Communicating Without Words

When Chad was a little, once I had laryngitis and could barely speak above a whisper. He kept yelling when he was talking to me and after every sentence, he would say “Can you hear me?”  Yes! I can hear you but I cannot talk so that you can hear me!  That went on for several days.

Today I was reminded of that incident. I had been out working in the garden and when I went back to the shop to get a different hoe, I found the little shovel I used to pick up what Speck leaves behind so I went and did that and as I was going into the woods to dump it, I glanced over at the water tank for the cows.  The neighbor owns the cows and they aren’t here right now but they should be coming back soon. I had been telling Vince that we needed to clean it out again, so I looked over there to see how low the water was and . . there was a dead critter in the water tank. We keep a board in there for critters to crawl out if they fall in but I guess with the ice, he fell in and couldn’t find his way to the board to get out or the water was too icy and he couldn’t function.

My handy dandy iPod thing was around my neck and my earbuds in so I knew I couldn’t hear Vince so I was sending hand signals to him and . . he figured out what I was saying.

Go look over there!

Go look over there!

He was looking at me like . . what?  I kept pointing over towards the tank.

A Dead Critter

A Dead Critter

This means . . there’s a dead critter in there!

He got the message! He got the critter out, then had to bail enough water to where he could lift and dump the tank.

Bailing Water

Bailing Water

He got enough water out to where he could lift it and dump it.

Almost Empty

Almost Empty


Empty Tank

Empty Tank

Vince will pressure wash it but . . another day . . some day before the cows get here. Then we’ll fill it up and be happy to welcome the new cows.





  1. 1

    Cindy Weber says

    in future, if you know the cows are going to be gone for awhile, why not just dump the tank and not have to worry about it.
    my mother used to teach preschool and kindergarten and would occasionally develop laryngitis that would last a week or so. when she whispered to the kids, they would whisper back!!

    • 1.1


      We never know how long they’re going to be gone . . it mostly depends on the amount of rain we get. Sometimes the guy sells them and then buys more within a few weeks. Even if it’s only going to be several months, water is such a hot commodity around here that I doubt we would dump it. Also, I think the tank has a better chance of getting damaged if it’s empty.

  2. 2

    Joyce says

    I love your hand signals. If I were miming a dead critter, I would have stuck my tongue out to the side along with the hand movement… 🙂

  3. 3

    Diana says

    Love the hand signals .. My daughter taught all of our grands sign language when they were little and has carried it on even in public. Its interesting to see them sign something over their phones then write in the text of what they were saying …

  4. 5


    Not fun finding something floating in the tank. Just before I sat down to blog tonight, our Yorkie brought in a dead bird. I assume that the bird died from exposure since it is so terribly cold here. Expecting -20 with the wind chill here in Illinois tonight. We have at least a foot of snow on the ground. We are so ready for Spring!

  5. 8


    If I tried the same hand signals my DH would have no idea what I am trying to tell him. . . . you should hear some of the things he thinks I am saying when I have my toothbrush in my mouth!

  6. 9

    Denise ~ justquiltin says

    I”m glad I now know the universal body language signal for a “dead critter in the tank” – you never know when that might come in handy! LOL

  7. 10

    Sherry in Carrollton, TX says

    How fast weather changes! We came through on I-20 last
    Thursday and only the Interstate was clear and it was cold!
    Today, in Carrollton, it’s 37 and they say the worst will come
    tomorrow! I thought about you as we passed the Coleman
    and Abilene exits.