Shelli Mader: Road to Ranching 8-20-12 | TheFencePost.com

Shelli Mader: Road to Ranching 8-20-12

We've been in Scott City for three months now and we are finally beginning to feel like this is home. I'm so grateful that our neighborhood is quiet — we only have neighbors on one side — and there is cropland around our house. We've watched lots of farming this summer. My 3-year- old even noticed that the neighbor really needs to swath his hay again. This will be his fourth cutting. I'm surprised that he has been able to get that much. Like much of the country, it's been very dry here.

School starts this week and both my kids are looking forward to it. I'm kind of looking forward to it too, even though I'm sad that my kids are getting so old (and even sadder that it makes me older). My son will just go to nine hours of preschool a week, but I'm excited to see how much I can get done in those hours. I have dozens of writing ideas! This will be the first time in seven years that I will be without kids during the week.

It doesn't seem like we are getting closer to ranching these days, but I know we are. I started writing a little for the local paper last month. They weren't advertising for help, but I thought it was worth a try, so I stopped in and dropped off some of my work. It turns out that the editor likes to write sports stories better than agriculture ones, so he did want some freelance writing. I know that it will be a great opportunity to get to know local farmers and ranchers.

I spent the last few days calling dozens of auto insurance agencies to make sure I had the best policy price. I hadn't checked it for a few years, so it was time. It wound up being worth the effort. I found an agency that offered a policy that was almost $400 a year cheaper than the one I have now. I plan on checking on our life, renter's and health insurance next. It's a pain, but the savings can really add up.

My 3-year-old even noticed that the neighbor really needs to swath his hay again. This will be his fourth cutting. I’m surprised that he has been able to get that much.

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The library reading program is done, the fair is over, vacation Bible school is finished and the pool is closed, so now the kids and I are looking forward to what's next in the area — the annual craft fair in Scott City. Prior to moving here I never heard of it, but I guess it is a big deal around here. It's called Whimmydiddle and it takes place the Saturday, September 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Over 300 food and handmade craft vendors come, along with 5,000 to 10,000 shoppers. Look me up if you plan on going!

You can follow Shelli on her blog at RoadtoRanching.com. ❖