Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Hay, smells so good!

I wish my camera and computer had smell-o-vision, then I could do this photo justice.  This is a picture of the feed that my brother’s cows eat every day.  This is called TMR (total mixed ration).  It’s like a big salad or hotdish.   My brother mixes all of the feed that his cows need for their daily nutrient requirements.  Just like humans, cows need energy (calories), protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  Dairy farmers build their diets on a solid base of forage.  Forage is plant material that is harvested from the field, it is the complete plant that is chopped into bite sized pieces for the cows to eat and chew.  My brother feeds a combination of chopped up corn, alfalfa and oat plants.  May is the beginning of hay season so fresh alfalfa is on the menu for the cows.  If you look closely at this picture you can see the bright green stems.  Fresh alfalfa is very aromatic.  The smell is hard to describe; it’s like fresh cut grass but better.  This TMR smells so delicious I might even consider eating it and the cows just eat it up!  Milk production is increasing a little too because the cows are eating a little extra feed.  Fresh feed is such a treat for the cows!  Eat up girls!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Where did all these Clothes Come from?!?!

My closet, all neat and organized!
I’ve been pretty busy with life lately.  I recently moved into my first home that I own, which I am very excited about (I will be posting DIY stories in the coming weeks for sure!).  The first room I tackled was my bedroom.  I refinished the original maple wood floors and painted the walls a nice warm color.  It turned out very nice!  For the past few months I have had most of my clothing and possessions in boxes and totes.  Once I got my furniture moved into my room I quickly realized that I needed to move my clothing into my closets and dressers.  Yes I used the plural tense of those words and here’s why.  Like any good farm girl, I have multiple wardrobes.  It makes me feel like a hoarder or as though I have an addiction to clothing but the truth is that I don’t have an addiction, it’s a necessity to have this much clothing.  Here’s a snippet of the different wardrobes that I have in my collection:

1.       The Dressy Clothes: All good farm girls will eventually admit that we like getting dolled up every once in a while, even though we are most comfortable in our everyday chores clothes.  My wardrobe consists of dresses, suits, and “church clothes” because we all like to feel like a classy lady.  While we seldom wear these, they are nice to have.

2.       Nice “Going to Town” Clothes: These consist of the nice dark wash jeans, shorts, blouses, tops, and tanks that are appropriate for a night out on the town, causal outings with friends, shopping, meeting with the banker, stopping by the feed store, etc.  Nothing too fancy but just enough to look professional and nice.

3.       “Hanging around the House” Clothes: These outfits are a combination of sweatshirts, t-shirts, shorts, yoga pants, etc. mostly from 4-H, FFA, and college events from the past combined with freebies from dealerships that we work with on the farm.  These clothes are clean and comfortable and in a pinch can be worn to town for a quick errand.  More importantly they are appropriate for answering the door when deliveries come to the house or friends stop by.  They are also comfortable for afternoon naps on rainy days.

4.       “Chores Clothes” The Nice Set: I admittedly have 2 sets of Chores Clothes.  The nice set includes jeans with working zippers and no holes in the knees or pockets (I always get holes in my pockets from all the stuff I carry!).  These clothes also include t-shirts, shorts, tanks, sweatshirts and jackets that don’t have holes, so you can wear them to town for parts runs or a visit to the feed store, as long as they aren’t covered in manure.

5.       “Chores Clothes” The Worn Set:  These outfits are the clothes I can’t part with.  I know there are dirty and messy days on the farm and I can justify getting these clothes covered in manure, grease and dirt.  They have holes, they are faded, they have stains I can’t get out, but they fit well and some are my favorite 4-H t-shirts with so many memories.  Don’t forget my Uddertech pink gear either!  I would never go to town in these clothes and I will hide if the wrong salesman comes on farm, because I wouldn’t be caught in these clothes, but they are my favorite outfits!

6.       “Oh Crap it’s Cold Out” Clothes: In Minnesota these are required for at least 5 months out of the year and include long underwear, Under Amor, heavy jackets, vests and bibs.  These are very bulky and are hard to store for the remaining 7 months of the year, but we need them, they make life so much easier!

7.       “Work Uniforms”:  Since starting my new job 5 months ago, I now have clothes specifically for work.  I have uniforms and work clothes to be on farm but they take up much needed closet space which I am coping with slowly.

As you can see I have lots of clothes in my possession, don’t judge, but it’s required for me to be comfortable and well dressed for all my roles in life.  A shout out to other women in agriculture who suffer from the same problem, you are not alone!  And don't worry, I used this move as an opportunity to sort and give away clothes I don't wear, it’s just a lot of stuff to sort and unpack J