Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘ranch chores

Wrong Number

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Yesterday was like two days of work in one, all because of a wrong number. I finally experienced my first wrong number when attempting to send a text message, and fell prey to a prankster who toyed with me rather than let me know.

After the fact, I discovered I had two records in my contacts for my sister, Judy. Who looks at phone numbers any more? I just look at a name on my phone and connect to that. Apparently, I don’t initiate very many texts to my sister.

Last Wednesday, I tried sending her an invite to come visit us before they pack up to head south for the winter. The ruse worked because the initial answer was completely believable as something my sister might say, and it was what I wanted to hear.

The second answer threw me for a loop.

Was that a typo and she meant 11:00 a.m.? What kids was she referring to? Their dogs, or grandkids?

So I asked.

The reply was rather uncharacteristic, but still possible.

I don’t think Judy uses “omg” so much.

How was I supposed to respond to this? What my uncertainty reveals is that am not so good at keeping in touch. Any number of possible changes could have occurred since I last talked with my sister. I just didn’t know if there was maybe something I should know, so I was feeling awkward.

I let some time pass without a response, basically because I didn’t know what to say. Then, after a perfect pause, came a follow-up that let me off the hook.

Except, this just didn’t feel at all like I was texting with Judy. Thus, my reply. Had she been drinking? Did Scott grab her phone and was having some fun with me?

The final reply mentioned our chickens and making sure they were getting enough water because it’s so hot out, so I felt like it had been a weird exchange, but it must be my sister. It was hot out.

Funny how the mind works, because reviewing it later, I realized my previous message mentioned closing the coop, so I had obviously provided that morsel of feigned familiarity. I’m a pretty easy mark.

The result of all this? Cyndie and I operated under an assumption that Judy and Scott would come for the afternoon yesterday. We dove into some heavy work early in the day, clearing out the brush by the road and raking the round pen.

At noon, we showered and prepared for company. I texted Judy again to check status.

This time, no response.

Cyndie texted and got an immediate response. They were already on the road to Arizona, having left the day before I had tried to send the invitation.

That’s when I discovered I had two entries in my contacts for Judy. One was probably so old, she didn’t even recognize the phone number I had used.

With our afternoon now open, we changed back into grubby clothes and headed out to move piles of compost and spread fresh lime screenings in the paddocks.

It was a two-shower day. A different day than we had planned, but with twice the accomplishments than we had expected when we started out. Plus, Judy, Cyndie and I got a good laugh out of it.

Oops, wrong number!






Written by johnwhays

September 15, 2018 at 9:49 am

Double Day

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When it’s hay season and you own horses, filling your shed with bales claims a big chunk of time and attention. After a full shift at the day-job yesterday, our priority quickly reoriented to the physically taxing effort of picking up hay bales from two of our main suppliers, one right after the other.

On Sunday evening, we hauled and then stacked a hundred bales from our first source. Yesterday, we started the last half of our “work” day with a trip to our second source to pick up one hundred of his bales. As soon as we had unloaded and stacked that batch in our shed, we headed out again to revisit our first source for one hundred more.

Once we reached home with that load, we took a short break to eat dinner. Cyndie’s brilliant preplanning to fill the slow cooker with chicken cacciatore in the morning, allowed us to enjoy an instant meal with little in the way of immediate preparation.

After some food, it was time to unload and stack the final hundred.

It was hot, sweaty, exhausting work. The hay shrapnel ends up everywhere, especially stuck to sweating skin. The dust triggers Cyndie’s allergic reactions.

The fatigue increases and the stack of bales gets higher to climb, both at the same time.

The joy of completing the task is amplified by the visual of now having enough food for the horses to last most of the year. There’s just one more load needed, and based on the time our supplier was available, we are setting out first thing this morning to do another hundred bales.

I’m not tired. You’re tired.

Last night, after we finished, Cayenne came over to offer me a nuzzle of thanks for our efforts.

The horses seem as happy as we are, seeing all these bales showing up to fill the hay shed.

Cyndie and I will be happier still, when the intense effort is behind us and we can return to our more typical leisurely pace around here.

That’s “leisure,” in a relative sense, of course.



Written by johnwhays

July 10, 2018 at 6:00 am