Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm moving like an old man today

I admit it. I've got a bum hip. Well, sometimes anyway. My left hip sometimes is very painful and yesterday it started acting up again. I'm not sure why, but while I was standing around watching Mitchell pressure washing the semi, I felt it start to ache. It's not too bad standing and walking around, but certain movements are very painful. Yesterday evening I could barely get off the couch and rolling over in bed was a challenge, though once I got settled into place I wasn't too bad and was able to sleep...until I needed to move again.

It's been bothering me today again and I've been a bit slower getting in and out of the tractor. While swathing an oat field I wasn't too bad but as the hours passed I could feel it starting to hurt more, probably from bouncing around. Luckily (or not) I had a breakdown and quit for the day. Usually after a period of time it clears up and I'll be pain-free for a while. It's been months since it bothered me last and I'm not sure what I did to aggravate it. The day before the pain started I had a busy day hauling bales which required driving the semi and unloading with a tractor so plenty of clutch work with the left leg, but I'm not sure why it took so long to hit me if that's what caused it.

I am fairly certain I know the root of my problem. Many years ago (a dozen?) our cows were bred to calve in the late winter and as they came close to their due date, they'd be brought into the corrals so we could check them often in case they needed help calving. Several times a day I would climb a corral fence and jump down and go and check the cows. It was fast and convenient. Turns out I always landed on my left foot. I gave myself an achy hip that calving season and have cursed myself with it recurring from time to time. I'm much more careful now, always paying attention to what leg I land on when I have to jump and going through gates rather than jumping fences.

No doubt it'll turn into arthritis (if it hasn't already). I'll probably get it in my right thumb joint, too, since I injured that and it bothers me from time to time, too. That one got jerked in a rope when I was catching a calf that escaped into a neighbor's pasture. Come to think of it, cattle related injuries are taking their toll on me! I nearly had my nose broken by one of the Dexter cows last November when she hit a swinging steel gate which caught me right where my glasses sit. A few years ago I got kicked by a calf on my left temple which caused my glasses to go flying and get trampled under the feet of the calves in the corral. And once I broke a finger in an accident with the post pounder.

Maybe I should have stayed in the army. It might be safer!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Is monsoon season finally over?

Finally our five-day forecast is saying no rain. I don't actually remember when we last had a forecast like that. It's definitely been a soggy year for us in Saskatchewan. Our nearest city, Swift Current, about 50 miles away, has had about 21 inches of rain since April 1. Their normal precipitation would usually be about 11 inches. So we're running about double of normal. No wonder it's been so hard to get field work done around here!

Coupled with that wet weather has been a cooler-than-normal spring and summer. April was the last month that had normal temperatures. Every month since has been cooler than normal. Only three days have been over 30 degrees Celcius (86F) when we would normally have a dozen or more. May had us suffering through snow storms while our cows were calving which was rather annoying as we moved calving later to avoid that sort of thing. September has been soggy and cold which is a complete reversal of last year when September turned out to be our hottest month of the year (after another abnormally cool summer).

Fortunately I'm not a large grain farmer so I don't have much to harvest and I'm pretty much done my haying for the year. Plenty of farmers are faced with a late and difficult grain harvest or perhaps don't even have one to harvest as they couldn't even get seeding done due to flooded fields. A news report yesterday said that harvest is about 18% complete this year when the average should be 61% on this date.

A couple of weeks ago a news report said this was the warmest year on record. Perhaps it was...somewhere! I know some of you suffered through 100+ degree days for weeks on end and as someone who thinks it's getting hot when it hits 80 I really felt for ya. But I think I'd have preferred to trade a few degrees for a few inches of rain!