Friday, May 27, 2011

New things to do

Well , it has been 2 weeks since the cows left. Our lives are definitely different. It isn't quite as hard to go to the barn and see no cows. But we do miss doing the barn work and working with the animals. The barn is so quiet now and seems so empty. We do have about 21 animals left. There are 12 calves inside the barn . The rest are down in the extension. So every morning and night we still go out to the barn . But it is only for a very short time . It takes only 10 or 15 minutes to do the barn work we have now . A lot less time than it used to . We used to be at the barn for at least 4 hours or more. We miss that routine of putting out the cows, bedding them , feeding and milking them . It was part of our life for so long. But like many people have told will find a new routine. We are enjoying many things we could never do before. The other day we ran to the store at 4 pm together . My husband had a meeting at 630 pm the other night and we didn't have to start barn work early for him to get there on time. We are eating supper at 7 pm instead of 9 or 930 . We are able to go away and don't have to be back exactly at 4 pm. What little barn work we do can wait til a bit later . We were able to get to the grandkids field day today when it started , instead of 2 hours after it started. So there are lots of good things to enjoy. But the new routine is not here yet ..... maybe soon !

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thank you !!!!!

Thanks to all of you who have called, emailed and sent best wishes to us .... it has meant so much to have so many people ( some who we have never even met ) tell us they were thinking of us and wishing us the best. It has warmed our hearts and has helped with the sadness of selling our cows. When I get on Twitter or Facebook and see a message that we are being thought of or that they hoped our day was going better, it makes my heart smile ! It is still very hard to go to the barn and not see the cows. We did a little work at the barn yesterday. Sweeping up and moving things. We gave our one farmer neighbor some of our soap, etc. we had left. We think the calves that we kept at the barn are missing the cows too. When we go out they bawl and we think they are wondering where did the rest of our herd go ? This has been like a death in the family to us. Some might say what ??, these were only cows. Our cows were like family to us and we hope they are happy and well cared for in their new barns.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

the cows are gone

Well it is done. The cows were loaded yesterday in 4 trips and taken to the sale barn in Centre Hall. I really thought yesterday would be the day we would be the saddest.And it was a sad time and hard to deal with. We went over to the sale early , with our family for support, and it was hard seeing our cows being sold. But it turns out today is even harder . My husband said it feels like you have sold some one in your family. I don't think I can describe the sorrow and sadness we feel at the loss of the cows. It is very, very, very hard. I went out to the barn to help move some calves and we were both crying. We knew it would soon be barn time and we are in the habit of going to the barn and have done it for all these years . It is like what do we do at barn time ? We are going out for supper tonight at the time we would be going to the barn. We just need to get away and not be able to see the barn and know our cows aren' t there anymore. We know this feeling isn't going to go away for awhile. But I want to end this post with a good note.... we are so very thankful that we did well at the sale and are going to be able to pay off a lot of our debt . And for that I thank God for once again looking out for us !

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

letter to the CDT

Dear CDT,
( I know this is longer than normal, but I think people need to know how it affects a family when they have decided to sell their cows and give up being a dairy farmer !)
The other year there was an article about us in the CDT . We told the reporter ( Nick M. ) how the low milk prices were affecting us and many other dairy farmers. We were close to being a Century Farm and just hoped we could hold on long enough to become one. Well , we are in the middle of filling out the application now and we did hang on long enough. It is something we are very proud of. But, after 39 years of being a dairy farmer , we have decided to sell our dairy cows. It was not an easy decision and it is going to be a sad time . On Friday , May 13 our cows will be loaded and taken to Centre Hall to the cow sale. For 39 years we have gone to the barn morning and night . We have milked the cows, fed them , tended to sick animals and were at the barn all night if there was a problem . Our cows all have names , mostly picked by our grandkids . Names like Miley, Hannah, Jones, Chocolate and Bluey. It is going to be hard to adjust to suddenly no longer go to the barn and do our barn work after doing it for 39 years every day . Friday morning we will feed the cows and milk them. They will be loaded in our friends trailer and taken to the sale. Saturday morning there will be no cows to milk or feed. The stalls will be empty . Our 18 month old grandson goes to the barn with us in his stroller. He knows in the morning we get our barn clothes on , get him in the stroller and go see Pap and the cows. He is going to be too little to understand why there are no longer any cows in the barn. A friend on Twitter ( JPloves COTTON) said it best : "The image of a grandson and granddad no longer having that reason to put on their boots and head to the barn may permanently reside on my eyelids." I am sure there are going to be tears when the cows are loaded and heading out our lane. To many farmers this isn't a job , it is a way of life .

Monday, May 9, 2011

closer and closer

It is getting still closer to the day our cows leave .It is now 5 days til they will be loaded on our friends trailer and hauled to the sale in Centre Hall. The cows are staying healthy , which is good. I worry one of them will get sick and then I don't know what we will do with that animal. I am sure the cows are wondering why we have not put them down in the meadow. Usually by this time of the year they are out there and running . But not this year . Last night after milking my husband went back up to the fields . It wasn't dark yet so I took a walk. I was thinking about how this time next week it will be all over and there will be no dairy cows in the barn . Just the small calves we are keeping. How we won't have to be home at a certain time for barn work . That we don't have to leave somewhere early to get home for the cows for milking. I guess that will be a good thing ? I am not sure.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I also wrote a poem for my Dad . He wanted to be a professional ball player , but it didn't work out. One night I was watching FIELD OF DREAMS . And the words for this poem just came to me. Again, like I said I am not a poet ! LOL !


When he was in his younger days he wanted to play the game
He was a wonderful player and everyone knew his name

People came from all over just to see the man play
They loved to see him catch the ball and run the bases away

There was no doubt that when the ball was flying through the air
His glove would be open wide and the ball would land in there

The balls would come rolling low and over the grass he'd fly
He'd scoop it up with his glove and then he'd hold it high

When he was at the base getting ready to swing the bat free
He'd look around the ball field and knew this was where he wanted to be

To feel the wind racing by him as he streaked towards the base
And knowing he would make it was written all over his face

His whole life was ahead of him there would be many games to play
He lived and breathed for this , these glorious , exciting days

He believed in his dream that someday he'd be there
With all the men he admired , the ones who were so rare

He had his dream so close , it was almost in his hand
But things didn't work out the quite the way he had planned.....

Now the memories are of long ago and of those cherished days
When he was young and had his dreams and hoped there'd be a way

He never fulfilled the dream , but it will always be there
In his memories ......... somewhere......

And now today the four of us Diane , Ken, Terry and Stan
Know he's a wonderful father...He is the BALL PLAYER....
a quiet and honest man .

Mothers Day

Years ago , for my mother I wrote this poem. I am not a poet so don't look too close ! LOL !

When you were young you had your dreams of what you wanted to do
They included lots of trips and plenty of fun too

The dreams were all changed when the kids were born
There were chores to do and your hands became worn

As I stroll down memory lane and think of all you've done
All the times you would go to see the boys make a home run

In our family there's always been a special closeness and giving
We're always together , in our hearts, no matter where we are living

As the years go by and we grow older I know we'll always treasure
That special bond between us all that we could never measure

We have a feeling in our hearts that will hold us all together
And any problems that we face we'll always be able to weather

And now the four of us Diane, Ken, Terry and Stanley
Know you are the greatest , our mother ....the heart of our family !

11 days and counting

It is now 11 days to the cows leave. The last couple of days have not been too bad. I think maybe it is the calm before the storm. My husband has finally been able to get into the fields and do some plowing. It has been so wet here in central PA. We will still do some crop farming and will keep a couple of calves and a few heifers. Just no more milk cows . We have vaccinated all the cows and heifers to get them ready to sell. We are getting copies made of the cows records for buyers to look at. Our daughter is making the copies for us. So everything seems to be moving along to the day the cows will be loaded up in the trailer and taken to the sale. A friend of ours , who hauls animals , will be taking our cows over to Centre Hall. It will take a couple of trips over the mountain. Hopefully , all will go well and they will be loaded without problems. But with cows , you never know ! LOL !