Friday, October 15, 2010

Hurryin' and Scurryin'

I talked to one of Bill's colleagues yesterday at the convenience store.  He had worked his day in the field at Pack River.  He said he didn't mind being out there on such a beautiful fall day one bit.  So, of course, we talked about the weather and how we've had to make each good day count.

Problem is, I said, we can't really enjoy all the beautiful days cuz something's got to get done to prepare for winter.  He agreed.

Seems like here in North Idaho---where we're supposed to be laid-back---we're always in a hurry, trying to stay ahead of the rotten weather patterns.  We know, especially this year, that pleasant, nice days won't last long, and that the valuable "getting things done" time is a-wastin'.

So, yesterday was a "hurry and scurry" day here at the Lovestead, and I realized----after the fact---that I could have easily died getting one of  those before-winter projects completed.

Now that we have a load of gravel sitting near the machine shed, I can proceed with a project which has become somewhat urgent during this wet, wet year.  We now know where the bad spots are when water comes from the sky and tends to stand around on the surface here at our farm.

The worst spots when the weather gets wet and wetter are at the gateways.  That's where the horses spend a lot of time and do a lot of walking.  So, the pathway to the barnyard and the spot near a fence,  where I often groom before rides,  received priority status yesterday.  

All was going well as I drove the Kubota with its loader back and forth down the lane, with doggies (especially Miss Brooke, a confirmed farm hand) escorting me to and fro.  

Two loads of gravel went to the grooming spot.  Four were needed for the pathway from the barn to the barnyard gate.  

I believe it was about load number six,  while Brooke and I were headed back toward the barn,  that possible death stared me in the face.  I was blind to the sight at the time, though.  

Suddenly, the front left side of the tractor went downward, as if a tire had gone flat.  I could feel myself sitting at an angle.  Long-lost wisdom told me to climb off the tractor on the right side, just in case. 

I walked around and looked at the tire.  It seemed to be at an angle but not flat.

As I walked back to the spot where I had gotten off, I realized how tenuous my life had been just seconds before.  The rear right tire was about eight inches off the ground.

No flat tire here.  The gravel had apparently shifted weight toward the left side of the loader, tipping the tractor.  After taking a breath and realizing that someone up there was watching over me, I pulled the lever and dumped the load.

Immediately, the tractor leveled out.

Live and learn, or is is learn and live?

Whatever the case, I'll go lightly in the future when scooping up that gravel.  

Brooke and I eventually finished the projects, including a couple of loads of gravel in the goopy areas where we park the cars.  There's more gravel hauling coming, with some loads bound for the barn and more actually in the barnyard around the gate.  

During the winter and the wet times, it will be nice to have a somewhat solid surface when catching horses during evening chores. 

I also picked apples yesterday---and finally quit in disgust.  This has been an awful apple year here.  Our apples are tiny, and virtually every apple is covered with some kind of ugly skin blight.  I decided to take the box I'd picked and just let the rest of them go to the deer and the horses.

One the bright side, my indoor, boxed-up tomatoes are ripening.  Not quite like those plucked off the plants, but still pretty tasty.  We've actually been enjoying a lot of garden dinners in spite of the dismal year. 

Today will involve more hurrying and scurrying because the projects needing completion in the next two weeks still seem a bit endless.  

My goal will be to finish them before the snow flies and to stay alive in the process. 

Happy Friday.

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