I bought a planner for 2020. The kind with tabs for each month, and a space under each date to fill in with to-do’s and schedules. With two kids, a busy husband, farming, ranching, boards, and I can’t recall how many side deals going on, I can hardly remember my own name.
I haven’t had a planner since…college maybe. Online research revealed a deeply dedicated band of people who are very, very into their planners, and a myriad of planner options to suit each of their needs. Every size, shape and color is available. There are planners for your prayer life, meal planning, work, social media, workouts, and the list goes on. Weekly planners, daily planners. Big planners, little planners. Special add-on sections for just about any and everything imaginable.
But, not one designed for the farmer/rancher. There are some very nice planners featuring farm and ranch photos and quotes, but they are otherwise similar to the rest.
Not a single one had a section titled, “Things my husband told me to remember,” or, “Who to talk to and avoid at each parts store,” or “Numbers my husband told me.” That last one could feature a cute list of pictures, like a tractor, cow, pig, sheep, oil filter, etc… down the side, with space beside it to add the number and a note. Though, that does assume I know what every number he tells me is for, or even means. I don’t.
I feel there is a gap in the planner marketplace, that hopefully someone can fill. I’m not talking about a beautiful book featuring countryside images, heirloom recipe cards and space for notes on homesteading ideas – though all great ideas. I am talking about a water-proof, grease resistant, made from paper unpalatable to horses, cows, hogs, sheep and toddlers farm and ranch planner.
Right behind the yearly goals page could be a page dedicated to vehicles, and space to write all their filter numbers down, and service dates. Removable recipe cards are nice, but I would rather have pull out tabs that will stick to tractor/pickup windows for the times of year when the closest thing we get to a spousal conversation is trading places in a piece a machinery.
It should not be gigantic, but rather a size easy to pack along and still write in, with a folder aspect somewhere for the random recipes/lists/errand runs jotted on them. With space for bull/boar/ram turn-out dates, and enough room to say who went where (because we will all want to know six months later). Even a nice, single page near the front with relevant dates, specific to species (with the custom add-on of additional species, if need be) with major dates, ie, calving, branding, preconditioning, weaning, bull turn out, pulled bulls, etc… would be a huge help in organizing my life.
I do not want a calving book section. That time of year is already tense enough, and that book needs to remain its own, borderline holy, manuscript. Plus, I do not want the responsibility of keeping a backup copy – we all know how those things turn out two cycles into calving heifers, when you each wrote something different down for a heifer and realize it halfway through looking for her at 10 p.m.
I don’t need a doodle section. But, some tear out coloring pages featuring anatomically correct livestock and/or properly drawn machinery per make and model would come in handy. Bear in mind, the last thing I need when desperately seeking entertainment for the kids is a discussion on what kind of idiot doesn’t know where the stack goes on a 4240 John Deere tractor, and who would hire him to draw a child’s coloring page.
Just a few ideas, in case anyone made the resolution for 2020 create something like a planner. Or, if you know of such a book, please let me know. In the meantime, I am making do with what was available. I already made note mid-September to call the vet’s wife, and ask her to pass along that the old baldy cow I hate is to be open this fall. There are a handful of numbers showing up in what is called the, “reminders,” section. I am prepared to remind my husband of the numbers as given to me, if not of their purpose. I think the notes sections, and space at the top of various pages, will fit a few good quotes and/or Bible verses nicely.
All in all, it seems to be working. I think – should probably go check it to see. Have a blessed 2020.