Bulls and Blackberries


Yesterday, I did as little as possible while still having to do stuff. I can’t totally get out of doing stuff. People still want to eat around here and I can’t send the animals to daycare for the day. However, I did take off from anything extra yesterday. Mostly. Extra being anything that isn’t absolutely necessary on a daily basis. I didn’t can anything, clean anything, make cheese, work on a craft, or even cook. In the morning, I organized Weston’s scholarship and other college-related paperwork in folders. Getting a kid into college for free is a surprising amount of work. I hope Morgan enjoys working at a gas station because I’m so done with getting people into college. (Just kidding!) The past month has been really busy, and the past few days especially so. On Monday, I canned and made cheese, all in one day along with everything else, then Clover’s baby got out several times and one time Casper chased him down the driveway to the bottom where he was lost and crying for his mama. Clover was hysterically crying up here. By the time I chased him back up the driveway (in a t-shirt and chore boots and no pants, good thing I live on an isolated road), I was crying, I was so tired.

No sooner did I stop sobbing hysterically that I was too tired to keep living, Glory Bee got out and started galloping around. How old are cows when they stop galloping? I’ve never seen BP gallop. She kinda saunters at her own pace….. Like Who, me? You expect me to move? 52 got a rope and I got a package of graham crackers. Hey, everybody has their own tools. We got her cornered and stuffed with graham crackers and back into the goat yard. We had to put barbed wire along the fenceline on the side of the goat yard where she was leaning, leaning, leaning, until she leaned the fence down so far she’d just galloped over it. Cows are big fence-leaners. They don’t really try to get out, they just eventually fall out from the leaning.

Eclipse update: Haven’t sold him yet, but somebody saw the ad and called asking if we’d stud him out. Sure! Let him go live on somebody else’s farm for awhile, ha. I was honest with them, of course, about his escapist proclivities. They said they’d be keeping him in the barn, so that should be fine, and why not, Eclipse will have a good time. We’ve had him locked back up in the goat house, so this will be a fun vacation with some new ladies. What’s not to love? Might be the start of a whole new career for him! The boy needs to be kept busy.

Meanwhile, after recapturing that darn Glory Bee, I went to bed and had this really vivid dream about BP’s love life. You know, the one I’m obsessing over on a twice-daily basis as I check her flower petals for activity. In case you were wondering, this is what you dream about when you’ve had an evening of animal escapes and you’re tired: Apparently, BP was in heat, but I missed the fun part where I got to march into the kitchen in my chore boots and say, “Call the bull, Pa.” The bull was already here! And it was a little bull. At first I thought there were three little bulls, but then I realized two of them were Sailor and Pirate, and I thought, that’s no good. For one thing, they’d need a fireman ladder, and for another, I don’t think it would take. But they didn’t seem to know that because all three of them (the bull, Sailor, and Pirate) were running back and forth splashing full-body through the creek trying to catch BP, who wasn’t really moving (she doesn’t gallop!) but kept seeming to appear, like a bewitching siren, on different sides of the creek.

Eventually, the bull managed to mount her and all I could think was, whew, I’m so glad I got a picture of that! (OF COURSE I HAD MY CAMERA IN MY DREAM!)

Then I woke up and I was so confused for a minute because I thought BP was pregnant. Only she hasn’t even gone into heat yet. Then I decided to not do anything ALL DAY. Except, you know, for what I absolutely had to do to keep people alive. No sitting in the creek, though. It rained and the power went out. Then I had to weed my herb garden because who doesn’t weed after it rains? It’s hard to do nothing. Who does that? This is a recurring trouble for me as I battle—myself–to take a little downtime between the busy end-of-school month and the beginning of the harvesting. If the power hadn’t gone out, I probably would have had to bake some molasses cookies for the goats and Glory Bee. I need to work on Clover’s baby. He needs some cookie indoctrination. But the power was out, so I just wandered around in the damp post-rain, petting all the animals and trying to not think up 100 useful things I can do when the power is out. Because I was trying really hard to not be useful.

I had some bread with dipping herbs, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar for dinner with a side of garlic-stuffed olives. Some people don’t think that’s a complete meal. Me, either. If I could have, I would have made some fresh mozzarella. Some people still don’t think that’s a complete meal. Luckily for some people, there were leftovers.

I checked on my newly-discovered giant patch of wild blackberries while I was wandering. You can just barely see the fruit beginning to form out of the dead blossoms. I’m keeping a close eye on ’em.

They’re pretty good at doing nothing while still doing all they need to do. Maybe I can learn something.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on June 8, 2011  

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15 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 6-8

    :woof: you are toooo funny..I cant stop laughing…glad you had your boots on. :)
    Granny Trace

  2. 6-8

    Our power went out at 5:30 last night (Tuesday) and FabHub was still on a field trip with the school kids so I had the whole evening to myself. I had a pizza in the oven for about 3 minutes when it happened so I just let it stay there for a bit longer than normal, it was pretty much cooked. Then after it quit raining I brought the petunia baskets back to their hanging spots on the porch, went out and pulled weeds, cause “who doesn’t weed after it rains?” HA HA Then I went down and talked to the girls, Tulip and Violet, our Nubian/Boer cross goats. They aren’t cookie trained and not so sure about the dogs who follow me around. I am trying though. And then I sat on the front porch and read a real hardback book until I had to turn around and get the fading light so that I could finish reading the chapter. It was a wonderful quiet evening. I am done with that now, the power can come back on anytime now.

  3. 6-8

    Your dinner is inspirational! That’s just what we’ll have tonight, if I can find a loaf I won’t feel completely ripped off paying $4 for. It’s supposed to be in the 90s here today, so NO COOKING! :sun:

    Our blackberries aren’t that advanced, just canes so far.

    Thanks for this, it made me smile —


  4. 6-8

    Our power was out last night too….hmmm… I had Asian pork loin in the crockpot though so we just had to wait for the power to come back to cook the rice. In the meantime we were out in the back woods dragging sticks and logs to the burn pile. We love your kind of dinner and may very well have something a great deal like it tonight. It’s supposed to be nearly 100 today so I’m sure not going to add any heat to my un-airconditioned kitchen!! I think there might still be some stick salami to round it out….for the some people here :eating:

  5. 6-8

    Sometimes it’s a gift when the power goes out. So many things that you can’t do…no laundry, no baking…

  6. 6-8

    My dear husband gets irritated with me because I am unable to sit still and do nothing. Theres just so much to do and so little time. Does anyone know how to stretch twentyfour hours into say twentysix?

  7. 6-8

    LOL @ “Some people don’t think that’s a complete meal.” “Some people” at my house feel the same way when I suggest having a bowl of fruit or a grilled cheese sandwich for supper.

    Regarding not being able to do nothing: I’m often mystified when I hear people discussing all the different t.v. shows they watch because all I can think is “WHEN DO THEY HAVE TIME??” There’s so much to do when I get home from work I’m lucky if I see 15 minutes of the local news every evening. And I don’t even have a farm!

  8. 6-8


    You happened to be pantless, chasing animals around AND 52 was nearby and able to assist? Did you just let a little detail slip out by accident?

  9. 6-8

    The above comment was just meant as a silly tease, BTW.

  10. 6-8

    You made me tired reading about all you did while doing nothing! lol

  11. 6-8

    Girl, that dream sounds like something I would dream…crazy stuff. You’ve been so busy lately, I certainly hope you were able to sit in the creek with several glasses of wine today. It’s too hot for anything else! :sun:

  12. 6-8

    Won-Der-Ful! This post reads like a phone call from a friend. Do you ever think about how many people that you’ve never met, and may never meet, read your words and feel a kinship with you? All these strangers reading the details you share about your life; strangers, yet intimately so. Kinda blows MY mind, so I wondered how YOU think about it?
    I truly enjoyed this post! Signed, A Stranger-Friend! :)

  13. 6-8

    Thank you, TinaBell! but I feel that way, too, about all of you, so I guess I think it’s normal. :)

  14. 6-9


  15. 6-11

    Keeping a steer around for fattening can also tell you if BP is in heat. Any bovine creature will try to mount a cow in heat, even her daughter. If you are suspicious let her in with Glory B and watch for mounting attempts.

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