Toby left for The City yesterday after work. He spent the night at my son's home in order to catch a plane for Houston at the crack of dawn today. He will not get home until late tonight. Whenever Toby is away, I have mixed emotions. Part of me misses him, knowing that I will not sleep well without him hogging the bed. The other part of me thinks, "Yeha, I don't have to cook and I can do whatever I want for the evening." There is also that old rule that if Toby is away things that can go wrong will go wrong or at least strange things happen. About midnight last night, the outside dog started growling and barking setting off the inside dogs. I don't scare easily, but when the dogs are scared, it is just worrisome and makes sleep even more difficult. Maybe having Toby sleeping beside me just gives me a sense of security - if he is not worried, then I am not worried. One of my worries last night was that the coyotes were after the goose, but this morning the goose was fine as was my outside dog. The morning rituals were running along as usual, but after awhile Jesse and I noticed a definite stench in the house. We looked for a puppy accident, but all was good there. I carried out the trash thinking that was the problem, but still something was just reeking. Thinking that I was going to have to mop the tile and shampoo the carpet, I made my WalMart list. Then I sat down to watch a little GMA. That is when I figured it out. The rat terrier had rolled in something dead. Oh man, it was bad. So, I spent the next part of the morning bathing the dog (not one of my favorite chores). Later, while I was busy at the computer, I realized that the wet dog was now on the bed sleeping on my pillow. I will add "new pillows" to the WalMart list. In the meantime, the outside dog was barking again. Someone was driving up to the house at the crack of dawn. Nice! I was in my gown and robe with no makeup and had not even brushed my hair. Who would have thought I would be seeing someone so early in the morning? It turned out to be the Duncan Door man here to install the garage doors on the barn. Before I could get myself together he came back to the house to inform me that he could not install the doors until Toby did some work to meet his specifications. So I am standing at the door in my robe, my teeth are not brushed nor is my hair combed, talking to a perfect stranger - just how I like to start my day.
It all reminded me of other times when Toby has gone off on some trip leaving me to hold down the home front. One time, I dropped him off at the airport in Albuquerque, drove home in the first snow storm of the season, had to start a fire in the old Avery Stove, and then pull some porcupine quills from the dog's muzzle. Or how about the time that I had to check on a calf and it fell over dead leaving me to haul it to the dead animal pit at the landfill? That was a fun one.
Do you see a pattern here? It seems that all my stories have to do with animals. Such is life on the farm.