Friday, May 12, 2017

Bringin' in the Sheep

I almost did not make it out to this farm near Dover yesterday afternoon, but by the time I had Liam in the car, and we were on our way, I knew our upcoming experience would be good for the two of us.

After all, when an unplanned 45-minute telephone conversation with a very helpful lady in the Philippines, botches up an otherwise pleasant and productive morning, this ol' gal gets a little emotionally disordered. 

The morning had gone well with watering of flowers completed, ample play with dogs and the barnyard harrowed.  

Yes, I was able to get the 4-wheeler and harrow into the barnyard, and now it's mud-clogged surface is smooth and firm. 

Twas drying out, too, until the overnight and morning downpour.  Still, with the harrowing, horses and humans can now walk across the barnyard without potential injury lurking in every pocket of mud.

With that annual job completed, I walked to the house to munch on a chunk of cheese and watch the morning's segment of our always unfolding Washington, D.C. circus.  

I'm kinda thinking that with the passing of the Barnum and Bailey show, someone thought we needed a replacement series.

Well, we got it----elephants and all, figuratively speaking, of course!

Unfortunately, my few minutes of watching what the Big Cheeto was up to yesterday fell short. Our TV did not work. 

Was it the satellite feed, I wondered. 

Nope.  I went upstairs and saw that the TV upstairs was working.  

When I came downstairs, I tried the routine of turning on the TV and then the satellite dish again. I pulled the card from the receiver and reinserted it. Nothing happened, and I also noticed no blue light on the front of the receiver.

Rather than going into detail about what ensued next, I'll simply say that eight years of stuffing stuff inside the TV cabinet on top of the mangled mass of cords leading from unknown entities to the wall socket made the circus in my living room all the more exciting. 

That scene happened after the nice lady (Jen) in the Philippines told me to find the cord to the receiver and unplug for 15 seconds, then plug it back in. 

Which of these cords underneath that eight year's of piled-up stuff could lead to the receiver?  

It took a while amidst a whole a lot of commentary via the speaker phone, but I finally tugged the right way and determined the correct cord.  

Still, nothing.

That was when Jen decided I needed a new receiver and she could order one for $99 which would arrive in about five days if all went well.  

Knowing I'd surely screw up installing the new box, I asked about getting a tech. To which Jen said that would cost too, and it would all depend on their schedule, which also would need to coincide with the arrival of the new receiver.

But wait!  

Jen said that if I signed on to the insurance policy of $7.99 a month, I could get the receiver and the service for free and all future needs would be covered. 

"What do you want to do?" Jen asked me. 

It was lucky Jen could not SEE the circus going on in my living room because I know I looked pretty frazzled by then, and I know she would have seen those little dialog bubbles coming from my head, uttering a few words or phrases that Jen might not like to hear.

"I don't like to make decisions like this in this state of mind," I finally announced, while standing over a living room full of stuff that had come out of that cabinet.  "But I guess I'm boxed in a corner (which was close to literally true), so I'll take the insurance policy."

Magic words!

Box and tech could show up to my house by late afternoon, and by CBS evening news time, we could be watching Scott Pelley once more differentiating between the fake news and the real news. 

So, Jen told me to hang with my cell phone through the afternoon, and the tech would be calling me one hour before his arrival.

That meant I could have time to take Liam, after all, to his sheep-herding lesson, and that meant that I would also have time for my mind to be cleared of all that built-up stress and frustration that virtually everyone suffers when making those menu calls to people in far away places 

And, my wishes came true.  I did settle down, and, later, Liam hardly skipped a beat moving on from what Randy had taught him last fall.  

I paid for two sessions but got three because Liam also participated fully from the sidelines when Sarah's six-month-old Bouvier Pickles tried her first-ever turn at herding sheep.  Ever tried to hold on to a Border Collie watching sheep herding from the sidelines?  It's hard on the arms and shoulders. 

All in all, though, it turned out to be a relaxing and productive afternoon, as in between lessons, we (Gail, Randy, Sarah and Dr. Stoll and his German Shepherd Anker) visited and munched and sat back enjoying each other's company and, of course, our dogs. 

When it was over, I walked to the car, the cell phone rang, and Mel, the tech man, told me he was in Cocolalla and on his way to my house.  

Perfect timing:  we followed each other into the driveway, and within a few minutes, our living room TV was working again.  I was very thankful for Jen in the Philippines steering me the right direction and pleased with Mel's efficient work and help. 

All was well, and I told Randy and Gail I'd probably show up out there in sheepland with Liam about once a month.  He was a good boy and he deserves his time at learning to bring in the sheep.  

Happy Friday. 

Let's go to work. 

One of Randy's dogs bringing in the sheep . . . 

                             . . . as other Curless Border Collies keep their eyes on the action. 

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