Saturday, July 30, 2011

One of those days....oh wait I mean weeks.

Have you ever had one of those days.  The day where everything does not go how it is supposed to go?  Well I have had one of those weeks.  Every day it seemed like something blew up.

So today I decided I wasn't going to let today be added to this bad week.  We got up this morning, ate breakfast, got dressed and then I decided to put on make-up.  I haven't done this a whole lot since I have been a stay at home mom because no one sees me.  But I tell you what, it does make me feel more put together and hopefully it will make my day feel more put together.

Then we decided to go on a walk.

I thought it might be a good way to start the morning.  And I was right.  The kids had fun walking and looking at things on the road west of our house.

Then we saw some hay bales.  I remember as a kid us having hale bales in our meadow and that we always wanted to climb up on them.  It wasn't until I was much older that I could actually do it.  So I thought it would be fun for the kids if they could get on top of them.

My son thought he was on top of the world standing on this hay bale!  We almost made it to our neighbor's house before we decided to turn around and come home.  It was getting pretty hot out and it was only 930.  Which reminds me...please pray for rain.  The crops need it bad.  And so does all the livestock.

Then I cuddled with the kids for a little bit while we all watched Spongebob.  Listening to their little giggles just makes my day.

We then helped my husband take down a neighbor's swing set so that we could take it over to my parents house.  My dad is in the process of finishing a two story play house for the grandkids.  This thing is more a mansion than a play house so the swing set should just be the finishing touch it needs.

And last but not least we made our way to Newton to enjoy the little shops up and down the main drag of their downtown.  This is the best way for me to get out and shop and not have to spend money.  It is neat to go to little towns and just take in all the different shops.  I have been to Lindsborg, McPherson and Yoder.  Now I can add Newton to the list.  I think I would also like to go to Buhler one day too.

The spell has been has not been added to the week of problems.  So glad that is over!  Look out next week here I come! :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Technology & A Farmer's Day

Technology is every where and believe it or not that even includes on the farm.  The technology that is used today is further advanced than when my dad was farming.  We currently have on the farm four tractors that run with GPS.  And believe it or not those tractors drive themselves (except they can't turn the farmer still comes in handy).

We have three pivots that can be ran by just one phone call to them and one pivot that we can run from the computer.
We also have a combine that runs itself and can tell you how many bushels per acre it is getting, and the moisture content of that particular crop.

And last but not least, we can watch the weather radar on our cell phones.
I am personally amazed by how things are now run on the farm.  I don't know that the technology makes the farmer go any faster or provide better results than the old way of farming, but it sure is nice to have some of the questions answered before you show up to the co-op to deliver your product.  My husband says that the technology improves accuracy and decrease fatigue resulting in longer days with increased productivity.  But this is just all in a days work of being a farmer.

My husband had to wake up at 1215am to go shut off flood irrigation.  With flood irrigation he is the technology at work.  Then he came home but was up and out the door again at 5 am to go to another piece of ground with flood irrigation.  He had to walk the rows to make sure that the water was getting completely through the rows.  When he does this he looking to see if he has to shut off gates on the irrigation pipe (the water has made it completely down that row) or if he needs to open them up more so the water can get down the row.

He wants to make sure that the water gets to the end of each row so that he knows all the corn has gotten a good drink.  After checking the flood irrigation he was then off to check the pivots on other pieces of farm ground.  When he goes to each field he drives his four wheeler down a pivot road made especially just to get to the pivot motor in the center of the corn field.  Once there he checks oil levels in the motor, water flow, meaning how much water is making it from the well to the pivot itself, pivot pressure, which is making sure you don't have a leak in the pivot, and checking voltage.  Checking voltage is important because if the voltage is to high or to low it can cause damage to the system.  He checked 9 total pivots this morning.  This takes him approximately 2 hours if everything is running correctly.  But as I have learned in this short time being on the farm...that is not always the case.

Upon arriving at his 4th pivot this morning he was greeted by the sight that stated this pivot had not moved since yesterday.  It had run in one place for about 12 hours.  So he went to the motor and did all of his checks and found out the motor was fine but had to go to the control panel to try and override the forward motion of the pivot to see what tower was malfunctioning.  He found out that the fourth tower from the end was the problem child.  He knew this because overriding the system, that tower did not move with the rest of the other towers.  Now the walk to that tower began.  Once there he noticed the flat tire and broken drive shaft.  So being the diligent farmer he is, he investigated further and noticed that a gear box was broken as well.  He then took the long walk back to the control panel and jumped into his pick up.  He finished his rounds, then went to get parts to fix the broken pivot tower.  He stopped by the farm, picked up his dad and went back to the pivot to fix it.

After getting the pivot up and running again then it was time for loading a semi truck with alfalfa hay.  They loaded around 700 small square bales onto the semi.  It took about 2 hours to get the truck loaded.  The alfalfa is headed to a horse farm in Texas.

My husband then went and grabbed the tractor and dirt mover.  He swung by the house to pick up his little side kick.  It is nice to be able to let my son ride with his dad whenever he gets the chance.  I think they both enjoy the guy time.  They then proceeded to the field to move dirt.  The purpose of moving dirt was to improve water drainage on the field.  Things were going well until a hydraulic hose blew on the dirt mover (scraper as it is called).  My husband's father came out to the field and helped fix the hose.  When the hose was fixed it was time to go check irrigation again.  This time when he checked irrigation everything was working correctly.  Then it was back to the field to try and finish moving dirt.  Not long after getting back into the tractor another hydraulic hose blew on the scraper.  It was a different hose this time. Again my husbands father came out to the field but this time to pick them up.  They couldn't fix this hose because the parts store had closed for the day.  They went back to the farm, loaded up in the pick up, came home and had dinner.  Then it was back out to a flood irrigation field to mess with more gates.  After that it was time for a shower, working in the office and helping write this post.

And one would think that since he is home now his day is done, but before he goes to bed this evening it is back out to the field to check the gates again.  So really this post could go on for days because in all actuality a farmer's work is never done.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Okay maybe the animals didn't invade us...maybe we just acquired a few.  I have an absolutely huge heart for animals.  I would do anything for them.  They are loving and loyal no matter what.

I have had an obsession with animals ever since I was little.  I would love on them for hours.  We had dogs, rabbits, cats, lizards, birds and we even had a garter snake for a few days once.  I worked for a vet when I was twelve.  I cleaned out kennels but I didn't care.  I would do whatever it took to be near them.  I even was able to save four puppies that had been dropped off at the clinic one day.  I bottle fed them and then was able to give them away at six weeks completely happy and healthy.

The first pet I was able to buy on my own was my dog Reebok.  He is a Pomeranian.  I picked him up on Super Bowl Sunday my senior year of high school.  This year he is thirteen years old and I can honestly say I don't know what I would do without him.
Then around Christmas time I got the bug to get a puppy.  I talked my husband into getting a Corgi.  We named him Rocky and the kids loved him very much.  But the day before memorial day we had an accident and lost Rocky.  It was heartbreaking for the whole family.  We have missed him very much.
After I decided to stay home I thought that the kids needed a fish.  I went out and bought a tank and had plans to buy the twenty eight cent fish at Wal-Mart.  Well the day came to get the gold fish and it was just my luck that they were out of them.  We ended up with a $5 fish that we named Spiffy!  He has been a pretty good gold fish.
Then on monday I went to the humane society and picked up three cats.  We needed mousers for the farm and for the house.  I took two females to the farm.  Their names were Soxy and Trina.  And we kept Frankie.  He is six years old and we are still working on talking him out of the garage to do his job.  He is very sweet and I hope he sticks around for awhile.
And last but not least the newest addition to the family.  His name is Cash Cowboy...Cash for short (we couldn't decide on a name)!  After we lost our precious Rocky, I was on a mission to find another Corgi.  I looked high and low.  I even looked in Kansas City.  I was a crazy lady trying to fill the void.  After going into Wichita one day, I passed a country store of sorts.  That got me thinking that maybe they knew of someone that had Corgi's.  And that was the day I found Cash.  He is a Austrialian Sheppard/Welsh Corgi cross.  He is a blue merle (that is the name of his coloring).  So far he has been loving, playing and sleeping.  The whole family is in love with him.
And so concludes the ANIMAL INVASION of the Winter Household.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dreaded Dieting & Exercise!

I think I can...I think I can...I think I can.  I know I have been down this dieting and exercise road before but it has been a long time.  So I decided baby steps are the way to go.  I started out this morning by eating an apple thinking I would be full and let me tell you right now my body is screaming at me saying bring on the sugary kids cereal.  But I am going to try and stay strong.  It is going to be even harder when I go to the grocery store this morning because there will be items calling my name from the selves.  But again think positive, I keep telling myself and I can do anything I put my mind to.

Okay so it is a few hours later and I made it home in one piece from the grocery store.  If items were calling my name I didn't hear them.  YEAH ME!  I only picked up things on my listed that I needed.  I didn't go down the cookie or candy isles...I thought about it though.  I ate a decent lunch. I did sneak one spoon full of home made ice cream, but that was all I SWEAR!  And am now listening to Tom and Jerry as my son and husband watch contently.  It is nice to have my two boys spending some much needed cuddle time together.

My next goal for the day is to pick up this house from the birthday party I had last night for my mom, and then to do my chore for the day. And if I can find space for it, try to get on the treadmill for a run.  Notice I put it last.  That is because I am dreading it so much.  I used to love to run and now I think about getting back into it all the time and then something else takes its place like sleeping or watching TV.  I have got to find motivation for this working out thing. I know I can do it...I have done it before.

And now that it is almost time for bed I can tell you that my day did not go the way the above paragraph stated.  It took me awhile to get ready for the day and yes I know it was after lunch but hey somedays are just like that.  Then I took my daughter and went to the doctor's office.  Once I get to the doctor's office they tell me that my appointment has moved days.  That was news to me...I don't remember getting a phone call.  Thankfully they found a way to squeeze me in, and thank goodness they did because it is a 45 minute drive from my house to the east side of town.  Then, I was supposed to meet my mom after my appointment to get some Skin So Soft.  It is supposed to help with chiggers, so I was picking it up for my husband, because he has a bad case of them, but then I didn't meet my mom at her house.  I went to the humane society instead and meet her there.

The purpose for the visit to the humane society was to get the farm some rodent catchers (cats as other people like to call them).  I found out that if you get adult cats from the humane society, they only ask for a donation.  My mom came to help me because I wasn't sure what all the trip entailed and I needed help keeping my daughter entertained while I tried to figure out what cats would be good to hang out at the farm.  So guess what...I ended up with THREE cats in my car.  Two went to the farm and one ended up here at the house.  Oh and so did the Skin So Soft for hubby...he is quite thankful!

So once again something took the place of things that I needed to get done or wanted to get done.

But take a look at this face and tell me if you could pass him up in the humane society.
His name is Frankie and he is a lover!  His job will be to keep this house free from little furry varments that try to invade the house this winter.  Hopefully he does a good job.

But back to the task at hand, no exercising in today's plan.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better.  I just have to loose the baby weight that just keeps following me around!  I wish I could just find that magic eraser everyone is talking about!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

So this post is an inspiration from one of my good friends whom I used to work with (Thanks Amy for the idea).  Here is how the day for me can change in the matter of seconds, minutes and hours.
The Good:  My oldest is getting lots better in swim lessons.  Today he went from his front to his back and his back to his front all by himself.  He had very little help from the life gaurds.  I think he will probably have to take the same class next year but I think it has given him a really good base for next year.  Now if I can just get over my fear of wearing a swim suit, then maybe we could go to the pool and practice what he has learned.

After the moon dough incident (you will see what that was all about below) I started to vaccuum the rest of the house.  It was good because the kids were running and screaming.  They like to think the vaccuum cleaner is after them.  Now I don't know what makes them think that the vaccuum is going to get them, but I remember thinking the same thing when I was little.  I also took advantage of that idea when my brother was little.  I think I might have chased him under his bed by running the vaccuum after him.  Sorry little brother!  Okay so where was I...oh yeah, I didn't mind the screaming because the vaccuum cleaner is already loud, so what is so more added noise!  While they were running towards the vaccuum and away from the vaccuum, I was asking them to pick toys or decorations up so that I could vaccuum underneath them.  It is always a joy when you can get things done you need to and your kids can have fun at the same time.  I have learned that the more you don't let them help you, the more they want to, so what is a few extra hands cleaning are already cleaning any way.

The kids helped make dinner.  My oldest was stirring the concoction of meat and other ingredients together so we could make meatballs.  My youngest was sitting on the other side of the island quietly eating some fish crackers.  Both being perfectly happy hanging out with Mommy in the kitchen.

And the last part of this good day is when Daddy took the kids outside so mommy could finish cleaning up the dinner preparation dishes and finish the vaccuuming in peace.  It is the small things that makes this mommy's world go round.
The Bad:  The kids were downstairs playing when my oldest starts to bring his moon dough upstairs.  He said mommy I want to play with this.  I told him that I was in the middle of trying to get dinner ready so we would have to wait to play with it tomorrow.  So he very nicely took all that he had drug upstairs back down stairs.  Now you may be saying at this point why in the world is that bad.  Well it is bad because little sister unknown to me was also helping him carry his moon dough upstairs.  If you know anything about moon dough it never dries out.  Therefore I have placed some of the moon dough in ziplock bags as they didn't come with a cute little container like the others.  So as she is bringing it upstairs she has the bag open and is shaking the bag the whole way.  I turn around to look to see who is coming upstairs now and see this horrible moon dough mess all over my stairs.  I call for my oldest and ask him to help clean up the moon dough mess.  And then get out the vaccuum to clean up the rest of the mess that just won't be picked up because it is still in the carpet.  Let's just say I am glad it was moon dough and not play dough.  The moon dough came out of the carpet with ease so I was thankful for that.  Also I would have to say I love my vaccuum just as much.  It cost a pretty penny (something we got sucked into at the State Fair) but it is the best vaccuum I have ever had, hands down.
The Ugly: The ugly part of this day started first thing in the morning.  The kids were at each others throats.  They were picking on each other, running around screaming for no reason, and just plain old not listening.  I was just about my witts end.  I was trying to call some pest exterminators (we have unfriendly spiders in the house) to get estimates.  I had to lock myself in my room to get away from all the noise.  No matter how much I begged, pledded or yelled they just kept right on being kids.  I am pretty sure in one of my conversations to my husband I stated that he might have to come home early because mommy might have to be put in a straight jacket from going crazy from all the noise and racket.

Luckly if I look at the day overall, we had more good moments than any other.  I would have to say that even though today started out ugly it sure did end up on a good note.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A day in the life of being...Mommy!

I know I have heard the joke...are you sitting around all day, watching soaps and eating bon-bons.  To be honest I would love to be doing that...but guess what, I'M NOT!

A typical day for me starts about 7-730 in the morning.  The kids are normally up around the same time.  This week though my oldest has been falling asleep around 9-930 pm which is anywhere from half an hour to an hour over when he is supposed to go to bed and then turning around and getting up at 6 am.  So I have been trying to coax him to either sleep in daddy's spot or go to sleep in his room until I come and get him.  I know he needs the sleep because by the afternoon of not enough sleep means it can get really crazy here at home.  And not in the fun way.

I try to take a shower first thing in the morning but as my husband can vouch for me that doesn't always get to happen (sometimes night showers work out better).  He is out the door around 6 am to go check on his irrigation. So when both kids get up, we have breakfast.  Then they watch some cartoons like Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Spongebob if he is on (the latter is what my oldest would watch until his eyes fell out if I let him).  While they are watching TV I am trying to get stuff cleaned up.  Basically means picking up stuff that has been left out from the night before.  I also try to get ready for the day and lately it has been working okay.  But somedays it is tough to do because of how the little ones woke up.  The wrong side of the bed for them means the wrong side of the bed for mommy and then nothing seems to work.  By 9 am the kids are dressed and their teeth are brushed.  Then it is time to get the kids to pick up their rooms.  We have about and hour to get things cleaned up before we go to swim lessons for my oldest.  We leave the house at 10 for his 1015-1045 swim lesson.  I might have to add that he is doing a pretty good job at swim lessons.  It took me about four days to be able to sit outside the fence like all the other parents but a little coaxing and some trips to the gas station for candy and I can now sit outside the pool.  I think I feel just as accomplished as he does.
We then get home and eat lunch and put my daughter down for a much needed nap.  She misses her nap by about an hour because of swim lessons.  Some days she is okay but some days it is a race to see how fast we can get home because she is not happy and is letting everyone know so...I wonder where she gets that from (Not me... :)).  After lunch my oldest plays or watches Looney Tunes.  I am either cleaning up lunch dishes or trying to have some mommy time (as in right now) by writing a blog or seeing what is happening out in the world of the internet.  I would say that is the biggest change for me from working to being at home.  I am excited to get emails.  When I worked I wouldn't look at my home emails for days just because I didn't want to see another email.  But now I live for them.  Crazy how things change.
Now after lunch is over it is time to do my daily chore list.  I try to pick one thing to do each day.  I have figured out that picking up I don't mind so much but I have trouble wanting to do house work.  It is one of those necessary evils that isn't ever done.  Also on Mondays I like to go to the grocery store.  It is nice to go early in the morning after the kids wake up because no one is there.  But these past couple of weeks we haven't been able to do that because of swim lessons.  And also because my grocery list has only been partly done.  It is so hard to figure out what to eat.  If I was rich I would do two things with my billions.  I would hire someone to do my hair every day and hire a professional chef so I would never have to cook a meal again.  And now that I really think about it I would hire someone to clean this house top to bottom.  So I guess I would do three things with my billions!

Then about 5 I start making dinner.  I try to pick meals that have everything in them so I don't have a bunch of dishes to clean up but somehow I always have a ton of dishes to do.  Then after dinner it is time to get the kids baths and ready for bed.  The young one goes to bed at 730 and the older at 830.  Most of the time I am pretty tired so I try to veg out but most of the time I don't have all the dinner dishes done so I am working on that.  I would really like to get where I can work out for about 30 mins a day and also do some scrapbooking.  So I am in the process of trying to talk myself into working a little faster through out the day so I can have some more me time.  But when both kids are up and needing attention it is really hard to stay motivated.

Why am I telling you all of this...well it is because I have figured out that life passes you by if you are constantly working or cleaning. And that if you or your house aren't feeling completely perfect you are probably in the same boat as me.  So I say the more the merrier!  My house may not be perfect at all times of the day but I am not missing one moment with my kids.  We are working on if we pull out one toy and want to do something else that we must put that toy up where it belongs.  And I can say so far so good.

So I hope I didn't bore you all to much...but that is really all in a day in the life of being...Mommy!  Exciting I know. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Communication is KEY!

My personal opinion about communication is that it is key in every aspect of life.  Without communication how would the ones around us know how we felt about them.  How would people know what our hopes and dreams were?  How would you know what your bosses expectations for doing a good job was?  In farming I think communications is key and probably the most important aspect of this job.

Think about it for a second.

Whether you are the farmer, the family member, the wife, the co-op, the land lord, or the employee of the farm, if nothing is being communicated to you, how can you possibly know what to expect.  As the farmer if your crop consultant, or your seed supplier doesn't tell you that you need to irrigate more or you should use one seed over another how could you possibly expect the best crop.  Passed experiences help, but I always say the more people involved the better.  If you are the employee and you come to work and no one tells you to go plow the field next to the farm, then you might go plow up the field that has just been planted.

I know some of these examples are extreme (or probably even unthought of) but I am sure many of you that have lived on a farm have had some extreme experience that probably could have been avoided by taking the time to communicate.  I also think it is important that when coming into the farm to work or live one should understand the dyanmics of how the farm works.  What are the expectations of the employees, who is in charge of the books, who is the CEO and what is the plan for the handing down of land.

I have gone to several Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher's conferences where they discuss this exact topic.  I am still really new to this lifestyle because of having to work full time.  But now that I am here, it is more important than even I realized.  Right now I am learning the names of fields but I hope to one day understand how the operation side of the coin works.  I want to learn these things so that we can one day pass down a fully functional and well put together farm for my children, god willing they want to come back to the farm.  I sure hope that is their dream because lord knows I am loving this life!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Harvest 2011

Harvest time is always all hands on deck.  And this year is really no different than every other year, but this year, I was able to experience the joys of cooking for more than two people.  By the looks of my kitchen it felt about as disorganized as I did.
But some how in the end I got organized and made it to the field on time for dinner...even with the two munchkins in tow!

Harvest is fun, crazy, exciting and the adrenaline is always pumping.  It is fun because you are watching as these huge combines come into the field and harvest the golden wheat.  Combines are everywhere and are going non stop until the field is empty.

It is crazy because of all the equipment that is running around in just one field.

And it is exciting because you get to spend some time with the ones you love.

And as for the adrenaline part that is just hoping that the summer storms don't knock out your precious crops.

So I can say that for this harvest everything turned out okay.  We were busy, but we loved every minute of it.  Now it is just time to prepare for next year!