Making Hay
Week of August 31st, 2003 | The weather was very dry.

What a treasure!

What a treasure!

Hello everyone! I had a long week. It has been very hot and dry. We are in a drought and need rain. Our crops are drying up, the lawn is very brown, and some of Mom's flowers have died. The garden is getting really dried out, too. Even though she has watered the garden and flowers regularly, it's not quite the same as a good rain.On Sunday, our 4-H club had a family outing. We went for a canoe trip on the Cedar River. Mom, Dad, and I went to it. After canoeing we had a cookout. Everybody was too hot and tired to eat. In spite of the heat, we had a lot of fun! My sister, Jolene, started her classes in Fresno, California, on Monday. We received a couple of phone calls from her this past week. She likes her roommates. She shares a college suite with five other girls. She is adjusting to a different area and things are going okay. She misses her friends back home here, but is also making new friends in California.

Monday was my last day of summer vacation for me. To celebrate this day, Dad and I went to a sale yard and spent all day there. It was another very hot day. A large crowd attended the all day sale. They have one every year at this time. Many farmers from the area look forward to going, not just to buy something, but also to visit one another. It's a great social time, according to Dad. The sale had in excess of 1000 people attending. It had A LOT of farm equipment. Dad purchased some hog feeders, hog water fountains, and a feed wagon. Most of the equipment he bought was for another pork pool member who is building a hoop house and he needs water fountains and feeders. A feed wagon is a grain box with a self-unloading auger. We have another one, but not as big. On this new one, Dad and I will build side boards (make more capacity) and will make rafters. Then, we will put a tarp on, so we can keep this wagon outside.

I had my first day of school as a sophomore in high school on Tuesday. Being a sophomore is kind of like being a freshman. The classes are about the same. I have a busy and full school schedule.

We hired a guy with an excavator to come in and take a few trees down that were in our way. We had two very big trees taken down by our driveway. Now, with an expansion to our driveway, it will be much easier for trucks to pull in to get loaded or unloaded with grain. What a mess in the yard!! I helped clean and haul away the large chunks and branches of the trees when I came home from school on Wednesday. We also tore down a part of the grove west of the barn. The grove had a lot of rocks, metal, and dead trees in it. This area will become a yard. Now, we can park machinery here and keep the main farmyard cleaner. Someday when I will own the farm, I might build a machine shed here. The ground is full of rocks, and has a lot of clay. It is a perfect spot for a shed. If I do build a shed there, I might build it big enough to not only park machinery in it, but also have a woodshop in it. Woodworking is one of my favorite hobbies.

Farm Fact: Do you know what a stone boat is? Look at the picture above. I am holding a piece of my grandfather's stone boat that Dad found in the grove that we took down this past week. This metal piece is shaped like a front of a boat. You would bolt wooden boards to this piece and pull it around by chain. Since there were not any loaders many years ago, my grandfather would pull this stone boat with either horses or a tractor. It would be pulled up to a very heavy rock in a field. Then, with a tractor, horses, mules, or humans, stone would be rolled onto the wooden boards and pulled to the rock pile, (in the same grove) and be unloaded. Grandpa also used this to haul water to the sows in the pasture. Dad said that my grandfather would have used it until about 1972. This is when he purchased a good loader to use in its place.

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