My husband’s horse, Goliath, got his foot stuck in the fence yesterday. I had the horses tied up while I was filling their buckets with sweet-feed, and he must have pawed the ground, because the bottom wire of the fence got wedged between his hoof and the horseshoe. The more he pulled, the deeper embedded the fence became.
This is not a good thing for the horse or the fence. Frankly, I cannot afford unnecessary vet bills, or fence repair bills. I swore under my breath and went to free him. However, for the life of me, I couldn’t get the wire out from under his shoe. I ended up climbing under the horse and wedging my shoulder under his leg to keep it off the ground so I could use both hands. I pulled and pulled, but to no avail. The horse was busy eating his feed, so he didn’t give me any trouble, but he didn’t help either. The big lug. Meanwhile, my dogs found the entire situation arousing, so they stood just out of reach, barking and doing their best to agitate the horse so he would stamp and shuffle about. They apparently thought it would be amusing to see me get squished. Damn dogs.
I tried using a horse pick (a device used to clean rocks and dirt out of horseshoes) to help dislodge the wire, but that didn’t do a thing. I cursed, but that didn’t do a thing either. My fingers were frozen, my temper hot. I called my husband (who was on a trip to Wal-Mart) and explained the situation. It is his dumb horse, after all.
He responded with his usual sensitivity regarding my animal dilemmas. He said, “What the hell do you want me to do about it? I’m 35 minutes away.”
“Where are the wire cutters? I will simply cut the fence away.”
“I don’t have any.”
Baloney. I know he has wire cutters, because he used them to cut away the fence when the baby horse was stuck in it last spring. I reminded him of that. He was silent for a minute and then said, “I don’t know what you are talking about. We don’t own wire cutters.”
Now, I’m assuming he is just saying that because he doesn’t want me touching his wire cutters. He is very possessive about his things. God forbid I ever touch one of his tools, or use his toothpaste or shampoo, or dare leave my girl cooties on any of his clothes. Trust me, when my husband was in preschool, he was the kid who never got the concept of sharing, always hitting other kids over the head with a block if they dared wander over to where he was building a tower.
I told him that since he was at Wal-Mart, then to please buy a good pair of wire cutters for me to keep with my tack for this kind of emergency. He said, ” Wal-Mart doesn’t have any.”
Now, I’m pretty sure our Wal-Mart has basic tools. They even carry riffles at our Wal-mart, therefore, I assume he is saying this because he doesn’t want me to have the ability to cut the fence. Ever. As if I am going to go around destroying it to avoid sweating on occasion.
Mark then said he’d call the fence guy. Maybe he could run over and help me, because if the fence did need to be cut, it would have to be repaired anyway. Meanwhile, I can see the horse getting more and more agitated, pulling at his leg. Snorting. I can tell that waiting is a really bad idea, and there is no guarantee the fence guy is available anyway. This makes me even more frustrated, so lovingly, I hang up on Mr. 35-minutes-away-and-no-help-whatsoever. I return to wrestle with Goliath some more. I don’t accept defeat easily. I try moving the horse from side to side to get a better angle on the snag. I put my foot on the bottom of the fence wire so I can yank harder. I try slamming a piece of wood against the wire. Nothing. The horse is now finished eating. He is interested in what underwear I have on, which apparently is showing as I bend over. I know this because he takes a nibble and gives me a serious wedgie. I am now so pissed I could scream. Therefore, I do what any resourceful, independent girl would do in a situation like this.
I stomp out of the pasture thinking I’ll walk up to the workshop and ransack the place looking for the alleged wire cutters that I know are there. And just then, I turn around and the horse is no longer caught on the fence. His foot is now simply stuck in the weave, but the wire is no longer under his horseshoe. He is stronger than I, so it is possible he just pulled the correct direction and it came out, but I think what really happened is that I loosened it for him, like I do with the lids of jars that are stuck. That is how my husband opens them, you know.
O.K. A horse that has merely stepped into the fence is something I can handle. I run over and get Goliath loose before he jams his foot into the fence again. He lumbers away nonchalantly. The dogs bound away to find other mischief. I call my husband and say everything is fine now. Don’t fret. I saved the day. I know you are worried over there at Wal-mart as you avoid the wire cutter aisle. He told me he had called my daughter’s boyfriend for help, so he had to get off the phone to call off the posse. Since I am no longer a damsel in distress, I agree.
Next, I’m off to feed the chickens. On the way, I push and pull to straighten the wire of the fence so that particular issue won’t happen again. I now notice there’s quite a racket going on over in the bird pen. Crowing. LOTS of crowing. I walk over and peer into the fence and don’t ya know the silkie’s are crowing. I blink, as if I didn’t trust what I’m seeing. No, that crowing IS coming from those would-be chickens. Great. Now I have five roosters and only one measly, non-egg-laying chicken. That is so like my life. I want a little cabin in the woods, and I end up in a gigantic personal lodge on 50 acres. I want a nice singing rooster. I end up with a half dozen squawking boy birds. I am the model for the be-careful-what-you-wish-for poster.
With everyone fed and cared for, I return to the house to make dinner. I invite my mother-in-law and sister-in- law to dinner once or twice a week. When I do, I go hog-wild and make a big fancy meal. Not that I have to, but company gives me an excuse to cook. Everyone thinks it’s pretty wonderful that I consider my own family such special guests that they deserve top of the line fare. For example, last week I made soup followed by scallops in champagne sauce and grilled salmon, followed by three layer coffee brownies a la mode.
I’ve told them the truth is, I just like cooking, but if they want to think I labor because they are special, well who am I to burst their bubble? Anyway, this week I was making a Mediterranean chicken dish, sautéed in wine with olives and cinnamon.
Mark hates olives. My mother-in-law hates cinnamon. My kids hate everything that isn’t McDonalds. Obviously, I’m not caring enough to pick my meals determined by my family’s likes and dislikes. For me, it is all about what recipes I run into during the week that look fascinating or offer me something new to try. To appease my guilt over my menu choice, I also made a nice caramel apple crisp. Then, I made a casserole of stuffed shells as my “backup” dish. A back up dish is something you make so people don’t complain all through dinner about your cooking, which can happen when you’re experimental. Granted, Italian shells absolutely do not go with Mediterranean Chicken and a pasta broccoli sauté, but it was what I had in the house and it was a no-brainer.
Turns out the chicken was a big hit after all. In fact, I’m told it was one of the best things I’ve ever made. Even the kids had seconds. Wow. That’s nice, but those shells are still sitting in the fridge, and I think they will end up in the garbage by tomorrow. We are not much for leftovers, and that is OK with me, because leftovers means I don’t get to play in my kitchen. Whatchagonndo? That is the price of food insurance if you are someone who needs approval at the dinner table.
My mother-in-law loved the Apple Crisp. It is loaded with Cinnamon. She said, “There isn’t any Cinnamon in this, is there, because if there is, I won’t like it.” She said this with her mouth full.
“Of course not,” I said, batting my eyelashes. I shopped for this meal at Wal-Mart. They stopped carrying cinnamon at the same time they stopped stocking wire cutters.
Anyway, it was one of those days. But that night, it snowed. It was our first snow of the season. A whopping two inches. School has been canceled for two days. Gotta love laid-back Georgia. We sat around watching the kids sled down the hillside by the house through our big windows. Neat. Meanwhile I made sausages wrapped in biscuits, fluffy parmesan eggs and steaming white chocolate coco. Snow is a very good excuse for cooking too.
What is the point? There is no point. This is the meaningless drivel that makes up my days. Most is good. The bad is interesting. And I never run out of excuses to cook. What more does anyone need out of life, other than maybe a pair of wire cutters hidden in the hen house? (Note that is “hen”, singular. You can’t have a hen’s house when you don’t have hens.) But, don’t fret. I am wishing for hens now, which means it is only a matter of time until I am complaining about being inundated with girl birds.
I’m thinking, when dealing with me, fate has a sense of humor.