Sunday, July 26, 2015

The distracted employee...

Of all the diversions of life,
there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces
as the reading of useful and entertaining authors.
                   Joseph Addison

I am pretty sure we all have heard that saying, "It’s hard to get good help these days." No one knows that better than a certain farmer I know, as far as my help goes. Yes that would be my husband, (My Hero). After this story, you will understand that title, and how he has truly earned it over the years.

It is early Saturday morning and we are standing in the barnyard. “Did you know you were driving around on a flat?” I look down to a flattened wheel on the back of the hay rake. There is no denying that, yes indeed it appears I had been. “Nope, maybe it happened when I hit the tree.” This, was when My Hero turned to look at me, and not the tire. It was that familiar puzzled look, while searching for just the right words to say. Unfortunately, he has become used to these little incidents over the years. We have developed a mutual understanding. I will not deny it. He in turn, will fix it.

“No, that can’t be it. The tree was on the other side of the rake.” There’s that same look again, as he stands there silent. “It was a fairly small tree, it came out of nowhere.” That look again has me wondering what he is really thinking. Finally the silence is broken, “That would explain all those bent teeth.” I smile, “Probably, do we have any extras?” “Yes, but I think these will be the last three.” I do know what that really means. We have gone through twelve teeth since I picked them up at the Co-op, during the last haying season. He, in his subtle way, is reminding me that with every little incident, it takes away our valuable time and can be expensive. I look up to the sky. The storm clouds are once again gathering. I know I should be out raking, so he can bale that other field that is almost dry. But here he is, once again fixing something.

In my defense, yesterday was a very busy day. I was raking the field that I had planned to bale later in the afternoon. I was also planning the rest of my day between those two jobs as I drove. I am positive I am not the only one. This farmwife job can be a bit tricky at times. Mind games filled with things consisting of, have to do’s, should have done’s and watch what you are doing. Most times I do pretty well with all the jumbled thoughts but sometimes they get the best of me, or at the very least the piece of equipment I am operating at the time.

Before you get all excited and start writing me, about how dangerous the farming workplace can be. Do know that I do not condone daydreaming in such a dangerous job. Sometimes you get so comfortable in your job and stop thinking for just a moment, and that is all it takes, things happen. I am sure most of you at one time or another have drove your cars to work and wondered how the drive was, automatic pilot, is what it is called.

That day, the seagulls were flying then diving down to scoop up the fat mice that scampered. The tasty morsels were trying to escape and hide after the hay was turned over, exposing them. I watched this play over and over again as I sang a song in my head. Putting my thoughts into song helps me to remember what needs to be done.

"Salt for cows,
 milk, butter, and cheese.
Stop at Canadian Tire,
 I forget why, phone him again.
Pick up the parcel at the post office.
 and remember a birthday card.
Put something in the crockpot,
  before you leave.
Hurry, hurry much to do,
 get this hay raked.
The sun it is shining,
 but the house needs vacuuming.
The furniture needs dusting,
  and the laundry is a piling up.
 Wish I had a pen,
 this would make a great story.
Oh what a beautiful Blue Heron,
 taking off from the pond.
Watch the fence…… bang,
 darn tree.
Not too much damage maybe he won’t notice
 get this hay raked
Don’t forget the salt for the cows."

I think this song explains where my head was at, at the time. Could you see this being a hit? To all those other farmwomen driving around in circles out there, be safe and watch those trees, they are tricky.

“All fixed”, My Hero pipes up. “Thank you, are those rain clouds?”  Bale count 152.



  1. Your hay looks green and gorgeous. I love your song!!!! Sounds familiar to all farmies.

  2. Mr. Fix it...we do the damage and some men can fix it.
    I like your song...happy days. Hugs M xox

  3. I think all women have a lot going on in their head...we are used to having a dozen things going on at one time. And yes, I have got from point A to point B and hardly remember any of the the drive.

  4. Oh Buttons You have never spoken more truer words. I laugh because again it is so true. So much to do --so much to juggle in the mind. More power to you and all the farm/ranch women

  5. Love your song! I can so identify too bad the dusting and cleaning isn't auto pilot. Your bales are beautiful and it looks like you have a few shade trees out in that field.:)

  6. the hay looks 152 good for this time of year or are you behind because of all the rain??

    it is sooooo hard for us to find good help. with all the properties we own, we are still doing the snow removal and maintenance ourselves. why??? because we can't find a good, dependable company to do it for us!!!!!

  7. oooh and i watched that video, on facebook, of the girl who does this by hand. i couldn't believe it, what a warrior!!!!

  8. This made me laugh ! I sing a different version of your song , quite often. I don't work any machinery heavier than our log splitter, but do get caught up in thought, o.k. DISTRACTION , frequently while on auto-pilot doing basic chores. Just glad I can't drive into or over small trees while spinning wool.

  9. Yea, the bale counter is fixed and dear Buttons, I don't rake or bale or drive the huge farm tractors but my day is spent in similar fashion. I prepare the noon meal for 11:30 and no one shows up till much later... Then the next day I prepare the meal for 12:00 noon and they all come in at 11:30. Fine, the next day I'm ready again at 11:30 and only one shows up at 11:30 as the other one replaced him on the rake and comes in around 12:30... So I play Russian Roulette with the meals while my husband and employees play Russian Roulette with haying. Cows decides to calf at the most inappropriate time and we have folks who need to buy hay for horses arriving pretty much every day. There are burdocks and thistles that must be cut and removed and fences electric fences that need to be mowed under as wet grass can short the electric fence and so it goes. Checking the weather is practically useless as the weatherman forecast one thing and mother Nature delivers what she wants. I love your farmer song and I've been singing the Murry McLaucllan Farmer song all week.

    You might have broken some rake teethes but you're doing amazing in my book.

  10. The tasks are different, but I think that lots of us know that song. Things to do, priorities, and auto pilot.
    I am so glad that you have a hero to share the load.

  11. Wow - I have never seen a hay bale maker. Neat!

    Have a Wonderful Day!
    Peace :)

  12. Same melody different words for me, and I don't usually include anything about cows or hay! Last week, just when I was letting my mind wander, a big bull moose rounded the corner of the house, gave me a stare, and continued on his way - I stopped my song and just looked.

  13. I thought modern equipment had GPS and all you had to do was sit in the cab? GPS will take care of the trees! Sing that tune and post it on the blog and then I'll know if it'll ever be a hit.

  14. I think you are an amazing woman, Grace. To be doing all that farm work and keeping meals on the table and keeping the housework going. That is a lot of work, I know this because I grew up on a farm. I know you're careful, but please don't get too distracted while driving that tractor, okay? Take care and have a good week!

  15. It's so beautiful out there in those endless green fields - I can understand how a gal could get a little distracted! Especially with that long play list running in your head! Your hero understands and knows how hard you work. He's a gem.

  16. Oh I do feel your pain...been there, done that when I was a teen...of course, we had only 900 bales...rectangular, of course!...:)JP

  17. it's multi tasking and we women do it best!!

    My dh knows how your hubby feels, as everytime I got on the lawn tractor there would be something else that needed to be repaired!!

  18. Well even when you don't hit trees, those teeth have a way of getting lost...

  19. I don't live on a farm, Buttons, but my husband's helper (me) gets herself into tons of trouble too. AND it's so unfair since I'm really trying to be helpful and good when stuff just happens. :)

  20. Our operation was never quite that large but I do understand.

    Wonderful story.

    Stay safe.

  21. It might be a touch of exhaustion too Gracie, LOL you could always claim that...there is so much for you to do this time of year, your mental to do list must be yards long.

    And you are managing to blog in between all that? Girl, you rock!!


  22. Buttons,

    Your Hero is very thankful you help him because he wouldn't be able to have all the work you've done completed if he had to do it on his own.
    Love the to do song, be safe out there!!!

  23. My goodness, and I thought I was busy. You are an amazing farmwomen and I admire all you accomplish. I am sure your hero does too. Love the song. It surely would be a hit. Stay safe!!
    Hugs and Blessings, cm

  24. Maybe every few lines you could throw in a "watch out for trees" lol.

  25. Great song and the hay is so nice! Warm greetings from Montreal. :)

  26. Good grief! With all that stuff in your head its a wonder you haven't had more incidents. I love the photos of how you collect and bale hay. I would like to see more of the jobs you have to do and in larger photos. Keep the entertaining stories coming.

  27. Loved reading your post! Awesome!

  28. Oh my, those darn trees are just jumping out in front of you! What a cute post and song! Take care and stay safe! Enjoy your day!

  29. Although I've lived in small towns for more than 30 years, and I love living in Napanee, I am at heart a city girl. Your stories about the farm are wonderful and give me such understanding into your farm life. As the saying goes, "If you ate today, thank a farmer." Thank you!

  30. What I would give be on a farm for one week, if not longer. Transforming! Love the song!


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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