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Jackie Clay

The beavers are laughing out loud

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Like those beavers “said” in the late fall, we’re getting plenty of cold and snow this winter for sure! Will hurried to get our new tractor home from the auction yard after we made the winning bid. As Will says, we paid too much, but now it’s done and the tractor seems to be a good addition to our homestead. We’ve already used it to haul round bales out to the steers and horses.


We’ve been listening to the weather radio intently for four days now, as we were warned of a major storm heading right for us. We’d hoped it would miss us, but figured it wouldn’t. So we went through all the motions: stocking up on more wood in the house, bedding and watering the animals extra well, and hanging old blankets over the barn doors to prevent drafts.

Will even changed the oil in our truck’s snowplow pump and made sure it was functioning perfectly. Last night it started to snow as we’d expected it would. By ten o’clock we had seven inches down and it was snowing and blowing pretty hard. This morning, we woke up to more than a foot on the flat and drifts more than three feet deep in places. Sigh — we just dug out from the last one!


So, this morning we started shoveling. Will shoveled a path out to the pickup, then he and Spencer (our trusty snowplow dog) headed out to clean the yard and driveway. I took up the shovel and headed for the goat barn and shoveled a path to each pen and did chores. Then I shoveled a path to the chicken coop and upper pig pen where our butcher pig is housed, and did chores there. Will and Spencer were still plowing.


I finished chores and went in to warm up. Then I took up the shovel and went back out to improve our paths. Uh oh — I heard the plow truck making stuck noises down by the barn. I detoured to the plowed trail down to the barn, shovel in hand. Yep, the truck was stuck, headed downhill toward the pasture fence. The plow motor had hit a dead spot and wouldn’t lift the plow.

We spent an hour messing with it and Will finally got it to lift and fixed the problem — a poor ground. He went out and finished plowing, then did chores.

So much for being totally “prepared!” But we are cozy, our animals well fed and warm. I think I’ll make oatmeal cookies. (It seems like when there’s a storm we always need a good pot of stew and some sweets. I think it’s the hibernation mode kicking in…)

All of you in the northeast, keep warm and safe. Our prayers are with you. — Jackie

7 Responses to “The beavers are laughing out loud”

  1. Holly Says:

    So…what is it? I am curious….judging by the fender and white rim an Oliver maybe? We had a 1550 and a 1950. The 1950 had a Turbo – it was a 4 cylnder but had lots of power (105 hp) and was VERY fuel efficient. Ran a hydroswing and baled with it. (And called it the “screamin’ green machine”.) Best of luck with yours. I kind of have a soft spot for Olivers – (will have to see if I am right). The snow completely missed us – but it was close….be happy with the moisture….we need it.

  2. Holly Says:

    Oh – I hate that “bad sound” too. It has been so icy here. We have a big 4×4 tractor with a loader on the front and double auger snow blower on the back. (It is over 20 years old – needs tires and is wearing out too). Put a 1000# bale on the front and start sliding though a gate sideways on a slope on ice… has happened twice this week. Kind of makes my stomach churn just thinking about it….. Good luck getting your yard all cleaned out.

  3. Wendy Hause, Gregory MI Says:

    Glad things are going well Jackie! Thanks for the updates.

  4. jackie clay-atkinson Says:


    It’s an Oliver 1550. We ARE happy with the moisture as we were in drought last fall and early this winter. We were real nervous about spring and summer and hopefully it’ll be more normal. Maybe…..

  5. Holly Says:

    Cool tractor – have fun with it!

    Everyone aroudn here talks about the averages – we don’t often have an “average” year. Seem like they come with either 10″ of snow or 110″ of snow, or 40F or 115F and the average is what people expect – but we don’t often get.
    I have both of your cookbooks and canned up meat on sale (successfully) with the information. (For some reason I start with the hard stuff – hope to graduate to waterbath soon-! :)

  6. James Bruce Says:

    Good luck with the Oliver. They always seemed to be bullet proof. We have had 3 of them over the years., All were good. Sadly they are no longer made . They were well engineered and ahead of their time. Wish we still had our 88 diesel and OC-3. Have fun with it.

  7. Heath Says:

    We might have a heat house for that Oliver, it fit a 1655… I will have to check. Takes the edge off in the winter. I learned how to run a tractor on a 1650 gas. Still have a 2255 around the place it is a beast.

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