I always joke that I absolutely love my life, every single day of it, minus one day a month. Just one day a month, chaos seems to ensue, and I get annoyed that every animal we own thinks I’m here just to be at their every beck and call. It’s silly I know, but on that one day a month, I feel tired and overwhelmed, and I allow myself that one day to get all those negative feelings out.
The trend with the one day a month is that it usually goes hand in hand with when I’m over complicating things or I added too much to my plate. I don’t know about you, but the busier I am, the better I time manage. It’s when I’m busy but unorganized that things start falling through the cracks. We have dear friends who live out of town and come to visit us once every couple of years. Last time they were here, I just happened to have one of those days that everything seemed to go wrong. In part, it was because I was trying to entertain while doing my chores. Not their fault of course. I take full blame, but here’s how it went. Bare with me, it’s kind of a long story.
Husband feeds dogs & horses and picks the paddock in the morning before work, and I feed chickens, ducks, horses, dogs and cats, fill waters and pick the paddock in the afternoon. That’s the routine day in and day out. Our visiting friends are awesome people. She used to ride horses and he’s down to earth so they are always willing to jump right in and help out with the animals or pick veggies from the garden. They came over one afternoon to accompany me on my afternoon ritual. All was well and normal until… it wasn’t.
I take our four dogs out back with me to feed the horses a few times a week. (It’s better exercise than a dog park!) Our malamute is a Houdini, and even though our entire property is fenced in, she finds ways to escape so we try to watch her like a hawk. Well that day when I opened the back gate, she took off like a bat out of hell. Our friends and I were talking, and I thought oh well, she probably can’t get out. We had just fortified the back fence. Wrong. She was gone in a matter of minutes. They asked if we should go look for her, and I said I would after I fed everyone because it’s feeding time and I don’t mess around with changing the horses’ feeding time. While I was dropping hay, I told my friend that she could groom one of the horses if she wanted so we pulled out my draft cross mare and put her in the cross ties. Meanwhile, one of my 27 neighbors was out in their backyard with their chihuahua. (We’re surrounded by neighborhoods.) The chihuahua sees my dogs through a break in their fence and goes ballistic, causing my remaining three dogs to hurdle over limbs and brush to get to the fence. All this ruckus causes my mare to rear and sit down in the cross ties. I start yelling woah to her as I watch her start pulling back as hard as she can on the cross ties and am hoping to God my dogs can’t get to the feisty chihuahua because it would not end well for it. Complete and utter chaos. I can only imagine I looked like a compete lunatic to my friends who were watching me not knowing how to help.
Did you know the inside of cross ties look like rubber spaghetti? I didn’t. My mare pulled and pulled until she was about 100 ft from the cross tie area, and the line finally snapped. Then she took off with the line dangling from her halter. Recipe for disaster. I got the dogs and put them back in my yard as quickly as possible. I jumped in front of my wild mare to make her stop running. My phone rings. It’s my husband. Someone’s found my malamute. At this point, I seriously could have cried. I was so embarrassed at my behavior (because I had some loud, choice words for my out of control dogs and horse) and at the behavior of my usually very well behaved animals. Our guy friend said, “Come on. I have a truck we can go get her in.” Our girl friend said, “Tell me what the horses eat, and I’ll drop grain.” We pull up to where the caller said they have my dog, and there’s a cop car there. The nice Samaritan is giving my dog water while the cop glares at me. I start word vomiting, “I’m so sorry. Our whole property is fenced in. I don’t know how she gets out. She got out last week, and I searched and searched and couldn’t find her, but she came home that time…” Our guy friend helps me lift my 75 lb dog into his truck bed, and I start climbing in when I think to ask the cop, “is it legal for me to ride back here with her?” “Are you eighteen?” Am I eighteen?! Those are the only words he spoke to me the whole time. I’m rapidly approaching thirty by the way. We get to the house, and our guy friend says, “I have a feeling if she gets out again, that cop won’t hesitate to call animal control. You kind of said too much.” Par for the course when I get nervous. I start apologizing profusely to my friends. “It’s not normally like this. I’m so sorry. I’ve ruined your afternoon.” They laughed and ordered a pizza for us for dinner. You mean you don’t want to run away? That glimpse into a really bad day of my life didn’t scare you? They are true friends. I knew it before that all happened, but I definitely knew it after that tumultuous afternoon. To top the whole thing off, I forgot to check the chickens’ water that afternoon, and the poor things had to suffer the next scorching, summer’s day without water.
Some days, things just go wrong, but that one bad day a month is always out shadowed and out numbered by the days where I still have to pinch myself to make sure this life is really mine. Happy homesteading y’all. 😆<<<<