Note: Sorry for the lack of pictures lately, Dad is out of town.
Mom keeps a very, very clean barn. The daily barn chores keep the place spick and span (cleaning: 2 horse stalls, the horse paddock, 2 alpaca stalls, 2 alpaca paddocks, the big boys in the far shelter, their paddock, and the arena; clean and refresh: 4 or 5 buckets, 2 automatic waterers, a big stock tank; feed: the horses 3 or 4 times a day, the girls 2 times a day, the little boys 2 times a day, and the big boys 2 times a day), but it is the fall and spring cleanings that really keep the barn operating smoothly.
Last weekend was fall cleaning. In addition to the daily chores, the fellows got out their enormous ladder and climbed up into the rafters to staple down the loose insulation, we swept and vacuumed the walls, and swept and vacuumed the floors. The gentlemen also moved the stall mats (which are these incredibly heavy hard rubber mats) and levelled the ground below them.
The hardest part by far was changing two burned out light bulbs. The enormous ladder was way too tall, and the short ladder was way too short. Goldilocks would have been disappointed with our “just right” solution. We dragged one of the pallets the hay comes on into a stall, sorta swept the hay off it and put the short ladder on it. Then three of us held the ladder, so it wouldn’t slide off the narrow rails of the pallet (each foot hung about an inch over an edge), while the tallest of us climbed up to the top step and unscrewed the light bulbs. The tallest of us, my brother, is also the heaviest of us. I helped by reading all the warnings on the side of the ladder while he worked, “Weight limit: 200 lbs, do NOT stand above 4 feet high on ladder, NEVER put ladder on top of something for extra height…”
We ended the day dusty and tired, but with a clean and ready-for-winter barn. Sometimes I have so much respect for the work my parents do on the ranch, I’m at a loss for words.