Archive for October, 2014

Thousand Word Thursday!

Have a “Berry” Happy Halloween!

My little strawberry!

My little strawberry!

And in other news, just one more day until the 30 Days Blog Challenge begins!

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Thankful Tuesday: “Thank You Momma!”

So yesterday, this happened at our house:

Just like Daddy's!

Just like Daddy’s!

Little C has a kid-sized sofa that she loves to sit on and watch Sesame Street and read books. Unfortunately, her sippy cup of milk leaked on it and we didn’t realize it until it started to stink. I’m trying to get the smell out of the foam because I would really like to keep it, so if anyone has a great idea, please share!

We’d been talking about getting her a little recliner for Christmas anyway, so Big C told me to just go get one to replace the couch. I’d seen them at Gordman’s (love that place!) and had a 20 percent off coupon burning a hole in my purse, so that’s what I did yesterday on my lunch hour.

When I showed it to Little C, at first she didn’t quite know what to think. Then I showed her how the footrest raised up, just like Daddy’s, and she grinned from ear to ear. I set it up in the living room and the first thing she said was “Thank you, Momma!”

Melt. My. Heart.

We’ve been working on saying “Please” and “Thank you,” because I think good manners are important even for little children. If she is able to ask for something, I think she needs to learn how to ask nicely. Yes, this sometimes backfires – she’s told me to “Say please” several times when I’ve asked her to do things! But it does make me feel like I’m doing something right, as I’m learning how to be a parent, when she remembers on her own.

So today, out of my many, many blessings, I choose to focus on a little voice saying “Thank you, Momma!”

Wonder…

I didn’t know this Wednesday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day until many of my Facebook friends began posting pictures like this one:

I tried to find the original post and it appears to be from Etsy, but no longer available there.

I tried to find the original post and it appears to be from Etsy, but no longer available there.

That particular picture hit home with me, because I often wonder about a little one who would have turned four this fall.

After miscarrying our first baby at around seven weeks gestation, so much has happened in our lives. So much good – we’ve grown in our marriage and within our extended families. We became certified to be foster parents. We learned how to listen and empathize with others going through similar struggles. And most of all, we were blessed with Little C just when we had made peace with the thought that our family would not grow that way.

But it still, sometimes, catches me by surprise. Almost out of nowhere I will remember, I will wonder, and it still hurts. It’s no longer a gaping, open wound, but the scar still tingles. Learning of someone else losing a baby almost as quickly as they knew it was on the way. Watching Little C play with other children and thinking about her being someone’s little sister. Wearing a necklace with the birthstone that would have belonged to him or her.

I wish this wasn’t such a taboo subject, because I had no idea how many of my friends and even family members had gone though a miscarriage until I had my own. Talking about it is hard but it helps to know you’re not alone even when it can feel very much that way. Life is never the same, but it does get better.

Making the Most of “Monday Eve”

One of my Facebook friends commented yesterday that Sundays feel like “Monday Eve.” I’ll admit, sometimes by the time Little C goes to bed on Sunday night, I’m feeling like I need just one more day in the weekend to make me feel like I’ve had time to accomplish anything. Especially this time of year, Sunday is the only day I know Big C (my husband) will not be in the field, and we try to pack a lot into that one day.

Last night, though, once Little C was tucked away, we decided to watch a movie. I’d heard that the movie “Farmland” was being offered for free this month on Hulu, and we’d both been wanting to see it even though it didn’t play in any theaters near us. I’d never used Hulu before, but after figuring out how to plug the laptop into our TV we were ready to go.

The movie is a documentary about six young (under 30) farmers and ranchers from different parts of the country, working on different types of operations. Each one shares his or her story and talks candidly about why they do what they do and the highs and lows they’ve experienced as they make their way in agriculture.

One of the farmers in the movie talked about how difficult it is to start farming from scratch today, when you’re paying for inputs nearly a year in advance and being completely at the mercy of Mother Nature to produce enough crop or livestock to cover those bills. I don’t know of any other industry where you can work as long and as hard and still, with one storm or drought or disease, have nothing to show for it. And even if you do end up with a good yield, you’re at the mercy of people in Chicago, or China, or who knows where to set the price you’ll ultimately receive. It’s something that I don’t think people outside of agriculture really understand.

We both thought it was very well done and a fair, accurate picture of modern farming, something that isn’t often portrayed in Hollywood. I hope they’re not just “preaching to the choir” with the digital release on Hulu – that the intended audience of non-farmers takes the time to watch. It’s a breath of fresh air among so many negative and confusing stories in the media about agriculture today.

Farmland: The Movie on Hulu

Farm Friday: Sharing Our Stories

We’re in the thick of harvest around here and that means Little C (my daughter) has been able to ride in the combine, tractor, and truck nearly every day for the past few weeks. It’s a good time for her to see her dad, grandpa, and uncle since they are working long days and don’t have as much down time in the evenings right now.

She and I were riding in the combine with my dad a week or so ago and he made a comment that stuck with me. He said, “Here she is, only 18 months old, and already knows more about combining corn than half of the population.” The more I thought about it, the more I realized he made an interesting point. Little C knows what combines and tractors are. She can tell me the difference between corn and beans. This is only her second harvest, although I did ride in the combine while I was pregnant with her so I suppose, technically, it’s her third 🙂

She's actually driving the tractor in the field. I thought it would be a few more years before I had to worry about her being behind the wheel!

She’s actually driving the tractor in the field. I thought it would be a few more years before I had to worry about her being behind the wheel!

On Monday we had the fun opportunity to show some little boys what we do on the farm. One of my friends has an almost two-year-old who loves trucks and tractors, and we worked it out for her to bring him and friend out to ride along. We had such a great time showing the boys the tractors and letting them ride through the field. One of them even fell asleep in the tractor! She told me they talked all the way home about being farmers someday.

She often asks me questions about agriculture and why we do some of the things we do on the farm, and I’m happy to answer the best I can. It’s important for us in ag to take advantage of these “teachable moments” to share our stories with people who don’t have a personal connection to the farm – which is a good percentage of the population. Most people have questions about their food and want answers – and they’ll take them from anywhere that seems credible. That’s why so many believe what people like Dr. Oz say without a second thought.

I saw this video today and it made me laugh, but also scared me just a little. Jimmy Kimmel asked random people on the street what they thought about GMOs. Their answers didn’t surprise me at all.

Jimmy Kimmel GMOs

We need to be proactive about sharing what we do and why we do it. People are looking for answers, and the majority will listen and try to understand, if we just become part of the conversation.

Challenge Accepted!

When I took on a new role at work nearly two years ago, I thought about starting a blog. I would be writing less at my “day job” and wanted a place to share my thoughts and keep my skills sharpened. So I started this site and was very, very dedicated… for about two weeks.

Then, as it does, life happened.

Nothing wild and crazy, no major turmoil or upheavals, just life. As in, wanting to spend more time with my growing-up-too-fast daughter and farmer husband. Trying to keep our clothes clean and our house clean and the dirty dishes clean (which, thanks to my Christmas/birthday gift of a dishwasher last year, is much easier! Yes, I was married nearly 10 years without one.) Keeping my commitments to church and community activities, and to friends and family, while still having a little bit of time to watch The Big Bang Theory. You know, LIFE.

But I always wanted to come back to this blog. I think sharing our stories about agricultural life is important, especially today when there are so many voices out there. Great voices, like Illinois Farm Girl, Confessions of a Farm Wife, and Lessons from the Levee, and too many others to name – but also voices who speak out against today’s agriculture and our values. It’s not right for me to sit here and complain about how this is a problem, though, unless I take action to be part of the solution. (This also seems like a good time to put in a plug for voting in this year’s election. It’s important! Please register if you aren’t already, and take advantage of the opportunity to let your opinion be heard at the polls!)

So when I saw the My Generation blog challenge of 30 Days of Agriculture during the month of November, it seemed like just the right motivation for me to pick this little old blog up, blow off the dust (like I do with the knick-knacks on the shelves in the living room), and make it into something better. They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so the 30 days I will be posting here should be enough to make it seem routine.

So stay tuned during the month of November for “30 Things I Want My Farm Girl To Know.” They won’t be in any special order, and some will be serious, some will be silly. But they’ll all be from the heart.