Well, we’ve gone and done it… We have bought a tractor! I’m so excited! Our sno-blower gave out at the end of last winter and we needed something other than shovels to clear our long driveway. I’m too cheap to hire someone to do it so we started looking at Craig’s list for possible sno-blowers. Then we decided, why not just go for it? We’ve wanted a tractor for a while, why not get one now? Sure we don’t have anywhere to store it, but that’s just a detail, right?

You see, eventually we want to move to a farm-one with a big barn. Our goal is to be self-sufficient, growing our own fruits and vegetables, raising chickens, and canning our food. I want to have a windmill and solar panels and get as green as I can get. And part of having that kind of farm is owning your own tractor. Its going to be great…

Unfortunately, we can’t get the dang thing started.

Apparently, diesel tractors need to have a fully charged battery to start well. Unfortunately, we went about starting the thing up like you would a car that doesn’t want to start–we pumped the gas. Bad idea. That runs down the battery. Then, we did a big no-no and accidentally left the battery connected. Not only does it drain the battery, but if the kids were to climb on the tractor and push the start button, off they’d go!

And of course, it’s freezing out. It’s dark and we can’t see because the cheap flashlight we bought (one that you shake to charge) produces very little light. If you know anything about charging a battery, you know that you have to put the red on the positive and the black on the negative. We had it backwards…because we couldn’t see. Good thing we didn’t electrocute ourselves.

At this very moment, we are charging the beast up and hoping for the best. The guy who sold it to us is being very helpful and told us where we went wrong (I’m sure he was chuckling at us farmer wannabes the whole time he wrote his email). The sad thing is that my husband grew up on a farm. But it’s been almost twenty years since he’s had anything to do with that kind of stuff, so he’s a little rusty. He keeps asking me if I think what he’s suggesting is right. Why would I know? My dad never even let us near his machines, much less taught us about how to work them.

Anyway, so far, so good. The little indicator is actually going up. I was worried I didn’t get it on right. As long as I don’t manage to blow things up, we should be okay.

Old MacDonald, look out!