And I was starting so many good habits for the duration of summer vacation -- productive on many fronts... I began by singing happy birthday to my sister, who told me her hubby's alarm went off at 5:30.
"Well, okay, I 'll try, but no promises."
"No, no, no! That's HIS alarm. Mine goes off at 6:30."
"Oh, no problem."
Little did I know. I couldn't fall asleep. I kept thinking about what I would sing to her. I went back to the old familiar dirge, and paraphrased again...
Happy birthday, oh, happy birthday;
May 57 fly full and fair,
Free from sorrow and dispair,
Leaving good will everywhere!
Oh, happy birthday, yes, happy birthday.
Sung in a totally MOURNFUL voice, of course!
Well, the execution was not pretty. I awoke about a quarter to seven, afraid she'd be in the shower or otherwise tied up in the "get ready for work" routine.
I had to call mother to get the number. I'd made a new card and put it DOWN, instead of back in the rolodex... I can remember being distracted, but NOT where I went in that state. Wherever it is, I'll recognize it -- THE CARD WILL BE THERE MARKING MY PLACE...
Mom informed me that R. would call her at 7 to BE SURE she really got up. Nope... She's a sleepyhead, and I WOKE HER UP!
"You're not my honey," she said with a sleepy smile in her voice, ready to have the day be special already. I talked until five after, when she said her boss wanted her to come in early...
I moved to the closest pile of papers and sorted out two trash sacks of stuff, adding them to the pile by the door, cleaned the stove top, hung clothes in the closet until I had no more hangers, and no more room for hangers, started two longish projects that messed up stuff even more before the phone began to ring.
So, the telephone and I waltzed around for a few hours. IK, Mom, school, and three hours of sleep began to catch up with me, so in for a nap I went. I thought I heard a car door slam, so back into jeans I hopped and went to let C. in and sell her some juice. We had a good old visit, then down the hill for mail and second pasture check...
As I glanced at the letters, I noted a red pick-up in my neighbor's driveway, with the gates still closed and locked, but someone was out walking around the machinery he'd set out by the road, so I drove over. I noted that the pick-up had the step bumper with the three holes, and started thinking about how the old machinery doesn't use a ball or fancy set-up... You just put the two prongs on either side of the bumper and drop an appropriately sized cotter pin in, and drive off. Knowing there's a not very well-hidden metal box near the gate with a key in it, I thought I'd be "friendly" and chat him up.
We had one of those typically southern Iowa conversations where you find out who is related to whom and lives near whom, etc. I told him my neighbor's name and how to drive to his house, He told me his name and how to drive to his house. This took about 15 minutes, using the "do you know where old (wrong first name) DeVore lived?"
"You mean (correct the first name,) DeVore who got diabetes and died?"
So, I told him who I'd thought he was, and he told me that fellow probably was still at work yet, then added where his son lived in relationship to where that man lived. Eventually, we'd exhausted all the reiterations and he drove off. I forgot about driving by the herd again, and went up the hill to call LD and his wife J to tell them who was interested in their machinery.
L. called me back to ask if I knew I had a foal out there. "It's a real pretty brown one with some white on it. It was running with the herd."
So, I dash down the hill, but NO FOAL. I start to walk the pasture, but it is obvious that I will lose the light before I'm done. I start trying to figure out which mare is the dam. The herd is so fat that I have to resort to lifting mare's tails. Pandemonium Omnia was one of the last, standing off to the side with three of the geldings... but she still trailed afterbirth. Well, if LD saw a running foal at 4, it would have had to have been born around 2, or earlier. I had to get her up to the house and call the vet.
Of course, even though I'd known I was coming down to get a mare and foal, I did NOT take a halter along. (Actually, I thought I'd have to guide a wobbly foal up the driveway and just let the mare follow at this age, as it would not be skilled at walking, much less at following her.) I caught her long mane under her neck, and put my thumb on her jaw, so when I pulled, she felt it behind her ears like a halter would do... but, a hank of hair is not nearly as secure.
I talked her and ONLY HER out the gate eventually, then through the nearly waist high grass to the road. She was afraid at first to step onto the mowed berm along the road's edge. Then she was fretful about leaving the herd, until some started down the fenceline keeping pace. Then she was afraid of the white line along the edge of the road. Then an oncoming car brought us to a complete halt. We watched its headlights creep past, thankful he wasn't tooting his horn to see if she'd run. (She would have, probably right over the top of me... She was just looking for an excuse to return to the herd without being "bad".)
I wondered if OMyNo, the father of her foal as well as her half brother, would come through the electric wire to visit her... but he found the few of the herd that was in the creek bed right at the edge of his yard, so he missed her totally... We got into the bottom of the driveway, and Debut began to talk to her for all he was worth. This really excited her, and she pulled away from me, but instead of running back to the gate, she flipped her tail over her back and trotted strongly up the hill to the house. I got the gates shut before she came back down.
My emergency halters and lead rope weren't hanging beside the pasture gate, nor could I find them in the grass at the bottom of the post... Sure enough, when JWt. borrowed my truck, he'd taken them along, and not put them back. When I finally caught up with him, he said they were in the pick-up... But he didn't call back until the vet had been gone for 45 minutes...
Dr. LW was on call, and even though it was after 10 when he arrived, he worked very patiently with her, trying to get the afterbirth all out in one piece. He had a miner's type lamp on a wide elastic band around his head, and that bothered her, but he HAD to be able to see what he was doing. She let him drive the truck right into the yard, but when I went to put his halter with a chain lead on her, it clanked and she was off. (By then, I think she'd had a run-in with the electric wire across the gate to the pasture, as well, and was plenty goosey.) She ran around the truck a few times, into the yard and around the trailer, but eventually let me catch her.
When the afterbirth was finally free, he took it over to the truck's light and examined it with great care. Sure enough, a small piece was missing. He sleeved up and went "fishing", flushing and irrigating, then filled her with different antibiotics... He examined her nipples, which he, like me, did not think had been suckled. I may have to have him back in the daylight for another dose and more irrigation if she looks poorly in the morning.
What with the phone call and all, the date has changed, so I will backdate it to when I began...
Omyno has produced his first Pinto, but I don't know if he can claim a filly, yet, or no... I called my sister and told her she had a birthday foal, but not one she could name...:-(