Friday, July 24, 2009

Small Scaled Farm Progress Show

For anyone that has NEVER been to Iowa or a FARM should have been at our house this past weekend. We had a lot going on the same day.

1. Mike was COMBINING wheat. (Combine)
2. He hired a couple friends to MOW the wheat straw. (Tractor & Mower)
3. One of them RAKED the straw. (Tractor & Rake)
4. Mike ran the BIG ROUND BALER and bailed the straw. (Tractor & Baler)
5. We had a neighbor come over with his SMALL SQUARE BALER and hay racks and bale some. (Tractor & Square Baler) There was a couple of pickups pulling the hay racks.
6. Somone used the tractor and moved the big bales off the field. (Tractor & Bale Stinger)
7. And last Mike PLANTED seed beans (soybeans) where the wheat had been. (Tractor & Drill)

It was a very BUSY day at our farm. I served them cookies & lemonade. I didn't think to take any pictures because this farming business is an everyday occurance for us and has been for 35 years so I apoligize for not having any pictures.... BUT IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO COME AND STAY WITH US (OUR HOUSE IS ALWAYS OPEN) WE WOULD BE GLAD TO LET YOU ENJOY ALL OF THE FARMING EXPERIENCE AND TAKE YOUR PICTURE. (Just think you could mark off on the map that you have visited Iowa for the first time.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer is here.

I haven't posted for awhile ... can't say I'm busy after reading everyone else's blogs ; my life seems pretty boring and slow. I will admit that my noon hour goes by pretty fast while I'm on the internet trying to catch up.

We keep getting rain almost every other day. This is good for some things but for others it's a hinderence. Mike should have mowed hay over a month ago but the weather is not cooperating. He needs a window of good weather to do this. After the hay is mowed, it should lay on the ground to dry for a couple of days and then needs to be racked in windrows and finally bailed. Hay is better quality if this can be done without being rained on. Since it keeps raining/pouring every other day this has made him very irritable. Remember this is our livelyhood and we need the hay to feed the cattle & sell for the income. There has been several fields mowed for a couple of weeks and with all the rain, the hay has turned to mush and does not have the nutritional value it should. Another draw back about not having made hay yet is instead of three cuttings of hay we will probably just get two and that will make a shortage of big bales of green stuff. Another thing you may not know is that the hay has to be dryed cause if it gets baled to green it can catch on fire.

The corn and bean fields do look half way decent but there is not the rootstock on the corn and there is a big chance of strong winds laying it over or breaking it off. The fields are very weedy and need sprayed also but you can't take a sprayer in the fields with mud puddles/rivers everywhere.

My garden is in the same boat(very weedy) but I am still able to get the yummy vegetables picked to eat. We have had lettuce, spinach, new potatoes, onions, radish, kolarabi & strawberries. I made a spinach, strawberry, poppyseed dressing salad that was delicious.

I know I should blog about my trip to California but Tracy's blog puts mine to shame so I will probably let her have the honor.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hawaii 2009

How can life get any better than this..... I received an all expense paid vacation to Hawaii & enjoyed my grandsons and their mommy & daddy for a week. Michael had to report to Honolulu for work and Tracy, the boys and myself tagged along. We had a wonderful time! We stayed at the Hilton and was in the rainbow towers , it was awesome and we had a lovely patio view. The boys enjoyed watching the koi, ducks, goose, pink flamingos, pigeons and the penguins.

Listening to the man talk about the penguins and how to feed them. They even petted them.

While Tracy & Michael went out on their special date nites (to nice restaurants) I had the fun of watching Mikie & Zachary. The boys and I had picnics in the hotel room or went by stroller to some of the other fine dining places in Oahu. (Cheeseburger in Paradise & McDonalds.) McD's was a backup because the nice aquarium restaurant we walked to needed reservations to sit next to the glass & see the fish at tableside. Since we didn't know this we decided to go elsewhere and McD's was the first stop in sight. I think this was a blessing in disquise...because how was I suppose to go through a wonderful buffet with two small children and get 3 plates of food?!?! I sure don't know how all you mommies multi task all the time. I ADMIRE YOU!!!!
At the zoo it was fun to crawl thru the tunnel in the fish tank and look out the different windows. You could even stand up in the middle of the tank and be surronded by all the fish.

We had a great time at the pools & beaches. Zachary didn't really care for the sand between his toes.

There is so much more to write about but I am using my lunch hour at work for the internet and I still have not got the hang of publishing these blogs yet. You can tell...some of the pics are little and I don't know why my text is underlined. I know Tracy will describe more in detail so you'll have to read her blog.

I just want to thank Tracy & Michael from the bottom of my heart for giving me this wonderful memory. Thank you Mikie & Zachary for being such good boys and letting Grandma Boagie have a fun time with you! Can't wait till we go to California in a couple weeks.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Calving season has started.

Yesterday our first cow went into labor. This morning she had a still born calf. (very sad) Mike knew this cow was probably going to have twins from the size she was. He watched her all day and nothing else happened. Around 3 pm he took the chain and tractor and pulled the other calf. It was also still born. (very sad again). Just to let you know we have had several sets of twins before. Some are healthy and nurse ok, others die, one might nurse ok and the other has to be bottle fed. As far as I know there is no rhyme or reason for it.

This is not a very good way to start out the calf crop for the year. Let's pray that it gets better or the finances will be low.

We're also hoping that all our cows will have babies because our good young red bull got hit by lightning last year. That left only our older black bull to do the job.

Spring work has begun.

"Put the lime in the coconut and shake it all up" This isn't the type of lime Mike put on his fields. Last week he put the powdered lime on 300 of the 1000 acres he farms. The reason you have to put lime on the ground is so it nuetralizes the ground. Plants take lime out of the ground and after so many years there is none left. The acid in the ground will burn the plant and it will not grow. (The lime is similar to taking tums for indigestion)

That is why you need to apply lime every 3 years. The cost this year is $12.50 per ton and you need to apply 3 ton per acre. $37.50 per acre. The 300 acres cost $11,250. That is why Mike does only 300 acres each year. Next year he will do a different 300 + acres and the following year the other 300+ acres and then it will be time to start all over again.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Birthday Surprise.

Another year older... more gray hairs, added inches and memory loss but hey it's still a great sunny day. At least I'm able to write this.

Today at work the lady from our local grocery store brought me in a cake. She informed me that my grandson, Mikie, told his mommy "Boagie needs a cake today for her birthday." Seems Tracy didn't think she could bake it, fly and deliver it in the same day so she did the next best thing and called our only grocery store. They do not have a bakery but they do have frozen cakes. They even took the decorator gel (green, my favorite color) and wrote Happy Birthday Boagie on it. I was also told I needed to call the Jones family when I got my cake. I did and they sang Happy Birthday to me. Mikie then told his mommy they needed to come to my house to eat a piece of cake (if it was only that easy.)

An old friend of mine took me to lunch today. When I returned I checked my email and face book and there were so many good wishes from a lot of friends and family. I also have received several cards in the mail and hand deliverd. I guess it's ok to get older when there is such special people in your life. Thank you to everyone for your kindness.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My first grandchild is FORE.

My first grandchild is FORE.

I flew into DCA on inaguration day. I booked my ticket six months ago and didn't even think of the special day. A week before I left Tracy called and told me certain roads & bridges were closing for the day but reasured me they would find a way to pick me up at the airport. I boarded the plane early Tuesday morning and there were only 10 passengers (I didn't know if this was a good or bad sign for what was to happen the rest of the day.) When I arrived at Regan airport Tracy's family was there to get me. They said it was the EASIEST time they had ever got to the airport. It seemed like the traffic was something you would see back here in Iowa; you could actually see the pavement, not just cars. We had to wait around the area for Tracy's best friend and children to arrive from Whidbey Island so we went to the mall. It was kinda freaky not to have the total kaos of people like normal. We even ate at a restaurant right at 12pm with only about 5 other people there; no waiting line. We listened to the day's event on the television set and had a nice quiet lunch. About 2pm the people starting showing up with their winter coats, blankets, thermos and flags. There... DCA was back to normal. We picked up the Wymans at the airport and headed to Pennsylvania for the evening. Guess what? Driving on interstate, we couldn't see the pavement anymore, too many vehicles. (I must admit I liked it better before.)

We spent the night in a steam boat turned hotel. Of course Tracy had to keep with the water theme for Mikie's birthday. Mikie enjoyed pancakes with a candle for his fourth birthday in the morning then we were off to the train museum. The kids had fun and I even learned some new things. When we got back to Fredricksburg we went to Chuckie Cheese for a fun night out for Mikie's birthday. The kids had fun playing all the games and winning tickets.

Thursday we woke and started preparing for this special birthday party on Saturday. Tracy put Amber, Michael and myself to work, hard physical and emotional (thinking of last minute ideas), but I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. I'm not sure if the others felt the same, but I think they did. (Sometimes it was hard to tell at 4am.) I do think Tracy's wonderful planning and all our hard work made a fun party for all.

Saturday was Mikie's under the sea miniature golf party. It turned out FANTASTIC! The kids and adults had a lot of fun. Tracy received several compliments on her job well done and was offered the job of planning others' parties. The golf course had five holes. Michael carried in 130 stones to complete this wonderful course. Luckily we were able to put hole #4 against the wall and hole #5 we used boxes or he would have had to carry in several more stones. When the party was over Michael, Tracy & Amber carried all the stones back out...I just supervised because I hurt my back the first night at their house.

Michael & Tracy gave Mikie tickets to Monster Jam for his birthday. We went to DC that evening for the show. The boys loved it.

Sunday I went to Tracy's classroom while she taught Sunday School. In the afternoon she had invited their church friends to enjoy the miniature golf course. We got double duty out of that course. It was so nice to see the many faces I've heard so much about. I got to meet Amanda; she is truely an intelligent, beautiful, kind young woman & mother. Her smile is radiant. I met her oldest daughter, Natalie; and she is very beautiful like her name. Such a sweetie. It was fun to watch her with my grandsons, she likes them very much.

Some of the funny things that were said while I was in Virginia was: When Mikie got to hole #5 he asked "What is going to happen to my ball?" He has been to enough mini golf courses to know that the last hole sucks up your ball and never gives it back. You should have seen him smile when we told him nothing would happen to his ball and he could keep playing again and again and again. And believe me he did.
Zachary is calling me "GMA" right now not Boagie, so I would every once in awhile say "Grandma this or Grandma that" and Tate would look at me and say everytime "You are not Grandma, you are Boagie".
At the birthday party I was at hole #5 with Lenny and had to turn on the light to do something and he saw what the hallway looked like with lights and he said "That's where the M&M machine is." when he spoted the clubs' vending machine.

I had a wonderful week and hated to come back to Iowa besides seeing my wonderful grandsons and my adopted grandchildren; it was nice to see green grass and enjoy the warmer temperature.

I can't get any pictures downloaded so anyone that wants to see the neatest birthday party will have to read Tracy's blog.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Can anyone tell me what kind of tree I planted? The top tree was planted almost 4 years ago when Mikie was a baby. The bottom tree is 1.5 years old. The first tree would shoot up little trees from it's roots and we transplanted them. (That is how the second tree got started.) These trees loose all their leaves & branches at the first frost. (It's the strangest thing I have ever seen.) (See pictures below on how the branches are on the ground on the right picture and there is just a bare stick left for the tree in the left picture.) I bought the first tree over in Hawaii while visiting Tracy & Michael. It came in a plastic bag and was about 12 inches long and the diameter of your thumb...just a plain stick. It sat in my basement for a couple of years before I planted it so I didn't even think it would grow. I was really surprised at how much it grows in one year (around 6 ft). I figured it was some sort of tropical tree and would die out during our cold Iowa winter; so I was pleasantly surprised again that it lived. I was extremely surprised that it reproduces itself.

If no one can help me on this subject I might be able to answer my own question since the Jones' have purchased a ticket for me to go to Hawaii with them in April and be Nanny Boagie. I am so excited for this job!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009


One of our local banks in Sigourney (Midwest One Bank) gave out free recycling bags before Christmas. They said to use the bag in our local stores and if one of their spotters (employees) saw you, you could win $25, $50, or $100 till the end of February. For anyone that knows me; I am trying to conserve, reuse, recycle, reduce, anything I can to help our environment.
I am very happy to carry around this green (my favorite color) cloth bag. I had purchashed some bright green bags (cause of the color) at a competitive grocery store out of town. I try to buy everything locally but there are some items Sigourney doesn't carry. I always felt embarrased to carry these competitor bags into the grocery store; but I would remind myself...I am helping the environment and then I would not feel so guilty.
Wednesday,I was in the drug store with my bag and Jeff (Midwest One employee) came up to me and started talking...thanking me for using their bag and handed me a certificate. I went next door to the bank and cashed it in. I won the BIG ONE...$100.
I am taking my money to Virginia and spending it there while visiting Mikie for his fourth birthday.