Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pets and Livestock

I grew up on a farm.  But now, being a parent, I realize how much my kids see and learn.  Most of the time, these are great experiences.  But the process of life and death, is a hard one. 

This past week, we had a calf that wasn’t going to make it.  This calf had a lot of issues that neither we nor our vet could help with.  Sometimes, the difficult choice has to be made on whether or not to put them out of their own misery.  On the farm, those decisions have to be made. Wyatt asked a lot of questions about why we had to put him down.  Why we couldn’t just ‘give him a shot’ to make it all better.  That same day, our indoor cat, Sandie, had to go to vet because he was sick.  More questions came. 

Livestock and pets are different on the farm.  They are the same in the aspect that we feed them, we try our best to keep them healthy, we try to keep them comfortable, we try to keep them pain free.  But, our livestock’s lives are meant to be different than our pets.  They are not meant to be long term.  They are not meant to be companions. They are here to feed us.

Simply put, we feel sad when any animal on the farm dies.  As I get older, it seems to hit me harder. I believe it is my kids sadness that I am taking on, too.

Our cat of 8 1/2 years, Sandie, got sick.  We took him to the vet, and unfortunately, the vet couldn’t help him.  He died on his own, and it was no decision of anyone's, but we tried to save him.  The house is now lonely when AJ is out late working and the kids are in bed.  I will miss my Sandie dearly.  Thank you for being a friend. 


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Spring to Summer to Fall

Fall is officially here and I haven’t updated the blog since school got out! 
The reason for the hiatus?  I was overwhelmed.  I was overwhelmed looking at social media and realizing that there is a lot of work to do when it comes to educating about how I ‘conventionally’ grow our crops and livestock.  PLEASE, if you have questions about how your food is grown, ask!  I’d be happy to talk about it!  I also wanted to make sure I didn’t miss out on the summer for my children.  I LOVED summers as a kid, and it is my duty to make sure they enjoy it, too! 
Over the summer the kids were home with me on Friday-Monday.  This allowed me to work Tuesday-Thursday, and enjoy summer Friday-Monday.  We made it to the pool a lot!  They are old enough now that they play by themselves and with other friends, so it’s almost relaxing for me (except for the worry of drowning part, that is not so relaxing)!  We also spent a lot of time with friends.  This group of ours is awesome.  I’m not sure how I get so lucky in each phase of my life to find good hearted, honest, fun people! 
The summer went out with a bang.  AJ ended up breaking his kneecap in an ‘on-farm’ injury.  He was working on a cattle gate when it fell on him, throwing him to the cement floor, and shattering his kneecap.  He was lucky enough to only come away with a broken kneecap, 6 staples in his head, and some scratches.  I know this may not sound lucky, but in all the accidents that can happen around here, I’m thankful this was all we have to deal with.  The accident happened August 15th (Wyatt’s 6th Birthday Party), surgery August 16th, a cast until September 16th, and now a knee brace until the doctor allows him out of it. 

Cast #1
Cast #3
His new friend 'the brace'  He no longer uses the crutch either!
 While he was in his super-fun full leg cast, my in-laws took over with the out-of-doors farm stuff.  I’m thankful they were around!  The Monday after AJ’s accident, 7 loads of cattle were sent off to market.  All loaded by my in-laws.  Then, within the 4 weeks of AJ being laid up, they loaded around 10 trucks of hogs to go to market (I got in on a few of these…).  They also took care of the cattle at the pasture, made some upgrades to our cattle barn, and a lot more. 
As a farm wife, help is often needed.  Especially when the ‘farmer’ gets into an accident.  Neighbors, friends, and family are very necessary on the farm.  There was a lot of help offered to us.  Thanks to you all.  It is a big reminder of how far a little help can go! 
AJ was a great patient, too.  He really didn’t give me a hard time.  He actually did a lot of laundry folding to help out!  I may request that he keep that job.   
The kids loved helping when they could.  They were great at putting the pillows where he needed them and Wyatt even learned how to make coffee for him so he could get him a cup! 
Now, we have a barn partially full of cattle, a pig barn empty and being cleaned for the next load of pigs to come in.  Cover crops flown on and growing, and harvest has begun! 
We took out about 40 acres earlage on the 21st and 22nd.  Saturday and Sunday (26-27th) we got our own combine running and took out our first field of corn.  We started on soybeans yesterday (30th) and should be getting them out slowly but surely as they dry down and get ready to go.  I will hopefully keep you updated on what’s happening on the farm!  IMG_7428IMG_7497The kids are in the routine of going to school, AJ is back out on the farm (not quite 100%, yet), and I have yet to find a groove between working, the farm, and the kids.  But, this is my life.  Thankfully, I LOVE IT.  God is Good.