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Frustrating and long day on the farm.

  Jumped up at 3:45 am as usual and headed out the door a little before 4:30.  Anytime it storms in the night the cows are not in their usual place in the pasture so it took some time to find them but was started milking before 5:00 - things going good so far.  Daughter dropped in at 5:45 to visit a few minutes on her way to work - things started sliding when she left.  I was finishing up and needed to wash my boots  but no water - uh oh - I headed to the basement to check the system and could not get the thing started.  Tried cleaning the points and flipping the reset buttons to no avail.  Finally broke down and called the pump people that the family has used for 80+ years and the phone was answered on the first ring.  I settled down to wait for help to arrive, I needed water so I could wash the pipeline and clean the barn so merely waited at the barn because I live a ways from the barn.  I finally recalled the pump people around 8:00 and was told that they would send someone soon and I had not been forgotten.  I settled down to wait again.  A little after 9:00 help arrived.  We went to the system in the basement to check things out.  Points fine - uh oh - capacitors are fine - uh oh uh oh - things are not testing right and there are only two possibilities left - either the line to the pump is grounded or the line from the pumphead to the basement is compromised and grounding out.  We headed to the pumphead and I uncovered it and he cut the wires to test which way was bad.  It was determined that the line to the pump at the bottom of the hole was fine but the line to the system in the basement was grounded out.  Drat - We ran a temporary line on top of the ground from the basement to the wellhead and finally got water.  It is now 10:30 and he left - now my work really began.  Luckily Glinda came down with Bucky about then and she headed to the barn to clean the pipeline and wash the barn while Bucky stayed and chatted nonstop as I started digging.  I had to get the line buried that was laying on top of the ground.  We found lot of worms and he wanted to pet them.  I had about 90 feet to dig and it crossed under two fences and lots of roots.  Fun Fun - Joy Joy.  Finally got the ditch dug and holes drilled into the foundation for the new electric lines about 1:30 and I headed to Steve's Norwood Hardware to get some pipe for conduit.  Tied the pipe to the top of the car and headed back home.  It is now after two and I still havent eaten.  Took time to wolf down a baloney sandwich and headed back out.  My brother-in-law Lonnie happened to be going by and stopped to visit and got involved with helping.  I was sure glad to see him.  We unhooked the electric lines on both ends and started threading the conduit onto it.  Now that is a job with a long line but we finally got that part done.  He hooked the wellhead end back up and I went to the basement to connect the line back into the control panel.  While we were doing that Mitzi, Glinda, and the kids started filling the ditch back in. 4:00 pm now and  we were just getting done and putting tools away when Amanda came to pick my two grandsons up and we got to sit down for a bit.  Then it was time to head back out for the evening chores but thankfully we now have water and the electric line is buried and safe.  I sure hope tomorrow is better.

Solo Journey to Fulton, Mo

    May 19, 2013 found me having to take a solo trip to VFW Post 2657 in Fulton, Mo. It was the date of the annual School of Instruction for incoming District Commanders and presented by the incoming State Commander.  I am heavily involved in the local VFW having served as Commander in early 90s and now have been quartermaster of Post 3770 since 1993 and have also served as the webmaster for the Dept of Mo VFW websites.  Each post/district in the state has a website set up and my job is to assist them in maintaining their websites while also posting news and generally maintaining the Dept of Mo Website.  I was expected to be in Fulton that morning to give a talk about our system.
    I left home at 6:30 am after having completed the morning milking and the fog was so thick I could hardly see the road in front of me.  Luckily it was a 4-lane divided highway that I headed east on and when I got to Cabool, Mo and had to turn north on Highway 63 the fog was lifting.
    I passed through Rolla, Mo about 8 am and continued north on 63.  I enjoy seeing the sights and there were lots of terrapins on the road and an occasional mud turtle.  The road does not pass through the towns south of Rolla but does pass through many old towns on the journey north. I remembered this church from a previous trip several years ago and snapped the picture below as I went by.
    Finally reaching Jefferson City I turned east on 54 and crossed the Missouri River continuing east to Fulton Mo.  Found the post using the excellent instructions provided by my friend and comrade Jessie Jones who serves as the Dept of Mo Adj/Qm.  I stretched my legs a bit and headed in to the session that was already going.  I was the next speaker up and didnt have to wait long to speak and tell about our "Online Program Reporting", "Dept of Mo E-mail system" and the "MyVFW Network" of websites and how to utilize them to the organizations benefit.  Had an excellent lunch with comrades that I had never met but had spoken to on the phone and in chat on facebook.  The conversation was lively and interesting and I am glad I was able to meet them in person and put a face to the name.  Following lunch I visited a bit and then had to head back to Wright County to do the evening chores
This was taken while I was sitting at a stoplight on 63 south.      Snapped this one of the Osage River.
    I had to stop in Freeburg to fill up with gas and the folks at the station were really nice and I was pleased that I had chosen to stop there.
     The below pic is of a cemetery on the east side of the road in the middle of Westphalia, Mo.

    I found an oldie Rock and Roll station on the radio on my drive north that morning and was still listening and enjoying it.  Lots of songs from my youth that I had not heard in a long long time and the miles were just melting away.  I soon found myself back in Rolla and crossing Interstate Highway 44 continuing south on my journey home.  Afternoon milktime is 4 pm and I was trying to get there on time.  As I traveled through Rolla I remembered the VFW south of town and thought about stopping and visiting a little bit but changed my mind but I did take the time to snap this picture of the tank that sits in front as I passed by.
     South I continued and now I was in more familiar terrain as I journeyed.  I had a notion to take another pic, this time of the Cabool VFW since I would be passing by and here is that photo.
    At Cabool I was able to get back on 60 and continue west towards home.  I arrived home without being much late for milking.
    I made this video below while I was crossing the Missouri River.


The Roofer's Tails

    The roofing job began when Mtn Grove Building Supply delivered the shingles and other supplies around 10:00 am on Friday, July 8.  The crew (family) was scheduled to begin on Saturday morning, July 9th.  The truck driver that delivered the 126 bundles of shingles placed them on an elevator and I staged them across the roof.  We were finished with that chore around 11:15.
    Saturday the 9th,  I and Boudreaux were on the roof by 6:30 am after I was done milking and we began tearing off the old roof.  I had to leave at 7:30 to clean up and attend my Mtn Grove VFW meeting and I was scheduled to cook for the members again.  Following the meeting I received a phone call to go by Mtn Grove Rental and rent two airgun nailers for roofing.  The folks there were very nice and fixed me right up.  I rented two airguns, hoses, and compressor and purchased two boxes of coil roofing nails as we had 40 square to get on.

    I arrived back at the roof around noon and the roof was just about clean and we started with the roof edge and tar paper and then we were ready to install the new shingles. We had quite a crew working. Brother-in-law came and cut holes in the roof so we could add roof vents as there had been none before. Around 4 I had to quit to milk but the others kept on keeping on. After milking it was back on the roof for me. We finally had to call a halt at dark.
     Sunday, the 10th found Boudreax and I on the roof again at 6:30 am. The rest of the crew arrived later and we attacked the chore again. Oldest son did not arrive until later because he had to get us some plywood at Home Depot. We had found some sheeting that had to be replaced. Again on Sunday we worked until dark.

  Monday morning found us getting on the roof again at 6:30 in the morning and it was once again hot, too hot to be there. We could only stand to be on the roof for 10 or 15 minutes and then we had to get off and in the shade drinking water and iced tea again. People were getting tired from working and the extreme heat wasn't helping any when oldest son used the circular saw and cut through the cord. Things were tense for a few moments but no tempers were completely lost. Things did get quiet and we rested a few minutes again.   Once more we worked until we could no longer see. 
    Tuesday was coming and we were getting anxious to get done and get the rented equipment back home as it costs money on a daily basis.  Boudreaux and I were on the roof by 5:30 on Tuesday and we allowed Skeezix and Flossie to help us and were done by noon. 


he slide show and video were taken during various stages of the project.

    Boudreaux and Skeezix are proud to be nailing on the roof cap.

     The title of the story was taken from the fact that my sons, son-in-law and I all received burns on our tails during the roofing project.


Troubles - always troubles

    Our air conditioner quit on us last Wednesday evening.  Had a guy come and take a look and he said it would need to be replaced.  I thought since I was having to purchase a new unit I would upgrade to one with a air heat pump and move to the south of the house.  He was supposed to be here last Friday to install but we were blessed with rain that day so we had to 'cook' while we waited for Monday.  Quite a deal really.  He traded us a new upgraded bigger unit with heat pump for the old unit and one skinny piece of paper with numbers on it.  Bet he finds someone to take the skinny piece of paper off his hands quick.  New unit shown below.

May 18, 2010

    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.

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