Things did not go as planned.
The ostrich dude showed up with a big ol tractor to help us move the pile of sand/gravel.
The ostrich dude is important, not only is he famous in our area for his bison/ostrich farm which attracks visitors from far and wide, but because he bought land from us last week. Now he's connected to us, I guess.
I suspect the ostrich dude realizes we sold the land to him at a loss, and he wants to do the right thing and help us with our gravel pile. He was the one who recommended the type of gravel, and the supplier that he uses. (We had several other offers but none would come due to the wet conditions. "Next Summer, call again!" they said.) The ostrich dude said he wants to be neighborly. Hrm!
The ostrict dude is also important because I should hate him. According to S1, he's a scoundrel. According to our good neighbors across the street, "Don't even ask us about him." S1 said that he is a player and every woman in our village wants him. Well, of course, he's so wealthy he had to buy our crap land to avoid having too much money in the bank, which lately has a reverse-interest on accounts over 100K Euros. So you pay the bank when you've got too much money. All that aside, I'm relieved to not have these bits of land filled with dead trees that will fall on the neighbor's horse fence, it's just a matter of time.
Back to ostrich dude. According to the television interview I saw years ago, he said, "I inherited this horse ranch from my parents. I learned that it is more profitable to raise ostriches and bison. I let a few horse boarders stay. I DO NOT LIKE HORSE OWNERS. They are always complaining."
I have an insider. S1 kept her horse at ostrich dude's farm for years. In fact, I brought my mare Mara over there to use their arena and try to get a handle on her. They did not charge for outside visits, but who would want to visit when several ostriches are reaching over the fence, over my head, to challenge us in the horse pen?
So when o.d. came and met me (I was trying to stay in the house but J said to come out), he said, "I hope we can be friends, despite what I said about horse owners." I said, "We'll see." I mean, come on. He said that on television and expects me to be Ok with that?
And tonight I baked him my famous chocolate chip cookies, warm from the oven, even though he failed us.
See, his front-loader tractor got stuck trying to get out of its first pass at dumping sand into our mud pit. This is interesting to me because the area leading to the mud pit was completely hard and mostly dry and flat, we could not have predicted a problem.
But the tractor floudered in 2 inches of mud (it rained all day yesterday making the relatively dry area impossible for him).
Honestly, J was more upset about it than I. He said, "Please come look, it's terrible what he did to our land." And I was busy baking cookies still and couldn't leave the oven.
When I finally came, it was indeed awful, like a series of landslides!
But I said, "He wants to help us, that is all that matters."
J said he will come back as soon as the ground is frozen so he has more traction. It was odd to me that a freaking tractor would get stuck in 2 inches of loose earth - not even mud really, I know mud!
That means our poor housesitter must open the fence up to the street to allow the tractor in. This after I promised her, I promised her she would have nothing to do with our fencing, at all, the entire time she's here.
As you know in our August visit to America we had a total fence failure with no discernable cause and had to replace the fence charger, which is not inexpensive.
I gave him the cookies and he said thank you but did not smile. I can only imagine how humiliated he must have felt, being the big ostrich guy on TV and floundering around in 2 inches of mud.
I will continue to give him the benefit of the doubt, and be greatful to him until he has proven himself elsewise. He is demonized by everyone I know. I don't know many people but the ones I know hate him with the fire of a thousand suns.
Tonight I gave the rest of the dozens of chocolate chip cookies to my neighbors who take of us whether we are here, or not. They live in a 4-family house with the parents, our friends, and their 3 grown children who are wonderful and help us, especially Isabel, the person who took care of Baasha when we first moved here. She was a girl then. Tonight I gave her and her boyfriend cookies and I'm so happy that she asked several questions, she really cares about our animals.
We can go to America with trust that our animals are being cared for by our housesitter, in addition to our neighbors who have always looked out for us.
Unbelievably, in August, Isabel's mother, Petra, actually came down to observe Mag and Bellis getting a hoof trim even though Isabel's mother is not a horse person at all. She just took full-on responsibility for our farm, extending to watching hooves getting trimmed! As odd as it is for an entire adult family to split up a house into 4ths, it is awesome that each of the adult children and their parents look after us down to knowing where our electrical breaker box and natural gas inlet is.
Chocolate chip cookies are not enough.
I am so blessed. In 3 days we fly. OH, and we want to see all of you, if possible.
We are determined to see America, fully. I know you've offered before but we'd love to confirm a visit to a corner of America we have never seen.