Friday, July 31, 2009

Of Insecurities and Schedules

Having started this blog I suddenly find myself anxious. What am I going to write about? I have nothing to say. Nothing of interest, anyway. My life if very simple - simple to the point of boring for most people, I'm sure. I get up in the morning. I feed my ducks and let them outside. I take my rabbits out to their outdoor run, if the weather is nice. I take a shower, get dressed and go to work, most days of the week. I never bother with make-up – as a dog walker my clients don't care if I'm wearing make-up or not, unless, perhaps, it was peanut butter flavored make-up – and I never wear nice clothes – they would only get ruined and start to smell permanently of sweat. Not something I want. Sometimes I drive but most of the time I try to bike – it's only 8 miles, after all. I walk the dogs, one of our normal routes, or somewhere new as we try to find new gardens to explore. I say my mantras, trying to keep positive. I bike home and have lunch, cool off for a bit, and then work in the garden if I can. In the evening I let my rabbits out in the bunny room in shifts: Suki and Jojo for 1 ½ hours, and then TJ or TJ and Suki for another hour and a half. TJ and Jojo get into vicious fights if they are let out together. (I know: Rabbits? Vicious?? But despite their cuteness, they are, in the end, territorial animals.) I bring the ducks in, give them dinner, and put their diapers on. I close up the chicken coop to keep the chickens safe for the night. I do my workout, either in the evening or – if I haven't procrastinated – earlier in the day. At 11pm (again, only if I haven't procrastinated) I brush my teeth, change into pjs, and give the dogs their evening dose of pills. I tell Kita to lay down on his dog bed, which he will humor me and do, but only for ten minutes before he heads over to the other side of the bed and sleeps on the floor. I tell Buddy, for the fifth time, to move from his preferred spot on my pillows to his assigned spot at the end of my bed. I tell Maia to scoot over if she hasn't done so already. I read a little: an educational book if I'm in a good mood, an organizational book if I'm stressed. And then I fall asleep, get my ten hours, and start all over the next day.

So what will I write about? How many weeds I've pulled? Whether or not the chickens managed to stay out of trouble today? How often I've had to chase Buddy away from the back fence where he's been barking like a maniac at the neighbor's black lab?

That I will continue, for the moment, has been decided. The subject, however, remains to be seen, and will depend, I suppose, on whatever events (however minor, of course) happen to transpire on the unfarm.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Animals

I live on a small quarter acre lot in a quiet neighborhood that, when we first moved here, was surrounded by forest, small farms, and plum orchards - much of which is now gone, replaced by too-large houses on too-small lots. They all have perfectly kept up yards, not difficult to do when the land you have left after building the house is only 100 square feet or so. This is in contrast to our yard which, admittedly, has no small number of weeds and multiple projects in the works that are only half finished. Another way to guarantee a tidy yard - aside from the small size - is to have few or no pets, also not the situation at our house. My dad would say we have too many pets, and I maintain that we have far too few, but the actual number is as follows.

Three dogs: Kita, a mix of German shepherd and Alaskan malamute we picked up from the local animal shelter eleven years ago; Maia, our lab-beagle mix shelter dog that we found six months after we got Kita; and Buddy, a hyperactive, supersized purebred (although I have my doubts, due to his size) Whippet.

Two cats: Aspen, a large, gray, long-haired Norwegian forest cat with an abundance of attitude; and Mynx, a small white & black stray that followed us home one day and has decided she much prefers the indoor life, going so far as to stay inside for the entire 8 month cold and rainy season, only venturing outside when the weather is nice.

Three rabbits: TJ (short for Thomas John, he tells me), a white rabbit with brown spots who is quite adept at letting you know if he's pissed off at you for one thing or another; and, in the second cage, Suki and Jojo, a bonded pair that consists of Suki - the black and white female who weighs somewhere around 5 - 6 pounds - and Jojo, a 2 pound black Netherland dwarf bunny who is convinced he can boss around everyone else, regardless of how much they outwiegh him.

Three chickens: Sakari Lark, a golden sex-link hen who is the boss and has decided, of late, that she is on strike from laying eggs for who knows how long; Daisy, a beautiful black and white wyandotte who prefers to lay her eggs in the garbage can where we store the extra hay; and Penny, a welsummer who lays small, dark brown eggs in the nest box. All three of the chickens LOVE blueberries and regularly poach our few blueberry bushes, eating every berry within jumping distance that they can reach.

And last, but certainly not least, my two ducks, Minna and Maggie. Minna is a rouen and Maggie is a pekin and they spend the days outside in the backyard with the chickens swimming in their pools and playing in any mud puddle they can find. In the evening they come waddling up the steps to the deck where I put their diapers on, after which they are let into the house to wander around as they please, bossing the dogs around and nibbling on anything that suits their fancy.