Farmer John is mildly disapproving whenever I pull out my cell phone to text a message to someone else when I am riding in the pickup with him. He doesn't say much, but people who have been married for a long time learn one another's signals. There is a certain set to his jaw that tells me he'd rather I stop what I'm doing and do something else. Of course, people who have been married to each other for a long time also learn to ignore one another's signals. That's just what I was doing last Tuesday when we were headed to a pasture to load some heifers to take to the sale.
I was texting a long message to my friend, Kathy, setting up a lunch date for next week. I glanced over at Farmer John, unconsciously checking to see whether his mild disapproval had escalated into the category of annoyance (his jaw gets more rigid when that happens). To my surprise, he had a mirthful grin on his face. At that exact moment there was an alarming nose; a whining sound that immediately convinced me that an airplane just over our heads was losing altitude. The sound increased in volume so rapidly that I was convinced the plane was about to crash onto our truck. I hunkered down in the seat in alarm, and a motion caught my eye on the passenger side of the truck. A train was RIGHT THERE.
The track runs adjacent to the narrow country road we were traveling, and John had seen the train's approach, as I would have if I'd not been texting. To John's disappointment, the engineer did not cause the whistle to blow, which would have terrified me further and added to Farmer John's glee. Lesson learned: do not text and farm.
Here are a few more photos of our past week of farming:
I hope you will not lose all respect for me if I tell you the tooled leather tops are pink. I can't believe how comfortable they are, somewhat like my continuing amazement at how comfortable I am doing things like moving portable corrals. Go figure.
On a more somber note, we have not received a substantial, nourishing rain for over six weeks. Because we'd intermittently received tiny rainfalls measuring a quarter inch or less, everything but the corn had continued to look, if not good, then not horrible. It was just this past week that our pastures began to look terribly stressed.