Never a Dull Moment

Just when I think life on the farm might pause for a moment, we inevitably find ourselves with a jam-packed schedule and more projects on our hands than we know what to do with.

In my mind, I’d been looking forward to late February and early March as a time that might not be too busy on the farm, as our regular cattle herd doesn’t calve until April and planting won’t start until May. Maybe we could take that time to have a little romantic stay-cation, I told Dan (or, to be more honest, go through our storage space before springtime responsibilities hit).

But if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that farmers aren’t very good at resting and there’s never a slow moment, which means a farmer’s wife finds herself busy as ever, even during the “slow” season.

Though we had just crossed off a major accomplishment of selling last year’s calf crop, we were already well on our way of calving the 17 heifers Farmer Dan bought in December. For those who didn’t grow up on a farm, heifers (first-time moms) need some special attention just like any new mom, which means every night Dan wakes up at least twice during the middle of the night to check to see if any new calves were born or if a heifer needs help calving. If a calf has been born, he makes sure that mama and baby are warm in the barn, and that the calf has been licked off and claimed by its mother. If a heifer is struggling to calve, he pulls out the calving straps and prepares to assist if necessary. Those first few hours are critical to the livelihood of the calf, as it needs the colostrum in its mother’s milk for immunity and the shelter from the cold during those first delicate hours.

But if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that farmers aren’t very good at resting and there’s never a slow moment, which means a farmer’s wife finds herself busy as ever, even during the “slow” season.

Being the kind soul that he is, Dan has not (yet) asked me to split up these nocturnal duties, but I’m convinced that these late night excursions to the barn are affecting my sleep anyway, leading me to have crazy conversations with Dan after he returns to bed. One night, I sat straight up in my sleep and turned to Dan, who had just come inside from checking calves, and frantically asked if he had put the macaroni and cheese in the oven. Trying to keep a straight face, he assured me he had. The next night, I demanded to know where the drawings were, and strongly vocalized my disbelief when Dan told me they were in the drawer. (I still have no idea what drawings I was looking for, but they sound fascinating. If only they were really in the drawer!)

In addition to the calves and serious late-night mac n’ cheese discussions, we’ve also been busy buying a new bull and getting it acclimated to its new home on the farm. On its first day on the farm, the bull decided that the cows across the fence looked pretty enticing, and somehow Macgyvered a way to open the gate to join his new love interests. On one hand, we were thrilled that he seems to really, really like the cows (a great relief when you spend thousands on a stud bull), but on the other hand, it only took a couple of hours for him to get into all sorts of hijinks. I can only imagine what this spring will hold for us with this rascal!

Though I should know better that life doesn’t really ever slow down on the farm, it does provide us with a lot of humor and entertaining situations that you can’t help but crack a smile at. And to be honest, I’d take the charming everyday chaos over organized storage any day.

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