A Day and a Half


Monday night, I didn’t get to bed until past 1 a.m. after picking up Morgan from an away volleyball game. (Okay, that was actually Tuesday morning.) Later Tuesday morning, I was up at 6 to get ready to take the kids to the bus. I figured out where the bus stops on the hard road across the river this year, so I drive across the river ford and about two miles then we park and wait for the bus. That’s the closest high school bus stop to our farm. Then I came home, drank more coffee, and went out to the milk stand to wrestle Glory Bee and get some milk. Beulah Petunia has taken to going sideways in the milk stand, which makes it difficult for her to get out because once she goes sideways and catty-cornered, she can’t mentally think through the three-point maneuver she needs to make to get out. I try to help her figure it out while not letting the baby escape. Then I fed and watered a bunch of other animals, did some work, made some bread, got dinner started in the crock pot, did some more work, ran out to the post office, and then it was time to go see BP again. She broke one of the gates going into the milk stand. Then she did her sideways catty-cornered maneuver again going out. Meanwhile, a storm was brewing. And I had kids to pick up. I stood out there for 40 minutes trying to talk her into getting out of the milk stand while it started raining and the wind blew. I said, “BP, get OUT!” about 500 times and started crying and finally grabbed her halter and pulled her and pulled her until she came out and I didn’t care if she broke the milk stand on the way out since I was practically hysterical by then. (I only had half a night’s sleep, so I was running pretty low.) Luckily, she didn’t break the milk stand, and the baby didn’t escape, and I propped the broken gate up with a cinder block. And went to pick up the kids.

When I came back and went to feed the goats and donkeys in the dark, Nutmeg was waiting for me by the feed box. Out.

Some days, life on a farm is so hard, I think I can’t wake up and do it all over again.

But I can, and I do, because I love it, and because every day, we can learn from the day before and do it better. And because every day doesn’t suck that bad. And some days come with more sleep.

On today’s to-do list: 1. Put a collar on Glory Bee. (We have a collar! Hope it fits.) 2. Fix the broken gate and secure it better. 3. Nail another board across the side of the milk stand so BP can’t go sideways anymore.

P.S. Get it all done before morning milking time.


  1. Cathy says:

    Animals definitely have a mind of their own, don’t they? It’s good you love it so much cos it does sound pretty hard sometimes.

  2. bonita says:

    Remind BP she can’t get her driver’s license until she can successfully complete the 3-point (Y) turn! I’d be sooo over animals getting out that any farm I’d have would have scads and scads of iron fencing, even if I had to take up smithy work myself!

  3. LauraP says:

    That’s farm life for you . . . and to think that we choose this willingly.

  4. Glenda says:

    We all have those days. I remember getting ready for work one morning and hearing hogs outside the bathroom window. So on with the knee boots over my stockings, pick up a bucket of feed and lead 9 large gilts back to the barn. Lock them up and head off to the city.

    Don’t feel alone; we haven’t got our calf situation under control yet either. I spend part of my milking kicking under the cow to discourage the calf from getting on my half!

    I have a plan though.

  5. greensborodailyphoto says:

    We need a post like this once in a while. Otherwise, farming would seem so charming that we would all want to do it. I’m accused by my friends of making my city look “even prettier than it is” on my city daily photo blog. Usually, you paint such a charming, romantic picture of farming. In the end, it is HARD, HARD, HARD…..

    and don’t WE forget it!

  6. Johanna says:

    There’s always a list, and it’s usually getting longer. That’s why they give cows huge long eyelashes and velvety noses.

  7. Runningtrails says:

    Oh no, the crying, hysterical part I can relate to. You poor thing! Sounds like you needed to end your day with candles and wine, snoozing in a hot bath with a wood fire and relaxing music, then go to bed early. I wish I could send you a bottle of my home made wine, just for that purpose.

    Some days are like that. If most days are like that, you need to downsize your stressors somewhat. I just keep sight of the big picture. I will never live in the city again.

  8. texwisgirl says:

    I agree with greensborodailyphoto. We need a good dose of reality from you to keep us all grounded as we fall in love with your sweet and adorable animals and laugh at your stories. There’s a lot of hard work involved in keeping a farm and the animals don’t like to cooperate with our plan.

    Hope you can catch up on the sleep!!!

  9. Kim Gibson says:

    Hugs and sympathy! And a new day. Always a new day.

  10. Laura Blue says:

    Giant hugs to you Suzanne :hug: . Having human kids is enough of a challange some days. Add in animals and it feels like a mutiny occuring minute by minute :pirate: . There are many days where I think to myself “I do not want anything else ever to do with anything that eats, poops, pees or makes messes”. (Please note that description includes a number of species including humans!!) Then I remember that someday this season of life will be over and will probably be missed, as I think back with fond memories of all the chaos.

  11. MMHONEY says:

    Just remember that “THIS TOO SHALL PASS.”

  12. Nancy says:

    The Bellamy brothers have a song about how life’s not a bowl of cherries, it’s more like a jar of jalapenos, it comes back tomorrow to burn your a–! Here’s hoping you have a string of cherry days and few backside burning ones!

  13. Steve O says:

    Thanks for posting this! Sometimes I’m afraid that I’m the only one who’s animals stage revolts on a regular basis.

    The dairy farmers around me never talk about things like this, so I wonder if it is just my place!

    Steve in Kewaunee, WI

  14. Kat says:

    I’m sorry you had such a hard-to-get=through day! However, it’s really great to hear that you ARE a human after all. Sometimes I wonder…

  15. Sue from England says:

    Suzanne, thank you for everything you share with us all every day. You give me something to look forward to, make me smile or inspire me to get out my baking pans.
    I often wonder just what kind of superwoman you are with all you do, but along with everything you’re also honest, and sharing the tears and weariness is brave, and appreciated just as much as the easy-breezy, high energy moments.
    God bless you and give you sweet sleep to refresh you.

  16. One Sunny Acre says:

    Bless your heart! That really was a scary-looking storm yesterday, even if it didn’t amount to much afterwards. I think I would have cried too if I’d been stuck outside under those dark, windy clouds with a stubborn animal. You have a lot more critters (and kids) to feed than I do. I don’t usually start crying until the snow flies. 😉 I think we all wonder how you do it! Thanks for sharing a bit of your day with us. Hope you get some sleep and today goes much smoother. :hug:

  17. Ramona says:

    Always tons of chores to do…..

  18. Angela P says:

    I had a day just like that and am grouchy too! When I have days like this I doubt if what Im doing is making any difference for the better or not. Some days its just hard and its hard to be me. I told my husband the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and I showed just where. ITs the spot where Jeff always wants to go and its true theres greener grass there! So there. AND Tilly wouldnt come in to her new stall to eat! UGGHHH!!! I sooo appreciate reading your blog. I really needed to hear that others have days like this too. I know they do, but we dont always say so. I feel better…thanks Suzanne for being human and not super ( perfect) woman!

  19. melody says:

    Try a pony halter that is what i used on my jersy tell she grew into her calf halter.

  20. Barbee says:

    And here we are trapped in blogland and can’t do a thing to help you! Everyone needs help at one time or another. All I can do is listen, so go ahead, cry, kick and scream and tell us all about it. One bright note in it all: that horrible looking cloud brought us the first bit of measurable rain that we have had since Spring! No joke. At least 3 months — maybe longer. :hug:

  21. Darlene in Ks says:

    Here’s praying you can build a barn next year. That will solve a lot of problems! And if you ever ok a donation toward that I’d sure contribute.

  22. Lisabeth Olson says:

    You know I have thought I was the only one in the world that had a bad day or stayed up all night with a critter that was just born and tried to keep it alive, and I have to tell you how much I REALLY enjoy ALL of your posts. I haven’t had time to get into all of them and I am really behind since I just got started and you have been at it for how many years. BLESSING I haven’t found one thing I didn’t like. Sleep well and refresh.
    I lived in Virginia the first 10 years of my life and on a farm. I can’t remember much about it, but I know lots more now that I am old and live on a farm. I wouldn’t trade it for the city ever. I have cats, a dog, pigs, a donkey, and dairy cattle and beef cattle that are more like pets than just animals. If you get a barn build it critter and human friendly and what ever you do PUT IN ELECTRICITY. I have a milking parlor in my barn and today my sweet husband put a seat on my bucket seat that had cracked and now I have sunflowers in my barn.

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