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Accepting the Unbalance

29 Nov

I get asked a lot about how I “do it all”. How I “find balance”. Well as I sit here today on mommy day at home with three wild kiddos it dawned on me that really all I found is a way to move through the unbalance of motherhood and running a business. I’m talking about those feelings of never being in the right place at the right time. The guilt.

Farming is a seven day a week job. It’s no secret that we are at the mercy of Mother Nature, who happens to not really care too much if it’s a “work day” for me or not. Farming on a childcare schedule is impossible when you are at the weather’s beck and call. It is hard to be home three days a week with kids, knowing that I’m leaving the work to people who I trust, but people who aren’t me. Thankfully I have people who can do this, but it’s taken a long time to sit back and accept that my reality of farming has changed to a new balance of unbalance.

Thank goodness for cell phones (I’m sort of annoyed that I even have to write that reality). I do a lot of work from this small piece of technology. I answer calls with kids in the background. I text work orders to people out in the field. I keep track of expenses. It’s actually where I’m typing this blog right now, in between “Mom I need you!” ” Mom I’m hungry” “mom come see this” and some of it might be while I’m hiding in the bathroom (because folks that’s like a real thing hahaha!).

On days when I’m working physically at the farm, I am lucky to get to come home to eat lunch with the kids. I take the oldest to school and when he gets off the bus at the farm, he’s with me for the rest of the day. I love all of this, but all of this is also hard to make farming work for me in the way that it used to before I became a mom.

So it’s Thursday and I’m home with the kids. It’s not perfect, and I’m thankful I can be here and be “everywhere” when I need to be. Even though it feels unbalanced. All I can do is make the best choice for my family and the farm. And know that it’s not the perfect choice (but let’s be honest, “perfect” rarely exists in the real world).

I know that every once and awhile I’ll get to have days where I can be out in the fields right when I need to be, and I’ll be home with my kids when they need me. And all of this works, not because of me and my abilities to “do it all”, it’s because of all the people who work hard in our village to make this all happen everyday!! The unbalance, the guilt, the struggle…these are my issues, their stability and love is how I get through it all.

I know this rings true with many people in my life who are at this wonderful yet chaotic stage in life. It feels like careers, marriage, family can all be at odds all at once. Well, I’m right there with you my friend, in the trenches some days and floating on clouds others. Hang in there and try to have these moments where you can just accept unbalance. ❤️

Farm Update

18 May

This farmer is slowly getting back out into the fields. It hasn’t been easy, this time of year much of the work on the farm is more physical than I could be after a csection just a few weeks back.

So Millie, the boys and I have improvised and have taken to more gentleman type approach….a more farming the pavement kind of thing….basically we drive around a lot and do a little walking. And on a beautiful day, down long dirt roads, it isn’t the same but it isn’t all bad.

Everything is growing like crazy right now! The grass is shooting heads of seed, hopefully ones that will be nice and full for a good yield. The clover is blooming and gorgeous!! And our spring crops like radish and squash are in the ground and starting to grow.

We also are doing a lot of orchard work, for example scraping the orchard floor to get it ready for harvest, even though it won’t be for months. Leveling and getting rid of debris, keeping suckers at bay, and making sure to protect against insects and disease keep us very busy this time of year.

So there’s my update, quickly typed up between fields while out driving around with my new little lady in tow.

Goodbye Old Farm Dog

30 Apr

The life of a farm dog is an open prairie made for adventures, it’s chasing coyotes and nutria, it’s protecting your family and the farm. It rarely involves fences he can’t climb through or creeks he can’t swim across. It’s pick-up bed rides with the wind on his face. It’s about that look and excitement when your farmer throws down their tailgate and yells, “Load up Boy”. It’s about chasing field mice all harvest and laying in that hot summer sun. Being a farm dog is a no boundary, leash free kind of freedom that…unfortunately, just can’t last forever.

Because being a farm dog also means getting old in those same fields and across those same acres that you ran across all your life. It means waiting for help when that tailgate goes down, because your days of jumping have turned into getting lifted up to go for an occasional ride. It’s saying goodbye to the miles and hello to just a simple walk to the shop and back. And when even that got too tough, it’s trusting your farmer to know when it’s time to say goodbye.

I got Yukon when he was two years old, I was lucky to get to spend 12 of his 14 years as his farmer. For a long time he took care of me, for a long time I took care of him and for the whole time we were inseparable. A few days ago, he looked at me as he struggled to get up off his pillow. And this time, even for me, he just couldn’t do it. All those fields, all those runs, many days off on adventures I’d never even know about; and here he was, needing my mercy, needing me to let him go.

The loss of a dog is heartbreaking, they are a part of your family, of your hearts and home. And Yukon or Kon as he was often called, was no different. He spent many of his days letting the kids jump all over him and he in turn loved them and protected them. I like to think that he held on just long enough to meet Miss Millie, to pass on a little love to her as she completed our family.

Yukon, it will be some time before I round the kitchen corner and don’t expect to see your dopey face looking back at me laying in the laundry room on your bed. And in those moments is when all of the good memories will come on back like yesterday. I’ll probably get a little and sometimes a lot sad, but in the end, just like when you were sitting right there with your floppy ears and sweet big eyes, you’ll make me smile and probably laugh. Because really what is a farm dog’s legacy worth if you can’t sit and have a nice good laugh about the best dog this farmer ever had.

As Hoot said when we laid you to rest, “Well, now Yukon can go and run with Diesel, I bet he likes that.” Yeah, I bet he really does.

Thanks for growing old with us Yukon Jack. Rest In Peace old boy.

April 2004 – April 2018.

A few good memories:

https://nuttygrass.com/2013/12/23/the-goose-debacle/

https://nuttygrass.com/2013/05/03/the-challenge/

https://nuttygrass.com/2013/11/08/some-crazy-weather/

https://nuttygrass.com/2012/07/25/1st-day-of-combining-grass-seed-2012/

https://nuttygrass.com/2013/01/11/a-walk-with-the-dogs/

https://nuttygrass.com/2012/04/21/the-hunt-is-on/

https://nuttygrass.com/2012/03/10/wild-goose-chasingis-it-working/

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