Everything seemed to go wrong last week

Many of us went from a busy, tiring Emo Fair week right into a busy, tiring cattle sale week.
Lack of sleep is an understatement.
I never, in a million years, would have thought that life would be so busy. It doesn’t seem that crazy when you’re a kid growing up!
• • •
It was a busy week at the agricultural research station in Emo, too (we need to really work hard as one of my summer students leave this week and the other next!)
We harvested around 90 heads of lettuce for the Clover Valley Farmers’ Market food box and also threshed some winter wheat (we had plans of more but the weather didn’t co-operate).
We’re still trying to clean up our second-cut alfalfa as the message didn’t get passed about baling it and it got pounded into the ground in the heavy rains. We’re hoping to get a good chunk of our grain in this week, as well as a few more pasture trials harvested.
Alas, things pile up quickly just like home and now the clock is ticking.
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I’m sure we all have weeks that everything we do goes wrong. This is what happened to me this past week.
Since we drag stuff out to the Emo Fair about a week prior, it takes a few days to get it all put back again. As such, my yard work got very behind and I’ve been trying to keep things tidy since my cousin may come for some wedding photos in September.
I likely should have put some cattle out on my lawn, but instead I was trying to mow it and rushing—it gets dark and wet a lot earlier now—and, of course, the belt blew.
Luckily, I ran over to my dad’s and drove his lawnmower back and finished (it still looks rough since I ended up with wind-rows in places).
I then sorted my steers for the cattle sale (had to sort of the ones we will butcher.) That went rather well other than a few minor things like the headgate, a water bowl in the way, etc.
I got up extra early on Thursday morning to haul them since we were busy at work and I didn’t want to waste any time. Of course, at the barn, I ended up doing a few things and I got off schedule.
Driving home, my truck was telling me to check my oil so I whipped into my dad’s (my kind of store) and added some oil.
Still in a hurry, I spilled a bit. I then quickly had a truck fire.
Panic. I know he had fire extinguishers, but where?
I grabbed the Kloee’s water and dumped it—but the fire continued with some smaller flames. I then dumped the bird bath water into my bucket and extinguished the flames.
I drove home, still nervous.
I was unhooking my trailer and still concerned about fire so, just to be safe, I dumped another bucket of water. Everything looked fine under the hood so I drove quickly to work (after spilling most of a cup of coffee down my leg and all over my entrance way of my house).
The truck seemed fine—at least, as fine as can be for 350,000 km.
At lunch time, I went to the store (I had to get sour cream and cheese for my students to make nachos) and my truck seemed not so fine.
Matt, my very smart engineer student, and I went for a quick drive and sure enough, things were not shifting too well. We thought maybe it could have been that something got too hot and melted, but deep down I thought it likely was just a coincidence and my transmission was on its way out.
We left work about 10 minutes early that day since Shannon was starring in “True Up North Mamma Mia” and Matt and I were going to watch her. I ended up getting home later than normal since my truck barely made it (yup, the transmission is gone and it is pretty hard to put a $3,000 transmission into a truck that’s likely worth only $500).
Not sure what I’ll do now, but I am stressing a bit since I would like to bring my cows home from Blackhawk around mid- September so the calves can get vaccinated in time for the next cattle sale (no wonder I had to start taking blood pressure pills!)
• • •
We had 1,290 animals at our cattle sale on Saturday in Stratton. The prices were soft, but not any softer than any other place.
It is hard, though, to see the disappointment on the farmers’ face when they were hoping to get just a little more.
Things went well with the new equipment at the sales barn, but just like always we need to tweak a few more things. There is always room for improvement!
Dan Rose a former ag rep for the district, was on hand and just amazed at how much things have changed and how far advanced we are.
• • •
I’ve been able to find all the old articles and catalogues dating back to the first cattle sale in Stratton, which I’m planning to have all organized for our barn party coming up on Sept. 19.
Please let me know if you have anything to add.
What I’d really like to have is a list of names that were part of the construction of the place (if you have anything on this, please let me know).

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