Ever since moving “out to the country” (unbelievably within range of Chinese food delivery, but still undeniably country) I’ve experienced a growing tension between the rural life and the need to interact with “the rest of the world” in a reasonably well kempt sort of way.

Symptoms such as showing up at work with mud-caked high heels, wrestling goats out of my office while on conference calls with serious coworkers, having roosters crow into the phone at clients, discovering hay prominently displayed in my hairdo only after having done 3 errands around town. On one memorable occasion I went absentmindedly from morning chores to school and showed up with my mud boots on – and no alternate shoes anywhere in sight.

I taught class in my mud boots.

So anyhow, as a professional working woman I’ve been trying to clean up my act. For a special treat (or triage) I decided to get my hair done. It’s been a really, really long time, and an attractive friend told me about a “miracle worker” hairdresser down in Georgetown. She told me about this place twice – so OK, I took the hint. Wowzer. The lighting in there made you look 10 years younger, they served gourmet coffee, and applied lovely smelling things one right after the other to my scalp. The hairdresser scolded me for my long standing habit of twisting my long hair into a knot on top of my head to get it out of the way (she kept saying, “yes, I understand about the animals, but what about your hair!?” Ah, priorities.), and instructed me to instead use scrunchies so as not to damage the ends any more.

Given how much of my week’s wages the “do” cost, I listened to her seriously and put hair elastics on my list for the next shopping. But no hurry on that; instead I reveled in the experience of being downtown, browsed through Dean and Deluca like a real city slicker with amazing hair, and bought some incredibly overpriced cookies.

What on EARTH could I have been thinking? When I returned home all seemed quiet at first. The sheep were peacefully grazing in the front yard, and the horse trotted up the hill to greet my truck; I thought, what a civilized life! I can go downtown to a fancy salon, get beautiful, and come back to this pastoral peace. When I walked back to the barn, however, I saw a goat – oops, no, two goats – standing up in the hayloft. (“Someone” has recently figured out how to undo both of the latches on the tack room door.) I went to extricate them, but found that I could not open the door. Something was wedged against it. I shoved, and a distressed sound was emitted – something between a bleat and a squeak. Now I was concerned. I got the door cracked just enough to see that Graham the little goat was stuck between the wall And a pen, and holding him in place was….. Bullwinkle.

Alarmed, I pushed harder, but I was pushing up against 1000 pounds of cow who was threatening to step on Graham if I kept insisting. This was definitely one of those no-win situations. After no small amount of maneuvering I and my gorgeous hairdo squeezed into the tack room to join Graham, Bullwinkle, and Rocky and about 50 pounds of accumulated (very wet) manure.

Getting them moved out of this tiny space where the door barely opened was one problem, but I did it. Wrestling Newman and Little Boy Goat out of the barn loft full of 300 bales of delicious hay was yet another problem, but with a fair amount of grunting, cursing, and pushing, I got them down. What I couldn’t solve was the fact that I had no scrunchie! This expensive hair of mine kept falling into my eyes and getting in the way, and my immediate instinct to tie it into a hard knot on my head was counteracted by the credit card receipt still sitting in my pocket.

As with all flings, the whiff of beauty was great while it lasted, but I’m going back to overalls and boots tomorrow, plan to install a new bolt on the tack room door, and will likely stick close to home for a good long while.

I guess I, too, am clear on my priorities (though I’m still in the market for a really good scrunchie).

Till next time,

Farmer Anne

Star Gazing Farm 501(c)3

A haven for retired farm animals and wayward goats