Unfortunately I did almost burn to death twice, worse it was by my own hand. Accidentally of course. But let me get to that later, I need to explain a few things first. Things have been crazy around here.
The Pity Party Is Over
You will recall that the night the first of the calves arrived was a stormy, thunderous, howling, black night. Well that my friends, was an omen of things to come.
For forty days and forty nights the rains drummed down upon us bringing with it flood, mud and misery. And the howling winds smashed against the house threatening to send us way off into oblivion. Stinking, putrid, mud smirked at us from every direction and I yearned for the concrete paths and un potholed roads of the big city.
Of course, not to be deterred by the hideous, miserable weather Smarts would arrive home twice a week with a trailer load of calves. Our little herd of five soon became twenty and all was going well until the antichrist reined its treacherous wraith down upon us, full force.
One by one the calves fell ill and no amount of encouragement, singing, nor cuddling made them feel any better. They would rest their sweet heads on my lap and every now and then tears would slide down from their big, mournful eye while I tried to console them. It was the saddest of times.
Hours blended into days and days into weeks. The calves grew sicker and sicker until we had a plot with raised little mounds bearing little wooden crosses. I almost lost my mind with the desperation of it all.
The vet braved the treacherous drive out to the surviving calves and with a jab here and a jab there, we prayed like crazy and hoped for the best.
I can’t tell you how relieved I was when he told me that none of it was my fault. That they had in fact arrived at our place already diseased. He did advise me though, that it probably wasn’t a good idea to kiss them all goodnight as I might find myself with debilitating diarrhea just like them.
Anyway, thankfully the remaining twelve are fighting fit now. All they want is to be fed and the amount of testosterone in those pens, wow! Just like a bunch of teenage boys.
The rains have stopped, the mud is slowly losing its vile smell and I should be able to find my lost boots, ballet flats and one runner which were all swallowed up by the mud when I stupidly thought I could dash to the car without wearing my gumboots.
The sun is shining brightly and the heated discussions about selling up and moving to an ordinary house on an ordinary block have faded away to nothing.
No words will ever describe what a desperate time that was for all of us but I can tell you that if I didn’t have such strong support from family and friends calling me every day, dragging me out for coffee or popping in with their tea bags and already boiled kettle, (in case we didn’t have enough solar to boil ours) or cooking us dinner and staying the night to work with me the next day I would still be in the midst of my self-inflicted pity party.
You guys knew exactly the right time to step in to save my sanity. You know me better than myself sometimes but you will never know who grateful I am to all of you.
Scheise what a dark ride that was and what an unusual post for me to write. Moving right along to a more predictable Kooky story.
The Day I Almost Burnt to Death – Twice
So let me tell you how this came about.
With the sick calves, endless rain and mud we were in absolute misery and living on top of each other wasn’t helping. As for living off the grid, well you can only imagine the abundance of power we had. Make that a big fat ZERO.
The generator was working overtime but the amount of washing due to festy farm clothes was insurmountable and in the end I gave up. Nothing was drying anyway and life was really frigging hard and blah blah my pity party was really taking off.
Then our once cheery fire refused to light because, as everyone knows, wet wood just won’t light. Getting up in the morning without a warm fire to greet us was debilitating and the time taken to get it lit was proving way too time consuming. So losing patience one morning I decided I needed to take drastic action.
As luck would have it Smarts had a big, brand new, bottle of methylated spirits in his shed. It grinned at me when I found it and came willingly inside. I splashed it over the wet wood, lit a match and watched its pretty flames flare up before quickly burning out.
Not to be deterred I emptied half the bottle into the fireplace, lit a match and lo and behold I dropped the bottle. Shit hit the fan, (there are no other words). All sorts of things caught on fire, the floor rug, the blanket on the chair, the picnic hamper, all the computer cords, of which there are many and yes, you know it, even I caught on fire.
Blue flames raced up onto my ugg boots and jumped onto my dressing gown. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Poor Pippa stood beside me screaming but all I could do was stare at the horror of it all.
There was no room to drop and roll so, coming to my senses I batted out the flames with my hands and thought I had done a satisfactory job until I saw I was on fire again! Seriously! How? What! Why?
Thankfully no one died and I managed to put myself out, again. The picnic basket is singed down one side, the lid of the methylated spirits bottle is embedded in the rug, the computer cords were all destroyed, unfortunately the blanket is now a scrap of its former self and I only have three fingers with rather nasty blisters on them.
Didn’t I tell you things were looking up?
Thanks for reading