As the saying goes, nothing gets done without a deadline. That’s especially true around here.

It’s a good thing dairy farming comes with built-in daily deadlines. The cows’ udders only hold 12 hours worth of milk. The gutter only holds 24 hours worth of manure and bedding. The mixer only holds a day’s worth of feed. 

Unfortunately, housework doesn’t come with those daily deadlines. It takes a lot longer to use up all the clean underwear in the house, which is my signal that it’s time to do laundry. The same goes for the dishes. If we didn’t have a limited number of sippy cups and cereal bowls, the dishes might never get done.

Well, it’s not quite that bad. I need to give myself some credit. I usually do a semi-decent job of keeping up with housework. But when I have a project deadline to meet or chores pile up outside, dishes and laundry tend to pile up in the house, too.

You should have seen the piles this week. I was busy finishing the presentation I need to give next week, and Glen was busy putting up snaplage, chopping stalks and combining corn. Everything that didn’t have a daily deadline got pushed back. Including my trip to town for groceries.

When Glen and I finally had a moment to chat, I told him I haven’t crammed this hard to finish a project since college.

He politely said, “I’ve noticed. I’m out of coffee. I’ll be going to town today for groceries.”

And he did. 

And now that we’ve survived the corn harvest and my last project, I have a new deadline to attend to: our upcoming farm business management meeting.

We recently started working with our new farm business management instructor. At our first meeting, he inquired about our bookkeeping system. I told him that I pile the paperwork in one box and the carbon copies of the checks get put in another. 

About two weeks before I need to have everything ready for our year-end review, I sort through the piles, file it and enter the debits and credits in the computer. (I used to do the bookkeeping in about three days. Since I’ve become a parent, I’ve learned to start projects earlier, since the demands on my time are much more unpredictable.)

I tell myself every year that I’m going to do the bookkeeping on a monthly or quarterly basis, but it hasn’t happened yet. I think our new FBM instructor is determined to make it happen. At our next meeting I need to have figures ready. Not all of them, thank heavens, but some of them. Zoikes! 

There’s another deadline looming, too. Test day. When our DHIA field rep calls with our test dates, I sit down at the computer and enter the last month’s events into Scout. Which means we have to make final decisions on names for the heifer calves born that month.

We’ll be testing sometime next week, and I still have five unnamed heifer calves. Two of them are twins, so they need extra special names. (Our other twin heifers were named Hope and Pray, Patience and Faith, Laugh and Love, and Chance and Charm.) 

If anyone has a good idea for twin names, or for naming Wander’s, Pigeon’s and Hope’s calves, send me an email or post a comment on our blog.

I need to go attend to some piles.

Sadie and her husband, Glen, milk 70 cows near Melrose, Minn. They have two children – Dan, 3, and Monika, 1. When she’s not parenting or farming, she’s writing for the Dairy Star. Sadie can be reached at