Busy, busy, busy

My eyeballs hurt!

It’s these darn toothpicks I should have sanded off the sharp points!

It’s been a whirlwind week for our family.

From last week Tuesday, until this past Tuesday, it has been non-stop action.

From chopping corn, purchasing a house, have a Mutant calf being born and our guests from Wales arriving, it makes me feel like I am running on less than fumes.

Steve and Russ and several other men worked most of the weekend to chop corn into silage for filling the long, white bags and the two silos. If I add correctly in my head (re-read the beginning part of this sentence and strongly emphasize correctly), we hauled nearly 150 wagons full of silage to the farm from the field.

You should be able to tell when a farmer has chopped corn to be used as feed.

When driving out in the countryside, observe fields where a portion, about 8-inches, of the corn stalk is still sticking up out of the ground. Those are the fields that have been chopped to be used as feed.

To be even more specific, if you don’t see any plant leaves and such laying on the ground, it was used as feed for animals. If you can see evidence of leaves and other plant parts scattered in the field, more than likely it was a sweet corn acreage.

When chopping corn for feed, farmers use then entire plant.

On top of chopping, last week I took ownership of a house in Searles. It’s an investment property for me. It’s a good way for me to be my own boss, which seems to be the better way for me to work.

I enjoy being alone and fixing things.

Purchasing a house to be used as a rental is perfect! I have already learned how to fix a faucet and rip a towel holder off the wall.

OK, so the towel holder snafu was a mistake. How was I to know the towel bar wasn’t strong enough to hold my weight when I used to balance myself when I reached down to paint the wall? All I can say is I better practice fixing holes in plaster walls.

Saturday morning, I quickly recruited the testosterone in my house to move furniture to the house in Searles. Oh, it’s an elaborate set up there. I mean, that 1970s Formica table with unmatched, paint-splattered chairs; the mattress-less futon and headboard-less bed all make for high-class living! And the Buzz Lightyear and cow-cartoon pillowcases just top it off. (The mattress did arrive Wednesday.)

So Steve and our boys finished chopping Sunday evening and immediately started working on the house I purchased in Searles.

I really needed to get the house prepared for Gwenno and Gwion Pugh and their daughter Anni. (It just struck me as odd that both their names start with “Gw.”)

I call them “The Foreigners.”

The Foreigners arrived from Wales Tuesday evening. We couldn’t be more excited! Steve and our boys haven’t seen them in approximately nine years.

According to Gwenno and Steve, we all look the same, except “we’ve all gained about a stone,” said Gwenno.

For us non-metric Americans, that would be 14 pounds.

I think I have put on three stones!

Well, that’s what my jeans tell me anyway. I feel like an over-stuffed mutant.

Speaking of mutants.

We had one born on the farm Sunday evening. One of our cows gave birth to a Red-and-White Holstein calf. That’s very unusual for a farm that doesn’t own any Red and White Holsteins. Farmers can use bulls with a gene for inseminating a black and white Holstein for producing a Red and White calf.

According to Zach, the herdsman, this calf is a mutant because there is no evidence of that genetic trait in the mother or the bull he used. So somewhere along the family tree of bulls, there was a rogue bull that had a mutated gene. It’s like finding out there’s an infamous villain in your family history.

Zach named her Mutant at one point; now he calls her Red. I call her Big and Steve calls her Big Red.

It’s been a crazy week again, but it’s been a good crazy! We are surrounded by good friends, cute calves and harvesting. (Bean harvest should start next week.)

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at kahoffman@newulmtel.net.

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