Tuesday, July 29, 2014

God Made a Farmer....The Story of Otis

I have a story about my husband that I've been wanting to share.  It has to do with a dog named Otis.  Since the night that we found Otis laying on the side of the road I've been thinking about the "God Made a Farmer" poem and how much Kevin is a "farmer" through and through.  Here's the story....

About a week ago Kevin and I flew into Omaha late at night.  While we were driving home we saw what we thought was a dog on the side of the road.  Kevin just had to turn around to check it out.  When we pulled up to him, we realized that he had just been hit and was in pretty bad shape.  Kevin found a blanket in the trunk and wrapped the dog up and carried him to our car.  The whole time I was asking him, "what are we going to do with him at this time of the night?"  Kevin said he didn't know, but that he just couldn't leave him lay on the side of the road because he would for sure die that way.  So we brought him home.

When we pulled into the drive we discussed what we were going to do with our dog, Diesel.  We knew we couldn't let him be around this dog because he was badly injured.  So I put Diesel in our house for a bit while Kevin made Otis comfortable in the garage on Diesel's dog bed.  He was alert, but pretty skittish and you could tell his back legs were injured because he couldn't move them.  Kevin gave him a little bit of an anti-inflammatory to hopefully help him make it through the night.  We also gave him some food and water, but he didn't seem interested in it.  He was such a cute puppy that it broke my heart that he was that badly injured and may not make it.

The next morning, when we checked on him, Otis was alert and had his head up.  He had moved a little bit, but we could tell that his back legs still weren't working.  We gave him some water and he slurped it down.  That was a good sign we thought!  

We realized that he did have a tag on his collar, but it was an old registration.  Since it was Sunday we couldn't get ahold of anyone to see if they could point us to his owners.  I could see that Kevin was getting attached to this dog.  He probably won't admit it, but he was.  He tried feeding him dog food and a hot dog.  Otis didn't want any of it.  Just the water.  Kevin kept a close eye on him that day and he seemed to be a little perkier.  But still no movement with his back legs.  

Monday rolled around and we talked about calling to find his owners.  I could tell that Kevin would have kept him, but I said, "wouldn't you want to know what happened to your dog." We weren't sure if Otis was even going to make it or not, but at least if we could get ahold of his owners they could make the decision to take him to the vet or not.  We had talked to our vets and they didn't think it sounded very promising since he wasn't moving his legs.

Luckily Kevin was able to connect with his owners and they came out to pick him up right away.  That's when we found out his name was Otis.  I wasn't there, but Kevin said that they were very appreciative of his caring for their baby.  They offered to pay him, but he said to just send us a Christmas card of Otis if he gets better and to let us know what the vets said.

Otis' owners called just a little while later and said that their vet had told them that he had a spinal injury.  They ended up having to put him down.  They were upset, but they were happy to have had the chance to say good bye to Otis.  

Watching Kevin take care of this little dog just reminded me of the line from the "God Made a Farmer" poem where the authors says, "God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees, heave bales and yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pullets…and who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a meadow lark. So, God made a farmer!"

Just wanted to share the story of this little dog named Otis and a farmer named Kevin.

And on the 8th day God looked down on his planned paradise 
and said, “I need a caretaker!” 
So, God made a farmer!

God said I need somebody to get up before dawn and milk cows and work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board. 
So, God made a farmer!

I need somebody with strong arms. Strong enough to rustle a calf, yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry and have to wait for lunch until his wife is done feeding and visiting with the ladies and telling them to be sure to come back real soon…and mean it. 
So, God made a farmer!

God said “I need somebody that can shape an ax handle, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And…who, at planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty hour week by Tuesday noon. Then, pain’n from “tractor back”, put in another seventy two hours. 
So, God made a farmer!

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop on mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. 
So, God made a farmer!

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees, heave bales and yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pullets…and who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a meadow lark. 
So, God made a farmer!

It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight…and not cut corners. Somebody to seed and weed, feed and breed…and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody to replenish the self feeder and then finish a hard days work with a five mile drive to church. Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who’d laugh and then sigh…and then respond with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life “doing what dad does”.                     
So, God made a farmer!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

National Ice Cream Month

Ice.  Cream.

Two of my favorite words when it comes to food!  I've made numerous batches of homemade ice cream this summer.  Everything from strawberry, peach, vanilla, and triple chocolate have been made with my Kitchen Aide Ice Cream attachment this summer.  That thing is great!

I have a serious weakness for ice cream.  My boys all love it too.  If we're not eating just plain ice cream with some kind of topping, then Kevin and Hudson are making root beer floats or chocolate malts (they are the best).  Yummy!  

July was designated as National Ice Cream Month by President Reagan in 1984.  Interesting facts: about 90% of the nation's population enjoys this tasty treat and 9% of all milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to make ice cream.

So this week while I'm at the 2014 BlogHer conference in California, I just wanted to share with you some of my favorite recipes that I've posted here at Sara's House HD in honor of National Ice Cream Month.  Hope you enjoy!

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?  Where's your favorite place to get a scoop?  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I Love Lucy...the Cow!

In the past I introduced you to Doug the Bull and Archie the Bottle Calf, but today I want to introduce you to my favorite of all, Lucy the Cow.  
Meet Lucy the Cow!

Lucy was born in January of 2007.  I can remember this without having to look because I remember when we purchased her mother who was pregnant with her.  Kevin and I had a family Christmas to go to one day in December 2006, but on our way (not really) we stopped by a cattle sale.  Kevin had already scoped out which ones he was interested in.  Right after we sat down in the stands, one of those bred heifers was up for sale.  Kevin ended up with the winning bid, so we paid for her and headed down the road to the family Christmas.  That was the fasted cattle sale I have ever been too!  Usually you have to sit there all day long waiting for the ones that you're interested in to come up for sale.  

Lucy was born the following month and she had a distinct face.  We never tagged her because we both know who she is.  She's been a great addition to our cattle heard over the years.  

Some of our cattle out to pasture during the spring and summer months.

Most of the time she is hanging out in the pasture with her other friends and her calf.  Then every June we artificially inseminate her.  She then spends the next 40 weeks pregnant.  We shoot to have our cattle start calving in March in hopes that the weather is starting to warm up a little by that time.  
Lucy getting artificially inseminated.

Lucy is like most of the other cattle we have on our farm.  We run a cow/calf operation which means we have the mommy cows that give birth to the baby calves.  We eventually will sell the calves and keep the cows which will have another calf the next year if all goes as planned.  We also have some bulls that assist in the breeding process if the artificial insemination doesn't take.  But mostly we have a bunch of heifers (first time mommas) and cows (who have had more than one calf) on our sixth generation family farm in Iowa.  

Lucy (center with white on her face) with her friends.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Selfiebration at BlogHer 2014

 I'm so excited!  I'm heading to San Jose, CA to the 2014 BlogHer Conference this week.  To celebrate their 10th anniversary of Blogher conferences, Thursday evening's opening expo is called Selfiebration!  It's to honor all the bloggers that put themselves out there for others to read about, learn from, and just be entertained by!

In honor of the Selfiebration at Blogher, I'm going to share with you some of my favorite selfies (note: I could have included a lot more of my kids, but I held back!)

I thought I'd start off with a more recent selfie of Kevin and I.  This was taken in San Diego this past January.  He says I take too many pictures, but looking back through my folders, I don't have a lot of him and I even though he thinks otherwise!

Sometimes when I'm out helping Kevin with the cattle I'll snap a quick selfie.  Here I am holding the gate so he can drive the tractor through to feed the cattle before we can leave to meet some friends for dinner.  Obviously I'm all ready to go already, those aren't my normal cattle chore clothes!

Luckily my boys let me take pictures of them!  Not sure what we were doing here, but I can tell we are sitting on the kitchen floor in front of the dishwasher!  

My sisters are all about taking pictures too!  We snapped this selfie before our first 5k run this summer.  Fun times!

My dad is another one that likes to take pictures, so we always have to grab a quick one on the way up the ski lift when we are skiing out in Keystone, CO every year!  

Hudson and I were heading out to look for mushrooms earlier this spring with Kevin and Axten.  I should go through and find some selfies that Hudson takes of himself with his iPad.  Some of them are quite entertaining!  I have it synced so all of the photos upload to my laptop.  So once in a while I'll be scrolling through and come across some pictures of him that he took!  Makes me smile!

This selfie was taken with my sister Megan and a friend of ours down in Cancun, Mexico when we were out running on the beach.  That is my favorite workout of all times-running on the beach early in the morning while the sun rises and the salty breeze is blowing!

Ax doesn't look as thrilled as I do in the photo, but we are out picking out our Christmas tree last December! It was nice enough that we only needed light jackets that day.

I found this selfie of Morgan and I when were were touring the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis last fall.  Made me laugh!

This selfie was taken in the combine last fall during harvest.  It was the one and only time all four of us squeezed into the combine together.  Not sure if we will all fit this year!  Mommy may be getting kicked out!

I love this selfie of me and my babies right after Axten was born the end of 2012.  Can't believe he's almost two now!

And I'm going to end with an older selfie, this one is from the summer of 2006!  Recognize who I'm taking my picture with???  #chrisforbachelor

Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more #selfiebration and #blogher14 photos this week!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sara's Weekly Findings

Hello!  Sorry I haven't gotten to my Sara's Weekly Findings the last few weeks.  4th of July came and went with a family reunion and then last weekend Kevin and I were near Cambridge, MD crab fishing with our parents.  Fun times!  Anyway, I was back to reading some of my favorite blogs this week and here are some that I want to share with you!  Have a great weekend!

Bacon Corn Dip by Chungah at Damn Delicious

Oh my, this looks so delicious!  As soon as our sweet corn is ready this will be one of the first things that I make with it.  It's has some of my favorite things in it: corn, bacon, jalapeños, and cream cheese!

All I Do is Farm (The Blog) by Greg from The Peterson Farm Blog

The Peterson brothers just released a new music video called All I Do is Farm.  They always do a great job with their videos and really show what it's like on a farm where they raise crops and cattle.  They also recently started doing farm tours so if you're in the area of Assaria, KS get a ticket online and see first hand what it's like on their farm!

Melt in Your Mouth Buttermilk Pancakes by Carrian at Oh, Sweet Basil

My boys love breakfast, especially when we make pancakes or waffles, bacon, and eggs.  They could eat that every day if I made it!  These buttermilk pancakes look delicious and easy!

Genetic Traits in Crops by Morgan at Stories from a First Generation Farm Wife

Morgan is a good friend of mine from South Dakota.  Her and her husband raise cattle and grow crops up there.  Morgan discusses GMOs in a blog post from this week and talks about why she feels they are a safe product for consumers!

Please use this badge on your website if you are one of my favorite blogs for the week!

Note: Please go to the original website to pin these photos!  Thank you!

If you would like to have one of your blog posts featured here, please email it to me at sarashousehd@gmail.com.  I'm always looking for new blogs to follow!  Thanks!

Previous Weekly Findings hereherehereherehere, herehere, and here or find them all on my Sara's Weekly Findings Pinterest board.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Disaster of a Garden

I'm going to tell you right up front that this is just NOT my year to garden.  It all started back around the first of the year when all the seed catalogs start arriving.  I told Kevin at that point that I was not even looking forward to planting a garden.  (I think I say that every year and then he talks me into it.)  But after a few months of cold weather I was ready to get outside when it started warming up.  So my sister-in-law, Nancy, and I started some little seedlings in our shed.  

Those little seeds started out pretty well in the shed under the special light.  

But then I sat them outside to get some real sunshine and I forgot to put them back inside that night.  The wind came up and by the next morning the containers were scattered all over the place.  I managed to save some of them, but they had still taken a beating.  

After that they didn't really come back, so all that work was for nothing.  

So I bought some plants and some seed and after my father-in-law tilled my garden I got everything planted. The garden was all nice and neat and there weren't any weeds yet.  The plants were taking off and the boys loved to play out there in the tunnels that I had made for the pole beans to climb up on.  

And then a frost struck in the middle of May.  My strawberries survived even though they were just starting to bloom.  

But the rest of the garden, for the most part, had to be replanted.

So it was back to the store again for some more plants.  

By this time the weeds and grass were starting to come up in the garden, so every spare minute outside was spent in the garden.  Luckily the boys liked to "help" out as we spent a lot of time there.

Then June 3rd rolled around and we had severe storms hit our area.  There were 100+ mph winds, large hail, heavy rains, and even a tornado.  Needless to say the crops and my garden did not fair well.  

I decided to let it go and see what was going to come out of it.  I was not going to replant again.

Well, what came out of it was a bunch of weeds.....

I did manage to get some strawberries out of my strawberry patch this year.  Not as many as in the past, but considering they survived through a frost and the hail it wasn't bad!

This is really embarrassing to show how bad most of the garden is overgrown, but with all the winds and not taking having the time to go pull the weeds this is what it now looks like.  Since I know that pretty much everything is gone in the garden I've decided to just let it go for the most part.

This section of herbs I wouldn't mind digging out when I have a chance.

And this section of carrots and onions is doing well considering the weeds creeping up on the outside edges.

This area is what I was most excited about.  I was hoping for the pole beans to climb up and over the tunnels so the boys could run through them.  But none of the beans survived the hail.  So now it's weeds.

This is where the tomatoes and pepper plants used to be, but they too didn't survive the hail, so I have been mowing this area.

At the far end are the squash plants, sweet corn, and volunteer pumpkins.

If you can find them in amongst the weeds you will see that they are growing pretty well.  I'm sure they would be doing even better if all the grass and weeds weren't trying to choke them out.  I should probably tackle that area soon!

When looking at the squash plants, there are some yellow squash that are close to picking!  And there are a ton more blooms!

I almost lost Axten in the weeds!  Diesel was laying in there by the zucchini and Axten went in after him.

HD tried his hardest to tackle some of the weeds, but didn't get very far.  I pulled some for awhile but you couldn't even tell.

So I guess you could say that this year's garden is a HUGE flop!  It didn't start out well and it just continued to get worse!  I guess we'll just have to spend less time in the garden this year and more time playing soccer.  Hudson is really getting the hang of it.  Diesel and Ax like to play too, but they need a little more practice!

Even though my garden didn't make it, my flowers around my house are loving all the moisture that we've been getting and were pretty protected from the storm damage.

Do you have a garden this year? How is it doing?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Stitch Fix #5

This Stitch Fix post is way overdue!  I received this shipment back in May and was pretty happy with the items.  Right out of the box I noticed there was a lot of summery colors.  

I had asked for summery tops and either a maxi skirt or dress.  Ask and you shall receive!  There were two tops, a necklace, a maxi skirt, and a maxi dress this time around.  I was very excited to try it all on!

This first item was this pretty 41Hawthorn top.  It was light and breezy and I loved the colors on it.  

You could totally dress it up or down.  I decided to go in the middle and paired it with skinny jeans, a white blazer, and a long strand of pearls.  I also threw on some white shorts with it and it was cute that way too!  As you can see the back is longer than the front, so I actually tuck the back in when I wear a jacket over it (although I didn't in the picture below).  I kept this item!

The next item was a long Pixley gold necklace. It was very pretty and dainty!

I could wear this with a lot of different tops, but I already had something similar to it so I sent it back.

The third item was an Under Skies peasant tank.  The color (or lack there of) was ok, but I really liked the detail on it.  One thing I noticed was that it was really wrinkled, so that was a strike right away.

It was cute on and would be cute under a colorful jacket or cardigan, but it was really see through.  That along with the fact that I'd have to iron it made my choice to send it back easy.

The fourth item was a grey and teal striped Honey Punch maxi skirt.  I was very exited about this item!

This skirt is made out of a jersey knit and is so soft and comfortable!  I loved it!  I usually wear it with a navy short sleeved shirt and have worn it numerous times!  Definitely a keeper!

The last item was a bright royal blue Renee C maxi dress.  The pattern on the dress was a bit extreme for my taste, but I tried it on anyway.

It was just ok on me.  Again if the pattern wouldn't have been so bold and if it had been about two inches longer I might have thought about keeping it, but I just didn't think I'd wear it that much, so I sent it back.

So when all was said and done, I kept the teal tank and the maxi skirt!  And have worn both quite a few times already!

Check out my firstsecondthird, and fourth Stitch Fix shipments!

Have any of you tried Stitch Fix yet?  What types of pieces did you receive?  I love hearing and seeing what everyone else gets in their box!  

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.  All thoughts and comments are my own.