My Relationship With Troy

As we drove around in the GMC last night, Andy mentioned that I never write about the equipment we have. Equipment that has a huge part in how we live around here. Though he was specifically referring to our tractors, I realized today while ninja kicking the tiller, that our equipment is more than just our tractors. Though I promise dear, I will write about our tractors. Of which I only have a love relationship with.

On the other hand, and today’s topic, my relationship with Troy has built into a love/hate relationship. I need him, he needs us. We’re codependent. Without him, my garden soil hates me. Without us, he sits unused in the barn. Equipment likes to be used. They don’t like to sit around. Equipment that sits around groans, and moans and needs encouragement to work properly again. Kind of like some people.

Troy, is our garden tiller. Troy Bilt that is.

Troy has been in our family since before I was born. It’s odd to think my Dad was using him at about the same age as me, except he already had two kids and I wasn’t even a blip on the radar ultrasound yet. We received him “to hold onto for a while” (in Dad speak – to have) from my Uncle who somehow acquired him for a number of years.ย  He wasn’t working right, but all he needed was some ALC. Andy Loving Care. With a little cleanup and a new part, Troy was once again part of our working family.

Sometimes I feel like Troy is saying “now you listen hear youngin’, I was around while you were still a separate egg and sperm”. And I’m like “shut your yap Troy and get tilling”. Correction. My mother informed me of a few mistakes in the story as I always knew it. Troy was my uncles, which explains why Mick had him. I was a year old, and the engine blew due to an oil mishap – and then dad to pay $200 to replace it. So as it turns out, if this is true, Troy has been a pain in the ass from day one. A pain in the ass who has helped out family out for two generations.

Truth be told, this year was the first year I used Troy all by myself. In the past, Andy has always done it. Andy is used to manhandling equipment. Equipment is used to manhandling me. So this year while Andy worked on the barn, and I had pent up energy I needed to get out, and our garden soil was dryโ€”I took Troy for a ride. Or the other way around. I’m still debating the outcome.

I quickly realized how hard this was going to be. First off I could barely move Troy. This lady right here has biceps that could win a gun show. A full blown, water gun show. Second, Troy needed air in his tires and to be dusted off. So, in true fashion I grabbed the air hose, took the boys nailer off of it and grabbed the necessary attachmentโ€”the air blower thing, and the air tire pumping thing. Very technical.

After a quick rundown of the controls with Andy, I was off. To get the dogs in the field. Who were rolling in unsavory items.

Then after securing the trouble makers in house, and putting ear protectors on, it was time for Troy. It was a rough start. I was pushing down to much. Troy was bogging down. He was trying to tell me to give him more throttle. So was my husband actually. But all I did was stall him. Then, something happened which is never a good thing but somehow always works out.

I got stubborn. I dug my heels in the dirt, literally. I was going to win this thing whether Troy liked it or not. I was not going to give up. So I manhandled him around that garden and eventually we got in a groove. Oh, he certainly gave me a run for my money. When it came time to turn him (in which the tillers are still running so you have to have them lifted or they will ruin your grass) I had to rear his ass end up and push him around with my shoulder. At one point my foot must have snagged the garden rope we removed without realizing it, because when I set Troy down for the next pass, this happened.

Thankfully, after fully turning Troy off (and boy, was I turned off too at this point. Or more like pissed off, one of the two) it was rather easy to unwind. Whew.

I have not told Andy this happened yet. I’m going to give him a grand old blog surprise. The thing is, he won’t be surprised. I told you, equipment generally owns me in every aspect. Except backhoe’s. We’ll get into that when I discuss the tractor.

I finally got Troy going again and we were turning to make another pass.

At this point someone left the basement door open and the dogs ran out. I had ear protectors on. I didn’t hear them, but thankfully I saw them, and Rosie was running right at me and I had this tiller lifted in the air mid-turn. The blades were going and I could not get the friggen blades to stop and it to stop moving. Then, out a moment of sheer panic and anger, I screamed at the dogs to stop, which for once they did and I ninja kicked the lever while holding Troy’s ass end up in the air, with the other foot planted. Troy immediately stopped, Rosie came over happy, I put Troy down, and I walked the dogs back in the house.

And shut that door. Tight.

To say it was a “close call” would be awfully dramatic. I saw the dogs coming out and they stopped when I yelled. But I was pissed off that the lever wouldn’t work. I was pissed off when the “what if” went through my head. So I kicked him.

Right after this Troy lightened up a little, and so did I. I realized if I just let him do the work, and I kept him in line, we would be okay. Our hate sort of went away, and we decided to stop fighting each other. A few passes when by with beautiful ease. Then on cue with two rows left Troy sputtered. Troy coughed. Troy choked. Troy, dammit, ran out of gas. So off I went to the garage to get the gas can and fill him back up.

At the end of a long 45 minutes or so we were done. My garden went from this.

To this.

Essentially it went from dry and cracked to a beautiful rich brown color and soft to the touch, which is hard to tell since I had to use my point and shoot today.

Troy and I made it through, and I think we’ll be okay from here on out. Especially if we don’t have to converse until next summer.

I should probably mention we have a small garden. Small to me at least. If we had a few acres of our own I’m almost positive the garden would be a full acre, but since we don’t, it’s little. It grows enough food for our family so we have a reduced grocery bill almost all summer, and it’s perfect. That said, ff we ever expand our garden we’re using the farmers tractor mounted tiller. Troy can go climb a mountain.

And I will not be behind him helping.

Now off to go pick up the soil to prep it for planting. Thankfully this required the two arms God gave me and no gasoline.



6 thoughts on “My Relationship With Troy

    1. Hahah awesome! Wait until you see what I’m writing about today. Andy asked me to do a retro post of things we did to the house before I had the blog. I, of course, choose the most disgusting one. Mwahhaha.


  1. Hi Heather! I found you through Young House Love a few weeks ago, and I’ve been checking into your blog a few times since then. ๐Ÿ™‚ You guys are almost homesteading! That’s so cool, and it’s my husband’s not-so-secret dream which I now share. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Your garden looks great! Can’t wait to keep up and see how it’s going. I’ve never planted a garden (grew up in the suburbs of DC and wasn’t into that growing up), but so want to now! I know it’ll be trial & error, but am glad there are lots of resources online now. Have you seen the film “Back to Eden”? You can watch it free on their website: I so want to try the woodchip gardening method, but mine will probably be small first. Little steps, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Aww thanks, Randa! I haven’t seen Back To Eden but I’ll definitely watch it when I get some time. Little steps are absolutely the way to go! We started with a garden about half the size, and have grown it every year except this year (though I was tempted to). Given that we have everything else going with the addition, etc. we’re keeping it the same size. Though, we might have to till out our asparagus patch. I’m also being careful of what we plant and where (companion planting) but also keeping herbs out of the garden etc. This is my year to try and maximize the bounty by using every inch we can. I might even start our squash in a different bed next year since they spread out and take so much room up. Who knows! That’s the fun of gardening ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. See… these are all things I’ll need to learn as we go! Right now I’ve got a few potted herbs, and if I can keep them alive for awhile I’ll move on to the next step! ๐Ÿ™‚ Ha haa…

    1. If we expand much more we’ll be using the farmers tiller on the tractor. It will take about 3 seconds flat haha! I look forward to that day. Though secretly, I hope we always have a use for Troy. Even if he gives me the stink eye (and vice versa). Oh and from my experience at least, keep the herbs in pots. I’ve always grown way too many and every year I think “these take up valuable space in the garden”. I’m finally listening to myself this year and pulled up the oregano and winter savory for pots. I’ll be putting rosemary and dill (and a few others) in pots too. Except basil. Basil gets an entire row in our garden because of the mass quantities of pesto Andy makes.


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