Farm Picture Friday #54 – Small Packages

Farm Picture Friday #54 - Small Packages  COUNTRY LINKed

Last Saturday ended up being a pretty good day here on the farm.  At first I was not for sure how it was going to go.  You see the wind was blowing like crazy, it was cold and we had cattle to work.   Mama cows and baby calves all had to be brought in off the corn stalks they were enjoying eating so that they could be checked, vaccinated and poured.  I was not worried about the cattle at all.  We know to take our time and be careful with the ladies and they in turn are calm and easy to handle.  I was more worried about having three small helpers.  Three small helpers who were going to want to help, but because we still had (and have) corn to harvest, we were needing for things to go smooth which in turn makes things go quick.  In the end it was all because of three small helpers that we had such a good day.

The plan was to work the cows in the morning and then after lunch work the baby calves.  We had everyone moved through the chute and back together by 12:30!! (Just the right time to enjoy the chili that had been cooking in the crock-pot all morning.)  After working the cows, which our oldest, Wyatt, helped with, I gathered up the girls and told them it was their turn to help. Let me tell you, help they did!  I had a very proud farm mama moment when the girls got right in there and helped with the calves.  They were just the right size that the baby calves actually moved better for them then me and Gpa.  The kids walked behind the calves and gave a little push every now and then.  I wish I had a picture of all three of the kids helping, but I was lucky to get this shot of just Wyatt for today’s Farm Picture Friday.  Photography is not allowed when there are jobs that need done.  (Which means don’t have a camera in your hand when you are supposed to be working.)

Just goes to show you that sometimes the best help can come in small packages.

Blessings to you and all small packages,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #47 – LIVE. WORK. PLAY.

FPF#47

Where do you live?  Do you live in a city or a small town?  Do you live down a gravel road or near a major interstate?  Do you live close to where you work or far away ?

Today’s Farm Picture Friday might tell you more about where we live.  (I know, not my usual FPF, but I promise you I am going somewhere with this, trust me.)  We live where we work and where we play.  Huh?  Yes, we as family farmers Live, Work, Play all at the same place.

Take the above collage of pictures.  These pictures were actually taken all on the same day in June on our farm in north central Missouri.  It was a typical Saturday morning.  We had things to get done and family was visiting.  When cousins come to the farm they know that they are going to help with something.  On this day we had gravel that needing spreading and the bean platform (combine header) needed worked on so it would be ready for wheat harvest.  The garden needed checked and weeded and the little pedal tractor and wagon of course had to be played with.  Gpa needed lots of good helpers to help him with his chores and Seth needed little ones to tease.  Live. Work. Play. 

Live. We built our home five years ago on part of my family’s farm.  The cattle walk by multiple times a day for water and here soon we will be seeing new baby calves by their sides.  We live close enough to my parents that we can be there in a flash if we are needed or something is forgotten at one place or another.  There are pastures on three sides and across the gravel road that runs in front of the house there is a bean field.  Closest neighbor is a mile and the mailman is most consistent and sometimes the only daily traffic on our road.  We have fresh air to breath and the beauty of God’s creation to look at every day.

Work.  When you care for the land and animals you need to be available for whatever may come up.  Be it working in the garden so that fresh vegetables and fruit can be on the table, assisting the cow that is having trouble giving birth, or making that late day delivery of seed, we are ready for work at a moments notice.  Seth’s job as a Sale Manager for Burrus Hybrids allows him to work on/from the farm.  His main office is here out of the house.  It offers him flexibility and access to those who he serves.  Being a Sales Manger for a seed company is not a nine to five kind of job.  Days can be long, so being able to have an office in the home is necessary and a true blessing when you are the seed guy.

Play.  We do take time to play, but when we do it is usually here on the farm with family or friends.  Be it building a fire in the fire pit to roast hot dogs and marshmallows, or lighting fire works on the 4th, it all takes place right here on the farm.  The kids enjoy being outside and love to have friends (and cousins) come for a visit. Their friends love coming to the farm.  Where else do you get to climb on hay bales, pick sweet corn or take muddy adventures? Not anywhere else I know of then the family farm.  Now we do take vacations, but like they say, “There is no place like home” and “Home is where the heart is”.

This week’s Farm Picture Friday is just the start of more blog posts regarding Live. Work. Play.  Until then, tell us about where you live, work or play.

Blessings to you and all who live, work and play on family farms,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #43

FPF #43

Yesterday we finished planting for 2014!  The seed is in the ground, so all we need now is rain and sunshine so those little seeds can grow.

On the day this Farm Picture Friday was taken, we had just arrived to the field with a cold, glass of ice tea and a snack for Gpa so that he could take a break from planting.  The kids met him in the field, and immediately began looking for seeds to check the depth and placement of the soybeans he had just planted.  Seed depth is very important.  Too deep and the seed may have a hard time making it to the surface.  If planted too shallow, the seed may not establish a good root system, which could lead to an uneven stand and lower yields.  The kids have become accustomed to seeing Gpa and their Dad stopping to check the depth of seed, because as a Burrus Seed Dealer, Seth is always out in the fields checking on the seed placement and the growth of the plant through the growing season.

After checking the seed, they all came back to the truck to have a drink and to help Gpa eat his snack.  (The kids are good at helping Gpa do a lot of things, especially eating.)  After a few minutes, we noticed the temperature was dropping and a wind coming across the field, for it was stirring up the dirt.  Right behind that wind was rain.  RAIN!  A pop-up shower occurred with BIG rain drops.  We scrambled to the trucks to get windows rolled up and the tarp on the grain truck where the seeds are stored.  We did not get “soaked”, but we sure were damp.  The rain lasted long enough that Gpa had to quit planting for that day.  So instead of getting done on Wednesday, we finished planting yesterday, Thursday, May 29th. Two whole weeks before we began planting last year.

Just like the weather on this day, farming can be unpredictable and things tend to just “pop” up.

Blessings to you and those still in the fields,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #41

FPF #41Strength and honor are her clothing and she shall rejoice in time to come.  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.  She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. – Proverbs 31:25-28 (KJV)

This Farm Picture Friday is a new one for me because………………………………… I am in it!  (Did you recognize me?  I am the one not wearing a hat.)

 I looked back through all of the other 40 FPF and I am not in a single one.  I have used pictures that the kids have taken before, (this one was taken by Wyatt, our oldest), but all the rest were taken by me, so I was behind the camera.

Now, you may wonder why I chose this picture with all of the others that were taken this week, especially since corn planting started for us on Monday and I have many pictures from the field.  I chose this picture for two reasons.  The first being that I, like most mom’s, have very few pictures of myself with any of my children.  Mom’s are always taking the pictures trying to capture the special moments for our children and we forget to hand the camera to someone else (Dad) and let them take a few.   Second, I feel that this picture captured the feeling and spirit of what it means to me to be a farm mom.  IT MEANS EVERYTHING.

Being a farm mom means to me that every day I get to spend time with my family on the land.  We get to interact with all that God created and watch it grow and change.  I have the chance to teach my children hard work, dedication, compassion, and love.  I myself get the satisfaction of hard work, achy muscles and dirty finger nails.  Being a farm mom means fun trips and adventures to and in the fields and pastures.  It means safety first and doing the work when the work needs done.  Last, but not least, being a farm mom means that I get to show my children how much I love what I do and how I love that I was given the opportunity to be their mom.

As you look at this picture I hope you see the spirit of all moms, not just farm moms, and the love they have for their children, biological or not.  For Sunday may be Mother’s Day, but to a mom, every day is celebrated when we get to have and hold a child.

Blessings to you and all Mother’s,

Laurie – County Link

Farm Picture Friday #39 – Helping Hands

FPF #39

I decided to title this Farm Picture Friday, “Helping Hands”.  Tessa and her Gpa are doing work on the fence that separates the cows from the calves at weaning time.  It needs to be and will be replaced, but time was running short and the best solution was to make repairs, add a few posts and check for holes.  Tessa is holding down the bottom wire of the fence so that Gpa can add another clip to keep the fencing in place.  She is offering her “Helping Hands”.

When times get busy, hectic, or rushed, we tend to forget that a helping hand may be needed. Mom’s can be especially bad about not asking or seeking a helping hand, (trust me I know).  We want to do it all or give the appearance that we can do it all.  What this mom needs to remember is that asking for a helping hand does not show weakness or lack of ability, it shows a need.

Tessa even at the young age of four, is giving of herself with just the use of her hands.  Can we all do that?  Can we extend a hand to others in a time of need?  Can we be the “anchor” that holds someone so that they can achieve their goals?  Can we seek out a hand when times are tough and help is needed?

Many Blessings to all of you.  May you be a “Helping Hand” to others and may you seek a “Helping Hand” when the time comes.

Happy Easter,

Laurie – Country Link

This post was Linked Up with the Country Fair Blog Party

country fair blog party button

Farm Picture Friday #36

FPF #36

We don’t all get the opportunity to grow up on a farm.  They say that every new generation is further and further removed from the farm.  So, what does one do if they want to be more connected to where their food and family come from?  They visit the farm.

This is my nephew Drew.  For the past few years he has come to Gpa’s to spend his spring break.  This year is no different.  Instead of taking a big vacation or a trip somewhere, he comes to Missouri to be with Gpa and Gma on the farm.  He is now 13-years-old and can be quite the helper.  On the day this was taken, he had been “overseeing” the unloading of large round bales.  (The drought last year was hard on the pastures and Gpa had to buy hay from a neighbor.)  What overseeing really meant on this day, is that he was climbing on the bales and trailer and running on the tops of the bales.  This is something that farm kids do all of the time and Drew, even a spring break farm kid, likes doing it as well.

Drew and his parents do make it to the farm often, but this week it is just him and his Gpa doing what ever Gpa needs to do this week; cleaning hog houses, cutting firewood, watching college basketball, etc.  (They are both VERY big basketball fans.) Today and tomorrow he will be helping to work the calves. Let’s just say by the time Sunday rolls around, he is good and tired.

Blessings to you and all who visit the farm,

Laurie – Country Link

*For another Farm Picture Friday, head to Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids.  

Farm Picture Friday #33

FPF #33

After cleaning the pen and putting down fresh straw, the kids took a break and let Sally “check” them out.  Tessa asked if they could sleep in the pen with her because the straw and their coveralls would keep them warm.  All three of them were in favor.  However, I had a feeling Sally would not be, so on her behalf, I told them “No”.

Blessings to you,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #32

FPF #32

 

I have been short on words the past few weeks.  Not for sure why, but my creative voice is not saying anything so I am trying to “speak” through my photography.  Which in reality means that things are slow and I have been shut in the house, so there is not much to give me inspiration besides cold and snow.

I do love snow, but I am not a fan of cold.   A nice snow on the ground and everything covered is a beautiful sight.  Sometimes the sun shines on it just right and the snow almost seems to sparkle.    This week the snow is starting to melt and when that happens we have good old Missouri Mud.  Dark brown, get everywhere, stick to everything kind of Mud.  No sparkling to Mud.

So for today’s Farm Picture Friday I give you Boots in the Snow.  A final look at white snow and Muck Boots that will soon see Missouri Mud.

Blessings to you and your special Valentine,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #29

FPF #29

Times to remember………………

Years from now when she looks back at this picture I hope she remembers feeding the bottle calf “Sally”.

I hope she remembers she learned the importance of taking care of something else and that “Sally” needed her.

I hope she remembers the way the calves hair felt and the slobbers that she would get on her coat.

I hope she remembers the sense of pride she felt, that at only four years old, she was able to feed a bottle calf by herself and that she was brave and not afraid.

I hope she remembers not only this time of her life on the farm, but all of the wonderful and rewarding things she did and that they made her the person she became.

For my hope is that she will look back at these remembered times and smile.  The smile that says, “What a blessing it was to grow up on a farm”.

Blessings to you,

Laurie – Country Link

Cold and Snow

As I sit in our nice warm house listening to howling winds outside, I think back to yesterday.  Yes, yesterday.  As in January 4th. When it was just Cold and Snow outside.

No wind chills in the negatives.  No additional 4-6 inches of snow.  No single digit temperatures.  Just a regular winter day in north Missouri.  A day where the kids were able to spend time playing outside, we shoveled the snow off of the sidewalks, hauled more firewood up to the house, set some brush piles on fire, made sure the pets were nice and warm, rolled out large round bales of hay for the cows and welcomed a bottle calf to the family.  Just a regular day of Cold and Snow for a farm family.

Cold and Snow 2

Cold and Snow 1

Snow and Cold 5

Cold and Snow 7

Sally the Bottle Calf

Cold and Snow 8

Snow and Cold 4

Cold and Snow 6

Cold and Snow 3

As you can see, yesterday was a good day.  Today, however, is not a nice day.  So please everyone, if you are being blasted by the arctic temperatures and gale force winds, stay safe.

Here is a list of some very good TIPS complied by Janice Person ~  A Colorful Adventureon how to survive extreme cold.

Blessings to you and to all those working outside on days like this,

Laurie – Country Link

*Title for this post was suggested by our 4 year-old, Tessa.  When asked what is it like outside, she said, “Cold and Snow”.