Thursday, January 7, 2010

Winter Hay Delivery

I ran out of hay earlier than usual this winter, which means that this latest block may not last until the first cutting of 2010, which could be in July. Although, the hay farmer did give me ten free bales this time around. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because he appreciates that I'm his only customer who doesn't complain about the cost of hay. He said there are so many customers who say they don't have the money to pay him, that he may have to hire a collection agency to help him out. With people losing their jobs and not being able to find new homes for their horses, many of them just keep on ordering hay and not paying for it.

He did say something about him having to add a row to store the blocks in the barn. The extra row isn't in the greatest shape, so that may be why he didn't charge me. I figure it makes up for all the moldy bales he's delivered over the years that I had to throw out.

My hay farmer does allow for us to exchange moldy bales, but with my long hours at work, I don't have time to be loading up heavy bales into my truck and driving them over to his place. I usually just throw the hay out into the compost pile and call it a loss. Plus I don't know how much of that mold is his fault and how much is mine. Sometimes my tarps just get holes in them and leak moisture onto the block long after he delivered it.

Today's delivery was a bit of a fiasco, but also somewhat humorous. He called me really early in the morning, about the time the roosters crow, to ask if I wanted my block delivered today. I said yes. He then tried to talk me out of it, because he thought it might rain. I said that's okay, because I have someone home today who can help me get a tarp over it. He then said, "I'll see you in an hour then," and started to hang up.

I jumped out of my skin, because I realized that I had a phone conference scheduled in an hour. I couldn't leave that to go pay him. Fortunately, he came back on the line and said, "Oh, I almost forgot, I have a doctor's appointment. I'll bring it by after 1:00 PM."

Around 11:00 AM someone knocked on our door. I was talking to my boss through instant messaging, so I couldn't leave my desk to answer the door. My husband is home for a week's vacation from his job, so he answered it. It was the hay farmer. He had stopped by early to ask if we were ready for our hay. My husband couldn't hear what he was saying, because the dogs were barking and wouldn't shut up, so he stepped outside to talk to him. At this point, I didn't know it was the hay farmer. All I knew was that there was a strange vehicle in our driveway and my husband had disappeared for a very long time.

Well, my hay farmer is notorious for sucking up people's time. He's a talker. He actually is a very interesting person, very opinionated, especially about politics, but with my job, I just don't have the time to spare to listen to him. As a habit, he usually keeps me captive for at least half an hour while he talks non-stop without taking a breath. Most of the people I know avoid him and just leave a check in an envelope taped to their gate for him to pick up while they hide in their houses.

This hay farmer likes my husband and knows he's home on Tuesdays, so he usually tries to bring the blocks by on Tuesdays so he can chat with him. I didn't want to put my husband through that, so I purposefully waited until Wednesday to order my hay, knowing he'd have to deliver on Thursday or Friday when I would be home to deal with him. Well, needless to say, my noble effort to protect my husband's time backfired when the hay farmer came to the door unannounced two hours early. Some time later my husband came back into the house all red in the face and said, "You are supposed to rescue me! That's your job!"

I said, "I didn't know it was the hay farmer until just now." I figured it out when I stepped into the garage and heard his voice on the other side of the garage door. I admit I'm still guilty of not immediately rescuing my husband then.

About half an hour later, the hay farmer came by a second time, but this time he was driving his harrow and had my hay on it. I made sure I was the one who was outside to pay him. Unfortunately, I couldn't just write a check and leave it at that. I had to get sucked into a long chat, despite me taking several giant steps backward and informing him that I have to get back to work.

Of course, as soon as my nosy neighbors heard the truck in my driveway, they had to come running outside to investigate. They both loitered about, eavesdropping on my conversation with the hay farmer, who looked at them and said, "The old folks are still around, eh? They haven't died yet?"

I tried not to burst out laughing. I've never said anything to him about my problems with these neighbors, but I could tell that he felt some disdain for them as well.

"Do you deliver to them too?" I asked, knowing he probably did since they are always stealing my service providers.

He nodded. First, they got to my farrier, and then they got to my hay farmer. I don't like having anything in common with these people.

I knew they were listening in, so I tried to change the subject, but the hay farmer walked down my RV lane to take a good long look at their property. Then he turned to me and said really loudly, "Their barn has been in that crappy condition for two years now! When are they ever going to finish fixing it up?"

He shook his head in disgust, while I quickly changed the subject. When they first moved in, they tore down part of the barn and removed part of the roof, as well as starting an add on. They eventually substituted a torn down wall with a tarp -- always a great idea around horses. Every time a big wind comes up, it tears the tarp loose, which scares the horses and puts them at risk of having an eye snapped out. Anyway, they never finished the job. However, I knew they overheard his comment, because as soon as he drove off, the nosy neighbor drove his truck back to the barn and started working on it.

In other news, I got a very special delivery today that may help with the nosy neighbor problem. I'll post about it later. Gabbrielle wanted you to know that she won't fall on Mom anymore, because the ice rink is turning to mud...


fernvalley01 said...

I think other than the time issue your hay farmer is just what the doctor ordered , your nosy nieghbors got an earful today didn't they ! teehee

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

I agree with fernvalley. He did you a real favor. My hay guy is a young guy and he talks, but only as much as I want so it's not that bad. He's also very nice.


Fantastyk Voyager said...

Wow, you can get hay deliveries all winter? Most of the farmers around here sell out by the fall and it's only the feed stores that carry hay over the winter. They usually charge more than the local growers because it comes down from Colorado.

It's great that he said that so loud they could hear although if they are his customers they could drop him. I guess he wouldn't mind, huh?

Katharine Swan said...

Oh, I love it! Good for your hay farmer for giving those neighbors of yours an earful!

And I find it quite funny that both your farrier and your hay farmer deliberately try to schedule when your husband is around to chat. Hubby must be a very likeable guy. ;o)

lytha said...

isn't this the same guy who thinks your job is selling stuff on ebay all day long? hehe

your husband should take it as a compliment that both the farrier and the hay guy want to talk to him!

i wish our hay guy would talk, he just does the job and is out of here so fast. i had to catch him by the sleeve to give him christmas cookies!

glad he got through to your neighbors - momentarily.


My Friend Grayson said...

Ah the hay delivery! That is one giant stack of hay! I love hay day...the thought of a new hay supply gives me the warm fuzzies.

@Fantastyk Voyager - My hay lady delivers whenever I need's great! I buy two round bales off her at a time which will last me 10-12 weeks. Once I have 2-3 weeks left I'll call her up to schedule a delivery.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Yay Hay!
I just had a load of hay delivered last week from my feed store guy.
Most local farmers don't have much, if any, left over hay after the summer is over, so we have to get it from out of state.

My feed store guy gets some huge, tight 3-string bales from California. I had to have him load it in our garage, though, because we had 1 foot drifts of snow and treacherous ice going up to our barn.

Now we've got boot-sucking you. I almost lost a boot today walking up to the barn. yuk!

The joys of winter!

I can understand why everyone wants to chat with your hubby. He's an easy to talk with guy and very interesting, too.
Yay for your hay farmer 'encouraging' your nosy neighbors to fix up their eye-sore barn, too!


Mytee Products Inc. said...

One industry that tarps are used in is farming, but this isn't just to cover farm equipment. Poly tarps are used, as well, to cover bales of hay to keep in storage instead of a barn.