Fetch me that pitcher, farm boy…

Last weekend: plowed a field, fenced the horse paddock, set up two gates, dug four hitching post holes. What a hard days’ work looks like…

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Today was ridiculous. I got up and ripped up another room of carpet and pad and tack strips and staples that were injected into the soft floor with what must have been military-grade artillery pointing straight down.

Then I headed out to the pasture, opened the fence area containing the implements, and backed the tractor out of the tractor barn, clipping the barn roof with the rollbar, which made a huge *crack* and had me jumping in my seat – to find the front right tire completely off the rim. Crap. Being the type to get by where possible, I headed back across the pasture to the house to get the van jack and the bike tire pump. Yes, the bike tire pump. I am an idiot. Heading back out to the tractor, I saw the four horses prancing around in the implements area, which is full of nice juicy tall grass covering sharp, rusty implement blades of all shapes and sizes. Ack! I slowly rounded up Pony Boy and got him back out of the fence opening, then got Debba out. Then, while working on getting Piper out, Deba and Pony Boy returned. I finally got the three of them out together, and turned around to find that Sundance had worked himself into a far corner. I could see his eyes getting a little wild, since it was a tight corner that came to a narrow point, and he was obviously more interested in going forward rather than backing up. I could see trouble coming, and headed outside the implement area to the other side of the point to back him back in, but it was too late. In a panic, he reared back and bolted forward, taking out the top of the split rail fence holding back his freedom. And he was loose.

Anyone know what to do when your horse busts through its fence into unknown territory? Because I sure didn’t. Not a clue. I ran/staggered after him, like Indiana Jones watching Marion blow up in a Nazi plane, and my mind completely blacked out with panic. With nothing but pure luck on my side, my neighbor Early was riding HIS John Deere, mowing his pasture. He’s been there for 27 years and knows a few things, and calmly said “get a bucket of feed and a lead rope. Does he have a halter on?” Me: “uhhhh no…?” “Then get one of those too”. I don’t remember much after that, just images like jumping a 5″ chainlink fence and panic-dialing Andrea and pulling apart a split-rail fence and running through a field with half of the items on his list… eventually I got all the items and managed to run towards the front of Early’s property, to find him calmly leading Sundance to his gate. But that wasn’t the end of the drama – Sundance always keeps you on your toes – and as Early tried to lead Sundance over the low-hanging chain of his driveway fence, Sundance decided to get caught up in it and panic, dancing in circles with about 100′ of the chain (fortunately plastic) flying like a demon’s whip out of the fence post rings and through the air. Sundance eventually ended up in our front yard. The long driveway leads out to the road, so I stood him down again and again as he bolted towards me towards “freedom” – that was fun! Eventually Early got him to calm down again – he’s so smooth – and throw his arm around Sundance’s neck with a rope – HOW did he DO that!? – and led him back into the pasture. What a way to meet your new neighbor. I am so green it embarrasses even me.

I walked around and closed up the seventeen gates I had flung wide in my whirlwind of incompetence, and set back out to my tractor work. I jacked up the tractor with the van jack, which worked nicely, and pumped with the bike tire ’til I was blue in the face. I had to hit 100psi before a little squirt of air was pressurized enough to push in the valve pin and flow into the tire, which was off the rim and probably not holding the air. About to give up, I jammed the right-sized pebble into the valve, and was able to pump propa. I spent 30 minutes filling a 50 gallon tire with 5oz pumps of air, but finally got there. Back in action, I was able to hook up the 3-pt pins and the PTO drive shaft to the finishing mower. The finishing mower is a wreck – Derek told me this when we made the tractor deal – but it’s the only option I have at the moment to cut all the grass, which for some reason just keeps on growing. It’s an attachment pulled behind the tractor, and the PTO hooks up to a shaft that drives a belt that goes through about 8 different pulleys to turn 2 mowing blades. I made it down one side of the driveway… and the belt came off. I opened the thing totally up and found the spring that keeps the belt tight and removed it and got the belt back on but couldn’t get the spring back on until I kicked hard on the pulley arm and got it all working when I saw the diagram on the cover and realized I had one twist wrong in the snaking belt arrangement so I undid it all and was just about to redo it when the phone rang and it was Blackwater Woodworking wanting to meet me at Home Depot to buy the shower I’m having them install this week so I told them I’d meet them in an hour and picked up the pace and got the belt back on but was covered in grease by then and showered up to run over to meet them – I was going to wear the only thing I had, bike shorts, and the family vetoed that and Andrea threw some (very) dirty swim shorts in the dryer for a minute as an alternative – and Bob and Courtney and I bought a shower mould and brought it back to the house and it was only half right so we brought it back to Home Depot and got the right one… somewhere in there I grabbed some delish ravioli that Reiley made, thanks Rei! – finally back on the mower and mowed like a madman mowing the driveway and frontage area and front 2/3 of the pasture before Mike Akins, another new neighbor, came by probably concerned that I was noise polluting the entire county with my jakey rattle trap mower and told me about Quality Tractor where they could fix me up – which was great! – and then I wrapped up mowing down the highest pasture weeds and got the mower back in the implements area and swapped it out for the scraper and scraped up some dirt and brought it to a gap in the fence and hit the dump lever – it dumps out the dirt like a little dump truck, and then relatches so you can dig up more, sweet! Then headed over to the horse barn where the horses were fighting over their food – again – and Piper got knicked on the backside when Sundance chased her out of the stall – so I pulled all the door latches off to make for cleaner escapes. Then got the tractor back in the barn and gathered things up just as the rain started and got myself back to the old house in time for some bbq tofu sandwiches and a few hours of computer work before collapsing to face another work week…

By the way I am not allergic to pretty much anything – poison ivy, poison oak, old food, whatever – but after the third wasp sting in three days I guess the toxins got through and swolled up my hand real good… but with my gloves on I don’t even notice this…

YEEEHAW!! :P

5 thoughts to “Fetch me that pitcher, farm boy…”

  1. Hah – Carrie is the one that stands in front of the rampaging animals here. I always end up in the dog house for not standing my ground and catching whatever is is that is loose. I prefer to think I’m to smart to get run over, but Carrie usually uses a different word!

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