Seasonal farmer spouse

If you are married to a farmer, you know this – we have seasonal spouses.

Fall- kiss them everytime you see them, because you won’t seen them much. Fall is harvest time, the time if year where literally you reap the rewards of a years work in the fields. On our farm that means corn and soybeans are being harvested, and a cover crop of winter wheat is being planted.

Winter – you see them more often… No crop emergencies, fewer equipment breakdowns and less calving problems to attend to. Most nights you can get through dinner without a farm emergency phone call interrupting – this is MAJOR, and fabulous, and I get too used to it every winter. They still work a lot (7 days a week, a lot) but not excessively so, at least for these workaholics we call farmers.

Spring time – as soon as the daffodils bloom, give ’em a big hug goodbye because the steady stream of 12-14 hour days is just beginning. Typically dinner is interrupted 3-4 times a week with urgent farm business. (I DO NOT like the inturrupting dinner part) Typically Lynn starts with vaccinating calves and doctoring the herds.Then he moves on to spraying fields to kill weeds. Sometime in there they sell the weaned calves. Then spraying the crop fields. When my Iris beds bloom, Lynn has started getting corn seed and working over planters readying them for the busy time of putting seed in the ground. 

Going with Daddy to “help” work on the corn planter…even
farm girls have to be fancy.

Every spring all of us have to readjust to the annual normal of Lynn working longer and harder. Because we have young children, every year is different developmentally for them, and it’s new parenting territory for us. As they get older, I think they will understand it more…And maybe the parenting gets easier. (I know that last bit isn’t true. All the experienced parents have told me that parenting never gets easier. But let me believe the lie that smooth sailing is ahead!) Since I am also a working parent, family logistics are kind of a mess during the spring time.

Without so much as a day off, spring rolls right into summer. As soon as the corn and soybeans are planted, the wheat is harvested and straw is baled.

In the middle of all this I finally get my garden in the ground…Which (despite my AS, BS and MS degrees in Agriculture) will not look nearly as good as the field crops. 

As soon as the straw is baled, then it is time for hay to be harvested. There is a first, second and if the weather is good a third cutting of hay on each and every hay field. The girls and I ride in the (air-conditioned) tractor with Lynn some because that is just about about the only way we can see him awake.

Towards the end of summer, if we are lucky there is about two weeks of a break. Cows still need checking, but the hay is up for now and the fall harvest hasn’t started. I try my hardest to get my farmer away from the farm for a few days of relaxation during this time. Because he rarely gets breaks, he will not relax at home. He doesn’t know how to. I’ve found if we get him far enough away, he will unwind a few days…And that has to be good for him. Without question it’s good for me, and the girls enjoy adventures as much as I do.

So that’s our schedule in a nutshell. That’s why you won’t see Lynn at a lot of things that families typically do together. No, we aren’t fighting – yes he really does work THAT much.

Have a great week friends. Stop and smell those flowers! 

Making the best of it

It happened. 

I knew I shouldn’t have eaten that delicious chicken salad from a cafeteria that I didn’t see come straight out of the refrigerator.

I knew my stomach is a big sissy and can’t handle what most people have no problem with.

I KNEW BETTER. But I did it anyway.

I’ve not felt that bad since I had to stay the night in the hospital from food poisoning way back in 2004….So my best guess is that’s what it was.

Either way it was bad stuff. So bad.

Since this morning I wasn’t in any state to effectively parent our wild girls Lynn had to figure out something.

Cows don’t care if I’m sick. Cows are still hungry and need their farmer. (I might have called them “stupid cows” under my breath this morning) 

It was 20 degrees here bright and early, too cold for little girls to be outside for long periods of time.

So Lynn took the girls to his parents house, wished them (his parents) luck, and left to go feed cattle.

Thankfully the girls (even Claire) remember they have manners when (and only when) I am not around. 

They watched cartoons, read books and made cookies. I received this photo from my mother-in-law, it is my father-in-law holding both girls and doing something he has never, ever done before.

In their happy place. Photo credit to Roselyn Waters.

The man has never before today made and decorated cookies. He has done a lot of things in his life…But somehow cookie baking wasn’t included on that list. Apparently when Memaw asked them if they wanted to engage in a little baking, Caroline and Claire wheedled and blinked their big baby eyes at Papaw, and used all their charm. 

When employed, their charm is almost completely irresistible. Like the siren call of a mermaid to a sailor…Or the box of “Chips Ahoy with Oreo frosting middles” to me at the grocery store, it’s something that can’t easily be ignored. (Seriously. I can eat an entire box of those cookies by myself. I may have even hid from the children before so I didnt have to share those bites of deliciousness … though not today) These kids are smart. They know how to work together when need be.

At any rate, they all made a beautiful new memory today.

And I lost 10 whole pounds overnight. I’ve never had a diet that worked that fast and efficiently.

So maybe good things happen even from a terrible night of sickness.

(Don’t worry church friends, I won’t come tomorrow just in case I have germs to share)

Whew. Enjoy your weekend friends.

Today is Sunday.

The girls and I did housework while Lynn checked on the cows today. He had a couple calves he wanted to check back up on. 

This cow had her bull-calf on the edge of the creek. When it was born, it slid down the bank into the creek. Luckily they were able to get it out before it suffered any ill effects. Mama cow and calf didn’t figure out nursing right away so Lynn put her in the nice dry barn so he could check on their progress. 

Both are doing well. This straw filled barn hallway is a peaceful place to start life.
In order to not disturb the Cow and her calf we told the girls to not talk around them. High pitched kid voices can upset tense livestock.
Claire volunteered to carry the empty bucket that we used to refill the cows big water bucket

Then Lynn installed something that ever-so-thoughtful Santa put in his Christmas stocking….A rain guage. Claire thought the drill was too loud…she might be a little dramatic.

 

One worker, one supervisor, and one dramatic ear coverer

Then Lynn checked on another calf and Caroline held the gates. Because she’s “Daddy’s big helper”

As usual Claire had a good time. It’s pouring rain now, glad it held off while we were outside.

Have a good week friends.

Holding down the homefront

Claire had a haircut after work today and I got my bangs trimmed. Since we were a little later than expected, Lynn cooked dinner and I showered and bathed the girls. I’ve been fighting a cold so I was so happy to have him cook. Since we both work, we both have to pitch in some to get all the household stuff done. (So quit thinking I’m a big slacker)

Fried eggs, Fried potatoes and Mary B’s biscuits. That’s what’s cookin’.

After we ate it was my phone that rang instead of Lynn’s with news of a car through the fence. (The same fence that was run through the end of November by the Lowe’s truck) 

Ugh. 

It’s cold outside, and the girls are all clean in their jammies. (I said CLEAN, not CALM. Both clean AND calm would be a miracle)

 For half a second I wanted to pretend no one had called and go on and enjoy a family night all warm and snuggled up.

But then I remembered I have common sense (sometimes I forget that) and I hurried to tell Lynn before he jumped in the shower. 

He put his dirty clothes back on, and I gave him the super-cool stocking cap with a LED light in it that the super-cool-and-awesome Santa put in his Christmas stocking.

He’s off to fix the fence, and I’m here with the girls. I feel a little guilty to be warm and comfortable, with a belly full of warm food. 

Please people slow down driving. It’s slick out there and still pretty icy in spots. We saw a bad wreck with injury coming home today and now this person is through the fence….hopefully uninjured.

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