Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Horse fencing and tanning hides

Despite the sadness of yesterday, the farm sees death as part of the deal and requires we keep moving to preserve the living. In some ways this is positive, it helps your mind shift and remind you of the healing power of good work. So I threw on my insulated coveralls and packed a five gallon bucket with electric fencing supplies.

The horses are due to arrive this weekend so it's time to run line and get the stall finished up. I'm running three line electric to be safe, though the team is trained on single line- we live close to a road and I feel better with the three. The top line is polytape- it's a thicker white electric line that's more visible for horses. I set it just above hip high, based on what the guy who has the girls now recommended.

The bottom two lines are yellow ployrope, a little more affordable option but not the highest visibility. But as long as the top line is visible, the horses should mind the whole fence.

After clipping the insulators in the T-posts, I attached the line to the wooden posts at the base of the pasture and strung it along. Using ratchet in- line tighteners the tape was set level, but hopefully not tight enough where it could snap with pressure. I worked steadily until the sun started drooping in the sky. It's not quite finished yet, I plan to go out today and run one more side of the bottom strand. I still need to what's called a jump line- connecting all of the strands to each other so that a single line to the electric box powers the entire fence.

It's hard to believe that our dream team are on their way, though I would feel a lot better if the bank had come through to fix the theft from December. We're still down all of the money we lost, making the budget uncomfortably tight. We will make it work though.

The first batch of rabbit hides have started to be dry enough to work the leather- and they are a modest success. I think with this round I fleshed them a little thin, and I am eager to try again. But these first ones should still be great for some mittens or boot liners for Kim and me.

I'm not remotely religious, but I was raised strict Catholic. Still, even my mildly agnostic self finds truth in some of the old lessons. I was always told that "idle hands make the devil's work". It is true for me that keeping busy is the best cure for what ails me- whatever that may be. I don't know about devils, but the demons of the rough start to this year are best quieted by the labor of this place. If I were to sit and think, I may sink down to a dark place, as we all are capable of doing. But there are too many lives and mouths dependent on the farm- we are still part of a whole. That's part if why we chose this life, it gives purpose and routine in ways that office work never could for us. Defeat and hardship are common, it's what we do with all of it that makes the difference.

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