Are you trying to burn the farm down?

This morning starts like any other morning in paradise.

Departure routine: Wrestle kids into jackets, steer Hadley the Barbarian past the smorgasbord in the litter box (thanks Drippy, for missing the box again); set kids free in yard; kick horses out of their stalls, feed cats, throw hay to sheep, chase down kids and stuff them into car seats while using leg to block muddy dog from leaping into the truck.

All the while I’m thinking: should I work on my resume and look for a job this morning? (while perusing non-news sites like tmz and perezhilton) Or should I watch a movie on HBO? Hmm, decisions, decisions.

At that moment, Martin interrupts my heady thoughts: the water troughs are frozen.

Oh really? I barely feign interest. Trough duty falls under Martin’s purvey. In the winter, that include the obvious — filling them up — but also the annoying task of draining the hoses, which otherwise freeze, and checking the water heaters. One trough has heating tongs installed in the bottom, but the others have floating heaters. They’re OK but if the water drops too low, they’ll burn a hole into the side of the trough, rendering it useless. Don’t ask how we learned that.

So water supply: Martin’s responsibility. But, horse health is me, so I enter the field with a crow bar we keep handy for such emergencies, and proceed to bash ice.

Martin: Oh, I guess this is what happened, he says, brandishing the extension cord. The plug — the prongs — aren’t just singed, they’ve melted and disintegrated after a long, slow burn.


Holy s&*%! How did that happen?

Martin: I don’t know. But it was kind of looking like that before.

I’m sorry… it “looked” like that before? You were using a semi-fried extension cord? Why? Why didn’t you replace it??

Shrug. I dunno. He climbs into the truck and drives away.

Later, when I inspect it again to take a photo, the cord starts hissing and popping, which tells me that Martin didn’t even bother to unplug it before he peeled out.

What is the wrong with you? Electrical fire’s not interesting? We could have had Mississippi Burning, here, and all I get is I dunno!? Sheesh. And Martin wonders why tv commercials portray guys as dopey, lazy, boneheads who can’t figure out how to microwave a HotPocket. When the extension cord is smoking….there’s probably a problem.

In other exciting farm updates, we have new barn doors. Remember the recent post about the wind? Well, it claimed another victim. The new doors, however, are twice as thick and pressure treated so hopefully, they’ll live longer than a couple seasons. Take that, wind!

Out-going door on left, new improved door on ground (still in need of paint)
Crew discusses how to get cursed, ridiculously heavy door on the runners and whether they will support the weight
Martin appears, procrastination ensues. Discussion of door abandoned for conversation about West Va strip clubs, Obama, vascectomies and gas prices (in that order).