Sunday, April 26, 2020

Study Break

Work has been in hyperdrive so everything can be buttoned up for my holiday.  I'm beyond excited.
Pity I won't need a passport where I'm going:

My desk.  
My bosses', who've been incredibly supportive of my back-to-school venture, approved the use of some annual leave to disconnect for 4 days.  
With finals next week and the shelter-in-place orders lifting, I'll be losing Adjanie when she goes back to her permanent job soon.  She's been so gracious to come lend a hand to the Hard-Headed-One-Who-Likes-To-Claim-Loudly-She-Can-Run-the-Farm-Alone .... 

My plan:  catch up on assignments and review, review, review.

With the help of my minions. 

Since starting school full time in January, my dogs have been sources of inspiration.

And support.

Getting me through every late night study sessions when I felt like quitting.

I have often turned to them and wanted to say: "let's just go to bed".  They always say: "don't you dare quit".

Bless their little souls.

It's paid off.  This old dog has managed to pull straight A's  thus far. 

But, it's been every night, every day off, without fail, nose in my books.  

Business class, two economics classes and the booger of an accounting class. 

My goal:  keep landing those A's and by January 2021 land myself some scholarships to help defray the $20,000 a year tuition.  

Since Flynn left in the very beginning of the semester, it's been a long hard Winter at the farm, I survived, but I've whittled down my Summer semester down to two classes.  One on accounting software and the other in the accounting class series.  Two will be enough.  I'll need a breather before Fall semester. I'm already intimidated by the Fall schedule:

Thankfully, all these are online.  Limited seating from 20-40 depending on the class.  There are advantages to being older and wiser.  Since I'm of the generation of my professors, I've been networking with them since the beginning.  Guess who registered me, personally, for my much needed Summer and Fall online classes?  Head of the department. That's right, I've been getting first dibs on classes!

Old cougars know how to network!
Truthfully, I couldn't have made it without the circle of friends, who without hesitation, surrounded me and have engulfed me with love.
The outpouring of support has truly humbled me.

Adjanie has taken over the role of chef on the farm and brings over delicious, yet nutritional meals.

I'm spoiled rotten. 

My neighbor, Scrappy, flings homemade pies over the fence and keeps my spirits up with barrages of his brand of dry witted texts.

My Auburn contingency has send sustenance in the form of my favorite Canadian treats.

On my days off, my personal trainer has done the lion's share of the work to reclaim my garden.

Lisa and Carter have come to help clear trails.

Kyle used his time off from his regular job to volunteer hours helping me catch up.

To honor all my friends and family who've showered me with encouragement, I'm Duck taping myself to my office chair for 4 days, until I've reviewed so much that I'm repeating Asset Turnover Ratios in my sleep.

Look out, Scholarships, I'm comin' to git ya! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

A Rose is Just a Rose

A rose is so much more.  I resist picking my flowers because I believe the hummingbirds and bees need them more than I do.  But, tonight, I brought in a bucketful.

Storms coming that will shred the blooms anyway.

And I needed motivation to study.  Seems lately I've gone from being almost a week ahead of schedule on my homework, to ringing my homework and quizzes in at a few minutes before the stroke of midnight (deadline for submissions).  Nothing like a little bit of daily stress.

A rose = motivation to never quit.

Monday, April 20, 2020


24  hours.  Watch what can happen in the span from Sunday afternoon to the next day:
Prepare for another day and night of rough weather.

Batten down the hatches and bring 'em all in.

Let them out to stretch in between rumbles of thunder, shovel a lot of manure, then herd them all back in again.
photo courtesy Dr. Carattini

Dry them all off.

Feed, repeat, muck stalls, over and over again through the evening and night.

Try to submit homework before the midnight deadline and have lightning knock the internet out.

Don't worry, I have a gadget that boost my cell phone signal whereby I can tether to my laptop.  Didn't know I had evolved out of the Jurassic Age?  I'm still behind millenials, but I'm nipping at their heels now.

Coax Peter out from under the sofa bed and attempt to sleep around 2 AM.  He's shaking so hard it's like being in a cheap motel in the 70's with the coin operated vibrating bed. 
Give up, play with the horses until 6 AM.  Feed and release.

Leave the barn and go home for breakfast.  Discover Peter left something important at the barn:  his entire nail.

Play doctor.  Running on no sleep at this point, try to nap.  Peter says:  "my foot hurts, hold me".  

Leave to go check property for damages.  We did get 7" rain in less than 24 hrs.

Take Dumb and Dumber with me.  

Get a report of loose cows.  Investigate.

Discover at least 20 bovine vagrants messing with my beehive.  Contact owners.

Finish property rounds and, thankfully, have 2 tired puppies.  

Check on my patient.  Still wearing his bandage.  A+.

Return to feed horses and clean the stalls.  
Get ready to leave work by 6:30, walk out arms loaded, can't find my ride... because I walked to work!!!  So tired and now righteously pissed off that I walk the 1/3 mile home carrying my bags of trash.  When will this day END? Feeling crispy by now.

At my gate, Adjanie is waiting to greet me with dessert.  Still warm.  I forget what I was so pissed about and take my trophy back to my lair.

At least I'm not as messy as Micah.  Good Lord, he redecorates at every meal.
You'd think after not sleeping since Saturday, I'd be counting sheep by now, but it's hard to doze off when you phone keeps alerting you that "something" is too close to your beehive.
That's it.  I'm about to go 'Night of the Living Dead' on some cattle.  Anyone have room in their freezers... 

Even if I have to camp out in my truck tonight, they are not messing with 30,000 black and yellow girls...haven't told you about that adventure either?  Have I?  

Tuesday, April 14, 2020


Mother Nature  : "Quarantine can be boring,  let's send them tornadoes to spice things up".
Seriously,  not required. Boring does not reside at the farm. 

I would like to meet boring and spend a couple days basking in its company.  Apparently not in my Tarot cards for this century.

Easter Sunday,  I'm clearing culverts on the property and Dax chases a buck into the swamp. Both of them are squalloring, up to their necks in muck, quite stuck.
I wade out into the swamp and pull the buck out of the goo,  then pluck Dax out.  Meanwhile,  the other three dogs watch from shore.  The disoriented deer staggers right up to them.  Garrett, the meek one,  lunges for him.  The buck splashes back into the water and starts to swim across the pond -- Garrett literally in tow, he's  latched on and won't  let go. 
Nice day for a swim,  I say. My hand grabs Garrett's nubby tail and I reel them both back in. The struggle continues and I'm now 'negotiating' with Garrett to let go of the buck's head. I win,  the buck will look like a unicorn this Fall, but he'll live. 

Smug bugger.
Sunday night, this is on our doorstep:

Air temperature at midnight is 80'F... oh so appropriate for middle of the night tornadoes.

We hunker down in the barn and wait.

I keep one eye on the radar.

And another on the nervous horses.  The lightning is ground shaking.

By 3 AM, the worst has passed and I get a couple hours of sleep..