Please join me in welcoming Pam Hillman to my blog today as part of her Claiming Mariah blog tour. You will find chances to win prizes at the end of the post along with a way to win the book here on my blog. Pam has written a post about Making hay which is quite interesting.
Make Hay While the Sun Shines
I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “make hay while the sun shines.” A simple saying, really, meaning to get your work done while it’s daylight, before time runs out, or while things are going good. But, literally, there’s more to it than that. I grew up hearing this saying. I’ve lived it. So, let me explain how to make hay while the sun shines from a Mississippi farm girl’s perspective.
There is a short window of time when grass is ready to cut, and the weather plays a huge role in how long that window lasts. Btw, we never actually say we’re going to go cut the grass. We say we’re going to cut hay. Cutting grass is just mowing the yard. Just sayin’
So, my modern-day cowboy has to keep one eye on the hayfield and one on the weather. He uses weatherchannel.com to track one, two, three, five day forecasts. Sure, meteorologists miss the forecast on occasion, but having those reports is better than what my daddy and his daddy had to work with. Next, my cowboy goes to the local watering-hole and talks to the men there. They all have an opinion about how much rain to expect, when, and how long it might last. He takes their opinions to heart because some of those men have been baling hay for a long, long time.
Once he’s made up his mind to cut hay, he goes at it with a vengeance. He sharpens the blades on the hay mower, makes sure it’s greased up, fires up the John Deere and away he goes. He can cut hay day or night. Doesn’t matter if the dew has fallen or not. So, he might cut hay into the wee hours, or get up really early and start a field. He has been known to enlist one of our sons or a neighbor and run two mowers at once.
Once the hay is cut, the sun dries—or cures—it. This generally takes 36-48 hours, depending on how thick the hay is. About half-way through this process, it’s time to fluff the hay. When I was a teen, I rarely remember us fluffing hay unless it was extremely thick. Now, we almost always fluff it just to speed up the process. There is a special piece of equipment called a hay fluffer. Basically, the fluffer stirs the hay, turning it upside down, and letting the sun dry the hay that has been on the bottom.
There comes a point when the hay is just right for baling: not too green, and not to dry. And you hope it gets to this point without a storm rolling in while the hay is on the ground. If it rains between cutting and baling, you have to let the sun dry the hay, fluff it again, dry some more, then rake and bale. But there’s only so much of this fluffing/drying/raking cycle the hay can take before it looses most of its nutritious value.
The hay has been cut, it’s been fluffed, the sweet scent fills the air, and a storm’s a brewing! Yikes! But wait, you can’t just jump up at daylight and bale hay. Not in Mississippi. You have to wait until the sun burns the dew off the hay. So, we’re chomping at the bit waiting for mid-to-late morning, hoping to beat the rain.
Two tractors hit the field, one pulling a double-sided contraption that rakes the hay into windrows, the other pulling a big round hay baler. It can take half a day to bale a forty acre field, but it’s a wonderful feeling to finish up before that first big, fat raindrop falls!
Pam is thrilled to announce the release of her second novel,
In light of her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Fredrick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.
Pam Hillman was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of! Claiming Mariah is her second novel. www.pamhillman.com
To celebrate, Pam is giving away two eReaders
(choice of Kindle Wi-Fi, 6" Display, or Nook Simple Touch)
Two Winners: One on facebook. One through Pam’s Newsletter.
Facebook Drawing: Kindle/Nook Giveaway
Newsletter: Pam’s newsletter.
Registering both places is not required but will double your chances of winning. Also keep in mind that you will receive updates more often being connected on facebook than through the newsletter. Just sayin’
Contest runs from January 1st until March 31st, 2013.
And....that’s not all! There will be prizes offered randomly throughout the tour.
Pam is especially excited about this week’s giveaway:
PREVIOUS STOP ON TOUR
January 16th: Blogging with Dora Hiers
NEXT STOP ON TOUR:
January 18th: Blogging with Preslaysa Williams
I finished this book but haven't had time to do a review yet it will be up in a day or so. Have to take it easy typing at present.
I am giving away one Kindle ecopy of Claiming Mariah from Amazon to one commenter on my blog if I get 10 commenters. Pam has some questions for you to answer you can answer any of them to enter. (Putting please enter will not be considered without an answer.) Please leave a way to contact you. You have til Jan 24th 6pm Aussie time to enter.
"Are you surprised at the amount of time and effort it takes to bale hay? Did you know the weather played such an important part of the process?"
"Is there anything about farming or ranching you'd like to ask?"
"It's your turn. Are you a city girl or a country girl? And have you ever dreamed of leaving that life for the other?"