Thursday, October 30, 2014

Making Do

A couple of days ago Jason started cleaning out and organizing one of the sheds were equipment, tools and junk all accumulate. I thought this odd. I'm the organizer in the family and generally Jason gets quite upset if I "organize" anything. Because he knew exactly where everything was in the giant mess and now I have ruined his life by cleaning it up and organizing it.  Apparently it doesn't even help when I organize things onto shelves and into totes with labels and everything.  Read the labels Jason, it's all there. 

I was doing one of my own projects where I was relabeling halters without nameplates (bless all of you who send a halter WITH a nameplate), updating feed charts, and generally making sure everything was current. I can count on one hand, in fact I think one finger, the number of times Jason and I have been doing organizational type projects at the same time. Yet there we both were, organizing away. I knew something was up. He had an extra spring in his step that is not normally present for such an unsavory task as cleaning and organizing.

Apparently it was the happiness of anticipation, or something like that. The next day the gravel trucks started rolling in. And rolling in. And rolling in. Six of them found their way to the farm. We all know Jason gets very OCD-ish about the driveway. Every fall - every, single fall - Jason adds at least a couple of truckloads of gravel to the driveway. This year it got four of the six loads. I was down with the six loads of gravel, but putting most of them on the driveway would not have been my placement of choice. But nobody asked me, undoubtedly on purpose, so our driveway is now brimming with gravel. 

Except Jason thinks it's not enough and the driveway could use another load or two.  Ummm, ok.  While Jason was on the tractor smoothing out a couple of patches of his new gravel with the box blade I walked over and asked him if he was happy.  I was fully expecting to hear yes. Six loads of gravel, four of them on the freaking driveway? I had better hear some happiness. Instead I heard that it wasn't enough and he was simply going to have to "make do." As he looked wistfully at the driveway I am almost positive I saw a tiny tear gently slide down his gravel dust coated face. He was putting on his brave face and "making do." 

As if suffering with the indignity of a gravel poor driveway isn't enough, our spare gravel pile is almost depleted. No more filling in tiny potholes by filling up the front end loader with gravel. Undoubtedly Jason's dreams, or should I say nightmares, will be full of potholes that he cannot fill. Since our driveway is almost a mile long there is ample opportunity for this to happen. The horrors.

we had lots of gravel truck sightings yesterday

Trooper and Bella kept an eye on all of the trucks

one small section of the driveway that is "acceptable" per Jason's standards

Our almost depleted extra gravel pile. I think a small piece of Jason's soul dies every time he looks at our now almost depleted pile.

at least some of the gravel didn't go on the driveway

but most of it did

This shed went from being overflowing to having lots of open space. I pointed out there still isn't enough room for the manure spreader, the big bushhog, or the two tractors. I'm nice like that.


River splashing in a puddle in his pasture after it rained

Cuffie, Lily and Dolly




Norman, Traveller and Silky

Johnny, Kennedy and Rocky napping; River, Clayton, Toledo and Rubrico hanging out . . . 

. . . then Toledo, Clayton, Oskar and Rubrico decided it was nap time . . . 

. . . along with Walon; Stormy napped standing up (note the drooping lower lip)

Silver and Faune having some pre-breakfast play time while Donneur totally ignored them

Sparky, Griselle and Timbit

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Out of Time

We have had a lot going on at the farm the last few days and I am short on time tonight. I did manage to download and sort some pictures from the last few days so enjoy!


Mick, Sam and Johnny

Toledo and Kennedy

Flyer, Silver and Faune on the run . . . 

. . . Faune

Taco and Sebastian

Largo and Oskar

Traveller and Dolly; I only took this picture because it has one of the only spots with fall color in the background

Rubrico, Johnny and River

Darby, Alex, B-Rad and Murphy

Griselle and Sparky

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Stills

Silver and Gibson

Thomas, Apollo and Hemi

Dolly and Cinnamon

Fabrizzio, Duesy and Bruno

Lily and Maisie


Sparky, Griselle and Timbit

Mick, Johnny, Africa and Sam

Murphy, Taco and Renny

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