The Iowa State Fair–The Food

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A post from Kelli–

So a while back, I mentioned something about going to the State Fair to Jason.  He asked if I wanted to go and I told him that I didn’t want to go by myself, so it really depended on if he wanted to go–I might have made a mean, snarky comment about how never will leave the farm–so we ended up picking a day to go.

So far this week, I’ve been super busy.  We had a family picnic on Sunday, spent Monday in Oelwein working on details for our quilt retreat next summer, and then spent Tuesday in Minnesota getting our hair done and doing a bit of shopping.  By Tuesday night, I was wooped!  So when I got home, I completely intended on getting Jason to go on Sunday rather than yesterday, but after a little tinking and such, we decided it wouldn’t work, so we were up and on the road by 6:30 yesterday morning for our 3 1/2 hour car ride there…and then another 3 1/2 hours back.

We hadn’t ate breakfast at all, but stopped at McDonalds on the way down, but otherwise drove mostly straight through.  We had a bit of road construction, but not too much at all.  I think MapQuest took us the most backwards way of getting there once we got to Des Moines, but we got there, so I’m not gonna complain.

Once we were there we were nearly bombarded with food stands.  People say that sometimes, the best part of the fair is the food–And they are correct.  We decided that we’d just kind of graze all day and try something if it sounded good.  So we started with a funnel cake.  While I don’t eat gluten, I do make exceptions, knowing I’m going to feel like crap for a few days, so I deceided to make an exception today and it was soooo worth it!

After the funnel cake, I wanted to track down some naked cheesecurds.  We found some and they were a bit on the spendy end, so we split an order.  They were super good, but I forgot to take a picture!  We then moved on with the intention of finding a pork chop or ribeye on a stick.  We ended up finding some, but the line was ridiculously long and we had lots to see, so we moved on and found pork chops a bit further away.

Pork Chop (300x400)

 

OOFDA!  They were really good.  We then walked around some more, checking out 4-H buildings, the Varied Industries Building, and the animals.  I took lots and lots of pictures, but I’m going to share them with you a little bit at a time.

After wandering through all of the barns, we foudn corndogs on a stick and had one of those too!  We continued to walk around and check stuff out.  I often found myself wandering through various “testosterone halls” with lots of tractors, motors, or classic cars.  There was a really nice mix of stuff that I was interested in and Jason was interested in too!

Finally, after 17,000 steps on my fitbit, we decided we had seen all of the things we were interested in and that we needed to end the day in the same way we started–With a funnel cake and strawberry smoothies.

Funnel Cake (300x400)

As we were walking out, I thought to myself that maybe we could make this a yearly trip as it is usually feasible to get Jason off the farm in August and just as I was going to propose it as a yearly trip, Jason announced that since he had now been here, he didn’t think he would need to come back.  So that idea was shot in the butt–But I do think he enjoyed himself enough that I may be able to talk him into doing something and leaving the farm again by next summer….Afterall in the 8 years that I’ve been with him, I can count the number of days on one hand that he hasn’t gone to the farm at all…

Thanks  so much to U.S. Cellular for the tickets to the state fair.

 

 

UFO Challange–The Kelli Edition!!

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A post from Kelli–

UGH!  This summer has been a busy one for me.  I had about 7 weeks off between my mental health class ending in May and my OB class starting in June.  During that time, I trained for my new LPN position at work and worked lots and lots.  During this time, I also worked on getting my sewing room put together–more on that in another post.  I’m so very fortunate that my employer is so flexible with my work schedule and allows me to pick up extra hours during school and then accommodates a lesser schedule when I’m in school.

With being in school, it seems as though money is usually tight, so when I was actually able to work close to full time hours some weeks, it was really nice, so when I started class again in June, I got a bit ahead of myself and signed myself up to work everyday in the month that I didn’t have something for school except 2 days–and that turned out to not be the best idea that I’ve had.  I havne’t had a lot of time to sew at all in July or so far in August, but I wanted to show you what I was working on earlier this summer–GARDEN PARTY!

When I first saw this quilt, I liked it, but didn’t know if I wanted to make it.  The border wasn’t my absolute favorite, but I really liked the pattern, and it was little pieces which are also my favorite.  After mom finished it up though, I knew I was gonna end up making it.  I started in May, and got all the colored blocks done pretty quick.

Garden Party 1 (400x300)

 

The red and white blocks, however have been another story.  I havne’t gotten as far on them and most of them are part done and in different stages.

Garden Party 2 (300x400)I’m off until the 22nd, so I’d really love to get these worked on a bit more.  Once school starts again, its kind of a crapshoot as to when I’ll have time again to sew–Probably not until fall break in October.  I’m hosting an Artsy Fartsy Pinterest party at my house tomorrow, but I’m hoping that next week, I’ll be able to get in some quality sewing time.

Maybe I’ll even get this one all completely done??!?!  It’s worth a shot!

 

 

July 26, 1986

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A post from Kelli–

July 26, 1986 was a pretty wonderful day.  In case you didn’t know, this was the day that mom and dad got married.  While I was there in utero, I wasn’t there in person to share in the wonderful events of the day.

Mom and dad 2 (300x400)

I’ve been told that it was a very, very hot day.  Mom and dad always tell the story of how the zipper in dad’s pants broke and my grandma (mom’s mom) had to pin them up.  Mom tells of how they got engaged and married so fast that they didn’t have time to order dresses or enough fabric to make them in the same color.  They ended up ordering pastel fabric to make the same dress in coordinating colors and enough fabric for my grandma to make my mom’s dress as well.  Mom always tells too of how it was so hot they had to put a fan underneath her dress to help her cool off and not pass out.

Fast forward a few 30 years or so and you’ll see they’ve been through a lot together–5 kids who have made them want to pull out their hair (maybe that’s why dad is significantly more bald) at times, the deaths of their parents, some serious illnesses, 7 houses (and moving between them), disagreements about when the challenger blew up (this was before the time of internet when it hadn’t been published in our encyclopedia yet–and yes it was an issue), but first and foremost lots of love.

They’ve been wonderful enough to pass on lots of the lessons that they’ve learned to us kids.  Phrases like “use your head and save your feet,” and “Those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind,” have been said in our house many more times that can likely be counted.  Another favorite “I am the parent, and you are the child,” has worked quite well to teach us all to respect those in any authority position.  They’ve also worked to show us the importance of hard work and dedication to a task.  Helping others and volunteering has also been another lesson that they have showed us through their work.  They’ve also worked hard to show us that little things can add up to big things and that not everyone was as fortunate as we have been.  Lots of our successes can be attributed to the fact that they’ve both always treated us as adults and held us responsible for our actions no matter our age.

Mom and Dad (400x400)I know you see those thing floating around facebook about being half the person your parents are, but it really is true in my case.  Heck, if I could be a quarter the person that either of them are, I’ll consider that a great success.  Considering the wonderful foundation that I’ve been provided though, I don’t think it’ll be too hard though!

So–Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!  Thanks for everything that you’ve done for me or put up with from me.  I know that I haven’t always been the nicest or best person that I can be and I really appreciate you sticking it out and putting up with me, knowing I’d come around eventually.  Thanks for showing me the value and meaning of hard work and sticking to your guns. Your faith in me has brought me to wonderful places and I’m sure I have many wonderful journey’s awaiting me.  Happy 30 years!  Here’s to many, many more!

 

Questions on Being the Farm Wife

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A post from Kelli–

One of the last posts I wrote was about being the farmer’s wife and what that all entails.  Many people had questions in regards to the process of cutting and chopping hay and such, so I figured I’d answer them–as best I can!

Chopping 1 (225x400)

A question from Lisa–You can tell Jason that I find the farm stuff very interesting. Do you raise animals, crops or both?

We do both!  Jason and his brother farm together, along with his parents.  They have one hired hand that helps with milking cows and is amazing!  They also have a few high school kids that help haul loads, pour cement, or other random little things.  They currently milk about 240 cows twice a day.  They also have about 350 or so steers at our house and then 400 or so at his brother’s house.  They also farm about 1000 acres between a couple different farms.  They plant and harvest corn, beans, and alfalfa.

Many people wondered about baling or why the boys chop their alfalfa rather than bale it.  When baling, especially small round bales, it takes a lot more people to get the task done–1 to run the baler, 1 to stack on the wagon, 1 or 2 to haul loads, 1 to 2 to unload off of the wagons and throw it on the elevator to put it in the barn, and 1 to 2 to stack it in the barn, so a total of 8 or so.  With chopping, they just need someone to run the chopper, 1 to 2 to haul loads and someone to run the packer which drives on top of the bunk, so just 4.  Sometimes farmers might chop first and third crop and bale second, but it just depends on if you can find enough people to work and what the weather ends up looking like.  If baling big bales, they can often times sit out and so there’s not as much worry about getting them to where they will be stored immediately.

I also really appreciated the encouragement and support I got from you all!  Sometimes being the farm wife isn’t fun and sometimes it really makes me mad, but I know that Jason is worth it.  I am glad that I married such a hard worker, I just wish sometimes that he’d try to learn a bit about relaxing and coming in the house!