I want to share with you what my day has been like thus far; not because it’s been remarkable in it’s awfulness, but because it’s fairly average for me. The last week I’ve been feeling really unwell on top of it all, and that has contributed to the over the top terrible that has been assaulting my sanity since I woke up this morning. It also seems that with blogs like this people can get the idea that I am able to do so much and live such an “idyllic” looking existence, when the reality is much dirtier, more frustrating, much more difficult and crazy – inducing than I let on most of the time.
It is also incredibly rewarding, but you have to be willing to look for that; to search out those moments and recognize them as they come. Sometimes that can be tough to do in the moment.
This morning I woke up to the sound of thunder and pouring rain. It was pretty dark in the bedroom and I had Oona’s foot resting on my stomach and a cat curled up covering half my face. My stomach and lower back were both hurting so I slid out of bed and crept into the bathroom – and heard Oona yell for me. So much for some quiet time.
As I do every morning, I peered out the window to check on the animals out back and make sure all the dogs were inside the fence line.
There were Cini and Lucy standing chest – deep int eh muddy stream while the other dogs barked at them from behind the gate.
I trudged out into the driving rain and mud just as the UPS truck was pulling up – causing the dogs to come running full bore, splashing mud everywhere and all over me.
After getting them back where they belonged I went back in the house and noticed a smell.
A dog smell.
There on the living room rug, Gulliver had deposited some “gifts” for me. I cleaned that up and sat on the couch next to Oona, who immediately began demanding breakfast foods we didn’t have. The thing about Oona is that since allergy season began, she almost always wakes up in a foul mood. I listed her options and tried to ignore the tantrum that followed. Abruptly she announced she had to pee, and got there too late, soaking her clothes and two of my bathmats.
Neve came down soon after and I asked her to wake up Maddie and Emily so we could get our morning routine started and get to work on our school work and bring Darby in for his morning bottle.
And then I noticed the dogs out again.
I went upstairs to get actual clothes on rather than my pj’s, and came back down to find that all of my children had run outside after the dogs.
Oona was wet and muddy – in fact despite knowing she wasn’t supposed to be out in her good shoes, she had gone anyway and pretty much trashed them.
After I sent her back into the house (fighting and screaming the whole way), Emily and Neve and I managed to eventually get the dogs back through the gate. I identified numerous spots where Lucy had dug under the fence – and even one where she had bent it down by going OVER – and fixed them as best I could in the rain. I tied Lucy under a tree in the middle of the pasture as a temporary measure until I could work on getting the large kennel sections out to make a larger run to contain her but still give her plenty of room.
By the time I got out of the muddy field and back up to the house I was completely winded and beat down, but it was past Darby’s bottle – feeding time. So, I grabbed a few clean barn towels and fetched the sweet little boy and brought him into the house.
He peed on me on the way.
It took an hour to get about 18 oz of lamb milk replacer into him, and then I gave him his shot of BoSe (vitamin E & Selenium), a drench of Power Punch (concentrated nutrients) and forced a baby aspirin down his throat. Every ten minutes or so during this time Oona had begged me for a snack and shrieked whenever I said no.
Darby was looking much perkier, and since the sun had come out I put him out in the grass by the house where he wouldn’t get trampled by the goats or dogs or other sheep. I then proceeded out back to get his mama, Amelia, so she could graze with him.
Now, Amelia is a great sheep. You’d think she was a dog the way she took to a halter and leash. So why today she decided to pitch a fit and thrash around when I tried to put her halter on, I’ll never know. I do know I had a very heavy sheep stamp her hoof onto my foot several times, and it HURT.
By the time I got her out with Darby he had flopped back to his side again and I had to right him.
I was now thoroughly covered in mud and lamb pee, and it was nearing mid – afternoon.
I hadn’t eaten yet, and we hadn’t cracked our schoolbooks, either.
Neve was throwing a fit when I got inside (after stepping on goose poop on the front porch). She wanted to make an espresso. Of course I said no, and she flew into one of her trademark rages. Then she complained that it was unfair I would make her do school work on a dark and rainy day, and even worse that I was making her read “terrible books she hates” (in other words, actual literature rather than ‘Bunnicula’ for the tenth time).
Meanwhile I was finally taking in my surroundings. Despite having been cleaned a few days prior, the house was a raging disaster. It smelled of dog, and I ended up stepping in congealed Gulliver pee at least twice while trying to find paper towels.
This is a stinky corner of my kitchen right now. That box is full of wet hay, lamb poo and paper towels used to clean up both. It was supposed to have gone out with the garbage the night before, but since I hadn’t expressly stated it the requisite one thousand times, it remains here. Also notice everyone’s muddy boots thrown everywhere and the paper towels thrown down on the dog pee in the pantry room behind it.
The kitchen island. I can take blame for the syringe and BoSe bottle, but remember I had JUST used them. This is where Emily dumps the fresh chicken eggs she finds every day. Yes, we have a stack taller than Neve of empty egg cartons, and YES Emily knows where they are. But for some reason, she never, not ever, puts them away. They slowly (well, lately it’s quickly) multiply and take over the whole area until I finally get mad and put them away myself. Also notice all the other clutter that’s been left there.
The entirety of my wooden floors look pretty much like this. The darker spot in the upper left is special because I can tell it’s where Gulliver had peed during the night and it’s congealed and attracting dirt.
Another congealing pee spot. There’s at least four more of these downstairs; don’t even ask about upstairs (on the white carpeting!)
What a cleaner area of the house looks like. I keep hiding the school scissors, but Oona keeps finding them. Whenever I am distracted, she leaves a trail of scraps behind her. This is still a much cleaner area than most of the rest of the house. Upstairs is a wasteland of ruined carpeting, dirty walls, overflowing garbage cans, overflowing cat litter boxes, a mountain of dirty laundry (who am I kidding – that will always be there, no matter what I do) and the pee – soaked clothes and bathmats from Oona. My kids are destructive and efficient at it.
This is where I found myself after 3 in the afternoon. No food yet, nauseous, aching, tired, no school work done, plenty of nastiness to clean up and mutinous children. Quite honestly, this is where I usually find myself at this point in the afternoon, although generally we’ve at least gotten school done.
Now it’s thundering and darkening again and I have a tiny, sick lamb out in the grass that I’ll have to move. And soon bottle feed again. Then it will be time to make dinner.
Until then, I am going to lie on my bed, call the cat up, and cry into his fur a bit.