Thursday, March 28

I haven't been hiding, I promise!
Just been a little taken away on the tide of home.

Finally, the lambs are less time consuming and I have a few spare minutes for things such as,,, ahh relaxing, and doing whatever the heck I feel like doing. We ended our "season" with 26 lambs, and 24 are still out there running around so that's nearly a record for my survival versus death toll. I was very pleased with this year in several aspects. First of all, I only helped one ewe lamb out of 20, and I don't think I even needed to help her, but because I had an audience, I felt the need to do something besides stand there and watch.
It turned out well, so once again they were in awe of my master lamb pulling skills.

Out of those 24 living lambs, we have 3 that are sold to others, one is to our friends, and the other two are to my neice and nephew...
yeah - I know what you are thinking.... pity purchases... But don't let that fool you, we have some excellent stock (otherwise WE wouldn't show them) we just need to get more serious about marketing them. We don't have the good fortune of demand out gunning supply yet. The girls have each settled on 4 lambs a peice to take to fair, and so far I'm really confident with their choices.

Beyond that, I'm still working, for those of you who are watching the current saga that rivals Survivor in it's reality aspects.
Basically I am beginning to LOATHE my job, but it's convenient and for now I can mold it as I wish. I am very certain that there will be a time in the near future where my desire to please them will be surpassed by the desire to tell them all to take their bibles and wipe their collective butts, which will be followed by my exit.

I have a real problem with vengance. Wrong me and I will deal with you sooner or later, and you won't see me coming.
Yeah, yeah, I know what the Lord said about all that.

Maybe that's why I don't attend service, I see too many areas that I would like God to revise to apply only to me.

Last weekend was entirely too much! We took the kids and headed off to a bowling tournament. Usually only my husband and I go, but we were coerced into taking them along bu some other friends who would have kids there. I wasn't too cracked up about it, only because previously, those boring weekends were reserved for adults only. Faced with the knowledge that this would be the only "Spring Break" my kids would get, we piled them into the truck and set off for the hotel with a swimming pool.

I was agitated because we had to arrange for chores to be done at our house while we were gone, AND had to take the kids too.
I guess If I was going to have to be chasing kids around, and being the adult in charge, I would rather have stayed home. Yeah - I am a party pooper.
The weekend went quickly, and the best part of it was that the girls were entirely bored out of their minds, and decided that they NEVER EVER wanted to attend another! I think they would do nearly anything required to not be drug along again. It wasn't that horrible...they got to swim and horse around, but add to that some sloppily inebriated adults and it's your 13 year old's worst "Old Fart" weekend.

This weekend, they are staying with my husbands parents while he and I and another couple set off to Indianapolis to attend a lamb show and sale. They were glad for the reprieve.

Our goal there, is to replace our tried and true flock sire with another one of equal quality.
The reason for this, boils down to the fact that all of your animals really shouldn't be related!

We have been out scouting, and we have one in mind. Time will tell if it is within our financial reach or not. Rams are cheap if you have one you are trying to get rid of, but when you find one you really think you have to have the cost is dear. I would imagine that the one we want will go several hundred, if not thousands of dollars over what we can comfortably afford, so I don't have my heart set on anything. We have already decided our top bid in the auction, so I hope I don't have to come back and make my last post, because the bank will be here next week to auction our property.

All that, and I am anxiously waiting on another friend (wow, I have more than one! I just realized that) to deliver her baby. She is due the first week of April, in other words, any minute now. I have made my prediction to her, so I might as well put it into writing.
I think it will be a girl, and that they will name it Oscar. HA! I just thought of something, if she would have had it a week ago, Oscar would have been really appropriate. Anyway - they have some, not unusual, more unconventional names selected, and Oscar was one of them for a boy. Myself, I can't get over the whole Oscar on Sesame Street thing, but I kid her incessantly about maybe calling it Elmo, or Snuffleupagus, so she knows I'm just joshin' her (Right Beck?)

All this, from someone who gave their child one of the most over used names currently in the world for her daughter...
Hey - Mine was the first one in the nursery...but by the time I left, there were 3 Ashley's in there. I should have changed it then.

Well, I have a lot to get to before we leave tomorrow. Why is it that when I go away for a weekend, my house must be perfect before I set foot out the door, but when I am here, in the squalor I don't care?
Thats a topic for another time I'm afraid.... off to the washer and dryer for me.

Thursday, March 21

For Better or Worse

Work is a lot like a marriage.
You might not like some of the attributes of the people you are surrounded by, but you are nearly helpless to mold them into something you deem worthwhile. Alternately, you might dearly love your cohorts and wish nothing more than to somehow get overtime and have to spend more time on the clock.

I am fortunate (?) enough to have both ends of the spectrum. Take that, and add a very vocal, supposedly demonstrative Christian workplace and you have the ingredients gathered that your Elementary Science teacher told you never to mix together.

During staff meetings, we must first pray to God to guide us and help us through our jobs. This is done by our Administrator who would be better suited teaching preschool childrens Bible Studies than trying to organize and run a multi-employee business. He reports to God on issues ranging from the latest toilet paper shortage in the employee bathroom, to the crisis in the Middle East.
Now I do not presume to know what God would like us to notify him about, but sometimes I think he goes a little overboard.

I find myself cringing while sitting there during the prayer. Why? Because I feel the whole charade to be a sickening farce.
They are not able to apply the very guidance they request to any situation at work.

My personal morality is now being tested. Recently, a new employee, which became a good friend has been "let go" in our office.
The reason for her layoff, is that she doesn't work enough to stay up to date with current events, and that another new employee has been sent from the "main" office to work extra days - which just so happenned to be the one that she normally works. Oh, by the way, she is also within days of delivering her second child.

My anger stems from the fact that
1.) You don't just "let go" a completely and totally worthwhile employee, who's knowledge of her job could match any other given employee no matter their seinority. Not to mention the fact that she is part-time, and you don't pay or give her any kind of work benefits. Thats just not intelligent business sense. Not when there are full time slackers and worthless dregs on the payroll.

2.) If you profess to be so Christian, you have obviously overlooked the "Do Unto Others" rule.

Ok, so now she's a saint......but thats okay.

I struggle daily with the desire to walk out of there, and send them a bunch of cupcakes decorated like asses.
Now I remember totally why I hated going to church...........

I would watch people there, with their masks on, portraying a person that does not exist outside the fellowship hall.
If that's being Christian, and religious, then I need no part of that.

I know that's not what all churches are like.....I've just never ever wanted to go back and find out.
I guess there are those who believe that you can't be an effective religious person without a congregation.
I'm not one of them.

Aakk.... enough about religion and my job....what else could be so depressing?

Don't answer that....
heh heh heh

Thursday, March 14

It was a fabulous day today in the world of sports at our house.
My daughter's 8th grade team won the conference for the second straight year. I was nearly stunned because this was the FIRST game they all played together like a team, and got what they deserved. I had even told potential attendee's that tonights performance probably would not end in victory....shows how much I know.
She even got to play .... which was also good. She isn't one of the star players, barely gets on the scoreboard, but she hustles and gets the ball where it needs to go. I was glad that she ended the season on a good note.

As for me, however, I have been a mess lately. I don't know if it's the end of several things coming at once, or just the general chaos around here, but I have been feeling very INTENT lately, about nothing in specific. It's not ON EDGE, as in grouchy and yelling, but just that feeling if one more thing happens I might just implode. Must be just me, because everyone else seems to be feeling reasonable. If there is a topic, I have a very heated opinion to give you, whether you like it or not. I have been unintentionally pissing people off left and right lately it seems. It's a real shame that I just can't bring myself to care.

Thats another part, One one hand, I can see that I am being unreasonable, and on the other hand...well, I just can't find that other hand.

We have a bowling tournament to go to next weekend. I don't especially relish these tournaments, but it is a chance for my husband and I to get away, at least overnight and forget about sheep, and kids and chores and sports and blaaah blaaah blaaah...
He asked me tonight in front of the girls if we were going to take them.

Well, we don't ever usually take them, but since they just happenned to be sitting there listening, of course they thought it would be a good idea if they got to go. Soooooo now I'm hedged. I can say - NO they can't go and be queen bitch, or give in and trade a few hours of peace and quiet for chasing kids around the pool at the hotel, helping them not be "bored" and feeding them while my husband bowls. Heck, if it came to that, I'd rather stay home and not bother finding someone to do our chores.
But then he said "its up to me"
I remember hearing somewhere, that if you think you are going crazy, then you are sane enough to recognize it - therefore being crazy really isn't an option. Damn my sanity anyway.

Well, I'm going to go take a long, hot bubble bath to ease my sharp edges.
Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 12

Yeah ,yeah don't give me grief about not blogging.

Been busily delivering the last of our lambs, 6 boys in 5 days to bring our totals to nearly 50% each sex.
Before that, I had been nursing a nice hole in my knee which came from falling ~underneath~ our truck after I started it.
Don't ask, the description of the accident is just too embarassing to part with. The funny thing about falling, is that even though I did it nearly a quarter mile from anyone's prying eyes, I still looked around after I fell for witnesses that I would have to kill...
heh heh heh.

My friend shared with me, a story in a book that the author "rates" falls. You know, the smallest slip might be a 2 or a 3 pointer, wheras the large, swinging arms with droll comment afterwards might go as high as an 8 or 9.
My fall was about a 7.5 On ice, things happen faster than you can choreograph (sp) a routine to.
I would have at least put in a half-twist somewhere if I would have had time to think about it. I did have time to insert a
"oh, that was special" afterwards though.

Work is still tweaking my brain into a mess of raw nerves. Sometimes I feel so pathetic, it's just a receptionist job! But with my desire to CONTROL everything within a million mile radius, It was really a poor choice for me to make. Who can control illness, or the whining sniveling people who call? I set myself up for failure from the get-go.

See, I have the same problem that all working people have. My work quite often gets in the way of other things I'd rather do. While my job isn't truly necessary for our success or failure with a family income, it does make things more comfortable, and it would be selfish of me to expect my husband to be the only income, as I would feel rather agitated if he expected me to single-handedly provide all the money we should need. (in that case, we would surely starve to death) So I either need to find something else to do, or shut the hell up and get over it.
It's a conspiracy, I tell ya....

They have placed my part-time person (the one I spent so much time lamenting about in earlier posts) with me on Mondays. I'm sure it is my punishment for verbally torching her character so frequently. So now I get to live with the real-life version of her for 9 hours every week. I think everyone likes watching me lose my mind. Something about never being given more than you can handle....

This week is filled with all sorts of fun. I have 2 more basketball games before the season is officially over with my daughters 8th grade team, I have a 4-H Board meeting tonight, and we have the 4-H farm tour at our home on Saturday. That should be fun. I enjoy that a lot.

So if you don't hear from me for a few days, I'm out in the barn.

Sunday, March 3

Pathetic Party

Well, my youngest turned 13 today. I now live in the official land of hormonal teenagers.
Not that it wasn't before, it's just now official. We didn't get too excited and celebrate like it was
the end of the world, but we spent a nice quiet day at home, and I think she was fine with that.

We did go out for supper tonight, and the restaurant she chose is notorious here for having someone sing for the birthday guest.
She made us all swear that we would not tell anyone there that it was her birthday. Pay close attention to that swear, as it has great importance later on.

We had a great supper, and through the conversation had lots of laughs and talk about school and home stuff. At one point I said
"Oh - What's the song......? you know....... the one those people sing?... no one at the table knew what the heck I was talking about, UNTIL I started singing for her. You know, the whole happy birthday deal. Pretty soon the rest of the family joined in, and we got her.
(She never said WE couldn't sing to her!)

Yet another weekend where I had something happen with sheep that I've never experienced. Pretty soon I will be versed in every situation. I imagine that is also when raising the critters will lose interest for me!

We do routine barn checks. AM, chore time, which is 5 pm, and then before bed. If there is someone we are watching closely, we may do them more often. Friday night we made the routine lamb sweep and everyone looked happy and content. By 7 am,
I was up and back out to the barn. We were heading to town and just stuck our heads in for a peek before we left. We were excited to find that one of our young ewes had delivered a nice set of twin lambs. Everyone was dry and happily frolicking about.
We took the new mom and the lambs to their own special pen, and as soon as we did that, the ewe decided to pummel one of her lambs with her head. We figured that since she was a first time mom, and we moved her away from her lambing spot, she simply didn't recognize this lamb anymore. Sometimes new moms can be pretty blonde. (no offense intended, of course)

So we get out the head catch gate, that we had never EVER had to use before and had it all set up, with her head through the side so she couldn't tell which lamb was nursing. She promptly laid down, and was bellowing like we had mortally injured her.
Dejected, we weren't sure what to do next to make her claim her lamb.

For some reason, I don't know why, I walked back through the door we brought the ewe and her lambs through and I happenned to catch a glimpse of a dark object in the delivery pen, under the feeder. Closer inspection found that it was a THIRD lamb, contentedly sleeping. Evidently undisturbed by the rukus of moving the first 4 animals.

Now triplets in a ewe lamb is a nightmare, and nearly unheard of. At first, I was shocked and surprised. (emphasis on shocked)
I bent down to collect the sleeping lamb and take it to it's mother, and as I did, a ewe eating hay happily nearby nickered at me, and the lamb and began to follow us excitedly. I looked at her rear end for any telltale signs of delivery, and didn't find any. If she did have this lamb, she was very neat about it.

Sooo..... to make a long story even longer...
We put mom #2 in a pen with her lamb, and then looked at each other quizzically. Could the beaten up lamb of mom #1 really belong to mom #2? Because that's usually what ewes do to lambs that are not their own. We took the lamb from mom # 1 and put it in pen # 2. THAT mom quickly began beating it. So now we have 2 moms and 3 babies..... Each ewe is happy with their single, claimed lamb, and this little guy has no home.

What didn't help matters, was that they were ALL BLACK, ALL BOYS, and relatively the same size.

We did what we had to do. For 20 minutes, we tried EVERY combination of lambs and ewes available. 2 with one, one with another. Three with one, none with the other. This one with that one, here and there. We couldn't not find his mom anywhere.
(Thats Seusian for you without children)

We then let EVERYONE out of their pens, hoping that the moms could sort this mess out, and save our brain cells, as our division skills were getting pretty threadbare. No luck.

The one lamb still stood as an orphan.

Finally, out of exasperation, we placed the two lambs that were the most similar in size and structure together with the experienced mom, and left the orphan with the lamb, or in this story, mom #1. She still didn't like him, and tried to send him flying through the fence several times. Again, out of desperation, I went to the house looking for something to mask the scent of the lamb, and hopefully fool the mom. With her lack of experience as a mom on my side, I was hoping that she would fall for the trick.

Believe it or not, we had nothing to use that I had ever heard of working. We had no cinnamon sticks, no Vicks Vapo rub, nothing extremely stinky to smear on the mom's nose and on the lambs backside so they would match. My last ditch attempt was a "ready to be thrown away" stick of Secret Antiperspirant. (Ambition scent for those enquiring minds)

I totally slathered it on mom's nose, then on lamb's butt. That worked, except when she would smell it's leg, or side, or head.
You know where this is going, don't you?

Pretty soon, both the lamb, and the mom looked like they had been eating whipped cream. The ewe had it all over her nose and "Cheeks" and the black lamb, now looked like a Zebra.
I sat and waited. In only a few seconds she would sniff the lamb, then sniff the pen, then the straw on the floor, and then herself.
I could see her confusion, and it was hysterical to imagine what she was thinking! But the best part was, she took the lamb.

She immediately started cooing over it, and nudging it back to her teat to nurse....I was so proud of my barn MacGuyver skills I would have just burst.

I think I may write the Secret company and tell them of my use for their product. Maybe they will give me a lifetime supply of deodorant.. heh heh heh