Posts Tagged ‘humor’

(Mis) Adventures in Long Distance Horse Trailering, Part 4


Our oldest daughter got tired of waiting for me to finish the story, so here is her account of the next day, after the horses had enjoyed a couple days’ break from trailering. Her words start here:

Aww, Dad, you stopped right before the best part!

Anyways, while Dad and Mr. G were hitching up the trailer and whatnot, my siblings, our friends, and I decided to take a walk with the horses in the G’s field. This was partly for our exercise and partly so that Mr. Anti-Trailer wouldn’t see the scary metal box that these crazy humans made him stand in.

FREEEEDOMMMMMM!!!!

After a little while, Jasper decided to walk off, pulling my sister so hard that she dropped his lead rope. We recaught him and walked on.

When we returned, the two G girls were each proudly walking a horse (with help). While I put Zip’s trailer halter on, the youngest of our friends, who was scratching Zip’s neck, much to his snorty pleasure, looked up a me and said, “I think I’m addicted to horses.”

Horse hugs

We pushed all the stuff we’d used back into the trailer (five or so bales of hay make it hard to do this), and took out our trusty Handy Stick. We knew we were ready for anything a twelve-hundred pound horse with a sharp pair of hooves could throw at us.

As usual, we weren’t.

Jasper usually knows that Mom is boss. But, it depends on her tone of voice. If she says “Mister Jabba-Wabba baby, do you wanna get in da twaiwer?” then he will refuse for the rest of the session. If she says “Come on, buster. Let’s get in,” he says “Whoa. She means business here.” (OK, I’m exaggerating – Mom never talks to him like a baby – but she did learn to be firmer with him).

Who's longing who?

At least, that was how it happened in Texas when our feisty steed knew he was going to only have to stay in there, with his haybag full, for five minutes or so. But this day he said, “Wait a second. I’m not wearing my rope halter. I’m wearing the web one with the blue fuzzy things on it. and everybody’s hugging each other like they’re leaving. You know, I think I’m staying in there for a while. Nope, not gonna do it.”

Bllpbllpppptt!!!!! That's what I think about trailers!

With that, he threw out buck and a rear, and galloped off over our friends’ lush lawn. A fairy-tale picture, I know, a Horse with a long mane running, free, over a green meadow.

That is, until you notice the dangling lead and the fact that your fairy-tale mount is gamely crossing a road and going for those tasty flowers in the neighbor’s yard.

Mom, Dad and I ran after him, shaking the treats. Jasper said, “Uh-uh. I know where you’re taking me.”
Mom and Dad cornered him by going around opposite sides of the neighbor’s house, and Dad finally caught his lead rope. Jasper hung his head.

Dad now took over. After longing the escapee for a few minutes, he tried to lead Jasper into the trailer. Jasper refused.

Let me deviate from the plot. May I say that sweet old Zip had been waiting patiently in said trailer for about half an hour, now?

We longed Jasper whenever he refused to get in the trailer. After a long time (our friends, after seeing Jasper’s various bucks, kicks, and rears, decided to watch from afar) we finally got him in.

Drat! Foiled again!

We were headed to Ohio. More adventures were in store.

On the road again!

The Flying T Spa


Upon reflection, and after unloading and stacking ~240 bales this afternoon with the assistance of my oldest daughter and Kevin from 3D Farm Products, I have come to the realization that there are few things more redundant than owning both a farm and a gym membership.

This is what 10,000lbs of hay looks like... notice the goats looking longingly at the trailer

That got me thinking more.  People are shelling out good money for gym memberships… why not offer spa and fitness center services along with eggs and meat?

Meet one of our personal trainers as she demonstrates a Flying T signature move – the “45-lb dead-lift-and-heave.”

Step 1 - Select your Hay Bale

Step 2: Twist and Heave

Step 3: Follow Through

Some spas tout their “hot rock” treatments.  At the Flying T, we find cold rocks do a better job of strengthening backs.

Our middle daughter’s favorite exercise is the double bucket lift.

Another oldie-but-goodie is firewood stacking (we also offer splitting mauls to mix aerobics into your strength routine).

The wheelbarrow haul is great for legs, arms, and shoulders, while also building core strength.

Looking for more of an aerobic workout?  Chasing chickens beats windsprints any day.

No chickens were harmed in the filming of this blog

Another aerobic exercise we discovered last week was the midnight horse chase… to set it up, the kids need to forget to close the pasture gate.  The rules for the exercise are that you have to be lying in bed and can’t start chasing the horses until you hear hoofbeats running past your window.

But wait, there’s more!  Goat wrestling, fence pulling, horse saddling, hoof-picking, duck finding… we’ve got endless exercises to keep you trim and fit.

Don’t take a vacation, take a Fitness “Hay-cation!”  Contact us today!

BTW, in all seriousness, if you need quality hay delivered in Vermont or New Hampshire, we highly recommend the Daly Brothers, Kevin and Marshall: 3dfarmproducts@gmail.com.  In addition to their trailer (240 squares or 22 rounds), they also can deliver by the tractor trailer load (about 700 squares).  We don’t get anything for referrals, but tell them the Flying T sent you… and ask them how they liked the jams!

One more note – lots of farmers in New England, including the Daly’s, lost crops or didn’t get much of a 2nd cut due to all the rain late this summer, but costs are still pretty close to last year.  We’re still praying for all those down in the South and Southwest dealing with the drought.  See our poll and tell us how much hay is going for in your neck of the woods!

Occupy Movement Hits the Flying T


I walked to the equipment shed a couple days ago and found that the Occupy movement had hit our farm.

"Occupy Shed" Protest

They weren’t as persistent as protesters in other parts of the country.  By the time I’d come back from occupying my tractor seat and evicting some more Pin Cherry trees from the pastures with my chainsaw, they’d moved on.  Even though it was nice and dry inside the shed, they knew I wasn’t going to feed them there and so they went on their way to forage for food (you can learn a lot from animals).  However, one of them did leave me a symbol of their protest – a fresh egg in the corner of my tractor bay.  Sometimes protests can be so yummy.

Occupy Skillet

This got me thinking.  If the chickens represented the OWS folks, that would make them the 99% (good guys/gals) and me the 1% (evil greedy egg-eater).  But I’m not sure I want to be counted in the 1%.  Maybe I am anyhow.

Occupy Pasture

If we’re talking economic status, I definitely don’t qualify as the top 1% in the US, but I’m also not in the 15% who are below the national poverty line.  In fact, I’m probably in the top half of citizens financially because last April I was one of the only 53% who paid income taxes.

I’m also in the 37% who voted in 2010, the 6% of my generation who are military veterans (and the less than 1% who are combat vets), the 7% who hunt, the 30% who change their own oil, the 95% who don’t go much deeper under the hood than spark plugs, and the 12% who consider faith a vitally important part of our lives.

Occupy Trough

Some of these groups have more significance than others, and a lot of this is a matter of perspective.  Getting back to the financials, 5% of our population in the US is in “extreme poverty” (half the poverty line), so the rest of us are in the top 95%.  If we look at it globally, it’s an even different perspective.  A family of four in the US making $22,350 (2010 poverty rate) is in the lower 15% of the US… but they’re in the top 10% worldwide according to the Global Richlist.  If you currently bring home the US median income (over $50K), you’re a “one percenter.”  In fact, the mere fact that you’re reading this right now puts you in the exclusive 30% of  the population with Internet access.

Occupy Hammock

BTW, if you’ve never spent significant time in the “two-thirds” world, you really don’t know what poverty is.

Still, I don’t feel comfortable with this at all.  Part of it is because when I look at these percentages, what I see is that it is “us” versus “them.”  No matter what X and Y are and what distinguishes between the two of them, the X% vs Y% debates today are taking on the form of ad hominem attacks – accusing “who” instead of discussing “what.”

“There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.” – President Theodore Roosevelt

President Roosevelt was talking about the scurge of those working to assert the specific interests of “German-Americans,” “French-Americans,” “Irish-Americans,” etc into the workings of the United States.  What he insisted was that instead, we needed to work together as a union towards the interests of the nation as a whole.  To extend that idea, I believe we need to stop thinking about who is right, who deserves privileges to be bestowed or stripped, and who has or has not, and instead focus on what is right, why it is right, and how we can do right.

Occupy Barn

So, as I think about the “Occupy” phenomenon beyond my own equipment shed, only one percentage really makes sense to me.  I’m in the 100% of us who should be taking an interest in where this nation is headed.

[Edit:  The following was in my morning readings the day after I wrote this post]

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

– 1 Timothy 6:6-10

May I learn to be content.

On Gadgets


It’s a little known fact that the managers at the local Tractor Supply Co and Home Depot franchises have recently seen the same specialist to cure the same problem. It seems their salivary glands go hyperactive anytime they see me roll into the parking lot.

If you have a small farm, you know that there are all sorts of gadgets you can buy to “help” you.  Now, I’m a gadget guy – and my wallet and I are drawn to them like bugs to a zapper – but I’m also honest with myself.  I’m firmly convinced that very few of these machines, slicers, dicers, and automatic car washers actually result in a net gain in productivity, though some of them are just downright fun (as in the “Whiz-Bang Chicken Plucker,” which we don’t currently own… yet).

What’s a Whiz-Bang?  The story about it is on the inventor’s website, with some great photos and descriptions; however, while a photo says a thousand words, a video is even more verbose.  A bit of Google-Fu gives us an example:

Where were we?  Oh yeah, why gadgets rarely result in a net gain:

Say a person makes the US median income – about $45K a year, or $22.50 per hour.  He or she takes pride in his/her lawn and edges it every week from April to September using  an old-fashioned rotary-blade manual push edger for the task, a good workout that takes an hour to complete.  By the way, we’re talking about “a person,” not me.  I don’t edge my lawn.  It’s not visible from the road, I’m not exactly sure how one edges a gravel drive, and my wife normally mows the lawn anyhow… a long story involving lions, beavers, and USAF flight training.

Back to the story.  One day at Home Depot, said person notices that the Binford 2000 gas-powered Lux-o-Edger (with patented dual counter-rotating blades of turf death) is on sale for only $250.  The sales associate expresses horror when hearing about the old-fashioned edger our person currently uses and says “This baby will do the job in half the time.”

Our gadget guy (oops – I just lost the non-gender-specific edge, I guess) buys the edger, gas can, oil, extended warranty, storage cover, and auxiliary lighting system, and laser grass illuminator, checking out for $350.  Over the two-year life of edger (exactly the length of the extended warranty), he also spends another $100 in gas and parts, bringing the total cost to about $450.  In the end, he saves 20 hours of labor (24 minus  the 4 he spends changing the plugs and oil, and sharpening the dual counter-rotating blades of turf death), which at his hourly wage is worth about $450.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to close my Macbook and go spend some time adjusting our automatic chicken coop door.  Maybe I’ll use the tractor to turn the manure pile also, since it’s so much easier than using a shovel.  Afterwards, I’ll go scrounging for a food drum for a project I’ve been considering.  I’ve already got the motor….

You might live on a farm if…


You might live on a farm if…

10.  …you normally awake before the rooster (and when he wakes up first you have an urge to reach for the duct tape).

9.  …at least once this week, you’ve been outside in PJs and rubber boots.

8.  …the dockhand at the grain store starts filling your truck with your order before you get to the counter.

7.  …some of your nightmares start with your kids yelling, “Mom! Dad!  The goats are…”

6.  …you cruise dumpsters for building supplies.

5.  …your work gloves wear out too often and always in the same place.

4.  …a police officer has stopped by your house to see if you’re the owner of a horse/goat/pig/cow/llama/emu/etc that’s gone walkabout.

3.  …you scoff when you see “Fresh grade AA” on an egg carton in the grocery store.

2.  …you shower in the evenings.

1.  …at least one member of your family has seriously thought about having you committed.

(Feel free to add your own)