Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tractor woes.

Monica and Sarah gutting pumpkins.
 Sarah and Monica carved pumpkins for Halloween.  Monica had never done it before.  They also dressed up as superheroes for homecoming.  Monica had not done any costumes before.  She is learning all kinds of Americanisms.  Annmarie made cooked pumpkin seeds after I cleaned the seeds off.  They were very good, the girls weren't that impressed.  We ate them all in three days.

It has rained just over an inch this month as of two days ago.  The 1/4 mile driveway was starting to washboard so I decided it was time to hook up the box blade and smooth out the driveway.  I am really avoiding fencing at all costs.  I got the driveway all smoothed out with very little effort.  It is amazing to me how much easier it was than last year.  Practice is a wonderful teacher.  The driveway is very nice.  I loaded up a bunch of dirt with the tractor and put it in my mother-in-law's yard for her rock garden patch (I think she wants a burial mound in her yard).  The tractor will get it just over the fence with the bucket.  After that I decided to go out into the orchard and level out the far corner.  I needed to build up the ground level where the sheep had been crawling under the fence.  The corner I stole the dirt from had been built up over the years by the animals hanging out and pooping in the same corner.  I just leveled it off with the surrounding ground level.  This built up my low spot by almost two feet.  I just need to dump a bunch of rocks on the backside of the dirt mound so it doesn't all wash away.   I smoothed out the lower orchard a little with the box blade, but I really need to get the disc set up and running to get it truly smooth.
There was one little high spot near the road that had a steep backside near the front creek.  I had a hard time running the mower over it this spring so it needed to be knocked down.  I want to make it safe to mow every where.   Well, the front creek was right there and really needs to be dug out so I used the bucket on the tractor to scoop out a four foot swath.  It was so heavy I could just barely lift the bucket and move it two feet forward and dump it on the back half of the creek.  Unfortunately, the front tires of the tractor where right at the waters edge.  I did this four times and on the last and fifth attempt I could not back up.   The bank was too steep.  Four wheel drive was not enough.  If you cannot back up, go forward is my motto.  Yep, not such a great motto.  The tractor sunk all the way to the foot pedals.  The box blade wedged into the hillside behind me and I could not go anywhere.  I spent two hours lifting the tractor out of the water with the front bucket and tossing rocks and downed tree limbs under the tires in an attempt to get out.  I finally managed to get enough slack in the box blade to remove the pins and get it off the tractor.  Mind you it was still right behind me on the hillside so backing up was still not an option.  I was covered in mud and cow shit, the water stunk something fierce.  Finally, the girls came home from school and I had them get a shovel, chain and bring the pickup around.  I dug into the hillside to make a ramp for the tractor.  Hooked the chain up to the front of the tractor and the hitch on the pickup.  I told Sarah she would have to "make a running start of three feet and hit the chain hard" but not keep going or she was going to pull me over on the tractor.  I got in the tractor seat and buckled up.  It took three jarring attempts to get the tractor out of the ditch.  I was very glad to be out of the ditch and not flipped over.  I then preceded to knock down the high spot so I can safely mow in the spring.  With all this rain I am starting to think about burning...
New momma alcove.

Saddle stand in the new tack room.