In which a Swampland Farm needs one more thing to keep the stuff running right
There's an old saying that the only things you need in life are duct tape and WD-40.
If it moves and shouldn't, use duct tape.
If it doesn't move and should, use WD-40.
But here in the Swamp, we have one more essential ingredient:
|The answer is not "a tractor." But the tractor at|
Fish Creek is pretty handy
For various reasons, we were all in a deep funk on Sunday, and not even related to a certain regionally-popular football team loss. Only a few of the Usual Suspects are football fans, and Monica, Patty and Duana and I are not any of them.
|Patty brings the gravel with the tractor, |
and the rest of us distribute it into the potholes
There is something very satisfying about gravel. Especially for Swamplanders. So when we were hanging around feeling blue the other day, we decided to move gravel for a while.
Patty posted a 12-second Facebook video of us shoveling gravel, and 40 people "liked" the video in about two hours, and several people said they wanted to shovel gravel too.
Including me. And Mel. And Mel's new junior, Jordan.
|BONUS: I was given an enormous roll of landscape fabric--FREE!|
So, the very next day...we got a bunch of gravel and shoveled it at my house!
|Monica's back was hurting, so she helped for a while, and then|
opted to take pictures so she'd be able to walk the following day.
|Black fabric in January: MmmMMMmm nice and warm!|
For the first time in 5 (!!!) years, we stripped Fiddle's stall down to the gravel layer, and leveled it out again.
|Mel and I have similar child-rearing beliefs: |
"Here, kid, this tool is called a pulaski.
Lemme show you how you're gonna use it."
When everything was flat, we backed up the trucks, and started moving gravel.
|We started with 5/8 minus gravel for the bottom layer|
It rained on-and-off during the early part of the day--the perfect weather to work inside the barn!
|Mel's big dually 1-ton truck is a BEAST. |
And I mean that in the best possible way.
We emptied out two tons of gravel from the big truck and then looked at the time:
"It's only 2:30pm -- we still have more than 2 hours of daylight!"
After a stop for tea and cookies (essential to a pity party--remember, this all started because we were feeling sad!) we went back to the gravel yard and got another 2 tons of gravel.
|You can never have too much gravel!|
When Fee's stall was deeply bedded in gravel, we smashed it down a bit
|6 inches + deep!|
and added wood pellets for bedding. And floofs.
|Fiddle totally played "bouncy house" in the stall all night.|
Meanwhile, out in the paddock...
Then we backed the truck in and started moving more gravel.
Fiddle totally objected to A. Truck. Parked. In. Her. Paddock. So. Wrong. Wrong! WRONG!!!!
|Fiddle chose to pout off-camera|
She did everything she could think of to say that, while Mel is a lovely person, and a splendid farrier, and a brilliant provider of carrots, she believes that, seriously, Mel can't park for diddly.
We laughed. The Dragon didn't appreciate the laughter, which will amaze my readers worldwide.
|Landscape fabric over the mud|
|First layer of gravel--not nearly enough. You can never have too much gravel.|
We worked in shifts, trading jobs so everybody got full-body tired.
|Top layer: pea gravel|
|Dragon-sized bouncy house|
And that was ENOUGH for one day.
And at the end of the day...it was GOOD.