Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Post Haste

Before we start, just a quick word to say that next week I want to catch-up on some other things that've been happening over the last few months.

An "achey day" this past Sunday (and since!). But the good kind of achey. Shoulders and arms feeling very heavy owing to lots of digging. Didn't get to go ice-skating at Mohonk this weekend. The weather was supposed to be snowy but in the end it wound up not snowing at all! Will definitely get there within the next 2-3 weeks.

Spent most of Sunday digging fence post holes and setting new fence posts with Jeff, Amelia, Anthony, and Jen. Everyone had a lot of fun joking around to pass the time and stave off the physical weariness of the work. Even though the holes were dug mostly by a mechanical auger attached to the Dingo, there is always some amount of hand digging that must be done. If you've never dug fence post holes, it's brutal on the arms. Finishing the new fences soon is as important as finishing the new barn. With the new goats and sheep that are expected from Pennsylvania, everything has to be in place for their arrival.

Dawn, Doug, Dante, and Jack worked on the barn nailing down the metal roof while Morgan and Kyle spent much of the day on the Dingos (there are now two Dingos) moving earth around, and working with the new fence in a slightly different area. Robin was there for the first half of the day and took care of the three chicken coops.

As always, some new names.

"Amelia" came up from Brooklyn and has been to the farm before. She volunteers at an animal shelter in Brooklyn as well. In addition to working on the fence all day with our little group she also made lunch for everyone.

"Jack" arrived around noon wearing well-worn tan coveralls, carrying a home made tool box, and smoking an ornate pipe which gave him an air of having done this all many times before. He was on the roof of the barn in no time and I don't think I saw him again on the ground until he lit his pipe, picked up his toolbox, and left for the day.

"Kyle" is a friend of Morgan's (I think) and spent the day working with Morgan. I'm not sure if he was a volunteer or not.

A "Dylan story" from the day.

In the morning while I was standing in the area of the new barn, I looked over at the pig field where about a half-dozen pigs were outside rooting around. Amidst all the pigs was Dylan. I don't know where Olivia was but Dylan was determined to find a pig to play with. And so, he'd walk up behind a pig, nudge it in the bottom with his face and try to get something going with the pig. But instead of responding to Dylan, the pig would invariably just schnort and walk away.

Left standing alone, Dylan would then move towards the next pig. So with another push on the bottom of the next nearest pig he'd try again. But that pig would just walk away as well. This went on for a good 3-4 minutes with Dylan face-bumping any pig he could find only to have the pig just walk away leaving Dylan standing there looking like the lost kid with nobody to play with. It was so sad and so adorable at the same time! He just wanted to play but the pigs were too busy attending to pig business.

All ended well though. After Dylan gave up on the pigs he walked over to the fence where Ralphie, Andy, and Elvis were standing and each of them took turns grooming Dylan through the fence. I did not see Dylan return the grooms and I don't think he did. I think it was all for Dylan.

Didn't that end nice?

I got to play show-and-tell a little bit today. Some time after lunch, a women showed up at the farm with two young kids. A boy and a girl. I hadn't seen any of them before. The women was showing the farm to the kids but she was hesitant (as was the little girl) to enter any of the pens. The boy (Jake) looked about 8-years old and I could just tell he wanted to go into the pens and check out the animals. I asked the mother if it would be okay and she and Jake said yes.

We walked into Olivia's pen and got close up with Dylan and Olivia who cornered us both against a pen rail with licks and small head-butts. We then petted some sleeping pigs and rubbed some pig bellies while mom took pictures. Then we crossed the pig field to the fence where Andy and Elvis were hanging out and Jake got his hand slobbered by Andy's tongue. After that, we hopped the fence back to mom and they left. Again, a cool show-and-tell moment.

Lunch: Tofu cream cheese on a bagel, Angel Hair pasta with mushrooms (and I think tofu pieces), and more Kale simmered in a sesame sauce that Jeff brought. Amelia did most of the cooking.

Again, everything was great to eat. The sesame sauce was terrific and I think I'm becoming a Kale freak!

Since some time in high school, I've been content to not eat veal and feel good about my contribution against institutionalized animal cruelty. Now, I think I need to re-evaluate some things and see if I can add anything else to the list. I'm experiencing alternative things to eat these days and I'm going to give some thought to seeing what I can add to my veal stance. Will report soon.

A fun day with cool people, re-energizing animals, and lying flat on the ground with one's face in a hole.


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