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Friday, May 29, 2015

Adventures with One Year of Fancy in the Country

Remember, time flies, especially when you are living your life to the fullest.

Today, my Fancy in the Country blog turns 1...ONE!  

It really just feels like yesterday when I started this blog and told you, Why Fancy in the Country?

Just like I feel like this photo wasn't really taken that long ago either.
And what do you know, jellies are back in style!

It's been quite the year and I have tried my best to document my thoughts of this Fancy in the Country life I live on our family farm.  It has been challenging, to open up and tell you about so much in my life but it's also been really rewarding.  

One of my favorite posts was about the Farm to Table Movement.  
As I was picking radishes with grandpa last night in his garden on our family farm, I was again blessed that the ground beneath my feet can produce such beautiful and tasty food.  

We are so very blessed to live in a country where we can grow our own food and buy the food we want.  
I hope you appreciate this blessing and learn a little about agriculture and where your food comes from on this blog.

After grandpa and I worked in the garden, I hopped in the gator with him to explore the farm.  
We talked about the history of the farm and the all the houses everyone lives in.  

Then we passed this bench.  It's in the middle of the woods next to a tree facing north. 
I don't know the history of this bench but will be embarking on a new adventure to find out.

I have a feeling whoever sat on this bench together talked a lot about life and love.  
And I bet they were forever committed to each other just like my husband and I have been in our adventures together.

The blog has been about finding out new things about myself and the stuff I am made of.

I found this new view last night and have a favorite new tree.  
It's going to be a great place to have another harvest festival this fall while the farm is bustling with activity and I try to be still for a moment.

While my farmer husband and I have been on many adventures together over the past year, I have been on my own and he has supported me along the way.

Last year I was on a Pie Adventure and this year I am just on an adventure in the kitchen to make things I am too scared to try or make.  It's scary, baking especially, but I think this blueberry cobbler turned out just fine!

Much of what I do in my life and the adventures I have been on are because of my of mom and dad.  

Dad has been gone for five and a half years, remember,

It's been hard but as he would say "that's just part of it".

And then there is mom, the woman who taught me about fancy things and to walk in great shoes and have passion for every path you go on in life.

Also, today is mom's birthday.  
We are celebrating her and the one year birthday of the blog, passionately of course!

So thank you for reading and staying by my side during this adventure in this great life of 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Many Shoes of a Farmer's Wife

They say that a farmer wears many hats.
But what they forget to tell you is about the farmer's wife and her many shoes.

As a farmer's wife, you have to learn how to walk and run in anything and everywhere.

You must be prepared at all times.
Well, at least somewhat.  

I had an extra pair of boots in my car for this one but was in a dress at the time.
Sometimes you have to do what you have to do in your many shoes.

As a farmer's wife, sometimes you get a call before you even get home to come and pick-up one guy in the field and take another to the farm.  And during those critical times, like planting and harvest, you have no time to change your shoes.

Heels in the fields, it happens.

Other times, you are prepared, especially on rainy days.

Other times as a farmer's wife, and hunter's wife, you notice some red stains on your once nice boots.  Then realize you have worn them around the city and to meetings all day.  But that's just part of this fancy in the country life.

As a farmer's wife, we do get off the farm and live our lives at times.  
Walking in heels around at events......

.....and enjoying a fall weekend out with the farmer and our families.

Farmers' wives become experts in the many shoes we have to wear and the sacrifices we have to make.  

We learn how to run in heels through gravel and muddy barnyards (well at least I do), and we realize that work boots and rain boots don't stay clean very long on the farm.

But it's worth it, knowing that we are supportive and stand strong no matter the type of shoe we wear.
Sometimes the farmer's wife has to step into the shoes of the farmer, 
just like my mom did when my dad passed away.

While the farmer may wear the hat, you can't really go anywhere without a great pair of shoes!

Thanks to all the farmers' wives and farmers' daughters for wearing many different shoes!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

On a Path to Pinterest, Passion, Politics & Patience

It's been awhile, again, since I have blogged.
This post was supposed to go live a few days ago, but my husband asked me to go on a walk after dinner. 

When your significant other asks you to go on a walk, you go.

Even if it's through a field with a cow path full of cow pies.

You go so you can listen to your husband talk about the ground beneath your feet, and tell you about his favorite cattle and the genetics of his favorite calves.

Well, that's why I go on walks with my husband.  
I hope you have your own reasons for your walks and the path that takes you there.

So the walk along with a trip to DC with women leaders in my state delayed 
my post regarding our Mother's Day Celebration and my wonderful mom.

I have written about my mom a few times, but have I told about how she IS 
Pinterest, has passion, taught me about politics and has a ton of patience?

When we were younger, my mom did lots of creative stuff on her own, without Pinterest.
We had a HoBo Party once and even though they weren't fancy invitations (we were HoBos.....), you should have seen the creative spin she put on this party in the country.  

She even made my sister and I pick up sticks in the yard to make hobo sticks we gave away as party favors.

The woman taught me about presentation.  It's all about "Presentation, Presentation, Presentation" she says.  I think that's apparent with the various parties we have hosted over the years and mom is at the center of it all.

She also taught me about patience and that you must always have it.
It's so, so hard......especially with this crazy nephew and my husband telling him to push my buttons every time we are together.  They are cute though, weird, but cute.

Mom always said to pay attention to the details and have passion with what you do. 

So I always make sure to have a full bar at my parties.  I'm passionate about making sure everyone has a good time!

And that would include a dessert bar.  
This Mother's Day we had a float bar because mom loves Root Beer floats (and so did little boys, apparently).

It's nice to display your affection but we must always remember to have love when doing it too.

Just like my mom tried to make celebrations special for us as kids, I try to do the same with the nieces and nephews.  They got their own "Kids Only" section in the yard along with a chair for whoever was princess at that moment.

My  mom always allowed my sister and I to run free.  Even though it stressed her out with the amount of things we committed to, trips we took to strange places and crazy things we tried, she was always supportive of us running free to figure out what we wanted out of life.

On this Mother's Day as the kids were running free in the field, I was reminded that mom gave me the opportunity to run free and find my own path.

I ran free a lot and down a lot of paths with a lot of passion.

One even led me to love public service and politics so much that I am considering running for office someday.
Not sure what or when, but someday.

I thought a lot about it last week when I was in DC with wonderful, passionate, involved women graduating from a women's political leadership class.

I thought of my mom and said a little prayer thanking God for her.  

Then I laughed because at random moments one of my favorite memories of my mom pops into my head.  

We were young kids and she was a young working mom who wore red business suits.  
One night we got home and the calves were out in our yard, again.

She yelled, "Katie!  Sarah!  Get out of the car and go run through the yard and chase them back in!"
We did as we were told but the next thing I knew, she was chasing the cows with us....in her red suit!  She had kicked off her heels and joined us, running free in the yard chasing those calves back into the pasture.

So I wonder, will my passionate, political life take me down the path full of cow pies where I have to kick off my heels and chase cattle out of my yard while wearing a cute, green dress?  

Well, I hope so.
May God grant me the patience to be as great as my mother someday.
And thanks, mom, for giving me the passion to try.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Perfect, Dirty Floors & Springtime Mottos

It's springtime on the farm and it's perfect.

Well, except for the floors in our kitchen and laundry room because the farmer can't take his boots off to walk across the somewhat clean floor.  

When I come home and find chunks of dirt that have fallen from is filthy boots, I take a deep breath and realize that taking your boots on and off takes time.  

And farmers don't have a lot of spare time in the spring to take off their boots.  They are too busy worrying about the weather, running to the fields to plant a new crop, checking the pastures for new calves and more.

In their mind, spring is a perfect time to start doing what they 
love again--caring for animals and planting a new crop.
So I guess I can have a little patience and accept that my floors will be dirty for spring.

And it seems like we have several mottos on the farm during this time of year.

One of them may just be for me as a reminder to slow down and enjoy being outside surrounded by cows and farmers in the fields.  This towel hangs in my kitchen to remind me to chill out.

And it's in the kitchen because I spend a lot of time in there making sandwiches for the guys on our farm.  I get so prepped and organized before putting their lunch and dinners together that the farmer says I "compose meals" instead of make them.  

It's just one less thing for them to worry about and a perfect way for me to give back to the farm and farmers.

When you live on a farm, each day counts during the various seasons.  
And as a farmer's wife you have to stay positive and upbeat about each day. 

I found this mug during the move, showed it to the farmer and did a little cheer for planting! 
He then shook his head at me, gave me a kiss and walked away.  

At least he didn't say anything and make fun of me, right?

This year we expanded the cattle herd on our family farm and there have been great days and not so great days.

One cow delivered still born twins early this spring.
Another had twins several hours apart and she abandoned the second one.
And another cow died several weeks after giving birth.

But the good days are when the mom that lost the twins survived, and when other mamma cows tended to the abandoned and orphaned calves.

And the great days are when the calves are running around enjoying the open fields and spring weather, and sometimes really enjoying their photo op!

So on the farm, we try to keep calm because calving's on.  

In our house, there are lots of springtime mottos but most importantly it's patience and love.  We must have patience with each other to get through the spring, just like the fall.  And we continue to have love and passion for what we do--taking care of the cattle, digging and planting the new crop and making sure to care for each other along the way.  

Do you have a springtime motto?  
If you don't, appreciate your perfect, dirty floors and it will come to you.