Hay Bales

This past week my neighbor injured himself and had to have back surgery. It was unexpected and unplanned. There are a lot of things bad about the timing of this – he is a stone mason in the middle of a very large project, they recently bought into the family farm, raise cattle and its baling season, and he has three, young, energetic boys. Not only is this my neighbor, these are my friends, like family. My brother from another mother so to speak. He learned his trade as an apprentice with my dad.

Now flashback many years ago to when my dad used to help his friends on weekends with hogs and cattle, corn and soybeans. His brother from another mother. My mom was a nurse at the hospital so we were often with my dad on weekends. As a kid I spent a lot of time on the farm, riding in the tractor and playing in the hay loft. Those were the days of walking alongside the trailer throwing bales on and stacking as you go.

In farming you don’t get to decide timing and schedule. You follow the seasons and we are in the season of moving and stacking bales and getting ready for fall and winter. Some are doing a second cutting.

This past weekend we had gorgeous weather. We visited with our neighbors and decided that with nothing of our own pressing it would be a good time to move bales and so Sunday afternoon was spent moving hay. I had two trucks with trailers attached. My dad on one end loading and my friend’s wife on the other end unloading and stacking. It was like old times! My dad and I loading hay. I got to crawl up on the wagon a few times to adjust tie downs. I don’t remember repelling down the straps being that much fun though. It didn’t dawn on me until I was headed over with the first load that I haven’t backed up a trailer in probably the last 15 years. Good news, it comes back quick!

Even though I didn’t get a single thing done at home, and I’m allergic to grass, I had a blast! My neighbors are grateful for the help. I’m happy it’s done and off their list of things to do. I can’t believe I didn’t take a single picture.

Friends, family or whatever…when someone needs a hand, lend one! Giving – it does the body good. #PayItForward

The Hunt is Over

I took firearms safety when I was 12 years old and have been coming to north central Minnesota to hunt well over 20 years.

It was so weird this year to not travel. I literally pulled out the tub of orange clothes the night before the opener. No packing the car. No planning to take off work or school early. I got a deer on day 1 so that changed up some plans. I had intended on taking off a few hours early later in the week but instead of hunting was cooking and butchering. By the time Thursday rolled around we were 7 of 10 with three full days to go. We were all filled out by 8:30 am Saturday morning. It was the best year we have ever had hunting. The most my dad could ever remember getting on any given year was six deer. The meat will be share across six families. It was a good feeling.

As the seasons change we are remembering again why we made the move. I love the serenity and the scenery. The camaraderie is always nice. We truly appreciate time with our friends when they make the trip up the visit. The annual Saturday pizza gathering at the neighbors was A LOT shorter drive this year!

Make A Difference

The seasons have changed. We had a week of Indian Summer and now winter is closing in. The first snow appeared this past week and made things very messy. We don’t have our wood cut for the fireplace but we will get there. Our building is up. It isn’t fully enclosed but there are still things we can do to keep it moving forward. I think the windows and walk door arrive today. Yesterday was #MakeADifferenceDay and my dad and husband spent the day helping on of the neighbors gather up their hay bales and moving them so they in turn could help their dad with a water pipe issue. That’s the great thing about living in the Midwest – people helping people. My job was the food, something I love.  It probably helps that I love my kitchen and don’t mind spending time there. This afternoon we will regroup and run all our weekend errands. Time to get ready for the workweek. Things are never done but there is always ‘later’. 

Virtual Office

Until I move I have the luxury (or curse) of working from home two days a week. Today was one of those days. On a positive note I can work in my sweatpants and don’t have to shower or do my hair. I had the TV cable disconnected which greatly minimizes distractions. I stay pretty focused with just the radio playing in the background. 

Today is looked like my office threw up in my living room. There were papers and binders everywhere. I have a massive project I am trying to get wrapped up before returning to my brick and mortar office. Also today I was able to have lunch with a friend of mine – we went for sushi! It was a short lunch but enjoyable nonetheless. I even got dressed and did my hair. Ha!

One final luxury – Caribou Coffee. I got some before I came home. That was a treat!  You wouldn’t think either of those were a big deal but I know how far both of them will be from me when I move so I am enjoying them while I can. There are some aspects of the big city that will be a bit harder to live without. 

Tomorrow I have one more day from the living room office before heading to the north woods. The house here should be ready to list this weekend after a good cleaning. We got the trailer packed from floor to ceiling yesterday. It was secured and safely delivered today. I will also be able to attend my son’s baseball game tomorrow, weather permitting. It is sad to see this chapter coming to an end but a new one awaits.