The Relatives Have Spring Fever

My post may appear to have nothing to do with being able to write a book, but guess again.  Where do you think I get my ideas and vivid details for the type of books I write?

My attention is split these days between the computer to blog and work on a book and the transformation outside from winter to spring. Sweet smelling purple and white hyacinths are in bloom in one of my flower beds. On a trip through a couple towns yesterday, I saw other flowers, but in the country, the temperature is cooler. We are not protected from the cold winds so country flowers take longer to come up and bloom. I just keep telling myself that my turn is coming to admire my flower beds.

Now we have most of the baby lambs and goats born and frolicking around the barn yard. City relatives want to see the newborn. A great nephew thought we ran a petting zoo. I gave him a bottle of milk to offer a lamb. The lamb came at him with such gusto it was all the little fellow could do to hang on to the bottle. After the bottle went empty, the nephew made a lap around the barn yard, chasing the sheep. They managed to stay ahead of him and not knowing his intention decided to hide in the barn until he left. I put a milk goat in the stanchion and offered to let him milk, but he took one look at what I had in mind for him to do and yelled, "Gross." After that he stayed fairly close to his father. He’s only five years old. The rabbit tour was more up his alley. They watched him from the safety of their cages, and he eyed them back.

That same day, a 36 year old nephew, a new relative by marriage, who wants to experience all he can about farm life came to visit. He is always eager to learn something new when he comes to visit. First, I had to dig out two new nipples so that I had enough bottles to go around to feed the lambs. Nephew was going to help me put the new nipples on the bottle. The hard new rubber nipples refused to stretch over the pop bottles. It took us half an hour to get the job done. Finally, my husband pulled his pliers out of his side holster, grabbed the tab at the bottom and stretched the nipples over the opening. Where was he thirty minutes before? Of course, the nephew thought I gave him trick nipples to use just to see him struggle. The next morning the new nipples went on the bottles as easy as the older nipples because they had been stretched. I haven’t told Nephew this yet.

He helped our five year old great nephew bottle feed lambs, but he wanted to try more of a challenge. For a year now, he has been asking me if he could milk a goat. I handed him the bucket and pointed to the goat in the stanchion. My instruction was to milk fast while she ate her feed, because when she finished eating, she lays down. The nanny is pretty smart that way. This is her statement. She gets fed, or she don’t give milk.

Nephew worked gingerly at something he’d never done before. I finally told him to turn loose of the bucket and use both hands. After getting half a cup of milk in the bottom of bucket, he told me to show him how I do it. As he got down close to watch, I pulled the trick that has been handed down through most families of farmers when they milked their cows. I missed the bucket and sprayed him. My aim was good. I splattered the back of his hand, thinking to not mess up his city clothes. He wiped his hand on his slack legs like a true county man. Unaware that I missed the bucket on purpose and this nephew being the teaser he is, he isn’t going to let me forget my bad aim for awhile. Not that a trick or two is going to stop him from coming back for more lessons. He loves being on the sidelines of what we do here. I know how he feels. It was bred into me from my ancestors to want this country life and to appreciate it.