Knolltop Farm Wife

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring break with manure!

Good morning from a cloudy but warming Knolltop.
The boys are out hauling manure today with Luke's Farmall and now I see my John Deere A is hooked up to a spreader, they better not get any manure on the old girl!

I thought I'd add a few baseball pictures today since I'm in the picture mood!

This was on Luke's birthday, they were showing off Luke's driving permit, Napoleon Dynamite Style.The determination on JW's face is so cute.
Luke is ready to catch JW's pitch.
Luke putting his helmet back on after having to run and find JW's wild pitch....or maybe not.In the huddle, JW looks like he's getting spoken to by the coach, Luke looks like he's praying...but probably not.

Okay, the boys just showed up with another spreader they went and picked up from the neighbors. Luke was driving, Jake was riding in the spreader....way too funny! Don't worry, I got a picture!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Good Morning from a clear, but cold Knolltop.

We've had a sick ward again around here over the weekend. Bobby has been sick and is now in recovery mode. I hope I'm not next!

It was a busy weekend at our State Sale and show. I spent Saturday at the Pavilion working the show, it was fun, but tiring. And now we're back into the work week. The kids are off for spring break, so I have some projects for them...they just don't know yet! Oh, won't they be excited when they find out!?

Here are a couple of pictures from the show:
JW took bids at the Michigan Junior Holstein Association semen sale...he did a good job and enjoyed himself....I think he's got a future there!Sarah and Shelley Hardy spent some quality time together ringside.
Luke, JW and Wyatt Schuler showing off their gang signs...don't ask!
JW and his cousin....distant cousin Kaylee Sweers enjoying some family time. She is so cute!

That's your review, I'll post more tomorrow. It's time for the barn!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A lemon birthday.

Good Morning from a cloudy Knolltop. It's supposed to get sunny today, maybe in time for the baseball game this afternoon.

On Tuesday the boys lost. Luke caught, JW played left field. Today they play Reading, a good team that's not in their league. JW will pitch tonight...that will be exciting. Although I didn't get pictures of the first game, hopefully I'll remember the camera tonight. I did however take pictures of Luke's birthday last night, but I just have to load them onto the computer. I made a lemon cake from scratch...a new recipe and yes, it turned out like a new recipe, not too good. It was okay, it had a good flavor, but just didn't look all that great.

After the cake, JW took Luke out for ice cream, that was his birthday present to him. I think I would like that kind of gift!

I'm in from the barn, have the house picked up and actually vacuumed so now it's time for more bookwork!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Have you hugged someone today?

It's a party cloudy morning on the Knolltop with promise of a kind of warm day.
No more sick kids in the house today. They are all recovered and back in school. Now I have to disinfect every blanket and pillow they touched while laying around being sick!

The cows have been going out these last few days. Most of it due to the nice weather, but the fact that we're low on bedding is a contributing factor too. It's amazing how frugal a person can get when they have to be. And what dairy farmer isn't frugal in this economy with $9.00 milk?

While the News on TV continues to be negative, I will continue to believe we will make it through. The other day it was funny, I was driving down the road thinking about life and the farm and the economy and all of a sudden I saw the light at the end of the tunnel with a twinge of hope. It was like God was saying "You're going to make it through, don't worry." I can't describe the feeling, but it was comforting. It was kind of like a year ago when I was having a really bad day and my folks were down for the day. My dad came up to me and asked how I was. With a quiver in my voice I said, "Not very good." He just hugged me. He didn't offer to fix it, he didn't offer any advice, he just hugged me and that's all I needed.

Sometimes a hug is just what the doctor ordered. You'd better hug someone today!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sick Ward

Good Morning from a sick and recovering Knolltop.
It's been a sick ward around here with the couch and love seat both occupied with sick kids. The rest of us have tried to stay clear of the coughing and vomiting...and so far so good. No one else is sick except JW and Jake.

It's been a long time since I've been awakened in the middle of the night to the sounds of a kid moaning and groaning and calling for mom. But it happened Saturday night and made me thankful for older children! Those days of toddlers screaming in the wee hours of the morning will haunt every mom from the birth of motherhood til her death. And make her appreciate a good nights sleep!

It's sunny but chilly this morning and promising to be a beautiful day! The boys have their first game on Tuesday at home, Luke's 16th birthday is on Wednesday, along with his cousin, Adam's birthday, they have another home game on Thursday, the Michigan State Holstein Sale is on Friday and the show is on Saturday. Breathe!

A busy life is a good life...idle hands is the devil's workshop...right?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Basketball pictures for the grandparents

Okay, life is way too busy when I can't post on this blog everyday! AHHH!!!!

But life has not gotten so busy that the laundry isn't done...don't let me fool you, I still have lots of it, but there isn't a mountain like I've had in the past. Thanks to my Sarah girl...when I head out to milk the cows at night she folds the five basket of clothes and does the dishes and anything else I ask her to do while I milk. I love having her! I think I'll keep her....no, wait, she beat me in Gin Rummy last night.....nah..I'll keep her!

I now have a CD of basketball pictures so I'll have to load them on and post them here...just a minute, let me do that right now.Here's Luke #22 jumping for a rebound or shooting, not sure which...???

Here's JW #12 waiting to give that guy a real good shove...he likes to push and shove...that's what he does best...push and shove. Isn't he cute? And so strong????
There's Lukie again...doing a layup.

I thought Grandma and Nana would like a closer picture of Luke...just holding a basketball isn't all that exciting but you can see him a little better. And most of the pictures are of Luke because the man who took them spent a lot of time taking the JV because his son is in their grade...so he is partial to these boys. I have some of Jake I'll put up another day...for now it's time for work, or something.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Management

Good Morning from a cooler Knolltop. It's cooler now than it was when we went to the barn this morning.
We had the boys winter sports banquet last night. It was long....but nice. Luke received the best all around player award. JW and Luke both received basketball pins and certificates. Jake was even recognized as the manager.
Managing is Jake's life these days. Now he's been asked to be the baseball manager and this morning when he stumbled down to the breakfast table he said, "This baseball managing is wearin' me out!" Sarah and I just looked at each other and laughed.

Today I've got to clean my house, it's been neglected...terribly! So, I'd better get on it!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A warming trend

Good Morning from a clear, going to be a warm Knolltop! We are experiencing beautiful weather here on the hill....and I love it!
Because I haven't been bombarded with a mess of emails this morning I can actually take some time to write on this blog.
Last Friday Lori and I traveled to Grand Rapids, Ohio for a Women in Agriculture event. We spent the day with so many wonderful women who were from farms, worked in the allied industry or were retired from the farm. These ladies were so much fun and looked so good. Although my nails are never done and I always feel like I look like I just stepped out of the barn, slapped some MaryKay on, threw on some clothes and took the long pieces of straw out of my hair, these ladies were nothing of the sort...and it's not like I thought they would be either!
They were not what the rest of the world sees as the stereotypical farm wife. They were professionals and they dressed the part. Young and old they were all just beautiful women!

They were a hoot too. We sat with a group of friends at lunch. They told stories on each other and it wasn't until they told some really good stories that they realized I was the keynote speaker and then they started to get worried. I just sat and smiled....until I got the mic in my hand. While I didn't poke too much fun at June, I did have a good time telling on my new friend!

With basketball season over, baseball season is here and in one week the boys will(weather permitting) play their first game (at home mom). I hope the weather holds out because I'm really looking forward to this season...my favorite sport to watch!

Well, it's time for the treadmill after I brush the cobwebs off of it...I haven't seen it for awhile although I feel like I'm on it daily!

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm still here!

Good afternoon from a very sunny Knolltop.
I'm still alive and well, just over my head with writing! We had a great weekend with some yard work and beautiful weather.
We had more calves born over the weekend and Jake is beside himself. He hates having so many babies at the same time to feed. But he's soldiering his way through.

I had a real treat this morning, I was on Rural Route Radio with Trent and Hank Vogler. Kyle Bauer is out on vacation so I got to stand in for him and it was so much fun!

Now it's time for more writing for Dairy Agenda Today.

More about my time with the Women in Agriculture later.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

FFA Convention '09

It's a very cold morning here on the Knolltop. But it's clear so the sun is shining and it makes it feel warmer.

Last night we went to the boys basketball game and the varsity won, so they will be playing again on Friday against Waldron.

I've been so busy this past week trying to keep up with all the dairy news around the world for Dairy Agenda Today I've forgotten to post here! Of course it would help my memory if I actually got some sleep, staying up for 10 days straight, surviving on coffee and sweetrolls(I quit smoking...costs too much) it's hard to keep going. That $10 a week that I'm getting paid from Dairy Agenda Today will come in handy for sure. Honestly, that's the only reason I'm doing it...for the money.

Well, today we will take JW and some other boys up to MSU for the State FFA convention. It began yesterday and I couldn't go this year because ...well...you know why...I can't earn my $10 this week if I don't stay here and work. They are having an ice cream social for all the kids in their region tonight at the hotel so I made some hot fudge syrup to take for them. It's cheaper than running to the store and buying it!

So I'm off now to bed the barn....later!
PS I'm only joking about the smoking...really I didn't quit....I've never started!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Girls and Boys together

Good Morning from a rainy Knolltop! Although it's gloomy, I rather have rain like this than snow! I've even got snowdrops up in my flower beds! Everyday I look out my laundry room window to check to see if the snowdrops are up and they are!!!! Spring is right around the corner!

Last night the Varsity boys team played a small school out of Jackson called Divinci Institute and our boys beat them bad. The Divinci team had two girls on it and when they went in to play, our boys got a very bewildered look on their face like they just weren't sure how to deal with them. It was very funny.

In fact, toward the last minute of the game one of the girls finally got the ball and went up to shoot, (I was rooting for her to make the basket because her male teammates wouldn't pass her the ball to save their lives!) and she put it up only to have one of our players block her shot. And the funny part of it was, our player just kind of tapped it, he didn't give it a good slam like he normally does, he just kind of put his hand up there and slapped lightly at it. The look on his face was priceless as he looked around to see if maybe he shouldn't have done that. He had this nervous grin like, "ah...maybe I should've just let he take the shot, Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to block your shot...sorry...really...sorry."

So the boys will move on to play Wednesday night against a team the should beat easily....but you never know.

This afternoon, Luke has band festival and tonight Sarah has an AAU volleyball meeting. The State FFA convention starts tomorrow but JW won't go up until Thursday for that and I'm not going....way too busy. I've got to speak in Ohio on Friday at a Women in Agriculture Event, so I've got to stay home and find time to actually do my original job of being a mom, then milkmaid, then writer, then ......you know the routine!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Time change

Daylight savings time took me by surprise! While I was getting the coffee ready for the morning, Saturday night my daughter was having a cup of tea and said, "Aren't we supposed to set our clocks back this weekend?"
What???? NO!!!! When I realized it was 9:30 pm and in 2 minutes I was instantly going to bed at 10:32 pm...I was devasted! I had forgotten about the spring ahead thing and wasn't able to get in bed at 8:30 pm so I was going to bed by 9:30 pm.

So this morning when we came in from the barn it looked exactly like it did when we went out to the barn....I hate that. But last night when I was coming in from the barn, it looked exactly like it did when I was going out to the barn....I like that.

Tonight JW's team begins their district play and we'll see if they end it tonight too. He left this morning in his new duds. He and Luke went to Grandma's over the weekend and Grandma lives 10 minutes from an outlet mall. (When I was growing up, that outlet mall was nothing but a field!) And of course Grandma still enjoys shopping today as much as she did when I was younger....so when the boys came home with new clothes, I was actually just as excited for them as I would've been had I gotten the new duds! THANKS GRANDMA!

Time for chores......have you gone to see what's on the Agenda Today?

Friday, March 6, 2009

No where to go!

Good Afternoon from a warm....60ish day here on the Knolltop!

JW and Luke had their last regular season games last night...Luke's team won, JW's team lost. The varsity will head into district play next week, we'll see how they do. Me, I'm looking forward to baseball season!

We let the cows out in the pasture this morning...my did they like that! It's always fun to watch the cows enjoy those first warm days of...dare I say spring? I know, I know, we've probably got snow ahead of us...but I can hope!

We get a night or should I say weekend off. No games, no events, no nothing....just staying home....all of us! I will be busy tomorrow gathering sale results from cattle sales around the country, that should be interesting!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fun times ahead!

Good Morning from a cloudy but promising to be a warm, sunny day on the Knolltop!

Yesterday we made the trip to Fowlerville for some corn from my parents. Yes, we have a corn burning stove, thanks to my family who seem to be the mecca of corn burning stoves. My parents had one when corn was way cheaper than it is today. Although my stove has been broken, my brother, the saint, came down on Sunday, along with my dad and fixed my corn stove. It's so much nicer to have that running, it somehow makes the house seem so much warmer! Thanks REX!

Tonight the boys have their last regular season game and then the varsity will play district games next week. Then we're on to baseball!!!!!

Things continue to be busy on the Dairy Agenda Today front. Before I had children I was the editor of a weekly farm newspaper called the Farmers' Advance. That's also one of the papers that my column appears in.

Anyway, when I worked for that weekly paper it was fun and time consuming but I had time to go places, do interviews, write stories and run the roads to every ag event around. I had a friend who worked for a daily newspaper and I always wondered what it would be like to work for a daily. I'm not getting a taste of that with Dairy Agenda Today! Oh my heavens! It's work, but it's fun work. I've not written so much in such a short amount of time in my life. Of course, I work well under pressure (yes, that's a positive way of saying I'm a procrastinator...but I'm trying to change that!) so I guess I was made for a daily. It's a challenge, but it's a really fun challenge!

Today I will talk to Sue Brown who is the manager at Lylehaven in VT. Those of you who know that name know how fun it will be to visit with her. The Pintale Point Sale is this weekend in MD, so I will call someone there and get to hear about the presale stuff. This is so much fun!!!!!

Okay enough about the Agenda. Dallas told me I had to talk about in every other sentence on this blog...so I've done my duty! And all you bloggers out there...please put my other blog on your blog rolls....please? Pretty Please? With a cream puff filled with real whipped cream like the ones at World Dairy Expo on top?

Enough begging....but THANKS!!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Corn road trip!

It's another cool morning here on the Knolltop. But a clear one! I love this sunshine!

I should be in the barn right now, we're going to the Lone Oak Ranch this morning to pick up some fuel...corn for the corn stove. Mom--get the donuts and put the coffee on, Bobby and I are coming!

Last night milking was interesting with the out of work neighbor stopping by. He may have been laid off but it's a good thing for us, he can fix anything! Right now he has our manure spreader....he asked me what he was supposed to do with it, I told him to wave his magic wand and fix it! He also has our truck and next he will work on our feed cart! I love that guy!

Well, like I said, it's time to go.....later!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thank YOU

Good Morning from a sunny, cold and somewhat back to normal Knolltop.

While I realize normal is only a setting on a dryer, we are about as normal as we can be around here. Bobby came home, solved all the problems that had cropped up in his absence and we are all quite happy!

The launch of Dairy Agenda Today was fun yesterday. With several glitches still to iron out, it was nice to hear positive comments from literally around the world! If you haven't gone there...GO! (And comment on my blog while you're there) By the way....THANK YOU! to all who went yesterday and comment...that was great!

Okay, now it's time to clean the gutters and bed the cows!
Later!

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's launched!

Good Morning from a very active Knolltop. Bobby's sitting in Detroit waiting for me to come get him....the chores didn't go as smoothly as we'd hoped, I've got one kind of sick kid on the couch, two kids who are late to school and a new calf!

Obviously I can't write much...but I do want you to head over to Dairy Agenda Today and check it out...it's live today and I want you to go to my blog....and make comments....so the guys who put so much work into it can see that people are actually going there and reading stuff! Plus I told them it would be the blog that would bring in the traffic! So go! Be traffic!! But don't tell them I sent you!

Gotta head to Detroit!