18 April 2017 – Cloudy with a chance of rain, 62°

Wow, it has been an eventful 9 days since I last posted to this blog. I read the last post and realized we accomplished everything I had written on our to-do list….and then some more.

We were super happy that the bolts came out of the tractor frame and we picked up the tractor from the welder in Custer and Dave drove it home. The next day, Cowboy brought over his tractor and we put the loader back on the tractor frame. We were thinking this wouldn’t take too long, but it ended taking us the whole afternoon.

The loader was just really heavy and it sets down into the tractor frame on two little cylindrical bars that parallel the ground. It has to be the right angle and height to fit onto these and tilted just slightly up so the holes line up and the pins can be inserted to hold them together. Sounds simple, and it would have been if the loader was small enough and light enough to maneuver. Plus we were trying to coordinate the effort of two tractors over two loud diesel engines. We finally got the thing in place. Then the men had a lot of fun trying to reconnect the hydraulic lines to the correct connection points.

At the end of the day, Babe is up and operational. Cowboy Dave and Tractor Dave were covered in hydraulic fluid and dust, but happy to have accomplished what needed to be done. Nice job, guys!

I set up the beehive. We are picking up bees the first week of May and I found the perfect spot to put them. They have a nice southerly facing location that is shielded by trees and the top of the hill to the North and West. They are only about 50 feet from one of our rain barrels that will serve as a good water source, and they don’t have too far to travel to the garden (which is just dirt now anyway). They do face a grove of trees and a grassy, wildflower area so I hope they will be happy. They are Italian bees so if they aren’t happy I will try playing some of the Three Tenors music over a speaker and set out a carafe or two of chianti.IMG_3047

My good friend and neighbor, Linda, gave me a bunch of raspberry plants. I put them on top of the cistern.

It kinda looks like a grave, and knowing that I do not have a green thumb, but rather the black thumb of death, I hope it doesn’t turn into a raspberry cemetery. Linda promised to forgive me if they all die but so far they seem to be looking pretty good.

The two Dave’s took Frosty, Laverne, Keystone, and Doreen to market. It was sad to see Frosty go after all the adventures we have had with her but she actually loaded with no issues this time. We also of course were sad to see the other three go but that’s what happens on the ranch.

Tractor Dave has been busy planting oats and harrowing the field. He ended up using his truck to harrow so he could really pick up some speed and bust apart some of the clods of dirt.

He decided to do this on Saturday and Sunday because we were supposed to get a ton of rain today and most of this week. Even though it was Easter weekend, he got it done because he wanted to beat the rain. Of course it hasn’t rained a drop yet. The bonus was that my parents were here visiting and Dad got to ride along for the harrowing. Dave enjoyed the company and Dad enjoyed the farming memories.

While the men were farming, Mom and I made food for Easter. We had ham, potatoes, corn casserole, homemade rolls, asparagus, carrot cake and tiramisu. Cowboy and Linda joined us for dinner and we had a great time.

Mom and Dad didn’t stay very long, but they finally got to see the house and all the work we have been doing around here. Last time they were here there was just a hole in the ground.

And that catches us up since the last time. We really hope everyone out there had a great Easter. It is a great time of year!

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Happy Easter!
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Elk on the north property
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More Elk