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September 22, 2014: Beyond the Hay Days

Yesterday was, well, just another one of those days. I had a solid plan in mind upon waking. I was going to write, go for a horseback ride, dismantle the garden, put some of the upper quadrant compost in buckets, and wire brush the flatbed trailer.

Once again, the best plans went awry. Instead, Pete and I decided to return what we thought would be a handful of bad bales to our local hay supplier. I had mentioned that this was something that we’d need to do – Pete agreed and let him know we were coming. Shortly after breakfast, Pete joined me. By this point in time, I’d pulled several large bales out of the large shed and set them on the

tarp next to it. Pete (of course) expressed his displeasure when I pointed out that the bottommost layers on the left hand side of the stack were extremely moldy. And his displeasure grew when I pointed out that the bales higher up had also molded.

My tight lipped partner loaded the bales in the yard into the trailer, and I began talking happy – noting that it was a lovely day (it was) and that we are extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful place. I added that the poor Kurds in Syria had been forced to abandon their homes, and that we were lucky that we weren’t in a similar situation.

Only once did I buy into Pete’s negativity, by saying that perhaps we should sell the horses. His response was (as I hoped) “No, no, no!”

Pete, being a very ethical guy, then began attempting to determine what bales had gone bad because of our set-up, and what bales had gone bad because they originally contained too much moisture, in an attempt to determine which bales we should return, and which bales we should keep on hand. As I repeatedly told Pete, this was a moot point – bad was bad.
Thank dog we have the very best hay dealer in the entire world. He was very contrite about the situation. And, as he was quick to note, others had returned hay that was cut and baled at the same time.

The hay dealer’s brother joined in our conversation. Ray and I talked about the possibility of our having a barbecue, one in which Icelandic horse steaks would be on the menu.

Hay dealer and Pete ignored this conversation, and instead put their energies into helping us unload bad stuff and load up good stuff. And after, he discounted the price of the good stuff. This, even though we still owe him some for our July 4 purchase.

Pete and I left the hay dealer’s place – if you can imagine it, actually in good moods. As I later thought, it takes a special sort of person to make someone under duress feel this way.

Once home, Pete left in order to give Vickie a hand in making apple sauce. I stayed behind, and cleaned out the right hand side horse enclosure hay shed, and as well the area in front of the larger shed. My reasoning was bad hay is bad for horses. When done, I went and gave Pete and Vickie an assist.

Upon our return, at around 6:30 p.m, we sprang back to action. Pete began unloading hay into the right hand side horse enclosure hay shed, and I began cleaning out the left hand side horse enclosure hay shed. Ugh, what a mess. I removed rotty pallets and plywood, which because of their becoming damp, had disintegrated. I hauled the good wood up to the woodshed with the fish hauler, took the finer stuff to where the flatbed trailer used to be, and assisted Pete in loading the crumbling wood and boards into Fish Habitat.

We finished the above portion of this project by dusk. It seems like work begets work around here. In a few days’ time we’ll take the wood and boards to the dump. We’ll then line the right hand side enclosure hay shed with plastic, then layer it with pallets and plywood. After, we’ll get another load of hay from our hay dealer.

“It’s all in a day’s work” I said to Pete, who merely nodded, for he knew what was implied by what I’d said. Having horses on the home front is a very time consuming proposition. I would not say on days like this that I’d have it any other way. Tomorrow though, I might feel differently.

Next: 254. 9/24/14: Taking the Ponies to the Dentist: The March of the Molars