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       We just survived an intense week of “hay work” and gearing up for another one. When Earl says we’ve got a wide open week……that means we will eat, sleep and breathe hay. We were hoping to finish everything last week, but soon realized that it wasn’t going to happen. The hay crop is exceptional and it’s taking a little longer than expected.      019.jpg      This is through the tractor window….nice and dusty. Not to mention the itch. It gets into your clothes and slowly drives you insane. So, when I pull into a field to get started…..I want the “baler man” right behind me for the first 3-4 rounds. I like going around the whole perimeter of the field about 4 times to pick up all the corners and clean up the end rows. Then it’s full speed ahead. Back and forth back and forth. Nice, clean rows that won’t leave slobbers or skips. (hay that the baler can’t pick up)     021       The boys always help with everything, but now that school started it’s back to the farmer and I. It gets pretty “hair-raising” at times. Friday was a tough day. The morning chores need to be taken care of before you head for the hay field. Then it’s all day baling hay.     014.jpg      Sometimes I get ahead far enough that I can take a short break under the shade trees. I get stiff and sore from sitting in the tractor all day. It feels good to get out and stretch. Farm girls always head for the back corner with lots of tree cover. Read between the lines.    022.jpg      This particular field was heavy. (means lots of hay) So, I could only take a half swipe with the rake. A full swipe made the windrows too fluffy and the baler couldn’t pick it all up. The field is huge and it seemed like I wasn’t getting anywhere. I had my music turned up loud….drank lots of cold water….and wished my boys were home.       024.jpg         It gets pretty tight, but we’ve never hit each other as we pass. Sometimes we’ll give each other hand signals…the look…or no look at all. Depends on how long we’ve been working. If we’re still feeling fresh and feisty or dead tired.      015.jpg     I confess my mess…..I had 2 iced coffees on Friday. How else was I going to get it all done. The boys have to march at the football games and don’t come home until midnight. I ate my supper at 10:30 that night. Thank God….the boys were home on Saturday! We finished that field, but are now moving to the next one. Ahhh…..yes. The hauling home. We’ll probably have to burn some midnight oil. Any volunteers to be a midnight rider?! Your pay will be a hamburger and milkshake. That’s it. I’m a “milkmaid”….I don’t pass out cash……………………..Carol