Someone gave E a Tamagotchi for her birthday. After watching the egg bounce for several hours, I figured out how to hatch it (give it a date of birth). And while I was gone in Taos, her first baby died. I came home to find her T had sprouted little angel wings. No lie. And the Dude hadn't figured out how to hatch another. So Mom to the rescue. And more than that, it seems if I can raise a human child, I can raise a Tama-baby. She's now 2 and only takes up a small amount of my time while E is at camp. There's actually a website to tell parents how to inactivate the Tama while its owner is at school, but I've been too lazy thus far to look that up. Bell really doesn't require too much. A little food, a little toilet flushing, a few games of jumprope. Much simpler than a child. (One is warned not to overfeed the Tama. One is so tempted to find out what happens if one does.)
On the farm front, the crows are busy in our trees, which is very annoying because they Never Shut Up. The chickens are all still alive, though with the Dude's back spasm, the coop is becoming a tad malodorous. Meanwhile, the battle royale with the groundhog continues. He (we believe he's a bachelor) insists that the coop is part of his daily rounds, presumably in the early morning hours. He has persistently dug out the areas where the boards reach the ground. This is not good. What a groundhog can get through, a fox can get through. Over time I have kicked dirt back into the holes to fill them. The Dude has wheelbarrowed soil into the holes. I have more recently taken to piling concrete blocks and bricks at the entrance of the holes to block them. This morning I found 3 bricks neatly stacked beside one of the holes. I put them back. The theory with a groundhog is to make the situation too much trouble. Then he will move on and do something else somewhere else. He no longer flips the lid off of the chicken feed can. He just digs his way into the permanent run from under the coop instead. We've stuffed his holes with empty mulch bags. At first they disappeared into the hole, but later I found them pushed out of a hole in the back of the barn. He's a busy groundhog. The Dude has begun to propose more drastic measures to discourage him, but I'm more stubborn. And, in the end, I will prevail. In approximately three months. I don't hibernate. He does.