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October 31, 2011

Farm, Party, Farm, Party, Farm, Party

Really - that is exactly how my weekend went - not too bad I thought!

So Friday Chris and I got to work together - doesn't happen much we are usually going different directions - but he ran the combine and I ran the grain cart!

When the boy got home from school he hitched a ride in a semi and joined us!

He of course joined his Dad in the combine - that is cooler than the grain cart!

But the first time the combine came back around he was already in the drivers seat!
Interestingly I have now run the grain cart for 3 generations of Campbell guys running the combine!

Then when the middle got home from school she hitched a ride in a semi and joined the fun!

And of course once she learned the boy had got to drive the combine she had to have her turn!

Then she got a hold of my camera while I was fueling the tractor and took 42 pictures (not exaggerating I counted) of me doing it!

That evening we then went to Annual Duckworth Halloween Party!

Saturday came and it was back to the field!
But today the boy decided "it was time" for him to learn to run the grain cart unloading on the go!

Saturday night we spent celebrating a good friend turning 40!  The kids stayed home watching their favorite Disney movies and Chris and I had a really good time!
Friday and Saturday the oldest spent at FFA State Soils Contest - her team placed 8th in the state and she placed 19th individual - I couldn't be prouder!

Sunday was back to the field followed by country style trick or treating - we went with my nieces and nephew and covered 3 houses (Great Grandma Pearl's, my in-laws and my parents) in 2 hours - and just like every year we ended at my Mom and Dad's where Mom has chili and all the fixin's for everybody!

Stay tuned for my next post: 
 Conversations with Chris - transmissions and chicken -
and a compliment only a farmer could give!

October 27, 2011

GP #8: Farmgirl Chocolate Chippers


This is my helper - we quite possibly made these for breakfast (which would explain my helper's hairdo or lack thereof!)- I love cookies for breakfast - cookies and bacon are awesome together!

Will it pass the beater test?

And it does!

This recipe makes 10 dozen which at first seemed like a lot so I spooned the dough out into balls and put them in a ziploc bag for later!

Which happened to work out well because when I turned around the ones I had baked were gone!

And they even passed the Casey test - which isn't easy to do!

Farmgirl Chocolate Chippers

2 c. butter, softened                                    1 tsp. salt
2 c. sugar                                                   2 tsp. baking powder
2 c. brown sugar, packed                           2 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs, beaten                                            2 12 oz. pkgs. semi-sweet choc. chips
2 tsp. vanilla extract                                    7 oz. pkg. choc. candy bar, grated
5 c. long cooking oats, uncooked                3 c. chopped nuts
4 c. all purpose flour

Blend together butter, sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl, mix well.  Add eggs and vanilla; set aside.  Working in batches, process oats in a blender or food processor until powdery.  Combine oats, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl, mix into butter mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips, grated chocolate and nuts.  Form into golf ball size balls, arrange on ungreased baking sheets 2 inches apart.  Bake at 375 degrees for 6 minutes.  Makes 10 dozen.

October 25, 2011

Fried Chicken and My Boots

So for 24 of the past 36 hours I have been running the grain cart - I am tired and slap happy, one might say I also have 'cab' fever (think cabin fever but I am in the 'cab' of a tractor - get it - I love when I crack myself up!)!

So anyway once I start getting slap happy I have to find ways to entertain myself, I can only sing along to the radio for so many hours and chit chat with my FIL on the 2 way radio for so long before I have heard the same songs a hundred times and annoy my FIL - so I choose to send random texts to my friends and take pictures between semi's making the 14 mile trip home to dump and then back out to the field!

So the texting started about 4pm yesterday - let me just start out by saying that if I had a real job and someone like me kept sending annoying random texts I might not find them so funny but then I am on this end so I just keep sending them because I think I am funny!

I started craving fried chicken and mashed potatoes, not KFC, but real homemade fried chicken with homemade mashed potatoes and creamy gravy with bits from frying the chicken in it so I texted this to Chris:

Yeah since your close to the house not really doing anything but dumping trucks, running the dryer and trying to haul manure could you whip up some homemade fried chicken mashed potatoes and gravy?

He ignored me - go figure!

So I texted the oldest:

 Really craving homemade fried chicken mashed potatoes and gravy could you fix that for supper please?

She replied immediately:

Already on it but burnt it so we will have to get something from town!

I am just guessing here but I got the impression she was being sarcastic!

So I started texting my friends, one was sick in bed so I gave her a pass, the other was at a kids thing but offered to pick up KFC - nice thought but not what I was looking for, one actually was having fried chicken from Kroger and offered to feed me - had I known at the time I would be eating a grilled cheese and glass of milk at 10:30pm I would of made her bring it to the field!

So here I am today with my butt in the same tractor seat and still sending annoying texts to my friends!

Today's text's started with:

I am tired of squatting to pee and I still want homemade fried chicken mashed potatoes and gravy!
I only heard back from one of them who sent back "LOL" - I am pretty confident that is not code for "will have it ready and waiting when you get home" - and the other two are ignoring me!

So once again I am down to playing with my camera between semi's!

Yesterday I wore my pointy toed boots and today my fat baby's - if it doesn't rain tonight I am going to wear my Red Wing's tomorrow - I can just feel your excitement and anticipation for those pics!  I have to say I am kind of partial to the pointy toes - but we will wait for the Red Wing pics for the final verdict - also it is not that easy taking creative pics of your own feet - just sayin'!

October 23, 2011

Love Me My Carhartt's!

Not very often am I overly practical - but when I got wind that I could pick anything I wanted from Carhartt's new women's line, hands down it had to be a new pair of insulated overalls and then Chris found out and said "You should get some new overalls, the ones I bought you 20 years ago are lookin' pretty worn out - go ahead and treat yourself!" - he's all mine ladies!

 So here I am the day I got them - of course I had to immediately try them on - thanks Megan for taking the pic - I was super excited!

Didn't take long for me to give them a workout - washing hog barns!

Who wouldn't be this happy washing hog barns in new overalls?
They got dirty!

They had to ride home in the back of my truck!

But I stuck them in the washer and dryer and they were good as new for the next time I needed them!  Which just happened to be when I spent all weekend looking for the show calves I had accidentally let out - but I looked good and was warm while riding around looking for them!

These baby's will be getting a work out the colder it gets as we will be getting calves ready for Hoosier Beef Congress and then the weekend of that show I will have these on 4 days straight just to keep me toastie in the barns at the state fair grounds!

This household has been long standing Carhartt lovers forever!  We have owned every size imaginable!

The important fine print:

Now I know everyone wants to be just like me sooooo to win a pair of Carhartt Bib Overalls of your own please visit  The Real Farmwives of America and sign up for their giveaway - I promise you will look just as cool as me or would that be warm as me -  oh and minus the hog manure it doesn't come with the overalls!

 "Carhartt did provide me with this product to review but the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own."

October 19, 2011

OK where was I?

Oh yeah -
It was a beautiful sunset and I had just posted my status on Facebook "I am happy - my barn is full again!"  That didn't last long!  As soon as I posted that I headed back out to the barn to move calves around, we were going to have 3 pens on different amounts of feed - so I backed the trailer up to the side lot secured the gates and unloaded the weaned Hereford heifer, put her over in the next lot, pulled the trailer up, closed the gate, parked the truck and trailer and proceeded to shuffle cattle - caught my mistake - I didn't until I heard, well some yelling and words that Chris doesn't normally use - it took me a second, then panic set in - I had never CHAINED the gate - I had just kept putting calves out there from inside the barn and they just kept walking out the pushed open gate - 4 calves out - 3 that had only been at our house for an hour!  One steer and one heifer were near the barn and walked right back in the pen the other 2 steers not so much.  We searched in the dark for 4 hours, covered miles on foot and with 4-wheelers, we had just about given up when a neighbor (I love you Paul) showed up with his ginormous spot-light and found them - we walked them towards the house, lost them again, found them again, walked some more and lost them again - and gave up for the night about midnight - in the midst of all the looking several things happened that I was not witness to that were nerve racking to say the least - the oldest ran her 4-wheeler out of gas in the dark a mile away from home - thank goodness for cell phones, the boy was using the gator and almost got hit by a car - skid marks, screaming, traumatized - it was horrible - I layed in bed with the boy all night, I was awake just thanking God repeatedly, Chris told me later that he had never been so scared - hauling corn Sat. he sat in the truck and kept telling God he didn't care about the calves he was just thankful Cole was alive - yeah it was that serious.  I listened to my kids (all 3) sob uncontrollably all night over those lost steers - I felt helpless and like the worst Mom in the world!  Needless to say I didn't sleep much finally got up about 20 minutes before sunrise still wearing the day before's clothes put on my jacket

and my new Carhartt overalls (a whole other post - but they came in really handy) and drove and looked and drove and looked and . . . . . . no luck, I talked to neighbors and more neighbors I even called the sheriff's dept. who (and I kid you not) insisted I file a "missing person's report" - I said all I want is to be notified if someone were to call in that they spotted random cattle wandering about - and in true tax payer dollars at work - 2 deputy's showed up at my house and told me I did not have to file a report they would just notify me if someone called in random cattle - THANK YOU!  I had a conversation with Danny (my soon to be hero on horseback) at one point that morning that went like this:
Me: Danny (sobbing) I can't believe I left the gate unchained, the kids are so upset, Chris is so mad - what if he divorces me?
Danny: Now Jennifer calm down - if you have cattle eventually you are going to have cattle out - I promise we will find them and we will look back on this and laugh!  And Chris won't divorce you then he would have to find someone else to take care of that passel of kids you have, cook meals and clean the house!
Me: (sobbing harder than ever now) Danny I suck at all that stuff he really is going to divorce me now this just gives him a really good reason!

I moved on to hog work with my wonderful crew of 6 kids -

Well I got to this point in the story last night and didn't quite know how to continue - this is the point I actually lost it mentally - I had not let myself cry to this point - I had been the one to screw up I didn't deserve to cry yet and have people feel sorry for me - but as Saturday progressed and just got worse - I cried - I cried a lot!

We happened to have a sow farrow outside in the last group and she had 10 healthy pigs and they needed weaned - in steps me and six kids - it started off looking like a greased pig contest - I actually laughed (I needed that) but then we had to get serious - I got the sow out of the little barn and sent the boy in for some piglets - the sow got mad - got past me - got to the boy, threw him into the barn wall HARD then when he hit the ground she started pounding on him with her head and tossing him around, I reached in grabbed him threw him out just as she clamped her jaw closed on my arm - seriously people I couldn't make this stuff up - it went from bad to worse - Cole was shook up and bruised but fine, I have teeth marks and lots of bruises on my arm - and once again my knight in shining "olive colored button down shirt with button down collars" came to my rescue (Chris) - pigs weaned, kids cleaning aisles in barns I went out once again on the 4 wheeler to look for calves - no luck!

A ray of hope - around 6pm a neighbor spotted them coming out of a woods - some quick phone calls - a couple 4 wheelers, 4 pick-up trucks and 2 scared to death calves and you have what you might call a red neck rodeo that criss-crossed 2 miles of fields and still had 2 calves on the loose 3 hours later and pitch black - called it a night again - I took 2 sleeping pills and still couldn't sleep that night!

The next morning I was back out looking and just about ready to give up when a neighbor (thank you Glenn McAlpin!) called and said he spotted them in his woods - I was done, I was calling in the cowboys - guys on horseback, we were bringing these calves home!  We watched those calves for over an hour waiting on my cowboys to get home from church and load up there horses!

There were tense moments - the calves were in a fencerow under a tree and our plan was to gently walk them down the fencerow into the makeshift corral we had set up!

That little white speck is my MIL and kids keeping an eye on the calves who are hunkered down under that tree in the fencerow that still has all its leaves.

This is our make-shift corral 600 feet down the fence line to run them into.

But just in case things don't go as planned (because why would they) Chris made a corral at home that lead into the cattle lot - it is made up of 18 round bales, the 4430, our pop-up camper, 4 wheeler, gator, wheat drill, cultipacker, 4440, corn head cart, FIL's truck, grain cart on the 4640 rounded off with the semi and grain trailer!

In come the horses -

Up come the calves-

And the calves bolt - they run the whole mile and half back home with the horses in hot pursuit!

I saw them bolt sat down in the grass by the truck tire and cried continued sobbing - about 15 minutes later my phone rang, they had run all the back to our house - we jumped in the truck and rushed home - I'll be honest from that point it becomes somewhat of a blur and I did not witness all the rodeoing that happened - ironically I was put in charge of running the gates at the barn so that when they did come in that gate could be latched!

What I heard happened was after the black baldie basically gave up and walked into the front gate (not utilizing either corral we put up!) - from there we located the little red calf had been hiding under a pine tree for 20 minutes in our yard while we had covered a 1/2 mile radius around the barn on horseback, truck and 4-wheelers - we scared him out from under the tree and in the process I saw my girls in the Explorer (yeah no one posses a license) take off at a rather high rate of speed to keep him out of the corn field rounded him into the yard bouncing up and down in my Explorer into the bean field where Chris took over running the calf in circles running the throttle with his left hand grabbing the calf halter with his right, drug off the 4-wheeler - at one point the story goes that the guys on horseback said they stayed back far enough because they didn't want Chris to hear them laughing - after he was jerked off the 4-wheeler apparently he and the calf were both laying on the ground eye to eye, a neighbor jumped on top the calf and they finally got him tied to the back of a pick-up truck - I pulled the trailer back to the field and we got him loaded up!

Now everyone is home and looking at the glass half full - after 3 days of everything being out of whack we just stuck all the calves in the same pen, fed them all the same amount and they all ate!


My barn is full again and all the gates are chained!