Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In which there is an unusual campfire song, and it needs more verses

We've been singing a lot lately.

It started as a safety measure after we saw the bear a couple weeks back.  Black bears are notoriously shy of human beans, and will leave if they hear folks coming.  We figure that, if they hear us singing, they'll leave extra-quick.

Singing on the trails is also a way to alert the mountain bikers who caroom down our trails. Singing clearly communicates:  "We are here, blocking the trails, ready to create a heckuva traffic jam if we get caroomed-unto."   Sometimes the mountain bikers slow down.  Every once-in-a-while when they hear us singing, they leave extra-quick.  Win-win.

Since we're all in good practice, Patty and the Usual Suspects have decreed that there will be Campfire Singing at the Bare Bones Endurance Ride this upcoming weekend.

Being a Pirate, I've been asked to bring some of my favorite chanteys to share.  And so I will!  One of the best for campfire-singing is a little ditty that goes to the tune of "So Long at the Fair" ("Oh, Dear, What can the matter be?").   I learned some alternate words somewhere along the way ("Seven Old Ladies"), and like a true Pirate, I have waylaid the lyrics to suit myself.

I invite readers to sing along...and post a verse of your own in the comments.

The Pirate Catastrophe Song 
Oh dear!  What a catastrophe!
Seventeen Pirates got stuck in the lavat’ry
They were there from Sunday ‘til Saturday,
(and) Nobody knew they were there.

The first to go in there was Aarene the Bold
Though she is warmhearted, her buttocks are cold
And how she escaped, we have never been told
‘Cuz nobody knew she was there!

Oh dear!  What a catastrophe!
Seventeen Pirates got stuck in the lavat’ry
They were there from Sunday ‘til Saturday,
(and) Nobody knew they were there.

Jim went to the loo, intending to mop it
He found Pirates stuck and he just had to stop it
He brought 'em more TP but managed to drop it
And nobody knew they were there!
Duana the Pirate was next stuck within it
She stayed there a week, though she went for a minute
Tried to think up a song but she couldn't begin it
And nobody knew she was there!

The next to go in there was Madeline Smart
She should have been first, ‘cuz she had a head start
She burned down the walls when she lit up a … *candle*
And nobody knew she was there!

Then Sky went on out to the green port-o-let,
The rain came down heavy, the seat it was wet
She got out, but busted her best ettiquette
And nobody knew she was there!

Skivvies the Pirate would sit there forever
Except that she’s handy with tools, and quite clever
She got herself out with the use of a lever
And nobody knew she was there!

Gail Williams the Pirate went in with a bucket
Tripped over a pegleg where somebody had stuck it
The whole camp could hear her a-holler “well, DANG IT”
But nobody knew she was there!

Our Fishy-friend Patty was next stuck inside there
She thought she'd relax for a moment and bide there
She screamed like a girl when she saw a big spider
But nobody knew she was there!

And next in was Vermin a-looking for Bucket
Who’d gone with the Oat Bag off to Nantucket.    
Found them playing a fiddle, and tryin’ to pluck it
And was relieved no one knew they were there.

The “Gaitor” named Paul (who is really a Pirate!)
Got stuck in the loo and it made him quite irate
The dance that he did was a kind of a gyrate
But nobody knew he was there!

The next to go in was our dear Doctor Jen
Who came outside once, and went back in again
I think that sometimes she goes in with a friend!
‘Cuz nobody knew she was there!

The rest of the Pirates asked not to be named
After stories like these, they can hardly be blamed
But we know that they're eager to join in the fame

Luna is stuck outside the lavatr'y.  Sigh.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

In which I am finally able to collect hay while the sun shines

I daresay that a lot of y'all are going to be jealous.  

I've heard that the droughts in the midwest are driving up hay prices, and making feed just dang hard to find.

That's not our problem here in the Swampland.

Loaded from the field, directly onto the truck.
Saves the grower some time and energy, saves me some money.

The problem isn't growing.  Our hay crops have been growing like crazy.
Nice kid.

The problem has been drying.  This field, located less than 3 miles from Haiku Farm has been cut and teddered 3 times to get it dry enough to bale.

Two nice kids. I guess there are "rotten" kids in the world,
but I only ever seem to encounter nice kids.  Huh.

These nice kids loaded my hay for me, and told me how much work they had put into the field.  Usually it takes a week to cut/winnow/bale.  This year it took almost a month, because every time they'd hitch up the equipment to the elderly International Harvester tractor, a little bit of rain would fall.


That's pretty much what happened at my end, too:  every time I would write "Get hay today" on the calendar, we'd have precipitation.  Today I avoided saying the "H" word all day until the hay was actually on the truck in the driveway.  Whew.

I am truly sorry that we can't share all our water-y blessings with those who need it this summer.  We've had more than enough.

I moved all that hay into the barn, and Samantha Barncat barely woke up.
She doesn't believe in wasting energy, especially her own energy.

I brought the load of hay home and stacked it in the hay room.  It's not great-quality hay.  We don't grow great-quality hay in the Swampland.  Our hay (when rain doesn't turn it into "cow-only" hay) is sufficient to give horses forage when the pastures get too wet/sn*wy to provide food.  It's selenium-poor, and stemmy, but it's food and my horses aren't terribly picky when the weather gets bad.  And here's the good part:  50-pound bales loaded onto my truck for 3 bucks a bale.  Bring cash.  

I buy good-quality hay from the Dry Side of our state for a lot more than $3/bale.  Rumor has it that some farmers over there are selling hay at a premium price to the beleagered folks in the drought regions.  I don't blame them for trying to make a profit.  I'm glad that I don't have to buy enough to feed 50+ horses through the winter, so I'll probably find enough to keep the mares fed.  

Cash helps with that transaction also, as does a willingness to pick up hay in the field.

Luna is my hay-helper.  

Luna doesn't actually do any work, but she looks very pretty while she doesn't work.  Doesn't she?