Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's Just A..........

I am not trying to take this idea from the person whom posted it first, but when I saw this it made me think.

How many times have we heard it's just a ...(cow, dog, horse, etc)?  I can remember friends saying this to me when I was in school and had one die or was worried about one that was about to calve.  I would try to explain to them that they are more than just cows, when you spend so much time with them.  Some of them understood when I related to their pets, others just couldn't or wouldn't grasp the concept.  I have also seen my children go through these situations.  One in particular was when my daughter's first cow (that she had shown as a heifer) had to have a c-section.  The vet warned us that she may not make it and Ashley was so worried all of the time.  A few of her close friends understood what she was going through, but many did not.  As a mother, it hurt me that she was hurting so much and her friends couldn't understand.  We had a long discussion about what a true friend is and what a true friend is not.  This is a hard lesson for any child to comprehend and we have all been there ourselves and with our children no matter if we are farm families or not.  This is one way where families are all the same.  We experience many of the same trials and tribulations while raising our children.

Some of the life lessons come earlier for the farm children.  When you have your two or three year old out to check cows and the bull is breeding a cow, they are going to ask what is happening.  Some find it hard to explain to this to their children at age 10, imagine doing it at 2 or 3.  They also learn the fact that there is a circle of life at a very young age.  They also learn to eat the animals they have raised (that is why we raise them).  I will admit that them eating the first animal of theirs is tough on them, but they do get over it.  When Ashley was younger, her Grandpa bought her show steer to put in his freezer.  When we ate, she watched the packages to make sure they were not from her steer.  Eventually, we were able to sneak it in on her.  One night, as she was getting her second helping of spaghetti, I asked, "Jay (her steer) tastes good, doesn't he?"  She about came unglued that she had eaten Jay.  Then she stopped and said, "Yes, he is!"  Then she ate the rest of her food.

As moms, we all have difficult tasks to do as a mother whether we are on a farm or not.  We get our reward when our children grow and become productive members of society.  I find it rewarding that my daughter and her husband and his children are now part of our family farm.  My Grandchildren have changed so much since they have been coming to the farm and given more and more responsibilities when they are here.  It is truly rewarding to see the next generation of our family farm starting out.

Our son has also made my heart proud lately.  I have seen him grow into a responsible young man whom helped his nephews and niece learn how to do things on the farm and show their heifers last year.  It was also great to see him help dig out neighbors in the snow storms we have had in the last week.  When he does this on his own, I know that one of the most important things that I wanted to instill in my children has gotten through!  For any mom this is a triumph to celebrate.

Until next time, remember.......Beef, It's What's for Dinner!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2013 Blizzards

Drift after storm #2

This is the fresh snow on top of where we had packed down the 13 inches from the first storm less than one week ago.
I know that this is my second post today, but I have had some extra time sitting in my chair trying to recover from being outside in this snow.  The following post will explain more.  I hope you enjoy reading it.
Last Thursday, we got about 13 inches of snow.  We spent the next two days digging us and our neighbors out.  Sunday and most of Monday were not bad at all.  Monday night into today have not been so good.  We received at least 12 more inches with 1-3 more forecasted for tonight.  This snow has made a lot more work for us and what we do is at least three times harder to do.  It is harder to walk especially when carrying anything.  Today, we let the calves out this morning to nurse and then put them back in the barn for the day.  This afternoon, we repeated this process.  This is extra work for us as er have to clean out the stalls where we keep the calves and get them in an extra time a day all the while being up to our knees (at times) in snow.  Calves have to be watched closely for pneumonia due to the cold/wet conditions.  The fluctuation in temperatures that we have had also contribute to the increased risk of illness.  I will admit that we also have some fun with snow balls, etc after chores, but we are all worn out when we return to the house.
I have stated that I would try not to complain about the amount of snow because of our desperate need for moisture.  This was easier before today!  The short amount of time between storms did not give us enough time to completely clean up and recover from the first round.  With both rounds giving us at least a foot of snow, the cows are not even liking it.  They stay by the hay unless they are walking to get water or to the wind breaks that they have.  We can tell how far they have/have not traveled by the lack of tracks in the snow. 
While those of you whom can are sitting inside enjoying the beauty of the snow or out playing in it when you feel like it, please think of those of us that do not get a snow day because we are raising the food that you eat.  Yes, we choose this lifestyle and no, I would not trade it, but it is harder to handle everything in this type of weather.  Thank you to all of you that are out there raising the food that I eat, but don't raise.  I appreciate all that you do!
Until next time, remember.......Beef, It's What's for Dinner!

Bulls Are NOT Always Mean and Supporting Others

One of 4-H club members leading a yearling bull from water to tie back up.  This is the first time she as been around cattle this closely.  He did not give her any problems!

This is a client of my daughter's, A to Z Photography.  This is his six month pictures with one of our baby bulls.  He was pulling on the bulls ear and hair and he just laid there the entire time.
I am so sorry that I have not posted any for awhile.  A couple of weeks ago, we had one of our gates opened by someone and our cows were on the road.  Fortunately, a neighbor stopped and told us they were out before any of them or anyone was hurt!  We are grateful that we have friends that still care enough about others to stop and let us know.  It seems that type of generosity is lacking in our farm community.  When I was growing up, everyone in the neighborhood would be helping get them back in the pasture.  When I tell my children stories of us and others dropping everything to help a neighbor in need, they understand because we have raised them this way.  When our daughter met her husband and starting bringing his children to the farm, we would tell them these stories.  They did not appear to comprehend the concept of helping someone else when they needed it.  They have begun to realize how much this means to others through watching and helping us keep this type of working together for the good of all.
When I posted about the gate being opened on Facebook, one of my friends told me to be careful that some cattle had been stolen from around her area.  She said that they would have to watch the farmer's habits as well as know when the bull was in the field.  I asked her why a rustler would have to know when a bull was in the pasture.  She was under the impression that ALL bulls were mean.  I assured her that there were many bulls that were not mean and in fact were VERY gentle.  She was thankful to know that and thanked me for giving her correct information.  I asked her if I could use this example on my blog, and she said that I could.  I will not use her name, but feel that she should not be embarrassed by her lack of knowledge.  She is not nor was ever a farmer so she had no way of knowing except for what others told her and what she saw on TV and in the media.  I feel Blessed that I was able to share facts with her and let her know that many of us care greatly for our animals as well as our safety.
We are fortunate enough to be able to assist one of our soldiers while he is deployed overseas protecting our freedom.  We are assisting his family in any way we can on the farm while he is deployed.  It feels great to be able to do a little something in return for him and his family while he is serving to protect us!  I am humbled to be able to do this.  There is no way that we can possibly repay him for his service, but at least we are trying to do something.
Until next time, remember.......Beef, It's What's for Dinner!