Water trough warmer: $36. Not having to haul water to the horses from the kitchen sink in 30-degree weather: priceless.
My husband can consider my Christmas done.
In fact, it seems as though we could cover all of Christmas at the feed store. Why not? The feed store gets most of our non-mortgage money anyway. A 50-pound bag of chicken scratch is $11 and lasts about two weeks. (Unless of course all of the chickens are eaten by raccoons or dogs.) A dozen eggs costs about $3. Something about that math is not right. A 50-pound bag of horse feed costs $9.50 and lasts two and a half days. (Unless of course the pony breaks into the tack room and eats it all and has to be walked for four hours for fear of colic.) A ride at a dude ranch costs about $50 and lasts for an hour. That one works out better. I think.
Try not to stress me out with algebra. We still have at least two months before I have to remember it well enough to teach it.
Back to the feed store Christmas.
Since I am such a novice knitter (ten rows knit with perfectionist (read: anal) tendencies can take a while), no one I love can expect scarves or hats for Christmas. I am working kind of a lot at my husband's office (ah, the togetherness), so there's no time for quilting or sewing or painting or any of the things I might actually do halfway well. And in between working the farm and working the front desk I still try to hurl a little learning toward the girls every day. So the only shopping time is grocery and feed shopping time.
Let's kill two (very proverbial... we've lost enough real-life fowl) birds with one stone! How shall we take care of Christmas at the feed store?
All of our farm friends can expect a bale of hay. Hay is more expensive per pound than gold, I understand. I'm all but selling my wedding band for the hay effort around here. We'll tie a big bow around it. Try not to let your livestock eat it all in one sitting.
Cityfolk friends might enjoy a bag of salt. I'm not sure whether this salt is culinary since the uses on the bag seem to indicate using it for baiting deer (how unsportsmanlike, really) and/or thawing ice on the sidewalk. Doesn't the feedstore know there are no sidewalks in the sticks? Again, a big bow, and try not to eat it all in one sitting.
Children on our list are easy to please at the feed store. The aisles are full of some obvious gifts like John Deere replicas and model horses. Today I noted there are model wildlife animals too. Ooh! Model tigers to stalk your model horses! How exciting. How British. (Why does that strike me as British? Could it be because I haven't blogged properly in weeks?) A tiger truly could eat a horse in one sitting. But that's too morbid for Christmas.
Some of the less obvious presents are a ("completely safe herbal formula!") tranquilizing paste and matching drops for the water bowl. Imagine how much easier Fluffy will be to manage on the way to the vet. I mean, how much less stressed out Little Bit and Bite will be.
And isn't that what the holidays are all about? Getting less stressed?
Maybe I should have picked up some of that Quietex for myself. (Joking! Just kidding! Everything's fine here!)
(I'll try not to use all the tranquilizer in one sitting.)