Saturday, June 25, 2011

Home, home on the range

The electrical poles went up this week for our forthcoming house on the vineyard.

It's been a year since our last house sold. To say we are eager to finally be settled in our own four walls again is a riotous understatement.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 137 of my rural education

Received my first lesson last night in mechanized milking. Buttercup was a great sport about my photographing her hindquarters.

The thing that's given me most pause about having our own milking cow is the twelve-hour tether. Buttercup has to be milked every twelve hours whether you want to go to town for dinner or leave for a three-day jaunt to the mountains.

It's one thing to board a dog. It's an entirely different matter to find a babysitter for your cow.

Buttercup's fine family found a great solution. They share milking responsibilities between more than one family. So each person only milks about twice a week: once at 6am and once at 6pm.

For this to work for us, we're apparently gonna have to give birth to quintuplets.

Editor's note: It has come to my attention that I was terribly unclear regarding Buttercup's fine family. We do not belong to her or any other cow. For now.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wrestling the wind

Nathan is wrestling the wind right now in the peanut field. There is a technique called pitching out whereby you drive a particular implement through the field and it hills up dirt on either side of your rows. Those hills help protect the baby plants from being flung to the netherlands when the wind picks up. And the wind is mostly always picked up these days.

This first picture shows how the wind has already filled in the furrows with additional sand. That's why "wrestling the wind" is a present-tense verb. Just about the time he finishes pitching out the field, Nathan gets to start all over. He'll repeat this process until the peanut plants are strong enough to fend for themselves against the wind.

Grow peanuts grow.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Evaporative heaven

With our whopping 6% humidity, our swamp cooler is pure heaven inside the barn. Thank you again, Aaron, for helping Nathan install it. Your welding skills rock.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Calling the help desk

Equipment breakdowns and repairs are part of life out here. I equate it to having to call the IT help desk on an all-too-frequent basis in the corporate world.

This time it's Mae. We're sad to see her utterly dependable track record tarnished. We're also once again indebted to our neighbors who've kept us in the tractor way during her absence.