Buffalo

Sometimes this is my morning view.

The Buffalo, who mostly ignores me, stands tall with his head held high.

It’s like he knows he is a rose among thorns. If cattle were thorns, that is. Which they’re not of course. But the Buffalo stands out, nonetheless.

I get the sense his understanding of his heritage goes beyond the horns and faraway eyes, as if he’s aware that not that long ago his kind were driven off cliffs to be eaten and worn.

A couple hundred years later, he’s on a farm in South Dakota in a pen with the bulls.

I haven’t even tried to drive him off any cliffs yet.

Either way, he’s a pretty amazing creature.

Not a bad view from the window I’d say.

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September First

It’s a small joy, the moment the sd card is removed from the trail cam after a long week and placed into the computer.

Husband trail cam

The first photo appears, evidence of the hands behind the curious camera and the even more curious mind of what lurks when no one is around.

bucks-eating-edit

Will a record-breaking buck step out from the shadows for a taste of sweet corn?

buck-trail-cam-corn

This hope is why the dusty cameras find themselves back in place, year after year.

buck-close-up

bucks-bluff

Another year of scrolling through the activity of the cautious, hoping something great will expose itself.

buck-fog-edit

It’s all pretty great, really.

deer-fog-edit

A new week begins, the cycle continues.

husband-trail cam

What will appear?…

trail-cam-me

Happy Labor Day!

Walk Along the River

I don’t know about you, but we’ve had a non-dog days month of August so far.

along the river

It has been 60s in the morning and 80s at the highest throughout the day. July behaved poorly though, but August swooped in for the save. For our sake and the electric bill… not the crops so much.

along the river

By the water I seem to find myself much of the time this summer. It seems the older I get, the more I appreciate the privilege of being near the catfish and walleye (and garfish!) filled river.

Along the river

Some of my best Sundays are spent walking along the beach, helping Country Man look for arrowheads while behind us easily distracted small pups try to keep up, to later find their short legs tightly wound with burrs and weeds.

frog toad

During these excursions, we watch as the pups chase toad and butterflies along the riverbank until something else becomes more alluring. The sounds of fish splashing can be heard in the background.

butterfly

On one side of us is the water, responding to the sun with a twinkling fury, the other a lane of tall murky weeds where the sneaky ones prey. I feel them watching us whether they exist or not. In my mind a bobcat is stalking, fixating on Milo because he lags behind and would be the tastiest.

little-frog

Soon enough it will grow colder, and my boots will replace summer sandals, sweaters with swimsuits to go on our walks. It will be a different experience.

river-feather

One of these days I will find an arrowhead.

Planting Fields and Other Things

Well as some of you may know it’s planting time in Farmersville. And as we speak Country Man is in the field sowing corn, while I sit here eating a taco.

We both love tacos and tacos aren’t the same without him.

I often feel like with this blog, I talk about the same seasonal things and share the same seasonal photos.

It’s those same thoughts that both drive me mad about this lifestyle while offer up a deep appreciation for it.

The predictability of it all is nice, to see the farmers in the field, the truck drivers hauling hay, the calves discovering their legs in the open field.

I think I need it more than I love it.

We are still pushing forward with our hopes of expanding our little family. I know I don’t have to talk about it, but those of you who stick with this blog and read it are the most compassionate, kind people and I wish we lived closer so we could share a cup of coffee in the morning and talk in person.

But that’s not our option, and I am growing less and less afraid to share this part of our life, because it might help someone else and because I don’t feel bad about it anymore.

I am thankful for options. We have some neighbors, in their 70′s, who live on a five generation homestead and have never had children. It wasn’t until I met her and she said they have no one to pass their farm on to that I realized how fortunate we are to have science in our favor when it comes to needing medical intervention.

Anyway, thanks for sticking with me during this season of our life. It’s my hope that whatever you are doing, you are well and happy.

Life is Good

Waiting on May Flowers

When will it be summer? We had a few nice days and now we are on day three of rain. Yes, the ground needs the rain, but I need the sun. Apparently Mother Nature is indifferent to my pleas.

We did have some nice days last week, which allowed us to get some projects done around the farm. Mostly feed and weeding the grass, mulching and so on.

Orange Kitty is a happy free cat, no longer locked away in the shed. We made the mistake of allowing a young kitty free range and he never came back.

We also spent a beautiful weekend at my parents over Easter.

We woke up late Easter morning and walked down the trail to the fort my dad built for us. My 90′s version dad was determined to build us one but he’s an entrepreneur at heart, and we abandoned it early on in fear of loose and rusty nails.

Even though it’s collapsed under it’s well-meaning craftsmanship, I like seeing it there as a reminder of one man’s attempt to create a home for childhood memories.

So yes, the rain. It will let up one of these days and we’ll have more like this:

Meanwhile, the buffalo doesn’t give a darn about the weather and runs around charging into hay bales. Something to learn from him I suppose.

Replanting Fruit Trees One More Time

Growing houseplants (or fruit trees, in this case) is a labor of guilt. At least it is for me.

So often I want to give up on them, since only the pomegranate has produced fruit in the five years we’ve had them.

It’s around springtime that I think it’s time to let them go; start fresh with something that will do what it’s supposed to do.

But every year, I repot, breaking off the old soil from the roots and replacing it with the nutrient-rich.

One more year, why not?

At least I have good, yet trouble-prone, company while I decide if the plants will receive a thumbs up or a thumbs down this year.

Before I go, I wanted to mention we’ve been doing some shed hunting these past few weeks and thought I would share a not-so-old post if you’d like to see what that all entails.

Welcoming Spring

There are no shortage of reminders that spring is here.

All people and animals were winter weary, including our frozen pipes that led to backing up of water, then to the rationing of water, then to me feeling like a hand-sewn prairie dress and bonnet away from the late 1800s.

Thankfully, though, spring has come. In all her imperfect glory, she has come.

You know what this means… shed hunting. Calving. Fencing. The many great and wonderful activities spring brings to us on the farm.

Though this was a long winter for us all, it’s already forgotten as the sun warms our face and cool air cleans out our lungs.

It’s another season in weather and in life.

Looking forward to what’s ahead.

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Click on this post or your computer will explode.

Well hi! That was so nice of you to click through, on your own terms. Good to see you!

So we’ve been busy beavers despite this gosh darn cold that really wants us to stay inside all day long and play old school Super Nintendo.

Ok, we may still make time for that.

On Sundays he likes making things, and I like reading. I finished The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey and mostly loved it. It’s about a survivalist couple who live in the remote mountains of Alaska and build a snow girl that turns real. I am not especially keen on fantasy stories and would have liked it better had she been a real child, but overall it made me think and isn’t that the point?

But on Sundays, the day of rest, Country Man likes to take a few hours and spend time in his shop trying not to trip over cats, thinking up new ways to display antler items.

antler candle holder

Cedar Log and Deer Antler Candle Display Holder

We have been so fortunate to actually make some money from our shop, using nature-made materials such as whitetail and mule deer antlers and cedar trees.

antler dog chews

Deer Antler Dog Chews

As we set our sights toward figuring out what’s preventing us from creating our #1 dream, and then work on fulfilling it, we ask that you not only consider checking out our shop, but perhaps “liking” us on Facebook and spreading the word?

The other day I asked people to “like” a post and it generated over 600 views. I was like, holy moly, you just have to ask for help and people will give it?

Well I do it all the time so I don’t know why I was so surprised. But I was, and also very grateful.

antler candle holder

Deer Antler Candle Holder

It’s something to think about, anyway.

antler knife

Deer Antler Knife

antler wine rack

Deer Antler Wine Rack

Hope all is well on your end. I am including an updated photo of the buffalo. We are mutually suspicious, but it doesn’t stop me from trying to pet him.

But the steer tried to.

Love, Country Wife

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Time Traveling

You are looking at my childhood right there.

One of the few memories so strong that even a hint of Wintergreen Skoal tobacco transports me back to a kitchen, where Grandpa’s round cans sat at the counter-end next to a bowl of colorful M&M’s, intentionally set out for our every giggly stay-over.

Jo-Jo in the kitchen, whipping up breakfast and Pap coming up to give her a kiss good morning, saying “My Jo-Jo” and we’d grin and greedily reply, “No, our Jo-Jo!”

Country Man and I visited the two at their Arizona home recently, and the moment my feet entered the doorway I was hit with such nostalgia that I almost cried. I was seven again, I was loved, life was so very uncomplicated. I am in tears thinking about it.

The thing that baffled me was how the smell was exactly the same. The combination of  soap, Wintergreen Skoal, and unique skin that combines into this most beautiful scent that if I could bottle it up, I would pay high dollar just for the opportunity to lift the lid and enjoy the time travel for the rest of my days.

My grandparents seemed the same to me, looked the same, too. They eagerly hugged us, lodged us, and fed us. Paps even played tour guide, a little more slowly than 22 years ago but with the same enthusiasm.

It might sound strange, but I missed them even while with them. I missed their youth, somehow jealous that I will never know their pre-grandparent selves. I miss my grandma’s beautiful laugh, my grandpa’s love for the flea market and how he called us “his girls”.

I  miss them because I have the crisp memories, and because some day, that’s all I will ever have.