From the time I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be a farmer and a stay-at-home mom just like my mom and dad. There was never a doubt in my mind that I was going to be a farm girl FOREVER! As a farmer’s child I think you are either born with the love for the farm or not. My brother and I were born with it, our sister was not. While we were outside riding horses or messing with the livestock, sister was in the house reading or off in town with her friends.
Although my dream of having an Old MacDonald’s type farm didn’t quite work out for me, we are still in the ag industry and have slowly built our small acreage up over the years and have too many horses, a Zebu bull, a dwarf Angus heifer, one longhorn cow and her two month old calf. I have my pumpkin patch and flower garden I love to go out and pull weeds while listening to an audio book or a podcast or two. Old Boy and The Boy have begun a small hay baling operation after having a harder and harder time over the years of being able to find good small square hay bales. Times have gotten harder to find high school aged kids willing to bale, so big round bales have become the way. I so enjoy watching My Guys head out to bale. Guess it gives me that Days of Old type feeling.
Before I was born my dad farmed with his family. Months after I was born we moved off the family homeplace to our own place to farm about 20 miles away. Grandma and Grandpa had retired and built a new home in town not long before our move. Often Grandpa would come out and work on the farm, but the days of farming with the family was over.
Not a large scale farm by any means, dad had plenty of land and cattle to merit a full time hired hand until the mid-80’s when the farming crisis hit. By that time Brother had graduated high school and college and worked along dad on the farm while also starting his own cattle herd and small livestock hauling operation.
My folks were fortunate enough to have survived the hell of the 80’s, but did have to scale down a lot and have to work their way back again. In his 70’s now, dad has been able to scale down again, of his own accord this time, and do just what he wants to do. He has his longhorns he raises, he still has a section of land he raises corn, alfalfa and oats. He still has his roping horses, although not as many as once. He still ropes, although not as often as he once did…a hobby he’ll never give up…along with the farming he’ll never give up.
Thinking of my life without the rural lifestyle, and all that comes with it…I can’t even imagine and wouldn’t want to either. I quite honestly believe it’s in the blood.
Have been at work recently on some new writings, getting back to what I was wanting to do when I first started this blog. Growing up on the farm…farm life, marriage, family and the like.
(My dad and I back in the day…the farmer and the farmer’s daughter)
Our sweet little bull calf…will be interesting to see what he winds up looking like…daddy is a Zebu and mama is a longhorn.
Summer is here! Last day of school was this past Thursday…the longest day EVER! You know how when you are so wanting something and time slows to a crawl…that was last Thursday. Was a perfect send off of the year too…three couples had to be broken up for inappropriate touching on school property, seventh and eighth graders…they all looked at me like I was out of bounds telling them to STOP TOUCHING! Hauled four sixth graders to the office to spend the last part of the day in detention for out and out rolling on the ground, punching each other. What the hell? It’s probably wrong of me to do so, but I’m constantly telling them what my high school principal used to tell us back in the late 1980’s…take it off school property…fight all you want, but not on school property. Yeah, we had a pretty cool old cat for a principal back in the day!
So tickled to be on a three month vacation! Or three months of recouping from the last nine months. Definitely need some time to find my sanity again and get caught up on the house! Have two rooms, almost three rooms CLEAN! A few days ago I didn’t even know where to begin, that’s how far behind and how bad of shape the house had gotten. Told myself I’d start on our bedroom, the sheets needed washing…so a good place to start. Now I’m just moving to the next room from the one just finished and it seems to be working well. Actually feel like I’m starting to accomplish something. Have even started on the weeding. Feels good!
The past month we’ve had a few ups and downs in the family. The kind of events that makes one appreciate life and those we love most. We lost my amazing great uncle a few weeks ago, 87 years old and one of the loves of my life! We didn’t grow up close with my gramma’s youngest brother and family, but after marrying and having our first child our family dynamics seemed to change, Uncle Bob and Aunt Norma started coming to more and more family functions and became a part of our lives. This guy was an absolute rock star! Big time tough guy with a heart of gold. So glad that we got to know him and love him and so happy to have been able to talk to him on the phone a couple weeks before he passed. The funeral was tough, had the fire fighters and veterans there. Fellow fire fighters were the pall bearers, a huge American flag was hanging from a crane at the cemetery, the 21 gun salute, the playing of Taps…absolutely beautiful send off to an absolutely great man!
Two weekends ago out daughter made it home from out west…we celebrated my dad’s 75th birthday…almost all the grandchildren were able to make it…something that doesn’t happen too often anymore. We are so blessed to still have that old cowboy with us. Dad was in VietNam in 1969…his life has been affected by Agent Orange. When I was in junior high in the mid-80’s he finally gave up on the regular doctors and went to the VA. For many, many years he drove the 90 minute each way to the VA for radiation treatments. I don’t recall a time he has ever spent in the hospital or a time when he was ill to the point of keeping him from doing his farm work. If and when he felt too sick he didn’t let us see it. He still team ropes, he still farms…can still lean off the side of a horse to pick a hat up off the ground and can outrun some of the older grandchildren. 75 years old. After I was married in 1993, I was told his doctors at the VA had said he would never see my graduate from high school, I graduated 28 years ago. Tough old bird. So blessed to still have him still with us and doing so well! He says it’s the whiskey! Could be!
Three days ago we lost our Godfather, Old Boy’s uncle. After a few year fight with cancer, he lost his battle. We knew it was coming, but it was still a sock to the gut. Uncle Steve had no son, Old Boy was always like the son he never had. After losing his brother three years ago in May, Uncle Steve rallied the family together and became the leader of the family. The family became so close and strong, it was all because of him. When Uncle Steve summoned us, we came running…his daughter one day said, you guys jump whenever he says jump, it’s like he’s The Godfather or something…the name stuck and that’s how we refered to him and saw him. 67 years old, too young. The biggest joker and one hell of a hard worker. He was like another father to Old Boy and I and like a grandfather to our kids, hating the thought of having to say goodbye to him on Friday. Thankfully The Girl has an understanding boss and is getting the time off to come home for a couple days. The Boy (17 years old) is having such a hard time, have never seen him so heart broken…breaks my heart even more. As hard as it is I’ve learned how to look at death in a new light. He’s not suffering, he’s with his mom and dad and with his two younger brothers again. We can always talk to him…maybe get to tell him a new joke from time to time.
Life is a dance! Dance!
Words of the week at school this past week were condescend and nag. Want to throw junior high age kids for a loop, use big words and they will actually get out the dictionary…in book form…to look it up. I’ve always spoken to my children as I would adults, at least when it comes to words I use and I do no different at school. If kids don’t know a word they will ask. A couple weeks ago it was debonair. The funny thing is I’ve never seen myself as a person of words, often feel as though I cannot express what I want in a mature fashion…the kids have been making me feel otherwise as of late. The best is when I discover them using those words days past first introduction to said words.
School and life has been along the road of “when it rains in pours” kind of road. I honestly do not know how people who work full time are able to put 100% into their home life when it comes to housework. Those who can do it, God bless you…I cannot. I feel as though the house is beyond the point of rescue and on the weekends I feel like I want to destress from the week and relax but know I have to get work done around the house…feel like I’m on a hamster wheel. Overwhelmed doesn’t quite explain how I feel right now. Guess in the glass half full department the boy did get me baskets and baskets of dirty laundry yesterday after school. That’s something, right?
Work has been so tense lately. There have been days I’ve wanted to leave midday and days I haven’t wanted to come back. The aides are having issues with the ways some aides are doing their job, some have popped into a room and heard an aide complaining to a teacher about the said popped in aide does things. Then there’s the one or two teachers who see the way a few aides do things as wrong and demand aides change their ways although all other teachers have no problem with said ways…my body has ached for days now from the tension and stress in the building.
Damned thing is, we are a small school…we have one preschool teacher, one kindergarten teacher…one teacher for each grade through the fifth grade…that is how small of school we are. In the sixth grade we have three homerooms, each with 18 kids at the most…building only goes through the eighth grade. We have one resource room for the elementary and one resource room for the junior high, when people call in aides are pulled from one side of the building to the other…it’s impossible to avoid those we are having problems with. I’ve done a pretty good job avoiding one teacher the past two months who scolded me…in front of a class…for helping a nonresource kid because I am only an aide…yes, only…and then proceeded to tell the class that they are not to ask me anything. Being told you are ONLY something really helps boost a person’s self esteem. Sweetly, several of the kids that were in the room came to me afterwards telling me that I wasn’t ONLY to them.
Eight days of class yet to go this year. Have really been struggling on whether to go back next year or not. The teacher I mainly work under has said repeatedly that I am coming back, she likes what I’ve done and how I work with the kids. Next year there will be a new superindentant for the entire school, a new junior high principal and a new elementary principal and have been told to give it a shot, things may get better under new higher powers. The new junior high principal has been talked to and has given me and another aide the go ahead to job share next year, something we’ve both felt would work so much better with our lives outside of school…so thinking I’m going to give it a go and see how it works out. I really do enjoy working with the kids and enjoy most of the people I work with, but I know working full time and juggling all aspects of life is a hard for me. Not the best multi-tasker out there.
Summer is about here and so looking forward to it. Excited to get out and get some things accomplished….and maybe get back into writing.
We’ve made it past midweek, the end is in sight! The past few weeks seem to have gone by much quicker than the previous few. The school year is starting to run down it’s clock and for that I am thankful! 25 school days to go!
This spring has been a challenge at school…kids tired of school and wanting summer break to come, adults getting on one another’s nerves, snow and flooding popping up to burst everyone’s bubble that spring was finally here.
Something has changed lately, maybe just the spring air that finally has arrived and seems to possibly be staying. Adults are getting along better and we seem to be getting more cooperation from the kiddos. Not sure what it is, but definitely not questioning it…just enjoying that the days seem to be moving by at a better speed.
About a week ago I finally had enough of two teachers who I feel have really decided they don’t like me and have made it more than obvious and somehow have been able to let it go. The one I seem to not notice so much anymore or maybe she’s realized she can’t get to me anymore and ignoring me back. The other has talked to me everyday this week and has been civil. Guess my soft heart should have learned how to let it go a long time ago.
A couple weeks ago my schedule was changed a bit in the afternoons and now have 6th and 7th grade study halls instead of just the 6th and now with a 7th grade girl in the afternoons…amazing the amount of maturity one grade level shows…enjoy both my 6th and 7th graders but can definitely have a more intelligent conversation with the 7th graders. Today’s word that confused them was debonair…so had them look it up…they have a new word in their vocabulary!
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