Haying a bit more stressful than calving

We had another beautiful week here in Rainy River District. Let’s hope there are plenty more to come.
We actually welcomed the rain over the weekend, although the strong winds were not so necessary.
Now let’s hope this weather will pass us by. That is the only problem in Rainy River District—when in starts to rain, it sometimes don’t know enough to quit.
• • •
Many producers are making hay now (I was planning to start doing this at home this week).
This is when my life goes crazy. I try to work at the ag research station until sometime after lunch and then go home and ride the tractor until dark.
I find haying a bit more stressful than calving. The weather plays a role in both of these events, but we seem to be able to manage the calving end a bit with warm calving barns, etc.
As well, for me and haying, it is the breakdowns. Let’s face it: you are going to have a breakdown. This is the part of my job as a farmer that I am lacking (the repair side of things).
Sure, it would be nice to have all brand new equipment, but that isn’t going to happen from my farm income or my off-farm income.
The other thing I get frustrated with is when I hear someway say, “Oh, you are still haying?” We have to cover a lot more land that just a lawn, and the weather plays a huge factor!
I’m just thankful that a majority of the hay I make is large round bales. I remember as a kid covering the same ground, but all square bales. We made hay all summer long.
We finished our first cut at the research station on Friday, but just barely as we had lots of equipment troubles. Now, once the weather co-operates, I will use our haybine and cut the remaining parts of our plots.
The yields look to be decent considering our long, cold spring.
• • •
I had a chance to experience taking both my nieces to McDonald’s this past week.
Actually, my brother and sister-in-law were out of town on Monday, so I had to go in and relieve the baby-sitter. I decided it would be a nice idea to take the girls in the wagon to McDonald’s.
This was maybe not my best idea. You have to haul drink cups and blankets (the blankets were horrible; it was about 30 degrees outside!)
Marlee is still pretty simple as she don’t talk much, but I had a hard time to get her to concentrate on eating since she was so busy checking everyone else out. Maddie, meanwhile, wanted to eat only animal crackers, but I convinced her that her sister would be bigger than her soon if she didn’t eat.
Then she thought we should order more fries.
I also asked her is she wanted a milkshake and she went on to tell me “you can only get milkshakes at Dairy Queen!”
I would have taken them there, but getting them in and out of the wagon and into the restaurant is a lot of work and I needed to prove a point, so she and Marlee split a strawberry shake–from McDonald’s—for the walk home. This is when the blankets became a problem.
Marlee was a bit messy and Maddie wanted me to carry the blankets since she didn’t want Marlee to get them dirty, but I was too hot pulling them never mind carrying the blankets.
So, Maddie decided to walk and tuck the blankets in her seat. We made it home, but it might have been easier to drive.
The girls were out over the weekend, as well. The weather didn’t co-operate all that well, but Maddie and I spent most of the day Saturday in the barn. We rode the horse most of the morning and tried out her new wheelbarrow.
Then on Sunday, Maddie attended a grad party with us while Marlee stayed with grandma and grandpa.
The questions never end. I was in bed on Sunday night just after nine . . . it was harder than working!
• • •
Mark your calendars now–it looks like our 50th year for the sales barn party will be held there on Sept. 12!
Stay tuned for more details, but it shall involve a tent, tours, a band, and food!

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