The January thaw that usually only lasts for a couple days has lasted for a few weeks this year and we have been taking full advantage of the warm weekends. It has been a great time to get everyone’s pens deep cleaned before we plummet back into sub-zero temperatures. It was pretty exciting to have a blister on my hand mid-winter that wasn’t from a woodstove. That’s some good work! This Sunday was no exception.
Once the kids were down for their afternoon naps Mike and I headed to the barn. I was busy cleaning in the cow pen; we are going to have some great compost this year! I was happily running my pitch fork getting things all pretty for the herd while Mike was busy in the goat pen. I had the bigger area but he had the bigger job I would say. The ducks are doing quite well in the goat pen and not making nearly the water mess they could. They are however making themselves known. Mike spent a portion of time chipping the little ice rink out from around the mini stock tank. He then removed the tank and shoved Stinky Hank back into his own pen. His time with Scarlet was up. With any luck there will be some kids coming late spring! With everyone separated accordingly we were able to install the insulated tank my dad made. Talk about nice! Those are some spoiled goats!
I had the cow pen cleaned just as Mike was ready to start wheel barrowing out the goat pen cleanings. It was the same time that the cows remembered there was a fresh bag of alfalfa cubes in the barn and if they all line up to the rail there’s a good chance of getting a treat or two (or five if the Little Miss is feeding). This isn’t a big deal but to get to the winter heap we have to go through the cow pen. For the most part this is done without a second thought. The eager faces were quickly disappointed when the realized I was not going to be handing out and treats, but they were not moving. G.W. (the bull) has watched me take Sweet Caroline out of the pen a few times through that gate and he’s been pretty sure that that’s where he wants to head. Smart cow, he knows where the good stuff is kept.
I opened the gate for Mike so he could wheel out the load and he instantly hit a needy roadblock. G.W. was not moving. He wanted his alfalfa cube and his head scratched. I went in and tried to get him out of the way which didn’t go as planned. Mike backed out and G.W. pinned me to the gate with his neck, insisting he get some attention one way or another. I was able to squirm my way out and give him a quick shove so I could close the gate.
Plan B. We took a few flakes of hay and tossed them on the far side of the corral. That kept everyone busy for the rest of the afternoon so we could continue uninterrupted.
As we were getting close to done the neighbor stopped by. We were visiting in the barn leaning on pitch forks and fence rails, “I s’pose, I should go in and check on the baby” I said. We looked out the barn door to the house and there was the little boy, dressed in all his winter gear, shuffling out to the barn. That’s all fine, it’s not the first time he’s came out after his nap. I always leave him a note so when he wakes up he knows where to find me if I won’t be in the house. The big surprise was a few yards behind him.
“How the hell did she get out of her crib?!” I said as we all watched in disbelief.
“Hi buddy. How did (Little Miss) get out of her bed?”
“She just climbed over and thump! She landed on her butt.”
Well alright then. They both made it down the stairs, read the note, got their outside clothes on and headed for the barn!
I was off to the house to get the baby and the little boy was asking for a four-wheeler ride to go play at the neighbors in no time. Mike came in to get the Little Miss clean pants and then they were going to head over for a bit too.
That’s when it hit us… The little boy sleeps in his underwear. He doesn’t usually get dressed unless told to (weather doesn’t matter). He was on his way to the neighbors in his snow pants.
“Do you think he put clothes on before coming outside?”
“I hope so but no.”
Mike grabbed him a set of clothes and headed to the neighbors with the Little Miss.
Welcome to life on our farm where there is never a dull moment!
*He did have shorts on. Thank goodness. The Little Miss graduated to a toddler bed that night to reduce the risk of injury.