Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hoses and Other Inconvenient Things

Maybe I'm spoiled.  (ah heck, I know I am).  But the inconveniences I get to deal with sometimes really chap my hide. 

First and foremost on my mind today is hoses.  Not horses, I mean garden hoses.  Mind you, my parents took great care to teach me how to coil a hose without kinking it.  I know what I'm doing.  In winter, I end up keeping hoses inside in the basement so they don't freeze up when I have to water the horses.  I have always been very careful to coil my hoses up properly, but somehow, kinks showed up in there.  And, no matter how meticulous I am in how I pick them up, they are ALWAYS tangled when I start pulling the business end from the faucet down towards the trough. 

Yeah, I'm used to carrying a pocketknife 24/7, which comes in handy, but seriously--should I be carrying pliers to fix the kink too?  gadzooks.  At this rate, I'll have to strap a toolbelt on every time I step out the door. 

Round hay bales are another problem.  When I just need a little more off the bale, I touch it with the fork, and half the bale falls off.  Now, granted, I have picky horses.  They like dry hay.  They like fine hay.  They don't like wet hay at all.  So, if there's any chance of precipitation, I've got to either fork it out to them (since if they're left to their own devices, they waste LOTS of hay, and it's pretty expensive now) or shove it under the tarp.  EXPENSIVE pain in the rear.  I mean pain in the elbow. 

Farmer's Elbow is my new term.  Some people call it tennis elbow, but I haven't played tennis in 10 years.  Wrestling with round bales and a pitchfork started it, then I miscaught a piece of firewood coming down the chute that probably weighed 30 pounds.  NOT GOOD. 

And let's go back to the pitchfork.  When that half a bale falls on your foot, you try to get out of the way.  Or you would, if you weren't me.  I am SO not a morning person.  When I say I stumble out to do chores, that's literally what I do.  Stumble.  First I feed the cats (because they're closest), then I let the chickens out, clean the nest boxes (because the bantys like to sleep in there), move the eggs to an unused box, then go to the barn to get the horses their oats and alfalfa.  While they're munching the goodies, I fork the hay. 

Well, like I said.  I'm not a morning person, and one night I'd gotten way less sleep than I apparently need.  I forked a little bit of hay out, and wanted to grab some more, but the fork wasn't working.  SOOOOO, I stabbed it into the ground as I usually do when I want to use my hands.  MISTAKE--it wasn't the ground, it was my foot.  Or, more accurately, the tines struck glancing blows to my toes. 

Now I was even grumpier.  Not only had I potentially given myself lockjaw, I'd ruined a wonderful pair of work boots.  I managed to finish forking hay without cursing aloud then stomped back up to the coop to get eggs.  Of course, Trouble the rooster wanted to start trouble and kept flying at me and pecking.  Folks, I'll be honest.  I punted him with my injured foot.  I was in no mood for any shenanigans. 

The good news is that I don't have lockjaw or lockfingers, LOL.  Trouble is still fine, but he's on the short list if you know what I mean.  And now I'm very very careful with the pitchfork.  The hose . . .that's another matter. 

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