Every day starts out about the same here. No alarm clock ringing, at least for me; instead it is a distant dog bark or the inevitable rooster crow that stirs me. Like many wake-up devices, the first dozen crows can be ignored, unless of course you do want to get up at 4:30 AM! Eventually the sun peaks over the horizon, mine being through a window looking out over the Pacific. Windows and doors are wide open now. There seems to be little rain or blowing storms. Instead there is heat and vog, which is a natural version of smog, created by combining the sulfuric gases of the volcano with sunlight, water vapor and a dash of manmade pollutants. Not what one pictures when you think of a tropical "paradise." Rain will come and the winds will shift, blowing this throat scratching soup in some other direction.
Eventually I rise. The first order of the day is to pee and brush my teeth, both of which happen over the edge of the lanai. It's just me here so I can be a little crude in my habits; the pee gets washed off in the next rain storm and becomes a bit of nitrogen cycled back into the earth. Tooth-brushing is camp style, using a splash of water from a water bottle to wet and rinse. So I pull my barn boots on and walk the 800 feet or so up to the house. In the process I pass through two gates which close the five sheep into their current pasture. They sometimes bleat a bit, hoping I might have some grain. We exchange pleasantries and I am usually gifted with a small deposit of poop on the trail. I don't take this as an editorial, just sheep being sheep.
Usually by the time I reach the house Paul H. and Scot have sat for a few minutes at the table in the open air kitchen and started the first cups of coffee. I sit and join them. The brew is strong, made in a French press. I drink it black. Sometimes there is a discussion on the weather; how much rain was in the gauge this morning (Scot and Paul keep records), or the rising sun. Next is the farm report, of sorts, talk about roosters, pigs, etc., perhaps even a foray into current events in the news, but inevitably the discussion focuses around the dogs and cats who are sniffing around, doing what they do, in a their friendly/adversarial manner. Sadie, the dog, always comes by for her fair share of attention. Bandit, the black and white cat, might hop up in a lap. This cat cuddle is appreciated on cooler mornings. I find it secretly amusing that three men watch a dog watch a cat. It's the best show available and no cover charge. A bit later after the morning kibble, Sadie the elder dog comes out to sniff about. She is ancient dog and dear to us. Most of her time is now spent snoozing in her crate. Perhaps if she were a human (a "two-legs") she might be writing her memoirs...
After a second cup, we tend to wander off to our various tasks, perhaps musing for a moment on a small point of an earlier discussion, perhaps regarding the chickens, or a tomato in the greenhouse. The pace is often slow.
Right now I am charging my batteries in the bright morning sun. The day has begun.