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People who travel to Mexico or other hispanic countries quickly learn the difference between an American perception of timelines and the Mexican approach.

In America, a meeting that starts at 3 pm — starts at 3 pm. If the meeting starts at 3:10, it started late. If a person arrives at 3:10, they are late.

In Mexico, a meeting that starts at 3 pm — might actually begin between 4 and 5. The meeting and participants are not considered late.

Thus people use the phrase, “We’re working on Mexican time.”

I think someone should coin the phrase: farm time.

John and I are terrible at estimating how long a project will take on the farm.

We are always wrong. It almost seems like we lie to ourselves. Or, maybe we are just overly optimistic.

Thinking back, working with my parents and their cattle had the same result.

Here are a few examples of farm time:

My Dad once said, “Can you help me doctor a steer? It will just take an hour.”

Farm time: 3 hours later, we doctored the steer. How could we have guessed that he would jump a fence?

One time John said to me, “Can you watch this gate while I scrape out this pen. It will take 5 minutes.”

Farm time: 40 minutes later, the pen was clean. Turns out, the poo was quite a bit deeper than he expected.

Last fall, we said, “Let’s put up an electric fence. It should only take a day or so.”

3 afternoons later….the fence was finished.

Everything takes two or three or even ten times longer than we expect.

It’s a law. Like gravity.

I should call this “Sierra’s Law of Farm Time”

Definition: Anything that should take five minutes, will take forty. Anything that should take one afternoon will take three.

This week, we ran into another classic example of farm timing. John had hoped to finish a haying project by Thursday afternoon. Then, rain was in the forecast, so they decided not to cut any grass early in the week.

On Thursday, the rain didn’t come.

So, the grass could have been cut after all.

Now, we’ve got five whole days more messing around with putting up with hay.

But, will it really only take five more days? What if the baler breaks down? Then, it could be ten more days! 



  1. Myla

    Amen. 🙂 I can’t say that I’m not always the one ‘falling for’ these timelines though, sometimes I the one saying “It’ll just take 5 minutes.” Cute post!

    • Sierra Shea

      Hey! I do this too. I’ve started telling myself – “Be real, nothing takes less than 30 minutes” every time we talk about doing something 🙂


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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!