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May 24, 2012

Random Encouragement

Well we are done planting and have moved on to spraying and putting on anhydrous - those fields that we didn't pre-plant - so the guys have been busy doing that!  Since they were busy Chris asked me if I would bush hog the pasture this afternoon - I said "of course"!

So I get down to the barns fully prepared to hop in one of the tractors with air conditioning on this 90 degree not a single cloud in the sky high pollen count afternoon and notice the bush hog is hooked up to the 4430 - one without a cab - so I text Chris this:

"seriously making me bush hog pasture on the 4430 w/no cab in 90 degrees - trying to remember I am not a wimp"

I stick my phone in my back pocket, put the tractor in gear and head toward the pasture - pretty soon I get a text - I don't recognize the number but I open the text to read:

"Dude...I don't know who this is but I'm sorry that ur hot and having to mow a pasture but thanks for the giggle.  Ur not a wimp!  drink your water!"

I look at the number again and realize that I have transposed (like that big word - I transposed not just switched) two numbers in Chris' phone number and have texted some random person so of course I immediately text back:

"wow I am so sorry obviously wrong number but thanks for the encouragement"


"if it is any consolation you were a lot more encouraging than my hubs who was supposed to get the text and would of either ignored it because he hates texting or would of said just get the job done"

To which my new friend responds with:

Hahaha! You poor thing.  Maybe it will help you to know that the self-propel has been out on my mower for two seasons so I push mow 1/3 of an acre twice a week while my hubs works in an office!  We are women. Hear us RAWR.  Silly men...but seriously drink ur water.  Goodluck!"

So I say "Thank You" to my random encouragement transposed phone number friend, those texts totally made my day - and you really should get your lawn mower fixed - I thought riding without a cab was bad at least I don't have to push mow!

May 23, 2012

WW: I might need an Insta-vention!

I think I am addicted to Instagram and may need an intervention soon!

Get it - Instagram Intervention an Insta-vention - I crack myself up!

I also love Diptic - I don't have a smart phone so a few month's ago I bought myself an iPod touch - I listen to it in my truck, I bought this thingee that lets me listen to it in the tractors over the radio speakers, I keep our family calendar on it and I have found I love the camera on it for fun things like Instagram!

I have way too many pictures of my turquoise bar project - I do believe turquoise will be to this decade what avocado green was to the 70's!

Random pictures of the kids actually working with their cattle!

Random projects around the house that probably are of no interest to anyone else!

Pictures and collage's of checking the cows with Chris!

side note: aren't these pics so sweet of Casey with her new calf - looks pretty healthy doesn't he - he probably wasn't 5 hours old in these pics and when I went back to check him less than 24 hours later he had died - so heart breaking and disappointing.

Picture of the shirt I was wearing one day-

and the shoes I was wearing another day when Chris said "please
get to the field and work the ends for Josh right away"!

Cole reading on the porch!

Our dinner Sat. night for support of  the Ag Pizza Party event!

Since we finished planting I have been going scouting with Chris and learning so much!

I do believe knee high by the 4th of July will be no problem this year!

And a gorgous Indiana sunset behind our house!


May 21, 2012

The Linnie's Theory!

There is a bakery in Shelbyville called Linnie's - I love it, I could live there, I dream of it - once I even had a dream that I worked there and my job was to lick the beaters that was it, all I had to do was lick the beaters clean- completely serious!  Growing up anytime we had to go to town we would beg Mom to stop there and get a snack (brownies, donuts, thumbprint cookies, decorated sugar cookies, giant muffins of all flavors and don't even get me started on their alligator rolls) - it is just off the town circle and they only have street parking so Mom would always drive past (basically you had to from the direction we came into town) and if there was a parking spot in front of the bakery she would stop and we could get something and if there wasn't we didn't stop - she called it The Linnie's Theory - if there was a spot in front it meant that we should stop and if there wasn't well we just drove on past cause it wasn't meant to be- for some reason that "theory" has stuck in our family and now not only with the parking spot available in front of the bakery but with anything if it is meant to be or not we call it "The Linnie's Theory"!

Why is that important right now - because I just experienced a "Linnie's Theory" moment related to blogging - it has been well over a week since I last posted (except for the amazing Mom's Day post my favorite daughter wrote - yes K you are my favorite just don't tell the other two!!!) - I was experiencing some inner turmoil -  doesn't that sound dramatic; inner turmoil - about WHY? I blog - is it for me? is it for others? how do I come across? am I presenting an image (good or bad) that might be misinterpreted? - so last night I decided that I was going to make a decision today - TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG - that was the question - again very dramatic - for some reason the world is very black and white to me, you pick a side of the fence and get on that side, very seldom do you find me just sitting on the fence on an issue - so this morning was to be my deadline to pick a side - I was having trouble, I was actually on the fence and couldn't pick a side and then "the Linnie's Theory" happened - I got on FaceBook and saw this on my FB blog page:

It was a comment from a life long friend - someone I have literally known since we were born, we just don't see each other any more - to be perfectly honest (which apparently I am extremely adept at) I hadn't seen her in several years until my Dad's funeral,  we are FB friends but honestly don't comment on each others stuff very often but for some reason she chose last night to leave this comment:

"These are really pretty. You are a good photographer and writer."


Now if that just didn't scream "Linnie's Theory" than I don't know what does -

So while I genuinely get excited over every single comment and/or like I get - just ask Chris and the kids - this one pushed by butt right off the fence and onto the blogging side - I realized that while the comments make my heart smile this is MY journal and I truly don't want to forget a second of this life that I love so much and the people that I share it with - the good, the bad, the ugly and the messy I love every second!

P.S. Cathy if you are reading this and Chris & the kids paid you to leave that comment so I would quit whining I don't want to know but if they didn't and you just left it I want to Thank You from the bottom of my heart!

May 13, 2012

Happy Mom's Day, momma.

She still hasn't changed her password (evil laugh) 
My mom hates being called mother so I don't call it mothers day, for her sake. 

She has awesome aussie apparel 

She's friendly. 

She screams FARM MOM

                                                Some evidence that my mom is awesome. 
Happy Mothers day to all the mom's in the world you guys are pretty neat! Shout out to Bobbie Eck and Judy Campbell for being really amazing Grandma's too! 

May 9, 2012

So hard not to take it personal!

I have written 2 posts on the use of gestation crates on our farm - I am linking them here:
Gestation Crates - The Good

A Tale Of Two Sows

I'll be honest I don't think I have ever made a new post using a link to an old post - I like to keep it "fresh" - but I feel right now in the light of things being said about the use of gestation crates a good reminder never hurt anybody!

I have bred sows, moved sows, nursed a sow back to health, called a vet many times for a sow, seen a prolapsed sow be put down because she had been layed on by other sows, been barked at by sows, been bitten by a sow, been knocked down by sows, seen two sows gang up on a third and nearly beat her to death just because they could but we treat our sows well - their health and well being is our priority, it is important to us - when the electricity goes out we have a generator that is started immediately at the hog barns (we don't have one at our house), every single morning (even holidays) they get fed without fail, we don't go on vacation if there isn't someone already set up to feed twice a day and be available to start the generator if need be, even on vacation Chris talks to someone at least once a day about the livestock, our wedding date was chosen after we knew what the hog schedule was - I could go on and I have LOTS to say on this subject but I best not say too much before my editor (Chris) can review as I tend to speak (write) first and think later!

May 3, 2012

. . . after all it is man night!

So a little bit ago Chris gets the usual Thursday night phone call, the all important one letting him know where Man Night is - usually in somebody's shop or barn, only men & beer allowed - so as soon as he hangs up he says "The cows are out of hay so when one of you goes out to feed the calves you should probably toss a couple of those really good (read as really heavy) bales from the loft into the feeder for tonight so they don't run the fence tonight and get out!"

My interpretation: "yeah Jent you need to make sure the kids get down a couple of bales that are way to heavy for them to carry thru the manure that is at least 8 inches deep in the lot which means that really you should just head out there and do it yourself"

So the boy and I head out there - I put on a pair of regular boots and he puts on Chris' rubber boots (don't ask because I have no idea why) - we feed the calves he pushes two heavy bales out of the loft and I realize I really should have on rubber boots so the boy and I proceed to trade boots (without sitting down which means that we can't have our feet touch the nasty barn floor either-remember I have sock issues) when Chris comes in the barn to "see" how we are getting along - he looks at me and says "wow those bales are gonna be heavy for you how about I carry them out to the gate for you?"

So I get the first bale in the feeder alright and head back to get the second bale when my boot (well his boot 3 sizes too big for me) gets sucked into the manure and I head face first into the shit manure but with my cat like reflexes (read as clumsy completely lucky move) I stick my hand out just in time to catch myself and bounce back up with just a dirty hand - Chris is laughing now - I grab the second bale only for the cows to realize that I am bringing in fresh hay - one comes up and starts nudging at the bale I swat her away she turns her back end towards me and kicks the bale - yep she kicked the bale and down on my butt I go with a heavy bale on top on me and 4 more cows now trying to eat the hay - and Chris is laughing harder now - I can't get up and he just keeps looking at me and then at his boots and then at me and says "I don't have on my work boots" - I said "I can feel my underwear getting wet!"

The boy ran in the house yelling "I'm getting the camera" which serves me right because that is exactly what I would of done if it had been Chris or one of the kids!

It's a good thing I love him and after all it is man night!

May 1, 2012

More tears . . .

but happy ones this time!

So they just announced the Americas Farm Winners and I was not one of them - I know right - I am assuming that you are shocked and in wonderment of how that error could of happened - but then I got an email this morning from one of the most amazing people I am privileged to call friend (I say that not just because of the email I truly mean it) and I cried!

Her email:
So you didn't win, but here is the nomination I sent in......
Emily Wood

            the hard work of cleaning out hog barns.
            the long days in the field or waiting for a new calf to be born.
            the stinky smells of farm life.
            the small victories of getting a crop planted just before the rain comes.
            the disappointment when you don’t get that purple ribbon for your steer in 4H.
            the fact that farm life isn’t a 9 to 5 job.

and SHE GIVES IT....
            by being the “cheerleader” when the farmer doesn’t think planting is going well.
            by hauling meals into the field.
            by working ALONG with her children in the barn.
            by writing a blog that gives a true depiction of life on a farm, married to a farmer.
            by serving on the board for the Johnson County Beef Cattle Association.
            by helping wherever help is needed, no matter WHO needs it.
            by volunteering to be the coach so her kids can participate in Soil Judging.
            by giving BACK to our military heros and serving a meal to them provided by the                         Beef Cattle Association.

and SHE LOVES IT.....
            her family, all together working on the farm.
            the pride they share by providing agricultural products to the state.
            to work with her children to prepare for 4H County Fair.
            to share her opinions about agriculture.
            by opening their farm to national FFA members to tour their facility.
            by capturing this life through her camera lens.....one of Jen’s pictures really IS                 worth 1000 words.

and SHE LIVES IT.....her email says it all “plowkids@embarqmail.com

You will not find a more deserving Farm Mom of the Year than Jennifer Campbell.  I am continually impressed with her dedication, her passion and her love for their lifestyle.  It may not always be pretty, but it’s reality.

I love you Emily!

Seriously I swear she wrote this and I didn't even tell her too - cause if you remember last year I bugged the crap casually mentioned it to my kids and ended up with this blog post instead!  But then Chris showed me his entry in the contest:

My wife is an awesome farm Mom.  She has exposed our kids to and completely immersed them in our lifestyle.  From washing calves to educating people about agriculture, she is involved passionately on all levels.
She enables them to be directly involved in agriculture; by example, by answering,  their questions, by supporting their activities.  She hauls them to meetings, judging practices, shows and fairs constantly.  Her leadership and creativity add to their projects.  Her contributions to the family farm are numerous, she being capable to bring lunch to the field for everyone working and then jump in a tractor with no warning and run for 5 hours, even when was pregnant.  She washes hog barns without complaint, goes for parts, breeds sows.  She is our biggest cheerleader.
At home with us is not the only place Mom supports agriculture.  She has served with many organizations, Farmers Union, Farm Bureau, Beef Cattle Association and was a founding member of “Friends of Johnson County Agriculture”  a not-for profit dedicated to promoting agriculture in our county.  She has been to Washington DC to lobby on several occasions.
She advocates using social media as well.  She has a blog, jentsfrontporch.blogspot.com, where she writes about life on our farm, from raising kids to the good of gestation crates.  She started a Facebook page for our farm, to let others know what it is that we do daily.  She works at our county ag days, talking to school kids and their mothers.
My wife deserves to be the Farm Mom of the Year because simply, she loves us and teaching us the value of agriculture.  The lessons about work, discipline and ethics that our kids have learned and are learning are priceless.  I am so proud that she is my wife and mother of my children.

And therefore once again I am in tears - happy, feeling blessed, very much loved, a little appreciated - but tears none the less - I am going to have to seriously up my water intake if I continue busting out in tears all the time!

I just had this conversation with Chris:

Me:  Why can't I be Farm Mom of The Year?

Chris:  You will always be our Farm Mom of The Year you don't need to win a contest for us or you to know that!

Me:  I know and Thank You but I would of gotten $5000 - will you give me that much to just go spend?

Chris: Well that would of been nice and definitely not!

Congratulations to Americas Farm Mom winners, but mostly "Thank You" to ALL farm moms - some days it is a thankless job but I know that none of us would change a thing!

So winner or not I am very proud to be farm mom to 3 very hard working farm kids!