Adventures in Haying: day 7

 And on the seventh day, she rested. 

Well, it wasn’t technically a complete day of rest. The Baler didn’t finish yesterday, so I had an opportunity to flip a section I was concerned about one more time. 
After that, the pups and I had  a nice stroll around the field. 

I love the mid-morning. It’s brilliantly nice, but not too hot. 

Stonehenge level: you’re doing it wrong. 


One little, two little, three little hay bales, four little, five little, six little hay bales…

Being out in the field, all day, it’s tough work for a dog. And for the seventh day straight. All work and no play is not good for a #hairybeast. Schwimming?

Once the Baler arrived and got started for the day, it was on to cleaning up corners. Forgot to mention that yesterday–sometimes the corners are a little dicey and you have to pick a line. That often means some stuff gets missed. So, cleaned up corners. 



Baler’s done, 22 ton. Yay! Two more than last year. And happy customers. Or, more accurately, happy customer horses, goats, and mule. And everyone will come back next year. 

Yes, the pushy dogs got their way. Twice. 

Don’t mind admitting I trundled off and napped away the early evening. Now the pressure of getting it all done is off, I find I’m tired. It’s been a long week. A very long week. 
Tomorrow is a sleeping in day. Don’t think it will be too hard to convince the #hairybeasts. 

Adventures in Haying: day 6

It occurred to me, somewhere around 12:30, and lap 2,642 (who’m I kidding? I haven’t been counting), that haying is a good analogy for strategic planning /  life: 

There’s a map of major milestones. Goals. A picture of the desired end state. A set of ideal or best practices. And, of course metrics. Because it’s wise to know if / when you’re winning. 

But a good deal of what *actually* happens is that you make it up in the middle bit. Read the field. Figure it out.  The probability you stink at it, in the beginning, the first few laps around the field, as it were, is high. But you will, in fact, get better with practice. 

Sometimes you make a mess of it. We won’t discuss what my first few corners looked like. But, there’s nearly always a chance to look back over what you’ve done and clean it up. Sometimes cleanup is easy, with the tractor, and sometimes it requires a pitchfork. 

You should never pass up an opportunity to take a break and go schwimming. This ranks with always leaving room for dessert. 

The right tools are important. And you should have them handy before you start. When you’re in the middle of the work, when something’s busted, that’s the wrong time to figure out you need parts. Sunscreen is ALWAYS a good idea. Never run out of WD40. 

Sometimes you need help. It’s wise to know when to ask for it. And good business to know when you need to pay other people to do it for you. Pretty certain I will never own my own baler. I will always have a Baler. 


Sometimes the field is thick. Other times it’s thin. Make the best of it whatever. 


In short, make hay while the sun shines. 

Adventures in Haying: day 5

Today was a little cooler, and that was lovely. Isn’t it something when 80-whatever-it-was feels cool? 

The hot weather’s been such a blessing though. My field is drying out so nicely. And (SQWEE!) my baler comes tomorrow. 

So….raking. I’m getting better at it. The old side-deliver rake takes some getting used to. #trueconfessions I prettied up one or two corners by hand. 

It was a good day in the field today. I had some QT with the Old Man discussing the rules to raking. Yeah, there aren’t any. Read the field, it’s different every year, make it up as you go. 

I had a few share-worthy thoughts, out in the field. But it’s late, and I’m tired, and tomorrow is another full day. 

So. Gratuitous #hairybeasts pics. 



Adventures in Haying: day 4

Field grade philosophy

  • It’s possible to do the same thing two days in a row but it doesn’t always follow it’s the same same thing.
  • We could all be a little more cow. Not cowbell, although that’s good, too. But be more cow like. Notice what’s going on around you. Acknowledge it. Maybe even be a little curious. But certainly don’t let it interrupt what you’re doing. It ain’t no thang. Unless corn on the cob is involved. THAT is an entirely different matter.



We interrupt this message to bring you a whiney question:

“Am I done yet?!!?”

We now return you to regular programming.


  • Slim Jims are a sadly underrated as snack food.
  • Pick a system any system, and stand back and look at it from afar. Get the whole perspective. I pick the human body… There are inevitably certain parts of the system that will get more attention from outside stimuli than others. Like knees, for example, from the sun. The fact the sun prefers knees doesn’t by default make the un-tanned shin any less relevant to the system. 


The same is true for parts of the system that are invisible. You might not see them, but they are no less critical to the system functioning properly. The pancreas is kinda a big deal. #justsaying

Adventures in Haying: day 3

Day 3 started far too early, the morning after the night before.

5:19 am — Worried #hairybeast nose…”It’s Monday. You’re usually up by now. Nobody told me it was a sleeping in day.”

6:43 am — Different #hairybeast nose… “HEY!!! Get up. It’s a beautiful day outside…you waaaay overslept. Get up. Get up. GET UP!!! Take me to the creek!”

6:47 am — Tentative stretching. I feel like I’ve been mauled by a Mac truck. And my eyes won’t open.

6:50 am — To the pushy dog… “I’m up, already. Don’t be such a pushy dog.”

6:51 am — Walk the #hairybeasts. Take pushy dog schwimming. Oh, we love schwimming.

7:30 – 8:10 am — Eat breakfast, feed the birds, feed the dogs, normal morning stuff.

8:15 – 10:00 am — work stuff.

10:07 am — Put diesel in the tractor, grease.all.the.things., dust off the radiator screen, check radiator level, grease the other thing I missed …

10:26 am — Go. Mow stuff.


12: 35 pm — Sqwee! Done going around in circles to the right.

12:40 pm — Drop and disconnect mower. Remember to disconnect the hydraulics.

12: 42 – 2:30 pm — Wrestle with rake. Win. [For the record, this is a really big deal. Normally it’s a two-people job, just because it’s an odd offset. The fact I got it all hooked up, by myself, without an extra set of arms, yeah, well I’m feeling pretty badass at this point. Even got the PTO hooked up on the first try.] 

2:32 pm — Take a second before actually starting to remember it’s all left now.  Set out to rake the first section I mowed. And then the next section, etc. Advice from the Old Man: “Just listen to the tractor, get some speed, but don’t go too fast. Watch the rake. Figure it out.” Uh, OK.

3:30 pm — Starting the largest section of field. Reminder from the Old Man to make smooth corners. Uh, OK.

The Dead Critter Count has been outsourced to the Farm & Ranch Sanitation Department. They’ll report later on the identified metrics and outcomes. The #hairybeasts have been contracted to do some of the field work. 

4:46 pm — I could sure go for a … oh, snap! Pro tip: any cookie’ll taste fresh from the oven homemade if ya leave it in the toolbox in 90 degree sun long enough. You’re welcome.

Left. Left. Left. Left. Left. Gimme one more day of this and I think I could run at NASCAR. Put me in the #bison car, sponsored by SPF 742, 83 gallons of water, hydraulic oil, WD40, Teva, and topped off with a Life is Good ™ baseball cap. If the fender falls off cuz someone gets a little squirrelly in turn 2, break out the duct tape & baling twine…

5:45 pm — Just finished raking, in 2 hrs 15 min, what it took 7 hours to mow yesterday. Uh, OK.

Go,  go, Gadget Cloud. E.T. Phone home. 

6:15 pm — All caught up to everything I mowed yesterday and the day before. No more raking till tomorrow. (Then I getta do it all.over.again.)

6:40 pm — Shower. Ah, the bliss of water I’m not drinking. Followed up by Goop. Love Goop! 

Goop, for when St. Ives Purifying Sea Salt Exfoliating Body Wash and a scrubbie just won’t take the grease off.

8:26 pm — #babybeast is one tired dog. #letsleepingdogslie. She’s got the right idea.