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Posts Tagged ‘farm family’

 

Oh yeah – a little eye candy always makes any less than joyous job a bit more tolerable. Sometime, even enjoyable! And for you young and young-at-heart gals reading this post – keep an open mind as opposed to a gutter mind 🙂 I spent this past weekend qualifying what was within visual range for me as eye candy or, for lack of a better qualification, not eye candy. Here are my findings…

Adorable kids helping work cattle - definitely eye candy!

Adorable kids helping work cattle – definitely eye candy! (And not in a weird way – this is a family friendly blog!)

A pen full of healthy and adorable baby calve - oh yeah! Eye candy!

A pen full of healthy and adorable baby calves – oh yeah! Eye candy!

Lot's of REALLY dirty and poopy clothes to launder (and yes, this example is minor) - NOT eye candy!

Lot’s of REALLY dirty and poopy clothes to launder (and yes, this example is minor) – NOT eye candy!

The flowering crab apple trees are heavy-laden with blooms. Gorgeous eye candy!

The flowering crab apple trees are heavy-laden with blooms. Gorgeous eye candy!

And to not disappoint what I am guessing were your original expectations after seeing the title...a little traditional definition eye candy!

And to not disappoint what I am guessing were your original expectations after seeing the title…a little traditional definition eye candy!

No matter who we are, every day has its low spots and most importantly, it’s highlights. Take a moment to appreciate the little things around you each and every day! It makes even the humblest of situations something you can appreciate and keeps your soul healthy 🙂

Hopefully on this 5th day into Beef Month you get to enjoy something amazing off of the grill! My recommendation for today (I just made them last week) is this amazingly easy recipe for beef short ribs. They are so tender and delicious! You must try them!

 

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For the ladies out there reading this…(guys – don’t be afraid to read on, too!) Don’t you love those times when you get to watch your husband work really hard at something that matters, a lot?! If not, oh gosh, I can’t even imagine; I am just very sad for you! Seeing Matt work hard is absolutely one of the top reasons I love spending the day with him. Oh, he is also very clever and fun to be around, but I can’t say too many good things about him all in one blog post. What if he reads it?!

Matt sawing through the ice, looking for water.

Matt sawing through the ice, looking for water.

I don’t know that he loves running a chain saw, but he does look good doing it! 🙂 On the day this picture was taken, in early January, we were really struggling to find water for the cows. That is a pond he is standing on, but even in the winter, it is shrinking and we kept hitting mud rather than water. We are so thankful for any moisture that comes our way to hopefully help fill it for the summer!

These are the pregnant mamas patiently waiting for a fresh drinking hole.

These are the pregnant mamas patiently waiting for a fresh drinking hole.

Part of our daily winter chores include breaking ice. We do have electric waterers in part of the pens and keep a tank heater in other places. But alas, Matt’s great ice breaking/cutting/removing skills are a much needed asset on our farm. The group of cows pictured above have access to a large field of sorghum stalks as well as the pasture you can see. The pond is their source of fresh water.

I took this picture to try and show the depth of the ice he was cutting through.

I took this picture to try and show the depth of the ice he was cutting through.

I don’t have giant feet, but they are far from tiny! The ice was about 7 inches thick – at least. It did make for a good workout getting a drinking hole made!

And there it is - a watering hole.

And there it is – a watering hole.

Thankfully, we got a few warmer days since then and saw some melting. So, when we don’t have to cut ice, I try to enjoy other jobs with Matt. On any average day, we check cows, put out mineral, fill water tanks, and truly enjoy one another’s company. I am very blessed to be the wife of a cattleman and farmer.

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Yes - sometimes we have a little visit with some of the cows!

Yes – sometimes we have a little visit with some of the cows!

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I don’t think it matters if a gal lives in the city, in the country, on a farm, ranch, a downtown loft, or at the end of a cul-de-sac in a suburb. The age-old question is the same…What’s for supper? We have had extra people eating at our house quite a bit over the past couple of weeks. My kids LOVE it because I tend to cook more and better when we have guests. I am not sure why – I certainly feel no need to impress them. I guess I just figure they won’t rummage through the cupboards and fridge to find something more if they didn’t get full the first time around like my own kids will.

Besides having guests at the table, the kids are HUNGRY by evening. They head off to school after doing their chores in the morning, get a MUCH LESS THAN ADEQUATE amount of protein and calories for lunch, head off to practice or home to do more chores/projects and then finally get fed sometime after 7 p.m. when I have had time to get home and fix something. I could not be more disappointed in the new rules our school cooks must abide by. The protein and caloric limitations and not suited to farm kids who are burning several thousand calories each day between sports and work!

Alright, enough of my rant…sorry, just had to get that out – again.

I really wanted to write today to tell you about the supper I made last night. It occurred to me as I was putting it together, that I was including nearly every animal in a barnyard! We had “Company Chicken” with rice and snow peas. (Yes – if  you remember from previous posts, Matt skipped out on the peas, LOL!) I had ingredients that came from a beef animal, milk cow, chicken, and a pig. Pretty cool – the kids decided we should change the name of the meal to barnyard supper!

So, here it is:

All of my ingredients except the chicken breast.

Butter a baking dish and line with dried beef.

Stir together sour cream and cream of mushroom soup.

Wrap chicken breast pieces with strips of bacon, arrange in baking dish, and cover with sour cream mixture.

Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees and serve over rice with your favorite green veggies. YUMMY!!!

This meal definitely falls into the top 5 favorite list for my kids. They did inform me last night that I do not fix it as often as they would like for me to. And – yes, it is a perfect meal for the night before game day. Good carbs and protein!

 From me and my family – thank you to the farmers who grow everything in this meal that we don’t! That would be the chicken, bacon, peas, rice, and dairy products!!!

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I saw a picture on a friend’s Facebook wall recently that says it all. Here it is:

Oh, there are plenty of loud disagreements and long days and sometimes longer nights when you have cattle, but all of it is worth it. Why? There are so many reasons. One, we get to eat delicious, healthy beef & offer that product to customers from all around the world. But there is something more, much more…

It really goes deeper than doing the daily chores and work it takes to be considered a rancher or farmer or seedstock producer or whatever term is most appropriate on a given day. We have just returned home from yet another cattle show. This time, the SUPER FUN Iowa State Fair, where yes, I was reminded again, by my tired body, of how young I am not! Regardless, I was really proud that more than one time other moms observed what close friends Kaydee and Emmet have become. I know that if they were both so involved in separate sports and other activities that they were never on the same team, this would not be the case. However, as it is, they are a team, with their cattle and in our family. And yes, they do team up on Matt & I, more often me than him, darn it! But I do try to keep a smile on…

  



Of course, the friends made at cattle shows are treasured & memories are priceless, but at an event like a State Fair, we have to remember that the cattle barn is also a giant classroom for all sorts of people who do not live on a farm. Many of them have never been to a farm & have certainly never touched beef cattle. So, yes, Kaydee’s heifer, Smalls, who got the privilege of being in the end stall right next to the big aisle where all of the people walk through made her way into literally dozens of pictures. I can’t guess how many times she got petted and thankfully, she was a good sport about it the entire time! On Saturday, Kaydee tried her entrepreneurial skills out, but to no avail! Really, she just wanted people to have to talk to her before they touched her cow. Haha!

Well, another show is done & the awards at this one were not numerous for Kaydee & Emmet, but we all had a really good time. I read recently that people who travel/vacation every now and then live longer because they have good memories to think about. Well, a cattle barn is not very tropical and it certainly doesn’t smell like the ocean, but the memories are abundant. So, yes, for our family, the tradition will continue – I am the sixth generation of my family to have cattle; Kaydee and Emmet are the seventh. We are always for trying out new ideas, but having cattle is one tradition that will stay in our family for a long, long time.

And the tired troops head home until next week – and then it’s off to another show…

 

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