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  • Kristin Ramey

Happy New Year!

Well, what a way to start the new year. New Years morning, I went out to let the animals out and feed the pigs. Their water tank was empty, so I needed to fill it.

I've been telling Larry for a while that I thought their hydrant was leaking. Their area has a huge wallow, that at this time of year, should have dried up. We haven't had snow since October, so even though we are in the valley, there's no snow melt coming down the irrigation lines. But boy is it wet in the pig run.

I had a hard time turning the hydrant on, and the first thing that came out of the hose was muddy water. That's a bad sign. I had just as hard a time turning the hydrant off. And when I did, water started bubbling up from the base of the hydrant. LAARRRRYYYYYY

This is never news he wants to hear, but he got right onto the big tractor to start digging, while I ran up top to turn the water off. This means no water in the house, either. Boy was that meter spinning!

I came around the corner and heard a familiar F bomb get dropped. I tried to think of what happened that caused that. I soon found out. A hydraulic line blew on the tractor. The Beast, which we lovingly call our 1940s Caterpillar Construction King Backhoe-Loader... this was not a time when engineers thought about maintenance when they built things. This hydraulic hose was on tight and in a very hard to reach place. We could barely get a wrench on it, nonetheless the leverage to crank on it. As the daylight was leaving us, we attempted to heat it with a torch to see if it would loosen. We had no luck.

We turned the water on for a minute to fill the sheep waterer, fill the toilets in the house and a bucket for flushing toilets. We got some dishes washed up and our hands and went to bed with the water off. After a night of sleep, I had a bright idea that we didn't need to keep that hose, so Larry could cut the darn thing off, and then get a big socket in there.

I had to go back to work, so I hit the gym for a workout and a shower and left for work while Larry got to stay home. It took until after dark, but he did get the tractor fixed, and the water line capped off so we could turn the water back on. The air in the lines blew apart our shower head. So yay.

Day 3, with a functioning tractor, and knowledge of the leak (It wasn't the hydrant but the pipe coming up to the hydrant) He finally got it fixed, the hole filled back in and a the water back on in the house.

Welcome to 2024, farm edition! I didn't get pictures because our hands were cold and busy!

But this morning made it all worth it when there were triplets in the barn. I set mama up in a stall with her babies, a heat pad for them, and a hay bale for her. This is Ellen Tigh, and her third time lambing. She had a single, twins and then these triples. She is Applejack's Daughter, who is in turn, Persephone's daughter, who is then a daughter of Shirley. So this is my rockstar lineage, here. We're going to keep a close eye. So far, she is attending to all three, but we may supplement the little ewe lamb just in case. Here's a bad barn camera snap of mama with all three babies in the barn.

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