It’s Our Life

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.

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He Doesn’t Realize How Great He Is

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.

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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!

Summer Round Here

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.

A Farm Story from 2007

Before I even knew what a blog was, I would write these Farm Stories and email them to a few members of my family. Recently my older sister Annette was clearing out an old email inbox and sent this back to me.

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007

Here’s a story I’ve written…just a rough draft. Hope you like it!

This story takes place sometime in February or March of 2005, my first
month of living on the farm. Brad conned me into going out to the barn to
watch him and his younger brother Edward pull a calf. I changed into old
sweats and bundled up against the cold. I tagged along with much
apprehension and stood quite a ways behind the cow and the boys. Brad put a chain around the calf’s hooves while Edward held the tail up. I was quite
disgusted by the whole sight so I turned around to face the barn wall. Next
thing I know, a hot gooey liquid sprays the back of me from head to toe! I
turn around in tears and Brad and Edward are laughing at me! I was too
shocked to ask what it was although I could have guessed by their laughter.
Brad, between laughs, informs me that has never happened before in his
whole…and not since! Good thing I had my hood up!

Guard Cows

A few years back, I was out here in the hills with my newborn son and no one else. It was hunting season which is a pretty big thing around here. It was late afternoon and I heard shots. Loud shots. Close shots. And I was scared. There’s always a little fear when I’m here by myself because we are so rural. I think 4 or 5 shots rang out and I noticed they were coming from somewhere in front of my house. Soon after they quit I realized how freaking irate I was! How dare someone shoot a gun so close to my house, our shops and our corrals??? I phoned my husband and he raced out here but the person/peoples were already gone. However, there was blood in the snow in our haystack.

We did eventually find out who it was and husband gave him a stern talking to. He was just a young teenager from a nearby farm. And he knows better than to be hunting around people’s farmyards now.

Anyways, I have gotten off topic. I was hanging out with my kids late this afternoon when I saw the glint off a truck’s grill out in one of our fields. There is no hunting on our land if you haven’t asked us for permission. Main reason being, we have cattle. Very easy for our cows to be in the fields and someone starts shooting. I can’t even imagine how mad my husband would be. I watched out the window for a bit as this truck drove around out there. Again, it’s hunting season and no one came in the yard or asked permission. There’s nothing I could do from the house but I want people to know to ask the landowner before hunting or just cruising around unknown land.

I tweeted that I had seen this truck and that no one had permission. And was told to release the hound. Well my 13 year old dog, Homer is in no rush to run far afield to chase a truck. Different story if you are a strange vehicle coming in my yard. I replied back that I should release the cows, all 200 of them, and they could stampede that truck. Wouldn’t that be scary? Or better yet, our 3 massive bulls could dent that pick up truck pretty good. And scare off the hunters. Maybe they could get the message out to ask permission.

All in all, I’m glad I have a guard dog, guard cows and guard bulls. And great people on Twitter! This is your warning to stay off my land 😛

 

This one’s for my sister Nette. You can check out her awesome writing skills over at www.clubnette.com Read one of her Moe stories and you’ll want to read them all!

 

A Brave Boy

This is my first really combined post. I want to write about my family and the farm. Because my little boy went for dental surgery and it was a tough day. But the evening was beautiful.

My 2YO had teeth pulled yesterday along with some caps and fillings. All this due to a sippy cup of milk at bedtime for over a year. Yes, we’ve learned our lesson. Yes, we feel terrible about it.

By the time supper rolled around last night he was talking more and getting back to normal. So we decided to check the cows in their new pasture and the crops around our home farm.

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He really enjoyed himself out in the truck with us. It was a nice relaxing time that we all enjoyed. A beautiful summer evening.

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We had to go on a wild goose chase through the pasture to find one of my cows. She’s pretty old and has a hurt back leg. I was scared she’d be found dead but she was laying nicely beside slough. Just cooling off and enjoying the evening.

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We also found two duck nests snuggled right into the ground. They were only a foot apart and both full of eggs. One more covered with straw and feathers but both protected. I could count 9 eggs in the one nest.

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After our pasture visit we drove around and looked at our crops. The heat has been strong here for a couple weeks and no rain. It looks like some of the crops are burning in the heat. So we checked our canola and it looks AWESOME!

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So go enjoy a nice summer evening drive or even a walk. It just may cheer someone in your family up.

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Seas of Peas

For the past eight years, we’ve been farming organically. This year Brad decided to go back conventional because the money and the market isn’t there for organic anymore. The conventional grain prices are rising and a better yield is had when you can fertilizer and not have weeds. Farming conventional means spending BIG money. We had to get a higher operating loan. Mostly for buying fertilizer and spray.

In case you didn’t know, peas give the earth a lot of nitrogen. So for the first time ever we’ve seeded peas. A lot of peas. Because they don’t cost as much to grow and they give back to the land instead of just taking from it. They are growing tremendously! We have seas of peas out in the fields.

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They are peas that can be picked and eaten right out of the field. Which Brad tells me we aren’t supposed to be doing. He’s such a spoil sport. 😉

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We checked them last night. And I picked a few to eat. Our two year old son love them!!! I hope we get good bushels when we combine them in a few weeks.

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Cell Phones and Farming

I have an iPhone. I carry it everywhere with me. I use it a lot! My husband gets mad at me sometimes cause I’m on my phone most of the day.

Today I went outside with the kids to weed my huge flower planter. I left my phone inside cause I knew I’d be busy pulling weeds.

Brad had just left to go spray some land we’ve rented from a neighbor. It’s a few miles away and he said he’d be gone a couple hours.

The kids and I came in the house after about an hour and my cell was ringing.
It was Brad and he was MAD! A part on the sprayer had started leaking and he needed me to come pick him up.

We drove over to get him and he headed for parts in town. He gave me a lecture about always keeping my phone with me when he’s farming. So all the time pretty much.

I giggled inside at the irony of him giving me crap most days about always having my phone and also him telling me to always have my phone today.

The argument is over and the spraying has continued.

Farm Driving

When I first moved out here to my now husband’s farm, I didn’t know how to drive. I had no need to drive while living in Ontario and even living in small town Saskatchewan. After being out here a couple months and constantly having to rely on my always working boyfriend to drive me anywhere I decided to get my license.

My boyfriend gave me an old, well used 1982 Dodge truck to drive around in. He taught me how to parallel park by putting two round hay bales the perfect width apart. He wasn’t the best teacher as he is easily frustrated and yells alot but I got the hang of it. Two tries and I had my license!

Here I thought I’d have great independence with my shiny new drivers license but alas I was really just a parts girl running to town for my busy boyfriend. I drove that truck for a couple years until it started to become unreliable.

I had just left town one evening heading home and discovered the brakes had quit working while I was driving 90km down the highway. I was terrified!!! I did a movie style u turn at an intersection in order to get home that night.

In the winter, I was constantly sliding through stop signs in town and spinning tires as I tried to get going again. And the battery cables were so rusted it was hard to get my old Dodge started.

I hauled a round straw bale in the back of that truck from a neighbor’s field to our house. I thought it would roll forward and squish me and kill me while I was driving!

I think about that old truck and the good memories I made in it often. It now sits out in our yard and we use it as a garbage truck. Maybe someday our kids will learn how to drive and parallel park in it.

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