First Time “Baling” and Other Farm News

So Wednesday morning I woke up early and started the farm chores early because I knew it was going to be a long day.  I noticed the peacock spreading his feathers in the morning sun on our barn roof.

He later moved to his favorite perch and still looked beautiful in the early sun beams.

I also noticed our Faverolle rooster (from Eliz Martin) has now taking the top rooster spot.  He was strutting around, crowing and gathering a larger harem.

As I headed out to feed the pigs, I admired the view of our barns and sheds from the east in the morning sun.

I also admired the raked cut grass that we were planning on baling after the dew dissipated.

The sheep were curious about my activities,

and Diddley came up for a pet.

Here is our elderly baler about to be put to work,

and here it is with our tractor.  At least they are color coordinated.

This is a video of the first time we have ever baled (Tom baled as a young adult, but we together never have).

The bales came out nice but were never tied with the twine.  So the hay ended up falling to the ground in globs.

The twine knotter was not working, and after a bit one of the chains started slipping.  So we gave up and limped back to the driveway for more repairs and adjustments.  Tom was able to fashion a new tensioner for the slipping chain.  And with the use of an online manual he was able to figure out better how to set up, fix and adjust the knotter.  He was able to make other adjustments as well.  Unfortunately it rained almost 1/2 inch the next day.  So now we are going to see if we can get our cut grass dried again and try to bale one more time.  This is definitely a learning process.


PS  I would like to launch into rants about our health care system and society.  So if you are here for the farm news I would suggest you stop reading now and await my next exciting post of farming news, where maybe we even actually bale some hay!?!



So as I have posted that I have been diagnosed with reactive arthritis which cause me to have repetitive flu-like symptoms which lasted almost 2 months and completely disabled me.  Three months ago today I started have new symptoms of heart palpitations and shortness of breath.  At first it was mild and intermittent, but it has been progressively getting worse. I had an ECG and a heart ultrasound which were normal.  I met with the rheumatologist, and he thought there was a slight chance that it was inflammation in the lining of my lungs or heart so prescribed a second anti-inflammatory medication to see if it would help.  It has not.  I had a chest X-ray, a chest CT scan and treadmill stress testing all of which was normal.  All good news, but no explanation.  I returned to work in mid June, but it is increasingly difficult to work while being short of breath and having to wear a masks.  So I got a referral to see a pulmonologist and saw him on Tuesday.  He wants me to do pulmonary function testing and a stress echocardiogram.  The latter I was able to schedule at the end of the month (delayed partly because of my work schedule, my desire to go on a social distanced trip to a cabin, and that I need my 6th COVID test and quarantine before the appointment).  But my PFTs are not until October.  So I need to wait 2 more months and suffer before I can even get the testing I need and then I will need to schedule another appointment with the pulmonologist.  Our health care system supposedly wants us back as patients, but this is how we are treated.  I find it truly appalling.  And the fact that you cannot even call and get a real person on the phone anymore is ridiculous.  I know I am sounding like a grumpy old person, but this is insane.

My other rant is that other people will not wear masks.  I do not want to accidentally give anyone COVID from my exposures at work, and I do not want to get it as it could be deadly for me with my thus far undiagnosed lung/heart problems and my immune suppressing medications. I do not understand the mask issue.  I know they are not pleasant to wear, but the science demonstrates that they work.  It almost seems like people do not care about their fellow human beings anymore which is unfathomable to me as I am putting myself on the line for other people every time I work (and have to wear N95 masks, face shields, gowns, gloves and/or a surgical mask) so why can’t people just wear a simple cloth mask?!?  I am sorry to rant, but I just do not get it.

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8 Responses to First Time “Baling” and Other Farm News

  1. Sharrie Brockhaus says:

    You aren’t the only one who doesn’t get it. Stay strong!

  2. Jeanne says:

    I’m sorry your baler had a “few” problems! I hope it works well now, and that you got all your hay baled! I enjoyed the sound of the baler! I also enjoyed the new Top Rooster! He’s beautiful!!

    Donna, as you know, I’m very sorry about your diagnoses. I continue to pray for you, for healing, and much improvement.

  3. mcfwriter says:

    Sorry about the baler – it’s a big job! I gripe about the $$ I spend on hay all year, but really, it’s a lot of hard work.
    And yes to the masks! I’ll never understand why it’s become such a big deal for people. I have a friend that makes really nice cloth masks and gifted me with a couple (one is a cute sheep print!). They work really well with my glasses too.
    Sorry to hear about the ongoing health issues – it’s so disheartening. Sending good thoughts your way.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Maureen! It is a lot of hard work and associated with a lot of mechanical breakdowns as we have watch our neighbors’ farms over the years. I would love a cute sheep one and especial a mask that doesn’t fog glasses and shields. It is a struggle to see at work sometimes. I have been intending to recheck your blog posts abut your extended illness and see if thee are clues for me navigating this process. I appreciate your good thoughts. Donna

  4. FullyFleeced says:

    so sorry to hear about the continuing health issues, and frustrations around getting in for testing. that’s just crazy. as are people who are making a culture war issue out of masks. I’m getting really disheartened about how many folks among us appear to have turned off their brains.

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