Archive for July, 2012

Life is so full of choices…from “What’s for supper?” to “What am I going to wear?” to “What should I do or be when I grow up?”  My little girl is growing up. We got some of her senior pictures done at our farm & she has grown into quite the young lady!

It does not seem long ago that we were toting her along to the State Fair and Ak-Sar-Ben as a newborn in her infant carrier. Now – we are working on finalizing high school, choosing a college, planning a graduation party, trying to figure out how best to finance college, and hoping she might choose to focus on all of those things more than human specimens of the male gender!

I hope she can always be this excited for something as simple as toe socks!

I remember being her age and hoping I was making the right choices. What a blessing for young people to have choices and not have to just follow some mandated plan set forth by a government or someone else.

For cattle ranchers, choices this year are tough ones. Fun choices to make are breeding decisions and studying different types of profitable marketing decisions. What is next for ranchers all across the plains states the rest of this year? Lots of planning and hard decisions. The drought forces herd reduction, feeding alterations from typical practices, and changes in family farm/ranch succession plans. We all learn to prioritize what is most important. Like always, the health and well-being of the animals comes first. If we don’t have feed for them, we have to sell them.

What does that mean to any of you who may not farm or ranch? It may mean having to do a bit more planning as to “What’s Next” in terms of what you can provide for meals. Farmers and ranchers have done an outstanding job over the years of overcoming challenges to continue to provide a very safe, abundant, and affordable food supply. Sadly, that is getting more and more difficult as the drought broadens and worsens. Groceries will very likely get more expensive. We all just need to get through this and remember stories from our great- grandparents about survival in difficult times.

O.K. I really dislike negative talk – just had to get a little realism out there. Hunker down folks – get the freezer stalked and be ready to get creative with the cooking skills! Kaydee wants to learn how to can this year, so we are starting with peach jam. Yum! Hopefully we get enough made to last us through the year.

I am adding a photo from the winter here just to remind you all how much we always wish for a nice hot day in January when it’s 10 below….Enjoy!



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As you can easily see, it has been far too long since I last blogged! When I first started, I had all kinds of excited things to write about – mostly because I hadn’t already used them as topics. I see and hear things throughout the day and think, “Hmm, wonder if I can make that interesting for any of my readers?” Well – I should have, but summer has consumed me!

So, since Mother’s Day when I last wrote…We have done normal family summer things (or at least normal for OUR family). We enjoyed the Nebraska Junior Beef Expo where seven different breeds of cattle are represented & everyone has a great time competing in contests and showing their cattle!

Kaydee did VERY well in every speaking-related event & on sire-summary quiz. Lots of first place garden hoses and gift certificates!

We also got to celebrate turning the big 4-0 with some cousins who did the same this year, visited lots of family at a family reunion the next day & saw my mom with a cast on her arm. My mom had never broken any part of her body before….it has been made certain – as amazing as she is, she is not invincible!

One of my favorite people to visit with at that family reunion is Uncle Pip. He has made his way into his 90’s and is as sharp and witty as ever! Pip is my Grandma Emma’s brother & I hope I am as fun as him when I get up in years! He was super excited to tell me all about his Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. He was in total amazement of everything he got to see. He showed me this picture of him at the WWII Memorial.

Our big trip for the summer was all the way to Hutchinson, KS where Kaydee and Emmet got to participate in the North American Junior Red Angus Event. I am SO proud of ALL of the kids who were there from all across the U.S. Families showed up from as far away as Pennsylvania and Oregon! All of the kids have a really great time working together, competing against one another, showing, and just hanging out. Lifelong friendships are definitely made at events like the NAJRAE!


Friends….Iowa, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Kansas.


Finally, we have done all of our standards. Matt and his crew of young people have built miles of barbed wire fence. I have been super busy at my job. We have enjoyed a few strawberries from the patch we started. We have done a LOT of praying for rain. We have been breaking feeder calves to lead. The lawn has needed mowed a few times. We regularly check the cattle in the pastures. We put embryos in cows. We continue to try to control musk thistles in the pastures. I have kept some really pretty flowers watered and alive. And, we absolutely love summer & everything that goes with it!

County fair starts later this week…can’t wait!

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