Thursday, October 25, 2007

2007 Harvest in the Bin

TGF finished the last 10 acres of beans yesterday (October 24). Now on to the Anhydrous application, and fall spraying and of course the negotiation of what new implement will need to be purchased before the end of the year. But first a well deserved vacation to one of the Dakota's with TGF brothers (Steve and Dickster) for some Pheasant slaughter. Good luck to the Pheasants.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Harvest 2007

TGF began the 2007 harvest on Thursday, September 20, the earliest that TGF's father has ever remembered starting. The moisture in the corn was 16% and the yields were, well, lets just say amaizing. Scary amaizing. (yes, I said amaizing for a reason) The first day began without incident, they took the headlands off of Dick's farm and then they progressed to the Greg 40 which is currently about 2/3 harvested. On Saturday, they moved to Hochstead's and harvested that, hauling the corn to the elevator in Serena, hoping to beat the crowds as the other area farmers either haven't started, or are currently working on their bean harvest due to sudden death syndrome or brown stem rot (no, I don't make this up). On Saturday I was helping them jockey machinery and I had occasion to drive into the field. I couldn't believe how tall the corn is, the ears are attached to the stalks at about shoulder height (a good 18" higher than normal) and they are huge, the corn was probably at least a foot higher than TGF's huge 4wheel drive truck. So far everything is standing well and we did have some down-time last week for a couple of miscellaneous breakdowns, but so far so good is the report from the home front.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I have feed Hummingbirds for several years. They are preparing to head south for the winter and they are "swarming" the feeders. I put 2 feeders on the front porch so that Michael and I can watch them. He calls them "Hummer-birdies" and we watch their dancing/fighting. I hope this shows up. Greg thinks he saw at least 7 tonight, but I think I only caught 4 on film:

Friday, May 18, 2007


Today, TGF will finish planting the beans! Let's say it all together please, like a chorus of angels, "HALLELUJAH!" Overall, although perhaps TGF might report differently, planting went well. No accidents, a few breakdowns, but nothing too spectacular or costly. Probably the most alarming was the 2" nut that came off of the drill at the part that actually holds the drill to the tractor, that could have been spectacular, but TGF caught it in his pre-planting review of the machinery. Now if we can get the VP in charge of weather (i.e. Aunt Mary or Mary Marshall-Grace) to assist us with good sunshine, warm, but not too warm temperatures and soft rain upon our fields, we will be in like flynn-oh, yes, please no FR*ST. I suspect that all of the corn is now up and TGF said that he figured some of the beans have begun to break the surface, always a good sign. So things are off to a good start here in the Country.

The roads have settled and the dust from same is flying again. MG wrote me this note this morning regarding the Mothers Tea that we will attend later today. Pretty funny, I particularly enjoy, "Note to Self".

The weekend looks like it will be beautiful. I hope you all have a great weekend, until I type again.... :)

Mary Grace Check out this picture. This is the note I received this morning from Mary Grace. They are having a Mothers Tea at school and she has been looking forward to it for 2 weeks. So precious, I can't believe it. That girl is something.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The corn is planted

For the record, TGF began planting corn...April 16, 2007. He planted some headlands at Dick's farm and then we got some rain. On and off, he planted and finished up corn without incident on May 7th or 8th (I can't remember exactly, the days all run together when field work is being done). The weather gods/goddesses cooperated and he sprayed for 2 days (or at least he said he did) and then commenced to planting beans on May 10th.

Our corn is up, no death by rotary hoe at TGF and looking good. TGF feels that the strip till was a good idea so far and I think it is a good idea because he can't plant after dark because he can't see the marks, so at least I have some sort of ETA for when he might arrive for the evening (must get the beer cold afterall)

It is hard for me to wrangle the 2 little children by myself and get to work with clothes/shoes/makeup on by 9am, so I look forward to the planting being completed.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Michael takes a bath

I posted a pic of Jack and now Michael, I'll have to get a good pic of MG so that they all have equal time. Michael loves his bath. My digital camera is slow and it is hard for me to get a good shot of him, this is the best that I could do. Not much cuter than babies in a tub.

Skippy goes to Prom

Who said he could grow up? Tonight Jack went to his first Prom. He looked so handsome and gentlemanly in his Tuxedo, so tall and confident. My Heart overflows.

Big Day at TGF

Recently it was a big day at TGF. Another new piece of equipment to play with. We have had the same mower for the 17 years that we have co-habited. It was around 30 years old, sometimes nothing truly does run like a Deere. It was old and loud and in really bad shape, but Old Faithful as we called it started every spring without fail no matter how much TGF choose to neglect it. We have about a 3 acre yard, the deck on Old Faithful was a 48" deck. Jack is about done living with us and TGF will again be faced with mowing the lawn (I do NOT mow lawn - that's a rant for another day). Kind of funny story, TGF was looking at the mowers online, he found one with a 48" deck and had found one with a 58" deck for about $900 more. Being the smart aleck that I am, I told him that I would pay $900 for 10 inches - of mower deck, get your mind out of the gutter! Anyway, we ended up with this beauty, 2 years old, 62" deck, it even has a cup holder and a plug to charge a cel phone or the like. The sad thing is that it cost almost as much as my (used) Cadillac (scroll down for car story) The lawn was mowed the first time this year with Old Faithful and once already with the new mower - yet to be named. Old Faithful - RIP

Michael Gets his Horse

TGF's Father is a woodworker. He started around the time he started to think about retirement. I should someday take a picture of all the beautiful things he has made each of this children. One of the beauties of these items is that all the wood he uses comes from the farms that he owns. Each of our 3 children have rocking horses-actually, I think all of the grandchildren younger than Jack have rocking horses as well, he is very fair about doing equally for each. Jack's horse is made out of Ash and the pattern is from the New Yankee Workshop, MG's is made out of Cherry was a pattern that he purchased and this one is Walnut and is for Michael. It is an original Grandpa Marshall design. I tried to get a picture of Michael riding on it, but it just turns out a blur, he loves it and the horse is big enough for he and MG to ride the horse together. We are thankful that we will have these items to pass down for many generations.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What the????

Who ordered this? It was 75 degrees earlier this week and now we get SNOW!! Life in Illinois.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The joys of a gravel road

I love where we live, I love the country-ness, the wide open spaces, the no neighbors, the darkness, the no neighbors, however, sometimes in the spring it gets dicey. You see, the frost is coming out of our gravel road. Sounds harmless doesn't it? Except that makes the road soft-kind of like standing on a balloon. Usually it is just a matter of moving to another side of the road to drive on a flat spot, but this year for some reason the road is quite a spectacle. I was careening down it this morning being sucked abruptly from one side to another when I was reminded that perhaps this was good "blog fodder", something that folks that don't live in the country or on a gravel road would be interested in reading about. MG wondered if perhaps we would have to stay overnight in a hotel because we couldn't get down our road to get home. She thought that was a great idea, but I am sure she is thinking... POOL!!! Anywhoo, pretty much the entire road is mush, like driving in oatmeal, about 18" of it, quite spectacular really. I am reminded of a picture that my former mentor, Linda, had made from the archives of the Histerical society in Bloomington of a woman all dressed in black standing in front of her Model-T that was stuck in the mud road. That woman could be me as I felt like I was going to get stuck this morning as I took little bit to school this am...and it supposed to rain all day today.
4/20-the road has dried, we are back to our (dusty) normal. The universe is again in balance. I can safely wash my car.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

WwwwHhhhhaaaaatttt'sss UuuuPPPP!

What's up at TGF? Well, it is the dead of winter, we are checking the grain market prices 2-3 times per day. I really don't understand why, we have only about 6,000 bushels of corn that hasn't been sold from the '06 crop. We are pre-selling the '07 crop and very enthusiastic about the prices we have locked in, now we just have to grow it!

TGF is working on his winter projects. Normally, I get a shot at some Honey Do's, but this year, we have a new and improved project.

For more years than I care to think about, TGF has wanted to convert our beautiful 1902-ish barn into something a little more conducive to use in the current age. Let me just say before I go any further. I.LOVE.THAT.BARN, I love that barn just the way it is, with it's horse stalls and grain rooms and milking stanchions and feed bunks. I have always loved barns, I feel they have a story to tell and if I were able to sit long and quietly enough (try that with 3 Jr.-TGF's) I could hear them. BUT if we can't convert it into something useful, it will simply fall down around itself from neglect, SO if gutting it will save it, perhaps when I am old-er and the 3 Jr.-TGF's are grown, I can still listen for the stories. To that end, TGF has been cleaning and pitching and burning 30 years or so of accumulated "stuff" from the barn (think about what you have in your basement-this barn is HUGE) On top of the normal dose of "junk in the barn" in the hayloft (which BTW is big enough for a full sized basketball court) is a full load of chopped hay from the 50's. TGF is trying to work out a better/faster way to do this, but right now it looks as if it will have to be pushed out I will be documenting the renovation of the barn in this here blog. I will be needing to get pictures of the before soon, after the junk is out and before the de-construction begins. It is a beautiful barn and at least this way, it will be saved AND still look like a barn....oh, and I might get a place to park my car in bad weather...