Sunday, August 28, 2011

...My Tribute...
As promised, this will be a farm-ish post. Or, more specifically, a farmer-ish post. I'd like to introduce you to my husband Weldon. Of course you have seen him previously in this blog, but I wanted to take time to give him some well-deserved praise.
Like his father before him, Weldon has been a dairy farmer all his life. He knew what he wanted to do while he was still in high school and so he chose not to attend college. Because of this, he often jokes that he "wasted" his brain. Nothing could be further from the truth! If something needs figuring out, he'll figure it out. If something needs fixing, he'll fix it. If something needs remembering, he'll remember it. Well, not like birthdays or that kind of thing ... just random facts and trivia :-)

His "job" is milking cows, but whatever needs doing, he has to do it. His dad died in February of 2006 and, since then, he has 3 old ladies (his mom, his older sister, and his loving wife!) to supply what little help they can give.
So, here are a few of the things I have seen him do. First and foremost are the cow-related tasks: milk them, artificially inseminate them, wash & feed them, take them to the livestock market or butcher, chase them over hill & dale, help deliver their calves, de-worm & de-horn them, treat them for mastitis or any other maladies. I think he has called on a vet just 3 or 4 times in the seven years we have been married. Truly, he could have been a vet. He is amazing! Where did he learn all this stuff???

These next duties still relate to the cows, because they have to be fed! He grows the best corn in the county, maybe even the state!
The seed corn has to be purchased, fields prepared, seeds planted. If the good Lord doesn't send enough rain, Weldon sets up his irrigation pipes and pumps "poopie pond" water to help the corn grow. Harvest time is one of the few times he will call on friends for help. He can't do it by himself, and 3 old women are of no use whatsoever! The corn is chopped and blown into the silos. I have posted on this previously, so go check the archives.

Alright. I can see this will go on way too long! I haven't even mentioned all the jobs that need doing every day or twice a day! You know the old saying: "A woman's work is never done." Well, I have learned that a farmer's work is never done! Machinery breaks down; fences fall apart; branches need trimming & fallen trees need to be cut up for firewood. Buildings sag, roofs leak; motors stop running at the most importune times. Friends call for help, mother's garden must be tilled, and "the wife" has to be taken out for lunch at least a few times a year or the marriage may be in jeopardy.
When you're the owner/operator of a small dairy farm, you have to do everything yourself because there's no money to call in the professionals. You don't just go out and buy a new "whatever" - you fix the old whatever or make do in some hobbled-up fashion until there's no other choice. You're living, but not exactly making a living :-) Of course there are benefits, like .... oh, I don't know. I guess I'll leave that for another post.
But Weldon is not all work. He takes time to play with the kitties and enjoy a sunrise or sunset. He smells the wildflowers (and takes time to bring me a bouquet every now & then) and revels in his black raspberry patch. At one point in his life, Weldon learned how to fly and got his pilot's license. Now his hobby is the computer - keeping in touch with his "tractor nuts" on a couple of farming/agricultural sites. There is neither time nor money for "entertainment," so we pretty much entertain ourselves. It's a good thing we both have a sense of humor.
When people ask, Weldon says farming is not hard work. But I can say, from experience, farming IS hard work. You start in the dark of morning and don't finish until the sun has set. But, it's what Weldon knows and loves. And I love him, so here we are.
And this is my puny attempt at a tribute to my farmer Weldon.
Thank you, Weldon, for all the thankless jobs you do.
Thank you for your sense of humor.
Thank you for your faith.
Thank you for following your heart.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


In June 2010, I started a list of the names of all the cats & kittens then on the farm - 50 of them!! After that summer of more kittens being born and coyotes killing indiscriminately, we were down to 39. As of May 2011, we were holding steady at about 39 - but 11 of them were unnamed kittens born this past spring. Then I just couldn't do the list any longer ... broke my itty-bitty heart :-(

It looks like the coyotes have moved on ... at least for now. It seems the mommies got smart and they hide their babies till they're quite big. Because of that, we have some young ones that are pretty wild. I try to give them names, but it's a little difficult since I'm not sure if they're male or female.

I have gone
a long while without taking pictures of the cats, but I finally got over it (sorta). So, without further ado ... please enjoy some of our babies. They are truly the joy of my daily life on the farm.

Hans Solo - one of our youngest

Hans, his mom Slappy, & Iris
Gretchen with her 3 boys,
Samson, Simon, & Seth

The next two are "adoptees" and relatively new to farm life:

& Kitty Manx
And, finally, one of the oldest ones left on the farm, the only remaining son of Kit Carson (may she rest in peace) - Sanford
I gotta feed that boy ... he looks awfully skinny!

In case you're wondering, we do still have cows and crops and crap. My next post, honestly, I'll try to make about something more farm-ish. farm... ish... get it?? oh, I crack me up!!! Till then, keep on smiling :-)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Amusing? Perhaps ....

In the past weeks, I have been thinking about the title of my blog, Farm Muse. Just to make sure, I looked up the definition of muse: "To be absorbed in one's thoughts; engage in meditation. To consider or say thoughtfully. A state of meditation." I was pretty certain of the meaning of farm, so I didn't look that one up.

I do spend quite a bit of time thinking (meditating?), but that doesn't seem to be reflected in the blog. Most of my posts are "just the facts, ma'am." We did this, here's the field, the kittens are getting bigger, hope your Christmas was wonderful, etc.

What brought this quandary to the forefront of my mind? A friend mentioned a blog that she thought I might enjoy, entitled "A Holy Experience." Guess what? I don't like it much. It's WAY too much musing and meditating for my taste. Pretty music playing in the background (I turn it off); long sentences or fragments thereof with too many adjectives; long, daily posts with scads of pictures. She's a farmer's wife, mother of SIX, an author .... Okay, I admit it - I'm jealous and that's why I hate her and her blog :-)

[insert fabulous photo]

Another friend and I were talking and this friend mentioned that a friend of hers had told her about the above hinted-at book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. So, when I saw the Kindle edition was on sale for $2.99, I decided to buy it. I haven't started it yet and I probably won't like it, but I bought it.

[if you had the proper plug-in, you could be listening to lovely music right now]

The blogger and author whom I am belittling, Ann Voskamp, admits that life is messy, but that she is writing and trying to live the words of grace and faith. She says it much better than I just did, so click on her name and read it for yourself. She will probably thank me for all the readers who will now find her blog and buy her book :-)

In my younger days, if you had said, "Life is messy," I would have responded, "Not on my watch! Everything neat and in its proper place." But going through a divorce, living on my own for 10 years, and then becoming a farmer's wife at the ripe age of 53 have turned my world upside down. Now if you say, "Life is messy," I will respond by saying "Amen!!" Life is messy, but I'm living it by grace and faith - even when my words don't express that with great conviction or beauty.

I have written this silliness not to put a sweet Christian writer down (I will probably have to eat my words and send her a written apology), but to let you know that I have discovered I am not a muse, at least not first and foremost. Perhaps, more correctly, this blog is not a place where I have let you see into my thoughts and meditations.

A Muse? ... probably not.
Amusant? ... peut-etre.