Monday, February 22, 2010

Beauty in the mud?

Yesterday the two hours that it wasn’t raining Linda and I went out to do chores. We needed to treat some of our ewes that were showing signs of foot rot. This is a problem that is difficult to remedy in wet sloppy conditions. Foot rot is cause by two bacteria that come together and affect the hooves of the animals, making their poor little feet sore, let it go untreated and they start to walk on their front knees. And from there it just gets worse. So right now I’m in triage mode. Just trying to heal the infected by manicure, coppertox and antibiotics and preventive care for the ones who don’t have it yet by treating their hooves with the coppertox and a prayer. When the barn can finally dry out a little I’ll scrape it down to the dirt. Sweeten the ground with lime and let it sit undisturbed for several weeks. This should help a great deal. But for now it’s dealing with one case at a time.

At one point after an hour of manicures and inspection, I just put my head down. I felt like crying. The grayness, the muddiness, the damp, cold, the smell of my own sweat and coppertox just finally took its toll on me and I just broke down. I looked at Linda and asked if I could have a few minutes to rant. To bitch heartily about things I had no control over, to just let it rip. She stood by and gave me her undivided attention while I wigged out about the rain, the sheep that run from me when I need to treat them, the mud, the shit, not being able to plant. Linda nodded her head in compassionate agreement. Her hand on my shoulder, nodding, supporting. I felt silly, but incredibly grateful for the patient soul next to me. It end quickly but I felt a lot better. We went on to finish chores and then we took ourselves out for a burger and a beer at McNellies, which soothed the pain a little.

Today’s forecast is clouds, highs in the 40’s. I’ve got a long list of chores today. And I’m going to try my best to keep moving. I’ve got an interview with Oklahoma Today for their sustainability issue coming out in the may/june issue and I’m wondering how I’m going to pull it off. Sustainability is so much easier to pull off with cooperative weather. At least if feels easier. I really need to spend some time meditating and finding the beauty in the mud. Seriously.
I hear a bunch of birds chirping outside. It sounds like they’re happy. I think I’ll listen to them for a little while before I face the ankle deep mud I’ll be working in most of the day. If I'm lucky we'll get to see a peek of the sun.

2 comments:

ThinkLady said...

I read your blog often and know it must be discouraging, yet you plow, pun intended, onward and I admire your courage, dedication. It is inspiring. Regarding Oklahoma Today, if you are just yourself, as you are in your blog, you will be simply amazing and I can't wait to read the story!

nanc said...

We had an early dinner at Hideaway last night with my brother and his family. John is a wheat/cattle/alfalfa/cotton farmer from Tuttle. We started talking about ALL-THE-RAIN, and I asked him if it made him pissy, because it's making *me* pissier and pissier the longer it lingers. Before he could answer, my wonderful sis-in-law pipes up with an "oh, yeah," and we all laughed. Then he said, "Yes. It does make me pissy." It made me feel better to hear him say that, because he's the most even-keel person I have ever known, and now I don't feel so bad for how it's starting to affect me.

Hang in there, girl. The sun may not come out tomorrow, but it will come out soon enough. Look around you at all of your leaps forward *despite* the sucky weather, and take a few minutes to revel in that.