Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How to run in place at 70 m.p.h.

Today was one of those days.  The list of things to do is getting longer and longer.  This morning, I started the day by updating my task log.  There is something satisfying about listing everything that needs doing and providing a little box after each entry, where I can place a bold check mark when a task is completed.

The list is exorbitantly long, but it all needs doing.  First I prioritize by importance, A through D.  Then I number the A's, B's, C's and D's and let Excel tell me what I am going to be doing today.

Okay, got that done, then remembered that I needed to schedule getting some hay delivered for the cows.  What I thought would be a 15 minute phone call turned into three calls, totaling nearly two hours.  But it had to be done - cows have to eat.  Then I turned back to my list to see what I should be doing first.  I glanced out the window and saw one of the yearling heifers in my garden.  Dolly was munching on my lettuce.  Smarty Pants and Lucky, the other two heifers, were in the walkway, not in the paddock with the other animals.  What happened?

I got Dolly back into the pasture, albeit not the right one, but at least she wasn't eating the lettuce anymore.  I went to the barn for the fence checker.  No electricity in the fence.  I followed the arrows on the checker.  It is a dandy little device that shows me the direction of the fault.  It is a real time saver, but still, I have a lot of fencing.  I followed the arrows, climbing over fences and going from paddock to paddock.  At last!  There was a tree down on the fence in Paddock #5.  We've had quite a bit of wind in the past few days and it took out a good sized tree.  The tree had knocked down the fence, which was lying against a metal pole.  An electric fence on grounded metal meant the whole fence was shorted out.  Source of problem revealed, but not solved.  The tree was obviously not rotten - far too heavy to pull off the fence - and I couldn't find my chain saw.  The deer hunters cleaned out the barn so that they had a clear path to get the tractor out of the barn to mow paths in the woods.  While I appreciate their efforts, if a piece of equipment isn't where I last left it, I am totally helpless at finding it.

I will not bore with details.  Two hours later, fence was fixed.  Heifers were inside fencing again.  By then it was time to start picking for deliveries of vegetables tonight to the Purple Porch CSA.  And of course I had to get out to the barn to give Rosie shot number 3.  At least that went smoothly.

I accomplished very little today.  My legs are sore from running after heifers.  There are only three check marks on my list.  My kitchen looks like a tornado went through it.  I am far too exhausted to be witty or clever tonight. 

On a positive note, there are 15 chickens, three calves, three heifers inside the fence and one small white cat, all accounted for.  Peace.

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