Oh, hay season…
It’s really a love-hate relationship:
Love the smell, love the full bellies it will provide this winter, love the family time, love being outside, and for whatever reason I really love to rake hay.
Hate the allergies, hate the LONG days, hate the stress (more on that later), and I especially hate grouchy Hubs.
For those of you that don’t know a lot about farming, hay season is critical. For cattle producers, it’s what you rely on to feed cattle through the cold months when grass doesn’t grow. But it’s not an easy process. You cut, then you ted (it’s like a fluffer so the hay dries better/faster), then you rake, then you bale… and the whole time you pray to God that it doesn’t rain – AT ALL. If it does, it could ruin every bit of hay (sometimes HUNDREDS of acres). So you plan the best you can and try to time when you start cutting the best you can, but the reality is – weathermen aren’t great at their jobs.
Why so stressed?
The weather is completely out of your control but totally dictates your success and ability to feed your animals.
And that means grouchy Hubs.
But when it goes well, it’s rewarding. It’s good to know your cows (our girls) will have what they need. And it’s even better to get it over with.
So I promised funny farm adventures…
Let’s talk about the last 48+ hours:
Monday @ noon
Hubs: You cannnn help tomorrow, right?
Stilettos: I mean, yeah, but it’s not ideal.
H: I really need you.
S: Ok (duh… I tryyyy to be a decent human)
S: I’ve got supper ready, want me to bring it to the field?
H: Too busy. Not hungry.
S: Umm, ok?
Anger issues occur.
Tuesday at 5:30am
H: GET UP!!! Lot to do today!
S: ughhhhhh ughhhhhh moan moan moan
Moving cattle around, getting equipment to the field.
I start raking. Life is good. Hubs starts baling with brand new shiny baler. It’s not adjusted correctly. Life not so good.
We’re up and running!
Sandwich/Outdoor pee break
Raking hay, enjoying life.
S: I’m done!!! Whewwwwwwww!
H: Good, I’m going to need you to get in the skid steer and wrap the hay!
S: 1) I’ve never driven the skid steer 2) I’ve never operated the wrapper 3) You want me to do this ALONE?!?!?
**sometimes you bale wet hay then wrap it (looks like giant marshmallows) and it ferments and turns into what I like to call cattle-crack**
In my head I know this is a terrrrrrrible idea, but as Hubs said…”who else is there to do it?”
Touché Hubs, touché.
So off I go. I’m getting the hang. I’m managing ok. Hay is turning into giant marshmallows. Life is good!
And then my evening began…
S: Hubs, ummm I need you. I’ve got a bale cocked up in the wrapper and I can’t fix it.
S: The bale won’t push through!!
H: Did you push the lever?
S: Yes! (No, I didn’t, but I’m clearly not going to admit that so I push it.) Um, it’s magically working now! We’re good!
S: I think we’re out of gas…
6pm, the fun continues –
Do you know what rule #1 in wrapping hay is?
It’s don’t run out of wrap, but when you do – stop the wrapper and reload the wrap.
That’s not quite how it worked out…
I definitely ran out, didn’t realize/more preoccupied with trying not to wreck anything and I definitely put FIVE WHOLE FLIPPING BALES through with no wrap. #wifefail
Shoot me now, my husband almost did.
Do you know what this mistake does to grouchy Hub’s grouchiness? Amplifies it.
We’re done, Yayyyyyyy!
Nope. Not even close.
Spoiler alert: Hubs is going to wish we were!!
H: Ok, I’m going to need you to take the skid steer to the next farm to help them wrap hay.
S: Ummm, ok?! What about Munchkin?
So in we go, and by we I mean me and Munchkin. We’re making it. Life is good. We’ve even got the skid steer in “rabbit” mode!!! Cooking with grease, folks!
We pull out onto the road…
I push the throttle down.
Do you know what’s next to the throttle? The joy stick that controls the loader, which currently has a hay spear on it.
Did you know that when you push the throttle down, it’s super easy to move the joystick to the right? Do you know what happens when the joystick goes to the right?
No to all of that?
Here’s what happens: It tilts the hay spear down, like directly down, into the ground…or in this case, the road.
Yep, I managed to tilt the whole flipping spear directly down INTO THE ROAD while driving in rabbit mode (aka fast – or as fast as a skid steer goes) Hay spear = mangled mess. Not salvageable. #hesgonnakillme
Munchkin: Mommy?! What you do that for?!
Out of the mouths of babes, right?
S: I thought it’d be fun, kiddo…
So, I pull in at our driveway to assess damage. Life not good.
And to top it off… Hubs friends are in our driveway. Hubs ironically calls them at that exact moment. Perfect.
They’re giggling like school girls.
Me to them: Just let me tell him…
Hubs shows up…
S: I’m soooooo sorry! Why did you let me drive this crazy thing?!?! You realize this is actually your fault right? And Where do I buy a hay spear? Can I buy one now? (I know the answer is no, but I want to sound remorseful AND a little clueless.)
H: I just don’t see HOW you could’ve done this…
S: It’s actually QUITE easy! Want me to show you how? 😉 (Snickering)
H: (shakes his head…no words)
LUCKILY, because the friends saved us by letting us borrow their spear attachment, the evening activities continued uninterrupted….and I didn’t have to drive that gosh darn machine another inch!!!
Moral of story: don’t put a virgin skier on a black diamond slope. Lesson learned, Hubs? I hope!!!
PS: Someone’s getting a hay spear for Father’s Day!!!