As I predicted, yesterday was a domestic day where we hung around the homestead which I didn’t mind at all. Winters here are pretty simplified, meaning there are only a few main areas of focus each day. In no particular order they seem to be providing heat sources, tending to the animals, and food/drink . Of course there are many ancillary items connected to these core needs as well.
Yesterday afternoon we got a visit from a traveling barnyard animal vet. He was there to look at the llama who had been acting odd and not been very interested in eating. The guy was very nice and I was surprised how well he was able to interact with Dhali (the llama), until the shots were given. The vet administered three shots and the llama was not happy about it, almost knocking my dad over who had his arms locked around Dhali’s neck for control. The initial thought that Dhali had some sort of mouth/tooth pain seemed to be unlikely. Instead the vet said the llama has an irregular heartbeat and likely is just starting to suffer the effects of old age as Dhali is over 2o years old. The hope is the three shots of vitamins he was given will spur his appetite and get him feeling better.
Later Patrick and I pitched in to help my dad and step mom clean out the sheep stall, a rather nasty job that they try to get done weekly. Basically you shovel, scrape, and pitchfork out all the old urine and shit clogged straw from the floor and then lay down fresh stuff. Having four people involved made it go quickly. To be honest after dealing with chicken coop cleaning, this wasn’t that bad, it’s just on a larger scale.
We spent a good portion of the night playing a board game called Settlers of Catan, something Patrick evidently really likes. It seemed rather complicated as Pat explained the rules to me and dad who also had never played however it didn’t take long until I understood the basics although I don’t think I had much idea as far as strategy goes. As expected Pat won after a long nearly two hour battle.
I also got to introduce Pat to Texas Flip and Move, one of Cindy and my favorite shows. The cast of contractors pick up, move and remodel dilapidated old houses down in Texas. Because Pat is in the middle of renovating a place he bought during the summer I think he enjoyed watching the process and how they made their way through it.
So as I type this, it is Saturday morning, meaning my 50th birthday has officially arrived. I have a lifelong disdain of the aging process and have lamented the passing of my birthday ever since my 30th, back in 1997. Yes there is no need to tell me there is nothing I can do about it and complaining about getting older is a waste of time and energy. I am aware of these truths. Of course I feel fortunate that I developed a mindset where I work hard at keeping myself healthy and fit at an age many of my peers have already given up a long time ago.
I of course plan to continue that effort for as long as I am breathing but I can’t help but replay something a guy that was working on our house years ago mentioned. He said “once you hit 50, every year is a dog year”, meaning the aging process and physical degradation clicks into a new gear. I hope to be the exception to that rule but times comes for all of us, it’s just a matter of when.
Today will be a busy one for sure with my dad and step mom transporting me eastward so we can meet up with Todd’s family for a birthday meal/celebration. Then tomorrow we reverse direction to stay at Patrick’s for a night so I can stage for my departure Monday morning back to warmer climates. Thank you to everyone in advance for your birthday wishes, jokes, and condolences.