Friday, November 24, 2006


This is MG in her 'Indian Princess" vest and headband from school. The Kindergarteners were the Pilgrims and the 1st graders were the Indians. I made the vest from a brown paper grocery sack (Jack says I have MAD skills - whatever that is - he says it's good). The children feasted on chicken noodle soup. I guess a turkey sandwich was too much to ask...

Thanksgiving is THE big holiday at TGF. Relatives from far and wide gather at the "Home place" for food and drink. The gathering can range anywhere from 35 - 20 give or take. As descendants of farmers, Thanksgiving is a day to relax and recoup from the year, revel in the successes and examine the not so successes and re-acquaint with non-farm relatives. We only see most of these relatives once a year and it is good to gather with them and catch up. Being from a small family myself, the dynamics of a large family are interesting to observe. It is good to have gathered again this year.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

National Honor Society

Last Wednesday, we had the honor of attending a blissfully short and sweet National Honor Society induction at our "friendly" high school. Yes, TGF DS#1 was inducted, he is the handsome one on the far left with the white tie. We here at TGF are exceedingly proud of him. Suffice it to say that it is hard to be the only Republican in a Democratic school system.

I can't believe that we will only have 1 more year of him here at home. Some days I know it will be a looong year, but I know it will go by in a flash and he will fly from the nest. Yikes, I'm not ready for that.

I will leave for another day the discussion of, "what are those girls thinking dressing like that" I am only to assume that there must have been a sale on dresses without tops or bottoms.

Friday, November 17, 2006

High Holy Day

Today is the opening day of Deer season, i.e. High Holy Day. It's funny, back oh, 17 years ago when I was a young-er bride. I rose early (4:30am) to cook breakfast for the assembled group of deer hunters, yes, hot breakfast for my men as they go forth to slay the dreaded White Tailed Deer. I haven't cooked breakfast for them in years. The cooking effort has dissolved to coffee and donuts. It used to be a group of about 8, TGF, his dad, the local priest, a friend from town, TGF brother #1 and #2, old high school friend, a bunch of coverall wearing, tall broad, manly men, everyone of them. My favorite SIL joined them one year. This morning, TGF left the kitchen alone, to slay the Bambi-dragon, everyone else is otherwise busy this year.

I love to complain about the High Holy Day, but in truth, I love it. It is the essense of survival that intrigues me. There have been and probably will be years when the product of the hunt was the majority of the meat on TGF's table for the year. Venison is healthy (nevermind that black tongue business and Chronic wasting disease talk) and is quite tasty if prepared properly, no it isn't beef, but it will do. TGF isn't a "Country Boy", but I keep hearing Hank Williams, Jr. singing "A Country Boy can survive". I don't know if TGF would appreciate that sentiment, but it's my blog. :)

Would I hunt deer? I have threatened to many times. I'd love an excuse to bundle up warmly and hide in the woods from my family for hours, take a day off work and do nothing but sit in the woods watching the going's on and thinking big thoughts. The deer eat an enormous amout of our corn and beans which makes them not only tasty, but a pest to the level of a lowly rodent and the less rodents the better. I've smacked a few of them with various cars and I know that is an expensive proposition. They are beautiful, majestic animals. Could I shoot one? You bet, however field dressing one of them would not be my cup of tea so for now, I go to work on the holy day and wish them luck with their hunting and safety in the hunt.

Update: I had hoped to have a picture to post but was too lazy to get out. Final count for 1st deer season, TGF and friends: 2

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sort of ...

Well, I posted that we were done, we did finish the harvest a week or so ago, but this year we have some additional field work.

TGF is "Strip Tilling" his Anhydrous on this year. Normally we hire a company to apply our anhydrous amonia (fertilizer) on in the fall, they come in with this big machinery any time of the day and night and we sit snuggly in the living room on the couch and watch them thinking, "Darn, I'm glad we're done". This year, however, TGF is doing it himself because this strip till business needs to be applied in a very precise manner and some things are best done ones self. The theory is.... Fertilizer applied in the fall, in the spring, TGF will plant as close to on top of the fertilizer application as humanly possible. There is a thing called auto-steer that is run by the satellites which makes this a little more accurate, but more about that later. The idea is that the sooner the little corn plant can get it's snout full of yummy fertilizer, the sooner it will get it's act together and start growing well and getting ready to produce us lots of little kernels of corn on it's little cob later in the year. In the past, the theory was that the corn would get burned by too much fertilizer too quickly, but evidently that wasn't exactly true. Anyway, the University of Illinois says it's ok, so we're a doin it. According to the U of I, this will increase our yields and we're all about increasing our yields.

Some day when I have more time, I will put together a post on "Farming isn't the same today as it used to be". I have seen so many advances in technology and farming practices just for the 17 years I have been involved as Mrs. TGF. Farmers are not hayseed, un-intelligent, backward looking, bib overall wearing folk (Well at least not ALL of them). Farming is every bit similar to running one's own company, except that you must rely on the kindness of mother nature to give you rain and warmth and gentle breezes. We watch our inputs carefully, there is no benefit to applying more fertilizer than we absolutely need to, fertilizer is expensive. We need return on our investment, just like the big CEO's. Anyway, this is getting out of hand. I'll compose myself and begin again some day soon.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Stick a Fork in it - We're DONE!

FINALLY, FINALLY!!! The combine is safely tucked in the machine shed, it still needs to be cleaned up, but he is tucked safely into the shed. Mrs. TGF is thankful again this year. We are fortunate to be blessed with an abundant harvest and so far prices are very good, Of course we can always hang on until the prices is at rock bottom (don't laugh - it has happened), but for the first time in quite a few years, we got the enviable combination of good yields, good price. Not that I want to support the notion that Farmers are "rich farmers", the running joke at TGF this year is that we had such a good year, TGF bought Mrs. TGF a Cadillac. Well, close, but not QUITE the way it happened. Mrs. TGF bought herself a 9 year old Cadillac at an estate auction. Yes, folks 9 years old, 44,000 miles on it. It is a beautiful, luxurious car, to be sure, but not exactly what you picture when TGF says he bought his wife a new Cadillac. The proof is in the pictures.

Almost done...

Harvest is sliding into home plate here at TGF. I was out last week and took some pics of TGF unloading that I thought I would share.

The first is the line-up at the unload auger, the second is the yellow gold streaming from the wagons into the unload auger, then we have some random shots of TGF and DS#2 to add to the cuteness factor.

this one is Yellow Gold streaming from the wagons into the unload auger...