Boy, you people who actually work for a living…

Well…it’s too much like work, is all.

What? Philosopher-Hermit isn't a job?

What? Philosopher-Hermit isn’t a job?

Most of my chores are simple, not very time-consuming, and can be handled in such a way that most of what I’ll ironically call my ‘activity’ is indistinguishable from sloth. But sometimes through no fault of my own they stack up. Today they stacked up to the point where I had to put in a serious percentage of a good day’s work.

It’s shit-shoveling day, and Friday is a twofer in which I shovel the week’s whole pile into the Jeep trailer and haul it off. This morning I found that H had dropped three bales of alfalfa next to my pile, which meant it was unfit and she wanted it gone. Ian likes that: If alfalfa’s good for nothing else, it’s superlative mulch for fruit trees. But at first I had a different idea.

So an hour and a half after arrival, I left with an unusually full trailer. I stopped at our manure pile and shoveled out the trailer, dumping one of the three bales there. Then I drove to Landlady’s.

The Big Chickenhouse has needed cleaning for quite some time, but money’s been tight and I didn’t have any straw for new bedding. I figured alfalfa would work as well, right? It may not be fit for a horse to eat, but it would have to be moldy indeed to offend a chicken. I raked out all the old broken-down straw and manure then kicked a bale off the trailer, hauled it into the Big Chickenhouse, and cut it open.

And gagged at the cloud of spores: Inside, the bale was practically nothing but mold. No way I was laying this down as bedding unless the objective was to find out what it takes to kill a flock of chickens. I kicked it right back outside.

I had to go to D&L’s to give them back their keys, and then we swung back past the Lair for a late lunch. Last night I serviced the chainsaw because I owed J an hour’s work cutting juniper. There’s a couple of piles of dead junipers next to his driveway – they’ve been there for years, but they must have insulted his mother or something because now he’s offended by them and they must go. I’ve been doing that for an hour a week for an extra ten bucks, and we’re down to the stuff that needs to be cut up before I can get it into the trailer. Cutting enough tangled wood to fill the trailer, filling it and then hauling it into the boonies and emptying it again took a fat hour.

I started in five layers and ended in a sweat-soaked t-shirt, which is fairly typical for this time of the year. With all the back and forth I managed to burn through half a week’s gasoline ration, and raking up the chickenhouse is always good for a lovely thick layer of noxious dust all over me. So now if you’ll excuse me, before it cools off too much I’m gonna go over the ridge and take a shower at Ian’s place.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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One Response to Boy, you people who actually work for a living…

  1. I don’t think the moldy hay would have hurt the chickens any, but it will still be excellent for mulch on any garden or trees. Don’t lose it!

To the stake with the heretic!