Starting Sunday and continuing for the next three weeks or so, we will begin to look more farm-like.  Our first acquisitions will be the four guinea hens we pick up on Sunday afternoon.  Then our broilers on Wednesday.  Then our layers and ducklings will arrive the Wednesday after that.  Sometime between now and then we will also be acquiring a milk cow (at least one, but possibly two) which has already been bred. 

In the meantime, we have repaired a few fencing issues, reseeded a pasture with one of those ‘spreader deals’ you buy from Wal-mart to do manure and weed control, readied housing for the guineas and the first batch of chicks.  We have also selected names for our ‘at least one’ (maybe two) calves from our one or more dairy cows, assuming that the calves are not heifers.  These names are Roast and T-bone.  I like it.  Much better than Ham, Burger and Helper anyway (real names of real calves, by the way).  Orion has decided that our ‘keeper’ cows’ names will be Cheby (like Chevy with a "b") and Snowball.

Speaking of Orion….

This afternoon while mom and I were wrestling an upright freezer OUT of the van and the significantly heavier back seat of the van back INTO the van, my son and daughter were playing cheerfully on the top of the hay bales in the barn.  (This is a great activity for them when I’m NOT watching and being nervous.)

Soon enough I hear Orion yelling proudly,

"GUESS WHAT, MOMMY! GUESS WHAT!!!"

"What, Orion?" (equally excited)

"I went potty in the barn!" Huge, prideful smile, here!

"You what?" (hiding my confused, shocked and smiling face in the door of the car where we’re wrestling with the seat)

"I peed in the barn.  I stood up on top of the hay and peed!  (Big accomplishment for a boy who was previously a sitter, granted!) and GUESS WHAT?" Even more excited and proud.

"What?"

"I showed Lithany how to do it!!" (Great, I grew up envious that the boys got to run around topless in the summer heat while I had to wear shirts, but my daughter will be grumping that she can’t pee outside OR stand up!!!!!)

"And, mommy…"

Mommy waits expectantly, still floored by all this apparently wonderful news, and trying less than successfully not to laugh.

"I got some pee on my coat." grins at me, chuckles charmingly, awaits my accolades. "But that was an ‘askident’"

"Uh-oh.  I guess we’d better wash it, then."  (Exactly which part of this news was supposed to inspire
matronly pride in me, again???)

"Cool, huh???"

"Sure, bud."  Short comment about making sure we don’t go potty on the hay in the barn because the cows have to eat it.  Follow him back to the barn and allow him to rapturously demonstrate the exact location and relive the joy of the moment.  "I was STANDING, mom!"  Further explain that while that was very exciting and oh so cool, perhaps he should try to make it to the house whenever possible… oh…

"And, Orion,"

"Yes, mom?"

"If you HAVE to pee outside again… maybe you could go behind the barn on one of the fence posts and not IN the barn."  

"Where?  Show me!"  Brief explanation of the locale.  Followed by

"but if you can, it’s usually best to go INSIDE the house, okay?"

"okay!"

What can I say.  Even without the animal inhabitants, we’re already a farm family. 

Our dog is even in on the act.  He is now ‘freed’ by the installation of "Invisible Fence".  Initially we wondered how well this would work, but he loves it.  He has already treed a cat, chased numerous other varmints, eaten long lost bones, and lost some of his table manners.  Despite the freezing cold and even some drizzle, he declined to enter the house at all the first three days of his freedom, possibly afraid that the dream would end. 

Now he enters for the night or naps when it’s cold, but otherwise stays out all day.  Totally in his element on all six acres.  He’s already cheerfully defended his property from the UPS man and viciously threatened a weiner dog who dared to walk around in the pasture next to ours.  We can sleep sounder at night, that’s for sure.

He also growled at us…for the first time since Matt was away in China, and I had to prove to him that I was next in line for alpha male and that I was adamant that he NOT take Matt’s place in our bed.  (He’s, like a 60 pound dog, and he’s VERY lean, so think 100 pounds at least!)

We made it very clear that this new disgruntled attitude was unacceptable, no matter how delicious his greenie is or how annoying we were while he was trying to eat it. 

Hopefully, that will be the last of that.  I won’t trade my "perfect in every way except the running about the town every time the door is left open" dog for one that is perfectly contained and wretched in every other way.  I don’t think that will be a real problem, though. 

Otherwise, everything is going great!  Even Lithany is screaming less!!  Instead she makes very high pitched ‘horse noises’ as she borrows Orion’s scooter to ride around on.  I’ve never heard a horse scream like that and probably won’t unless it’s getting attacked by a cougar.  She loves having freedom to climb fences and hay bales.  She loves having the freedom to play outside whenever (more spring related, than farm related, though).  She loves having boots with cow faces on them and feels that any other clothing item is optional so long as the boots are in place. 

Both of the kids are excited to get a horse (I’ve been told that I can ride the cow.  Generous, aren’t they?) a wish that is a product of the video game ZELDA and the horse therein.  TV doesn’t influence kids at all, right?  Orion is more excited about building a large enough pond to house his orange crocodile, and I think Asa is voting for kittens which are his current favorite animal.  As far as I know, Asa is the only one with any real potential of having his wished for item within the next year… or five… or more (especially true if we’re counting the orange crocodile.)  And THAT little guy is in helpful mode right now and can’t abide sitting by while everyone else is busy.  As one example, anytime someone is at the sink (washing hands or merely looking out the window) he’s scooting his kitchen chair over to do dishes… and there had BETTER be dishes, by golly!  Don’t be tricking him by washing your hands when the sink is empty!  Lithany and Orion enjoy dishes too, of course, but Asa’s really the only one that’s actually thrown a fit over being denied the pleasure of this chore.  Basically, this relegates our bigger, longer, more stressful tasks (like fencing and seeding pastures) either to his naptimes or portions of the day when someone else is available to keep him occupied.  Yes, that’s right.  Lithany’s tantrums are starting to tone down and Asa’s are only just beginning.  We have about 6 months to correct that before he hits 2 years of age. 

All in all, I think we’re VERY happy here.  We even have our hot water heater installed, then repaired, then fixed.  In that order.  Over the course of one week.  What stories would we tell if things like that didn’t happen occasionally… Oh right, all the other stories on our page.  The gross ones especially.

His pride in the whole event is really what made it funny.  If you’re not laughing about it, well… sorry.  Maybe you just had to be there.

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