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!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cleaned up and happy

Well, yesterday I whinned about all our troubles...and today I'm feeling so free! Why is it that cleaning something that has needed attention for a long time feels so good? My back room is where we come in from the barn and take our barn clothes off. Needless to say, it can get pretty raunchy out there at times. It's also my "collect-all" place, if I don't know what to do with a shoebox, but I don't want to throw it away because it will make a great cupcake transporter or a display box for a tractor collection at the fair or a barn for an indoor farm set up...I just put it in the back room. Well, you can imagine how that can get from time to time. But today it is beautiful!

My garage was also a great place to put unwanted things....now that is clean! I can actually put my van in there! I'm feeling so free, I will now go to my closet and get a little freer feeling today! Then when guests come and Jake gets the impulse to show them every dirty nook and cranny on our farm, I won't go into hysterics trying to come up with some excuse why they need to stay seated at the table while I casually give Jake the "If you take them out of this room, I cut off your toes" look!

Off to perk the coffee!

Monday, July 30, 2007

More like summer

It's supposed to be more like summer these next few days. So all the sweaty work needs to be done early in the morning...which is what I have planned today. We will continue to haul junk...the boys will again miss out since they're on their way to the neighbors to work in the hay. I know how disppointed they'll be so I'll save the heavy stuff for them...I'd hate for them to feel left out.

In two days I will have a teenage driver in my house. JW will get his license and I don't know how to react. He has to buy his own gas so that will keep him from wandering off too far. He hates to spend his own money.

Okay...when it rains it pours. Keep in mind, I only tell you this because I know that if you think you have it bad, all you have to do is look around and know there is always someone worse off than you. I told you yesterday that the ceiling was leaking in the bathroom...conveinently over the tub...how cleaver...yesterday I went out in the back room and found the freezer unplugged and has been for a few days...yes...it's all that bad and worse....and across the road in the barn, one of the fan motors on the milk compressor is bad. A cup of warm milk anyone? Yes, two milkings worth of milk will have to be dumped..but we will get paid for part of it. So we are currently trying to get that fixed and I will clean out the freezer today...anyone want to come help?

One the brighter side, we had a heifer born yesterday afternoon, her name is Marnie and mom already cleaned! All my kids are healthy and the sun is shining yet another day. God is still on control and will continue to be so I don't have to worry about that too. Now if anyone would like to pray for us...that would be a great thing!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

One step forward

It's another sunny Sunday here on the Knolltop.

Yesterday we junked a lot of stuff and got a lot of work done. We cleaned out some areas in the barn then we moved some cows around. We've got a lot of dry cows right now, so we kicked them out to pasture and moved the milk cows around. Big Daddy was so pleased with all the work we accomplished in such a short time he was feeling great....until ....one of the kids came in and said while they were taking a shower the other night when it was raining...they spotted the ceiling leaking in the bathroom. Like Bobby said, "One step forward, two steps back."

I'm not sure how God is going to take care of that one....milk prices are up, but unexpected problems like that aren't in the budget! But God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and He knows our need and I'm sure He's got a great plan, we just have to follow it.

In the mean time, those boys cleaned their tractor barn last night...they swept and got rid of a few things...it's beautiful! I sat down there on the couch last night and it was so peaceful. I was waiting for Sarah to come back with the halter so we could catch Bud and ride. We rode and rode and didn't get in the house until 9:30 pm!

Coffee is good this morning...it's a bit cool and perked coffee is always better on a cool morning. Better get ready for church!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

JW is off to judging

Good Morning from the sunny, clear, beautiful Knolltop!

Early this morning I had to quit milking and take Sarah to the neighbors so she could babysit. Then after chores, I took JW to meet a cohort so they could head up to MSU for their first Dairy Judging workout. JW was lucky enough to make into the top 25 at the state contest so he got an invite to compete for a spot on a 4-H dairy judging team. They will have several workouts at different dairy farms around the state and Ohio and then they will select who goes to what contest. He could go to Harrisburg, PA, Madison, WI or Louisville, KY. I hope he goes to at least one because I know they will need a chaperone......:)

Right now the kids I have left, Luke and Jake and I are headed out to the barn to move cows around with Big Daddy. Then we'll continue to haul junk from every corner of the farm and fill the big dumpster we have. Then, hopefully I'll get a chance to mow!

Friday, July 27, 2007

RAIN and cowboys


It finally rained on the Knolltop last night. As we were settling into our popcorn eating and Agriview reading, we got more lightening and thunder than we've had since last summer I think. And then he clouds let loose and we got RAIN! This morning the grass is just a little bit green, I might even have to mow tomorrow! I'm so glad because my pumpkins were looking pretty sorry last night as I checked them. And the corn? Well, those nasty good-for-absolutely-nothing coons have feasted on my sweetcorn instead of my poison and they've gotten a lot of it.

The past couple of weeks our horse, yes we have a horse..his name is "Bud" I know, it's so original. Well let's get technical, his registered name is Doc's King Peppy San, that means so much to all of you, I know, but really, to the Quarter Horse enthusiast that means something...I think. Anyway, Bud has been getting used by my daughter and one of her friends who comes over, almost daily. They saddle him up, ride him down the road and back a few times, take him down the lane to the steer barn and then unsaddle him, wash him off and put him back out to pasture.

Yesterday the girls were out with there faithful steed, well we really can't call him a steed, he's not too spirited. But I like that terminology so I'll call him a steed. While they were out there I kept hearing this loud "Whoa! Whoa!" Finally I had to get out there and see what was happening, Bud's not the type to run off or anything, but he must have been doing something to cause such shouting. I looked out and it there was Jake on Bud showing the girls his cowboy expertise. Of course Jake is not like his brother Luke. When Luke rides Bud he has to get the whole cowboy thing going...boots, jeans...the whole thing. And when he was little he had a pair of handmade chaps and several western shirts. You wouldn't catch Luke out there riding without the full cowboy wardrobe! Jake just throws wardrobe caution to the wind and hops on with his shorts and tennis shoes. I'm so glad the wardrobe police don't patrol our road!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Playing dispatcher again

Last evening I played dispatcher again, dispatching my kids out to work...I really think I need a pay raise or maybe just a percentage of their pay, afterall, they get paid more than I do! What do you think?

The boys were called by another neighbor to unload hay...I think...and Sarah was called to babysit for Saturday. This morning Jake is the only one home and to his dismay he had to do dishes all alone. But I've heard no complaints from him, yet.

They say it might rain today...I'm not counting on it, I'm going to go out and roll my windows down in the van to see if I can bring it on.

Right now, I'd better get writing..so I can get back to cleaning, oh joy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Baxter Black

Today, I was listening to an audio clip on one of my newest favorite blogs done by Amanda Nolz called www.chewingthecud.org. Amanda, a college student from South Dakota State University and ranch kid who served as the National Beef Ambassador, is a wonderful advocate for the beef industry.

Recently, this young 19 year old had the priviledge of interviewing cowboy poet Baxter Black. I'm sure most of you know who Baxter is...he writes and recites cowboy poetry, writes a column about ranching adventures and is incredbly funny. The first time I ever heard of him was when he spoke at the National Block and Bridle meeting in Denver. I fell in love with his humor, bought one of his books and have been a fan ever since. His column appears next to mine in the Farmers' Advance and every time I hear Big Daddy laughing I know he's reading Baxter's column. He usually feels compelled to share and he reads it to the rest of us. The next best thing to Baxter himself has to be my southern born husband reading Baxter Blacks stuff. We all end up in a giggling mess.

In the interview, Baxter was sharing a story from his childhood growing up on a farm, feeding chickens and milking an Ayrshire cow. Yes, mom, an Ayrshire. While I listened to him tell of his experience with a mean rooster, the thought occured to me that the story he was relating could've been told by countless farm boys all across our nation. That same story could've happened here on the Knolltop.

It's always amazing to me that here we are miles apart, farm folk scattered around the country, down dirt roads and over vast prairies, ranging in age from ten years old to sixty years old all enjoying the same experiences we call farm life. There is just none like it.

Hey, I think I just wrote my column for next week! :)

Takin' a break

I just was notified that my mother in law and sister in law will not be arriving next week as planned. In her email she said that I could take a break from cleaning...oh no, that will not happen. I've got everyone in cleaning mode and that's the way I'm going to keep them! (Can you hear the whip?)

Last evening we attended a birthday party for a new teenager. They are good friends of the family and we enjoy their fellowship. So of course when she invited us over for cake we had to say yes. This woman has a flair for baking and she loves doing it...so when she bakes she really goes to town! She had made Oreo cookie dessert with real whipped cream and homemade chocolate pudding in the middle. She had raspberry cheesecake, just a glance at it made you gain 10 pounds. And she had some St. Louis Butter cake with creamed blueberries for the topping. Oh my, I couldn't decide so.....yes, you guessed it, just like with Thanksgiving pies...I had a little of each kind! Life is too short not to have some of each!

On to the Knolltop happenings. My baby calves have learned to do the dog paddle. Last night...someone...we haven't pinpointed the culprit....left the hose trickling. So this morning, the area where my six calves live was flooded and they were paddling around...well not really, they were just kind of wading around. What a sight. I bailed them out and put down fresh shavings...they were so happy to lay down in dry bedding!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Is normal really real?

I often wonder if there is such a thing as normal. I was thinking this morning that we are back to normal, but we really aren't because each day is so different from the next. There is always something pushing us to the next event. Like today, we are cleaning up and getting rid of some junk around the farm. This is because my mother in law is coming and that is as good a reason as any to clean up things that have been let go in the name of busyness. So really is that normal? No. So my conclusion has been and will continue to be this: Normal is only a setting on a dryer.

Last night JW put a new fuel line on his tractor and was sure it was going to start. Luke got his tractor out and hooked up to JW's and they began the process of trying to pull start the Massey. When Big Daddy saw this he must have figured they needed help, so he put down his dipper and hopped on the tractor with Luke. I watched them go by a couple of times, but there was only one tractor running. When they all came back into the barn to help milk, JW said there was yet another repair that needed to be made. These repairs seem to be endless...too bad antique tractors don't come with a warranty. :)

Yesterday I found time to make some sweetrolls. They sure were good this morning with the oatmeal. Yes, we are out of cereal...I have to actually cook breakfast!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sunny Monday


Another sunny day here on the Knolltop...we really could use some rain...it's getting bad here in Michigan and other parts of the Midwest.

It was a fun weekend at the tractor show...I only spent the afternoon there..the boys spent all day there and enjoyed jawing with all the old men who brought their tractors. Honestly, I thought they would've come home with a report that it was incredbly boring..but just the opposite was true. They loved it. They loved standing around their tractors talking about all the old iron and diagnosing problems with other mechanics.

Now just for the record...my Allis was the only tractor that made it down there on it's own power and also that made it back here on it's own power...the other two tractors quit part way and had to be pulled. But now I have to admit, I want to trade tractors. There is a JD B up in North Adams that I'm looking over...but I would have to sell the Allis first and I'm having a hard time convincing the other owner to sell. He's dead set against any part of selling the chicken chaser. I need to pray about that!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Red Shirt Friday


Every Friday we have a chance to make a statement. We can wear a red shirt saying we support the men and women who are protecting our country and everyone's freedom.

This week, the Junior exhibitors in the All-Michigan Holstein Junior Show wore red shirts in support of our troops. On the back of the shirts it said exactly that; "We support our troops." Isn't it wonderful that the youth of our country are willing to tell the hard working men and women who serve us that they will stand in support of their mighty efforts and difficult mission. Thank you Michigan Junior Holstein enthusiasts! You're awesome!

From cows to tractors

It is a cool, sunny morning on the Knolltop. Good Morning!

We are finally done with the All Michigan Holstein show and the whole week seems like a blur. Yesterday we went up and helped out with the show and had a lot of fun. (By the way, Todd Watts had champion and Koebels had reserve.)

We came back home and did chores and then the boys fired up their tractors to head to Boardman Farms for a tractor show. They only took one tractor down last night...actually a friend pulled JW's tractor down there...it's not exactly independently mobile. Luke's tractor needs a new fuel line, that is getting worked on this morning and mine and Jake's tractor is not going. I just don't want to fool with it. Blame it on too much cow show, but I'm too tired to monkey around with a tractor that might quit half way there. Besides, I want a John Deere A,B,C,D,G, any old putt putt, and it can even be in it's working clothes for all I care, I just want an old John Deere that runs when I want it to run! Enough of my ranting and raving!

So today we will go to this tractor show south of us. It's not a public show, it's by invitation only...doesn't that sound special....not really, they just don't want the liability of having a public show, so they invite people and have a tractor show. We've not been able to make this one before, even though we've been invited, it's always been right before Dairy Days...and there's no time for a tractor show the day before we leave for a cow show.

I'll take my camera so you can see all of us pigging out on roast pig and all the trimmings and yes, I might even take a picture of a tractor or two!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Two Boys

Yesterday Jake and I had the rare chance to be together without anybody else. We ran some errands in town and of course on our way we had to stop and celebrate Ice Cream Month! While we were eating our ice cream we were discussing Jake's future. He was telling me where he was going to live and how I could ride to town with his wife and kids whenever I wanted to.

Then we began talking about his kids...this is how our conversation went:
How many kids are you going to have?
Two.
Boys or girls?
Two boys.
What are you going to name you two boys?
Humpy Almondinger and Frank.

Laughter ensued for about 10 minutes as we both just fell out! We laughed and laughed together, it was so funny. He gave than answer without skipping a beat...it was so absolutely funny it still makes me giggle! Sometimes that kid can come up with the best stuff...I'm so glad I have him. But I can't imagine showing off my infant grandchild at church and saying, "Yes, isn't he cute, his name is Humpy Almondinger."

Off to the show

Today is the Holstein heifer show in East Lansing, so we'll head up there after chores are done. Plus we get to bring the boys home...I'm glad of that... I miss them.

I need to give a Holly update. She's been gimping along, not really getting any better but not any worse. But Wednesday morning when I went to the barn for the first time since Monday morning, I noticed she look absolutely awful! Bobby called the vet and he came out and ended up doing surgery, she had a right DA (displace abomasum). Left DA's are no problem and are quite common, but right DA's are bad and the vet usually gives them a 50/50 chance to recover. We've had 2 right DA's one lived, one died....so those stats were running pretty close on our farm. Last night when we went to the barn she was eating much more aggressivly..a great sign. By this morning she was on her knees eating the other cows feed next to her. The old Holly is back and on the mend...Madison...here we come!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We're home, part way

Good Morning from the Knolltop. We're home...kind of. Yesterday I brought the heifers and two kids home from Dairy Days. I left the other two boys up there to work the Holstein Sale and then JW will do the dairy judging contest today and Dairy Management tomorrow. Luke has to help do some things for the Holstein Association today. But Jake and Sarah and I are home for one day and then we'll go back up for Thursday and Friday to help run the Holstein show.

Usually we stay the whole week, but this year we didn't have much in the way of quality cattle to show so we just decided to let Jake and Sarah do their thing and come home. They did a great job of taking care of their "show string." Jake's first time out was successful in my eyes. Success in mom's eyes is taking the calf in the ring and having it behave without running off on him...regardless of his placing. But obviously that's not Jake's idea of success. He still had a good time.

Sarah on the other hand had a great day in showmanship. She started out in 6th place and worked her way up to 2nd. There is one boy who always beats her and beating him is her personal goal. They are the same age and this will always be a rivalry. She came very close to beating him...but he had the edge yesterday. Next time!

Right now, this farm is grand central station....more later!

Monday, July 16, 2007

All but the heifers...

We're all packed and ready to go, and everything is on the trailer except the heifers and in a little while we will be headed north for MSU and that wonderful event called Dairy Days! The kids are excited to say the least and we had fun getting everything around for it. Jake and Bobby clipped his heifer Saturday night and Sarah and Bobby clipped her heifer last night while we loaded the trailer. I have to say, this is probably the most trouble free trip so far...I know, I shouldn't have said that!

Well, I'd better get going...pray for safety for us!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

It's the weekend!

It's a beautiful Saturday morning! It's clear, breezy, sunny and going to be 75. But we still need rain.

The boys are down working for the neighbor cleaning out a grain bin and as soon as they get back I'm kidnapping them and taking them for haircuts. I told them this morning I felt like I was their dispatcher...every time the phone rings its someone to ask for the boys to work. I think I should get a cut out of their pay for that! I mean really, when I have to sit them down in the morning and say...okay...now when so and so calls, when are you available to work? Can you go to town with me at this time? When can you do this? When can you work for that guy? Really...that's what I did this morning...I sat them down and went through their schedules for the day to make sure I could get everything done.

Well, now their back and I need to get them in the van and head to town before anyone calls! Be back later!

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's beautiful out

It's another beautiful day on the Knolltop. The sun is shining, the air is cool, so cool in fact, I had to wear a sweatshirt to milk this morning. JW is gone to the neighbors to help with the hay and the rest of us are getting ready for breakfast.

Yesterday I felt like I had to put a rope around my boys to keep them from being taken. JW had committed himself to work for one farmer in the afternoon. That was great because we had a load of hay that needed to go in the barn in the morning. The hay unloading was scheduled right after I got done doing Rural Route. I was just about to go on the radio and in drove another farmer, the one they usually help out. Before he could even get on the porch I shouted out, "You can't have 'em until they get done unloading that hay, and that won't be til after 10:30, unless you want to do it right now, in that case, I can't help! AND...JW has to be back at 1pm!"

I looked out during Rural Route and saw the hay being unloaded and a big smile came across my face....it was getting done....without me. It's amazing what the smell of money will do for a teenager who's saving for a truck!

Then Sarah and Jake went out to wash their heifers and to work with them. When I finished my column I walked out to the living room to see an 11 year old colapsed on a couch sobbing while mumbling..."She's such a dumb heifer...she's never going to keep her head up....no one cares about me and my heifer....all mom cares about is writing her column....no one understands me but God." After a little pep talk, she was as good as new with a renewed ambition.

Much to my surprise, Jake didn't have any troubles with his heifer...I'm not sure why, I guess God just figured I needed a break!

Today will be more washing, leading and yes probably some tears and pep talks. I've also got to write a story and try to get to town. This weekend will be a tough one...it always is right before we leave for a show. I wish I could blink my eyes and be driving the truck and trailer headed for MSU and just skip all the drama, breakdowns, disappointments and flare ups that go along with a family who loves to show cows.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Another Rural Route

I got to be on Rural Route this morning...how much fun. We talked about farm safety and I got to share my story about Jake's accident. I'm so glad when I get to share about how God performed that miracle and I hope that others will hear that story and learn not to take their kids safety for granted and to make sure you know where they are!

Can it be any nicer?

Yes it can... we could have some badly needed rain. We are so dry I feel like I'm living in Arizona! My corn isn't looking so hot, but I guess it's good enough for those blasted coons! They've invaded but they quickly realize as they munch on the top third of the ear, it's not quite ready yet, so they move on to the next immature ear and destroy that one and so on and so on. I hate them and I'm going to help them meet their maker tonight! Anyone who wants to steal food from my kids mouths is going to have to do battle with me!

Anyway...today is writing day. I've got a couple of columns to write and a feature story for the Agriview. My story subject is coming down tonight after chores so I can interview him and then I'll write the story in the morning. Deadlines...I love 'em!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

All done

The baseball season for the Hart family is officially over. Last night we went to the last game! Half of me is sad, but the other half knows that the work load will be lighter with all hands on deck every night in the barn!

To celebrate the end of the season, we had ice cream and a couple of friends spent the night. They watched the All-Star game until midnight, only to watch the National League lose....again. I hate that!

Today will be a day of washing heifers, working with heifers and running errands. All the straw is in the barn and now we can really work on getting ready for the show. We're only taking three heifers, so this should be a cinch. But the last time I said that, I really paid for it...so I guess I should keep my mouth shut.

Better go cook breakfast for the gang. On the breakfast menu is blueberry pancakes, sausage and home made cinnamon syrup with perked coffee of course!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Farm Safety...it's a lifestyle

Last week I listened to Rural Route Radio with Trent Loos and Kyle Bauer and they discussed the family out east that perished in a manure pit while trying to save each other. Farm safety should be a top priority on any farm...but often it's only until you have a tragedy like ours that you decide to change.

On April 13, 1999 Bobby was backing into the barn wtih a load of corn silage in the skid steer and didn't see our son Jake, then only 22 months old. He backed over him, felt the lump but thought it was a lump of feed. When he got off the skid steer to start the mixer he saw Jake's sweatshirt between the tires and realized what he had done. He carried him into me where I had begun milking. There is no scarier feeling than to see your screaming child with a blue face, droplets of blood coming from his eyes and nose and knowing you can do nothing but wait for the ambulance to arrive.

He was taken to the local hospital and life flighted to a children's hospital 2.5 hours away from us. With no cell phones and a 2.5 hour drive, I can't begin to explain to you the wide range of emotions we went through as we made that long trek not knowing that when we arrived if he would be dead or alive.

I had to convince myself that he had died so it wouldn't be so difficult when I actually was told the news. In my mind, I planned his funeral, cleaned out his room and thought about what our daily lives would be like without Jake. As a mom I felt an overwhelming amount of guilt for not keeping him safe and knew I would have to live with that the rest of my life.

When we arrived, my dad met us in the parking lot and when he said Jake was still alive, I broke down in tears.

After a week in intensive care on a ventilator, they finally determined Jake had a broken femur. He spent the next 8 weeks in a body cast and believe me a body cast with a hole in the back to change his diaper wasn't a pleasant experience for any of us. But we were so happy that God saved Jake we really didn't care what we had to endure.

Jake is now a normal little boy with ambitions of farming. He can now drive that skid steer but safety on our farm is very important. We didn't change our focus on farm safety for just a couple of weeks, it has become a lifestyle change. And every time I'm asked to speak, I include this story because you can never stress safety enough and because if God can save my child, I want to give him as much credit as possible.

Hot, Hot, Hotter

It's been hot and humid and it's going to be that way again today. Yesterday afternoon I took the kids swimming at our neighbors. Someone asked me about "our" pool. Let me explain...we have some friends who live a few miles away, they have a dairy farm and their kids are grown. They've also got a really nice pool and hot tub that no one uses because they are all gone. So we go over there frequently and they love it because we keep the pool stirred up. Anyone who has ever owned a pool knows it's easier to keep clean when people use it. So we feel it's our duty to help keep the pool clean. I feel so decadent going over there because it's a beautiful setting, with lots of outdoor furniture. So I take my bottled water and a magazine or a book and I read for a while then I get in a cool off and then I get out and read some more. We had a bonus yesterday, the lady of the house came and visited with me the whole time and when we left she gave us ice cream! They are very generous friends and we really are spoiled!

By the way...a friend of mine sent me an article about women being the boss in the home. The article had some research that pointed to women being in charge and men just standing by and saying, "Okay honey, whatever you say."

I don't think that's the norm, but maybe I'm misled. Tell me, how is it in your household? Who says "jump" and who says "how high?" in your home?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Oh my what a day

Yesterday was going along pretty well until we decided we would go pick up straw in the field last night after chores. We started out in the pick up, Jake was driving, Luke was stacking and Bobby and I were carrying them to the truck. This would've worked just fine if everyone had done it MY way. But there were three other males who had their own ideas of how we should navigate through the field from bale to bale.

My idea was to drive down row after row, stopping at each bale, picking it up and going to the next bale. But other people thought that we would do two rows at a time with the truck down the middle carrying the bales to the truck. Remember it's 85 and humid. So my question is, why make all the work for yourself? It's the end of the day, you're already hot and tired, why carry bales 25 and 30 yards when you can drive right up to them? Am I lazy? Or efficient? I choose the latter.

When we went back for our second load I volunteered to drive the truck. Afterall, I had my exercise for the day. Plus, while Jake was driving he slammed on the brakes, on accident of course and sent the load tumbling which resulted in a pretty miffed Luke. Luke is one of the main work horses on the knolltop, we have to keep him happy and satisfied!

After we loaded up the truck and a hay wagon we headed home...we tried to head home, the truck decided it wanted to act up and it looks like we might need some transmission work done now. So we had to walk back home and get the tractor. Luke ran all the way and unhooked the tractor from the spreader and brought it to us...I was still walking....

We pulled the load home and now there it sits....waiting to be unloaded. Although my birthday started out to be a great day, it didn't end up that way....oh well, it was a birthday to remember.

Oh, yes, and icing on the cake....Sarah went home to wash up the dishes while we pulled the truck home and she dropped something on her kitten on accident...yes it's dead now. So I hugged a tearful Sarah and prayed for her last night before crashing into bed.

Anyone else have days like this?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Wheat Harvest is here

It's time to harvest wheat in my neck of the woods. And yesterday Jake spent the day with the neighbors on their combine. He's there today too... I can just imagine what kind of help he is. He was trying to explain to me what kind of repairs they had to make to the combine, I can't imagine too many since it's just going through it's second season of harvesting crops.

Sarah's with the other neighbor at a 4-H meeting, Luke is baling straw and JW is at my mom's house for the weekend. So it's been a very quiet day today around here.

Yesterday I took some pictures of Jake at the wheat field...he loves this farming stuff!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Getting ready

We are busy getting ready for Dairy Days. That is our state Holstein Show in East Lansing. It is a week of fun and exhaustion but one we just can't miss, it's like the county fair, who can miss the county fair? Anyway we are busy getting ready for it, yesterday we went to town and bought all the shavings we need for bedding and I made out my order for NASCO. That's where we get most of our show supplies since the local places don't have what we want. And it's always cheaper in NASCO.

The kids worked with their heifers and helped Bobby fix the manure spreader while I wrote my column and a feature story.

Today I get to go renew my license and get new tags for the truck and the van....how fun! :( JW's excited because he gets to schedule his driving test, I can't believe that he will be alone in a vehicle in less than a month....watch out world!

I finally found my hoe! So today, instead of using a rake, I will get to use a hoe in the garden that is in desperate need of attention.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

On to Dairy Days

With only a week and a half left before our summer show, it's time to get crackin'! The kids have been faithful at working with their heifers each day, in fact this morning I looked out the front porch (it's not the main entrance) and I saw a pile of manure...hmmmm...I asked where that came from and found out it was from Hollywood, a show heifer. Now most of the time the calves are worked across the road by the pole barn and very rarely will you ever see a cow over on this side of the road. But I guess her trainer, Luke, had some business at the house while he was working with Hollywood and they came visiting. I told Luke if he didn't want flies in his supper, he'd better take care of the pile.

Today will entail writing, a trip to town for errands and oh yes, a visit to the Secretary of State's office for new tags for the vehicles. And it's my lucky year, I get to renew my license too!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is the day that the whole country celebrates my mom's birthday! At least that's what she thought when she was little. Imagine having fireworks and parades and thinkint it was all for your birthday. What fun!

Anyway, happy birthday mom, and I'm not even going to let anyone know how old she is....let's put it this way, in her mind she doesn't feel any older than 21. And that's probably what keeps her acting so youthful even at age....????

It's a little overcast today, the boys want me to take them swimming and I think I will. Luke had a game last night and they won both games against Quincy. According to him and everyone else, he would've had a grandslam, but his daddy was coaching third base and held him up. Those who were watching said he could've made it home and Luke agrees. Luke went on to get picked off. I guess his daddy should've sent him.

After the game we stopped for ice cream and then Brad came over to spend the night. Sarah spent the night at Sidney's house and so we had a house full of boys! They're out playing whiffle ball right now, waiting for me to take them to the pool.

Happy Independance Day!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Nice night for a picnic

Last evening, I left the chores to JW and his friend and headed to the Godfrey Farm for the 37th annual Godfrey Farm Urban-Rural Picnic. Each year Richard Godfrey hosts the annual event and invites some bigwig to come speak along with all the politicians. The focus is to connect the local urban business men and the farmers together for an evening. Now the unusual aspect of this picnic is that there are very few women invited to this event...it's basically a men only event. The usual women who attend are the wives of the politicians, Jody Pollock, the head of the Michigan Corn Growers Association, her assistant Amy, me, only because I cover it for the Farmers Advance, and a couple of other wives. I think I counted seven women there out of about 75 attendees.

Richard's wife and daughters usually serve the meal and it's a great one. We enjoyed pork chops on the grill, baked beans and all the trimmings and big bowls of ice cream for dessert. The speaker last night was our U.S. Representative, Tim Walberg. I had a great time visiting with friends but I missed Luke's game. Although they lost both games to Homer, I still would've liked to have been there.

Today we will clean out more calf pens, work in the garden and run to Jonesville for some supplies. I think Sarah will go to a friends house, JW will take the starter from his tractor to Litchfield for repairs and maybe I will go poolside with Jake and Luke...it's going to be a good day for it.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Feels like Fall

It was sooooo cool this morning, like 45 degrees cool! If it weren't for the green corn and golden wheat, I would've thought I was waking up to October 1st.

Last evening after chores, the kids were out working with their heifers and every year I like to get pictures of them. The older boys were getting pretty goofy, as you'll see in the pictures below. Jake has trouble getting his heifer to behave, but when Luke gets on the halter she's all business.

We dehorned everything on Saturday, that is a relief to have it all done. This morning the bull calf that we pulled last week will go to the sale barn. Holly still isn't 100%, I'm just not sure she'll make it to the summer show....but I keep praying for her.

The boys are out changing the inflations in the milkers and then they will roll up wire that isn't being used anymore in the pasture. Jake and Sarah are headed out to work with their heifers. I put my foot down yesterday and said that anyone who doesn't work with their heifers every day until the show will not go. I hope I can stick to that! :)