“It’s noon and the sun is shining,” I whisper from our daughter’s doorway. I hate to wake her but she announced when she went to bed last night at 9 that she wanted to leave by noon.
She actually smiles at me from her bed. “I’ll get up soon,” she says, all groggy and warm.
I smile back. “I’m glad I didn’t wake you,” I say, and then I attempt to lure her into the delights of the day. Since she got her own perfect little apartment in Seattle, she doesn’t come here as often. “LaLa can spit a plum pit five feet,” I tell her excitedly.
“Hmmm,” she says and rolls over. “I’ll leave by two.”
There’s no guarantee that LaLa will perform for her, of course, and she knows that. If I were a nurse and worked the night shift, I’d pick sleep, too. Still, LaLa is devastatingly cute. And our daughter loves animals.
I rotate and fold the laundry she’s brought, and start to collect a food basket for her to take back to the city.
Plum jam, three zucchini, and five ripe plums — leaving just six plums in the bowl. Which is fine. We’ve eaten plums galore all month, and I made 27 pints of jam.
We’ve got to go shopping soon, I keep saying to myself and the Bearded One. We have just 2 cups of sugar left! But we have brown sugar and honey and I’m just not ready to go yet. Heck, we try not to even start the truck more than five or six times a month.
Plus using up everything is a big part of how we live cheaply. Plus the Bearded One would rather thin the backyard slug herd than go shopping.
The other stuff to go in the basket is either in the fridge — eggs — or freezer — two homemade burritos, two hunks of casserole, four pieces of cornbread, and five zucchini muffins, items I’ll add when she is stepping out the door. At two, or seven, or midnight. I love to do this for her. And it also helps to justify my extreme homebodiness.
The nurse rises at one o’clock and I make her an omelet with kale and roasted potatoes. She eats hungrily and then briefly considers checking out the goats — actually she says, “I’ve seen the goats” — before night shift fatigue overtakes her again. “Nap,” she says.
“If you’re not up by seven, should I wake you?” I ask.
“No,” she says. She’s already asleep in her head, but she mumbles that she can leave in the middle of the night, that she has to stay up tonight because she has to work tomorrow at seven-thirty, and I nod like I understand, and she floats up the stairs to bed.
It’s obvious to me that she won’t get to see the pit spit. Unless. Hm. Unless I can figure out the camera’s video function. Should only take me a day or two.
The next day, long after our daughter has gone, the Bearded One is sawing on the deck railing again. I explain what I’m up to, that I’m making a video with our little camera. The plot is that he, the Bearded One, will feed the goats plums and they will chew hilariously and then LaLa will do a super spit. I will catch it all on film or digits for our daughter’s amusement! I smile big.
“Just let me finish this part real quick.”
“No hurry,” I say as I pace the former cabbage patch which I’ve just this morning covered with barn hay. I’m nervous. We can only do this once, we have just two plums per goat left.
Soon, the Bearded One opens the lower pasture gate, and the goats stampede down to greet us. We gather at the goat gig where we always hand out the goodies, and which is currently covered in cabbage leaves, which the goats seem to be sick and tired of.
“Action!” I say and press the little shutter button.
The Bearded One orchestrates the plum delivery perfectly to each goat. They are chewing lustily. He circles them around and calls them his Sweetnesses, and then he gives the last delicious plum to LaLa, who turns to the camera and grinds the plum up close, and I whisper prayers to the gods that he will do a big-time pit spit.
“Lala,” says the Bearded One, “spit it out. Come on.” He is dry-spitting furiously to demonstrate.
And he does! A dribbly, sloppy spit of a whopping 5 inches — no Olympic records here — but I catch it all on video for our daughter to make her laugh. The perfect addition to her farmlet basket.