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I had an epiphany

I had an epiphany. Actually, a friend said it out loud and I am going with it! What can I say? She’s smart!
But first…July 4th. How was yours? Mine was so much fun! Literally the best I’ve had in years. It was so good because it was Gary, S.D.’s 150th celebration! I’m telling you; we didn’t go to half the stuff going on, but we were busy all weekend.
Gary had a wonderful parade; the husband was able to drive the Gary royalty on a hayrack with the pickup and I think he thought he was pretty cool. Our daughter Grace was Miss Congeniality, so she got to ride on the float too. After that we spent sometime watching Grace and Rachel play in the Gary softball tourney.
Then something epic happened! My Maggie and Tedd and I went up to get a bite to eat at the café and there he was…buying a chili dog from the food truck; the lead singer of Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band. One of my most favorite bands in the world. Just out and about, no big deal. Maggie didn’t believe me at first, but I was like, were getting a picture with him. And we did. Such a nice guy. I’m actually great friends with his old bass player’s grandma. So, we talked a bit and that was pretty cool. Then we went to the concert that night, uptown Gary. SO good!
The next day the kids went to some town events, but Ron and I stayed home. We went to fireworks that evening, because my brother-in-law was putting them on. Our son Cody was helping. They did an amazing job!!
Monday morning, three of my girls had a brilliant idea. Well, maybe not so brilliant, but sometimes, anything goes in Gary. They loaded up their dad’s stock trailer with their horses, parked on the city limits, and rode through town. Because, you know, why not, right? It’s Gary. I told them to bring a pail and a shovel and giggled when they questioned why. “Well ladies, your horses could poop on the road and YOU are going to clean it.”
Surprisingly, no poop. But I did get some great photos!
Here comes the epiphany part. Tuesday, we were visiting H&M in Canby getting a tea, talking about the awesome weekend. There was the owner, myself and another mom talking about school starting. And the summer, while it’s so great to hang out with the kids; as parents, its hard to get stuff done, work and house/farm stuff.
My friend Holly literally looked me in the eye and said, “maybe we’re not supposed to.” I had to think for a moment on that as I headed back to the truck.
As we’re running with our heads cut off, going from here to there, making ourselves feel like we’re not enough with our jobs or businesses, maybe we need to be present with family and friends more. Ever since we had that “over the counter” conversation scrumptious tea included; I’ve been trying to be more present for my family. Not trying to do the dishes, make supper and cross stuff off on my “to-do” list all while half listening to my kid telling me about something that they are super excited about.
Hey, that stuff will be there tomorrow. Just in a bigger pile, right? LOL! We only have 18 summers with our kids. Let’s use them wisely.
Until next time,
Fairchild “go roast some marshmallows” Farmgirl

Suzanne Fairchild is a freelance writer who lives on a farm in southwest Minnesota with her husband and children. She can be reached at rmf@itctel.com.
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Let’s talk about this crazy spring…

I mean before we get to move onto a hopefully glorious summer of course. Did you get any damage? I hope it was minimal. We had too much. Our big red barn splintered into a million pieces, a horse trailer that did some cartwheels, a pickup, two sheds, damage to our roof and siding. We also lost three of our dairy goats when they got caught underneath a barn wall.
May was certainly not our month.
But we’re cleaning up and really got everything taken care of but the massive amounts of tin. Hopefully in the next month, we can get all the metal taken down to recycling. We’ve been dealing with nails from the barn. I tell you what, that barn had so many nails in it (really good construction), we’ve been rolling over spots with magnets and still are picking up nails weeks later.
Honestly, if you could see our lawn right now, you’d cringe. The grass is about a foot long in spots, because the nails and little pieces of wood ALL OVER. Ron wasn’t buying the idea that we just take the Bobcat and skim off the top layer and replant the grass.  So right now, it’s full of lambs. Hopefully they’ll eat that long grass up and we can continue working on it. I mean, he’s right, now it’s pasture, correct? LOL! The one good thing about all this rain, the wheat that’s emerging in our area looks really good. Also, I checked out my hay crop, on point! That nice hay crop makes me happy.
At the end of May I spent a week up in Miles City, Mont. for the Bucking Horse Sale. I was vending, so I didn’t come home with a string of horses, to the dismay of some of my girls, but the history with that sale is so incredible. My step dad remembers going to that sale with his dad as a kid selling wild horses. Pretty neat. If you ever have the chance to go, do it. I wish I would have had more time to spend up there just to see everything, the scenery is so incredible.
So, what’s up for this month? Here at the ranchero, we’re butchering chickens for the freezer, running to league softball and baseball (our favorite summer activities!), and going to school to lift and workout for fall and winter sports, which don’t get me on my soap box about this…one of my kids said to me, “summer is about fishing, playing ball, working and relaxing.” They’re right. I seriously think that taking away a kid’s summer (even if it’s a volunteer thing) isn’t the way to go.
But onto our summer bucket list! Hanging out on the beach as the kid’s swim is a staple here. That’s a date night for Ron and I or just sitting and reading a book. Also, this is the second to last summer with Grace, as she’s our senior next year. Man! Wasn’t she just a five-year-old? She’s been putting a ton of time on a new horse she bought and now the horse bug has seemingly bit Jessica who each night that I’m working at the table, sits with me showing me horses for sale. I told her; I want to find something that’s broke. An older horse that has done his job, and now can cart a tween around showing her the ropes and be her forever horse. So, if you know of an older, good disposition but maybe a little stern, good feet, can be ugly (I’m saying that not her), that would like to spend his golden years with a 12-year-old that knows how to ride, and that would love her and let her love him until she has to bury him, let me know. We’re in the market. Or I should say she is. The condition is, she buys it.
Until next time,
Fairchild “one day at a time!” Farmgirl

Suzanne Fairchild is a freelance writer who lives on a farm in southwest Minnesota with her husband and children. She can be reached at rmf@itctel.com.
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Spring, has it sprung?

Spring. Has it sprung or is it just teasing us? Inquiring minds want to know…or just the people that wanted to plant their potatoes on Good Friday. Actually, raise your hand if you got them in, because even with good intentions, we did not. Pat yourself on the back for getting further than we did.
Gardening…who needs it? Each year about this time, I seem to forget about everything that happened the previous year. For example, all the seeding and reseeding, the transplanting, the wind, dirt in your eyes, one kid cuts his foot on a rock, the wind, the weeds that you weed every week that magically show up when your seeds do not, the wind…
The dirt in your eyes.
Why do I do it? Cucumber salad of course. Why do cucumbers taste 1,000 times better from your own dirt than someone else’s? I’ll never know, but until I find out, I have to grow them myself.
But seriously, even when I’m at our friends’ nursery they’re scratching their heads as I fill up my vehicle with beautiful tomatoes, peppers, squash and watermelon plants. I’m all giddy as I put the plants out on the porch for us to plant the next day.
Here’s how the rest of the scenario plays out: I wake up the next morning, call the kids down to have breakfast so we can plant, then, I look outside. The free-range layers are rustling through the plants scratching dirt and trying to find bugs. Oh, also eating the plants.
“Get out of there!” I shout at them as I chase them away with the kitchen broom. I go back inside…no one will break this great mood I’m in. As I’m putting the breakfast dishes away, I look back out, all the baby goats are out and they’ve finished off a flat of plants. I go chase them back in their pen and get the kids who hate the garden ready to work.
At this point, defeat is walking down the corner of my mind, but never fear, again, no one is going to ruin my mood. While the kids are having fits, we get the first 15 flats in the Ranger Crew and head down to the garden.
“When did the wind pick up?” I ask one of the kids who doesn’t answer because he’s not talking to me anymore because he hates the garden. We unload the first round of plants then hightail it up to the house to pick up the second load. The mother goats had just found the remaining plants but haven’t wrecked too many. We put the goats away, load back up and head back down.
When we get back down to the garden, one of the girls had decided to go barefoot and ends up getting a sizable gash on the bottom of her foot. We then unload quickly, put kid in the Ranger and head back up to the house to fix the foot and get the rest of the plants. The mother goats are out again, (didn’t the kids fix that spot in the fence?) and they are eating the peppers. Gah, defeat has turned into my driveway.
Said kid, stays up at the house with her ouchie foot with strict instructions to fold laundry and do dishes. I pack the remaining plants into the Ranger and head back down to see my kids brawling and bawling and mad that their sibling got to stay at the house. With a promise to go to town after, we FINALLY finish planting the transplants. Later that night, there’s a hail storm that comes out of nowhere. My plants are beat down to nothing. Defeat is here and has unpacked her clothes and is making a sandwich.
I hate gardening. The end.
Until next time,
Fairchild “you know that actually happened that way one time,” Farmgirl

Suzanne Fairchild is a freelance writer who lives on a farm in southwest Minnesota with her husband and children. She can be reached at rmf@itctel.com.