385: Raising Livestock

pets 015At my home here in Panama, I raise livestock. I have chickens for eggs and meat, rabbits for meat and sheep for meat and cash. Livestock, while still lovable and entertaining, are not pets. I name the breeders: the moms and dad who are the foundation. Their offspring I do not name, because they are for the table. That moms, plural, is not a typo. There is a single dad. There are multiple moms. I am running an Islamic animal society: multiple wives. Lots of women is desirable, but you only need one man. The rest of the men you EAT. For DINNER. With sauce, spices, and HERBS.

sheepies! 012

If you are an animal man, life is either short and sweet, or long and satisfying (but only if you are a very lucky and EXCEPTIONALLY handsome man who is gentle with your wives). Most animal men end up with a life that is  short and sweet, since one male is sufficient for the needs of the livestock owner´s multiple females.  Since one male is enough and feed costs are an issue, most males are extra, and end up as dinner after a short time.  You do need to change him out (trade him to another farmer) every other year or so, so he does not breed his own daughters (yuck).


The ladies, however, live long and productive lives. The only ones of THEM you eat are the ones who don´t make good mommies. If you are a girl, your chances of a long life are pretty good. You don´t, however, usually get to choose your spouse. It does not appear to bother them a whole lot. They don´t seem to mind.  It is pretty much the same situation in the wild, except there, it is the bully who gets to be the husband to all the available ladies. At least I choose a husband who is gentle.

April 30,  Linda gave birth to twin lambs. The herd is growing! The chickens are getting their own outdoor pen soon, and the rabbits need another lady bunny to be a wife to the second male breeder bunny.

So far, the livestock has pretty much been all cost and no benefit, but that is normal whenever you start raising animals. The youngsters have to grow up and mature enough to reproduce before you begin to see returns on your investment. Since I have been in Panama only a few months, I am not there yet.  SOON!!


323: Maintenance man?

In the small residential compound where I rented a casita in VeraCruz, Panama Pacifico, Panama, we have a head groundskeeper cum security guard cum maintenance man, who handles the basic maintenance items. They call in a specialist for complicated stuff.

One fine evening, I was sitting in my living room, sewing. See, my little house (casita) is half of our duplex. The  maintenance man, Luis and his family of five children and his brother, live in the other half. I was quietly sewing when there was a tremendous BOOM. I thought the house had been shot – I not only HEARD the boom, I FELT it.

Mi casita

Mi casita

In moments of crisis, my husband immediately, with no hesitation, swings into action. I freeze and consider first. There are advantages and disadvantages to each reaction, depending on the particular circumstances.  I concluded fairly quickly that it was not a gunshot. When I went to the kitchen, I caught the overwhelming odor of chlorine bleach.

Our complex is ocean-side. The business that is between our complex and the road is a fish farm. I thought briefly that THEY had an explosion of cleaning equipment or supplies – and then I heard someone next door coughing from the fumes.

I went out and around to the front of the house, and asked, in Spanish, if everyone was OK. Apparently (I figured out later) Luis or another family member had poured chlorine bleach down a drain (stopped up or NOT) and it EXPLODED. Fortunately, none of the five family members was in the room when it did it, so no one was burned or harmed by the exploding bleach – just some coughing as they opened the doors and windows to let the powerful fumes escape.

Think I will handle my own repair jobs from now on, thank you very much……………