Most of the time life on a farm is, well, full of life. We constantly have new baby calves being born (I still need to post photos of “Purple” and now “Hope”, our newest baby!), there are animals everywhere, and something is always growing (especially since we are lucky enough to have a greenhouse). Our kids are young and constantly learning new things — Laura loves to point out eyes, nose, and mouth, and made some new friends at the local Mexican Restaurant yesterday by saying “Hi” & “Bye” to everyone — Connor is very close to being potty trained and has actually started to ‘help’ on the farm with small tasks like gathering eggs and feeding the cats — yes, our lives are full of LIFE!
But there are also those days — those days that no one really wants to talk about and that make you sad and wonder why on earth you decided to live this close to it all. Today is one of those days — August died last night. She had always been somewhat sickly — she didn’t walk right away when she was born, she had scours in her first few days, and more recently had a bout of pneumonia. Her life was an almost constant battle of one step forward and two steps back. Most recently Mark had been tube feeding her to make sure she was keeping something down and despite his best efforts she just didn’t make it.
I am especially sad because she was our first calf — the one born the day we officially took over the farm and because I was blessed with the task of naming her. Later today we will take her body to the woods and lay her to rest among the trees. The day is gloomy and overcast — the perfect day to be sad.
In other news I am off to warmer weather on Sunday as I am going to the Vacation Rental Managers Association annual trade show in Phoenix, Arizona. Aunt Julie is coming to help Mark with the farm and the kiddos in my absence and I hope the ‘vacation’ will be a nice renewal for me.
I can not believe it has been three weeks since I logged in here! Weeks just seem to fly by so quickly — something someone once referred to me as “farm time”.
Since we have young kids (who aren’t in school) and Mark no longer has a “9-5” job and I work at home, we don’t really have a normal schedule of lunch at 12, home from work at 5, dinner at 6. In fact that has been one of the things that has been hardest for me to get used to. I loved having a little family time after work and here the work doesn’t stop until about 7:30 and our kids are in bed at 8:30 so there just isn’t the dinner/family hour we used to have in Omaha. I’m slowly getting used to it, but oddly enough it has been the hardest adjustment and not one I even saw coming. Anyway…what we have been up to:
We (ok, Mark and Connor) have been chopping corn — previously I would have had no idea what this is — I pretty much thought once you harvested corn you had the little yellow kernels and that was the only option — WRONG! Since we use almost all of our crops for cattle feed we chop corn which means we use the entire plant — stalk and all. Pretty much you cut the stalk off, chop it in to small pieces (the work of a machine called a chopper) — then the little pieces go in to a chopper box (both of which are being towed by a tractor) and then get unloaded in to a blower which blows the little pieces up in to a silo.
My farmer boys talking a little lunch break. Connor is in LOVE with chopping corn as it means he is out riding a tractor all day.
While we have been “silo filling” we had a wonderful problem to have in that we had too much “silage” (the chopped up corn) so we didn’t have any more room in the silos so we had to also get a silo bag. Many of you have seen these at farms — they are the big white bags usually next to silos and in my previous life I had NO idea what was in those bags — now I know all too well.
This is the silage loading in to the blower
The bag is the same kind of material as a pool liner — I would really like to climb it but it is like 9ft high so that isn’t going to happen any time soon 🙂
I have also been enjoying the BEAUTIFUL fall color — we are past the prime viewing season now, we got some heavy winds so there are a lot of leaves on the ground and the trees look bear now, but it was AMAZING! I have been to Wisconsin about this time of year but watching it day after day changing is just amazing. Any opportunity to go on a drive is a welcome one. Pictures can’t do it justice, but if you get the opportunity to visit now is the time. But now that the leaves have fallen Connor & Laura are loving playing in them.
Connor especially likes the crunch when he walks through the leaves, and he just discovered the joy of rolling down the small hill in our front yard in to a pile of leaves. Thankfully it has been a bit warmer so we have had many opportunities to get outside and play.