Posts tagged “farm

Conquering my fear of heights…one bolt at a time.

I spent a good portion of my childhood climbing, sitting, playing & making forts in trees.  My favorite tree, a Red Maple located in the corner of my mom’s yard, has since had its bottom branches trimmed off but there was one branch that doubled as a trapeze bar.  We would hang upside down on it and it was our main access to the top.  As I grew older, I could often be found out in the woods building forts on, under & on top of old fallen trees.

In college I lived with many athletes since my dorm was located just next to all of our sports complexes.   At the beginning of my sophomore year, the day after Labor Day to be exact,  I was ‘recruited’ to try out the university’s circus.  Let me clarify…I wasn’t trying out for it, I was trying it out.  I hung on the trapeze, acted like an acrobat on the mats and then was asked if I’d like to try the high wire.  I was very uneasy about doing it but gave it a try.  The first time I didn’t get very far, got back up & tried it again.  The second time I again fell, the fall was simultaneously followed by cracking and then a trip to the hospital.  I broke my foot in 4 places.

Can you say OUCH!!!

With that said I think I have reason to be scared of heights.  For years I’d have nightmares about it and missed out on a lot of things.  In more recent years I’ve attempted to work towards overcoming my fear.  I’ve successfully sat in my tree stand – granted they lowered it 5 feet for me.  I’ve taken my kids to the ‘big’ slide which is HUGE.  I’ve even gone on the farris wheel, once.

It was during this past Labor Day weekend that I made the most progress yet.  We are beginning to prepare for the winter and added a new shed to our operation to store supplies.  It’s just like our first shed…which is still unpainted.  Getting it built is like similar to a puzzle.  You have to put each piece in just right before you can tighten all of the bolts.  And, it’s a two-man job.  With my hubby’s ‘main man’ – my brother-in-law at home with a newborn, I had to be the wingman.  I wasn’t sure which would be worse.  Being on the top of the roof or standing on top of a ladder, holding the bolts while they are drilled in from the other side.  GULP, I choose the drilling job from the roof.

This is the bolt holding part of the process....

A Look from above….

My of many bolts I drilled that day.

I’m proud to say that I completed the job & we now have a completed shed where we have started storing our hay and feed.  And, I did it! Me, Moi! Now we just have to keep one pesky little hen out of it so she stops laying her eggs in there.  Another project for this weekend…installing a new door.

Next up...painting!

Tomorrow Willis & I head to our first Fishing Derby of the year.  Last year he walked away with a trophy for the largest fish caught.  He’s chomping at the bit for a second win.  I’ll keep you updated!


The Great Grain Truck Incident of 2010

We are on a roll!  Literally!  Harvest is in full swing around Illinois.  Despite a minor break down this evening, my father-in-law anticipates being done with corn tomorrow.  He was one of the first to start in our area.  Since my husband’s uncle retired, Paw-Paw has had an extra hand.  Prior to that my hubby would always drive the combine while Paw-Paw or Granny drove the grain trucks to town.

We’ve also been on a roll when it comes to major incidents.  Two years ago, my hubby’s cousin was driving the combine.  He likes to drive and dump at the same time.  Not my cup of tea, but I’m not in charge.  Well, as he motioned Granny down with her grain truck he stopped and changed his mind…this led to a change in approach…which led to the combine backing up…which led to Granny needing to get out of the way.  The whole concept would have worked dandy.  If only his cousin knew that the grain truck had died and Granny was struggling with getting it re-started.  CRUNCH!!  He ran over the front end of the truck.  Luckily no one was hurt but the grain truck.  That was the Great Grain Truck Incident of 2008.

Then there was last year.  It was a record year.  There were several people in our area who never even harvested until spring.  The rain was awful.  Instead of planting in mid-April, we had a monsoon season which set back planting to the first week of Jun.  Even so, he had fantastic yields!  Except in one of the fields.  My hubby’s uncle was driving the combine and hadn’t noticed the smoke coming from below.  That was the least of his problems.  It was the fire that was dropping from below that had everyone’s attention.  For an entire round he was dropping corn stocks which had caught on fire.  Put two and two together and you have an 80 acre field a blaze.  The fire department was called and they were able to successfully put out the fire in the field and the fire under the combine.  Had there not been so much rain, the damage to the combine would have been much worse.  So there you have the Great Combine Incident of 2009.

It’s a new year, a new decade!  The pressure was on to top 2008 & 2009’s incidents.  I won’t forget the moment I received the text from my brother-n-law.  At first I was confused and couldn’t make sense of what I was seeing.  The scenery looked familiar but I just couldn’t place the location of the picture.  I called him for an explanation.  As my father-n-law approached town he goes down a slight slope which continues ever so gently until you reach the stop sign.  It was at the slope he realized he had a problem.  There were no brakes.  Luckily, the stop sign was a ‘T.’  Unfortunately, there was a house, telephone poles, chain linked fence, phone box, a car and a gravel driveway.  He was able to manuver between the telephone pole and car. 

Just missed the phone box and landed in the gravel and eventually into the chain linked fence.  Did I mention he was fully loaded and on his way to the elevator?  See the corn falling?

He’s thanking his lucky stars for that gravel.  The truck sunk in almost 3 feet.  The semi-tractor tow truck even had difficulty getting it out.  I’m very thankful he wasn’t hurt but even more thankful that one of the kids was riding with him.  Before the elevator closed my brother was able to drive over and fix the brake.  The rest of the load arrived safe & sound at the elevator.  It just needs a new headlight.  And, the homeowners need a new fence.

So, THAT was the Great Grain Truck incident of 2010.  I wonder what will happen next year?  Oh, and by the way, it was the same grain truck which was run over in 2008.  Poor thing, just can’t get a ‘break’!

The end.