I’m asked all the time both by people who know me and by those who meet me, what I do all day.
I’m never sure if this is a quiet air of judgement, or if they are genuinely curious what life on a farm looks like.
I can tell you that for ME, life on THIS farm is 80% crisis management. Yesterday, I walked outside to feed the animals with plans to go grocery shopping and maybe begin work on FINALLY cleaning the house.
I came to the horse pasture (of course), and found that not only had they ripped out half their inner electric (non-electrified) rope fencing, they had also chewed it up. Now while I didn’t know how the fencing had managed to come down in so many places, I DID know WHO had been chewing on it!
Moisie (short for Moissanite) loves to chew on things. He loves picking things up and playing with them. In this photo he is holding a “carrot stick” training wand. He likes to walk in a circle trying to train ME with it.
I knew most likely Moisie had chewed-up the line.
Now I had to get the fencing fixed before Moisie chewed it even more. Groceries would get bumped to later in the afternoon. The kids were home anyway and could watch Earen while I shopped.
I managed to get the line back up just as Erik came home for lunch. Hopefully the horses would leave it alone until I could run electric to it later.
I ran off to get groceries. As I left, I noticed the snow beginning to drift into the driveway from the heavy winds. There hadn’t been much snow on the ground, but the wind was scooping up what little bit there was and driving it back up into the air. The driveway had only drifted maybe an inch. I noted to myself that I’d probably need to plow later tonight.
I drive a Toyota Matrix, 2WD. It handles all aspects of winter poorly. By the time I came back 2 hours later, the 1 inch appeared to have grown to 3 inches. I could drive through 3 inches, right?
Nope. The 3 inches had settled to 5 near the road. The car sank right into the drift and was stuck. I called Nuriel to bring the side by side UTV out to me. She sat in the car while I tried to push it out with the side by side. Quads and side by sides work great if you are stuck in mud. Apparently, they don’t work to pull you out in snow.
As I sat there trying to figure out if we needed to go get the snow shovel, a neighbor pulled up in his truck and asked if we needed help. I only knew this man from talking to him once at Tractor Supply. He’d bought several bags of dog food and I made a comment about all the food, and we got to talking about high-energy dog food (he raises hunting dogs, and we raise boxers). I have no idea where he lived, other than “nearby”, and I’d see his truck go by often and stop to give a friendly wave.
He pulled-up behind my car, and gently pushed her out of the drift onto higher ground, then he left before I could run to the house and get him a jar of syrup.
I’ll figure out where he lives, and run a bottle of syrup to him. It’s not often other people help US. Usually we are loners, problem solving everything ourself. It’s good to know that there are people nearby willing to lend a hand!
I got all the groceries put away before diving back out into the roaring winds. It was warmer, but the winds were whipping up the snow and driving it across the fields, exposing long lengths of green grass and piling the snow into hidden drifts of unknown depths.
The horses hadn’t touched their fencing. They were at the back of the pasture in a group, eating their hay.
I silently went to work clipping a length of insulated electric line that still sat on the ground, left over from wiring the cow fence — Erik never cut the line down to size and it sat in sneaky coiled rounds on the grass waiting for someone to trip over it. I re-wired the cut line into the fence charger then I dragged the long length of wire and my tools to a junction in the horse fence from a previous fence line.
The horses were still eating their hay, ignoring me.
This would be the hard part. If a horse suddenly decided to come walking up, they’d catch the wire and rip everything out. I kept a careful eye on the group as I first attached my wire to the main fence, then ran it along the ground and up to the rope fence and cut it to size. I attached it with a metal bracket, then ran to the barn for a large board. A board across the line would keep the horses from tripping on it. Later I could pick ax a trench for it.
I ran back with my board. It was too short! I was out of time — the horses were beginning to squabble and move away from the hay. I threw the board down and packed snow over the exposed areas of wire cable. Then I ran down and plugged the fence in.
Someone’s going to find out pretty quick that chewing on the fence means a mouthful of electric!