Saturday, March 29, 2014

Do cat's really have 9 lives?

I didn't grow up being a cat person but have become partial to them since being on the farm. When we first married we got our first kittens. We still have one and he's 5 years now. I say we but Big C says they are my cats. Then we had a stray that showed up at the house and just stayed. She went on to "bless" us with 6 girl kittens. When I realized she was pregnant I said if she had a calico I would keep that one and give the others away. What do you know her first was a calico. Being on the farm cats multiply fast so the momma and Sahara the calico got fixed.
Born June 26th, 2009
Fast forward to 2013. We moved this summer two miles from the house where Sahara was born. She did great with the transition as well as the other cat.
But....this week curiosity almost killed the cat.
Sahara was playing in the barn and got into one of the grain semi trailers. Thursday morning when I went out to feed the cats and dogs I thought I didn't see Sahara on Wednesday. It's not uncommon for farm cats to go off and play all day but they return to eat.
I was going to watch out for her on Thursday.
Then....I get a call from Big C about 10am on Thursday saying come to the tractor/truck mechanic quick your calico is here. I put the boys in the car no shoes or jackets and grab the cat box and some food. Big C was taking the trailer to get the tire fixed before filling the trailer with corn to sell. When he got there the mechanic heard meowing they opened the door where the corn unloads and she shot out. The cats don't like Big C so he just left her alone. He said if he had thought it was one of my cats they wouldn't have let it out. We do have a few strays around too. I got there quick and looked all over and whistled for her. Yes, I whistle for my cats 'cause they learned to come when I whistled for the dogs. No such luck. I left the cage and food. Little C1 was worried about where she was. We went on with our day. Thursday night we had strong winds and rain storm with 40+ mile an hour wind gusts. Friday morning I went back and the food was gone but a raccoon or stray could have eaten it. I then went back Friday afternoon too. Still no luck. I was going to go back this morning and put some food out.
But....when I went out about 10pm last night to feed the 1 lone cat and dogs; there was Sahara on the porch. She was there like nothing was wrong. I had to do a double take and was a little confused. She was alive and well. 
So....36 hours and a 3 mile walk somehow she made it home. I'm not sure a dog could do that.
Little C1 said "wow" this morning when he saw her. He was so happy she found her way home; I am too. He then gave her a huge pile of food said she was really hungry from that long walk.
I did think there could be a small chance she could make it home but there are a lot of houses, fields, dogs, cows, and woods between here and there. I'm impressed.
Maybe cats do have 9 lives.

  Here she is happy in the shed on this cold and rainy day.
Getting a picture of a cat may be harder than a child.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fun facts about farming

Today is National Agriculture Day;
so I thought I would share some fun facts about farming and our farm.
Farming is in the blood of my boys. They are the 10th generation of a farming family. They have roots established in our community. Their ancestors deeded land in 1808. I knew when I married into this family I wasn't leaving this area. ha! We grow corn, soybeans, and wheat on our farm as well as raise pigs.
Americans spend 10% of their income on food and the average farmer feeds 155 people. In 1960 they only fed 25 people and 17% of income was spent on food.
Modern technology and better equipment has allowed for a better food supply. We have the safest food supply in the world. 
There are 24 million people employed by agriculture in America; that's more than the population of Australia.
About 2% of our population and in 1900 38% were farming. 
The average farmer gets 584 hours less sleep than the average American; they are up early and out late. Then they get home have paperwork and planning.
Today on this National Agriculture Day I hope you will take the time to think about where your food was grown before it was sent to the grocery store. If you are farming; great. If not, thank a farmer for your food and your opportunity to have an off farm job.
Food is something we take for granted in America. I know I did before I married into this lifestyle. Hopefully you will think about who grew your food and know they are thinking of you and your family. I can now say; we are doing the best at our job to keep your food safe and healthy. Little C1 now asks me who grew the grapes we bought from the grocery.

Snow this morning on our wheat.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The busy season is coming.

I'm sure we are all tired of this winter as much as we are tired of people complaining about it. We did have the First Day of Spring this past week; even though it doesn't feel like it. The snow is gone for the moment even though there is some in tonight forecast. :( It can't last forever I keep telling myself. I will get to wear shorts and flip flops again soon.
This weekend we had some pretty spring weather. The ground wasn't too soft and some field work could be done in preparation for planting. When Big C left out Friday morning he said he would need some help moving tractors around after we finished breakfast. He went on to check the baby pigs; which is a first every morning. I then loaded the boys up and we went to help. The boys were eager to go because they had hopes of riding in the tractors. Little C2 got his first ride with just Daddy. He was eager to go and climbed the steps himself. I snapped this picture which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.
 He is more excited than he looks here; it was a really bright day.

Little C1 rode too. In the above picture fertilizer is being loaded in the buggy that will spread it onto the field.

Spreading in process
 Big C was spreading dry fertilizer for adding nutrients to the soil to feed the corn crop that will  be planted in a few weeks. We take care of the soil the best we can and do everything we can to produce a good crop. Each acre is soil tested to see what nutrients are lacking from the soil. These tests are then put into a GPS map system to use in the tractor to regulate how much fertilizer is spread on this acre. This map is transferred to a monitor in the tractor with a USB drive. We can do all this preparation for a good year but it's ultimately up to God controlling the rain and weather.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

When I grow up....

What do you want to be when you grow up? Is a common question kids are asked. If you had asked me this question when I was young elementary age I would have told you I was going to be a vet and move to Kentucky to work on my grandparents farm. Ironic huh?!? Then as a young child I was told how much schooling that would take and decided that was too much and wrote the idea off. My first love for the farm came from weeks during the summer spent on my grandparents farm in yes, Kentucky. I do have Kentucky roots even though I lived in Florida from a toddler age til I left for college. I was born in Kentucky; most don't know this.
Now the question I get is "How did you end up here from Florida?"
 Sometimes I just answer with I fell in love with a farmer.
The idea of living on a farm was not so much of a challenge for me. My grandparents had a farm of about 25 acres which I thought was huge. My cousins and I had free range over the place. We'd walk in the cow field to see Ms. Bossy the cow, go to the pond to watch frogs, or play in the hay in the barn. We'd go visit Ms. Piggy, the biggest potbellied pig ever. She was more like a dog than a pig. We would walk goats on leashes. Also run from roosters that we were convinced would attack us. Climbing the trees in the back yard was a favorite past time even as we got older. We rode horses. Played in creeks. I even walked in the mud barefoot behind the tobacco setter putting in skipped plants. I so badly wanted to ride but wasn't old enough for that job. So many good memories on the farm I couldn't list them all.
 One summer I remember seeing baby chicks hatch. We had the incubator on the kitchen counter and when they hatched we moved them to a bucket on the back porch. I remember my grandfather telling us he had the farm for us grandchildren so we could experience the farm. There the foundation was laid for what my life is now.
  Here I am with my grandfather on an International tractor. When I got married the only brand I knew was John Deere but marrying into a IH farm I soon learned.
This is me, my brother, and grandfather in the tobacco field.
Then fast forward 12 or so years I'm in college studying Elementary Education not knowing where I would end up after college, I met a farmer from Kentucky. When this farmer seemed interested in me we had more in common than he thought. My childhood dreams were coming back around. Little did I know I would get to work with baby pigs and be a "vet." Now that I have 2 little ones running around the house I'm not hands on much with the pigs. My main farm jobs now are record keeping for the pigs, running errands and meals to the field during planting and harvest. Keeping up with the Big and Little C's is quite enough. 
Here I am 5 years ago with our first pigs born on our farm.
 I have learned a lot in almost 6 years of being on the farm. I will admit I didn't know what a combine was when we started dating. We harvested corn in one the night we got engaged and we're making our phone calls to friends. I think LittleC1 has the machines figured out better than I do. I did know food was grown somewhere but never thought too much about the process or the people who grew it. Many have said I have adjusted quite well and I would agree. I now get claustrophobic feeling if I'm in a city or neighborhood too long. I've grown to appreciate my wide open spaces. As I tell people I have a phone, internet and most amenities of city living; country living isn't old fashioned anymore. Now I'm living the dream of a farmer's wife and a mom of little boys who think they are farmers too.
I'm still learning about this farming thing. As I learn I'm going to share with you. Planting season will be starting in a month which is very busy but I hope to be able to update and share pictures of day to day activities. Today Big C has taken a semi trailer load of soybeans to be cleaned so we can plant them soon.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Coloring on a rainy day.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Painted toes, Pretty flowers, Playtime, and Planting

          We are ready to welcome spring. Growing up in Florida I didn't experience 4 seasons; we had hot and cool. In my 6th winter up here in Kentucky I have come to welcome temps. above 40. This week talking to my mom, who's still in FL, she was saying it was cold there at 40 degrees and I said oh well it's a warm 40 here. I've come to enjoy the seasons and changes in the year. Winter is by far my least favorite and summer my favorite. I will complain about cold but not hot; not even close to 100 degrees. I've enjoyed the fall colors and spring blooms. In Florida it's green all year; I didn't get in see fall colors until moving to college in TN. We wore a jacket at 50 degrees. It's all in what you are accustomed too. The first summer up here I didn't sweat. I didn't know that was possible. I sweat now and I actually look forward to sweating outside; I know strange.
Somethings I look forward to as the spring is coming is painting my toes in preparation for wearing flip flops. Today was the day for that and it just makes me feel warmer. They were painted year round in Florida.

I've also come to look forward to seeing the first "March Flowers." They are daffodils that bloom in March. It's always a great sign that spring will come. I had never heard of March flowers before moving up here. This March they are welcomed more than before. I found this one today.
I also look forward to being outside not bundled up but in shorts and maybe even barefoot. As a mom of boys we are outside as much as possible. Since the time change we were able to play outside between supper and bedtime. We enjoyed doing this alot last summer. It was still chilly tonight but they had a blast. I look forward to spending many hours outside this summer. Little C1 has already asked when we can get the pool out and put the swings back out. The time will come soon.
Yesterday was a warm day too. Big C came to see if Little C1 wanted to work on the planter to get ready for Spring planting. Little C2 felt left out and started to cry and walk to the truck too. So he got to go on his first working trip with Daddy. All the boys were quite excited. Little C1 kept saying he might get dirty. I let them stay about an hour. They both were dirty; there was plenty of mud from the melting snow. Their shoes were removed and Little C2's pants before getting in the car to go home.
When we got home I put all their clothes in the wash and this morning I was scrubbing Little C2's boots with an old toothbrush to get all the mud off before church. As they get bigger I know the messes will get bigger but they had fun. 
As a farmer's wife I've come to look forward to planting time and visiting the fields with the boys. This time will come soon too. I know everyone is hoping this brutal winter is over soon; me included. Winter can't last forever.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Looking out our window; ready for spring activity out there.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Yummy Chops

    Living on a hog farm it's assumed we eat a lot of pork; which is true. I'm always searching for good recipes and relatively easy fast recipes. I'll share one today that isn't my fastest recipe but it's yummy and moist. This is a family favorite. I had some time today since we were snowed in all day today thanks to one more winter storm (in March.) This recipe came from by way of pinterest.

Awesome Baked Pork Chops
(They are awesome but it's not very descriptive of how they are made)
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
 (This recipe will coat 6 chops.)
2. Season chops with seasoning salt and garlic powder
3. Dredge in 1/4 cup all purpose flour
4. Dip in 2 eggs; beaten
5. Coat liberally with 2 cups Italian bread crumbs

6. Heat oil in skillet; enough to cover bottom
7. Fry about 5 minutes until browned on each side
Side note: I LOVE my cast iron skillet.
8. Transfer to 9x13 dish and cover with foil; cook for 1 hour
9. While baking; mix 3/4 cup milk with can of Cream of Mushroom soup
10. When done baking an hour pour soup mix on top and cover again
11. Bake 30 more minutes.
Dinner is served! Enjoy!
4-6 pork chops
1 t garlic powder
1 t seasoning salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk