Everyone walked away

Saturday morning started with a call from one of Sarah’s friends looking for a ride in to town.  Now, this friend lives out of town on the other side of Pilot Rock, but her parents were gone and she had no way to get to town to meet her commitments for the day, so Sarah took the pickup and headed out to pick up the friend and her brother.  All good.  I fed the horses, and got into the shower.  Sometime in that process, Sprout decided to go adventuring.  He didn’t return when I called, so I decided to go ahead and shower.  He comes home eventually.  So, when I was getting dressed and heard his bark, I didn’t think too much of dashing out in a very immodest state to let him in.  Until I saw Mom on the front porch.  I dashed back in to get something on other than undies, and she informed me that it was going to take more than my robe.  Sarah had called her.  She had crashed the pickup.

I dashed upstairs to get clothes, asking the pertintent questions – was she hurt?  how bad?  was anyone else hurt?  how bad?  The information I got was the Sarah had a bleeding lip and a small cut on her lip, and Ina had a hurt and bleeding finger.  That doesn’t sound too bad, now does it?  I got the location from Mom and headed out.  I was pretty sure they were beyond cell phone service, so I didn’t try to call (Sarah had called from a nearby house).  What I found when I got there were two very hysterical girls and one rather worried brother.  I hugged the girls and got everyone calmed down.  Noone was hurt badly enough to require an ambulance, but Ina (the friend) was clearly in pain, and has an underlying medical condition that required her to be checked out, so I loaded all of them into the car, and drove up to see the pickup.  This is what I found.  Needless to say, they all got to get checked out at the hospital.

Sarah had been driving down the gravel road at a decent clip, when a deer wandered into the road.  She had not completely internalized the advice to, “hit the deer” and swerved.  The deep gravel at the side of the road grabbed her and she over-corrected, ran up the bank, and rolled / cartwheeled the pickup back down the bank.  If you look closely, you can see where the side-beam of the room is sitting on her headrest.  I’ve had more than one person tell me that they’ve seen vehicles with less damage in which people had died.  I am eternally grateful that all three people in this vehicle were able to walk away from this crash.  Needless to say, we will be purchasing a new pickup.

Sarah has a mild concussion as well as various muscle-aches and a wide variety of bruises, but again, there is nothing that won’t heal.  The policeman was wise enough to see that she was taking the whole thing quite seriously and did not write the citations he rightfully could have issued.  Two of the occupants were seat-belted.  The third was not.  Again, I say that I am eternally grateful that no one was seriously injured or killed.  I can almost guarantee that none of the them will ever again ride in a vehicle without a seat belt.

Day 21

I’m a couple of days late with this update, but Mahogany is doing very well.  She’s even using the foot a little bit.  The tissue wound is healing fantastically, and is completely closed up.  The final layer is even beginning to form across the center of the wound.  She’s out in the pasture at will now, and is enjoying activity as she can tolerate it.  Of course, as these things go, there is a new concern.  Now that the tissue wound is healing and is no longer distracting me, I can see that there is damage to the top of the hoof.  I’ll give things a bit of time to heal and then call my farrier.  I think she’ll be able to grow it out in much the same way that we can grow out damage to a fingernail.  The difference, of course, is that we don’t put several hundred pounds of pressure on our fingernails with every step.  So, the farrier may have to help.  We’ll see what he says.  In the meantime, things are still looking good.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the positive progress continues.

Day 14

With the pear tree down, and Mahogany’s love of pears, I thought I could turn her out into the pasture yesterday and she would be a little happier, but the pears would keep her from moving around too much.  I was sort of right.  She was happier, and did just fine, but she did not just hang around the pear tree like I had hoped.  When I got home, she was up on the back hillside, near the back gate.  Now getting around up there takes a bit of coordination, so I was slightly terrified that she would fall trying to make her way back down, but she did fine.  The injured leg was not swollen at all, so she tolerated the activity just fine.  I brought her in for a dressing change and some feed (she’s getting rather thin.  I think healing this up is taking a lot of energy) , and kept her in overnight, but she got to go out again today.  I think that will be our routine for a while.  The wound itself is looking great.  The drainage is decreasing almost daily, and the depth of the gash is visually decreasing to where it’s nearly closed on the outside (deep end) and the inside end is completely closed.  The center still has a little depth to it but not nearly as much as even last week.  There is still no sign of infection and I’m slowly moving from hopeful to downright optimistic.  If she keeps healing at this pace, we could be down to a surface wound in just another week or too.  It may be a while longer before she walks easily, but she already takes short little steps on it when she doesn’t know I’m watching.  Just like a kid, I swear.

It’s one way to thin the orchard.

Yesterday we had a wild storm pass through.  The winds topped 70mph!  No buildings were damaged but one of the two pears trees in the orchard broke.  The tree snapped its trunk in half about five feet off the ground.  So we put the sheep in the orchard this morning to clean up the mess.  There were hundreds of pears all over the ground.  The sheep will eat all the leaves and hopefully strip the bark off also.  Once the tree is bare I can go out and cut it up and throw it on the burn pile.  We have already talked about replacing the tree and planting 6-10 more fruit trees out in the orchard.  There are only a few trees left from the original orchard that was in place when the Annmarie’s relatives purchased the place.  The three black walnut trees I planted this summer are hanging in there and we will be planting a few more next month.  

I really want to just take a nap.

There are days on the farm when you realize why farmers are on farm time.  Farm time has its own dictations and sometimes it passes quickly but usually it drags out and sucks you in until the task is done.  Farm time does not care for a schedule or deadline.   I had plans to go out first thing in the morning and load up some hay in the pickup and move it around to the wood shed.  Annmarie and I had talked about feeding Hogs (horse) in the yard daily and how much time it would take.  School is starting and we don’t have as much time in the morning.  It was decided that moving the hay next to the house would make all things easier.  I didn’t get to do it first thing as I had to run into town for an errand.

  I went out to the barn and started loading 8 bales into the back of the truck.  They were heavy!  I drove around to the back hillside and figured I would just drive in next to the fence and directly behind the wood shed.  My handy dandy rock wall is making a fairly level area.  It was tight but I made it.  I drug all eight bales into the wood shed and started to back up.  I tried to back out but the dirt is super light and kinda steep.  I kept spinning the back tires.  By the time I tried to put it in four wheel drive I was stuck up against the rock wall and couldn’t get enough travel to engage the hubs.  After 20 minutes I called uncle and got Annmarie to come out and help while I went for the tractor.  I chained the tractor to the pickup and had Annmarie drive the tractor.  No go, it could not pull it out.  I dug a path three more times by hand, threw rocks under the back tires repeatedly and even went and dug up a whole bucketful of dirt to weigh down the front of the tractor!  In true guy fashion I just kept trying different things.  Two hours later we finally got the pickup out.  I then filled the area with a little more dirt and leveled it with the tractor.  I really need to work on the wall and raise it another three feet.  

Annmarie woke me up from my prework nap so we could change Hog’s dressing.  She was not very cooperative and threw a little fit.  We did get the dressing changed but she is not happy about having to stay in the yard.  
After dinner, Donna called to say that the sheep were out front around the houses.  Yesterday, we saw them out and just figured it was because our nephew was mowing the lawn and left the gate open.  Zeke loved it as he got to go chase the sheep.  So today when we told him he could go do some more “work” he was a happy camper.  I grabbed two horseshoe gate chains and we went down to chase the sheep back into the correct field.  I was able to tell Zeke to go around our in-law’s house, he just ran around the house to meet Annmarie on the other side.  It is amazing how smart he is and how easy it is to move the sheep.  We installed the new gate latches as we think the sheep were pushing on the gates and squeezing through the gap.  I sure hope that is the problem.  
All these things needed to be done and none of them cared that they were cutting into my chore and sleep time.  I do love the farm and our life.  Somedays are just easier than others.