Thursday, June 26, 2008

Life on the farm...Jim is finally getting to put up hay!

Most of you know that we live on a farm. I don't think Jim ever thought he would actually get me to move to the farm, I like city life. There is 460 acres in all, (if you could see it from the air it would resemble the shape of a U), some pasture land, some woods, and then of course you have to have the hayfields to provide feed for the cows in the winter, oh, and I can't forget we have four homes on the property as well. His parents live on the original part (280 acres) in a rock house that is over 100 years old, and his nephew, Johnny (he's on the orange tractor/new rake) lives up the hill behind them in a mobile home. We live in a large double wide (use to be Tom & Debria's) on a little hill amidst many trees on what was Jim's Grandpa Sargent's place (180 acres), that he and his brothers bought 25 years ago. Tom, Jim's brother and his wife Debria, live (well actually they live in Camden now), but when they come home they have a double wide down by the road.

Life is never dull living on the farm. During the winter Jim comes home, changes clothes and heads out on the big tractor with 2 big haybales to feed the cows. Depending on where the cows are he may have to make another trip to feed the rest. Baby calves start arriving some time around the first of March, (or so that's the plan). This is fun to see the little things stand on their wobbly legs for the first time and then run and play. It's not so fun when they have a hard time being born, or it's too cold for the newborns and we have to bring them to the house. I think I had 6 different ones this spring to care for overnight-believe me, babies are easier and a lot lighter, the bottles are not as big either!!! I think my girls couldn't believe their daddy actually talked me into having a bovine nursery. Jim's mom normally does it, but she was sick alot this spring. I have some pictures, I may have to share one . We only lost one of our BICU patients-he went through too long of a labor and we never could get him to eat, better off that he didn't suffer. I had names for all of them, and I just can't figure out why Jim hasn't kept up with them for me, after all he only has around 100 calves! Then in the spring there is always the vaccinating, tagging, dehorning, worming, notching babies ears(our personal marking), etc. If I am able to help I get the easy job, doing the paperwork. The last order of the day is separating out the ones with babies and putting them over the hill to their pasture, and keeping the others on this side so we can watch them. Needless to say at the end of the day, by looking and smelling, there is no doubt where we all have been. Then hopefully some time in May or the first of June (it's very late this year-so much rain) it's time to put up hay. This year the guys got a new rake. Debria and I tease the guys about them buying a new toy-after all we know that the only difference between men and boys is the size and price of their toys! We have to keep an eye on them or they try to buy a new toy every year. They like to get an early cutting of hay and another one around August, so that we have enough for the winter. It takes around 500 bales to make it through a long winter. Then there's always brushhogging the weeds in the pastureland, working on fence, chasing cows when they get out-no, they don't always mind! And to think they do all of this as a hobby and a pasttime!!!!! Go figure-it seems like work to me, but I am so thankful that Jim has something he loves doing at the end of the day when his job is so stressful. And retirement will be down on the farm in the boondocks as my friend Paula says! I hope this hasn't been too boring for you, but I am always telling about me and felt it only fair to share some of Jim's love of life as well. The part of the farm that we live on was homesteaded by some long ago ancestor of his, so it has much meaning to us. And note for you history people, the original house his dad grew up in was used as a hospital during the Civil War-I think?!

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