There was water in the canal today, which puzzled me, as our irrigation was yesterday. I followed the flow back upstream to find where one of the properties was taking water, and immediately felt regret.
I installed a gate just past my neighbor's lowest port so that we wouldn't need to use leaky checks in the canal to divert water into our yards. The neighbor receiving water this morning was using a leaky check, and water was flowing around his check and down into the canal, pretty much to wash away or evaporate. I've been considering installing a tank and small pump to gather this wasted water, useful when I overflow my berms or decide to plant trees on the property.
Today, however, I simply watched, a little sad, as the water flowed, burbling quietly, reminding me of Salt Creek on a lazy childhood summer afternoon.
The irrigation floods come today. I asked a couple neighbors if I could pick up the citrus under their trees before their yards flood. The sheep like the citrus, and, well, for the most part, so do I. The sheep will eat some that are a little farther gone than I will, but still.
I ended up with a gardening wagon full of limes. I am delighted
"I don't understand why you bought a [clothes] dryer if you never use them."
"I don't understand why you think I don't use a clothes dryer."
Well, it's not like Melissa didn't warn me.
I was out in the east pasture with the herd, same as I had done a dozen times before. I was careful not to turn my back on the sheep, walk along the edge of the pasture so that the sheep were always in front of me, and always carry a stick. Jack told me he carries a stick, very important to carry a stick. I was carrying a stick.
However, I wasn't carrying a big enough stick.
After holding down a tree for the sheep to eat the leaves, I was walking back to the gate when I noticed the ram backing up. I looked over at him and realized he was going to charge me. The stick I had was about a foot long, not enough to scare away or even mildly deter the ram. I had let my guard down, and this damn sheep was going to ram me.
Which he did. Despite my yelling, "No. No! NO!" and shaking that damn, small, completely inadequate stick at the sheep.
He came at me, punched me into the fence, as I turned and took the hit in my right hip. After ramming me into the fence post, the ram backed up and charged at me again, tossing me back into the fence a second time.
I stumbled to the gate, managed to pull it closed behind me, and staggered to my back door and into the house. I took off my sheep shit shoes, sat down, and started sobbing. I called Jonathan, who couldn't understand much between my screaming, so he called Mom who came down a short bit later.
In the meantime, I slipped on the floor, only to realize the ram had also stomped on my left big toe, and torn the entire nail off the bed. I was slipping on my own blood.
Many things of note from this whole episode:
1. Nature does not care how loudly or forcefully you yell no. It. Does. Not. Care. I have no idea why I thought it would be effective, or how I managed to live this long thinking that people are any different and would actually listen to no either.
2. To my frustration, I let my guard down. Melissa had warned me. Jack had told me the ram got him last week. I. Had. Let. My. Guard. Down.
3. My sobbing sounds remarkably like my laughter. My sneezes sound like my coughs. Why do I have a seemingly minimal set of sounds that I continue to reuse?
4. I didn't sidestep, and I don't know why. This isn't an unusual response for me, to turn and accept the blow. I can recall many episodes in my childhood and adulthood where I did not step aside and avoid the blow, I turn and take it. Why is that? I kinda feel like I need to take the (fictional) Reacher route and actively train myself to move forward, not back.
5. I sit on my tailbone rather than my sitz bones. One of the tosses, if not both, threw me against the fence post. My tailbone is broken, sprained, cracked, or otherwise damaged in such a way that I cannot sit. Standing is fine, walking about one mile an hour is fine. Sitting is impossible without pain intense enough to knock me out.
6. I'm going to lose the other toenail. Both big toenails in 18 months. Haven't had a record like that since I stopped playing ultimate.
7. I need to get back on that horse. I'm nervous around the ram now, and I'm sure that's going to make him bolder.
8. Mom thinks I should tell Jack. I'm not sure. I fear if I tell him, he'll move the sheep out of my yard, and other than the ram, I rather like these animals.
9. The ram's name is now Dodge.
Oh, fuck off, Apple. My daily goal is 330 calories.
"You'd like her. She's like you, a tea person."
"I'm not a tea person."
Jonathan had been up in Portland earlier in the week, and had met up with a local friend, one whom I had met a month or so ago. Said friend brought his wife along, meeting Jonathan for the first time. The three of them chatted, and talked about many topics between said wife's frequent trip to the toilets, apparently a strong contestant for this year's SBW award.
Jonathan stared at me after my response.
I continued, "What? I'm not a tea person. I like one particular kind of tea, grown in one particular province in China, harvested at one particular time of the year. That doesn't make me a tea person."
Jonathan took a sip of his coffee, looked back at me, and said nothing.
"Okay, look, a tea person knows the different processing styles of the three major kinds of tea from the same leaf, black, green, and white. A tea person knows that the flavor of Earl Grey ("Tea, Earl Grey, hot.") is bergamot, and that English Breakfast is closer to an unflavored black tea, depending on the blend. And a tea person knows that white tea is less processed than green tea, which is less processed than black tea, and that chai means tea, so ordering a chai tea is like ordering a tea tea. And that chai is made from Assam tea, and oh god I just made your point for you, didn't I?"
In his defense, Jonathan did manage to stifle his laughter until just before my minor epiphany there.