About Me

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I AM: wife to 1, mother to 3, sister to 2 and 5 steps, aunt to 27, not-so-much-a-chocoholic-anymore, coffee loving, cloth diapering wanna be (my youngest potty trained herself recently), friend to many.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Think outside the boots, er, uh, box

This picture was taken one week ago when we had snow and wind chill temps in the negative teens. Since then, the weather has changed, bringing sunshine, wind, and warmer temps; yesterday's high was 75. The sun's rays have melted all of our snow rather quickly, creating quite a muddy mess. The pigs are in hog heaven with all of the mud. Good thing they are happy. They only have 2 1/2 days until they go to the butcher's. (happy dance!!!)
My 12 year old, AJ, is the lucky one tasked with the chore of feeding, watering, and taking straw for bedding to our 2 piggies. She hasn't had any trouble with this task except in extreme cases of rain, ice, and yesterday's mud.
It normally takes AJ about 30 minutes or so to get her chores done. Feed and water the dogs, feed and water the chickens, collect eggs, and feed and water the pigs. I guess she does start with the pigs just to get the hard part over and done with. I normally keep my ear open to listen to her normal sounds: singing at the top of her lungs, tossing buckets, getting water, coming in the back porch to grab the egg basket... Yesterday I was cleaning up a paper clutter spot and it dawned on me I hadn't heard her for a while. I glanced at the clock and realized she'd been outside for 45 minutes or so. I went out the front door and hollered her name. She quickly screamed, "Mom! Come help me!!!" The momma adrenaline kicked into high speed and I ran from the porch, through the yard, across the road, back behind the barn, and... Came to a complete stop and started laughing. The sight of my daughter was priceless. The look of tear stained defeat. Shoulders slumped. And then the puzzlement when she saw I was laughing. AJ: "Mom, I've been yelling at the top of my lungs for help and now my throat hurts, and so does my head." Me: "Why are you just standing there?" AJ: "I'm stuck." Sure enough, she was calf deep in mud and couldn't pull her feet out. And, I failed to mention she was in the middle of the pig pen.
Now, two days ago we had quite a fiasco as well. She was taking longer than usual so I hollered to her and she said, "Mom, I need your help. The pigs are out!" They had busted through their gate and were out in the cattle pasture. Well when they saw the food bucket on the path to their pen they came back with no fuss whatsoever and while they ate, AJ and I make-shift fixed the gate as best we could. Think cinder blocks and 550 cord and one handy dandy square knot (tied by yours truly, thank you very much).
But last night the pigs were peaceful and not causing any ruckus and were not even trying to head butt AJ into the water tub (like one tried to do last week). They were just looking at her, wondering what she would do next and when she would get out of their pen.
She asked me again to help her. Me: "What do you want me to do?" AJ: "Get me out!" Remember I was not expecting this. When I called out to see where she was, she yelled for help. I didn't take time to put my mud boots on. I just ran. In my pink slippers. Do you think I am getting in calf high mud in my pink slippers, white socks, and good blue jeans? Uh Uh. No. Thank you. She just pleaded with me. I told her she needs to start thinking of solutions before she sank like quick sand. She said she'd been thinking for 20 minutes and was still stuck. Now she was holding an empty bucket. I told her to take one foot out of a boot and put her foot in the bucket. Then she could use both hands to pull her boot free. Worked like a charm. Then I had to tell her to put the foot back in the boot, take her other foot out of her other boot, put the other foot in the bucket and pull that boot free. That boot was STUCK. She pulled and pulled and couldn't get it. She was going to wear the bucket out of the pen. I said NO WAY, Jose! I told her to use her hands to dig and pull the boot out. She started crying. She pulled her sweatshirt sleeve over her hand (only one hand) and worked that boot free. As soon as she got that boot out, one of the pigs decided it was a perfect time to go #1. AJ yelled: "That's what I had to put my hands in! Gross!" To which I chuckled yet again. After her pride was totally hurt, her sleeve mud and muck covered, and her boots were free, she sloshed out of her little swamp land and got out of the pen. We had a talk about helping yourself with what you have instead of waiting for someone else to dig you out of a mess. And then she had a shower. I know she will be glad in 2 1/2 days time.

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