Friday, July 1, 2011

My bucket full of lists

I used to have a Bucket List…
- Go to Montana
- Fly an airplane
- Be a pop star
- Have 500 alpaca’s

When we moved to the United States my one and only top priority “thing to do” on my list got a check mark behind it. I am living my American Dream!


But then I got sick, and my whole bucket list got twisted around. So now I don’t really have a bucket list anymore, because the one and only thing on there now is to NOT EVER get sick AGAIN!

That doesn’t mean I don’t have a LOT of little LISTS in a BUCKET!

As you might know we have a large dairy. We run our dairy will all the family members and we have 21 employees. My job on the farm is to keep all the employees happy and taken care of them and to do the bookkeeping. A day in my life consists of little lists. Usually in the form of a “post it” with little memo’s to myself. Those lists consist of the following things almost every day…

- Employees: The boys and girls work in three shifts, 5 people in a shift. Normally when I get to the farm I check if everybody is present and if there is anything they need or want. Then I go to our herdsman (cow expert) Colby and is assistant Adan. They are like a well oiled machine and they don’t really need help from me, but as the “boss” you got to know what is going on!


- LADIES: How are our ladies doing? Because we have so many it is very hard to look at every individual cow like you would do on a smaller farm. To make sure we don’t miss anything all our gals have an ankle bracelet. This bracelet records how much she walks, how much milk she gives and what the salt content is of the milk she is giving, three times a day. The computer will save all the info for 10 days. If one cow has a “off” day, she will show up automatically on (Colby’s list) but also on mine. And with these 3 bits of info, he (Colby and me too) knows if she is doing ok or if we need to see her, and give her some extra attention.

- Checks: As the bookkeeper at our dairy I am in charge of all the money traffic. This can be incredible stressful but also a lot of fun (when things go well).
- DFA website: On the website of our milk coop I can see how much milk all our ladies produce the day before and what our quality is. At our Four Leaf Clover Dairy we strive to the best quality we can produce. Every day we get quality results from our milk cooperation, so if there would be an issue with the temperature or quality of the milk we can make sure that it gets corrected really fast.

- Bastiaan, Mom, Dad and Jan Willem: WHAT is everybody doing and HOW is everybody doing. And what do I have on some other lists that includes them???
- Yesterday: what was on my list yesterday and I didn’t get to…

Sometimes I feel like a traffic controller, making sure everybody and everything moves in the right direction at the right time. After a full day of organizing and delegating I come home to our sweet Jones and my Super Stud Classic and unwind. Sometimes my little bucket doesn’t get empty at all that day and there will be no unwinding. The good thing is, tomorrow is a new day so we’ll have new chances to reach that little buckets bottom...


Do you have a bucket list or do you have a bucket full of lists?

If you don’t have a bucket I can tell you THIS is the best place to find your very own bucket!
You might want to check out the Red Hill General Store and/or hop over to the Real Farmwives of America & Friends they have a giveaway and one lucky reader will win his or her very own Galvanized Embossed Tub!!!

I know I know, you can start right now; writing down your very own lists and than by the time you won the bucket, you can fill it up and then start emptying it out doing all the things you need to do or do the things you WANT to do!!!




Disclaimer. While Red Hill General Store did provide me with a bucket to blog about for this post the pictures, ideas and opinions shared here are my own.

33 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

Your dairy herd must be huge. I don't have many wants I need to do, I do them fairly quick when I think of them.I have been playing hard for the last month.Headed out trout fishing today for a week.

Clint said...

Thank you, Leontien, for sharing your life with us. I learned something about dairy farming and about you---which is pretty much what blogging is all about.

I have thought a long time about my personal bucket list. I have come to the conclusion that I don't need one. I have been blessed in so many ways that I am fulfilled, and am content to follow as He leads.

Jill said...

I love your twist on the bucket list. I, too, have a list in my bucket. You do an incredible amount of work each day. Thank you for walking us through it. I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Take care.

Sandra said...

i just love reading about your life, past and present. this if very informative and i had no idea how much work goes into a dairy. love the cow photos and wish i were close enough to meet you and tour your dairy farm dream life.
i don't have a bucket list, but i have lots of buckets. we have about 25 5 gallon buckets, we get chlorine for the pool in them and i can't get hubby to give them away. if i were to create a bucket list it would be to travel the states and meet bloggers and see all these things with my own two eyes.
my list of to do things never gets caught up, because it consists of house work,

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Love bucket lists :-)

I know you stay busy!

Terry M Scott (AKA Terry Mann) said...

And I thought I was busy!!!
No long term bucket list just the week to week stuff.
Have a super weekend-I'm hoping I get to rest.

Garden of Egan said...

As a former dairy farmer....reading your post made me homesick. I loved my girls.
Sounds like you have an incredible operation! Wow!

Bucket list: is that what it's called? right now I'm just putting out the next fire.

I do want to spend some time enjoying the rest of the summer.

texwisgirl said...

thanks for giving us a look into your daily routine! great work!

Louise said...

Isn't it amazing how computerized everything has become? Who would imagine that you could track an individual cow so precisely? As for buckets full of lists, I had one until I retired. Now there's only one thing in my bucket, make sure that every day you do something you like to do.

Red Hill General Store said...

So glad you found a handy use for your bucket. And what a neat look into your daily life!

Dreaming said...

I don't have a bucket list... I think I fulfilled my list and now I'm quite content. But, I always have lists, and lists... and more lists! I keep them on a pad on the fridge, on our iPad, in my head (those aren't that reliable) and anywhere else I find a place to jot things down.
I love that your cows wear bracelets. How fascinating that technology keeps track of each cow and helps you know who is feeling a bit off! Wow!

Buttons said...

Wow you are one busy girl.
My bucket list was getting my stories out to see if anyone would listen to me (check) and photography (check) just one more thing. I want to pack one back pack and get on a train in Ontario and go to Vancouver all by myself it is a four night trip. I WILL do this before two more years when I will turn 60.
It is something I just need to do just my camera and paper and pen.
I will leave the farm work to My Hero.
Good post. B

Larkrise garden girl said...

Leontien, Your information on a dairy farm is really interesting. I bet children could learn alot from you. Every time I grab milk out of the refrigerator I think of all the work that goes into a glass of milk.

missing moments said...

You are one busy woman!!! That was very interesting ... so much to do! I'm exhausted now and need to go lay down!

LindaG said...

You are busy enough for both of us. I'll pass on the bucket list. ;)

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Hi Leontien, I always have lists, can't get along without them. Thanks for the glimpse into your busy day. Wow, how do you get it all done? It's interesting about the dairy cows with the ankle bracelet and how much info you get. Great post...enjoyed it! Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend.

It's me said...

Lijkt me echt gaaf zo'n boederij...en zoveel mensen in dienst 21 ??? of komen ze gewoon helpen??...groetjes fijn weekend van mij....xxx.

Negerigeletschtempoit said...

You are a busy young lady for sure, and this is admirable.

As for lists, if I could remember where I left the ones I make, it would be perfect. I never thought of a bucket, though. It may work.

Have a happy and safe weekend!
xxxx

troutbirder said...

I know somewhat how amazingly modern farming is today. I occasionally get to ride along with my neighbor planting and harvesting corn as operated by the GPS automatic tractor dohicky. But really you dairy operation is unbelievable to say the least. Wow!

Michaele said...

I didn't know all that about you. Thanks for sharing. What a huge responsibility you have. Happy 4th to you.

Deila said...

Great post, and yes, buckets change for sure. I am glad to hear you are no longer sick, that can be such a set back. And then we are so thankful for feeling good! You must have a lot to do, I have done the books, quickbooks, for my hubbys business, that can be stressful. I love the farm.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

It seems every time I cross one thing off my list, I add five more to it! I enjoyed learning about your farm. Sounds amazing!

Julia said...

Leontien, what a great responsibility to have to look after everyday.

I use sticky notes everyday. What a great invention.

I'm in charge of caring and feeding the calves, feeding young heifers and calving or sick cows, general cleaning, doing pay roll deduction, paying bills online, bank deposits, filing, picking and dealing with the mail, picking feed for the calves and other supplies, making meals for the hired hand(s) and mowing the lawn and gardening, housework and grocery and many odd jobs around the farm.

Come to think of it I think that I would take your job any day. JB

Clipped Wings said...

My lists more like fill a coffee cup :) If I needed a tub for my lists, I think I would jump off a cliff, lol. Love the post. Learned much about how you run your dairy. Super interesting.

Sharon said...

That's a lot of responsibility!

I used to write a daily list and tick them off as I got done. Later, I went to a weekly list and ticked them off as well. I did have a lifetime bucket list, and as I got too older and my health deteriorated, things were crossed off. Now, I do what I can and have to be happy with that..... a hundred years from now - nobody will know the difference anyway.

Kristy said...

Wow, running a farm must be fun at times!

Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

Jenny Woolf said...

I never guessed working on a dairy farm was so complex, so thanks for the insights.

Lois Evensen said...

You are so very busy! I love your posts about your days on the farm.

My Honey is also an American by choice. Happy 4th!

Hugs,
Lois

Andrew said...

A lovely read... you have a lot on your hands.

Lana said...

Love your bucket story! Montana is gorgeous, especially Glacier National Park! Here's to enjoying the little things in our life and crossing them off as they come and go! Have a great day!

La said...

Here's to not getting sick again. It sounds like you are a very busy lady.

bon bon said...

well, this is the first i've heard that a physical bucket is required in order to have a bucket list! no wonder i don't have one!

;o)

Vintage West said...

I love reading about the operation, I'll have to keep going back to read older posts.
P.S.
I hope you still make it to Montana someday, it's a wonderful place!