Now that Franz painted you a romantic ideal of what it is to want to work your land and have animals, I am going to give a view of the realities. Yesterday is a great example of how not every day is a beautiful flow in the tapestry of idyllic life.
It started out great. I was so excited about getting our horses the day before that I volunteered to do morning chores. Normally lately, I have all too happily given Franz the duty, wanting to be a slug-abed. But not so yesterday; I wanted to be the first to greet our newest additions, Stella my filly mare, and Tarcy, Franz's stud colt. It was pleasant doing the milking and watching the horses stick their heads over the stall door, watching greedily while the goats munched on their feed while being milked. The goats and horses are mutually curious of each other. What is really funny is to watch the saucer eyes of our kitties, Siena and Una, who have not seen such large animals as the horses before.
Okay, back on track. I finished the chores and all was well. I came in with the milk and put it in the fridge, and we had breakfast together. Afterwards the boys and I headed outside, me to drink my tea on the porch and gaze at the horses in the pasture while the boys happily explored and got into things in the garage and yard. Ideal??? So far, yes....It was a beautiful morning.
Well, Franz had to get going. He was going to help someone move and try to work some on his dissertation at the Seminary library. The boys and I kept busy setting up the tack room and doing things outside till lunch time. Then we all headed in. I made lunch and, after making sure each finished his food, which took Clement 45 minutes (apparently Clement feels we should always eat hotdogs; I think he had too much junk food while traveling to and from Wisconsin and has become a bit spoiled). Anyway, I then put Cletus down for his nap. Cyprian and Clement got to watch a movie, so I could sneak in a nap with Cletus. Well, afternoon rolled around hot and sluggish. I had to go check and water all the animals. I brought all the boys out with me since Cletus was up from his nap. Lastly we watered the horses. I let the boys all clamber into the pen, telling them to stay close to me and only let the horses come up to them if they wanted to. Cyprian and Cletus have absolutely no fear and adore the horses. Horses are funny; they seem to be very drawn to youngsters, which is neat and frightening. So, with me constantly having to rescue Cletus and caution Cyprian, we eventually got the horses watered. Cletus took this opportunity to have a splash bath with the filling stock tank. Clement the whole time was contentedly observing and hanging out with the chickens. He did eventually come by me and the horses but is more cautious than his brothers.
Franz came home and he wanted to work on his pen for the meat chicks. I had several things to drop off at the library and wanted to pick up some toppings to put on the pizzas I was making for supper. I had asked the boys earlier what we should have for supper and Clement replied that he would really like pizza because he hadn't had any for awhile. So, after getting the dough ready and setting it in the warm oven, I set Cyprian and Clement up with a movie. Yes, I know I resorted to this tactic twice in one day; I guess I am not going to win the mother of the year award.
So, I took Cletus with me to town, stopping at the library and grocery store. Back at home I went to work on the pizzas while Franz continued working on the pen and the boys were finishing their movie. Now you will really think I am a bad mom because I had them watching Cinderella. I like fairy tales... Maybe the next Klein will be a girl.... I got a pizza in the oven and was finishing the second, and the temperature was 88 in the house. Whew. I had Clement ring the dinner bell to bring Franz in. He came and we ate supper.
I decided I would milk because Franz wanted to get back to his project. Taking all the boys out with us we started evening chores. I locked Cletus and Clement in the barn with me so that I could keep tabs on them. Clement was playing in the tack room telling me that it is his house. Cletus decided he wanted to join him and did so. I was milking Caroline and had finished and went to the tack room to grab the hoof cutters. Cletus was playing with the cat food. I promptly took him out and went to trim Caroline's hooves. Caroline was unhappy because I had added alfalfa to their feed and it is not as tasty apparently. So I was struggling to finish her hooves. Oh, before that I did make sure to run her milk in and set it for kefir. Meanwhile Clement became unhappy about something and started throwing a tantrum. When he cries hard it usually ends with him wetting himself, which he did in the middle of the barn floor making a puddle. I told him to go take off his wet clothes and leave them on the deck and go rinse off with the hose. He threw a bit more of a fit, then finally went and did so.
Meanwhile I started milking Tam. I heard a crash and and Franz saying, "Are you okay, Cyprian?", and then Cyprian crying. Apparently, according to Cyprian, as he told me later, "Daddy did not build the roof strong enough" Franz was working on the roof of the meat chickens pen and didn't realize Cyprian was underneath and it fell on him. Thankfully he was okay but a bit bruised.
I looked over at Cletus and discovered him raking his hands through the cat litter. I started to yell (I am working on that bad habit) and was fuming because of the annoyance, and I went and pulled him out of the litter box. I still had to finish milking Tam and also trim her hooves. While trimming I had Cyprian take in the jar of Tam's milk. He got distracted and was climbing a tree and left the jar sitting in the sun on the deck. Patience is a virtue that I was not showing. We did get the milk in but what seriously can take me ten minutes took thirty. I had fed the chickens and pigs but had not yet watered them. I decided I would put Cletus on the screen porch. When doing so I discovered Cyprian sitting in wet pants because apparently when the roof fell on him he wet. Ugh, I was not feeling very nice. So ordering all the boys to stay on the porch and Cyprian to change, I went out to the horses. I caught Stella and was leading her around in the pasture. I could hear wailing and fighting and was trying to block it out. Yep, I am definitely not getting mommy of the year...
After rounding up the horses and locking them in their paddock. I headed in the direction of wailing. Cletus was the one complaining. Cyprian was still not out of his wet clothes, and Clement was running around with no clothing from the waist down.
I thought, all right, I just need to get them ready for bed. Coming in, I saw the leftover pizza was still sitting out, there was a trail of dirt and manure on the floor, dishes piled high and clean clothes dragged all over the floor and a scattering of toys. Trying to ignore the mess I started putting pajamas on. After chasing and tackling reluctant boys who declared tearfully that they really were not tired even though they couldn't stop fighting and sniveling. I did get them into pajamas. Now we had to brush teeth. Cletus loves this, Clement wants you to do it for him, and Cyprian gets distracted and has to be prompted several times. Finally finished we went and sat on the screen porch. Clement rang the bell to call Franz in. He wasn't quite finished so I decided to start the rosary with the boys in their room. By the time we actually got started and had said our intentions Franz came in. So we prayed our family rosary.
Afterwards I was discouragingly looking at my house of disaster. I started washing dishes and was mentally thinking over everything that should be done before bed. Franz graciously took my load of laundry that I had to wash twice out to hang and finished animals chores such as filling the horses hay net, bringing in my slop container, giving more water to animals etc.
I was able to work hard at putting my kitchen to rights: getting all the dishes washed everything wiped down the floor swept, rugs shook out and everything picked up. I did not fold all the scattered clean clothes but gathered them and put them on the couch. I made a pile of toys and decided that my house was presentable enough for me to go to bed and sleep.
So there you have it. It is a romantic notion and does have it beautiful moments. But the reality is that there is a lot of hardship that can cause frustration and work, though hopefully and ultimately it is the hard won moments of beauty and peace that make it so worth the effort....