The holidays will look different for a lot of people this year.
This week, I will be having my company Christmas party via Zoom. I know...weird...but it is what it is.
Daniel may be having a company Christmas party...but maybe not.
The boys are now back to virtual school, so there won't be any Christmas parties or programs.
So why will our Christmas be so much different this year?
Last week we were able to travel to Louisville, Kentucky to attend the North American International Livestock Expo.
That may seem like an ordinary year for us...but this year has been far from ordinary.
After the National Western Stock Show was cancelled, we were pretty sure that NAILE would also be cancelled. However, the show was to go on.
We submitted our entries, ordered all the awards and made plans to head to Louisville. The closer we got to the show, the more the Covid numbers increased.
But, we were fortunate and the numbers in our state were low enough that we were still able to attend.
Not long after we arrived at the show, the rumors started flying that the show was going to be shut down. We had worked too hard and come too far to be shut down...again.
As our boys get older and closer to graduation, thoughts frequently turn to what they want to do with their lives after high school.
Isaac is a senior and is pretty close to pinning down a college and course of study. Isaac has always been adamant that he wants to be a farmer, but as he gets closer and closer to starting his future, he is realizing that it is virtually impossible to be a farmer without another occupation. So, his sights have turned to what he can do in life that he enjoys, but also earns enough to support his dream of farming.
Walker, on the other hand, hasn't always been too focused on a career. He wants to farm, but just hasn't settled on that dream.
Until one day...out of the blue...he said he wants to be a helicopter pilot.
We get a lot of calls from first time cow buyers looking to start their own herd. They usually have lots of questions, and we are more than happy to answer those questions, because we were once those first time buyers with many of the same questions. We have learned a lot along the way by many times just asking the questions.
One of the questions we are most frequently asked is whether they should start out with heifers or cows.
Each person has to weigh the options and make the decision for themselves, but we can offer our own experiences and insights to help them make the right decision for them and their farm.
I was on chore duty this weekend. The weather was beautiful with a hint of sun peaking from behind the clouds and the cool, crisp temperatures of fall.
The cows have been moved to their fall grazing on the hay field and they are enjoying the feast.
As usual, the weekends I am home alone are full of my long list of to-dos. Except, I looked out at the hay field and realized I didn't really want to clean the kitchen...so I grabbed my camera.
I haven't been out in the herd for a while...and this one isn't quite sure what to make of me and my camera.
I hope he realizes mom's leg isn't hiding much.
He eventually ventured out.
We weaned some of the calves, so a lot of the mommas are over at the other farm.
I love how the young ones always stick together.
They just run to momma when they are hungry....sounds all too familiar.
I wish I were that flexible...
It sure would make scratching my back a little easier.
Blast is just chilling out looking like the big stuff he is.
All the bulls have done their job for the year and Blast will be heading to his new home in a few short weeks.
The leaves are just starting to change, the hay field is still growing that lush fall grass and everyone is putting on some extra weight for the long months ahead.
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We all know the importance of fire drills. Each school year starts with a fire drill at school and parents are always encouraged to go over a fire plan at home with their children.
Why do we do this?
So that if there ever is a fire, the plan has been discussed and practiced. If the worst were to happen, the goal is that your panicked brain remembers the plan.
Not many people think about having tractor fire drills.
To be honest, we have never had a tractor fire drill...but he have had lots and lots of conversations about what to do if there is a tractor or equipment fire.
Several years ago this hit pretty close to home.
Daniel found a new toy.
You know men and their tools. They can never have enough and there is always another one they just have to have.
One of Daniel's co-workers brought in his new toy to show off and Daniel decided he just had to have one.
Amazingly...after I realized I wasn't going to talk him out of buying something he really didn't need...I am glad he bought it.
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This week marks the end of summer for our family as the boys head back to school later this week.
We are thankful that the boys will get to resume a normal school schedule except for one day a week. I has been so long since we have known "normal" and it feels good...even though I am not ready for summer to be over.
This summer has been far different for us in many ways, but it has been such a refreshing time. In so many ways, it reminds me of summers when I grew up. Granted, I didn't live on a farm, but we had a slower pace and time to just enjoy the sunshine and do things kids should do in the summer.
Last week we returned from a glorious nine day vacation to Lake Cumberland, Kentucky.
Yes, we are one of those that traveled during COVID-19. Don't worry, we spent eight days on a boat with just the four of us, so we were more social distanced than we would have been at home.
It can be difficult for farmers to take vacations, but if you haven't been able to tell, it is sometimes harder for us to stay home than it is to get up and go.
When we leave the farm, we don't just leave the dog behind, we leave a whole bunch of animals that need to be cared for.
This week Isaac turns the Big 1-8.
I know...he will officially be an adult. The good news is...he has one more year of high school so I don't have to give him up just yet.
2020 has changed us all. Isaac has lost out on a lot of opportunities, but doors have also been opened for him to do things he wouldn't have been able to do if this year had been normal.
One big change is that he is now a working man. Isaac has always been a hard worker,,,he just gets an actual paycheck now.
His eighteenth year will be one with lots of changes. He has one foot in his childhood and one foot inching toward his adult life.
As I do each year, I sat down with Isaac to get some insight into what is going on in that head of his.
If you missed previous years
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.