FarmHER in progress….

As a teenager, I considered myself a self proclaimed “Farm Girl“. Little did I know, what I thought made you a farm girl back then would be put to shame by what I know makes you a farm girl now.

Looking back I should’ve classified myself as a country girl. My grandfather farmed and my dad did as well until he started working off the farm when I was in grade school. My grandfather and uncle continued to farm. We moved to town and then back to the country when I was in fourth grade. As a child I remember being around cows but I didn’t work and interact with them on a daily basis. I remember driving my dads old ford pick up while he fed out of the back. I remember cows getting out and having to go with grandpa to go fix fence. I remember riding in the tractor with grandpa while he sang and drove along like there were no problems in the world. I remember driving our little three wheeler down the windrows of hay and grasshoppers plastering me. I spent endless hours catching frogs, fish and tadpoles. I was always outside and I honestly don’t remember watching much TV.

Fast forward 20 years and here I am, in awe of what made me think I could call myself a farm girl back then. The past 11 years has opened my eyes so wide when it comes to the Ag Industry. 11 years ago, I never would’ve guessed I would move away from my hometown. I never would’ve guessed I would be helping take care of 160 cow calf pairs and 21 heifers—driving a 36ft trailer and actually managing not to hit anything–running all over the country side picking up parts and moving equipment–wearing a ball cap and blue jeans everyday.

Kudos, to all those women out there who have worked on the farm from day one. Granted, if my dad kept farming I would’ve been right there with them. However, in some way God has brought me back to something that completes me.

This past fall, Seth took a job off the family farm and was working a little over an hour away from home. It was harvest. We had 100 cows calving, and it was crazy. It was crazy but awesome! Being out on the farm and caring for something that you have raised is such a rewarding feeling.

Granted, this has been one heck of a learning experience and it will continue to be the rest of my life. I wish I had a dollar for every phone call I made to Seth this fall when I was checking cows because I wasn’t sure what certain signs I needed to be looking for. Or if a calf looked off what the heck I was suppose to do. We lost 6 calves in just one group this fall. It was an awful feeling and I sometimes wonder if Seth had been there if we would’ve lost that many in that bunch. We lost two at the other place but both were stillborn and there wasn’t much I could’ve done. Its a live and learn lifestyle for sure.

Lately the kids and I have been feeding all cows for the most part on a daily basis. I love it. Kinze LOVES it.img_2298

Grady hates it—but he will come around. I’ve finally mastered feeding with the tractor and was getting in the groove. Then my dad let us borrow his truck which has a bale bed on it. I wouldn’t be lying if I said it looks like a circus has come to town when I am trying to feed with it. I’ve wasted more hay this winter then Seth probably has in the past five years. I am learning as I go, that’s for sure. You know its bad when your son tells your husband that mommy doesn’t know what shes doing.

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The cows have become my girls. I have one group that hold a special place in my heart. It’s disheartening how society thinks that we as producers don’t take care of our stock and are only in it for the money. I’ll leave that story for a different day.

I guess what I am getting at is how lucky I am to be able to do what I love everyday. Granted, cow crapped covered boots and jeans, ball caps, and silage smelling truck interior is not every woman’s cup of tea—it is mine. I am so happy I have found that. I know there are many laughs to come. For instance the day I actually get to help work cattle (in 11 years of being with Seth I’ve literally barely helped twice- and maybe there are good reasons for that, lol). I could shout to the earth tops how much I love these cows–but I won’t. When others smell cow crap, I smell money. When others see a “poor mistreated” animal I see a cow and her calf that I see and feed and check on, on a daily basis. I am so proud of what we do. What we, in the Ag industry do.

I know I still have a long ways to go. I will constantly be learning. Granted I hope I own up to my mistakes and learn from them. I hope I can bust fewer bales while transporting them. Become more efficient at raking hay. Speed up my time it takes to load 7 bales on the dump trailer ( I swear a 5 year old could do it faster). Feel more confident when speaking to others about our operation.

I will be the first to tell you I have no clue what I am doing when it comes to cattle. It embarrasses me that I’ve been around cows the past 11 years and only in the last couple have I become fully involved. What counts though, is now I have been given the opportunity to help–to learn by doing–to be a part of something I truly love. Granted I know only a smidgen of what I hope to learn over the years to come.

So 20 year ago was I a farm girl–HECK no! A country girl yes. Can I say that on the last day of February in 2017 that I am farm girl– HECK yes and I am PROUD of it. Hard work–dirty work–rewarding work has brought me so much happiness. I am a proud FarmHER and RanchHER. I have a long ways to go. In 20 years I can look back and laugh at all my rookie mistakes—heck even write a book, simply because there are so many.

So right now what seems to be a chaotic crazy cow woman can hopefully transform into a confident advocating cattle-woman. So stay tuned for my mistakes on this crazy roller coaster ride that these ladies are about to put me on……….

Gone are the days……

Lately, the world has become a scary place. Or lets face it……its been that way for awhile.

In my eyes, today’s society has stripped our children of their childhood. Technology has stripped them.

Granted, everyone is brought up differently and every family has their own way of life.

My childhood didn’t include endless hours in front of the TV watching cartoons or playing video games.

When I think of my childhood it brings a smile to my face and tugs on my heart strings. Today, driving back from my parents house looking in rear view mirror watching my children each holding an ipad playing their games as we sped down the road….. I thought to myself…….they are missing so much and it’s my fault, not theirs. I passed mini van after suv with dvd players playing in the backseat and my car was included in that category.

My family went on vacation every year. I was fortunate enough to have this opportunity. Of all those trips I only remember one, where technology played a part in the trip and that was my sophomore year of high school…..a VHS player in a van as we strolled down the road. Instead of my head glued in a cell phone or ipad…..I played car bingo…..or I spy with my little eye. I took in the scenery and mother natures landscape.

I don’t want my children to miss out on the little things, the important things all because I allow them to indulge in the meaningless things only for the sake of my sanity and plea of a quiet trip home.

This led me to think about how so much our world and time has changed and how it affects our kids lives.

Gone are the days of letting our child walk down the road alone to a friends house. Gone are the days of letting a child use the restroom by themselves. Gone are the days of leaving your children in your car while running into the gas station to pay for your gas. Gone are the days of sending our children to the mall or movies with friends and not having to worry that they won’t be gunned down by someone for no reason. Gone are the days where schools were the place kids felt safe and out of harms way. Gone are the days of letting a child have a childhood instead of forcing them to grow up way to soon due to demands from today’s society. Gone are the days of trusting someone you think you know to watch your children.

My childhood was filled with SOO many great moments.

Making a tepee out of bark and zip ties with my brother acting like we were Indians and expecting to run away to our imaginative camp some night.

Fishing with the family—ALWAYS getting my hook caught in my hair or someones shirt.

Putting on plays in the hay loft after spending hours trying make it the best we could.

Running the creek beds looking for animal tracks and trying to identify them.

Singing “This Little Light of Mine” around my Aunt Lenora’s piano with a handful of other kids and cousins.

Standing in a corner with soap in my mouth for singing “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus.

Skipping down the drive way with my grandpa singing skip to my lou……

Riding four wheelers through the windrows in the hay field……

Girl Scouts—-soooo many great memories with this group. We had amazing leaders. Singing songs….camping…..singing carols at the nursing homes… SELLING cookies of course.

4-H- making a dessert and selling it at the auction and enjoying that dessert with the person who bought it. All loading up in a livestock trailer and going from one family to another singing Christmas carols.

Riding in parades in support of my grandpa again supporting him for State Representative.

Showing animals…..cakes……photography……at the county fair.

Feeding cattle and driving while my dad feeds from the back of the truck.

Spending hours at church hanging out with the youth group and putting on the Christmas pageant.

Swimming in the pond…….not the pool.

The list could go on and on and on…. (kind of like how this post is getting).

Point being, what do they have in common? None of them include technology.

I will be the first to admit that I let my kids watch way to much tv and spend to much time on the ipad. It is the norm in today’s society but that doesn’t mean it has to be your norm.

The rest of the way home I thought of ways I could give my children those memories and moments that they would remember for years to come. Granted they are 2 and 4 and are just now coming into a time where they will maybe remember things. Even so, I want them to have those moments. As a stay at home mom, I use technology as an out or a time out from having to play with them so I can finish a household task or get two minutes to myself. It shouldn’t be that way. Tonight I vow to myself to do better. I’m not saying I won’t let them have it every now and then but I won’t use it as a way to occupy them from getting “bored”. There is a whole world outside for that. Same thing goes as far as having my nose stuck in my phone instead of giving them my full attention. I do it a lot, and I am trying to do better on not doing. Leaving my phone lying in the other room or putting it on silent all together.

Truth is, these are moments we can’t get back. These are moments I can’t get back of them doing something they are proud of and seeing the look on their face. Or moments they are missing of spending with me because they see my phone being more important than them.

The world will forever be changing…advancing…..technology will drive the continuing advancements the most. It’s not that it’s a bad thing, but it is CRUCIAL that we don’t let it change us or our priorities or our family aspect for that matter.

So here is saying bye to the days of technology controlling my life, my families life. Here’s to saying welcome back to the days of bonding time…enjoying gods beauty work…..and raising my children like I was raised……with LOVE, FAITH, FAMILY, and FARMING. I may not be able to give my children the memories I have but I can give them moments to remember—it may not be a tepee made of zip ties and bark…….but it could be something even better!

Single Mom Syndrome

Harvest time is my favorite time of year. The smell. The dust. The sounds. The SUNSETS. That being said…..harvest time is my hardest time of year. During harvest most farmers’ wives become single moms. They are alone with the kids 24/7. They have to pick up slack of all the other things that must be done on the farm…..all while maintaining their normal duties as a mom. Every harvest I always find myself thinking about how strong and amazing single moms are.

This is the first year of harvest that I have been given a lot of responsibility. We bought another group of cows this past spring which has doubled our herd. Currently we have about a little over 100 cows calving. This past week there has been no rain in sight and this mom and kids were in charge of checking the herd. Checking cows with two kids is like trying to corral chickens whose heads are cut off. It is a sight to see. Kinze’s flipping all the switches and pushing all the buttons she can reach on the ranger. Four wheel drive goes on and off. Grady’s screaming because cow poop landed on his arm. Kinze’s smearing cow crap on her legs. Kinze somehow manages to wiggle out of her seat belt. Kinze rips the sheet with the calving list in half(I’ve rewritten this list 3 times so far). Kinze screams spooking a new mom. Cow runs off before I can see her tag number. Kids are sweaty and fussy as I load them in the truck. Kinze finally falls asleep as we turn to head home. Grady is complaining because he doesn’t want to go check another set of cows. I explain to him that’s how mommy and daddy make money to buy his toys. He tells me he doesn’t want any more toys. I secretly scream inside my mind…….We arrive at the second group of cows and the process starts all over.

This past week my husband has been out the door before the kids wake up and doesn’t arrive home until we are ALL sound asleep in bed. I haven’t talked to my husband in days. I mean yes we have talked but its simply because I’ve had calving issues or he needs me to go do something else for him. On my watch so far, we have lost two babies. It’s heart wrenching watching a cow bellow at her calf and look up at you like shes begging you to do something. I’m in no way an experienced cattle woman. I really am a beginner.

I’m not complaining, even though it may sound that way. Every job in life is challenging. Its how we handle it is what makes or breaks us in this world. I love that my children know more about the process of crop and livestock production then most adults do. I love that we see a cow and Kinze immediately starts screaming “DOW” at the top of her lungs. I love that Grady comes home from the field and gets his farm equipment all lined up to match what he just saw in the field. I love watching the sunset over the pasture with our livelihood staring back at me.

I have been blessed with an amazing mother and father in law that have already helped me out already so many times this harvest, which I am so grateful for. Checking cows by myself is so much easier…..and honestly it has become my “ME” time. I can’t count how many times I’ve already cried this harvest season out of frustration but hey I’m not ashamed. It’s tough but I am able to push forward because of the help I have. Without them….my life jacket would’ve already fallen off at sea and I would’ve been eaten by sharks….or in my case the ranger would’ve ran out of gas and I would be eaten by coyotes and buzzards….

Regardless……nothing beats watching the sun set on something you’ve managed to maintain for another day…..My kids may have eaten a bag of chips and fruit snacks for lunch that day……my house may be a complete disaster…..I may have realized I haven’t showered in three days……but my kids are still alive and healthy, our cows are fed and chewing their cud…..and me….my heart is still beating and I’m still able to breathe in the smells of harvest….and cattle………..or that could just be me I’m smelling.

Corn Cob Chaos

Planting season has arrived- earlier than normal. Most guys have wrapped up corn planting and are itching to start on beans. With the abnormal temperatures and dry conditions it seems as though things are earlier than most years.

We planted our 120 acres of corn (we have to start small) last week. I wasn’t around the day it was planted unfortunately, as the photo geek I am I  really wanted to get pictures.

Can I say I know every detail about the process of planting and all the mechanics and settings involved- no I clearly cannot. Though I can tell you, each year that passes I know more and more and sometimes take my husband by surprise when I know something he had no clue I did. The process intrigues me and I am more than willing to watch and listen to pick up things for the following year.

We are doing something most wouldn’t—planting corn on corn. Most rotate out corn-beans-wheat. The farm we bought had been planted in beans for five years so we did corn last year and had plans to do part in beans and all the rain last year changed the plans. So here we sit 2016 with 120 acres of corn. Input costs are high and crop prices are low—which scares the crap out of me but that’s what comes with farming–highs and lows–currently sitting at a low.

We have decided to go on the no-till route. Which simply means we go year to year without breaking or disturbing the ground with tillage. I never knew anything about this practice until I met my husband and can honestly say I don’t know the ins and outs but I am learning. It’s strange looking at all the fields that have been worked–turbo tilled–field cultivated-disc-etc and seeing how clean those fields look, and then look at our farm where there are corn stalks and trash from the previous years, which this year made it hard for Seth to even see his marker when planting.

I hope to update this blog weekly with the progress of the crops to share with those a more in depth process behind corn production—

Here are a few pictures of where we stand now. The corn was planted on April 16th and 17th—

This picture is from April 23. Let the progression begin-

Life…Accordingly

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At my last visit with my psychiatrist he asked me, “What do YOU want to do when your kids are in school?”

I stopped and thought and couldn’t seem to speak. Eventually I told him I hadn’t really thought about it.

Becoming a mom takes a lot from you. For awhile you lose sense of who you are, or at least I did. You are a cook, story teller, diaper changer, chauffeur, a live in maid, financial adviser, head of management and so forth…

I have always been the type where I have to plan everything and if something doesn’t go according to plan I freak.

When I graduated high school, the plan was to attend community college and graduate with my associates, get my degree in Ag Education at a University and get my Masters degree once I had accomplished all that. I would then get married after finding a good job and eventually raise a family. That’s how it all turned out right? Close, but not quite.

I’ve accomplished the Associates degree and completed another year towards a degree in Ag Business before being derailed by a freight train.

After all that knocked me down, I didn’t manage to get back on the horse (college) before we were blessed unexpectedly with Grady. It wasn’t until almost four months in that we found out I was pregnant.

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I’ve wanted to get back to college and take classes and it is always on my mind but with two children and a husband who farms for a living so far that has been impossible.

When my psychiatrist asked me that day what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I was dumbfounded. I hadn’t even thought, hey I still have a life to live for MYSELF. I am more than just a mom. The last couple of nights I have had even more difficulty falling asleep (dang farmers and their time change needs 🙂 ). Laying in bed, my mind wanders from A to Z but the last few nights it has gone back over and over to what I want to do with the rest of my life.

Here is what I’ve come up with as a list of possibilities:

  1. Write a childrens book to promote agricultural literacy!
  2. Go back to college to complete a degree in Ag Journalism and freelance for various ag publications.
  3. Become a certified vet assistant and work in a large animal clinic.
  4. To not go back to work and work a long side my husband on the farm and be basically a “room mom” at school, when needed.
  5. Open up a greenhouse and nursery.

Truth is, no matter which of these paths I take, or even if I don’t take any of these paths it’s important to do something that makes me happy. That brings joy and a sense of accomplishment.

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I am blessed to be able to stay at home with both of my children during these years that I will never get back. However, thinking of the future and what God has planned makes me excited. I love agriculture, love promoting it and living it. I hope it is included somehow in my future. I am sure it will be, being as almost anything you do or need somehow in one way or another relates back to agriculture.

I know raising kids is an accomplishment in itself. It’s probably the most challenging yet rewarding job out there. I know no matter what I do or don’t do as a career woman in the future, my children won’t care. They will remember the times we checked cows and “mooed” at ever cow out there, jumping in mud puddles until their boots were stuck in the mud, fishing in “their” pond, or just singing International Harvester at the top of our lungs as we drove to preschool everyday.

As much as I think I need to do something “career” wise to impress my children or satisfy my need for accomplishment, the truth is, I’ve already accomplished so much. No matter what God has in store for the future I am just happy being mom and enjoying it while I still can.

If I would’ve told my 18 year old self that in 10 years I would have two children, no college degree, and was a stay at home mom, I probably would laugh. Life hasn’t gone according to plan and it has caused me much chaos but I am starting to learn you can’t live by a plan. You can plan, plan, plan all you want, but you never know what is to come or what road blocks or blessings you may face.

What I can do, is look back at the life I thought I would plan for myself and smile and laugh at the road God has decided to put me on instead. Maybe he thought I needed time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Maybe he knew I was going through such a dark time and a little bundle of joy and the work that comes with it would pull me from my lowest of lows. Maybe he knew I needed a bottle calf this week to snap me out of my funk and remind me how simple and enjoyable life can be when you have something that makes you happy. Yes, it took a bottle calf to remind me of my earlier years. To remind me how much I love animals and the outdoors. God put her in front of me and just a couple days later decided he had another cow who would take her and give her the life she deserves. Just like that, my wake up call has gone back out to the pasture to live the life God has planned for her.

We can plan our life….or we can live our life accordingly. Planning can make for a nice life, a cautious life. Living life accordingly can be a challenge but I’ve learned to go with it and live day by day. Today I may be a stay at home mom but in 15 years I may be speaking at a women in ag conference about where I am today. So my new plan,  is there is no plan. I am open to whatever he has in store. For now I will raise my children until he tosses something else on my plate or takes something off it. I will be happy with the life I live and look forward to my future of living according to his plan.

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Farming is in the Blood

Here we are at 11:30pm. Really 12:30AM with the time change, well not quite yet but same concept. Anyways, I once again am unable to get my mind to shut down or wind down for the night.

My husbands family farm equipment auction was this weekend. I have only been around 10 short years compared to the lifetime Seth’s family has been involved in the daily operation of Olipharm Inc.

My husbands grandfather built this farm he has, from nothing except the help he had from his partner and what I would call his financial backer. Now most of you may think, well he was just relying on the money from the partner to make this all work. That isn’t the case.

His partner passed away a few years ago. In just the short time hes been gone, things have drastically changed for his families operation.

When I first met Seth, I thought he was lying about the acreage his grandfather owned and rented and the number of head of cattle he was running.  I thought it was all for show and to somehow impress me. Turns out he wasn’t lying. From the first date I had with Seth, he has never said a bad word about the man nor disrespected him in any form. He talks so highly of him. After being here, going on ten years I can easily see why.

He’s not a man who brags about what he has accomplished. He’s not a man that lives a luxurious life even though he has the means to be able to. The man just sold his truck at the auction this weekend and it had well over 200,000 miles on itas problem after problem. I feel as though most men who had to put up with as many problems as that truck had would’ve just went and bought a new one. He never did. In fact he bought a brand new farm truck for the farm. He could’ve easily driven it as his daily driver, but instead let the farm hand drive it full time. He didn’t buy fancy equipment or much new equipment. He knew how to keep his money tight and did so and you can see how that was an benefit when it came down to what he has built.

Many don’t realize the expense farming has with it. When I see a $300,000 house listed or even a $200,000, I think most people don’t realize, that to a farmer, one who buys new equipment that could easily be met with just a few pieces of machinery or just a brand new combine in itself.

We have always relied on the benefit of being able to use his grandfathers and uncles equipment which I know has allowed us to get where we are today. I don’t know how someone my age could start farming and make a living by just the farm without the help of an established farmer or family farm.

Seth’s father wasn’t a farmer full time when he passed away. He helped as much as he could on the farm after work. He is the grandson and nephew of a farmer, and that puts us in a predicament when starting out on our own. We have always relied on his grandfathers equipment to put out hay, mow rake and bale hay, and his uncle to plant and harvest our crop.

With his grandpa having the auction he did this weekend we were tossed out in the ocean without our life vests so to speak. We are truly starting our operation in the next months to come. Luckily we were able to purchase a rake and baler at the auction and are set for the hay season as we have been able to purchase a tractor and mower this past summer. It’s nerve racking. Its frustrating trying to beg for money at the bank when the chances of staying a float are up in the air. Luckily we found a few who were able to take a chance on us, and I know if we can manage to make it through the next couple of years we should be sitting in a much better position.

What has kept us driven and bound and determined to do what we can is to keep his grandfathers legacy alive. To not let something he has worked so hard for his ENTIRE life just fly out the window. You see a lot of family farms that are broken up when one generation passes away due to greed and the amount of money they are able to obtain. Other generations work together day after day to maintain a future for the next generation to come. I know some family acreage is sold to make money to make it through the tough times that come with farming. It kills me when that happens and I pray Seth and I are able to hold on to the acreage we bought last year to pass down to our little farm kids.

I hope we can look back in 50 years and be proud of what we have accomplished. I hope his grandfather is doing the same tonight. I hope he knows he has worked his whole life for something that most of his family is willing to continue on. I hope he knows he has a grandson who he has taught strong worth ethic, raising a crop, and the ins and outs of raising cattle.

As we go in to the next couple of months I pray I am able to help out more, and be the woman I want to be, the one who works out in the field with her husband, the one that makes me happy. I feel greatest when I have worked a days work out on the farm or just working and accomplishing something in general. That may be loading thousands of tires and square bales with my dad. Mowing thousands of hours with my dad. Hauling hay with my husband. Attempting to help work cattle (I’m not the greatest, but I will learn right?)

I want to be more involved. Mow and rake hay. Field cultivate. Haul more hay, etc. That is what makes me feel more like myself out of anything in the world (well besides fishing and gardening lol).

I want to be a farmHER just not a farm wife. I am stepping up the plate this year and I hope my husband knows that. I know there will be lots of laughs and tears as I make stupid mistakes, but I can only learn from them.

Up until this point I haven’t been able to be as involved as I would like because Seth’s grandfather and other farmers don’t believe women belong out working on the farm. When Seth and I first met, I mowed as much as I could at the farm even though his grandfather didn’t think I should.

I am not a girly girly. I would like to be at times. I haven’t worn makeup in over 5 months other than just mascara, and heck I’m probably not even applying that right. I look like a five year old when I try to use a curling iron to curl my hair, so those have been tossed in a drawer and have an inch of dust on them. If this puts things in to perspective- I have and wear more of a variety of hats than my husband. It’s just me. I am comfortable. Basic Tee, jeans, and lately more tennis shoes than boots. I always want to put make up on and a sexy outfit for a date night with my husband but then when I finally apply makeup and put on something I don’t normally wear I feel so uncomfortable and silly it sometimes ruins the night. When I get my hair cut, it has to be something that looks right when it is in a pony sticking out the back of a ball cap. That’s just me. I’ve tried to be the girly type, but that’s just not me.Heaven help Kinze if she ever wants to be a cheerleader or be the girly type, although already shes acts more like a boy than a girl, lol.

Regardless, I was raised in a farming environment, and Seth obviously was too. Our kids have the choice to be whoever and whatever they want to be. I just hope that with the farm life, the work load, work ethic, and memories they are able to at least enjoy the life we give them. I hope they are able to hopefully pass on the traits that our grandpas and families have given to us to their children.

Like they say you can take the girl from the farm, but not the farm out of the girl. Or in our case our kids may choose to leave the farm, but no matter what they will always have the memories, the work ethic, and knowledge of agriculture that our families have passed down to us. Farming is in our blood, and no matter how much anyone or anything tries to change us we will always have family traditions and the farming way of life pumping through our veins.

You Know You’re a Farmer’s Wife When…

It’s hard not to compare yourself to others.

Especially when you’re a mom or a wife.

I often find myself trying to imagine myself in another persons shoes.

What would it be like to have a husband, who works a nine to five job? What would it be like to live in town and not have to drive to town everyday? What would it be like to drive a mini van rather than my truck? How different would my children be if we didn’t live in a rural environment?

I can go on and on.

However, I wouldn’t change my life no matter how many things I imagined.

Today I was tossing around the idea of how the environment we are raised in, relays into every aspect of our lives.

I love living in rural america. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Often times people can sort of categorize others or themselves in to different categories…

Farmers, Ranchers, Rednecks, City People, Hippies, Gypsy’s, etc.

Today I spent a lot of time thinking about what makes me a farmers wife—other than the fact I am married to a farmer (that is first and foremost the biggest contributor).

 

You know you are a farmer’s wife when…

Instead of running clothes to the dry cleaners, you find corn kernels and bolts at the bottom of your washing machine.

You can tell whether a semi is a Peterbuilt or Kenworth when you pass it.

You can tell what truck is getting ready to go by your house by the sound of the tires or exhaust coming down the road….(not all trucks but there are a handful that I know).

You do a happy dance when it rains, but still feel bad for your husband if he has to get out and feed or it delays a day of planting or harvest.

All family events revolve around the weather.

Your kids first words include tractor.

Your wardrobe consists of flannel, jeans, and ball caps.

You drive a truck rather than a mini van or SUV.

Fall is your favorite time of the year- because of harvest.

You name your child after a farm implement **KINZE.

80 percent of your date nights with your husband involve riding in a tractor or feeding cows.

When you tell the kids to be quiet so you can hear the market prices on the radio.

When you find reading Farm Journal or the Cattlemans Advocate enjoyable.

You know the difference between- Asgrow, Chanel, Pioneer, Dekalb, Lewis, Producers Hybrids, etc.

The list could go on and on.

People judge and classify people all day long. The truth is, we are what we are, and no one can change that no matter how hard they try

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Harvest Heart is Happy

Today the last bean was cut…..and the process of cleaning up the combine and putting the header back in the shed has begun. Can I get a HALLELUJAH?

Harvest is a farmers favorite time of year and at times I think its a farm wives least favorite (maybe equal to planting). Or maybe that’s just me. Harvest is over which means my husband is more available. Or at least I like to think he is 🙂 .

To a farmer and his family, harvest is the greatest time of the year. They get to harvest the seeds they planted and nurtured all summer long. There are years where there are bumper crops. Crops yield way higher than expected. There are years crops don’t do so good, don’t even get put in the ground, or get hit hard by mother nature in all the wrong ways.  Thank god for crop insurance 🙂

There is something spectacular about watching a combine in the field. An entire corn stalk is passed through the corn head, shelled, and shredded and all that remains in the hopper at the end is a kernel. I am not a mechanically inclined person at all and still don’t understand exactly how the machine does it, but it is sooooo fascinating to me. It’s amazing technology!

Amazing technology
Amazing technology

Most children grow up not knowing where their food comes from or the process behind it. My children will. It is something I am so passionate about. There are to many out there who are against GMOs or chemicals or just modern technology used to keep their stomachs full, clothed and alive. It is important we teach our children that there is more to the process and these advancements are necessary to advance agriculture into the next century.

Grady is three and when we were stocking the freezer with beef last weekend, he fully understood that one of our animals was what was being put into the freezer. To me that is great.

Future Farmer
Future Farmer

Whether it is harvesting corn, beans, or cattle it is important. It is amazing. Each time I see the combine I feel so blessed. So blessed to be part of something that seems so little to most around us but is something so big to us. My favorite view is the combine off in the distance cutting beans and the sun setting behind it.

One of the greatest views on earth
One of the greatest views on earth

So I dare you to thank a farmer. Thank them for what they provide for you. Give them the common courtesy when you meet them on the road moving equipment even when it might make you late to whatever it is you are going to. They are some of the hardest working people you will meet. They are some of the most genuinely compassionate people you will meet. While you are sitting at home during a fall evening there are many families out there in the field up until the early hours of the morning harvesting something that they grew not only for themselves but for YOU.

So now that Harvest 2015 is in the books planning for Planting 2016 has begun. In the mean time we pray the winter isn’t to rough and we have enough hay to feed our cattle to keep them healthy and alive. Farmers are on the job 365 years a day. Each animal they have is essentially like a child. They do anything in their power to keep them healthy and thriving once again not only for themselves but for YOU.

The next time you pick up your fork to eat a sirloin at your favorite steakhouse think of the many hours and days a farmer has spent behind just that single piece of meat. Know that they might not receive the largest profit from that single steak but even knowing that they still do what they can to maintain a healthy animal so YOU can enjoy a meal with family sharing and making memories. There are many memories behind that one steak. For me those are the days spent with my kids riding the ranger all over the pasture looking for new babies (again a great sight).

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From our pasture or field to your plate…..we are grateful for the opportunity and we are proud to provide the harvest that helps you everyday of your life.

Dear Husband

Carla's Phones Pictures 020

Dear Husband,

As you sleep, I write this because as normal my mind can’t shut off but you fall asleep on any surface you can find.

Please know I am trying my hardest to keep it all together for the sake of you and our two children.

Please know, I do know how much crap I drag you through day in and day out.

Please know those nights I get so angry and throw things and scream uncontrollably, that is not me…it’s the disease.

Know that when you come home and the house is a mess and the kids are running around with nothing but their diapers and underwear on, I promise I have been productive that day. Though the mounds of laundry, toys strung everywhere, and dirty dishes piling in the sink may say differently. I’m not going to lie there are some days that I am so down that I do nothing but sit there and stare at the wall and take care of the kids to the best of my ability.

Please know that when you text or call and I don’t answer its not because I am ignoring you, its me trying to prevent a fight that I will start because of my own mental problems.

Know that I realize you have stuck by my side even though I have drug you from suicidal intentions, psychiatric wards, depressive worthless episodes and so much disappointment.

Please know I am soooo lonely. You say I have to be happy with myself before I can be happy with our relationship, but I need you to provide me with some things before I can be happy with myself.

Please know I would go to the moon and back for you, our kids, our families, and friends. Please know when I am begging for help that I need it, it’s not an attempt for attention. It is me pushing you away when I need you more than ever. When I need you to show me how loved I am and how much I mean to you.

Please know I love you so much. The things I say during episodes I don’t mean. I don’t mean to be so angry, irritable, or anxious. Bipolar doesn’t have a cure, but it can be managed. With your help and my psychiatrist, I know we can manage it.

PLEASE stay by my side. I need you. I need you to love me. To show me that you are there and always will be. I need to know I am a priority, that I’m not on the back burner. That I rate higher than drinking beer with your buddies. That my opinions matter. That you are still in love with me even though I’ve put you through so much.

I will forever love you, no matter what bipolar Brittany says.

Love,

Your Lonely Crazy Wife

Who I am and why I’m here

I am participating in a blogging workshop and this is post one. I am running behind a couple of days due to being without a smart phone……and two tornadoes (kids) who follow me around 24/7.

My name is Brittany. I am a 27 year old mother of two and wife to a husband who I consider my third child. We live a life revolved around agriculture. I have been diagnosed with bipolar depression. I am not afraid to share my mental illness with others, even though it often times gets in the way with everyday life. Over the last few years I have lost complete track of who I am as a person. My purpose. My likes and hobbies. Just who I am in general.

I started this blog as a vent for my everyday struggles and blessings. I have always been able to explain things better on paper than I could verbally. Some nights I feel as though I am hiding behind a computer screen, but I am putting it out there in one form another, so that counts for something right?

With this blog I hope to give hope to others dealing with mental illness. I hope to meet other farm wives who go through the daily struggle of sometimes raising your children on your own. I hope to connect with mothers on a level that only someone who has children understands. Most of all, in all of these words I type I hope to find myself again. Give myself some enjoyment. Throw the emptiness out the door, and become me again. If that takes sharing that journey with the world….then so be it.

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