Being Flexible


The “one legged pigeon” pose. Photo found on and taken by Barry Stone

Now that is some flexibility! I have a feeling my poor mother felt like this last night! We were all supposed to be eating supper at my parents house to celebrate my brothers birthday. As those of you with a farm know, there is a rule when it comes to holidays, family get- togethers and the likes. If something can break it will. If you are a farm family who has never had this problem, you are a rare and lucky kind, maybe buy a lotto ticket for the next drawing. If there’s one thing at our place that is an old faithful for falling apart (literally) it’s our feeding system.

Now many farms have what is called a TMR mixer to feed their cows/heifers these days. It is a handy piece of equipment that will mix all the ingredients needed in the cows ration.



What a TMR mixer looks like. This one is pulled by a tractor. Some are also built on to the back of trucks.                                                     


Inside a TMR mixer.

We do not have one of these fine contraptions. We use a series of belts and conveyors that takes silage from the silos and grain from a bin to deliver it to a feed bunk where the girls come to eat. This is what our feeder looks like:


I think my dad and husband may agree that it smiles anymore before it blows, like it enjoys it.

Ok, may be not quite like that. I searched high and low and couldn’t find a comparable photo. I’m also at home and didn’t think going over to take a picture right now would be a good idea, as they are currently working on it. Now few people have this type of feeder left and ours was constructed around the same time Jesus was born. This makes it hard to find parts, lots of things have been patched out of necessity. It behaves about half of the time, the other half of the time it has profanities hollered at it, pieces beat back in to place and you hear mutterings of “we really need a TMR mixer”.

So now that I have given you the background story so you can more fully understand, on with my story. We started milking early last night. We’re normally finished with the afternoon milking around 6:30-7 o’clock. We were hoping to be eating around 7, so we started milking about a half hour early. Oh the sweet, innocent anticipation of everything going right…

My brother and I were milking, everything was going smooth. We literally had no problems. Cows were merrily walking in and standing to have their udders emptied of dairy goodness. My little cherubs were sleeping thru milking, having no complaints or request that need dealt with. We were problem free.

The other activities were not going so well. Tom went to the feed mill and picked up heifer feed. He then gave the hungry little juveniles their supper. Here’s where it starts to get ugly. After doing this, he goes back to feed the milk cows. Bum, bum,bum (sinister music)….. All goes well for awhile. Our feeder likes to make you think that it’s going to play nice. Then all the fury of Hades lets loose.



Thank you Disney

So to make a VERY long story short, multiple things fell apart multiple times. After getting home from milking and getting the four of us clean and as presentable as we can be, I call my dear husband to see the status of the feeder. His only reply is “head over with out me”, this is not a good sign.

The tribe and I arrive at may parents ready to party. Everyone is there besides my husband and father who are working away on the feeder in a vain attempt to get cows fed some time that evening. We make the executive decision to start feasting on lasagna with out them. Some of you may find this decision a little uncaring. Let’s get something straight. We all know the history of our darling feeder. It’s bad, real bad. Sometimes you just need to eat while the lasagna’s hot and the men can warm theirs up later. So we eat and it is de-lish-ous. My mom makes some tasty lasagna. We socialize. We finally hear from our dear men folk about an hour and a half later. They are done and headed home! Yea! After they get cleaned up from the silage stink/grain dust/cow pooey, they get to eat their fill of the tasty lasagna.

We finally bust out birthday cake a little after 9. After a lovely singing of Happy Birthday we dive in and enjoy Derek’s request of white Texas sheet cake with cream cheese frosting. Thankfully the tribe napped during milking or it could have gotten to be an even longer night!

Kudos go to my mom who cooked and baked all day to have it be eating on a sliding schedule! Now the feeder has become todays project, that is hopefully only a one day project. Nothing like rolling with the punches and being incredibly flexible to have a meal together. Oh, and a BIG happy birthday to my little brother who’s leaving his “teen” years behind him today while he turns 20!







2 thoughts on “Being Flexible

  1. Loved the post, and oh, how I know the feeling! I think you and I shop at the same farm supply store – the one in the middle of Nazareth! Everything we have here is old, worn out and has to be worked on constantly! But it is paid for, and hopefully we can keep fixing it for a few more years – until we can save enough for something newer.

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