Now that we have two sheepand a few more animal-related ideas brewingwe decided it’s high time we get serious about putting in some fence.

We tend to do things backwards around here. It’s our way. We fixed up our first house before we owned it. We put a bid on another house before I saw it. We started applying for a year abroad without talking to each other about it first. (In the last case, “we” means “I.”) So it makes perfect sense that we got sheep before we had a place to put them.

There’s actually a good reason for doing things this way. See, I can talk to my husband about new project ideas until I’m blue in the face, but nothing rarely happens until the situation reaches crisis levels. I figured getting the sheep before the fence was an appropriate lighting-a-fire-under-his-butt action. However, when I started talking about a milk cow, my son said, “Mom, that’s a blowtorch, not a fire,” so I backed down. (For now.)

the smokin’ (non) ass

Because my daughter is aware that it’s her interests that are the main impetus for this fence project, she is over-the-top excited. Anything she can do to hurry the fence into being, she does. The other children tend to work for a bit and then fade off our radar, but this girl plugs away the entire time. (Confession: the fading away characteristic comes from me. My daughter’s stick-with-it, not-afraid-of-hard-work characteristic comes from my husband. The two of them love working together.)

Aside: It used to be that a project like this meant that I was stuck inside to care for four children while my husband did the work by his lonesome. Now it means that he is outside bossing and directing the children while I do my stuff, which in Saturday’s case involved hosting the Greats, cooking, and taking pictures. I love, love, love this stage of the parenting game. It’s so much more profitable and entertaining than sitting slumped on the couch, surrounded by sippy cups, board books, and drooling, fat-cheeked tots while feeling like I’m going to crawl out of my skin if I don’t get out of the house this minute.

A word about the boots. We got her these cowboy boots as a leaving-Guatemala present. She didn’t wear them much in the beginning, but now she wears them every day, all day. From what I’ve heard, once a person learns to appreciate cowboy boots, it’s all they’ll wear for the rest of their life. Is this true? And where do I go to buy cowboy boots? (“Guatemala” is not a viable answer.)

I think they got 19 posts in on Saturday. Unlike cattle ranchers and big-time farmers, we have no equipment save an iron bar, a post-hole digger (the man-powered kind), shovels, and muscles.

It’s slow going, but that’s okay. The joy is in the toil. Right, honey? 

This same time, years previously: the quotidian (5.6.13), rhubarb smothered chicken and chicken with mushrooms, I have nothing to say, the bike question revisited, and baked macaroni and cheese.


  • Unknown

    Love the "(non) ass" caption. Cowboy boots: check ebay for used, but you can also get them at Tractor Supply or Farm Coop like Rockingham Cooperative.

  • karen

    I had a pair of boots that were not particularly good, and eventually I had to let them go because they were cheap and done. One day I decided to get a good pair of boots, and ended up with a husband. (Long story.) I wore those boots all the time, in the tropics and in a temperate climate, but once I had my children, those beloved boots were no longer mine. Try though I did to deny it, gestating changed my feet at some point in having the three. Luckily, my heart has remained the same, and my husband fits me better than ever.

    Whew. Who knew I was going to say that?! 20 years of marriage next week. 12 with kids, if you include pregnancies. The boots are waiting for a kid to love them.

  • Mavis

    Tell Miss Beckety Boo she needs to put a market stand/shed on her radar because pretty soon she'll have raw wool, garden veggies, fresh eggs and raw milk to sell at the end of the driveway. Wahooooo!

  • Kathy ~ Artful Accents

    Loving this stage of parenting at our house too! I wasn't a good parent of toddlers, not enough patience. But 12 and 14, I love it!

  • katie

    I can start to sniff that part of the parenting game and I am REALLY excited for it! It excites me to hear about it from you.

  • Becky

    Yes, once you learn to appreciate cowboy boots, you are forever gone on them.
    I got a pair of Frye online a few years ago. An investment, but worth it.

Leave a Comment