Knolltop Farm Wife

Welcome to my blog! I'm a wife, mother of four and a self-employed freelance writer. I live on a dairy farm with my family and I enjoy sharing our life with family, friends and anyone else who wants to visit the farm. There's no telling what the I will write about from day to day, but hopefully you'll be enriched when you stop by! Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Searching for someone

I'm searching for someone who reads my column in the Farmers' Advance. This person used to email me quite a bit especially when I went back to work for a short time at the paper. He gave me a lot of good advice and I wanted to contact him again, but unfortunately when my computer gave out last summer, it took all the email addresses with it! So now I'm hoping that man reads this blog and will contact me again. Thank you!

Is it hot enough?

It's been like July the past few days here on the Knolltop. But I like it. Because we live in an old farmhouse we don't have central air. Our upstairs gets really hot during the day and as the kids climb the stairs to go to bed I hear grumblings about how hot it is up there! So this morning when I woke up and walked through the livingroom to make the coffee, there were two bodies on the couches who must have overheated upstairs. I remember as a kid having to sleep in a hot upstairs. We just put a fan in the window and went to sleep. I don't remember it being that bad. Speaking of being hot, Jake had another game last night and he was sweaty from head to toe. He was the catcher and when I looked at his hair I could see little grains of dirt mixed in with the sweat from when he throws his mask on the ground to scramble for the ball. When he puts the mask back on he has to empty out the dirt, but a lot goes right in his hair. Gramps and Grandma made it to the game and Grandma was commenting about his little red face and the sweat on his nose and how he really needed to just lay down and take a break because he was getting too hot. She sprung for ice cream after the game. I think Jake likes to sweat.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Calling all Ayrshire breeders

I'm making a plea to all Ayrshire breeders today. I have a young man in my 4-H club who wants to buy an Ayrshire heifer to develop. He has had Holsteins in the past, but wanted to venture into another breed. I've called and called and called but to no avail, I cannot find a heifer in the price range for this kid. He is very discouraged and wants to give up, but hope springs eternal! So if you know of anyone who would let go of a heifer please contact me at my email address. Thanks!

Victory

Well, I had another victory yesterday. Yes, I know those of you who know me well, will not believe this....especially my mom. I got the whole garden planted yesterday! The victory isn't the fact that it's all planted, the miraculous aspect is that usually I buy the plants that I plan on putting in and when I get home from the greenhouse I put them in the backyard until I get ready to plant. In the meantime, they get dried out and wilted then I have to bring them back to life a few times and then when I finally get around to planting them about half of them have died from heat exhaustion! Then I have to go back and buy more plants. But yesterday was different. Yesterday, I tilled up the ground then went to the greenhouse, came home and put them right into the dirt! I think that's a first for me. Now if I can just keep the chickens out of it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back to school

Well, it's back to school and things as normal...well as normal as normal gets. It's a beautiful day here on the Knolltop and I've got some outside chores to do. I haven't planted one flower, so I ought to get that done and I haven't planted anything in my garden yet....but my 12 rows of sweetcorn are up! I think I'll have enough for us and the coons this year! Better get the kids going, they aren't going to want to move out this morning....I don't blame them!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

So today is the day of parades, grilling out and rememberances. It's amazing to me what men and women have and are still willing to sacrifice for the rest of us. For our freedom people have been willing to stand in the gap. They've been willing to leave their homes only to head into a war zone to be shot at, to eat less than desirable food and work their tails off to protect this country and to hopefully provide freedom to other people. Most of us don't deserve this kind of sacrifice. We exploit our freedoms and take these wonderful heros for granted. My father was a in the Air Force and used to jump out of airplanes to help save fellow soldiers who went down in a crash or were in trouble for some reason or another. He doesn't elaborate on much, but has told us a few great stories. I don't have the slightest clue how scared he was or how much he hated it or if he enjoyed being a hero, he really doesn't take much glory in it even though he deserves it. One story I won't ever forget was one he told about when they jumped in on a situation where they were determining who was dead and who was alive. One of the medics pronouced the pilot of the aircraft that crashed as dead. My dad had to make the final call because he was the highest ranking officer there. When he went to check on the pilot, he found a pulse and that the man was still alive. They put an IV in his foot and ended up saving his life. That is a hero! I've often wondered where that man is and how his life turned out. I wonder if his family knew that my dad saved his life. I wonder if his children and grand children knew that if it weren't for my dad and his determination and tenacity in that situation there would be no children or grandchildren. I also wonder how many other countless stories there are just like this one that we've never heard about. Again, these people are amazing and deserve more than just one day to be remembered. Let's also remember to pray for those in service today and all of their families...that is the most powerful thing we can do for them. Prayer can changes everything.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Whew!

Well, I got all those sweet rolls done and baked and delivered. I found out this morning, I made a few too many, they had some left over. Better too much than too little! It's been a busy weekend, I've had teenagers galore over here for two days and now they've all gone home and taken two of mine with them! Just Jake and Sarah are left here. Tomorrow we'll watch Luke in another 3 on 3 tournament and JW will march in the parade with the high school band. I think we might try to get some dehorning in too....who knows. These holiday weekends kill me, I can't wait to get back to the mundaneness of the week days! Is mundaneness even a word?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Baking day

It's cloudy here on the Knolltop. I guess we're supposed to get some rain today, none yet. Chores are done, the boys had to help the last couple of mornings because Big Daddy is indisposed. It's fun to have them help in the mornings...I get more time to chat with them. Today is baking day for me. I volunteered to bake sweet rolls for a friend who's daughter is graduating and her open house is tomorrow. I thought I would get it done a little at a time, but now I've got 7 batches to make today, the open house is tomorrow! Why do I always wait until the last minute? But that's not a big deal, I enjoy baking... time in the kitchen is really my favorite time. Jake has his second game tonight, his uniform was in the washer this morning, he got up early and put it in the dryer and before school had it folded and put in a special spot so he wouldn't forget it! I never knew he was so good at folding clothes! Better get to the kitchen.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

County Fairs

The county fair has to be one of the best weeks of the year for any youngster involved in exhibiting livestock. It's a place where relationships are developed and hopes and dreams are realized. But in some places the county fair doesn't include livestock. My friend Trent Loos has been talking about this for a few weeks now concerning a fair in California that is eliminating livestock from it's fair. What is a county fair without the livestock? There's lots to be said for what our urban friends can learn from agricultural producers in a public venue like our fairs and exhibitions, but not if we're not there to teach them.

The loss

Well, Jake has his big start last night and I know you most likely missed it on the ESPN highlights, so I'll report it for you. Jake started out catching for 5 innings and then pitched for another 20 innings, or what seemed like 20 innings. You know at that 8-10 age group, baseball is kind of like watching paint dry, so a game that should've taken about an hour and a half, took two and a half hours to complete and that was only because the ump got tired and asked if the game could be done. They ended up losing by 10 runs, so it wasn't a nailbiter to say the least. But Jake had a single and a double, grounded out and was walked. So all in all, it was a good night as far as mom is concerned, but not for Jake...he wanted to win. More later, I'm being summoned!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Big Start

Well, Jake has his first game tonight in Pittsford. This morning he gave us the team report...."We aren't ready for this game" were his words. And then he hoped that the other team wasn't ready yet either. Let's hope so. Either way, it's 87 and sunny with a nice breeze, the cows are out on pasture, enjoying the warm weather without a care in the world and it's a great day for a baseball game. I will have to miss this first outing...yes those cows haven't figured out how to milk themselves yet!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Clean sweep

Last night JW had a double header with Camden and they swept the Redskins winning the first game 15-2 and the second game 3-2. While they were playing down south, Jake had practice and I got to watch a little bit of his pitching after I got done milking. He's terribly discouraged with his team. A couple of the boys just moved up from Tee ball and they still have a tendency to play in the dirt when their bored. Jake treats each practice like he's in Spring Training with the Braves so there's just a bit of difference in the intensity level on the team. But that's how life is sometimes. Some of us chuckle our way through while others treat each day like it's the only day that matters. Somewhere in the middle would be an approprite place to live.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Birthday wishes

Yes, today is my older brother's birthday. Rex is two years older than me today. He is credited with teaching me more wrestling moves than I ever wanted to learn. But they've come in handy with my own boys. Everytime I start putting a move on my boys, they are always surprised that old mom can be that tough. In fact, I took my 14 year old down the other day and both of us were equally surprised! Anyway, my brother has a beautiful wife and two great boys. Happy Birthday Rex!

Monday Test

This morning the milk tester came. He comes once a month and weighs the milk that each cow is giving and then takes a sample to see how much butterfat and protein each cow is giving. They also test for how clean the milk is by testing the somatic cell count. It's always fun to have the milk tester come, he delivers the news from other farms around the area. Some would call this gossip, we chose to call it "sharing information." Gossip sounds better by another name. :) I'm kidding about that, really we do talk about other farmers, how many cows they're milking, who lost hired help, who's expanding... etc. Well, I'd better get breakfast on the table and get these kids moving...and get my coffee perking!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Fun Sunday

It's been a boy kind of sunday with four extra boys at the dinner table. They are so full of life with lots of stories of their adventures with each other. Ranging in age from 9-16, they all get along and have a great time when they get together for a pick up game of basketball in the barn or whiffle ball in the backyard. They are such a hoot. But this morning in church I was reminded of something I thought was impossible that became possible this week, but only by the grace of God. I sent a story out to a paper in Kansas called Grass and Grain. I had never sent anything to this paper before and they had no idea who I was. After bugging the editor for a couple of weeks, I figured there was no way she would buy my story. When I sent my final email to her, she said she would take the story! I was so excited. But like I said, only by the Grace of God.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

All back home

Bobby took off for Springport for JW's baseball tournament, Sarah went to Coldwater with a friend to a volleyball tournament and Luke, Jake and I went out to breakfast. Then we went froggin' around for awhile. We walked down the streets of Jonesville, they were having a festival this weekend. Then we went picked up Brad and went to the store. Because the boys wanted to warm up before their basketball tournament, we went to an elemetary school and they played while I talked on my cell phone! For the rest of the afternoon, I sat in a chair watching six games of basketball while getting baseball updates on the hour. At chore time everyone arrived back home with lots to tell about their day. Luke's team won 4 games, and lost 2. JW's team won their first game and lost the second. The team Sarah went to support won the whole tournament. Jake...well, he was Luke's manager. It was a fun day, but it was nice to get back home and the cows were glad to see us, I only had to go get two cows from the pasture...that's pretty good odds. After chores the boys had to go work for the neighbor and Jake helped another neighbor unload hay. These farmboys go and go and go....

Those blasted heifers

While things were sparking at the baseball diamond, back at home, things were happening too. When I came home to milk after the fourth inning, I walked in the milkhouse and heard the cows mooing. I thought it was odd that they were so noisy. It was when I heard paper rustling that I figured something was up. When I walked into the stable, I was met with a yearling heifer trying to eat all the milk replacer. I took a look around and saw all the heifers miandering around the barn looking for trouble. The hay cart was turned over, there were heifers with their heads in the grain cart, others were knocking over anything that would move, it was like watching a bunch of toddlers playing in McDonalds playland. Those heifers were everywhere. After chasing them all back out to pasture, the clean up began. The rest of the family was home before I even put the first milker on, which meant, I had help! I guess the heifers caused me some work, but also got me some help!

Got it all in

Yesterday was a busy day, but we got it all done. After a morning of errands, I got half the lawn mowed and then it was time for my sandwich delivery, dinner and off to the game and home for milking. The boys managed to mercy Burr Oak, but now without incident. Our coach got thrown out of the game after getting upset with the ump because he changed a call after the opposing team's coach argued with him. If it had been me, I would've thrown him out long before the ump did. Blue gave him way too many chances in my opinion. It was when our coached took his finger and poked the ump in the chest that I would've just ejected him. In the end it was good entertainment for the record crowd on hand. The only hitch now is our coach has to sit out a game and they are playing a tournament today. The assistant coach would normally take over, but he's got a day job and has to work. So now the athletic director has to coach, he will be a great substitute, but he was going to coach his son's three on three basketball team today at their tournament, in which my son, Luke is also playing. So let it be said, our words and actions are sure to set off a chain of events, good or bad.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I forgot!

What I really wanted to say in that last post and forgot was how good the band sounded. The band director in our little school system is amazing at getting a great sound out of the students. None of them take private lessons, they just do band one hour a day. So I attribute their wonderful sound and solid musicianship to the teacher...he must be doing something right. I only have one complaint...the trumpet section needs to quit chewing gum during a concert! :) What a hoot!

Spring things

Because it's the end of the school year, we are heavy into concerts, plays and award ceremonies. Last evening we attended the band concert. JW plays percussion in the high school band and Luke plays percussion in the Jr High band. Of course we're dairy farmers so we were five minutes late, but we made it and I thoroughly enjoyed every note. I went to a much bigger school than my children attend. We have 400 students k-12 here so things are a little different. In a school this small everyone does everything. You'll find that the athletes aren't seperated from the band geeks and the drama and chorus people also play sports. When I was growing up, you were either in band or an athlete. Yes there were a few who did both, but not as many as in the smaller schools. In addition there were some kids who played certain sports instead of playing all three seasons. In our small district, if you're good at one sport and not another it doesn't matter, you go out for all three seasons because if you need that buddy to play baseball with you to have enough players then you'd better play basketball with him, even if you don't like it or aren't particularly good. Well, better get to my dishes, I've got to buy groceries today and mow this afternoon before the baseball game and children's spring program. Oh yeah and the cows must be milked tonight too!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Gone South

By the way, the Southern Belles have gone home. They left yesterday after a morning of listening to stories of days gone by. We said our goodbyes and they departed. It's always funny when they come. We have a lot of, "what did you say?" or "could you repeat that?" They don't think they talk funny and I don't think they do either, they sound so beautiful. But it's like listening to Scarlett O'Hara. And they can even name the state someone is from by the twang in their accent. That to me is unbelievable!

A little later

I'm a little later than normal on this posting this morning. I'm not sure where the time went. Well, I do know that when I went to get on the computer, someone else was using it....so I had to wait my turn. Anyway, it's overcast with a few glimpses of the sun. Last night I watched Jake at baseball practice and was amazed, not at his talent, but at how much he talks! At home he talks all the time. He wakes up talking and always has one more thing to say and he annoys his siblings, but while I was watching him at practice he was talking constantly to the coaches, to the pitcher, as if he was 40 years old! He was the catcher and was giving the pitcher encouragement after he had walked about four batters. Can you imagine in a game situation how long he will have to conference on the mound with the pitcher? They'll have to set their timers! Well, he does come by in honestly......:)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Chores done

Well, JW and I did chores tonight while everyone else had practice. Now that we're done, we're going to watch a little of the Jakster practice his baseball skills. This ought to be fun...:) Milking was great tonight, the temps have dropped and it was nice a cool in the barn. This is the kind of weather cows love..not too hot...not too cold. Better head to practice.

Sun and Rain

Yesterday started out so sunny and warm. After chores, the neighbor stopped down to discuss our District II Holstein show and sale happening in June. Then Nana and Joann showed up and Joann and I went for a walk. Then Bobby and I wanted the southern belles to feel at home so we went out for some BBQ in Jonesville. We stuffed ourselves and had to be rolled out to the car. When we got home it was time to deliver sandwiches and pick up kids to get ready for the ballgame. With the clouds rolling in and the rain beginning to fall, we figured we were out of luck at watching any baseball. But we were wrong...for a while....we watched 3 innings of baseball and then the rain chased us away. Back at home, the heifers were all out standing under the apple tree in the pasture trying not to get wet and I had help milking thanks to the rain. When the chores were done, we settled in for a night of American Idol.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Central Command

Okay, now I feel like a dispatcher at a business. Yesterday was truly one of those busy days that make you appreciate the slower winter days. After I delivered sandwiches to JW and Luke before they left for the baseball game, I picked up the neighbor kids and my two younger kids and delivered everyone to their respective homes. At 4 pm, Bobby headed south to Reading to JW's game. At 4:45 pm, I delivered Jake to his scrimmage where upon I found a ride home for him since I would be milking when he was finished. One of the dad's offered before I even asked, he knew it was milking time. I came home and Sarah and I started chores. Then at 7 pm, Sarah and the neighbor girl walked down to another neighbors to attend a 4-H meeting. At 7:15 pm, Nana and Joann, Bobby's mother and step grandmother arrived from Georgia. I immediately dispatched them to the ball field where Jake was playing so they could see a little of his baseball savvy in action and to bring him home. Bobby arrived home with Luke at 7:30 pm. I put Luke to work, dispatched Bobby to go pick JW up from the school and go over to see Nana and Joann at the ball field. Sarah arrived home after the 4-H meeting and shortly thereafter, Bobby, Nana, Joann, JW and Jake all pulled to HQ. After we finished up chores, we listened to Jake tell us about his scrimmage blow by blow and enjoyed fresh from the oven sweetrolls and cold, creamy milk. Now do you understand why I feel like a dispatcher? I need a CB and a handle!

Monday, May 14, 2007

JW is now 3-0

I was so overwhelmed with Mother's Day, I forgot to post about JW's game! He pitched a great game with 10 strike outs, walked 2 batters and gave up 1 hit in 5 innings. In the second game he was 2 for 2 in batting. They won both games. So we were very happy for JW and I'm hoping it boosted his confidence level. Although he never looks nervous out on the mound I know he is. I ususally sit on the sidelines and just hope he doesn't hit the batter, I could care less how many strikeouts he has, just as long as he doesn't hurt anyone!

One to remember

I had the Mother's Day of a lifetime yesterday! When I woke up to go milk cows, I was told to stay in bed. You don't know how wonderful those words sounded to me! Shortly after that I heard four sets of foot steps pounding down the stairs and heading out the door. It was a little difficult to fall back asleep, but I managed and didn't wake up until 7 am! When I woke up I was greeted with a tray of breakfast made by my daughter Sarah. It was a wonderful breakfast of eggs, toast with plum jelly, coffee and caramel corn! She knows me well. After that wonderful breakfast I was showered with cards and flowers and delightful conversation as we revisited Mother's Days past. It was definitely a day to remember!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

First Start

Take me out to the ballgame....where JW is going to be the starting pitcher this morning against Will Carlton Academy. He's very nervous, this morning after breakfast he just sat in the chair and looked straight ahead. I think he may even be as nervous as his daddy! We'll see how he does. Today I have to get some mulch and buy myself a mothers day gift...a new weed eater. My mother in law is coming on Monday and I've got to make sure we're looking good for her! We're off and running...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Another Rural Route

Yesterday began as a riot as I was on Rural Route Radio with Trent Loos and Kyle Bauer. I can't believe people actually get paid to talk on the radio...that is so much fun! Oh no, I don't get paid for running my mouth, I'm just along for the ride. If you want to listen in, click on the link on this page and go to the archives and hit Thursday. It's truly a lot of fun!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Check it out

If you want to see your personal right to demonstrate in action you may want to watch the video of Trent Loos at the Illinois State Capitol rallying in defense of horse harvesting in Illinois. Go to www.facesofag.com and see it all!

Perked or drip?

How many people perk their coffee anymore? Well, I do...now. I've been doing the automatic coffee for years now, but my favorite coffee maker gave out and now I have substitute. It was when I broke the substitute pot that I decided I needed to go back to perked coffee on the stove. I'd forgotten how good perked coffee could be. So this morning as I was cooking breakfast, I was treated to the wonderful smells of perked coffee and sausage sizzling in a black iron skillet on the stove. What a great sensation for my kids to wake up to down on the farm!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Hot and humid

Boy was it hot and humid in the barn tonight! It felt like the middle of July...but I'm not complaining! I was glad to turn them out to pasture, I know they've got to love laying out on that grass listening to the frogs croak in the creek while they watch the moon come up and enjoy the cool night breeze.

Trent's surprise

Well, yesterday at the Illiniois State Capitol, Trent Loos and Frank Bowman, the President of the Horseman's Council of Illiniois stood outside the capitol and with two hundred horses in their horse trailer they began handing out stick horses to everyone who showed up. Horse enthusiasts, agricultural activists and even school children were handed not real horses, but a stick horse and conversations were started with those who were uneducated about the value of horse harvesting. By the time they were finished with their rally, almost everyone they talked to were either in agreement or had a better understanding of why we don't need a ban on horse slaughter. I said almost everyone, those on the Illiniois State Senate committee of public health weren't convinced and voted 7-0 to ban horse slaughter in the state of Illinois. But as I spoke to Trent today on the phone, he was true to form. He didn't feel defeated, just challenged.

Greener pastures

With the cows going out on pasture now, my chores have been reduced in the barn and I'm able to stay in after breakfast and get things done in the house. I just got done doing that wonderful mundane duty of cleaning. It feels good now that it's done, but it's not my most favorite chore. It's overcast and misty here on the knolltop, but still warm, which is nice. Last night, the boys lost both baseball games and didn't get home until 10 pm. Then they had homework. Well, JW had homework, Luke kept Dub company while he did it and Bobby and I went to bed! I know that doesn't sound very supportive, but 4 am comes too early to stay up that late!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

FFA Camp!

JW came home from Regional FFA officers camp yesterday worn out and all excited about FFA. He and I milked last night while the other three kids and Big Daddy went to baseball practices. JW got to meet one of the national officers and was thrilled that they kid sat down and visited with him and even remembered his name when they said goodbye. Now he's got his sights set on running for a regional office and then one day he wants to be a national officer. I told him he is definitely officer material. Seeing my son get excited about that kind of leadership stuff just thrills me to no end. I told him we needed to go to the National FFA convention in the fall. We'd better put in our requests now for time off on the farm!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Big surprise

Trent has done it again. Tomorrow morning they are going to have fun in Springfield, Illinois. I'll update you tomorrow as I get the information...I can't wait!

Another Monday

We've been blessed with some sunny days lately and after the snow in April, I'd say we're due! Yesterday afternoon, my youngest son Jake was chomping at the bit to get his Allis out and drag the garden. My garden is an extension of the neighbors field and he plows it every year. Then after the field is planted and my garden is tilled, my kind neighbor always comes down and plants at least 10 rows of sweetcorn for me. He says he's just getting rid of what he has left over, I know he's being a good neighbor. This year, he planted 8 rows and was planning on coming down with another variety in a couple of weeks. The rest of the garden needed to be planted, but I just hadn't gotten to it yet and there were some weeds starting to sprout. Jake spotted the weeds and felt the need to take care of them for me. Knowing he might plow up my sweetcorn, I was hesitant to allow him in my garden, but then I relented and said if his older brother Luke helped him then they could drag the garden. As I watched farmer Jake drive his antique tractor back and forth across my garden my heart melted. It was such a beautiful picture of him...but then upon closer inspection that melted heart turned to stone as I noticed half of my sweetcorn rows had disappeared! I was upset for a few minutes, but then looked into my little farmers eyes and realized the value of that sweetcorn couldn't compare to the value of Jake's small farming experience. Boys, you gotta love 'em!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Horse Havoc

Well, my good friend and commrade Trent Loos is up to something....again. He's taking a stand next week in defense of horse harvesting. The stars in Hollywood don't think we should slaughter horses so they've managed to lobby their way to closing all the horse slaughter plants in the nation. Now we have unwanted horses being dropped off like unwanted kittens instead of being used for useful products like pet food--uncontaminated pet food, I might add. Trent feels a ban on horse harvesting will undoubtedly create unwanted horse problems but beyond that it is a violation of the personal property rights of farmers and ranchers. So Trent has developed a plan. He's going to stampede the Illinois state capitol on Tuesday, May 8. That's right, he has secrured horses for anyone who shows up in support of his horse harvest rights rally and they will ride(calmly, not actually stampede) to the state capitol and demonstrate while the Illinois state senators prepare to vote on HB 1711 (an anti-slaughter bill) in committee later that day. What I would like for anyone who reads this is to pray for the group. I guess things can get kind of hairy when it comes to horse slaughter. This needs to be a safe, effective demonstration.

Split

Yesterday at the baseball tournament, JW's team split, they lost the first game but won the second. We got home in plenty of time to work outside, so I finally got all the law mowed. Boy, that makes me crazy when I can't keep the lawn as nice looking as the widow next door. On our farm, we have two farmhouses and our neighbor is the widow of the farmer who used to own our farm. She is meticules about her lawn and keeps her flower beds in tip top shape. It's nice, not only because we have a pretty view when we look out our window, but she also keeps me accountable. I can't let my lawn get long when hers looks so good. Besides, we have to keep the farmstead looking neat for the Sunday drivers through the summertime!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Off again

Yes, it's another Saturday morning and we are off to......a baseball game. As soon as chores are done that is! It's a little overcast this morning, but it's going to be a nice day. A great day to mow and work outside. Last night the boys had a game in Pittsford, just a little south of here and they mercied the Wildcats! They got home early, so I had help with chores. Better get to the barn so we can get to the game.

Friday, May 4, 2007

You just never know

It's a beautiful sunny day here on the Knolltop. The corn is planted and as I write, the spray coup is going by outside my window. Now I really need to get to my garden! Last evening while I was typing something for my son, Luke, I discovered number one, that his spelling needs some improvement, but the other was his perspective in several areas of his life. He had to write an ABC book with every letter in the alphabet representing something. For example, H was for Holly, his show cow. He went on and on about her winnings in the showring. Another was J was for Jake, his younger brother who was in a tragic accident a few years back and had to learn to walk again. Another was F for football and was actually the insert that was the most surprising. It was with this entry that I learned that Luke loves showing cows more than playing football when wrote that he was not going to play football this fall, instead he was going to take Holly to World Dairy Expo in October. I guess I'd better make some motel reservations in Madison.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Almost done

Well, the day is almost over. When I get some more typing done, I'll be able to head to my nice soft bed! As I look over the day, I didn't accomplish all that I wanted to do, but I managed to get half the lawn mowed, my column written, the cows milked with JW's help as all the rest of the family was at baseball practice and the heifers didn't get out. All in all, I'd say it was a pretty productive day especially when you add in the fact that I also made a coffee cake to have with my afternoon cup of Joe. The sun is setting on the Knolltop, it's time to relax!

Lots to do

I already know this day will not be long enough for all that I want to accomplish, especially since right now, I should be out feeding the heifers and bedding the cows. Today is column writing day too and I promised my son I would help type something for him. Jake is on me about the lawn being too long and ragged, so mowing is on the agenda too. Does anyone else face days like this? Better get on it!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Teenage Editors

You should always beware when you have teenagers in the house who are savvy on a computer! While I was out watching my two youngest kids at a church program this evening, my relief milkers (the older boys) felt they needed to do some editing to my blog. For those of you who saw the caption with my youngest son's picture you noticed the insult that my teenage editors thought they needed to add. (I fixed it) There is nothing sacred with these boys! But at least they are keeping Jake "real" which he needs....being the baby of the family.

Open Range

It seems that's what the heifers on our farm think they have, open range priviledges. Yesterday morning while bedding the stalls, a neighbor stopped by, not for a visit but to let us know we had some heifers out. We chased them through the freshly planted corn field and got them back in, fixed the hole and went on about our business. After an evening of chores and a double header that had a 45 minute rain delay, we dropped into bed later than normal only to hear the phone ring. It was another neighbor calling to let us know their were some heifers out! We rolled back out of bed, headed out in the pitch black darkness, of course it was cloudy, no moonlight to illuminate the cornfield and I drove the truck while Big Daddy got his exercise. When we got them back to the barn, I opened the door only to allow the rest of the heifers and the horse out. As I began to mutter bad things under my breath about how stupid those heifers were acting and something about wishing I had a shotgun, one heifer shot back through the barn door and all the rest followed her. A big sigh of relief came as I slid the barn door closed and headed back up to the house. My bed never felt better.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Eating Dirt

On this beautiful Tuesday, I have the wonderful opportunity to teach city kids where their food comes from....from the ground up! I will be explaining to school children that pizza comes from the soil. I'm excited to have the chance to promote agriculture and to see what kind of goofy questions these kids come up with. After then it's off to another double header, if it doesn't rain. And somewhere in between I have to get replacement parts for my vacuum cleaner...then I'll have to use it!