Getting ready in so many ways

Why do I love March besides March Madness (for all those fellow basketball lovers out there)? Spring! Well, it’s kind of a love hate relationship to be honest…usually so much mud! This year though, we can’t complain about the weather at all. It’s been so mild! Which speaking of the weather, raise your hand if you think we’re in for a dry summer? I’m worried about no snow melt, and then looking out on the month forecast, there is nothing for weather to speak of. Eeks. I hope I’m wrong, I need a good hay crop.
In other news, I just got back from a week in Minneapolis at the Home and Garden Show. That show was good to me! I love the Convention Center, and I sold a lot of product. But let me tell you, I was more than happy to go home and pass a lone tractor on the road for the whole 16 miles to town from home. The traffic was awful down there and the crime that was happening as well as the panhandling (which I’ve never seen in Minneapolis before) and homelessness… it was grim. Again, I was so happy to come home to rural Minnesota.
I will tell you, that home and garden show really gets people in the mood for landscaping, making a better lawn, and the latest and greatest tools and equipment to use. Since I’ve been home, I’ve been so excited to get out and work on our sad, sorry lawn. This year I can!!! For the past five years I was in so much pain with my hip that needed to be replaced, that I couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything out there. Well kids, this year I feel phenomenal! That patch of grass and weeds are no match for me. I actually started this past weekend. With it being 55 degrees and little wind, we split our crew in half. Ron’s crew worked on putting the ceiling up in the new barn that is replacing the burned up one. My crew started up the fire pit and we burned leaves and sticks. We got 1/3 of our big lawn done before the wind started picking up so we put out the fire. We have also been talking about putting some landscape rock around the house and putting in a few shrubs. SO EXCITING! At the home and garden show the U of MN extension had so many displays of plants that work in our area. So I’ve already gotten out the seed catalogs. I also want to dabble in some flowers to sell. Man! To bend again! What am I saying? I mean to walk again! Pretty fabulous.
Which by the way, I’ve met a few people that need a hip or knee replaced and fear of the unknown is keeping them from going through it. Let me tell you, to be able to keep up with my kids, to go for walks and ENJOY them is priceless. To have a better quality of sleep…please get it done. You will be so happy when you do. No one deserves to live in constant pain. That was terrible. At this time last year Ron and Tedd and I were at a basketball tournament in Redwood Falls. We stepped in the building and what did we see? A huge staircase that went down to the gym. By that time I had my surgery scheduled and was patiently waiting. I remember Ron asking if I was going to be alright, the drive down to the tournament had made my hip on fire then I had to do these stairs? I was not alright. But I got down them and sat in the bleachers. When it was time to go back up the stairs, I honestly could’ve cried. I had to stop half way up and just being there for a minute the pain was so bad it felt like someone was trying to cut my hip joint in two with a machete. All our local parents knew what was wrong; our Canby sports family has always been so awesome! But here I was, having to get a new hip at 48 years old. I was super embarrassed.
Fast forward to now. Tedd has that same tournament this coming weekend. Honestly, I want to run up and down those stupid stairs shouting for joy. So what I’m trying to say, is if you need it, get it done. 24/7 pain is exhausting. If a doctor says you’re too young, go to a new doc. They can talk big when they’re not in your shoes. I went years with doctors not truly listening to me, telling me it probably was just a little arthritis, no big deal. Until I told one doctor I was demanding an x-ray that day. They couldn’t believe how many bone spurs I had and that it was all bone on bone.
So, get ready to plant some flowers, get your lawn spruced up and get ready for summer. And if you’re not feeling good, get a doctor that hears you.

Until next time, Fairchild 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.

A trip to the Hills

Hello February! Here we are, back from the Black Hills Stock Show. Wow, what a good, kind of crazy ten days we had. I’ll tell you all about it.
Our first day started with it being seriously icy on the way out of town and before we left the area, we decided to put on some fuel and get snacks. I got out of the truck, slipped on the ice, hurting my shoulder, elbow and hip that wasn’t replaced. Everyone in the station got a chuckle, but I thought I needed shoulder surgery. I’m still nursing it but all the bruising is almost gone. I’m giving it a week more, then if it’s not better, I’m going in.
We had to get a new to us truck a week before heading out, but we’re pleasantly surprised with this new Yukon. I loved it. I tell you what, always buy local. Our dealership in Canby is first rate and we’re glad to do business with him. The only problem with this new truck? I always caught myself speeding. In my old truck, you knew you were doing over 60 because the whole thing would shimmy and shudder. This one…well we won’t say how fast I was going. But luckily this one has cruise that works, I need to start using it.
The show itself was just ok, but the weather out there was phenomenal! Honestly, I missed out on a lot of the local crowd…I’m sure many were outside instead. Out of all those days, I wore a jacket one time, just because it was raining, otherwise the weather was in the 60’s every day. My kids took a day and spent it at Mount Rushmore and went through Custer State Park. They even got to do their homework on the deck. It was just so beautiful!
Even though I love the Black Hills so much, I feel there’s some decline in Rapid City. The homeless problem has been out of control for the last six years I’ve been going there, but this year was kind of crazy. There was a stabbing right outside of the event center where the show was, between some homeless. The person was found dead on a park bench the next morning. Pretty sad stuff.
The definite highlights of the trip was staying at a really nice Airbnb on the golf course, I always get to take along my older kids and spend time with them and that’s a hoot for sure. For working so hard, I took them to a fancy restaurant where they proceeded to show me by their actions NOT to take them to a fancy restaurant again. Levi was breaking up his carrot ribbons on his salad with his fingers, while Jess dipped her lettuce in her dressing with her hands and Rachel ordered buffalo on the bone and had no idea how to eat it. But while Levi smelled each bite before he ate it, and squished out bloody juices from his steak, I’m determined to “uncaveman” my kids at all cost.
Aside from seeing a guy pulling his taxidermy dogs in a wagon at the show (yes, his real dogs were dead and stuffed) it was a good show. And that was even okay… just not something you see every day. My thoughts were this: what about the dog that he was walking alongside of him? Was it thinking, ‘I might be next and is there still room for me in the wagon?’
Until next time, Fairchild “thoughts that keep you up at night” 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.