Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hey! There's Hay!

My "fresh" block of hay was delivered today. Delivery used to be free, but now I am paying $50 for it. I suspect that's mostly for the labor and not the gas, since my hay farmer just lives a few blocks away from me. Still, if you can't spare the time to pick up, load and unload 76 bales yourself, it's worth it to have it delivered. The only "hard labor" you have to do is write out the check.

When he handed me the bill, he said, "Same as last time."

I said, "Now that gas prices are coming down, will your price for hay and delivery be coming down in the future?"

"Nope," he said. "Now electricity has gone up."

You just can't win. I looked at the receipt, and it was only a total of $1,030. That certainly is less than what I had been paying, so I wasn't going to complain. My husband actually paid for the last load, so I didn't realize that this farmer did come down on his prices from this time last year, when I last paid for it. Here you can see that the block is as tall as my house...

I was a bit annoyed because he brought me a block that was bleached by the sun on two sides. I verified with him that he hadn't left it out in the rain and snow, because moisture will make hay mold in no time. I guess he had to keep my block stored at the front opening of his hay barn, so it had a roof over it, but was still getting hit by the sun. He explained that he had some other customer who buys much more hay than I do get first dibs on the best storage site. Oh well, I guess you have to keep your best customers happy.

I am very thankful that I still have a job, but I'll tell you, it is hard to get people to respect the fact that you work out of your home. When the hay farmer arrived, he asked if I'm still working. I said I am, and then he started talking, and talking, and talking. Normally, I don't mind listening, because he is a very interesting person and knows a lot about the history of our valley and its agriculture, but I had to get back to my desk, because my boss and coworkers are always calling me and instant messaging me, and I had to be there to respond. So I interrupted him and said that I had to get back to work. At the same time I began walking away and waving goodbye.

He said, "You've got to get back to your house cleaning?"

I stopped dead in my tracks. Say what? I thought we had an understanding that I work out of my home, but not in that way. I said, "No, I work for a company out of my home using my computer."

He said, "Oh, you buy stuff on eBay?"

Say what? This guy thinks I'm a homemaker who shops all day. Before I could answer, he went off on a tangent about eBay, all the while I'm stepping backwards in an attempt to remind him that I've got to get back to work. I wanted to tell him that I conduct meetings through phone conferences with people in both the United States and England, that I test software, which requires a college degree and a lot of knowledge regarding computer logic and languages. I do not spend my husband's money on eBay, clean house and ride horses for recreation all day. In fact, I consider myself lucky if I find time to clean house and ride horses. Geez. It's always interesting to find out what people's preconceptions are about you. At any rate, I've still got my job and I've got another six months worth of hay, so all is well.

19 comments:

fernvalley01 said...

Thats an old farmer for you ,when you get it explained to him want to try telling my dad that just because I self schedule ,yes it is a real job and no I can't drop everthing on a whim.
The hay looks a little weathered bot the green side looks OK ,if it had had rian I would expect it to look more weathered

Katharine Swan said...

I am a freelance writer and I work out of my home, so I deal all the time with that kind of crap your hay guy gave you.

And in addition to the work-from-home stereotypes you mentioned, I have to deal with people who either think all writers are starving artists, or that I have a dream job that consists of doing nothing all day.

But I'm like you -- if I am able to find the time to spend with my horse, I consider myself very, very lucky!

Jamie said...

Yes, we are lucky we have jobs, and really lucky here in the South that we have hay this year. The drought almost took us all out.
Nice hay...

Just wanted to come by and say thanks for thinking of me and stopping by, it really meant a lot to me.

I will have to get back here and catch up on you. The blog looks great !!

Hugs to you
Jamie

Jenn said...

That's a TALL stack of hay! Do you have to climb a ladder to reach the top bales?

I am a reporter and a columnist and my hay guy is a fairly regular reader of my "stuff." Every time I go out to pick up hay we have a nice, long conversation about the latest stories I wrote, the latest in state/city politics and my last column.

The bonus is, because he's a fifth-generation farmer with TONS of acreage and knowledge so I often use him as a source for farm/crop related stories and he's always willing to talk candidly with me.

It's kind of fun! I still think he should give me a discount on my hay. :P

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

fernvalley01 - That's good that you can tell it hasn't been out in the rain.

Katharine - I'm a freelance writer too. I used to get to spend more time writing than in recent years, though. I've lost a lot of my contacts who used to ask me to write pieces for them.

Jamie - It's good to hear from you. I'm hoping we won't have to deal with another hay shortage in South this year.

Jenn - That's affirmative on the ladder, but I let my husband do the climbing. All the reporters in our town are well known and respected. I've kind of been wishing I had a job in journalism, and often fantasize about changing careers so I can write for a newspaper. My hay guy is very into politics too.

dp said...

My work is all computer-related, and I work from home 2 or 3 days a week. This doesn't make sense to anyone else in our neighborhood as they all have to be physically present in their workplace to earn money (farming, plumbing, postal delivery...). I'm pretty sure they secretly think that David and I are the useless spawn of rich parents, or that we won a lottery. Most cannot comprehend the idea of 10+ years of postsecondary education, and I can't blame them -- it is far removed from their realities. In fact I think they kind of pity me for having to spend so much time inside when I could be doing honest work -- sometimes I pity myself.

sue said...

that looks like a nice load, and you probably feel better knowing that it's there. it's funny how folks don't really understand that "work at home thing"... but, he had to give you a laugh...at least it was a good story!!!!

Leah Fry said...

Yes, I covet your hay block. I have been storing square bales in my stock trailer and ran out this morning. Of course it's the day after the ice storm when everything's frozen except the ground and the trailer wheels are a bit sunken down. Mike ended up getting 3 bales to last us until the weekend when, hopefully, the ground will be dry enough to get the trailer out.

The D-Meister said...

I think this is the appropriate time for LOL!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I've never seen hay delivered in stacks as tall as that before. I've seen stacks that high down in Bosque Farms where most of our hay comes from during the summer months, so it's a good thing your hubby doesn't mind climbing a ladder to throw down some of that hay. I'd be scared that tower would fall on me as I walked by. (I think I worry more about accidents after I had mine, though.)

You know, if you had been able to explain what you do, your hayman's jaw would have probably dropped and his hand would have went to scratching his head in bewilderment.
Hay Man would be too confused by your job description...and would probably just stumble off, saying, 'uh, yeh, that's nice'. lol!

~Lisa

Laura said...

How do you get the bales down from the top? A little short person like me would be pretty useless getting that hay. It would be like a game - I could pull a bale from the middle and hope it wouldn't all fall down.

Glad you got more hay for the beasts, wouldn't want them going hungry! Those old farmer types are funny - I guess you can't really expect them to understand stuff...

Molly said...

A beautiful sight that stack of hay. The next generation might all be working from home, or at least be computer literate.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

He probably "assumed" that you were home for the day and that your job was elsewhere, that maybe you took the day off?

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Ooooops, I hit return too fast.

I wanted to say, that's a huge stack! When we'd go pick up our own hay we would get 75 bales on a truck and trailer combined. I've never really thought about what it looked like in a tall stack like that.
I'll bet the horses are happy and you're relieved to have hay again. I always hate to run out. So, your farmer is willing to hold the hay for you? I haven't been able to find anyone here that'll commit to that.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The D-Meister is laughing out loud, because I had to hire her to clean my house this past month. Plus she knows the hay farmer.

Leah - I always worry that during the winter months I will run out of hay right in the middle of a series of snow or ice storms and I won't be able to get out to pick up any hay and the delivery guy won't be able to get in. I was fortunate that all the snow had melted before I completely ran out this year. But, of course, the hay farmer tells me to pray for more rain and snow or he won't be able to grow enough hay for everyone this year.

Suzie (Echo) said...

That's a great view you now have froim your window!!

Some people are really infuriating - it's like the people who say - riding a horsde isn't exercise - you just sit there and the horse does all the work - it makes my blood boil!

Lulu said...

You must manager your hay very well for one stack to last you 6 months!

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

That looks like a lot of hay, I can't believe it's only 76 bales! I remember when my sis and I had to LOAD and UNLOAD hay, wow what a JOB.
Get back to your housework, ok? Man that was insulting... next time you need to have one of your coworkers call you on your cell so you can get back to work...

KD said...

I've never seen hay stacked like that. I'm down to 5 bales from the 100 I bought in the fall and we're thinking about trying the round bales again since we have my daughter's horse back at home with ours.