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Oct 6, 2014

Pallet Pumpkin and #harvest14 Decor



Three cheers, fall is here! We just finished decorating our barn house porch and I am excited you stopped by to see it. I didn't really go all out but I added a few cozy touches to our front porch this year. My new favorite touch is the pumpkin my husband and I created out of a pallet! We had some extra pallets laying around from my Pallet Flag project. I really enjoyed how the pallet flag filled the empty spot on our front porch so I wanted to come up with something fall harvest related to go there.

I opted to not consult any magazines or Pinterest for any ideas. I wanted to see what we could come up with on our own! I started by having my husband cut out a pumpkin shape that I drew on the pallet.

Sep 24, 2014

Putting up Gratitude


I was driving home from work last night and the autumn sun was setting. It cast a warm, orange glow across the fields of crops, among the trees and filled the valleys. 

One of my new favorite songs came on on the radio. It's about dirt, roots and settling down somewhere.

I felt blessed. 

I felt warm.

I felt gratitude. 

Every year around this time, everyone talks about fall/autumn being their favorite season. Everyone loves the pumpkin spice everything, apple cider, boots, sweaters, decorating the front porches, the leaves changing and the imaginary hayrides. 

Don't get me wrong, I deck out my porch, buy my very fair share of pumpkin spice everything and I can't wait to cozy up in a pair of boots and a sweater.

Those things are not the reason to love this season, though. At least not for me anyways. 

I'm a farmer's wife so you're probably thinking I love this season because harvest coincides with it. I love harvest. I love the rush, the rewarding feeling and the teamwork within our family. It's definitely an event I look forward to all year.

Harvest isn't the reason I love this season though.

It's a busy season, but it's also a season that tends to slow me down. It's the only time during the year when I stop and collect my thoughts. And I do it often. 

I think a lot during the autumn season. 

I love to take a drive, go on a walk or drive the tractor and just think.

The last few years, I've developed such a deep appreciation for who I am, what I do and where I live. I don't know why it takes the autumn season every year to remind myself that everything is okay; but every year, that reminder is there. It's everywhere.

It's in the rustling sound of the leaves falling. 

It's in the hum of a combine running in the distance.

It's in the steam off a good hot meal brought out to the field by my mother in law. 

It's in my favorite worn out hooded sweatshirt as I pull it over my head and sink into it.

Autumn is sort of like my Christmas season.

It's just what I live for. It only last a few weeks, but while it's here, I try to squeeze out all the thoughts and good feelings of gratitude out that I can. 

Sometimes I feel like I am just going through the motions all year until autumn gets here. 

Everyone is putting up the last of the food, grain and feed for the winter from their gardens and the fields. I'm going to be putting up gratitude and warm feelings. You know, the same way squirrels put up nuts for the winter.

I.Want.To.Feel.This.Way.All.Year.Long.

Sep 11, 2014

Do you remember?


I was a junior in high school sitting in my chemistry class.

We all caught word of the news and begged anxiously to turn on the TV monitor but our teacher thought atoms were more important.

Which, they are important, but.

As each period went on, the teachers let us watch more and more of the news.

I don't think what happened and how it would affect the world today really sunk into my 16 year old brain.

I remember the rumor that gas prices were going up. My main concern was filling up my Jeep after school. Lines of cars filled our small town 4 pump gas station. I waited patiently.

I remember arriving home later feeling a sense of relief sitting around our small kitchen table with my family eating dinner.

I remember asking my mom what was going to happen.

She didn't know then.

We still don't know now.

I'm not sure if it's quite sunk into my 29 year old brain yet, either.

All I know is that we must never take anything for granted.

Sep 3, 2014

Ask the Farmers

I originally began blogging to keep a little diary of my farm life with my new husband on our little piece of ground. My blog was an outlet and opportunity for me to write. I really didn't think anyone would read my blog or even really care what I had to say, for that matter. When I first began sharing my blog, my mom and some of my friend's moms took a great interest in my writing and musings. Little did they know that their support in the beginning is what pushed my to stretch Old Blue Silo just a little further.

I began writing more and more and eventually I began connecting with other bloggers and readers like myself from all over the country. People I didn't even know were taking interest in what I had to say and share.

That's a phenomenal feeling, folks.

Old Blue Silo is not a big blog by any means and it's definitely not famous but it's lead me to people, places and opportunities I never would have encountered. As a big blogger, you can count all the money and statistics you'd like, but you will never be able to put a dollar value on your experiences you had as a small blogger.

Recently, I was asked by a group of my fellow farm wife friends to participate in a new project lifting off the ground this week.


The goal of Ask the Farmers is to pool together a group of farmers, farm wives, ranchers and agronomists to provide educated, well resourced answers to consumers. Today, consumers have so many questions about where there food comes from and it's getting harder and harder to sort through the facts and the myths. Ask the Farmers gives consumers a chance to ask an actual farmer a question they may have about agriculture and agriculture practices. Too many people are turning to unreliable resources for their food facts. They are turning to sources who have never stepped foot on a farm.


Ask the Farmers will take consumer's questions and compose answers in the form of a blog post. To participate in the Ask the Farmers community, please Follow us on Facebook or visit our website at www.askthefarmers.com. You never know what you will learn! I am looking forward to learning from the Ask the Farmers project as I know there is such a diverse group of farmers involved that will provide facts straight from the source: the farm.

Aug 15, 2014

Farmer the Golden Retriever


So, we have a new member in the family.

I'm a bad blogger because we've had this new member for a month and I have yet to make a blog post.


Readers, I'd like you to meet Farmer our future farm and guard dog.

For now, he's just a puppy. He's not doing a whole lot of guarding at the moment.

Just a lot of sleeping, eating, truck riding, slobbering, digging holes, playing catch and oh, discovering corn.

Did I mention, digging holes?

Aug 4, 2014

The grass is never greener...




…on the other side.

What is the ‘other side’ anyways? 

Most of us are familiar with this old saying. I find it fun that it is obviously a metaphor taken from the farm. We’ve all seen horses, cows and goats strrreeetttccchhiiiinnggg under the fence to munch on the grass and clover they can’t get to even though they have access to the exact same munchies underneath their feet.

They’re curious; much like we are.
We spend most of our lives wanting what we don’t have, wondering what it would be like if something were different. There’s truth to the famous saying, “The grass is never greener on the other side,” but why?
No matter what option you choose to have, you’re always giving up something in return.

Always.

The grass might have a little more flavor on the other side, but what are you giving up to sample a taste? Is it worth it?




Jul 21, 2014

Focus


Off topic [you'll see why here in a minute] this last year I have taken more of an interest in my health and fitness. While I am pretty modest about my health and fitness regime as I do not want to be held accountable for when I do fail, I wanted to share with you a program that I've started recently by Beach Body called Focus T25. The "T" stands for Shaun T who is the coach throughout the exercises and the 25 stands for how many minutes a day you need to devote to the program.

Back on topic, contrary to what you are probably thinking thus far, this post is not about fitness nor will this blog turn into a fitness blog. Fitness is a part of my life but it is not my life.

I didn't put much thought into the "Focus" part of my new workout's title nor did I really quite understand it at the beginning. I just knew many people were having success in keeping up with this routine.

I started this workout on a Monday. I was all excited. After doing the workout, I wanted to die but at the same time I really didn't quite feel sore and tired afterwards like I should have. I thought, "WOW. That was  easier than I thought it would be. I could do this everyday. Easily. Boom. I've got this."

Tuesday, I popped in another workout DVD and once again, it was pretty easy. I still didn't find myself overly worked, tired or sore.

By this point, I am slightly concerned because these videos were pretty intense, but I wasn't feeling like my body was getting the workout it should have.

So, back track to the title of these workouts, FOCUS T25. I decided to look into what the "focus" really meant. Maybe I was missing something. I sort of tend to tune out the instructor in workout videos most of the time. I mock the movements based on what I see the people doing in the background. I decided that maybe it would be a good idea to actually listen to what Mr. Shaun T actually had to say.

Jul 4, 2014

The 4th'



My husband and I enjoyed a local 4th of July parade this morning. I was taking pictures of little league kids in the back of pick ups, silly Lions Club members in go-carts, political candidates and their families, local businesses with their decorated floats. I got a little teary eyed as I glanced up and saw this flag waving above me in the breeze. I looked around at all the people. Kids were running around grabbing candy. Moms taking pictures. Dads laughing with their company. Teenagers sporting their 'mericana gear. Everyone was free. Free to have a good time. Free to gather in the streets partaking in one of the many traditions we hold here in the United States. But it all goes back to that flag and the reason it flies. Don't forget. Live in the moment, but celebrate our past, future and present. It's all on us.

Jun 27, 2014

Tiger Lilies on the Farm


Tiger lilies also known as Ditch Lilies are blooming here in Northern Indiana! Tiger lilies are very special to me because the ditch near my parents house was always full of them growing up as a child. I remember riding my bike up and down the road admiring the flowers. Sometimes I'd look for garden spiders living and nesting near the flowers. I enjoyed picking a bloom and putting it behind my ear.

Jun 24, 2014

Between Old Mcdonald's Farm and "Factory Farms"




Agriculture is a huge part of mine and my husband's lives. It controls our schedule, where we work, our finances, where we live, our interests, and the people we share some of our time with.

And it controls our thoughts and our emotions.

We're just small Hoosier conventional soybean and corn farmers but I couldn't imagine living our life without farming or being involved with agriculture. I think about where we would live, what our landscape would look like or what we'd do with the extra money we've invested into keeping the farm going.

I don't think about it very long because it's well, just something I. don't. like. to. think. about.

We have so much invested in agriculture.

If you're married to a farmer or you are a farmer or both, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Recently, it seems like many others off the farm have taken an interest in agriculture as well.

They're concerned with the seeds we plant, the chemicals we APPLY, the ground we use, the taxes we pay, the fuel we use, the income we make, the roads we use and where our crops go post harvest.

Some think it's a sin that we grow grain that could possibly go towards feeding the animals that we eventually consume. Some think it's a sin that we grow genetically engineered crops even though they have no reasoning to back up that thinking. Some think it's a sin that we are tearing up their roads and wasting their tax dollars. Some think we are sinning by poisoning their air with the pollution from our tractors.

They've never worked on a farm let alone even visited a farm.

But for some reason, they think they know exactly how we should farm.

Jun 19, 2014

DIY: Pallet Flag With Barn Star

I am dedicating this post to my brother in law, Mr. Adam Smith who is running for Kansas State Representative in this coming election! Be sure to check out Mr. Smith's website for more information and like the Smith for Kansas Facebook page to stay up to date on their latest news and campaign information.


A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I have started a few projects around the house. I am excited to share another one with you! I have been dying to make a pallet flag similar to the ones I've seen on Pinterest but with my own design and twist.

This is a project I gathered all the supplies for last summer but never got around to doing it. I am so excited that I was able to get this fun pallet flag done and displayed on Flag Day! I am even more excited to share the tutorial so you have plenty of time to make one before the 4th of July. Okay, maybe not plenty of time, but if you get on it now, it can be done! 

Jun 12, 2014

Sometimes I Struggle


I am a farmwife.

As simply defined in Webster's dictionary dating back to 1874 : a farmer's wife

That's it. 

That's all Webster and his posse could come up with. 

Some of you might find that definition quite offensive.

Not me. I get it.

You see, we farmwives all have one thing in common: We are married to a farmer. 

But that's mostly it, folks. That's all we have in common as farmwives.

You see, my life as a farmwife is different than yours and your life as a farmwife is different from mine. That's why Mr. Webster's definition couldn't go into much more detail. He'd have to create a whole new book just to define us farmwives and all we do.

But there is one more thing we have in common as farmwives and that is, we struggle. And within those struggles, there are differences.

My name is Kelly. I'm a new farm wife. And I struggle.

I struggle because, I have a powerful title to live up to. Not everybody gets to be a farmwife. More than likely not everybody wants to be either. 

As newer farmwives, we have stereotypes, legacies, traditions and our own lives to sort through. We want to do things the way our grandmothers, mothers or mothers and grandmothers in law did, but sometimes we just can't. What may have worked for prior generations, doesn't always work for us. 

Sometimes the modern feminist way of thinking in farm communities doesn't gain a lot of popularity with the less modern generations. 

Jun 5, 2014

Genuity® RootWorm Manager App Review

This post is sponsored by Genuity® but all opinions and writing are 100% mine.


When the iPhone and the iPad were first making an appearance in our world of technology, I honestly thought farmers including most of our farm friends would be the last if at all to jump on board when it came to purchasing this technology. I never thought twice about how the technology of a smart phone or tablet could be used on the farm

I thought they would at least jump on board to check the weather, though. And taking selfies in the tractor and the field, of course.



I began seeing various agriculture apps come out and some farmers even use an iPad in the tractor to navigate various tools and engage in field mapping. As I worked at an equipment dealership for a few years, I watched the relationship between farmers and smart phones and tablets grow more and more everyday.


In fact,  between 2010 and 2011, mobile device usage increased by 30 percent on the farm. Today, it's estimated that 94% of farmers are utilizing a mobile device of some sort on their farm. Where that statistic comes from and how they know, is beyond me. But I believe it.

Jun 3, 2014

Staircase Vignette Makeover with Barn Junk

I have been doing quite a few projects around the house and I feel a little guilty keeping them from you guys! Recently, I finally put together a little vignette display underneath my staircase. It's a simple project that has been weighing on my mind for this space the last two years since we moved in. Every time I walked by this space, which was like 3 million times a day, I'd cringe.

Our friends had an antique drop leaf table finished for us as a wedding gift. Supposedly I had pointed this table out at an antique store. My friend went back shortly after our visit and picked up the table. She had a friend refinish it. It's a very special gift and I had a spot for it the moment we moved in. I just never really put much effort into decorating it.

I slapped a table runner, an enamel washtub filled with burlap and light up grapevine balls and called it a day.

BEFORE

BEFORE
Can you say, B-O-R-I-N-G. It just wasn't working for me. And I left it like that for TWO YEARS.

Jun 2, 2014

Mason Jar Monday: Ball® Sip & Straw Lids




Welcome back for another Mason Jar Monday! Today I am featuring another gadget to turn your jar into a fun drinking glass for the summer. I know I've featured some others in the past, but I am particular excited about these Sip & Straw Lids because they're put out by Ball®. You can find these lids and straws just about anywhere Ball® jars are sold. They come in both wide and narrow mouth.


 I am not sure how long this little collection has been in stores, but I discovered my lids and straws at a Hardware store in Shipshewanna, Indiana. I picked them up for around $5 for 4 lids and 4 straws. Once I found them, I started seeing them everyone! Friends were sending me pictures as they came across them.