Sunday, June 26, 2016

Things got nasty

We have been having the most wonderfull weather lately, plant growing wise that is.
Abundant sunsine with days of copious rain and then sunshine again, followed by more rain. The grasses and fieldflowers have not been this high and abundant since we moved here and neither have the mosquitos and other flying critters. Loads of bumblebees, not so much butterflies though. Snails too. And slugs!! Big ones! Longer then a middlefinger and thicker then a thumb.
This alternation of sun and rain creates the most wonderful and magical displays of light and moisture too. Ferrytale-like skies when the sun sets or mysterious and magical banks of fog and vapor, when the sun hits it just right. Blues, reds and purples in every thinkable shade and combination. Greens, yellows and bright whites too. Add a full moon to the feast and it just gets better.... Or does it?
The night before full moon we were walking the dogs as usual and at one of our favorite places we stopped to admire the scenery and display of color presented to us. We missed a pile of fish leftovers, but Lester did not. He took a quick gulp and refused to let go of it, despite me telling him to do so. We have this "policy" that they are not allowed to eat, whatever it is they find. Lester tends to first bite and chew and then wonder if that was good for him... if he even wonders. He'll go for anything; green if he thinks it's grass (he does it with any roadside weed, even nettles) and if it moves, you can eat it as well. If it doesn't move, you can make it do so and then the previous rule applies again.
So a definite NO to food on the go.
Anyway.... The more I demanded he'd led go of that fish-stuff, the more he was determined not to do so. Even up to the point of being physically uncooperative. He actively resisted and that is something I will not tolerate from a dog. If I demand he let go, he has to let go. Period.
So I ended up wrestling him and something snapped. I don't know how and why, but I got furious and did something inexcusable, something I should not have done; I beat him. I punched him in the head, which resulted in the wife slapping me in the same location, despite the fact that my sudden and violent shift in mood and stance startled, even scared her. Don't think she has seen me that way often. That did bring me to my senses. Don't know why I got that mad. Probably the frustration on several levels, including the dogs behaviour, had gotten the better of me.
This episode made me question myself again and made me wondering if I would be a good animal caretaker at all.
It also made me wonder why I did it.... Answer; tension plus genetics. I have been feeling quite a deal of pressure lately, some self induced, some from the outside and I know that side does exist deep within me.
What caused that pressure? Well, for one thing; me. I have been wanting to do too much, to make progress too quickly (or being impatient) and I finally realised you can not have a family, a home, adults with demanding jobs, dogs to raise and train, build up a homestead (of which not everyone is equally charmed and motivated), expecting it to be up and running in 2 years. especially in this climate, where all things garden related are put on hold for up to four to six months a year AND keep everything else, like the household, running smoothly at the same time. It simply can not be done. So I have to take it down a few notches, readjust my priorities and take it easy(easier). Babysteps.... Why do I push so hard? There's this constant feeling of running out of time.... I have this constant feeling that something is about to happen, about to change and I need to be prepared or be able to provide for my family. Maybe I am going nuts, but still..... Reading all the signs.....
Mental unease for another. I have to admit that my job sometimes gets to me. How can it not? I actively and intensely interact with the guys and when all of a sudden more than a handful of them are forced to leave. It certainly leaves no good feelings. It does something to me. It also messes with the general atmosphere at work, when those guys get ripped out of the group, mostly at very short notice, and are sent off to another place and a very uncertain future. It makes the rest very unease and on edge.
Plus some incidents in the private hemisphere.... It adds up. So much is happening. Not just bad things. Good things too. I learn a great deal about gardening and we were quite surprised to find one of our neighbours willing to let us use parts of his land for raising cows. He offered it himself!
Can you imagine us having cows? That made me dive into the matter and the most suitable race for us would be an old species of domestic cows; fjällko or fjällnära ko, which are a smaller, less demanding sort of cow, which give a rich and fat milk, ideal for cheese and butter. They even handed us a copy of a map, with the useable bits of land highlighted in color!
However we decided to put all that on hold. After all we have no idea what it's like to have cattle, let alone take care of them. Obtaining them, fencing and housing are other matters and I haven't even begun to think about authorities! But it means an opening, an opportunity for later on, maybe.

In the meantime we enjoy the wondrous displays Mother Nature has to offer us, be it big or small....
And I hope you all had a great Midsommar, summer equinox or St.Jan or whatever it is you celebrate on the longest day of the year.....


  1. "There's this constant feeling of running out of time". You have hit the nail on the head. Man oh man does that resonate with me. I get so frustrated. Lack of enthusiasm from one half of the team (what do you do with a team member that actually hates all vegetables except potatoes? Answer: plant potatoes.)

    And the business about getting frustrated with misbehaving animals. Oh dear that's me all over. I'm getting better but still not patient enough.

  2. I love that you have SO much water. We now have a plastic kiddie pool in the back yard where I dunk myself when I feel like I'm melting. Really helps.

  3. When I was a kid our dog would come back from a day of roaming around smelling like high heaven. She would go roll in something dead.

    Our squirrel dog (he lives to chase ground squirrels) caught a rabbit the other day. Talk about things got nasty. It was already dead when I saw him so I "made" him eat it. "Eat it Teddy, Eat it!" If there's one thing that makes me sad is death for no good reason as in cats that play with mice.