History of the Internet part 5

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Working from Home in the 2000s

Summer in the country

Ah July, such an amazing time of year, picnics, hiking, camping, barbecues with friends and family, sounds perfect. Too perfect. This is not a reality if you are a farmer or work in agriculture, like our family. This is a very hectic time of year; cutting hay, waiting 2 to 3 days for it to dry in the sun completely and then baling it. Large round bales are easy; they get loaded onto wagons and unloaded either inside coveralls or outside in long rows. Small square bales used to feed horses and sheep are much more work; they have to somehow get loaded onto the wagon, and somehow be unloaded into the barn for storage. On our farm the unloading is a manual process, requiring any available family member to unload off the wagon onto a hay elevator, which carries it up into the barn and then get grabbed by family members and stacked in the mow. This is usually done on the hottest days of July; the barn literally feels like an oven and the unfortunate workers in the barn down jugs of water after each load to keep hydrated.

The good thing is I work from home. The bad thing is I work from home so I help on the farm too. Sometimes that help is unloading a wagon or driving to our local farm equipment store to pick up parts or supplies. Mostly I help by preparing meals and delivering them to different locations on the farm while my husband and sons keep working in the fields. 

The weather can also cause a lot of stress if the hay has been cut and it’s going to rain, rain ruins the quality of the hay. If the hay isn’t completely dry, it can’t be used for square bales (damp square bales will rot and can actually heat up in the barn and cause a barn fire!) and must be round baled and wrapped in plastic to preserve its quality.  Wrapped hay ferments and has a sweet/sour odour when fed out in the winter.

Farmers can’t make any plans until the hay is done. Any invitation to a summer pool party or picnic is answered with ‘depends on the weather, if the hay is ready, we will be busy, but if it rains, we can come’.

This summer while you are driving through the country enroute to your summer vacation or fun family excursion and see the farmers working in the fields, take some time to consider what they are doing.  Are you going to eat today? Thank a farmer.

History of Rural Internet – Part 4

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Summer is finally here, it’s my favourite season! Which makes it difficult to sit indoors working when I want to be outside. The past few years has taught us that we can effectively work from home, even from our back decks or, in my case, the front porch. Where we work while at home brings me to my next story… 

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History of the Internet – Part 3

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For those celebrating an anniversary this month (wedding, birthday, business, relationship, fitness or health goal), Happy Anniversary! I am celebrating 14 years in business this spring, which translates to 14 years of educating myself. Education doesn’t stop after high school, college or university, it continues throughout life. I learned that dial-up was pretty cool, but realized it was way too slow.

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History of the Internet – Part 2

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I was shocked when I mentioned to 2 people that I had written an article for Hello Country about dial-up internet and was told they both knew someone who still used it!  Curious, I called my old dial-up provider; they still offer dial-up to remote customers who aren’t within their cable coverage area. I didn’t think people would still use it when there were so many faster options available.

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History of the Internet – Part 1

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When my husband and I first got married I worked in an IT department for a large insurance company in Mississauga. Part of my job entailed being on call when the batch programs ran overnight, if anything went wrong, I would have to analyze the error and fix it so that the programs could complete overnight. I hated being on call …. all we had was dial-up internet.

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