Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Life Without Barb

Day 1,369 without Barb…… I have lost so much weight I look emaciated as I notch another hole and cinch up my belt, delusionally wandering around the farm calling out Barb's name. Daisy and Dakota are fairing a little better, as Daisy has discovered the cat’s litter box and is enjoying “Cat Snacks” and Dakota has become fond of the peas that are spilled on the ground.

I miss Barb. I miss waking up next to her each morning. I miss the touch of her hand, I miss seeing her smiling face, I miss her waking up at 2:30am to let the dogs out, I miss her cooking…..

If you have not figured it out Barb does pretty much everything around here. She is the CEO, COO, CFO, CDW (Chief Dog Walker) of our lives. She does the cooking, cleaning, organizing …. You name it, she does it. One might wonder “If she does all that what does Jim do?” And to that I say…This blog is about Barb, lets not pull the focus away from her… I am the eye candy of this operation and I let her do all those things and not complain about it.

I did not completely starve however as Chris and Holly invited me down for supper a few of times and DeAnne cooked some steak on the grill another!

Farm life is continuing but with the beans not quite ready yet and all the other crops in there is a little lull in the action. Not that there is a lack of things to do, it is just different things than last week. Bob has been out in the field cleaning up slough edges, Chris got the seeder winterized and tucked away. Dylan has been hauling and selling hay. Both Chris and Dylan have been cleaning peas and I have been helping out wherever I am needed….Hauling grain to the elevator, watching the seed cleaner when they have other things to do and harrowing the fields prepping them for next spring.

The whole seed cleaning thing is an interesting process. If you look at this picture closely and start on the right side you will see a tri-axle dump truck in front of a silver bin. One the far side of the truck is a conveyor that takes the peas from the bin and dumps them into the truck. The peas from the truck then spill into the yellow conveyor which dumps them into the cleaner. The cleaner does its thing; shaking, rattling and rolling working out all the weed seeds, grasshoppers, you name it so the only thing coming out the other end is pure peas. This batch of peas had some wild oats in it so that was the majority of what was working out of it. They are allowed to have 1 oat seed per pound of peas for one level of certification and 0 for the next level. It takes about 8 hours to clean one bin (~3500 bushel). One bin they had to do twice to get the peas to spec. Although once it is set up it runs pretty smoothly someone has to sit and watch it all day long and tweak it when needed.

Once the peas are cleaned they exit the cleaner through a conveyor (right center) and is dumped into the yellow conveyor on the left which takes it up to a new bin. The waste or “cleanout” gets dumped into the semi behind the cleaner.

Chris also had to swap out the tires on the sprayer the other day. The basic concept is the same as a car but magnified 10x's. A huge jack is required, the lug nuts are huge, the brake rotor is huge, you have to get the tire into place with a bobcat and tighten the lugs with the biggest torque wrench (to 450 foot pounds) I have ever seen. It was not done with quite the speed of an NASCAR pitstop but it was a lot quicker than one would expect. 
An air jack lifts it off the ground

The new tire is put in place with the bobcat
Lugs are tightened with a 5' torque wrench

Mishaps of the week included be breaking the harrow when both wings folded in when I was going down the field. The resulted in the center section being crushed. It was out of commission for 3 days while we welded it and bent it back into place. 

Bob climbed the harrow like a monkey and started welding!

The scariest mishap goes to Dylan who had a couple of rims blow out on the hay trailer.  That took the better part of a day to get new rims and tires but he was back on the road and made his delivery!

The tire on the right completely blew out and flew off the trailer

Meanwhile in Pennsylvania Barb is enjoying her time with the grandkids. Dylan is playing football so she has been to a few practices and games.

Dylan, Jess and Kendall

Dylan in his uniform

Kendall looking tough and ready for action!

Kendall is just being her adorable (and sometimes sassy) self. Jess and Shane closed on their new house on Monday so Barb got to go over and see that. It is an 1860's farmhouse on 14 acres so they are excited to move into it. They are not going to take possession of it until December and are letting the current 85 year old owner stay there until her new house is ready.

Barb returns tomorrow. The camper is a mess and she will see just how much I missed her! Yesterday when I walked by the dinette something darted out and latched on to my leg. I screamed and kicked at it as it would not let go. When I finally got it off I saw it was a giant hairball from Dakota’s shed hair. I gently placed it back under the dinette. I cannot wait for Barb to meet our newest member of the family!

14 comments:

  1. Glad you did not completely waste away! What is the "hairballs" name. lol

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  2. How do rims blow out like that? Did he hit a cow in the road or something like that???

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    1. Good question. I would say years of rough use in the field created some cracks between the lugs which finally blew out. Either that or he hit a cow in the road and did not tell us!

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  3. You are so spoiled! How nice Barb could see the fam and the new house. Good thing you only broke one tractor.

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    1. You know not what you are speaking of! She had a great visit and is now on her way home!

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  4. I want to read Barb's post on how much she has missed you. Oh wait, there is none. Bam! I don't think you could starve on a farm. You could eat peas and corn.

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    1. Ouch, that hurt! If she were to write a post it would be very long and heartfelt.

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  5. One thing a lot of people don't understand that Metal does fatigue with time before it just snaps and Farming really tests Metal. Glad you are still helping out.
    Glad Barb will be around to rescue you soon.
    Be Safe and Enjoy Harry Baby.

    It's about time.

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    1. So true, the constant pounding and jostling is hard on equipment!

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  6. I definitely know your "single" pain! LOL Better get things ship shape before Barb gets there. One of our employees overinflated a tire in a rim like that ... it exploded and broke both him arms. Those things are dangerous.

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    1. Working on it right now. I have less than 12 hours but I think I can get it to an acceptable level!

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  7. Thanks for the comedy hour! What a hoot! It's nice for Barb to have the eye candy around while she does all her chores. Now that she has had a vacation she will be glad you left her a "few" things to do in the RV!!

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    1. Glad we could give you a laugh. She got back last night and was actually impressed with how clean the camper was!

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