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Archive for January, 2007

A slow week

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

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Not a whole lot to do on the farm this week. Just the normal feeding of the animals. We did finally get the signs right and change the pigs I bought that were males. I still don’t know what I will do with all the meat from those pigs. My aunt Sandy in Cincinatti Ohio has agreed to take one after it’s processed. On Saturday a neighbor, Mr. Wilson called me. He had a cow fall and injure herself bad enough that she could not get up. As luck would have it, she was in a very rough area. After trying for a couple hours to get her up and seeing how much pain she was in we finally made the decision to put her down. Due to knowing the nature of her injury he wanted to take her to the slaughter house to be made into hamburger. I used the 6000 4WD to load her onto a trailer for him.

I got another 26 tons of #2 gravel spread and I believe that will be enough for the drive to the double-wide. Now after the winter of freezing and thawing it should settle in. Then I can put some 57′s or dense grade on top of them and have a good solid smooth driveway. Progress continues on the log house improvements. We like the vinyl windows that were put in the room we added so well we are considering putting them in the whole house. That will cut into our land clearing budget allotment a little, but I believe it’s a worthwhile investment. A friend from high school runs a sawmill locally cutting pallet boards. I had mentioned to him that I would be clearing some more land shortly. There isn’t much on the land besides stuff that could be used for pallets. I worked out a deal with some boys who cut for him to get as much of it cleared as could be used. They should start soon.

Took a little time off work to spend with the kids this week. Madison turns 6 on Tuesday and we had her a little party. Then we went to rent some movies for us and the friends she had over. Forecasters are giving ice tonight. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it doesn’t come.

We’ve achieved a milestone at work. We have gone a calender year with no recordable incidents. In turn we get our choice of a Jacket, a Case xx knife, or a Wal Mart gift certificate. As much as I dislike Wal Mart for their anti-union actions, I picked the gift certificate because the knife wasn’t worth $75 and I sure don’t need a jacket like they are giving away. We try to do most of our grocery shopping at Kroger due to their connection with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

I’ll go for now………….. but check out the pics I’m adding here.

53 Tons

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

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The 6000 has gotten an unusual workout this week. In the winter about all I regularly use it for is to feed hay for myself and neighbors. Not this week though. I have been working almost everyday on the drive to the double-wide. The last couple days I moved 53 tons of #2 gravel onto the drive. I believe I will need one more load to have everything covered good on the drive and to have enough to put a few around the entrances to the barns. It gets really muddy anywhere the animals gather up in the winter. At the ends of the barns is a soupy mess. Mud doesn’t bother the cows, but it is a breeding ground for worms. Goats are very succeptable to parasites so they don’t do well in moist places. It’s also hard on the horses’ shoes. It seems to suck them right off. Not to mention I hate walking in it.

Monday I noticed someone had used my tractor while I was at work. Turns out BJ had to feed hay to Mamaw and Papaw Staley’s cattle. Papaw said she did it like she had been doing it all her life. I told him it was just that she had a good teacher. Today I went and set out some rolls of hay to the same cattle. Same story where he has their cattle. Pretty much a soupy mess. They have rented my great uncle Fred’s old place and have about 25 head running on it. A few weeks back someone shot two of his cows. They must have done it in the night and just left them to die. There is enough loss in farming without such senseless things as that. The Staley’s have two fairly new John Deere tractors, but neither is 4wd so Papaw wants me to skid some logs for him in a week or two. I couldn’t understand why a fellow with two tractors of his own wasn’t moving his own hay so I asked. He said the one with a FEL had a hole in a hose and the other has a bad starter. I might add he has been waiting for parts on that starter for a week now. I kidded him that it was okay, my red tractor feeds a lot of green tractor owner’s animals. He said yeah – and the wheels are all good on yours. I couldn’t let that one go so I asked what he meant. He said when he bought his new Deere he hooked up his roller and headed to the field, and on the way one of the rear wheels came off. Couldn’t believe it. He also said that the dealer told him it was his fault, that the owner was supposed to check the tightness of the wheels. It bent the fender on his new tractor and everything. He said the dealer finally caved in and fixed everything, but the whole experience was certainly unpleasant.

I finally got around to replacing the light that was broken on the 6000 4WD. I really like how easy these tractors are to work on. Kind of a back to basics style. Not a lot of flash, just stuff that works. I noticed the replacement light is a sealed type. The old one wasn’t. That should help keep mud and water out. Sometime before summer I have got to do an oil and hydraulic fluid and filter change.

The progress on the house continues. I’ve put some more pics on here. We’ve got walls and windows now. They got all the new roof on too. I think it’s gonna be awesome when it’s done. We have found a deal on rough lumber too. I’m gonna try to pick up 2000 board feet of hemlock and 1000 board feet of cedar to use on the barn and the log house. I’ve got to pick up 140 ft of direct burial wire to run electricity to the barn. As a matter of fact I have a whole list of things to pick up at Lowes when I get the time to go. The electric company came and approved our permit for electricity. So we have power at the double-wide now. If I can get the septic hooked up, the heat and air unit put in, decks built, and the underpinning we’ll be ready to move in. Then we can start clearing land. That’s what I’m really excited about.

Well I better scoot ………..I have tons to do!


Saturday, January 6th, 2007

Things are coming right along here on the farm. Now we have a roof over where our new room will be and our deck. Rain will hamper us this week though, I am sure. It seems the children had a pretty good Christmas. Now there is tons of littlest pet shop stuff laying around everywhere. The Vermeer stuff I ordered way before Christmas still has not arrived. I hope they do a better job with parts than they do apparel.

We’re coming along on getting everything ready and turned on at the new doublewide too. I used the 6000 to cut a drive into the field where we set it up. I just set the dirt aside for now, but I will have to move the pile across the road into the basement of the house that burned. Now it’s time for gravel. I have a load of #2′s coming next week. It’s way too soft for a truck to get in there so I’ll need to have it dumped and spread it with the Mahindra. South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative finally came and set our new pole so we should have electricity soon. I already hooked up the water and covered it most of the way. Really all we need is the electricity inspected and turned on and to run our septic to the tank. Then we can start spending some time there.

I spent a couple hours Friday moving hay for our neighbor, Mr. Wisham. His longhorns had really made a mess out of his hay stack. Seems they really use those horns. I set hay in to some he had in a seperate pasture and the first thing they did was move it around the field with their horns. I think next time I will take my camera and get a shot of them working a roll over.

I’ve turned the cows I bought out into the pasture and the horses don’t like it. I’m gonna have to figure something out to do with the horses. They will run the cows causing them to get hot which is not good in cold weather. It’s not a great concern while temps are what they are now, but if we get a cold snap it could cause problems. The pigs are eating like pigs. I guess that’s to be expected. I’ve got to check the signs and get them castrated before they get so big we can’t handle them.

We’ve almost got the electricity at the barn ready for the inspector. As soon as we get electricity there, the kids have made me promise we would get more baby chicks, ducks, guineas, and maybe some pheasants and geese.

Garett has been wanting some rabbits for a while now. Actually I promised him I’d get him some the last time I went to the stock sale. Our neighbor down the road had 5 he wanted to sell for $25 and when my friend John Bryant told me about them, Garett was close enough to hear him. Needless to say we have 5 new rabbits. By May we’ll have 55 if I don’t watch it.

One day this week I took a long walk and reflected back on all the memories I have of this farm as well as others in the neighborhood. I stopped and looked at my old IH 46 baler and remembered when the neighbors all used Massey Ferguson 35′s and 135′s, Ford Jubilees and 8N’s, International Harvester Farmalls, and the like to farm around here. I will never forget all the neighborhood kids getting together to pick up the countless square bales and stack them in the barn. The times were certainly simpler. The biggest farm I remember – now has a Federal Prison on it. The kids and I discussed the possibilty of fixing up an old tractor as well as refurbishing the 46 baler in the interest of preserving history. We will have to replace the 46 soon if we are going to do many more square bales. It certainly has earned its keep. I can only imagine how many bales that baler has tied and how many young men picked them up for extra money for school clothes or shotgun shells. I guess as a token of appreciation to the old baler, my new one should also be clad in IH red. It’s a shame what’s happened to the small family farm. I’m sure many people have been faced with the fact that they just aren’t making it on the farm anymore and sold out or quit. I don’t know that I would not have given up by now if it weren’t for the children.

The new shift at work isn’t as bad as I expected. I have a lot more time to work on the farm and it seems like almost as much time with the kids. I feel rough on Saturday and Sunday, but the boss said he plans to staff the shift a little different soon and give everyone the option of taking a day a week off. Since I have the most seniority I would get to choose my day first.

Well I’m sure there is something I should be doing…………..Hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!

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