Loaded, the back story

So I’m at work (which means I’m here at home, upstairs in my office at my work computer). My office window overlooks the creek and pasture and the road beyond that. And I’m on the phone with my boss, who lives in California. All of a sudden I let out a gasp.

Boss: “What’s the matter?”

Me: “I just glanced out the window and saw Matt coming down the road with a load of giant cornstalk bales and the girls sitting way up in the air on top of the bales.

Boss: “Dads have a higher risk tolerance than moms.”

When I relayed this little exchange to Matt he said, “When I let the girls ride up there I told them don’t get hurt or your mother will kill me.

Meanders had a cute comment on my “Loaded” post the other day, about not going down hill with a load of those bales. I asked Matt about it and he said he only had one small hill to go down in the couple of miles between my dad’s cornfield and our farm. The bales are so heavy that it wasn’t really a problem as long as he went slow.

He hauled 80 of those bales home, with a heavy-duty hayrack borrowed from my Uncle Lyle. First, 6 at a time in a single layer. That went okay, so he decided to try 8 and stack 2 on top. (No more passengers at this point!) That went okay so eventually he tried 10, stacking 4 on top.

I just try to avert my eyes from all windows.

Once home of course it’s time to unload. Once again they wait until I’m not looking. I didn’t see it so I don’t know for sure, and nobody is volunteering any information, but I think perhaps the girls got to “ride” a few bales as they were unloaded. (Shudder) Fortunately Rafe is too scared smart for that. (But apparently not smart enough to put on a coat – he’s in short sleeves and the girls are bundled up in Carharts.)

Then again, it’s possible they’re just trying to mess with me.

Then it’s just a matter of stacking, something boys big and little seem to have fun doing. He’s got bale spears on both the front and back of the tractor, and carries a hay bale on the back for weight and balance while unloading and stacking the cornstalk bales with the front spears.

Click here to see the finished stash.

A few of you wanted more info on my daily bread. So now I’m off to make bread and take pictures! Details tomorrow.

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3 Responses to Loaded, the back story

  1. meanders says:

    Whew! I don’t stop by for a few days and I miss a ton! Glad to hear there’s only one *small* hill and that the bales are heavy (we hope). I keep telling myself that it’s a good thing kids have dads to let them play at their limits, and we moms will go find something else to do in the meantime. Reminds me a bit of Bill Cosby’s “Dad is great, gives us chocolate cake” routine…PS thanks for the citation, I feel famous!

  2. meanders says:

    (Meanders Husband)My comment was that I hope there was not a hill because the wieght would trip the tractor, jack knife style, if it got going too fast. It is scary going down steep hills with big loads on squirrely tractors. My question is why does Matt stack the bottom corn bales on edge and the top ones on the side. I would figure when the bottom ones are on edge the rain and ground water would get soaked up into the bails. As far as tolerance for risk, dads do have a higher threshold. When I put all the hay up in the barn, yes all 10 square bales for the chickens, I would slide down the 20ft of rope. I think it has to do with dads understanding what the limits are, how strong or how stable the thing is we are messing with. My father on many occasions, usually when looking over a wreck, would spout off “you have to be smarter than what you are doing.”

  3. Hi meanders husband! Um, that would be why I don’t drive the tractor. Matt knew what you meant by your questions. He says the jack knife thing was on his mind, but thankfully everything went fine.On the stacking…he says that there will be a bit of moisture on the bottom edge, but by the time he bales these the ground is getting pretty well frozen so it’s not too big of an issue. The main issue is that if you stack them on their sides, they freeze down more than stacking them on the end. And then stacking the top ones on their sides protects the top edge of the bottom bale and diverts any rain away.Thanks for commenting! I wish Matt would write more posts for the blog – it is interesting how differently he and I see things around here :)