Life in the Big Cedars the past couple of weeks has been hectic at best. Between a changing territory (yes, my area is changing again), Bryon's Dad moving down her to live AND a new puppy, I really truely have about one nerve left and everyone is on it.
Bryon said last night,"You seem to be at your wit's end". Well that's pretty accurate. I was ready to drop kick that very cute puppy last night after he peed THREE TIMES in the house. This was AFTER the walk and AFTER letting him out every 30 seconds to roll around in grass and scan the woods for wildlife. He just doesn't concentrate on the task at hand.
Again...good thing he's cute.
Work has been nuts. One of the reps is retiring May 1 and she has my old territory (Laclede, Phelps, Pulaski, Camden and Dent counties). I really struggled whether I wanted to change territories or not because frankly I have it pretty good in the four counties I have now. PLUS I get to eat regularly at the Keen Bean in Mt. Vernon which is really a job perk beyond measure. But it made geographical sense for me to make the move. I live the closest to the territory, I can truely 'work from home' and only have to go into the office on Fridays for our 'production meeting' and to pickup my stuff for the follwing weeks. The downside is that the new territory is 3,000 more units of blood larger than my current territory and most of those units are at Missouri S&T in Rolla and at Phelps County Regional Hospital, both of which will be VERY time consuming and need to be seriously babysat to continue their success. That means I'll be spending several nights in the Hampton Inn in Rolla in the months to come. Now staying a hotel for work may seem glamorous and it is pretty fun, the first few times, but it doesn't take long to start to wear on you and make you feel like 'the man' is sucking your life away.
We'll see how that all goes. They still haven't hired anyone to replace me in my old territory now so I'm trying to keep my old territory up and running smoothly, prepare for the dreaded summer ahead AND prepare for taking over my new territory May 1. Thankfully, the retiring rep is VERY helpful and is basically running full steam ahead up until her last day.
Meanwhile, back on the farm...Bryon's Dad has moved back. Bryon went up to Nebraska March 6 to pack him up into a UHaul and move him back to Missouri. He stayed with us for a couple of weeks (out in the the cabin) and then last weekend we moved him again to a little apartment in Marshfield that is only about six blocks from Grace's daycare/preschool. He's got the place fixed up really cute with all of his artwork and it's going to be a very comfortable place for him...for a few months...until they start remodeling and he has to move out again for three months...then move back in again...maybe into the same unit, maybe into another one.
Him being so close to Grace's school is going to be a big blessing especially with my work schedule so crazy now. He can run down there and pick her up and she can hang out with Grandpa until one of us can get her picked up. He already has the place stocked with snacks and yesterday when I went to pick her up from his place they were sitting at the kitchen table doing 'artwork' together.
You can guess which was Grace's and which was Grandpa's art :)
My hope is that this fall we can enroll Grace in real preschool at Niangua and Grandpa can pick her up after school and keep her until we get home. That will save us a TON on childcare and she can learn her numbers and letters without one of us (mainly me) going completely insane. I quit teaching for a reason.... I only recently remembered what that was.
We are on the lookout for a quality used little car for Grandpa because he's been driving our gas guzzling truck around which I figure cost $5 or $6 a trip from his place to ours depending on how many detours he takes and the price of gas.
On the farm front... I pickup my dozen Cornish Cross fryers from Estes Hatchery next Thursday and start our 8 week journey to good eating. I'm a little worried because I cleaned out the chicken coop a couple of weekends ago and the girls (the remaining 6 hens) had to spend the night in the chicken tractor.
The chicken tractor worked great and I covered it with a tarp and put their food and water in there. It's not a good long term option for them because they are layers and I'd need to put a nesting box in there for them to be out in it all day (which I could and we may build another for them later on ) but they were pretty happy to peck around for a day.
I don't think they were too happy spending the night out there because SOMETHING must have been terrorizing them in the night. The next morning when I went out to move them Back to the pen there was a ring of feathers around the outside of the tractor. They were all present and accounted for but not quite as fluffy as when the first started.
I'm guessing now it was a coyote. The other morning when I got up I looked down at the pond about 7 am and there was a coyote on the edge of the pond checking stuff out and sniffing around. He slinked off into the woods but I'd say that wasn't his first rodeo around the farm.
This isn't the best picture but you can see him down there on his way to the woods.
My little fryers may have a terrorized 8 weeks out there. I plan to move them around to a fresh piece of ground everyday as soon as they are feathered out and ready to face the world.
I also want to get a couple of more ducks but now that I've actually SEEN a coyote down there I'm pretty sure their fate will be sealed. Guess they'll learn to swim and avoid them or not.