A Gifted Tool

A dear friend of mine recently gifted me a reciprocal saw that she no longer wanted. Never at a loss for tasks around the farm, it did not take long before the saw was used on a variety of projects.

man using a power saw on a wood plank.A little zip here and a little zip there, the saw makes those jobs easy and quick.

This picture is a little deceiving, we are not making wood with the recip-saw, just using the stack of firewood to lean against as Mike cuts a board for a repair out in the bull barn.

It sure comes in handy to have friends that outgrow their toys and gift them rather than letting them sit unused for decades.

Thank you D.


Boot Goop

I finally departed with my old faithful boots. I had worn so many holes in them, they were no longer useful unless the ground was frozen solid in every spot on the farm. A new pair of boots was purchased at the local farm store (when they were on sale of course).

I have become a Muck Boot devotee, now that I have had several years of the sweet cushion of neoprene uppers and layers of soft pads under my feet I doubt if I will ever be able to go back to plain old rubber boots. I have been pampered, and it is going to have to stay that way. Continue reading

Controller Repair

With the abrupt change from summer to fall, we found the need to start up the wood fired boiler after turning it off four months ago.

The firebox was cleaned out along with the chimney and the ash trap under the firebox, but when it came time to return power to the unit the control box was dead. Now we had been having issues nearing the time when we turned the boiler off in June, but we were hoping that a vacation from work would put the unit in a better mood. It did not.

A new unit was ordered and one of my brother’s scheduled a time to come up and wire the control box to the boiler. Easy-peasy. It was a small box, not that many wires with a fairly simple design. Shouldn’t take more than an hour or two to fix.

Before removing the old unit, a quick picture was taken for reference installing the new one. This proved to be very helpful.

Wiring inside a controller for the wood fired boiler.The new control was installed between downpours and breezy winds. It only took about 7 hours total.

My advice to anyone thinking about a repair that is more complex than screwing in a light-bulb, take a picture before you start your project. It worked for me.

Repairs Needed For Hay Equipment

As we were maneuvering each piece of hay equipment into the barn after being cleaned up, we were remembering all the repairs that will need to be done before the hay season of the summer of 2018.

We limped through the end of hay season knowing about the repairs that are needed but was able to get by until the last bale. The biggest repair issue is the the side arm of the elevator on the bale wagon. This is heavy metal that broke and will need some major welding to get the part solid with its base. The emergency repair done during hay season includes a strap of metal fastened with bolts and firmed up with wraps of baling twine. It doesn’t look pretty, but it got us through the season without losing valuable time in the field.

These repairs will be put on hold for the summer months with the goal of completion during the winter or early spring. In reality, these repairs may be last minute just before we start the new hay season.

At least for now I have them documented so that if the fix-it-bug does hit we will remember what the needs are.

Gully-Washers and Thunder Bumpers

The forecast called for rain and the morning looked like a front was definitely moving in. We decided it would be a good day to work in the barn putting the parts on the bale wagon that we had ordered last week.

A view from inside the barn as a hard spring rain shower begins to mud up dirt road.Looking out through the bars of the barn gate the rain had started to mud up the dirt road leading to the bridge.

About then a storm cell above us let loose with what looked like a fire-hose amount of water. The drops hitting the metal roof was so loud we could not hear each other talk or shout.

Puddles filled with water after a spring shower.Within minutes the dirt road was filled with puddles, the grass growing in the hay field was flattened and we had recorded over a half inch of rain in less than an hour.

This amount of rain will push back the start time for mowing the hay fields, it will take more than a week for the ground to dry out under the grass. The rain also temporarily stopped our logging operation because the road is too muddy to even get to the bulldozer or the landing, and the bulldozer would not be able to go up the skid roads with it being this wet and slippery.

Concentrating on the hay equipment in the meantime will keep us busy in the meantime.

Thinking Of Hay Season

I distinctly remember the end of hay season last July. We were cleaning the hay equipment and moving it into the barn for storage until the 2017 hay season that will be here in about a month.

It is a work of art to get all the equipment into storage and out of the weather. The Henry Loader has to be scooted inside in the flat position then raised tenderly so the top snuggles into the rafters without damage to the structure. The rake has to slip in at an angle to fit between the tire of the Henry and the middle posts of the barn. Next is the baler with its long snout where the bales eject, the snout has to nose in between the other end of the rake and the cement wall. The mower goes in last and has to be inside far enough so we can still close the gates.

With the main equipment stowed, the bale wagon, which is as large as the old farm truck was backed into the middle space in the barn. We had been having minor issues with the old bale wagon at the end of the season and had limped by with minor repairs. By putting the beast in the middle of the barn it would be easily accessible for maintenance during the wet, cold winter. Or at least that is what we said.

That was before the bulldozer needed a major overhaul, and the winter was very dark and cold, and procrastination got the better of us.

We are currently in the midst of pieces, lots of pieces. Replacement parts have been ordered. Hopefully we will have everything back to working order before hay season starts.


Open Letter To Company

I am not a very good at many things.

I am not stealthy. I can trip, stumble and fall for no reason at all, and it’s not usually just a small landing. I am able to make a lot of noise along with gymnastics that rival Gold Medal contenders as I move from upright to prone.

I can not keep a secret. (You may have already figured this out from my daily rantings on this site) Phrases just pop out of me at random, this has happened all my life.

I get surprised easily. Once startled, I get flustered and it causes more trouble than if I could have just kept a cool head. I believe this comes from having four older brothers and the constant need to defend myself against boys that had to be reminded that I was their sister and not just the new dishwasher.

Anyway, even though I should be ready for surprises, I seem to be oblivious until BAM! Then I don’t always respond well, i.e. over-respond, which may leave bystanders in awe that such loud noises and movements can come out of me. Continue reading