This post was most recently updated on July 11th, 2015
Yesterday was a busy day on The Farm. We had cattle delivered in the morning, which is always quite a production. More cows means more water, so a solar pump had to be installed on the water well at the other place to avoid hauling water 2 or 3 times a day. I’m especially excited about this, as I am the designated water hauler. It’s not a task I enjoy, mostly because it involves pulling a trailer and I’m not good at it. Yep, I’m a born and bred farm girl who can’t back a trailer worth a darn. Some hay had to be hauled in to feed the moos until we can get them turned out to the south pasture. And that was just the line up for the boys’ pre-lunch activities!
Inside the house, there was laundry to be done, a whole house to clean, dinner to fix, various and sundry computer tasks to complete – most importantly, the ordering of a new batch of antifungal shampoo for the dog. The little bit of rain we’ve had made our lawn grow like crazy and her skin allergy started up again with a vengeance. I also needed to get out to the camper and clean it up after we had company staying out there over last weekend and no one has had time to get to it before now. (Spending a little time by myself without chattering Sissies or a helpful Skink had nothing to do with it, I swear.) Lots of stuff going on, everywhere.
But this is really a typical day for us. There’s always something that needs fixing around the farm or the house. Both are old and weren’t in that great of shape when we took them on almost 9 years ago. All the fences needed mending or replaced – which is really an ongoing chore since cows have what I like to call “there’s a hole in the fence” radar. That simply means that if there’s a hole anywhere in the fence, they’ll find it and get out through it. Ironically, they can never find the same hole to get back in through. Hmmm. There was an over 70-year-in-the-making collection of junk important parts, pieces and piles laying all over the pastures, shop areas and homestead because of the “we might be able to use that for something” philosophy that seems to plague old farmers & ranchers. All it was really good for was attracting mice and rats, which will be it’s own rant post at some point in the future, I promise. There are pastures to be sprayed, feed to plant, machinery to to maintain … and that’s even before we get to taking care of the cattle themselves. Cutting, baling & hauling hay, vaccinating, working, sorting, moving from one pasture to another – it’s a pretty endless ‘to do’ list.
In addition to the farm chores and maintenance, there’s an almost equally long ‘honey-do’ list for the house. Right now, we need to install a new water heater (sitting on the patio since last Saturday), mow the lawn, plant blackberries, build a new storage shed, clean out the storage room in the basement to make room for another bedroom and fix the agitator in the washing machine. By the end of the week. Well, most of it by the end of the week – the rest can wait until the end of the month, provided that the pool is cleaned and open by Memorial Day. I’m making that a priority.
My husband also works a full time job as a crop adjuster for an insurance company, serves as Trustee for our township and helps me raise our 4 kids. I home school said kids, keep the books for The Farm and our personal accounts, run the household, chauffeur the kids to various activities and run 2 separate blogs. We stay fairly occupied, all in all.
Sometimes it’s pretty frustrating, not being able to do like I see other families doing – just hanging out on a nice Saturday afternoon, drinking sweet tea on the patio, going for a quiet drive with no destination and no unfinished projects or waiting jobs hanging over their leisure time. For us, it’s always ‘something’s not getting done if we’re doing nothing’. I mean, we do make some time to simply … be … but those times are few and far between, and honestly, it usually stresses me out because I’m thinking about all the more productive ways I should be spending my time.
I occasionally daydream about suburban living where a weekend is spent running errands in the morning, watching ball games in the afternoon and ending the day barbecuing in the back yard. It sounds like such a peaceful and relaxing way to live, with only your lawn and house to take care of and no other chores beyond your own yard fence. Our little lawn is almost 2 acres. No one likes mowing that bad boy, but when you can only see the top of the dachshund’s head above the grass …
Building The Farm back into a profitable business is taking slightly longer than we anticipated. But it’s happening and in a couple more years, we should be able to relax a little and enjoy the fruits of our long, hard labors. The new house we planned to build when we first moved here is also taking waaaaayyyy longer than we anticipated. But we’re (albeit much more slowly than I find satisfactory) making some progress on that front as well, and I think we’ll be able to have exactly what we want in the same time frame. It’s seriously taken us this long to really find a floor plan that we both are totally in love with, so I guess it just takes the time it takes to be right. No matter how impatient I am about it.
Despite the often hectic pace we’ve been keeping, we’re pretty content, I think. Because we home school, we probably spend more time together as a family than the weekend-warrior suburbanites I sometimes envy, even if it is while we’re hauling hay in from the field. And, realistically, I know those families most likely feel just as rushed, overwhelmed, frustrated and worn out as I feel sometimes. Their world might seem smaller and more manageable than mine, but maybe they daydream of living on a huge piece of land, spending all their time taking care of it and the critters who share it. Wouldn’t that be something, if they envied me? We have a good life. Sure, it’s a little challenging, but it won’t always be quite so much work as it is now. And it is awfully nice when I can sneak off with my hubby for an hour or so to check on the cows & maybe do a little *parking*? (wink, wink)
Today is our 18th wedding anniversary. We didn’t have any big plans, really. Hubby has to fix a panel on the stock trailer, he and our oldest son are also helping Grandpa repair a piece of machinery, and I’m still working on laundry (family of 6 … never-ending spin cycle) anyway. But he got up extra early this morning and snuck off to town for donuts. And he told me when he came in for lunch that he was taking me out tonight for a bite … and maybe a little drive, after. It’s nice that he remembers this day as something worth celebrating – it was the luckiest day of my life, for sure. Even though the day has been pretty typical in terms of getting things done, we’re going to take some time to make it special and remind ourselves why we started this journey in the first place. Which should probably be part of our typical day anyway, don’t y’all think?
Love & Blessings
That Farm Mama