Jason and I have both been
procrastinating finding other important things to do while we have both done our best to avoid jobs we don't wish to tackle. I hate, loathe, detest - pick your adjective - dealing with dirty horse blankets. It would be putting it mildly to say that Jason is not fond of hooking up our Bushhog and then sitting on the tractor hour after hour for several days to mow the pastures. We were both dismayed to come to the conclusion a few days ago that we could no longer procrastinate find other important things to do and we had to tackle these jobs.
Jason wrestled with the Bushhog after morning chores yesterday and managed to get it hooked up with relative ease. His exact description of the process was "for once hooking up that $#&#ing bushhog wasn't a total mankiller." His friendly relationship with the Bushhog appeared to be short-lived. I saw him walking to the front barn (instead of sitting on a moving tractor) and a minute later he walked out with the biggest wrench I've ever seen in my life. This wrench was literally like two feet long and really wide.
He proceeded to walk back to the parked tractor and Bushhog looking most unhappy and then wrestled with this giant wrench on the Bushhog for awhile. I did not walk over to get a close up look at what was happening because A) I was busy holding a horse for the farrier and B) I am sticking to my resolution that I do not help Jason with the Bushhog. Ever. For God's sake he can give me a concussion with a feedbag, I'm not going near him with a two foot wrench in his hand. This scenario seemed to repeat itself several times throughout the day yesterday. Today seemed to go a lot better and the tractor and Bushhog were always moving when they should have been.
I now have two days into gathering and sorting dirty horse blankets. Nothing like waiting until the middle of July to finally get around to doing this. I'm really setting the bar high, not. You know you have procrastinated way too long when you get a friendly email from your nice blanketing cleaning lady asking if you are still planning to have her clean and repair your 100+ blankets? I think that was her friendly way of saying get off your butt and get the blankets ready for me since it is, you know, JULY. Since she sent her email after I already had one day of blanket sorting done I felt marginally better about myself.
Day one of blanket sorting was relatively uneventful. I felt like I needed to take a five hour shower after handling all of the dirty blankets so the task started off at its normal level of awfulness. I'll mention again that I just hate handling dirty, crusty horse blankets.
Day 2, today, was a lot more eventful. I have to handle each blanket a lot. They all need to be relabeled with a sharpie as the names fade a lot after being worn outside in the rain, mud, dirt, etc. I also inspect each blanket to see if it just needs to be cleaned, or if it also needs to be repaired or if it simply needs to be trashed. I keep a list of the blankets that need to be trashed so I can arrange for replacements. As I yanked a blanket down so I could inspect it suddenly I had a bunch of angry wasps coming after me. I did the right thing and took off running. They gave up the chase after a few feet and I waited several minutes before walking back over to resume my task. All was well until I pulled the next blanket and down and immediately found myself being chased by another swarm of angry wasps. I thought surely I was in the clear after that but I was wrong. I got to repeat the experience of pulling down a blanket and being chased by PO'd wasps a third time.
After my third mad sprint with wasps in pursuit I didn't stop running until I found a can of wasp spray. I sprayed the first three nests that I had uncovered when I removed the blankets. Then I took a deep breath, prepared myself, and yanked down another blanket and immediately took off in a 100 foot dash with a dirty horse blanket in tow. I repeated this mad dash with dirty horse blankets flying behind me over and over. After waiting a few minutes I would cautiously walk back in the barn and spray wasp spray like a mad woman at all the angry wasps coming at me.
Jason came rolling up on the tractor right as I came running for my life out of the back barn with a dirty horse blanket in one hand and a can of wasp spray in the other. For once in his life he didn't know what to say for a minute but his expression summed it up, "WTF is going on here?"
I explained to him that apparently I had found wasp nest central under one row of blankets and that he should stay away from that barn for awhile. You see wasps love, or maybe it is that they hate, Jason. If there is a wasp within 20 feet Jason is going to get stung. I've never seen anything like it. So it was thanks to Jason that I had my pick of about ten cans of wasp spray because he buys them in bulk and keeps a few cans in all three barns to try and save himself.
After warning Jason I walked around to the other side of the barn for a few minutes as I needed to get more twine to tie up my blanket stacks. Apparently while I did this Jason decided to see if I was telling the truth about the wasps. Unbelievably Jason the wasp magnet walked into the barn I had just told him to stay out of. I knew he had not followed my advice when I heard him yell out "BLEEP" and saw him running for his life out of the barn. At that point Jason completely understood why I kept running like a madwoman out of the barn and left the building for good for the day.
Once I finished with that row of blankets things went back to normal and I stopped uncovering wasp nests. I must have killed 100 wasps with the wasp spray. I did realize that I must have deep seated issues that I should probably seek counseling for because I got this really strong feeling of satisfaction every time a dead wasp would fall to the ground when I managed to spray it as it was coming after me. There was something so amazingly satisfying about watching them literally just fall to the ground when a drop of spray hit them. My excellent aim with the wasp spray kept me from being stung.
Jason and I have both ended the last couple of days by taking our clothes off on the porch, dumping them directly in the washing machine when we inside, and then immediately getting in the shower. Nothing gets you dirtier than mowing pastures or handling dozens of dirty, filthy horse blankets.
I am hoping if I really apply myself I can finish getting these blankets sorted tomorrow. After doing more sprinting in one day then I have done in the last few years I am more than ready to be done with blankets, not to mention feeling like I am covered in grime. I am confident that Jason is tired of breathing in allergens, sitting on the tractor, and wrestling giant wrenches on the Bushhog. We've both had enough of wasps, dirt and wrenches to last us awhile.
piles of blankets everywhere and I'm only halfway done
I think this would be Jason's least favorite piece of equipment on our farm
Jason mowing one of the pastures . . .
. . . and the results of his work
Stormy and Rocky
Donovan and Walon
Sam and Lighty
Sebastian and Johnny
Fabrizzio and O'Reilly (we had a theme going for picture taking recently, feeling the grooming love at Paradigm Farms)
Ritchie and Thomas
Faune, Cocomo and Gus waiting for breakfast
Gibson was waiting as well
Johnny and Africa
I try so hard to be a peaceful hippie but wasps are one of my exceptions. Nerve gassing them is SO satisfying. Nice shootin, Tex!
I LOVE killing wasps. I'm never stung but my horse was (needed veterinary attention from that attack).
Have you seen the wasp-covered chair? I can handle gore, but this makes me sick to my stomach, and there's no gore: http://www.neatorama.com/2014/07/06/Terrifying-Wasp-Nest-Consumes-a-Chair/#!bhm9D7
You make running a retirement farm sound so . . . enticing . . . not . . .
This post would be a good one to have all those folks read who have stars in their eyes about how much "fun" there would be in running a horse retirement business . . .
Ok, I am stunned here. You put the horse's names on their blankets with Sharpies??? Regular sharpies??????!!! If this works I will be so in your debt, and I plan to try it next season. We only have 5 horses, but they have 10 blanket/rain sheet combos and in the dark winter AM it is a strain to remember ?who wears 78 and where is the size tag??? The size tags wear off eventually as well. Brilliant.
And my daughter discovered that bees can sting through blue jeans. In rolled carpet used for a jump where she works. Who knew?
I have one or two more post holes to dig before I, too, get to argue with my bush hog...
We've been lucky--the last two years the wasps who usually set up housekeeping under the house eaves have made themselves scarce. After 10 years of hearing " DIE! You suckas!" I guess they didn't feel welcome anymore...
I do our three horses blankets at a commercial laundry that WANTS our business. Three horses times three mid-wieight blankets = one load in a 75 pound front loader.
Three fleece liners go in a 35 pound front loader along with the quilted shoulders for my beloved Dakota.
Just this takes me all afternoon.
i do dry the blankets in the commercial dryers but I never take my eyes off those blankets.
but I do feel really good when this job is crossed-off my list.
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