As I was driving home this evening, I was wondering what I would write about…
How does that expression go? “Be careful what you wish for…”.
THE BACK(HOE) STORY
First let me share the back story with you.
We are in the process of going solar. Yay!
The people who design these systems came out and decided that the solar panels would be mounted on the barn and that the crew would dig a 180’ trench to run the electrical wires underground from the barn all the way to the electrical panel in back of the house. 180 feet. Not in a straight line. With rocks in between. Lots and lots of underground rocks. Oh, and an irrigation system buried there, too.
Suffice it to say that the guys hadn’t gotten very far when I left at around noon today.
OMG! MY FRONT LAWN IS A GAUNTLET!
When I arrived home in the pitch dark, I could see that things were very wrong. I could barely make out … Wha? Caution tape? And cones? What are those shapes?… My brain couldn’t quite decipher what my eyes were seeing. Or, maybe my brain didn’t want to decipher what my eyes were seeing…
Every inch of my yard – from the house to the barn – looked like a Championship Golf Course under construction. There were flags, wood and iron everywhere. I saw irrigation upended and grooming tools strewn about. It had all the markings of a top notch Par 5 with moats, mountains, water traps and sandpits… all spread out before me in a darkened nightmare sort of way.
I must comment on the yellow CAUTION tape hanging from everything in a “the house has been TP’d” sort of way, accented with orange cones and colorful barriers. The bright canary ribbons went ‘this way and that’ in such an ornate pattern that I almost admired the scene for its elegant artistry. Almost.
As I stood there, shaking, I could see that the tape was not just protecting the huge, sweeping, wandering moat between the barn and the house, but it was also guarding the little moatlettes that were cut in traverse patterns to divert the rainwater from draining into the new electrical moats. And the mountains of dirt – oy – I was falling face first into Dirt Mountain every few steps…
Finally, I stopped and stood on the only unruffled island of sanity in the sea of upheaval and gazed upon the Armageddon.
It was like an attack by the gopher from Caddyshack – on steroids.
How in the heck was I going to feed?!
I knew I was in danger walking around out there in the dark. But I had to feed. So, I decided to strap every possible portable lighting fixture onto my body. My little headlamps were no match for the task at hand. I needed the big guns.
I also needed to have my hands free. What to do What to do? I ran upstairs and found some bendy clampy lights that I had bought from Yugster to use in the bathtub while I was reading. (Don’t you hate using booklights In the bathtub? They are so heavy and always weigh down the book so you think it will fall in the water.)
Anyway, I decided to bend one set of legs to fit over my waistband and another to fit around the front of my bra through my shirt buttons. I looked ridiculous but I was shining brightly.
MY LIGHTING RIG
I have to say, my lighting rig worked really well! The big one I had attached to my chest was like having a headlight smack dab in the middle of my body. Nice!
The one on my waist had 4 little lightlettes that were bendy. So, I bent the two outside ones to the outside and the middle ones stayed in the middle. This really helped me see where I was going. They lit my path beautifully. In essence, I had running lights and a high beam.
I could see fairly well! I was amazed. And, the best part, I sounded like the telephone repair man. You know how they always have stuff hanging from their belts so when they walk they kinda schwingy jangle along? That is how I sounded as I made my way to the barn.
The only problem with my system was that if I held the hay in front of me, I couldn’t see. So, I had to work with only one flake under my arm at a time which took longer but was probably safer overall.
OY. WHY DID YOU GUYS DO THIS TONIGHT OF ALL NIGHTS?!
As I got to Finn’s pasture, I saw that the bad fence repair job I did last month had been kicked apart. It was clear that any one of them could walk right through the fence and end up in The Maze. That COULD NOT happen. What a disaster if those horses were loose in this leg-maim gauntlet. Yikes!
My luck, Hubby is out of town. I have no way of cutting a new fence board and even less of a way of hammering one on.
But, I remembered some extra broken boards that were left up by the arena. At the time, I was upset that Hubby left them there, but now I was grateful! I also knew that I had bought a cordless Makita for myself two Christmases ago just for an occasion like this!
So, I gingerly walked up to the boards and adjusted my handydandy bendy lights to see which one might work. Then, I meticulously picked my way back around the moats and cones with the unruly fence board dragging behind me.
Hmmm. I needed the Makita. So, I very carefully walked back up to the house for the powertool that I had never used before. Yeah. That took a while to figure out.
Nevertheless, I was back out within 10 minutes and working my way through the mayhem to the broken fence. But first to the barn for screws.
Don’t you hate carrying screws in your barncoat pocket? It never fails that the nail or screw tip works its way through the lining of your pocket. You end up with a pokey thing in your lining and subsequently your hay knife and little nubby treats end up working their way through the new – and getting larger – hole, settling deeply into the chasms of your coat lining, never to be found again.
THERE, I FIXED IT
I got back to the broken fence where the horses were eating quite happily.
Then I started up the drill… That was fun! If I wasn’t concentrating so hard on scratching my head while rubbing my belly (holding up the rail while trying to man the Makita and hold the screw straight), I would have warned them that Momma was going to be making an awful noise. But, I didn’t and they ran away.
Anyway, the boards got assembled in the best configuration I could figure with the sizes and shapes available.
There, I fixed it. (Have you ever seen that website? It is very funny. Here is the link.)
I NEED A DRINK AND A CHANGE OF CLOTHES.
After I had fed everyone, fixed the fence and managed to get the dogs up to the house in one piece (I was sure someone would fall into a moat or crash into a piece of machinery), I realized that my shoulders were attached to my jaw. My neck had compressed into a pancake. This was all very stressful for me.
I was so drenched with sweat that I felt like I was the bomb diffuser in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE or something… I was a wreck. I needed a warm drink and a hot bath.
SOMEONE OUGTTA INVENT A HEADLIGHT FOR YOUR CHEST!
I loved my contraption! It worked really, really well.
I think someone should invent it.
I think it should wrap around like a bra or maybe like a baby carrier. But instead of the bra cups or the baby, insert a huge light. Arms free. PLEASE SOMEONE, design it.
If you make it, they will buy! I’ll be first in line!
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
March Drop in the Bucket Fund: THE JUNKYARD 4.
These 4 sad horses were found in miserable condition, 2 pregnant, all starved – yet owned by a hay broker! To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate towards the care of The Junkyard 4, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)