Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2013 > Daily Dispatch #215

October 28, 2013: Fix it . . .

Two fence posts, leaning to the outside of the horse enclosure, needed to be fixed. Many years ago, when Pete and I were taking one of Katie Long’s horse courses, we had to read Steven Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” At the time, Pete was uninterested in the horse material. But he really took to the Covey book. Covey says that most things that need doing are either important or urgent. Most things don’t get to be urgent around here. Yes, sometimes the goats bust down their door, or the horses get out in the yard, or a dog breaks through the electric fence and heads down the road. But such things are rare, and quickly taken care of. No, we have never had to

simultaneously deal with several urgent things.

The two leaning fence posts, broken, sort of rotted at the base. Something that we always knew we’d eventually have to deal with because, to save money eighty years ago, when we built our facility, we used some landscape timbers for some of the posts rather than all-weather posts (in our case, 4x4s). Fixing them was important, verging on urgent. If they weren’t fixed now, we’d have to wait until spring to do the job. This is because we could not do this if the ground froze. If the matter wasn’t taken care of, the posts might trip further and the horses might hurt themselves in attempting to exit the facility.

So, we decided this morning to put in two new fence posts. Yesterday would have been a good day to do this task, but we instead did other things. Pete moved the mud in front of the compost station and put tape on the hoop house. He also changed the truck tires. I trained Ryder to the electric fence. I also took the dogs for a hike, and Pete and I both took Hrimmi and Signy out for a lengthy walk. And a visitor, Barbara from Anchorage, came to our place and took some compost.

We pushed our luck and we knew it. Yesterday was sunny and dry. Today was overcast and rainy. We waited until afternoon to begin repairs. Dumb idea, for then the morning drizzle had turned into rain. We ignored the precipitation. I was the fetch it person. After accessing the situation, I gathered together some the materials that we’d need to do the job – the post hole digger, the tamping pole, and the digging bar. Pete had already gotten the hammer and the fence tool.

I didn’t do much. I seldom do when the work at hand involves building projects. My role was actually that of a sodden cheerleader – I stood around and acted very interested in what my man was doing. Pete removed the staples on the first post, loosened the screws holding the rail to the posts, removed the post, dug the hole deeper, and then put in a new post. I tamped down the dirt and held the post in place.

The routine was pretty much the same for post #2, except that I took all but the bottom staple out. When done, we stood back and admired our handiwork. The finished product is going to hold. It’s another thing we have knocked off our list, and most likely, the last thing we’ve knocked off our list.

This all begs the question – could I have done this project by myself? Oh, probably. The truth is, as I’ve discovered, when one has a man around who is handy, you tend to let him do what needs to be done. There are, of course, pros and cons to this. The pros are that having someone else do things frees one up to do other things. The other things that I did while Pete was working included moving the last of the outside compost pile into the second compost bay. I also cleaned up around the hitching post area. There was wet hay on the ground. And I moved some poles onto a concrete slab so that they don’t rot.

The con is that I don’t get the sense of accomplishment that I might feel had I been the lead person on this project, or taken on a greater role.

I guess it’s good that there is so much to do around here because otherwise I would not feel the sense of accomplishment that goes hand-in-hand with tending to one’s own place.

Squalor Holler is now looking really good. We are now squared away (outside) for winter. This is a very good feeling. Time to begin doing inside stuff. Back to being a micro-organizer.

Next: 216: 10/29/13: Splat, splat, splitty, splat, splat, Splat