Ranch life in the Big Sky state through the eyes of one who has lived through it...so far.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fix or Repair Daily?

At least, that's how it seems around here most days. Things get broke faster than my husband and my dad can patch them back up again.
Between Blogger's periodic breakdowns and few other minor chores like branding the main herd and the artificial insemination of the registered cows, I'm afraid there hasn't been much going on here at the ol' blog. Plus we're going to hitch up the tractor to the pickup and trailer and drag it through the mud and out of here for a little Memorial Day getaway.

And of course, there's what you get when you take one half ton round bale, add a tractor with a grapple fork and an "Oops!"

Have a great weekend. Hope it's warmer and slightly less soggy than it appears ours will be.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rockin' and Rollin' on the Ranch


Yep, it's that time of year again. The snow is mostly gone, the tractors and plows and seeders have been fired up. Commence farming.

I am not a farmer. I have mentioned this before, in much detail. (see Tractor Crazy). If you could just go out, climb on the tractor and go, it wouldn't be so bad. But no. The getting ready to go farming takes longer than the actual farming itself. Hook up this and fill that and oops, the hydraulic hose is leaking on the air seeder and darn that tire on the plow is low again and the battery is dead on the truck with the fertilizer in it so we have to dig out the jumper cables and by the time it's all finally geared up and headed out to the field I'm already fried.

Despite my best efforts, I do occasionally get tagged to help with things that involve farm equipment. Today, it was moving the rollers over to the far north hayfield. I am pleased to announce that for the third year running, my marriage has survived the process of hooking these things up. If you're not sure why this is a major accomplishment, pop over to The Hazards of Getting Hitched.

So, yeah, hooking up any towing vehicle involves hand gestures. Pointing and waving, palms up and down and out. Most are easy to interpret. Forward. Back. Left. Right. Stop. Go. And, as my niece calls it, the tall finger wave. In case you weren't sure, when your wife gives you that one you probably shouldn't expect dinner on the table at the usual time. Or ever.

So today we went through the usual routine. Husband on ground, me in tractor. Hand gestures slightly more complex due to using the tractor bucket to lift the hitch into place. Finally, he gave me the thumbs up to indicate the hitch was in proper position. Then he pointed back. I backed up. Then he pointed straight down, then waved a hand toward him. And I went, "Huh?" He did it again. I went, "HUH?" He walked over to the tractor and yelled up through the window.

"That means put it in Park and come down here!"

Next, we lined up the second roller. He backed it into place. I gestured for him to stop. He did, but when he put the tractor in park it rolled forward a couple of inches. I waved that he needed to back up again. He did. Then he took both hands and made a circle and bounced them up and down like he was trying to smash a coconut on a boulder. And I said, "Huh?" And he did it again. And I said, "HUH?" And I walked up to the tractor and he yelled out the window, "That means grab one of those big rocks and stick it front of the roller so it doesn't move!"

Of course. How dense of me, not to figure that one out.

So the rollers are hooked up and he's happily squishing rocks and I'm happily pecking away at my keyboard. All is well on the northern front.

What's that you say? You don't understand why anyone feels the need to drive around squishing rocks with massive steel rollers? Well, it's like this:

Need I say more?


Sunday, May 08, 2011

Stupid Isn't Fatal


At least not this time.

Those of you who've been following along here for a while might remember Roo, of the tiny little brain and barbed wire fence. New folks can head back to last June to catch up, but before you click the link: Hurk Alert. These pictures are not pretty.

Several have asked how he's been doing. I've sort of put off posting anything until I could say, without reservations, that this particular story had a happy ending. The worst of the cut had closed up by Labor Day, but there was a part on the front of his hock that he kept rubbing open, and even as late as February I wasn't sure it would ever heal. Plus I was worried that the circulation was compromised and the foot and leg might freeze when our temperatures dropped down to twenty and thirty below. But when I went out today to catch Scotchman and Julie, he was back to his old obnoxious self.

I'd show you pictures of the scar, but I could never get that close. Which is a good thing, in this case.

In case you couldn't tell, the left hind is the one he injured. It's still stiff and his gait is a little odd, but overall he's doing great. Could probably even be ridden, as long as you kept it slow. We're not much for pleasure riding around here, though, and he was never that much of a pleasure to ride anyway. Plus, he's twenty two years old.

We're just glad to see him trotting off into the sunset.


Friday, May 06, 2011

Tell me again about your monster pothole?


This is what happens to a gravel driveway when the spring thaw hits and all the snow on the hill above slowly melts and seeps into the ground. And really, the picture does not do it justice. These ruts are knee deep. The clay soil beneath the gravel is completely saturated and the water is actually coming up from underneath.

Not that I'm complaining about the warm weather. Just sayin'...