Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Practice Practice Practice

This afternoon, I left work early.  Actually, I left earlier than the "early" I had originally intended.  We were due at our local packing plant before 6 pm this evening, but today's nasty wind & rain made C and I worry about impending darkness, loading conditions, and the safest trip possible.

I planned to leave the office around 2 or so, but by 12:30 I was so nervous I couldn't concentrate on the work at hand.  I alternated between bouts of feeling sick to my stomach, and welling tears.  I finished up and left at 1, thankful for the escape to my car and the radio.  Between tears and rainy it was a blurry ride home.  One of my old country favorites came on, and I had to laugh at how the love story might have been about farming...

Going out of my mind these days,
Like I'm walkin' round in a haze.
I can't think straight, I can't concentrate.
And I need to shave.

I go to work and I look tired.
The boss man says: "Son, you're gonna get fired,
This ain't your style," and from behind my coffee cup,
I just smile.

What a beautiful mess!
What a beautiful mess I'm in.
Spendin' all my time with you,
There's nothin' else I'd rather do.
What a sweet addiction that I'm caught up in.
'Cos I can't get enough,
Can't stop the hunger for your love.
What a beautiful, what a beautiful mess I'm in. 

This morning put salt in my coffee.
I put my shoes on the wrong feet.
I'm losin' my mind, I swear; It might be the death of me,
But I don't care.

Had you told me a year ago that C and I would own a little farmstead, in Michigan, and be taking our first pigs to slaughter before the year was out, I wouldn't have known what to say!  Not possible.  Too many moving pieces in Colorado, jobs, the house, our friends... but here we are, and it's a frightful and wonderful piece of work.  It truly does consume most of our time, energies, resources, but the rewards and satisfaction are immeasurable.  The relationships we have with the animals also are their own reward... but it makes parting such sweet sorrow.

When I got home, it was time for early evening feeding and chores.  The pigs get an afternoon snack of some kind every day when I get home from work— they know that when the car pulls into the driveway, snack-time is drawing nigh!  They came running from the back of their pasture, faces and legs black from the rich peat-y mud they turn over in their rooting exploits each day.  They make a particular grunt when they think food is coming to them— not quite a grunt, not nearly a whine, but a higher-pitched singsong call.  

For the last few days, we have had our trailer backed up to the pen, gate down.  We've been feeding them on the trailer so that they're used to getting on and off of it— the last thing you want while trying to load pigs is for them to panic or just plain refuse to go up the ramp.  The two pigs we planned to take typically hang out and eat together, and the two we're keeping tend to eat together.  That makes things fairly easy.  Put some treats in each of our two feeders, one on the trailer and one off, and the pigs will sort themselves out!  

All of the sleep I've lost over the past few days [and truly, weeks] thinking of every single detail I may have forgotten or overlooked, a what-if I may not have considered, a zombie invasion... it all fell away when Jack Sparrow and Rigatoni flung themselves up onto the trailer in their haste to get to the fresh apples and bread awaiting.  Ramp up, pins in, I climb out trying not to bust my nose open slipping on muddy Mucks... sigh of relief, laughter to diffuse tears.  It's go time.

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