Friday, August 29, 2008

Where I Would Rather Be

Where has this summer gone? Maybe it's just me, but it seems like it has been three months of chaos and I really never got any down-time. We booked a week at Fenske Lake for some Boundary Waters canoeing and then we cancelled after getting hit by the tornado in July. Now I am really regretting it. This picture is what I am longing for. Quiet lakes, loons with their babies, the gentle splashing of the paddle, no errands, no garden weeding, no beans that need to be canned, no work calling and asking me to come in on my day off, no fighting, tattling, or hitting. The lawn doesn't need mowing, the projects are all done, the kids are all clean, smiling, and quiet. Michael has no work to do, the checkbook is balanced and in the black, dinner is made and everyone likes it, everyone is healthy, the laundry is done, the dishes are done, the floors are clean, and I can really, truly let my mind relax. Please don't wake me!!

I think that I grossly underestimated the importance of summer vacation and now that fall is upon us and we are back to school at our house I find that I am not ready for summer to be over. I WANT MY VACATION!!

Michael and I do have a date tonight...hopefully that will help.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

No Doubt About It... I'm a Farm Girl!

I have to warn you... this post may be gruesome. Men won't want to read it at all. Alright, you've been warned.

It all started July 5th when we got a call from the local FFA director asking us if we would take the three little pigs from the kiddie barnyard at the Cannon Falls Fair. We didn't want them, but we took them. (that's another story...) Anyway, it turns out that one of the pigs we didn't want was an intact boar, meaning he needed to be castrated in order for the meat to be any good. Usually this is done when the pigs are 2 days old as they are smaller and MUCH easier to handle. After the events yesterday, we agree that this IS the best way to do it.

After the discoverery of "the twins", we began to discuss our dilemma with various farm gurus we thought might be willing to help us out and perform the "procedure". As time went on, we realized we might just be on our own here so we best study up. Michael did research on how to best de-masculinate the poor guy and I shopped for supplies. At least my 3 yrs in the operating room proved of some value! We decided Saturday was "D-day" and we got up early expecting a long morning of hog wrestling. I called all the neighbors to warn them of the almost assured blood curdling screams they might hear and that no one was being murdered on our property (though Matthew argues a bullet to the head would be preferable in his book). We left the kiddos safe in the house watching the Olympics and set out for hog wrestling.

Michael used a garbage can to corner and catch him. Head first in the garbage can then tipped upside-down. Next grab the back legs and tie up to a beam on the ceiling of the barn. We left him with front feet touching the ground, but still in the garbage can so he couldn't kick around so much. I got my soap and scrub bucket, donned my gloves and prepped our patient. Next, a betadine paint to the surgical site and then the pig pooped. Several times. Ok, so I cleaned and prepped as best I could, got my scalpel, prepared to make the incision, and froze. "You do it." I said to Michael. "No." was all he said and I knew I was it. Yikes! I've never done anything like this before! I began thinking about the blood, what if I could find them, what if I really hurt the poor piggy, and maybe it would be easier and more humane to just shoot the pig and be done with it.

After much deliberation about the best technique according to Michael's research, I made the first cut. Not as easy as I thought. I had to go through three layers and chase them around a bit before I finally got the first one out. It worked, one out, one to go. As I was rejoicing, Michael had to go lay down in the grass for a while.

"Hey! Come back and help me!" I yelled. He did come back and hold one leg that slipped out of the rope and I made the second incision. He left again. I waited, got the next one out easily, then did a final scrub with betadine and let Mr. Bacon free. There was virtually no blood. I was amazed! We checked on him several time throughout the day and he seemed tired, but fine. He does seem absolutely docile when I'm around him, though! As though he is saying, "I submit!"

I never want to do this again, but we felt pretty proud that we were able to perform our own vet procedure with success and feel we have earned our "farmer" badges.

I am sure we will laugh about this years later...