Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Family Fun With Horse Manure
Noni's kids and I have this fun little game that we play. I tell them they get to come out to my house and help me, and they pretend that they don't want to. How the house rings with merry shrieks of laughter as they dash about and hide places---upstairs, down in the basement, outside. What fun we have as, one by one, Noni and I capture them and haul them screaming with joy out to the van. At least I think it's with joy. Must be...what else could it be?
Sunday was another such special day for both Tiggy and Damon.
The big agenda for the day was to get the barn ready for winter. SOMEONE had the bright idea to clean the barn out over the summer. Part of that went well, as she discovered a very nice wood floor underneath the two feet of horse manure. The unfortunate part of the whole project was that after piling all the manure just outside the door, SOMEONE decided that it would be too much trouble to move it and she should just make a new door---oh, and let's surprise Mom. That will make it more FUN! So a hole was ripped out the side of the barn, exposing to the elements the nice storage space I'd been secretly planning to take over. Now it needed to be covered.
Tiggy started picking up the sad shreds of siding that used to be my barn. Damon began fetching tools and the ladder while I planned my attack and gathered the coverings. The two windows had been closed off previously, so they already had wood cut to fit. Of course I was the one to go up the ladder---that's the dangerous part, and besides, I am the one with all the native skills.
This is a picture of me trying to fit one of the window coverings on the barn window.
This is me smiling because I haven't figured out yet that I put the coverings in the wrong windows and that's why they don't fit.
After a stunning job of putting in one too-small-why-didn't-they-cut-this-big-enough piece of wood and one why-doesn't-this-one-fit-in-this-perfectly-fine-hole piece of wood in the window spaces, we were set to do the sides. That actually went decently since I didn't have to match anything together. I had just finished when my dad got there. Winter, do your stuff.
"You'd better put a lot more screws in this if you don't want it to blow off in the first wind."
Then we all (as in all but my dad, who had children so he wouldn't have to do that sort of thing) shoveled the manure out of the doorway. It was made more time consuming because it was mixed with things previous owners had stored in the barn. Rather boring, but the minutes were lightened by the kids' funny antics, pretending they'd rather be back in town than outside enjoying the beautiful fall weather. We also enjoyed watching the kittens frolic about; they seemed to think we were moving all this delightful material solely for their benefit!
We finished opening up the doorway, though I must confess that towards the end, our technique consisted of shoveling the manure to the side rather than hauling it off, and headed inside for a few more odd jobs. Damon worked on the well house roof, and Tiggy helped me clean up after my dad's extraordinary work on Laura's window. We also put stuff away in my nicely-insulated attic.
Before we left, they got a little time to roll around on the bed with the kittens. There were no rainbows, however.
I think I will get a bloodhound for my next dog. That will add a new element of fun to our little game. Just in case any of those crazy, inventive children should pretend to escape back across the fields on foot.....