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From the farm: Can’t things fix themselves

February 7, 2014
By Kerry Hoffman , The Journal

I know when items such as gaskets, my oven and my car are worn out or broken.

Gaskets leak where two pipes meet in the milking parlor. My oven never seems to sustain a constant temperature, which results in beer bread that is soft in the middle - just the way Hubby likes it. Every time I start my car, the battery begs for an auto-like Red Bull energy drink. Sometimes I actually try to fix things as soon as I notice it has broken.

In fact, just the other day Steve was chastising me for fixing a milking unit in the middle of milking. He fails to see he does the very same thing.

Sometimes, I secretly hope, for several days, that a broken item will fix itself. My water pipes froze the other day when the blasted northwest wind was blowing.

For two days I hoped it would thaw out. It never happened and I had to use the upstairs facilities. It was ridiculous. On the third day, it thawed.

This morning, when I started pressure washing the milking parlor after we finished milking cows, I noticed something a bit different and it wasn't working the way it had every other time. I normally have to use some sort of muscle to maintain control of the pressure-washer nozzle, but I had no trouble pressure washing using just my right arm.

When working properly, our pressure washer sprays water so fast and hard, it will peel decals right off a car, skid loader, tractor...skin off myfingers.

If, I am not careful, when I pressure wash the skid loader, it could end up reading "kidloader" and I would get in a lot of trouble with child protective services.

God forbid they think I use farm equipment to move my children around the farm.

I am not even going to discuss the time one of my offspring fell out of the bucket of the skid loader and required several stitches to the back of his head.

I will, however, explain that Father was watching the children while I was in Las Vegas when this particular incident occurred.

Getting back to the pressure washer. On the end of the long hose that I drag through the parlor every morning after milking when it's time clean every nook and cranny, is a nozzle.

It doesn't look at that special, but believe me it is.

It has some sort of mechanism inside that makes the jet of water spin in a circle. It's hard to explain, but think Spirograph. It makes designs in dirt just as fantabulous.

Well, the thingamajig inside the nozzle hasn't been working for more than a week.

I don't like repairing the pressure washer. It requires more tools than a person can legally carry without affecting health-insurance policy.

Hence the wish for it to fix itself.

This morning, it still wasn't working.

(I was also in a bad mood because the hoses on all our milking equipment are worn out and they haven't replaced themselves either.)

Because I don't like fixing the pressure washer, I did what I know best.

I batted my eyelashes at Hubby and asked him if he could "help" me fix the nozzle when he was done scraping manure out of the milking parlor and holding area.

I secretly know that asking Hubby to help means he will just take over and make the repair.

It worked.

An old nozzle was put on the hose by Hubby, to allow me to continue to pressure wash while he went to the garage to make the necessary fixes.

This old nozzle was quite disappointing. It lacked the pressure to clean the walls and floors to my satisfaction.

When I finished pseudo-washing the milking parlor, the first nozzle was repaired and ready to be replaced.

I guess I do have a way of getting broken items repaired without having to try to hard.

It just involves a little bit of eye lash fluttering.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at kahoffman@newulmtel.net.

 
 

 

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