I’m Okay!

I have been planning on building a goat/sheep barn for some time. I have drawn plans and have been watching the prices of the 12 foot post that I need. These post range in price from $11.50 to $15.50 so being on the cheap side , I was really keeping an eye on the price.

Last week Lowes had the post on sale for $11.50 each I hustled to the store to purchase the 8 that I needed plus all the other supplies such as 2x4s, nails, and cement.

As it was raining I covered the cement with a tarp for the trip to the farm.  When I arrived at the farm. I then took all the supplies to the area I where I was planning to build the barn; but the cement I took to my small shed where  I had some tools stored. With eighty pounds of cement on my shoulder I placed each bag in the shed in an area that was dry and covered with a tarp.

On Saturday the rain had stopped some so I took off to the farm with the dogs. I started to build  the barn, First set the 2x4s in a perfect square ; then staked up everything so it would be  square and level.

Now I started to dig the post holes. Wow didn’t know that I  had clay that close to the surface of the ground. My arms were just about to break off after 3 holes, the rain had started so I called it a day.

Sunday morning the rain had stopped and it appeared that there would be sunshine even with 25 degrees for the high that day. I took a couple of Advil to help the sore arms and shoulders. Then loaded up the dogs for our day at the farm.

I began to dig the remaining holes with some strong arms, but after the second hole I started to take longer breaks between holes.  Finally I got to the last hole! I must admit I did try to dig that one faster and with out stopping to breath.

Now to cement the poles in the ground, I found I had to walk up hill about 75 yards to the small shed to get an 80 pound sack of cement then tote it back to the area of the new barn. At first I thought “you big stupid” but then some where the mucho man inside of  me said “ this will get you in shape”. So I began to tote each bag to the new barn site , fill the poles holes and level and straighten.

On the fourth or fifth trip to the shed, I might mention that the  shed doorway is 5 foot, I picked up a bag of cement slung it over my shoulder as I had done before, but this time  I stumbled slipped and staggered out the doorway. Did I mention that I am 5 feet 11 inches tall?  I began to fall forward and to gain my balance I stood up. BAM I hit the top to the door way with my head. Down to the ground I went , HARD!   I lay there for a long time hoping that some one would come take the 80 pound sack of cement off me. Or some one would just come see if they could see my brain  as I just knew I had a gapping hole in my head.

Maggie Lucille and Star were to busy searching for some critter so they were no help.  Laying there in the water that had turned to ICE, I realized that I had my cell phone. Help would be on the way soon.  I called my son Bryan who lives only 5-6 miles away, ‘no answer’. I called my wife; who was in town shopping, ‘no answer’  I called my daughter who lives about 38 miles away, ‘no answer’. I called my son who lives in Florida, ’no answer” !!!

The ice was sticking to me by this time, I had  to get the sack of cement off me. I did not want to be found with  80 pounds of cement on me while I was face down in the rain and ice.  What would people think. I rolled and rolled on the ground. Now the dogs come ; they think this is some kind of new training that I am teaching them. A new game, they are now jumping on my back and splashing ice water on me. Why is ‘leave me alone not a command”? I will teach them this command if I can just get this sack of cement off of me I thought as I struggled.

Finally I rolled the sack of cement  off my body. I started to stand, bells, stars, black spots in my eyes, and rain made me stay on the ground.  I sat on  my knees till I could see the truck over there. I could not stand I was just to dang dizzy. So I crawled toward the truck, dang dogs think this is another new game , ( a reminder to self teach “ leave me alone next week”).

With all the strength I had in my sore arms and hands I could gather I reached for the door handle on the truck. Locked! The keys were ’way’ over there by the shed that I had just crawled from.  I crawled back to the shed; dogs jumping on me ( this aint funny you animals). I got the keys; crawled back to the truck (NOT Jumping on a crawling person is also  being taught next week).

I unlocked the truck crawled inside turned on the heater. I sat there for a very long time letting the ice melt from my clothes an face.  When I got to feeling better I found some dry clothes in the truck, I began to towel off the rain from my face to find that it was not rain but BLOOD. ! My blood!  I was bleeding and since it was my blood I was thinking this is very serious.

After adjusting the mirror in two different angles I found I had a huge cut on my head. Still somewhat dizzy and not thinking real well because of the blow to the head and  nearly freezing  I thought I will rip off some of this “duct tape” and plaster on my bleeding head.  First aid on the job site --- I missed that class!

I sat in the truck for an hour or more   before I felt that I could drive home.  I called the dogs ; they piled into the back seat of my truck. Each one of them saw the big splat of duct tape on my bleeding head . Each one of them had to smell or lick my head. I will teach that class next week also.

I drove to the main highway and headed home. I  called my Mom and Dad who might give me some pity. Dad answered the phone on the first ring. I said “ I’m okay”. Dad said “well I am glad to hear that “ he hung up.

So today I am home with a large lump on my head, very large bandage on the top of my head, bruised forehead and burns on my  head where I had to pull the ‘duct tape’ off last night. That removed some the hair on head also. Like I needed less hair.

So the training of ‘leave me alone’ has started and  just so you know “I’m Okay”

Bill McFarlin

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Positively Expert: Bill McFarlin

Bill and his dog Star are the National Spokesman for the American Brittany Rescue, and were contestants on the CBS reality show "Greatest American Dog." Bill has been training dogs for over 20 years, and enjoys teaching his dogs sports like agility, herding, and frisbee. He and his wife are active volunteers in the dog rescue community.


3 thoughts on “I’m Okay!

  1. Gillian Shippen

    Bill, I dunno - just being devil’s advocate here - BTW: although I feel for you, you write an amusing story :o) . Anyhoo, back to me being devil’s advocate – you have a nasty bump on the head and are in serious pain & discomfort with a possibility of loosing consciousness, perhaps said pooches did you a service by bugging you to make sure you stayed awake and kept moving! I’m just saying. Glad to hear your “OK”, and thank you for sharing your story

  2. Barbara D. Brill

    Oh Bill, I just saw your post. I'm so dreadfully sorry about your accident. I can truly empathize, because I had a darned head bump, too. I had just boarded a train in Burlington, VT, heading south to NC. I was attempting to lift my suitcase up to the overhead compartment when the trained suddenly lurched forward. I bumped my head hard on the horizontal rail of the compartment, then fell to the floor. As I tried to gather my wits about me, I realized right away that I couldn't see. I knew enough to grab my purse from the seat so I wouldn't be robbed, but I didn't know how long I'd be without my vision.

    I hope you're feeling much, much better now. And I hope all the rain didn't make a huge mess with your bags of cement. A truism learned: Home (and pasture) projects can be darned tough, eh?

    Best wishes.

    Barbara D. Brill

  3. TC


    Just saw this and I have to say, thanks for the laugh! I'm glad you're okay and I hope you were sucessful in teaching your dogs the "leave me alone" command.

    I'm sure your goats and sheep appreciate the new enclosure too!

    With regards,


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