Got up early and headed out the door to do the morning chores. It wasn't quite 4:30 am. This morning was the first time in a week I could see the stars and it was welcome. Glinda got to the barn about 20 minutes after 6 to help me finish up. Fifteen minutes until seven and we were in the garden planting peppers, both hot and sweet. We planted 20 sweet pepper plants and 60 hot pepper plants of various varieties. Finished up with that around 8:30 and headed to the house for breakfast. I had a message on the machine and I returned the call as the computer warmed up for checking the news and e-mail. Glinda whipped us up some great pancakes which were eagerly eaten, I really like pancakes. She decided to go mow the lawn since it was getting tall and the rain had kept us from it for a spell. A few minutes later she was back saying the blades were really making a racket so I went to check. At first I could not figure out what was wrong. I had her start it up and demonstrate again. There was a definite banging under the deck but after it was shut down and out of gear I turned the blades by hand and could find nothing hitting. I tried tightening the bolts but they were snug. I had her try again but the noise was just as bad as before, again she shut it down and I started taking the blades loose to see if I could figure it out. I first took the right blade off and then I spotted the trouble with that blade and so I moved to the other side to check it out. The star on both sides on the bottom of the shaft was worn smooth. We hadn't had this mower long as Glinda had bought it used last fall. I removed the shafts and went to Mtn Grove to "Hawkins Home and Lawn" for replacement shafts. I have done business with them for years and have always felt I have received a square deal. I was in luck as they had the parts I needed. While I was there I decided I would replace blades as well. I also purchased a new shop hammer since I had broken the handle of mine old shop hammer and hay season will soon be here. I took the time to photograph the ends of the shafts so I could show how bad they were worn. Photo below.
The photo below is one of Glinda once again happily mowing her lawn.
I had other things to get done while she mowed. I needed to haul some pipe that Jacob and "Skeezix" and I cut to length last Friday evening to build Amanda a chicken coop so since the trailer was already hooked up and in Glinda's way of mowing I went to load the pipe. Mitzi and "Lil" caught me and helped me load the pipe, then we all three took the pipe to Jake and Amanda's house to unload. We arrived there but no one was home. We just threw the pipe off by the side of the driveway because we were not sure where they wanted it.
Arriving back home we sat in the shade and watched Glinda mow for a bit. We got bored with that so we began pulling weds from the strawberries. Glinda finished mowing and joined us for a bit but we all tired out before we were finished and it was time to rest a bit before evening chores were upon us once more.
Mitzi and her brood had to attend baseball practice and they left us. Glinda and I planted some green beans and then we tattooed some calves and castrated three bull calves before we started the regular chores. Once everything but the milking was done Glinda left me to mow the garden and Mitzi's yard while I milked the cows. She and I both finished about the same time. She was pooped and so was I. I needed to go to VFW Post 3770 CDR Pete Proctor's house and get some documents signed and Glinda rode along. We were tired and dirty but decided to get something to eat while we were in Mtn. Grove. We chose the "Hayloft" as we had not been there in a long time. The meal was great and we came home full and ready to relax. Tomorrow will begin another day.
Each spring in April I install a rotational grazing system using electric fencing. Monday the 12th I started but didn't get quite done and had one more strand of fencing to go before I could open it to the cows. Tuesday morning after taking the wife to work I headed back to the field to finish up. It was not yet eight and thought I would start by digging thistles. I dug for an hour and decided I better get back to the fencing. I strolled along unreeling the electric fence then had to go back and drive the posts and get it good and tight. After I was done I needed to check the fences and make sure they were all 'hot' and ready to shock any cows that might try to go through one. All were good. I went to the main access gate and opened it and called the cows to me and they came in quite a hurry actually passing me as I led them down the lane.
I crossed into the adjacent paddock to sit and watch them for a bit to make sure that they were going to be content and not try to go through the fence. There were some recently calved heifers among them that were not yet broke to an electric fence and they needed the watching. I found a shady spot and used my cell phone to call my daughter to check in while I observed for a bit.
The photo below is of the cows happily grazing the lush fresh pasture.
I had more to get done so after a fifteen to twenty minute rest I decided to get busy once more. I was across the field from my truck and had a pair of limb loppers with me and needed the shovel for digging more thistles. I got back to the truck and drove into the center of another part of the field that I am saving for hay. I started cutting thistles in a circle from the truck and working out to the edges of the field, I knew I did not have them all dug yet but needed to go fetch my wife from work. I pulled to the gate and decided to make a phone call and then realized - uh oh - my cell phone and ink pen were somewhere in the field. I pondered a few moments about what to do but didn't have time to search for it. I left the field and headed to town thinking that I would enlist the grandkids assistance after school.
Wife and I arrived back home and I did not tell her about the lost phone because she would have immediately went searching and I had a plan. Ha Ha.
A little after three the bus stopped and two of the grandkids got off here because youngest son and his wife were not home yet. This is when I told the wife of the lost phone and the plan for finding it. We walked through the yard and garden to my daughters and got three more grandkids and the daughter with her cell phone. The plan was that we would spread out and listen carefully for the phone to ring as she repeatedly called it. It was an enthusiastic bunch that entered the field and started wandering around listening. We didn't hear it right off and I thought this is not going to be as easy as I first thought. It was then that I remembered ambling around and getting down in the grass with camera and taking some videos of the cows grazing in the paddock they were in. We all walked over there and entered the paddock and again spread out and listened for the phone to ring. I thought I had found near the spot where I first laid down and then we backtracked to where I had left the paddock but we never heard it ring so we went back to the original place where I was digging thistles.
Below is the video I had made of the cows grazing.
At last is became time to give up as the daughter had to go to school to retrieve the other granddaughter from basketball practice and the wife and I had to begin evening chores. I was crestfallen but thought I will go back after chores and look until dark. "Skeezix" headed back to the field to look as he had not given up yet. The rest of us fed and watered the calves and then I headed out after the cows who were still in the paddock. While I was walking along I could see "Skeezix" across the field looking. All of a sudden his head snapped around backwards and he stood stock still - then he dove to where he heard a sound. He grabbed the cell phone and my ink pen and came hightailing it to me showing me he had found them. His Mom had kept calling the phone even though she had gone to school and he had heard it. I was relieved. We walked to where he had found it - not even close to where I thought it might be - I had forgotten that before I had taken videos of the cows I had came upon a small multifloral rose bush and decided to cut it. Remember from above I had the limb loppers with me. It was then I remembered having to get down on my hands and knees to reach under to cut it near the ground and I guess I did not notice my pen and phone slipping out of my shirt pocket. I was giddy with happiness about finding it.
Below is a triumphant "Skeezix" holding the bright red ink pen and black phone.
I may need a florescent orange phone for future use. Oh well, all's well that ends well.
This morning when I went to milk I had little water pressure and it took me longer than usual to run my water to sanitize the lines before milking. I thought maybe the cows were drinking from the waterer as sometimes that causes a drop in pressure so i went on to gather them up. Back in the barn now I still had very little pressure so I thought that there was a hydrant on or a toilet not functioning properly somewhere on the water system. I continued milking as it was dark and it would do me any good to start searching at that time. I got done with the milking and started the clean up process but still didnt have the water pressure I needed. I went ahead and fed the young stock their morning grain in the dark and went and fed the three bottles to the bottle calves. Then I started searching while Glinda and "Flossie" finished cleaning the barn. I heard water runing from a dead end line that is under some old concrete on the north dside of Mitzi's house and knew right away what had happened. It had frozen during all the cold weather and then it finally thawed out last night the water started flowing out. I went to the shop and grabbed some big mauls and commenced to busting the concrete out. The time was seven a. m. and barely light when I started hammering at the concrete. I quickly found out that the concrete was 10-11 inches think and extremely hard to bust but I kept at it. Glinda and "Flossie" came on out after they were finished and watched. Mitzi and "Lil" got up and went to a window to watch. Brandan came out about the time I had it busted back far enough and gave me a hand. The ice had split an elbow about one foot back under the concrete but we finally had it found. Brandan went and shut the water off and Glinda headed after pipe wrenches. It was a simple matter of removing the pipe back to the elbow and then taking the cap off the end of that piece. Glinda hunted up the teflon tape we use for joining pipe joints and I placed the old cap on the end of the pipe. Brandan went and turned the water back on and there was no leak. Yippee. It was now nine a. m. and I was tired. We headed to the house to rest and check messages. The photos below help tell the tale.
I thought I would add this short video also.