As long as I can remember, and that's a pretty long time. Shrove Tuesday has been one of my favourite days of the year. Christmas is still my favourite, I like the lights, I like the food, I like the presents, I like getting together with family and friends. Easter and Thanksgiving are next as one requires I eat pumpkin pie and the other involves chocolate, bunnies and eggs. But I think Shrove Tuesday comes in next...I like it way better than Halloween because I don't have to get dressed up and I like pancakes better than candy. So today I let the diet fly out the window and I ate a big stack of flax pancakes....with lots of syrup and butter...I liked it...in fact I loved it...and best yet I don't feel guilty. Not one bit.
Now part of the reason I don't feel guilty is I managed to fix a number of problems around the farm. Yesterday the truck wouldn't start. It actually decided not to start on Saturday but John and I didn't try to boost it until yesterday. We wanted to get the heated water buckets we'd bought at TSC installed into the barn. After two weeks of being sick with the flu and struggling to look after the horses as well as ourselves we bit the bullet and bought heated water pails. I didn't want any cords in the stalls, I don't think electrical cords and horses mix. So we borrowed Jack Hinton's 2 inch drill bits and drill and got busy drilling holes in all the stalls so we could pull the plug out of the stall. We then had to attach to the appropriate weight of power cord to each bucket and the attach all the cords up and out of the way from horses and me. We got a box of metal brackets, a bizillion of little screws and got to work making sure all cords were secure and safe. Of course it was very cold that day and we had to take many breaks to warm hands that would stop working after about 20 minutes. Needless to say the job of putting up two buckets took us two days because of the extreme cold.
On Monday we still had to carry water from the house because we noticed that the hose left in the barn had enough water in it to be frozen and blocked. So we brought the hose up to the house and felt good about the heated buckets working and no frozen buckets to smash on the driveway to clear out the ice. That done we decided to boost the truck and drive to the gym. The truck wouldn't boost. Too cold, it wouldn't start. John had to go into Ottawa to make sure garbage got out at the apartment and tenants were ok. I sent him off saying I could get the battery out of the truck and I'd bring it into the house and put the charger on it over night. I promised him if I couldn't fix it I'd call him to come back to the farm and rescue me.
So off went John....and I went in and reviewed on youtube how to take a battery out of a truck. It was easy to get the battery out, a bit heavy to carry but I managed. Actually I was lucky that Jack and Glennis dropped by in the middle of the battery extraction to pick up their drill and drill bit. Jack told me what I had done was ok and out came the battery. I brought it into the house. I found the battery charger, not an easy feet given the state of our downstairs, and plugged in the battery charger, attached the battery and hoped for the best.
Fast forward to this morning I put the battery back into the truck and blessed be the F150 started. I went into the barn with the now unblocked hose and hooked it up. No water at all now out of the hose. Then I noticed with all the plugging in of the new buckets I had unplugged the heated strip to the tap. It got plugged back in and I cleaned stalls. I tried the tap again after stalls were done but still no water. So back to the house and filling up buckets again to carry to the heated buckets in the barn. That done back up to the house to warm up and hope that the tap would work later.
At five I went back to the barn. A little nervous about the water situation. I tried the tap with the hose and thankfully it worked. So carried on with feeding the horses, topping up hay and shavings and when all that was done went about bringing in the horses for their supper. They have a routine. I open the stall doors, open the barn door and gate to their paddock. I snap the lunge whip and the three boys trot into the barn and into their stalls. They have an order. Rolo almost always first unless I snap the whip a little too loud in which case Derby gets into his stall before I can get too handy with the whip. Floyd always waits outside the barn until I go in and close Rolo and Derby's stall door. When all is safe from Rolo and Derby's teeth and hooves, Floyd walks in stands in the aisle until I give him a cuddle and then in his stall he goes.
So everything was fixed. Truck working, buckets working, water working. Me, working but exhausted. I felt like I had a right to a stack of pancakes with butter and syrup so I had my stack and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the fact that I was able to handle and solve a number of problems, and that I got through all the hiccups along the way without tears. Again another big achievement for me. Life is looking pretty good even though it's been bloody cold for over a month.