The Evolution of a Modern-Day Farm Wife

Archive for the ‘Next Generation’ Category

Three Months Later…

Unless you follow me on Twitter or the blog’s Facebook page, August 22nd was the last time you heard from me.  We had started picking corn.  It would be the beginning of a long fall harvest season.

Fast forward three months and we have completed our 2014 fall harvest.


These last three months we’ve picked dryland and irrigated corn, harvested soybeans, hosted visitors, cut the grain sorghum, and sown the 2015 crop of wheat.

The final night of our fall harvest, before it began to snow.

The final night of our fall harvest, before it began to snow.

School had just begun when I last posted, and now we have just a few short weeks until our Christmas break.

The weather has gone from summer temperatures to snow falling on the ground.

Banks and I have delivered meals to the fields, graded essays, taken rides in the combines, attended football games, practiced the art of riding a bike, and shot a lot of photos and videos.

We also ran through bean rows on occasion.

We also ran through bean rows on occasion.

Some of those activities can be found online.

You see, I’ve taken to micro-blogging these last three months.

If you do have Facebook, feel free to “like” the blog’s page.  It’s been a way for me to post pictures and short explanations of what’s been going on at Baldwin Farms while I’ve been juggling work, a busy toddler, and wife duties.

Harvesting the soybeans on a crisp fall day.

Harvesting the soybeans on a crisp fall day.

As the temperatures continue to cool down, we’ll be spending more time inside.

More time inside should allow me to get back on the blog wagon.

Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving!


Rain: Wordless Wednesday

I’ve been focussing my attention on my family and school responsibilities for the last few months. Since I’m almost officially on summer break, I’ll be back in full swing with new posts and a lot of photos very soon.

Here’s a sneak peek…


If you’re on Facebook, feel free to “like” the Alive & Well in Kansas Facebook page.

Until then, here’s a little video to help brighten your Wednesday. Oh, to be young again!




Snow Days & Sun Dogs

Although school is back in session for me today, I was home the last two days since school was closed due to the weather.

I must admit that the wife, mother, and teacher in me LOVES snow days because I get to help Adam around the farm while including Banks in all of the action.

On Tuesday it snowed all day long.

But just because the schools were closed didn’t mean we got to stay inside watching movies and sipping hot chocolate while staying wrapped in our blankets all day.

The cattle still needed checked and fed.

Snow?? You don't say!

Snow?? You don’t say!

The girls had been fed extra hay the evening before the storm blew in, but they were still happy to get their corn silage for breakfast.

Bellied up to the bunk and chowing down.

Bellied up to the bunk and chowing down.

They also got a little extra to top off their breakfast in the form of range cubes.

And if you know our cattle, you know they LOVE range cubes.

Some extra goodies for the girls in the form of range cubes.

Adding some extra goodies for the girls in the form of range cubes.

Once the girls were chowing down, Dwight did a walkthrough to check on everyone to make sure they were all healthy and not showing signs of calving.

Wellness check.

Wellness check.

After the cattle were fed we were able to go inside and Banks was able to show Dwight his latest favorite YouTube video called What Does the Farmer Say? by Kansas farmer Derek Klingenberg.

Let me show you how to do it, Grandpa.

Let me show you how to do it, Grandpa.

Seriously, if Klingenberg is making any money on his videos by the number of times played on Youtube, the Baldwin household is making major contributions.

We know the words.

ALL of the words.

On Wednesday, the snow had stopped falling, but it was cold and windy and the cattle still needed fed.

So we loaded up and busted through drifts to get to them.

The bunks needed shoveled out.

Adam shoveling snow.

Adam shoveling snow.

Once the girls saw Adam scooping out the snow, they knew what would be coming next.

Hey, you missed a spot.

Hey, you missed a spot.

The sun made it a bright morning, but the wind still made it very, very cold.

A really cool thing that we were able to see Wednesday morning was something called sun dogs.

Sun dogs in the Kansas sky.

Sun dogs in the Kansas sky.

It’s one of those things I’m thankful for snow days for…otherwise I would have probably missed it.

It lasted about an hour Wednesday morning.

According to the weatherman, these sun dogs come from ice crystals in the atmosphere that act as prisms and refract light.  Apparently it happens during very cold weather.

Scientific explanation or not, it was a sight I had never seen before.

Feeding cows wasn’t the only thing we did during my snow days.

We were also able to enjoy the snow.

Banks slid down our “hill” for the first time.



He loved it!

He also loved eating two bowls of snow.

And a side of snow to go with my snow.

And a side of snow to go with my snow.

I know farmers and ranchers would rather it not snow because it makes choring and calving a lot more pleasant, but I must confess that I sure do appreciate a good snow day or two.

Fire Up The Combines, Boys!

It’s time to harvest the wheat in central Kansas!

After waiting as patiently as possible, the guys decided to run a test cut yesterday afternoon.  We had visited with others–and even received a text from a student–the day before saying their wheat samples were in the 15% moisture range.

That was still too high.

Based on the 2013 wheat discount schedule for our local elevators we want our wheat to have a moisture percentage between 13.51% to 14.0% to avoid being docked.

2013 Wheat Discount Schedule

2013 Wheat Discount Schedule

You’ll notice that we can also be docked for other factors like the test weight or if there is rye in the load.

So yesterday afternoon we sent a combine into one of the fields to run a test cut.

There sure was a lot of traffic on this dirt road!

There sure was a lot of traffic on this dirt road!

Cutting some wheat.

Getting a test cutting of some wheat.

Dwight, Adam, Banks and I then took the sample to the Groveland elevator to find out if it was “go time” yet.

Is it go time?

Is it go time?



They ran the sample and gave us this…


Moisture at 13.2%.  IT’S GO TIME!!

So we went home and started cutting the wheat.

We stopped to eat our evening meal and then loaded up a truck to send to the elevator.

Getting ready to go to the elevator.

Getting ready to go to the elevator.

Dave and Logan delivered the first load to the elevator.

Weighing out

Dave and Logan driving onto the scales to weigh out.

After getting weighed out, they received the scale ticket.


Getting the information we all want.

Well, what does it say?

Well, what does it say?


Here’s a close up.

The first load of wheat from Baldwin Farms was delivered to the elevator on…

Drum roll, please.

…Thursday, June 20 at 8:00 pm.

Thus, wheat harvest has begun!!

Congratulations to Troy W. who guessed the closest to the actual time of delivery.

Troy guessed that the first load would be on June 20th at 7:15 pm.

He even went a step further and said he thought we would have 13.75% moisture with a test weight of 60.

Pretty darn close, Troy!!

Pretty darn close.


Since Troy lives next to the field that we cut yesterday–and was possibly watching while we were cutting :)–I’ll save postage and hand deliver him some muffin mix.

I’ll ALSO be sending some wheat based goodies from The Old Muffin Factory to Sheena B. who was the second closest with her guess that we’d make our first delivery on Friday, June 21 at 1:37 pm.

Sheena, I’ll be contacting you to see where you’d like me to send your goodies to.


Good job, everyone!

And thanks for playing Guess and Wait.

That was fun!

I hope you felt the same level of anticipation I have every year leading up to wheat harvest.

Keep checking back with Alive & Well in Kansas to stay up-to-date with our 2013 wheat harvest.

If you haven’t already, feel free to subscribe to Alive & Well in Kansas.

You’ll get blog updates sent directly to your email–so you can enjoy harvest in a quasi-dust-free and air conditioned environment.

All you have to do is enter your email address under the email subscription located at the top of every post.


It’s that simple!

Until next time!!

Boys of the Farm…

It snowed here this last week.

It didn’t stick, but still.

It’s April!!

There’s really nothing more fitting than crazy weather ushering in spring here in Kansas.

Ever since I’ve lived here I’ve heard people say, “If you don’t like the weather wait a few minutes.”

How true it is!

Just a few days ago I was contemplating getting my toes painted, digging out my flip-flops, and planning my summer.

It was warm and sunny and glorious.

The calves that were born in February and March were either lying down in the sun and warming their bellies or exploring while their mamas grazed in the pasture or buried their heads in the feed bunk.

Catching some sun

Catching some sun

In fact, it was warm enough to take little boys out to help feed the cattle without having to wrap them up in coveralls and gloves.

Jackets were all the little boys needed.

Grandpa's little helpers.

Grandpa’s little helpers.

Our nephews, Rowan and Eli, were visiting for a long weekend and were Dwight’s helpers.

Taking a ride.

Taking a ride.

Usually Dwight and Tucker are the two sharing a spot on the four-wheeler when checking cattle.

However, Tucker had to share his spot with the boys while Grandpa gave the boys a ride around the yard.

Maybe Rowan had to make the adjustments

Tucker’s spot is Tucker’s spot.  Rowan is somewhere in there.

While the four-wheeler slowly looped around the yard, the cows bellied up to the bunks to eat their breakfast while the calves explored.

What kind of trouble can we get into?

What kind of trouble can we get into?

However, one cow and calf were missing.

The old girl had not come in to eat her morning meal which is uncommon.

Instead, she was on the other side of the creek.

Where's my baby?

Where’s my baby?

Grandpa and the boys–including Tucker–decided to ride out and figure out where the old gal’s calf was.

What's over here?

What’s over here?

Oh, they found you.

Oh, they found you.

Might as well get up now that you've been discovered.

Might as well get up now that you’ve been discovered.

Thanks for the help.

Thanks for the help.

What just happened?

What just happened?

Eli and Rowan weren’t the only little helpers on this particular day.

Lood, Dad!  A calf's out!

Lood, Dad! A calf’s out!

Yep, a calf's out!

Yep, a calf’s out!

Banks decided he was big enough to go check cows, too.

He stayed close to his daddy and off the four-wheeler though.

Maybe next year.

Besides, I’m pretty sure it’d be hard to find a spot on the four-wheeler.

There’s just too many boys!

All of the boys of Baldwin Farms.

All of the boys of Baldwin Farms.

It’s important to notice that Tucker made sure he was in this picture.

After all, he’s one of the boys on the farm, too!

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