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June 29, 2012

Friday Confessions

So I am "confessing" for the first time today and have to say I am a little excited (oh look I just made my first confession!)!!!!

I confess that when talking RPM's on a JD tractor I have to use techinical terms like "rabbit" and "turtle" - tis' true just ask Chris, it drives him nuts!

I confess that I am thinking of doing a project that is pretty much a waste of money and time and something completely unlike me but I really want to do it for fun!  So I have almost 2 full gallons of different shades of turquiose paint from my bar project (which isn't finished yet- look a confession within a confession) because heaven forbid I should just buy a quart of paint and then need more  -  so I had this idea to "fancy" up my closet with the leftover paint, closet - basically a formal word for the small room in which I wade thru every morning to find something to wear because although there are shelves and rods in my closet it is basically a pile of clothes on the floor!  But anyway I have a whole board on Pinterest that I started with ideas that I want to use-but the first step is purchasing the "centerpiece", which I am having a hard time justifying to myself and is at a flea market type place and will probably be gone by the time I work up the nerve to purchase it - see all this drama over a closet!

I confess that one of the heifers out in the barn is MINE, ALL MINE but I am having the boy show it in 4-H and letting him think we are doing "this" together - thank goodness he doesn't read my blog I asked him one time he said "Mom I don't have to I live it!".  But we did have her AI'ed a couple of weeks ago and as Daryl stuck his hand inside her and said "umm wow she doesn't have very much room in here to give birth" - so maybe I will just let the boy have her and get myself another one - is that wrong?

I confess I have issues with where eggs come from - I do - I am a farmers daughter, a farmers wife, I know where my meat comes from but I believe eggs come from the grocery store!!!  They do not come straight out of a chickens a$$ - I have a friend who keeps me stocked in eggs lately and everytime I go to the fridge to get one out and carry it to the sink to wash it I spend the whole time gagging - there may be hog & cattle manure on my floor but holding that poop covered egg that shot straight out of the chicken's ____ - well it is a weakness - God Bless chicken and egg farmers but truly God Bless the person who washes the eggs I buy at the grocery store!

I confess I love my polar pop but am extremely irritated with the price hike - not because they aren't worth it but because when they were 75 cents - 3 quarters were so easy to find and easy to pay the cashier but who has readily available 3 quarters, a dime and a penny - that just makes NO marketing sense to me!

I confess I hate exercising - I mean HATE exercising - so I just don't do it!  I try have tried, I really have, much to Chris' dismay I have owned/not used but purchased a tread mill, Ab Lounger and The Bun & Thigh Roller - but when I used them I would sweat, get short of breath and my heart would race - I know what your thinking - that is what is suppossed to happen but that is the point I would panic and go sit for a minute till the feeling would go away and then just give up - my thighs and I have just come to an agreement to just live with each other!

Wow you have no idea how freeing this really is and I could seriously continue confessing the goings ons in my life that would make you stop and wonder why you have continued reading this far but afraid not to go on for fear of missing something - like 2 picture texts I got this week involving cattle breeding (literally) and a closeup of a heifers rear asking me identify heat-a frantic phone call from my favorite SIL saying that she had shaved her daughters 4-H show dogs rear to close and it now looked like a baboon they had a show the next day could I fix it-or that I am forcing (not kidding either I had to force him to go)  Chris to take a 4-wheeler trip with some guys because sitting around watching this crop burn up is killing us both and at this rate we might kill each other - see FUN TIMES FUN TIMES - you just can't make this stuff up people!

June 20, 2012

The Seeds of Success

On a livestock farm we would have nothing without semen, so it is kind of important – it has been the topic of conversation more than once at the dinner table, heck it has been extended on my dinner table!  My kids have used the term semen and artificial insemination since they learned to talk, although a lot of good that did me when it came time for “the talk”!  My kids loved to play with spirettes for toys (they would use them as pointers) when they were younger; my dogs think that CIDR’s, once removed from the cows are chew toys and leave them lay around the yard (yeah we’re classy like that)!  Once every five weeks we have boar semen delivered to our house, my kids think nothing of it when I holler “semen is here run out and get it”, they just take off and know exactly what to do with it (put it in the cooler)!  My kids know that cattle semen can be frozen but boar semen cannot  (did you?), they also know that it should be rotated in the cooler and willing to take care of that when asked.

The hot weather plays havoc on breeding and now a days most of our breeding and semen care supplies are kept down at the hog office but today I walk in the kitchen to find this:

I tweeted: 

"Yes people that is my kitchen table, Chris, a microscope & boar semen-doesn't this kind of stuff happen in all kitchens?"

It reminded me of the good ol' days and all the stories I could tell about semen!

The cooler in the kitchen:  When we first started with artificial insemination we (and believe me I use this term lightly  – well never mind I won’t even use that term) Chris collected from our own boars.  A boar can give off as much as 120-250 cc per “time”, that is a lot – and there is no sense in wasting all those little guys on just one lady!  So boar semen can be extended – and one dose of boar semen can be extended into about 20 doses depending on the count (and yes that means counting the little swimmers in a sample)  the more swimmers the more doses – just spreading the love around!  However boar semen cannot be frozen like cattle, it must be used fresh, it will keep for 7-10 days after extended in a cooler at 60-65 degrees.  So once collected – Chris would bring the sample into the house (that’s right) whip out all his handy dandy semen extending equipment and set-up his lab right on our kitchen table (seriously people I couldn’t make this stuff up if I wanted to), the girls would come running they loved to look at the sample swimming around under the microscope!  Once extended and put into dosage bottles they were placed in the temperature controlled cooler that sat where else but between my cabinets and my stove – it did serve dual purpose as the girls could stand on it and help me cook!

Kindergarten Pick-up:  We used to mail order our semen (I know right – and that isn’t even the best part of the story) – boar semen has to be fresh and so it was delivered UPS Next  Day Service and had to be delivered by 10:30am – one day I am sitting in the Kindergarten pick-up line waiting for Emi Lou to come out and our UPS man pulls up to deliver a package to the school – he sees me – waves – comes over to my truck carrying a white Styrofoam cooler and says “Hey Jennifer glad I saw you here – this is going to work out good, I won’t have to drive out to the house on these mornings so that I get it there on time and then drive back to town for deliveries!  Will it work for you to just take the semen home from here?”  I said “That would be just fine Kevin – we may be the talk of the Kindergarten crowd!”  And so every 5 weeks her whole Kindergarten year I would get a white Styrofoam cooler delivery from the UPS man while sitting in the school circle lined up for pick-up with all the other Moms – I only had two mothers finally get brave enough to come up and ask me what kind of delivery I was getting at school in a cooler – I told them straight up it was semen – I think they would of believed me more if I told them it was drugs or black market body parts!

I got a million of ‘em but the most recent actually happened at a blogging workshop with my friends The Real Farmwives of America!  Meggie who writes Hoosier Farm Babe Tell Tails said to me:  “The other night I was reading your blog when my husband looked over my shoulder and said ‘Hey I know them, they bought semen from Bill Arthur when I was working there!”

Now a days we just keep a white stryofoam cooler on our front porch so that on delivery day there is a cool place to put the semen when it is delivered and then we take it down to the hog office and put it in the electric cooler- without it or if it goes bad we have big problems!

You see, like it or not, we are known for our boar semen stories – one could say I have a million of them swimming around, I can tell a few semen tails’ tales!

June 12, 2012

You have got to be kidding me.

And you have to say it like I do to:

YOU have got . . (pause for effect). . to be kidding me!!!

So the wheat is almost ready and I am patiently  waiting for Chris to udder the phrase that brings me pure joy - "It's a cuttiin' day Mary Alice" (ever seen the movie Race Against The Harvest - BEST movie ever - when I grow up or in my next life I want  will be part of a wheat harvesting crew - if you are part of one and are reading this can I come visit you, hang around with you for a week like a crazy tourist following you with my camera asking lots of questions and wanting to ride in every piece of equipment????  please please please call me or email me - seriously) Anyway so this week is Bible School at our church and today when we get home the boy is all in a panic because he doesn't know where Chris and Grumpy (my FIL, yes they call him Grumpy) are and if they are going to harvest wheat and he immediately grabs the phone (yes we still have a land line and ALL the phones in our house are corded!) and hollers for someone to tell him Chris' cell number - the oldest shouts it out, the boy dials and suddenly hangs up the phone and says he dialed the wrong number - of course the phone immediately rings back and the boy answers: "Hello - (small uncomfortable giggle) yes it was me I dialed the wrong number, I am sorry" and hangs up -
Me: "who was that?"
The boy: "whoever I accidentally called, someone named Jerry"
The oldest:  laughing hysterically "isn't that the name of your random encouragement transposed number friend"
Me: in panic mode dashing to the phone dialing *69 as fast as I can grabbing my cell and hastily flipping thru my contacts "YOU have got . . . .to be kidding me!!! Yep that is who he dialed my gosh we are like crazy stalker people"

So I contemplate how hard it would be to move and change our names, possibly disconnect our land line or just go ahead and die of embarrassment but instead I grab my cell and text:

"oh my gosh you are so not going to believe this but the strange number that just mistakenly called you was ---wait for it--- my son from our house - i swear  we are not doing this on purpose!  Actually I am kind of embarrassed but pretty much the way life goes around here!"

Jeri has got to be the most understanding sweetest person in the world cause she just texted me back some "hahaha's" told she was just making guacamole and hanging out and that maybe the universe was was trying to tell us something and that maybe we have a Lincoln-Kennedy thing going on - to which I texted back some "hahaha's totally" while yelling at the kids to Google the Lincoln-Kennedy thing because I didn't want to appear stupid - stalker maybe - stupid definitely not!

My only fear is that Jeri and her family are constantly looking behind them with one finger ready to dial 911 - my only consolation is that apparently it is not that hard to dial her instead of Chris if I am not the only one to do it!

June 9, 2012

A Good Day

 Deryl showed up first thing this morning to AI a cow and a heifer for us -

Deryl slept in this truck last night after breeding cattle till (I swear he said) 3 am - he must have one understanding wife because I know he is on the road breeding all the time - so Chris made us all breakfast - I know right what a great guy - sausage, egg & cheese on wheat toast - he is a good cook!

Got us a little True Grit and some Grand Master today!

After breeding we loaded up the rest of the girls up and moved them over to the pasture with the others!

There was lots of frolicking

and reuniting!

Then it was off to the Blue River Valley Antique Machinery Show at the Shelby County Fairgrounds and the first pedal pull of the season!

I was informed that this would be his final year for pedal pulling - his legs were getting too long and he was getting too old but that he wanted to "go out with a bang"-

which is obviously off to a good start!

Of course if you are in Shelbyville at lunch time why not eat at Compton's Cow Palace and you can't eat there without topping off the meal with a turtle sundae!

Then home - which I then accidentally took a nice long nap - felt good and much needed!

Then off to check the cows once more and a quick impromptu photo shoot for Casey -

where she totally photo bombed poor Sampson,

acted goofy and wouldn't focus for me,

But was mostly just plain beautiful!

Homemade pizza for supper with everyone around the table - it just don't get much better!

June 5, 2012

The Correct Way To Eat A Cupcake!


I do - they are like mini cakes that I get all to myself - and I have mastered the best way to eat them no matter how much icing is on one - and there should be lots of icing!

 Step 1: Peel the entire cupcake liner off the cupcake - I always use liners I think they keep the cupcake moister (is that a word?) and obviously make clean up easier-I am pretty sure cupcake law states that if you use liners you don't ever have to wash the cupcake pan!

Step 2:  With both hands and using your fingertips - firmly but gently with one hand grasp the top of the cupcake just under the "lip" or top and with your other hand from the bottom of the cupcake firmly but gently grasp about half way up - this is important - you really want to break or tear the cupcake in half horizontally.

Step 3:  Now that you have the bottom half of the cupcake removed you are going to turn it a complete 180 degrees so that the torn top or middle of the cupcake will be placed face down on the icing there by making a sandwich with your cupcake!

So that when you bite into it you do not end up with all the icing on your upper lip-

Or you can ignore your genius Mom and just eat it the regular way and be a complete laughing mess!

Now go make some cupcakes!

June 3, 2012

Why can't I remember this?

Creator God, you have given us your Spirit to lean upon, yet we often depend upon our own strength and wisdom.  Forgive us and bring us back into your presence.  By your Word and by your Spirit, fill us with your presence that equips us to meet all of life's demands. AMEN.

So I seem to be truckin' along just fine all week and then when I have to walk into the church on Sunday morning I just lose it - this morning I made it to church just fine walked thru the parking lot, up the sidewalk, almost up the steps and I sent the kids in and bypassed them walked around the side of the church sat on the back concrete steps in the sun and cryed!

I finally forced myself to pull it together, walked into the church stood in the back parlor for a minute waiting for the first hymn and when everyone stood up I walked to our pew stood the remainder of the song, looked at the bulletin and read the Prayer of Confession in unison with everyone else when the words hit me and I took a huge deep breath - my Mom would call this a God Wink!