When it’s Time to Revise Your New Year’s Resolutions


Here it is January again, and Madam and I just got around to kicking off our New Year’s resolutions. I resolved to enter my Texas Hold ’em carrot cake in the Pillsbury Bake Off. She chose to pump up her diet and fitness regimen, in hopes of slipping into a pair of boot cut jeans with bling on the butt. Frankly, she might be having second thoughts about that choice, given her weeklong horse and house- sitting gig on a Wisconsin dairy farm.

“So, tell me about your trip to John and Nettie’s place,” I queried upon her return home from tending eight of Nettie’s fine horses, a Jack Russell terrier, a generous assortment of barn cats, and a few fish.

“Where do I begin?” She replied. “Would you care to know how many 60 pound manure buckets I wrangled?”

“Um, maybe,” I answered politely.

“That would be two a day per horse, or 16 per day total. Multiply that times seven days, and you have a grand total of 6720 pounds of eventual compost I jockeyed in one week.”

“That must have upped your physical fitness points nicely,” I offered.

“Indeed,” she replied. “And did you know that 40 degrees below zero wind chills can cause a perfectly house trained Jack Russell terrier to poo poo every place but outdoors?”

I had forgotten that she took our JR puppy, Ms. Winnie, with her. This provided a doggie cold weather challenge times two.

“By the way Noah, are you aware that when two newly acquainted Jack Russells meet, they automatically shred their toys, dole out dirty laundry, dine on African violets, and periodically give one another a good humping?

“You must mean a good thumping?” I corrected gently.

“No, I mean humping. Apparently this is a JR statement about who rules the house,” she added.

To think I missed that.

“How about the food?” I probed. “Did you get a chance to try some fitness-friendly gems from Dr. Oz or the new Cooking Light Magazine?”

 “That depends on what kind of gem you have in mind,” she retorted. “Frankly, I decided that shoveling nearly 7000 pounds of equine garden food warranted a couple dozen Gordy’s glazed donuts, a family-sized box of fried chicken with potato salad from Quick Trip, and a two pounds of cheddar cheese. I was on a dairy farm, after all.”

“So, have you stepped on a scale since you got home?” I enquired gingerly.

“Yes I have,” she rejoined. “And, I’m pleased to report I did not gain a pound. On the other hand, I now can singlehandedly turn my queen sized mattress and move the refrigerator with one hand while vacuuming with the other.”

I’m not sure Snap Fitness would concur, but it’s’ amazing what shoveling a few thousand pounds of horse dust can do for a woman’s biceps.





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