Thursday, October 23, 2014

We Break Even More Things

It is well known that Jason and I are experts at breaking things. If you have something that is functioning unusually well give us a call and we'll be happy to stand in its presence and break it for you. Our latest broken thing was our old Kubota tractor. Even though the tractor looks awful and is about 30 years old it is worthy of the title old reliable. It always starts. Always. It can sit for months unused and in the cold and it will start. Our much newer Ford tractor on the other hand is a much more fickle piece of equipment. So although we don't live in fear that anyone would ever want to steal our old Kubota I think Jason would break down in tears if that actually happened. 

When it refused to start yesterday Jason wasn't too worried at first. He thought it simply needed a new battery. He changed the battery today and he got nothing, nada. Jason was starting to look worried. Really worried. I asked him if we should call the tractor mechanic. He looked at me like i was stupid. Out came one of his toolboxes.  The creative uses of vocabulary began. 

He started opening panels, checking wires, crawling around, getting dirty. He kept trying to start the tractor. He kept getting nothing. I asked again if we should call the tractor mechanic. I got another "stop making such stupid suggestions" look. 

Then Jason announced that it must be something with the ignition switch or the neutral safety switch. He fished out a large screwdriver and decided to try and jump the tractor by shorting out the solenoid with the screwdriver. 

Me: I don't think we should do this

Jason; Don't you remember I had to start the Ford tractor that way for months

Me: I also remember you saying it was stupid and not safe

Jason: Walks over to the tractor and proceeds to short out the solenoid with the screwdriver

not a happy Jason

Envision large sparks flying everywhere, including near the brand new, currently uncovered battery on the tractor. Jason lets out a few yelps and wisely jumps away from the tractor. I say a third time "maybe we should call a tractor mechanic."  Jason acts like he can't hear me.

Me: Since you aren't going to listen to anything I have to say I want to go eat lunch. Can I leave or are you going to continue to do stupid things?

Jason: Maybe you should stay here a few more minutes (in other words he is going to do more stupid things)

Jason asked me if I knew where any gloves were and I tell him where they are. He comes out with gloves on, picks up the screwdriver and proceeds to short out the solenoid again. Massive sparks fly everywhere as Jason doggedly holds onto the screwdriver hoping the tractor will start. It doesn't start. It doesn't even think about starting. 

After a few seconds Jason cannot take the sparks anymore and hands me the screwdriver and stomps off. Thescrewdriver felt like it had just been on fire. I almost dropped it because it is so hot. I understood why Jason opted to wear gloves for his second go with the solenoid. As I looked more closely at the screwdriver I realized that in the few seconds Jason was using it when the sparks were flying it got so hot part of the screwdriver had burned off

click on these pictures to enlarge and you will see where part of the screwdriver burned off on the end

Jason came back with a towing chain as he decided he was going to have to tow our Kubota tractor out of the way with the Ford tractor since it was blocking access to our feed bin. He got the tractors hooked up and then ordered me onto the Kubota and told me to steer while he towed it with the Ford tractor. I sang the theme song from Green Acres as I rolled along, steering our dead Kubota.  I also had the thought that it was a bad day at Paradigm Farms when the temperamental, high maintenance tractor was towing the dead, super reliable tractor. 

We got the tractor moved out of the way and Jason decided he was going to call a mechanic. He acted like this was a completely new thought, like I hadn't already brought the concept up three times. Amazingly the mechanic came about an hour later. He found the problem, a bad relay, in about five minutes. Old Reliable is back on the job. I didn't even say "I told you so" as the mechanic was driving away. I waited until the mechanic was pulling out onto the road before I said it. 


Timbit popping in to visit Rubrico and River. Timbit isn't going to know what to do with all his free time when we take this paddock down soon and he cannot go any more excursions.

Rip, Ritchie and Trigger

Remmy and Walden grooming

Fabrizzio, Bruno and Duesy

Sam and Johnny

Taco and Africa

Moe and Homer

Grand and Baby

Gibson, Lofty and Cocomo

Maisie and Cuffie

Merlin, Remmy and Hesse

Bergie grazing, Oskar and Largo grooming

2 of the 3 World's Cutest Fainting Goats hanging out; Miss Lyle and Mina

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I suppose I should have come up with a better title for this blog post, but I'll let you fill it in with your own choice of words. Three guesses to anyone who can come up with Jason's choice of words, and the first two don't count.

For reasons I cannot fathom Jason decided to start checking fence posts. He is officially obsessed with posts, or something like that. Or he has some kind of OCD thing going on about posts. Because apparently the last two gate posts we replaced didn't make him miserable enough so he went searching for more. And he found them. 

He announced on Sunday evening that he was going to dismantle something like six sections of fence so he could replace some posts that he found unsatisfactory. I didn't really question him on it, I just knew I wanted to know as little as possible and stay as far away as I could.  

this is why you went to college Jason, you operate the shovel like a pro

When the fence post breaks off in the ground throw the shovel aside in frustration and try to make the front end loader function like a backhoe. I will give him credit and say it worked. He had the tractor standing up on two wheels several times but I don't think he really cared.

Romeo and Lotus came over to watch

When I abandoned Jason and no longer wished to help Carter volunteered. I love that Carter dressed for work in khaki pants, a rugby shirt and Thomas the Tank Engine boots. Jason and I wear ripped jeans, old t-shirts and boots with holes in them.

All the posts set and nailing up boards

I would say the two major fails of this project were the tractor refusing to start at one point (good thing we have two) and having to take off half the boards after nailing them up because they weren't level.  Jason took the dead tractor in reasonably good humor since he thinks all that is needed is a new battery. On the other hand when he realized one entire line of boards was not level things got ugly. He had to take them down, pound all the nails out, and put them back up again. I told him no one would ever notice that they weren't perfectly level but he was determined to make himself as miserable as possible. I try with Jason but sometimes you just have to let things run their course.

At one point I had no choice but to help Jason with this project. He needed me to hold the fence boards while he nailed them up. As I was standing behind a post with Jason aiming the nail gun at me from the other side I felt the need to ask him not to miss. Since he has managed to give me a concussion with a feed bag you can imagine my life flashed before my eyes as he aimed a nail gun in my general direction. Fate was on my side and I did not wind up nailed to the fence nor did I have any other undesirable interactions with the nail gun.

Like I said when I started this post, SSDD. 


Cocomo showing George that salt tray and explaining that the salt isn't actually in the tray anymore (he kindly dumped it out)

Cocomo and Lofty

Elfin and Trigger

Thomas and Ritchie

Timbit invited himself into the paddock again just in time to photobomb this picture of Rubrico and River.

Lotus and Romeo

Duesy and Bruno being silly; Merlin was ignoring them

B-Rad, Alex and Darby

Bergie and Kennedy

Cuffie watching the sun rise

it has been nice to see the sun the last few mornings instead of the clouds and rain we saw every morning last week

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Stills

Silver, Cocomo, Asterik and George

Toledo, Oskar and Walon

Mick under a pretty morning sky

Donneur and Lofty


Hesse and Remmy

Flyer and Faune

Leo and Chance having some quality grazing time with the wild turkeys behind them

Baby and Moe

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Life With Timbit

Even though he is technically a miniature horse and not a pony, Timbit lives up to every stereotype there is of a pony. He can be hard to catch, if he thinks you have stopped paying attention to him for 1/16th of a second he'll bite you. He has lots of charming habits like that. 

We used three strands of electric tape to set up a paddock for our recent additions to the farm, Rubrico and Mick.  Jason made the top two strands of electric tape hot but not the bottom strand. As you can see in the videos below this was a strategic mistake on Jason's part. 

At some point Timbit decided he needed access to the paddock with the new horses and he realized the bottom strand wasn't going to stop him.  So he decided to personally welcome our newest residents to the farm. Except I think his actual motive was more to get a rise out of them and see what he could get away with. Rubrico obliged him by getting rowdy. Mick mostly just ignored him and grazed, probably hoping the annoying little horse would go away. This is life with Timbit.


Timbit and Rubrico. I think the best part of this video is the very end when Timbit tosses his head at Rubrico from the other side of the electric fence. It is like he is saying "haha, you can't do that!"

Mick refuses to get worked up by Timbit's presence

Timbit and Rubrico

Timbit and Mick

Donovan, Toledo and Rocky on the run

Johnny and Lighty

only blingy chestnuts were allowed in this picture; Tony, Baby and Leo

Levendi, Ritchie and Trigger were all having playtime

Hemi and Rip hanging out

Johnny and Walon

Jason looking thrilled to be holding Merlin and Fabrizzio while they waited their turns with the farrier

Cocomo and Asterik playing halter tag

Fune tried to help Asterik remove his halter