Monday, December 29, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly

Good: The weather is milder and the precipitation is rain, not snow.

Bad: All the snow slid off the barn roof last night, forming a four foot high pile around the barn and effectively blocking ALL entrances. That meant shoveling a tunnel through it in order to access the pigs this morning. And today I need to move some of the snow from the big barn door and the pig yard so the pigs can get outside for a little exercise, light, and fresh air. They have been cooped up for too long.

Good: My house is almost back to normal, save a few Christmassy things to be carried up to the attic, and the outdoor lights which will have to wait until the snow is gone.

Bad: The knee high slush everywhere makes feeding Martin the alpaca even more difficult, especially since he refuses to move off the path into the deeper snow so I can get by with his food and water. He kicks out with his wicked back feet whenever I try to shoo him over or slip past him to reach the stable. Today I just dumped his straw and grain on the path in front of him and told him to get a life! Bad alpaca! Bad mama!

Good: I have the most awesome slip-on boot treads from Lee Valley that prevent slipping and make it easier to walk on the frozen slush leading to the barn.

Bad: The boot treads only fit my SHORT bog boots, which are not sufficient for the deeper areas of snow. My tall, winter farm boots are great for the snow but a lot larger even though, technically, they are the same foot size as my bog boots.

Good: The milder weather means the animals, all the animals, are breathing easier. Birds are hovering around, the coyote is back to his hunting, the dogs are chomping at the bit to get back into the field.

Bad: The cold and snow and now flooding have driven the rodent types into the dirt crawl space beneath the house – I can hear them chewing in the walls at night. I can’t reach the access, which is outside and buried under a ton of wet, heavy snow, and even if I could I’m not sure what I will do. Poisonous bait, while a sure fire way to resolve the problem, is a cruel way to die and dangerous for the other animals who might eat the carcass.

Downright Ugly: Dead rats/squirrels/mice in the crawlspace or walls ummm…well……to put it politely…..STINK! Which means I need to get the rodents out of the crawlspace before they die - or multiply, for that matter, which will cause a bigger problem.

Good: The university is closed this week, which means I don’t have to leave home if I don’t want to.

Bad: Classes start in one week, and I have a course I haven’t taught for a few years, and which now has a new text with quite a different focus. I better get busy researching and rewriting my lecture material.

Good: I am in my usual “start the new year off by simplifying” mode – seems like this time every year I get really ruthless with reducing and recycling stuff that I don’t really need/don’t use/don’t want/doesn’t fit/ etc. I have a real boost of high energy and just want to clean, sort, sort, clean, reorganize, sort, run to thrift store, clean…..

Bad: Repeat: Classes start in one week, and I have a course I haven’t taught for a few years, and which now has a new text with quite a different focus. Forget the reducing and recycling and get on with the rewriting!

Good: Christmas is over and life gets back to normal.

Bad: Christmas is over and life gets back to normal.


Black Jack's Carol said...

Oh, Jean, isn't it great to vent once in a while through the blog? And you did such a perfect job of seeing the bright side of every Bad. The Downright Ugly, however, is exactly as you say. There's no sugar coating that one. I lived in a wonderful house overlooking St. Margaret's Bay in rural Nova Scotia for two years, and was as happy as could be, except for rodents in the walls. They nearly did me in, especially in the wee hours of the morning. My landlady was an absolute gem of a woman and lived on the same property. Her son operated a lobster pound, also on the property. They tried their best, but I don't think they ever completely solved the problem. I really hope you will have better luck!

Janice Gillett said...

I still can't get out of my driveway and one of the guys had to come and get me this morning to bring me to work.

I do remember a time when i looked out there and thought, how beautfiul!! But LOL all the work it brings doesn't really give ya much time to do that does it.

All my pathes to the pigs are a icey bumpy surface.. i need cleets on my rubbers.

Jean said...

Carol, I had this problem the very first year I was here (three winters ago) as well as mice in the house and voles in the well. We filled in the well, the cat got the mice, and I've had no more problem - until now.
I won't take the cat down to the crawl space (she's strictly an indoor cat), but she is staring very intently at the heat register in my bedroom so perhaps she can send Mr. Rat/Squirrel/Mouse a telepathic threat!

Janice, remind me to get you a pair of the boot grips next time I'm at Lee Valley Tools - they are excellent! Measure the bottom of your boot for me so I can figure out the right size. I may slip in next weekend as I need a bigger pair for myself.