It’s hay time on the farm. Typically they bale hay (which is a feed source for the cattle in the winter when the grass is dormant) twice, maybe three times a year if weather conditions are favorable. They do round bales meant for cattle which are easier to move with equipment and only a few square bales for my horses because those are more labor intensive.
Since most farm work is seasonal, and like many farm related chores dependent on the weather – hay time means many things to our family.
It means long days for Lynn – who comes home covered in dust and equipment grease.
It means it is hot and muggy. And the girls get to play in the wading pool or sprinkler in the afternoons.
It means we have FINALLY had a chance to get the garden worked and planted.
It means the pop-up thunderstorms sometimes end the farming day, which frusterate Lynn but thrill me since sometimes he can come home before 7pm.
It means my work schedule has slowed down a bit and I’m almost down to “regular” work hours… I’m planning and preparing for summer horse shows, beef shows, the late summer awards banquet.
The work assignment I dread most all year happens this time of year, a week away from my family at 4-H camp. I don’t dislike camp itself and I think it is a fantastic opportunity to for the young people I am in charge of for the week.
My stomach churns when I think about spending a week 2.5 hours away from my girls who need their Mama especially at bedtime, and my Type 1 diabetic husband who is prone to low blood sugar at night. It just feels wrong to leave them.
BUT, my job is steady and provides good health insurance coverage for the family. And I enjoy what I do…It’s just the being away that bothers me.
Real official hay-season summertime is here. We’ve finished out first watermelon and the girls eat popcicles in their swimsuits. Sometimes we all pile in the tractor and ride with Lynn while he’s working for some family time.
It’s a long hour, hot and sweaty, hard work rhythm of life – but it’s our life and for that I’m thankful.
I had an Ag Committee meeting at work tonight and didn’t get out of it till 8:30.
I called Lynn expecting him to be starting the bedtime process with the girls.
Instead his terse voice came through “Can you come get the kids at this rented farm? We’ve got problems, the City left out bentonite clay and the cattle have been in it”
So out to the farm I go in my new work dress and only nice pair of comfortable sandals. (If you know farm life, you know stepping foot on a farm in nice clothes is a death sentence for those clothes to be nice and not stained anymore)
The City is installing a new sewer line, and parts of it go through this pasture. Since we (by we, I mean the family farm) have signed a contract with the owner, the City said they would let us know of anything being done before it happened.
Well, someone dropped the ball on that and apparently cattle like to eat bentonite clay. Lynn estimated that the small herd of about 30head ate about 800lbs.
To put it in perspective, that herd of registered cattle is worth a lot more than three times my annual salary. (State job, 12 years experience and a M.S. degree…albeit I am a bit underpaid)
We didn’t know about the toxicity of what they had eaten having never had any experience with large amounts of bentonite ingestion before and called three Veterinarians. It being almost 9pm One didn’t answer, One said she was optimistic about it and One looked it up and called us back and said in small amounts it would be fine, but no one knows about such large amounts…keep an eye on them. (Thanks awesome Vets for calling back)
Lynn was in such a rush to get out there when his phone rang that he threw the pajama clad children in the truck barefoot. After they had got the cattle moved away from the clay, I brought the yawning (but thoroughly enjoying the adventure) kids home while Hubby and Father in law waited for someone to come move the pallets.
We don’t have a tractor there right now or we would move it….they don’t want to move a tractor down there at night because they might get hit by one of the vehicles that fly down that backroad. The keys to the equipment that is parked in the pasture was in the pocket of a worker who was two hours away. So the men are waiting for him.
I’ve got to be in Knoxville tomorrow morning for a 4-H event, so no sleeping in for my poor tired babies.
We will wait, watch and pray all the cows, calves and the bull are fine. I’m encouraged by what the Veterinarians said.
Goodnight friends it’s past my bedtime!
I worked this morning at our county 4-H horse show.
It was a smaller than usual crowd, but everyone was happy, efficient and worked hard. I enjoy watching the kids have good rides, reminds me if all the BAD show rides I had on my crazy mean horse growing up. Good times. (Word of wisdom: Life is too short to ride a bad horse)
I was impressed with the hard work the 4-H kids put in, but even more so impressed with all the volunteers that made the show happen. I didn’t hear an argument or complaint all day. If you think there is no good in the world, come to a youth event and watch those volunteering.
Claire has apparently been working on a special art project here lately. SURPRISE!
I didn’t even bother fussing at her this time. I’m tired people.
Lynn got me some mulch.
I’m so excited. I love it when the yard is pretty. Happy plants in fresh soil or in mulch are oddly peaceful to me. I was so excited about the mulch that I lost track of time (I’m pretty time-blind anyway) and missed the Kentucky Derby.
After their baths, I made the girls stay on the concrete to stay clean-ish. Since their secondhand Jeep was dying, they took turns driving and pushing. They make me laugh.
Have a great Mothers Day friends. Tell those influential women in your life you appreciate them!
Claire isn’t sleeping much lately. She’s got a cold or something…and it’s 10:12pm and she’s already woke up wailing. (She’s averaging 4-5 wakings a night this week. Killer)
I’m so tired.
Anyway. On a related note…
I struggle to pay attention during work meetings where we are still, quiet and semi comfortable…. Despite large amounts of coffee I just can’t stay alert.
Plus – my mind wanders to random thoughts…then while thinking those thoughts I accidentally make faces. (example: “I wonder if a garlic blueberry bagel would be fantastic or gross”)
Today I had an all day meeting where we sat and listened, and sat and listened. And snacked…then sat back down and listened more.
So in the name of focus. (And not getting elbowed for making the daydreaming faces)
Tomorrow is Thursday….the day after that is FRIDAY. Thank goodness.
I think I can. I think I can.