We’re farmers. Cattle and grain. It’s in my husband’s blood. It’s his passion. It’s not easy, most days it’s really hard. There isn’t such a thing as downtime, unless it’s raining.
We don’t get sick pay. Or maternity/paternity leave. There are no paid vacation days. Actually, we don’t have much chance for vacations. And if we do go, we’re paying a family member or neighbor to feed cows. It’s cold, wet, dirty, or hot work. It’s sun up to sun down most days of the year. It’s high costs of new machinery and parts. It’s good grain prices and low cattle prices or vice versa. It’s kids that don’t see their Daddy all day. It’s me not seeing my husband for more than 10 minutes in 24 hours. It’s a lot of sacrifices and being broke for much of a year.
But, it’s freedom with no boss. It’s family dates in the truck driving through gorgeous pastures to check cows. It’s that first newborn calf in the barn. It’s a whole huge yard to explore. It’s baby kittens in the Spring. It’s walks down a gravel road. It’s the rush of moving cattle to different pastures. It’s the combine filling up with grain every Fall. It’s the amazing feeling of seeding being complete in the Spring.
It’s hardships and happiness. It’s wealth and poor. It’s good weather and bad. It’s aggravating and amazing. It’s smiles and tears.
It’s our life and I wouldn’t change it.
Some days I hate farm life. Not very often but they do happen. It’s not fair. Not fair that my husband can’t be here to celebrate special days; Christmas, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Valentine’s Day, etc. Not fair that in order to feed the world, we have to be broke half the year. Not fair that at times when I need my husband most, the cows need him more. Not fair that at busy times of the year, he’s never home for family supper or to kiss his kids goodnight. Not fair that I have to make my Mother In Law get groceries with me because I need two carts and my husband is too busy to come. Some days it’s not fair the he has to reheat every meal in the microwave because he was too busy with cows or a machinery fix to come in on time.
Most days I am incredibly grateful to live here and enjoy all the natural beauty of our land. But the sadness and anger creep up sometimes. The odd day I dream of 9-5 jobs and easy things like delivery food. But that’s just not who my husband is and I don’t think that’s who I am anymore. I know I wouldn’t get to see this living in a city.
Last week, my husband exclaimed how lucky we were to finish combining our durum before the first freeze. He repeated it and I just smiled at him.
This week, he’s saying we’re lucky to finish our canola before another rain and freezing temps.
I’ll tell him it’s not lucky, it’s all his hard work and a blessing from above that has made these two great things happen for us. He’s worked relentlessly to finish harvest and I’m so proud of him.
It’s been blood, sweat, my tears, and setbacks this year but we made it through once again. And with that, the 2013 harvest is finally done. Hallelujah!
It’s hard. Being a Mommy, wife, and a farm helper.
Sometimes it’s easier to skip the bath and put the kids to bed dirty.
Sometimes it’s easier to let my 4 year old nap in my bed with me.
Sometimes it’s easier to let the dishes pile up.
Sometimes it’s easier to give my 2 year old the iPad so I can do a chore in peace.
Sometimes it’s easier to pick up a pizza in town and take it to the field.
Sometimes it’s easier to let my kids run around the backyard like wild animals while I make a decent supper.
Sometimes it’s easier to skip the fighting before bed and just let the toys lay all over the living room.
Sometimes it’s easier to heat up something from a can for lunch.
Sometimes it’s easier to pick clean clothes out of the basket instead of folding and putting away.
Sometimes I need life to be a little easier. I do my best for myself and my family and even though it’ll never please everyone, we get by just fine.
I took these pictures because I love old buildings like this. The history, the stories that may never be told again. The scenery just touches my soul. I could explore old houses and buildings all day. Unfortunately, I don’t get the chance to do this often. We try to make it happen when my older sister visits from Ottawa. She loves it as much as I do.
When I see this old grain elevator I always focus on the word Promise. I’m not sure why it’s written on this particular one but I love the thoughts that come when I think about it. The Promise of the future? Of the past? I know there have been promises in my life that have ended being just like this old elevator, abandoned and unkept.
Do you have a fascination with old buildings? History? What do you think when you see pictures like these?
We’ve started harvest for 2013 and so far so good. A couple of minor breakdowns and setbacks but we’re chugging along. Barley was our first crop and it was seeded at our other farm, about 40 miles away. Yes, 40 miles. One way. I’ve been making the trip everyday in the evening to feed the menfolk supper. It’s hard with two small children. I’m sure it’ll be harder when they are in school. My 3YO son has been gone most days with his Daddy and Poppa cause he loves to “help”. He manages so well with being in the combine or semi all day. It amazes me because I get can easily get bored sitting in a small space riding around a field.
The barley ended up running about 40 bushels per acre. Pretty good for some of our poorest land. One and a half of our new grain bins are full up with barley. Some will be cow feed instead of selling it all.
Today is the start of canola combining and I hope it yields just as good if not better. It’s mostly all swathed so a different header on the combine is used. It was also seeded on better land so this may help the yield.
Definitely a few more weeks of harvest to go and I hope it’s smooth and safe.
I haven’t blogged on months. And months. I sometimes don’t think what happens around here is newsworthy to anyone but us.
We’ve had a busy, happy, fun, and sometimes sad summer so far.
June is a busy month with fun activities. Rodeo, demo derby, and a local fair. All of which we managed to get Brad to come with us to. Quality family time and good memories. Complete with a fantastic fireworks show.
July found us expecting our third child!! So excited and I’m not feeling too bad over all. Colin and Hannah are very happy that there is a baby in my belly. Colin swears he can feel it!
Brad also lost his last grandparent in July. His Grandma had lived a long life and we were relieved she went peacefully. It was a good time to reminisce and visit with a lot of his extended family that we don’t see often.
August has been a slower month so far but not for long as the fields are ripening every day. A week or two at the most and we’ll be combining this beautiful looking crop.
I lost my great grandpa earlier this month but he was ready to go see my great grandma in heaven. He didn’t suffer too much and I got to see him before he passed and for that I am grateful. I enjoyed seeing my Dad’s side of the family for a few days.
At the end of the month is my first ultrasound and I can’t wait to see this beautiful little baby.
I hope you’ve also had an enjoyable summer.
These memories of mine come from about 6 or so years ago. I don’t think my husband and I were married yet and we definitely didn’t have any kiddos. Calving has brought me this memory and one new calf in particular.
He’s a twin that we put on a heifer that lost her own calf. The heifer didn’t have much milk at first so I went out to the barn and bottle fed this guy. Boy, he’s rambunctious!!
Anyways, about 6 years we had a brand new calf that had his leg stepped on by a cow. We threw a towel down on the backseat of the Dodge and raced an hour to the vet. Guess who is the lucky girl that got to sit back there with that sweet baby? Yep, it was me! And on the way I named him Petey.
The veterinarian checked him all out and got a cast put on his leg and then we drove him home. We babied him and watched out to make sure he was healing well. Needless to say, he ended up chasing around the pasture with the other calves by late spring.
Hanging around this new bottle fed calf has me missing Petey. I’m just lucky I get to have these great memories.
*Both pictures are of my new bottle feeding calf, not Petey.*
I’m going to do a little giveaway today! This is my first giveaway so nothing too fancy. A set of 4 homemade coasters. I’m not doing a complicated raffle draw. I’ll just ask a question at the end and post in the comments your answer.
Here’s the prize!
I just whipped these up last night and I’m still learning so they aren’t perfect. But they are made with love!
Here’s the question: Do you use coasters? My answer is no. We have young kids so we don’t keep open drinks in the living room.
Open to Canada and the US. I’m choosing to close the giveaway on February 25th 2013. I’ll email the winner for their address to ship the coasters.
Updated: Angela is the winner of the coaster set! Thanks everyone for playing along and I hope to do this again.