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Thursday, February 25, 2016

I Stepped In It.....

.....barefoot.  Yep, that brown with a hint of green, wet and gooey pile of cow manure.
I stepped in cow shit.

It's something as a farm girl, let alone a human being, you never want to do.
I've had my fair share of cow shit in life, but this was it.  I had had enough!

It was late at night, it was dark and I was tired.  I headed to the door to lock-up for the night 
when I turned around it was right there, just waiting for me.  

The farmer was already in bed, of course, and he had a long day so I didn't shout.
I just screamed in my head, hobbled my way to the bathroom to wash my foot and thought,
"I was barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and I stepped in cow shit.  If he would only take his boots off outside or wipe them off I wouldn't have this problem!"

But who am I to complain?  
I have a wonderful and blessed life full of love and laughter.
I have a husband who cares for me and I for him.
We have the opportunity to welcome new life into this world and care for it more than most people do.

But as I was wiping my foot, I noticed one of his "pocket piles".  
You know, the crap that men lay around anywhere and everywhere, little treasurers from their pockets they say.  There was change, when all accounted for could probably help our life savings. 
Then there were the green bands, the lovely castrating bands that end up all over my house this time of year.  
You never really know when and where you may find these.

So I took a deep breath, headed to bed and told the farmer about my shitty step I had taken on the way to my sweet dreams, but he was half asleep already.  
So I laid there, thinking how much I wanted my mom (I mean what girl doesn't sometimes).

I thought of all the random things she used to find in my dad's "pocket piles" and in her washing machine.  I thought of his muddy boots that sat by the back door and his cold, calloused hands he tortured my mom with like my husband does to me now.

And I remembered that time, after a long day, my mom pulled in our driveway with my sister and I to find baby calves roaming in our yard.  She had a bright, red suite on that day--a true statement piece.
She said, "okay, get out girls, we have to chase them back into the pasture."

Sarah and I went running towards the calves and next thing I knew, my mom was running towards us in her pantyhose and bright, red suite.  She was the statement piece.

Now that I am a farm wife and a soon to be mom, I think about the sacrifices my mom and all farm wives and moms make for their significant others and children.  But as farmers, we have to sacrifice for our way of life too.  It's not just about us and our families, but about the animals, the land and other families that we help feed.

So while the cow shit on my barefoot was rather inconvenient and annoying, 
at the end of the day I am fine stepping in some shit to sacrifice.

And at any time in the future, I will be ready to chase these cows and their calves 
back into the pasture in my bright, red suite.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Compromise & Love

It's another week full of meetings and travel.  
In honor of the fake holiday Valentine's Day coming up, please enjoy my recent article in Farm Indiana.  We celebrate love a lot on our farm and hope you celebrate it every day too!


As the winter nights have settled in and the farmer has been home more, I have thought a lot about “love” lately.  He loves me enough to ignore my frequent shopping bags and my many lunches and dinners to catch-up with friends.  He has the patience to listen to the “presentations” I give each evening to report on the day’s activities.  However, I love him enough to do more loads of laundry than I ever could have imagined.  I have enough love for him to realize I will never have clean floors, and I must ignore the cow manure and dirt to get through each day. 

With love comes compromise.  It’s in every relationship we have with one another, our work, our families and even ourselves.  I think we sometimes get so wrapped up in ourselves that we forget about the others around us.  With the many issues going on in our community, country and world, I sometimes wonder what would happen if we added a little more compromise in our lives.  Maybe, just maybe, there would be a little more love. 

In regards to agriculture, I wish people would understand the compromises farmers and ranchers have to make in order to sustain the farms they love.  Baby animals aren’t on our schedule, so we have to compromise time with family or being away from home to bring more life into this world.  During disastrous weather events, farmers and ranchers have to compromise their own lives and homes to save their livestock.  Just in the past few months, families have had to decide whether to save their own homes from flood waters or to move their animals to higher ground and save their lives. 

Farmers also have to compromise their safety for their work and to bring food to your table.  My dad died while working on the farm, others have been run over or trapped by equipment or lost limbs.  Working and caring for livestock can be dangerous as well.  You can be trapped or trampled by an animal or drown while saving them.

At times, agriculture is attacked for our way of life and our work.  And many times those that seem to judge don’t have the understanding or will to learn about what we love to do each and every day.  I always think, wouldn’t it be nice if they could compromise a little of their time to learn because we compromise our time to feed them?

In our two and a half years of marriage, I have realized we have had to give a little, take a little and commit to a lot for our love.  Compromising isn’t always hard and many times is for the best even if we don’t know it yet.  We may be on the opposite side of an issue or argument every so often, but we support each other no matter what the outcome is or who may be right. 

Even though I am right and believe the floors would be cleaner if he took his boots off outside, I compromise and let him come inside because it’s all for the love.