Today Mr.W. and I had an appointment for cake tasting. Since he is determined that one particular bakery will provide the wedding cake, it was more of a formality of picking flavors. I'm boring. Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla, suits me just fine. But, you say, there are guests that must be made happy? Oh yeah, them.
Hence the appointment.
The plan was that I would go do the horses, as fast as I could, come back, shower off the manure stench, and be ready to leave by 10:25. Precisely. Mr. W. is a stickler for being on time. He's a scheduler. I'm not.
The phone rang at 7:30AM. Woo hoo, those fifteen extra sleep minutes were the best. The dogs, of course, unleashed their morning excitement at the first jing-a-ling. Sigh.
The phone call was from a friend who was relaying an unfortunate death at their house. They raise sheep. One of the ewes had a very bad night, resulting in a need to dig a hole. Nevermind there are three feet of snow covering the frozen ground. But these things must be taken care of in a timely manner and there is a place with some soft ground...the huge, old manure pile. You could dig there. Permission granted and they were off to their sad duty.
I drank my coffee and headed to the barn.
I was finishing my first stall when I heard the purr of an engine outside the barn. There was our neigbor on his "tractor." Now, far be it from me to disparage a fellow Kubota driver. I miss my orange baby back in VT. But...
This was the smallest bucket-bearing tractor I have ever seen. Yes, it was a Kubota, but it was tiny. Like a lawn mower. Maybe. My first response? "It's so CUTE!!!"
And the man driving? He is easily six-two and built like a Mack truck, with a sleeper cab. Not small at all.
Apparently, on their way to the burial site, his wife got stuck with their very large pick-up, and did I have access to a larger vehicle to pull her out? Something like the farm truck? Or a...tractor? Why, yes. Yes, I do.
So keeping in mind my time constraints, I abandoned barn cleaning, fired up the farm tractor and headed down the road behind my neighbor. Picture this: I am barely five-foot-two, can barely reach the pedals on this particular piece of machinery following this imposing man on..."It's so CUTE!!!"
Near the manure dump, my neighbor proceeded to plow the access road with his bucket loader. Um. Hello? Mine's twice as large, but I thought that would be a dangerous thing to mention. Especially when he was muttering about women who couldn't drive, etc., etc., etc. I stayed out of the way. As much as the 30 horse diesel I was sitting on could be.
Needless to say, the bigger tractor pulled the truck out. No problem. Did I mention that I love to play with tractors? Ok. Who got the tractor stuck in the manure pile a month ago and had to be pulled out with the farm truck? That was me. It's still fun.
And the truck was free of it's snowy ditch. Who da man?
However, there remained one little task. There was some awkward hilarity when they were using the small tractor to move...let's just leave it at- "Um. Hello? My bucket is twice as large!" I dug a pit with the bucket, filled it in, and rushed back to the house to clean up. I think my fifteen-years in Vermont were just a warm-up for this. Yeesh.
I felt very...well, manly. Kind of like I needed to do the "Home Improvement" growl and beat my chest.
An hour later, showered and back to bride-to-be mode, I was shovelling yellow cake, with lemon mousse and pineapple filling, frosted with light, fluffy buttercream, into my mouth. Mmmmm. Let's focus on that. Or the white cake with raspberries and chocolate mousse. Or how about chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache. Decadently delicious. It melted in my mouth.
Oh. And we were on time, too!