Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fall on the Farm...and the Return of City Girl

This morning, we had an early meeting to attend and since we were already in town, were able to run a few errands. We even made it home just after 10:30. Hubby went to work on the farm while I got some ESL work done (I had a few assignments to edit for students and a few grammar questions to answer via e-mail). Luckily, that was done before the phone calls started pouring in.

My dear friend (and former workmate and roommate when I lived in Toronto), Gavie's Gal called me. It was so good to be able to chat with a good friend. I really miss Gavie's Gal and her family! Her hubby is so much fun to talk to and their son is adorable! I haven't had the chance to meet their newest addition yet. Gavie's Gal gave birth to a beautiful baby girl a few months ago. Right after we ended our conversation, Hubby's sister from Barrie called. She's coming home for Thanksgiving! YAY!!! Remember how I was feeling homesick and down in the dumps the other week? I really do miss having friends and family around all the time :)

After lunch, I went out to work on the farm with Hubby. He needed me to follow him with one of the tractors while he pulled the wagon with another. Ummm...I don't have much experience driving tractor. I don't even know how to drive manual/standard! You mean not all vehicles are automatic???

Hubby gave me a quick pop quiz before we headed out.
Hubby: Okay, you're going to take the Kubota and I'm going to take the New Holland. You know how to start this thing?
Me: (puzzled look) Uhhhh...
(Hubby starts the tractor for me)
Hubby: Okay, show me where the clutch is.
Me: (Glancing nervously around the area where my feet are and pointing to the pedal on my left. CLUTCH? What the heck is a clutch anyway?!?!) Is that it?
Hubby: Good! (Haha! I fooled him! That was a total guess! I have no clue what I'm doing)
Now where is the gas pedal?
Me: (Frantically searching the foot area again. Why does this thing have so many pedals, buttons, levers, and switches?!?!) It's there! (Pointing to the two pedals on the right).
Hubby: No. That's the brakes. The gas is below on your right.
Me: Oh.
Hubby: This is how you stop the tractor (shows me how to turn it off). Are you ready to follow my tractor now?
Me: Mmmm...I guess so. Wait! How do I signal you if I need assistance?!?!?!
Standing Tall

I actually did pretty well. Hubby was pleased. I even had lots of fun driving tractor. Is City Girl turning "country"? I don't know about that yet, but I'm trying my best to help Hubby with things on the farm when I'm not teaching or doing ESL work! Wow...is there ever A LOT of work involved in farming! It really makes me appreciate where my food comes from and all the labour involved in getting it from the field to our dinner table! In the city, I never really thought so much about it. I just remember that when we needed food, you just buy it at the supermarket and that was it. I never ever imagined all the work it took to get it to the supermarket shelves!
Making corn silage
Out comes all the corn! Check how chopped up they are!
"Junior" is usually really active at that time of the day, but I didn't feel him kick at all! Perhaps all the bumps and vibrations from the tractor rocked baby to sleep?I took some Fall photos for Telling Mom and Telling Dad. On one side of the field, the leaves are lush and colourful.When I turned around to see the other end of the field, I was surprised at the stark contrast! The Poplars are defoliated, while the Maples are in all their glory.
Yeah, this photo isn't so great. I wasn't able to capture the rich hues of reds and oranges. This photo really does not do the actual scene any justice.


Autumn's Mom said...

I'm totally impressed with your farm skills! How fun. You took some great pics, I love the turning of the leaves. In CA, the trees that turn are few and far between depending upon where you live. We did see a beautiful tree with red leaves in between a bunch of green ones..but I didn't have my camera.

C said...

Autumn's Mom:
HA! I am such a newbie at this! Farm life is soooooooooooooo far removed from the life I had in the city! It's taken some getting used to, but I love where we live. It's a healthy lifestyle and where we live is a great place to raise kids. The "city" in me will always bring "Junior" off-Island to enrich his/her mind with diverse culture and new ideas. I guess there is a way to have the best of both worlds :)

Jeanna said...

A Kubota, I'm impressed. Those are the cadillacs of tractors and four wheeler type things, aren't they?
I think your photos are lovely!
And good for you, you lost me at clutch.
Clutch bag, clutch purse, in the clutch?

C said...

Ummm...I still have no idea what a clutch is! LOL! (Or what purpose it serves, for that matter!) Maybe Jimbo can clue us in. I'm sure he'd know!

Cherry said...

I love the shot of the poplars! Like A'sM said, we don't get much color around here and when it turns, it turns quick. Most trees will turn in the next few weeks here.

I'm nervous to drive my hubby's work truck and it IS an automatic, it's just much bigger then my little commuter car. I haven't driven anything with a clutch for years so I'd be really nervous.

Uncivil said...

Wow C
That is so neat. You guys are so self sufficient and diverse at the same time.
Me explain a clutch? I's basically just a friction plate or friction disc between the flywheel of the motor and the drivetrain. Maybe John could have said "where is the clutch pedal" because that is what you are actually looking for?
Wiki it!!!

I had to google corn silage. Don't see much of that around here. They use hay down here in the south and they make round bales of it just like you do with the corn stalks.

mrinz said...

Oh I love the farming pic Chrissy! I was about age 7 when I began steering the tractor, then when my legs were old enough I was taught how to change gear.

Tell your husband that our first tractor (after we retired the draught horses) was an American tractor - a Minneapolis Moline. Then our next tractor was a Nuffield. Many farmers had a Massey Fergusson but they were too small for our hill country farm.

C said...

I like the poplars photo too :) It does make me a little sad though! I love Fall because of all the colours of the leaves, but when they all defoliate, it just seems so blah. There's a really gloomy stretch of time right after Thanksgiving and up to the first snow fall. I guess that blah period could also be called "November"! LOL! All the trees are bare and sad looking. When it finally snows, everything is pretty again when all covered with white stuff!

Wait, you guys celebrate Thanksgiving a month later than we do in Canada! I forgot!

P.S. I know how you feel! Hubby wants me to learn how to drive his truck, but I have been putting it off! I said that I'd practice on the tractors first (at least I can drive in the middle of the fields and not hit anything)!

C said...

I suppose I could have Googled "clutch"! LOL!

We don't do much corn silage. Hubby does barley silage too. He also feeds the cattle alfalfa, grass, hay, forage rations, etc. BTW, I love the way the round bales look! It's neat to see them all out on the fields (when they're drying). Those suckers are HEAVY though! Ever try to push one?

We also do some square bales. They're much easier to feed to the bulls when the bulls are in the barn.

C said...

Oh, wow! That is really neat! I have to admit that it would be a good thing to learn how to drive manual. I have a mental block though! When I was learning how to drive at the age of 16, my friend took me out in his car. He was teaching me how to drive (my dad and he were teaching me and on this day, it was my friend's turn). His car was standard and I stalled on a bridge, right in the middle of traffic! There was a big truck behind me and dozens of cars honking! I was so flustered, I didn't drive standard ever again...until I had to drive the tractors for Hubby!

Massey Fergusson is pretty popular here too! Hubby's got three tractors (Kubota, New Holland, and I can't remember what #3 is). Tractor #3 is older than me though! Imagine??!

I'm going to show Hubby your comment and your blog :) I'm sure he'd love that you grew up farming too!

lisaschaos said...

Congrats on surviving your first tractor driving. :) I still have never driven one. :) The trees do look beautiful!

Rosie : ) said...

How neat to learn new skills. :) Tractors sure seem to be complicated, I never realized that!

The leaves seem to have very different hues, and they aren't all fallen yet. Over in our corner, it has been gettgin colder, so the leaves are falling more and more. Winter is on its way.

BeachMama said...

Yay, good for you for driving the tractor!! Hubby has always wanted to live on a 'hobby farm' and me not being a farm girl and actually being allergic to hay and horses have been able to keep us in suburbia for now. But, watching you guys on the farm and knowing just how beautiful and peaceful I know it would be, makes me wonder sometimes. Our day might come though, you just never know.

C. K. said...

That actually sounds like so much fun!

I'm so missing autumn in Canada right now. I was sighing and looking at my manitoulin photos the other day... sigh...

miss you... xx
You look beautiful by the way. :)

Momisodes said...

Wow! That really does sound like fun :) Glad you were able to operate the tractor! I'm sure I wouldn't know where the clutch or the gas were either.

LOVE those fall foliage pics! Looks like that around some parts around here too :)

Sharon - Mom Generations said...

Oh... your post brought back so many magnificent memories for me! My dad grew up on a farm in Michigan, and my family would visit my grandparents there as often as we could. Actually, I was born in Michigan and brought home to that farm... and I know that has something to do with my love of farms and barns and animals and tractors and strawberries. I used to sit on my grandfather's lap as he drove his tractor. I still remember the hum of the tractor and his laughter as we bumped along. You brought all that back just now! I, too, think about the farmers and the farms and the land and the love of the land that brings our food to our tables each day. I think you are a remarkable woman... and your baby is the luckiest baby in the world... to experience the beauty and awe of the cycles of life each and every day. I LOVE this post. I truly, truly do.

C said...

It was really funny. I cannot tell you how much anxiety and stress I felt when Hubby told me he needed me to drive one of the tractors. As soon as I got going though, it was really fun! I must tell you that the only thing I really know how to do is steer and go forward! Don't ask me to do anything else! LOL! ;)

C said...

The leaves are a bit more delayed here than they are where you are. When we were on our way to your neck of the woods two weeks ago, the leaves were already changing. We've had it pretty warm here lately...up until recently. I think that cold spell got the sugars in the trees changing the colours. The nice thing about having a later change of colours is that around Thanksgiving we still have lots of colour. As soon as the leaves fall off and the trees go bare, I always feel kinda sad.

C said...

Beach Mama:
You'll never believe this, but ever since I was a kid living in the city, I have always had allergies to everything. I had numerous tests done and the doctors said I was allergic to cat and dog dander, cigarette smoke, mold, dust...pretty much everything. Now I live on a farm and I'm around dust, cats, and dogs all the time and I don't really get bothered. In the beginning I used to sneeze like crazy, my eyes would get red, itchy and puffy, but I'm okay now. The only thing that still really bothers me is cigarette smoke. I just KNOW when people are smoking or have been smoking. The smell just makes me chest feel like it's closing up and it gets really hard for me to breathe. I sometimes even get so sick that I throw up. Weird, eh?

C said...

I was looking at the photos of the other summer when you and KenB were here! *sigh* That was soooo much fun! I really, REALLY miss you, girlfriend!!! Looking forward to the next time you're up this way. XOXO

I still have NO IDEA what I'm doing with the tractor! LOL! I basically just steered the darn thing! I was also doing something like 2 miles an hour or something ridiculously slow like that! :) Oh, well! It's a learning process, right?

C said...

Thank you so much, Sharon! You always leave the greatest comments! Really, you do! I always smile for hours after reading your comments! :) XOXO

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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