A Quick Trip He Says…

Nothing says family bonding than taking a trip in a vehicle for an unimaginable amount of hours. It’s even more so when you are three deep in the back seat of a dually truck and you have just spent numerous days at a cattle show with little sleep and tempers are high. 

But I digress… I knew when I got the text from dad on Thursday what my weekend was going to consist of… Would you want to go to Kansas with me on Saturday to look at a bull?…

I just stared at the text for a bit and then I decided I would call him. I was trapped, I didn’t want him to go alone, but I also had other plans for the weekend but I also wanted to make sure if he was buying something as important as a herd sire for our cattle operation that he made the right decision. 

So fast forward to right now, Big Ron, mom and I are in the truck and trailer cruising down the interstate on this “quick trip” as Big Ron keeps phrasing it. Family bonding to the extreme. 

 

Just recently I was reading some blog posts on Confessions of a Farm Wife. While reading I starting pondering on How Emily and her family are adjusting now that her husband has taken a job as a teacher and is no longer an active member on the farm. She is now struggling with finding her place. This struck me because Big Ron and I have had several conversations this past winter of what our lives would be like without livestock. He told me he could be on the beach right now instead of unthawing water hydrants in negative weather. I reminded him how easily he burned and that it wouldn’t be enjoyable to be on the beach as a fried lobster. 

But many times I have wondered what would we do if we didn’t have livestock and farm. What is a vacation without a cattl show, or stopping to look at cattle, deliver cattle, or worrying about cattle and checking the barn cameras. What do “normal” people do on the weekends when there aren’t chores to be done twice a day and a to do list a mile long.

And I imagine “normal” people wouldn’t call this a “quick trip” to Kansas but more or less a vacation. I know some days life on th farm has more downs than ups and Mother Nature can really get you down but it’s those times that are positive, those ups that remind us why we bust our butts. And you know what family bonding isn’t always so bad if it includes a stop at Kleinschmidts (large western store on interstate 70 just outside of Kansas City!!) 

What A Weirdo?

10527295_10152845571273628_3033307792034216986_nWell I am literally blowing dust of my blog as I write this today. I know it’s almost been a year since I posted last but life has just been full of wonderful events that have prevented me from taking a moment to sit down and write..I promise to do better in the future! I have had a thought rolling around in my head all week and I finally said hey, that would be a great thing to write about. So here it goes…For me living on a farm, raising livestock and all the crazy things that go along with it have been a way of life. I talk about it so matter of factually, always have, always will because I love to agvocate agriculture, but as I have gotten older and held jobs with those not from an agriculture background I realize how different my “normal” is to everyone else. And sometimes I just wonder if people leave a conversation with me and automatically think, WOW, THAT GIRL IS A WEIRDO!

For example, at the age of 5 I matter of factually explained to my entire class how a c-section on a cow works because the night before I had sat on the showbox at 10 pm and watched the whole thing from start to finish and the only time I spoke was to ask if the calf was alive. Because at age 5, the blood and everything that was going on didn’t bother me and it was normal to see babies born. Luckily, my kindergarten teacher’s family had cattle so she didn’t completely freak out but I remember a talk from my parents afterwards about how I don’t need to share everything I see at the farm. WEIRDO!

Flash forward to middle school and high school when I quit playing sports because I wanted to show cattle. Or when I broke up with all of my boyfriends over the summer because I didn’t have time for them in the summer. I didn’t have time to go on vacations with their family, or just layout by the pool, or be lazy and sleep till 10 all day. Several of them didn’t believe me when I said I will be lucky to sleep in my own bed 20 days the whole summer break. No, I couldn’t hang out with and no I didn’t get a day off when I was home. I had responsibilities and they all revolved around my show cattle. “You have to give your cows a bath every day twice a day?!?!?!?  YES….WEIRDO!425649_10150713831983628_422521790_n

In college I was fortunate to endure dorm life and sorority life with a fellow Shorthorn girl who at the time was serving as the National Lassie Queen. I can remember several “agriculture learning moments” taking place in our room and in the Delta Zeta kitchen. “You guys are going where, to do WHAT?” I am sure when she was rocking her Lassie Plaid and I was covered in glue, paint and cow shit when we returned in the wee hours of the night several muttered under their breath…WEIRDOs.

And since graduating college my weirdo status has followed me around. I can vividly remember the reaction of my former employer when I was watching a calf being born on the barn cams on the app on my phone and telling her that cows eat their afterbirth…HAHA..I still laugh at her reaction today! People are blown away when I tell them about what my weekend job is and how much harder my weekend job is than my real job! The hubby and I load up every Friday night and head to Adcock Land and Livestock or Moore Shorthorns, where the weekend list are long and the hours in the day seem short. It’s not a social gathering, its a there is too much to do and not enough people to do it. Since both of our families have livestock and grain farm vacations are slim to none and something always needs to be done. I am sure I get weird stares when I take random one or two day vacations and still have glue or paint on my fingers when I return the next day, or when I am checking the barn camera all day watching for babies, or when I show off new babies from the barn cam, or when I watch a show online during the work day. The list goes on and on….but you know what, call me Weirdo all you want, because I love my weirdo life. I love not being normal!

Yes, it is hard work and yes my family doesn’t get to go on week long vacations out of the country on the beach, but what we are doing we are doing as a family. The long hours we put in we do together and when we have success we all get to share in that success because we all had some part to play in it. The last few winters have been long and dad has said to me several times “sometimes I wonder what it would be like if we didn’t have livestock…I could be on a beach right now you know.” My reply is always the same ” Dad you love the livestock you wouldn’t be happy without them…and you sunburn way to easy to lay on the beach!”

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Day 27 – Better Late Than Never

Sorry to all of my faithful followers that I am a few days behind in my blogging. Due to some unreliable internet during our Thanksgiving trophyshadowholiday travels I have gotten a bit behind. But, as the saying goes it is better late than never so here it goes.  Today for post number one we are taking about trophies and using them in DIY. Back when I first started showing we received trophies all of the time, especially in 4-H and as much as I love those trophies and the accomplishments they represent I no longer have space to display them. So the first idea I came up with was to pull the engraved plates off of my trophies and put them into a shadow box. A late night trip to the emergency room later  and a few days later I came up with this cute little piece for our home. (Disclaimer: Maybe wear thick gloves when you take the engraved plates off the trophies or find a better way than using a butter knife 🙂 )

After I made my shadow box I saved some of the tops of my trophies to make a coat rack like you will see below. Since I have shown and won awards for 5 different types of livestock (cow,pig, sheep, goat, and horse) I saved one of each type and plan to put it in a farm themed nursey or room later down the road. I then donated all the rest of my plateless trophies back to my local extension office to be re-used for awards in the future. Since then I have found some more great ideas to do with trophies besides collecting dust on my shelves and on top of the entertainment center.

Almost to the end!! 30 Days of Agriculture and 30 Days of Farm Related DIY.

Day 26 – Feed Sack

Feed sacks have gone through many different phases. Starting out as cloth based that was turned into clothing and curtains and things for your home, to becoming a more woven material, to now more likely being made of a paper based or plastic like product. Some had vibrant colors and patterns carefully put into them, now covered with logos, instructions and ingredients. I know at our farms feedsacks have been piling up for years, so if you happen to be crafty with current days feedsacks or stumble across some of the original cloth based ones, check out the Farm Related DIY projects below. Only four days left of 30 Days of Agriculture. Stay tuned for tomorrow to see MY FAVORITE DIY item and projects yet!!! Be sure to check out my pinterest board to find instructions or more information on all DIY projects and photos used on these posts.

 

Day 25 – Perfect Transformation

I can slightly remember from my first years of showing dad bringing a “feedbox”, feed shovel, and feed scoop so that he could hand mix the feed while we were exhibiting cattle at a show. Luckily, we no longer have to pack those added items and we use the dump and eyeball method. However, I do still see feed scoops around today while at the shows. Most of them now though are pretty bright colors and are made of plastic and would not work for today’s DIY ideas. But, if you are lucky enough to come across some old school or metal feed scoops “scoop” them up to make these really cool lighted wall scones. Perfect for any country themed home. These may be an essential in my future home!

We only have 5 days left of 30 Days of Agriculture and 5 more days of Farm – Related DIY so don’t miss out!

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Day 23 – Climbing to the Moon

In honor of being a part of the 12 Hour World Record Climb Attempt today at the Hilton Springfield today’s DIY is centered around ladders. By the way this was by far one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced as when he finishes today he will have climbed Mt. Everest at least one and a half times. AMAZING!!!!

Check them out…..

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30 Days of Agriculture

30 Days of Farm Related DIY

Day 22 – Stop Digging!

My close family and friends know that I am good at digging holes. Not literally but figuratively. I have always been a dreamer and someone who wants to do it all and take on the world. Due to this sometimes I find myself in a deep hole that I am not always sure I can get out of but I usually do. I blame my mother for this because she too takes on more than she should at times because she has a good heart and likes to help people in need. Unlike her I have learned a powerful word, NO, I just sometimes let me dreams take over my reality. Anyways, enough about me, back to the DIY, today’s blog is centered around none other than the shovel. Yes, I said shovels! Check out these really cool DIY projects below. We have almost made it to the end, don’t stop checking out the blog yet, I have saved the best for last!!! And be sure to hang in there with others blogging 30 Days of Agriculture.

 

Day 21 – Barbed Wire

I don’t like barbed wire. Let me rephrase that, I don’t like working with barbed wire. I always get caught, rip my clothing, or cut myself on it. I know it serves a great purpose on the farm, but I am not graceful enough to be around it. However, I do love things made out of barbed wire and I have actually have barbed wire crosses in my house. Due to my bad reputation with barbed wire and my recent DIY mishap that landed me my first stitches and in the emergency room you won’t see me tackling any of today’s DIY ideas anytime soon, but if someone else wants to make them for me that would be great.

 

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We are getting a day closer to the end…check out those still blogging 30 Days of Agriculture and come back tomorrow for Day 22 of 30 Days of Farm Related DIY.