. He’s always gotten it right, and this time was no exception.

Last night I stood with him next to the now partially built goat shed addition – and all

The goat shed gets an addition
The goat shed gets an addition

the sudden I understood what he was getting at. The addition that he’s working on, which is the area in front of the existent shed – is going to be the milking parlor. This, I said, “is just right.” This is because the cleaner milking area is going to be separate from the messier goat shed area, a necessity because otherwise the milk might be contaminated.

I worked in the morning, on dispatches, mainly. And I studied for my upcoming EMT class. Then I went out and gave Pete a hand. I pulled nails out of the board and batten that Pete had removed from the shed walls. This was a task that I was supposed to do this week, but I didn’t get around to it. As I worked, I watched to see what Pete was doing. He dug a foundation, put in joists, and constructed a plywood deck. All seemed to me to be very simple but in actuality it is very complicated.

I finished pulling nails and then looked around for something else to do. I knew from experience that I would not be able to join in and give Pete an assist. It works best for us if there is a clearly defined distribution of duties because otherwise, we work at cross-purposes. It was then that I had one of my rare three dimensional insights. The area behind our cabin – the pallet compost stations were in a state of disrepair. I hadn’t used them in years. Ahaa, I could pull them out and turn the area into a baby goat enclosure. It would also double as an eating area for Stormy. I had for some time been wondering how I might feed her separately from Ranger. This was the ideal solution.

Pete agreed with me that this was a good idea, so I then threw myself at the mercy of this project. I cleared the area in front of the pallets of weeds and then began disassembling the pallets stations themselves. One held rubbish, another, held weeds, and a third held compost.

I hauled the rubbish to the storage shed, grabbed some 5 gallon buckets from in front of the horse enclosure, and began filling them with compost. The compost is excellent – I had, several years ago, turned it, and it had sat and aged. Pete is going to spread it under the raspberry plants. As I later told him, making use of this, our home-grown compost, is good stewardship. It was 7:30 p.m. Quitting time.

Today I’ll resume work on my portion of what I’m calling the Upper Quadrant Project – starting by tying up and storing the chicken wire. Then I’ll finish taking apart the pallets. Then I’ll use them in constructing the enclosure. I obviously have a full day’s work ahead of me.

Next: 9/8/19: 248. Cardiac Arrest

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