This morning was quite a doozy.
Let's see, where to begin….Mid-morning my children's collective whining broke me down enough that I blew off school work to take them to the library. While driving, the grey skies opened up and decided to rain down a torrential downpour mixed with a sprinkling of tornado warnings. We bagged the library, opted for the drive-thru window to pick up our books and began the slow creep back home, watching the sky and listening to AM radio all the way….
I dropped the kids off for lunch at my dad's, anxious for an hour or so of quiet to deal with a few deadlines hanging over my head.
I walked in the door to discover that we were without power.
I walked up the stairs to put the baby to bed when I heard oddly loud squawking from the yard. From the upstairs window I got a glimpse of the neighbor's dog running around the yard chasing my chickens. I shouted out the window in my meanest "bad dog!" voice which sent Birdy into a screaming fit.
I ran downstairs and outside, crying Birdy on my hip, to discover the dog standing over a dead chicken.
I threw a stunned Birdy into the car to keep her safe, grabbed a big stick and threatened and yelled and chased the dog into our garden shed. I closed the door behind him, put a bench in front of the door for good measure and rescued Birdy (who was now hysterical) from the car.
We walked to the front of the house, so that I could inventory my chickens and see who was missing, only to hear loud rustling and movement at the other side of the house.
There, standing in the middle of my flower bed, was a teen-aged calf from my OTHER neighbor's farm.
By this time, Birdy was still sniffling, but beginning to think that maybe this outdoor adventure was ranking higher on her list than a nap.
I called in for reinforcement, trying to decide how I would manage a dog, a baby, a dead chicken, and a cow.
Eventually, I decided I couldn't wait around any longer. I stuck Birdy in her car seat and drove to the neighbor's house to tell her I had her dog. My neighbor lost her husband just a few weeks ago, so I couldn't bear to tell her the whole story. I just said I had her dog in my shed. She asked if I could walk him home on his leash. Hmmn.
On my drive back from her house, I spotted the other neighbor pulling in to his driveway. I flagged him down and asked if he needed help with the calf.
I became a human roadblock to keep the calf from traveling farther up the road as he herded it back into the fence. I hear Birdy wailing in the car. From her rolled down window, I wave at her and try to tell her I'm coming. She's not interested in my attempts at comfort.
I returned to my driveway, only to run into my uncle who was coming to retrieve my dead chicken to put out for the Bald Eagles. (word travels fast in the valley.) I asked if he would mind walking the dog home, too.
He was happy to. Thank goodness
I took Birdy back upstairs and threw up a prayer that she'd nap despite not having her usual sound machine running in the room.
I pulled the blinds, closed the curtains and laid her down in her crib.
I walked outside and flopped down in the chair, sweaty, wishing I'd showered that morning, and run the dishwasher, and done a load of laundry, and wondered what work I could possibly accomplish around the house that would involve absolutely zero noise in order to keep the baby sleeping.
There was a loud hum, and the lights came back on.
But, alas, the day has only since improved. I have showered. The baby has napped. The girls have plowed through some school work. My kitchen is clean. And I have even managed to squeak in a four o'clock cup of coffee (which I'll probably regret later) and a few things ticked off my to-do list.
Things are good.