I’ve been spending time on the back of a tractor, contemplating all the mysteries…
arrow, brooks brothers, business chores, clothing, cov-ver, farm chores, filson, fishing, hay, hens, home chores, hunting, jc penny, koi fish, long leaf pine, polo ralph lauren, quarter horses, russell moccasin, sears, st. john's bay, wigwam
Back in the day, before the deluge of the modern mail order catalog, I eagerly used to await the latest Sears or JC Penny wish book. Once I had the catalog in my hands, I would carefully go through the pages, picking this and that for some vaguely defined executive future. Happily ensconced in the world of Sears and JC Penny, I put together many an outfit to wear to the office, on the golf course, at supper, in the garden.
Here we are now; flashed forward forty plus years, and those early dreams of an outfit here and an outfit there did not quite turn out as planned. Dress at Totem Hall is nothing but practical. Horses, chickens, pine trees, hay fields, vegetable crops, fruit trees, and koi fish demand nothing less, and those are just the living entities that want attention. I have not mentioned the pool, barn, home, fencing, drive, studio, well house, all of which have their particular care and needs.
Above, spread out over the bed, is my day. Below is my day, in detail.
Brooks Brothers and Polo Ralph Lauren
(age and, well, age means boxers instead of briefs)
(southern boys always wear crew neck tee shirts, always)
(the ubiquitous button down, worn out, frayed, usually Brooks Brothers)
(if there is a better pair to hunt, fish, farm, garden, chore, or spreadsheet in, show me)
• Socks & Boots
Wigwam and Russell Moccasin
(heavy-duty, warm, need to fill the boots)
(ma’am, just bury me in my boots, please)
St. John’s Bay
(goodwill find, wish it had pockets, absolutely love it and I like browns)
(my best buddy, very floppy, much worn in, much loved)
We keep horses, specifically quarter horses. Growing up, my only experience on a horse was as a young boy, dressed in western gear, and led around a ring at a fair. My wife is a most accomplished rider. Among her many achievements, early in our marriage, she trained horses for the track at her aunt’s facility.
So, horses are a big part of our life here at the farm. Horses eat. In fact, horses eat quite a bit. One of our main challenges is keeping them fed, especially in the winter, especially in the wake of a nasty multi-year drought, which plays havoc on our non-irrigated pastures.
Traditionally, we fed our boys (all our horses are geldings) square bale hay. Of course, this meant one of us had to make a run to the barn at least twice a day, sometimes more. Now, there is nothing wrong with strolling out to the barn, other than it does start to consume a day away.
As a result, over time, we started using round bales, which allow the horses to eat when ready, pretty much all the time. The downside to the round bale is the waste. Horses eat. Horses eat and pee. Horses eat and poop. Horses do not mind doing this on and around the hay bale that they have hoofed apart in search of the most succulent grasses.
I hate waste and I love the internet, at least for conducting obscure research. Someone out there actually did a study and found the best way to feed a horse with minimal waste is to use a cinch net, which is what we now do.