Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm back and the adventures continue...

Since the last post time has flown by and yesterday it was already time to place chicks again! After about a week of barn clean-up, I headed back to AB to work at the dairy for a week and sell trees. I stopped at the Davidson farm on the way there and way back since it is about half way between my place and the AB place. Then it was back home here to do a bit of barn repair and get the barn ready for chicks again. Now yard work has begun so the days are even getting busier. I enjoy being outdoors and am loving how early it gets light out and stays late into the evening.

I'll be uploading some pics of the past few weeks in following posts but leave you with a few from today's adventure. I was watering my flowerbeds and then stepped into the house to see my office carpet and entryway floor soaked with water. The spigot where I was watering from is on the outside of the house right behind the office wall. There must be a leak (maybe the line froze though I did keep it heated under the house during the winter) and for how it was installed the line can't really be accessed to work on so I'll have to put another line in if I want to be able to water the garden and flowers. Right now I'm hoping and praying it will rain. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

1 year

Today marks a year since moving here. Shipping our 6th chicken cycle happened to fall on the same day and, yes, it certainly was memorable. I had concerns about the driveway being too soft for the trucks to drive on and had a couple loads of gravel hauled. The gravel truck got stuck but my neighbour arrived shortly after and was able to pull him out. My neighbour spread it around with his one tractor while I moved gravel around in the load out area. We thought we'd have the chicken trucks come in from the south instead of the north this time as the north driveway has remained solid despite all the snow melting and then rain. The only drawback is that the narrowness at the approach isn't very forgiving to big trucks trying to turn in or out. The first truck driver thought he be able to head out the south way ok if he got moving fast enough. Both sides of the road being soft and having a 54' trailer was not a good combination and he ended up coming a little too far to the right and the back of the truck sunk down and he gave stuck a new definition. I called my neighbour around 12:15 AM and he came with his Versatile. The trucker brought a tow strap with him since sometimes one truck will help pull another one around the yard in these muddy spring conditions. My neighbour tried to use it with his tractor but then moved to his longer strap. He pulled him a couple feet ahead and then attempted to pull him out by lunging ahead but not a whole more progress was made. I believe at this time the tow strap bust apart rending it useless. In the meantime the front tires on the chicken truck were miring down and the same thing was starting to happen with the Versatile.

Plan B was to remove the chicken crates to lighten the load with the forklift which is used for loading and unloading. However, considering the angle of the truck it wasn't even possible to remove the back crates. And, now with the truck being moved a little further ahead, it was in the absolute worst spot for the forklift to try and remove the chickens from the front of the truck. The forklift operator tried to drive to the front of the truck and sunk right down on the side. So, my neighbour unhooked his tractor and came and pulled him out. My neighbour's nephew arrived with their other tractor but with the clutch almost gone in it, it didn't end up being used.

Plan C arrived with the discussion to call a tow truck with a winch from Yorkton which is over an hour away but who they call when they run into impossible stuck situations.

Plan D (at which time I was hoping we weren't going to travel through the whole alphabet trying to find a solution) was thankfully the final attempt and successful solution to our problem. My neighbour called another neighbour who is a county councilor and farmer in the area and has a JD tracks tractor. He arrived around 2 AM and pulled the truck out almost effortlessly. And, I finally breathed a sigh of relief that the truck remained upright and intact the whole time.

So, that was enough excitement for today. Another day, another year, another challenge. What can I say? The worst didn't happen, the weather cooperated, I have neighbours that will get up in the wee hours in the morning to come help simply because it is the neighbourly thing to do, and the rest of the trucks made it out the north driveway with no problems.

What can you say about where you live?? Right now I think my area ranks at the top. :D

You can see the tracks on the left where the forklift got stuck and where the truck got stuck on the right.

More truck marks due to the soft ground and heavy trucks but at least they didn't get stuck driving through.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

C.S. Lewis Quote

"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
~ C. S. Lewis

Monday, May 2, 2011

Canadian Election 2011

Wow, what an election! Historical. Conservative majority with major shifts in the NDP, Liberal, and Bloc Parties.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Another week = more farm experience

Monday started off with my neighbour delivering feed. He noticed the auger making a clicking sound so checked it out after the feed finished unloaded. The problem was with the bearing which was shot causing the flighting to slip down and turn against the container it sits in. I asked my neighbour who I should call to get it looked at and the guy was able to come out the next day. I had about four days until the next load of feed would need to be hauled so wanted to make sure it would be fixed by then though I probably still could have made it work?? The bearing was removed and the flighting ended up slipping down a few more inches. There is a connection part way up and the guy could not get it to slip back in place so it turned into sort of a big ordeal. We ended up having to take the motor off the top of the auger (it was very heavy and awkward to move), pull the whole thing down, get the flighting back in place, secure it, and then get the auger back in place and the motor back on. All I can say is that I hope I never have to do it again. The whole process took about 7-8 hours and for part of it I was sitting on the bin lid 30' up in the air or on the side trying to help get the motor off and then back in place. And an extra pleasant twist was that it was windy the second time working up there. :P Before I used to think that picking sweet clover or picking rocks tied for the worst farm job, however, this topped them both by miles. It could be labelled the most "un-fun" day I've had in my life. I can't tell you how thankful I am that it back and in proper working order.

In the meantime I was doing chores at the neighbour's for a few days since both he and his nephew were gone. So, it seemed all I was doing was going back and forth between both places for a couple days. At the end of one of the evenings I walk into my barn and hear a funny noise...nooooo! The last feed line is merrily running augering feed past the last feed pan with the sensor and on to the ground where the pile has reached the motor. I turned the switch off and then called my neighbour as I couldn't figured out the problem. My electrical problem diagnosis is very limited. :P My neighbour figured it was probably the relay. I called the electrician who was just on the other side of town and said he'd come over. It was 8:30 and I was going to have to go out every few hours and manually turn on the feed line if I couldn't get it fixed. The relay was the problem and I ended up having to go back to my neighbour's (thankfully he only lives about 1/2 mile away as I've made the trip many a time) to find the right one that would work.

I keep thinking (or is it maybe deceiving myself?? :P :D ) after I encounter another problem that not much else can happen or go wrong that hasn't already since I moved here. Maybe one of these times the same thing will go wrong and I'll actually be able to take care of of it myself completely. Until then I'll keep acknowledging every problem as another challenge resulting in more experience and who knows maybe I'll write a book about it all one day. :D

Regardless of the multitude of challenges and problems that have arisen, I love living out in the country here and wouldn't trade it for anything!

Spring is finally here...I think

The snow finally melted and just the other day I put away my snow shovel. The next day SE Saskatchewan got blasted with a blizzard, icy roads, and rain causing treacherous driving conditions and the closure of several roads. I was jokingly reminded that I shouldn't have put away my snow shovel until June. So, sorry Saskatchewan, I promise not to make the same mistake next year. :) Thankfully my area further north missed getting any snow or rain-just around freezing temps and a strong north wind.