Garden time

There is some saying about how the cobbler’s kids get their shoes last. I forget how it goes.

It’s similar with the farmers family getting their garden put in. Of course, I could man up and do it myself… Or not. Come-on. Be reasonable people.

It may seem odd, but we do not live on the actual farm. There is no particular reason for this other that this is where we moved when we first got married back in 2005. In our minds was going to be temporary. But, it’s a good sturdy house and we’ve done a lot of living in it. 

We have about an acre. About half of it is our house and yard. In the yard is our garden. The other half of it is a sweet corn patch.

Today Lynn finally had a chance to till up the ground. 

Soon the girls will be selling sweet corn from this patch of ground

We don’t start seeds like tomatoes and peppers early (one day I want to have a little greenhouse for that…but at this life stage I don’t have the time for it) so I went to the Co-op and got some plants. 

While we were at the store Claire climbed in the middle of a windchime display and made a awful racket. She thought it was hilarious that everyone looked at her. I was less amused. 

We also got onion sets, cantelope plants, cucumber plants, a couple types of squash plants and a half pound of bushbean seed. I also got some herbs. I’m sure we will plant some more things as we think of them. 

Lynn had tilled up the garden first, so we girls got started planting it while he worked up the sweet corn patch.

It was the first year since we’ve had kids that I was able to accomplish it without giving up. The girls were finally helpful. Nobody ate dirt. Nobody cried. It was fantastic.

Planting the onion sets.
Official hole digger

They also planted the beans in the squiggly and randomly placed rows I dug for them. Lynn is much better at garden neatness and order, but hey he IS a professional after all. I’m just an amateur. And I’m fine with that. Beans out of a squiggly row will taste just as good. 

I’m looking forward to some fresh garden veggies. 

Happy Monday friends. 

No kids at the grocery store

I went to the store today withOUT the ratbabies. 

It was quiet. It was peaceful. I could read my grocery-list in its entirety and not have to peel a small person off a merchandising display.

It was lovely.

Except
Nobody told me ANY jokes.
Nobody fought over who got to hold my hand.

There was absolutely no one at the store that got so excited about anything (and everything) they literally jumped up and down and screamed with joy.

Nothing embarrassing (but funny) happened. At all.

No one danced by the frozen foods.

There were no fights over the shopping cart.

I got zero hugs, and zero kisses.

It was normal, and boring….and a little bit lonely.
Good golly …. I think I actually missed grocery shopping with my lovely children, and all of their talkative, distracting, messy glory. 

This doesn’t mean taking them to the store in the future won’t eat at what little sanity I have left. 

But part of me will sure be happy they are there. I’m certainly going to work on appreciating what I’ve got.

Have a great week friends. 

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! 

Only moderately crazy.

Today I felt crazy. Even crazier than normal.

For the past 4-5 days Claire has been belligerent. 

Every single thing I have asked her has gone like this.

Me- “Claire, would you rather take your frog (toy) to your room or put it on the shelf?” (Trying to trick her into thinking she had a choice)

Claire- “No! I will not do EITHER.” Foot stomp. Pint sized dictator head tossed back squint-eyed-glare with defiantly crossed arms. 

Me- “Claire. I need you to choose a place to put away your frog or I will put it in my room until you can earn it back”

Claire- *falls dramatically on the floor, screaming, crying and kicking…Looking up just often enough to see if I am looking*

I try to not be looking. 

After much cajoling, threats, discipline and bribing she will finally do what we set out for….An hour before.

Then she frolics off and the happy place of Claire-Land is all games and giggles.

Anytime anyone else (anyone on the face of the earth but ME) asks her to do something, she smiles and pleasantly complies. 

Either something is wrong with this formerly delightful child, or she is trying her derndest (successfully) to drive me batty. 

Maybe it’s her ears. She had an ear infection a couple weeks ago and finished her antibiotics recently. 

I kind of hope for my sanity, that it is her ears. (I know. That probably makes me a horrible person.)

At the Pediatrician today, the nurse was going through the usual.

So what brings you in today? “I think Claire has an ear infection”

Any Cough? “No”

Fever? “No”

Runny Nose? “No”

Has she been complaining about ear pain or  has she been tugging at her ears? “No. Actually she tells me they don’t hurt when I ask.”

I realized then what an hypochondriac-parent I am sounding like. 

Claire is giggling to herself, looking exceptionally healthy and puttering about the room, doing her best to touch every germ-laden surface….No doubt we will be back here soon. Gosh I hate germs. 

“So, I realize she is three, and some of this is normal threenager behavior…But she has been belligerent. And she refuses to listen. And the whining…”

I trailed off, realizing how I sound. 

The nurse, kind as always smiled. 

“I just want to know if this is behavioral or if something is wrong physically so I know how to address it”

There. That sounded less emotional. Much more like  something a sane, level headed logical parent would say. Feeling more confident, I grabbed Claire. She pinched my nose HARD and yelled “HONK”….And went limp laughing.

The nurse smirked. “Oh I know. I’ve got three boys. If you are hard on them and they are sick, the mom guilt is bad”

I agreed. Mom guilt is the worst.

Turned out after the Doctors inspection, kid DOES have another ear infection. We got a prescription which will hopefully will take care of it.

Some ibuprofen and Claire’s mood was much improved this afternoon. Poor kid has been in pain. I’m glad I wasn’t hard on her. She’s tough, and has a pretty high pain tolerance- it will take a lot to completely throw her off her game.

As you can see, the little Daredevil was bound-and-determined to make it down the driveway first. Caroline wasn’t so interested in racing.

I am slowly learning that maybe you should still do what you think is the right thing, even if you look and sound like a lunatic. (Which for me is most the time anyway) 

Anyway. Have a great rest of your week friends, I hope you get some of this beautiful sunshine we did here.

Summertime Shopping (same drama, different day)

We went to town.

Here’s how it went….

We stopped at the Dollar store, and the kids were pretty good, and I was all “Good Mom” and keeping them engaged and entertained.

Then we ran another errand and they were whiny but quit when I gave them a snack and a drink.

At the Farmers Market they were tolerable, but deteriorating quickly, and my patience was waning.

Then the devil-grocery-store.

Had I thought it through, I would have put Claire in the baby- carrier to restrain her (http://angelpack.com/max-toddler-angelpack/ – that’s what we have and I LOVE it…I bought it secondhand but it would have been worth it to buy it new) and buckled Caroline in the buggy, when I do that the worst that can happen is they complain some. But it is HOT today, and I slept crooked and my back is hurting a little and I didn’t even think of it. GAHHH.

This video is actually the part of the grocery store trip where they were being less wild. There wasn’t any audible music and Caroline was dancing, and Claire was pretending to be a frog on the floor and yelling “RIBBIT, RIBBIT”.

Pardon my annoying-on-video voice.

 

 

While I picked out some peaches, they leaned up against a freestanding display on wheels and it rolled away and they fell down. They looked at each other and grinned and leapt up, put their hands on it and shoved it… almost into a nice looking older lady’s shopping cart. I apologized, scolded them and they apologized as well.

Then while I was trying to find vanilla wafers to make banana pudding for dinner, Claire tried to climb a shelf of diapers, and Caroline spun in circles until she fell into a display of Pringles and knocked them down. Claire scooped up a can and threw it at her sisters head where it made solid contact. I swatted Claire’s bottom, and then I had a mess of pringles cans to pick up and two squalling kids. Fun times.

I promise I try to maintain some measure of control over my children, but there is some devilment that overpowers logic and all I have ever taught them at the grocery store.

By the end of the trip I had strapped Claire into the buggy seat and regained a tiny bit of control. So that’s a positive.

We came home and unloaded the car, had lunch and they played in the wading pool.

I might have put on my swimsuit and sat in it with them…but a picture of it doesn’t exist, so that means it didn’t happen, right? ha.

 

It’s hot out there. Perfect afternoon for popsicles and vigorous outdoor activities to wear out the wild ratbabies.

 

 

 

Caroline Drama

Caroline has been a handful tonight.

After sloppy joes tonight (try this recipe- http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/sloppy-joes/)
Lynn had to leave to go to a Farm Bureau meeting. Claire was leisurely finishing her dinner and Caroline was running, turning flips on the floor, and trying to take the drawer pulls off the the antique buffet.

I called her over to me, and while petting her hair I asked her “Why are you so wild? What’s got into you?”

She rolled her eyes around in circles. Sigh. “Mama, that’s just the world we live in today”

Finally Claire was finished and I tried to take a quick bath while supervising the girls who were sprinting up and down the hall yelling at the top of their lungs.

Caroline stopped. Came and stood in front of the bathtub and tossed her hair. “I need your computer now” (by computer she means tablet)

I said “No.”

Lord have mercy.

The kid has been using a sight word app on my tablet to work on her sight words. She’s recently decided she wants to read.

Kicking, screaming, wailing, sniveling, I asked her to go to her room until she could quit the fit.

Finally, she came back to find me. Mad because I did not let her play her sight word game.

“If you don’t give the the computer right now I’m never going to be able to read. Not even when I’m a grown-up. I WON’T EVEN BE ABLE TO READ TO MY OWN CHILDREN! WHY ARE YOU BEING MEAN TO MY CHILDREN????” (Hair toss, foot stomp)

To my credit, I was able to hold it together and not laugh. This ratbaby is a strong willed dramatic thing!

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Grumpy grouch

Poor Lynn got back home in the middle of the drama and settled down his oldest daughter.

Y’all pray for me!

Gee. Teenage years should be fun.

Hay Season

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.

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Pic from Lynn at work

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.

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Caroline is hanging the freshly laundered swimsuits out to dry, since the dryer makes the elastic brittle.

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It means we have FINALLY had a chance to get the garden worked and planted.

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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.

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It’s a long hour, hot and sweaty, hard work rhythm of life – but it’s our life and for that I’m thankful.

Friday the 13th

In the time it took to put on my pants this morning Claire painted her feet and hands with nail polish and drawn on her hands and arms with a magic marker.

Lively that one.

After work Lynn had Caroline so I took Claire to the grocery store.

While at the store, we crossed paths with a mature lady wearing a tube top that was headed in a southern direction.

Of course Claire noticed. She ran towards the lady (I’m estimating Claire got about a yard away) and pointed. At the top of her healthy lungs she yelled “Boobies Mama! She Nakkey! Need CLOTHES! Nakkey! Boobies! Mama! Get her DRESSED!”

Lord help me. Humiliated doesn’t even begin to describe it.

The lady looked around confused, I can only hope she didn’t understand Claire’s baby-talk. I apologized and grabbed my precious angel-baby and scurried away like a roach scurries from light. I felt exactly like I imagine a roach feels too.

Just when I think I can’t be humbled more than I am….I go to the store with my children.

We spent a long time petting my father-in-laws new to him, secondhand farm dog. Caroline loves him. His name is Seymour.

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Photo cred to my mother-in-law

Then I tried to help Lynn figure out how to switch the conductors on a plug in a tractor, but we ran out of daylight.

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Any ideas friends?

While we were busy, the girls locked themselves in the cattle trailer.

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It is kind of like a big aluminum playpen, with a certain aroma

Happy Friday friends. TGIF!

The Budweiser Truck

Driving the girls to “school” this morning, things were quiet and I was deep in thought, when Caroline suddenly screeched “Look!! YUM! My Favorite”

After I recovered from the minor heart attack she gave me I asked her “What?”

She pointed.

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Caroline says this is her "favorite"

Can you tell what it is? (Traffic was weird this morning, and the car was stopped when I took this)

A BUDWEISER TRUCK.
We aren’t beer people. So…what exactly are they teaching them at that high priced church daycare? (Kidding. We love all those ladies)

Then she giggled and chattered on “Ice cream man, Ice cream! I looove ice cream! It’s my favorite!”

Whew. She thought it was an ice cream truck. Dodged the bullet there!

After work I took the kids to a store to pick up things for a 4-H Ice Cream Social tonight (such a tough life I lead) The checkout lanes are killer. So many temptations for the girls, but they did really well….I had to let them look though.

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Walmart us always an adventure with these two

Lynn was working late tonight so the girls went to the 4-H Ice Cream Social at the park party. They had a splendid time.

And tonight I got their “gifted to us”- “painted by me” chalkboard up. They LOVE it. And it’s mostly in the kitchen so maybe it will occupy some of their time when I’m working.

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Pink seemed an appropriate color.

Sweet babies.
Have a good hump day tomorrow.

Good night friends.

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