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July 13, 2012: Good Morning

Mornings remain the best part of my day. Used to be, I’d get up and eat breakfast and then sit down and write. Now I first tend to the animal chores, eat breakfast, and then sit down and write. Some days the chores go quickly, and other days, more slowly. Sometimes it’s eventful. And sometimes it’s uneventful. On days like today, I later tell Pete that “it went like clockwork.”

Today was one of those mornings that ought to have been recorded on video. There was, I knew in advance, to be a variation in the routine. But this time I was awake enough to plan ahead. A teacher of mine once said that the most

cow parsnip
Cow parsnip

important thing in life is to pay attention to the details. And, the second most important thing in life is to adhere to these details. This was in the context of writing. What he was getting at was that you’ll lose your readers if you remain unclear about a series of events. So here’s how it went:

The difference from most mornings was that I had to get the hay out of the shed before feeding. We’ve been putting bales in the trailer and doling them out from there. I usually put a few flakes in the large pen for Siggi and Raudi, and then once they’ve settled down, I move Signy and Hrimmi in with them.

Signy and Hrimmi were in the enclosure that adjoins the hay shed, so I had to modify the daily routine. This time I let Raudi and Siggi out in the yard to graze. Then I put Signy and Hrimmi in the larger enclosure. I next grabbed the drill out of the tack room and unscrewed the screws holding the plywood over the door. I then loaded the three bales onto my cart, and then put them in the trailer. After, I fed Signy (the chow hound) and Hrimmi (who is chow hound in training).

They began eating. I screwed the plywood back in place, and then cleaned the large and small enclosures. A happy customer came by yesterday with manure buckets, so I had plenty on hand. I next filled the water buckets, and finally put out extra hay for Signy and Hrimmi.

As I worked, I was able (this time around) to let my mind wander. And so I thought some about the day’s plans. I had to get hair samples from Hrimmi, for DNA testing. We need to know for registration purposes who her daddy is. We’re 99 percent sure it’s Skjor and not as we first thought, Prudur. No matter. We’re pleased with the outcome.

I also forced myself to think about the content of today’s dispatch. A trigger that I can work off of usually comes to mind. Some days, like today, nothing came to mind. This seldom concerns me, for I have learned that the best writing comes about when I allow myself to be surprised. So, I says to myself, this is the kind of writing day it’s going to be.

I also had to prepare for the day’s horseback ride. Leah, our gardening consultant, and Simone, her sister, had scheduled today to come out and ride. I wanted to go along, but we don’t have enough horses. I figured that Leah could ride Signy and Simone could ride Raudi. And Pete would ride Siggi. (Siggi isn’t fond of my riding him, so I decided to let Pete, his buddy, accompany the others.)

I should have blinking arrows pointing to this paragraph, because this is the real cool part. As I was finishing up, Rainbow appeared from seemingly out of nowhere and herded Siggi and Raudi back into the large enclosure. I praised her, gave the horses a scratch, and then removed their halters, which I put back in their rightful places. I lastly tossed more hay in a bucket, and before going in to breakfast, fed the goats.

I also remembered that I was to go over to Mariann’s later today and work with Jokla. And so, as I worked I came up with a lesson plan. I’d ground drive her, and have her walk between two people on stools, holding fun noodles. I’d pass on riding her, because my gut feeling is that she needs a bit more ground work.

It doesn’t always go this easily. On some mornings I feel like I’m putting more tangles into an already tangled ball of yarn. It’s then that horses, goats, and dogs appear where they aren’t wanted. I’ve learned to take a deep breath, step back and access the situation, then after sorting things out, think some about how I’ll do things differently the next time around.

A postscript:

Leah and Simone showed up at 11 a.m., as planned. We groomed and tacked up Raudi, Signy, and Siggi, then off the pair went, with Pete in the lead. The caravan also included Hrimmi and Jenna. Rainbow and I pulled up the rear. I released her once we got to the trail.

I had a really nice walk. I was struck by the fact that because I was not on horseback, that the brush that’s on both sides of the trail seems quite tall. Right now it seems like a green jungle. The wild geraniums are on their way out, and the fireweed is now on its way in. The cow parsnip is also flowering – it looks like Queen Anne’s Lace. The fields are just full of it. All right – I who am at odds with the stuff am now admitting that it’s quite beautiful. I wonder if we could turn it into a tourist attraction. . . .

Today was again overcast, with puffs of clouds hanging low on the distant mountains. Raudi and Siggi were tired from yesterday’s ride, so they set a slow pace. We’re now due for a run of warm, sunny weather, although I’m not holding my breath. And I don’t mind it – it sort of reminds me of being back in Ireland. Didn’t someone once say that we yearn to return to places that are ancestral? I’m in total agreement about this.

Next: 217. 07/13/12: Digging Down Deep