While my mom is in Florida LIVING IN SIN WITH HER FIANCE - (Ahem) - and my sister and family are in Panama visiting relatives, I've been left in charge of two homesteads, two dogs, and a FARM.
Now let me ask you a question....
Do I look like someone who should be left in charge of two homesteads, two dogs, and a FARM?
I didn't think so.
Nevertheless, my entire family saw fit to jet off and leave us here, in charge. My sister left us a loooong list of farm instructions and gave me a tour of the place to be sure I knew which end was up.
I had to learn how to turn off the dryer on the grain bin if it rained really hard. (Please don't tell my sister it rained really hard and I forgot to turn off the dryer on the grain bin.)
I learned that if you leave the hose in the water tank, it'll siphon it all off overnight. (We tested this theory. It's true.)
I was instructed to feed the cats in the garage. (Um, there are no cats in the garage.)
The chore list goes on and on, but really, there ain't nothing to do. There are eggs to collect, hens to let out and shut in, and water tanks to fill. Bales of hay need to be placed every few days and the mineral feeder needs filling on occasion. Crack the ice if the water gets frozen. Don't let the goats get into the chicken coop or they'll eat all the feed. Sell the surplus eggs.
Pshaw, this farmin' stuff's easy, man.
But then I read the instructions a little closer....
*The mother cow with the swollen jawbone is getting skinny. She may die."
I'm sorry... did you say die? Did that just say "She may die?" Die as in dead-carcass-in-the-pasture die?
And there's where it gets interesting. In order for the rendering service to handle the carcass, we need to....
"drag her to the side of the road with the tractor and a chain and have the rendering company come and get her."
That's going to be fun. And it gets better. The rendering company... well, they're interesting folks. You can imagine you'd have to be a little off yer rocker to want to operate such a business, so they have some strange requirements. You see, they don't want to deal with us any more than we want to deal with them. Hence, the following instructions:
"You'll need to leave the money (cash only) in a coffee can or jar for the driver."
You read that right. We're supposed to put cash in an empty coffee can and leave it next to the carcass. On the side of the road.
And now that I've just spilled the beans on a little farm secret, don't y'all go scouring the countryside for ditch-side dead animals just so you can steal a little cash, y'hear?
As for me, I've gotta run. Gotta get my sh*t-kickers on and do some farm chores. And go whisper sweet nothing's in mama cow's ear... Sweet nothing's along the lines of "Please don't die Mama Cow. Please... PLEASE don't die Mama Cow."