Monday, July 03, 2006

My Husband, The Hay-Haulin' Hero

Or, Hungry Horses Hanker for Hay. Yesterday was the day for a hay-run, to our favorite farmer out in Ward who grows The Good Stuff that our horses prefer. So we set off at the appointed time, and our farmer friend loaded us up with four giant round-bales of barely-cured, fresh-cut hay and sent us home, lighter in the wallet but much heavier in the flatbed.That's a lot of hay, folks--we figure at least a ton right there.Our pushy horses and ponies didn't even wait for us to start unloading before they began sampling, though. Honestly--with manners like that, you'd think they were raised in a barn. HAHAHAHAAAA!!!! A barn! Get it? Whew, I kill myself with the humor.Once we got home, we unbuckled our ranch operations foreperson from her carseat in the back seat, and began the not-simple process of offloading our precious cargo, under her direction (which consisted mostly of hanging out the window yelling, "What're you DOOOOOOING?").That first bale is always the trickiest to unload, being on there sideways and all, but Alex has these big ol' supersize Arkansas jackrabbit legs, so he just climbed up onto the middle bale and more or less kicked the first one off the trailer. That's my man.With those three bales strategically placed, and horses and ponies happily munching away, we dropped the trailer and headed for the smaller paddock, where Kate and baby Music live, with the last-remaining bale in the bed of the pickup. What we didn't realize is that, with a quarter-ton of hay pressing against the truck's tailgate, said tailgate was not gonna open, no way, no how. My first brilliant, yet unsuccessful, idea was to point the truck downhill so that gravity would be pulling the weight of the bale away from the tailgate, the better to open it, and when that didn't work, I was stumped. It was about this time that Bella had to pee RIGHT NOW, so we headed downhill to the house, and by the time we got back, hero husband had strapped the monster bale to a tree and driven the truck out from under it--no mean trick, since it had to get up over the tailgate to get free!Kate and Music were spooked enough by the ruckus that they were hiding waaaaay down at the bottom of the hill, looking all blurry and out-of-focus, but they were tucked into that hay by the time we got the newly-empty truck parked.

OH--and initial test-firings of the Ridiculously Large Potato Cannon were successful. It was dusk by the time Alex fired it for the first time, so we couldn't really see how far the spuds went, but since one of them HIT THE SIDE OF THE WORKSHOP with an extremely audible "thud," we know it's capable of a trajectory of several hundred feet. He is SO lucky it didn't go through a window. So. Lucky. Personally, the best thing I saw it do in the gathering twilight was, when fired up into the night sky, to horribly confuse the multitude of resident bats who were out hunting. Something with the mass of a potato, travelling through the air at that kind of speed, has GOT to mess with your bat-sonar. JenB said something to me in conversation about her husband being "clearly insane," and I just asked her, "Is he outside in a state of partial undress, shooting potatoes at bats with a 6-foot homemade cannon? No? All right, then, I win." He won't let me post a real picture of the thing until tomorrow, so in the meantime, here's a sneak-peek at it being constucted on my dog-grooming table:I will readily admit that it does make a really cool "FWUMP!" sound when it launches a spud.

Oh, and Alex rented movies for us on the way home tonight. I'm not extremely excited, as they are "Ultraviolet," and something I understood, in Alexspeak, to be "The Three Barrels Of Some Guy." That last one actually looks to have some promise, and I love Tommy Lee Jones. I'll let you know.


  1. My dad just watched Ultra Violet. I didn't bother, just wasn't in the mood. Anyway, the kid in it is from my hometown.

  2. The potato gun was made on the grooming table? Alex is a brave, brave man.

  3. I can't say that I have any desire to see either of those movies. I'd love to watch some videos of the potato cannon in action, though.

  4. Our firends would make hay rolls for their cows and would have 3 to 4 rows of it, probably 10 to 12 long. As kids we would spend a lot of time jumping back and forth and chasing each other over and around the rolls. Sooo much fun

    I am so looking forward to pics of the potato cannon.

    Your baby pony has really grown. You never did tell us her name?

  5. Please leave the bats alone- they have it bad enough without being interfered with by some guy and his potato gun.

  6. The Tommy Lee Jones movie is wonderful and mythical but so poorly named that even grownups botch it up.

    Yes. It is a wonderful movie. Go see it.

    Love the horse pics.


  7. I love the pictures of the horses. My newfound maturity precludes me from commenting on the potato gun...

  8. Mr. Fab--Nice use of restraint.

    HAP--Yes, it was a good one. TLJ is just an all-time favorite around here, and he didn't disappoint.

    cheryl--not to worry, we have a plenty of respect for our bats, and they have a very good life out here. I'm given to hyperbole, so please accept my apology if you thought my husband was ACTUALLY out "shooting potatoes at bats." He wasn't. One time, he fired one on a high arc, and it was fascinating to watch the bats, who had been undetected by us up until that point, trail the potato on its trajectory. As a kid, didn't you ever toss rocks up into the air at dusk to watch the bats follow them? They are fascinating creatures, and do us a great service in insect control. We'd never want to harm them, I promise. Now relax.

    Kim--I'm itchy just reading that hay-play story!

    Karl--your wish is my command. If I can figure out how to get YouTube to work for me. Which so far, I haven't.

    Erin--I didn't realize this until after the fact.

    Cece--that kid's had a big movie run lately! And you did not miss a THING. Ugh.

  9. Alex is definately a Jack of all Trades! I'm always amazed at how fast Bella is growing. Glad you're all doing well.

  10. A spud launcher? Excellent redneck entertainment.

    Hope you had a great fourth.

  11. I can't wait to see the potato gun in action! And I'm STILL laughing at the mental picture of Alex outside shooting off his potato gun as the bats swirl in confusion. (Laughing at Alex , not the bats, Cheryl.)

    So, what IS the name of the Tommy Lee Jones movie? I just love that guy. We hated "Ultraviolet" despite being Milla Jovavich fans. Lame.