July 2000 Diary

When I read this account of our lives during the month of July 2000, I felt exhausted after reading the July 3rd entry.  I realized two things:

  1. This was the second to last summer with our boys at home before they got married.
  2. Not learning how to rest!

My philosophy of “Driving this body until it drops,” did not sever me well as it did drop.  I strongly urge you to learn how to balance work and rest.  No, I am not promoting laziness, I am promoting rest even if you must schedule it.



July 1, 2000: We had a hoof trimmer out and he trimmed all yearling and adult cows’ feet. It took all day.

July 2, 2000: We took a day off and went fishing at a lake that we had never been to before. Those fourth generation Oregonians hauled in 13 fish!

July 3, 2000:
l. Repaired leaking automatic waterier for Mom’s horse, April.
2. Wormed all three horses.
3. Haltered calves and gave “good bugs’ medicine to Pepper’s calf #53 since she had scours.
4. Changed tire on utility trailer.
5. Bred two heifers #36 and #42.
6. Made a trip into town to get parts for Kubota tractor.
7. Changed oil and filter in same tractor.
8. Mowed field 10 miles away.
9. Got some groceries.
10. Took arm’s off tractor and broke two bolts.
11. Moved cows to pasture.
12. Worked with Nik (Dad’s horse)
13. Had vet put embryo in Buttons

It was a good day we accomplished a lot with all of us dividing and conquering!

July 4, 2000: Eldest son saw a coyote when he turned on the irrigation. Fed then went to the parade in Hillsboro. Went out for pizza afterwards. In the afternoon, some took naps, some read, some watched a movie, some made homemade ice cream and some trimmed horses manes. Then we moved cows in and fed. We ate T-Bone steaks for dinner then went to the Ft. Vancouver fireworks display. It was excellent with simulcast music.

July 5, 2000: Fed then moved cows and horses out to pasture. Finished putting sheet metal on two sides of barn. Moved cows in and fed. Had trout for dinner from fishing trip again. Mom went horseback riding with a neighbor.

July 6, 2000: Youngest son worked for another Angus breeder today. Mom fed moved all out to pasture then cleaned house. Found out that county fair sign-ups are tonight! Mom went to store, fixed dinner, fed critters, and left horses out. Then youngest son and Mom went to sign ups. Oldest son mowed hay field at neighbors and finished edges. Dad repaired an automatic water tank. And worked Nik. All helped locate septic holes to get permit for Grandma’s house reapproved. Someone moved a water tank to bottom field.

July 7, 2000: Fed. Worked on registration papers and county fair open class entry. The guys put the Kubota tractor back together. Fed.

July 8, 2000: Fed and worked baby calves. Cleaned out creep feed area. Hadn’t been cleaned in two years. Took all day.

July 9, 2000. No church again. Had roto-rooter out to clear septic lines. Put 180 sweep back together in creep feed area. Worked yearling heifers. Cut two hay fields. Went for evening drive and looked at farm equipment.

July 10, 2000: Fed. Worked on barn. Got siding on front. Visited eldest son at work. Got put to work. Worked Nik. Fed.

July 11, 2000: Fed. Worked baby calves. Youngest son put up rest of fiberglass on south end of barn. Turned hay. Fed.

July 12, 2000: Fed. Tied up calves and all youngest son’s fair animals. Trimmed #40 Sunshine. (She was on TV during fair week with youngest son and they won showmanship in FFA together.) He also tied up Pepper, Misty, Buttons, and Outlaw. All went well. Mom cleaned the tack boxes. Youngest son cleaned fuel storage shed and put up a header on barn. Then he turned hay in two fields. Dad baled and the rest of us hauled 266 bales. We now have 56 tons.

July 13, 2000: Fed. Dad bred Pepper in the A. M. Mom worked inside ironing and banking. Called county beef superintendent. Buttons is considered a nurse cow and would not be allowed in open class barn unless there is space. Afterwards, it dawned on Mom that we had just put $450.00 embryo plus vet costs into her. No way do we want to move her! Put away and organized stuff into clean tack boxes. Dad got mixed up and bred Pepper again to a different bull from this A.M. Also, he bred Rose. Mom went riding. April seemed listless-no energy. She kept stopping and acted like she didn’t feel well. Came home and fed.

July 14, 2000: Fed. Bred Babe. Paid bills. Got more pallets for grass seed straw and groceries. Mom and Grandma went to youngest son’s employer and picked raspberries. Fixed dinner then Dad unloaded pallets. Eldest son worked on irrigation. Mom fed. Dad and eldest son greased hay rake while Mom watered plants. Then we drove into town to get youngest son’s graduation video.

July 15, 2000: Fed. Dad got baler washed and greased. Traveled to field to find it already being done. Made phone calls. Told to go to another field since someone was doing wrong field. Began raking. Got a hay crew assembled of four guys. Our boys were both working for others. Started hauling grass seed straw and 12:30P.M. Stopped for dinner of pizza and went back. Quit at nine. Got five loads of 80 bales completed. Half done. Fed between loads. Didn’t let cows out.

July 16, 2000: Started early. Fed. Moved cows to bottom field. Moved things around in barn to make room for straw. Boys arrived at 8:30am put them to work right away organizing barn. Left for first load youngest son was with us. Stopped for lunch at 12:00. Dad was still baling but stopped for lunch. Granny made lunch for us. Went back for last two loads Finished at 3:30pm it took us one hour less with youngest son’s help. Got 800 bales about 24 tons of grass seed straw. Eldest son got off work in time to help with the last two loads then he stayed with Dad to help bale and keep him company. They came home for evening at around 6:00PM we ate dinner at Granny’s again. Mom fed. We watched a movie and slept.

July 17,2000: Fed. Worked calves- went well. Moved cows to new field. Moved water tank. Cleaned trucks inside from hay. Cleaned house. Youngest son greased tractor, baler, and rake. Went grocery shopping. Dinner. Eldest son broke baler. Phone calls for repairs. Worked horses on groundwork. Fed, movie and sleep.

July 18,2000: Youngest son feeling under the weather. A friend came and helped Mom work calves. Mom fed. Young friend brushed all the calves. It went well easy bunch of calves. Took friend home got youngest son’s graduation pictures, ate lunch out went to our bank and eldest son’s bank. Came home and fixed dinner then fed cows. Went to a livestock exhibitor meeting but no meeting, instead meetings for air show stuff. Ate pie at Shari’s and looked around at Home Depot. Came home took fly masks off horses, then watched TV and sleep!

July 19,2000: Fed. Worked calves. Going well. Put on pour on cyclence to help control flies. Watered plants. Washed Lady the Dalmatian. Took young friend home. Took truck for oil change. Checked on the broken-down baler. A man from John Deere was there repairing it. Went home for a tele-meeting for Dad. He is working from home today. Fixed lunch. Went to retrieve truck. Dad had another phone meeting. Dad left to bale. Fixed dinner for Grandma and myself. Then eldest son and his girlfriend popped in. Fixed hot dogs for them. Had kids take a hot dog to Dad. Started feeding and youngest son showed up, fixed him a hot dog. Then we poured cyclence on weaned twin calves. They were hard to capture. Then oldest son and girlfriend came back. We had ice cream. Mom got cows up from field and fed. Eldest son washed his heifer and cow that are going to fair. Poured cyclence on heifer. She had slipped out of stanchion this morning. Eldest son let cows loose then took his girlfriend to town where her truck was parked. Youngest son and Mom went to check on Dad. Baler broke down again! We got everyone home when Dad noticed his wallet missing. Mom & Dad went back to baler and tractor and found Dad’s wallet.

July 20, 2000: Up at 5:00am Fixed eldest son breakfast. Got all guys off. Youngest son working for another Angus breeder today. Young friend came to help work calves. When she arrived, Oreo and Pepper had the worst fight I have ever seen. Pepper (Mom’s favorite) was losing. We ran to the barn, got grain in stanchions and locked cows up. That stopped the fight. We worked the calves, they were cranky. Kept the cows up in barn pasture because pasture is about gone. Mom took young friend home and came right back. Then she took a few moments of pleasure and looked at the Capital Press (our state agriculture newspaper) Mom began cleaning. Dad called to say they repaired the baler. He left work a little early to hit the field. Mom fed then youngest came home. We left for field with fuel and water for Dad. Went to McDonald’s and brought dinner back to field. Eldest son was there. They took turns eating to keep baling. Youngest and Mom went home. Eldest and Dad stayed in field. At home youngest mowed around entrance to our property and moved a pile of dirt from our fence project that occurred earlier this summer. Mom watered plants and was about to pick some sweet peas when eldest son’s girlfriend and mother drove up with five long planter boxes. Mom shared the sweet peas and went in after they left. We watched a movie. Dad and eldest came in at 10:30pm. Dad had a check for $1000.00, which is what he had earned so far on this baling job. It will cover part of our cost for alfalfa. (Unknown at the time was the repair costs to the baler, they exceeded $1500.00 this is typical farming and one of the reasons we named our farm, Broke Again Farms!) Oh, great can’t sleep!

July 21, 2000: Fed, Ironed. Moved cows into septic field. Went shopping. Fixed chicken salad for dinner. Fed. Came in and fixed sandwiches for guys. Dad started baling at 3:00pm. He finished field as Mom arrived with dinner. On to next field. Mom came home to find all cows out and a large group up boys riding by on their bicycles. (If Mom catches them they are DEAD meat) We’ve had a series of gates left open. It was reported to the sheriff. Now it’s getting serious because the cows got into a 50# can of grain plus they wrecked a wheelbarrow. They messed up hay and Babe the 15-year-old cow stepped on a board with a nail in it. The board with the nail was attached to her foot when Mom got there. Mom managed to pull the board off her foot and she got the cows in a third at a time. She was glad we have gates with lots of options! Mom is very upset about this. It was the seventh incident since Memorial Day weekend. We move into county fair in ten days and Mom is scared to leave the farm unattended. She is even more afraid of what she might do to the rascals if she catches them!

July 22, 2000: Fed and it’s raining. Dad and youngest cleaned a neighbor’s goat barn. Someone went and got baling twine. Mom and Dad worked Nik and April. Then Dad started cleaning motor home (Klampet mobile) Dad left to go bale. Mom fed. After people dinner, Mom and Granny went to field. Youngest was on a date with his girlfriend, they went to a neighboring county fair. Mom and Granny came home and watched TV. Dad and eldest came in from field at 10:00PM. Youngest got home at midnight.

July 23, 2000: Fed. Eldest got a day off from work. He trimmed his heifer that is going to fair. Then he washed his truck and the front of his fifth wheel trailer. Youngest took boards off Granny’s deck to get ready for septic tank pumping. Dad worked in Klampet mobile then went to bale. Eldest went with Dad. The other three worked at home. Seemed like we ran back and forth to hay field all day. Mom did get a horseback ride in. All three of us went to store and checked on Dad again. Home to feed. A heifer is in heat again. Youngest went to field with Dad and Eldest went on a date. Dad and youngest came home just as sun was setting. Dad showered, and we watched TV. Eldest son came home too late for work in the morning!

July 24, 2000: Slept in since eldest didn’t have to be at work until 8:00am. Fed. Dad bred #36 again. Had septic tank pumped. Youngest son and Mom put up two sections of sheet metal on barn. We stopped for a break and ended up going into town with Dad to run errands and go to county offices for approval of Granny’s trailer for septic. In the afternoon, youngest son got the last header up on the barn. Dad worked in Klampet Mobile. Mom fixed dinner. After dinner, we fed and youngest worked calves and used a show stick for first time. Dad and eldest got tractor, baler, and rake from field. Mom watered plants and took masks off horses. Youngest son put Granny’s deck back together from septic work. We watched part of a movie and went to bed early.

July 25, 2000: Fed. Dad bred another heifer #42 again. Mom and youngest started on last section of sheet metal. Young friend came, and we tied up all calves. She began brushing calves. Youngest son was working on sheet metal and Mom ran between brushing calves and working on sheet metal. We finished sheet metal! Hallelujah! Next, we began working calves with show stick again. After letting calves loose, we set a post in concrete to secure a gate. We are trying to eliminate all problem areas for cows to get out and making sure we can lock people out too! Put tarp over hay that is exposed in a doorway. Took friend home. Youngest went to lunch with girlfriend. Mom got groceries on her way home. When we converged at home in the afternoon, we loaded the truck with all the sheet metal scraps and went to the dump. Back home to feed and then out to dinner. Met Eldest son at restaurant then on to livestock exhibitor meeting.

July 26,2000: Fed. Washed two show calves. Trainer came and worked with Nik. Mom and Dad both rode him. Youngest put up a gate on post recently set. Then he did some more repairs on tarp. Then he power washed grooming chute, baler, and rake. Mom took friend home and Dad washed carpet in Klampet Mobile. Mom went riding with neighbor.

July 27, 2000. Fed. Worked show calves in barn pasture. It didn’t go real well today.  The youngest calf was the worst today. We brushed horses and Mom took friend home. Then we went grocery shopping for fair. Both boys worked yearling heifers. Desiree #41 has a short fuse. We don’t know what set her off. They also worked their cows that are going to fair and it went well. Dad worked in motor home a bit.

July 28, 2000: Friend came and we fed. Today when we worked calves, Misty #53 didn’t work well. We brushed all calves and started leading Bonnie #49. Outlaw #52 kicked young friend, he was irritable. He didn’t even want to be brushed. When finished, a neighbor was letting a new horse loose in a field next to Nik and April, so Mom stayed home, and Granny took young friend home. All went well with new horse. Later Dad came home early because he is starting his nine-week sabbatical from work. He had stopped by vet’s office and picked up meds for calves to protect them at fair. They are nasal immunizations. Then we left to get a ton of grain. Youngest called and we met him, so he could go with us. We also stopped at our favorite farm store. Dad bought a belt and Mom bought eldest son a wallet and an under the saddle pad. Dad looked at saddles. Came home and fed. Worked in motor home for a few minutes then watched TV.

July 29,2000: Dad and eldest son unloaded grain. Fed people. Then eldest off to work and youngest off to Country fest (a country music festival) with girlfriend. Granny and her sister went shopping. Mom & Dad did feeding and moved irrigation pipe. Then we got the motor home restocked with all the supplies and camping gear that had been stored in eldest son’s old room. Dad made phone calls about a saddle for Nik. Mom & Dad went to two places on the other side of Portland. Learned about a wade tree (widest tree made for saddles) Didn’t find one with extra wide tree plus an 18-inch seat so came home to re-think our dilemma. Our black saddle is wider than some wide trees we looked at. Fed. Ate dinner provided by Granny and Auntie again. We were going to work Nik, but just too tired. So, we watched TV and waited for youngest to come home.

July 30, 2000: Fed. Watered plants. Worked Nik. Cleaned house. Loaded grooming chute and hay into truck. We took this load into fairgrounds. We found our area lacking at the fairgrounds so spent the rest of the day trying to figure out what to hang our signs on. We finally arrived at a solution and bought some pipe, blocks, and decorative boards. We dropped some stuff off at fairgrounds. We called eldest son at work and met him for pizza. Came home and fed. Then we worked on painting pipe, loaded up tack boxes, feed and water buckets, neck ropes, show sticks, table and chairs. Eldest son trimmed cow and calf and we gave the nasal immunizations to the fair calves.

July 31, 2000: Fair: Youngest son, who has shown since kindergarten, finally won Showmanship. What a way to end his senior year! We’re so proud of him.

Week after fair: We are back in the throngs of work! We ordered the hardware for the barn doors. Changed tires on two vehicles. Bought a new saddle for Dad and Nik. Made a concrete curb along the 84-foot length of the hay barn to stop rain and manure from flowing into it. We have three calves with pneumonia and began shots of naxcel, yes two were at fair. Life is back to normal: busy and hectic!