I get paid in cookies

Aches in all my joints and pain in my stump are my lot for the day. Having wrapped up some things this morning, I plan to spend the afternoon in a chair or even taking a well-deserved nap.

Saturday I was supposed to help D&L take down the stock fencing that separated their horses Bud and Coal in their big corral. Then they told me no, instead we need to pay you to come Sunday and help with some, er, more extensive modifications.

I shivered in fear: A few weeks ago they bought a whole bunch of these thick rubber floor pads to lay down in the horses’ stalls. You know how level a floor has to be before that’s going to work? This is a dirt floor the horses have been pacing into trenches and packing down hard for years. This was not going to be fun. This was not going to remotely resemble fun. But it was an offer I couldn’t refuse, because it’s D&L and they’ve laid so many obs on me over the years I’ll never in life catch up.

So I showed up bright and early*. We moved the horses, took up the fencing** and got it stacked behind the barn, leveled the dirt floor***, hauled in twelve incredibly heavy pads, figured out how to get the jigsaw connections on the sides of the incredibly heavy pads to actually connect, figured out how to cut out sections of the incredibly heavy pads to accommodate the roof columns (Never never try to do this with a circular saw), got the necessary stock fencing back up****, got the very nervous horses squared away…

The last hour and a half of this, when we were all tired and crabby, we were racing what looked like the first really nasty storm of Monsoon. The longer they take building up the more horrifying they are when they break, as a rule. And when you’re working in a tin building, every little sprinkle sounds like the apocalypse. I wanted to get done and get on the right side of the wash before the storm really got going. The Jeep has no working windshield wipers, and all those open windows in the Lair did cross my mind occasionally.

We started at 10 and I got home at 5:30, just before the storm broke. Then the “storm” turned out to be two thunder rumbles and some light rain. What a gyp.

Anyway, I went to town with D&L this morning and they paid me the previously-promised $40, which you’ll notice isn’t exactly union scale for 7.5 hours of hard labor. The job went substantially overtime. But that’s okay, it’s karma and anyway she threw in a bag of home-made cookies for overtime pay. Which is funny, because this morning at 5:30 S&L headed to the city for four days, and they stopped to drop off Ghost with me. And as payment for taking care of him and also watering their plants while they’re gone they left…a bag of home-made cookies.

I’d better pace myself. But it only reminds me; in an informal barter economy, everything is a commodity.

*No I didn’t. D&L wanted their morning ride first, so we didn’t get to work until it was 10am and already hot.

**”How are you going to keep them from fighting over food?” I asked.

“Oh, they’ll be fine,” L breezily replied.

This morning Coal is missing a major patch of hide right where his cinch strap is supposed to go, and L didn’t get her morning ride.

***This involved a mattock, my all-time least favorite tool

****I predict there will be more. Bud and Coal get along okay but they will fight over food.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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5 Responses to I get paid in cookies

  1. ZtZ says:

    The Jeep’s wipers don’t work because why????? Answer choice 1: the rats chewed up the wiring. Choice 2. The rats ate the wiper motor fuse. Choice 3. The rats are the wiper blades. Choice 4: The rats ate the wiper motor. Choice 5. There’s a squirrel stuck under the wiper arm.

  2. Joel says:

    The story of what rats did to blight your childhood must be truly heartbreaking, Zelda.

  3. Judy says:

    Nah, Joel lives in a desert, so he don’t need no stinkin’ wiper blades…except when it rains ; >)

  4. coloradohermit says:

    It seems I’m doing it wrong. I pay in banana bread. Must consider altering the pay scale.

  5. Joel says:

    That’s the beauty of a barter economy, CH. There’s no one medium of exchange. 😉

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