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!

Friday, October 31, 2008

A new baby

It's sunny, breezy and quite warm out, now that it's nearly noon here on the Knolltop.

I'm getting used to my new winter schedule. Now that the cows are staying in at night, my morning routine has changed and I have to go back out and help do some morning chores. I really don't mind, that just means I do more work and I can eat more. I like that. Especially that Halloween candy that I bought to give out tonight in hopes that no one will show up on my porch! Yes, I plan on turning the light on....for a few minutes anyway! Then it's an evening of pigging out on chocolate and popcorn!

We had a new calf born last evening during chores and it was a hoot watching the kids trying to bring the new mom and her baby in from the pasture. Jake had a rope halter, I guess in hopes of putting it on the heifer and leading her into the barn. Never mind that she's not a show heifer and acts like she hasn't seen white man since she was born! While he chased her around the older boys watched and Sarah gave directions.

The frustration ended with Bobby headed out to help. I continued to milk and pretty soon JW walked into the barn carrying a black heifer calf and then the rest of the crew brought in the new mom. She seemed quiet when we milked her last night and this morning. We'll see if that continues!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The rest of the day

Yep, it's official, the flowers in the planters by the entrance to the barn are dead. I pulled them out and threw them into the field. Now I've got to think about what to put in there for Christmas......but I have time for that later!

The gutter cleaner worked so beautifully this morning, so now I've got time to watch the Autumn Opportunity Sale online where Tom Barrends is dispersing his herd in Fremont, Michigan. It's fun to just listen to the sale while I work around the house. Actually I should be cleaning off my desk...it's a mess!

I think I'd rather be out cleaning out my flower beds and riding my lawn mower, but then there's that blasted laundress. She hasn't shown up in weeks! I pay her good money and she's still a no show...so I have to do all the laundry myself.

By the way, in regards to the comments:

Tom- You do not weigh 250! I don't think you could ever weigh that much, so you're not getting my treadmill! Not everyday is like yesterday, thank heavens!

SBH - You needed a nap and so did I, but as I was just drifting off to sleep for a quick slumber the neighbor hauling corn out of the field with his semi came by blowing his horn! Nap time was over.

Threecollie-You're right...only farm wives could understand that, we are a unique group!

Sara - How is it that moms get so much done in a day? I think it's because we just have to so we just do it! I think Nike stole our motto!

Frozen flowers

It's a beautiful sunny morning here on the Knolltop. A cool 27 out this morning, I think all my flowers will finally be dead. I tried to keep the ones by the barn under protection, but I don't think they made it. I'll check on my way out to the barn...which is right now.

More later!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Who needs a treadmill!

Finally, I'm on this computer. What a morning! It's cool today with sun and clouds. This morning I remembered that the boys asked me last night to make something for their FFA lunch. Why not?

So I started some sweetrolls as soon as I got in from milking. Then we went through our normal breakfast but I had to take the two younger kids in to school because JW and Luke went in early to pitch. Actually, JW was pitching and Luke was catching. It's basketball season you know....so it's time to wake up early and practice pitching????? It makes sense to them...so I guess it's all good.

After breakfast clean up we headed back out to the barn to let the cows out, bed, clean the mangers, put more feed out and let them back in. While I was sweeping I remembered I needed to roll out the dough and make it into sweetrolls so they could have time to rise. I ran in, made up the sweetrolls, put them in a pan and covered them with a damp towel.

Back out at the barn, the gutter cleaner decided to act up. This thing hasn't given us a bit of trouble for months....this morning, when I have sweetrolls to make by 11:15, it decides to tangle up.

While elbow deep in fresh cow manure my memory sparked and I said, "I have to run in and put the sweetrolls in the oven, I'll be right back." Leaving Bobby holding the links, I made a mad dash to the house, slipped the beautifully risen rolls in the oven, set the timer and ran back out. We finally got the gutters cleaned and when I made the last stroke with the broom, I yelled across the barn to Bobby, "I've gotta go take the rolls out or they'll burn and my kids will never forgive me!" Not waiting for a reply, I ran back into the house and the rolls needed a few more minutes, thank heavens. That gave me time to, change clothes, head to the bathroom, run the hair dryer through my hair to take some of the sawdust out, spray on some perfume and even slap on a little Marykay.

I delivered hot and I mean HOT sweetrolls to waiting FFA members and came home to start more laundry, clean up more of the house and finally get this blog post on! Now I've got to figure out what to have for dinner and clean up the rest of the house....but not before I catch a cat nap!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A cool start to the day

It's a very cool 30 out this morning! Even the coons stayed in their warm nests this morning during chores. Usually they are bold enough to come right out and practically say good morning and put in their order for breakfast.

Yesterday the rain came and went. It stayed long enough for harvest to shut down. So the fields will be quiet today and the dealerships and cafes will be filled with farmers.

That rain was just in time, I have a Michigan Holstein meeting today and the odds are, most of the board will show up since they can't get in the fields.

Better get to sipping my coffee before I head back out to the barn and then to the meeting.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Ginny!

It's cloudy and dare I say...we had snow falling this morning during chores! I'm not that excited about snow yet. I've still got to mow the yard one last time and really, I don't want snow yet.

This is a very special day at Four Dot Dairy in Joliet, Montana. The matriarch of that ranch is turning the big 50 today! Yes, my wonderful sister, Virginia Stene is now a half century old! She won't mind me telling her age...in fact, she should be proud of it. She is a beautiful woman who is so accomplished. She has done more in 50 years than most do in a life time. She not only is a stay at home mom of five boys but she has homeschooled her boys and three of them have graduated. She is also a horse breeder and breaks and trains her own horses, she now has a dairy where she retails their milk and besides that she has a homeschool choir, plays the piano at church and does a whole host of other things. I should do a story on her, I could sell that story to any farm publication, the homeschooling pubs, a few horse magazines and any Christian outlet could use it as well. Just think how much money I could make off my sister!!!!!! :)

Honestly, she is an amazing person and I'm so lucky to have her as my sister!

And I almost forgot! MSU Beat U of M! That's the best birthday present she could ever want!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Legends of the Fall a success!

The annual Legends of the Fall Sale, managed by the one and only (thank heavens) Burton-Fellers Used Cattle Sales team garnered another great sale at Gloryland Holsteins in Grottoes, Virginia.

When the last cow was struck off the sale averaged $14,964 on 68 lots. The high selling consignment was lot 1 sold to David Tait and Lawson Bennett for $150,000. Those are the sketchy details as of right now. Maybe I'll have more later!

Friday, October 24, 2008

From writing to baking

It's a cool, cloudy morning here on the Knolltop. We might get some rain...we might not.

Yesterday afternoon we had three of the four kids at the supper table which is a rare occurrence these days. As we sat and enjoyed BBQ meatballs, baked potatoes, steamed vegetables and bread, the boys talked about the Haunted Barn that the FFA is putting together for the elementary kids to walk through this evening prior to the last football game of the year. Then they asked, "What are you making for the bake sale mom?" SURPRISE!

I quickly replied while searching the empty corridors of my memory of this bake sale, "What bake sale? You didn't tell me about any bake sale...did you? Please tell me you didn't tell me so I can console myself that I'm not really losing my mind yet!"

JW and Luke looked at each other and kind of grinned and then flashed their sweet smiles at me and said, "Well, maybe we forgot to tell you that the FFA is going to have a bake sale during the football game....but you will bake some stuff...right?" And then one of them said, "I don't care what you make, just as long as you out do Mrs. _____"

So, now you know what I'm doing today...as soon as I get my column written that should've been done yesterday!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Treadmill leads to van prayer

Good Morning from the Knolltop. It's clear, cool with a little breeze blowing in. It's going to be another pretty fall day here in southern Michigan.

I went to SArah's game last night with my BFF Sue and they won! Both the 7th and the 8th grade teams beat Camden and they were pretty close games. They seem to be really improving, I'm anxious for AAU Volleyball to start again next spring so Sarah can improve even more and play more games. But until then we have one more football game, for the varsity and then we have a couple of weeks off until basketball practice begins and Sarah will be the only one coming home after school. Luke will have practice, Jake will be the manager for Luke's team, so he will stay also and then JW will have practice after Luke's team gets done. I never thought I'd have to go back to cooking for small groups even though I have a house full!

As Sue and I were visiting last night I told her I was praying that God would lead us to another van after the deer herd of Southern Michigan attacked my best mode of transportation. She suggested I start praying for the van like I did the treadmill. I said, "Duh!" That's exactly how I should be praying, for a free van! Only I need it sooner than a year and a half....well...at least I think I need it sooner than that. Maybe I don't.

At any rate, I'm going to start praying for a free van and see how God answers. Feel free to pray along with me....when you stop laughing at my silly request. But when God answers....watch out!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Good Morning from a cool Knolltop! I thought I would share some more pictures, now that I'm getting into this new picture program.
Last week when Sarah and I ventured north to the Great Lakes International Draft Horse Show, plowing was the first thing we saw, and right before this farmer started plowing he was on his cell phone. I tried to capture it, but was too late.
As we walked through the barns we were most impressed with the displays, I mean the horses were nice too, but the displays were so great. We both think we need those curtain things that go around a stall at our cow shows so we could put all of our junk in there and no one would see our mess! They are becoming more and more popular at the dairy shows, but we don't have one.....YET! This exhibitor was all the way from Texas and they had a great display.

Then we came along these two wall hangings. Oh my goodness! I was so excited to see what someone had done with all of their ribbons! I've seen it done before and I've always thought it would be a great idea. In fact, if someone who enjoyed quilting ever wanted to go into a business....they could so this kind of custom quilting with a farm's show ribbons!

I'm on my way to run some errands and then back home for laundry, dinner and Sarah has a volleyball game!
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What so many have been waiting for...pictures of the Jerseys....there you go. Well, actually it's only one Jersey, right there in the center....can you see her?Posted by Picasa

Married with children

It's another cool, clear morning here on the Knolltop. The kids have a two hour delay, so it's pretty calm around here right now.

Yesterday we had parent-teacher conferences and while I won't tell you all the stuff the teachers said about my kids I will tell you how times have changed.

This year we've hired several new teachers and I think my kids have every one of them. So we got to meet all the new educators and see what they were like. Of course, they didn't know us, so when we walked in I would hold out my hand and say, "I'm Melissa Hart, JW's mom" and then Bobby would say, "I'm Bobby Hart, JW's dad" and then one of us would say, "And yes, we're married to each other.....and we're also the parents of Luke, Sarah and Jake."

I never thought I would have to say that, but in this day and age, I feel compelled to explain that I'm married to one man and we have four children....together! How strange is that?

Last night Sarah's volleyball team beat Hillsdale Academy in a thriller. It was a great game...as great as 7th grade volleyball can get.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sorting

Good cool morning from the Knolltop. It's clear and cool here in Southern Michigan.

It was a busy weekend on the farm. I had three of the kids with me in the pasture picking up old boards from broken fences that had been repaired. We had a great fire and of course we roasted marshmallows. Can you have a fire without marshmallows? I didn't think so.

Then we watched a little bit of the MSU-OSU game but had no problem tearing ourselves away from the TV to go to the barn when OSU was up 21-0 in the first quarter. I didn't even want to listen on the radio in the barn. But at least we lost to a good team....not like Michigan losing to Toledo last week.....in the big house! I loved it.

Today is parent-teacher conferences so we'll so see what our kids have really been up to in school. And I think we'll sort through some clothes to give away to the Goodwill. I can hear the sounds of overjoyed children in the background over the thought of cleaning and sorting! YIPPEE!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Big show

Good Morning from a cool, cloudy and still dark Knolltop!

It's been confirmed, JW did hit another deer and now my van has a bigger dent in it. You know, most people would be embarrassed to drive that van around the way it is...but not me. Today, Sarah and I will head north to the MSU Pavilion for the Great Lakes International Draft Horse show in that van. I've never been one who was impressed with cars. Tractors? Yes. Cars? No. So I'll probably be the only one driving it until we get it fixed.

Okay, now for the update about the Jerseys that Threecollie, from Northview Diary in New York asked for yesterday. They are getting along just fine, although they like to play around when going to their stalls. The Holsteins head straight for their spot...they know a manger full of food awaits them...the Jerseys like to wander by their stalls, maybe peek in, take a step in the right direction and then duck back out to see what everyone else is doing. Most mornings, I can find humor in this game but on the mornings when I'm tired, I'm not interested in playing.

They are testing pretty well, but we've got some Holsteins that have a higher test...Holly being one of them! So, as it goes, they are now well adjusted and cooperative.

Since I was on a dead run all day yesterday and I didn't get my column written, that task awaits me! And then we're off to the big show!

By the way, Luke's team beat Sand Creek last night.....in a very good game and Luke scored a touch down and then turned around and made the extra points!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Strike Two!

It was a busy day for sure yesterday and promises to be more of the same today here on the Knolltop. It's kind of overcast, still and cool, like 48 out this morning. But from Pyrovu's post it sounds like I'm living in the promised land!

Honestly, I don't think I would be too happy waking up to all that snow in October! We don't have the storm windows up (yes, this old house still has storm windows) and the barn is far from winterized! You guys in Montana can keep your snow! I'll keep looking over the pretty leaves turning here in southern Michigan.

Yesterday I traveled up to my parents house to pick up some hay and the time I was dreading of having to drive an hour and a half was actually so nice because I had time to think while I enjoyed the beautiful fall colors....it was like my very own color tour!

I just got off the phone and it seems my van is a deer magnet! JW just called to tell me they hit another deer on the way to school.....EVERYONE IS OKAY! It's just another dent in the side of the van. This has never happened to me before! So, unless he's pulling my leg.......I don't know....we'll see. I have to go pick it up to take it to the body shop this morning, so I'll know more then.

I'd better go, this day is not starting well. Actually it sounds like I need more prayer time!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Followers

Good Morning from a cool, clear and sun not peeking through Knolltop!

It promises to be a busy day here, I've got to get an estimate on my van, then head north again to get the hay and hope the truck doesn't give me anymore problems. I guess I should look at those problems as learning experiences....I actually feel more confident now knowing what to do if it over heats!

Then back home to cook dinner, chores and Sarah has a volleyball game tonight.

Okay, now we have a new feature on this blog....I just realized it's available...it's my follower option. I'm not sure how it works, but I can list people who follow this blog on the left hand side. I only found it because Erin, a fellow blogger and mom in Montana registered as a follower. So I added that option to the blog. I think if you click on "follow" you can register as a follower and put your picture in. I still haven't figured out how to get Erin's picture there....but I'm working on it. So if you want other people to see you're smiling face on my blog...then register!

Okay, it's time for breakfast and then I'll start my sprint through the day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I got sidetracked!

It's a beautiful, sunny afternoon here on the Knolltop!

I got slightly side tracked this morning on my way to blogsville. First I got a call from Trent to be on Rural Route and of course I said yes, who wouldn't?

Then I got a call from my dad saying he had baled some fourth cutting that was a little wet and needed to be fed up....of course I said, Yes, I'll be there this morning to get it!

Then on my way to my parents, the truck overheated and I had to play mechanic and of course I said, Yes, I'll open the radiator and pour in some anti-freeze all the while getting step by step instructions from my husband.

The real victory is, I got the hood open on the truck, found the radiator cap, opened it up, didn't get burned, poured in the antifreeze, closed the hood and went back home to safety! I hate being alone when my vehicle breaks down. Now there's a story I'll have to share sometime....broken down on I-96 at midnight....alone!

Oh, yes and I forgot to share the news that my husband has shared with everyone he talked to today....I hit a deer last night with my van. Killed the six point buck dead.....it sent Jake into hysterics and once I got him settled down for the night Bobby got him all riled up again while praying for "Maw, the deer killer and that poor little dead buck out there." The wailing and moaning cranked up again and it took a good 5 minutes to settle the little animal activist back down! My new name is now "deer slayer."

By the way, the van is a little crunched, but still running and will be in the repair shop before long.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rural Route Review

Since I had a vote to start my blog off with what's happening out my window, I will refrain from dragging my poor sorting and organizing skills into this blog and only report on the cool clear morning here on the Knolltop without saying a word about the walls that need to be repainted and the pile of stuff still sitting behind me.

Before I say another word, I have to say Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian friends....especially to Rustico, the Jersey fanatic! (Russell Gammon, Exec Sec of Jersey Canada, aka the consummate promoter of the Jersey breed and someone I'm glad I met over two years ago when I happened to pick his table to dine at when I sat down for the banquet at the Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference in Frankenmuth, MI. Sitting between Russell and Trent Loos that evening made it one of the most memorable banquets I've attended to say the least!)

So glad Trent was brought up today, he apparently thinks my views are not normal. Duh? You finally just figured that out Trent? Last Friday on Rural Route, the three amigos, Trent, Kyle and Duane, were discussing fashion. Yes, that's right, three men who make their home on the Great Plains who's wardrobe consists of cowboy shirts and Wrangler jeans were acting as if they knew something about dressing their daughters. They were actually only giving their strategies on how they've kept their daughters modest in their clothing choices. All three are doing a great job as dads, from the sounds of it....so I have to give them that credit.

Well the conversation turned to women in t-shirts with sayings on them. They were wondering if a woman wore a t-shirt with a long saying on it, what did she really want? Was she trying to convey the message? Or was she trying to get men's eyes focused on her chest? While they were mulling it over they thought they should have a woman's point of view, since none of them are of the female persuasion. Their discussion then turned to what would Melissa think? Trent said my views would not be the same as the normal woman...Duane commented that Trent must be saying I wasn't normal and Kyle warned them both, saying that I listen to the show everyday and that they would be hearing from me! Then Trent predicted that I would blog about it...and here we are....blogging!

So, what are my views according to the three Amigos? Kyle hit the nail on the head....he said that I would say that women who wear t-shirts with some message on them know exactly what they are doing and enjoy doing it. All I have to say is that all this time when I was on Rural Route, I thought Kyle never paid any attention to anything I said and I've been proven wrong! He was listening after all....thanks Kyle.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Here's that winning Michigan FFA Team after garnering their hardware at the All American Dairy Show in Harrisburg. From left, Sarah Mann, KT Arndt, JW and Brittany Westendorp. I'm so glad to finally have a picture of these great kids!
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Friday, October 10, 2008

It's time for a Pryorvu blog!

It's a cool clear morning here on the Knolltop. That reminds me...does anyone get tired of my weather reports? I just can't start this blog without letting you know exactly what's happening out the window that I'm looking out when I work on the computer. It's right in front of me...I just can't help it! But if you all are getting tired of it, I'll start my entries with something else like....the walls still need painting here in my office/catchall room. Or how about, "My desk is still a mess here in my office where my walls need painting in my office/catchall room. Or maybe you'd like "There is still a pile of stuff sitting behind me, next to my desk that is still a mess in the office/catchall room where the walls still need painting.

Well? I think I'd better stick to the weather outside my window since the piles on the floor and the messy desk and the walls in need of paint will still be like that for the next month or so!

Okay....let's get on with it...now that you know my surroundings are a total shambles, I have to let you know I find it so much fun when I realize how blessed I really am. Yesterday I was reading some posts of the writing group that I'm a member of. They were talking about writing and the economy and how hard it is to have a steady income from writing unless you have a regular column or other features. I sat back and thought about my own situation and marveled at how truly blessed I am to have a column appearing in several papers and the features I get to write. I can write as much or as little as I want and I'm ashamed to admit it, but I have taken that all for granted.

So, your assignment for the day is to look around your own situation and look for the blessings in your own life. It's amazing how they start to pile up when we change our perspective!

Now, onto Pryorvu...the wonder gardener in Montana....did you see his comment yesterday? How they are still canning tomatoes and making salsa in OCTOBER???!!! For heaven's sake, he has put us all to shame here in the Midwest where we get oodles of rain and a what I thought was a long growing season.

This is what I propose....I think Pryorvu needs to start a blog! Wouldn't you love to see his log cabin in the hills of Montana? Wouldn't you relish the day to day activity of a real live rancher? Wouldn't you love to see pictures of this wonder garden? I would! That's it Pryorvu....it's time....get on it....start the blog! You could name it "Life in the Pryors!"

One more thing....remember Jericho, the guy I asked you to pray for? Well, God has answered that prayer! He landed a job yesterday and is very excited! So, we give Got the glory and I thank all of you for praying for him!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I took one last shot before Luke went into the ring...notice he was still clean!
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Luke and Jake play a minature Connect Four game with the neighbor girl....wow...this fair stuff is exciting!
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Matt Mann on his steer....I don't think they have a pleasure class in the steer show.
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This is one of those priceless father-son shots. Gregg Hardy and his son Parker at the Michigan Summer show. I'd say Gregg is a little more intense, wouldn't you?
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With a little black and white, this photo looks really old, doesn't it? I'm going to just play around with this new method of posting pictures.
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Extras at the table

It's a beautiful morning here on the Knolltop. We're getting summer weather again and I'm not complaining!

I was commenting to Bobby last night during milking that I hadn't left the farm after chores at night for five days in a row! Now that's unusual for me....but very, very nice. Tonight I will break that streak by going to Luke's game. They play a tough team, so it should be a great game.

I'm fixing baked pork for dinner today, I should have a table full. He keeps bringing his football buddies home after school for dinner before they go back to the school for the game. That's fine with me, but the first time he did it without warning and when I saw the extra boys pile out of the van I started scrambling for more food from the fridge! No one went away hungry that day, but today I'm better prepared.

That reminds me of something one of Luke's buddies said. They were talking about an incident at school between a boy and a girl and one of the boys popped off and said, "She's so ugly she fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down!" Now I know that's not very nice to say about anyone, but it really is funny. Bobby about drove off the road with laughter when he heard that from the back seat.

Well, I've got writing to do and errands to run!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Urgent VS. important

It's a cool, rainy day here on the Knolltop. I don't mind the rain, I got my yard all mowed yesterday! Besides I could use a rainy day to take care of some inside projects, like the mess on the floor right behind me! It's all that stuff that needs a place because it's not in use all the time, but I can't get rid of it. I hate that stuff because I don't have a closet big enough to store it all and then close the door!

My laundry room is over flowing again, I don't know how that happens so fast. It's just so prolific! So I've got laundry to do and grapes on the vine that should be made into jelly and errands to run. So once again, I will get the urgent needs taken care of and leave the important stuff behind for another day...until we run out of underwear and socks!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Oil change please.

Good cool morning from the Knolltop!

Do you ever have those days when everyone is in a talkative mood? It doesn't matter where you go, everyone you meet wants to visit. That's what happened yesterday when I left the house for a quick trip to Walmart and home. I got stuck in my car talking to someone while on my way to the bank. I didn't want to do my banking while talking business, so I waited outside and in our small town, I'm sure everyone wondered what I was doing sitting in my van talking.

Off the phone with the first visitor I entered the bank and both tellers wanted to talk. They are fun to visit with especially when we talk about body fat percentages and muscle mass indexes. After 20 minutes, I finally got all my banking done and headed to the store. Wanting to get my oil changed and my tire fixed while I shopped, I took my car to Walmart's tire and lube. I decided they had too much money or too much business as I bought my groceries and headed into the shop and saw my van sitting in the same place I parked it. When I starred at the kid who was standing behind the counter while the older manager was bickering on the phone over some meaningless point, the kid told the mechanic passing through to get that blue van done.

I watched as the mechanic meandered over to my van, bent over to look at the low tire and meandered back in to tell me they can't fix it, something about not the right tire on the car, paying for it if something were to happen, don't want to be responsible...sorry.

By this time, I'm about ready to shake every person in that shop because this could've been done while I was checking for cracked eggs and whining about the price of butter. They had no other cars to work on...mine was the only one...and it took them a half hour to bend over and look at one tire! I looked at Junior at the counter and he looked back at me with a pained face and said with a nasally, whiny tone, "You don't want to get your oil changed still...do you?"

Well, heavens NO! Why would I want to get my oil changed? I came in here, asked you to change my oil, told you what package I wanted, told you how nice it was to have my oil changed while I shopped, gave you all kinds of positive reinforcement about what a great shop you had only to have you do NOTHING! Why would I want you to change my oil? I do this all the time, in fact I wake up every Monday morning, run out to my van, look at the mileage, check the oil change sticker in the corner of the windshield to see if it's time to change the oil because I can't wait to come in here and have you treat me like I'm asking you to bail out Wall Street with the change you have in your pocket! I LIVE FOR THIS!

No, I didn't rant and rave, although they both deserved a good kick in the pants, I just said no thanks, I'll be going now. And I walked out the door almost running into the older manager mumbling to himself about winning some battle with some other manager and high fiving every one he could get to raise their hand like he had just beat Michael Phelps in the 200 meters!

The day ended with sharing ice cream with homemade hot fudge with my parents after Sarah's volleyball game. All's well that ends well.

Monday, October 6, 2008

He's home!

Good Morning from a Knolltop that has all it's family members under one roof again!

After spending all day on Saturday glued to the internet, watching the Holstein show at World Dairy Expo, we then turned our attention to when JW might get home. He called and said he would be staying at Levi's and coming home Sunday morning. Watching a movie in bed, I got up for a commercial break and went out to the kitchen. I saw a body on the couch, Luke, and a body on the floor that didn't resemble Jake or Sarah. I had to really take a good look and when I did I saw it was JW! He had snuck in unannounced and crashed on the floor.

Last evening after a busy day he sat down and we visited about every detail of his week. It was so much fun to hear about his experience and even better to have him home!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Planet Holstein Sale a boom!

Well the Planet Holstein averaged more this year than last on twice as many lots!

On 41 lots the sale average was $18,200 with the high seller Ralma Shottle Camouflage-ET consigned by Marlin J. Bontrager of Iowa bringing $101,000. She will make her new home north of the border in Canada.

Last year's Planet Holstein sale offered 27 lots and was the second highest averaging Holstein sale of the year at $17,300.

Someone's watching my baby

A beautiful sunrise is peeking over the horizon here on the Knolltop and while we ate our hot sweetrolls this morning we noticed how pretty Miss Stanna's tree was with the sun shining on it with the leaves just starting to turn.

Last evening Luke's team beat Camden again. Luke had a much better game this week than last...of course he wasn't getting up at the crack of dawn to milk cows at a county fair this week either, so his performance was much better. It was a cold game, but a good one.

When we got home we watched some of the Agriprize sale on the Internet, but we didn't see JW. He called last night and sounded very tired. But he is excited about going to the World Classic sale tonight.

Wednesday there was a comment on the blog from someone, I don't know who, but they said they saw Levi and JW and that they looked tired but were doing well. I thought about that comment and had a feeling of comfort as a mom knowing that my 17 year old is 600 miles from home and yet I still had a friend watching out for my child. It's an amazing industry we work in when we can go just about anywhere in the country and have a friend just around the corner.

Thank you to whoever reported on JW! I sure do appreciate it!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Random pictures and comedians

If any of you were wondering why there was a picture on the top of the blog with no caption...it was because yesterday I was fooling around with Picasa, where my pictures are stored and it said, "Blog it" so I blogged that picture just to see how it worked. Then I never went back to see it.

So, that picture is at the fair last week when Bobby and JW were blowing up tops on all the cattle. I have to say it was nice to have JW on the scene, a first this year, as he and Bobby worked together to make the cattle look their best. It works out rather well because JW doesn't enjoy showing near as much as Luke and Sarah do and Luke hates fitting the cows and really enjoys showing, so JW can fit the cattle while Sarah, Luke and Jake show them. And with JW helping Bobby with the fitting, I can actually try to watch the kids in the ring while keeping an eye on the cattle so they don't get dirty.

Yesterday Dallas Burton called. I answered the phone and he hardly got hello out of his mouth before he said, "Now, don't get worried, as soon as Ed and I get a couple of things done here at the sale site, we're going straight over to the jail to get JW out."

I replied, "No, you'd better leave him there for a while, he needs to think over the choices he's made and the consequences he will be paying, a little jail time never hurt anybody." A reply Mr. Burton, the wannabe comedian, didn't expect to come out of my mouth. Trying to get a rise out of me every time he calls I haven't talked to him once without some comment about JW acting like a juvenile delinquent. Monday night, while on the phone with me, he yelled across the sale arena, "JW, put that beer down and get to work!" He really thinks he's funny. What he doesn't know is that JW and Levi are being prayed over daily. Does he honestly think we'd allow these two teenagers to work a sale with a bunch of fitters who act like a bunch of fitters without being completely covered in prayer?

The sale is tonight and then the boys get to enjoy the show tomorrow and Saturday. We've been keeping up on the show by watching it online. It's so much fun to watch and listen while I work around the house, I love hearing the organist play, or is it the accordion? I don't know, anyway, hearing the music and the announcements makes me feel like I'm almost there!

Today I will finish mowing and Luke has a game tonight. Sarah's team won last night, they beat Jackson Christian quite handily!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

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Michigan Juniors do well

Good Morning from a cloudy Knolltop.

It's cool and feels even more like Fall around here this morning. I told the kids this morning I would have to bake something today to warm up the house! I garnered all smiles with that!

Last evening Sarah was doing her homework, she had to write two fables. One was to be 250 words and the other 500. She was complaining about how long they were to be, I told her it was a cinch, and that she'd have 500 words in no time. Of course, both of her fables were stories with cows in it, and what she had written was very, very good! I'm sure her English teacher wonders why she is so obsessed with cows!

We spoke with JW last night, he was doing well out there in Madison. They went to Expo yesterday and saw some familiar faces. A couple of Juniors from Michigan fared well in the Junior Holstein Show yesterday. Tera Koebel had the Junior Champion bred and owned and placed 5th with her three year old. Parker Hardy was second, behind Tera in the Junior Calf class and then he was first in his cow class, I'm thinking it was a Senior Two year old, Dolly. They made Michigan look good yesterday! Congratulations Tera and Parker!

I'm headed out to clean out the cattle trailer and then put two of the show heifers out to pasture with the other bred heifers and dry cows. Sarah has a volleyball game tonight at Jackson Christian...I get to skip chores and go!