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Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mower Repaired

Linda took Stacey with her to work at the day care and I left for Glasgow about 20 minutes later. I rolled into the John Deere dealership's parking lot at 8 AM. The service manager, Brad, saw me drive in and met me asking what was wrong. I explained and he put a guy right on fixing the mower. As I found out within a few minutes of talking with Shane the repairman, they had fixed what had caused the problem, but had not fixed the actual problem. It seems that a bushing had went bad that holds the metal arm that the idler/tensioner pulley rides on, when that happened the pulley began rubbing the mower deck. Shane had replaced the bushing, but never noticed the bearings in the pulley. The parts department didn't have the pulley or bearings, so I started to unhook the trailer and leave, but the shop foreman mentioned they could probably take a pulley off a new mower deck and replace my damaged pulley with it. I said, great, that's what I like to hear, creative thinking. About 20 minutes later, the piece was on and we tried it, something was still wrong. Shane removed the pulley again and replaced the bushing inside the bearing race and we tried it again. This time, all was working correctly. I mowed a couple of strips and we loaded the mower back in my trailer. I checked with Brad, he said no charge and I was on my way back home with the repaired mower in less than an hour. After the trip back to Burkesville, I unloaded the mower and mowed the little house yard without any problems. The mower works and mows better with the three new blades. After Linda came home from working, we both mowed and finished both sides of the highway. After cooling down a while, about 6:30 PM, I took the Mule and the tillers on the trailer and went to the mum patch. I had went through the patch a couple of days ago with the small tiller getting close to the mums with it, so this time I used the larger rear tine tiller to go through the middle of the rows. I pulled the trailer back to the barn and parked the Mule by the hay shed and started the tractor. I drove across the road and began scraping the parking area for the house trailer. I scraped it with the scoop on the tractor to remove the grass that was growing and to bring the gravel back to the top. I worked on that until it was too dark to see what I was doing. I went inside and took a shower and then ate the supper Linda had fixed. Oh, I forgot to mention it was 97 degrees today.

Posted by at 10:18 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Thursday, August 03, 2006

What's a farm in KY without a bush hog? A jungle!

Linda came home from working a little before noon, so we loaded into the HHR and went to Pizza Hut for the lunch buffet. We came home and watched a movie and then she went back to clean the carpet at the daycare and I went out to do a little bush hogging. As I walked out the door about 5:30, I noticed the thermometer was reading over 90 degrees in the shade.
I was going to clean up a few spots Garmons missed while cutting the hay and then decided to cut the highway side of the creek bank. I made a couple of passes, then backed up next to the trees in the picture and was mowing the brush in the creek bed when all of a sudden the bush hog started banging and moving side to side violently. I quickly shoved the lever down to disconnect the PTO and the blades stopped spinning. I left the tractor seat and looked under the bush hog. Crymanitly, there was something large wrapped around the blades. I drove to the back of the upper barn and parked the tractor on the bank with the nose down and the bush hog up in the air. I figured this way the equipment could not fall on me.
I was now able to see it was an old rug that had wrapped around the blades. I went inside and picked up my trusty pocket knife and then went back and started cutting the rug loose from the blades. After about twenty minutes of sawing through the rug with the pocket knife, Regina came up and said she was having trouble with her new mower. I told her it would take another five minutes and then I would take a look at it. I finished cutting the rug loose and threw it in the trash can. I looked at Regina's mower and it was simply clogged with grass clippings. I took off a plastic cap that makes it a mulching deck, then drove it down to the creek in a shallow place and started the deck a few times in the water to wash most of the grass clippings out of the deck. I drove it back up to where Regina was waiting and tried out the mower. It worked fine, so she left to go mow at her house. I returned to the tractor and finished the creek bank, then parked the tractor and drove the Mule around the hay fields and took a few pictures.
This was the second cutting of the hay this season and they should get one more near the end of September.

Posted by at 8:01 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Saturday, August 05, 2006

Cookeville & Golden Corral Trip

Linda and I decided the mowing was done and the mums were tilled, so we would take Stacey and go to Cookeville. Linda wanted to eat at a restaurant called 'Golden Corral'. We had ate at one in Somerset, so I looked at the DeLorme Street Atlas on the Dell laptop and found it, I made it the first destination on our trip. We loaded in the HHR, fired up the GPS and off we went. Between Byrdstown and Cookeville we drove through some downpours, but when we drove into Cookville it was clear, sunny and hot. We ate at the Golden Corral as planned, then went to several other stores where Linda wanted to shop. I had plotted those on the Street Atlas and it worked great each time, taking us right to the exact location without missing a turn. There was only one problem, Linda wanted to return to a store we had visited on a previous trip, but she couldn't remember the name or where it was located, so we were unable to find it. After making our last stop, we headed back to Burkesville and drove through a few showers on the way. Back at the house, we had received no rain at all and it was hazy, hot and humid, just like most August days in KY.

Posted by at 7:43 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Sunday, August 06, 2006

Roasted Ducks

The heat was nearly unbearable around 3 PM. It was 97 degrees and the ducks were breathing with the bills open. Linda went outside and sprayed some fresh water in their water bowl, but instead of just drinking it, they decided to take a bath in it to cool off. We have been letting Cooter come inside during the afternoons when it is the hottest.

Posted by at 6:45 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006

8N Returned and Back In Duty

G&G Motors brought the 8N back to the farm last evening. I hooked up the bush hog and tried it out on the side of the hill going back in the 'holler'. I had Stacey follow me in case I killed the motor and the tractor wouldn't restart, but it never happened. I finished the bush hogging and drove it back to the hay shed and parked it inside. I shut it off, crossed my fingers and tried restarting the tractor. In about 10 years that we have had the tractor, it has never been able to restart after it had been run long enough to get hot. Well, this time it fired right up. I was amazed, I shut it off and tried it 3 more times, each time it started like a new one. A local farmer had told me that it was probably the coil getting hot and then would not create enough juice to fire the spark plugs. G&G Motors replaced the coil and a few other pieces.
The weather today is a little strange. The clouds are moving quite quickly and it will be clear for a while, then cloud up and get a quick 5 minute shower that almosts sounds like hail hitting the tin roof of the hay shed.

Posted by at 3:00 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hot, Humid and Stormy

Today was another very hot one, above 95 degrees before noon and humid. Linda has worked all week at the school and today Stacey and I stayed in the house most of the day. We did ride around the hay field once about 11 AM, but the afternoon was too much for us. About 3:30 Linda came home and it started clouding up outside. By 5 PM it was very windy and lightning was flashing a little ways to the north of us. I stepped out on the front walkway and snapped a few pictures of the clouds rushing together. A few minutes later it was pouring down the rain and lightning strikes were near our house. The power blinked out a couple of times and the rain was coming down so hard that the satellite TV was 'searching for a signal'. It stormed for a little over a half hour and then continued a light rain until we went to bed.
[UPDATE - Friday @ 7 AM] We received 2-1/2 inches of rain in that storm.

Posted by at 9:17 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006

Gifts and A Cake

Linda left to work at the school and Stacey and I headed to Greensburg a little before 10 AM. We drove to Central Furniture and bought two stools and then returned to Columbia, ate at McDonalds and then stopped at the grocery store. We picked up a cake mix and icing to make a cake for Brent. Back at the house, we put away the groceries and set the stuff out for baking the cake. Linda bought two cake pans and brought those home after school. We pre-heated the oven and I helped Stacey get the cake started. She did the mixing, floured the pans, poured the batter in the pans, and popped them in the oven. I set the timer on the microwave and when it went off, Stacey removed the pans and let them cool on the counter.
Once they had cooled, Linda showed Stacey how to put the icing on the cake. We cleaned up the cake plate and the kitchen and put the cover over the cake.
Stacey was proud of the cake she had baked, and knew Brent would like it! I teased her by saying that I would get up in the night for a snack and eat a piece of the cake. She warned me I had better not!

Posted by at 9:56 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006

Happy Birthday Brent

Pauline and Brent arrived early with their dogs. After a short time of talking and playing with the dogs Linda lit the candles on the birthday cake and Brent blew them out and we cut the cake.
Pauline had brought a cake she had baked for Brent also, so we had a choice of two cakes and two flavors of ice cream. After trying both cakes and adding ice cream, we all had a major 'sugar buzz' going. Linda made up a story about me tearing apart the xBox to get Brent upstairs to 'look at it'. He bought the story and was checking it out till Linda said "Happy Birthday", he looked up and saw the stools we had for him. They were setting there with a Birthday Card.
I think we actually surprised him, he was still thinking about the xBox. A few weeks ago when P&B bought their bedroom suite, Brent had liked the stools and talked about getting them to use in their garage while playing his "Brent's Arcade".

Posted by at 7:08 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Sunday, August 13, 2006

Trail Cleanup

This morning Linda fixed everyone sausage, eggs and biscuits for breakfast. After eating, I headed to the top of the hill behind the hay shed on the blue Ford Tractor with the bush hog. Brent, Pauline and Stacey came up in the Mule with loppers and a chainsaw in back. I didn't see Linda for a while, but she finally made it to the top. She said she had walked up and lopped limbs on the way up. The plan was that Pauline drove the Mule with Brent standing in back lopping the limbs that were low enough to hit his head. That was the same height as the top on the tractor, so I had told him to use his head as a gauge. Stacey was getting out and throwing some of the limbs in the woods alongside of the trail. I followed on the tractor, pushing old stumps out of the ground and into the woods. I had the bush hog running to chop up the limbs that Brent was dropping. Linda caught up with us and started lopping some of the limbs she could reach from the ground. On one trail, that was heavily over grown, Linda and Brent rode in the scoop of the tractor as I drove it through they lopped off the limbs and the bush hog chewed them into little pieces. Lucky for us, it was overcast and a lot cooler than it had been in a while. We headed back down the hill and I was bush hogging the other side of the trail as I came down. We made it back to the house a little before 10 AM. We ate more birthday cake and played a couple of games of Euchre then I took a shower and we all went upstairs and watched some movies. We had a late lunch of home grown tomatoes and chicken salad and Pauline and Brent left with their dogs around 4:30 PM. Linda and I went outside and mowed the yards on the house side of the highway.

Posted by at 9:16 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Meeting Derek's Dale Hollow Crew

Stacey, Linda and I loaded our stuff and hooked up the boat and headed towards town a little after 8 AM. We stopped and filled the boat with gas, returned some DVDs and ate breaskfast at the Corner Pool & Lunch. When we pulled into the State Park ramp area, I was amazed to see the parking lot nearly empty. There were only two other boat trailers parked in the lot. We launched and started towards the cove where we were supposed to meet Bonnie, Donnie, Lana, Frank, Derek and his crew. The cove was filled with houseboats, so we headed towards Star Point and met up with Bonnie, Lana, Frank and Donnie on the way. They picked out another spot and we went and got wet in the lake while waiting on Derek to bring their boat out to meet up with all of us. Derek drove up in the boat a few minutes later and introduced his girlfriend, Jen, along with 'Hector' and J.J.
A little later, we decided to move to another part of the lake to find some 'smooth water' so they could ski and kneeboard. We headed to Pusley's Creek and picked a spot that was out of the wind where everyone could watch while the youngsters tested their skills. They kneeboarded and skied and tried to ski till they were tired and then they came over to where our boats were anchored.
Everyone ate lunch and played in the water or relaxed in the boats for a couple of hours. Derek's crew run out of cold drinks and had to head back to their campsite at Star Point. While they replenished their supplies, we moved across the lake to the cove called 'Five Fingers' and continued our playing in the water and enjoying the beautiful day on the lake. Frank let Derek know where we were by contacting them on the radio.
Everyone had enjoyed the day and decided to head in around 6 PM, so we said 'see ya' and headed back to the dock, trailered the boat and went home.

Posted by at 8:35 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2006

Farm House Supper

Edith Lovette had asked Linda and I to let her use our dehydrator to make jerky for the KY State Fair, so Stacey and I took it to her office in Burkesville a little after 10 AM. I gave her a copy of the recipe we had used too. Then Stacey and I stopped at the video shack and rented 3 DVDs and came back to the house. When Linda came home from working at the school, Donnie called us and we set up a trip to their cabin to go out for supper. Stacey, Linda and I changed clothes and we headed over to Bonnie and Donnie's cabin to meet them and Lana and Frank. About 45 minutes later we rolled up to the cabin and Frank was outside, Lana was on the deck complaining about her leg and having trouble walking. Something had happened to her leg while she was getting out of the boat as they we coming off the water earlier in the day. Bonnie and Donnie came outside and we all talked for about 20 minutes, then it was decided to eat at the 'Farm House'. We followed them to the restaurant and everyone went inside and ordered and ate. We set there after everyone was done and talked for close to an hour, as there wasn't anyone waiting on a table to open up. There were several 'old times' being remembered and lots of laughs to go around. Finally, it was getting late, and everyone decided it was time to go, so we said goodbye, loaded in our HHR and drove back to Burkesville.

Posted by at 11:19 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006

Washing the House

I fixed omelets for breakfast and after we ate those, we began a half day job of washing the siding on the house. Linda and Stacey moved things off the back porch while I hooked up the pressure washer to the water hose. I filled the tank with gas and after two or three pulls on the starter rope, I was shooting high pressure water at the siding. I started on the outside wall of our bedroom as that gave the girls time to move the rest of the items off the porch. Green moss was growing on the wall and the pressure washer knocked it off easily along with the dirt that had accumulated. It was easy to tell where I had done and where needed to be done. I continued to the porch wall and spiders and bugs were running every which way trying to find cover as I blasted their nests and webs away from the siding. I washed the ceiling and columns as I moved from one end of the porch to the other end. After I finished the siding, we pressure washed the concrete floor to remove the dirt that Cooter had tracked on the porch. Linda did most of the porch floor. We took a short break and drank a glass of tea while watching the water drip from the ceiling and the floor drying. I restarted the pressure washer and washed the end of the house where the garage door is located while Linda and Stacey moved the things back on the porch. We took a break and went to Hamilton's BBQ for lunch. Back at the house, I moved the pressure washer to the front of the house and washed the front porch, ceiling, posts, guttering, porch floor, and steps. I used the stream to knock down a large wasp nest in a corner of the overhang that I couldn't reach without a ladder. That was the last thing I did, as it stirred up a bunch of wasps. By that time Linda had been mowing and had nearly finished on the other side of the highway. Pauline and Brent arrived with P's brother, Donny. They rode around the farm in the Mule while I mowed the banks along the road and the little house yard. As dark set in, Pauline and Donny were involved in a game of chess that took about an hour and ended in a draw. Later we shot pool and watched movies upstairs.

Posted by at 8:27 AM
Categories: Current Events

Rained Out

Linda fixed everyone breakfast this morning and we were just hanging around the house. Pauline wanted us to go to Dale Hollow today and take her brother Donny, but those plans were upset by the rain that began about 8:30 and lasted until the afternoon. We played Aggravation with the guys teamed against the girls and after a couple of games we ate lunch around 2:30 PM. As it was still cloudy and cool, all hope had vanished of going to the lake, so they began getting ready to head back to Smith's Grove and they left here at 3:30 PM.

Posted by at 3:53 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bush Hog Repair

Linda fixed breakfast and left for work at the school. Stacey and I hung around for a while, then headed to town for lunch a little after 11 AM. We ate at the Corner and then checked out 3 DVDs at the video shack. On the way home, I stopped and talked to Steve Garmon at the 4-wheeler shop about welding a piece on an old bush hog for me. Back at the house I went outside and mowed the yard around the house, the slope in front and the front yard. Linda came home and started watching one of the DVDs, so I went outside and mowed around the upper barn. I finished the mowing and hopped on the old 8N tractor and drove it down to Phil's farm. His son, Steve was there, so I pulled up to the tool shed and he welded the piece I had braced with angle iron to the brackets around the transmission of the bush hog.
It only took about 5 minutes to finish that, and then we stood around and talked a little while. I drove the tractor back towards the farm, but decided to bush hog around the two hay fields before putting it back in the hay shed. I started the 4-wheeler and took a short ride around the farm to check on what needed done tomorrow. It was a nice evening with lower humidity.

Posted by at 8:45 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Friday, August 25, 2006

Cutting Tobacco

This morning after Linda left, Stacey and I took a ride in the Mule. We headed across the road planning on going back in the 'holler', but I noticed that they were cutting tobacco up the road at Phil Garmon's patch. We turned around and drove up there and pulled to the side of the road and watched a little while talking to a few of the guys.
It was a little after 8 AM, but they already had two rows cut and stuck on the sticks. Two guys were cutting and two guys were sticking the tobacco. After chatting for a few minutes, Stacey and I continued on our trip back in the 'holler', I noticed a dead tree that had fallen across the trail and told Stacey that we needed to get that out of the way. We came back to the house and Stacey did a few of her chores inside. A little after 11 AM, I went back to the patch and the guys were still cutting, but had made quite a bit of progress since earlier in the morning.
Here's where I made a mistake. Phil was working by himself this time, so I decided to help out. I picked up the tobacco knife and asked if it was OK if I chopped and he could stick it. He said, "OK, just don't cut your leg!" I agreed to those terms and started chopping the tobacco and handing it to Phil. He would stick it over the metal cone while I cut another stalk. After about 20 minutes I looked up and said, "These rows are longer than they look!" I worked with Phil almost an hour, till I couldn't take it any longer, and said I'd had enough. I made an excuse that I needed to check on Stacey and walked out of the patch, got on the 4-wheeler and went to the house. They were over half way done with the part they were planning on cutting when I left. I went back and I did check on Stacey, then cooled off with a glass of water. We ate lunch and about 2:30 PM I rode back down to the tobacco patch. The guys were done and gone. They had finished half of the patch, as Phil had planned.
Phil pays the guys $8 an hour to work hard from just a little after sunrise to the middle of the afternoon when it's over 90 degrees. This kind of work is NOT for me.

Posted by at 7:27 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hanging Tobacco

I was riding around on a 4-wheeler early in the morning and remembered there was a dead tree down in the path back in the 'holler'. So I hopped on the tractor and drove back there and used the scoop to push the tree out of the path. I scooped out a few buckets of the gravel that was filling in the branch at that spot and dumped the gravel in a low spot along the trail. I then used the scoop to level the gravel. I put the tractor back in the hay shed and continued my ride on the 4-wheeler. Around 11 AM, I was back outside on the 4-wheeler and rode up the road to where Phil and his crew were picking up the sticks of tobacco they had cut the day before. Two guys were picking up the sticks with 5 or 6 stalks of tobacco on each stick. The sticks of tobacco weigh about 30 to 50 lbs per stick, depending on the size of the plants. They hand those sticks to Phil on the wagon and he lays them against the other sticks and stacks them from the rear to the front of the wagon. Cody, Phil's grandson, was driving the tractor slowly through the field until the wagon was full.
Once they had two full wagons of tobacco they pulled the wagons into the barn and began the hanging of the tobacco. Two guys climbed up the wood racks inside the barn, another guy stayed on the wagon and began handing the sticks to a guy on the ground who walked over and handed the sticks up to the lower guy who handed the stick to the top guy in the barn who hung the tobacco sticks across the wood racks. They first filled the barn top and simply moved back and forth across the wood racks until an area was full of tobacco on sticks.

The bigger the stalks of tobacco, the better the crop, the more money, the harder the work. Its a tough job, one that I'm glad I was only helping and don't have to actually do.
Stacey, Linda and I went into town for lunch and once back at the house, Linda and Stacey decided to go to Byrdstown for a 'festival'. I stayed home and watched the NASCAR race at Bristol. They came home a little before dark.

Posted by at 8:58 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006

Pumpkin Harvest

Linda wanted to pick the pumpkins, so I took the bush hog off the blue Ford tractor and hooked up the hay wagon. I pulled the hay wagon up to the garage door and we scrubbed the bird crap off. Then I drove to the patch on the tractor with the wagon as Stacey and Linda followed in the Mule. We pulled the wagon up close to the patch and began hunting for pumpkins. Linda cut the stems and Stacey put the little ones in a plastic milk crate while I carried the larger pumpkins and set them on the wagon. I picked up the filled milk crates and dumped them gently on the wagon too. We did half the patch and then took a ride in the Mule down the road to cool off. It was quite humid and we all needed the breeze blowing on us. We returned to the patch and moved the tractor and wagon to the other side of the patch and harvested the rest of our crop. We had pumpkins, gourds, and apple gourds all in the same patch and it was fun trying to find all the different types that had grown together. I pulled the wagon back to the house and parked it in the driveway. I am planning on letting it rain on the pumpkin harvest a few times to wash off the dirt, then probably move them inside the barn.
Stacey relocated a few of the pumpkins to spread them out over the hay wagon so they weren't laying on top of another pumpkin. The apple gourds are the green colored ones.

Posted by at 8:51 PM
Categories: Current Events

Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Rainy Days and Mowing

During Monday and Tuesday we received over 3 inches of rain and the grass grew the entire time. Today, Stacey and I took the DVDs back to the video shack while the grass was still a little wet. It was nearly 1 PM and if I waited longer, I figured I wouldn't be able to get done before the dew would set in, so I began mowing. I mowed the front yard, around the house and the barn lot, then Linda came home and started mowing too. We finished the mowing about 5:30 PM and went to Albany for some burgers.

Posted by at 9:22 PM
Categories: Current Events