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October 12, 2012: Columbus Day for Real

I wonder why this year we celebrated Columbus Day on a Monday instead of a Friday. Maybe Fridays are in and of a cause for celebration.

It’s gradually getting colder. The ground is finally freezing up. This morning, there was a thin layer of ice on the trail puddles and a thick layer of ice in the water buckets. This was a reminder that it’s time to take care of small things. The weekend list includes draining the water tanks, spinning out the honey, putting the new compost facility gate in place, and picking up another load of hay.

Hrimmi often lags behind to eat grass

This year there will be no last minute push in which we hurry to finish some monumental project that we ought to have finished long before but did not because we were distracted by other things. The big projects are now done. The new hay shed, the run-in shed, and compost facility are complete. And the high tunnel plastic has been stretched, making it impervious to the ongoing effects of wind, rain, snow, and sleet. I walked around our place today and realized that I feel smug. Feeling smug is far better than feeling anxious, which has up until this point in time been the case.

This freeze signaled a change in routine for me. I’m going back to writing in the mornings and working with the horses in the afternoon. I tried something different today – walking the dogs and then pen cleaning after breakfast. This didn’t work. I have to go directly to the computer after breakfast; otherwise, outdoor things take precedence. Best that I get up, pen clean, eat, and then head upstairs. I’ll walk the dogs later in the day.

I have a few writing projects in mind. One is my TTeam Practitioner Report. I’m thinking about making them book-like, and titling them “From Aristotle to Xenophon: Ten Case Studies.” A rhetorical theorist will provide the theoretical framework for each overview.

I got this idea this morning as I was working with Hrimmi. She just wasn’t getting what leading was all about. She used to follow Signy, but then the Dairy Queen closed its doors for the season. So, she decided, it was best to hang out by the hitching post, and eat the hay dregs. I could not get her to move, even when I did the dance of the sugar plum fairy. Today, I figured out what to do in steps –I chunked up rather than down, which is usually the case. This is what I did:

I first put a body wrap on my little friend. Then I picked up my wand, slipped my clicker on my wrist, and put my treat bucket around my waist. I next “invited” Hrimmi to walk forward, bending over slightly, and moving the wand outward. When she took a step, I then gave her a handful of hay. Hrimmi, smart girl that she is, very quickly figured out that she’d get to eat if when asked, she moved forward. I could see the light of recognition going off – this was an ahh haa moment that Aristotle referred to as a click of recognition. Later, after our walk, I took her over to the trailer, and acquainted her with it. She ate out the back. Tomorrow I may again do the same thing.

So this, working on the case studies, inside, winter work. Worthy work.

Next: 307. 10/13/12: A Bad Hay Day