By Kerry Hoffman
Besides being the Domestic Goddess around here, I also serve as the Poop Princess and Trailer-Top Queen.
Having the responsibilities of being the Domestic Goddess is what bores me the most. I loathe having to do laundry. I despise have to wash the dishes and hate keeping the bathroom clean and the floors mopped. I dislike them so much, I have someone come in and help me out!
I enjoy cooking and baking. Finding the time to create savory meals, marvelous muffins and bon-bons gives me the most trouble. Thank goodness for frozen meals, crock pots and Hamburger Helper.
Being the Poop Princess is the one job that takes me outside the most, which I don't mind at all as long as it's warm and sunny outside. When it's dreary and damp, it's not really any fun at all.
I can move poop from here to there in a jiffy. I hire the Poop Prince to take care of the poop pit; he's been doing that ever since he was a pauper.
And he's a lot quicker at it than the Princess.
As of late, I have become the Queen of semi-trailer tops as well. Who would have guessed that I would end up being a person helping out with semi-trailers?
Steve and I also operate an animal bedding business. We pick up wood shavings, chips and sawdust from a local supplier and haul it to several dairy farms in our area. Most of our customers use the wood product to keep their milking cows comfy and clean. I also use it for bedding in my calves and for the chickens.
When we first started the bedding business, we hauled all the material with a walking-floor trailer that had a tarp on the top to cover the bedding as we drove down the road.
Well, we wanted to step it up a bit and provide a nicer, cleaner option as a way to help the supplier keep their business-yard clean and neat.
So much for good intentions.
In our honest effort, we purchased a trailer with a fiberglass top on it. Did you know that most semi trailers have this type of top? It makes it real easy to see inside the trailers because it lets a bit of natural light shine in.
Apparently, these types come with one not-so-minor flaw design.
They tend to rip open with the slightest disruption to their surface. From what I have been told, forklifts tend to put really dandy holes in fiberglass-type roofs.
Well, we have also learned that sawdust, wood shavings and chips also tend to stress the fiberglass roof.
When it comes time to unload the bedding, if anything gets in the way and prevents it from moving freely to the back of the trailer, it pushes the roof up and pops it like a small packet of ketchup that's been stepped on. (I recently did this stepped on the ketchup that is. It was kind of fun.)
Our contract with the supplier allows Steve and I just a few hours to get the top repaired returned to the pick up zone. We move like madmen when the need for trailer repairs comes around. On these days, there is really no room to make a decent supper!
Since my husband is afraid of heights (he says it's because the "tougher" work is on the inside of the trailer), I am delegated to working outside on the top of the trailer. It's up to me to make sure the repair pieces are in the right place and sealed tight. Using the skid loader or loader on the tractor, Steve lifts me up to the top of the trailer. I very carefully step off the bucket, over 13-feet of air and onto the trailer. Stepping off the trailer and into the bucket gives me a few more butterflies.
No, we don't make repairs with a fiberglass-repair kit. At this point in time, we are fixing the rips with pieces of wood, screws and caulk and the infamous Ductape. (For consistency's sake, we always use red.)
Steve made a good point when I questioned him as to why we are making repairs of this nature. He said, "I am not going to put a new top on the trailer until we figure out a way to stop it from tearing."
We have had help with a design addition to our trailer that scrapes off the top of the big piles of sawdust and it seems to be working. Hopefully, I'll be able to put my Trailer-Top Queen sash and crown away.
It won't be so easy to get rid of my Domestic Goddess and Poop Princess titles.
I haven't seen anybody else around here volunteering for the job.
For questions, or comments, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please check out our farm's facebook page at SKH Dairy Farm.