Archive for the ‘farming’ Category

The farmer was asked if he could bring 2 hogs to a nearby Christian Camp for their “campfire” time.  Wednesday night was on the parable of the prodigal son.  I said to the farmer to take a sample of what we really feed them lest the kids believe what is on the internet that we feed them crap.  He didn’t.  They are fed fresh ground corn, soybean meal (turned to meal so they can digest it), and a packet of vitamins and minerals.  Nothing that we couldn’t go eat ourselves… if dry grits made our palates happy!  (not mine!)

We left at 8 p.m.   I followed in the Honda with my flashers on.  It wasn’t dark yet, but I always wonder if the 1st vehicle behind a tractor is WITH them as I do that often, so I put on my flashers so anyone would know they’d have to pass 2 at a time.

{{ Honestly, we didn’t have anyone behind us until coming home (in the dark) between the corner and our lane!  The first (stupid) passed in front of a hill where he couldn’t see what was coming, when we had left turn signals on!!   I made the 2nd stay behind but hogging the center line and tapping my brakes as he kept climbing up my back end.  #facepalm  }}

The sunset as I was ready to pull out of the lane at 8 p.m. was stunning!!

Even the sky to the EAST was lovely!!

The path to the campfire area was scenic but not trimmed for a tractor!  He had to wiggle to avoid breaking off his outer mirror and then once in that process hit a tree stump with a tire and about hurled the pigs back into my lap!  (exaggeration inserted!)

A few men had come earlier in the week to get gates and had set up a pen under a tent and loading shoot so he was able to back up there and unload.  The hogs were delighted with the cool damp grass that soon gave way to DIRT!!  🙂  Mud is cooling to their skin.

I brought him home and we left the tractor and trailer there.   We rested and then returned at 10 p.m.   Getting there about 10:15, the campers were walking back to cabins on this path so the farmer thought it best for us to park the car and walk back there!  Only 1/4 mile so it was doable and I had on lots of bug spray and pants by this time.

The hogs walked back on the trailer as if we did this every day!  Wonderful when it is past our bedtime but crazy rare in real life!!

The sky at camp about 8:30 after we had unloaded them.
A clear dark night when we came home.  We took a good 2 miles of gravel back road to stay off the highway as much as possible and he turned on the LED lights on the back then.  Between that  and the blaring flashing yellow lights he has… I was about dizzy/bug-eyed once we got home at 10:45!

Finally into bed at 11:15… exhausted.

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Rainy Week

We’ve had plenty of rain all summer.  Not a week has gone by that the lawn hasn’t needed mowed and it never was brown.  Usually there isn’t much growing grass in July & August to mow.
From Tuesday night, 8/28, through Monday night, 9/3, I recorded 7.59″ of rain!  We don’t really have fields that flood or stay flooded but now even the ones north of the house have standing water.  The farmer was able to mow the lawn quickly last evening but drove through standing water in lower parts of the yard.

Sunday afternoon:

Clearly some water rushed through here to flatten the tall grasses!

The creek crossing that is usually dry by now.

Monday afternoon – 3 hours after it quit raining that day.  Neither the dog nor I wanted to go through this!

Today is more rain!  It was .6″ a bit ago.

The soybeans are looking nearly ready for harvest and at this point it will take a long time to dry out the fields for equipment.

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A quiet day with just the 2 of us.  Mostly a regular work day here at home.

A favorite supper of his: sloppy joes and mac & cheese in the Instant Pot. Easy for me.


One of my double petunia plants.  Some blooms on the same plant are more white and some more purple.

Yearly photo of how tall the corn is on the 4th of July!

He is more than pleased that he had tassels on corn on June 30th!  The first he remembers seeing them appear in June!


Amazing clouds that evening!

Finally the clouds started to empty and we got a bit that day.

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June 10 – boy this is outdated now!

Just what our crops needed!!  We had loud storms both Friday and Saturday nights while we slept or tried to sleep.

Total rainfall for us was 5.66″.  Which really is a bit much in just 2 days!!  With the ground fully saturated on Saturday, when the next storm came hard and fast, we had a lot of run-off and many areas saw flooding.  We don’t flood but did take a walk Sunday afternoon to see how high the water was during the night.  It quickly drains from here.

Pleased to see no hail damage!

This is normally a dry waterway but you can see how much water rushed through at the peak by the flattened grasses.


Only a small amount of our soybeans were under water for a bit.

Last summer, the state tried to strengthen the bridge by adding huge boulders to the other side to help the washing.  Several boulders floated through with this to our side!!  Shocking as they are like 18″ rocks!


June 10 and the corn is up to his waist.  (On June 12, it was up to his chest!)


Our usual creek area.  In a normal summer, it is a bit of a trickle at this point.  All this flattened grass is from the force of the water rushing through.


Ok, it was HIGH at some point!!  Over 6′ higher than normal.

This was early afternoon after the nighttime storm.  The creek is still higher and faster than normal.  Thankful for our safety and no water damage.

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Spring Hike


Well, it isn’t quite spring yet but it was a lovely day to be out!  A week of days in the 60’s and one in the 70’s are a very rare treat for us in February!!  We hope to have these days in April and often need to wait until May.

JP drummed at church this morning and in lieu of a selfie, he accepted having Dad take our picture.  Here is the best of 2 tries.  Neither one likes to be in photos or take photos.  😦



After lunch… a hike and fun in the woods —




I love the old stone bridge there.  Supposedly, Lincoln, as a presidential candidate crossed over this bridge before and/or after the Lincoln-Douglas debates not too far from us.  I find the whole amount of work they did to make this amazing!


too much sun yet on my camera….


and here is all the way to where they blocked the flow for a pond decades ago!


I take my own photos as otherwise there would none of me!

With having many warm days, there was a bit of creek flowing from the bridge and all the land was muddy.  Going back up the hill, I slipped.  Phil was near so I offered him the other end of a stick near me to be my “lifeline”.  The old and dead branch snapped apart as he grabbed it so I slid down farther. Oh well, muddy jeans aren’t anything new to our washing machine.  It was a funny episode and all the laughter was good for us.  JP asked where the video was now.  I replied it was in his pocket!!

JP found this amazing fungus/mushroom!  Pure white as snow and blood red on the inside!  Stunning on the forest floor of hundreds of shades of brown.


And now we know it is the Sarcoscypha coccinea, commonly known as the scarlet elf cup.  It is found on forest floors, often under  leaves and such in late winter to early spring.  Quite brilliant on the mostly brown ground.   

28This branch had 2 on it.   We’ve never seen these before.  Probably because they are there in early spring and we are busy with spring work and often aren’t out hiking.  Amazing color & a unique creation!

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Another day, mom was asking some equipment questions so she got a Combine 101 class here at the house.  The Farmer brought the combine and both grain heads up to the driveway so she could see them up-close.


He tried his best to explain and she tried her best to learn!

Mom was amazed at the size of it all (we are small farmers!) so this photo is for a size comparison!  This “class” and the photos were not planned.  I just grabbed my phone as we went outside and took photos.  So we are all in real life, stay home, type of look!  🙂  The dog, who doesn’t like photos, really wanted to be with us!

I assume you may be getting tired of all these photos so I made these collage sets for the rest of the combine class.



In The Farmer’s hand are 2 sets of grain kernels that he found on the combine yet so he could show her the grains.

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ETA: I fixed the goofed up dates… what happens when I’m trying to catch-up…. which is constantly!

The plan was “I’m going to start planting on Monday (4/25).”  But Saturday… and it seemed all was ready for the planter and the monitors and the tractor so…. out he went!  Yeah!!

Monday & Tuesday (April 25 & 26) were full of issues with this and that but… he said on Tuesday, “God is good.”  So we plant as we are able.  Wednesday he pushed hard but the rain became enough in the early evening that we were done.  And have been out since then.  The rain continued to increase and we had nearly 2″ just on Saturday (4/30)!!  I think some cats & dogs rained down as well!  At this point, maybe this Weds or Thursday he’ll get back to planting.



The first field he did was here along the lane so I rode along for a bit.  (He hates selfies but look how accommodating he is getting!)  And of course, new additions to the planter and a new monitor to figure out and at the end, he laments why he does a field along the highway first! (where others then see if he misses spots!)

Before he started last Saturday, I helped him set the monitors to sync with the GPS to go with the planter & tractor measurements.  Mostly I sit in the cab, punch in numbers, and coach his measuring.

The dog just continues being a dog.  She loves to roll in this dirt!!!

setting GPS

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I’m thankful we have a great Creator who has given us —


at the fitness center







soil for crops,  flowers, and vegetables


cotton for fabric


flowering trees

This is my Japanese Weeping Cherry that we got last year.

And from the ground up as the blossom clusters hang down!  It was lovely and I was glad it made it through the winter.  Even though the winter was mild for us, maybe that gave it a good start here.  The blooms stayed until we had a big wind with heavy rain.


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This has been a cool & wet spring!  Planting has been more than challenging!


through dirty tractor windows….


Corn was planted on
April 23 – only 5 acres
April 25
April 26
note 8 days off…
May 6 until 12:30 a.m.!
May 7 from 1 p.m. – 1 a.m.!
May 9 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Finished!


I rode along on 4/23 when he started.

And the rain came at 4:30!!  A half-hour after he finished corn on 5/9.  Whew!  But ugh on more rain.


Here are some of the monitors, Mom.

So we are stuck here.  No soybeans have gone in yet.


Somewhere…. over the hillsides….

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P was gone for work on Monday and then Tuesday was to check all the equipment for a good day to run on Wednesday.

He went back to a less expensive fertilizer because of the low market prices and applied that all day Weds, Thursday, and Friday.  Just a bit he is putting in other areas to empty the tank and it is already here for today.


He would like to spray his cover crops but the wind is supposed to get to be too much today so we’ll see.  Yesterday was 70′ bright blue skies!  The dog & I sat outside and I brushed her.  Too bad she’d prefer the shade and I want to sit in the sunshine!  She wins…. she is hard to move and has much more fur than me!


When I got a photo of the tractor back home, I found a sleepy dog on the porch.

Earlier while I was out brushing her, I also checked on the lilac bushes.  We trimmed them after blooms last year, as I learned online to produce more blooms this year, and it looks like it is working!  This area of bushes is packed with little buds of blooms growing!!

We tried winter garlic for the first time with planting in November 2015.  So far … all right.  One of 3 varieties is doing well.  Another has fair population, and the 3rd is all but absent!  Thankfully we marked our rows when we planted.

Friday night supper was homemade pizza.  Not totally healthy but better than take-out!

I make 3 small pizzas when I do this so we have one fresh and now I have 2 in the freezer for that night where all I can imagine doing is heating a frozen pizza!

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