What to do with the leftover stone dust?

Published 12:26 pm Thursday, August 24, 2023

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Reading a recent survey about what married couples fight about the most was quite revealing to me. It seems recurring fights about money, chores and parenting styles often lead to recurring arguments that take a toll on a relationship.

But as I scanned the article, nowhere did I see that stone dust mentioned. It oughta be. And if you don’t know what it is you’re probably fighting about the kids and this month’s Visa bill.

My friend Donna, who was recently reunited with her two ponies who now live here at the Funny Farm, very graciously offered to upgrade the paddock the ponies spend their nights in which adjoins their little stable. It was cut into the woods so offers delicious shade all day long but when we have heavy rain, the resulting mud sucks not only the boots, but also the socks, right off your feet.

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“My plan is to have a guy come in and do a little bit of grading, then I’m gonna put down cloth and cover it with stone dust and some gravel near the gate and the roofline of the barn,” she said.

Fantastic idea, I enthused, and more than generous. In just over a week the job was completed and now the ponies (as well as my residents of the assisted living field that come in during bad weather) will have a lovely, dry place to spend those nights with the option of going into the stable with its doors left open.

Best of all, our grading guy ordered a bit too much product and a substantial pile of gravel next to an equally large pile of stone dust was left over. After speaking with Donna it seemed to make sense to use our own tractor to do a thin scrape of grading between the main barn and Donna’s paddock, and spread more of the mixture there, so once she leads her ponies out the paddock gate to the field during wet weather, her boots will remain on and the ponies won’t need a backhoe to be pulled out.

Better yet: there was still a big hunk of dust and gravel left!! Squeeee!! (that’s farm girl yelp for any wild dream come true.)

“Finally!” I chirped. “I can grab a scoop of that mixture in the tractor bucket and fill all the potholes where we drive the tractor to the manure pile.”

“No,” countered Paul. “I need to fill in the low place in the middle of the driveway that always makes that big puddle when it rains.”

“The tractor track is way more important,” I argued. It goes right past the mudroom door on the side of the house and looks awful. Plus, it’s gotten so bumpy I have to wear a cup when I drive it.”

“The driveway has needed repairing forever,” he replied testily. “And that’s where I’m going to use it.”

“Oh, no—“ I said, standing in front of the tractor with both hands firmly on the bucket, as if I could actually stop him. “I’m not letting that damned Morgan win this one.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Paul said, feigning ignorance.

“I didn’t say anything when you bought that Morgan and spent 3 weeks building its garage right next to the arena, spooking my horses every day till it was finished,” I said, stating my case, beginning to pace back and front like a Fulton County prosecutor. “And you yourself have just said the driveway has needed repairing forever, so why the hurry now? Because you don’t want your Morgan to go through a puddle when you drive it, that’s why!” I finished with a triumphant flourish and spun around to face a jury that wasn’t there.

“That’s ridiculous,” Paul said.

“Is it?” I asked. “Prove it.”

In the end, like any relatively functional couple, we compromised and like Solomon, cut the pile in half. Paul was able to patch the driveway and I was able to fill in three potholes on the tractor track.

We still had some left over.

Which made a lovely little parking pad for the horse trailer, which I swear looked very smugly at the Morgan.