Monday, June 10, 2013

Discount Days Here on SweetWater

Take a break and see what we have been up to on SweetWater this week.

Nate and I have been combining our strengths lately: shopping and fixing stuff! Farming life can be expensive if you are not willing to do a little discount shopping and get your hands dirty. So we have been slowly adding to our farming tools.  Remember that trailer we bought for about $900.00

Well for about a hundred bucks we will have it on the road in no time. Painting is done and now we are waiting on new brakes to arrive.  Our new Super Bumblebee is almost ready for future shopping - think hot tub! -err I mean farm work.

With the trailer almost ready, Nathan and I have been continuing our quest to find farm equipment we will need in the near future.  Sure we can run to Tractor Supply and pick up the newest John Deere, but that would be cheating.  Remember the chickens haven't produced any golden eggs just yet, so it is all about the discount shopping.  Of course we continue to partake in our daily ritual of searching Craigslist and other internet discount, trade, and online auction sites. So far Craigslist seems to be the best way to find great deals and free items, but we wanted to broaden our resources so to auction we went.

Last Saturday, we hopped in the truck for "date day" and headed to a local farm auction. It might not sound like a glamorous date, but it is fun to get out and explore new parts of the country.  Besides being beautiful countryside, there are lots of local attractions you can see on the way.

The first ever Wal-Mart is about 20 minutes from SweetWater

Anyway, the auction was a new experience for both of us.  I must confess it was fun for the first half hour and then it got a bit old.  It is one thing to hear the auctioneer belting out bids on TV, but in person it begins to feel like you have buzzing bees stuck in each ear.  I still am not exactly sure why they speak that way.  It actually makes it harder to hear the bids.  Nate and I had our eyes on a few tractors and were hopeful we would leave with a tractor in tow. We realized after the first one we had on our list went for over $6000.00, this was not going to be the best route for getting our tractor. Especially, since the tractor was not worth that much considering its condition.  So we left the auction to the regulars and went on our way.  What was interesting was that a lot of the old timers came to the auction mainly for the social component.  They would stand around look at the equipment and talk with no intention on buying anything.  Anyway as I said, we left the auctioning to them and went back to Craigslist.

Although the auction did not yield success this time, Nate and I found a tractor after many days of searching. Not just any tractor, a Super Dexta! Right now it might have the frame only a new farmer can love, but we hope to work our magic and give this tractor a second life on SweetWater. She is already looking a little better after only one day of work.  Plus maybe her story can be a precautionary tale for others.  Simple moral: 5th graders should not be asked to drive the truck.  As Super Dexta tells it: her previous owner thought he could take her in all her two wheel drive glory up a steep, steep hill.  Surprisingly she got stuck, so of course he called for help. With his trusty pickup truck and his 5th grade son at his side, he hooked Super Dexta up to the back of the truck.  His son took control of the truck and he took his place on the Dexta prepared to steer her out of her predicament.  He gave his son the command to put the truck in drive and give it some gas.  Oops in neutral it went and poor Super Dexta and the farmer ended this story with broken pieces.  The farmer hobbled to Craigslist and sent the Super Dexta to SweetWater.  Lucky for Ms. Super Dexta, Nate and I are a lot like Herbie the Elf. We love those misfits and know with a little work they too can find there place, especially for $800.00.

 Speaking of misfits, SweetWater seems to be a fountain of youth for the critters.  Xander continues to follow me everywhere and keep that young pup Simon in line.  If you saw how fast he runs these days, you would not know that I thought I was going to have to send him to the great dog farm in the sky a few months ago.  He may be 14, but he is living like he is a young pup. Edgar, our resident cat, is happily expanding his reign of power.  After 14 years of being an indoor cat, he is now allowed to be a daytime outdoor cat. He is taking advantage of every minute and even trying to trick Nate into letting him out at night too. Of course he has not ventured too far from the house because the "white dragon" (Simon) still thinks it funny to chase him.  Let's just say...we are working on that.  Simon loves having the menagerie of animals here.  For a puppy, playtime is important.  If he wants to explore, get Truman. If he wants to play chase, get Xander.  If he wants to get me riled up, chase Edgar and the chickens.  It is hard to be bored on the farm now. 
Sir Simon with the "Goose of All Seasons" after learning it is not a chew toy. (nom, nom)

 The chickens are getting bigger and fatter. I find myself reminding Nate more frequently of our deal when he stares a little too long at their big fat juicy legs. "These 13 chickens are for eggs only...our next batch...that is a different story."  Anyway, they are growing nicely and we still are playing the rooster guessing game.  We did have two escape chickens, but they were easy to catch. They don't like to leave the others so they just hang around the gate.  The first time it happened, Poe (one of the black ones) walked right up to me, let me pick her up and put her back in the coop.  The second time, Brinkley (one of the brown ones) played "Duck, Duck, Goose" with Nathan. Xander tried to help, but I think he was just trying to help it into his we suggested he not help.   After a few laps around the coop, I heard a squawk and Nathan had sweet Brinkley in hand. Long story short...I have to keep reminding Nathan, these ones are for eggs only.

But what about Truman?

As you can see we are all finding our place on the farm...even Truman. Truman and I seem to enjoy the big machines.  You can usually find me on the riding mower cutting the walking paths and around the house. Plus "Truman the Tractor Dog" and I like to sneak off in the Case 580 Super E (big tractor) when Nate is not looking and look for logs and sand.  As long as I pet his head, Truman is happy as a clam being copilot on our farming adventures.

 I have also become quite good at hooking up the water tank trailer and refilling the tank by myself.  I am quite happy having that responsibility because it means I don't feel so guilty about taking long hot showers.  We still have to have our creature comforts after all, especially after a long day on the farm. Plus I am not really doing it all by myself because you guessed it, I have three little shadows who come help me set up the pump and explore the spring while I work. 

 Well that is it for now. Thanks for stopping by our blog.  I hope to get more pictures up soon.  I took some pictures of the inside of the house because I know our moms will love to see them.   So now that I posted it here...I better get to it. Check back in a day or two on the photo page.  Time for dinner now. For some reason, Nathan's famous chicken wings sound so good right now.  Don't even think it...I was thinking of the store bought chicken wings...not the ones outside.

Thanks for visiting, but now it's time to play!

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