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Road Lambs and Other Challenges

Posted 11/11/2009 1:17pm by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

October 29

I hope your morning is better than mine so far.   After putting some laundry in the washer and getting the kitchen cleaned up from breakfast and lunch packing, I finally sat down to pay our credit cards bills and send emails through our website mailing list.   I like it when writing and computer work coincide with dreary days.  I knew I'd be sitting at our little, corner desk for much of the morning and just as I was getting settled in, had Pandora set to Fleet Foxes radio, a car in need of a muffler pulled into our driveway gently beeping its horn.   This car drives by our house every morning delivering the Lewistown Sentinel, but since I don't subscribe, it usually just chugs on by.   I knew immediately what this meant and begrudgingly pulled on my boots and called for Mac.  Our lambs were out and wandering all over the road.   I am not my best self in these situations.  The same lambs were out in Charles's field last night and he called me on my cell phone at dusk when I was about twenty minutes from home.    Roy had a late meeting and I had the girls so I knew it was on me and Mac and of course Charles, who always generously offers to help.   Thankfully till we got home, the lambs had apparently filled their bellies and slipped back in the fence.   They were on pretty good grass, but the alfalfa in Charles's field is especially tempting and they have grown enough wool that the fence doesn't scare them, especially when there is wet grass weakening the current.   By the time Roy got home it was well after dark and moving the lambs and steers would have to wait till this morning, however... I forgot about it till I heard that car slowing down.   Roy took today off because our vet is coming to pregnancy check our cows at the farm we rent in Blacklog Valley but he had to run to the hardware store for supplies first, so once again, getting the sheep off the road was on Mac and me.   Did I mention that I am not my best self in these situations?  I mean if I were Catholic, I would need to go to confession today, but since I was raised Mennonite I will just feel ashamed and guilty.

Mac is a great dog but I've not worked sheep with him as much as Roy has so he basically ran the lambs up and down the road while I ran back and forth trying to head off the lambs and make them go into the fresh paddock on the north side of the road.   The fact that a big diesel pick-up truck  pulled up behind the patient, chugging little car did not help.   At one point I literally grabbed hold of a lamb and tried to force it through the fence.  It wiggled free and ran desperately to catch up with the flock.   I hope I didn't verbalize everything that was going through my head, but I know enough came out of my frustrated mouth to warrent post-drama regret.  Eventually Mac and I succeeded in getting them off the road and into the two paddocks that are on either side of the road.   As the big diesel pulled away a bearded man thanked me for the entertainment.   I wasn't amused and mumbled "whatever" as I trudged off to close all the gates.   Just as his truck crested over the hill my hand went up in a very unkind gesture.  I regress to junior-high behavior when frustrated and humiliated.   Five minutes later Roy came home.  I love his timing.   After I expressed my frustration with our fencing, our dog, my skills, and his timing, we moved the rest of the lambs and the steers into the new paddock.   Another happy day on Blue Rooster Farm. 

There is happy news to share too.  Tippy, Charles and Tammy's border collie who was bred to Mac,  is round as a tub and due to have a litter of pups in a week or two.   Amazing how fast that happens and a good reminder why spaying and neutering dogs and cats in very necessary.   Also I learned this week that Long's Community Store,  our closest country grocery/hardware store that was destroyed by fire last spring, is indeed going to be rebuilt.  The Longs are hoping to break ground this week.   And  Eddy and Andy are settling in.   Roy skipped the Harvest Fest to hitch and drive his team then spent the evening on the phone with Link learning everything he did wrong.  So... we keep learning.   maturing