Meanwhile, Blue and Maz, our two rottweiller puppies, have discovered that they can get up the step into the Tall Barn, in which can be found the living quarters of the goats and Elise, in particular the humungous piles of cow poo. I am not sure why our animals seem to like each others poo, apart from the sheep who hold a particular fastidiousness towards what they will eat, or rather, where they will eat it. We have a problem at the moment with grazing because there is still a lake lying across the field gate entrance to the Home Field and we can't get them on to that field to graze, so at the moment they have to stay across the lane on Station Field during the day. This they don't mind, although the grazing is getting very lean. However, the Paddock in which they rest up for the night does have grazing, which they will not eat at all. We often have to mow that grass to keep it down. Sheep, it would seem, can be fickle.
To support the grazing we are scything fresh grass from elsewhere on the smallholding, and then taking it to the field. We have become a fan of scythes, they are not noisy, are good exercise, and the swishing sound as the blade cuts the grass is satisfying to the mind, as is the rhythm of the scything action such that I am able to remain oblivious to the stares of passing motorists. The goats will eat the cut grass, as will Elise, perhaps the sheep will, perhaps they won't, perhaps they will just stand and moan about 'there not being not sufficient grazing and why don't you give us the maize, we could live on that all the time'.
'Well, no, you couldn't sheepies, because you can't properly digest the maize, and it ends up in your poo, which the birds or chickens will then eat depending on who gets to the poo first.'
The water is still running swift and deep in the river, and has eaten a chunk of our land in the far paddock of Home Field. Since we can't do anything about this force of nature, we are trying to adopt an attitude of 'what will be will be', and that as long as we have at least five acres left then we can still feed ourselves and anyone else who stays with us. This is an exaggeration. We would probably be left with about ten out of the thirteen we have at the moment.
I must try not to build a negative energy in the area of that erosion. It is one of the prettiest places here and overlooks the convergence of the Adour and the much smaller river Louet. On clear days the Pyrenees can be seen, and sometimes even otters. I must try to concentrate on the peaceful prettiness, and not keep thinking 'Oh damn, that ****** river is taking away our land', so that each time I approach that area I walk back into good thoughts rather than thoughts of a stressful nature. I think I shall have to work on this, because I built quite a high level of negative energy there when I was scything in that field last summer. I kept walking towards the edge of our land, seeing if the river had nibbled away another chunk, which was making me more and more irritated with the river, thus robbing me of my joy about living alongside it.
Message to self: Go down to the far paddock of the Home Field, and make friends with that area again. Look at the erosion, and see it as nature continuing its re-landscaping of the land, which it has always done, and will continue to do so when you have departed this world, because if you don't, then you will spoil your enjoyment of such a wonderful place to be living in.
There is nothing like holding two snoozing puppies on one's lap, knowing full well that in a few weeks time they are not going to fit on one's lap any more.
- Trying to be patient with pee and poo training. Oh why is it that one can stand outside in the cold for ages, waiting for the puppies to do their business instead of which they prefer to go on mini adventures and explorations, then as soon as they get back into the kitchen they realise that they need to squat.
- Trying to be patient with Gussy, who does fiercesome growls whenever those puppies are within half a metre of him. He is a rescue dog, is very pretty to look at, but has a corner of his heart which is black. He has taught me to be wary of dogs. I am having to unlearn this wariness with Maz and Blue.
- Using absolute bribery to get Maz and Blue to do the right things according to the rules of the house. Also getting Bools and Gus to remember those rules.
- It is easier to get two puppies to learn the rules than one.
- Time slips by when one has puppies. It is the rompiness of them, the naughtiness of them, the sweetness of them, which seduces one away from other things which need doing.
There is nothing like watching two sleeping puppies to send one off in to a doze as well!