All This for a Little Ass

These are the type of posts that I like to start with a litany of injuries, just to set context: strained shoulder, moderately-bloody forearm gash, workboot blisters, one knee that pops when I walk up the stairs, and approximately fifteen splinters in my hands.

You know what this means?

It was an awesome weekend.

It was also an exhausting weekend, because while good things may come to those who sit around on their ass all day, the universe has chosen only to bless me if I sacrifice blood, sweat, and every waking hour of my weekends to the DIY gods. But you won’t hear any complaints from me, because my donkeys are safely contained behind a fence, and the chickens are no longer in the road.
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Yes, he is actually sticking his tongue out at me. Want to know why? Because after the split-rail was installed on the front half of the pasture last week, I walked outside in the morning to find this…

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Oh, hello Donkey totally outside of the brand new fence.

And when I walked in the barn to find his halter and lead, this happened…

For the last week I just thought I was going crazy and randomly forgetting to put the lid back on the grain that I use for donkey treats. Nope. Doc has been helping himself.

Luckily, donkeys are not horses. They won’t falter because of the extra grain in their diet, but still. Installing the wire fencing around the back half of the pasture became a priority. I did what any reasonable girl facing a large DIY hurdle would do at a time like this… called my mother.

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We happened to be working on the fence the same weekend that the farmers were harvesting the field that surrounds me so there was an unusual amount of traffic around the house, which resulted in this conversation…

Mom: Ugh. Why are those guys driving by staring at us.

Me: Um. Mom. You’re… wearing a towel tied around your head?

And while I can make all kinds of jokes about the head-towel, there’s a reason my mom actually looks younger than me… she keeps the sun off.

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Right? That is my mother. All of you are going to be wearing head-towels now.

Also, she is the only person I know who will willingly spend a weekend on the farm “holding the other end of the tape measure.” I could (and probably will) write a whole different post on why that is the exact reason that women hate DIY, because as far as I’m concerned, it’s no fun being the person who is holding and fetching and cleaning up and, in general, waiting to until the person who is building things knows where she needs help in order to get stuff done. But my mother is very often this person in my life. (Although, in my defense, I do try to get her to use the saw sometimes and she flat-out refuses.)

When I went to tractor supply early Saturday morning to buy a gate a the wire fencing, the older gentleman who helped me load this into my truck was all, “I hope you have help installing all of this…”

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And I’m like, “Oh, totally. My five-foot-nothing mother is on her way to my farm right now. We got this.”

He blinked a lot.

In his defense, I blink a lot at myself too.

So. About the fence situation. I had the pros install split rail on the front portion of the pasture last week, but the back section needed a wire fence. I like the wire because it’s probably the cheapest fencing option, is easy-ish to DIY, and doesn’t really interfere with the look of the land. (For a complete tutorial see this post.)

I’d obviously done this once before (with an engineer and his dad, both of whom I still adore) so obviously this undertaking would be no problem for me and my mom.

I would like to cite this picture for reference…

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Wherein my mother one of my good friends and I are attempting to install an eight-foot gate, well after dark, and also well after a few bottles of wine.

What? It was a long day.

Also, that shit ended up dead-level when I checked it in the morning.

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We ended up stretching about 200 linear feet of fence over the weekend…

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And have I mentioned lately how much I effing love my F250?

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We used it in place of a fence stretcher…

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Which is actually a trick that I ripped off from the ex-MysteryMan (he’s still a mystery, just not my mystery… and for any of you who are wondering if we still talk, I totally called him Saturday morning and was all, “this is your favorite ex-girlfriend calling with fencing questions…” He laughed. Even though we weren’t meant to be a couple for all of eternity, he’s still one of my favorite dudes ever. Plus I built him the most awesome bathroom in the history of bathrooms, that has been in all kinds of magazines so he’s kind of obligated to talk to me about fencing at obscene hours in the morning.)

I will say that my mom and I faced several unforeseen challenges this weekend, including stretching 100 lf of wire fencing over a hilly pasture, which is significantly more difficult than installing it over a flat pasture. And we did a pretty amazing job. There’s still another 250 lf of posts to sink (when I can lift my arms over my shoulders again), and wire to stretch, but the good news is… those donkeys have stayed inside the fence all week.

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So far…

 

21 Responses

  1. WOW!!! Once again, an inspiration to all women who believe in DIYing it. Where are the additional 250 lf of posts going in? Just wondering, you know : -)

  2. Awesome work! We had to rig a similar wire fence up prior to installing our nice wooden fence to keep our giant dog out from behind our garage where he was trying to dig his way to China. And he figured out how to get over it in like .3 seconds. Good luck!!

  3. Your mom is gorgeous! I’m at work right now, but I totally feel inspired to put a towel on my head, even though I’m indoors and in a cubicle.

  4. Hi Kit,
    I originally came across your blog when researching how to install my wire fencing and found your post from Memorial house. Not only was it informative, but I enjoyed your writing so much, I went back and read your blog from the beginning. It’s been great to know I’m not the only woman crazy enough to try to manage a ranch on my own while working full-time. You’ve kept me inspired to forge on when I’ve been at my wits end and feel overwhelmed. Thanks for sharing your story and I look forward to each post.

  5. I know I have compared your donkey stories to my German Shepherd stories, but they remind me of each other! After giving my dog a bath this weekend he first rubbed up against white paint that I had just put on the wall, then played in the sewer then laid out in the rain in a huge mud puddle. I am pretty sure he stuck his tongue out at me too!

  6. *Sorry for the bad grammar–that was supposed to be “Where did the new split rail fence go?”/”What happened to the new split rail fence?” and I accidentally blended the two…If I’m dumb I have to at least correct myself after the fact

    1. Split rail is the front part of the pasture. This is the back and sides. (From the queen of poor grammar, no judgement here.)

  7. Once you get the donkeys and nuggets under control… we should send you a beagle. GOOD LUCK! I want to hear beagle stories. They are by nature friendly, like to run, and love to explore… and some are also pretty pigheaded. We loved ours, but he really needed a home with space to travel.

    1. Ha. I’m not really a dog person, actually. My neighbors have Newfys and I wave at them from across the road, which is totally good enough for me!

  8. Great photos and story. If you look into the donkeys eyes and can read her mind it would say…
    “someday she will not close this gate all the way and freedom will be mine! Lol

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