Monday, February 25, 2013

Goin' Junkin'

Just For Fun:

A few weeks ago, My Love and I got the opportunity to go to Austin for the Texas Farm Bureau Leadership conference.  Four days and three nights away from home.  Baby Girl got to stay with Nana and Baba.  It was WONDERFUL!

While My Love had to attend meetings and sessions, this Mama got to go shopping!  Living in rural Texas doesn't give a woman much opportunity to hit the stores.  My favorite places to shop aren't what you might expect.  Now, I do love a sale at Macy's, but my favorite place to shop is a thrift store!  We call it "goin' junkin'".

A girlfriend of mine got me addicted several years ago. When I lived in the "big city", the Goodwill was only 1/2 a block from where I worked.  I spent many a lunch hour there - and quite a bit of my paychecks!  It was the perfect place to outfit a single girl's house on a limited budget. 

I've always had a yearning for the finer things in life - I just couldn't afford them.  But I learned that you can get nice things on the cheap - if you know where to get them!  Goodwill it was!

Several years later, I'm still addicted.  There's nothing greater than scoring a deal for next to nothing!  I have, however, had to learn to restrain myself...ok, who am I kidding?  LOL!  Now that we've had a Baby Girl, my purchases have changed a bit - more for her, less for myself.  It's still incredibly difficult for me to pass up a good deal - whether I need it or not!

Here's a few pics of my scores from Austin:

Serving Platter - original price $39 -  I paid $2.98!


 
Clothing for Baby Girl - about 40 pieces (sizes 2T to 4T) for a total of $100 - that's $2.50 each piece!

 
Wool blanket - online price of $100 - I paid $10!

 
Vintage twin quilt - similar one selling on Etsy - $175 - I paid - $35!

 

Now, absolutely none of this was stuff I NEEDED.  However, if I can outfit my daughter in play clothes for $2.50 each, I don't get too upset when it gets muddy from farming with Daddy. 

If you've never hit the thrift stores - I highly recommend it.  You never know what you'll find!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Blast from the Past

On the Homefront:  A few weeks ago, an aunt from my side of the family found some sacred letters - letters from my deceased Great-Uncle Lorenz.  He was killed in November of 1943, during World War II.  From what we can find online (and don't you know you can find ANYTHING online, even if it happened 70 years ago???), his plane went down over Northern Canada and no one survived. 

What an amazing piece of history to find these letters.  To read the handwriting of a man beloved by his family - a man who died 36 years before I was born.  To know the end of the story as you get a glimpse into his mind before the end occurred.

I haven't read these all - I only got past the first 2 before I had to stop reading.  It hurt too much.  To read the words of my grandmother's brother - an only son who never returned.

My mom scanned these letters in to share with family.  But I think these letters can be a lesson for all - to cherish the ones you have now - before they're gone.  What a perfect sentiment for Valentine's Day.

Take a few minutes and read these yourself. 















Friday, February 8, 2013

Just Doodle-Buggin'

On the Crafting Table:  I make outfits for my daughter.  For those of you who knew me a long time ago, that may come as a bit of a shock!

Here's the down-low.  When we got pregnant, I assumed we'd be having a boy.  Ceth's family is full of men.  Imagine my surprise when they told us it was a girl!  I'd never sewn much in my life - a few throw pillows was my limit.  But suddenly, my nesting instinct took over and I had a huge desire to learn how to sew.  I have no idea why.  So I got out my old sewing machine:

 
Ain't she a beauty!
 
This thing is so old, it only goes in forward and reverse.  So pretty though!  I had really no idea how to sew clothes, so I bought a book I would recommend to anyone thinking about learning to sew for girls:
 
 

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Girls-Big-Style-Boutique/dp/1607051885/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360383790&sr=1-1&keywords=little+girls+big+style

She taught me just about everything.  Then I found a bunch of blogs online who have great step-by-step tutorials like this one:
 
 
After making what I thought were awesome outfits, that I now realize were SO elementary, my mother-in-law gifted me her incredible sewing machine. This thing has about 150 different stitches!
 
Now, about 2 years since embarking upon this adventure, I've started to sell my creations.  My Love used to call my sewing "doodle-buggin", meaning I was just playing around.  So my "hobby" is now called Doodle Bug Kidz.  You can find me on Facebook:
 
 
or email me at doodlebugkidz at centex dot net. 
 
I have an Etsy shop - but can't seem to get enough made to actually list anything:
 
 
I've also been given the opportunity to start selling my creations at The Market at Brady Standard in downtown Brady, TX...if I ever get caught up on what I've got booked so far!
 
Here's some pics of my latest creations, all patterns by Create Kids Couture http://createkidscouture.com/
 
 
The Willow Wrap Jacket in Multi

 
Yellow Chevron Birdie Peasant top with matching ruffle pants.

 
Once Upon a Time Peasant Dress
 
 
And, the adorable outfit created today: Autumn's Peasant Romper. 
 
All of these outfits have been sold.  Only the Willow Wrap Jacket and the Yellow Chevron outfit can be recreated. The others are one of a kind!
 
What's coming up next?  I've got an order in for this sweet number...Man, I love this dress!
 
 
 
Just want to give a shout out to those who have purchased from me - you know who you are. Thank you!
 
Who knew that getting pregnant would not only make me a momma, but also a seamstress!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, February 4, 2013

So God Made a Farmer

On the Boob Tube:  We don't watch much TV around here.  Ok, Ceth does, but Baby Girl and I rarely watch it during the day.  If you don't already know, my hubby is a Farmer (yes, I capitalized it for a reason).  That man is the most dedicated, hard-working man I've ever met.  Sometimes too much.

Farming is a way of life. It's not a hobby, not a game.  To really make it work, it is a full-time job. And by full-time, I don't mean 40 hours a week.  It is a 24/7/365 kind of job.  The sheep have to be checked and fed daily.  There's always something that needs to have been done yesterday. 

So when he gets home, dirty, dusty, and if he's been working sheep, smelling to high heaven, his relaxation drug of choice is TV. Mainly it is shows like Moonshiners, Gold Rush, or college football or basketball.  Maybe some baseball if the Rangers are doing any good.

However, last night was Super Bowl.  We didn't watch from the start, he had some work to do (Sunday is slightly more of a day of rest around here, but things still have to get done), so he didn't start watching until around 6:30 or so.  We watched the halftime strip show during supper (another thing we hardly ever do - no TV during meal time!), then waited 35 minutes for the lights to come back on.

Ceth and Tori watched the game while I puttered around, paying bills, etc.  Then, from the office, I heard the voice of Paul Harvey.  I peeked into the living room and watched the most moving, incredible commercial I've ever seen.  If you didn't catch it, here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sillEgUHGC4

Sad that it was Dodge who paid for it (we drive Chevy).  :( 

After it was over, I checked my Facebook page - there were dozens of people commenting and I had to do the same.  Within minutes, I had friends telling me they thought of us when they saw that commercial.  How wonderful!

But being a farmer has come under criticism lately.  You know my thoughts on that subject...

But no matter the criticism, the long hours, the dirt, sweat, and tears, we wouldn't change a thing. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Feeding our Kids



On The Table:  Just finished reading a great article in Parenting magazine, February 2013 issue.  The article was entitled The Organic Debate (Again)

Apparently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) decided to address this issue.  What they found:

* There are no nutritional benefits to buying organic

* If cost is a concern, buy more conventional, rather than less organic

* Kids need to eat more healthy food whether it is conventional or organic

* Don't pay for organic meat - by cooking the meat thoroughly, you'll kill any potential bacteria

* Don't pay for organic milk - pesticides and hormones do not get into milk in significant quantities

What a relief to hear this from trusted doctors! 



Friday, January 18, 2013

"Real Food"

On a Personal Note: It's been a few months since I've posted - the holidays were hectic, and to top it off, Baby Girl got sick.  First it was croup.  We got over that, then a week or two later, she got a cold. Then she gave me her cold. (Don't you love how everyone loves to share germs?)   We are both over the worst, but the congestion and drainage seem to be hanging on.  I'm so ready to feel well again.

In the down time, we've had company, which is rare for us.  My best friend came down from the Dallas area and brought two of her kiddos.  We were able to give them a little peek into farm life - let them bottle feed the baby lambs, climb on the tractor, etc.  All little kids seem to love the farm - then they grow out of it.  Such a shame.

Our latest visitor is a farming friend from up in South Dakota.  Him and My Love met several years ago in the sheep business.  We went to visit him and his family right after we were married.  While he's here, we get an extra hand around the farm!  We've got him weaning lambs today - gotta love free labor! 

In the Field: Why I really wanted to post though, concerns this "Real Food" argument going around.  I'd love to call it a discussion, but it's gotten nasty - even the word "argument" seems too nice.  Americans are really on a kick of bashing farmers.  If you're not an organic farmer on 10 acres, then you're BIG AG and therefore, in the pocket of companies like Monsanto.  And that's just not true.

As a farm wife, these "discussions" interest me.  So I follow a few farming groups on Facebook. One of which is the non-profit group called the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.   https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/USFarmersandRanchers?fref=ts.  It was started a couple of years ago, as agriculture's attempt to inform consumers - to give consumers a peek into our lives, to explain why we do what we do. 

Today, they posted a link to this article on CNN.com: http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2013/01/17/opinion-my-family-farm-isnt-under-corporate-control/.  The author, Brian Scott, explains how his family isn't under corporate control, like so many believe.  Everything he states is true.  What really gets to me though, is the comments.  Those are always the most interesting part of any article - to see what the "world" thinks. 

And the world is misinformed and hell-bent to stay that way.  Some of the comments border on ridiculous.  But nearly all of the comments that were not by other farmers were ugly - really nasty personal attacks.  Calling this man "BIG AG" and saying his article was a front paid for by Monsanto, etc.  There were a few though, very few, that were not other farmers, who actually appreciated his time and openness - for sharing his story and getting the truth out. 

WARNING!  SARCASM  TO FOLLOW!

So many seem to believe that we all need to go back to farming the way our parents or grandparents did it.  They don't want us to plow the ground because it is increasing erosion - but wait - that's the way it was done before!  They don't want us to spray pesticides - ok, so the only other way to get rid of insects is to pick them off by hand - please sign up to volunteer below!  They don't want us to spray herbicides - so I guess I'll be taking volunteers to help hoe the fields too.  And since I can't drive my tractor because of emissions, I'll just use my horse-drawn plow...wait...I can't plow...darn it!

No one has problems with increased technology in any other sector except agriculture.  People would think you were crazy if you demanded that computers and cell phones were hazardous to your health and therefore, all businesses would need to cease use immediately.  How do you think the world would react if US business reverted to 1950 technology?  But that is exactly what these "real food" believers are asking farmers to do.  They want us to cease using technology because it's "BAD" for you and/or the environment.  There is no proof that GMOs are bad for you.  There's no proof behind any of their statements.  Because if there WAS real proof - then those things would be illegal and no one would be doing them anymore.

No farmer is trying to kill other people.  No farmer is trying to destroy the environment.  If we were, we wouldn't have anyone to sell our crop to - and no land to grow it on.

If you have a beef with Monsanto - that's fine - make your argument to them. But don't bash those of us who pour our blood, sweat, and tears into feeding you and the rest of the world.  Respect what we do, because, without us, you'd starve.