Jun 29, 2016

Life Unfiltered


A lot of people wonder what farmers do while their crops are growing. With today's technologies like GE seed (otherwise known as GMOs), the herbicide Round Up and crop monitoring apps, we are able to leave the farm, share our stories and engage with the rest of the world.

After work last night, I traveled to our state's capitol and spent today serving Indiana Corn and making decisions that impact all of us farmers and the industry we love. I love it but this introvert is exhausted. My husband spent the day helping a customer with his combine. No lunch. No dinner. And a smashed thumb. He's exhausted.

No matter what our days are like, we always get to come home to our 4th generation farm to carry on a legacy.

And that's our ‪#‎unfiltered‬ story.

I may not always have time to write a blog post but with tools like my iPhone, I can take a minute to share a little bit of my world on various Social Media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Sometimes people need just that. A quick glimpse into someone else's world to better understand a situation.

Farmers, ranchers and other rural dwellers need to share their story. We may never completely understand what goes on in the city and those who live in the city may never fully understand what goes on in the rural areas. However, I have dreams that with social media, we will do better at connecting and understanding each other. We will someday work together and build a better place for us all to co-exist.

The generations of folks removed from the farm increases as our communication barrier decreases. We have everyone literally at our fingertips now.

We must all come together to share in each other's needs.

That was the point of starting this blog, Old Blue Silo back in 2011.

I wanted to share a little piece of life on a small 4th generation Indiana farm with those who have been removed. I wanted my readers to understand that things are just not done the way they used to be. I don't stay at home and can, quilt and hang my clothes out to dry while my husband drives an open cab ractor in overalls and a straw hat.

I wanted to connect with other farmers across the country like myself.

I have done just that.

I've made connections off and on the farm. I've built a small community. A safe place where readers who come back time after time know they can ask questions about agriculture or the rural lifestyle.

It didn't happen over night.

Advocating for the rural lifestyle and agriculture has not always been easy and it's still not. There have been many late nights and early mornings. Lots of traveling. Many tears. There's been more sacrifices than I can count. I've had to give up many things but at the end of the day, I know I'm doing exactly what I am meant to be doing.

I know that attending a Farm Bureau board meeting after work, reading a CNN article, listening to a podcast on leadership, or writing a blog post here at Old Blue Silo is far more important than that next episode of the Voice or whatever people are watching these days. 

Do you know how many of my 951 friends on Facebook posted about the Brexit and the situation over in Europe? 

One.

One, you guys.

We are already spending time online. We are already watching something or reading something. We are already visiting with people. Why not make the things we do high impact? Does what you do have meaning? Do you share your passion with others? Do you talk to the same people all the time or do you network with someone who is different than you?

Don't just let the days and a filtered world pass you by. 

I once thought ignorance was bliss.

However, I quickly learned that ignorance is lonely.

Jun 25, 2016

HIGH EXPECTATIONS


Hanging out in my flower beds at our homestead every summer has become a favorite pastime of mine. 

It's been fun cultivating, planting, digging and watching what comes out of the ground every spring and summer.

Some of my plants over the years have turned out exactly as I expected and others have been quite a surprise. 


[ Much like this hydrangea that was blue when I purchased it. ]


In many ways, my flower beds have been very comparable to life. I've cultivated, planted, dug and watched myself grow over the years.

Some of my life has turned out exactly the way I expected it and other events have been quite a surprise. 

Some of these surprises have been the outcome of the wrong expectations.

[ Such as expecting my flowers to be full and bountiful the moment I sink them in the ground. ]

I think it's human nature to expect things to happen a certain way or within a particular time frame. 

However, much like my flower beds, we need to sit back and enjoy the growing process. 

[Our lives, similar to my flower beds, require a lot of cultivating, planting, digging and watching.]

I believe it's okay to have high expectations and high standards, but are they within means of your available time and other resources? Once your expectations and standards become unrealistic, you're automatically setting yourself up for failure. I see some of the most successful people fail themselves all the time. They don't concentrate on how much they have accomplished. They concentrate on how much they didn't accomplish. They're never happy or satisfied because it's merely impossible for them to be.

I'm constantly letting myself down every summer as we never, ever, and I mean EVER tackle our ginormous summer to-do list. From putting rock around the pond, to tearing down more fence and planting a few more trees... it all gets moved to next summer and eventually the one after that. 

And you know what? I'm beginning to realize that, that's okay

As long as we are doing the best we can, crops are in the ground growing and our home doesn't look like an episode off of Hoarders, I think we are doing pretty good. 

I've decided that this summer, it's not about how much we get done, it's about how much we grow.

So, if once again, I forget to put the coffee grounds underneath my hydrangea plant so the flowers are  blue all summer, that's okay. They're still growing.

[ I use a Keurig anyways. I'd have to murder a lot of K-cups. ]


Jun 2, 2016

LESSONS FROM AN OLD PRAIRIE DOOR KNOB


My husband and I recently had the opportunity to take a trip out to Ashley, North Dakota, an old farm town full of German-Russian culture where my friend Jenny at Prairie Californian lives. If you don't know Jenny, she transplanted to Ashley, ND after marrying a sunflower farmer. I plan on sharing you more about our vacation, what I learned about North Dakota culture and how mine and Jenny's friendship formed. But for now, I want to share with you one of my favorite moments from Ashley, North Dakota.

Jenny is a very talented photographer and enjoys the same subject matter that I do including old farm homes. Of course she had to take us out to some of her favorite places including this old little house pictured above. We took a few shots from afar and as we drew closer to this old home, my eye kept drawing towards that front door housed by a little porch.

My imagination began running wild as I began thinking about how many times someone ran inside and outside of that door. As we approached and I was able to get even closer to the front door, the old rusty door knob caught my eye. I stared at it for a long time.

I wanted to touch it, but I couldn't.

It wasn't mine to touch.

This doorknob was turned by a farm family of eleven children. 

Eleven lives were raised in that home. Eleven lives that all had an impact on this little North Dakota community.

I'm sure if door knobs could talk, this one would have some stories to tell. 

It's interesting to think about each time the doorknob turned as each child went out out that door for the last time. 



Which direction did they go? 

Every time we turn a knob and walk out a door, we make a decision. Sometimes we choose to go places we dread. 

Sometimes we go places we love. 

Sometimes we go places we've never been. Those places may changes our lives forever. 

No matter where we go, ‪#‎home‬ will always be the place where we made our very first choice. 

And #home is where we will make our last...




...because home is where the heart is.