Dec 31, 2013

best of 2013



I wanted to take the time to wish each and every one of you a wonderful new year!! I am so excited for 2014 and all the good things to come. Thank you all for your love and support as I continue to write and share my story, life and ideas. I see each and every like, comment, message, email and the follows on other social media. Your positive feedback really does mean the world to me and then some. 


I know I haven't been involved with the blogging world very long and the 2013 season started just this summer but I wanted to share my top 5 most visited posts. Maybe you will discover one that you have missed! 

Dec 26, 2013

new lens for christmas


So, I don't know how my husband does it, but he is so good at thinking of things I needed but didn't realize that I needed.

Basically, he's good with surprises.

Two years ago, I received my DSLR camera for Christmas. I didn't know I wanted one. I didn't know I needed one. I mean, I kind of did but not really. If that makes sense. I doubt it does. Let's just say it was a thought I didn't think much about because I didn't think it was going to happen.

And let's just say, without that camera, this blog wouldn't have grown to what it is today. Which isn't much. But it's a lot to me.

Dec 19, 2013

simple christmas porch


So, I told myself that I was going to go all out this year with my front porch Christmas decor but instead.......... I didn't. I kept it pretty simple with just a little evergreen and a few white lights. 

When it comes to Christmas decor, I definitely like the classics. I love the look of the evergreen up against our red siding. Now all I need is to put out my antique sled and some ice-skates. I haven't dug those out of my collection of "junk" yet. Maybe this weekend. There's still time.

Dec 14, 2013

snow covered memories


There's always something so peaceful about a beautiful snow fall in the country. This morning we woke up to a peaceful snow covered morning.

I've always hated to be cold, but I absolutely love snow. I spent a lot of time outside playing in it with my family growing up as a child. Dad would take us around on the snowmobile. Sometimes he would pull one of us behind on a saucer. I especially loved snowmobile rides at night going through the woods. The headlights shining on the snow covered tree branches. You could see animal tracks scattered through the woods. We'd go ice skating on the frozen over flooded spots in the fields or an iced over pond. Mom, decked out in a 1980s snowmobile suit would always help us build the perfect snow man and teach us how to make snow angels.

Afterwards, while mom was making dinner, I always enjoyed going into the cozy barn and "helping" dad do chores. The animals would have their fuzzy winter coats and they huddled together to stay warm. Sometimes you'd see a silly kitty sleeping on top of a horse. I remember the warmth of rolling over in a stack of hay in your coveralls and winter coat.

Then we'd go inside while dad plowed snow with a tractor and we would undress making a huge mess. Snow and hay everywhere. Mom never complained. Until we got older, ha.

After a long day in the snow, fresh wood in the fire place and a mug of hot chocolate, I remember cuddling under a blanket with my brother watching Christmas movies. Until we would start kicking and pinching each other, then it was time for bed.

Now, as an adult, I find everyone complaining about the snow. No one likes to scrape off their vehicles. The snow hinders traveling plans, water is tracked in the house and it even makes going outside to do chores a pain.

When I find everyone complaining about the snow, I close my eyes and think of the great memories I had in the snow as a child. I am so thankful my parents took the time to go out and play with us. I'm thankful for the little farm that we lived on where we could use our imagination and take us anywhere we wanted to be.

Photo courtesy of Ebay

Dec 12, 2013

rustic christmas card display


One of my favorite things I've enjoyed as a new married couple has been receiving Christmas cards from friends and family the last few years. I remember my first Christmas with my husband, I received a few cards from my parent's friends. I thought that was so neat. My very own card, I thought.

I wasn't quite sure what to do with all the Christmas cards coming in. We were still in the old house building our new and I don't think we even had a Christmas tree up. I ended up tossing them all in a basket.

Last year, was our first Christmas in our new house. Once again, cards were coming in and I didn't know what to do with them all. I was going to string them across the kitchen somehow then I thought, eh, that would be too much clutter. I randomly stuck one in this old shutter I had in my kitchen before my kitchen shelf makeover that I wrote about this summer.

Dec 11, 2013

you can't make christmas perfect


I haven't been a very good 'blogger' this holiday season.

Or maybe I have been. By keeping it real.

Christmas is the perfect chance to automatically have great blog material. But it's December 11th already and I have one little lousy post about a Christmas ornament idea.

I had plans of posting baking all month long in my kitchen, creative gift wrap ideas, hand made Christmas cards, a house tour, farmer gift giving guide, a beautiful tablescape, unique porch decor and visions of sugar plums in my head.

In fact, I had plans of posting about my Christmas card display. I took all the pictures, edited the photos and now...... I am writing this post instead.

Dec 6, 2013

life lesson from a barn cat

About 6 weeks ago, a kitten showed up at our farm. She was a bigger kitten. Maybe 5-6 months. She didn't have much of a winter coat and I swear, was the friendliest stray kitty I've ever encountered. I think she was someone's indoor pet at one point. I took the usual "steps" when it comes to strays showing up. I fed her. Waited a day or two to see if she stuck around. She did.

Then I named her. I was in trouble.

I named her Gourd. I don't know why. I think partially because I had gourds outside in my fall d├ęcor and partially because I had an indoor kitty named Pumpkin. I had high hopes that my husband would allow Gourd to be an indoor kitty as well. Then I'd have Pumpkin and Gourd.

But, I was told she'd have to be an outdoor kitty.

I wasn't really ready for barn cats but I didn't want to give her up, either. I took her next door to see if she belonged to anyone there. Nope. I didn't try very hard after that to find a home for her. Deep down, I knew that I wanted to keep her.

Dec 2, 2013

rustic christmas ornaments

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had some great food and spent time with family. Thanksgiving time is crazy because you fall into that quick transition into Christmas. It's like once that turkey is carved and scarfed down, BAM! Christmas music and shopping galore.

I did a little early morning Black Friday for the first time this year! It was a lot of fun. We didn't run into any crazy crowds but we were able to shop some of our favorite stores quietly with great discounts. I think next year, I need to make a list and try to get everyone done in one day! This year I was just along for the ride to see what it was all about.


Anyways, we put up our tree and some Christmas decorations up over the weekend! I am so stinking excited. I love my tree to pieces. It's an artificial cashmere pine and I enjoy putting rustic ornaments and tree wrap burlap on it with white lights. I'm pretty picky about what goes on my tree! Not a lot of things make the "cut." I don't like anything bright or sparkly on my tree! It flows very well with the rest of my house.

Sometimes I enjoy a little repetition on my tree including rusty bells, stars and one of my favorite ornaments that I am going to share how I make with you! It adds a nice simple, rustic touch to any tree and they're super easy to make. And super cheap!

Nov 27, 2013

happy thanksgiving [in a not so perfect world]

This afternoon, as I was staring out the window at the beautiful snowflakes falling down, I stirred my cappuccino in my mug. My spoon was clinking against the glass. I had forgotten how much I enjoy that sound. I kept stirring just to hear that little noise. It's a good thing my husband wasn't home or he would have been annoyed. 

Snowflakes continued to fall. I took my cappucino over to the other window and stared out at the thing blanket of white everywhere.

I noticed my pumpkins still out on my porch. Some beginning to rot. My pet peeve. They looked out of place sitting out in the snow and I was mad at myself for not throwing them out like I was going to last weekend. I thought to myself, in a perfect world, my pumpkins would be fresh and there wouldn't be snow falling the day before Thanksgiving.

But I don't live in a perfect world. No matter how hard I try.

Then I began to notice how nicely the snow sat on top of the pumpkins around the stem. As if it was suppose to be there all along.

I sat my cappuccino down and grabbed my camera. I stepped outside in the cold, brisk air. Snowflakes were falling into my hair as I snapped a few picture of my snow covered pumpkin.

I was no longer mad at myself for not throwing my pumpkins out last weekend. 


Nov 21, 2013

holiday newsletter idea a total bust



Today, I decided I wanted to get ahead on a few holiday chores. I wasn't excited about getting the tree out quite yet. The cats just tore it apart several weeks before Christmas last year.

I really wasn't in the mood to shop for people quite yet although I looked at a few ideas for my nieces and nephew.

So what could I do? You know, to get "ahead."

I got online and visited one of those design-your-own card sites and started scrolling through some different greeting card ideas. Some cards were plain with some small graphics. Some had a family picture. Some even had little news tid bits about exciting things that occured this year.

Then I thought to myself, hey, I like to write, I should make a holiday newsletter to send out with my cards! Do people still do that anymore? Sure! Why not! Some of our relatives don't have Facebook so they have no clue what we are up to.

I got really excited.

I made a cup of coffee and opened up Microsoft word. 

I was ready to do this thing!

And I sat there. Staring blankly at the screen.

Hmmmm, I thought to myself. What did we do this year that is fun, new and exciting?

Then the Jeopardy theme song started playing in my head.

Well, two years ago we got married and I started a new job. Last year we moved into our house and went out to Kansas for Thanksgiving. Went to a lot of weddings. Friends had lots of babies. 

And the Jeopardy song came back as my eyes were looking all around the room for ideas.

Oh! We got a new bedroom set. Nahh, people don't need to hear about that. 

We are really excited about our new to us tractor we purchased this year! We even gave it a scandalous nickname. Never mind. It's 30 years old. No one would understand our excitement.

Oohh! I could write about our new barn cats. 

Then it hit me.

We aren't really exciting newlyweds anymore.

We are that comfortable, boring-almost 30-married couple without kids who have given up our partying and socializing days for crashing at 10 pm on a Saturday night.

For a second, I was slightly bummed because I feel like we are extremely busy people. We are always going somewhere, working on something, helping somebody out or doing something. Surely I would have something to write about. But when I look back on this last year, I can't recall much of it being outside of the "norm." I had nothing new and "cool" to write about in my Holiday Family Newsletter Volume 1.

But you know, I kind of like being that comfortable, boring-almost-30-married couple and not having anything "cool" to write about.

I was feeling sort of oddly thankful for my boring, almost-30 normal life and that my letter was a total bust.

It's called freedom.

That Holiday Family Newsletter Volume 1 can totally wait. 



Nov 19, 2013

30 days of thanks: surviving the mid-west storm


I've always enjoyed living in Northern Indiana for the most part.

If you know me, one of my biggest "fears" is experiencing a natural disaster. I even held this fear long before I was a home owner.

What I really like about Indiana is, we don't have hurricanes and coastal flooding. We do have the occasional river flood. Not a lot of mud slides since we lack mountains. Every now and again we experience "blizzard" type conditions and chillier than usual weather but our winters really aren't detrimental. There typically aren't issues with naturally wide-spread forest fires although we will have a common grass fire but that's mostly due to a careless person tossing a cigarette out their vehicle window. We have earth quakes but they are very minor compared to those experienced across other parts of the world. Last I checked, there aren't too many erupting volcanoes here, either.

But we do have tornadoes. And the very town we live in was wiped away by a tornado in the 70s. There's nothing left but a community building, a closed down screw factory, a church and some homes. Nothing was rebuilt.

The nice thing about coming into November and December is the peace of mind for a few months where we don't have to worry about natural disasters like tornadoes. I'm not saying we didn't know they could happen, but it's always reassuring when your chances decrease. November to me, is time to relax. It's the end of harvest. It's the calm before the holiday storm. Metaphorically speaking.

Nov 14, 2013

Stereotypes and Agriculture


Sometimes stereotypes can be fun. I made the above farmer meme in honor of my husband just to see what I could come up with for stereotypes. I love watching him grow into his own. And I love watching all the different ways people view what he does.

Sometimes stereotypes can really hurt.

No matter what you do in life, others are going to view it through their own lens. I'm guilty of it myself at times when it comes to other hobbies and occupations. We all do it. We all stereotype.

Agriculture has become so far disconnected with today's society that a lot of kids and even some adults have no clue where their food comes from. All they have left are the stereotypes. You know, like the ones Pete Holmes has so greatly shared in his skit blaming farmers for day-light savings time.

Farming and ranching are two occupations that fall greatly as stereotype victims to society. Yes, there are some farmers out there that are lazy, only do it for the money, turn in false records to their tax accountants, break the laws and rules, trash the land and abuse animals. They ruin the good name of an honest, hard working farmer. You're going to have that in every occupation. You're also going to have farmers with frugal life styles and farmers that live high off the hog. No pun intended. But you also see that in other industries as well. I know some dentists that live like paupers!

There's going to be that dishonest doctor that tells a patient they have a disease when they really don't. You'll have that police officer who takes advantage of his power. There's a lot of dishonest politicians out there getting in trouble for things in which they should know better. A lot of these occupations take the wrath of those who have abused the system but not all doctors, police officers and politicians are bad people. In fact, I happen to personally know wonderful people in all three of those fields.

I once worked with a very sour person that was constantly and blatantly making statements about farmers and money to my face. He was going to go out and start a farm so he could be "rich." I kept telling him, you're more than welcome to go out and do whatever you put your mind to but good luck.

As John F. Kennedy once said,
Farming can be decent money, yes, but it takes a long, long time to get there unless you were born into a huge operation. Even then, it takes a good farmer and a good man or woman to take care of something their ancestors started. It's all about choices and decisions and every one you make affects your future. There is a lot at risk. And there are a lot of things you can't control like the weather and the economy.

It's an occupation, hobby and lifestyle all rolled into one. There are times it can be hard. There are times it can be fun. You're going to have your good years and your bad years. Some years you break even, others you bank. You may know you're working, other's may think you're just out there playing and a lot of people think all farmers do is make money make money make money, spend spend spend, get, get, get. That's just how it's always going to be but it's up to us to educate society on what we really do and what we are really passionate about.

Farming has a different meaning to everyone young and old, man and woman, city and country. There's more to it than a tractor and a pair of cowboy boots.

I guess ultimately we and our families are the only ones that matter but at the same time, we want our consumers to understand and appreciate all that we do. It's up to us as farmers to educate and it's up to consumers to get educated!

We should be thankful for stereotypes because they give us an opportunity to teach and reach out! If it weren't for stereotypes, there wouldn't be a need for "AGvocates" and reaching out to consumers. One of the best things about being a farmer is sharing with others what it is we do!

Nov 13, 2013

30 days of thanks: dreams to share


I don't know about you, but I dream a lot. Dreams are what push me to keep going all day every single day. Sometimes my dreams are unrealistic and sometimes they are achievable. Sometimes they last 5 minutes and sometimes they last 5 years. My dreams vary from occupational, additions to our farm, ideas for the house and what I want to try making for dinner that evening. 

One thing I learned is that it can be scary to share your dreams with others.

Another thing I've learned about dreams is that they can easily be crushed. When your dreams are crushed, it's much harder to want to make your dreams come true. You question whether or not you're dreaming the right dreams. 

No one likes a dream crusher.

At one point in my life, I was probably a dream crusher. I was more of a realist. I was that friend who was always bringing up reality checks with my other friends. Don't you think he's a little too old for you? Are you sure you can afford that? Do you really need to get married this soon? You're going to get bored with that down the road and move on to something else. Why would you want to do that?

I loathe dream crushers. I loathe the fact that I once was a dream crusher. 

There is a fine line to cross when it comes to not wanting someone to make a mistake and letting them learn from their own mistakes. It's hard. If they're doing innocent dreaming, let them dream. Dreamers usually move on to the next dream anyways.

Life is so much better when you just sit back and let people dream. 

It's even more fun when you dream with them together.

I love watching my friends and my family members turn their dreams into reality. Nothing makes me happier. 

I have indeed encountered some dream crushers in my life the last few years. Are they realists or are they jealous? Sometimes it's hard to tell. I am so thankful that I have more people to dream with me than I do to crush my dreams. It's hard not to focus on only the crushers at times.

My husband, my family and most of my friends have been more supportive with some of my dreams as of late than I could ever imagine. 

Marrying a farmer has taught me that dreaming is okay. Agriculture and technology is constantly growing and changing. There's always something to read and dream about. I've become comfortable with the fact that most of our life is going to be composed of dreaming but respectively, we've had a lot of dreams come true as well. I can't complain.

I am going through a period in my life where I am dreaming more than usual lately and there's nothing better than having someone by your side dreaming with you. So thank you, friends. Thank you, family. For dreaming with me and turning my dreams into reality. 


Nov 12, 2013

30 days of thanks: sunrise

Sunrise.

Sunset.

Sunrise.

Sunset.



We see this pattern every. single. day. We don't think much of it. We don't call up our buddies and say,"Hey the sun rose today! Coolest. Thing. Ever!" You don't walk into work and say "Thank God the sun rose today. Phewww."

Once in a while, we might take a picture of an exceptionally more beautiful sunrise. We appreciate the beauty.

However, the older I get, the more I appreciate more than just the beauty of a sunrise.

It's more than just having to get out of your warm bed in the morning.

Watching the sunrise every morning is like watching a new day begin. A new day that most of us will take for granted.

There's nothing better than sipping on coffee and watching the sunrise. Whether you're doing it from your vehicle, the barn, the office, the front porch or your kitchen table, it's all the same.

Savor every moment of it because you never know when your last sun rise will be.



Nov 11, 2013

30 days of thanks: veterans


Veteran's Day. Smack dab in the middle of everyone's 30 days of thanks. You can't get any more of a perfect opportunity to be thankful than this.


I am thankful for our Veterans. I think about war a lot. I silently think about the state of our country often. It's one of those "what ifs" constantly weighing in the back of my mind. I am so thankful for our Veterans because I am more of a pacifist. It would honestly be hard for me to enlist as a soldier and kick butt at it. I know some women that would do an amazing job. I am so thankful that we have all the men and woman who do volunteer so those of us who are insecure about our abilities do not have to enlist. I am thankful for those women and children who have given up their husbands and fathers so that mine doesn't have to enlist. It's such an emotional feeling and one can never give enough thanks to their dedication.

My mother in law was cleaning out some paper work and came across my husband's certificate for registering for the draft when he was 18. It kind of made my heart stop for a moment. I know it's not a big deal because all males had to do it when they were of age but it still makes you think. For a moment. That some day there just might be that possibility.. that I don't even want to think about.

There are times when I am whining to myself because my husband is busy with the farm and not around a lot but at the end of the day, he's always home. We always get to eat dinner together whether it's at 5:00 or 11:00. He's by my side every night. Well, other than dryer duty nights but that's what, a few nights out of the year? I will take it.

Then I think about the military families.

The wives, husbands and children of military men and women have given up more than I could ever imagine. They know the definition of a true sacrifice. They know the price of what it costs to keep our freedoms.

When I think of veteran I often think of my maternal grandfather. My Poppa. He was a tall, noble man who wore a military haircut his entire life. He never spoke of WWII where he served over seas in active duty. If it weren't for my mother telling me, I never would have guessed he was a war veteran. He didn't display a bumper sticker on his car. He didn't wear an "I'm a Veteran hat" nor did he participate in any lodge or clubs made up of veterans. He didn't tell stories of the war over dinner. He went, came back, began a normal career, never speaking of what went on. It's almost as if that part of his life was not how he wanted to be remembered as and he surely to this day wouldn't want to be labeled as a veteran. He wouldn't want the recognition.  It's hard for me not to think of him on this day. So hard. But I do. And I can.

My husband's paternal grandfather, from what I hear, was the same way. Never spoke of what went on during his line of duty. I now think of him as well on this day. I often-times wonder what it would be like to across from him in his recliner to this day. I imagine the stories he would tell about my husband as a young boy helping him out around the farm. I want to hear him tell the version of how he met his wife. I've heard her version many times. Her eyes light up every time. I think about what it would be like to see his warm eyes light up.

On this day, I also think about the many classmates of mine and the several in the classes below me who went off to training shortly after graduation. Instead of going off to college or working in a factory or joining an apprenticeship, they chose to serve our country. They didn't have to. But they did. It was an extremely admirable choice. I remember being so proud of them. And I still am to this day.

And lastly, on this day, I think of all the veterans and soldiers I will never meet. All the young men and women who make such a difference in our lives without us every knowing their name. It's because of you that I can wake up every morning as a free person living the American dream. I can eat what I want. Watch what I want. Read what I want. Go wherever I want.

Thank you to all our veterans and active men and women in duty. Thank you to your families for making the ultimately sacrifice.

We all take far too much for granted.

Nov 7, 2013

30 days of thanks: first world problems



You have probably heard the term first world problem a lot these last few years. If not, a first world problem is something like an iPhone not having signal, the power going out, your car not starting, you forgot your morning coffee on the counter, your favorite pair of jeans didn't get washed, etc.

You see, these types of problems are not real problems. They are things that frustrate us, yes but most of the items we have issues with on a day to day basis are luxury items. No matter how many first world problems we have, we still have a warm house to go home to, a family that loves us and food on the table.

These are first world problems because at the end of the day, they really don't matter. The last few days have been filled with what I consider first world problems to me. They're so petty that I am too embarrassed to even share them with you!

Nov 6, 2013

30 days of thanks: my parents


When I started this 30 days of thanks series, I thought that it would be hard to to find things to write about. Not because I don't have a lot to be thankful for, but because I find it hard to sometimes put your emotions and true feelings down for the world to see and that's what giving thanks is all about.

It's so easy to sit back and say, I am thankful for "X", "Y" and "Z" especially when it comes to the obvious like family, friends, a warm bed, siblings, etc. You have to understand why you are thankful for someone or something in order to fully appreciate what you have in life. We are taught at a young age to be thankful for friends, family and good influences in our lives. However, it's so easy to take them for granted. This month I have really pushed myself to sit back and think about why am thankful for the things that bring joy in my life.

Yesterday, I noticed a Facebook status of someone mocking the 30 day of thanks Facebook challenge that I noticed a lot of my friends and family members are doing everyday with a new status. That made me sad because that person doesn't truly grasp the whole idea.

Everyday is a new day and with each new day, you find new reasons to be thankful for something specific in your life. You might be thankful for your parents because they clothed, fed you, put you through school and provided a roof over your head. That's a given. But what else have they brought into your life? Clothes, food, school and a roof are all physical, Earthly items.

Nov 5, 2013

30 days of thanks: a home to clean

This post is sponsored and brought to you by Alicia Kondas || Independent Norwex Consultant. All thoughts and opinions are written by me and %100 genuine. 



If you know me personally, one thing I am extremely passionate about is a clean, healthy home. As much as I clean, you would think that I enjoy it. It's not that I dread it, but yes, there are other things that I would rather be doing but it needs done! 

Cleaning your house comes hand in hand with owning a home and taking care of your family. Instead of seeing it as a chore, I view it as something I am thankful that I have the opportunity to do. I am thankful that I have a home to clean and you should be too!

However, I actually enjoy cleaning my house a little more since I have started using Norwex products. Norwex is a company that focuses on eliminating as many chemicals and harmful cleaning products in your home as possible. They're also focused on saving consumers time and money. Their products are an investment up front, but I love how much money they save you in the long run.

Nov 4, 2013

30 days of thanks: the farm


As we have recently ended harvest ourselves and I've been watching some of the other farmers still out and about in the fields, I am reminded of how lucky I am to have the opportunity to work side by side with my husband doing something that I love.

I have absolutely fallen head over heals in love with farming and agriculture. I love working the ground that my husband's great grandfather once did with a 3 bottom plow. I love watching our crops grow all summer. I ache when we don't get enough rain or we get too much rain. I thrive on fall harvest. I love reading and learning about farm progress. My heart dances all over when I drive by a heard of cattle or an old barn. My passion grows more and more as the years go by. I even don't mind helping my dad make hay which use to be a dreaded task in my younger years.

Working on the farm, I see what my husbands sees. I feel what my husband feels. I live for the same reasons my husband does. It has brought so much joy and meaning into my life.

This farm has taught me many things including perseverance, patience, sacrifice, hard work and dedication.


I am so thankful for our farm and the fact that no matter what life throws at us, we still get to do something that we love. Success should not be measured by money or Earthly possessions. Success should be measured by how much one loves what they are doing. If you don't love what you're doing, there's no amount of money that can make up for that.


Nov 3, 2013

30 days of thanks: my husband


Sundays are one of my favorite days of the week. It's a day when usually my husband is home. Some women don't like it when their husband is home but I do. And do not say it's because I am a newlywed! 

On Sundays, I like to make a special big breakfast like the burnt peanut butter and chocolate chip pancakes I made this morning. It's nice that we don't have to rush off to work and can sit down and enjoy breakfast together. We often spend the day getting things done around the farm and house. Like today, he scrapped metal while I did some yard work and washed our vehicles. The evenings are usually reserved for a good meal and some couch time! Once in a while we might go into the city and get some shopping done. 

So, since today I spent time with my husband, Dan the Man, I was able to really think about how thankful I am for him. I am not just thankful in general that I have a husband. I am thankful to have a husband like mine in my life. Even if he won't let me have a third cat. I am so proud to call myself his wife. He is that guy that all your friends and family members can't help but love. 

He makes me so proud in everything that he does. Well.......... almost everything. We all have our moments. 

I've never met somebody as selfless, self motivated, passionate and hard-working. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we're getting sappy all up in here at Old Blue Silo. I will try to spare you.

I am so thankful to have found somebody that puts up with me and loves me for who I am including my silly quirks, gluten intolerance, impatience with children, compassion for all animals, OCD tendencies and my obsession with matching. Takes a special person, y'all. 

Day #3 puts the spotlight all on you Dan the Man. 

Nov 2, 2013

30 days of thanks: mobility


Day 2 of the 30 days of thanks challenge. I am thankful for a lot of things in my life, however, this morning I thought of something to be thankful for that a lot of us take way too much for granted.

This morning we were working on some of the not so fun parts of owning a farm: clean up. As I was walking around in the chilly air surrounded by mud and wet grass cleaning up some scrap metal with my husband, father in law and granny, I found myself appreciating the fact that I am able bodied to do this kind of work. There are so many people in the world that are not physically able to get up and move around. There are also so many people in the world that are able to work and move around but choose not to. It's sad, but I know more elderly people who use their mobility more than some people from our younger generations. My husband's 86 year old grandpa uses his mobility like a boss. He still chops wood, wrenches on machinery, drives and works in his garden. 

So today, I am thankful for mobility. 

Mobility is an important part of my day every day. From cooking in the kitchen, taking a shower on my own, doing laundry, cleaning the house, walking to my vehicle, driving my vehicle, making my bed, carrying things upstairs, working on my landscaping, hugging my husband and chasing my silly kitties. I take so many of these things for granted along with the fact that I am able to do them all on my own. 

Dancing with my little brother on my wedding day
I couldn't imagine my life without mobility. I know that it can be lost in a matter of a split second. So many of the things I enjoy doing in life couldn't be done without it. 

Nov 1, 2013

30 days of thanks: indiana


Today is November 1st. Ah yes, thank you Mrs. Obvious. I seriously have no clue where October went. When did it even get here, anyways? Crazy. They say the older you get, the faster time flies. Or maybe it's time flies when you're having fun. So does that mean older people have more fun? I guess so :)
I am starting a blog series for this month. It's called 30 Days of Thanks. I am sure you are all familiar with the idea. Each day I am going to remind myself of something different for which I am thankful. I try not to take too many things for granted in life, but we all need reminders of how well we really do have it regardless of what we don't have. 

November is the month to focus on what we do have. It's time to stop focusing on wanting and move our energy towards thanking and letting others know how grateful we are. 

I am going to still continue my regular blogging, but each day I will feature something I am thankful for. It may be something small and petty. It may be sappy and serious. I swing both ways. 

Oct 27, 2013

sunday fun day: 15 ways


Happy Sunday, everyone! I just got home from a little party and I am in my comfy clothes and cozy by the fire. Love it. I thought it would be fun to share something fun today to mix it up a little.

I love posts where you can get to know a writer or blogger on a more personal level. I tend to follow blogs where I can really connect with the writer. As much as I love writing about working on the farm, interior design, crafts and recipes, it's fun to be able to share things on a more personal level so you can get to connect and know me more!

A few new blog friends of mine, [j.l.d.] Photograph and High Heels and Shotgun Shells created posts similar to Pioneer Woman's Fifteen Ways Marlboro Man and I Are Different. I thought they were such fun posts to read. I learned a lot about the writers and their spouse! I decided this was something I wanted to do but I added a fun twist to the idea to change things up a bit...... I explained these posts to my husband and asked him to list 15 ways we are different! He kind of grunted at first and felt like he was doing homework. I insisted it would be fun... he kind of rattled them off as he was flicking through Tractor House on his phone. It was so fun to see what he came up with!




Oct 24, 2013

an end to #harvest13


It's no secret that my favorite time of year is fall harvest. We work the ground in the spring, plant seed and watch our crops grow and grow all summer long. We pray for rain. But not too much rain. We check and keep tabs on the crops to see what type of weeds, fungus and insects are lurking about. August and September come around and we enjoy watching our crops turn brown knowing that harvest is just around the corner.

Harvest is something every farmer looks forward to. We love to watch to our yields, run the equipment and work sun up to sun down. Meals with the family are enjoyed in the field and we get to work together as a team. Life is a fast-paced, crazy frenzy and the adrenaline rush is like being at a Garth Brooks concert.

There's such a good feeling that rushes over me as I fill my water jug for the day, throw on my favorite boots and tuck a pair of work gloves into my back pocket. I know that as soon as I walk out the door, I'm going to be involved in something special. Something so great and rewarding that I wish everyone could get the chance to experience. There's a sense of accomplishment as you watch the combine make the last swath in a field as it heads over to dump the remaining grain onto the semi for the last load.

Oct 23, 2013

worldess wednesday: hoosier soybean harvest

Photograph taken by reader Dana Dutoi in Wyatt, Indiana

Oct 22, 2013

feels like home



I am very lucky that I fell in love with a farmer who only lives 20 minutes away from my parents. It's so easy for me to run over to visit and they try to stop by when they can. We can celebrate all the holidays together especially birthdays. We can call each other up and go out for a last minute pizza. My mom and I can go shopping together. I really am lucky.

However, whether you're 20 minutes away or 20 hours away, it's never easy to adjust to a new home. I lived in the same house my whole life with the exception of moving off to college. Even then, I still came home almost every weekend and all summer. 

When I first started dating my husband, I made a lot of friends and connections in the area. The county where he lives is a little different than where I came from. The people are different. The culture and values are somewhat different. People even spoke differently. It was a good adjustment at first. I found myself spending a lot of time down at his farm and out with my new found friends. I was having fun. I was experiencing the life I always wanted. We went over to his parents a lot to visit. It sort of felt like home right away.

Oct 21, 2013

single cup mulled cider

I've been craving mulled cider like you wouldn't believe. I'm talking the warm, steamy stuff that's been brewed with cinnamon sticks, oranges and cloves. The kind of cider you find at a good harvest or Christmas party simmering in the crock pot.

Well, since I am not going to a harvest party or Christmas party anytime soon, the chances of me indulging in a crock pot full of steamy, mulled cider are far and few between right now. 

I've been craving it so much that I was seriously going to run to the grocery store and buy a few oranges but than an idea popped into my head! Why make an entire crock pot full for one person when you can make a single cup? 



Oct 19, 2013

last hints of fall


I can't believe October is half over already. It's be an amazing fall here in Northern Indiana. One of my favorites. In fact, our annuals are still alive and even some of my spring blooming creeping flox are confused with their cute little buds. Our trees are JUST NOW starting to change.

Oct 17, 2013

the hardest part about being a farm wife


Two days ago, I wrote about 10 great ways to be a farm wife.

Today I am writing about one of the hardest things about being a farm wife.

Fatal farm accidents.

Seeing or hearing about a farm accident is something that hits so close to home that it makes your stomach churn even if you didn't personally know the person that was killed. All you can think about is that could have been my husband. 

My home community where I grew up lost a very young farm hand this week. It's not something that happens often, but when it does, the news spreads like wildfire and instantly everyone reconnects wanting to know how, when and why.

I feel like when an accident happens in a small town it becomes a part of everyone's life whether you knew that person or not. If you didn't them, you sure knew someone that did and that's all it takes to get emotionally involved. It tugs at all of our hearts and our minds. When it happens in a big city, it's just another head line to get lost in the news.

That's the beauty of a small town. You'll never find a more amazing support group.

I knew this gentleman personally but he wasn't a close friend that I kept in touch on a regular basis. When we'd run into each other he always asked about my dad. He always thought very highly of my dad. My brother and I grew up playing with he and his sister occasionally when we were kids. I can still remember his bedroom lined with shelves full of toy John Deere tractors clear as day. He and my brother would play with those toy tractors for hours. I worked at  John Deere dealership the last few years and he came in quite often to purchase toys for his son.

Oct 16, 2013

wordless wednesday: red october sky

Photo taken by Barb George of Goodies Galore, October 15, 2013



Oct 15, 2013

10 WAYS TO BE A GREAT FARM WIFE



Behind [almost] every good farmer is a good farm wife. Or a potential farm wife if one is dating or engaged to a farmer. Whether you are a woman with a full time career away from home, a stay at home mom with the kids, a house wife, a woman with a part-time job, a woman in school, a woman who works full time on the farm,  a woman who doesn't work on the farm at all, a woman who just brings meals and rides in the tractor,  you are just as important as the farmer whether it be physically or emotionally. The farm needs you.

I had a friend, newly married to a farmer text me the other day. Her text read “Wow, you make me look like a bad farm wife! I never help in the fields. Am I supposed to?”

My answer to her was, “You’re not a bad farm wife for not helping in the fields. You’re an amazing farm wife being just the understanding and caring person that you are.”

A farmer has an unpredictable schedule based around the seasons and the weather. When it’s the busy season, life sometimes can be a blur of eat, sleep, work and farm. Repeat. It’s a bonus if he has clean work pants and underwear ready at all times along with something to eat (whether it’s a cold meat sandwich or a 4 course country feast complete with dessert). What is more important is that he has our support and our patience. Support and patience are far more important than being an expert auger cart runner, a country chef that can whip up a portable 4 course meal and a gal that can turn a wrench just as well as the boys.

Being able to help on the farm physically is just a bonus. It’s not necessary nor is it expected. Do it only if you love it. Don’t force yourself into helping if you don’t enjoy it or you will become bitter with the farm and your husband’s way of life. I help in the fields because our farm is small and my husband and father-in-law both work full time outside the farm. We can’t afford to hire outside help if we want to put cash in our own pocket. I grew up around tractors. It's what I love. 

We all have to work together in order to make things happen. We are a family and a team. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my husband, husband’s parents, his grandma and I all gathered around the back of a tailgate eating dinner in the crisp, autumn air. The meal may only last 5 minutes but it is what I look forward to the most when farming. It’s not my mother in law’s amazing beef and noodles that keep me craving more, it’s the reminder that we are all in this together. We are a team; a team of farmers and good farm wives.

Remember, you don’t have to be turning up dust in the fields or feeding calves to be a great farm wife. Here are ten ways you can be a great farm wife without ever having to pull on a pair of work boots.

Oct 10, 2013

busiest time of year



I know I say this all the time, but I absolutely love this time of year. It's the busiest part of my life but a good busy. Wouldn't have it any other way! I haven't been bored since the day I was born and I don't plan on it anytime soon!

 We're into harvest full swing, the leaves are changing colors and the weather is perfect. It's been 72 degrees and sunny the last several days with cooler, crisp evenings. I've been running around like a mad woman just soaking it all up. This time of year, it doesn't matter what you're doing outside; even if it's just picking weeds, it's enjoyable!

I've been busy doing all things possible outside and helping with harvest when needed. I haven't had a lot of time to work on much for the blog. I really do enjoy the agriculture-heavy posts and sharing our family farm with you, though. It's what I love and spring and harvest is when you're going to hear and see a lot of it. Through the ups and the downs, I enjoy every moment of harvest season and it really is my ultimate high. 

From preparing and eating meals with my new family in the fields, going on parts runs, accompanying my husband in the semi to the grain elevator, running the grain cart, riding in the combine with my husband in hopes he will turn me loose same day (ha!), soaking up the beautiful scenery, late night chats with my mother in law as we follow the guys with our flashers to make sure they make it back to the mill safely to sinking into my cozy bed at night after a long day of running around. 

It's just the best. And I can't get enough of fit! 

Oct 7, 2013

DIY: rustic 'harvest blessings' sign

Alright! It's Monday! A fresh start to a BRAND NEW WEEK....... :)

A couple of weeks ago, before leaving my mom's house, she dumped a few things in the back of the truck. Included with a few mason jars was an old board. Not knowing why she was giving it to me, I was still excited and took off. I don't question when someone offers free "junk" to me because I know I will always find a use for it down the road.


I've been wanting to make a sign to go out on the front porch for harvest. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted my sign to say. I don't like decorating for Halloween because it's so short lived. If you stick with "harvest" type decor, it can usually last you until Christmas. So, I tried to come up with the perfect fall-ish saying to put on my old board.

Last week, I wrote a post called Harvest Blessing refering to my favorite time of year. This time of year really is a blessing to me and it's definitely a good time to count our blessings as well. I decided I wanted my sign to say Harvest Blessings.



Oct 4, 2013

there's always something



We have gotten off to somewhat of a slow start to harvest this season and I've noticed it has weighed on my husband some. We've had some rain. The combine is not calibrating the way it should and they're still having issues with the corn dryer. My husband was unable to get a hold of the repair man for the dryer and my father in law was held up a few evenings out of town this week while trucking for his day job.

I took dinner out to the field the other night and checked to see if my help was needed. My husband was pretty quiet and didn't say much as he ate the food I brought him. You could tell his mind was going a million directions. When he's really quiet on the farm it usually means he's thinking about something, what he needs to do next or he's missing his grandpa.

We sat in silence for several minutes until he finally spoke up.

"There's always something......." he slowly said, shaking his head.

"That's what my grandpa told me one day. There's always going to be something."

He thought for a while and continued slowly.

"My grandpa wasn't a man who cussed; but when he did, it was always followed by the words there's always something."  He half chuckled and cracked a smile as he said this.

By this time, his eyes were getting glossy but he didn't drop a single tear.

Struggling to find something encouraging to say I blurted out "This is what you love."

Oct 2, 2013

DIY: custom front door mat

When I started decorating our front porch for fall, I wasn't loving our front door mat that I settled with for lack of finding something better. It was kind of summery and pretty colorful. I cleaned it then put it away in storage because it was taking away from my rustic look and fall colors.

Ever since we moved into our new house, I've been on a quest for the perfect neutral front door mat. You may think I'm crazy, but it's the little details that make me happy. A front door mat is kind of a way to greet people or introduce yourself to guests. The first impression, if you will! Or maybe you don't even notice them and you think I am a weirdo :)

Unfortunately, every front door mat that I've fallen in love with is too thick for our outward swinging door.

I finally found just a thin, plain, basic good old rubber and coir door mat at walmart for $6-7. 


Hmm. I still wasn't thrilled. Although, some things are better off as less is more, I felt like this mat needed a little something more. 

I thought about painting pumpkins on it or something to do with harvest but then I thought it would make more sense to have an all-season theme then it will be one less thing I have to change out at harvest and Christmas time. Don't get me wrong... I love decorating for the seasons but sometimes all the details can be a lot of work. 

I thought and thought and thought for days over what I wanted to put on my mat. You would have thought with how hard I was thinking that I was a highschool student trying to figure out what college I wanted to go to. Or you may think I need to get a life. But hey, that's just how I am. It's all about the details. So anyways, I decided to do our name in our farm logo font and a silouhette of a tractor. 

Yet another easy DIY project that you guys can do too! Here's what I came up with and how I did it.

Sep 30, 2013

corn harvest 2013 kick off


Yesterday was the calm before the storm. My husband and I (he really needs a nick name, doesn't he?) went on our pre-harvest date. We try to do that every year. Once harvest starts, you just don't know when you'll have free time to go out and do anything again. 

We ventured up to the big city and wandered around the mall a little. Our intention was to trade in my husband's phone at the Apple store since his was 3 years old and it's been doing funny things lately... like turning off on it's own and not wanting to come back on for an hour. I wanted him to have something good and reliable for harvest. Of course Apple was sold out and we couldn't upgrade his phone. Apparently the new phone just came out and everyone had to have one all at the same time? I guess we just wait until ours go bad before we upgrade. 

We treated ourselves to some Olive Garden, roamed around Super Target and slowly drove home taking in the beautiful fall scenery. 

Tonight, after work, the combine was fired up and the fields were opened to get some corn in the dryer to make sure it's working properly. We started off doing granny's field for her. She has the the sandier ground so her field always gets done first. 

Sep 29, 2013

harvest blessing


My most favorite time of year is fall.

And not because of all the pumpkin spice goodness, the beautiful landscapes and the crisp, cold weather. Don't get me wrong. Those are all things I look forward to.

My husband raises field corn and soy beans. He pours his heart and soul into our few acres each and every year. "We don't have much, but we are the biggest smallest farmers around" he says. It is true. My husband never sits back and complains about his older equipment or the fact that he has to work a full time day job before he can get in the fields with just an hour or two of daylight left. He never gets jealous of his buddies with the bigger and the better equipment. He's genuinely happy for the guy who outbids him on the ground he so desperately wanted. He's it.

He's the real deal.

And fall harvest season....this is his Super Bowl. But you won't see him in spandex. Trust me.