Sunday, June 23, 2024

Freezer fiasco, hay hauling, and horsing around

I'm too pooped to party tonight, but maybe I can manage sitting in my recliner and typing on my laptop.

Today saw the conclusion of a game of musical freezers. Our dead one sat in the basement until Rick and Brian got back from Texas and could move it out, load it up and haul it off, then pick up an old freezer someone wanted to get rid of. Rick plugged that one in, then bought a new one for the clinic to replace the old one there, plugged it in to get it cold, moved the fruit he'd salvaged from our dead one into it, then loaded it and hauled it home to keep fruit frozen until we could move the used freezer into place – only to discover that although it made running noises, it wasn't cold. So we decided to keep the new one (loaded with our food) for ourselves and get another new one for the clinic. Rick and Brian unloaded it, moved it into the basement, plugged it in . . . and Rick noticed the ground fault interrupter outlet was tripped and needed to be reset. In other words, we may have paid to trash a working freezer after scrambling to salvage all that we could, gone to the trouble and cost of hauling, cleaning, and then trashing a dead freezer, and then paid for, loaded, and unloaded a brand new freezer. Ouch. Lesson learned; ALWAYS check the GFCI buttons!

The next heavy-lifting job we needed to do after the Texas trip was haul hay; our local producer has had first cutting orchardgrass waiting in the barn for us. Fortunately today was a not a scorcher for the job, and between the three of us we got 150 bales moved from trailer to barn. We still have quite a bit of last year's hay to use up, but fortunately the sheep are eating it almost as well as the horses. Good; that means we can buy more first cutting, which costs less per bale, and less second cutting, which costs more.
last year's hay on the left; lovely 2024 hay on right

official hay inspector at work

Between two loads of hay this morning and one this evening, Rick and I went to watch the tail end of a big hunter/jumper show at which some of his clients were competing. It was quite the set-up, and lovely weather for it. Stella would not have fit in; all the horses I saw were calm, tractable, and mellow. Still, I planned to ride later, but by the time we moved the last 50 bales into the barn all I could manage was a photo.

At least the same person who wanted to get rid of her old (dead) freezer also had some tomato cages to give away. There were two big "wire snow cone" types, which always seem to topple over when the plants get big and heavy with fruit. There was also six of a type I've never seen before. They fold flat for storage, but unfolded make a sturdy square cage, quite an improvement over any other tomato cage I've seen. I replaced all my flimsy little "snow cone" types, moving them to support the peppers and eggplants that never get as big.

A couple miscellaneous 'treats' follow. First, the swelling buds on my littlest orchid (which just finished blooming), with the big bouquet on my African violet in the background:

Second, I got to watch a female hummingbird work over a fuchsia at the adult care home where a friend of mine is living:

That's it for now from . . .


Leigh said...

Fantastic shots of the hummingbird! What a headache about the freezer though. Not the kind of adventure anybody wants to have.

thecrazysheeplady said...


Mama Pea said...

Reading of your freezer woes made me queasy! Every now and then I wonder how I would save everything I have packed into one of our freezers should they go kaputz. Never fun in reality, as you've gone through, or to even think about! Do your tomato plants give you enough to can?

Michelle said...

Thanks, Leigh; the hummer isn't as sharp as I would have liked, but I was zooming in so as not to scare her away. The freezer MISadventure was an expensive lesson!

You can say THAT a few more times, Sara!

Mama Pea, we've gone through at least one other freezer failure, of our first, very old, chest freezer, years ago, so this was not our first rodeo. Our freezers are almost always full (they are more economical to run that way 😉) so it is always in the back of mind. I rarely get enough tomatoes to fill a canner; they produce but not abundantly here because of our usually cool nights. But our average temps are creeping up like so many other places so that could change. (I'd rather keep our cool nights!)

Donna Schoonover said...

Thanks for the lessons in checking the ground fault plug first and you can use 1st cutting hay.

Jeanne said...

I just got to read this post. I'm very sorry about the freezer episode. It's a sad story. I sometimes wonder about our freezer, since it has to be in our shed at the back of out property. The shed isn't insulated, which isn't good. We moved here with a chest freezer, which was over 30 years old. It only had one problem - a bent lid, acquired when we moved from Canada to Washington state, in 1967, when someone set my heavy cedar chest on top of it. We had to take it to a car repair shop to get the lid straightened out. Unfortunately, it was never as good as new, and always had a problem of ice build-up inside the lid, which required thawing every so often. After we moved here in 1994, the ice buildup got much worse, so we finally broke down and bought a new upright, frost free one, which is still running well. We loved the frost free part. But we don't go out there every day, so if it ever quits for some reason, there could be big problems.

It's neat that your little orchid is going to bloom again right away! My newest one is still blooming, since my daughter bought it for me a couple of months ago. It's very pretty.

Tim B. Inman said...

Oakdale Farm has just been a whirlwind since spring. I've been taking a writing break just to save my sanity. Seems like everything broke all at once. Yesterday's fun was trying to spray weeds, then wash out the ac unit. When I tried to use the hose to was the sprayer - no water. My well decided it needed a break, too. 24hrs without water - in the heat! - is not fun. Of course, while laying there worrying about digging a new well, pulling the pump, oh my oh my, one conjures up all the parade of horribles. Will I have to move to town? OH NO! Alas, it was just a clogged pump switch. All is well. Playing freezer bingo is no fun either. It all works out. And once again it proves Harry Truman's comment about history was right for lots of things: 'It's just one damned thing after another.'

A :-) said...

Well, I suppose the good news is that you got a new freezer out of all of the crazy - and hopefully it will run and be useful for a good long time :-) Love the photos of the hummer :-) I'm sure it was bittersweet to be at that show knowing that Stella hasn't shaped up the way you had hoped . . . I'm sorry.