Knolltop Farm Wife

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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

More gift opening!

And now we finally eat....this is the kids table...with Aunt Amy as the chaperone! HA!
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Christmas dinner and you know they all hate it when I make them take a minute to pose for the camera!

Can you see the "J" for Jesus in my apple pie? I thought it was picture worthy....???

Doing dishes at moms....nothing's changed over the years....yes feel sorry for me now..please...

Opening gifts at moms....Sarah peeks into Gramps gift.
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Here are a few scenes from Christmas 09 at the Knolltop and at Gramps and Grandmas

Our tree all lit up on Christmas eve....I'm no photographer!

Bobby read the Christmas story from his grandfather's Bible. You can see the weathered pages and if you look real close you can see the sermon notes--he was a pastor.

Jake loves his new Javon Ringer jersey...the old one was skin tight on him and he still wore it!

Luke got a new tool box....he spent Christmas day organizing much fun!
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Holidays are almost over

Christmas has come and gone and we are embarking on a new year and I haven't once said Merry Christmas from a snowy Knolltop! So....Merry Christmas from the Knolltop!

It's been a great holiday so far. I think I have spent more time enjoying the holiday this year than in years past. I spent Christmas Eve in the shopping malls doing all of my buying and it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. Actually, it was very nice. There were bargains galore and not that many people. Three of my kids when with me and we had a great time.

Then after Christmas I went shopping again for the extended family Christmas and we again, had a great time shopping. We even had lunch out....that was so much fun!

On Christmas day we had no trouble in the barn at all. We got in, opened presents, visited with each other and then I went to the kitchen and began cooking. We had a wonderful meal together stuffing ourselves to the gills and then layed around for a little while longer before we headed back out to the barn to work it off.

Christmas with my extended family was a total riot. We did a gift exhange this year where we picked a gift and then traded if we wanted to. I was afraid it wasn't going to work and the kids would hate it, but it was quite the opposite, they loved it! And the one gift I bought that I thought was going to be the reject was the most beloved gift of my nephew Adam. He loved the hot chocolate kit!

In celebration of Sarah's birthday, Grandma took Sarah and me to a nail salon and we got pedicures and manicures and then went out to lunch! Now that was sooooo much fun! We have beautiful hands and toes and a great day of memories. I think I could get hooked on pedicures!

Now today, I'm trying to get organized, but it's not going well. I guess I can do that tomorrow...I wouldn't want to ruin my perfect year of chaos!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Proud Mom!

Good Friday Morning from a cloudy but mild Knolltop!

Okay, I just have to do a little bragging here.....for those who don't care...I'm sorry, but I am so proud!

Last night, Luke had a basketball game at Jackson Christian. Now he's a sophomore playing Varsity. He and three other sophomores were moved up was just a good idea.

Anyway, because one of the seniors had been sick, Luke got to start! And although they lost, he was also the high scorer! I'm proud...yes, I am proud. Okay, now that's done.

Jake is home on the couch today with a hurt ankle. Well, at least that's what the school nurse said. I think he'll be okay.....he was asking if we were going shopping today, so unless he's planning on getting a motorized cart in Walmart, I think he's on the mend.

Tomorrow is Sarah's birthday, so I've got to go get her things today, because from here on out, any shopping trip that I make, she will be glued to my I've got to get her gifts today!

Better get!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

JW the Christmas Elf

Good Morning from a sunny Knolltop!

It's been busy around here with getting ready for Christmas. We put our tree up Monday evening because the kids didn't have school due to the ice. So I took full advantage of all the help. The bad news was Luke didn't have a basketball game that night either.

But Luke will play tomorrow night in Jackson.

JW is busy taking orders for Christmas goodies. He's selling to his teachers and I think the big draw is that HE has promised to make the, not is mother. I like this! This month this was a no we are busy trying to come up with a January holiday to sell goodies for!

Better head to the barn!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nothing Frozen!

Good Morning from a COLD WINDY but NOT FROZEN YET Knolltop.

It was 9 degrees last night with a 25 mph wind. Our barn should've been frozen from one end to the other, but when we went in this morning we only found one frozen drinking cup!

Yesterday morning Bobby asked if I would find a couple of heaters to borrow for the night since we were going to have a killer windchill. So, as soon as I came in from the barn, I made a phone call and nabbed one heater but I still needed another one. Several things occupied my day like my dad coming down to fix our cornstove so we had some source of heat since the day before the furnace man informed us we needed a new furnace!

I kept thinking about getting another heater, but it kept slipping my mind. The day was getting late and I still hadn't come up with another heater and I found myself dreading the night. So I kept praying that God would put someone in my mind who would have a heater we could borrow.

One of the boys best buddies, Dewey, came home from school with them and I knew his dad was one of these industrial types that had one of everything, so I asked if they had a heater. He said Yes! Then of course I asked, "Does it work?" Another Yes! "So, can we borrow it?" He called his dad and he said YES!

Sarah and I milked while Bobby, Luke and Jake fed and closed up the barn and set up one of the heaters in the south end of the barn...the end that is prone to freezing.

Coming in from chores, we enjoyed Sarah's delicious eggnog and some popcorn then everyone went to bed while I waited up for JW who hadn't come home from working for Mr. Kyser yet. Finally at 10pm, he walked in the back door and I breathed a sigh of relief!

He began explaining why he was so late. After they got done working for Mr. Kyser they went and helped a guy who's chimney fell down in the windstorm. He said it was mighty cold standing in the bucket of the loader tractor helping with that chimney with 30 mph winds whipping around!

When they finished helping him, he took Dewey home, got the heater from Dewey's dad, filled it with fuel and set it up in north end of the barn. And this morning when we went to the barn, the heaters were humming, the barn was warm and everything was aces!

Now it's time to head back out in this awful weather to finish up chores!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Turkeys times two

It's another cool, cloudy morning here on the Knolltop!

I've been waiting to share this story for a week now, but every time I sit down, it slips my mind!

A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed a man from southern Hillsdale County named Jim Gier(shown above). The purpose of the story was to write about his hobby, building horse drawn wagons. I found out about him from his daughter Penny who asked me if I was interested in the story and by the way, it was his birthday in November. So of course, because I think the world of Penny, I have ever since she and I worked together at The Farmers' Advance, I agreed to write the story.

While interviewing Jim, I was drawn to him. He was just one of those folks you didn't want to leave. He was so kind, full of great stories and had a deep compassion for dairy farmers since he had milked cows himself.

I wrote the story and hoped everyone liked it. The day after Thanksgiving I was sitting at my computer writing while the washer was going and folded laundry sat on the table and I heard a knock on the door. I looked and it was Jim and his wife Ruth!

Jim said he had something for me in the trunk of his car, so I followed him out and Ruth and he pulled out two 20 pound turkeys! He said he had just gotten them on sale and thought our family could use them!

I invited them in and we sat and visited about our respective Thanksgivings, he told a few stories and then they got up to leave. Before he left, he looked at me and said, "Just hang in there, I know the dairy business is tough right now, but the Man upstairs will take good care of you."

A lump swelled in my throat as tears came to my eyes and I gave him a hug and said, thanks. They left and I just marveled at God's grace and love. Sending this retired couple to give me just the boost I needed proves just how much God loves each one of us!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Table Linens

Good Morning from a cool and kind of cloudy Knolltop!

Wasn't that elf thing funny? I had a friend from PA send that to me and I laughed for at least 10 minutes. Then when I collected myself, I made one with my kids and me. You can only have five elves, so I didn't stick Bobby in...I should have! What a hoot!

When the kids got home they watched it and we all laughed together! Then while we were milking we were trying to do the dance moves...of course we weren't nearly as good in our barn clothes as we are in our elf outfits!

I said I would share a little more of thanksgiving, so I will now. Today's topic is simple. Linen. More specifically, linen tableclothes. My mom and I love linens and she has a boatload of old linens her mom gave to her. She loves to starch and iron them and hang them up to admire. I have to admit, there is nothing better than a freshly starched tablecloth.

Then it was time to set the table for Thanksgiving we practially had a tablecloth unveiling. She brought them down and we pleasingly spread them on the table, placed the Haviland china around and admired how beautiful the linens were.
Then she said something I hadn't thought of. She said she likes to think about all the people who sat down to dinner with these tablecloths. Who they were, what they were like, what their dinner conversation was like. I had never thought about that aspect of a tablecloth.
Then she brought out another tablecloth for the kids table.
It was equally as beautiful, but it had one interesting mark, it had been patched. Some woman who cared enough about her linens sat down with a needle and thread and took time to carefully patch her tablecloth. It's quite amazing when you think about it. In our world of throw away everything, this wonderful piece of history had been preserved and knowing how much she cared for her linen spurs us onto making sure we treat it with care.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Beautiful Morning!

Good Morning from a beautiful sunny Knolltop! It may be chilly, but it's pretty!

It's been busy here, obviously with no posting for so long. I guess if you want to keep up with me when I'm not here, you'll have to go to Dairy Agenda Today. But I will try to give this blog more attention.

I'm headed out to the barn, I've been waiting for my overalls to dry. I just had to wash them this morning after chores, they just get so icky!

I've got thanksgiving pics to show you...but I'll leave you with one now.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Senior Pictures

JW and I went to David Smith's, Smile Photography for his senior pictures yesterday afternoon. We had a great time! I can't wait to see the proofs.
When we got done with the studio shots, David took JW outside and put him through his paces. Telling him how to stand, how to look, smile, don't smile, look up, tip your chin down, relax the arm...the whole bit. Almost as bad as a cattle photographer. Only David didn't need a crew of five or a noise maker!
JW had to get his clothes just right.
Okay, now he looks like a rock star....yes, I am his mother!
David was very interactive crouching down and showing him how to sit. So much fun!!!!
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Senior Pictures

Good Monday Morning from a sunny Knolltop!

Why didn't someone tell me my headline to the last post was misspelled????? Oh my heavens!

Yesterday JW and I ventured to Reading for his senior picture session. Oh my, I had no idea it was going to take three hours! It was fun though, of course he's so photogeneic! And yes, I am his mother, I know, but you just can't beat his smile.

I'll post a few pics above.

Today is one of the last warmer days so I'm heading out to work in the yard. Coming home last evening we noticed several people with their Christmas lights up....they were the smart ones and used good weather to hang lights.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

God's Awesome Answer

Good Morning from a sunny, cool Knolltop.

I know, I know, it's been over a week since I wrote anything. I actually began writing this post last Sunday and haven't had time to finish it....

Suffice it to say, Bobby and I had a wonderful time in Louisville and the kids handled things well on the farm.

Right now, I've got to write about a God thing. If you don't believe in God or don't like any kind of religion....stop reading right now because I'm going to be considerably transparent about God and how He answered our prayers..

JW found a baseball camp a few weeks ago. World Baseball Acadamey in Ft. Wayne, Indiana was advertising a pitchers and catchers training camp. Looking into it I decided I would bite the bullet and pay for JW to go. He wanted to go so badly so when an unexpected, very small, windfall came our way, we immediately gave part of it to JW for camp. Afterall he had be so faithful in helping with chores all fall when we would rush off to a football or volleyball game. He would gladly stay behind and finish up chores or sometimes do all of the chores, without complaint.

Excited about this opportunity we were counting down the days until his first Thursday night that he would attend camp. One day the phone rang and it was the head of the baseball camp, Caleb. He said all the boys that wanted to attend the camp chose to opt into private instruction and now JW was the only one left in the camp. We had two choices, he could attend camp with middle school age kids or take private no extra cost! Of course, I chose the private instruction and scheduled his time for Saturday afternoons.

JW was more than excited and couldn't wait to tell Luke. Luke was excited as well and then they took it one step further and surmised that since the lessons were on Saturday, Luke could attend as well. In their mind it was set in stone, I would call Caleb, get Luke added to the camp and one pitcher and one catcher would attend the camp together every Saturday afternoon. Money never even entered into their minds, but it was consuming mine.

As camp got closer, Luke would talk about it more and more and they kept reminding me to call Caleb to get Luke added. I kept saying I would but in the back of my mind I knew I didn't have the extra money. Thursday night during milking JW came in and asked again, if I had called Caleb. I was not in a good mood after a day of trying to figure out how I was going to make ends meet for another month. I looked at JW and said, "I'm sorry, but I have no money for Luke to attend camp." There, I said it. I admitted what I didn't want to admit, it was now out in the open and part of me was glad, the other part was mad.

Then I heard a voice in my head say, "You don't have the money but God does, why don't you ask Him." Feeling awful about snapping at JW and just ignoring the prayer factor, I caught JW as he was headed out the door. I looked at him and said, "I don't have the money, but God does, let's pray that he provides it for us. And please don't tell Luke I don't have the money, let's just pray, okay?"

He looked at me with a look of disbelief that I would even have to ask him twice and said, "Sure, I'll pray."

It was Friday night in the barn and Luke backed the tractor down to clean the gutters and came bouncing in the barn. I asked why he was so happy and he remarked that he was excited about baseball camp. My heart sank....and I began to pray again, 'God, please don't let him down.' I looked at him trying to appear fearless and said, "Yep, it will be a lot of fun." But deep down inside I was not fearless at all, my heart was breaking.

You see, Luke loves baseball, he is an outstanding catcher and both he and JW have enjoyed playing together since they were six and 8 year olds playing in the yard with Bobby. Every evening after chores they would con Bobby into playing a game of ball. We would all gather in the yard and begin to play until Sarah would get upset about something and then she and I would go sit on the porch together and watch the boys.

It was Saturday morning and Bobby, JW and Luke got ready to go. The boys gathered their equipment while Bobby took me aside and said he would ask Caleb how much it would be to add Luke to the camp. I replied, "I'll pray."

That afternoon my mom called and asked about the camp. I told her about the situation and she immediately said, "Why didn't you say something, I can help out." I told her we were praying and were waiting to see what God would do. Strangely, she was happy with that answer, normally she would fix the situation by volunteering to pay for it, but this time, she just reassured her offer to help was there if we wanted it and backed off.

They were gone most of the day and when they got home they told me all about it. They really liked the instructor and were looking forward to going back. After dinner, Bobby and I were having our coffee when he said, "I asked Caleb how much it would be to add Luke to the camp and he said nothing!"

I couldn't believe it. God answered our prayer in such a powerful way! Later that evening I celebrated with JW, we both just giggled at how generous God was and is.

When I called my mom to tell her the good news, she said, "You know, I just knew that was going to happen. I just had a feeling."

Never underestimate the power of prayer! Or God's deep and wonderous grace.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Football Season

Since I haven't posted any pictures of football season, I thought I had better keep the grandparents happy and put up some of Luke's football pictures. Now I know the rest of the readers may not give two hoots about the kid in the Number 16 jersey, but there are a few of you who will thoroughly enjoy.
Luke was the quarterback of the team. This was good and bad. It was good because I always knew where he was and if he was doing a good job.
It was bad because other parents felt the need to tell Luke if he was doing something wrong and they would yell at him. Well, this Mama bear didn't like that. It was all I could do to sit through a game and not plough through the fans to knock those hecklers right off the stands! Trying to figure out what to do, the next game, I decided to get close to them. So, I sat in their section, as close as I could and you know what? They didn't say a word! Not a peep! The next game I didn't sit quite so close and they were still well behaved. It was a good thing, I just knew it was gonna get ugly if they yelled at my baby one more time.
Basketball season starts soon.....???

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Heading South!

Good morning from a very chilly knolltop. It was 29 when we went across the road to milk!

Yesterday JW was honored as student of the month. That event took place before school, so then while we were out in our town clothes we ran some errands and then home for more chores. This morning JW is on his way to Louisville for the dairy judging contest at the North American.

Today I'm getting ready to head south as well, for the NAILE in Louisville. I am covering it for Dairy Agenda Today, otherwise, no, there is no way I could afford this trip if I weren't working while I was there!

Mom will come down and take care of the kids and I am actually getting Bobby off the farm! He will be able to visit with all of his buddies and enjoy some down time! We are looking forward to the trip and are thankful for a mom who will come watch our kids and for kids who will take over the farm for a few days!

Okay, by now I"m sure you know, prayer is needed for the Hart family! And I thank you in advance!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Frosting rules

Good Morning from a sunny 30 something Knolltop!

Now that I just finished a fresh hot sweetroll with cream cheese frosting and a hot cup of coffee, I think I'm ready for the day. I was snooping around the Pioneer Woman website the other day, I very rarely go there because it's so addictive, but I found a recipe for pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting.

I made the muffins, in the name of nutritional goodness because of the pumpkin, but I refrained from the just didn't seem right for breakfast. But somehow that frosting rule doesn't apply to sweetrolls, cause I just made a creamy batch of cream cheese frosting, slathered it on the hot sweetrolls and enjoyed every last bite!

Now I've got to go work it off in the barn!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bright and Sunny Tuesday!

Good Sunny morning from the knolltop! What a beautiful sunrise and now a shining morning!

Everyone is back to healthy in the house now. Sarah went back to school! It's amazing what a little rest will do for a body.

I lost a calf this morning! When I went out to feed the calves their milk, she was gone! Because she is mostly black, I didn't see her standing outside in the springer pen in the dark. When she heard the clank of the buckets she realized she had better get back home for breakfast! I was able to feed here in that pen, but I will have to wrangle her back home this morning when we bed the barn and clean gutters.

I received a "Save the date" magnet in the mail the other seems TWO of my nephews have decided to make my sister crazy by both getting married within 3 months! John will get married in March and Tim is getting married in June! My poor, poor, poor sister. It's a good thing she had all boys....can you imagine if she had two daughters getting married????

It makes my head spin.....

Friday, October 30, 2009

PA Acting Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding
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Secretaries of Agriculture

It's another rainy morning here on the Knolltop! I'm getting use to it. This has been one wet fall.

Sarah is still sick in bed with a soar throat and sinus stuff. Poor thing. She seemed a bit improved this morning, but I didn't thing there was any reason to go spread germs around school, so I kept her home again.

While in Harrisburg in September, I met the Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of Agriculture, Russell Redding(pictured above). He had recently taken over after the former Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff who had resigned to move onto the lobbying world.

Of course like any normal media type, I grilled him for information, asking him why he is qualified to be the PA Sec of Ag. He gave me his whole pedigree and when I was satisfied with that I began asking him about the issues that the livestock industry is facing. He aptly answered those questions too and by the time I was done, we knew just about everything about each other and we parted on a first name basis.

This week, Russell was a panelist at a Senate Ag Committee dairy crisis hearing in Washington DC. I emailed and asked if he would send me his thoughts on how it went. He promised he would and a couple of days later his Executive Assistant, Jean Lonie, sent me his comments. In her email she referred to Russell as Secretary Redding. When I read that, all of a sudden it dawned on me that this guy had a high position in government and I had been disrespectful calling him by his first name instead of his title.

I thought about the sec of ag in Michigan and how I would never refer to him by his first name. Then I thought about Sec Redding's position in government and then I was afraid I had offended my new found friend and I began to think oh my goodness how was I going to weasil my way out of this offense!

I emailed Secretary Redding right away apologizing for my disrespectful error hoping I hadn't offended him. He emailed back, "Appreciate your note, but keep using Russell, I prefer it!"

By that note it was affirmed why this guy who grew up on a dairy farm and was involved in production agriculture himself, was such a natural pick for his new job! You can take a kid off the farm but you can't take the farm out of the kid.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A break from sport? NOT

Good Morning from a wet knolltop! But it's not too cold!

Bobby and I are now on a hiatus from sports activities. But that doesn't mean my children are. We are inbetween sports and now we can take our time during evening chores and when we come in, Bobby can read and I can write or play cards and eat popcorn. But our children have a burning desire to continue in their sporting activities.

Last evening JW headed out to eat with his buddies before they headed to the girls volleyball game. They are in their last week of regular play and are ranked 3rd in the state! Luke and Jake couldn't be left out so after they got done with their chores, they headed to the gym for "Open Gym" where any of the kids can come in and play basketball. Sarah stayed home, she's not feeling all that well. No, I don't think it's H1N1, but just a sinus least that's what I'm hoping!

Yesterday there was a panel discussion on low dairy prices in the Senate Ag Committee and there were dairy producers included along with Russell Redding, the Acting Secretary of Agriculture in Pennsylvania. He said he would send me some of his reflections of how the hearing went, I can't wait to hear them and see what he thought.

Now, it's time to get to work....somewhere!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Game Time Wrap up

Good Monday Morning from a sunny knolltop!

It's supposed to stay sunny for awhile then get cloudy. But in the 60s!!!!

Okay, so here we go....Luke's team won Thursday night...yes must have been that super supper they enjoyed in the stinky weight room. Yuck, it did stink in there. But they weren't shy when it came time to belly up to the buffet.

They smoked Manchester that night. They put the freshman QB in toward the end of the game and when they needed a tackle, the regular kid who plays that position wasn't ready to take the field, so Luke ran in to play tackle and while running in, he screamed like a little kid "WooHoo!" It was so funny. He said he loved playing a different position, especially tackle where he could just go hit somebody.

While Luke was playing his last game, Sarah's team was working on their undefeated season and accomplished that goal! She said they beat Jackson Christian in 2 games! She was happy to say the least and is looking forward to AAU volleyball in the spring.

Okay, we can talk about MSU's loss to Iowa. A hard fought game and in my opinion, either team deserved that win. So I wasn't as upset as I normally am when they give the game away. Enough said.

Last night the feed cart extraction team played a round or two in the barn. Bobby has his motorized feed cart back from the shop and was using it last night when he crossed over the wooden bridge and it buckled. Crash went the cart and in came the extraction crew. Luke and JW helped him get it back on solid ground and repaired the bridge. Thank heaven's for weight lifting class!!!!!

Now I'm headed back out to the barn to bed and let the cows in while Bobby is gone to his Dr. appointment.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Football Catering

Good Morning from a cool and cloudy Knolltop! I thought the sun was going to shine, but it hasn't yet! Yesterday was absolutely beautiful!

Sarah's team remains undefeated beating Camden last night. Tonight they have their last game of the season, I hope they win. Unfortunately I won't be there to watch. Luke has a game at 4:30 in Hillsdale and Sarah's game is in Jackson and oh yes, we still have a herd of cows to milk!

Fortunately for us, JW has been a huge help pitching in where we need him. He will milk tonight while we go to Luke's last game and I think we will be done quick enough to get back home for the end of chores. But not quick enough to make it to any of Sarah's game.

Since I usually feed some of the football boys before their game, today I will run a catering business in the weight room. Bobby suggested we take a meal into them so they have something good to eat before the game. So this afternoon I will be taking enchaladias and a sausage and stuffing casserole with rolls, broccoli and apple crisp to the school weight room and feed the normal crowd. They have weight lifting last hour so they will have some time to eat. Then we will continue the race of getting some of the chores done and going to the game.

But first I have to bed the barn and write a column! So I'd better get moving!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Parent-Teacher Confusion

Good Morning from a warmer Knolltop! I don't have to wear my long underwear to the barn these days and it sure is nice!

Sarah's team won again last night in a close match with Hillsdale Academy. They are still undefeated and I'm so proud of them!

After the game, JW and Luke had some friends over for a bon fire. They hosted it, all I did was eat smores and make sure no one burned themselves! They had a two hour delay this morning so this enabled them to stay up a little later last night.

Yesterday were parent teacher conferences. I'm just not sure who's children they were talking about. One teacher would rave about a kid and the other would say he was disrespectful and not working up to his potential. One teacher told me Jake's strength was comprehension and another told me comprehension was his weakest area. So now I wonder, just what exactly are they doing and are they teaching the same kid?

Let's just say, a little more attention will be paid to school work, it's been automatic up until now, but that is going to change!

Time for dishes!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Game Day

Good Morning from a partly cloudy, breezy, cool day here on the Knolltop.

Last night Luke's team beat Mason 22-6! They did a great job the first half, but they didn't play so well the second half. Luke was disgusted with himself....but he didn' t throw any I'd say he had a great game!

For those of you who don't get Dairy Agenda Today, let me copy what I posted there, then you will get the gist of my day yesterday.

Yesterday was game day for my son's football team. Invariably he will bring home extra boys who don't have anywhere to go between school and game time. So they come to our house to eat a good meal before the game.

At 1 pm yesterday I began to cook what I thought was a meal that would take no time at all. But as I finished preparing one dish, I would think of something else I should cook. Two hours later I had a table full of boys chowing down on a hot meal of baked pork chops, homemade stuffing, sweet potato casserole, cheesy potatoes, steamed broccoli, baked apples and homemade rolls with warm cookies for dessert.

After dinner the race to the game was on. I stacked the dishes in the kitchen, sat down at the computer to edit my son's essay. A couple of phone calls later I found I was late to the barn so I changed my clothes while talking on my cell and headed to the barn where I got everything ready to milk. I made a quick phone call to JW to make sure he was taking the boys into the school for the game and picking Sarah up from volleyball practice. Once I started milking I called to remind the calf feeder he had better get his chores done pronto if he wanted to go to the game with Daddy and me. Forty five minutes later I was handing off my dipper to my relief milkers, JW and Sarah, so I could head to the football game with Bobby who was on the chain gang.

Arriving 15 minutes early to the game, which is unheard of for me, I had time to edit more of JW's essay before I had to get bundled up to sit in the bleachers with the other 10 parents who braved the wind and drizzle to watch our boys rack up 22 points to lead a Class A school team at the half.

Hopping back in the truck I ran home to get JW and Sarah so they could come watch the girls volleyball game that was being played in the gym. Back in the bleachers and getting kind of cold, I watched as our boys won the game 22-6. Gathering up all six of us, we headed back home where we analyzed the game and relaxed before bed. I edited the rest of JW's essay and gathered the news for another day and was happy to lay my head on my pillow.

And so goes another game day on a dairy farm where family has to be willing to pull together so everyone can get where they need to be and others can go where they want to go.

As you can see it was a busy day, the morning was filled with errands! Now I've got to polish up a column and be done with the writing for the week.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Livin' it up!

Good chilly morning from the Knolltop!

I know, I know, I've been neglecting this blog....again!

Monday night Sarah had a VB game and they remain undefeated! They will play Litchfield tonight and I think they should do well. Tomorrow night Luke plays an non-league game against Mason. He called his uncle Rex last night for some scouting tips since Rex used to be the athletic trainer there....a long time ago. From what I heard they had a great conversation...and Rex offered his scouting tips. Let's see if they work.

We had another bull calf the other morning...boy he is big. It's nice to have another fresh cow. The manure spreader broke Monday, so last night when Luke got home from football practice he had to help his dad get that fixed...they were all glad to be in for the night. Jake and I were snacking on caramel corn when they got in. I made regular popcorn too, so Bobby sat with his bowl of popcorn and I had my caramel corn and we were livin' it up!

I just filled the truck up and I bought a donut while I was in there's time for a fresh cup of coffee before I head back out to bed the barn!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Friday!

Good Morning from a rainy knolltop!

Harvest may never get done a this rate, this rain needs to cease!

Last night we didn't get to go to Luke's game. Things kind of mounted up here and it was just not feasible. The game was 90 minutes away and so even if we had gotten all the chores done, we still would not have gotten there to see any of it, so we had to stay home. Poor Luke, I've been bombarding him with questions since he walked through the door to see what went wrong with this 38-14 loss. (or something like that). It was a tough team and they have a great program, so I really didn't expect them to win anyway...but you never know.

JW painted his face up and went to the varsity girls volleyball game against Camden. We won, we are fourth in the state! Those girls are great! JW looked so funny.

Okay, an update on Heath, the guy who fell off the silo. I didn't hear anything yesterday but since I posted on this blog, the swelling was going down on his brain, which is an answer to prayer and his vitals are stable and he's breathing on his own. The doctor said the first 72 hours were critical and we've passed that now. So keep praying! God is answering prayer!

Time to go bed the barn!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Prayer Please!

The sun is trying to peek through on this windy morning from the Knolltop!

Okay, before we go any further, I need to ask for more prayer. Heath Penick, a dairy farmer from Orland, Indiana, fell off a silo last weekend and is laying in the hospital in a coma. He's got numerous broken bones, facial damage, swelling on the brain, but his vitals are stable and he is breathing on his own. He is a young husband and father and the whole family could use your prayer!

Things are a little more "normal" here. No games last night except for watching the Tigers lose to the Twins....bummer. Jake, Sarah and I played cards and ate popcorn while we watched the tigers. Jake tried to cheat, but I wouldn't let him. He's slick.

I'm supposed to be in the barn bedding the cows but I haven't even had my second cup of coffee yet and I was going to wash my overalls before I went back out and I just remembered they are still laying on the laundry room floor!

Yes,'s time for more coffee!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Catching up!

It's a cool, rainy, breezy day here on the Knolltop. We've had a hard freeze and the crops are turning brown, but the grass doesn't seem to stop growing!

My mower is in the show again and the grass needs attention! So on this cold day, I'm staying inside and not looking out.

Last week we had our county fair and I have to say it was the easiest one ever. Jake and Sarah had their calves, Sarah entered an apple pie, for which she received an A award and a creative writing piece, which I didn't fix....too much.... and she received a B award. Yes, we were both bummed. Guess I need to edit a little more next time.

They had average calves this year and did just that, average! Sarah won showmanship, Jake just had fun. The victory in the medocre week was that I didn't have to harp and hound them to get the job done. They knew what to do and did it. Luke took them out, bedded the pack while they washed the calves and in no time they were finished with chores. I actually didn't get too worn out, kept a handle on the laundry and wasn't irritable.

Older kids are a whole lot easier to take to the fair than younger ones!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Forgot My password

I've been gone from this blog so long I almost forgot my password to post!

I'm sorry for neglecting it, but after I got home from Harrisburg we jumped head first into the county fair and the Agenda was also covering World Dairy Expo, so I was trying to make sure that was going smoothly from 500 miles away.

Anyway, the fair is over WDE is history, everyone is back under one roof and I can hear my family watching the Packers and the Vikings in the background. So instead of posting on this blog, I'm going to go join them!

See you in the Morning!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Headed East

Good morning from a soggy Knolltop! It's been raining off and on since last night.

Okay, here's an update on the family who I asked you to pray for. Jessica Wier and Jackie Wier were in a car accident in Idaho. Jessica was killed while Jackie was treated and release from the hospital. Please continue to pray for this family.

Also, I could use some prayer too. My mom and I are headed for Harrisburg, PA tomorrow for three days for the All-American Dairy show to cover it for Dairy Agenda Today. So, yes, that's how I can go, certainly wouldn't be going if I were footing the bill! So please pray for my family here while I'm gone. I know they can handle things without me, but I don't want any major things going wrong while I'm gone.

Then as soon as I come home we will be doing last minute preps for the fair. Oh, I am so not ready for the fair!

Now it's time to bed the barn and get the cows back in. Later!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Much Prayer Needed

For those of you who are inclined to, I ask that you stand in the gap for a local family who have experienced tragedy. I just heard on the radio that, Jessica Wier, a 19 year old local gal was killed in an auto accident while out west. The family lives on a farm in the southern part of the county. She was apparently riding in a vechicle with some others, including her twin sister, who is in intensive care in a hospital out west.

Please pray for her parents, they homeschooled these twin girls and they are one of the nicest families I know. I'm sure the family would appreciate your prayers at such a difficult time.

Thank you!

Intentional Living

It is another wonderful day here on the Knolltop. It's sunny but cool, I wore a turtleneck to the barn this morning and didn't get any too warm!

There are so many things to do and now I"m feeling the fair crunch. I was good until I began thinking about the projects that still aren't done. I really wanted to get them done before now, but I'm not that organized yet. I heard on Randy Carlson talk about doing one thing each day that is intentional. And if you continue to do that one thing soon it will be a habit and then you do another thing that's intentional. Pretty soon you're living an intentional life and that's the goal.

So my intentional thing is to do things NOW, not later. I'm trying, but obviously it didn't work with the 4-H projects.

Last night Luke's football team beat Pittsford, 40-22 or something like that. It was a great game....for us. Luke had two touchdowns, two interceptions and ran for a 2 point conversion. He had a good night even though there were a couple of parents at the game who took it upon themselves to tell Luke what he was doing wrong. Yes, this mama bear came out and all I can say is next time a parent in the stands feels the desire to take on the coaching responsibilities for my child......I will be opening my mouth and it ain't gonna be pretty!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More of the Rummage Sale!
Stuff, stuff and more stuff.
The men's section.

And here is the women's section.
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Hillsdale College Rummage Sale

It was a beautiful day for a rummage sale and that's where I went yesterday!
Held on the campus of Hillsdale College, beside the football stadium, people flocked to the sale.
Earlybirds got their goods and were leaving as I was coming. I arrived at about 9:15 or so....this guy was on his way out already!
This is the entrance, young and old alike love the rummage sale.
And this was just the beginning
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009


It's a beautiful morning here on the Knolltop. A cool 55 degrees while milking this morning and cause for a sweatshirt the whole time.

Yesterday was a big day for me, my first time on jury duty. Since I just got done writing about it on Dairy Agenda Today, I won't put it here, you can go there and read it.

Honestly, I'm in a hurry(what's new?) because the Hillsdale College Rummage Sale is today and I've got 19 minutes to get cleaned up and get there if I want to be there when the doors open!

I'm taking my camera...ohhhhh this is going to be so fun!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Too little time!

Good Monday Morning from a beautiful sunny Knolltop!

We are having great weather and I love it! I'm late for the barn, I should be in there bedding the cows, Bobby is on his second trip for feed and I should be half way done with my job now. OH my how does time get away from me!!!!!

Gotta go!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

College Volleyball

Good Morning from a cloudy, still Knolltop!

We went to Sarah's volleyball game last evening and they won! Sarah wasn't too sure they would so I'm glad they have a win under their belt to take to the next game on Monday. I'm sure Jake's personal coaching helped her out a bunch.

The other day I walked through the livingroom and they were watching college volleyball. Jake looked at me as serious as he could be and said, "I'm watching this for Sarah, she needs to watch it and get some pointers on how to improve her game." Sarah immediately took offense and an arguement ensued. But with last night's win, there may be some merit to watching ESPN.

Is anyone else day behind this week? I just realized my column was due yesterday! I thought today was Wednesday. I guess I had better get on that!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Watching Paint Dry

Good Morning from a foggy Knolltop!

Yep, the kids are off to school....I let them go again today....okay, I'm not going there!

Where did all this rain come from? It rained a lot yesterday, so much that the feed truck got stuck yesterday. I began milking and looked out only to see two men standing in the rain trying to get the truck unstuck! Again, I'm so glad my job is milking the cows in a dry barn.

Sarah has her first volleyball game tonight and it's home. There have been so many times when I've gone to her game and Bobby stayed home to milk the cows. Let's face it, he thinks watching volleyball is like watching paint dry, so when he volunteers to stay home it's not nearly as sacrificial as one would think.

Monday evening she was asking if JW was going to milk the night of her game. When I said yes, she replied, "Oh good, then both you and Daddy can come to my game!" Don't think I didn't tell him about that statement! So tonight Daddy will be watching paint dry instead of milking cows...which in my opinion is just about as bad as watching paint dry...but don't tell him I said that!

One more thing....Angie...we do need to have coffee!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of School

It's a very rainy day here on the Knolltop. It's been pretty much steady all day long which doesn't help my bad mood at all.

Going through the motions of the day I found myself really irritable and couldn't figure out why. Then it dawned on me, the kids had to go back to school today and I really don't like it. I miss them. I miss Jake's constant conversation with whoever will listen. I miss Sarah and Jake bantering back and fourth. And I especially miss their help! I had to help do chores in the barn this morning after breakfast and then I had to actually do the breakfast dishes too!

So, I am looking forward to 3:00 pm today when half of them come home to tell me about their day. Today was JW's first day of his last year in school. Maybe that's what is really bothering me! AHHH! Whatever it is, I had better snap out of it goes on, with or without me!

I think I need a cookie or something....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Another beautiful day!

It's another beautiful morning on the Knolltop!

Last evening JW and Sarah did chores while Bobby and I went to Luke's game in Climax. They lost but played an okay game. It was fun watching Luke play again.

We've had a couple of new calves, one bull, one heifer and now we are waiting for Sarah's cow to calve. She's due to Dundee and we are very excited to see what this calf will look like. I talk like it will be a heifer, I have no guarantees, but I'm optimistic!

I'm hoping to get another bushel of peaches today for canning, Sarah is just begging for more peaches to peel and slice! NOT! Then it's on to tomatoes....oh those wonderful tomatoes! Since mine didn't come on this summer, I'm looking for FREE tomatoes, I'll just wait until everyone else gets done and then hopefully someone will call and offer their leftovers. We'll just have to see what God provides!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Worst Mom Titles

Good Morning from a cool, clear Knolltop!

The Party is over, the southern chicks have gone back south. They actually left yesterday but I just didn't get to this blog. If you read my Dairy Agenda Today Blog you'll understand.

I was voted worst mom of the year yesterday. Luke, reminded me on Monday that they had football pictures on Tuesday and he needed his uniform washed. Yesterday I looked at his dirty uniform and thought to myself, "I need to get that washed, but his game isn't until Wednesday so what's the rush?" But for some reason I felt the need to get it done.

While cleaning off the counter I noticed his picture form and I decided not to wait until the last minute to fill it out but I would fill it out right then, insert the money, so when he was headed to practice I could hand it to him and look like I was so on top of things (This is rare for me.)

He was a tad late getting home from work so he was in a hurry to get to practice. He walked into the laundry room and saw his uniform sitting in the same place it was when he took it off. He looked at me and said, "You didn't wash this?" And I smugly said, "Your game isn't until tomorrow." He then looked at me and said, "But we have pictures today!" And he proceeded to put on a dirty uniform (good thing it's dark green) and I proceeded to feel like the worst mom in the world.

You see, if this were Jake's uniform, I wouldn't feel badly. If it were JW's uniform, there would be no guilt because they are as bad as I am at forgetting things and when we forget things we forget that we felt bad about forgetting about as quickly as we remember. But this was Luke I was dealing with, the kid who doesn't forget, the kid who folds his dirty socks together and puts them in the dirty laundry so they don't get separated, this is the kid who is a self starter, thrives on routine and hardly ever has to be told twice. I wanted to get it right for him out of sheer respect for who he is.

So guess what the first load of laundry is this morning? And guess who smiled as he watched me put it in the washer? I love that kid!

Monday, August 31, 2009

South comes North

It's a beautiful morning here on the Knolltop. Cool and 48 this morning when we went across the road to the barn!

The southern belles are up visiting this weekend! They came out yesterday and will be out Sarah is busy cleaning up the kitchen and I need to get the rest of the house cleaned up before the come back out!

I'm not sure what we will be up to today besides a Dr. appointment for Bobby. Maybe some eating, maybe some talking, maybe some eating, maybe some know how it goes.

Better get busy!

Friday, August 28, 2009

They Lost!

Cool and rainy...and I mean rainy on the Knolltop today!

JW's home from his judging trip, but I haven't had a chance to visit with him about it. I sent him directly to the barn when I woke him up. When he gets in, he can download all of his info!

Luke had a game last night, Bobby and Jake went, Sarah and I stayed home to milk. My parents and their comrades also attended over in Adrian. They lost. They got shut out. It wasn't good. Knowing Luke was in a bad mood and it would take some coaxing to get any information out of him, I had him sit on the couch and I sat on the floor with his feet in my lap and gave him a foot rub. It's amazing how much they will talk while getting their feet rubbed! I practically relived the whole game and I didn't even have to pay admission!

Today I have to finish painting the office. When I get done blogging and writing and Sarah is finished folding the clothes, we will get to work!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


It's a cloudy day on the Knolltop and a bit cool too.

Why is it that my day begins with great intentions of getting so much done, but then by 9 am, I still don't have things done that should be done?

I don't know what I'm going to do when Sarah goes back to school. This morning I had her canning peaches and doing dishes while I blogged on Dairy Agenda Today and put out some fires. Speaking of fires, she had one last night and I'll tell you about it if you promise not to mention it to her!!!! You can't tell her I wrote about it!

While working on Dairy Agenda Today and keeping one ear open to the rest of the house, I heard Sarah stirring around in the kitchen and by the sounds of it, she was making popcorn. A few minutes later I heard the smoke alarm go off, no not the beeping kind, it was Jake yelling, "MOM, FIRE, MOM, FIRE, MOM, FIRE!" I ran out to the kitchen and sure enough there was a fire in the popcorn pot that Sarah had heated up.

When I saw the fire the second alarm started going off, no, not the beeping kind, me yelling, "BOBBY, FIRE, BOBBY, FIRE, BOBBY, FIRE!" Running around in circles wondering what in heaven's name I should do I didn't do anything until he came up with the great idea of putting a lid on it. I quickly got a cast iron lid and put on the pot and it was gone. WHEW!

Normally I thought I was pretty good in emergency situations, but not this one! I think I need my BFF Angie, aka, EMT, Firefighter from Calhoun County to come down and give me some private training! After she recovers from her combine derby experience from last week. Yes, the woman climbed in a combine and went "head to head" with a ring full of men in combines ready to take her out! Rumor has it she ended up with whiplash, bruises, a third place ribbon and a whole lot of pride! Way to go Angie! Better you than me!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fragile decorations

It's another beautiful morning here on the Knolltop!

Jake and Sarah are out finishing up chores, Bobby is running an errand, Luke went golfing and JW is on his way to Ohio for a three day judging trip.

No peaches were done yesterday, but I got a really nice package in the mail from Georgia! A fragile box filled with jars of fig preserves, strawberry and pear preserves and a jar of honey! They were so pretty, I decided to put them on display instead of eating them.

Today the peaches have to get done, along with the mowing, trimming and painting!

This sounds like way too much work, I think I'll get a cup of coffee instead!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunny Monday

It's another beautiful day here on the Knolltop! It's sunny and cool and just picture perfect.

Sarah and Jake are out helping Bobby while JW and Luke went to get roasted beans. I'm still here working on Dairy Agenda Today stuff. If you want to read about what happened in the barn this morning go there and read the, fun, fun.

Sarah has been hard at work repainting my office. We picked the color out Saturday and we couldn't wait so we had to paint a corner of the room on Saturday night and then she painted more yesterday, she likes to paint I guess. It's going to look so much better! I've had so many things to put on these walls in this office that I've been collecting, I can't wait to start pounding nails!

But first, peaches are calling. Maybe some peach jam, and then some canned peaches. We'll see how many I can keep out of their mouths!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cool August Morning

Good Morning from a sunny, cool, very cool knolltop!

We had another bat this morning that sent me ducking and diving under the covers until Bobby got up and with broom in hand batted him down (pardon the pun) and I took a baseball bat and killed him!

That is the second bat killing this summer....just call me "BatWoman!"

Luke is golfing this morning, he had a scrimmage last night and he made a couple of touch downs and threw a couple TD's too. It was fun to watch football again.

JW is on his way to Green Meadow Farms for a judging workout, Bobby is back out to the barn which is where Sarah, Jake and I am headed shortly!

The lawnmower needs to get fixed today, so I have to go to town for that part, then my wonderful neighborhood mechanic and resident Oliver lover will fix it....again!

Better get!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Busy but not

Good almost noon from a very sunny Knolltop! I can't believe it's been nearly a week since I posted, this is just not me!

I can't say that I've been swamped with stuff to do, but I just can't seem to get to this blog! The kids and I went school clothes shopping with Grandma and that's always a blast! We've also been swimming a few times and yes, that's fun too! But we are having a very normal August with nothing but daily mundane chores to do.

We may have company toward the end of the week, so we are busy getting in shape for that, but it just seems like I can't get anything accomplished. I'm so interrupted by so many things, I just can't get it all together any one day!

The weather outside is beautiful, sunny and 75, you just can't beat it! Luke is gone golfing, JW is rescuing his truck that broke down last evening, Jake is at Grandmas and Sarah is slaving away at the laundry....poor gal!

Well, I've got to write my column and I've procrastinated long enough!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I took these pictures a while back, but never posted them, so I thought I would provide something to look at while I procrastinate writing my weekly column!
Two bailers, one field.

Luke took the round bales to the barn and then Bobby put them away with the skidsteer.
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Sunny and beautiful!

Good Morning from a sunny knolltop! It's a beautiful morning and going to be an even more beautiful day!

I've got so much to do today, it's not even funny. Not only do I have to write my fingers off, I 've got a half bushel of peaches on my counter that need to be made into jam or canned.....Where is Sarah????

Yesterday I made more strawberry jam and didn't have time for any other jam. All of a sudden I'm simply overwhelmed with stuff that needs urgent attention! I hate that! But as I make my list and start crossing stuff off, I'm sure I'll feel better. Sarah and Jake will be scraping the garage again today so they can get it painted, for some reason they enjoy painting!

Well, I've got to get my weekly column finished...better get!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Warm weather has finally arrived

Good Morning from a humid, sunny Knolltop!

It was warm yesterday and it's going to be warm again today. I guess summer has finally decided to visit.

We had the best breakfast but probably the worst for you! I cooked some bacon and then plopped blueberry pancake batter in the bacon grease and they ended up being deep fried pancakes. Oh my heavens they were sooooooo good! But sooooooo bad for us!

JW is at a dairy judging workout today at the Kent County fair, Luke started football practice last night and he was tired.

It's time for me to go walking, my brain is foggy and I'm lethargic! I need to get moving!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Everyone is home!

Good Morning from a breezy, warm Knolltop!

Heritage Day was a bust! It rained all day long. So we watched the parade in the rain and went back to the house and Gramps, Grandma and the family had Blueberry Buckle and coffee. We needed the rain, so no one really complained about it.

Later that evening the boys went up and watched the band play, but it got boring so they came home.

JW arrived at 10:15 pm from his mission trip and we were glad to have him home! He said he had a great time and we keep hearing bits and pieces of the trip as he remembers them. He was tired!

Well, it's time to get moving!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Getting ready for Heritage Day!

It's a cloudy morning on the Knolltop, but still quite nice!

We are gearing up for Heritage Day tomorrow, when we take our tractors in and ride them in the parade and spend the rest of the day in town enjoying fellowship while we wait for the antique tractor pull to start! Yes, I will be taking my JD A in for the parade!

Still silence in the corn patch...the tonic worked! One reader asked what fly bait and coke did to the coons, so I will answer. They eat it and then they die. It's the best way to keep the coons from destroying my corn patch.

Better get much to do!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Silence in the corn patch

Good Morning from the Knolltop! It's clear, cool and sunny this morning.

As I sat at my desk this morning I didn't hear shucking or grinning or giggling, just total silence! Yes my coon trappers did their job and I think the coons are gone!

Last night I gave my coon trappers a pair of rubber gloves, three pans of fly bait and a 2 liter of coke. I told them where to place the pans and to be careful so the bait doesn't spill out. I was sitting at my computer and I listened through the window as they set the traps. When they came back in, they brought at least half of the bottle of pop back in with them and said, "Can we drink the rest?" I asked if they even used any of it for it's intended use, they assured me they put plenty in the pans! I should've known this would happen when they asked before they went out if they could drink what we didn't use. Silly me.

This morning as I sat at my computer at 3:30 am posting the news on Dairy Agenda Today I heard total silence! It truly was "Golden."

I went to count the coons, but I didn't want to get all wet from the dew, so I will send the coon trappers out for the count!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Giggling in my Corn Patch!

Good Morning from a sunny, cool Knolltop.

Every morning when I get up to post the news for Dairy Agenda Today at 3 am, I have my office window open and it's fun to hear the night sounds. Sometimes I hear a cat walking through the bushes, other times I"ve looked out and under the mercury light I've seen a skunk scurrying around the yard, but the last two mornings I've heard a nightmare outside! Nightmare in the corn patch!
While everything else is really quiet, I have heard the squeeky sound of corn being shucked. Now I know that as dedicated as my children are to making sure we have enough food for winter, I'm pretty sure they've been asleep in their beds and that the shucking culprits are those BLASTED COONS! As I sit there at my computer I can hear them knocking down the corn stalk, pulling off the husks and while I can't hear it, I can imagine their giggling faces as they munch on my just ripened sweetcorn!

Tomorrow morning I'm going to put out a coke and fly bait buffet and let them enjoy some sweet tonic! We'll just see who's giggling tomorrow morning!

Monday was a treat as I was on Rural Route Radio with Trent and Kyle. That is always a bunch of fun. And Kyle was kind enough to send a picture or two of his trip to Ft Worth for a Ag Media summit. Looks like these business trips can be real grueling.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

JW is doing well!

Good Afternoon from a sunny Knolltop.

This is an odd time for me to be posting, but I had to since I've been so bad at posting lately.

First of all, thank you so much for praying for JW but don't stop now! He just called from his mission trip in KY and he said he is having a great time! YEEHAW!!! It is such a relief to hear that. When he left I wondered if he was going to have a rotten time or a great time, but I also know JW and I knew he always has a good time wherever he goes!

Just wanted to give you an update. Gotta go milk!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Missed YOU!

Shame, shame, shame on me for neglecting this blog! It was a busy week for Dairy Agenda Today, so that's my excuse.

It's a beautiful day here on the Knolltop! Yesterday was a monumental day around was JW's 18th birthday! And he wasn't even here to celebrate! We shipped him off to boot camp. No, just kidding, but he is gone, he left for Kentucky on a week long mission trip. He got up when we were headed to the barn, had all of his bags packed and left for the church. I've never sent my kid on a mission trip and I was a little worried. But I am sure he is going to have a great time, but please, keep him in your prayers!

We celebrated his big day the day before with cake, ice cream and presents. He received three of those musical cards. I figured it up, that's about $15.00 worth of birthday cards! What were we thinking???? He could've used that money for gas in his truck! Makes you think about the silly novelties we spend our money on, doesn't it?

It's quiet around here, Jake is gone. JOKE! Really, with JW gone and Jake at a friends house, Sarah and Luke are relaxing and I think enjoying some down time. I'm posting the results of the Ohio Holstein show online as it happens and so right now I'm in between classes...they are just about to announce the champion.

Better go and get that done so I can get a nap!

I promise to be better this week about posting...oh the guilt and shame of it all!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sarah the Jam maker

Good Morning from a cloudy kind of rainy knolltop!

I've got writing to do, so I will make this quick, but yesterday Sarah and I were busy most of the day making jam. It was Sarah's first stab at the process and she did a great job! She made a batch of strawberry and a batch of blueberry. She will enter her jams in the fair this year, so we have two more kinds to make.

She wasn't to excited when I told her what we were going to do, but then after she took over and I just watched she enjoyed the whole process. We made cooked jam, just like my mom used to do. And this morning I had the skimmings of the Strawberry jam on a roll and I told everyone else we coudn't touch the jam until the snow flies!

I was most impressed with the fact that the fruit in the jam is evenly spread throughout the jar, this has never happened to me, it always floats to the top. I guess Sarah has the secret touch!

The little homemaker then made a blueberry crisp for dessert and finished up the homemade rolls for dinner. She was my slave in the kitchen for sure yesterday. Today she is no where to be found!

Off to write!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mooing at midnight

It's a cool, clear, breezy morning here on the Knolltop! What a week last week! I'm so glad to have things back to normal. It's fun to go but it's so much fun to come back home and settle back in.

The kids were extremely tired when we got home Friday night, but they still had to unload the trailer and then JW and Luke went and unloaded straw for a few hours Friday night before it rained on Saturday.

I posted a couple of pictures from last week and I will post a few more today for fun.

It was so funny this morning, when I got up and posted the news on Dairy Agenda Today, like always, I finished, made the coffee and went back into bed to drink coffee and eat my toast before we head out to the barn. When I finished my coffee I heard a cow that was way too close to be in the pasture! So we jumped out of bed, got our clothes on and looked outside only to see Melinda in the middle of the road looking at the house mooing as if to say "WAKE UP!"

I got my boots on, went outside and by this time she was in the front yard, facing the bedroom mooing again! I just told her to head back to the barn and I would let her in. She went down, patiently waited for me to go into the barn through the milkhouse, walk around and open the door where she was waiting for me. I let her in, she walked straight to her stall and began drinking. Ah ha! She had been out all night and hadn't had anything to drink!

As I went to tie her up, I heard more rumblings from where I shouldn't have heard rumblings from. And as I toured the yard I found three more renegades waiting at three different doors waiting to get into the barn! What a hoot!

Well, it's time to get back to work!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bobby and Shelley

This is my next favorite picture from Dairy Days. Bobby and Shelley Hardy following Parker's heifer to the ring to make sure she doesn't get dirty. Flash back 20 years and this was where they were, together, "Pre Melissa" days with the two of them following Gregg with a cow to the show ring with Bobby carrying the bucket with straw and paper towels to wipe the cow's behind when she got dirty and Shelley walking along side in her sparkling "show day wear" chatting the whole way. Twenty years later they have a few more grey hairs, well, maybe not Shelley, they've added a few more wrinkles, have a little more wisdom, and still enjoy a very special friendship.
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