It's not officially fall yet, but it is feeling more like it each day.
The temperature have be unseasonably cool around here and we even had to pull out the flannel sheets this weekend.
It is perfect sweatshirt weather which means that we have turned our attention to winter preparations.
But, before we can even think about winter preparations, we have some end of summer and fall items to check off our list.
Our calendar is full as usual, but we actually had a weekend almost completely at home. We took advantage of the home time to get caught up on all things cows.
We are spending this Labor Day weekend with family and friends. This post is from the archives, but still a great reminder as we struggle to get back into the swing of things for the new school year.
The evenings are starting to turn chilly, the leaves are beginning to turn and summer is winding down. School has started once again.
We are now a few weeks into the school year. The books have a couple of dog-eared pages, the eraser is half used, the sneakers have a few scuffs and the shiny newness is wearing off of things. A few tests and quizzes are in the grade books, and the dreaded homework is in full swing.
Summer on the farm isn't quite over, and the boys are having a hard time focusing on school work when they would much rather be out working in the fresh farm air. The garden is still producing and hay is still growing. Calves are waiting to be weaned and we are moving cows around to get everyone home and situated for winter paddocks. There are so still so many things that need to be done before we are ready for winter to set in.
So what do you do when you have a farm kid that just can't see the use of "all this book learnin"?
"I understand that I need to learn science to be able to take better care of my cows, but why do I need to diagram sentences?"
It is hard for kids to see the need for all the "useless information" that they are being tested over. As adults, we know why they need to learn these things and how useful it will all be to them later in life, but how do you make that relate to a kid that just wants to farm?
I am proud.
Proud to be a farmer.
Proud of Miniature Herefords.
Proud to be a Miniature Hereford farmer.
Everywhere you go you will find someone with an opinion. And, unfortunately, the most opinionated are the ones that usually choose to share that opinion.
In this industry, there are so many differences in cattle, that you will find an overabundance of strong opinions. Some cattle farmers have a little bit of everything, but a lot of farmers are true to one particular breed. And they usually feel very strongly about that breed.
Summer may be full of balmy temperatures, but it never fails that fair week brings to most intense heat of the summer.
Last year the heat was almost unbearable. The barn was full of animals, but you were hard pressed to find a human under that hot roof.
As farmer's, it is our responsibility to make sure that our animals are as comfortable as possible.
With barn temperatures over 100 degrees, we were getting desperate. If we were hot and sweaty, can you imagine how hot a large hairy animal is?
We offered water at least once an hour, but we knew we needed to do something more.
Daniel came up with an easy and affordable solution.
He made his very own hillbilly misting fan.
Fifteen years ago, yesterday, Daniel and I became parents.
In some ways it seems like just yesterday, and in other ways it feels like I have been a mom for forever.
As I did with Walker just a few weeks ago, I decided to ask Isaac a few questions about life.
Insert teenage attitude (he really isn't that bad...just has his moments)...
The middle of July...
How did that happen?
The summer has gone so quickly...
And it will be over before we know it.
All lot has been accomplished.
Land of the Free...
Not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes.
This is a big week for me.
I have a momentous birthday.
I won't tell you which one...
But, I thought I would share 40 things you might not know about me.
Walker celebrated a birthday this past week and I thought it would be fun to sit down with him and ask him a few questions about his life.
As we are sitting on the back patio...
Walker eating out of a box of vanilla wafers....
Summer is finally here!
The school year is officially over.
The backpacks are put away.
The assignment sheets are all complete.
Who are we kidding?
Our kids just trade assignment sheets for summer chore sheets.
The fans have all been hung in the barn.
Today all the show girls get pulled out of the field and put back in their show stalls.
It is time to get them back on show feed and give them daily baths and workouts.
There is no rest in the summer.
Today the boys will start with washing and blow drying 2 cows.
Shortly, they will be up to washing, drying and working 6 cows each day.
Don't blame the parents (Mom tried really hard to talk them out of all of this)...
Isaac and Walker chose this many cows.
The plan is for each boy to take a beef feeder and a Miniature Hereford heifer to the county fair.
The week after county fair, we are headed to The Ohio State Fair where we will be showing the 2 heifers and a cow-calf pair (or two).
All of these cows will get a daily bath, conditioners blown in, and either a tractor walk around the hay field or individual ground work in the barn yard.
This alone is a full time job. We figure about an hour per cow, which will mean about 6 hours per day of cow work.
Add a little bit of kid procrastination, dilly-dallying, fighting, snacking and "resting", and the day is pretty much gone.
The list goes on.
We do ask them to do some things around the house/farm to help out Mom and Dad.
Put your dishes in the dishwasher.
Pick up after yourself.
Mow the grass and weed eat.
And the occasional miscellaneous project.
And to top it all off...
We have an almost 15 year old boy with farm boy muscles.
He is in hot demand with all the neighbors this year.
I guess that gives him some motivation to cut out some procrastination, dilly-dallying, fighting and "resting" so that he can move on to the paying jobs.
And we all know that it is way more fun to do the same work at someone else's house than it is to do it at your own house.
He keeps seeing a truck in his 16 year old future.
He had better be throwing a lot of hay bales this summer!!!
But do not fear...
It is not all work and no play around here.
Both of the boys will be attending a week of church camp this summer.
And they have already told us that they are spending 2 weeks (we say 1 week) with one grandma and going to North Carolina with the other grandma and grandpa.
They finished school last Wednesday and we let them do whatever they wanted on Thursday and Friday.
Freedom can turn into an interesting adventure.
They decided to raid the trash pile and found an old hose.
They zip tied it to the trampoline and poked more holes into it to make their own soaker hose.
Turned on the water...
And they had their very own country boy water park.
Summer will go too quickly and before we know it we will be once again packing lunches and backpacks.
For now, they are enjoying the freedom from school, sunshine, sleeping in (just a little bit), working with their beloved animals and machinery (green of course), building those farm boy muscles and working so hard they can't wait to crash into bed each night.
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Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.