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!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Double header, double win

Last evening, Luke played a double header against Reading. He pitched the first game and had 10 Ks. They won 2-0. The second game they won 5-4 and Luke caught the whole game. Jake and I were doing chores, Sarah had a game in Reading and JW had a basketball tournament. Shortly after the cows were milked, Bobby called and said they won the first game. At that point with the cows milk and all the rest of the stock were fed and watered, the rest of the chores could wait and Jake and I high-tailed it to the ball diamond to watch the second game. If there's anything Bobby and I hate is missing even one of our kids actitivities!

It's a beautiful morning here on the Knolltop where the work for the day is dehorning calves, cleaning out calf pens and yard work. The wheat is a deep golden color, word on the street is harvest will begin by the end of next week!

Another piece of good news is that Dieter Kreig, publisher of The Farmshine Newspaper in Pennsylania has decided he will run my column! I talked to him yesterday and he said he thinks he has room for it...maybe. (He's a hard sell!) So look for my column in two weeks!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Slower evening

Last night we had no baseball games, and no baseball practice, the only thing going was JW's basketball practice. So after chores, I came in and relaxed! It was so wonderful to enjoy the company of my children...well actually I had to write my column because I didn't get a chance to do it earlier in the day.

Today I get to go have lunch with a bunch of girls from church. I can't wait! The kids have to help Bobby clean out calf pens.

My sweetcorn is tasseling!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

And baby makes two

It's been a busy morning here on the Knolltop. After Bobby, Luke and Jake left for basketball camp, where they have only lost one game...I finished up chores. The vet stopped by to check Holly and to pregnancy check the neighbor's heifers and he took note of a cow calving. He offered to help pull the calf, but I said, no, we can handle it. I should've taken his offer.

After I finished up chores, JW left to go work at the neighbors and I decided to check on this cow. When I reached in to check on the calf, oh my..what big feet I felt! Knowing full well this calf would not be born without assistance I put some string around the feet of the calf and began pulling. Forty five minutes later, I made a desperation call to the neighbor and he wasn't close enough, so then I called Sarah and she came out to help. We pulled and prayed and finally this huge bull was born...alive! I was so thankful for Sarah's help and God's provision of strength!

Now I've got to check on mama and baby and then hopefully head down to the basketball tournament. The latest update is they lost their first game by three and now are going to play another team who they should beat pretty handily. Then who knows????

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Day Two

It's day two of Luke's basketball camp and they are having a ball! They won two out of three games yesterday and will go at it again today. Last night at JW's baskeball practice, Luke was invited to play too, he loves to play with the older boys.

Sarah's team won their game, she got on base twice and scored two runs. It was a late game, we didn't get home until 9:30 pm.

It's been so hot lately causing Holly to go off feed for a day and dropped in milk. Boy was that nerve wracking having to think about her all day and wondering what was wrong. But as soon as she got out of the barn and into the cooler night air she began eating again and talk about a relief! She was eating well this morning too.

Today, Jake and Sarah and I will travel down to one of Luke's games, I shouldn't because I've got so much to do, but since the mountain of laundry has been reduced to a hill and I vacuumed up the hay chaff in the corners of the kitchen, I feel a little better about leaving. :)

As I look out my window this morning I can see the wheat has really turned in the last couple of days. It's such a beautiful golden color and soon, we'll be baling straw!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Gone but not forgotten

Yes, my sister and her family left to head back to Montana today. On Sunday we had a big day of eating and celebrating my parents anniversary. We had to leave the party early of course to come back home and milk the cows, but we came back with a bonus...my nephew Tom.

Tom is 18 and has one Ayrshire cow that he breeds and milks. He has a big customer base of buyers for Betsey Lou's raw milk. He takes a load to the local town, where his grandma lives and puts the milk in her fridge and people come and get it from there and then he also takes a load to Billings where he meets people and they pick up their fresh milk. He fetches a pretty big price for this ranch product...the locals pay $5.00 per gallon and the urbanites in Billings pay $7.00 a gallon. Talk about a niche market!

Because Tom loves dairy cattle, he wanted to come to our house and spend some time with his kindred souls. We had a great time and he helped JW and I milk the whole time he was here. Milking a barn full of cows is different than milking just one, but he got into the groove and did a fine job for us. In between milkings we built fence and went swimming and of course the most important thing we did was EAT. Tom has a hollow leg.

While we had Tom my sister took Jake and Sarah and they went to Henry Ford Museum. After a day of touring, they brought them to my house so Jake could make it to his game and Sarah to her practice. Jake's team lost by one run.

After the game they came here and we had ice cream and then the sad moment came when they had to leave. I don't think I've laughed as much in a long time as when Tom was here...he and JW and Luke are great together. I sure wish they lived closer!

The agenda for the day is called catch up! I've got a mountain of laundry to get done and a house that looks like a pack of wolves has moved in. Bobby and Luke are gone to basketball camp for the day which means we'll finish chores this morning and then I won't be interrupted for any errands or "will you help me's."

I'll try to get to the pool today, I just love sitting poolside and reading while the kids swim.

Monday, June 25, 2007

It's hot and humid

We're pretty hot and humid here on the Knolltop. Yesterday the family gathered to celebrate my parents 50th anniversary...I'll have pictures tomorrow. After the party I left my two younger kids there and came home with my 18 year old nephew, Tom. He has one cow out west that he milks...more about that this week. Consequently, he wanted to come to the dairy farm to milk our cows with us. When we finished chores last night we went to a bigger dairy where they milk 1500 cows, so he could see the other extreme.

This morning they worked on fence, then I took them swimming over lunch and now they are back to work on the fence. I've got to fix dinner and then chores and Jake has a game. My sister is going to bring Jake and Sarah home this afternoon, hopefully in time for the game and Sarah's practice. Tomorrow, Bobby and Luke will spend the day at basketball camp, so I will get some things done around here...like laundry!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

West comes East

The westerners made it to the great lakes last night. My sister and her family showed up at Luke's ball game last night and were able to sit and watch most of his game with us. It was such a treat to have them here, sharing one of our passions with us. The boys have changed so much, but have also stayed the same. I enjoyed watching all of the cousins interact with each other, especially John the college student and my daughter. They sparred the whole time they were together...too much alike maybe?

They left for Grandmas house about 9 or so, but they are still on Montana time, so it was early for them! I'm sure they will be tired this morning. It sure is good to see them!

By the way, Luke's team lost the first game and won the second. Luke pitched the second game and caught the first game. Sarah's team lost, I wasn't able to see that, it was at 5 pm...right during chore time.

Today, we're fixing fence, every night when we come home from a ballgame there are at least two or three cows out...time to put an end to that!.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Ranch Wife wannabe

I went to a career fair last night held in Bloomfield Hills and visited with youngsters about careers in agriculture and I specifically spoke to the whole group on ag journalism. When I spoke I told them that all my life all I wanted to do was to be a farmer's wife but my parents told me that a college education was a valuable asset that no one could ever take away so they encouraged me to go to college. Of course I did and I've ended up with the best of both worlds, a farmer's wife and mother...and an ag journalist!

When I finished speaking Gina, the girl in the picture came up to me and told me she has the same aspirations as I did...she wants to be a rancher's wife. I told her that was a wonderful goal but that she needed to get an education first.

I was so struck by this...I didn't think there was anyone out there who would want to be the wife of a farmer or a rancher, especially growing up in the middle of the city. I'm so pleased to see there are kids growing up knowing that there is value in being a wife and mother and who also see the value in agriculture. I hope Gina does find her rancher or farmer, I know my boys saw her picture and are ready to get to know her a little better! Good thing we live two hours away! Gina... if you read this, email me and let me hear from you!

Happy 50th Anniversary

Fifty years ago today, my parents Richard and Virginia Peckens were married! It really doesn't seem like they are old enough to be married that long...I don't think they think they're old enough either. We will have a celebratioin for them this weekend. My sister and her husband and five boys are all coming from Montana, well the oldest boy is flying in from California, but the rest are on their way home to celebrate with all the rest of us. It should be a good time, since we haven't all been together since my brother was married and back then four of the grandchildren weren't even born yet. So I guess you could say that we've never all been together!

A week ago, my sister and her husband celebrated their anniversary and if I were one to remember I'd know what year it was...let me take a stab at it...I think it is number 23 for them. And next Friday, my brother and his wife will celebrate 11 years of wedded bliss together. I'm the odd one out, my anniversary was in February.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Two losses

It was a tough night for baseball last evening as both Jake and Luke's teams lost. Jake's team went into extra innings and lost and Luke's team lost both of their games to Hudson. Jake once again caught the whole game and Luke pitched their first inning and then played shortstop in the second game.

The night before last, Sarah's team came away with a win. They were down 10-1 in the fourth inning and rallied to come back and tie the game. In extra innings the girls pulled it off with help from a homerun by Kaylie. They were very excited to say the least.

Tonight I get to go speak at a career fair about agricultural careers and that will be fun. I went down to the Farmers Advance and got some of my articles laminated and some papers to hand out. I get to travel to Bloomfield Hills, it's been a while since I've been to Detroit!

Coffee's gettin' cold, better get!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Free Milk

It was Kidsfest today at our fairgrounds and the local Michigan Milk Producers and Hillsdale County Farm Bureau set up a petting zoo and gave out free milk to all the kids. We supplied the calves for the zoo and handed out the milk. Sarah and Jake came out and were a huge help. One of the calves that we took was Jake's 4-H calf and the other was a newborn...Penny. Penny got a lot of petting time, the kids were drawn to her and she lapped up all the attention she could.
We ran out of milk just 2 hours into the day...I guess it was a little more popular than we thought, but free milk is hard to resist. One of the funniest things about the day was when the kids were given the option of white or chocolate milk, most said chocolate. But when the occasional kid came along and wanted white, the mom always looked down at her child and said, "Are you sure, don't you want chocolate?" I think us moms like chocolate a little more than most kids!
It was a great day of trying to teach the town folk where their food comes from. You can see some of the pictures below.
Tonight, Luke plays in Hudson and Jake has a home game. JW, Sarah and I will handle chores. It was a beautiful day here on the Knolltop..I just wasn't here to enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Honey's Here!

Yesterday Holly gave us a heifer--Honey! We are so excited about Holly calving and giving us a heifer.
I'm having trouble posting on the blog because my teenage boys are acting like toddlers! They are walking around with book covers on their heads and now Luke has taken a bandana and cut a mask out of it and they are bent over with laughter! So I guess that's all for now, since I'm being interrupted.

She's Here!

Honey has arrived! Yesterday afternoon, Bobby and Luke helped Holly deliver her heifer calf and they named her Honey. I just can't believe she gave us another heifer! This is very exciting, especially for Luke as he gets to show Holly's offspring. Now we just need to get the swelling out of Holly's udder and she needs to get ready for the show in a few weeks.

Penny was the other heifer born yesterday from Petunia. She's cute too, but her mother is now a show cow. But you never know how she might turn out. We won't be able to show these calves until next spring, they are too young for this show season.

Jake won his game last night against Waldron. He caught the whole game. It was a nice evening, breezy and warm. I really don't know why I bothered to shower before the game, all the dirt from the infield blew on us...every step a kid took stirred up a dust storm for us.

Bobby is on his way to a Holstein meeting in Lansing and this afternoon, the kids and I have to go get 12 cases of milk from McDonalds to give away at Kidsfest tomorrow at the fairgrounds. We also have to take a couple of calves out for the petting zoo.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Back to normal

It seems now with the sale over, life can get back to normal...whatever that is. The kids will now be put to work with a daily routine. They don't know this yet....:) The boys have to go unload hay this morning for the neighbor and Jake and Sarah have to work with their show heifers. Then I've got to get the laundry done and some other things around the house. Housekeeping has been put on the back burner and it needs to come up to the front and put on high.
Holly hasn't calved yet, but I bet by this morning she will have a new calf out there. Petunia delivered a new heifer this morning, well actually last night, they were out in the pasture this morning and the calf was dry and up, bouncing around. After Holly we'll have one more cow to calve this month.
My coffee is getting stale, time to refill and get going.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Fathers Day!

To all the fathers out there, and especially mine, Happy Fathers Day! We're having a relaxing morning here on the Knolltop. Why aren't we in church you migh ask? There is this event called NASCAR and they are having a race today just a few miles northeast of here and because of the millions of people who love NASCAR the traffic on a Sunday makes in nearly impossible to go anywhere north of here. So two weekends during the summer, we stay close by.

In honor of Fathers Day, we are taking Big Daddy to the batting cages...upon his suggestion. He said that's where he wanted to go. Then we'll take him out to lunch and back home for a relaxing afternoon.

Holly is getting close to calving and we can't wait! I'll have a camera soon and I'll take pictures, if she doesn't calve before the camera is available!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Great Sale

Our District II Holstein sale was a great success. We averaged 2400 on 80 lots. Everyone was pleased with how the sale went except the buyers who thought they were going to pick up some cheap cattle. Our heifer sold well and I was pleased with who bought her. The Heislers from Springport bought her, I hope they show her.

Now, about this blog, yesterday I posted, but it didn't show up on my computer, did it for anyone else?

Last night while JW, Jake and I were at the sale, Luke and Sarah had games, Luke's team won and Sarah's team lost. Sounds like Sarah would've been better off coming to the sale and enjoying rootbeer floats!

Better get mowing and hoeing!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sale Day

It's finally here...District II sale day! I dropped the boys off this morning at the fairgrounds, they should be well into washing the cows by now. What a job that will be! Luke is bummed though, he has a game he has to go to tonight instead of the sale, so he will miss out on leading the cattle through. Sarah has a game too, but I don't think she's bothered by missing the sale. I have to head down to Camden and pick up some business cards and newspapers for a seminar that I'm doing next week and get the ice cream for our rootbeer floats for the presale party.
It's a beautiful day again, but it's going to be hot. I just love summer!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Great Games

It's another sunny morning here on the Knolltop. It promises to be a very hot day. I've got my cup of coffee and I'm heading into a full day of getting ready for the District II sale tomorrow. JW is already out to the fairgrounds and Luke has gone to help the neighbor move some hay. Then Luke and the neighbor are going to replace one of the batteries in the tractor. After that, Luke and I will load up Fantasia and take her to the fairgrounds for the sale. I'm going to miss her, she is one of our show heifers and she's been very easy to break and is a dream to show. I hope whoever buys her will take her on the tanbark trail this summer.

It's said that Luke played the best game of his life last night. He pitched the first game and had a double and a triple. In the second game he played first base. I can't remember ever seeing him play first base, it was kind of boring though, so I left and went to watch Jake's game in Pittsford. Although I was planning on going to Jake's game all along, I should've stayed at Luke's game. That boring game transformed into a drama filled game. They ended up going into extra innings and one of the opposing team's coaches got thrown out and we won! Luke caught a line drive to the arm and it swelled right up, so this morning he's "enjoying" his injury.

Down at Pittsford, Jake caught the whole game and I really can't tell you how he batted. But I do know this; he was trying to catch a ball and tag a guy out and got plowed over, knocked the wind out of him and now he has a great story to tell. He loves to tell the stories, over and over and over again. They ended up losing the game.

Well, better get on my strawberries and I've got to write this morning too. All of a sudden I'm feeling a little crunched for time!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dementia

Okay, by now you're probably wondering why I had three posts talking about my Nashville trip. It's because I have dementia....I wish I could blame it on that, but really when I posted this morning, it wasn't coming up on my blog, so I thought I lost it and then I posted again and lost it..or so I thought so then I tried one more time and all three posts showed up. I'm sorry about that....I need to go to bed!

Back from Nashville

Yesterday, Sarah, Jake and I took a roadtrip to Nashville....Michigan. We were at the Dairy Fund Day sponsored by the Michigan Junior Holstein Association at Mooville Creamery owned and operated by the Westendorp Family.

It was very successful, about 90 kids showed up to learn more about the dairy industry and we had a great time. I will be sharing pictures soon. When we got home Sarah had a game, Luke was at the fairgrounds working on the sale crew for our Michigan Holstein District II Sale to take place on Friday, JW had to help me milk and then go to basketball practice and Bobby had to go get some hay for us and for the sale cattle. It was a wild night of running and making sure everyone got to their destination on time. We were able to get the cows milk, get JW to practice, get Sarah to her game, pick up Luke, watch some of Sarah's game and then be home visiting about the day by 10:30 pm.

Tonight Jake and Luke have games and JW is out at the fairgrounds working on the sale cattle. So that leaves Sarah and I home to do the chores and then hit a couple of ballgames. I'm not sure when we'll see the whites of JW's eyes tonight.

Well, if I don't get to the barn right now, I won't make any games! By the way, I wrote an update this morning, but it didn't post, so I'm having to do it all over again! AND ...Pami had a heifer calf and her name is Pontoon...the guys named her...don't ask, I have no idea!

Back from Nashville

Yesterday was our road trip to Nashville....Michigan.... Yes, we went to Mooville Creamery for Dairy Fun Day sponsored by the Michigan Junior Holstein Association. It was a great day but the real fun began when I got home when all of a sudden JW needed new basketball shoes, Bobby needed to go get hay, Sarah needed to go to her ballgame, Luke needed to be at the fairgrounds to milk a bunch of sale cattle from Nebraska that are going to sell in our District II sale, JW had basketball practice and yes....the cows needed to be milked. It all happened and at 10:30 pm last night we were sitting in the livingroom discussing the days events. But that doesn't even compare to the day before when Jake's birthday turned out to be a day when I needed a revolving door!

By they way...Pami had a heifer calf yesterday and they guys named it Pontoon.....don't ask.

Back from Nashville

For those of you who were wondering how I could make it to Nashville and back all in one day...it was Nashville, Michigan! The Michigan Junior Holstein Association sponsored a Dairy Fun Day at Mooville Creamery owned by The Westendorps. It was a great day and around 90 kids showed up for it. There were educational stations set up for all age groups and we had donuts for breakfast, pizza for lunch and ice cream sundaes. They also had farm tours set up in the afternoon. We skipped the farm tours though, we had to get back because I had to milk, Sarah had a ballgame, the cattle from Nebraska that are being sold in our District II sale on Friday had arrived at the fairgrounds and JW and Luke had to help milk and wash them...so it was a very busy day.

When we got home I had to go get basketball shoes for JW, he had practice last night as well. So let's see, Luke was out at the fairgrounds, JW and Jake stayed home to help me milk, Bobby went after hay and Sarah caught a ride to her ballgame in Waldron. After we got done milking, I took JW up to the school, Bobby got home and we washed the pipeline and let the cows out then hopped in the truck and picked Luke up from the fairgrounds and headed to Waldron to catch the last hour of Sarah's game. They ended up losing and we came home, JW had to get a ride home from practice and when we got home Bobby and I went out to the barn and finished up what chores we left so we could see Sarah's game. At 10:30 pm we were all visiting about the day and then retired for the night.

That's not even close to my day from Monday, but since Bobby isn't fully recovered from his surgery, I have to head back out and clean gutters with Luke so Bobby can just lay down for a while. I'll write more later. Oh... a wonderful blessing from yesterday was that the cow that was calving when I left for Nashville...had a heifer calf! Her name is Pontoon...don't ask me!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Nashville Roadtrip

Jake, Sarah and I are headed to Nashville for the day. We're going to help educate kids about the dairy industry. I think I need a revolving door on my house after yesterday! And today isn't much better. When we get home, Sarah has a ballgame in Waldron...hopefully I'll be able to attend! More later on the day of days...yesterday!

P.S. Pami's water broke while we were milking this morning....a baby will arrive soon! Hopefully it's a heifer...she is one of our best cows. But the real delivery will be next week when Holly is due to calve...can't wait for that one!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Jake

Today is my youngest son, Jake's birthday. He is 10 years old. Now all of my children are in the double digits. Of course, I don't have his present yet, I will stop at the John Deere dealership on my way to the hardware and pick up something for him. You can never have too many pieces of farm equipment...and I need more to trip over! I will bake his cake today and we'll celebrate his birthday this evening with Gramps and Grandma when they come down for his game tonight.

It's an amazing thing to have Jake turning 10 today. Just 8 years ago, Bobby backed over Jake with the skidsteer and he ended up in the hospital for over a week. It was a scary time and God performed a miracle that day. Jake shouldn't be with us, but God decided to spare Jake and show his power to us. Jake ended up with a broken femur and was in a body cast for eight weeks. Although it was awful that Jake had to endure that, it was a very special time for our family.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Aunt Ginny the horse breeder

My sister, Ginny, lives out in Montana with her husband Lars and her five boys, Tim, John, Tom, Aaron and Raynor. She has homeschooled them all their years and has graduated two of the boys and they are now in college. None of this surprises me, but what does surprise me is this picture of her on her horse. She grew up on the same dairy farm that I did and never took a liking to horses. But now she has her own brood of Missouri Fox Trotters. She breeds them and breaks them and trains them. Now, my sister is one of those people that when she puts her mind to something, she gets it done and gets it done right. It doesn't surprise me in the least that she's successful at breeding and breaking horses, but what does surprise me is her affinity for horses. Now I see her in this picture on a horse, with leather gloves and her long pony tail hanging out the back of a baseball cap??? Who is that? She's always been the more feminine of the two of us and now she looks better in a baseball cap than I do! She's one amazing sister!

Winners and Losers

It's another sunny day here on the Knolltop. But last night wasn't so sunny for Luke and Sarah. Luke's team played Reading in a double header. They won the first game and Luke played catcher, then in the second game they lost, Luke pitched and he didn't think he did such a great job. Sarah's team also got beat up by Reading. She was actually upset, she never gets upset about losing, usually she's just happy to be alive. But the real winners were Bobby and I because we left the chores to JW and his friend and they were very successful in not only getting everything done, but getting everything done correctly! I was able to watch Luke's first game and then head back to North Adams for the remainder of Sarah's game. I told JW this morning how much I appreciated his efforts and what a great gift he gave to his Daddy and I in allowing us to watch the other kids play ball. (I made Luke and Sarah thank him too.) Today the three boys are down at the neighbors cleaning out a corn bin. I'm going to work in my garden today and plant some flowers.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Baby Boom

Yesterday while doing Rural Route, the rooster was crowing outside the window and Kyle and Trent were asking me about my chickens. I told them I only had one hen left and that I had no idea what happened to the other one. Later on in the afternoon, I went across the road to the barn to mow and Bobby informed me that we had 14 new baby chicks! That's where the other hen was all this time. They are absolutely the cutest things you have ever seen! Mama has her hands full keeping track of all those babies. I hadn't seen them yet this morning, she's got them well hidden. The last day of school is today so I will go in and watch the awards ceremony and then head to the store for some much needed food...so I'm told!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Double Win

Last evening after leaving the remaining chores to JW, I went into town and enjoyed watching a little bit of Jake's game and then ran down the street to Sarah's game and they both ended up winning! In fact, they both smoked their opponents! Gramps and Grandma made it down but they were a little worn out since they had spent the night before at Oldsmobile Park watching their hometown baseball team, Fowlerville, play in a tournament. Fowlerville almost pulled it out in the championship game, but came up one run short when the last out was made. Today is supposed to be hot and windy...a great day for hanging out laundry. I've got to mow the rest of the lawn but before I can do that I will be doing Rural Route Radio and then I've got to write a couple of columns. I think I'd better have an extra cup of Joe for this line up.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Farm kid robbing

I'm finding out that when you have a farm boy who knows how to work...you have a hot commodity. The neighbor just came by and stole my help for awhile. I told him he'd better have him home by milking time. Another neighbor came by earlier and laid claim to the boys tomorrow afternoon because it's a baseball free day. I think I might have to make my reservations early to keep my boys home this summer!

Another blessing

Yesterday a lady called me and asked if I would lead worship and do special music for a women's retreat! I have to call her back to get the details, but this should be great fun! I can't wait and I'm so excited that God has given me this opportunity to use His gifts!

Beautiful

It's a beautiful morning here on the Knolltop. The sun is out and it's very cool. But it's promising to be a great day. Things are looking up at finding an Ayrshire heifer...after emailing every breeder in the country...well, maybe not quite every breeder...Palmyra Farms in Maryland finally took the bait and emailed me back. They may have a heifer but Mary is going to make some calls for me. I'm excited again. Their national sale is coming up too, so that may have a heifer or two that Matt can afford to check into, we'll see. Another exciting event is coming up next week at Mooville Creamery. It's Dairy Fun Day organized by the Michigan Junior Holstein Association. I've had a slu of emails from people wanting to sign up...I guess there are some youngsters out there who want to learn more about the dairy industry...and that's exciting! Tonight we only have two games, Luke's game was cancelled. I'm glad, I was going to have to miss his game but now I won't have to. Last evening we had the spring sports banquet and JW earned his varsity letter. Now we just need to get a varsity jacket to put it on. I'd better get going or I'll never get anything done today, even though I have all my vacuuming and dishes and several loads of laundry finished! I've got to mow and hoe today.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Something New

Well, last evening we tried something new. We actually left chores to our oldest son and his friend so Bobby could attend Luke's practice and I could attend Jake's game. It was like leaving your kids home for the first time alone. I let them milk by themselves while I bedded the heifer pens and fed the youngstock. I hung around as long as I could but I knew I had to get to Jake's game, otherwise there would be no point in letting them milk alone. So I finally went to leave and the battery in the truck was dead! So then I called a friend who was headed to the game and she came and got me. That was all by design I think. While I was waiting around I noticed the vacuum pump was staying on much longer than it needed to be, so I went over to the barn and sure enough, they just weren't sure on what do to after the hooked up the milkers to wash and they were discussing their next move. I gave them a hint and they immediately remembered and went on to finish up and I left for the game. This morning all was well in the barn. No dead anything....no blown quarters....everything seemed to have gotten fed and watered, which is the most important thing. Tomorrow night it will happen again as Jake, Luke and Sarah all have games. I think I might need to pray and fast! By the way, Jake's team won!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Counting Down

The kids are counting down to their last day of school this week. Friday is the day. Graduation was held yesterday and JW had to play in the band for it. He said it was boring. It rained most of the day, so my garden is going great guns. This morning it's sunny on the Knolltop with lots to do. We have a couple of plumbing repairs to make in the barn and the maunure spreader needs a quick fix too. Jake has a game tonight and Sarah and Luke have practice. I will actually get to bring all my kids home today after school, I'm looking forward to that. This morning Bobby is at school having donuts with the kids. The elementary school has a "muffins with mom" before mothers day and "donuts with dad" before fathers day. It's really kind of fun and they always have a great turnout. Well, I've got to get on my day, with those repairs and then I've got a couple of stories that need to be written, if I don't get moving I'll never get anything done. Plus my coffee is perked and ready to drink!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Bad Loss

Yesterday we spent the day at the ball field watching JW's team play in their district game. They faced a team they had mercied twice before. But this team came to win and our team thought they had already won...and they lost. It was awful for those boys. They should've won both games easily, but instead came home empty handed. Although JW is just a freshman and will have three more years to win, the seniors on the team took it pretty hard. They rallied back from five runs down to score seven runs in one inning. But then they just couldn't hold the Tekonsha Indians.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Neighborly visits

Last night should've been a less than hectic evening on the Knolltop. There were only two practices and no games, but somehow the night was full. When I came home from picking up JW from practice Bobby left to go to Luke's practice. Jake, Sarah, JW and I were home to take care of chores. We began milking and the neighbor called and wanted the boys to help move some hay. I told him he'd have to wait 'til 8:00 when Luke got home. JW said he had lots of homework so I told him at 7:00 he could go in and get started and hopefully be done by 8 so he could go help the neighbor. Everything was great until Bobby called from the ball field and wanted JW to come over and pitch for batting practice for the boys. We finished milking, let the cows out and jumped in the pickup. Jake and Sarah were having a great time on the slip-n-slide so I left them home to have fun. On my way back home I noticed the neighbors on the corner were out visiting so I stopped in to see what was up with them and to ask a couple of questions. After talking over the price of corn, steers, corn bins and new pick ups I saw the other neighbor headed to my house to pick up the boys. I hightailed it home and we ended up standing around for another half hour visiting about the price of pigs, corn, corn bins and how much money we're losing in farming. Finally Bobby and the boys made it home, Luke changed his clothes and headed out to move hay, JW decided he needed to stay home and do homework and I finished up putting hay out and washing the pipeline. Jake and Sarah were bummed when I told them to put the slip-n-slide away but it was 8:30 and time to wrap up the day! When we finally all gathered in the livingroom to download for the day, we ended up watching the national spelling bee championships, which was a lot of fun. We all decided they were smarter than us since we had never even heard of any of the words they were spelling!

It's Friday!

It's another hot and humid morning here on the knolltop. We're on our way to see Sarah honored as Student of the Month. We get donuts and juice. I've said before they need to offer milk, but they just don't take my suggestion. But I still offer it, what kind of dairy farmer's wife would I be if I didn't? I'm looking forward to this little ceremony. The teacher said she enjoys Sarah's stories about cows and the farm. I can't imagine what kind of things she might tell! I'm just glad she's proud to be from a farm and that she is telling farm stories. If we farmers don't tell the world about agriculture, who knows what unqualified person might step up to the mic!