Archive for the Category » Farming «

Electrical Issues

Snow has been forecast for this weekend ever since, last weekend. As the week went on the amounts crept upwards. By Thursday they were predicting nine to fourteen inches.
So Monday two of the heated automatic waterers were froze over. The fuse was blown and the new one immediately joined its predecessor. My husband came home from work early and he and his father check wiring, multi-meters and other things I shy away from. The short was somewhere underground between the barn and the tanks. Everyone hung their heads and cried a little on the inside.
There were no shut off valves. Not below ground at least. No way to keep the water pipes from freezing in one old tank that was perfectly good and one they had just spent days getting installed. The heat had to be fixed before the storm coming in with the weekend.
The power company came out and located lines. They found the short, or maybe just where there was a splice, simply wrapped in electric tape and  buried underground. With a payloader, skid steer and shovels they dug it up. The bucket snagged the wire, pulling it loose but fortunately just scraped the waterline, not breaking it causing any further messes.Sure enough the wires were black and insulation melted. My computer guy/farmer/electrician husband tested the wires before patching and reburying. He tends to be cautious and a perfectionist.
There was another short. Somewhere else in between, underground. The the snow melted and it all drained into the hole. Now there were not only wires to fix but they were under a foot of water. Pumps are good to have. It was still muddy.
They called up Scott. It’s good to know people with trenchers. Abandoning the old line They trenched in two new wires to reach the waterers separately to avoid anymore under ground splices than absolutely necessary. With shiny new wire, wire that’s actually rated to be run underground, above ground junction boxes, a new trench dug, and wire ran, to the tank that has had an extension cord run to it for years. All that dug through knee deep mud. Knee deep on 8 that is.
It was all buried in and working good long before the cold and snow hit. With time left over for taking the duals off the tractor and putting the big snow blower on.
Category: 8, Cows, Farming  One Comment

Quite A Cluster

Some cows got out this afternoon. Not a big deal but  the father in law stopped to ask if I would help chase them in. Of course I would. As I hopped on the 4wheeler with him I absentmindedly called Daisy to come help. She didn’t come I worried a little then forgot about her amidst the whole cow chasing thing.

8 and I went to pick The Goblin Child up from the bus. Daisy is usually bouncing around wanting to come with. She wasn’t there. Again I remembered that she hadn’t come earlier either. Now I was worried. I tried to remember when I had seen her last. She had come with to feed in the morning.  I couldn’t think of a time I had seen her since then. She couldn’t have not gotten out of the feed truck. Could she?

We had a very little time before the bus would be there, we could make it to check for sure. Barely.

Sure enough. I opened the door and out leapt Daisy. When we get out she will just sit there. She has to be told to come out with us and apparently I didn’t do so. It was dark in the quanset and I was rushing to make it to the bus. I haven’t seen if she did anything to the inside of the feed truck yet. She’s a good dog. I didn’t smell anything. Keeping my fingers crossed that she didn’t hurt anything.

Out at the neighbors driveway that is our compromise meeting place, the bus driver complained about driving clear to our mailbox, I refused to have The Goblin Child unloaded on the highway, we pulled to the side of the road and waited. At the highway two vehicles sat. A car and a pickup. Their people sat on bumpers in between hanging out, talking. The bus managed to squeeze around them and made it up the hill slick with snow and ice.

After unloading the bus went back down the icy hill and waited for room to pull out. The two vehicles still sat, unperturbed by the traffic they were impeding. While loading children I watched a FedEx van pull out from across the street and head down the hill towards the bus. I waited and watched to see if he would slide right into it. He didn’t.

Pulling into our neighbors drive we turned around as usual. Backing out into the road. I put the car in drive, and we went backwards. As usual when things don’t go anywhere near as expected, it took a moment to think it through. I put it back in park and we stopped moving. Back in drive and we slid backwards again. Well, that didn’t work. This time I tried reverse, we were getting quite sideways in the road, maybe I could straighten it out and find some traction further down the hill.

The car straightened. There was no more traction though. A couple more tries and it became apparent that the only way we were going was down the hill. Down to where those two… very nice people still sat. Apparently unaware of the traffic swirling around them, They weren’t bothered at all by blocking half of the road. Easing the car as slow as I could down the slick road I aimed for the sliver highway I could see that was unobstructed. If we could just get to some clear ground and make a run at it we could make the hill.

Of course this whole time the children are sitting, standing, kneeling, spinning circles, and talking loudly in the seat next to me. Of course they weren’t buckled in for the one mile of county road home. Not distracting or impeding my view at all.

I managed not to hit either of the vehicles. The… very nice people sat, still unbothered by how incredibly annoying they were and stared at us as we backed past them. On the cleared pavement of the highway we were able to get started and made it up the hill with no more difficulties. Then finally home. To Daisy.

Hauling Hay

8 and I went to help the neighbor haul some hay bales. The weather was perfect, warm but enough of a breeze to keep us cool. I had debated seeing f we could go in the morning so there wasn’t quite so much help. In the end I decided it was easier to do everything else without him and to let him come along for the hay. We rode along in the cab of the pickup on the way over, looking at tractors and talking. Then climbed into the horse trailer to began the gathering of hay.

8 loved it. He started out enjoying seeing how the cows and horses ride. He rode on the hay. He climbed on the hay. He pulled bales around. He helped carry hay. He learned he could jump in and out of the trailer. He slept well that night.

 

 

Category: 8, Farming  2 Comments

Happy Halloween!

This year 8 is a tractor knight and T.G.C. is a princess knight.

8’s coat of arms is a combine and a tractor divided by some sort of line that is supposed to represent the earth. The black and green represent loyalty and sometimes sorrow. It seemed fitting. A seed corn cap for his helmet. Well it also seemed fitting. What is a tractor knight if not a farmer. What is a tractor knight at all? We don’t know but it was what he wanted on his shield so we went with it, all out.

T.G.C. wanted to wear her cape again from last year after seeing a picture of herself in it. I wanted to make armor and get so sick of princess stuff. Fortunately I remembered Nella, the princess knight. She was happy to go with it. The purple is for royalty, fitting since she is the queen of the world. She requested a Pegasus unicorn for her shield. It was a fun theme to go with. A little more mundane than a tractor but that’s all right.

I really meant to get some pictures of 8 on Coyote wearing the dragon mask. Unfortunately I sold my dragon mask and haven’t gotten another one made. I still mean to get pictures of him on Coyote. Eventually.

Halloween this year is coinciding with corn harvest. Very good atmosphere with the corn husks whirling in the wind and light of combines off in distant fields.

Tonight we trick or treat in town. After the school finishes all their parties of course. Happy Halloween!

 

Getting Ready For Halloween

Fall and Halloween are always my favorite times of year. It’s been a busy summer and fall but we’ve still managed to fit as much fall doin’s in as possible. Maybe that’s why it was so busy.

We played in the leaves, decorated pumpkins, dressed up, dressed warm, went riding in the cooler weather, trick or treated, rode in combines, and even fit in a haunted house!

The trunk or treat in Chadron was fun, as usual, but so very crowded this year. It meant squeezing through the crowd and waiting in line a lot. It was still great but would be more fun with less people.

That same weekend, the great build up to the actual day of Halloween, there was a haunted house in the old Clinton school house. Sadly it over shadowed the trunk or treat and was all the kids asked about while we were trying to trick or treat. It was the perfect setting. An old abandoned brick school house. We went for the lights on tour with the kids. Luckily. It was scary enough with lights on. They would never have made it through the real one. We went back to Rushville for supper before returning for us grown ups to go through for real. Waiting in the former Gym was almost more than they could handle, even with cookies and hot chocolate. The high school kids who were doing it went all out and had a lot of fun dressing up. Best haunted house ever. Almost.

Corn harvest has started with rather bad timing. It didn’t stop us playing just messed up my schedule a little. I do love corn harvest. It goes so nicely with the whole fall theme.

 

Category: Family, Farming  2 Comments

End Of Wheat Harvest ’18

I haven’t been on here for a very long time. Far longer than I ever intended it to be. We, well, we got busy and the summer slipped away. I have to make note of when they harvest wheat though and that is done and over with so I better write something about it!

It was a fairly late harvest and still wet and hard to get to with that. They started in on the neighbors wheat on July 11th and finished up on the 26th. It’s been a really wet year. It rained all the way through while they tried to squeeze in between showers and fight through wet wheat and green weeds. The kids are getting big enough to enjoy going along and not have to sit in the combine the whole time. They loved playing in the grain trailers with Jack, riding in the semis, and also napping in the combine. The Goblin Child and I made use of combine time, sending 8 off with his father so we could get some riding done. She’s starting to get more comfortable on Coyote and Rusty is grown up enough to be useful ponying and helping them when needed.

8 had a little accident near the end of harvest. He was riding along in the semi. He had the misfortune of being leaning on the door when another kid opened it. The semi was stopped, his head broke his fall. He caught his head on the steps and it left a pretty good scratch on the back of his head but luckily he wasn’t hurt bad.

Dad Came To Visit! And Other Long Overdue “Stuff”

Wheat Harvest ’17

This post is long over due. I don’t know where time went, how did it get to be over a month since I last did anything here? I have to document the start of corn and wheat harvest every year. We often look back to see when we did things last year and this is the easiest place to do so.

So it’s started. They started on the neighbors and it’s going pretty good. After rats destroyed the combine over the winter it’s amazing that it’s going at all. I can never mention enough how awesome my husband is. He spent the spring and early summer coming home from work a little early, disappearing into the quanset where he clean and deconstructed the combine cab entirely. On weekends he spent all day in there, soaked in sweat from the heat. Crammed into that tight little cab with the filth and stink of the rats, until he got every drop of the wiring carefully pulled out.

He took the entire wiring harness into work at his real job and carefully reconstructed it. Many trips down to the giant tractor junk yard were required for parts. We went along and explored as he sweated away inside the cab of a wrecked combine digging out the needed parts. Using the new/old parts to piece together the original the rebuild required countless hours, an office that now smells like rat poop, and approximately one hundred and seventy five connectors. After finishing the careful meticulous job of finding every single chewed through wire, finding the matching end of the wire, and reconnecting them he hauled the entire wiring harness back home to the tractor.

There he continued his cleaning while he hooked back up every piece of electronics in the entire tractor, turn signals, lights, sensors, and controls. There was some flickering but after tightening the ground wires everything worked on the first try! Only a few new parts were required, such as the seat, and he brought the rebuild in under what insurance paid and WAY under what just a new wiring harness cost alone much less after adding the labor to have someone fix it. He saved his dad a fortune.

The much loved combine is back up and going. Small children are once again riding around in a cab that didn’t look as though it would ever go again much less be safe and clean enough for the kids. Have I mentioned that my husband is awesome?

 

Category: Farming  One Comment

I Don’t Know Where To Start

There are so many things I’ve wanted to talk about lately and I haven’t found time for any of it. I need to look back through all the pictures I’ve taken to remind myself what we’ve done. I finally got the garden written about. I haven’t mentioned any of the chicken adventures, or the corn planting, or what ever else there has been.

Some how I missed corn planting. But it’s planted and getting rained on. Hopefully it will be warm enough for it to come up. The home made GPS worked beautifully, even if the John Deer planter didn’t hardly work at all. Yay for John Deer. We will stick to Case.

Oh Rats!

Literally.

My poor husband loves the combine. He keeps it scrubbed clean, well oiled, and tucked away safely for the winter in the back of the Quonset. It was pure chance that anyone happened to look in. Usually it stays sleeping and ignored until nearly harvest. But look in they did and found, much to everyones horror, that rats had eaten the combine.

Not mice, mice we can handle. They usually get in and cause a few problems. They are nothing compared to this. The seat is unstuffed, the stench unbearable, the wiring chewed through. When the key is turned, nothing happens. No lights, no starting, no buzzing, the cab is dead. My poor husband is sad. He loves the combine, the destruction is sickening and he is not looking forward to the, very expensive, repairs.

Category: Farming  One Comment