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August 28, 2013

50 Years

Happy 50 years to my in-laws, Chris' Mom and Dad, my 2nd Mom & Dad!

What a blessing and a true accomplishment to love, live and farm together everyday for 50 years!

We also took some pictures inside the house in front of the fireplace - and while messing around with them I noticed something that I thought was so cool - on the mantle my MIL has this grapevine wreath with roses and such - decorated with candles and other items but leaning in the wreath is a piece of old sheet music (I think it is sheet music) - the name of the song I found so fitting to be on the mantel about this family picture!

Through The Years

So while I didn't think this was one our better attempts the words above us spoke volumes!

August 23, 2013


Last night I was perusing Facebook and came across a post question by one of my fave blog pages - Just A Ranch Wife -

 it took me a whole 2 seconds to know what my answer was:

There were lots of good answers - communication, marry your best friend, friends first than marriage, never go to bed mad, don't take what is said in a cattle working pen to heart (or in a hog barn). . . . . .

When Chris got home later I asked him what his advice was and his was one word also:  MEDS

I looked him straight in the eye and said "I swear I have been taking mine!  Have you?"

But I know first hand if you RELAX the rest comes - I wish someone had given me this simple one word piece of advice 21 years ago - I was definitely not a relaxed newlywed! 

Tuesday evening I set out on an adventure by myself - I haven't traveled by myself in over at least 8 years -I don't travel for work and so when I go somewhere it is usually all of us - as a newlywed I am fully aware I would of been anything but relaxed - what would happen while I was gone, what would I miss, who did what, why, how, when did that happen, 'just sit in the house and do nothing while I am gone that way I don't miss anything or you don't have fun without me!'  -I might of been a bit high strung!!

But being away this time made me realize how much I and Chris as well have 'relaxed' - our random text messages made me laugh and proved it to me!

Some examples:

Chris- How is the hotel?

I sent him this pic:

Me-Very Nice!  Why does the toilet paper have a cover?  And I don't have to flush this toilet with my foot-seems pretty clean!

Chris-That is not a toilet, it is a twailait!!!


Me-So what are you doing?  I am a little home sick!

Chris-It's not all wine and roses here but I do have a fire, tacos for supper and Sam's (beer) in my belly!

Chris-Go to the lounge and have a drink, just don't let some sleepy salesman pick you up, you know they will try!

Chris- SLEEZY not sleepy

Me-I miss you, you should of come!  Guess I will go have a drink with a sleezy salesman!

Me-I mean sleepy!

Chris-Remember you are hotter than you think, don't settle early!

Me-Laughing so loud right now -but don't worry I won't settle early!


Chris-I have a whip app on my phone now-coming in very handy getting the kids ready for school!

Me-You watched Big Bang last night didn't you?


Me-What are you doing?

Chris-Dishwasher and dryer running, trash at the door, light sweeping of the dining room, and this toilet is sanitized for your homecoming!  I got my housekeeper game on!

(yes he actually sent me a pic of our toilet)

Me-ummm wow what possessed you to clean the toilet?

Chris-straightening up for you to come home.  It needed it, and as you are willing to scrape pens and clean leg pits, reciprocation is only polite!

Me-I love you-THANK YOU - would you also lay some meat out for supper?

Chris-I wouldn't get too excited, kids clothes are not in order, I don't even know what is clean or dirty on the living room floor!

Now don't be fooled - there were some serious ones also -you know the ones:

"The girls are fighting and texting me - go handle it-you are in the same house with them!"

"Did you make the kids do their homework"

"Children need to shower and brush their teeth, are you making them do that"

"I know I am missing Taco Tuesday-sending me a pic of them is just cruel!"

I can say that thru every single good moment and every single bad moment and every single sad moment - Chris is always right there - sometimes in person, sometimes via cell phone, sometimes on the 2-way radio and sometimes he might actually wish he was farther (like the time I was in labor and I asked if I was 'moaning in pain too loud' and he answered honestly with a 'yes you are a little loud')!

August 7, 2013

It's Because We Aren't Lazy

There is a lot of controversy these days about livestock care and products we use to maintain and improve their health-one of the tools we use to keep a healthy herd is vaccination.

Yesterday, the last day of summer for my kids, was spent with friends swimming and hanging out for several hours but before they could call it a day they spent 2 hours working nursery pigs with me-then they were allowed to sit down, eat supper, get stuff ready for the first day of school and call it a day.

In January when our vet was here doing a routine herd health visit we discussed some concerns with the health of our finishing hogs-specifically the possibilities of them getting pneumonia, circovirus and the flu.  Three of the more common illnesses that can obviously be devastating to the health of the animal but economically devastating to our farm as well.  Dr Powers suggested a vaccination program involving 2 doses of Red Triangle.

Red Triangle is blend of three vaccines-so that each pig only receives one shot per round instead of three separate shots to be protected from each of these illnesses-pneumonia, circovirus and flu.

We give Red Triangle to each hog twice- once at weaning, when the piglets are four weeks old and then they receive a booster 2 weeks later, at six weeks of age.  Each shot is 2cc's.

Now these three vaccines are not anti-biotics but the goal here is to prevent the hogs from needing anti-biotics in the future.  Now that is not to say that that means we don't use anti-biotics because have no doubt if our hogs get sick and anti-biotics are what they need for their health you better bet we will use them and wouldn't think twice about it.  What happens to an animal being raised antibiotic free when it gets ill? Our antibiotic use is targeted to specific growth stages of the animal by recommendation of our veterinarian targeting specific health challenges.  Anti-biotics for livestock is an expense that  unless deemed necessary for the health of the animal or the herd is not something farmers dole out like candy.

We carefully monitor withdrawal periods on this farm with all drugs that we use - not only because it is the law but for the safety of the US food supply (because farmers and their family's eat this food as well) and because it is financially and socially responsible for our farm to maintain our credibility as a producer.

A herd health program has many elements; prevention, sanitation, security, treatment. But still we cannot get away from stockmanship. Livestock cannot tell you that they are ill. One must learn to observe the animals behavior to identify which ones are sick, and need treatment. The caretaker element is essential.

August 3, 2013

Freezing Sweetcorn!

So the boy decided to grow sweetcorn this year, which is something we don't normally mess around with since we have so many friends that grow it and it is readily available at little stands - but the boy wanted to give a garden and sweetcorn a shot this year so we did!

We planted it right beside the yard in the field when we planted the field corn this spring - we had some extra units for the planter so we took off 4 with field corn in them put new boxes on with sweet corn in them and planted it at the same time Chris was doing the end rows on the field - it worked out really well!

So now it is ready, he is selling some and actually allowing me to have some to freeze for this winter!

I know there are probably a million ways and a million different recipes people use to freeze corn- this is just the way my family has always done it and the recipe we use!  I, quite honestly am posting this so that I know where to find it from now on - I spent the better part of an hour pawing thru the junk/recipe/random crap drawer as well as the my recipe stash looking for it this morning-once posted I will just have to Google my own blog to find it from now on!

This is where I finally located it at!

And here it is!

The first thing you need is a highly skilled team of shuckers and cleaners or if you don't have those you can just do what I do - and make your kids do it!

After having this conversation with the boy this morning:

Boy: I will go pick A BUNCH of corn!
Me: You also need to get a water trough out of the barn clean it up and fill it with cold water!

A little bit later

Boy: Done and hose is filling trough, I got it pretty clean only a little bit of cow crap left!
Me: ummm a little bit
Boy: why did you not want any?
Me: well none would be good I really like my corn with no cow crap in it!!!

FYI I made him go back out and scrub it with soap and bleach!

This was always our job when we were kids and my Dad was a stickler about us getting every silk off-our hands would be freezing from the hose water and so prunie, I thought it was torture-what I wouldn't give to go back and that be my only job instead of now as the Mom-cutting it off the cob, cooking it, cooling it, bagging it and cleaning up the sweet sugary sticky mess that it makes!

So after it is shucked and cleaned I cut it off the cob!

Then I just follow the measurements in the recipe!

Once the corn, sugar, salt and water are combined bring it to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes!

After that put the pan of corn down in a cold water bath to cool it down and then bag it up and pop it in the freezer!

Now what makes it REALLY REALLY delicious in the middle of the winter when you pull it out of the freezer is the amount of butter you add to it - -  A LOT!

So you just pull a bag out-you can either let it thaw or if your like me and wait till the last minute -just cut the ziploc bag away from the frozen hunk of corn, pop it in a pan on low, cook it till it is warmed thru and then stir in a big ol' hunk of butter and by big ol' hunk I mean like a half a stick or maybe a whole stick