Weekends are for living….

I should probably begin by telling you this is the first weekend in quite a while we have not had places to go on the weekend.  It really was a great time for the weather to shape up and for us to get A LOT accomplished. 

Thursday night, Chris, Jesse, Brittany and I went to see the movie, “Farmland” and then out to supper.  I was well pleased with the film.  I found the young farmers to be intelligent, respectful and hard working.  They didn’t paint a false picture of what it takes to make it in agriculture in today’s world and yet they didn’t exaggerate the circumstances of their lives.  They thoughtfully discussed GMO’s and the animal rights activist groups.  The film showed the joys and struggles of working with family.  It showed the parents of the younger farmers.  It represented many aspects of agriculture including:  beef cattle ranching, poultry farming, row crop farming, hog farming, commercial organic farming and community supported agriculture.  I read another review that told of a fellow movie goer saying she just didn’t get what they showed had to do with her food supply.  I guess I live a very different life than that individual.  I have no idea where this person thought her food came from.  Did she not realize her steak, burger, bacon, eggs, vegetables and grains had all been represented?  I have always been a part of a rural community and have always known where my food came from.  Part of the reason I knew where my food came from as a child was because we raised most of our food.  My parents always raised a big garden.  We had hogs, cattle and chickens growing up.  We also had rabbits, but I was too attached to them for us to eat them. Mike grew up in a similar situation on a bigger scale.  We have been committed to raising our sons the same way.  So, for our family to come in contact with someone who doesn’t know where their food comes from is odd to say the least.  I hope that this movie will reach some individuals who have never known or been taught about production agriculture.  I hope that it opens doors of conversation between us as agriculturalists and consumers. 

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I got a call Friday night on my way home from Chris telling me we were working cow/calf pairs on Saturday.  He wanted to be sure I didn’t have any other plans.  I got home and snagged my camera out of the car.  A good friend has asked me to get a picture of agriculture in MO for her to hang in her entryway.  She and her family moved from northwest Missouri to Michigan due to a career opportunity for her husband.  I think she’s missing a bit of home and if this will help, I’ll gladly send her several pictures.  Especially since I really do love to go out and capture our life in photos.  Chris met me outside and we went for a walk in the AI (artificial insemination) pasture.  I do enjoy being out with my family and the cattle.  When we’re in the pasture the conversations are easy and at times profound.  At this point in my life, I am often amazed at the men my sons have become.  They are each their own man, with his own wants, desires and passions and yet they each have a passion for agriculture.  I came back to the house and put away the camera then went back out to help Chris and Jesse get a cow up to breed.  She’s one of Chris’s cows who always produces a large, healthy calf.  While the boys picked out what they wanted to breed her to, thawed the semen and bred her, I came to the house and made us a spaghetti supper.  We visited and began watching a new to us series on Netflix called Alaska: The Last Frontier. 

Saturday morning we got around bright and early.  Mike and Chris ran to our local MFA (farm supply store) to pick up a few more supplies.  Jesse and I went out and did a little clean up work in the pasture.  I found 2 T-posts in the pasture along with a wire panel.  We had tried to transplant a couple of trees two years ago with no success and never brought the T-posts and panel back.  Can I tell you what a work out dragging an 8 ft wire panel through a pasture is?  Then Jesse and I worked at getting all the insulators back on the electric fence surrounding our lagoon.  For some reason, there is no place that calves like better than the wrong side of an electric fence.  We finished that up as Mike and Chris got back.  The three guys crossed the creek with the 4wheeler and I worked the cows on the east side of the creek getting them to head to the barn.  All was going well and then….There’s always an and then, isn’t there?  Jesse’s dog, Cope, likes to run by Chris’s dog, Abby, and grab things from her.  Apparently as he ran by her, he latched on to her ear and didn’t let go.  He split the soft tissue of her ear in two.  She bled for a bit but continued on following the cows to the house.  I’m amazed at how quickly her ear has healed as she doesn’t seem to be in pain from it anymore at all.  Cope, on the other hand, is pretty sure he’s still in trouble with her.  Once we got the cows up and into the sorting pen, Mike had to leave to breed a cow for some friends.  We teased him that it was mighty convenient.  He told us he’d be back before we were done and he was right.  Barely.  We had one last group to work when he pulled in.  We got slowed up by shearing a cow and two calves.  They had pretty heavy hair coats and we knew the warmer weather would be too hard on them.  The calves will gain better over the summer and the cow will breed back quicker.  We finished up about 12:30, fed the bottle calf and headed to town for lunch.Image

 

When we got home, the boys started cleaning up some lots and hauling manure while Mike and I planted the garden.  We got all our seeds planted then went to the green house for tomatoes and peppers.  While we were there, Mike told me to pick out some flowers for Mother’s Day.  We found enough to fill my two hanging baskets plus a couple smaller planters.  They will look beautiful when we host family for Jesse’s graduation party in a couple of weeks.  We rounded out the day by grilling burgers.  The boys had a friend come over and Mike and I headed to bed fairly early. 

Sunday was spent worshipping at Sunday school and church, grocery shopping for a class party for Jesse, grilling again for lunch, cleaning our smoker for Jesse to take back to school with him for the week, loaded him up and enjoyed some time outside.  We watched a little more of the Alaska show and took a nap.  I cleaned house for a bit while the guys did chores and heat detected.  We ate supper and then crashed.

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To me, this weekend was a wonderful example of a relaxing weekend.  We don’t do well with lazing around and not doing much.  We have a drive to accomplish something.  And that is why we live the life we do. 

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