I was in the middle of loading the mixer with  thirty, fifty pound bags of grass seed  yesterday  when it happened.  I forgot to take the tag out of the partially used  bag of seed and before I could grab it, the auger on the mill sucked it in.

David, (the other  new guy) and myself had just been warned ten minutes before to be extra careful that no small pieces of string (from the top of the bags)  fell into the mixer…because something like that could plug up the farmers grain drill while  planting.. If that happened, then depending on the planter, he might have to manually unload a seeder full of grain.

Now there I was, dumping a chunk of paper, the size of my cell phone into the mixer….

I  mentioned something to our foreman, a few minutes later when he  checked on me.  I was  ready for a butt chewing, but it never came.

Later in the morning as we were transferring the seed into a holding bin, I spotted the tag, just as it headed up the grain leg elevator. 🙂

Fortunately for me, it was at end of the batch, and when I opened the access door, there it was…right on top.

What. A. Relief.

(I brought it home as a souvenir )

Today, Dave and I had to re bag three bags of seed.  One of the machines we are both “learning” to use (I say that loosely)  is a hand-held sewing machine.  We use this beast to  stitch the ends of the grain bags shut.  You definitely wouldn’t want to have that sucker get a hold of your hand.

The first thing I thought of when I saw that machine was my grandmother Edna.  She worked in a shirt factory back in the 1920’s….she ran the sewing machine right over her knuckle.  They wanted to take her finger off, but she wouldn’t let them.

We were  not setting any records  this morning, when Dave did something I’d not seen before.  (He’s also has a healthy fear of this machine.) 🙂

He got the sewing machine jammed, and it would not let go of the bag.  On top of that, the bag got torn, which normally would be no big deal…but these were special bags. Stored, twenty feet in the air, accessible only with a fork lift.

I couldn’t wait until our foreman came back! (Not)

Well, after waiting on a customer, he finally came back…luckily by that time, I had figured out how to at least get it off the bag.


As he came over to check on us, he asked how things were going…

“You’re not going to be happy,” I said. “We had a problem with the sewing machine, and are going to need another bag…”




Seed tag I fished out of the mixer.



Here are some other bloopers  from my life I could tell you about…

The time I poured a sidewalk in the wrong place.

Why we installed  (3) different tubs in our B and B in one year before  finally getting it right.

The time I demolished my dad’s oats seeder with the disk, just after he got it back from the machine shop. I can still see him looking at that spoke wheel now in the shape of a pretzel…to his credit, he just stood there and shook his head…

The numerous times I have had things fall off my truck in the middle of traffic. (Including a skid-loader right in front of the police station.)

Tell me about some of the blunders  you’ve made over the years.   🙂

I won’t tell anyone.




12 thoughts on “Busted

  1. In my youth I was in 4-H, wanting to be “independent”, I changed the bandsaw blade for a project my dad and I were dong ( while he was in the house). It broke as soon as we pushed the start button. I was scared for my life. My dad was glad he still had his fingers.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This warmed my heart. Thank you about being so open about your blunders.
    I have made none, of course, but dear husband? Oh my. No, I am kidding, but since he does the kind of work where blunders are easy to spot, I find myself being critical at times. You have made me feel like he isn’t the only one who goofs.
    My blunders have been the bigger kind–the kind that stick with you for a lifetime.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A skid loader right in front of a police station!! LOL! You are brave to be so honest about your blunders. I find myself disarmed, yet again, by the fact that you hold no pretense and just tell it like it is…sometimes here in NY, I am not sure if anyone at all does this, everyone is so busy maintaining an image and inflating themselves in an effort to compete…
    Anyway: OK, some of my biggest blunders: working for a large coffeeshop–(a year or two after college, it started out as my second job, just for spare change, but turned into my full-time job after I quit my so-called “real” job). This coffeeshop roasted its own beans and made all its own drinks on the premises. The back room was a huge room with giant sinks, several cream and milk dispensers (holding giant bags of cream/milk which could be dispensed by pulling back a lever to release a stream out of a white tube which would otherwise be crimped shut), and bags and bags of unroasted coffee beans from all over the world, stacked against the walls, on the floor, on the shelves….Since I had “back of the room” duty, i.e. was not behind the counter serving customers, my tasks were to clear and bring back all the dirty dishes, load them into the dishwasher, and to do food prep in between. Well, I like to multitask because it makes life more interesting, so I was of course doing both things at once, priding myself on my efficiency and speed and mastery. OY. Pride goes before a fall…
    So I was making an industrial-size batch of mocha (probably something like 2 gallons of cream, chocolate syrup, and concentrated cold-brewed coffee, i.e. toddy). I set up the cream dispenser to SLOWWWWWLY dispense, measured the chocolate syrup to the right amount from memory, measured the toddy. I left the back room to grab a tub of dirty dishes, probably got caught up in tidying the mammoth front rooms, or talking to a friend, and came back to….cream everywhere. The tile floor just covered in slow-moving thick white liquid, including puddles lapping at the burlap sacks of coffee. Gallons wasted. I think I probably started to shake, literally….went and told my boss….
    To make a long story short…my boss was a saint, and a good friend to boot. He didn’t fire me; he helped me hide the mistake from HIS boss, helped me mop and clean, and somehow figured out a way to make sure the expensive coffee beans I had begun to soak in cream got roasted as soon as possible, so they didn’t get moldy or spoil. I didn’t work there that long, but that coffee shop opened doors and helped me see myself differently socially, saw the beginning of one of my most important romantic relationships (didn’t last long but really showed me what I wanted and what I could have in a relationship, a real catalyst for future relationships)…and I wouldn’t have had that job for the year and half I had it, if not for the mercy of my boss.
    And….two years later, driving a shiny brand new bright yellow pick-up truck at 6:30am, having picked up a few pieces of 2×2 metal angle for the construction company I worked for (I was the administrative assistant and coffee girl but they’d gotten me started doing purchasing and supply runs…because I like multitasking, because it makes life more interesting), I sleepily backed out of a tight space next to a concrete wall and managed to make a huge long horizontal SCRAAAAAPE from midway through the front end all the way across the door….Oh boy. Probably shaking then, when I had to tell my boss…who was another saint. He banned me from driving the company pick-ups for 30 days or something like that, told me if I did anything like that again I’d probably lose my job…and that was the end of it. The repair must have cost several hundred dollars (and they did it, because they were a national outfit and had an image to maintain…) Eventually I got to go back to driving the pick-up truck and picking up interesting stuff from industrial areas of Cleveland, usually the only woman around…I LOVED that stuff, riding around the job site in my safety vest and hard hat, in my bright-yellow truck. Another experience I wouldn’t have had without the mercy of a nice boss…
    (Boy, now that I get to thinking about it, the number of big blunders I’ve made is really rather amazing, I could go on and on…but i won’t… 🙂 (anymore)

    Liked by 2 people

    • those are great stories! Any chance you have any pictures of you in a scrap book with the hard hat/ safety vest? I would love to see them…(daughter #3 of mine worked with me for a year and we did a commercial project where we had to wear all of that PPE (personal protective equipment) It still warms my heart when I see that picture of her. and wow..I would have been shaking had I did what you did in w/ the bulk cream dispenser. You have had some great people to work with. I want to hear more of your work stories 🙂


      • I WISH I had a picture of myself in my hard hat/safety vest! But definitely don’t. And yeah, the cream thing was the one thing I’ve done that made me think I really DESERVED to be fired, absolutely…I was amazed that I wasn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve done a fair bit of construction boo hoo’s.
    For example.
    I put up 150 yards of panel fencing, with the wrong side pointing out.

    Pouring a slab we noticed a dip appearing at a corner.
    So we just piled on the mix, that afternoon the toilets backed up as the collapsed sewer pipe was blocked up with a yard of quick drying cement.

    I was helping a friend put in a door frame. It went in as sweet as a nut. Backwards.

    Putting a data conduit through a brick wall, we somehow didn’t spot the air conditioning pipe behind it.

    Slinging a 1/2 tonne load was easy. 3 tonne straps, 5 tonne crane, shame about the pavement as it collapsed under the weight of the crane wheels.

    Pulling in a chimney lining, that long 5″ stainless steel tube. 30 feet of it.
    Half way through there was a scream. We rushed into the building to find a VERY sooty lady as the pipe had dislodged about a 1/2 metre ball of old soot out of her fireplace onto her lovely white carpet. The weight of the soot ball such that it just blew out the shuttering we had put in place for just that occurance.

    Connecting to a water system in a 4 story town house, 5 bathrooms.
    Got right to the end, no leaks using the pressure test, perfect.
    Only the pipes were the wrong way round, hot was coming out the cold.

    Put in a saniflow cistern. No problem, the 50mm pipe came into the bathroom and jointed onto the soil pipe. What we didn’t know was the soil pipe gas vent outside was only for show! Thus the first time we ran the saniflow, it blew back up the toilet pan as the pressure was so high.

    And SWMBO’s fault this one.
    I’d just finished decorating the sitting room.
    Last coat of paint, touching up those little bits. Boy was I proud of what I’d done.
    Turned around and SWMBO wanted a shelf fitted on a dividing wall.
    The central heating pipes went at floor level into the wall and out the other side.
    Only what I didn’t know was they may have gone under the plaster, but they went up the wall, over the top, and down the other side before reemerging.
    Why? Haven’t got a clue BUT I hated the last owner for ever!
    Last screw, quick drill with the cordless to pop the rawl plug in, WATER!
    Even worse, boiling hot Fernox loaded central heating water!
    Even worse, stainless steel pipes.

    It only took a month to strip everything off the walls, replaster, repaint, new carpet, and as for that shelf? For some reason it fell into the garden burner.

    And I will NEVER EVER hang another shelf as long as I live.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You know exactly what I’m talking about Paul. Your list is as long as my list 🙂 reminded me of the time I ran a drill through a 220 volt buried electrical line 🙂 First time I saw a fire ball like that….have you ever lit a fire, and used gas as a starter?…no one told me the vapors are also flammable… that created quite a fire ball as well. You have some great construction stories! love it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • These stories are great! They bring home just how much working with ACTUAL MATERIALS means ACTUAL RESULTS. An accountant can fudge the numbers, a banker can hide accounts, and in a lot of jobs, people can point the finger at someone else and that’s all there is to it. Work with your hands and with tools, and you’re accountable every day– but you also must get a real sense of your own capabilities and creativity, even when things go wrong! — And you know inherently that a lot of times, there are no shortcuts and no choice but to break your back to get things done. Good life training, too.

      Liked by 2 people

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