A New Year

We are eight days into 2011, but it’s been a long eight days!

Boss Man and I are presently in Atlanta at the 2011 American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. This was our first full day here, and it was a GREAT one! We read a farm-related book to a pre-school class outside of Atlanta, started our business meeting and went through our run-down for the rest of the weekend. (If you want to check out what’s going on, go to the blog here!)

Tomorrow brings more meetings, more planning and more activities…and I can’t wait. Unfortunately, the weather back home hasn’t been so great, which always makes us worry.

Whenever you leave the farm, it’s never far behind. Even more so in the winter. No matter how much planning you do, a few inches of snow and high winds changes everything. But there is nothing we can do about it here, so we try not to think about it.

Maybe it will work tomorrow.

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Sure is Monday

Yep, Monday reared her ugly head. Went to have Eli’s pre-appointment blood work drawn, and decided to kill two birds with one stone and take Evan in to have him checked over. (We’ve spent a lot of time on antibiotics lately, 5 days of amoxicillin, 5 days of zithromax.)

The tests came back and Evan has strep. Woohoo! We won the jackpot! Ten days of augmentin! Yippee! If that doesn’t give him a flaming case of antibiotic butt, nothing will. Yogurt, here we come. (Normally meds don’t make you jump for joy, but when you can’t do anything else, you might as well celebrate…right???)

Eli has a double ear infection. No big deal, since he’s not symptomatic, but we’ll have to watch it. (Much like our animals, I don’t give my kids antibiotics for no reason.) But the fluids could be part of the reason that he doesn’t talk. Sooooo…just because it’s Monday, we got to discuss surgery. Not just one, but two! YAY!

If Evan’s meds don’t work this time (or he isn’t successful in the self-tonsil removal), we’re probably looking at having his tonsils removed sooner rather than later. Since the doctors and insurance companies seem to have a thing going, I’m guessing it will be right after the first of the year. But since we never have any problem with meeting our deductible anyway, I figure, the sooner, the better. (And, by the way, I LOVE telling the office that we have no copay for visits…”Sure, go ahead, schedule 14 follow-up appointments, schedule away my dear!”) Just kidding…kinda.

And in 3 months if he happens to check and Eli is having an infection, or fluid build up, in his ears, we will schedule tubes, health permitting. *sigh* poor kid, can’t catch a break. But out of the last 10 times his ears have been checked, 8 times he has had infections, or fluid. He has only passed one out of three tympanograms, so I guess that’s enough proof for me. Plus the doctor hopes that it may be the key to getting his words to come out. And I’d love to hear “Mama” again! (I’ve heard it once, at a Farm Bureau YF&R meeting, of all things!)

Oh, on a positive note, I got to talk to two lovely ladies about the Humane Society of the United States while picking up my wreath from the local crisis center for their fundraiser. I know of one organization that’ll be short some funds this next month! Woohoo! And, donations are now being DIRECTLY given to a local shelter.

See, Mondays aren’t ALL bad…just mostly! 😉

End of an era

Sorry about the down time. I’ve been dealing with some family things and didn’t want my thoughts to taint my blog. Long story, but I’m done with it now.

Anyway, last week Mark and I were fortunate to be able to attend the fall meeting of the American Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher committee. Those that we serve on the committee with are some pretty amazing people. It was a GREAT few days!

When we got back home from St. Louis, we were blessed with a few days of absolutely amazing weather here at home. We reached 70 degrees on Monday…that’s right, I said 70! Woohoo!

To take advantage of the beautiful weather, my husband and father-in-law decided to do some maintenance work around the farm. One of their chores was to take down the TV antenna that stood at the top of the house, like a sentry watching guard.

Boss man and his dad work on removing the TV antenna that has been on the roof of our house for decades.

It was kind of sad to see the antenna come down. Just one more instance of where old is replaced with new, the changing of the times. I’m sure my children will never even remember it was there, let alone what it was for.

So, do you have any things that YOU remember that the future generations will never have an inkling as to what it was all about?

Quick update

Things have been crazy around here. We finished harvest! Yay! Cows are on the way home as we speak, Halloween is over, parent-teacher conferences are done, Grandma’s house is now empty (a story I’ll have to share sometime…it’s a doozy!) and I’m getting ready to leave tomorrow for a fall Farm Bureau YF&R meeting in St. Louis. Yeah, and that is just the last 4 days!

Good news: Measure 2 was defeated – yay! I’d like to think that I helped educate a few people and had a small role in that.

Mediocre news: There will be lots of changes in the future for ND. We now are sending 2 new members to Congress. Good? Bad? We’ll see. Whatever happens, here’s to hoping that agriculture is at the forefront of their minds when voting. We will all need to be vigilant and loud when moving forward.

Bad news: Eh, why dwell on the bad. Lets skip it.

So, my next post will be in St. Louis (if the hotel has wireless…any suggestions on a carrier for traveling? Some of those are way spendy!). We’ll keep you posted!

Bright future indeed

Last week I attended the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. Let me tell you, it was AMAZING! To see that many young people interested and active in an ag organization is encouraging and inspiring, to say the least.

I was there in a “professional” capacity. My husband and I serve on the Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher committee, and on that committee, I serve on the Promotions Subcommittee. One of the great privileges I had was the chance to attend the FFA Convention. We spent hours talking to kids, giving out prizes, conducting our quiz bowl and having a blast!

(Read more about the convention from Will Gilmer’s point of view here:  http://www.fb.org/blog/index.php/2010/10/23/ffa_contestants_set_a_great_example )

Since returning home, I’ve been thinking about the future of agriculture. To tell you the truth, I think about it a lot. Lets say that some drastic piece of legislation is passed, and somehow our way of life is deemed obsolete. Or rules are enacted by the EPA that makes our farm too great of a liability. What would we do? Where would we go?

The only way we can guarantee these things don’t happen is by educating those that aren’t here with us on the farm. Show them what we do, why we do it and why our operations are important to their future. The good news is, that with more than 50,000 people attending the National FFA Convention last week, we have the opportunity to have a LOT of voices out there!

No, it won’t be easy, but we have the tools available…and the resources are all around us. Preparing the next generation to continue what we’ve started is key. I can’t wait to see where they take us!

Going out on a limb

They said it couldn’t be done…they said it wouldn’t matter…they said we had to keep doing things the way we had in the past. Well, guess what, we didn’t…

The Dickey County Farm Bureau (of which, I am a board member), decided to hold its annual meeting a little differently this year. We called it “Pigs, Pits and Pistols.”

We roasted a whole pig (as in the whole thing, directly in a “pit”), had inflatable games for kids, had shooting sports for the bigger kids, had a Marksmen Quadrathlon and an archery demonstration. There were laser shooting games for kids of all ages, a keg of root beer and ice cream on the deck, sodas for all and room for about 150. Oh, and it was all free…well, except for the Quadrathlon, but the two top scorers took home all the cash.

Guess what? We ran out of room.

That’s right…we had an annual meeting (of which our yearly attendance averages right at 30) and we served over 160 at supper. We planned for 150, but figured it was a pipe dream. It was amazing! We had to open up the other section of the lodge…we had to have people eat outside!

We had teenage boys there on a Saturday afternoon! And they were having fun! At an annual meeting!

I didn’t include video of the meeting part, but the grassroots movement is definitely alive and well. And we were able to initiate some interest and excitement about becoming more involved in our organization. What more could we possibly ask for?

I don’t know how we’ll top this next year…but we better start planning now! 😉 Hmmm…wonder if Siegfried and Roy would come out of retirement…