Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Fall Resolutions


I can make these, right?  They’re my New Year’s Resolutions, except it’s the end of September.  Not exactly the start of a new year, but it is the start of a new season, so here I go!

This was sparked by a few realizations I had Wednesday morning. 

Tuesday, I dashed around the house doing a “crisis clean.”  We had someone coming over to take some video on our farm for the Indiana Farm Bureau, and I wanted to be able to invite them inside without being embarrassed.  (Things have gotten a little out of hand, what with 12 hours of thesis writing a day.)  Then that night, I actually washed all the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen after dinner.  It was so nice waking up to a clean kitchen this morning!

Resolution #1, I am back on the FlyLady bandwagon.

Wednesday morning, I got on the bathroom scale.  Let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty.  You know where I’m going with this one.

Resolution #2, I am back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon.

Wednesday afternoon I noticed my Norfolk Island Pine, which sits on top of my filing cabinet in my office, is looking very sad, and not just a little brown.  I swear, I can kill a cactus.

Resolution #3, water indoor plants twice a week.

(Side question, does anyone know if I can eventually move the Norfolk Pine outside in southern Indiana?  It sounds like the winters might get too cold for it here.)

Anyone else up for making some New Fall Resolutions along with me?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Real Farmwives of America: How did I get here?

FFHowDid I Get Heresmall
My friend Heather over at 3 Kids and Lots of Pigs has been doing weekly feature, Farmer Fridays.  This week she’s starting something a little different.   A bunch of us “farmwives” are joining up to tell you about our lives!  This is the first Real Farmwives of America joint post.  Look for more to come in the future!

So, today’s topic…  How did I get here?

I have a long story.  I’ll try to keep it simple.

I grew up in suburban New Jersey, with not a cow in sight.  I went to vet school at The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, in Massachusetts.  I got to drive by a small herd of Belted Galloway cows every day, and just got a kick out of that.  Seriously, these cows look like giant Oreo cookies, and I love it!

During vet school I got some exposure to livestock, and just had a blast with the large animals.  I had always known that I wanted to work on horses, but the other livestock were starting to have an effect on me as well.  I did a one-year internship at a referral clinic in New Hampshire where I decided that I wanted to focus on Large Animal Medicine.

Now, most vets, when they graduate from vet school go into private practice and are done with school.  Technically, we are qualified to work on anything from a goldfish to an elephant.  I decided that I wanted to specialize in internal medicine (specifically large animal internal medicine), so I needed some more training to get the specialty certification.  There are only a limited number of training programs in the United States, and each of these programs has, at most, one spot open each year.  This is a very competitive program to get into (although not as competitive as surgery).

Similar to how this works in the human medical fields, the veterinary specialty programs have a matching system to match applicants with programs.  I won’t bore you with the details, let’s just end this part of the story by saying that I got matched to an Internal Medicine residency at Purdue University, in Lafayette, Indiana.

This is where I met my husband, although I didn’t know that was going to happen!  He was finishing his last year of vet school as I was starting the first year of my residency.  Now, I had no plans to stay in Indiana at the end of my three-year program, but he sure changed my mind!!

After John was finished with vet school at Purdue, he moved back to his hometown and joined his father’s mixed-animal vet practice.  They work on large animals and small animals and everything in between (no monkeys, please). 

John and his dad already had a small beef cattle farm, and they worked on expanding it a bit once he moved back.  John bought a small farm house on some land (which we use for pasture and hay), with a giant barn.
We got married a little over a year ago, and I moved to rural southern Indiana and magically became a farmwife.  We live in the small house with the giant barn.  And, although I never in a million years pictured myself having this type of lifestyle, I have to say that waking up to this every morning sure makes me happy!

Be sure to check out the other Real Farmwives today!

    (by the way, watch for the return of Farm Equipment Fridays here next week!)

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Easing back in…


    After way too many late nights, and more Tums than I can count, I got the “close-to-final” draft of my thesis in to my advisor on Saturday, at 7:30pm.  Then we went to Heritage Days and got some pumpkin ice cream to celebrate.  (We’re going to play around with our ice cream maker – I’m sure we can make this ourselves!)

    Late Sunday night, the thesis draft was returned, with surprisingly few requested revisions!  Don’t get me wrong, there’s still lots to do, and I’m working on it.  But it wasn’t near what I thought it would be!

    So… on to the next…  Wrapping up revisions so I can get the final draft of my thesis out to my full committee on Friday.

    In the meantime, John and I are one of three couples who were selected as finalists in the Indiana Farm Bureau’s annual competition, Excellence in Agriculture.  This is for part-time farmers who get the majority of their income from off-farm employment.  We are headed up to Indianapolis tomorrow for the last part of the competition.  Today, we are finishing up the slides for our presentation.

    And, not to forget, rehearsals for the Gibson County Theatre Company’s fall show, “The One That Got Away” are in full swing!  Opening night is Friday!

    (Speaking of so much to do and not enough time…)

    So, for today…  two loads of laundry already running.  Quick sweep of the floors done.  Dinner in the crockpot and dishes cleaned up.  PowerPoint, here I come!!

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Dear Blogosphere


    Dear Blogosphere and loyal followers,

    May I call you Constant Readers?  (Probably not.  I bet that’s copyright infringement.  Sorry, SK.)

    I am not ignoring you.  Well, okay, I am, but I have a great reason!

    I am finishing my PhD thesis under a tight deadline. 

    I have very little time for anything else.  Just ask anyone around here.  My husband thinks he’s a bachelor again.

    I promise, I’ll be back (with bells on) once I get this behind me.  Close-to-final draft due on Friday!  I have lots of pictures to post and lots of things to write about, once I no longer have this panicky feeling all the time.

    I’ll see you soon!

    Love always,


    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Lunch at The Farmer’s Daughter

    going local badge

    This week is Going Local Week in Indiana.  In honor of that (and because we love this restaurant), John and I had lunch at The Farmer’s Daughter Bakery and Cafe today, my favorite restaurant in Princeton.

    FD entrance
    The owners, Sarah and John, are friends of ours.  (She’s a farmer’s daughter.)  They use as much local (and organic) food as possible.  They also grow quite a bit of the produce for their restaurant on their own farm.
    I started lunch with some sliced peaches and golden delicious apples from Nesbitt’s Orchard in Vincennes.  (The best peaches I’ve had all season!)  The main attraction today was their specialty Creole meat loaf sandwich.

    meatloaf sandwich
    Oh, yum.  The pork, beef, and eggs they use in their meat loaf are all locally grown.  The meat is from Hasenour Farms in Huntingburg, IN.  The eggs are from Bob McDaniel (a local farmer in Gibson County).  All the veggies on (and in) the sandwich were from the owner’s farm, Homeward Bound Farms in Patoka, IN.

    We finished with their classic crème brûlée…  So decadent…  They torch the top right at the table!

    creme brulee 1
    creme brulee 2

    creme brulee 3
     Tell me you don’t want some right now…

    And, in case you’re really curious about where your food comes from, they keep this map with the locations of their ingredients updated on a daily basis!  How neat is that?!

    local map 1
    If you’re ever anywhere near southwest Indiana, be sure to stop by The Farmer’s Daughter for lunch! 

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Farm Equipment Fridays: Seed signs

    FEF badge thumbnail

    I was talking to a friend of mine, and she had been talking to a friend of hers.  (Yes, this is one of those “friend of a friend” stories.  But this one is true!  And it’s important, so pay attention!)

    So this friend said that she was disappointed at the number of commercial farms she had seen on her drive.  When asked how she knew they were commercial farms, she said she could tell because of all the signs along the edges of the fields.
    becks seed 1
    If you’ve done any driving at all in any areas where crops are grown, chances are you’ve seen them, too.  And if you have a farming background, then you know what they mean. 

    But if, like this friend, you don’t have a farming background, then you might not know what they mean.  In fact, you might make the assumption that this means that Beck’s owns and farms this field.

    And this would be a reasonable assumption.  After all, when you see a sign with a name on it in front of a building, you expect to find that business operating inside the building, yes?
    pioneer seed 1

    Actually, these signs are more like the signs a contractor will put in your front yard when he is doing work on your house.  It’s an advertisement.  “Don’t you love my work?  Don’t you want to grow my seeds, too?”
    Sometimes the signs will just say “Hey, we’re great!”
    becks seed 2
    Sometimes the signs will give a little more information about the seed that was planted in that field, like the hybrid number.
    becks seed 3
    The important thing to know about these signs is that the company on the signs does not own or farm the field.  That is simply where the farmer who does own the field bought their seed that year.

    After seed sales are done and fields are planted, the seed dealers (sellers) will go around the country, check out the fields, and place their signs in front of fields that have a good looking crop.  And on roads that have good traffic.  (You won’t see these signs on gravel back roads!)

    The important thing to remember is that most of the farms in Indiana (and in all of America!) are still family-owned.  They may be incorporated now, but the corporation (farm) is still owned and run by a family.
    agrigold seed 1

    (Disclaimer – Beck’s Pioneer, and AgriGold have not sponsored this post.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that none of those seed companies even know that I exist.)

    Miss the emails?


    Okay.  I’ve had a few complaints that Blogger doesn’t have an easy way to automatically send emails when I have new posts, like Wordpress does.  Granted, you can set up an RSS feed, but I will agree that those are not as convenient as emails.  Especially if you’re not really a blogger, and are only reading my blog because I begged you to.  Or because you’re my husband and you feel like you have to.

    So.  Due to (almost) popular demand, I will start cross-posting again to both Blogger and Wordpress.  It will be the same content, so those of you who were already getting emails will still be getting emails.  Those of you who are following me on Blogger, or have the Blogger RSS feed set up, you will get the same posts there.

    I hope this makes everyone happy!

    (P.S. – Stay tuned later today for the next Farm Equipment Fridays!)

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