On South Dakota Sunflowers & Camping

Did you know South Dakota is the largest producer of sunflowers in the nation? I did not until I learned about it on the South Dakota Tourism Facebook page.

South Dakota sunflower field

South Dakota sunflower field

It may explain why I see them everywhere. The biggest field I see is along the drive to the Missouri River, where we love to camp even though it’s only 15 minutes from the house. 15 minutes exactly; I’ve timed it because I’m weird like that.

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I’m not sure if you camp or not, but it’s one of those activities I did not grow up doing but could now go every weekend if possible. Being married to a busy farmer has changed me. Even 15 minutes away, it feels like a vacation and a chance for him to “take his hat off.”

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It could also be inherited, as my mom used to love it and would camp alone before she met my dad. She now loves to come out and camp with us, and will sit along the river for hours on her little floatie device. Apparently her dad used to live on the Missouri river, so the connections run deep. I still need to learn more about that.

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Summer is coming to an end and we only have one weekend left to camp. We’ll be winterizing it as the sunflowers are being harvested, and my drive toward the river will be replaced with that of barren fields and cattle moved back.

However, this weekend is the South Dakota State Fair, and I can’t wait to bring our little guy out to enjoy the activities! We’ll keep you posted.

Camping waffles

First camping breakfast unsuccessful

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enjoying life

We recently celebrated our little boy’s first birthday. I suppose that means he is a toddler now and not a baby, but most days a baby is who I see. Even as the teeth continue poking through tender gums and he drinks from a straw, still, a baby. My baby.

He began walking a week before his 10 month birthday and has been unstoppable since then. If it’s any indication of his personality, we will always be two steps behind trying to keep up.

One of the best moments are in the morning, when he is standing in his crib with a sleepy smile, ready for some snuggles and singing. It’s strange to think some day he will outgrow all this, and there may come a time where I never cuddle or kiss him again. I don’t want to believe that day will come.

This is our life right now. We’re still farming and gardening and even camping, but mostly, we’re cuddling and chasing and kissing the sweetest little boy in our world.

I feel really lucky.

Puppy Nose

Bowie is the puppy of the fur bunch. Although she’ll be seven this year, technically middle-aged, she doesn’t seem a day over one.

We just wuv her and she makes us talk funny and she might be a little adored.

Today I decided to take out the camera and capture close-ups of her brown eyes and button nose, because some day I will miss being able to kiss this face anytime I want.

Bobo nose

bobo nose

Puppy Chow Face

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bobo nose

Camera Time is Boring

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bobo nose

Sitting on your lap = win

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bobo nose

Not even trying, just naturally cute.

bobo nose

bobo nose

What a patient girl. She was rewarded with scratches for allowing me to be in her face like that.

Happy Thursday!

News from the Farm

What a rainy Sunday.

Country Man is feeding cattle and I am refereeing wrestling yorkies who think the perfect arena is by my feet.

Our garden is planted and I even snuck in wildflowers as a border.

But the most important happening around here is…

…. we are expecting a baby boy in July!

This baby has been a long time coming and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

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I can’t wait to see the pups with him. I hope they all like each other because I don’t know what to do with the baby if they don’t (haha!).

Tobi the Model

Tobi is ready to resign her role as main subject, but as long as she’s the most cooperative, her modeling days are far from over.

Tobi the Model

The nursery is ready to decorate but have to wait on things like new windows to get to the fun part. I’ll update that later when it’s finished.

All in all everything has been going well and we’re excited to be in the home stretch and to share this part of our journey with you.

What’s going on with you?

Worstest blogger ever

This post isn’t about me.

It’s about everyone else who blogs consistently and is making me look bad.

Chris Farley

No reason for this image except that it makes me laugh

I hope things are well with you. Not a whole lot new around here. The cows are still mooing and my Country Man is readying himself for calving.

Plan to update with photos over the weekend. Subjects in this sunny weather always look better than the gloomy winter ones.

We’ll see you soon.

Until then, what’s going on with you?

Buffalo

Sometimes this is my morning view.

The Buffalo, who mostly ignores me, stands tall with his head held high.

It’s like he knows he is a rose among thorns. If cattle were thorns, that is. Which they’re not of course. But the Buffalo stands out, nonetheless.

I get the sense his understanding of his heritage goes beyond the horns and faraway eyes, as if he’s aware that not that long ago his kind were driven off cliffs to be eaten and worn.

A couple hundred years later, he’s on a farm in South Dakota in a pen with the bulls.

I haven’t even tried to drive him off any cliffs yet.

Either way, he’s a pretty amazing creature.

Not a bad view from the window I’d say.

Planting Fields and Other Things

Well as some of you may know it’s planting time in Farmersville. And as we speak Country Man is in the field sowing corn, while I sit here eating a taco.

We both love tacos and tacos aren’t the same without him.

I often feel like with this blog, I talk about the same seasonal things and share the same seasonal photos.

It’s those same thoughts that both drive me mad about this lifestyle while offer up a deep appreciation for it.

The predictability of it all is nice, to see the farmers in the field, the truck drivers hauling hay, the calves discovering their legs in the open field.

I think I need it more than I love it.

We are still pushing forward with our hopes of expanding our little family. I know I don’t have to talk about it, but those of you who stick with this blog and read it are the most compassionate, kind people and I wish we lived closer so we could share a cup of coffee in the morning and talk in person.

But that’s not our option, and I am growing less and less afraid to share this part of our life, because it might help someone else and because I don’t feel bad about it anymore.

I am thankful for options. We have some neighbors, in their 70’s, who live on a five generation homestead and have never had children. It wasn’t until I met her and she said they have no one to pass their farm on to that I realized how fortunate we are to have science in our favor when it comes to needing medical intervention.

Anyway, thanks for sticking with me during this season of our life. It’s my hope that whatever you are doing, you are well and happy.

Life is Good

Waiting on May Flowers

When will it be summer? We had a few nice days and now we are on day three of rain. Yes, the ground needs the rain, but I need the sun. Apparently Mother Nature is indifferent to my pleas.

We did have some nice days last week, which allowed us to get some projects done around the farm. Mostly feed and weeding the grass, mulching and so on.

Orange Kitty is a happy free cat, no longer locked away in the shed. We made the mistake of allowing a young kitty free range and he never came back.

We also spent a beautiful weekend at my parents over Easter.

We woke up late Easter morning and walked down the trail to the fort my dad built for us. My 90’s version dad was determined to build us one but he’s an entrepreneur at heart, and we abandoned it early on in fear of loose and rusty nails.

Even though it’s collapsed under it’s well-meaning craftsmanship, I like seeing it there as a reminder of one man’s attempt to create a home for childhood memories.

So yes, the rain. It will let up one of these days and we’ll have more like this:

Meanwhile, the buffalo doesn’t give a darn about the weather and runs around charging into hay bales. Something to learn from him I suppose.

Replanting Fruit Trees One More Time

Growing houseplants (or fruit trees, in this case) is a labor of guilt. At least it is for me.

So often I want to give up on them, since only the pomegranate has produced fruit in the five years we’ve had them.

It’s around springtime that I think it’s time to let them go; start fresh with something that will do what it’s supposed to do.

But every year, I repot, breaking off the old soil from the roots and replacing it with the nutrient-rich.

One more year, why not?

At least I have good, yet trouble-prone, company while I decide if the plants will receive a thumbs up or a thumbs down this year.

Before I go, I wanted to mention we’ve been doing some shed hunting these past few weeks and thought I would share a not-so-old post if you’d like to see what that all entails.

Welcoming Spring

There are no shortage of reminders that spring is here.

All people and animals were winter weary, including our frozen pipes that led to backing up of water, then to the rationing of water, then to me feeling like a hand-sewn prairie dress and bonnet away from the late 1800s.

Thankfully, though, spring has come. In all her imperfect glory, she has come.

You know what this means… shed hunting. Calving. Fencing. The many great and wonderful activities spring brings to us on the farm.

Though this was a long winter for us all, it’s already forgotten as the sun warms our face and cool air cleans out our lungs.

It’s another season in weather and in life.

Looking forward to what’s ahead.

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