Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Life on The Farm 010311: Recycled

What did I do on New Year’s Eve?   I watched the “House“ marathon – but only two or three episodes, because that’s all I can take at one sitting before I start wondering if the ache in my shoulder is the precursor to a seizure.

In short, I went to bed early.  It was just another night in rural paradise, punctuated by the odd power outage and the squealing of alarmed appliances suddenly deprived of electricity.

I decided then to make a resolution.  2010 had been all about committing to eat fish once a week and I only lapsed for a few months, so I’m calling that a victory. 

2011 will be the year of recycling.  

With all due respect to that, I’m going to start off by going over a subject I’ve covered many times before, because nothing much went on during the week – except for the mailbox being sheared off by the plow truck.

My husband and I are dairy farmers.  We don’t keep regular hours.

There is no set “work week,” weekend, or holidays to mark time by.  I rarely know what day it is and waken in the wee hours wondering whether or not this is a morning that I get to sleep in.  I thought today was one of them, but it wasn’t; I was an hour late for breakfast because I had to wash and pack up the chicken eggs first.

We have no annual vacations, sick leave, or snow days.  We stopped visiting out-of-state relatives years ago.  There’s no late night partying for any reason, and no overnight camping trips.  

The “No Camping” edict is because my idea of torture is sleeping in a giant lunch sack amidst bears, snakes, coyotes, chiggers, fishers, raccoons, skunks, bobcats (anything that carries rabies) (anything that carries Lyme disease)  - and of course, I am 100% against any activity that brings me in proximity to zombies – or anything else that wants to bite my ass.

If you have ever suggested that all four Boucher brothers should spend a weekend at an inn in the mountains to go skiing/hiking together – well, I’m going to look hard for that second head growing out of your shoulder - because the face that’s talking at me, isn’t the one doing the critical thinking.
Sure, we can leave the farm for an hour, but two hours, three, and things start to screw up mightily back at the ranch.

Someone has to stay here. Everything: animals, machines, vehicles, electronics, water and power supplies need intermittent/constant monitoring.  When one thing goes wrong, like the manure backing up, there’s an inevitable cascade of multiple systems going completely to hell.

Since we rarely leave the premises, we’ve cultivated everything we need right here – fire, water, firewater, cats, - plus enough Boy Scout brand popcorn to last through a siege and many, many episodes of “House”.

I’m not complaining, and I’m really looking forward to seeing everything happen all over again in 2011.  It’s the year of recycling.