Saturday, June 20, 2009

80's Misery

June 20, 2009

I had spent a part of last week gathering big white pine branches that had come down in the last big snowfall, and mending the fence sections that they had wiped out. I took the brush and piled it in our barn arena, where I lop off the green needles for the goats. It's like candy to them. I cut the small branches into chunks to burn in our chimenea. And the bigger branches I buck into fire wood for the winter's woodpile. It's a lot of work, for a little pile of stuff, but I hate wasting btu's in a brush fire.

Today is the first of the summer weather in the 80's, and I am suffering. I'm just not used to it. Our Missouri relatives think I'm crazy, but I seem to sweat at the least exertion. The sun is intense. And I'm crabby from the stickiness and lack of progress on anything.

So I went out into the barn. It's a big metal pole barn with an indoor arena, and it was hotter in there than out in the sun.

Our llama, Olivia, who should be having a baby soon, was laying in the arena in the shade, but right in front of the open back door. I went over to see her and discovered that she knew exactly where the most pleasant place on the farm was. The open door formed a wind tunnel, and it was blissfully breezy and pleasant. Plus it was right next to my big brush heap.

And there it was. My relief from the doldrums. I set my chain saw case down at the base of some split cedar rails that my wife wants made into a hitching post, making a perfect seat and backrest. I pulled our little Daihatsu utility vehicle up to use for a work platform where I could cut up the brush. Then I went in and got my current book (The Parrots of Telegraph Hill), my reading glasses, and a go-cup of iced coffee.

It's lop up a few branches to whittle away at the pile. Then sit in the breeze tunnel, reading a few pages, listening to the barn swallows chatter away and the llama humming, soaking in the fragrance of the sappy white pine boughs, sipping my iced coffee, occasionally reaching down to pet the barn cat that is weaving in and out between my legs seeking attention, and stopping occasionally when my mind wanders from the page to daydream a bit. Work a little, play a little, work a little, play a little.

I'm retired.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend the afternoon!

  2. Wow. That sounds nice. I could do without the sweating too. I know how you feel about the high temperatures. I run hot. There is just no way to turn down my internal thermostat. Drat!

  3. Baby llamas, crias, will make the world OK. I do miss having them around!

  4. Sounds like you figured out the way to work!

    We have a little Suzuki truck that looks just like yours. We love it-I have a water barrel in the back and use it to water trees around the property.

  5. What a wonderful blog! I saw that you have come by to visit my little neck of the woods and wanted to come and see your's...very nice blog I really enjoyed reading today, and look forward to reading more!

  6. I love this post! So the animals know more about passive solar than the scholars :)
    How refreshing to sit & read & get things done moment by moment, item by item, no worries.
    & 80's that's nothing, we were high 90's with heat index about 105 & HUMID, good ole NC. I made it out doing little farm chores till about 1:00 Sat then hardly any Sunday.

  7. BTW, I've been meaning to tell you I just love that little goat in the sweater, how adorable

  8. Your photos and posts are charming!

  9. Thanks to all of you for the comments. That's what keeps me going.

    I just needed to learn to pace myself in the "relative" heat.

    Sue: Our little truck is a used Daihatsu straight from Japan. 4-wheel drive, and easy on the gas. All three sides of the bed fold down to make it even more handy. Took it ice fishing many times last winter and the guys out on the ice with snow mobiles and 4-wheelers were jealous of the heated cab. We've had it since fall and have had no problems with it so far. I hope our luck holds, because I can't find the engine!

    Maria: The little goat's name is Willie, the namesake of both my wife's Dad and our very first goat: Wee Willie Weedwhacker (aka I'll be posting a blog about him soon.

  10. I think you got the hang of it! (Retirement) That is exactly how I take life these days. Here in N. Alabama it is too hot to be outside and I am not a big fan of summer. I hate sweating. Most of my outside work HAS to be done before 9:AM. It will be 94 or more today. Thanks for sharing on my post about your new potato tradition. Sounds delicious. We call the wee ones new potatoes.

  11. I do miss having them around!
    Getting a Payday advance is just a few steps away