We are in the thick of harvest and I love this time of year, but at the same time I am ready for the end. It really all goes too fast and is a blur but I know that I will embrace harvest more as our kiddos get older. It's a hard stage of life where I could hear the reminder daily that "the days are long but the years are short." That really needs to be my motto for harvest. Before we know it planting season will be here and the cycle will begin once again and POOF the year will be gone.
Besides farming I have been busy with kids, work and housework. We spent the weekend with family and I conquered hiking and a pumpkin patch alone with the kids. Throughout the day Saturday I was giving Mr. Farmer a play by play of the above activities. At one point he text me "you're the mom of the decade." Can you say confidence booster!? So men if you are reading this take note. Sometimes all us ladies need is a little encouragement and words of affirmation to let us know that we are doing alright. Those little words let me know that he truly appreciates all that I do when he is busy in the field. Marriage is a partnership and some days I feel like we really have it together and Saturday was one of those days. Ok enough of that mushy rubbish onward to this week's Tuesday Ten:
1. What's for supper? Leftovers...let's be honest I did not feel like making supper and sometimes the fridge needs to have some attention too.
2. What am I listening to? I listened to an Entreleadership Podcast that featured Lou Holtz on my drive to a meeting yesterday and was blown away by his message. I am not a huge college sports fan, but his message applies to everyday life and hits home! So please humor me and check it out...you will love it!
3. How's the weather? It's October in Minnesota, one day you are wearing shorts and flip flops the next you are in your parka and winter boots.
4. What are our weekend plans? Attending my nephews football game and lots of family time on Sunday!
5. What are we watching? I didn't watch a lick this past week , but I do know there are quite a few things dvr'd
6. Boy mom moment of the past week: He finally got his first combiner ride AND I think he is hooked. Surprise, surprise :)
7. Girl mom moment of the past week: Wanting to ride with Papa in the grain cart every moment of every day.
8. Favorite recipe of the week: I made egg bake for tomorrow morning, does that count? I guess it does, because I write the rules here. ;)
9. What am I reading: The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting, it's providing me with lots of belly laughs and relatable moments.
10. Farm moment of the week: Getting a rain day so the kids could see Mr. Farmer for more than 5 minutes.
I have been struggling with farm topics to blog about lately which really shouldn’t be a problem at all. There is soo much to blog about, but I tell you what as an off the farm working mom with two young kiddos some days it doesn’t happen. I hate to say there are days that I am not in touch with the farm or my husband. I feel like I am not sharing the story that I was set out to tell. I sit here reminding myself that this is reality.
The reality is I work off the farm and my husband works on the farm. At the end of some days we don’t even talk about the farm or agriculture. I work with farmers in my job off the farm, so I have a good grasp of what is going on in the neighborhood, but sometimes I miss out on what is happening in my backyard.
This is more of an internal struggle so I thank you as you listen to me rant. How do I fix this? I think its letting go of what isn’t important: the laundry, vacuuming, paying bills…okay paying the bills is important but you get the gist! Focus on family and farming and why the two together are important to us. So these are my goals for #harvest16 :
So there it is, #harvest16, I’m coming for you with my big girl pants on!
We are headed into a long Labor Day weekend and have no idea what to do with this extra free time. Anyone else get like this when busy schedules and farming seem to consume your life? We keep throwing out ideas and none of them seem to stick. Do we do the State Fair, Duluth, a lake getaway, or a staycation? We sat in the living room for over an hour last night listing pros and cons of each. You are proably thinking its not that hard people get your poop in a group and go, go have fun as a family. Sounds simple until we start looking at hotel availablity, the cost of hotels, tickets to attend certain events and all I see are dollar signs, BIG dollar signs. Oh and one other thing Mr. Farmer and I are celebrating 5 years of marriage on the 3rd so that sparks one other thought, do we ditch the kids instead and have a weekend to ourselves? More or less I STINK at making decisions on things like this. I should just flip a coin, but then I might just end up reflipping it. So here is to a weekend full of last minute decsions spent with those closest to my heart.
It’s been a tough few weeks in our rural farming community as tragedy and grief unexpectedly hit and touched many people. These are the times when I think about how blessed we are to live a life on the farm with close knit communities, but it also reminds me how fragile life is. I do not know the grief that these families and friends carry but I have learned something from it.
Love life and be kind.
Believe that there is good in the world.
Be the good in the world.
Hold loved ones close.
Pay it forward.
Love your career.
Have passion and share it.
Wake up with a smile on your face.
Go to bed with a smile on your face.
Trust in God’s plan.
The other night I had to catch myself before nasty words came spewing out of my mouth. This isn’t the first almost assault that has happened and I guarantee it won’t be the last. After a long day at the office there are days that I need five minutes to discombobulate. A time where I can shut my brain off and not think about the supper that needs to be made, the tomatoes that are getting put in the dogs kennel by our one year old, the clothes that need to be folded or the garden that needs to be weeded. I hope I’m not alone when I say it is hard to parent without your spouse at times. It just seems that with each busy season (planting, spraying, harvesting) I have to retrain myself into handling many things on my own and when things don’t go my way to not spew those thoughts/emotions out on my spouse.
So how do I do it? I’m not really sure, but I guess there are some things that I do on a nightly or weekly basis to ensure a happy farm family! So here it goes:
1. Rest – this isn’t so much my rule as a family farm rule. This is one that has been passed down through generations so that we may attend church and have a day of rest with the Lord and our family. It is crazy that one day can reenergize all of us and prepare us for the week ahead. Plus who doesn’t love an extra board game or a swing in the hammock?
2. Meal Planning – this comes and goes with the seasons. When it is “go” time I like to have meals prepped on Sunday so the weeknights are a little easier on the whole family. This way I don’t let Mr. Farmer have it for things he or I cannot control…like a screaming toddler at your feet because he hasn’t ate in the last 5 minutes.
3. One-on-One time – this does not only apply to the kids but to Mr. Farmer as well. Our daughter goes to bed about a half later than our son, we use this time to play an extra board game, read a book or share an extra scoop of ice cream. This is a little tougher with our son as he is a one year old, but he loves to rock and is just starting to get into books. When Mr. Farmer gets in late and I’m ready to crash I know even if we get fifteen minutes before I hit the hay to snuggle on the couch and hash out the day, things are much better in our world.
4. Housework – don’t let it pile up. Now my house is not white glove approved by any means and I don’t expect it to be, but when the house gets filthy Momma about loses it. I’ve found that if I do the dishes right after supper and spread laundry throughout the week I am a much calmer mom and wife. Tasks such as vacuuming should be done more often, because I know stale cheerios could be found in the couch cushions and a week old sippy of milk is stashed in the lazy susan , but dangit the kids are happy. So I guess I clean what needs to be cleaned and leave the rest until I’ve gone crazy ;)
5. Keep calm and farm mom on
Most nights the littles and I play outside and try to keep the garden weeds at bay as we anticipate Mr. Farmer’s arrival home. Mr. J has stealthy ears and can hear the gator or lawn mower approach from what seems like miles away. He will point and let out his little one year old grunt in anticipation. An added bonus he doesn’t have to be scolded by Mommy anymore for testing the limits. Miss A is happy she has her Daddy home. She continues to be my little side kick and helper, but she lights up and her heart pitter patters a little faster for her Daddy. Want a little proof?
This past weekend I was working on Mr. J’s belated birthday present (does anything really get done on time as a mom?) and I asked Miss A “are you going to sew like Mommy when you get older?” What do you think her response was? Her response made my heart jump and sink a little all at the same moment.
“No, I am going to farm like Daddy!”
Well, ok then. Go get ‘em girl! Show ‘em how it’s done! Can you tell she is turning into a pretty darn independent three year old. This is what it means to be passing on our farming lifestyle to the next generation. At this age she doesn’t truly know the responsibility we hold, but the twinkle in her eyes lets us know she well rock whatever lies ahead of her, farming or sewing.
In my last post I mentioned missed suppers and bedtimes as a result of our full time, all the time lifestyle: farming. Farming isn’t a job where you work 8-5, it isn’t the same tasks day in a day out, it’s being a mechanic, a welder, a crop consultant, a heavy machinery operator, a market analyst, a bookkeeper, an estate planner and the list goes on. The hats of a farmer are many and don’t end when the sun goes down or the sun comes up. Farming is a lifestyle; we literally eat, sleep and breathe it. Long nights in the dryer shack are proof of it. Join us in fall when sugar beet harvest runs 24/7. We don’t clock in and we don’t clock out. Farming is all of the time.
So when Mr. Farmer misses another supper due to our lifestyle I remind myself how fortunate we are to be providing a safe food supply for millions around the world. One look at my littles keeps my grounded as I know we have much to be grateful for even if Daddy is missing supper and bedtime on occasion. This is a lifestyle that we have been somewhat grandfathered into. It has been passed down from generations who knew nothing else but this farming lifestyle. My hope is that we can continue to live this lifestyle while inspiring our children to do the same so that people around the world can be provided the nourishment to live.
If my garden is any indication of how life is going it could be summed up in two words, not good. Thank goodness the garden is the only thing in life that is not good. The weeds have overtaken most of it, but by golly the roundup ready sweet corn looks pretty dandy! I have been trying to manage the kids while weeding as Mr. Farmer is doing farmer things like spraying. One row of vegetables takes me about an hour to weed between the “don’t touch that, don’t eat that, NO don’t climb on that” antics of a fully mobile one year old. Last year he was contained to a stroller, this year there is no containment or limit!
Fast forward 12 months: mobile and owning it! :)
Leaves are missing from the cabbage, the carrots have been walked on, but boy is he happy. His older sister isn’t far away making sure he doesn’t do any of the things that mom told him not to. These summer days are my favorite. I love getting my hands dirty after a day in the office and having to wash little feet off with the garden hose. I keep telling myself these are the years. Even if Mr. Farmer is missing supper and bedtime some nights, could we really be more blessed? Not much, weeds and all.
Spring has definitely sprung in Minnesota and we are in our transition into S-U-M-M-E-R! I just love this time of year and who doesn't love being able to take the kids outside after supper to run off some extra energy!?! I am beginning to wonder how we survived all winter? So, Mother Nature I thank you for finally returning us to our regular warm sunshiny programming.
All of our crops (wheat, sugar beets, corn and soybeans) are up at this point and some of them were nipped by frost a week and a half ago. We lucked out and everything of ours came out of it. Some of our neighbors to the north weren't as lucky as they will be replanting portions of their fields. A late frost is not unusual, it's more of a matter of when, not if. In the pictures below you can see the effects the frost had on the corn, by the browning of the leaves.
Our garden is also planted and what we didn't have enough blankets to cover from the frost I had to replant, luckily it was only 4 cucumber plants. I actually can't believe how well everything is doing! It makes me so excited for all of our yummy produce to come, but makes me less than excited to weed (thank goodness my hubby mixed me up some roundup to spot spray weeds)! Each year I say I need to not have the "go big or go home" mentality when it comes to the size and scope of the family garden and each year I somehow manage to capitalize on the "go BIG" part. I might learn my lesson one year, maybe, nah probably not...
So cheers to a growing season filled with timely rains and the perfect number of growing degree days.
People close to me know that I am somewhat of a serial garage saler and by serial I mean addict, enthusiast, devotee, aficionada. Get the picture? I’m the one that should have a HUGE bumper sticker reading THIS CAR CARRIES A CRAZY GARAGE SALE LADY, SHE MAY UNEXPECTEDLY BREAK OR TURN DUE TO AN APPROACHING GARAGE SALE. Now I know that wouldn’t all fit on a bumper sticker but I’d be ok with one of those vehicle wraps as long as it gets the job done. Please don’t let me husband in on my plans, he will disagree with this idea.
Now enough about my garage sale go getting wheels, onto the real guts and glory: hitting the garage sale jackpot. The one where all of the clothes are name brand and good condition with several complete snow suits hanging in the corner and three pairs of crocs priced on the floor. Now I know what you’re thinking, Crocs, really Lisa get your crap together! Honestly though they are by far the best garden shoes for my kiddos. They go from mud and muck to clean with one wash of a hose. I don’t have to worry about them accidently getting them wet and I don’t have to be the obnoxious mom screaming “Get out of the mud puddle already!” Are you getting my drift I HIT the J-A-C-K-P-O-T!
Even better I got oodles of items as you can see for $150, again this may seem pricey but when I tell you what I got…mind blown!
Now that you know my haul here are my TOP FOUR tips for a successful haul:
I'm Lisa, a farm wife, mom and old lady at heart (or my husband tells me so). Agriculture, quilting, and baking were my first loves and now I get to enjoy them with my family!