Up Hill Both Ways

cropland duiring night time

I know it as a joke but not everyone catches the frisbee.

Since being sick two and a half years ago I’ve been taking my hair to the beauty shop to get it washed. My young stylist and I have some interesting conversations and last week during one of them I told her when I was young we had to walk uphill both ways to school.

That must have been hard, she said.

I laughed. That’s a joke I told her. I think she was just puzzled with the exchange. I had it backward, really. We lived at the top of Corkscrew hill and all we would have had to do was roll down the hill.

It wouldn’t have been a good thing to do for it was neither smooth-rolling any of the ways down and it wasn’t a short way down. There were three ways to get up to our plateauish area and not one of them was easy although the one from the south would have been the easiest.

Our lives were somewhat like that. I’m not sure if it would have been uphill both ways, or downhill no matter what.

And this morning I’m having fish and chips for breakfast. Some time ago Old Fuzzy got a large box of the ‘goldfish crackers.’ I have a plastic bowl I call a poor woman’s Tupperware. It came with something else in it—in my case, it was a whipped topping—and once empty it was just the right size for repurposing.

My repurposing for this bowl is to make a mix of goldfish crackers, tortilla chips (with Ranch flavoring), and any other like-minded cracker…like CheezIts in said bowl. Then I have a snack bowl of crackers to? snack on. Hence my fish and chips. Imagine a yellow smiley face here.

Today we have lots to do. I’m busy by proxy I guess. Our two youngest sons are taking cattle to the veterinary for well-bovine visits. We like for our cows to calve (have their babies) in the springtime, but we’re late this year.

This isn’t optimal since by the time they are due to have their calves this year we will have warmer weather and flies. Flies are a farmer’s bane, they tend to bother everything, the farmer himself even.

Spring of course is the optimal time for the young to be born. The weather can be wonky…we’ve had to go out to the pasture in a blizzard one April about forty years ago to rescue a cow and her calf but that doesn’t happen all that often. Springtime usually gives the young offspring time to mature before the fly and pest season is upon them.

Some chickens amongst the old breeds only hatch chicks in the early months of the year which I believe is one reason the hatcheries don’t sell those breeds all year round. I may be mistaken, but that is what I have stuck in my mind.

I do have a funny story about ducks. One day my third son pulls into his driveway and sees his flock of ducks all in a row following the lead duck into his neighbor’s yard. He steps out of his car and shouts, “Ducks get back here!” and dutifully the lead duck makes a u-turn and leads them thar ducks all back into his yard.

I find that picture to be hilarious.

After the boys get done with the cows at the vet if the vet can work the last year’s calves in they need to go in for a well-calf check-up. We may keep some of the female calves (heifers) for part of the future herd but the steers will go into the feedlot. We don’t have a large herd, but it has been enough for our own consumption and a few close customers.

We custom feed our animals so they aren’t fed antibiotics and since we also raise our own grain they aren’t fed GMOs. I am adamantly opposed to GMOs and want nothing to do with them. In my view it’s like humans saying to God, I know better than you, God, and I’m going to make something you never intended.

Our calves spend about a year on momma and the pasture, and the rest of their finishing off is in on grain and hay. Some have told me, “We raised ours on both pasture-fed and feedlot and never noticed the difference between the two.”

It reminds me of the time my youngest son and an older ‘sister in Christ’ were discussing fixing beef as opposed to venison. She said she preferred beef to venison, and he said she probably wasn’t preparing the venison right then.

If the person raising their beef didn’t notice a difference between their feedlot-raised beef and their pasture-raised beef they weren’t doing the feedlot beef right. And it can make a difference. We have friends that also raise beef, yet when they were guests here with us a few years ago we grilled some T bone steaks and the Missus asked her husband ‘why doesn’t our beef taste this good?”

It is an uphill battle. In the past, we had a truck farm where we raised and sold farm-fresh veggies. We’ve been many years gardening and whatnot and it seems odd that no matter how good our products have been there is a gap.

Young Fuzzy has an acreage and a number of people have inquired to buy it from him. “Well,” he told me, “I feel like telling them, sure I’ll sell it for $200thousand—but they’d probably think it was a good deal, and I don’t want to sell it.”

I told Old Fuzzy, we have an acreage we’d like to sell. Why don’t people call and ask about that? They do he said, but they want us to give it to them…the gap…I think I’ll deed my acreage to Young Fuzzy and we’ll split the profit.

Maybe he should take over the beef herd as well. Picture a puzzled face here.

1 Timothy 1:

15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;

19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: