Mechanical woes now causing me headaches

After writing last week’s column, I was heading out to cut the hay here at the Emo Agricultural Research Station (EARS) only to find calcium leaking out of the rear tire of the tractor.
I thought that “just maybe” it would quit, so I tried a few plots.
No luck.
I called Stratton Service (I already had ordered tires, so I did know I was treading on thin ones, but I was hoping for just another day) and they agreed to find a way to get our tractor down to Stratton.
I really was hoping to get that hay cut since I was off to Toronto for a meeting later Tuesday. As such, I decided to call our friends at John Deere to see if there was any chance I could rent a tractor for a few hours.
They had a nice little tractor there that I could use few hours, but when I went to take it, we discovered it didn’t have any hydraulic couplers.
So that one was out.
They also had a Belarus and since we have one at home, I actually knew how to drive it.
I hopped in and was taking it to EARS when I could smell smoke—I made it to the station with a cab full of smoke.
We weren’t sure what was going on, but thought it was best not to use it.
Turns out it had some wire problems, but I had decided I didn’t want a tractor to catch fire at EARS—right along the highway—so I returned that one, as well.
I then went home Monday night to cut hay. I had greased the discbine and fueled the tractor up Sunday night, so I was good to go.
I headed to the field. I didn’t think things sounded right, but I was wearing different ear plugs so possibly that was what it was.
I stopped and got off—I couldn’t see much. I tried cutting again, so I thought I would check again. Two knives seemed to be wrong, so I thought I would change them.
Maybe that would solve the problem.
Of course, one nut seemed to be stripped so after struggling for a while, I ended up driving home to the garage. I had my dad check it over and we still didn’t know what was wrong, but something was.
Since we were still waiting for our big tractor to be fixed, we had to unhook the tractor we were using to bale. I hooked up the bigger discbine and went and cut until 10 p.m.
I was fueling up when I noticed the calcium leaking out of a rear tire on this tractor now! Could my day have been any worse, I was thinking?
I was stressing out since our loader tractor was broken, so we had no way to load a tire or nothing to cut or bale hay!
The next day before work, I drove over and the tire was fine—weird!
• • •
I was busy at EARS trying to organize my boys since I was off to Toronto for a couple of days (I really debated right to the last minute about cancelling the trip).
I tried to get away from work a bit earlier on Tuesday—only to find the tire flat and lots of hay ready to bale and no loader.
Lucky for me I have good friends.
After a couple of hours of arranging things, my friend agreed to come over and help get the tire off and loaded as I needed to head to Thunder Bay because I had an early flight.
My dad, meanwhile, cannot do any heavy lifting (not that you can lift those tires), so the hay didn’t get baled that day.
The next day, another neighbour and friend came and helped bale hay. As well, the big loader tractor ended up getting repaired after supper.
So with some good friends and luck, all our hay was baled up before it rained on Thursday!
• • •
I was texting my family back and forth from Toronto to see how things were going. My boyfriend/partner let it slip that our steers were out.
Something had knocked down some fence and they were gone. My mom and dad didn’t tell me.
I, of course, was useless sitting in Toronto.
Once the meeting was over, I tried to get an earlier flight into Thunder Bay, but that didn’t happen. And then my regular flight was delayed for two hours and I didn’t even get to come home Thursday night.
I was up early on Friday and was searching for steers before noon. Again, two nice friends flew over with their airplanes to see if the cattle were still on the neighbour’s land (there had been tracks on the road so we didn’t know if they were even close by!)
Turns out they were. I tracked and chased them until 6 p.m. Alas, they have themselves spooked and I can’t get them out of the bush.
So we went home and loaded up six cows and calves to take down to see if they would get together with them. So far nothing, but I’m trying to be patient.
I am sure hoping this works.
We had to rig up a temporary fence. Of course, this happened on a very busy traffic weekend with a pow-wow going on at North West Bay.
Then Saturday was busy with our 4-H fun day in the morning and a few more steer hunts in the afternoon.
On Sunday, I decided we had to ignore them for a bit and get back at haying. I was about 45 minutes from finishing cutting when I had another breakdown.
I was really hoping for a better week. Now it’s a panic to get ready for our open house tonight (July 28) at 7 p.m. at the station.
Please attend. I need you people to come and cheer me up!

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