November 2, 2005

I hate standard time. Overnight our world is taken from daylight and shunted into the long dark of winter. Coming home in the dark. Checking animals in the dark. Trying to do this and that in the dark–and cold. Partly, it’s the price we pay for having to drive 40 minutes to get to and from work. But it seems puzzling–I’ve always heard that the time changes were invented to help the farmers. If that’s the case, why only help the farmers for part of the year? And if you get right down to it, no farmer that farms full time cares what the clock says. Sunlight is sunlight, and you start and end your day according to when it’s light. Perhaps it’s not meant to be understood.

This last week I joined an online group having to do with rare turkeys. I have been amazed to find so many other farms and ranches, some of which are very nearby, all involved in the same pursuit. Everyone seems great and we can’t wait to make some new friends who also wake up to gobbling every day.

Last weekend the poultry yards were worked on some more. The Delaware chicks continue to grow well. They are each about the size of a cantaloupe now. We found one that has a terribly deformed leg, it has no joint stability at either the hip or hock. The little bird seems to be getting by okay, but sooner or later she will need to be culled; we can’t have her breeding. Loads of hay are being spread around in the garden. Seeds are being processed for next year, and the last items of produce are being gathered into the house. Firewood was delivered today and will be stacked soon enough.

A very sad thing happened last weekend. Our oldest cat, Socks, has been declining in his faculties for some months now. He seemed healthy enough although we guessed his kidneys were not working so well. Saturday during the day, as we worked in the poultry yards, Socks came over to the fences, pacing back and forth. He usually never strays more than a few yards from the house so this was very unusual. He seemed to enjoy the sunshine, and we took him back in with us near dusk. Saturday after dark we set up our telescope to look at Mars, and we noticed that he walked outside. We didn’t know until it was too late that he had kept walking. We guessed that he walked off to die. We haven’t found him, and doubt we ever will. He was with me for exactly  eighteen years, he jumped into my open window one day when I lived in Davis and was going to school there. Animals have no means by which to say "I’m done with all this", but it seems he found his way. This leaves us with three cats, which by our usual standards is very thin. More will come in time, they always do. Goodbye, Socks.


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