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January 22, 2015

Perspective Cropping

Ever wonder if your getting the whole picture?  My friend Nicole over at Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom had a Facebook status the other day saying that her brother told her jokingly that she made farmwife seem like all Skittle, rainbows and unicorn poop.....followed by the news that their first calf of the year had been born dead.

Last Saturday morning as I was feeding the sunrise was beautiful so I of course snapped a pic on my phone - instantly Facebooked, Instagramed, and Tweeted......

"Good Morning from the hog barns!"

That evening as I was making last rounds I walked out of the gestation barn looked up and saw this....

"This was my view as I stepped out of the gestation barn tonight!  While I strongly dislike living so close to Indianapolis I love how the city lights silhouetted some of our bins!"

and of course instantly Facebooked, Instragramed and Tweeted!

This morning as I fed I walked out of the gestation barn looked up at the exact same point as I did last Saturday at the bins and realized I had no desire to take a pic!  It was like it was a totally different perspective.  It was a cold gray morning - and not the frosty, crisp, steely gray that is pretty but a dull gray sky and the ground is still slightly squishy.

I snapped this pic from the exact same point that I took it the other night and got a completely different feeling.  So I walked over to where I took the sunrise pic and snapped one of those and again a completely different feeling.

I can't believe what a different view it appears in this picture!  All I was thinking was one more load of fats, I really should of not worn my pj's under by coveralls cause not my pj's stink, need to remind Chris to fix the waterer at Fred's, we need new funnel cups in the gestation barn-do we have any or need to order some, who is going to wash the nursery before weaning tomorrow, should of mowed this lot one more time last fall............

I walked over to take a picture like the morning one and found the same feelings....

.......just a manure spreader that needs repaired, it's sitting next to the composter and not the kind in your garden but a 3 bay concrete composter for the barns  - no stunning sky in the background or filter......just a $h*t spreader, overgrown weeds and a gray sky.

All this 'connection' that people are getting on the internet is amazing, I'm the first person to admit that I am addicted to it.  But I wonder if we are getting the whole picture and without a filter!

One of my favorite sayings and a constant reminder to myself when I am perusing social media is:

Chris always says I wear my emotions on the outside, while that isn't always pretty I like the fact that when I look back on my posts and pictures I get the whole picture of my life and not just the highlight reel because it's what laying on the cutting room floor that makes you who you really are and usually bring the biggest laughs in hind sight!  I also know that if we didn't see 'skittles, rainbows and unicorn poop' most of the time we wouldn't still be on the farm!

January 4, 2015

Yep, weekends and holidays......

I get the privilege of feeding the livestock on weekends and holidays till Chris recovers from back surgery and I am really enjoying it!

I'm trying to think of the last time I was in charge of feeding solely by myself!  Now don't laugh I am under no illusion that I am actually in charge of anything but I have been following the instruction and do the physical act of all the feeding all by myself!

I love feeding throughout the holidays and in the winter.  While the weather is unpredictable it seems more relaxed, slower paced and can take a little more time in the barns.

I feed in my pi's most days!  When I know I am not going to spend most of the day in the barns I just throw on my Columbia wash pants, grab my barn jacket, boots and head out!  Hog barns smell-so I take care of the feeding and chores and clean up after - I'm smart like that!

I have learned several things the last few weeks while feeding:

  • I am terrible at slinging feed buckets.  I think I must not be strong enough, I tend to end up just dumping them.  I tried really hard to sling it the other day and ended up tossing the entire bucket into the pen of sows and hitting one of them on the head with the bucket!
  • Feeding livestock is easier than feeding my kids.  Pigs and cows aren't picky, they are excited to see me coming with feed and never turn their nose up or complain.
  • Sows in farrowing barn are getting 3 scoops of feed and my instructions said to give them a scoop of soybean meal if they looked too skinny to me.  Are my perceptions of a skinny sow different as a woman that that of what the guys consider a skinny sow?
  • Picking up deads will never get easier for me.  It is heartbreaking every single time.
  • I don't like to listen to pigs eat but could sit for hours listening to cattle eat.

And something I learned the hard way:  Kids really like to run augers, they will therefore fill the feed cart for farrowing barns to full for me.  I will then attempt to move it anyways and will spill it - only making more work for myself!

And lookie what I found Christmas Eve!
After a great family supper at my Mom's with family, Christmas Eve Service at Boggstown, Chris and I went down to make one last round through the barns and found a brand new litter of babies - just one of the many perks of my job!!