Hubby has the Man Flu….
He is sick and has spent the day inside.
There is always a lot to do on the farm, an being a man down makes things hard.
The 13yo and I have been milking. She hates it! But I think she is actually enjoying milking with me. If I rouse, I explain why. She appreciates that.
Hubby has never really let me drive the tractors. Its caused a lot of fights. No, double whatever you were thinking! If Julia wants to know real misogyny, she only needs to come here!!
Number One Son had to pick me up from the mechanics today. It was a rare opportunity for me to actually force conversation out of him. He’s a little shy. Earlier this morning, I had asked him what his plans were. In his usual chatty way, he answered “mulching”.
Mulching is a little like mowing the lawn. You cut the old grass after the cows have left the paddock and leave the cuttings on the ground to mulch the new growth. It takes any sour old grass the cows won’t eat away, allowing for sweet new growth. It also slows any weeds down.
So on the way home I asked what else he had to do. Again chatty, he said “plenty”. I asked of there was anything I could do to help. No reply, just a noncommittal grin. Then I did it…I asked if I could do the mulching while he did something else.
Nobody was more shocked than I when he said “yep”.
“You’ll need to do a lap with me, dad has never let me drive any impliment”.
“Yep. You’ll be right”.
It’s not that I have never driven a tractor. I have. I ploughed and sowed paddocks, drove a giant Versitile articulated tractor on the big western property I worked on, I had even mown hay before hubby met me. So therefore it doesn’t mean anything.
So Number One Son went and pulled the irrigation into lines and I drove the tractor down there. He jumped on, showed me what to do and left me too it.
Hubby didn’t even know…..
As it turns out the nature strips aren’t entirely of my doing. Number One Son spent the afternoon replacing all the blades on the mulcher…
First Attempt Mulching Ever!
OK….by popular demand I mean one person suggested it! Here’s my first #WagyuWedensday!
I’m hoping this works!
Its the first video I’ve uploaded on my phone!
I have battled with my mind (you can read about that here if you haven’t already) and its little quirks all my life. It’s on only relatively recently though that I’ve learnt to manage these quirks.
It was two meetings yesterday that showed me how far I’ve come!
The first was a meeting of the local Dairy Advancement Group.
For various reasons this group had lost its way but thankfully enough people could see the value of such a group to make an effort to refocus the intent and call a planning meeting.
I’ve been part of the industry for six years but have only just started going to these meetings.
I haven’t gone in the past for a lot of reasons. The meetings tended to clash with places I needed to be for kids. Or we had farm work to do. Or I just wasn’t informed the meetings were on.
But the big one was I didn’t believe I belonged or deserved to be there.
What forced my hand was a good friend who has worked tirelessly to encourage youth into the industry was having a crisis of confidence herself and I went to support her.
So I went to my second meeting yesterday.
I went again to support my friend, but realised I had ideas and insights to offer.
I listened and sat on what I had to offer and really fought with myself….
Do I open my mouth and offer my thoughts?
Am I worthy of such an input into the future of this group considering I didn’t have a past with it?
Would I be taken seriously?
I have applied for a job with our state body. As I listened to some of the political side I started to really panic, telling myself I had no idea and what did I think I was doing applying for this job and I wouldn’t cope and what if what if what if….
Then the convenor asked for my input. That nearly brought me completely undone!
By this stage I was hoping what I call the duck effect was working.
What’s the duck effect? On the surface, calm, floating peacefully. Underneath, paddling like a crazy!
My heart was pounding, headed toward my throat. I could feel the shaking and struggled to control it. I was starting to get the cold sweats. The occasional blurry vision (for want of a better term) thing occurred. My hearing, at times, sounded like I was in a tunnel.
I have spent the last three years building an internal support system for panic attacks. Thankfully.
I call it CTFD therapy.
Calm The Fuck Down!
I managed to get CTFD to kick in, though I spent the entire meeting being that duck.
Towards the end of the meeting they were talking about building our ‘brand’, not just locally but world wide. The convenor, who knows my social media experience, kept looking a me and then kept dropping my name into the conversation as the person who could build our brand on social media.
Big responsibility in my mind. Huge in fact.
CTFD kicked in again.
I decided I would challenge this crisis I was having.
I put my hand up and told the meeting I have the skills and the experience to make this work if you want it. The convenor backed me up.
I was still that duck, but was excited. Not only had I lived (a serious question I ask myself when this happens because I do feel like I might die), I have a new project to sink my teeth into. Its not going to be an easy project. I need to drag old school people into a global life.
But I’m really looking forward to it!
After a stressful six hours you’d think home would be where I needed to be. It was. But hubby and I had been invited to a meet and greet for the new combined version of our stock and land management bodies, the Local Land Services. As it turned out, hubby couldn’t go.
I’d met the lady organising the meet and greet at the recent Dairy Research Symposium. She mentioned they were having this meet and greet and asked for my email address so she could invite me when dates and venues were confirmed.
I assumed a lot of farmers would be invited.
I walked up to the venue, where there’s a large window looking into the bar, and saw suits. Lots of suits. And women dressed very business like.
But I lifted my head, put my shoulders back, and became that duck again!
Oh boy! Talk about fish out of water!
I was, though, pleasantly surprised how many of the suits I knew. And how some of them were actually interested in my opinion.
Again with the big responsibility.
Again with the panic attack trying to take hold.
Again CTFD kicked in.
Again I became the duck.
Three years ago I wouldn’t have walked into the room.
After sleeping on it and therefore calming right down, I can see clearly how far I’ve come.
I am proud. Very proud!
I was worried a little by the end of milking tonight I wouldn’t have a post for tomorrow.
Good thing I took Miss 6 to help feed the calves!
Anyway, I let Miss 6 finish giving Zoe her bottle. She chatted away like she always does and I half listened like I tend to after a while.
She was talking about the calves, and how we need to look after them, and other things I missed!
Then she started asking about her birth…
Then it happened.
‘How do you get a baby?’
Me – “What do you mean Bubba?”
“You know! How do you get a baby in your tummy?”
Me – “Oh……uuuuuummmmmmmm……”
I knew the question would come eventually. I just wasn’t ready for it right there or then!
But while I stopped to think, Zoe finished her bottle and started bunting and slobbering all over Miss 6.
It distracted her for long enough for me to get the subject changed and her to forget!
I think it was a nervous one but I had a good laugh about it to myself!
Pretty sure I dodged a bullet there!
My favorite ‘time waster’ is watching my calves.
No, I’m not super vain!
I’m talking about my surrogate children. Its something I’ve written about before.
I often get in trouble for standing at the gate and watching them playing.
After a feed they often feel frisky. They’ll play tag or they’ll follow each other around, tails in the air and a twinkle in their eyes, running as fast as they can!
They’make an obstacle courses.
Through the hole in the fence, around the big tree, back up the hill and jump over the grain trough! If I happen to be in the paddock, it’s a guarantee they’ll include me!
Anything that goes into the paddock is fair game. Especially if it makes a noise when walked over!
One day my human children kicked a soccer ball into their paddock. They didn’t kick it, but there was a lot of inspecting…
“Ooo what is that?”
“Eeek it MOVED!”
“You touch it?”
“No! YOU touch it”
“Aaaahhhhhh! IT MOOOOOVED!”
“RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!”
I wish you could see what I see, hear what I hear.
They are beautiful to watch.
I do procrastinate a lot watching them.
I’m on a mission to show the lighter side of my life. Last week I wrote about Pleasures and where they comes from. This week I thought I’d share some laugh-out-loud moments.
I have an interesting ill health issue with one of my calves.
She refuses to suck the teat on the calf feeder. Or my fingers. This is very unusual. But she is getting better.
Cattle are social animals, so I like to put calves together in my calf shed if I can. I had another calf in with my little sort of sick calf who was healthy and could drink her milk very quick.
One morning, when they were about 5 days old, this healthy calf was being particularly pushy and I knew the other calf would be completely put off and wouldn’t even try to suck. So I put the healthy calf out the gate and into the big wide world before I fed her.
This is a trick I employ regularly. The calf normally explores a little, chases a dog, says hello to everything and does a few excited kicks and jumps. But they stay close because they haven’t been fed.
Not this calf..
She did chase the dogs. And she did get excited. But she didn’t stay close.
She ran, as fast as her legs could carry her, behind the calf shed, through a gate and into the next paddock.
If you’ve ever seen a newish calf run you’ll know it looks very uncoordinated!
This was our first big frost for the year.
The little calf, making the most of her freedom, galloped down the hill skipping and jumping and generally having a great time.
I was watching her antics while trying to get the other calf to drink so I knew where to go and get her to give her her feed.
I’m not sure exactly what happened, but on one of her down hill runs she fell down and slid for about five metres, spinning as she went.
My heart skipped a beat. I thought she’d be hurt for sure!
But calves are tough.
This is my lol moment…
She finally stopped sliding and just layed there for two seconds. Then she jumped straight up on her feet, looked back up the hill to where she started and shook her head.
She then, very carefully, walked back up the hill, through the gate and back around to the front of the calf shed.
I’m convinced, if she could, she would have been whistling!
By this time I was laughing so hard I was crying.
She was fine. She had her drink and bucked around her pen.
But she will forever be known here as our ‘Sk8r’ chic!