It never ceases to amaze me how little control we have over life. I know that a large majority of us have the illusion of control and we do pick and choose to some extent, but do we really control our lives? Or do we adapt better than others and handle life’s curveballs with perseverance? Sometimes I truly feel that just gritting your teeth and getting through the day with your head up is a great accomplishment. The farm is a constant reminder that no matter how much we think we have done and how far ahead we have planned that there will always be something unknown lurking around the corner. This week has been a great example of this. We had two more bummer lambs! This is five lambs we have given away this season. This is the most we have bummered out in years. On a positive note, we have not had a single lamb fatality. This is also unusual. We usually have 1-2 deaths that we never know the cause. We attribute them to still births most of the time. Our ram needs to go, he is now picking on the lambs, the problem with this is time. To sort, kill, skin, clean, debone, cut and wrap will take me around 6 hours start to finish by the time I have cleaned up all my tools and put everything away and prepped the materials. Where do I carve out that six hours with Christmas and Annmarie’s birthday coming up in the next four days? I don’t as I still have one more Christmas present to fix (measure twice, cut once for all you woodworkers). This takes precedence as I have been planning this for months.

The real problem is Annmarie is so mad at him that if I put a bullet in his head and drug him up to the boneyard she would be satisfied. He is painful and not safe to be around. He is now ramming the door if she is hiding behind it in an attempt to try and get her. I had to have a slap fest the other day to keep him away from me. I just don’t want to waste the meat but safety is starting to be compromised. I spent two hours before work helping Annmarie sort sheep and getting the ram out of the barn so we could snag the two bummers. The plan is to lay out a day after Christmas and just do it! I said the same thing about a mean rooster we had a few years ago only to come home and realize that it had foolishly decided to attack the woman of the house. He ended up on the bone pile before I got home, problem solved.

Zeke, our older border collie, has suddenly decided that he must get out of the yard again. He is jumping the front fence again. I worked all last night and came home to him greeting me in the driveway. I spent 30 minutes and restrung some electric fence wire that we had used to top our front fence. This was supposed to keep him from leaping up and launching over the top railing. An hour later I am in the pickup driving around trying to find him. I just wanted to go to bed but Annmarie said we needed to find the dog, I was tired and mumbled that “we had two dogs and the smarter one is still home”. Next thing I know I am in the pickup driving all around the outside of the property calling for the dog. I spent an hour looking for him to no effect. It could have been shorter but I forgot my cell phone at home and missed the call where Annmarie told me she had spotted him on the back hillside and had to walk out to get him. Somehow he was unable to “hear” her until he realized she could see him. I did eventually manage to go to bed for a few hours, I was only awake for 20 hours.

We have not had snow yet this year, it is late for us but supposedly we will have a white Christmas. I keep counting the hay bales every time I feed hoping it will be enough. It is going to be super close. I need to buy a little more next year or really I am becoming one of those paranoid farmer types that worry about everything.

I would love to go burn the rest of the upper prime squared field neighbor. I still need a name for the new fields. The far end field will always be known as the “7 acres”, that just leaves the two upper bottom fields. I want to use the name “upper prime squared” for the new pasture on the hillside that still needs to be fenced in. Annmarie only wants the fence for the ram pasture completed and the downstairs floor done. She wants results not talk! LOL. I can talk for hours about the changes I would like to make. Occasionally, I go back several years and read the blog myself just to see what I was thinking and to see the changes. Every once in a while I need to remind myself that we really are making progress. I laugh about some of the plans that I said I was going to complete in the next 1-2 years and five years later I still have not done them.

I have an alarm set in the morning to call the tile place and order the custom grout for the floor tile. It takes two weeks to get here. Unfortunately, I did not put the phone number in my phone and the business has changed locations. I don’t know the location and cannot remember the name of the place. So I have to call the trim place and ask for a referral again. This time I will put the number in my cell phone. I add notes to my contacts, like “does wood trim”, “contractor”, “plumber”, “heating guy”, “wooden fence stays”, “hay” so that when I inevitably forget their name I can do a search in my phone and find out who I need to call. I always recognize the name once I see a list but can never seem to pull it out of thin air.