Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Digging in the Dirt

I follow a blog by Nick Russell, who religiously posts an update to his blog just a few minutes after midnight, EACH day. Perhaps I should, but there just isn't that much happening in my life. I try to do it more then once per week.

Since we're back on the farm, it has been go go go. A quick trip to see mom at the care center. Saturday we tried to get organized around here. Sunday, we were up early so that we could attend church at our old home church in Marion. What a joy to see so many friendly faces.

After church, it was lunch at the Subway, nothing special, just a foot long special for $5, which we divide in half. It was then on to Best Buy where we looked at TVs. What a pain. Since we gave away our digital converter to our daughter Beth when her's failed, we are dependent upon getting a new TV. We bought one which met our low power requirements, but it has a world of short comings. It has poor tuner sensitivity, no channel-signal strength indicator, and unstable volume. Since SAM's CLUB says we have 3 months to evaluate it, our intention is return it, but only after we find a replacement. We didn't find anything at Best Buy that even came close.

It was then to Walmart for groceries before heading to the farm, with a stop at the Amana Care Center to visit with my mother.

Monday was all business. We headed into Williams burg to talk about with our farm supply store about weed herbicides, then to both of the local TV shops, and the post office to open up our local box again. Nothing big, just details.

Back at the farm, we got serious about getting out a tractor, fuel it up, etc. We then used the tractor to pull some big limbs out of the field and onto the yard. (I hired a wood cutter with a high lift boom to cut off some major lower limbs from two oak trees that were crowding out into the field. He did a good job and then I found out that my big tractor isn't so big. I could barely pull a pair of limbs up the hill, but we made it in second. That job done, we hooked onto the hay rack and played "Pick up sticks" again. No matter what you do with tree branches, when you're done, there are a number of loose ends that had to be gathered up for burning.

Since I gave up on picking up sticks on Monday, we finished the job Tuesday morning. In the PM, we mounted our back hoe on the tractor so that I can fix two tile problems in the field. One problem has water coming out into the field and the other spot is a hole in the tile that allowed dirt to wash into the tile.

Today was "get down and dirty" day with the back-hoe. The problem with water coming out into the field was from tree roots about 5 feet from the tile outlet. I didn't have my thinking cap on and made two extra digs before zeroing in on the real problem. Right now we have a new opening for the tile into the creek and it works great. I just need to get a metal tube so that I can cover it up. The other problem was a hole in the tile allowing dirt to wash into it. We were fortunate that Williams Brother's Pipeline folks responded to our call and they were out to mark where the pipeline is in the field. It is about 25 feet from the tile line and the pipeline is being used for natural gas transmission. Obviously, we don't want to get close to it.

Tonight, I'm tired. The backhoe does make it easier to fix the tile, but getting on and off of the tractor, and getting into the dug hole does tire one out. Also pushing and pulling on the backhoe levers is like doing isometrics, tiring. I will sleep well tonight!


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