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Saturday, May 21, 2011

First of all, I forgot to mention for yesterday--there's a couple of cows we milk who are utter, well, cows, about the whole thing, and so they get restrained with a variety of devices including ropes or metal leg shackles. One of them Sisi, gets her ankles tied together with what is essentially very thick bailing twine, but she still hops around like a twit when you are milking her. Yesterday, just as I was like 'dear, you're going to fall over if you do that,' she hopped around enough that she did indeed plop over beside me. It's a good thing I had quick enough reflexes and was aware enough of what was going on that I jumped out of the way and didn't get sat on by a cow, which would have been distinctly unpleasant.

Anyway, today started with the discovery that there was a new calf down in the barn, who had just been born overnight and who is quite drunk on her feet still. Very cute even though her mom is a bit of a biatch!

After morning chores we came up for breakfast and then T asked us to move the ponies from their stall back to their permanent paddock (as opposed to the one we keep rebuilding every other day) and build a new fence for them to graze in. This would have been easier had there not been heavy plastic from the roundbales all over the barn floor, and a huge tractor in the door, leaving us exactly only pony's width and two people trying to move six horses. In the end, I took one horse through and then Cecilia put the reigns over the heads of the next three horses, slapped their bums, and sent them to me to snag as they walked through the door. I was holding four horses as she backed Osk through, while leading another pony. Osk managed to wrap her hind leg up in plastic and didn't even flinch, or really seem to notice for that matter. And no one spooked at the massive tractor or walking over the plastic. Amazing horses!

We were also put in charge of sorting a pile of socks about as big as we are, which took the better part of an hour; some of the kids have the same socks in different sizes, which was confusing, and there were just soooooo many. Like a ridiculous game of memory!

But all in all an easy morning, and after a couple of hours we came in for lunch--sausage patties and mashed potatoes, which was great! We had a couple of hours to clean some more tack and watch Friends, and then it was time for snack and afternoon cow chores.

We were all eager to get done as C and I were going out, and B and T had a birthday party to get to, but of course the best laid plans...

T asked Cecilia and I to take the ponies from the permanent paddock into the new paddock, which is basically in the grassy verge across the road from the farm. We usually use a system of non-electrified hot wire to make a pathway for the horses to follow, but we didn't have enough wire, and it was looking a bit iffy for us to get them in their paddock from the start. I was going to open the gate and let them out, driving them towards C, and then she was going to funnel them into their paddock. But then Loppa, the over-enthusiastic loose cannon of a collie got involved and all hell broke seriously loose. Not knowing where exactly to go, and with a herding snapping canine at their hocks they all took off galloping into the neighbours' field, and sprinted around and around a couple of times before heading back to us, or so we thought. As we prepared to divert them into our paddock, they completely ignored us and kept galloping out one gate and across a driveway into another field we hadn't even noticed, Loppa still in hot pursuit.

At this point we were alternating between hysterical laughter and bellowing at Loppa so loudly it was bouncing off the mountains on the other side of the valley, but she was completely and utterly ignoring us. After a couple of laps of this second, also very large field, they bolted back into the first field for another lap and then eventually came back. C was trying to keep them from going back into the second big field and in the process convinced them not to come through the gate at all, but with Loppa at their heels, they decided it would be a good idea to go over/through the fence and then home, with the exception of two ponies. One who stayed where the grass was, being circled by Loppa, and one who actually ended up, by some miracle, where it was supposed to be. We looked at everyone in the paddock and to our great relief no one seemed to be lame or spurting blood, but right then a neighbour showed up and was unimpressed as he told us we had destroyed his fence. Oops. I finally had a chance to get T at that point, and was somewhat terrified of what her reaction would be, but she just said 'Loppa was not tied up?' and came to help us move the horses. We both apologised after and she just smiled and said 'it's not a problem. shit happens.' It sure does! Turns out the fence is B's, because he leases that land anyway, so we can still have tomorrow off, and we'll fix it on Monday.

We realised that between us, T, and the 9 year old, this is the fifth time one or more horses has been lose in like six days. Things here are different when it comes to ponies!

T and B went off to their birthday party with the cow that they are giving as a present, and apparently made a bow to put on him, we're hoping for photos! As for us, we took advantage of it being Saturday and not having cows to do tomorrow in order to go into Akureryi to what is quickly becoming our favourite cafe for dessert and then downstairs to the attached pub to see a father/daughter band combo. They were good and the pub was great--really cute and relaxed, and Cecilia's Viking-brand beer came out of a saxaphone!

Here's the daughter doing something solo:

They were good fun :)

We got home just before B and T, who told us that the cow had gone over well, even though it peed all over the floor in the house as they were presenting it, and now we're off to bed, as we're heading to the hotsprings tomorrow and we don't want to get *too* late a start.


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