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!

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's a NASCAR world!

Good Monday Morning from a sunny, warm Knolltop!

It's Dairy Days this week and while we have no cattle going up, the kids will still participate in the contests.  Today is quiz bowl, so Luke, Sarah and Jake will go up for that while JW will be working for Koebels all week. 

Yes, JW is back in our midst, if only for a matter of hours before he leaves again.  I've been following him around like a puppy since he got home asking all about is NASCAR adventures.  We have laughed so much, mostly because of his story telling, he's very good at it, but his view of NASCAR compared to so many others.

JW works for Competition Tire and they will go to a NASCAR race and mount and balance all the tires used by all the race cars.  Some of these cars will go through 15 sets of practice tires and then 20 sets for the actual race.  That is  an amazing number of tires if you ask me, especially at $500 per tire! 

Anyway, JW and the crew work down in the pits doing their tire thing right next to all the racing teams.  Normally this would impress a kid who loves fast moving anything on wheels but apparently we didn't bring the boy up right, he is just not as impressed with the whole racing thing.  At least he's not as impressed as the crazy NASCAR fans. He just likes to do his job and leave and could care less about the race. 

But it's his rendition of the fans who see them at Taco Bell or Subway who spot them in their Goodyear uniforms and mistake them for a pit crew.  The NASCAR fanatics start giving them the thumbs up and yelling, "Yeah, Good Year, you part of the pit crew????"  And when they say no and explain they are just the ones who mount and balance Jr's,  Jimmy Stewart and Jeff Gordon's tires, they are even more impressed and then they start pointing at their vehicles and say, "Hey, we have Good Year tires! Yeah, we love Good Year!"

JW returns a smile and the thumbs up and walks away shaking his head.  He said he has never seen so many shirtless, big bellied men yelling, "Whoo! NASCAR! YEAH!" in his life. 

It's another part of this world I have never been exposed to, even though we live just 30 minutes away from Michigan International Speedway. Although I have no desire to put on my tank top and grab a Bud Lite, I have enjoyed learning about this world through JW.

This week he will go back into the cow world and enjoy working with great cattle in East Lansing.

And now, I've got laundry to do, blueberries to fetch and a zillion other things that are patiently waiting for me!

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's Friday!

It's a beautiful morning here on the Knolltop.  A very hot day is in store for our neck of the woods!

Sarah and I will head to go pick blueberries before it gets too hot and then I'm just not sure what we will do.

Last evening, in the heat and humidity, Sarah had a volleyball workout and Luke went and played basketball.  When they got home, Luke's shirt was soaked!  I asked him if that was all sweat and he assured me it was and then said, "That's what happens when you want to win every game...you get sweaty."

Today he's off again to bale more straw and then will take his Farmall M to a tractor show a few miles south of here.  JW is in St. Louis at a NASCAR race.  He is mounting and balancing tires for Comp Tire.  They provide all the tires for the racing teams and he gets to go to the races and do his tire thing.  Last weekend he was in Chicago for a race and the highlight of the weekend was that Danica Patrick (sp?) said "Hi" to him.  He was all smiles.

Now I'll leave you with a few baseball pictures that I neglected to post this spring!

The outfielders pounding for good luck.

Luke dumping the gravel out of his newly painted catchers helmet.
JW warming a pitcher up, he got to play catcher for a couple of games.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

July? Already?

Yep, it's July, already and I can't believe how I have neglected this blog the way I have. This is ridicules!!!!

Let's just not worry about how longs it's been but just move forward. 

It's a beautifully, hot day here on the Knolltop! After walking this morning I was going to pick blueberries at Jennifer Lewis' place but decided to take the kids swimming instead.  It's just too hot to do anything else.  Now I've decided to update this blog!  For those of you who may not know, Sarah, Jake and I went to Montana with my parents for my nephew's wedding.  Here is a story about how it went. 

It was a 1600 mile drive, the longest drive I had ever made to sing at a wedding. But then again, this was no ordinary wedding.



After encountering heavy rain, downed power lines, detours through back roads, wrong turns in the mountains of Wyoming, 20 miles of gravel road in the middle of a destitute Indian Reservation, a western store where the sales lady tried to sell me a $100 shirt and one of the best Italian restaurants I’ve ever enjoyed, my parents and two younger children made it to Joliet, Montana where my oldest nephew would say his nuptials under Big Sky Country….literally.


I missed the memo saying the ceremony would take place in a branding lot where we would be tripping over rocks and stepping over dried cow pies. I was in a panic when I realized my pink silk dress and heels might not work too well in amongst the sage brush but I soon found this would be the least of my worries.


After greeting the family and seeing how tall everyone had gotten, I asked my sister what time the rehearsal started. She replied, “Fifteen minutes ago.”


My thoughts began to run wild….What? We’re late? I’m a part of this wedding and I’m late! How rude! The bride will never forgive me! She’s got enough on her mind without worrying about the vocalist being late! What a great first impression I’m making on my niece-to-be! Get on it sister! Let’s Go!


Seeing the wedding spot across the hills, it was only about a mile or so as the crow flies. Unfortunately we had to take the long way around and that was a 15 minute drive down winding, hilly, gravel roads dodging grazing cows.


Thinking I would meet an anxious bride, tapping her toe, looking at her watch, we arrived only to find the bride and groom laughing and joking and absolutely nothing happening. There was also the absence of a sound system and only a few chairs set up. What was happening?


They walked through the rehearsal and I asked the bride if there was any way I could do a sound check the next morning when they set up the sound system. She assured me it would be set up by 10 am and available for use.


The next morning came and no word from anyone about any sound check. I waited and wondered most of the day. By now it was wedding time, I pulled on my silk dress, slipped into my heels and headed for the hills. Arriving an hour before the ceremony I felt confident this would be plenty of time to work out the kinks. But it was when I saw the absence of a sound system…again…that I really began to wonder about this western way of life. Didn’t they have watches? Do they know what time it is? Do they just round off to the nearest hour and go from there?


Trying not to be the bossy Aunt from Michigan, I smiled faintly while the groomsmen joked around and slowly…ever so slowly put together the sound system. But it was when guests began arriving and they we were still saying…..”testing..one..two…three…testing….” that I said enough was enough. I stood up, took charge and began giving orders like a drill sergeant. You get the sound system running, you three go get your wedding clothes on, you go get the cord we need for the iPod and do it quickly!


With young men scattering in different directions, I felt a sudden rush of control and the feeling that all was right with the world again. Within minutes the ceremony began and the entire event was beautiful and quite memorable with the big sky and mountains in the backdrop.


Sitting in the second row watching my nephew and his bride look into each other’s eyes and proclaim their love for one another, all of a sudden, sound checks, cow patties, silk dresses and sage brush paled in comparison to a blushing bride and her handsome groom in his wranglers and cowboy hat. Bending her over in his strong arms for the wedding kiss was the icing on the cake on this beautiful day in a branding lot turned wedding chapel under the big Montana sky.

It was a great time!  Next: updating the pictures!