...quiet, about a lot of things...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Knock, knock...housekeeping?!?

Large amounts of my free time(there's a phrase of interest...free time...as opposed to what..slave time???..sorry I digress) are spent at the barn. My husband has referred to it as a warp in the space time continuum. Example being...

"Hey Hun, when will you be back from the barn?"He says

"oh, around 2, I guess..." I say

"Ok, we will eat dinner with out ya then...see ya before the 10 o'clock news though..right??" He replies..


There is no arguing...he's more right than wrong. I enter a different life at the barn. It seduces me to stay longer, like a beautiful selfish mistress. But the very odd thing, is that its not all what you think it would be.

There is the time I get to ride my horses. There is no better place for me to be, than on the back of a horse. This is my passion...The most passionate I've been about anything....It is my selfish, just for me, passion. Some times I'm laughing in the saddle, sometimes I'm crying...Sometimes the world is my oyster, sometimes I am faced with despair and frustration. Sometimes I'm with friends, cackling like the hens we are...sometimes I'm alone with the wind and my horse's ears.

But that is just a part of it...and really, on the overall, a small part. There are so many details and minutia surrounding horses...but Today I'll focus on...Poop.

If you have ever been to a barn, you know healthy horses poop....alot. This is a really good thing!! If you have a horse that doesn't produce poop..you have either a very sick horse...or a dead horse.

That being said, most barns I've been associated with...are very clean places. They have to be. This keeps the horses well, and the flys down in summer. Non horsey people talk about the smell of barns...but It just smells like horses to me.

When we had horses at home, one of the first things we had to have, besides hay horses and fences...was a "Manure plan.." or where to pile the poop...

But at the barn, where it goes to, to pile up, is their problem...Putting it there, is mine. I used to have a stall thst was cleaned by the barn help...but with the arrival of HER ROYAL CALLIE...having two such stalls, was making my monthly stable bill look more and more like our MORTGAGE!!! So, out they went...to the low rent district...where cleaning is up to me...again.

I have stated before, I hate all housework. I would have a staff if I could...I'm not a princess...It's just I HATE IT!!! It's inside, It's never ending, and It makes me UGLY..of mind, body and soul. I love caring for my family...but to me that means a safe house, good food (I do like to cook....sometimes??) and warm heart. It does not mean dusting and vacumming. Our kitchen stays cleanish...but very far from pristine...and the bottom floor of the house..(our PUBLIC FACE) is presentable...most times...boy am I tapp dancing, or WHAT.

In comparison, I don't mind cleaning a pen.(outside stall) It is my version of the Zen Rock or Sand garden. The tines of my fork leave patterns in the dirt. I wear no Ipod (don't own one.) I sometimes am scared by the task in from to me...if I have been busy at home..and have been neglectful for a day or two. But the only place to start is with the first pile...one pile at a time, my biceps working as I fill the buckets. Then carrying the buckets to the spreader..thank god not too far away.

I lift the bucket onto my hip, reposition hands, then dump...till its done. My husband is much quicker than I am...He is stronger..He swings the buckets in one fluid motion. He is a man. I love to watch him work. But he doesn't help me with this chore much...and I don't mind it. Carrying those heavy buckets makes me feel like a pioneer, having to work at and for every thing.

When all the obvious piles are gone, then you rake the fines (smaller pcs scattered by the wind or hooves.) As I rake I feel my abs tighten and my back stretch. The plastic tines scraping the dry earth. Disorder becomes order, chaos becomes still, empty space. I'll stop to scratch an ear or rump of a horse. My mare likes to drag the half full buckets around with her teeth, toying with me, teasing to knock them over.

I do my work, usually, with a surprisingly cheerful heart. A chamber maid, a hand servant to my horses. My horses, who serve me admirably and well. I gladly tend to them. There really is no more simple or basic task. I willingly receive the yoke...and bear the burden.

When I finally pull into our garage, an hour or so late, my husband comes out to greet me. He is used to the mess I am as i arrive. As we go into the house, and on to more jobs to be done, I pass the right side of my dusty pick up, and read the bumper sticker placed there with pride.

HORSEWORK BEFORE HOUSEWORK.

Enough said.
posted by wendy at 9:53 AM

4 Comments:

I agree. When I got married, I told my husband that I didn't want to be a housekeeper or a bookkeeper--at least to the extent that it took what I considered to be too much of my time. I WAS a very good mother, I am a very good writer, and a great Grandma, but my house is still, well...you know.

6/29/06, 3:54 PM  

Housework will always, always be there. "Horsework before Housework" now that makes me smile, there is more joy in this.

6/29/06, 8:34 PM  

O, a horse woman! These women are passionate beings! My best friend had horses! My dad had cows and I loved lifting big ole hay bales in the cold, cold winter and just listen to the cows munching! I am now allergic to all animals! It isn't a pretty sight when I am around one! I envy you and your sweet comrades in the barn! I used to go upon our hill and sit with the cows! They knew how to listen, really listen! lol them and the trees! I wish I could own a horse or two and ride, what a Blessing you have! I'd rather take horsework before housework any ole day! Lucky YOU! xo

6/29/06, 10:29 PM  

BTW, I am NOT great grandma. Just a grandma. But a great one! :)

6/30/06, 11:30 AM  

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