PLANT 18 is here! We all can hardly believe it. Did you hear me?! PLANT 18 is here. The winter drug on and no one thought we would be to this point. Sugar beets, corn, and wheat are going in, but we honestly need a good slow inch of rain. I might as well shoot for the moon with my weather requests right? Little spots of frost here and there and the ground is a tad drier than we would like. Either way rain or not very thankful that we are rolling. And with that I’m bringing back Tuesday Ten…haha how many times have you heard that before?
1. What’s for supper: Burgers on our new Traeger. This is not a sponsored post but you guys this grill is life changing. I say that after only cooking two things on it, ribs and chicken thighs. Hands down best at home grilled goodness we have had, EVER. Any other pellet grill owners out there? Share your top tips/recipes with me in the comments section!
2. What am I listening to: Just started to listen to Jenna Kutcher’s goal digger podcast, adding that one to my weekly list.
3. Weather: Mid 60s, hallelujah!!
4. Weekend plans: Bridal shower and cooking on the Traeger!
5. Watching: Parenthood, I blame it on my kids being sick with influenza and norovirus this winter. I’m usually not a binge TV person, but this show has done me in.
6. Boy moment of the week: We are in our terrible twos almost threes. So sweet at moments and at times cries because I carried him into the house versus letting him walk. My mother in law says he reminders her of my husband at that age. I have one word as a response to that: Karma!
7. Girl moment of the week: Is anything sweeter than seeing your daughters create a fierce bond? No, insert heart melt and a few tears. On a side not our bottom scooting 11 month old has learned downward dog on her own and it’s adorable, but I am also a little biased.
9. Recipe of the week: We have been scoping out the cookbook that came with our Traeger. Don has only mentioned the mac and cheese short of a thousand times so guessing that one will be at the top of the list.
10. Reading: Is three books too many? Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley, and Body Love by Kelly LeVeque
On a side not you guys killed me with kindness last night in response to sharing about postpartum depression. The number of you that reached out to me was unbelievable. Please share the message with all moms not just new moms if you would like. We all need to know that we are loved! Again thank you from the depths of my soul. Friends we have so much to be grateful for and you have all shown me that!
I’ve struggled with this post for a while as the intent of my blog starting out was to share the story of our farm and not so much about our personal lives. Well as you would have guessed these go hand in hand. Farming is very personal for us as we are carrying on a legacy created generations ago. This legacy is something we hope to pass on, but in order to do that we have to take care of ourselves. So here it goes...
About six month ago I was sitting in a hotel room, alone. No kids running around, no middle of the night wake up calls to tuck someone back in, no meals to put on the table and no snuggles to be had. I had zero guilt for not missing any of it. I’m usually one that hates to be away for long periods of time especially bedtime, the sweetest part of our daily routine.
I didn’t miss my husband and I didn’t miss my kids. No desire to go home, I really was wondering how long the hotel would let me stay before they got suspicions. I know that there are breaking points for most moms, and moments when we do need to get away. This “getting away” was so different, it wasn’t me holed up in the bathroom for five minutes regaining my composure. It wasn’t me longing to go home for snuggles. It was me hitting rock bottom. A rock bottom of postpartum depression I wasn’t sure I was ready to face.
As I packed up after five days of being gone from home I began to wonder if my family really missed me. Would they really care if I came home? My mind was telling me maybe, but my heart was telling me no. Postpartum depression is a deep demon that tears at your heart strings and in my case makes me believe many lies.
I did the right thing that day and drove home to my family. I didn’t follow through on the lies that the demons were stirring in my soul. The top lie, do they really need me in their earthly lives?
That evening the kids and my husband happily greeted me at the door, but so did a pile of dishes, heaps of laundry and crumbs I could hardly stand to step on. It was as if with each step these crumbs were working in sync with Satan. Crumb one, “you are not worth it.” Crumb two “haha, you really think you can do this?” Crumb three, “don’t make a fool of yourself Lisa, keep it together or don’t.” Each crumb was a thorn and a scar on my heart and mind.
Something prompted me that evening to share these feelings with my husband, was it my last cry? Did I really have something wrong with me? It was decided I needed to call my OB. I pushed this off several days and confided in a coworker. He had a similar tone as my husband, make the call. A few days later a phone call was made and I was prescribed an antidepressant that would take twelve weeks to take full effect. Who has twelve weeks to wait to be happy? Another crumb. Surprisingly they started to work within several weeks and I started to feel less anxiety and more happiness. This only lasted for a short week or so. Pretty soon I was emotionless with no highs or lows. Just steady. Steady felt almost as bad as that deep dark hole.
I recognized this as did those closest to me. Again we knew an adjustment needed to be made, I ditched the pills and confided in a doctor that has been in my life for the past ten or so years. She spoke truth into my heart about my worth and being, she helped me to find solutions or a path to a solution that made sense. She explained what my body was lacking and why I was feeling the way that I was. She spoke truth into me.
Now don’t take this as she solved the issues in that one meeting, she didn’t and I am still fighting the battle six month later. She was a true second starting point for me. Thankfully my husband, family and some very close coworkers know of my struggles. These individuals that I have reached out to are advocating for me. They are being my backbone when I don’t feel as though I have one. In those moments when I want to crack I have someone to confide in. They speak the truth into me that I cannot see in those deep dark moments. As time has passed these moments are fewer, but I also have come to realize that I need to take care of myself. I need to see in myself what others see in me. If I am not healthy those around me will see my dark side not my happy side.
This journey that I am on also makes me worried for all of the others out there who do not have the capacity to ask for or to seek out help. For those who do not have others to lean on. My one request as you read this is, be that person. Ask the right questions but most of all be a listening ear for someone. You taking time out of your busy schedule to listen will be one of the biggest gifts you can ever give someone. I know as I have soaked up many precious minutes of others as they have listened to me as I struggle through postpartum depression. Do not let this person be alone emotionally. Being emotionally alone is one of the hardest places to be as postpartum depression eats away at you. I found that in these alone moments the darkness fell faster.
If you are a normal ready of my blog you may recall this post where I shared my word of the year for 2018. God laid the word deliverance on my heart for a reason. Now I don’t know the exact reason at this point, but I pray daily that I am delivered from this demon that has overtaken my happiness. I also pray that others who suffer mentally from any sort of illness are able to be delivered from it and can rejoice in the hands of our Father. When I look at someone I want to look in their eyes and see Jesus. I don’t want to see their outward appearance, I want to see their inward grace. I want them to know that whatever demon they are fighting there is a greater and bigger God that will guide us if we ask for him to do so.
***If you believe that you are suffering from any sort of depression or mental illness, please seek out help. Find someone that you trust to confide in, this individual or group of people will build you up so you may also see your worth. You are so loved and don't let anyone tell you differently.
Have you ever been at a conference or in a meeting where you wanted to stand on the tables and applaud those speaking? They lit a fire under you and you now have an increased level of gumption. That was me on Wednesday. The only reason I stayed sitting in my seat was because I was in the front row and didn’t want to cause a scene. But honestly I was surrounded by rockstars.
Whether these women worked in the banking industry, production agriculture, education, law, research, etc they all had a reason and a purpose for being in that auditorium. That auditorium has housed the Women’s Agricultural Leadership Conference for the last several years. This is hands down my must attend conference every year. The planning committee does a phenomenal job of lining up speakers and tying the whole day together. This year the theme was “Passion for Progress” and the panels of speakers on executive leadership and women’s affinity groups were on fire.
One of my biggest takeaways wasn’t new to me but I appreciated the way it was presented. As women we aren’t “just” anything.
We aren’t just farm wives.
We aren’t just moms.
We aren’t just insurance specialists.
We aren’t just directors.
We aren’t just agronomists.
I think you get the point. When we are in any given situation we need to believe that we are there for a reason. We all have a purpose and a calling. We need to throw the “just” to the roadside and own what and who we are. Here’s and example: I don’t actively help on the farm every day but I do bring warm meals to the field, I make sure my farmer has clean clothes, I pick up parts from the dealership, and I advise on crop insurance. I am not just a farm wife, I am an integral part of the operation.
It doesn't matter if you are sitting in a boardroom or standing in a corn field let your passion and dedication shine through. Your integrity, courage and humble confidence will carry you far. Learn who you are and trust in yourself. Surround yourself with mentors who will be honest with you, but can also see the things in you that you can’t see in yourself. Drop the just and OWN who you are and most of all be humble while you are doing it.
P.S. I geared this post towards women because well hello that’s me, but that doesn’t discount that this same message applies for men too.
After rapid firing questions to Mr. Farmer he thought it would be a good idea to do the same back. You can tell that he picked the questions...and really who says yellow is their favorite color?! Oops sorry spoiler alert. Apparently I think yellow is the bomb even though I despise wearing yellow, nothing in my house is yellow, I own NOTHING yellow. I think the question should have been what is your favorite color to wear, or what is your favorite paint color and with that I digress...
And to bore you even more here are my more well thought out answers:
Some answers changed and some didn’t or maybe the rapid fire felt like not packing the dishwasher correctly.
P.S. He also saved the document as "My Bae's Rapid Fire Questions" just to drive me nuts and get an eye roll...IT totally worked.
Sitting on the couch watching Hometown on HGTV wondering what my husband really does all winter. I have so many customers that ask what variety of wheat we plant? Where do you haul your corn to? Did your husband go to that meeting last week?
The more questions I hear the more I realize that I don’t know as much about our operation as I would like too. I know more about Joe’s farm down the road then I do about ours. I would hope other women involved in agriculture can relate. Do we really feel like talking about the farm when we get home at night? No, a big FAT NO. But, for some reason today I feel like picking his brain. Here we go rapid fire question asking….
My husband spoke those dreaded words tonight. The ones that no farm wife ever wants to hear…”I’m ready for spring!”
My first response, “So you can loose your winter weight?”
Good thing he knows that I am joking and good thing this conversation isn’t in reverse.
“No, so we can be outside. We can play with the kids, you and #3 can be out there with us.”
I’m still questioning his motives, does he really want to spend time with us or is he ready to leave the wackadoodle house of crazies? Who wouldn’t want to escape every now and then to a peaceful tractor cab with heated seats and a built in cooler. I can almost guarantee you that there is less dirt on the tractor cab floor then on our entry/kitchen floor. Luxury I tell you, pure luxury. :)
How do you talk a farmer down from this? Do you remind him it’s the end of January and we have a lot of winter left? Do you suggest he attends another meeting? Do you write him a honey-do-list as he seems to be bored?
Unfortunately none of these are the right answer….
The CORRECT answer is you remind him that it is the end of January and you have at least 2.5 more months of quality family time before tillage and planting. This includes eating supper together, playing go fish for the bazilyionth time, being beat in Candy Land and Memory by 4.5 year old, cuddles on the couch after kids are in bed. thinking of it this way makes my heart full. It’s a crazy life, but it’s our crazy life.
Three weeks out from choosing a word of the year and I get goosebumps thinking about it and here’s why:
Going into the New Year I had put little to no thought into what my word for 2018 would be. I had words in 2016 (trust) and in 2017 (patience), but 2018 seemed so distant. One evening I was scanning through instagram like any normal human being does these days and I saw many pictures with descriptions showing what everyone had chosen for their word of the year. At this point I thought “hmmm, will I do this in 2018? Do I pick a new word?” It didn’t take more than a day and the word deliverance popped into my head. All I could think is D.E.L.I.V.E.R.A.N.C.E!!! Oh no! For several days I tried to convince myself that there had to be another word out there for me….and why did deliverance sound so daunting in an end of life way?! I found myself googling deliverance to get a full grasp on the definition.
Deliverance: the action of being delivered or set free
At this point it started to make a little more sense. There were definitely burdens that had been set upon my mind and heart in recent months. The best way to heal these burdens? Asking in prayer to be set free from them. To reaffirm this, one evening I opened my bible to look at a verse, as I flipped through I paused in Chapter 19 in the book of Psalms. My heaviest bookmark had been stuck there at some point. The first bold heading I see on the page read “Prayer of Deliverance.”
No more questioning. No more wondering if deliverance was truly my word. There it was clear as day, affirming that His plan is greater than ours will ever be. I shared this tidbit with a coworker of mine and both of us sat in awe of his glory and capabilities. This same coworker came to me a few days later and mentioned that in his devotional he read with his girls the topic was deliverance. Another sign in a round about way? I would say so.
All in all what an amazing reminder that in the darkest times of our lives he is looking out for us and he will put us right where he needs us.
I have been more than absent from blogging lately and it bothers me but at the same time I know it was needed. Not that I have ever been a consistent blogger, but usually it is an outlet for me. A way for me to disconnect and let me mind go where it wants. Each season brings new challenges hopefully met with grace.
Farming continues to be part of our livelihood along with myself continuing to work off the farm. We are very fortunate to have what we have. The winter months (November-January) are our precious moments where we all get to enjoy meals together. There is no wondering when Mr. Farmer will be home, there is no cold suppers left on the table waiting for him far past bedtime, there is no single parenting. We get to be together enjoying precious well deserved time together.
Don’t get me wrong that the business of farming is teaching our children things we never would be able to teach to this degree if we worked in other industries. Our children get to see perseverance, grace, hope, trust, and patience daily. Some say farmers are the eternal optimists and I would have to agree. So as I make a commitment to share more of our real farm life with you, I ask for your grace as each season brings new challenges and with that a continued faith in God, our Heavenly Father.
Phew! I am so glad we have an extra farmhand here this week. Flat Aggie is visiting us to learn about our farm in west central Minnesota. I’ll let Flat Aggie take over to tell you all about his adventures on our farm.
Hi kids, Flat Aggie here! This week I am on a sugar beet farm near Wendell, Minnesota. The farm I am visiting is on the edge of what was once Lake Agassiz, they now call this region the Red River Valley. When Lake Agassiz was formed it left behind heavy clay soil, suitable for growing crops. Most farms here grow corn, soybeans, wheat, and/or sugar beets.
I spent the majority of my week helping with sugar beet harvest. Sugar beets are planted in April and are usually harvested in the month of October. These beets are different than red beets that you might eat at lunch or dinner. Sugar beets are larger and are white in color. The sugar beet farmers I was visiting are shareholders in a cooperative. The cooperative decides when harvest will start and when the beets can be harvested to ensure that they will keep in storage until they are processed. Once harvest has started many farmers harvest all day and all night to get the sugar beets out of the ground in a timely manner. It makes me tired just thinking about it!
The harvesting process can be lengthy depending on the weather and it takes multiple steps to get the sugar beets to their end destination. The first step is to remove the tops from the beets. A tractor pulls an implement that has paddles that spin very fast to remove the foliage from the tops off of the beets. Depending on the region this implement may be called a topper, a roto beeter, or a defoliator, but they are all the same piece of equipment.
Once the foliage has been removed from the beets a machine comes and lifts the beets out of the ground by pinching them. After the beets have been lifted out of the ground a series of rollers helps remove excess dirt before they are conveyed into a truck.
I couldn't believe the size of some of the beets. Here is a picture of me with one:
And here is a picture of one that is out of the ground:
Can you believe it?!
After the beets are in the truck we hauled them to a piling station. They will remain here until they are hauled to the factory to be processed into white table sugar or brown sugar. Samples are taken for each grower throughout harvest to determine purity, sugar content and tare. Some of the beets are stored outside in these piles until March. The best part of the day might have been the home cooked meal that was delivered to the field. I was STUFFED!
I don't know what to do with myself during harvest after the kids are in bed, which somehow leads to my baking obsession hitting overload. Ooo I should try that new recipe or that sounds delicious, but who am I kidding there aren't nearly enough mouths to feed for the baking that takes place. Thank goodness for coworkers...did I ever mention that my nickname at work is "Betty Crocker" due to the number of goodies I bring into share. I contribute to the freshman fifteen of our work environment, good or bad...
I don't know what it is but baking brings me calm and is a happy place. These late night sessions allow me to shut down the 7,685 tabs I have had open during the day, I can reduce it to 1 tab, 1 stinking tab! It's glorious, and if you were curious quilting has the same effect on me. Mind boggling I know, but really I will now get onto the good stuff, the layered heavenly good stuff.
Better with Butterscotch
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4.5 oz whipped cream/cool whip
1 large package instant vanilla pudding
1 regular package butterscotch pudding
3 cups cold milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together bottom layer ingredients; press into a 9x13 pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool. Beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in cool whip. Spread over crust. Beat milk into pudding mixes until the mixture starts to thicken and has no lumps. Spread over middle layer. Spread remaining cool whip over the pudding layer. Sprinkle with crushed chocolate covered toffee bars. Refrigerate and devour ;)
And if you need more proof that I'm crazy, I make aprons to aid in this baking addiction and to give as gifts. Plus look at that toy kitchen mess in the background, mom's habits are wearing off!
I'm Lisa, a farm wife, mom and old lady at heart (or my husband tells me so). Agriculture, quilting, and baking were my first loves and now I get to enjoy them with my family!