The Evolution of a Modern-Day Farm Wife

Archive for October, 2011

Oh, Deer!

Well, it’s official.

It’s deer mating season.

October and November is the time of year when hormone-crazed deer are roaming the streets–and dirt roads—and pastures—and highways– looking for love… or the hoods of vehicles.

Apparently during their quest to be immortal, deer ignore simple safety precautions and vehicle headlights.

The Wichita television stations and area newspapers have done stories on taking precautions while driving during this time of the year.  Dawn and dusk are the two times to be especially vigilant while driving.

Major damage can be done to vehicles.

Oh, and it usually doesn’t turn out too well for the deer either.

A doe and her two fawns in August.

Last year there were a couple of times when I was driving home from school at night and I’d see a deer on the shoulder of the road.  Luckily, both times the deer chose to cross the road after I passed them.

Unfortunantly, for one of my students, a deer decided to run right into the side of his truck while he was driving to school last year.

He was fine.

The truck on the other hand needed work.

His passenger side windows were busted out and his passenger side door was so crunched in that he couldn’t even open it. Apparently it was a hit and run, too.  The deer bounced off the truck and took off running.

He didn’t even exchange insurance information.

Son of a buck.

And it got worse.

The damage was so bad that my student had to ride the bus to school while his truck got fixed.

Son of a buck!

There are some positives to deer mating season though.

It allows my husband to revert to his hunting and gathering instincts which allows him to fill up the freezer.  It also allows him to keep up with my dad, brother, and brother-in-laws to see who will get the biggest buck of the year.

Adam will openly admit that before we started dating he was not a deer hunter.  That was until I took him out to my parents’ place in Southwest Missouri to participate in a Ray Family Deer Camp.

Ray Family Deer Camp would take place on the opening weekend of firearm season.  My sister, mom, sister-in-law and I would stay in the house and bake and make massive amounts of spaghetti while listening to the CB radios waiting for a call from one of the guys.  My brother, dad, brother-in-law and Adam went out and waited for their deer.

My parents have since sold their place and have relocated to Oklahoma.  Ray Family Deer Camp has been postponed.

But, it was during this deer camp when Adam got “the bug”.  I think he especially got “the bug” when everyone else got a deer that year except him.

That next year–when I was still living and teaching in Missouri–Adam went out and got himself a buck early one morning.  I remember it was in the morning because I was getting ready for school when I got a phone call from Adam.

He was breathing like he’d just ran a race.

You could tell that he was excited about his first buck.

So excited, in fact, that he forgot to take a picture of it out in the field.

Adam's first buck. Circa 2009.

And thus began my husband’s quest to gather his living room decorations.

Son of a buck.

I figured he could decorate his bachelor’s pad however he wanted.

Luckily, this is no longer in our living room.

Last year, I received a text message while at school with this picture attached:

Adam's second buck. Circa 2010. Again, too excited to take a picture of it in the field.

Adam asked in the text, “Can I get it mounted?”

“You know you’ve already taken it in!!” I replied.

I was right, too!  I later found out that he had taken it in even before he texted me.

I had actually forgotten about this buck until I went into one of our guest rooms the other night.

When I turned on the lights, this is what I found…

Son of a BUCK!

Is this really what I think it is in the GUEST ROOM!?!?

To all my future HUMAN house guests, I understand if you'd rather not sleep in this guest room.

...Or this house. Good Lord! Y'all pray for me.

Adam’s first two bucks were harvested during the regular firearm season.  In Kansas that’s in November and December, which is synonomous with it being COLD.

This year Adam decided to try getting his buck while it was still warm out.

This meant that he’d have to go out in September and early October during muzzleloader season.

This also meant he’d have to buy a muzzleloader–which is another blog for another day.

Over the last few years during fall harvests, Adam has spotted some bucks hanging out in some of our fields.  This fall he saw one in particular that has grown considerably in the last few years.

He thought muzzleloader season would be the best bet to get his buck this year.

Adam would go out religiously in the mornings and the evenings waiting for his buck.  He would come home and tell me that he’d seen some does or some little bucks, but not his buck.  It was getting close to the end of the season when I got a phone call from him one afternoon after I’d gotten home from school.  He had gotten his buck.

Dwight picked me up and we drove out to the field to help Adam.  And this time Adam got some pictures of his big buck still out in the field.

That's the biggest buck so far for Adam!

Finally, a field picture of a buck!

So now I have a freezer full of venison–which is great because we were getting low from last year–and Adam will have a big mount to put alongside his other “trophies” in his office.


Attempted Cannings: Part Deux

I am not a domestic diva in any way, shape or form.  I’d like to be more domestic–and I’ve had small successes in the kitchen–but I still feel like I have a long, long, long way to go.

Luckily, there are people in this world who help out the domestic diva flunkies (like me) and others who just want to learn.  These people are patient and kind while helping out people like me.  I’m lucky enough to have an awesome County Extension program–right at my little, Holly Homemaker-wannabe fingertips.

I recently participated in a workshop–taught by some of our Extension staff–that helped show a group of young gals how to make jellies and jams.  It was a hands-on workshop and I left with some products that I actually had a hand in making–that people can actually eat and enjoy.

Here’s the proof…

Making sure we know the recipe...

Our Extension Specialist reassuring us that anybody can do this...

"Are you sure we can do this??"

Starting to get our hands dirty in the jam and jelly making...

It's time to make some magic!

Throwing in the pectin. I'd like to state that after this workshop I promptly drove to the local grocery store and purchased A LOT of pectin. It was on sale, and it's good until 2014. It was a win-win.

Apple Jelly, anyone?


How about now? Apple Jelly, anyone?

Throw it in the water bath but don't steam your face trying to take the picture!

Water bath time minus the scalding, blinding steam that could have very easily melted my camera.

Dearest Santa, I would really like this super cool jar grabber that Ball makes. I know I have the old one and have NEVER used it, but I think this new jar grabber might just rock my canning world!

Strawberry freezer jam.

This batch is ready for the freezer. Aren't they pretty??

And of course we had to hold a tasting session of the finished products...

Oh. My. Goodness.

Oh. My. Goodness. Again.

I love me some good old fashioned, homemade strawberry jam. Who knew I would ever have a hand in making the stuff?!?

No food poisoning took place.

No fingers were accidentally severed.

No explosions happened in the kitchen.

And, our Extension Specialist is willing to hold another canning session for us.

She likes us!  She really, really likes us!

Plus, I left the workshop feeling like I could make jams and jellies in my own kitchen.


Of course, have I attempted to make any at home since the workshop??

Not yet.

But that’s just it–I think I could do it by myself.

God bless our County Extension staff for they know not what they have done.

A portion of my pectin stash.

Watch out people, I have assorted varieties of pectin and I now know how to use it!

Wordless Wednesday: Who Invited the Paparazzi?

In another attempt to stay within the (unknown to me) Wordless Wednesday rules, I’d like to tell you about some excitement that we had around these parts two weekends ago–in as few words as possible, of course.

You didn’t know about this excitement because I didn’t mention it in either of the TWO video blogs that I threw together last week for’s A Day in Agriculture event.

Did I mention that I had vivid dreams about editing deadlined video last week?

Vivid dreams.

Well, I did.

And I kinda liked it.

So unless you follow me on Twitter and caught a simple tweeted image that I posted last week, here is some breaking news…

America’s Heartland–a weekly series that airs on PBS stations around the country and on RFD-TV–sent out a couple of really nice guys to shoot footage and gather information for an episode they are working on about a couple of young, fashionable, hard-headed, intelligent women who somehow married a couple of crazy, dirt covered, nice, loving, funny, hard-working Kansas farmers (who also just happen to be cousins).

You might recognize one of those farmers…

So tell me Mr. Baldwin, what’s life REALLY like living with your wifey??

Can you also tell me, Sir, what it’s like to be doing something while you’re being shot by two cameras??

The segment is about our lives on the farm and how Katie (my cousin-in-law) and I blog about our experiences.

Our poor, poor husbands. 

Katie’s blog, New To The Farm, can be found by clicking here.

Anyway, I wanted to share just a few pictures of our visit with America’s Heartland. 

I got a kick out of them.

Street Cred, Yo!

It’s the Crikey!! calf. 

So tell me, Mr. Baldwin, what do you think about your wife becoming part of the Kansas paparazzi??  Wouldn’t you rather work WITHOUT someone in your face with a camera???

Seriously, why is this lady shooting a picture of me shooting this tractor?!?

I also shot video of their visit, and I’ll get to that in a video blog later –I want to sleep easy for at least a few more days.

I shall call it “Behind the Scenes”. 

Plus, when we find out when the episode is scheduled to air, we’ll make sure to share that information with you.

If you’re wondering whether or not America’s Heartland is on your PBS channel, you can click here to find out.

I’ll share some more pictures later that’ll show you what kind of fun we had, but I have to unload my camera first.

I think I ought to look for the elusive Wordless Wednesday rules, too.

I think I just broke them.


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