Monthly Archives: January 2016

Not Quite Stranded in Washington D.C.

When I say I got out of Washington DC just in time this weekend, it’s not an exaggeration. We left out hotel at 3:15 AM to stand in line at Reagan National for much too long of a time with no caffeine, only to sit on the runway in Nashville when our connecting flight left AFTER they shut the airport down.

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They’re calling for snow later today, but currently, it feels pretty good to be back in Missouri!

Regardless of the weather, the Common Ground conference I attended was awesome! Apparently it doesn’t take much to impress this farm girl because I’m pretty sure I told someone how much I liked the light pendants every time we entered the lobby of our hotel.

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And despite being my third trip to the Nation’s capital, this is my first White House selfie.

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Another first was attending a conference at the Smithsonian National History Museum!  That was pretty amazing, except that we were so busy all day I didn’t get to look around anywhere near as much as I would have liked.  (We made a three day event fit into two so everyone could catch flights out before Jonas arrived!)

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I’m most excited about all the great information I got from this conference.  I have SO MANY ideas to share with you here on the blog, plus more information about areas of farming I’m not directly involved in, like dairy and pig farming.

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Ask me your toughest food questions– I’m ready to share the answers!


Categories: Agvocacy | 1 Comment

Adding Authentic Farmhouse to Your Decor

I see these great pictures of farmhouse decor mudrooms on Pinterest and I’m always just so amazed.  Where is the MUD?!  Our little place doesn’t have much space for a mudroom, or even lockers, so our back hallway is always crowded with coats, jackets, mittens, coveralls, insulated chore boots, thawing water buckets, egg baskets and anything the little guy wants to add to the pile.

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I mean really, why bother cleaning at all?  At minimum we’ll go in and out of this backdoor, through the snow, slush, or ice, at least four times a day, usually more.  So what would be the point?

No point whatsoever.

In fact, I’m embracing it.

Because you’re probably aware that “farmhouse chic” is all the rage in home decor right now.  Some people like the vintage look, or add industrial touches.

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I’m calling mine “authentic farmhouse.”

And it is so on trend.

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To DIY this in your home you’ll need an indoor space for drying coveralls.  Try to find unmatched leather gloves for this area as well.

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A vignette is a great way to bring a little of the country to your home.  Start with a basic place for all the bills (very farmhouse authentic) and add extras like farm tools and the many electronic devices your farmer uses each day.  Don’t forget their cords.  Add to your look with a pile of farm magazines.  Toss yearly to make room for the 18 inch stack you’ll be receiving.  For every conference/expo/event attended you’ll also need another file folder to hold all the promotional materials that must be retained for future reference.  For additional texture, keep several hats with farm brand logos prominently featured.  The display gains depth if your hats were given for “free” after spending thousands of dollars with a company.

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Although not specifically part of a mudroom, an open door to the bathroom can provide a glimpse of other farmhouse must-haves.  A boot dryer is fought over not only by people wanting warm, dry boots, but home decorators across the country.  A gallon sized container of industrial-strength hand cleaner can be found at your local farm store.

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Also available at farm stores is the authentic chicken waterer.  This works best in the space if it is covered in ice and can drip water continuously throughout the day.

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Bonus points go to any entryway containing a bag of trash if the trash truck was unable to navigate your driveway the last three trash days because of ice or snow.

So add some farmhouse to your home.  It’s easier than you might think!

Categories: Family | 15 Comments

The Best Farm Animals

I heard the crash first thing this morning.

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It was Anna, trying to remove the blanket from her birds’ cage which she received as a birthday present last month.  The whole cage tipped over.  Water.  Seeds.  Droppings.

But I’ll take it.

Because running the vacuum cleaner over the basement rug and refilling a tiny container of water is the easiest thing I’ll do for animals today!

Last night the temperatures were in the single digits, the high today is right at freezing.  So we’ll water the animals, probably twice, by stomping through the ice and filling their buckets with hot water we’ll get out of the kitchen sink.  We’ll haul the steaming buckets outside to melt more of that ice for the livestock and bring the chicken’s waterer in the house and switch it out for the one that’s been melting all over the tile.  Then I’ll need to disinfect the sink, make sure the lid is on the various food containers, and wipe up the mud we tracked through the back porch while doing all of this.

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So despite the crash this morning, I’m taking the opinion that parakeets are the best animal we have on the farm.  Cleaning out their cage means removing a double layer of paper towel, rather than six wheelbarrows full of straw and yuck.

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Getting water for them on a cold day doesn’t involve Carhartt, chore boots, or even opening an exterior door.

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You buy their bags of feed in ounces, not pounds.

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The people at the pet store were a little worried I was buying parakeets for a newly turned six-year-old.  But really it’s all about perspective.

We’ve got this!

Categories: Animals | Leave a comment

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