By now the puppies, who are fed on the porch, have emptied their bowls and moved on to a chase around, around, around, around the house, down the driveway, sliding into metal roofing laid out for the barn. They roll together and look like one white ball of fur tumbling in the grass. Suddenly Betty stands and jogs to the pasture gate where she flattens her body and slides under, into the big pasture. She runs down the path towards the pond. Splash! Momentarily she reappears wet and happy. Bruce jogs near the grazing goats and sits like a sentry. Watching.
This day I clean the hen house and bring dirty bedding into the garden we opened last week for the donkeys. They've eaten each plant down to roots and deposited manure throughout. I drop the bedding unceremoniously somewhere in the middle. The tiller will churn the contents together in a few weeks. New plants will go in. And the garden starts again. By 2pm I'll pull on my jeans and boots and head into Austin for a late afternoon work meeting and coffee. By 5, I'm pointing west towards Spicewood and a visit with Kimberly. I'm meeting a calf and milking her mama - my new cow - this afternoon. In a few months, we'll have our own dairy here at Bee Tree and another set of animals to add to the morning routine. My days will start earlier. They'll likely end later too. I can hardly wait.