Friday, March 22, 2013

no grass gets left behind…..

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A new job means a new post.  We have a lot of beautiful green rye grass that the cows just cannot eat fast enough.  It does not last long and we sure do not want it to go to waste.  My brilliant farmers came up with a genius idea.  We would cut and bale the grass and then chop it and mix it in with the cow feed.  Sounds like a great idea to me.  We already have all the equipment to get the job done.

This is the rye grass being cut.  This cutter is pulled behind a tractor.

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This is some cut rye grass.  You can see the pretty green uncut grass in the back by the trees.  The process would be like baling hay.  We will cut, fluff, rake and then bale. Did you hear the part about FLUFFING THE RYE GRASS…I AM ONE HAPPY GIRL!!   The rye grass has a lot of moisture in it so it will be heavier.  I will not have to fluff it at such a fast speed and Van will make the bales smaller so they will be easier to work with. 

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Here are two more views of the cut rye grass.

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This is Pug raking the grass.  And here is my favorite fluffing tractor and fluffer.  My boss man really knows how to keep this girl happy.  It did not take too long to get used to fluffing slower because this field is really bumpy…slower is much better when it is bumpy :)

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          This is Van baling the rye grass.  You can see these bales are much smaller than hay bales.

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Since the bales are heavier we have to load them different than the hay.  We stagger them on the trailer so the weight is more distributed and balanced.  I have to drive zig zag through the rows of bales so Pug can load on one side and then the other.  It is not too hard if the bales are in a single line.  But if they are beside each other I actually have to “back the truck up” or in my case the tractor and trailer.  I am getting better at it and it really helps that I am out in the middle of a field with no fences to get in my way. :) Sometimes they just jump out of nowhere and really mess me up. :0

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                              This is Pug loading the bales onto the trailer with the forklift.

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I can carry 6 bales on this trailer.  That is quite a load.  Pulls like it is 900 tons.  Okay that does sound like a lot but guess what… I asked Van to guestimate how many pounds each bale weighed and he thinks (depending on moisture content) they weigh between 1500 and 2000 pounds.  So yeah, I am carrying at least and maybe more than 9000 pounds.  I think that is kindly cool!!

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                                   This is my view from my tractor of the loaded trailer.

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Mickey can haul 3 bales on the white dump truck.  Every bit helps when it comes to hauling back to the barn.  While I was traveling back to get another load I got to the woods part and said to myself…what would I do if I met Mickey coming towards me on this narrow dirt road in the middle of all these woods.  Then I thought…that would never happen.  Big mistake…NEVER SAY NEVER!!  I could hear him coming.  Luckily my trailer was empty and I could get off the road where there were not so many trees and he got around me.  I was really hoping that would not happen again.

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       Excuse me ladies I am just TRYING TO DO MY JOB!!!  Moo Moo Moooooooove!!!!

“Over the river and through the woods”.    Well there ain’t no river and I sure as heck ain’t going to Grandmas house.  The barn is quite a ways from the rye field.  Feels like about 900 miles.  Just look how far I have to go to get to the barn.

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I have to go through the woods.

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Down the power line road.                                               Across this cow field.

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Down this dirt road.  And down yet another dirt road. It sure feels like 900 miles.  And after that I have to get unloaded and then head back the same way.  Thank you Jesus for music and my i-pod!!!!  I be jammin’.   And just in case you are wondering… I timed it in my head…it took 900 minutes…okay maybe closer to 900 seconds :)

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Once I get back to the barn Pug (and sometimes Van, Mickey, or Greg) unloads the bales with the front end loader.  There is a large spear attachment on the front of the loader that literally spears the bale and it can be put wherever it is needed.

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My boss man is not just a good driver…he is a GREAT driver.  He can unload a bale and then BACK it into the barn.

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                                           And he does this at quite an impressive speed.

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I know for a fact that I will NOT be doing this job…EVER.  I like to keep my tractor in the forward gear. It is much safer for all…equipment, animals, and people.

If you ask the crew they will tell you that I complain and whine about 900 times a day…okay that is a lot but actually may be pretty precise.   But I can promise you that 90 percent of that is for humor’s sake.  I love to laugh, make other people (and cows) laugh, and I even at times like to laugh at myself.  I do complain and whine about my job but it is all in fun (most of the time).  Laughter is one of my favorite gifts from God.  So here’s hoping you get to experience a lot of gut busting laughter in your lifetime…the kind that makes you cry AND pee in your pants (just a little) at the same time.  And how long do I want to keep doing this job? least until I am 900 years old.  :)  :)

This was another genius idea from my brilliant farmers.  The cows love the rye grass whether we chop and mix it in the feed or just give them a whole bale to munch on.  And there is nothing like finding a solution to a problem that also keeps something so beneficial from going to waste.   The rye grass makes the calves (as my hubby would say) "butterball fat".  And I personally think it makes the mama cows "fat and sassy".   Only one downside…cow poop is already stinky enough.  But cows eating rye grass make poop that goes to a whole new level of stank.   Around here stanky poop = happy cows…it is one of the things I live for.  I love farmers…especially mine.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring Break…Disney style

I took my princess, Kelsey, to Disney for her first college Spring Break.  We planned to DO IT ALL and did a good job of it.  Four parks in three days.  We had a blast and of course I had to do a post on our amazing and fun-filled trip because this Mama works hard for her money and likes to spend it on my girl !!!

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Our first stop was our resort…the Caribbean Beach Resort.  As we passed under the Disney Welcome sign that goes over the road we both looked at each other and screamed…WE ARE HERE!!  We were so excited.  Then we noticed the buzzards…everywhere…buzzards circling overhead…did you hear that I said BUZZARDS!  Then we passed some sort of buildings, looked like some kind of industrial park or some kind of plant, and the buzzards were all over it. Flying over, sitting on, lurking around, hovering and just plain hanging out.  At first I was afraid everyone at Disney were dead…it had finally happened…people got Disney-ed out!!!! I was glad to see that was not the fact.  Pug told me later that it was a sewage plant.  I assume I have passed it many times before but in all my trips to Disney THAT is NOT a memory I remember.

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Our room was great but we really did not see it much. It definitely had an island feel and was decorated with Finding Nemo characters.  I personally loved the pineapples carved on the bed posts and the large pineapple that was etched on the head board...reminds me of  my daughter-in-lae, Annie :)   We jumped on a bus and headed to Magic Kingdom. 

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We are an ice-cream family and ice-cream is what we do to celebrate pretty much EVERYTHING. Kels got really good at taking our pictures…no need to bother strangers on their vacations.  We got to ride all the best rides…lines were not too bad…we did not mind waiting…we considered it “our quality time” together.  I was in the best company EVER.  We had a great day and decided to head over to Epcot.  We ate in Italy…really great pizza and gelato but it took a while and the park was closing at 9:00.  We were not ready to go back to the room so we decided to go back to Magic Kingdom…just to get an apple.   My Kels loves caramel and chocolate dipped apples.  We also decided to ride the monorail to the park.  My Kels loves the monorail.  And when we got back to the park, just to get an apple, and to ride the monorail…the Electric light parade was happening!  My Kels loves a parade…especially with lights.  I would say we hit a home run with that apple decision.

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My girl enjoying the parade.  I remember that same look on her face years ago when she was little.
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The apple that got us the home run :)   and you gotta love the monorail.

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Poor Mickey.  We got back to the room and had a pig party… the apple and some blue cotton candy!!!! Yum!

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The next day we hit Animal Kingdom early.  We did the Everest/Yeti roller coaster first.  It is our favorite ride.  I had to buy the picture.  I am not sure if it was because of mine and Kels’ faces…which were kindly priceless…or for the fact that the people in front of us evidently were not on the same ride as us…he looks like he is yawning and she must be on some serious meds.  The ride was fun but we got sprayed with a fine mist at the end both times…not sure if the Yeti tinkled on us or spit on us…I guess we will never know…..

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The Dinosaur coaster that spins is always a must.  We laughed so hard I thought I would bust a gut.

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I really wanted Kels to get her picture with this guy!!  She refused so I got one of him from the side.  It is a family joke and it makes me laugh so hard and…..SQUIRREL!!!!!!

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The Festival of the Lion King was really really good!!!!  The singers and dancers were awesome!!  The monkeys were my favorite!

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AKUNA   MATATA!!!   means no worries for the rest of your days!!!!!! :)  Yes, I sang it LOUD!!!

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My sweet Kelsey…she always waited patiently for me to go potty…she has a bladder of steal…got it from her Daddy.  At least she finally stopped saying “AGAIN” every time I would tell her I needed to “rest”.  She takes good care of her old Mama.  There were many times the bus driver would announce “please take small children by the hand” and Kels would grab ahold of mine and smile.  And if we had a dollar for each time one of us looked at the other and said"I am so glad we are here!!!", I think our trip would have been paid for.

After Animal Kingdom we went to Hollywood Studios…mainly to ride the RockNRoll roller coaster.  We did and it was awesome!!!!  Definitely worth the wait!!!

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We could not pass up the Beauty and the Beast show.  It was great…and our Annabelle’s favorite princess, so we would never miss a chance to say hello to Belle.  We decided to go ahead and eat there before heading to Epcot.  We looked at a few restaurants but they were all full and lines were really long.  We finally decided on the Sci-Fi Star-lite Drive-In.  We had no clue that it was a real drive-in.  We were pleasantly surprised.

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We were glad we picked it because it was so different and we wanted to “do it all” !!

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We had some great chips and dip, a steak and of course a chocolate milk shake for dessert.

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It was a really fun experience and we would highly recommend it.

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Well I brought my own princess and we found her a castle…so I went in here to get her a prince.  But before I could pick one out they hollered at me and rushed me out!!!  How rude…I thought this place was supposed to be magical????  Luckily I had a dream the night before (yes, me and Martin Luther King) and I actually met Kels’ prince charming…his name was Will…actually it was God’s Will…get it…haha :)…anyway…..

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It is not a trip to Disney without seeing Mickey and the princesses.  We “did it all”!

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We wanted to “do it all”  but not “buy it all”…so we may not have purchased ears…but we got pictures wearing them!!!!

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Mickey’s Phillharmonic in 3-D…yeah, we make this look good!

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We saw Captain Jack Sparrow!!!! This show was really cute until he started into the crowd and getting all up in everyone’s face doing that mouth breathing thing…Kels grabbed me and says “TIME TO GO”.

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Look who we ran into…more spring breakers who are also some really awesome life-long friends.  This is really an amazing group of girls. :)

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I got to see REAL princesses at Disney.  These girls hold a special place in Kels’ heart…mine too!!!

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My princess…my girl…my heart... my world.  We had so much fun and I am so glad she still likes to hang out with me.  I do love many others and I love many others really BIG…but I love no other as well or as big as I love her!!!

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You know how back in the day you would go to these parks and the lines would be so very long, the prices of food and prizes was so expensive, kids were worn out and tired and acting like brats, parents were grumpy and hollering at their kids, there were scooters everywhere, large groups of people that would just stop in the middle of the walkway to discuss what they were going to do next all the while stopping the already slow flow of traffic, and of course there was the fact that not many people spoke English, well ......................IT IS STILL EXACTLY THE SAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But I DID have the pleasure of seeing some of this magic they talk about…as we were waiting to see the “Dreams Come True” Mickey show I saw two kids who had to be siblings because they had the same flaming red hair.  They were close in age and the brother was so excited he reached out and hugged and kissed his sister on the cheek. He could not contain himself.  I saw elderly people who have already paid their “rush around” dues and were just walking hand in hand enjoying themselves and ignoring the hustle and bustle that completely surrounded them.  I also some couples “scootering” along doing the same thing.  I saw kids that were experiencing Disney for the very first time.  I saw many special needs children who had the greatest parents EVER who were being so patient with them and giving them the best day EVER.  It warmed my heart and reminded of why we were there in the first place.

Disney…the magical place…we saw a giant singing and dancing mouse, ate dinner in Italy, had lunch in the middle of a rain forest, rode a coaster up Mount Everest (a little spray never hurt anyone), tested a race car, flew in a space craft to mars, had steak in a car in a drive-in theater, sailed with the pirates, frolicked with the ghosts, sang Disney songs OUT LOUD, oohed and aahed at the princesses, rode with a mermaid, flew with Peter Pan, ate ice cream twice in one day, bought overly expensive t-shirts, walked until our feet hurt, sustained roller coaster hangovers for 3 days, ate too much, laughed and screamed just the right amount and to top all that off we sat in our hotel beds and read our bible each night at the same time.  Yeah, it was magical and we made some amazing memories…time and money well spent.  There are some things you cannot put a price on…this trip was one of those things. :).......and I got to ride home with my very own princess.  :))

Disney princesses ain't got nothing on my princess!