Thursday, September 4, 2008

Diaper Cakes and Soybeans

My sister in law sent me a bizarre text message that had only a picture of what I believe to be a diaper cake. She JUST sent it, so I'm still in the process of deciphering what exactly it is. My Reluctant Farmhusband is away, all the chores are *gasp* done, and I can't sleep yet, so I'll talk about Diaper Cakes and Soybeans.

Diaper cakes make GREAT unique babyshower gifts and they are not all that hard to create. Sure you can buy one, but why not make one? It's fun and you don't have to be all that coordinated and/or crafty to make it. If I did it, you can do it. Trust me. The Wannabe Farmwife can be...well...not full of grace when it comes to such things.

My Diaper Cake "Recipe" was a little different than others that I found on the 'net that called for rolled up diapers. A cake made of rolled up diapers would undoubtedly be suitable for someone using cloth, or fewer diapers (unless you wanted to make a really really BIG cake) but I wanted a big impressive cake and to leave a lot of diapers for the new parents (who are my brother and sister-in-law).

So, without futher ado:

One large mirror from Michaels (you can decorate these so the expectant parent can use them in other ways if you'd like)
One package of newborn diapers (for the first two layers)
One package of the next size up diapers (for the bottom layer)
1-1 1/2" ribbon for the "holding together of the diapers"
Tall rose (which is what I used) or really skinny dowel for stability of the "cake"
Small decorative bears, pacifiers and other assorted doodads. I used Rose garland easily accessible at your local superstore. It went with the theme of the shower, which was butterflies and roses.

-Place your mirror or base on a flat surface that you can access from all sides. This is important, trust me.

-Get your ribbon ready by unwinding a large section - don't cut it yet, but have it unwound unless you have a lot of other hands to aid you

-Start by placing the larger size diapers on their sides with the folded end sticking out towards the edge 4 or so to a bunch in a N, E, S, W type of pattern (like a compass)

-Fill in the diapers between the "core set of diapers" as tightly as you can, bending them to one side as you go so they form a continuous loop - try to keep them straight, but they will need to bend a little to all fit

-When they are at the point where you don't feel you can fit any more, wrap the ribbon around the middle (you may have to hug the whole thing as you do it) and do a single knot tightly. The ribbon needs to be quite snug otherwise you'll start losing diapers.

-Rearrange any diapers within the ribbon that have become during the tying process, snip the ends long enough to make a pretty bow and tie :)

-If you're not too frustrated, start the second layer with the smaller diapers right on top of the first, if you are frustrated, breathe deeply, walk away and come back - I swear, if I can do this you can too!

-The process is the same the rest of the way up the cake. When you do the second layer, prior to snugging it up, insert the dowel so that when it is snug the cake pieces are really locked together. This will assist in travel.

-Insert your various doodads around the edges of the cake. They are particularly useful for hiding any "oops" diapers that you just couldn't get arranged correctly.

This was a huge hit at the baby shower, and I'm not a huge fan of baby showers in general but I thought this craft was fun for me too, and immensely practical.

And because I am feeling so immensely practical this evening, I am going to soak some soybeans in preparation for making some burgers for the boys tomorrow evening.

I grew up vegetarian, so soybeans are not foreign to me, but they are to many people and certainly cooking them dry is an odd thing. They are so easy to store this way though and nice to have on hand. (And cheap, for those of us who are trying to be frugal so that we can buy goats and such).

Simply rinse your beans under running water in a sieve or colander with SMALL holes (soybeans are quite small so you'll be chasing them everywhere if your colander's holes are too big). Then soak them in a pot in your kitchen (covered, unless you want bugs, which do add protein) with water overnight until you're ready to cook them. Then drain the water and add just 1" water to cover and simmer for an hour or so, depending on how firm you want your beans to be.

I'm going to be topping these babies with goat cheese (not the stuff I make (yet) that's waiting until the weekend, but I bought some :) and serving them sans bun on a tomato salad.

Summer Soyburgers

Your favorite frying oil
Goat or Feta Cheese crumbled
2 c. soybeans, cooked
2 sm. onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 c. tomato puree
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
soy sauce, salt and cayenne pepper to taste
Fresh Parsley
Cornmeal to bind

In large bowl, mash soybeans (once cooked) well. Add all ingredients and enough oats or cornmeal to bind. Make 10 patties. Fry on both sides in oil. Directly after frying lay them on a paper towel and add feta or goat cheese to the tops, then after a minute or two of melting lay them on a bed of sliced tomato or halved cherry tomato. Yum!

Off to soak my soybeans! Good night all!

Of Goats, Chickens, Junk Mail and Cheese-Making

One of these things is not like the other.
One of these things is not the same.
Dah dah dah dah duh dah dah...oh you get the point.

So, I have decided that the family needs to be more self-sufficient, not in a hippy "get off the grid, man" kind of way, but in a "hey, what I really believe is that our lifestyles when we were living rurally, growing our food largely and buying locally was healthier for everyone involved, including the ecology" kind of way. Not that there's anything wrong with getting off the grid, and I certainly commend anyone with the resources to do it. I'm looking for baby steps right now, and baby steps involve things I know.

I know chickens. I know goats. Both of these animals will be great animals for this particular homestead as we do have 3 boys, one of whom is just entering teenagerhood (with the accompanying stomach) and two others that follow closely on his heels. We live in the woods, but there are 12 acres available to us, and though I'll have to build a super-heavy-duty henhouse and goat shed...the thought of having fresh eggs, of waking up to the sweet sounds and smells (not bad smells - if any of these animals smell bad then they aren't being taken care of properly) of the animals as they await their morning rations. It's work, yes, but it's GOOD work. It's the kind of work that you lay down at night and think - wow, I was productive and I was needed.

Which is not the feeling I get when I come home every day from my day job (although I have just elected to work in academia so I may no longer feel that way very soon). Regardless, there are so many benefits here, the downsides are:
a. convincing the Reluctant Farmhusband that we do, in fact, NEED chickens and goats
b. convincing the elder ex-Farmfolks that on their land it would be an improvement and would benefit the family
c. obviously the getting tied down etc., which I already am due to the other animals so we might as well just add to the list.

So, the first order of business for this Farmwife (Wannabe, I know) is to research and read. Which is how I deal with everything (am I suited for academia or what). By now I have researched every breed of dairy and meat goat that exist on this continent and every use and season and...I still come up with wanting Nubians. I grew up with Nubian goats and for anyone who hasn't seen one, prepare to fall in love. They are the CUTEST things ever if you love floppy ears and personality galore.

nubian goat picture
Picture courtesy of

Nubians also have a really high milkfat percentage in their milk which makes them great for cheesemaking. So, this weekend, I'm going to venture into my first experimental cheeses with goats milk that I can buy, so that I can get all the botches out of the way in preparation for winning over the Reluctant Farmhusband. If I can make some decent cheese, baby, I'm in like flynn.

Chickens are another matter. We had Rhode Island Reds and Banties when I was a kid. The Banties were fun little birds but the Reds were...better layers? I guess? I don't really remember so I need to do some research on that. I'm studying plans to build a hawk/bear/raccoon/weasel/local cat and dog/anything else that wants to eat my chickens coop that still allows them to free range during the day. I'm thinking I'm going to have to use electric netting, but I'm still concerned about the red tail that I see right outside my back porch in the mornings. He could swoop off with a chicken a day, easily. He's a biggun.

So what about junk mail, well, today, I pick up a mailing from Redwings horse sanctuary ( from my mailbox. Perhaps it's a bit ironic because they are not a place I have donated to in the past (though I have donated to other rescues) nor do I know anything about them, nor could they POSSIBLY know that I just bought an auction horse. I'm not sure how I feel about the mailing yet, they invoke the same thing in me that the Humane Society group mailings always did. It's sad - the situations are sad. But somehow I feel like rescuing Iggy from a bad situation and ensuring that his situation stays part of my part. There IS a glut of unwanted horses in the market - the auction prices told me that. Iggy has years potentially left in him, yes, even years left as a pleasant trail riding horse (well, on trails that are trimmed back high!). He would have been shipped from auction to auction until finally ending up up North somewhere.

But at the same time, I'm not anti-slaughter. I'm anti-inhumane slaughter. I'm bummed that in most areas of the US I can't take my old horse and return them to the hounds as they do in VA. I don't have enough land to bury him, and I don't even know if there are renderers that will take them in this part of the country (post-mortem, obviously).

To me, death with dignity doesn't mean necessarily being propped up on many medications just to stay alive. It means having a peaceful death and having my death MEAN something. Perhaps that's why I'm so attracted to having a small farm, a small farm is in balance. The manure fertilizes the crops that feed the people and the animals that make the manure to feed the crops to... (yes, it's more complex involving bugs and organisms and chickens are great for all of that but you get my point). To be fodder for some other critter after death would be a great honor for ME, and that option isn't available to me as a human. Culling herds of chickens, goats and other animals is hard - and to apply it to horses seems unthinkable - but we do the same with dogs and cats. I have an asthmatic cat, who, as long as I can keep him relatively comfortable on the medicine that he's on (which isn't expensive) has a safe refuge here. But when he becomes uncomfortable, he deserves to pass on with dignity.

I don't know, I'm rambling, but it made me think. And thinking...well, it makes me type.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Water Problems, and Garden Weeds

The Wannabe Farmwife got home from work yesterday, rushed upstairs to get into her weeding outfit (which is not, at present, the same as her work outfits) and used the rest room (TMI, I know). Much to her dismay, I went to turn the water on to wash my hands and...well, nothing happened. Not just nothing notable. I mean nothing, nada, no single thing, not a drip.

We have well water here at the homestead (which really isn't a homestead...yet...) and I reset the pump circuit, which wasn't tripped but I thought, why not, it *might* work.

And my efforts paid off, the water flowed plentifully through the lines again and I happily went on to start the dishwasher and some laundry and got dressed for weeding.

The view of my garden from the porch

As you can see, the garden is protected by wire and fencing. This would be because we live in the woods and if it were not for the wire and fencing there would be *no garden*. 12-14 deer are found in my backyard every single morning, as well as countless squirrels and three black bears that make an appearance periodically. Though I have found no solution yet for the squirrels (but if those buggers take another bite out of my cukes I'm going to have a fit).

It seems that chickweed has taken over my garden in huge abundance, so that was largely what I was focused on. I took Obie out and tied him out there with me and he was puzzled as to why I was in the cage and he was out of it, which he didn't enjoy at ALL. So he spent the weeding period whining. Loudly. Chickweed is an edible weed, but I wasn't in the mood to be accommodating, so into the compost bin it went.

When I returned to the house, full of dirt, with the Reluctant Farmhusband wanting to start his laundry, once again, no water. This apparently occurred during the weeding process, and while the dishwasher was running so the Wannabe Farmwife had dirty half-done dishes, dirty hands and no water. The Reluctant Farmhusband was due to travel the next morning to do a kickoff meeting (another reason the Wannabe Farmwife is tired of the rat race) so yea, I panicked and called the senior Farmhusband (who actually qualifies as such, being the Wannabe Farmwife's father and having owned a farmstead/homestead himself. The senior Farmhusband was nowhere to be found, since he has now gone back to the rat race and given up on farming for other reasons, and so...panic ensued.

As it turns out, a bug, a very small bug was the cause of all of the problems. They somehow get into the pump and short out the circuit. This has happened before at the homestead, and ironically it was a lightning bug. However, the senior Farmhusband had not showed me how to de-bug the pump and so I had to wait for him to get home, with flashlights, to fix the problem.

However, once debugged, the pump ran and once again, the water faucets ran, dishes were done and laundry was accomplished.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Other animals at the homestead

I suppose it's time to introduce formally the animals that are actually AT the homestead instead of the ones that aren't. SO...without further ado...


This is Oberon, my almost year old Doberman baby. He's instact still, and an absolute love. The nasty looking collar actually doesn't hurt him in the least, but it saves the Wannabe Farmwife's arms and legs and back from being dragged down the road because this boy is BIG (roughly 80 lbs at last tally) and still filling out, so when something catches his attention that his training (which is coming along quite nicely) cannot handle, the Wannabe Farmwife doesn't get her arm ripped off in the process.

This is Oberon and the asthmatic cat named Baby Kitty (no, the Wannabe Farmwife did NOT name him), that we adopted from my parents to keep the mice population down in the house (we live in the woods, and mice happen). Contrary to how this photo looks, Baby Kitty and Obie get along great, much better than Obie and Tikka, who is featured in the next photo.

Tikka, though she looks approximately the same size as Obie in this photo, is a small-medium Terror *ahem* I mean, Terrier cross. I'm not sure quite what she is, but I believe there's Jack Russel and something else in there, whatever it is, can be downright evil.

For a size comparison, Obie is 8 weeks old in this photo, and Tikka is 3. Tikka was holding still and paying attention only because the container on the right is the T-R-E-A-T container, which she knows and loves very well.

Actually, Tikka is a love for most people as long as they are not small darting children which make her nervous. She is extremely food/possession aggressive with anyone who she deems beneath her in pack order, which seems to be anyone except me. I've been working with her for 3 years now and it doesn't seem to be getting much better, if any, so...we'll keep trying, but for now it's a management issue.

Other than the boys, 3 of them, who don't really feature as animals on this homestead, though there are days when I'd certainly like to classify them as such, there are really only the fish, which are 3 in number (suspiciously) and all bettas. No, I have no pictures of them as they really don't take very well through glass bowls. But we have a blue betta, a red betta, and a blue and white half-moon betta (go Penn State!).

Those are the animals that exist on the homestead in it's current state. Not much of a homestead...yet....

Monday, September 1, 2008

Iggy gets his feet done

Just a brief blog, but the farrier showed up to trim Iggy's horribly flared and cracked hooves. Overall I would say he was...decent, about it, considering the conditions.

There were kids and dogs and bicycles and horses and ponies and...utter craziness...everywhere, and since we didn't want to put him in the barn for this event he had to stand untied.

Anyone who knows anything about draft horses knows that usually they are put into stocks to be shod/have their feet done, so for this guy to just stand there and deal with it all impressed the heck out of me. He did have quite a bit of trouble getting the RF done, but I believe he has suffered from a nasty abcess for quite awhile and he is still quite afraid of putting weight on it. Either that or putting weight on it still hurts, because he was absolutely terrible in any situation where that particular foot was weighted, even to the point of sticking it out directly in front of him in mid-air as if to say "SEE, it HURTS"

I will get more pictures soon now that I found the charger for the camera which had been missing mysteriously for, more to come later on the Iggy front.

The abcess has already blown out at the coronet so it just needs time to heal. We got 3 out of 4 hooves done, and 3 out of 4 on a horse that you don't know it's history on at all ain't bad in my book.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The saga continues

At dusk, we arrived at Friend's house and we started trying to figure out where to put said horse who she has decided is named Iggy. I have not yet thought through whether his name should be Iggy or not, but since she's calling him that, it has stuck.

There is already some existing fence in the pasture that we chose for Iggy, safely away from her other horses, but we weren't sure what shape it was in. So we decided to take the big country (like a beefed up golf cart) and drive around the fenceline to determine where it needed to be repaired. Iggy was still on the trailer, standing like a gentleman, I might add.

Did I mention that my back had been hurt to the point that I was in the ER from a fall that I had taken off of my younger, greener horse? It wasn't his fault though, it was the fault of one of those god-awful bomber flies that we call horse flies in the east. They are the devil incarnate, of that I am certain. This is him, for the record...his name is Rollo and he's a now 5 1/2 year old (approximate age) Belgian sporthorse gelding . This was prior to him being backed, he hadn't been handled much and he was a bit shy. He's a great guy and quite athletic for being as big as he is. If you haven't figured it out yet, I like my horses big...and looking a lot like overgrown ponies :)
Full Stretch

So as we're jolting about in the big country, Friend and I are laughing and simultaneously gasping as the big country has poor brakes and it's getting progressively darker to the point that we are using a very large spotting flashlight to look for fencing that is down (or up, for that matter). This is not the most efficient way of also looking for things like holes in the pasture or dips that unexpectedly take you on Mr. Toad's wild ride, but we got it together and Iggy had his pasture. By about 10:30 pm. As you can imagine, it's now dark. Very dark.
Friend says "go get your horse"

My back is sore, I'm exhausted, I'm a cripple, I'm a whiner, and I realize that I am now terrified of whatever it is that is in that trailer because it is HUGE. Very huge and though said horse has been very quiet for the last 2 hours he's been stuck in an undersized trailer, I'm a bit worried about what is going to happen when he is released from said undersized trailer.

So I cautiously untied his lead rope from the inside of the trailer in the event of a pull back, and once I managed to figure out the trailer door, got the back of it open. Iggy, in all of his sweet Belgian grace, decided that he was going to turn around and NOT back out of the trailer. And, since I had let him decide by untying him first, well, I guess it was his perogative. I couldn't believe he tried it. And succeeded. Very slowly the large horse turned himself around and stepped out of the trailer.

Once in the pasture we walked him around a little to show him the rather professionally put together *ahem* fencing and let him loose. Far from doing...well...anything, he immediately stuck his head in the grass and began to graze.

I'm not a horse rescuer, though I've taken in my fair share of "we can't do anything with this horse can you ride him" animals. In fact, my confidence issues riding now are likely related to this because most of the horses I've had in the last 6 years have been either total greenies or whackos. This horse, however, looked so content and I felt so satisfied...whether Iggy ever is ridden or not, he's safe, eating grass and happy. Maybe he will only be sound for trail riding. Maybe he won't be sound at all (though he walks and trots out sound now). Maybe he'll be a pasture ornament....but he's MY pasture ornament. And I just adore him.

So, I went to the Horse and Pony Auction

I've been a horseperson for a long time. More than 20 years (formally) and my mother would swear that I started at 1 on my Wonder Horse. In all of those 20 years, and some buying and selling of horses, I had never attended an equine auction. Only once did I attend an auction for any other sort of animal, and that was to help a friend work in the office when I was in High School one night.

On the last Friday of every month the local area has a Horse and Pony auction. I asked the Reluctant Farmhusband if he wanted to go, and due to a conflict in scheduling, he could not.

I knew this was going to be bad before I went.

The Reluctant Farmhusband and I have a bit of a history regarding my purchasing of horses, namely, I seem to acquire them with money that just sort of appears and disappears from the checkbook, and very rarely do they actually do anything besides lose lots of money for me. This is not because they are not good horses per se, or anything other than the fact that it seems to be my luck to buy high and sell low in general, and horses are something that I do not skimp on. I will wear my dirtiest nastiest single pair of breeches with the holes in the knees but my horse has every saddlepad known to man and then some. Oh, a gel pad? You've got it. I think I have 6 saddles in the house currently ( rideable horse...) I'm a sucker for all things horsey and always have been.


So, off to the auction I go. I knew that I really didn't *need* another horse, as I barely have enough time for the one I *have* at the moment. But they do a tack sale as well and it gave me an excuse to see what horses and ponies were going for in the local market (or so I told the Reluctant Farmhusband).

If you've never attended a livestock auction, it's an overwhelming affair. There were Amish and English driving horses being "shown" at super-fast paces and trots on an oval "track" lined with emergency tape and throngs of observers eating ice cream, drinking sodas and smoking cigarettes. There were horses being unloaded and entering the barns, people going every which way, and it just seemed a huge hustle and bustle...somewhat like a carnival.

I wandered around, looking clearly lost for awhile, until I found a sales list which seemed indecipherable to me (until I figured out that most of the animals listed were the standardbreds, and though I vaguely understand the standardbred racing world, the terms are not familiar to me) and acquired a bidding number. I sat in the bleachers and watched the auctioneer auction off bits and doodads, manure forks and halters by the dozen. It wasn't until I finally figured out that sometimes if they had more than one to sell they would set a price through the bidding and then they would offer up the other items. I got big feed buckets for $6 a piece and a feed scoop for $2.50. Not a great deal, but an okay one. But I was starting to get the rhythm of the auction and starting to understand what the auctioneer was saying (which...really is difficult depending on the auctioneer).

The horses started coming out after the tack, first the riding horses and ponies. There were precious few of these, and they all had descriptions, some were clearly broke and others...not so broke. The people riding them...I have to give them kudos because there is no WAY I would ride a horse under those conditions. Not a single one of the horses I have ever owned would deal with that. People shouting, horses neighing, the auctioneer calling out a steady stream of numbers over a loudspeaker.

The average price at this sale for a broke riding horse was $375, and the average cost for a pony was $75. I could have taken 10 for the price of my youngster who is currently in training. But I digress. Nothing really caught my eye, but I was texting my friend to ask her if I *did* see something if she would have any room and...would she be willing to trailer.

Sooooo, she comes and finds me at the auction just about the same time as this Belgian gelding is led into the aisle. He's got a super-kind eye and just looks like an overall nice fellow.

"He's Cute" (says I)
"I like his eye" (says friend)
"I should bid on him" (says I)
"Heck, I would bid on him at that price" (says friend)
"Would you trailer him?" (says I)
"Yep" (says friend)

To make a long story short...He's mine. For $225.

I looked at friend and said, ohmigod we just bought a horse. She laughed. Somewhat hysterically. She said - where are we going to put him? I said, well, I've got fencing left over from Wendall's old pasture but I think the fencer got hit by electricity. She said, well, I've got a fencer and possibly part of a pasture so go settle up and get your fencing and I'll go get my truck and trailer.

I settled up at the auction office, laughing a little and still in shock at the whole thing - what an impulse buy - a whole HORSE. I've impulse bought tack before, and books, but never...well not as MUCH of an impulse buy as an 8 year old ex-Amish workhorse. Why do I need an 8 year old ex-Amish workhorse?? I don't drive. I don't have a farm (yet). And yet here I am, with an 8 year old workhorse. (Truth be told, no one was bidding on him except for a middleman buyer who would take him to yet another auction until he ended up in the "very bad place" and I didn't think he deserved I bought him)

I called the Reluctant Farmhusband from my cell phone as I got into the car and told him what I had done and that I would be home late due to the recovery of the fence and the installation in said horse's new location. He said "okay, love you, see you later, stay safe" at which point I was stunned. Somehow *I* was more shocked that I had done this thing than he was. And I wasn't sure quite how I felt about it, but boy was I overwhelmed with ooey-gooey feelings for a few minutes.

Fence procured, I raced back to the auctionhouse where I was to meet friend, fearing that somehow I would "miss" the transfer and lose my horse. I looked at the receipt from the sale barn on which it was simply stated that he was an 8 year old Belgian Gelding and that he pulled all sorts of farm machinery and his hip number was 255. It had an Amishman's name on it, and address (obviously, no phone number) that was quite far from this auction.

I wander through the barns, looking for my horse. Until I find, finally, the draft horse "section" with horses tied in the back. A row of belgians all tied to the building - possibly 20-30. I started to peer at the row when I turned my head and looked at the trailer.

I believe the comment that went through my brain when I did was "oh sh*t".

Belgians are typically 16-18 hands, but most often they fall somewhere in between, usually in the 17h range. This horse, this 255, was towering over the horse that was somehow intermingled with him (who appeared to be percheron and behind him in the photo or a cross, I'm not sure). He was enormous. Somehow he didn't seem so big from the top row of the auction seating.

Keep in mind, I'm used to big horses, my current gelding is upwards of 17h, and I've had a 17.3 hander...this one....seemed like a dinosaur (a really really really big one) compared to those.

I walked over, and gave him a rub, and said, well, Mr. No Name, guess you're coming home with me. I paced for awhile, anxiously awaiting my friend to show up with the trailer because to be quite frank, the hustle and bustle was getting to me a bit and I had been either sitting on a hard bench or standing for much of the day and was, quite frankly getting tired.

She finally showed up with the trailer and said - bring him out front. I could barely reach the tie rope, and when I did I realized that I knew NOTHING about this horse. His eye was gentle, but if he didn't want to listen to me there was not going to be a d*mn thing I was going to be able to do to stop him. Not a chance. Not with a flimsy web halter and a sore back and a skinny little lead rope.

So we show up at the trailer, and he's quite calm about everything (thank god, because I do NOT ever want to see that much horse freaking out...not ever) and she says "Uhhhh, I don't think he's going to fit". She tried to walk him in and he hit his head - just a bonk, and decided to back out.

"Wannabe Farmwife, " says friend, "I'm not sure we can load him into this"

I stand there, lead rope in hand thinking - well NOW What. I don't know of anyone with a trailer big enough to haul this behemoth in, nor do I think anyone would appreciate me calling them at 9 pm on a Friday night to haul a horse from the auction for me, oh and pardon me, could you bring your extra fancy extra extra large warmblood trailer?

Frozen, trying to picture whether I was going to have to attempt to LEAD this horse somewhere, she called out to one of the other people to help load the horse, and he came up and assessed the situation.

"Friend" (said he) "That horse ain't gonna go in there"

But he tried anyway, and the good horse that he is, ducked his head and got in the trailer. He looked like a sardine in there (oh, and it was a 4 horse stock type, just in case you were wondering) but he was in.

So, off we went, down the road. Reluctant Farmhusband texted me and asked if we got him loaded - luckily so, so off we went to go fix fencing. Should I mention at this point that it's getting dark?

More to come in Part II.