Yeehaw Farm

One bucking thing after another.

The nitty gritty dirt

Operation Hoop House

Posted by Judi F Radel on December 3, 2013 at 9:15 PM

The following was supposed to be the Yeehaw Farm October newsletter which never was distributed to our members. Sorry about that. As promised in the November newsletter, here it is. A bit late.


Howdy!                                                                                                      October 24, 2013

     Every time that sit down to write this monthly newsletter, I can’t believe that another month has come and gone since the last newsletter. I guess when you are having a ball in life, it flies by. And I am. Life freakin’ rocks on Yeehaw Farm. Not sure that my family, especially my punk kids would agree with that statement but I don’t care. I am having a grand ole time and that’s all that matters! Ha.

     BIG news to report this month. Our cold weather vegetable growing hoop house is finally finished. Five years after we bought it. Yep, that’s right, Cranky (that would be Tommy, for those of you who don’t follow the infamous muscled arms of my husband on Facebook ) finally finished the hoop house just this week! I am so excited that I could puke. Seriously. I wasn’t being my normal sarcastic self with that last statement.

     The hoop house is a great story. I think I will share how our 60 foot hoop house came to finally be after all these years. Once upon a time, in the year 2008, I had a vision for our farm to be more self sustaining. Cranky, on the other hand, did not share this plan for our farm because all he ever knew was to be a conventional farmer. Conventional farming and fishing. I had dreams of having year round vegetables to complete our farming operation. I kept bugging, begging, pleading and very annoyingly demanding a hoop house but Cranky just ignored my desires for winter food production. In May of 2008, Cranky had taken his annual weekend fishing/drinking trip with his buddies to West Virginia. This annual rite of passage fishing trip annoyed the hell out of me every year because it was always taken at the busiest time of the spring planting season. Which ticked me off. Staying home with our four punks, milking cows and trying to keep up with the farm always left me with a very piss poor attitude. And a bit of spitefulness. The first evening that Cranky was away, I was perusing the Farm and Garden section on Craig’s list. And there it was. My hoop house. My dream. Just waiting for me to answer the ad. I thought to myself, “Self, if you can handle this farm by yourself for four days, you can handle purchasing and dragging home a hoop house by yourself.” (A side note- I really need to have a mediator when I start a conversation with myself.)

     I set up a time to look at the hoop house and took the checkbook. I need to be honest with you and myself. I had no idea what I was looking at when I finally arrived at the Craig’s list hoop house location but I pretended like I did. Disassembled, it just looked like a junk pile of pipe, plastic and metal fittings to which I had no idea how they went together but I didn’t care. I was gaining some serious spite on my dear husband drinking, err…um, fishing in West Virginia. So, I bought it because at the time, it seemed like a really great idea. The hoop house was priced extremely cheap because it needed to be removed off the premises in three days. No problem, I thought to myself again (which always gets me in trouble). The guy selling it kept repeating to me, “Seriously, it has to be removed by Sunday. No later.” Again….No problem. I wrote the check, shook hands and told the dude that I would return on Saturday to pick the hoop house up. I drove the 26 miles on Saturday to pick up the hoop house, only to realize the removal of the hoop house was a pretty big job and one that I could not handle myself. I promised to return on Sunday with assistance from Cranky when he returned from West Virginia. Maybe, I couldn’t handle all the farm stuff completely all by myself after all but I had sufficiently satisfied my yearning to spite my husband. Waiting patiently all day Sunday for Cranky to return home from his fishing trip, he finally arrived home in the late afternoon and boy, was he ever cranky. And hung over. I hadn’t even told him about the hoop house yet. In fact, I couldn’t bring myself to mention the hoop house because he was in such a bad mood.

     So…resort to plan B. Problem was, I didn’t have a plan B. I resolved to myself to figure a way out of this hoop house mess so I drove back to the hoop house location yet again. Another 26 miles, one way. By this time, it was getting dark when I once again pulled up in our farm truck and still didn’t have any help to move the pile of hoop house debris. I tried pulling, twisting, shoving and cursing the 16 feet curved metal poles to somehow fit them in our truck bed. They just wouldn’t fit. By this time, it was 11:30pm and time was running out. At midnight, I thought for sure that my hoop house would turn into a pumpkin since it was not removed by Sunday. Almost to the point of tears, I sat down on my pile of metal rubble, buried my head into my hands only to be startled by the guy who I purchased the hoop house from gently tapping me on the shoulder asking me to “Please, go home.” He would give me another day to try to retrieve my hoop house. Yes! My pitiful self came through yet again. I drove the 26 miles back home, crawled into bed and began planning my assault on the damn hoop house for the next day. I needed to come up with the ultimate plan. I called it, “Operation Hoop House Home”. A sleepless night yielded nothing and by the next morning, I still didn’t have a productive plan of hoop house assault. Retreating with my white flag, I finally broke down and confided in Cranky. I spoke the words so fast, slurred with a hint of stutter that he couldn’t even understand me. “IIIbottttahooooophousetospiteyoouuuuandandandandnowIIIIcan’tgettttithome.Whaaaa.”After which, I commenced sucking my thumb in between sobbing for breath.

     Boy. I sure showed Cranky that I could handle things myself, didn’t I?

     Surprisingly, Cranky wasn’t upset that I had drained our bank account for a pile of metal poles and plastic. He simply said, “Alright, here’s the deal. The farm truck isn’t inspected, nor is the trailer that we will need to pick up the hoop house. If you think we can get there today without the cops seeing us, let’s go for it.” Wait. The farm truck that I had been driving back and forth 26 miles each way wasn’t inspected?

     Ever the optimist, I figured if the po po hadn’t caught me in the three previous round trips, I was sure that I could make it one more time traveling 52 miles without the cops catching up with our illegal truck and trailer. So, we set off on Operation Hoop House Home with a rusty, two tone red and white, 24 year old Dodge farm truck pulling an illegal homemade farm trailer. Surely, no one would notice us.

     Our trip to pick up the hoop house was uneventful and we didn’t see one cop on the way there. We didn’t see any cops because basically, we couldn’t see much at all. It was pouring down buckets of rain and the windshield wipers on the old truck broke on our trip. Being the ever ingenious farmers that we are, we found baling twine behind the seat of the truck, in which we tied onto each wiper blade. Cranky with his arm out his side of the truck and me on the other side with my one arm out of my side window pulled the wind shield wipers back and forth across the glass to keep the rain off the windows so that Cranky could see. “Pull!” yelled Cranky as he would finish pulling the wipers towards him. “Pull!” I would yell as the wipers were ready to go Cranky’s way. It was almost hypnotic with the wipers swirling back and forth. Surely…no one noticed us hanging out both sides of that old, two tone farm truck pulling an ugly farm trailer in the pouring rain.

     Regardless, Cranky kept repeating, in between the word, “Pull!”, that I was to keep on the look out for cops. Even though we never saw one cop on the trip, I wondered what we would do if we did see one. What was my genius husband’s plan? To hide the old Dodge truck and trailer behind a stop sign, hold our breath and hope that the cop doesn’t see us? I still wonder what his plan was but I never bothered to ask. I was too caught up in pulling my side of the windshield wipers so that I could keep up. And I think I might have been temporarily hypnotized with the back and forth motion of the wipers. You keep your eyes on the swaying of windshield wipers for a 26 mile trip and see if you can remain un-hypnotized.

     Finally at our designation, we loaded up the hoop house on the trailer and strapped on the plastic and all the extra fittings in the pouring rain. After the windshield wiper ordeal, loading the hoop house was a piece of cake. Cranky and I didn’t say much to each other except a few cuss words to the pouring rain. Obviously, the rain was to fault for this whole fiasco.

     However, things were looking up. Traveling back up the road on our return trip, the rain subsided a bit so that we only had to swish the wipers on an intermittent basis. Even so, Cranky still reminded me to keep an eye out for the enemy…the police. Again, I wondered what he was going to do if I actually spotted a cop but then decided that Cranky is a twit and that was enough of a conclusion for me.

     About three miles from our farm, Cranky and I were both feeling a bit triumphant from Operation Hoop House Home and our evasion of the ever present police. So much so that we decided to stop at the local convenience store to pick up coffees to warm our drenched bodies. Paying for our coffees, we quickly ran back to our illegal vehicle parked next to the curb. I had both coffees in my hands and was trying to open my door while Cranky was stepping over the trailer hitch. I remember hearing a crash, and then tires squealing. Next thing I knew, I was laying on the parking lot, still holding the coffees in the air, trying to avoid spilling them. I heard Cranky bitching and yelling, “What the hell is going on?”

     Coming to my senses and still holding the coffees up in the air (because we had just paid for the damn caffeine, I certainly did not want to spill any) I realized as I was rolling around on the parking lot floor that some dude had side swiped our farm truck and then driven off. A hit and run. On my Operation Hoop House Home. Well, the nerve.

     When the hit and run driver backed into and then side swiped our truck, Cranky was stepping over the trailer hitch. The collision moved our truck and trailer about four feet taking Cranky down with it. As Cranky was rolling around behind the truck, bitching and moaning, I became pissed that the hit and run driver had, indeed, run off. I got up, still holding the coffee and chased the hit and run driver down the highway, yelling and screaming for him to stop. He drove off, spinning his wheels and burning rubber but…the dofus couldn’t escape the eagle eyesight that I possess. I kept repeating his license number as I ran back to the truck (still holding the coffees, mind you) to find Cranky sitting in the front seat, brushing himself off and still asking, “What the hell happened?” My boy is clueless and always will be.

     The very first thing that Cranky did after I told him that I remembered the hit and run driver’s license plate is pull out his cell phone and called the police.

     Yes. Really.

      After a three hour trip of trying to avoid the police at all costs, my twit husband simply whips out his cell phone and calls the po po to report a hit and run accident to our illegal farm truck and trailer. Yes. Really.

     Sitting there in the front seat of the farm truck (still holding the coffees), feeling smug with ourselves for our detective work, realization finally clicked as we looked over at each other.

     Cranky asked, “Did I just call the police on our own illegal truck and trailer?”

     “Yep” I answered.

     And that is how “Operation Hoop House Home” went down.



Categories: farm stuff

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