The Evolution of a Modern-Day Farm Wife

Archive for September, 2011

A Day In Agriculture

AgWeb.com  is hosting a day-long event called “A Day in Agriculture”  today.  It’s a way to show what impacts 6.5 billion people daily.

There will be videos, photos, live updates via Twitter, audio updates, and blog-like submissions showing what people are doing in agriculture today.

If you get a chance take a look at the video I submitted seeing what we are doing on our farm today and be sure to stop by AgWeb.com throughout the day to see how we are all connected thanks to agriculture.

Like Dust in the Wind…

Had you come into my house these last few weeks you would’ve thought we had completely skipped the corn harvest this year. The sink lacked dishes piled up to the ceiling, the laundry room lacked dirty clothes piled up to the ceiling, the kitchen floor looked relatively clean, and Swirls the Cat and Buddy the Bad Dog were fed on a consistent–and even– basis.

In reality, we did have a corn harvest–albeit a quick one.

Golden kernels of corn--proof we did have a harvest.

Working it for the camera...

Last year when Adam and I got home from our honeymoon, Adam dissappeared the day after we returned.  I soon discovered where he had run off to–he was combining corn.

This year’s harvest could’ve been missed had you blinked your eye at the wrong time.  The majority of the corn was chopped into silage in July–leaving this year’s harvest DONE in just a week.

Work it baby, work it!

I almost missed shooting corn harvest this year–I told myself, “Self, you have plenty of time to get your footage.

That’s the last time I’ll listen to that lady!

Luckily, I was able to leave school and drive straight to the fields a few nights to ride along and experience the harvest.

Did I mention I didn’t change?

Who says you can't be dressed up for corn harvest?? I say, wear a dress and leggings! At least my toes are painted.

Speaking of getting your nails done...

Maybe if I do a little Photoshopping it won't look as bad.

So the 2011 Corn Harvest is officially over–and because it was so quick, my memories of it are quickly becoming like dust in the wind.

It’s a good thing I have the internet and YouTube to help me remember.

Here Piggy, Piggy!

The 2011 Kansas State Fair wrapped up Sunday in Hutchinson, Kansas.  And you better believe we made it out to the fair this year!!

Adam first exposed me to the fair a few years ago when we were still dating.  He wanted to show me all that the fair had to offer.  It’s a short nine-day exhibition of all things Kansas–and then some.

The first couple of trips we made to the fair while we were dating involved corn dogs, riding a few rides, checking out the FFA Ag Mech entries, watching some livestock shows, and being harassed by a bearded woman who wanted to guess our ages and weights.

Step right up…

Hey good lookin’, I betcha I can tell you how old you are…

…And what about your lovely lady, I betcha I can tell her weight…

Lady, my driver’s license can’t even tell my correct weight…and No, I don’t want to see your child that looks like an alligator.

Adam, stop making eye contact and keep walking…

Adam has major history with the Kansas State Fair.  It goes way back to his childhood.  He would always make trips to the fair with his schoolmates on field trips, he exhibited livestock there, and he even entered the winning FFA Project Reconstruction one year.  Needless to say, the Kansas State Fair has a special place in his heart.

He has always been an excellent tour guide while showing me the highlights of the fair.  And we always seem to just stumble upon random things that make you shake you head and say, “Only at the fair!!”

One of the highlights of the fair this year was the pig racing.

This was an event that I have never been able to experience until this year.  And although Adam always mentions in our drive to the fair that we’ve GOT to see the races, we have missed them every year because we’ve been at other parts of the fairgrounds when they were taking place.

And every year Adam is highly dissappointed when we walk back to our vehicle and realize that we have missed the races.

This year we entered the fair from another gate and just so happened to stumble upon the race track.  Adam noticed that the next race was going to happen soon, so we made our way to get some seats.  You could immediately sense Adam’s excitement.

It had rained earlier in the morning, so Adam decided that we should just go to the top of the bleachers in one of the sections that surrounded the small pig racetrack and just stand up.

And that was the decision that brought about a simple series of events that led to the highlight of the day and something that I’m sure Adam will tell our children about some day.

Kids, did I ever tell you about the time I entered the winning FFA Project Reconstruction with my manure spreader?  Oh, and did I ever tell you about THE PIG RACE???”

I can hear him saying that in my head right now, and I have to giggle.

Anyway, while people were finding their seats, the race announcer was playing music to get the crowd pumped for the upcoming races.

Hedrick's Pig Racing--They're the real deal!

And then the show really began.  The announcer introduced herself as a member of the Hedrick’s Pig Racing team from Nickerson, Kansas.  She introduced her assistant, Brother Leroy, and gave us the run-down for what we would soon be witnessing.

She told the crowd that their racing pigs were lean, mean, running machines.  In just a few minutes you’d see their racing stock bolt through the starting gates, hurdle over an obstacle, and sprint to the finish line.  The first pig to cross the line would get to a silver platter that held an Oreo cookie.

The announcer told the audience that their racing pigs weren’t just trained to run for a cookie.  Instead, they were trained to perform for cheers from the crowds.  Since her pigs ran better for cheering crowds, it only made sense to use some audience members to cheer on the piggies.

The announcer looked to one section of the bleachers and volunteered a lady to represent the red team, and then the announcer volunteered a lady from another section to represent the white team, and then from another section she volunteered a girl for the blue team, and then she looked at our section.

I think you know where this is going…

The announcer saw this lady wearing a purple shirt–and the announcer was partial to purple–who was standing up in the top row of the bleachers who needed to come down to represent the yellow team.

Oh good Lord, for all things that are holy and right in this world…

So I handed Adam my purse and camera and made my way down to the racetrack and accepted the job of head cheerleader for the yellow team.

My main job was to lead my bleacher section to whoop and holler to help our little yellow pigs run to victory.

Taking this cheerleading thing way too seriously... What am I doing with my feet anyways???

I mean seriously, what AM I DOING with my feet?? I think there's some repressed cheerleader aspiration causing me to point my toes.

Our piggies fared pretty well.  Rush Limbhock made its way to the winners circle in round one for the yellow team.

Rush Limbhock heard the cheers from the yellow bleachers as he rounded the corner headin' for the "ham" stretch of the race before running for his life from the pointed toe lady...

In round two–which featured some musical runners– Lady HogHog got beat by Willie Nelsloin and Aerosnout by the hair on her chinny, chin, chin.

Lady HogHog was being more of a drag than a queen in this race...

And in the final round of the event, the yellow team ended up second.  Don’t ask me who our pig was, because I was too concerned about getting the crowd loud and proud for their piggy.  I mean after all, it was my job!  Give a girl a couple of pom-poms and watch out!

Give that crazy lady in the purple shirt an Oreo and send her back to her seat already...

It was so funny to see Adam gleaming from ear to ear while he held my purse on his arm and took pictures on my camera to capture my first pig race experience.

I think I’ve found my calling in life…

Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!

Wordless Wednesday…Corn, Corn Everywhere!

It’s no secret that I take a lot of pictures. So I’m going to try out this Wordless Wednesday theme and see what I (and you all) think of it.

The rules (if there are rules for it) are simple:  less words and more images.  Easier said than done–at least for me.

For my inaugural Wordless Wednesday I thought it might be nice to share some pictures from this year’s corn harvest.  I’ve been able to go out in the fields a couple of times after school to shoot some pictures this year.

The weather has been nice, the classroom has been vacated at reasonable hours, it’s the start of fall harvest and I think I’ve already used too many words.

Enjoy!

This is what the corn looks like before the combines go through. Isn't it a pretty yellow?

View from the combine: This is what it looks like when you go from your classroom directly into a combine without stopping at home to change first. What can I say, I ride in style!

Adam is operating the combine and Dwight is driving the tractor that is pulling the grain cart. The combine unloads the corn into the grain cart while everyone is still moving. I will call it synchronized dumping.

After the grain cart is full, it unloads into a semi truck in the field. Once the semi truck is full, it will head over to the local grain elevator.

Dave--one of our semi truck drivers--oversees the corn filling the trailer. It's very important to fill the trailer as evenly as possible because the load gets heavy.

Dave's cameo appearance

A trailer full of corn before it heads over to the local grain elevator in Groveland.

Stripped corn cobs. It amazes me that combines can do this.

There is not an ear of corn inside this husk. Again, I'm amazed that combines can do the picking.

After the combines go through, this is what the corn stalks look like. We will soon put cattle out here and they will be able to enjoy a nice fall harvest buffet of corn stalks.

 

So there you go, my first Wordless Wednesday post.  I was concerned that I’d feel like I duct taped my mouth shut–but I feel just fine.

What are your thoughts on the Wordless Wednesday concept?

I’ve been keeping a secret…

Back in May when a tornado was causing death and destruction in Joplin, Missouri, a new life was born in Oklahoma.

Very early that morning I received a phone call from my sister, Christine, telling me that she and her husband were headed to the hospital.  The baby was on the way!  This was the first baby on the Ray side of the family in almost 30 years.  This was an event that hadn’t happened since my brother Shawn came home in a bundle.

I told Christine that I’d head down to Oklahoma once the sun came out.  I figured that she’d be in labor for a while.  I had planned to go back to bed to get a few more hours of shut-eye before hitting the road. But I couldn’t sleep.  I was just too excited for this day.

It was, after all, nine-or-so months since she had told us that they were expecting.  As the life of my Grandma Ray was coming to an end because of cancer, a new life was just beginning.

I had seen Christine suffer sickness during the first trimester of the pregnancy–I discovered that morning sickness was not just limited to the mornings.

I had watched her belly grow and she and her husband getting ready for the baby.

It was crazy to see my little sister becoming a mom.

Needless to say, I was packed and ready to go by the time the sun came up that morning.  When I finally arrived at the hospital, Christine and her husband, Sean, let my mom and I stay in the room with them while my sister was going through labor.  Many, many, many hours of labor.

It was amazing to see how she took the entire event as calm and as relaxed as one would hope for.  I, on the other hand, was trying to keep it together so I wouldn’t stress either of them out!

In my head I was FREAKING OUT!!  But I faked staying calm to avoid being kicked out of the room.

Late that afternoon the doctor decided that Christine just wasn’t progressing the way she had hoped at that point.  While giving Christine and Sean a couple options, it was decided that she go into surgery and get the baby delivered.

It was during the next few minutes while Sean and Christine were wrapping their heads around the gravity of the surgery about to take place, that I came to respect Sean on a whole new level–as a father and as the husband to my sister.

Sean was visibly concerned about Christine and the baby going into this surgery.  He recognized the seriousness of the next 30-minutes and recognized that there were risks involved for both Christine and the baby.

It was a very special, intimate moment that I was witness to as Sean and Christine comforted each other before he would have to scrub-up and Christine would be prepped for surgery.

As my mom and I moved their suitcases into the room that they would stay in for the duration of the hospital stay, and as a tornado was literally destroying a city that I had known so well, a beautiful, little, itty-bitty baby boy was taking his first breaths of life.  It was a miracle.

Precious, tiny foot

I was absolutely elated to see this little boy that we had been waiting for for so many months finally make his grand entrance.

Hello, World! I'm here!

The first time I held him, I fell in love…and cried.

I think my mascara even ran a little.

Ok, maybe a lot!

There’s pictures.

It ain’t pretty.

Fast forward three-months.

I'd rather be watching football on TV than getting these pictures taken, Auntie Kim!

This little infant who I was afraid to even hold for fear of breaking him is becoming a little boy.

I know you're talking about me, Auntie Kim!

He is beginning to find his voice and babbles at different volumes.

For the record, I'm not quite sure if I like my Auntie Kim taking my pictures ALL THE TIME!

He loves playing “Up, Down” with his daddy.

And he loves, loves, loves his mama and his milk!

Christine and Sean are just so awesome with this little boy.

Such a good looking bunch!

And it’s crazy to think that just a few short months ago Christine and Sean had never dealt with an infant before. Now they’re pros!

So sweet!

So, the secret is now out.  Baby Cash is in the house.

He’s such a blessing to our family.

This little boy has me wrapped around his finger.

And I am in love.

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