Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tractors, Travels and Travails !

In between horse chores, I spent virtually all my free time on this weekend and I spotted a Kubota very similar to the one we have now for a good figure in Martinsville, Indiana. If it checks out in the phone conversation I'm going to have with the dealer tomorrow, I may be headed up there to look at it later this week.

(Melissa in blue with the photo captions) I've never seen Jason feel the need to roll both of the big toolboxes out of the workshop (in addition to the umpteen thousand smaller toolboxes that were scattered around). This didn't give me a great feeling about Jason's planned project.

Do you see things that don't belong in this picture? (pretend this is like a kid's coloring book or a Where's Waldo book) I see a crow bar, a sledge hammer and a T-post driver. Ummm, Jason, I thought you said you were taking apart the tractor and not beating the you know what out of it! This gave me an even worse feeling about Jason dismantling the tractor to get to the fuel tank.

In other matters, we got a bad load of diesel about a year ago and our current Kubota has been bearing the brunt of the punishment. I finally got sick of it stalling out at very inopportune moments, and I got even sicker about having to blow out the fuel lines (covering myself in diesel while doing so) to get it going again. Late last week, I finally took action. I drained and removed the fuel tank and sent it to be professionally cleaned out and re-sealed. Removing the fuel tank was quite a process. To get at the tank, I first had to remove all the sheet metal on the front half of the tractor followed by removing the canopy, followed by removing the entire dash including the ignition assembly and lights. Whew ! We're supposed to get the tank back tomorrow and (hopefully !!!) I will have everything re-assembled and installed some time on Tuesday.

Then I see that Jason has the canopy of the tractor all rigged out with ropes and chains. I REALLY didn't get a good feeling from this. I asked him where he was headed with this. He told me that he had to remove the canopy (along with the rest of the tractor apparently) to get to the fuel tank. So he rigged it out with heavy duty chains and ropes and the plan was to lift it off using the front loader on the other tractor. Here he stands staring at the tractor wondering if this is a good idea. I'm looking at this scene going "listen to your inner voice Jason. The odds favor this not going go well. Why can't we just take the tractor to the mechanic like normal people?" Note he is drenched in sweat and covered in tractor dirt, oil and diesel fuel.

Much to Jason's disappointment there are no pictures of the actual lifting and removing of the canopy using the Ford tractor. I couldn't watch. I am content to know that somehow it all worked out in the end, but I really don't care to know exactly how it worked out. I'm thinking that putting it back on is something I really, REALLY don't want to see.

Tomorrow, Melissa and I are taking a short day trip to Cullman, Alabama in between morning and evening chores. Cullman is about an hour and a half south of the farm. Ostensibly, the trip is to look at tractors at a couple of my favourite tractor dealers; one in Athens, Alabama (Peek Equipment) and one in Cullman. Additionally, we will be visiting a strange "Roadside America" type attraction that has piqued our interest for a long time; a Catholic "grotto" of some sort which, according to those in the know, is supposed to really be something to see ! Ought to be quite a trip, never mind that we aren't Catholic and we aren't normally even faintly interested in roadside religious shrines. In any event, we ought to have much to report in a future blog. :)

So, enquiring minds want to know....What is the strangest thing you have ever seen, witnessed or taken part in as you've travelled around the country with horses (or not) ? (PG only, please) !

Spike and Lucky grazing
Harmony, MyLight and Lily grazing nose to nose to nose

Cinnamon and Lexi
Harmony on the run

Homer and Lightening chatting over the fence

Hemi, Elfin, Leo and Levendi

Hemi paused to sniff noses with Bella the dog

Thomas on the run

Teddy and Clay

Snappy and Teddy


Anonymous said...

Ah, the joys of farm life!

Norman cuteness - thanks!

SmartAlex said...

At 2 a.m. last night I couldn't sleep, so I picked up Love Sex and Tractors for an hour. I really wish I knew which of his books the gas tank episode was in. It involved welding. While sitting on the tank I believe. Tank was on the floor. Good stuff!

Sylvia said...

Melissa, there are things my husband does, that I too would rather not witness! Sometimes it's best for both of us if I'm not around ;) I usually shuffle the kids away, too!
As for strange things seen, we lived in the Caribbean for 16 months. There are SO MANY interesting things witnessed there. One that's PG, that I can think of off the top of my head was, a (local/native) family that lived next door to us caught a huge iguana. The tied it up, beat it with a stick and cooked it up. Normal for them. Strange to us.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

Awwww, look at my 30 year old mare run!

Vivian, Apollo's Mom said...

Along the line of do-it-yourselfers, Pete has been in the attic since 3:30pm (it's now 8:35pm) fixing the air handler. Of course this was to save the $80 service call and any other possible expenses....Every summer our air handler clogs up and overflows the pan which then leaks into our garage. Of course I tried to help but I am fairly useless so I got yelled at and I ran away. This happened several times over the last few hours. Pete was also the only mechanic on our Ford industrial tractor in Va. This involved getting the 4 inch thick parts book and driving 2-3 hours one way to procure the parts. I am not sure exactly what he did but I know some things had to do with hydraulics and the fuel pump. Anyway, I can relate to what you are going through!

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

(from Jason)

Melissa wrote her photo captions while I wrote the blog last night. I laughed out loud when I read them and we went on ahead and posted what we wrote, sans editing !

As long as I have lots of time and I can choose when to do it, fixing things puts me in a good mood. When stuff breaks at a critical time (ie. hay baler with twenty acres left to finish and thunderheads building in the west) out comes Mr. Grumpy Bear and it only takes a little prodding to bring forth Mr. Roaring Bear !

Jason said...


I just re-read your comment.


When I think Iguana, I don't think, "food source".