Dinner out

Mom and I decided to go to our seed dealers customer appreciation supper. I use ‘our’ fairly loosely. Mostly they have been Mom and Brothers seed dealer for years and I get to go because they are wonderful people. I have never been to one before but it was a really good time! I do love going places with Mom and of course there were lots of neighboring farmers and wives there. We got to visit and enjoy an evening inside while it rained outside.

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The decorations were amazing. I should have known, our seed dealer is a pretty creative lady!

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The tables looked really festive and I especially loved the braided corn wall hangings! Aren’t they fun? I am sure all the farmers notices.

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While waiting for supper to be served, they had ears of corn with their individual information laid out to look out and read. I thought this was pretty interesting. Most of the ears this year are huge. Of course I was excited to get my very first real own Pioneer hat.

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Most everybody brought an ear of corn with them from their field. Mom and I will have to take one next time. The corn sure is looking good and it was neat to see the varieties from around the area.

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After the meal there was a short presentation. It was extremely interesting to me. They went out and took pictures of the same field once a week and showed how it grew and explained cetain points of growth as affected with the dry weather of June. They also showed some new technology that allows you to better use fertilizer where you need it and less where you might not need so much, how plants that start out stunted do and how this crop is doing growth wise compared to the last 5 years. I also enjoyed hearing more about some of the sicknesses that the plants can get, but was interested to hear that they really aren’t seeing much this year. Finally we were able to pick a gift from the gift table.

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Now, this might not seem as fun to you as it was to me. All my life growing up, Mom had Pioneer paring knives. We used them forever and eventually the Pioneer symbol would wear off. We used these knives all the time. I finally have my own!

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It was a simple evening with friends and Mom, and I learned a few more things that were really interesting to me.

The problem with the fencer.

You might remember me being confused as to why the fencer at the jungle wasn’t working and I had to replace it in A short day . It has been bugging me. I had just checked the fences, how could it not be working?

I thought maybe it had been struck by lightening. But found it odd that it would happen to another fencer in this spot.

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Brother found the problem after I left it in the shop for him to take a look at. This is what the back of the of the fencer is supposed to look like.

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Here’s what the one I brought home looked like. I didn’t even think to check the wire between the battery and the solar panel. Guess I again learned something new.

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Can you see the chew marks? Yeah, apparently some type of little rodent like animal decided to make a snack of the wire. Really? Who knew? Well, I guess it’s just another thing for me to double check when the fencer isn’t doing anything. I hope the little bugger got zapped at least.

Cleaning out the bin

Today Brother was finishing hauling corn from the bin at Mom’s. Since he is the trucker, that leaves me as the cleaner outer. Ok, maybe cleaner outer isn’t actually a word or a position, but I am going with it.

He of course had everything set up, because he and Mom had been hauling out of this bin since last week.

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Bin to the auger. And here you can see my watchers. Mom and Niece#5 are tasked with watching me and the grain cart.

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We fill the grain cart then when Brother returns he fills the truck and goes again while we continue to fill the grain cart.

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Doesn’t seem like much left.

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The sweep auger does most of the work. It takes the corn to the auger out of the bin. I just have to make sure it is still going around, and clean up behind it.

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It’s not the best look, but it sure helps with the dust.

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My watchers took their job pretty seriously. Checking on me regularly.

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It didn’t take long to get it cleaned out.

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Once done, I sweep the floor up and the bin is all clean.

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Once we got everything covered and put away, I headed home to clean up.

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Because it’s that time of year! First Cross Country meet of the season. There she goes! Madelyn ran really well and placed 4th on her team. I am so proud of her. I should also mention that I am really proud of Niece#3. After her surgery and long recovery, she has been cleared to run. This was her first high school meet and the first time this season she ran the whole 3.12 miles. And she did it! Ran the whole thing and finished! Good job girls.

 

 

Friday’s Hunt v2.9

Welcome back for another Friday’s Hunt. This week has flown by with the start of school and sports and, well you know, life! This week we have Starts with I, Weeks Favorite, and Pink.

I have Intruder for Starts with I. Yeah, I don’t think the guinea pigs are very happy about this situation. Bullseye doesn’t bother them though, he just likes to find the most unusual comfy spot to curl up in. This is may not be his best choice to date.

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This is not the first time I have caught him in here. I am betting it won’t be the last time either!

For my Weeks Favorite, how can I leave this out.

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I always end up looking forward to the first day of school. After roughly July, we are so out of whack, no routine, no schedule, ugh! I can barely keep track of the days. School gets us back on track and life back in order. I am not sure they completely agree. But these three make up the reason I get up each day and do the things I do. I could not love them more and wish them the best year. Although if time wanted to slow down it sure could, where have my babies gone?

Me and Koda

I wasn’t finding anything Pink. But then it came across Facebook that yesterday was apparently National Dog Day, and on my Timehop that reminds me what I was doing today the last however many years showed this picture of Koda and I on our very last pasture adventure before he got really sick. I guess it was meant to be that I share with you his happy pink tongue. I miss this guy every day. I miss the look in his eyes of total love and admiration and trust. I like the dogs we have, but this old boy will hold a very special place in my heart forever. So Happy National Dog Day Buddy.

Thanks for joining me for another weeks Friday Hunt. Thank you to Teresa of Eden Hills for hosting. Don’t forget to click on the link and check out some of the other participants blogs. Hope you all have a great weekend and if you live around me, stay dry!

 

 

Moving the cows up

Today I had a plan. I believe I explained how days with plans go in A short day. Nothings ever goes as planned. But regardless, I had a plan. It was simple. Fix 2 insulators, raise the bottom wire, hook up the fencer, and move the cows to the front of the Jungle. Ok.

I start out early, because once done, I can work at home. Yup that’s what I am going to do. The job started off uneventful enough.

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I started by lifting the fence a little to keep the bottom wire off the ground. Then I tightened the 3 cranks on each stretch of fence. All is well.

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Next, can you spot the problem here? While Brother and I were string trimming under the fence the other day, we found two places missing an insulator. This can cause a short in the fence if the wire touches the post. Easy fix.

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Better. One day, I will have to take all the yellow ones off and replace them with black ones. Those yellow ones are old and do not hold up as well as the newer model black ones. Done here.

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Oops, one I didn’t get the other day. Multiflora Rose, yuck. Well, let’s get that out of here.

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Fencing pliers are such useful tools. Grab ahold and twist and the nasty weed is gone.

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That is much better. Now the post is clear and the weed won’t tangle the fence until next year. Should have brought Tordon. Oh well, I will be back. On to the next thing.

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It’s quite a stretch of fence. I started over that hill at the far trees. Now I just have to reattach the jumper wire and check to make sure it’s working.

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Once the jumper wire is reconnected, you have to check and make sure there is a good spark. Again, out come the fencing pliers. Yes! A good spark! Ok. It’s about 9 am, all I have to do is move the cows.

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You can clearly see the difference in the grass on the two sides of the fence. It’s definitely down on the middle side.

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When my search started with one cow, I should have known this wasn’t going to be the 10 minute job I had planned. But I was still hopeful.

I walked to the top of the hill and started to call. I was thankfully immediately answered by variously located moos. Great. They aren’t anywhere together.

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I got my trusty notebook out. I keep this with me all the time when checking cows. Sometimes I have to rewrite them because I have checked them off to many times. I usually can just count everyone, but if I don’t have everyone this is an easy way to figure out who is missing. It is especially handy when there are calves in the pasture. There technically aren’t any in the Jungle. This is our fall calving herd.

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As they start coming to me, I check off their number. Making progress.

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Here is the young handsome bull. My SIL picked him out. I think she choose very well. I am anxious to see what he throws. But, back to the task at hand. By the time he showed up, I was short 6 cows and a calf.

Now remember a little bit ago when I said there aren’t technically supposed to be any calves out here? Well, we don’t have any calves out here. The farmer neighbor to the south does. He happens to be my Cousin. We had some water gap issues earlier in the summer. Big Nephew and I checked all over to make sure there were none of his cows or calves in our pasture before we fixed the gap. Apparently not well enough because 2 days after we fixed it, we found this…

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You know that song from Seasame Street, One of these things doesn’t belong here (or something like that). Anyway, I didn’t recognize that cow with her head up looking worried about me. I really didn’t recognize the yellow calf. Dang.

So, back to today. I am now currently missing 5 of Brothers cows, which are fairly used to me and this cow and calf who do not like the looks of me at all. Great.

Off I go through the Jungle, have I told you why we call it the Jungle. Use you imagination. It’s not that bad, only in spots, but it can be tricky to find a cow.

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Lucky for me, I found the cow and the calf first. They bolted. I lost them. While walking down the hill they ran off, I found one of Brothers cows. She and I started walking in the general direction the cow/calf. On our way, we picked up 2 more of Brothers cows in the creek. As we came out of the creek we found the cow/calf. Yay! So I now have 3 of the 5 of Brothers cows I need and the cow and the calf with a group. I am thinking this is going well.

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Off we go, not exactly the direction I wanted to go but they seem like they would really like to go this way, so maybe the others are around?

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Yup, you can’t see them but way up ahead two cows just walked out of the creek! Sweet. This is working. Now I just have to get them from the West side of the pasture to the East side. No problem.

Only one complaint I have back here in the back gals. Maybe the one that doesn’t belong in this pasture shouldn’t be in the lead? Maybe, just maybe one of you girls that has been here before and knows where the herd is waiting should lead? Please?

NO. They would not lead, and even if they had tried, this particular cow is not a follower. As she is leading and we get into more difficult terrain, I quit taking pictures. I had to keep trying to keep everyone together. Which does not work well when you have one that doesn’t care where any one else is, and keeps turning the wrong direction trying to get away from the person who happens to be trying to show her the way.

It wasn’t long before I lost Brothers 5 cows. I eventually lost the cow and calf. Then I found them. And lost them. And found them. And lost them. And, well you get the point. This went on for about 3 hours. Let me tell you, if I hadn’t been on every inch of that pasture before, I have been now. By this time I am very frustrated but trying to be calm because cows who are terrified of you do not respond well to you being all kinds of crazy yourself. The last time I lost them and walked for almost 20 minutes without even a glimpse of them I thought ‘Oh forget it! I am moving Brothers cows and we will figure out what to do about her later’.

So back to the top of the hill where the herd is waiting on me. Well, so I thought.

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They had gone in search of me. (Hey, it’s my story, let me tell it how I want) But these old girls will follow me anywhere, mostly when they think there is a chance I am going to let them in that green grass, but again, it’s my story! Unfortunately I am still missing the 5 cows of Brothers. So I start calling again. Lucky for me, this time I hear an answer. Please be all 5! It would be really super if the cow and calf were there also.

Nope, just Brothers 5 show up. I call a little longer incase the cow of the cow/calf pair has decided maybe I am not the enemy and I have something she would like. You know like all her companions? Nothing. I am disappointed and text Brother that I didn’t get her but I am moving his cows. I open the gate. They run in.

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They are happy. I am unhappy. But Wait!! What is that sound behind me? That crafty old cow doubled back on me and is walking along the fence towards where I am standing. This time I bolt. Down the hill. I am trying to hide, get away so she can’t see me and turn around. It is hard for someone like me who is clumsy and out of shape and exhausted from chasing the very cow I am now trying to hide from to be quiet running down a hill covered in branches and multiflora rose. I made it to the bottom, but not before she notices me and stops. Now what?

I cross the creek and trying to keep an eye on her double back on her. Surely if she sees the other cows, or maybe the grass she will continue through? I wait and watch them. They wait and watch me. UGH! Would you just walk over there already? No. That is not what she is going to do. So now I have to try to sneak back up a hill to get behind them. Thankfully it isn’t terribly muddy so I went up while trying to keep an eye on her. She turns and watches me. Seriously do not run, do not run, do not run. She runs. but her calf turns runs the other way. So she turns and runs with him, right into the front part of the pasture! Success!! So not even 10 minutes after I text Brother I didn’t get her I had to retext him that I did.

I tell you, nothing feels better than being exhausted but actually accomplishing what you set out to do!

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I ended up with some minor scraps, no doubt a few bruises, my hair was completely pulled out of my ponytail, but I got the job done. It’s all worth it in the end. I am heading home to shower!

Moving Bales

Some jobs just have to be done. They take time and are kind of the same thing over and over. Like today. We were moving bales from the farm by Sisters house to Brothers House. Start by unloading the back of the trucks so the flatbeds can be hooked up. Load the skidloader, and off we go. Load both trailers.

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Brother drives the skidloader, I drive both trucks. After they are loaded, he gets out and takes one and I take the other home. The first two loads we left at the farm we were at for later.

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Once we get home, he gets on the 706 and unloads. He is getting quite the pile stored up. But these have to not only feed his calves he weans, but also all his cows, spring and fall herd, all winter.

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This is what he had before we started unloading.

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And all those on the other side of the dually. While he unloads, I unstrap the trailers and then move the trucks and bring the other one up. Only one minor mistake today. I was watching my trailer so I didn’t run down too much of his hay field that is right beside me and bumped a bale. I think I cracked his bug shield, but he isn’t convinced it wasn’t already. I hate when I do things like that!

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Repeat the same process, there were 62 bales putting 8 on the dually trailer, 7 on the grey truck trailer, so we had to load and unload 4 times. Brother had to go back and get one last bale and the skidloader, but he did that after supper.

We did have a couple little helpers today. Little nephew is trying to ‘jump in’ the truck.

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Niece#5 was my copilot. She is loving having to help farm. Brother is going to have some really great helpers!

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Niece#5 picked me some beautiful flowers. I was supposed to keep them, so I stuck them in my hair. Because she says ‘everyone should be pretty, even when they are sweaty and gross’. I think she has a point!