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Senior Advisor

Never as Planned

Ever have one of those days when it just wasn't meant to be?  Yesterday I worked off the farm from 03:30 until 15:30 and decided to try harvesting milo afterwards.  Milo was dry, so decided to cut a few acres before the evening humidity started to climb.  On the first load on way home from elevator I think the fuel pump and the starter went out of the truck at the same time.  Luckily it wasn't completely dark yet and I was able to get it off the road and out of harms way.  The mechanic said he would try to squeeze me in this morning, so we'll see how that goes.  Oh well, it's 04:30 the next day and I am back at work.  I guess in the grand scheme of things it's not the end of the world.  Milo is only yielding 25 B/A (about 20% of normal) due to heat and drought.  No one was hurt and I wouldn't classify this as a major breakdown.

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8 Replies
Veteran Advisor

Re: Never as Planned

My brother got done combining at his place, and on the drive back here, a total of 3/4 mile of road travel ( we cut through fields as much as possible) he ran out of fuel, about two combine lengths from the turnoff to my drive.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Never as Planned

The better part of this year, since our youngest child passed away on May 30th, has been spent doing two things: Telling myself that no matter what you plan, life has other things in mind for you; and, dealing with several contractors, shaping up rental houses and her home, on that farm. 

 

That second part has taught me a whole new definition of patience.  I am learning to look at what got done that day, instead of fretting so much over what didn't. 

 

Mike spent two days working on fence and water systems, on that farm, most of it locating and correcting a broken pipe fitting buried somewhere in the middle of a 25-acre paddock.  That $2 part had the whole quadrant of a $100,000 graxing facility rendered useless, until it was corrected. 

 

Once done, he could move on to the second half of the place, making quick work of mowing and removing pest trees.  It is usually something minor, like this fitting, that throws a monkey wrench in the whole works. 

 

I have typically reacted to the whole picture problem, and that was out of proportion to the actual minor problem.  That was the pattern I was taught growing up, when you could get a major blessing-out for a minor mistake. 

 

Part of what I have decided to do, in the wake of our daughter's passing,  is try to re-direct my life along a path of peace.  This really requires that you give up expecting things to always go your way.  If you aren't expecting something to work out one way, you aren't as disappointed when things take a detour.   

 

You seem to have a good grip on going with the flow.  I admire that, and hope to learn what you already seem to know....

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Advisor

Re: Never as Planned

top of the hill to the creekYou have one of those days, I have one of those lives!

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Never as Planned

I wish I had known you had an underground water leak.


If it happens again, take a large styrofoam cup, and a stethescope.  Take a shovel and dig to solid ground.  You don't have to dig deep, just enough to get the weeds and stuff out of the way so the cup sits flat.  Put the cup on the ground, and the stethescope on the cup.  When you are fairly close to the water leak, you will hear it 'wooshing'. 

If you spend a little time, mark with flags, where you can just hear the 'woosh', and eventually you will have a rough circle on the ground, with the leak more or less in the center of that circle.

I learned this, working with a well man for a while.  It works REALLY well, to find a leak in a water line, if you know where the line was trenched.  The leak will be about halfway between where you just start to hear it 'woosh'.  I've seen it done twice, once we hit it within 10 feet, the other time, within 5.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Never as Planned

I should have known I would find the answer to Mike's problem here, right??? 

 

I can't wait to tell him your method.  I still have my stethoscope from nursing school, and he knows were the trenching was done, because the subsoil disturbed to the surface makes the forage not as lush along that line. 

 

He had a location where this particualr line tee'd off to two stations, but the lwak wasn't there.  He plugged the line there, and the leak was between the well and the tee, so that isolated it to about 200 feet of line.  When he found it, there was a defective coupler...literally a $2 part, if that much, holding up a 25-acre grazing quadrant. 

 

We know that one fo the last two wuadrants alos has a leak, so I will exppain this technique to him.  I had called our well guy, and he said they just look for the wet spot.  Thanks so much for the explanation. 

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Never as Planned

Kay, I have another helpful hint for Mike to locate the waterlines if not sure exactly where the run. Take two pieces of wire, I use a coathanger, bend them  90 angle aprox 6in by 12in. hold one in each hand loosely and walk back and forth over where you think the line is, as you cross over the waterline they will cross each other. If you mark the ground where they cross you will have a direction of the line. I have done this many times to find drain tile lines and water lines and usually am within 1 to 20 feet of the line. I know it may sound funny but it works for me. 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Never as Planned

It should work unless your soil is a way different type, or the lines are way deep. I have friends who used to ask me why I would work odd jobs all over the place, for whoever, because there didn't seem to be much money in it. I told themthat I was doing it for the knowledge I was gaining, and that I learned a lot about plumbing, wiring, carpentry, concrete, roofing, etc. Now, those people call me call me for help or advice on odd jobs. I don't feel right charging close friends money, especially if I can get them to help me carry out metal irrigation pipe in July, but I usually tell them my fee is to take me for dinner. For example last year a friend had a bin fire, I felt bad for his situation, so I didn't charge anything to help him out, but to buy my supper. Did you know that after all day getting the wiring on a bin re-done, I could eat 12 Crab Rangoons at the Chinese resturaunt?
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Honored Advisor

Re: Never as Planned

Dave, we call that "witching" for water. I have seen a guy do this for locating buried electrical wire, too.  I've have heard of doing this with a forked stick instead of the wires, too. 

 

We are fortunate that the trenches are fairly visible, sometimes as sunken lines where the soil shrank into them when it rained after installation.  In other spots, the subsoil is noy as supportive of the forages as the topsoil, so that's another clue.  I do have the aerial photos of the farm from the year they were installed. 

 

Mike has set a goal of clearing the fences on the third quadrant on the place this weekend.  The fourth one has a water leak, and needs some jump wires fixed, as well as encroaching trees cut back.  It's going to take more time to get ready for stocking than the other three combined. I think he will have it done by Thanskgiving, since he has some fall seeding to do here in NC. 

 

 

Our cattleman friend/tenant has stocked some pretty cows on the first one, and it we figure Mike's Daddy is happy to see this from Heaven.  Cows were like his other half.  The place just never felt right without them....

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