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Category: Random – Recipes, DIY, Humor

Apple Bread

Apple Bread

I like easy recipes, but unfortunately when someone mentions “homemade bread”, easy is NOT the first word that usually comes to mind.  Alert….this is not a trick.  If you like apples and you like bread, this recipe will become a staple!  It’s quick, does not require any special ingredients (that is never in the cupboard when you need it) and yummy.  It’s bread and who doesn’t love bread?

When my husband and I started dating more than 10 years ago, several locals asked me if I had tried his Mom’s apple bread.  I casually replied, “Um, no.  Should I?”  Of course the answer was always YES.  I had no idea.  I grew up learning from a handful of the best bakers this side of the Mississippi, but to my knowledge they had never made apple bread.  Apple cake, yes.  Apple dumplings, sure.  Applesauce, occasionally.  Apple salad, most definitely.  She was well known in the whole county for this recipe and it didn’t take long for me to understand why.  Deliciousness!  I also realized that my future husband had a major sweet tooth for the apple bread batter (I will let you find out for yourself)!

So here’s the scoop…

The most crucial step is selecting an apple variety that is appropriate for baking.  There are several and if I told you I always use the same variety, I’d be lying.  Jonathan, JonaGold and JonaRed are my go to varieties, but there are many others that are just as good for baking purposes.  Also, don’t hesitate mixing varieties within the same recipe.  If they are good baking, the bread will turn out delicious anyway.  I purchase the majority of my apples (in season) from Camp’s Orchard because it right around the corner from my house!  The local grocery store often has “local” apples that are grown somewhere in the state or region.  Those will be just fine for this as well. Don’t be scared.

img_2498The rest is pretty simple and WAY easier than what you may think when it comes to bread recipes.  Other ingredients include vegetable oil, eggs, sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and vanilla.  And I cannot forget the sugar sprinkled on top of the batter before baking.  I usually let it cool for about an hour and then take it out of the pan to cut up.  The best part about this recipes is that it yields two loaves of bread!

I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does.

-A

 

Apple Bread

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs, beaten

2 cups sugar

3 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp vanilla

3-4 cups apples, chopped

Sugar to sprinkle on top

Instructions

Mix oil, eggs and sugar together well.  Add flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and vanilla and mix well.  Gently stir in chopped apples.  Divide into two loaf pans.  Sprinkle sugar on top of each.  Bake at 325 for 1 hour.

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Granny’s Chicken Salad

Granny’s Chicken Salad

The title says everything.  I do not need to go into detail about Granny and her amazing chicken salad.  Just take my word for it. Let’s cut right to the chase….

  1. Start with a whole uncooked chicken or an oven roasted chicken you picked up at the store or grilled chicken strips or whatever kind of chicken you prefer.  The point is you need some chicken!  If I have time (haha) I will cook it myself otherwise it’s HyVee oven roasted chicken to go!
  2. Buy some Teasoning. Now. (See pictures below)
  3. Get some mayonnaise.  Chicken salad is non-existent without mayo.
  4. Go buy some yummy yeasty goodness at the local bakery (aka croissant, hoagie roll, rye bread, etc.)
  5. Enjoy!

This is my go-to chicken salad recipe and I make it for wedding showers, birthday parties, state fair lunch at the camper and just because.

My first “foodie” picture from way back when – chicken salad ironically!
Good luck finding this! I googled it & got a lot of strange results. I buy it at the little gift shop in my hometown.
Distributed by Herbal House
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Granny’s Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

< id="zlrecipe-ingredients-list">< id="zlrecipe-ingredient-0" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">1 whole chicken < id="zlrecipe-ingredient-1" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">Mayonnaise (to desired creaminess) < id="zlrecipe-ingredient-2" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">Teasoning (to desired flavor) < id="zlrecipe-ingredient-3" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">Grapes < id="zlrecipe-ingredient-4" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">Pecans or almonds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut chicken up and remove bones.
  2. Chop up or put into a food processor.
  3. Add mayonnaise according to how creamy you prefer.
  4. Add teasoning to taste.
  5. Cut up grapes and add desired amount.
  6. Chop pecans and add desired amount.
  7. Chill and serve on a croissant, hoagie roll, etc.
http://www.outsidetheagroom.com/2016/07/grannys-chicken-salad/

Star Spangled Fruit Pizza

Star Spangled Fruit Pizza

It’s Independence Day and who wouldn’t love a yummy patriotic themed fruit pizza?  Try this recipe and I promise you won’t be disappointed.  It is one I got off a box of Philadelphia Cream Cheese several years ago and it’s delicious.  Just so happens that I haven’t had time to make this yet, so naturally I have no pictures.  Kraft for the win!

You can use a round or rectangle cookie sheet – which could be fun to do an American flag with.  I recommend using parchment paper so you have no issues with it sticking and ruining the crust of your pizza.   You can definitely serve this directly off the pizza pan or cookie sheet you bake it on, but if you are going for presentation then you will need to invert the pan onto a platter so you don’t have to move it around once you start frosting/decorating. Be careful!

If you want this to be a tad bit healthier and skip the cream cheese, a healthier option is this (and it’s fantastic):

Stupid Good Fruit Dip (originally a Weight Watchers recipe: 1/4 cup = 1 point)

32 oz. fat free vanilla yogurt

2 packages fat free/sugar free instant pudding (cheesecake or white chocolate)

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Star Spangled Fruit Pizza

Ingredients

< id="zlrecipe-ingredients-list">< id="zlrecipe-ingredient-0" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">1 pkg. (16.5 oz.) refrigerated sliceable sugar cookies, sliced < id="zlrecipe-ingredient-1" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened < id="zlrecipe-ingredient-2" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">1/4 cup sugar < id="zlrecipe-ingredient-3" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">1/2 tsp. vanilla < id="zlrecipe-ingredient-4" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">1 cup sliced strawberries < id="zlrecipe-ingredient-5" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">2/3 cup blueberries < id="zlrecipe-ingredient-6" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">2/3 cup raspberries < id="zlrecipe-ingredient-7" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">1/2 cup blackberries

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Line 12-inch pizza pan with parchment paper
  3. Place cookie dough slices in single layer on bottom of prepared pan; press to completely cover bottom of pan.
  4. Bake 14 min. or until edge is lightly browned; cool completely.
  5. Invert cookie crust onto platter; carefully remove parchment paper.
  6. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended; spread onto crust.
  7. Top with berries.
  8. Refrigerate 2 hours.
http://www.outsidetheagroom.com/2016/07/star-spangled-fruit-pizza/

 

Easy Peasy Guacamole

Easy Peasy Guacamole

A few years ago, I accidentally discovered I loved guacamole.  Not the boring, buy in the store, plain Jane kind.  The kind you get in a gigantic bowl at a Mexican restaurant and pay an arm and a leg for.  Yes, that kind AND my kind.  I also love pico de gallo and have an easy “recipe” for that too!  It’s so easy, I make it when we are camping at the state fair…(two thumbs WAY up)!

So on to the easy peasy guacamole part of this post!  This is my first food post because mainly I NEVER take pictures of food and that is a big deal when it comes to blogging about what you cook/bake.  But, I am working on it.  I love to cook (on my own terms) and bake!  If you follow me on Pinterest, I have a board titled “In my second life I’m going to be a cake & cookie decorator (and wedding planner…).  Awesomeness, but let’s be real, it’ll never happen.

The Goods!For starters, you need to purchase your ingredients and be sure to be selective about your avocados!  It’s a big deal, trust me.  I will be up front with you and tell you that I am really kind of winging this recipe.  I have NO clue how many avocados it takes to feed 5 hungry people guacamole.  I am the only person in my house that eats it.  It’s so easy, I make it for myself.  It is only easy if you select good avocados though.  If you plan to make the guacamole within a day or so, BUY SOFT AVOCADOS.  I usually buy 4 or 5 and that makes approximately 2(ish) cups of guacamole.  If you have never peeled an avocado, I recommend watching this real quick video.  You can’t really screw it up, but you can have a huge mess that could have been avoided.  Moral? Watch the video or Google it.

Once you have peeled the avocados, cut them up and put into a bowl to mash.  I have used the Pampered Chef Mix ‘N Chop and the Mix ‘N Masher before and they both work great.  In my opinion, a fork wasn’t cutting it (literally)!  (Side note: the Mix ‘N Chop is AMAZING for lots of things – hamburger, mashing strawberries, etc.)

You’ve got the avocados mashed.  At this point you should be able to decide if the amount is sufficient for your hungry crowd. You can then start adding in the necessities.  Not all guacamole has tomatoes, onions, cilantro, etc. in it, but the best guacamole I ever had was at a Mexican restaurant in St. Louis and it had it those ingredients in it.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The plain guacamole is boring.  This is like a guacamole-pico de gallo mixture and it’s magical!

From here on out, it is a lot of personal preference based on what your taste buds are telling you.  I add about 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes (fresh, not canned), 1/4 cup of chopped red onion and then a random amount of cilantro (maybe about 1/8 cup or so). In my opinion, the red onion is the way to go.  I have made it before with a sweet white onion and it wasn’t anything to brag about. Cilantro 1After you’ve wiped your tears from cutting up the red onion, you can prep for the mess of the cilantro.  It is SO worth it though. You need to either pull the leaves off the stem with your finger or if you have a herb stripper thingy on the end of your kitchen shears like I do, use that!  Once you have a piles of cilantro leaves, start chopping away.  I use the Pampered Chef Coated Santoku Knife.  I just start cutting it in 50 different directions until they are all chopped up.  Your cutting mat/board will be green and you will be cleaning up pieces of cilantro for at least an hour afterwards.  It’s fine.  Just do what my kids and husband do – sweep it on the floor!  That’s another blog post on another day….

Chopped cilantroStep #21…or wait is it #7?  I lost track.  Heck, I’m not keeping track.  Either way, you should now have mashed avocados, tomatoes, red onion and cilantro in your bowl.  Go ahead and mix that up if you haven’t already.  And taste a bit too.  It probably needs something else.

Sea salt is next and it will make or break this concoction.  Do a little at a time, mix and then taste.  Guacamole that is too salty is terrible.  Once you get the amount you desire, mix it again.  If you wanna add more stuff, add more stuff.

Last, but not least squeeze the juice from a whole lime into this mixture and then stir it up again.  Better taste it again to make sure the salt is still suitable for your liking.  If so, you are done!  Disclaimer about this – it will not keep in the refrigerator for more than one day.  Well, it might, but it will turn a brownish color.  I never really have this problem though.  It doesn’t last that long!  By the way, I love Pampered Chef products, but am in no way, shape or form endorsed or paid by them!  🙂

Dive In

Easy Peasy Guacamole

4-5 soft avocados

1/2 cup diced tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped red onions

1/8 cup chopped cilantro

1 lime

Sea salt to taste

  1. Peel avocados and cut up.  Cut up and place in a bowl and start mashing.
  2. Add tomatoes and red onion and mix again.
  3. Remove leaves off stems of cilantro and start chopping.
  4. Add to the guacamole mixture and mix together.
  5. Add sea salt to taste.
  6. Squeeze the juice from a whole lime into the mixture.  Mix and taste.  Add more salt if necessary.
  7. Serve immediately or chilled with chips.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Alison

Kids, Cows, Clothes & Cooking

Kids, Cows, Clothes & Cooking

If you follow along with my not-so-frequent blog posts at all, you may have noticed that things look a tad different.  Change is good and thanks to some advice from my friends Brandi (Buzzard’s Beat) and Bekah (Cooped Up Creativity), I made the leap into WordPress land.  Peace out Blogger.  It was a good run.  More about that later, I suppose!

Maybe the title intrigued you; it intrigued me too.  It also has caused me to exhaust ALL possible resources available to me at this time (i.e. ample sleep, proper nourishment, clean socks, etc.).  As some may know, I am the wife of a seed/chemical/fertilizer salesman.  It’s spring in Illinois, which takes you back to the title.  No how-to blog posts here other than the annual “how to just keep your head above water” shenanigans.

Each of the four parts of the title are meaningful at this point and time in my life.  Ha…keep reading! 🙂

I will just say that if it wasn’t for our swing set and the battery operated John Deere Gator & tractor, I would have lost my mind already.  I managed to get decent shoes and a jacket on them when it was cool and to top that off.  If it is any consolation, they did have clean clothes when they left the house.  Once we survived the great what-do-I-get-for-snack debate, I was finally outside and ready to start chores.  It’s April and our small amount of acreage on our farm is at maximum capacity.  No seriously.  There is no room in the inn for about another month.  We have 3 more cows left to calve and I feel their pain.  Please just lay down, have that calf and you can be on your way to greener pastures – literally!

In addition to general craziness, we decided to change our breeding program up a little this year.  Instead of putting CIDR’s in the heifers & cows we were going to AI, we are AI’ing strictly off of heat detection.  For anyone that knows ANYTHING at all about checking heats in any livestock species, you realize this is time consuming.  And with that I am officially crazy.  Estrotect patches are fabulous by the way.  By now, you are are probably starting to figure out where the other three parts of the title relate….

 

The rest should fall in place pretty easily.  As long as everyone has clean underwear and actually wears said clean underwear, everything else will be fine.  As long as those silly heifers and that gomer bull (if you don’t know – look it up – you’ll thank me) don’t get out, everything will be fine.  If they go into the barn without little effort by me so I can breed them and send them on their merry way, everything will be fine.  If the kids are somewhat clean when they go to bed and have a full belly, everything else will be just fine.  If Ted, the bottle calf gets his belly full then everything will be just fine.  And if we can go to bed and wake up refreshed and blessed, everything will be just fine.

Lord knows there are people with WAY bigger issues than whether or not my heifers are bred and my kids teeth are brushed, but here’s to hoping whatever those other issues are that you don’t forget to smile & laugh! 🙂

 

sprayer rides

farm girl

 

 

#CITC15 Rookie Season – Gift Reveal

#CITC15 Rookie Season – Gift Reveal

So as the title reads, this is my rookie Christmas In The Country – #CITC15! I had a blast doing this and made some friends over social media in the process. So as the details of the exchange state, investigate your person on social media and get them something with meaning. If anyone has looked at any of my social media accounts – especially Pinterest – it should not be hard at all to figure me out. My secret Santa was Leann Martin. Leann’s blog is called The Purple Martin and although I have never met Leann – I think we would get a long just fine. She loves a good road trip and rodeo. She’s also an everyday advocate for agriculture, just like me. Recently, The Pioneer Woman came out with a line of kitchen STUFF. I love it, but really don’t have any need to go buy all new pots and dishes. I can remember seeing some of the products online and in Walmart. The pieces that caught my eye were the depression glass looking dishes. My Grandma Alice collects depression glass and has given my sister and I several pieces. When I saw these, I fell in love and tried to think of uses for them – or at least a way to justify buying several. 🙂

Isn’t that just the cutest little dish ever?  Leann had it full of Hershey’s Kisses.  Oh yes she did – ha! She also sent me a bar of Shoo-Fly Soap Company‘s Honeysuckle & Vanilla.  Aaaahhhh!  It smells like heaven.  I love handmade soaps.  Ironic because I sent my partner, Jess Tracey, some handmade soap goodies from my friend Erica of The Dirty Goat!   They, too, are AMAZING.  As you can tell, Leann knocked it out of the park.  I love the dish, I love chocolate and I love handmade soaps! Win, win.  
As I mentioned above, I had the pleasure of shopping for Jess.  She is an ag teacher from Ohio and I debated whether or not to focus on her sense of style per her Pinterest page or her passion for teaching ag.  I decided to go the FFA route and buy her a bangle bracelet with an owl and inital “J” charm.  I almost bought one for myself!!  I also sent her some handmade soaps/scrubs (duh!) and an owl Wallflower with Spiced Cider scent.  I mean, you are usually pretty safe when gifting owl things to an ag teacher.  Mission accomplished.  I got a surprise thank you gift from Jess in the mail the other day – she knows me well apparently;  she sent me one of her FFA chapter’s T-shirts.  #winning

I really, really enjoyed my first Christmas In The Country exchange and I really look forward to the next one!  Thank you a hundred times to the organizers of this lovely “event”…..Laurie at Country LINKed, Jamie at This Uncharted Rhoade, Kirby at 15009 Farmhouse and Lara at My Other More Exciting Self.  Ya’ll knocked it out of the park 🙂 
Christmas in the Country 2015
Christmas Goodies – Beauty Swap Edition

Christmas Goodies – Beauty Swap Edition

So this is my 3rd #ccbeautyswap and I’m loving it more each time. This time my swap partner was Kylie (@graygirlfarms). Kylie is a busy Mom just like me and she knocked it out of the park with my swap box!

Big Sexy products usually don’t disappoint if you just want something fairly inexpensive that works. Kylie sent me a full bottle of the Spray & Play hairspray. She had to have known I was out and getting ready to go buy more! I don’t use hairspray very often, but when I do I need it to work. She also sent me the Big & Sexy Blow Dry Volumizing Gel. I’ve used this before and didn’t care for it, but I think it was a bad bottle. It was really gunky (I just made up that word 😉 ). I’m going to use this tonight when we go out with some friends. Kinda of excited to see how it is actually supposed to work! 
I also received the Ulta Bronzer powder and Ulta Lip & Cheek Color Stick. I use bronzer often, but have never been much for the blush. I guess I’ve never needed it because I don’t wear foundation and without it my color is still there. Let’s be honest though….it is winter and I’m in need of a little color umph on my cheeks. Don’t judge me…I just made up another word!
In addition to these awesome items, Kylie sent me some Burt’s Bee tinted Chapstick and a couple notepads! Both of them are currently under lock and key because my 6 year old is obsessed with chapstick and little notepads and notebooks! 🙂
I am so happy I had the chance to get to know Kylie for this Crystal Cattle Beauty Swap. I hope she liked my swap box as much as I liked hers!
Farmer Favorites – A Christmas Gift Guide

Farmer Favorites – A Christmas Gift Guide

 

Call me crazy, but I keep a wish list all the time of the things I want.  If I don’t, I have a hard time giving my family ideas for Christmas and birthdays.  Let’s be honest, the list is useless to some people (aka my husband) because they wait until the day of anyway!  He may consider not waiting until the last minute when he realizes that there are a few of my wish list items that he can definitely get some use out of too!

This is a short list of ideas that one might find on a farmer’s list this holiday season or even the occasional birthday too. I also added some ideas that are on my list and may be on yours too – farmer’s wife, daughter, country girl at heart, busy agriculture major, etc.

This list is made up of ideas of mine and my family members, as well as ideas from some of my ag/farmer friends!  Read on friends 🙂

1.  Farm name/logo apparel – Who doesn’t love a new jacket with the farm name & logo on it?

2.  A farm sign – Win, win here!

3.  Attachments for the tractor (bale spear, pallet forks, loader bucket, etc) – Practical for sure!

4.  Work coat or outerwear – A must to help survive the bitter cold months.

5.  Electric thawing unit – A must to use when breeding cows artificially.

6.  Livestock show supplies – Never enough halters, feed pans, combs, brushes and show sticks.

7. Work boots or rubber boots – A necessity for sure!

8.  The Pioneer Woman “Dinnertime” cookbook – no caption needed…this is a must.

9.  Cast iron skillet – A given once you receive #8.

10. Custom farm/ranch brand ring, bracelet or necklace – Lots of handmade goodness!

11. Slow cooker/Crockpot – An extra large one….enough said.

12. Clothing from Duluth Trading Co. – Quality clothing with funny names & descriptions.

13. A puppy.  This is NOT on my list this year, but more power to you if it is on yours!

14. Pampered Chef Rectangular Baker – need a replacement for my favorite dish.

15.  Alex & Ani bracelet – Gentlemen take note, simple and sentimental gift for the gals.

16.  St. Louis Cardinals STUFF – Yes, stuff.  Tickets, shirt, keychain, anything! 🙂

17.  Generator – I really wish this was NOT on my husband’s list, but it is. We’ve lost power  like 3 times in 6 months. Not cool. 🙁

18.  Rite in the Rain gear – Perfect for the outdoorsman!

19.  Agriculture related photo print – Home decor for the farmer.

20.  Gloves – Warm ones. Period.

I think you get the idea and realize that farmers and their families Christmas lists have a lot in common with everyone else’s list!  There is always the occasional live animal on the list too. 🙂

Regardless of the items on your wish list,  I hope you have a blessed Holiday season spent in the company of family & friends.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours,

Alison
Links to some of my favorites and those from the ideas listed above:

Legacy Livestock Imaging

Rite In The Rain Gear

Alex and Ani

Morgan Meisenheimer Photography

FarmGirl Paints

The Pioneer Woman

Sullivan Supply

Weaver Livestock

Kustom Signs

The Classy Trailer

Carhartt

Pampered Chef

Muck Boots



Deep breaths, deep thoughts

Deep breaths, deep thoughts

Well it’s no surprise that I have taken an obvious break from my blogging excursion.  Yea, I know, I have a total of like 5 blog posts, so it has hardly been an excursion.  Let’s be honest, I have very little free time (ok, so I have NONE) and blogging is not at the forefront.

Right now – Sunday, November 15th at 11:38 pm – I cannot sleep.  My mind is racing and my back aches.  What is on my mind is nothing short of the typical – plans for the week, grocery list items, did I lock the back door?, did I open the kid’s bedroom doors? And the list goes on and on.  The first thought that came to my mind tonight was this, “was I born to teach ag?”.  If you have read any of my blog posts or maybe follow me on social media sites, you may already know that I resigned from teaching high school agriculture after eight years.  I miss it.  I miss my students. Honestly, up until the last couple months, I wasn’t real sure I wanted to teach again.  If you are familiar with public education at all (especially in Illinois), you probably know that it is not the students or the busy workload of an ag teacher and FFA advisor.  It is, very simply, the crap that goes along with the profession.  Forms, curriculum requirements, standardized testing, less than mediocre administrators getting paid three times too much, federal initiatives, common core and the list goes on.  I have said for a long time – just let me teach!  I will do my job and everything will be just peachy.  Don’t micromanage me and my students.  Don’t try to make us a sweet deal and have a hidden agenda lingering in the background.  Just let me teach. 

I never really thought I could be busier than I already was while I was teaching.  Turns out, I can be! Go me!  I have a lot more flexibility with my current job, but that’s not all it’s cracked up to be.  I took a slight leap of faith last spring and applied for grad school.  Right now, I am taking two courses through Iowa State University’s online Agriculture Education & Studies graduate program.  Whoa! Why on God’s beautiful green Earth did I not just do this way back in 2005?  Oh yes, that’s right…I never had a desire and never ever thought I would really “need” my master’s degree. Ha!

So here I am – raising two young children along side my husband (except sometimes I feel like he is 15 steps behind me), raising beef cattle, advocating for agriculture in every way possible, working full-time and of course, attempting to keep up with my laundry.  Goals people, goals!  Just go ahead and throw some luck at me too while you’re at it!

Check out my “A Day in the Life” page to see some pictures of life on our farm!

-Alison

Summed Up!

Summed Up!

So here is how things have been shaking around here lately!  Aside from the usual hustle & bustle of spring in the Midwest and being married to a seed salesman/farm supply company manager, things have been fairly calm!  Calving is DONE….I repeat….CALVING IS DONE! Check, check.  We also have our “wintering” pastures chiseled, mulched and seeded back down and ready for some sunshine & moisture!  For those that aren’t familiar with my jargon – “wintering” pastures on our farm are simply little pastures/lots that we put our cows and their young calves on until its time to go to the “big” pasture.  In our case, that time is early May.  Once early May arrives and the grass at our pastures has had a chance to get a head start, it’s freedom at last!

This may sound crazy, so do not judge me, but I really think they sense where we are going when we start loading them on the trailer!  They’ve had their calf and they have hopefully been bred back for their next calf and it’s GO time!

This year I made a point to walk out of the barn lot and down the hill in front of them so I could snap some high quality iPhone photos! Yes, there is a big white barn that I would love, love, love to restore and make it a home (LOL), but we only rent the pasture and it’s out of our neighborhood….like 15 miles! I know, WOW, 15 miles – not that far.  We cannot haul all the cows and calves on one trailer.  Hello awesome friends that help out when needed!  I’ll help you haul cows if you help me _____________________ <insert random farm work here>.  We try really hard to load the cows and calves on the same trailers for simplicity, but it doesn’t always work that way.  We keep them in separate parts of the trailer to ensure the calves’ safety.  A calf with a broken leg is a bad thing!  We arrive at the pasture and make sure the gate to go out of the barn lot and into the pasture is closed.  If you think a calf with a broken leg is bad, a calf that is disoriented and cannot find it’s mama is even worse!  Once all the cows and calves are together we open the gate and away they go! No literally, they run and jump and kick and don’t have a care in the world.  As a producer, I am just as excited and ready as they are.  Cows are born to graze.  Cows have grazed the grasses of this country for many, many years.  Let them be!

Below are some pictures I snapped with my trusty iPhone that day!  You can check out more pictures of daily “things” on our farm on my “A Day In The Life” page here on my blog!

Cows, calves, beautiful green grass, a windmill, blue
Illinois sky and a big white barn!

They are in heaven!

I have taken a lot of pictures of this creek over the past few years.
Mainly about a year and a half ago when it was about dry.  It’s flowing freely
these days!

I was (patiently) waiting for a ride back home from the rye field so I
walked across the road and found our first calf heifers were pretty
curious and photogenic!  
Lovely May evening!