Sunday, August 23, 2009

Marriage Building

This weekend was full of what I like to refer to as marriage building exercises. Marriage building exercises are big jobs around the farm, or simply time-consuming, pain in the rear type of jobs that are best done with two people. Generally they involve a lot of time, aggravation, frustration, unforeseen problems (and I must admit bad language as well). This weekend our projects consisted of replacing a sheared fence post that Jason hit while bush hogging (oops) and installing some tile drain to get rid of the lake in the alley between several of the pastures.

The lake in the alley has been getting worse and worse and worse. I was getting ready to install a diving board and maybe a nice deck with some sun chairs. It went all the way across the alley so it was unavoidable, and every time a tractor or piece of equipment was driven through it it kept getting deeper. Leading horses through it was fun!

Our friend Mark running the ditch witch

This project was actually very straight forward. The ditch was dug, the pipe put in, and the ditch refilled. Within a few hours we had our proof that it was working as most of the water had been drained out. We'll need to order a load of gravel to complete this project to both fill in the area and get rid of the mud. Hopefully we'll get that done this week and I will never have to deal with what Amy dubbed our wading pool again.

Placing the pipe in the ditch

The next project was more difficult. Jason hit a fence post during his last round of bush hogging. He was looking behind him at the bush hog to see how close it was to the fence line. I guess he should have looked sooner since he hit the fence! The post wasn't completely sheared so it didn't have to be replaced immediately, so we definitely chose to avoid this for a couple of weeks. The weather was absolutely glorious this weekend so we had run out of excuses for not getting this project done.

One completely sheared fence post. We had to finish the job of shearing the post ourselves in order to dig the bottom part out as the fence posts are set in concrete. We thought about trying to pull it out with the front loader of the tractor but it was cracked enough that we were pretty sure it would simply break the rest of the way instead of pulling out of the ground.

Of course digging the bottom of the post out of the ground was much harder than anticipated. I kept telling Jason that I thought it would go a lot easier if we went ahead and pulled all the boards off the post so that they wouldn't be in the way and make it easier to dig. We were going to have to pull them off anyway to reattach them to the new post. Jason kept disagreeing with me. Well, one wrong swing of the pick axe (to bust up the concrete around the remains of the bottom of the post) did some nice damage to the bottom board. At that point Jason decided I might have had a good idea about going ahead and removing the boards to make it easier to swing. What a wonderful marriage building moment, ha ha!

We had to dismantle two sections of the fence to pull the boards off the sheared post

Now we had a much bigger work space for busting out the concrete

We finally got the concrete and the remains of the old post out and the new post set. The boards that weren't damaged during post removal were nailed back on. Then we had to go get a 14' replacement board for the bottom. Since the horses, especially the mares, are pros at breaking fence boards we keep a supply on hand at all times. We retrieved a board from the other side of the barn and got it nailed on to finish the job.
One new post and two rebuilt fence sections

We were both glad to see the end of that project. I can't wait to finish up the wading pool removal project with some gravel. I've also had some interesting rides on Sky and Bonnie this past week but I'm too tired to type about them right now. I'm going to move on to some pictures and wrap this post up so I can tuck in the world's cutest fainting goats for the night and go to bed.
Early morning scene before the fog had completely cleared; Asterk, Ogie and Sebastian
Another early morning scene; Lucky, Snappy and Chili grazing with the flock of visiting geese behind them

O'Reilly has a morning graze with the geese

Sebastian, Trillion, Winston, Asterik and Faune grazing before breakfast

Sebastian and Asterik enjoying the afternoon sunshine

Chance and Leo were heading somewhere in a hurry

Apollo trotting through the pasture


Snappy, Teddy, O'Reilly and Slinky

Lightening and Chili grazing in the shade one afternoon

Tony grazing in the shade


Leo, Homer, Chance, Elfin and Ivan

Cuffie grazing in the shade

Another morning scene; my view as I walked through one of the pastures


Dressager said...

Just another day in horsey paradise. And the marital building block center. How funny! The fence looks gawgeous.

Anonymous said...

When you're done at your place, please come visit me - with equipment, please - we've got lots more "marriage-building" you could do at our place! Thanks as always for the pictures!

RuckusButt said...

Mariage building, lol! You guys should advertise as a working vacation destination - "come learn what it takes to run a farm while gaining valuable team/marriage building skills!" You'd get to charge them AND get free labor...course you'd also have to deal with some cranky couples ;)

Cygnata said...

Who's that behind Leo? I'm pretty sure there's 6 horses in that photo, not 5. :)


lytha said...

marriage building, yer doin it right! we've got that goin on here too. it involves fencework and blackberry removal. i am actually looking forward to winter when things just stop growing. did i say that? agh.

we like your double posts on all the rails, but we can see what you mean about wood being so high maintenance. i think i need to go out and stain mine with some sort of protectant soon. youf place looks like a golf course when you park that "golf cart" on it! hehehehe

right now i am trying to come up with polite no trespassing signs. it is hard for me to come up with something in german that does not sound mean. that "verboten" word is just so harsh. all the signs at the hardware stores would make us look like meanies if we put one on our fence. so, what to do...add a "please" at the end?

also, we need a "do not feed the horse" sign that does not go into all the reasons why you shouldn't. for some reason the store bought ones go into detail about colic and cavities (yah, cavities!). it is hard to be diplomatic with signs. have you seen that passive aggressive notes website?

you probably don't have any no trespassing signs, cuz your land looks so remote.