Monday, January 24, 2011

Tales from Plainfield and Back Acres Farm

January 24, 2011

Last Thursday the Plainfield What-Nots (a venerable ladies group dating from war-brides after WWII) had a Caribbean dinner. Very nice spread, and lots of tropical drinks. As the hostess said, if it hasn’t got rum in it, I’m not interested. We laughed a lot and got silly, and tried to decide what to spend our $600 kitty on.  As Town Moderator, I suggested a new Moderator’s podium since it is so low I have to hunch at Town Meeting - it is undignified. Unsurprisingly, no one voted for this. It looks as though we will more likely look into funding a local cabinet-maker to build a display case for the library, since there is an historic doll collection which needs restoration and then proper quarters.

Some of the town ladies put on a dinner Saturday night, and a few of us Farm people went. What a hoot!! Jake the Farm Intern had a fun time, since there were a group of Americorp kids there, and he got to hang out with people his own age, which was quite a treat for him. (He is an extremely cheap date). It’s all volunteer - the host ladies provided roast pork and roast beef, and the townspeople provided the rest of the side dishes - all sorts of vegetables and some soup and toothsome breads and rice dishes. Around fifty people sat down - we sat with some people I did not know and was glad to meet, since I had been passing the woman’s house for years and recently noticed that a series of cute sheds had sprouted up, housing goats. We had a good goat chat - I myself have a history of goats and it’s always fun to compare goat-notes. We just got two more here at the Farm, since - although they are annoying at times - there is nothing better for keeping weedy stone walls and odd corners free of unsightly weeds and scrub saplings. After the dinner there was a musical event upstairs at the Town Hall - I will let merciful oblivion temper my report on it, except to say that effort should be honored.

The cold has been severe. I wrestle with issues of horse comfort and safety, as I do every year at this time. Single or double blanket? What to do about blanket rips when it’s little too cold to take them off and send them out for repair - but the hanging bits constitute Xmas in July for bored pasture mates? How to keep water tubs clean when they are sunk in the snow? Fences shorting out, water tub heaters at issue, frozen’s all part of the life and thank goodness it’s only this cold three months a year. All the animals seem good, thank the lord - anxious to be out, and then anxious to be in again. They make me laugh. Lily the Appy mare (who had an eye trauma of mysterious origins in December and spent a week in the hospital) seems completely cured except that very bright light on the snow seems to bother the eye a little bit. We both got very tired of frozen meds and fingers in her eye, so I recently decided to leave her in peace since all discernable symptoms were gone. The vet will re-check at some point and tell me if there is anything left in the deep recesses. That event was interesting - the soundest horse on the planet - who had not even been footsore in ten years - came up with an eye injury for which there was no explanation. There was nothing protruding in her stall, no infection, no surface or adjacent laceration or bruising, just a trashed eyeball as if some Stooge had poked her with a blunt finger. We still don’t know what caused it.

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