0730 - 1030: Making money
Although I enjoy sleeping in on occasion, my brain works best in the morning and I hate to let it slip away. Most days (weekdays and weekends alike) start with me grabbing Obsidian (my laptop, a black MacBook) out of his bedside holster and remotely logging onto Pyxidis (my desktop, quad core blah blah RAM out the ying yang blah blah) who lives in my office on campus. Pyxidis runs all kinds of models for me at night, and I like to see what he's accomplished while I've been sleeping. This morning I started tinkering with some troublesome code, and it was 10:30 by the time I got it sorted out. A professionally productive start to a warm and sunny January Sunday.
1030 - 1100: Food machine
David often refers to me as "the food machine" because he thinks that's how the animals see me. Each of the dogs got half a cow's knee, the goats got their flake of alfalfa and the horses got their morning rations. Still lots of hay in the feeders from Saturday.
1100 - 1200: Late breakfast
Thick plain yogurt with crunchy sunflower granola, into which I mixed tiny and potent chocolate chips. Yummy! And one of David's magnificent mochas, care of Mr. Giotto. Enjoyed at the sun-flooded kitchen table with David, chatting about nothing in particular.
1200 - 1430: Moving muck
I mucked out the paddock and then David helped me to move all that manure lying in the pasture (where it got dumped on the snow days) up into the compost bin. We worked slowly in t-shirts, chatting and goofing around with the dogs between bouts of shoveling. Probably more fun than having a front-end loader.
1430 - 1530: Grooming
The horses have been naked for the past week of sunshine, and they have been rolling around in the muddy parts of the paddock. I groomed them both while they stood and ate at one of the feeders and then I turned my attention on Titan. With daily practice he is becoming more tolerant of brushing, and yesterday he lay quiet on his side for 10 minutes while I work on his undercoat with The FURminator.
1530 - 1600: Late lunch
David makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches ever, and I was lucky enough to get one for lunch. Enjoyed with a Vietnamese coffee and David's good company.
1600 - 1630: Working Raven
While I know that hand walking and trotting are the best exercises for Raven right now, I can't actually watch her move when I am moving alongside her. With some trepidation I put her on the 25 foot longe line to take a better look. Trepidation because (1) moving in a circle can be hard on an already-painful joint and (2) longing thoughtfully can be hard for Raven. It's obvious that people have used longing as a method of tiring her out in the past, and she tends to start cantering in mindless circles when she hits the end of the line. I found long ago that she is more comfortable without a whip, which is fine because her upward voice transitions are instantaneous and sustained. The downward transitions only work smoothly if I keep my voice and my body as quiet as possible. Today I managed to get her from a frantic canter into a walk within three circles, which is a record. We did lots of walking and a bit of trotting in both directions, followed by some hand walking up and down the pasture. Based on what I saw and heard I formulated a plan for moving forward, which will be the subject of another post.
1630 - 1700: Working Tonka
Where Raven hits the end of the longe at a canter, Tonka sees no reason to do anything other than stand around unless there is a whip actively involved. Once he got moving he was great with a big steady trot that makes my heart glad. Like many standardbreds Tonka doesn't canter too good, so we just did lots of walking and trotting. His downward transitions are instantaneous, which I attribute to sheer laziness rather than good training (though he does hold his pace admirably when he gets going). After that I took him down to the end of the pasture for some hand grazing. Raven does not like being separated from Tonka, and I need to start working on this if I want to ride him out and leave her behind. Every time she settled down and stood quietly I would bring him 50 feet closer to her. Hopefully with time and patience she will get the message that he only comes home when she keeps her head.
1700 - 1830: Phoning mom
A long conversation with my mother in Toronto. We talked about books, politics, family, pets, airplanes, travel plans.
1830 - 2000: Crazy casserole
I enjoy cooking when I have the time for it. A few weeks ago Roger gave me the recipe for a tasty caserole he made, and I have been wanting to try it ever since. We didn't have a lot of the ingredients in the house, but I substituted liberally (my modus operandi for all cooking). Scallions instead of yellow onion, some carrots to make up for the lack of crunch, some squishy tomotoes from the fridge instead canned, the ends of three different types of salsa instead of tomato sauce, and some really old Kraft Parmesan cheese I found in the cupboard a few weeks ago. It turned out great!
2000 - 2100: Chores
Another round of feeding followed by a shower. Our water was off all day and I was wrapping my head around the reality of showering at work before my morning meeting (sitting on the commuter train after a day like this would not make me any friends) when it came back on. Delightful!
2100 - 2400: Strict machine
You know that Goldfrapp song? I make my living using computers and sometimes I feel like a slave to Obsidian and Pyxidis. One of the best things about Farcical Farm is that it forces me to spend a lot of time away from my machines each and every day (have you guessed that I am a workaholic?). And on sunny days it gives me a good excuse to delay computer-dependent work until the sun goes down. Today was productive and pleasurable both personally and professionally. Who could ask for a better Sunday?