"A canter is the cure for every evil."
- Jamin Disraeli
I've been spending a lot of time around horses in the last few weeks and it's been good. In fact, yesterday I had another in a series of riding lessons. We went out on a trail ride in the rain. It was great fun. I was one of those "horse crazy" kids that read Misty of Chincoteague and Black Beauty a hundred times and always wished for a horse for my birthday. However, circumstances made it impossible for me to ever have a horse. That is until I moved to many acres of land with a nice meadow. We're a barn and many fenceposts away from ever having a horse, but I can dream. And, obviously, riding lessons are a good first step.
In even less nerdy news, we've been crossing off items from our "winter preparedness" list. James chops up wood for firewood, but the most important thing on that list is to buy pellets. We heat our house with a pellet stove, which burns small wood pellets that come in 40-pound bags. There are 50 bags on a pallet, which amounts to one ton of pellets. We get 5 tons of pellets to heat our house every Fall.
The pellets are delivered by a truck that has a big "boom" arm that is used to get the pellets off the truck and on the ground. It's a complex process involving lots of straps and pallets of pellets swinging through the air. After they are all on the ground, James has the unenviable task of getting them into the garage.
This process is even more complicated. Here's how he described it to me:
>>I figured out how many bags of pellets I had to pick up and set down. It took 13 trips with the tractor, and only one trip didn't involve bag
handling. That's 20 bags out of 250 that I didn't have to lift at least once. The tractor can only carry 20 bags at a time, so a stack of 50 takes 2 1/2 trips. I was able to combine four of the 1/2 trips into two trips. This is like a bad word problem.<<
He did figure out the word problem and it turns out he lifted 320 bags on or off pallets, which times 40 pounds each means he lifted a total of 12,800 lbs.
Clearly, for us, staying warm involves a lot of heavy lifting ;-)