Getting Ready for Vacation

Getting ready to leave the farm for vacation can be stressful. Murphy’s law is in full force….anything that can go wrong, will.

Day before departure
7 a.m. Wake up to sound of cows on the front lawn.

8 a.m. Cows back in pasture. Discover electric fencer has blown it circuit board.

8:30 a.m. Trip to farm store to buy new fencer.

10:00 Return home to find cows on the lawn again. Put cows back in pasture. Install new fencer. Enjoy loud snapping noises as cows discover that the fence is “hot” again.

10:30 Drive tractor out to the hay pile. Wheel falls off. Walk home because cell phone is in pickup.

11:00 Trip to implement dealer for new wheel bearing.

1:00 Tractor is back on four wheels. Bring bale of hay up for feedlot cattle. Notice mother cat running from the bale feeder. Stop tractor; check out bale feeder. Move four kittens to a box in the corner of the feed shed.

1:30 Eat lunch.

2:00  Look out window. See feedlot cattle on the lawn.

3:00 Feedlot cattle back in pen. Fasten gate latch (not fastened earlier because hands were full of kittens).

3:30 Neighbor who is going to do chores in our absence comes over to learn the routine.

4:00 Start tractor to show where hay bale goes.  See mother cat run from bale feeder. Stop tractor. Show neighbor where to put kittens in feed shed. Latch gate tightly afterward.

4:30 Neighbor leaves for home. Calls a few minutes later because cows are on the road.

5:30 Cows back in pasture. Close gate by the hay pile (left open after repairing tractor).

7:00 Supper.

7:30 Puppy is barking more convincingly than normal. Head outside to figure out what has drawn her ire. Find a possum stumbling around the garage.

8:30 Remove possum from garage and drive him a couple miles down the road in the back of the pickup.

9:00 Time to pack. Unfortunately half the clothes that should go are still in the dirty laundry pile.

10:30 Pack some clothes after washer and dryer cycles are complete.

midnight Pack rest of clothes after last laundry pile is done.

4 a.m. Wake up to head for the airport. Enjoy vacation but cringe every time the cell phone rings….


About jheem

I grew up on a diversified dairy farm in southeast South Dakota where I learned how to throw a hay bale, pull a calf, deal with death, and "name" the cows. I was in 4H and FFA, and was privileged to serve as a state FFA officer. In college, I studied animal science, focusing on beef cows, mostly because I figured they were less work than dairy cows....I ended up with a Masters Degree in ruminant nutrition and went to work for the University of Nebraska, first as a research tech coordinating data collection for a swine unit and beef feedlot on a research farm and then as an extension educator. In my current job, I focus on environmental issues related to animal agriculture (which is a nice way of saying I talk about manure alot). My husband and I live and work on a seedstock cattle operation in northeast Nebraska. You can learn more about our cattle operation by visiting my husband's blog at
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2 Responses to Getting Ready for Vacation

  1. Lona says:

    Dang, that sounds like fun. Hope your vacation is wonderful!

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