Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lessons Learned

I've been away from the keyboard for awhile...and I have been loaded down with farm stories the whole time. I often write them in my head when I sit down to feed bumpkin baby, or as I'm doing dishes, or as I'm drifting off to sleep. Somehow they never make it to cyber space, or even to my journal. I don't know where my time goes these days. Life with 3 children ages 6 and under is a juggling act-- a challenging, hilarious, often seemingly impossible juggling act. Then you add life on the farm with 13 animals to that... Then you add Christmas... Gee, I'm sure glad I don't "work" full time!

(that was a joke)

I can't possibly write about all that has happened of significance here in the last 2 months. I will however, make a top ten list for you, hope you enjoy!

A list of lessons I have learned from the recent happenings on the farm

10. Eggs don't go bad when you forget to collect them ... one day we found 14 eggs in the chicken coup. There were only 4 chickens laying eggs, so it had been a few days. Oops! Farmer Wife was preoccupied with bumpkin baby I guess.

9. My weekly article is well liked and greatly missed... I have been told that people have called the paper several times wanting to know where my article is and that even a letter to the editor came in demanding they publish my article again and how dare they fire me! Wow, that was so sweet and I am so flattered by my following of readers.

8. I was told by a new friend that I could tell if Sweetums was pregnant by feeling the upper right side of her back and looking for calf movement. I stared at her for a long time and I would be willing to bet money that I saw something moving in there. My daughter told me it was just breathing, but I have had a baby in my tummy, and I know what it looks like when they move-I saw something in there! (I guess in March we'll see who was right)

7. Rain in December is never a good thing. The farm rarely has seen the amount of rain in December as it did in 2009. The problem with this is that we are finishing up our harvest then, and the rain not only prolongs our work efforts but it also puts the late harvesting crops, specifically cotton and soybeans, are at risk of mold and disease. Nothing like added stress at the end of our year!

6. There is such a thing as organic diapers! Is this as funny to you as it is to me? It is actually the cotton that is used in the diaper lining that is certified organic. I had a coupon for these diapers, so I bought them and used them on bumpkin baby...I don't think he noticed any difference between these and the non-organic cotton diapers because he certainly treated them both the same.

5. When you give a couple of farm kids a shovel, they can and will dig a giant hole. Our 2 older kids started digging before the bumpkin baby was born, and they worked diligently on this hole every day. One of them would dig for awhile while the other one supervised, then they would switch when their arms got tired (or broken as they put it). This hole kept them busy for a good week until farmer husband realized how deep it had gotten and deemed it unsafe to be in the yard where kids and animals and grown-ups walk around. He told me it was about 3 feet deep! As I have said before, these kids can work!

4. The chicken eating fox is alive and well. I won't go into the whole story in order to protect the innocent, but we are down to 3 chickens. That still gives us 21 eggs a week-I think that is sufficient for a family of 5 (when only 4 of them eat table food).

3. The saying "the more the merrier" is so true! Bumpkin baby has made such an incredible addition to the farm and we love him dearly. He has met all the animals and they have gotten to sniff his tiny head.

2. The ratio of one adult to 3 small children and 12 animals is not exactly ideal. During our last few weeks of harvesting, farmer husband has been working unusually long days which has frequently left me to hold down the fort longer than I am comfortable with if say, things got out of hand in the pasture. Thank goodness that the livestock has managed to behave themselves and stay inside the fence! I can honestly say that if one of the goats or even our maybe-pregnant-cow wandered off after escaping from the pasture during the past 2 months, I probably would have simply waved good-bye and yelled "Write when you can!" as they sauntered out of sight! There is just only so much I can do from my command post these days, and keeping the humans alive is taking top priority!

1. At the end of the day, amidst all the foolishness and mayhem that farm and country life bring, I still would choose my life over any other. I still feel the most content looking out into the pasture and field that are my front yard and enjoying the small town that we live in. As our life in the country continues, I thank God everyday for giving me what I never knew I wanted-the peace and quiet of being the farmer's wife.