Today is brought to you by the letter i

We have one on our property as do many to help drought proof and grow crop, leaving things to the elements is difficult when living on the land. It’s too hot, it’s too cold but it’s never too rainy we could have rain everyday of the week. I must admit I prefer winter to summer, not a fan of anything over 32 degree Celsius. We worry about our animals when it gets too hot, though we plant trees and isolate areas for them to get under the shade and for roughage, it is quite a thing to see trees ring barked from cattle.

A couple of years ago the farmer had his name in the ballot for a water allocation after over 10 years or so (before my time this commenced) it was awarded. Then it came to building the pivot so we can irrigate that was also another process. Now we have it I call it the “big sprinkler” and it works well to keep the ground watered and the cattle will follow it around drinking out of the sprinklers while the irrigation runs.

One thing the irrigation does though is hum and as there is no noise in the country at night so we can hear it from 4 kms away. This can add to his tinnitus (ringing in his ears) and adds to his insomnia. He sleeps with either the radio or TV on and gives all of us in the bedroom broken sleep. I still wake quite quickly and readily, I hear the cats crunching if they bring things into eat. One night I heard all four cats growling and hissing and in the midst of it was something else spitting. I hate the light going on so I now sleep with a torch, turned it on and there in the middle of a coven of cats was a frill neck lizard warding them all off. I was so annoyed I bent down picked it up so it wouldn’t bite me and put it outside. The cats watched and went off to their beds without further interruptions.

Pete the dog is in my opinion showing signs of disorientation at night and as I live in constant state of “will he or won’t he” (poop) every move has me jumping out of bed with torch ready to shove him outside, guide him to his water bowl in bathroom (prevent him getting on the treadmill) or have to go outside to get the pooper scooper to clean it up after he has been. It annoys me when he doesn’t even wake up and I’m inside, outside and cleaning up. Matilda the cat will sleep next to him on the mattress, she is not fussy which end of the dog is pointed her way, she jumps up and down when I get up and down as she is a flighty cat, the only night she never came back was the night she was at the wrong end of the dog and he pooped on her. Matilda will not sleep with anybody other than Pete or on her own.

We also have a parade of cats that wish to sleep with the farmer. Frankie loves to sleep up between our pillows and the minute he touches her she starts purring loudly, I have to push her away from me and closer to him so I can get back to sleep, Rita, Frankie sister loves to sleep on him, between his legs, lying full length alongside him and every time he rolls over or moves she jumps off and then back on, she will even run or jump on me to get height get back on and off. Now there is Gatsby the ring in, he loves to climb onto me and sleep at my feet, if they all happen to be there at the same time we have hissing at each other.

We have had a plethora of creatures and insects that come in and out of our bedroom uninvited, some alive but mostly dead (see cats in the above paragraph) bunnies, hares, moths, beetles and bats that survived as they were able to fly up and hide behind the curtains, birds to be honest fifty / fifty alive or dead here, mice and lizards that survive and mostly at night. Pete will wander about 3 times per night and then if I have a cat land on the bladder then I have to get up for myself. We hear cars, trucks and animal noises at night and will occasionally have to get up to yell at the dogs to shut up if they are barking at the frogs or other animals at night. Then when one is ready to go back to sleep the rooster announces the dawn at 430am.

I don’t have insomnia unless I am stressed as I can easily go back to sleep where as he can’t. Some nights I wish he would leave the bedroom, nothing more annoying than question time in parliament house at the early hours of the morning, or a really bad D grade western or musical film. Some nights I wish I would leave the bedroom and then think about the fact the spare bed is not made up. Some mornings I will get up and glare at all of the cats sleeping as though they have not done anything all night, Pete will lift his head and look surprised that daylight is here and sometimes, not often I will leave him to lay in bed, he normally gets up before me.

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