Monday, 21 December 2015

Rolling the hay, and the Pulley Maid

I am all out of puff,
and have a shakiness within the body which had to have some chocolate and a cup of coffee to be made well again.
What have I been doing?
Rolling hay bales about, that's what.
Not little knee sized bales,
but stonking big things, dropped off a few days ago by a local farmer friend,
and left out on the drive, but they needed to be got under cover because hay is like a dry sponge when there is the merest hint of wetness about, and will sop up that wetness, whether it comes from the ground or the sky, and soon become a rotting mess which none of the animals can eat.
 
So.....
with much heaving, cussing, smiles, jollity, yells, and with many "For crikey's sake, Vera, PUSH!!" from Lester,
we have got four of the five bales under cover.
 


The tractor was useless because the bales were too heavy for it to lift them,
its wheels kept skidding, it kept tearing the bindings of the bales,
and a couple of times it threatened to topple over.
I knew the feeling,
I, too, felt like toppling over several times,
and I knew when I had had enough because I started fantasizing about drinking a steaming mug of  sugary coffee loaded down with our cream, and having a nibble at a couple of chocolates 'borrowed' from out of a posh box of choccies which was supposed to be donated to a friend for Christmas.
And this was only after having help shift the first bale.
 

Another sunny day here, and the long stretch of warm weather continues.
The temperatures are averaging between 15C and 20C, and look set to continue for a while.
 
Meanwhile, back indoors.....
 
 
This is a Pulley Maid.
It arrived in the post yesterday,
and within an hour Lester had it fixed to the ceiling,
and voila.....
 
 
..... within a further hour I had brought the washing in from outside and gave the Pulley Maid a test
 
Now perhaps you would not like airing your clothes in the middle of the kitchen,
and I must admit to wondering if it was going to clutter the place up,
but no, it has not,
instead it has given the kitchen a farmhouse cosiness.
 
Our kitchen is coming along.
It has no matching units,
nor has it ever so long counter tops,
instead it is becoming a place all of its own self.
I still have lots of sorting out to do,
but I am at last getting a home which is not full of packing boxes and general muddle.
 
Coffee and choccies have done the trick,
so I must away and do something outside in the sunshine,
perhaps cut brambles,
cut down some hedging,
prep the herb garden for next year,
weed the veg plot,
um, well, no, that can all wait,
I am going to sit and spin,
or knit,
or just watch the chickens get up their normal mischief.
 
Bye for now,
 
Vx
 
 
 
 
 
 


13 comments:

LaPré DelaForge said...

We call your Pulley Maid a Lazy Susan in Yorkshire...
and in Norfolk.
Not to be confused with a Lazy Susan... that little round condiment and chutney holder that sits in the middle of a dining table and spins....

Ours awaits the completion of the utility room [buanderie]...
I am making the height of this 3.5 metres...

why? Because in Leeds it used to live in the cellar... seven foot high!
As you lose a foot with the strings and pulleys....
all the wet clothes hit you full in trhe face everytime you want something from the freezer! Not any more... once I have completed the construction!!
We are up to the top now... so just need to get the joist bearers fixed to the walls.
We'll have it finished for the winter....
that's NEXT winter!!

Yours looks just perfect in front of that range...
in fact, that's just given me an idea...
I'll put it up temporary-like in front of the ESSE range in the longere.
The same room that the washing machine is in...
ceiling is less than 6ft 6inches...
BUT IT IS DRY!!

Vera said...

LaPrè DelaForge...oh good luck with your solution to temporarily house your Lazy Susan / Pulley Maid above your ESSE. I am very satisfied with ours, although still a novice in getting it loaded without it tipping sideways, and then pulling it up with both ends at the same height at the same time. But I do love the homeliness it gives the kitchen even when it is empty of drying clothes!

Cro Magnon said...

I have the same problem with ceiling hight. I've had the metal bits hanging around for years with nowhere to hang them. Now that the barn is almost done I think it'll find a home.

What is it about round bales. Most of my neighbours bale their hay, then leave the wretched bales outside until they turn black. Luckily the neighbour who takes our hay takes them in almost at once. You're right; they're heavy.

Vera said...

CRO MAGNON, I don't cook on my Rayburn yet so the Pulley Maid can hang at three quarter height, but if I did cook then there is just about room to pull the PM right up to the ceiling without the clothes being tangled up with my hairstyle of the day, which is always sort of untidy anyway so wouldn't make a difference to the general look of me!
As for bales of hay....I do wonder why they leave the bales on the fields to rot, especially when we have trouble finding sources to buy hay in because we do not have enough field space to make our own hay, although we have hand baled hay from the small far field in the past, but we are going to use that for winter grazing once we have finished the fencing.

Kerry said...

Flippin heck, that was hard work. We moved half a bale once and that was heavy enough, so well done to you both on being Mr and Mrs Universe. Love how your kitchen is evolving x

Dawn McHugh said...

Yes man handled those bales once now we have them delivered only one at a time and popped over the fence where it sits on a pallets and is covered with tarpaulin, next year will be small bales only so I can handle them.
I keep saying I want a pulley maid, our kitchen ceiling is not high enough but I think it can go on the landing, hubby is opposed to the idea I will have one one day :-)

Ohiofarmgirl said...

great work on those bales! the farmers here have a big spike on the front of their tractors - they stab the bales and that is how they move them about. i'm sure they have the same there but it would seem an expensive tool unless you had a huge hay field. :-)

Vera said...

KERRY, I love how my kitchen is finding its way to being the kitchen I always wanted, but without it being planned in advance! And yes, if I have to help shift more bales I shall indeed start getting muscles where previously there weren't any!

DAWN, we can't get bales delivered here one at a time, even to have five delivered was a miracle because in the past the minimum order has been twenty! We can get small bales though, but have to go and get them with our trailer, but they are expensive when compared to the cost of a large bale. If I was on my own, though, it would have to be small bales.
I was lucky in that Lester was enthusiastic about the Pulley Maid. I think it was because he was fed up with tripping over our old clothes horse, and didn't like seeing his undies hanging to dry in the bathroom in case we had visitors! Might be an idea you could try.....!

OHIOFARMGIRL, we do have a big spike on the front lifting thingy on our tractor, but these bales were so heavy that the tractor almost tipped over when it tried to lift one, plus the tyres kept slipping and couldn't gain traction sufficient to carry a bale even if it got lifted up. So, nothing for it but use muscles. What muscles? Well I do have a few here and there, but not many! Lester has a lot more, which was handy on this occasion!

Rhodesia said...

From experience I know how heavy those bales are, well done. Like that pulley maid, very useful. Keep well, Diane

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I have never heard of a pulley maid. That is so nifty!

Vera said...

DIANE, bless you, and hope you enjoy a lovely Christmas.

LISA, the 'Pulley Maid' is known by various other names, such as Sheila Maid, creel, pulley for example, and in the USA it is known as a Kitchen Maid. They don't have them here in France, so I ordered mine from Amazon UK. Apart from giving the kitchen a farm house look, they do get the clothes dry, and you can hang herbs and vegetables (eg. onions, garlic) to dry as well. All in all, a 'nifty' item to have in the kitchen!

LaPré DelaForge said...

Vera...
the pulling up is easy if you run the single pulley rope through the double pulley end....
rest the bars on a few boxes, stacked to head height...
knot the two ropes together just beyond the double pulley...
then cut the excess rope off ONE length.
that will stop it dropping too far.
The single, remaining length passes through the next pulley...
or pulleys if you need to change direction...
to the cleat.
I changed our double-prong, wind-round cleat for a spring-loaded yacht one...
quicker and easier!!

As for loading... from experience...
big, heavy things [sheets, trousers, etc] on the middle two bars, loading first....
shirts, etc outside two bars, loading second....
knickers, bras, etc... at the ends...
and add two slack lengths of baler twine between the two hangers...
this does for socks, hankies, etc.
And have a Very Merry Christmas and a healthy, successful and prosperous 2016 and beyond.

Vera said...

LaPréDF, Thanks for the info yet again! The instructions did say to knot the rope but I haven't got round to it yet, although my arm muscles are enjoying the work-out!
Wishing you and your family a happy Christmas, and all that you could wish for in 2016. Thanks for all the info you take the time to pass on to me...I much appreciate it, bless you.