Making Hay
Week of February 3rd, 2002 | The weather was colder.

Sammy and I having fun in the corn husks.

Sammy and I having fun in the corn husks.

Hello! The temperatures this week became colder and colder. We had a predicted snowstorm. This snowstorm was mainly in southern Iowa. It snowed all day Thursday and we received about 4-5 inches of snow. In southern Iowa, it snowed about 6-8 inches.

I do have a glossary of farm terms on this website. Make sure you visit the glossary page so you can understand the many farm terms I am using in my journals and pictures of animals, machines, and people. Sunday, we sold 25 hogs. Like last time, these hogs were out of the hog floors. I like sorting and loading hogs from both the hoop buildings and the hog floors. I prefer the hoop buildings because they are safer and easier.

Monday, Dad bought 927 bushels of wheat. This went into a grain bin. Then, Dad cleaned out the shop (the shop is in the barn) and started building our 41st sow hut. He started the framing of the hut on Monday. This sow hut will be used for sow nests during both summer (in the pasture) and the winter (in the barn).

Tuesday, Dad worked on the sow hut. Remember the walls of our neighbor?s old granary we tore apart? That wood was cleaned up and some of it was used for this sow hut. The wood looks good for siding because it is painted red. A veterinarian came Tuesday to do a blood test on our sows. The animal doctor was looking for a certain disease in the hogs. Luckily, our hogs didn?t have this disease. This is a state law and the blood test has to be done.

Wednesday, Dad worked on the sow hut. By now, the siding to the hut was nearly done and Dad was working on the doors.

Thursday, Dad was going to be finished with the sow hut. He went downstairs to the basement to put on his clothes to go outside. Mom told him to clean out Noel?s litter box. When Dad lifted up the bag of litter, he must have turned wrong and his back went out. He was in a lot of pain. I think he pulled some muscles or sprang his back. Last year, Dad slipped on ice in the middle of the yard and his back went out, too. Dad worked on the sow hut in the morning. When he worked, his back felt just fine. When Dad sat down to eat a meal or drive, his back would be in pain.

That afternoon, he went to the chiropractor. When he drove home, he had to go about 35 miles per hour because of the bad weather and all of the snow we received. His back was in an atrocious amount of pain.

Thursday evening dad and I went to Jolene?s Drama Night at school. Mom had to work. It was really good. It was kind of a practice before state competition for the weekend.

Friday, Dad finished the sow hut. All the latches, hinges, doors, framing, and siding are done on the hut. It is ready for use by sows and their pigs. Dad also got things ready for Saturday. Read further to find out for what. One of my friends came home with me on the school bus that evening to help Dad for a big project on Saturday.

The big project was shelling corn. Shelling corn is an operation where a machine gathers the corn from a corncrib and separates the corn kernels, cornhusks, and the corncobs. My friend and I helped Dad do this project, but with Dad?s back injured, Dad needed another helper. He called another friend of mine (he doesn?t live too far away) and he came out to help, too. This took most of the day.

While we shelled corn, we had to crawl inside of the corncrib and knock down the corn so it will flow into the machine to be shelled. My friends and I weren?t the only ones crawling in the corncrib. We had a helper... Sammy! She had a lot of fun crawling up on the corn. As the crib was cleaned of the ears the rodents had lost their habitat. That?s when Sammy got active! Her nose and front paws did not stop. My friend was walking in a cleaned part of the crib when Sammy ran behind him. Sammy knocked him out of the way and ran to a family of mice. I watched mice run around Sammy?s legs while she was digging. Sammy caught at least 2 big rats, and more than 10 mice! She likes to shell corn more than selling hogs!

I had two more friends come over, too. The friend that came home with me, the other two, and I built a model for a science project. We built a wooden model of the ancient calendar Stonehenge. We got most of the pieces cut and some parts are assembled. We didn?t have glue to finish the construction, so I?ll have to finish it myself. My friends and I played in the snow and with the cat. We all had fun!

Jolene had her state group speech competition. She was in a one-act play with two other students and they received all 1 ratings. She also did a group improvisation with her friend. They received 1 ratings. She will compete at all-state competition next. They did really well. I hope they do as well at all-state.

On Friday and Saturday, Dad sold a total of 2 1/2 ton of feed to some of our feed customers. Saturday was Groundhog Day. The ground hog said six more weeks of winter. I hope the winter will be as nice as it was through out the last six weeks. If it is, than we won?t have six more weeks of winter!

Farm Fact: Although we can?t grow wheat on our farm due to the climate, it has high value for livestock feed. We needed to shell corn so we can mix more corn in our wheat for feed. The wheat is best used in livestock rations when it is blended with corn. The feed grinding mill tends to make the wheat into a fine powder when it is ground. The blend with corn solves this problem.

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