Monday, October 20, 2008

A new Olympic Event?

A local senior organization paid for Mom's stay at a facility so I could have a weekend off. I had been in contact with them for three years, but they've never been able to help. None of their volunteers was willing to do the drive, and they couldn't find a volunteer closer to me. They got a grant or something, and are focusing a bit of it on caregiver support. Yay!

So I spent the weekend working around here, doing stuff that I can't do with Mom here, or is really difficult to do with Mom here.

I cleaned out the chicken coop, finished the cellar door, including stuffing it with straw, put plastic and some scrap wood over the north wall of the llama barn, because it had a lot of holes and that north wind is a bitch in the winter. Getting that first furring strip up while holding the plastic, the screw and the drill was an adventure. After that it wasn't so bad.

I also shoveled most of the manure out of the llama barn, and put down 6" x 12" cement pavers over the place they poop the most. It is about a 3' x 4' area. The barn just has a dirt floor, so trying to decide when I am scooping manure and when I am scooping floor is difficult. My hope is they will go on the pavers, and that will make cleaning up after them easier. My goal is to have the whole floor made of the pavers, but that will have to wait until I can afford to buy that many pavers. I'll just keep adding pavers as I can afford them.

Cleaning out the llama barn entails the use of a shovel, a yard cart, some muscles, and a few choice expletives. It has really low rafters on one section, so that precludes the use of a tractor, which I don't have anyway. I banged my head a couple of times on those rafters because I was looking down at where I was shoveling instead of where the rafters are.

My yard cart is a wonderful tool, and has dumping capability. The stuff I am cleaning out though is wet, heavy and sticky, imagine a wet clay. If I just tip the cart, most of it stays in the cart and I have to shovel it out.

Here's where the new Olympic event comes in. I have discovered a fun new sport called the llama poo catapault. I take a running start with the cart, building up as much speed as I can, then at the right spot, I hurl upwards on the cart handle with all my might, the front end goes down, and the llama poo gets flung out of the cart onto the pile. If I've done it right, 3/4 of the poo is on the pile, and I only have to shovel a little out. It's great fun, you should all come play it with me!

Since most of my weekend involved poo (chicken and llama), I won't offer any pictures of that. However, here's a couple of the corn field across the road. I'm still fascinated with the row thing, and they've taken down one swipe across the front to hasten drying.

Doesn't it almost dare you to venture down the row?


rilera said...

Reminds me of the movie "Field of Dreams" when the baseball players came out of the corn rows.

Mama Pea said...

Now how many people would consider a weekend like you just spent a vacation or treat? Just shows to go that all things are relative. But it must have been a good feeling to have the whole weekned to give to chores that have no doubt been weighing on your mind, but impossible to do with your mom home. And you did such hard, physical work that hopefully you were able to get a night or two of really good sleep as a bonus.

Sending positive thoughts your way that you get more "time off" as a regular thing. You so deserve!

Mama Pea

LostInColor said...

Too bad you don't live closer, or I don't live closer, I would have loved to help ya. Hopefully you did something nice for yourself too??

JudyP613 said...

How many people would consider a weekend shoveling poo a vacation or a treat?? Me Me Me. Raising hand in air and waving it. Me pick me. Strange as it may sound it would be quite nice to see the real tangible results of my efforts, for probably about the duration of a weekend.

Joanne said...

I would have helped you scoop poop anytime. Love that you named it an Olympic event. That's just too funny! LOL

It's wonderful that the organization is helping with caregiver support. Glad you had a good weekend.

Mama Pea said...

Hope I didn't make it sound like I thought you were "strange" to enjoy a weekend shoveling poop. On the contrary, I meant to communicate that I can totally understand what it meant to you. I've never had anyone like your mom to be primary caregiver for, but I can relate it to having a baby/toddler as my responsibility 24/7. And what a sense of freedom it was on the occasions when I could go out and shovel manure or compost by myself and not have to worry about my little charge putting it in their mouth, or hair, or ears. And how good it felt to have been able to accomplish such chores.

Mama Pea

Joy said...

Great that you got some help - hope you also did something more relaxing. The cornfield reminded me of "Field of Dreams" too ;)

Annie said...

No worries, Mama Pea, I understood what you meant. I had a long list of things I wanted to get done, and got the four most pressing, absolutely have to do before winter hits things crossed off. My mind is resting easier.

I'm starting to think I should start a "city-dweller" retreat. Let them come for a week or long weekend to do my work for me while I laze on the couch and eat bon bons. To make sure they feel like they had an "experience" while on vacation, I could charge several hundred dollars. Sounds like a deal to me!

Cindy said...

What a gift. A weekend off. Wow. I would do chores like you. I have a mental picture of you running with the cart and flinging poo. You made me laugh at 6:20 a.m. Thank you, dear. And, I guess I'm your weirdo. I saw the cornfield and thought of Cary Grant in "North by Northwest". Sheesh.

Miss T said...

Eerie photograph...I like it.

K said...

I don't know if yours is an organic farm, but you should look at

It may give you some ideas about other places to look, and if you are not certified organic, but approximate it, you can still sign up. There are peopl willing to travel across the world for the pleasure of shoveling poo, mending fences, giving respite caregiving and more, all in exchange for room and board.

cornbread hell said...

just catching up with my internetting.
love the image of you poo flinging. ahahahahahaha