The thing about chores is to never be lulled into complacency or to think there is a short-cut.
For example, last week pig farmer was on the road, working at the Louisville Farm Show (a.k.a. Toys’R’Us for big kids). I sometimes park in the east barn in order to avoid a frosty windshield in the mornings. It also makes it easy to check on the animals’ water tanks before I leave for work – just to be sure their tank heaters haven’t malfunctioned during the night. Happy, the donkey, likes this arrangement, because he knows that if I am that close, I will throw him a little extra hay.
This particular morning, I noticed that Happy evidently ate last night’s hay while standing over the water tank. Of course, I couldn’t leave his tank like that, so I skimmed off and fished out the soggy hay before leaving for work. I threw my cold, wet, “nice” gloves on the SUV’s dashboard defroster and got on my way. About ten hours later, I arrived back home. As I parked in the barn, and saw ol’ long ears peaking over the fence at me, I thought … just tonight … feed him without going thru the rigamarole of going in the house, changing clothes and putting on all the coveralls, etc. You’ll be done in no time. Currently, IF chores go smoothly, it takes longer to dress and undress from the chores, than it does to actually do them (if a person can not get side-tracked, which I haven’t really figured out how to do that).
Now, picture me in black dress pants, cute boots with heels and black, leather coat. I grabbed the hay and carried it at arms-length away from myself (wouldn’t want to get dirty) and gave it a big heave-ho in order to keep it from landing anywhere near the water tank. Somehow, I hit a pole with the hay and it bounced into the heifer’s pen. Normally, I would have let her eat it, but she is currently boarded at a friend’s as we wait to learn if her artificial insemination took (I am so hoping for a Hereford calf!). No sense in letting the hay go to waste, so I decided to climb over her gate and retrieve the hay. As I swung my cute boot over the top of the gate, I CRACKED my shin on a piece of plywood that was propped against the gate. My first thought was, “#@%$ that hurts!” and my second thought was “I’m going to land head first in the cow pen because my freaking shin and foot are now lagging behind the rest of my body.” In a very un-graceful move, I landed in a clumsy pose, but at least I did not land on my head. As I took inventory of the dirt and grime on my dress clothes and the knot that was throbbing on my shin, Happy began to bray. I suppose he was impatient for his hay, but it sure sounded like he was laughing. I mumbled that he didn’t have to be a smart ass.
I still had the dogs and cats to feed. I opted for changing clothes and into my rubber boots.