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Friday, January 30, 2015

Ag Talk Q&A {Where's the Milk?}....

If you are just stopping by, welcome to my Ag Talk Q&A where, once a month I join some of my other farmwife friends and answer a question that someone has asked me about our farm.  Back in September when we hosted our farm tour,  I had my introduction speech all planned out and Brad was in charge of answering questions:)  I thought I had everything covered in my intro speech, but as everyone was gathering around so we could begin, I heard a little voice say, "Where's the milk?"  It never even crossed my mind to cover that topic, but I'm so glad the little guy asked because I was able to clarify the difference between beef  cattle and dairy cattle.
We live on a beef farm.  Unlike dairy farms, our focus is to raise cattle for food.  We do not milk our cattle.  We purchase the calves shortly after they are weaned from their mothers and when they weigh about 500-600 pounds.  We will feed them out until they are about 1200 pounds and then they are sold and sent to a processing plant in Joslin, Illinois where the meat is then sold to wholesale markets such as Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc.  You can find some of the finer cuts, such as steaks in higher-end restaurants, but some of it is shipped overseas.

So, you won't find any milk on our farm other than what's in our refrigerator!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Shoot Along 2015

Last year I found myself in a bit of a photography "rut."  I used to love carrying my camera everywhere and snapping thousands of photos.  I'm not really sure what happened.  Maybe it's a thing called life.  I became to busy.  It seemed more convenient to snap photos with my iPhone because I always had it with me.  My iPhone does take decent pictures, but not nearly as good as my DSLR, but I still couldn't get motivated to break out my DSLR.  I had researched different photography classes hoping I could find one that would fit my criteria and my budget, but all the ones I found seemed too 
expensive.  Also, as a busy mom of three and wife, I didn't have endless time to devote to such a complex thing.  Then one day, as I was browsing the world of Facebook, I came across a photography course called Shoot Along 2015.  It fit into my budget and seemed like something I could actually find/make the time to do.  I shared it with one of my good friends and she decided to join with me, so we are holding each other accountable;)  Thanks, Jent for taking the plunge with me:)  Each month I hope to share the pictures here for all of you to see!

Each month they give you a lesson to complete by the end of the month.  You then share your images on the forum for all the other "students" to see and critique.  This month's lesson is composition and leading lines. 

Some people, including me when I first started dabbling in photography, think that an image has to be perfectly composed, in the middle of the frame, but actually if you practice the rule of thirds it adds more interest to your photo. 
 I am notorious for tilting my camera during photo shoots;)

 The leading lines lesson was a little bit harder for me to capture than the composition.  I snapped this photo as Mel was watching for the bus out the window.  It finally clicked that this was my leading lines shot and I only had about 20 seconds to grab my camera, fumble with the settings, and snap the picture.  I still like how it turned out.  I guess you could say I was in a bit of a black and white mood this month since all my pictures for the forum are in black and white.  Maybe next month I can add a bit of color to the mix!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Coffee Filter Snowflakes...

I bought coffee filters for a craft a while ago.  I think we used 5.  We don't drink coffee so we've had these filters in our craft closet since then.  Hundreds of them, so I'm always looking for coffee filter crafts to use these things up.  I came across coffee filter snowflakes....
Flatten the coffee filter...
 Fold in half...
 Then in half again...
 Half again...
 and one final time...
 Then cut your design..
 Ta Da...


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wordless Wednesday...Game Night Shenanigans...

A quiet night of Pick-Up-Sticks with Mel turned into this...;)


Monday, January 19, 2015

Snowstorm In a Jar...

B and Mel have been into science experiments lately so when I saw this experiment floating around the internet I knew I wanted to try it with them.  The plus side was, we had all except one of these ingredients at our house.  They were pretty excited to hear that we were going to create our own snowstorm considering we haven't had very much snow.  However, the girls missed three days of school due to extreme cold conditions.  The kind of cold that our family in Minnesota laughs about;).

You will need:

warm water
white paint
baby oil
Alka Seltzer
jar or glass
glitter (optional)
 Begin by filling a jar about 3/4 of the way with baby oil.  Then place warm water in a large bowl and stir in some paint.  It doesn't take a lot of paint, just enough to color the water white.  Stir in some glitter.
 Carefully add the paint mixture to the water leaving about 3 inches of head space...

 Break the Alka-Seltzer tablet into fourths and place 1/4 in the jar and wait (it doesn't take long)...
 And enjoy the snowstorm...

When the storm stops, put another tablet in the jar and start another storm.

Here is a video of our snowstorm in a jar.  I couldn't get the video turned so I apologize.:)


Friday, January 16, 2015

Sex In a Pan...

Did the title of this post catch your eye?  I bet you are wondering what the heck this post is about!  Don't worry, it's a recipe, but I sure had my friends wondering as we were texting as I was making this dish;)

So, I'm sure you've all heard of the tried and true Robert Redford recipe that has been passed down from generations.  It's a great one!  One of my husbands favorites, so I will be sharing my recipe for it on this little blog next month.  I have to admit, I really don't know what Robert Redford looks like and my husband always wants to change the name of it to Angelina Jolie because he thinks the name Robert Redford is a little out dated, but we still call it by its given name.

Okay, back to the recipe with that catchy name;)  This is a lot like Robert Redford only, in my opinion, a little bit better!  This recipe combines both vanilla and chocolate pudding which will make definitely please your palette;) I found the original recipe at Amanda's Cookin, but I made some slight changes to it.  If you haven't checked out Amanda's sight, I highly suggest you do.  She also has an awesome craft website which I adore and a lot of my crafting inspiration comes from there.

Enjoy this recipe, my friends!  It's a goody!

Sex in a Pan

Sex In a Pan

  • 3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 8-oz cream cheese
  • 3/4 Cup powdered sugar
  • 8-oz cool whip, divided
  • 5.8 oz package instant vanilla pudding
  • 5.8 oz package instant chocolate pudding
  • 6 cups cold milk, divided
  • additional cocoa powder for garnish, optional
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in microwave. Combine butter, flour, brown sugar, cocoa and salt using a mixer until well combined and soft dough forms.
  3. Press mixture evenly into pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow crust to cool completely.
  4. While crust is cooling, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1/2 of cool whip container. Once crust is cool, spread mixture evenly over crust.
  5. Combine chocolate pudding and three cups of milk and spread evenly over cream cheese layer. Allow the chocolate pudding to set for a moment to thicken a bit.
  6. Combine vanilla pudding and three cups of milk and spread evenly over chocolate pudding. Allow the vanilla pudding to set for a moment to thicken.
  7. Spread remaining cool whip over vanilla layer and garnish with cocoa powder if using.
  8. Refrigerate for one hour before serving.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Ag Talk..Q&A...

First off, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a great Christmas and enjoyed all the moments with your loved ones.  It went by way too fast, just like always.  Now, we are slowly trying to get our house back in order and soak up the last few days of freedom before the kids head back to school on Monday!

Once again, I am joining some of my fellow farmwives and answering a question about our farm.  Now, in case you are new to this blog or just stopping by, I will give you a little bit of background information about our farm.  We live on a beef and grain farm.  We purchase our calves when they weigh about 600-700 pounds.  We feed them out until they reach about 1200 pounds.  They are then sold and processed and the delicious meat can be found in groceries and restaurants.

 Now for the question part of this post: One morning, I logged into Facebook and noticed that I had a message.  I don't get messages very often on FB so I immediately opened it up.   The message was from a friend saying that she was watching a documentary about farming, I think it was mainly poultry farming, but I can't remember exactly, and said that she was disgusted by what she saw.  The farm that they were "documenting" pumped their chickens full of hormones.  So many that they chickens couldn't even walk.  She described it more in detail, but that is most of it. (I have to admit, I knew this documentary was airing, but I chose not to watch it because I feel they are false and don't depict what the world of ag is really like.)  She wanted to know if "all farms were like this.  If we gave our animals hormones."  She also said that she wanted to ask me because I was the only person who lived on a farm that she could think of at the moment and that she knew that I wouldn't be offended.

I could have been mad.  I could have completely ignored her, for questioning the farming industry and our livelihood, but I didn't.  Instead I was glad!  Yes, you read that right!  I was glad that she reached out to me, someone who actually lives on a farm and asked me those questions.

So, the answer to her question is No.  We don't use hormones on our farm.  We feed our animals a balanced diet of haylage, corn silage, corn, dry hay and supplements which are basically vitamins like we take every day to keep us healthy.  They aid in keeping the calves healthy.

I then explained to her that farming is our job.  We take great care of our cattle because if we don't take care of them, they don't take care of us.  There are a lot of days when Brad spends more time with the cattle then he does his family.  And I don't mean that in a bad way.  This past winter we experienced numerous days that reached subzero temps.  The weathermen advised people to "stay indoors."  Schools were cancelled, offices were closed, but the life of a farmer didn't stop.  Brad and his dad spent several hours braving the cold to make sure that the cattle had plenty of warm straw to lay on, plenty of food and water and that the water wasn't frozen.

Her next question was about the use of antibiotics.  I explained to her that antibiotics are very expensive and are only used when they are absolutely necessary under the supervision of a veterinarian.  Much like when  we take our kids to the doctor when they are sick and sometimes an antibiotic is prescribed.  All meat is inspected before it is processed.  If there are any traces of antibiotics, then the meat will not make it to store shelves!

We are fortunate enough to have the safest and most nutritious food supply in the world!  We work hard to ensure that consumers are satisfied.  We are not only farmers, but we are consumers as well because we eat the same food as everyone else.

If you would like to watch a documentary of farming, visit farmlandfilm.com and check out the documentary Farmland.  This documentary takes a look at the lives of farmers in their 20s who are responsible for running their family business.
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