A Trip to the Terminal

Yesterday my husband and I hauled a load of durum to the grain terminal. He got the price he wanted for it and this was the 3rd of 4 loads of durum to haul.

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You pull up and a vacuum comes down and sucks a small sample from your trailer. They test it for moisture, diseases, bugs, protein. All these make up your dockage and determine how much grain is in your trailer.

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Our total haul yesterday was about 1200 bushels. With one more load going tomorrow and then a cheque 😀

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Once your sample is done being processed, you pull up to a grate and open an unload hole under the trailer. The grain dumps down into the grate which only takes about 10 minutes.

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Close the unload underneath and put the tarp back on top. All done!

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Easy Breathing Days Ahead

A couple days ago my husband texted me to say the market had hit our contracted durum price. Hooray!! He told me he’d be hauling to the terminal this weekend on his days off from oilfield hauling. A relief on the old bank account.

Today he texted me to say the market had hit our contracted canola price. Double Hooray!! He will also haul all of this crop to the terminal.

Later on today he texted me to tell me a semi will be coming tomorrow to load out 2011 organic flax which will be hauled to the States. Sold all of it so we will no longer have any organic crops on our farm. I’m glad we found a decent buyer who have us a worthwhile price for this crop.

Spring is our big payment paying time so this income coming in will be a huge relief. And with the price of canola going up, the price of fertilizer will also rise. So now is the time to buy our fertilizer for this seeding year.

I’ve had many smiles today with all these good news texts from Brad. I hope the good news keeps coming and we can sustain the farm until a hopefully good harvest in the Fall.

Rice Bags

I recently got a sewing machine and have been practicing with different stitches on scrap fabric. I really want to make quilts and rag quilts but have started with a simpler project.

I have been making heating and cooling rice bags. Hand sized ones to quickly heat in the microwave and bigger ones for your back or neck. They can be popped in the freezer on a hot summer’s day too.

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My younger sister is the first to want one so I hope she likes hers. If I get good feedback, maybe I’ll sell some at local craft shows.

I’m proud of myself for finding a new hobby that helps me pass the time and makes me feel good for accomplishing something. The winters are long and boring for me around here so I’m glad to have something to keep me busier.

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!

My Damn Oven Broke and Other Random Poopyness

I’m not feeling Christmas this year. I mean I was at the beginning of the month but it’s slowly dissipated. Because this thing happened. And this thing. And this thing. And some of it not even to me or my immediate family but why does bad stuff happen to good people?! I’m sad for others having hard times right now. And the fact we haven’t visited anyone yet. And we have no Christmas baking.

My extended family is far away or sick. And I will not have the flu on Christmas Eve again like I did in 2010. I puked on my son’s head that night. Total accident. But my husband still brings it up on random occasions. And my husband’s parents are gone for Christmas. Nothing like hearing a 3YO constantly ask to go see his grandma and poppa for a week straight.

My bottom oven element went the week before last. Husband attempted to fix it when all of sudden a loud POP was heard in that general direction. The fixing made it worse so now even when these damn elements show up in the mail we still won’t have an oven.

What is Christmas without yummy homemade treats??? And cookies for Santa? Santa might get potato chips and pop at this house. Maybe we’ll start a new tradition.

Oh and did I mention my husband is working all through Christmas week? Up and gone at 5am and home anywhere from 4pm-10pm. Should be fun explaining to a 3YO that yes, Santa filled our stockings and brought presents but NO touching til Daddy gets home. Whenever that may be.

I really am grateful that I have my kids with me (mess making, screaming people they are). And I can’t wait to see their faces as they open their presents (whenever that actually is).

P.S. It’s a blizzard here now. And roads are closed. Travel not recommended. But I have to go to town in the morning because we have no Christmas booze.

P.S. Christmas is my birthday. So I’m spending that like any other day too. Hopefully I can find a babysitter next weekend and go have a good time in a pretty dress and shoes.

Making Memories

Every year for the past 51 years there has been a Christmas party for all the neighboring families at the little one room school a mile from our farm. My husband used to go when he was a kid and his Mom when she was a young girl. Now our kids get to go. In fact, my husband’s Grandfather used to attend school there.

It was built in 1914 and so we are trying to plan a big 100 year party for summer 2014. I hope it’s a huge success.

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We have a big potluck supper and desserts which everyone enjoys. Once supper is done, Santa comes in and hands out a present to each and every kid there. It’s such a joy to see each face light up as they hear their name called! After everyone gets their present, Santa gives the kids a treat bag and we try for a big group shot of all the kids. Young babes to teens are all welcome and share in the magic of the season.

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I can’t wait to take my kids every year while they live at home. And maybe someday the 5th generation of this family, our grandkids, will partake in this magical party. Merry Christmas!

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George, the Stuffed Deer Head

For as long as I’ve lived here, there has been a stuffed deer taking up valuable wall space right in my living room. I’ve griped and complained but to no avail. And yes I know I live in Saskatchewan. On a farm no less. And married a guy who hunts. But really?!?! Right in the living room??? Why not in the garage? Or out in one of his THREE shops? It ruins any possible decor I could have going on in here. And this year it looks like he’s eating my Christmas tree. Or kissing it. No, I’m not joking. Just have a look at this…

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Update: George has been removed from the wall. I wanted him in the burning barrel but husband decided the basement would be better. My Christmas tree will stay up year round to keep that deer head off the wall.

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A haunting poem

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 Cattle Procedure From Way Back

I won’t show gross photos! We dehorn our calves every Fall. It is kind of gross in person. There is blood. But I won’t show that. I don’t want to scare my few followers away. It’s actually fun though. I love chasing the herd into the corrals and rounding them up to get them through chute. This year it was just me, my husband, my mother in law and a good friend of ours. We ran all 200 cows plus that many calves and our three bulls through the chute. The cows and bulls got vaccinated against some diseases and the calves got dehorned. Out of 200 calves I’d say only about 30 had horns that needed to be cut off. Back in the day, before I arrived here, they used a wire with two wooden handles and sort of sawed the horns off. Now we have a dehorner the cuts them off. It’s a lot easier and less time consuming.

We have to trim the hair around the horns for an easier grab with the dehorners first. then the horns get cut off and we slap some flour on the holes to help stop the bleeding. Since we’ll be selling the calves in a couple weeks, if they just had tiny nubs for horns we left them be. It’s a pretty straight forward process and doesn’t take long if everyone, cattle included, cooperate and do their jobs.

My husband runs the main chute (head gate) because he is the strongest and most knowledgeable. Also if a cow or calf gets through without being properly processed it’s all his fault and the rest of us don’t get crap. Last winter my husband bought a couple purebred heifers who birthed purebred bull calves. So we kept their nuts on them and hope to sell them in the Spring as purebreds. We put them in with the bulls and they look so small compared to the big grown bulls.

And just cause I like the look of a nice golden straw bale.

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