Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Instagram and Other Photo Aps~a.k.a My Latest Addiction


OMGosh!  I know I've been kind of bad about posting lately, but the girls are home from school now, we've been mowing hay, walking cows, chasing kittens, and all sorts of crazy stuff.  I've been taking my phone along with and snapping pictures like crazy, but I just haven't had time to put it all together in to a blog post.  What I have done is add pics to my Facebook page, AND I have been playing with some AWESOME phone aps!

Here is an original picture I took then played with using Pixlr-O-Matic


And then I get to start playing with all the masks, filters, and lighting choices this ap offers!  Too much fun!





FUN?   I think so.  I love all the different looks, edges, tones, aging processes you can give a picture with just a few clicks.  I also was able to add this ap to my laptop, but first I had to change my browser to Google Chrome.  I don't see a huge issue with this, and now I can use it easily with ALL my pics!

My other newest fun friend to use with Instagram is another ap called Photogrid.  Apparently it too has a PC ap, but I haven't explored it yet.  Like I said, it's been busy around here, but I find it quick and easy to snap a picture with my phone (I have a Motorola Atrix), and use these aps to upload quick updates to Facebook.  See:




Make sure to LIKE my Facebook page, Walking the Off-Beaten Path, so you can keep up with the daily goings on when they happen too quick to blog about in a timely manner!

Now these folks didn't ask me to talk about their products, and I am not getting anything for mentioning them, but I am having a terrible time staying  on track to the other chores around here because the tools on my phone are so much fun.  The great thing is that they also seem to be able to transfer to my laptop!  WOOO!  or BOOO! as at least one person might say if HE finds out.

Ok, so it has taken me most of the day to finish this post.  If this is an indication, I'm going to have to get up earlier, stay up later, or figure out some time for myself during the summer days to keep up with all of you.  Be patient, and I will be around to as many blogs as I can ASAP...  The little cuzs are coming out for a weenie roast tonight if the wind will die down a bit.  Tomorrow we are praying for some very much needed rain, or I am going to start talking to you about crop insurance and drought issues.  YIKES!  It's seriously getting that bad around these parts.

Have a great summer, even though it doesn't start for about 25 days!  I will be right back....probably! ;-)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Making Hay While the Sun Shines

This is a re-run from two summers ago, but it pretty much shows what we are doing today, so why re-invent the wheel?  The only difference is that Grandpa is helping Tall Guy this morning while I try to wrangle the girls upstairs to get their room finished.

Yes,,,,,,,it's still a mess.

 Sigh........  Enjoy  and Happy Memorial Day!

Last night Tall Guy asked me: Got anything going on tomorrow?

Me: Nah, I said, just laundry, picking up the house, making goodies for soccer on Saturday, updating my
blog and a couple more things....

Tall Guy: Well could you help me pick up hay bales tomorrow?

Me: Sure Honey, No problem!

Cut to today. See Tink and Bear off to school, take my two mile walk with Sadie. Oh! Did I mention that I have been up since 3:30 for about the third night in a row. The "M" word is really messing with my sleep again! GRRRRRRR! But I'm off topic....Ok I start to pull out in the truck with the hay wagon contraption that you will see later. Just about picked off Uncle D! DANG! Here he is. I got to follow him ALL the way down the mile and a half road. There's a good story about Uncle D and crew in my Long Walks/Talks section.
hay

hay

These two homes above and below belong to two of Tall Guys cousins. We have our very own family road, kind of!
hay

This is a brand new water way~! Do you know about them? It's one way farmers conserve soil and protect the ground we farm. I will tell you more about this in another post, but we bale the grasses in these waterways when it is ok to do.
waterway

Farmers don't do too many things in a big hurry, and driving trucks that pull things is one of those slow things!
Note, I am also in a lower gear so I don't have to "ride" my breaks all the time.

Now I am eating Tall Guy's dust. We are almost to our first field! Do you know this is the first time all year we have been able to cut hay? The weather has been just too wet and humid to get it done. It takes three good dry days to cut hay, rake it, and let it dry enough to bale.
farm

Ok, There goes Tall Guy! I am headed down to one of the windmill roads to get out there with the truck and trailer. See these windmills are everywhere and very useful!
hay

This is a baled water way. We don't farm them because they tend to be too wet to farm. Believe it or not, my county has no body of water larger than a creek, or "crick" as I like to say, BUT we were at a LEVEL 3 Emergency this summer will all main roads covered in water and impassible! These water ways can become rivers during the big 3-4 inch rains we tend to have at least once a summer!
hay

Time to start loading and put the truck into 4-Wheel Drive. DANG! Can I get a Yee Haw?

Below is what I am pulling to carry home the large round bales. Tall Guy and his dad made this (TG's dad loves to weld and is pretty darned good at it!) I'll show you how it works in just a minute.
hay

Basically a bale goes on either side of that short middle bar. We use forks attached to a utility tractor to pick up the bale, and the bars coming at you help guide the fork and bale in to the right place.
hay

Another purty picture
hay

Doesn't this remind you of Dr. Doolittle's Push-me Pull-you? Here we go!
hay

Up and centered.....
hay

Then down it goes!
hay

I carry SIX of these puppies home at one time, plus the two Tall Guy brings with him! Wouldn't you know there were NINE bales at this place, so he had to go back for the last one. I had to keep my eye on this bale in my rear-view mirror. See how it is leaning? I swore it wouldn't make it home, but it did. I have "dropped" a bale or two in the past, but the ground is less that level, and these things are, well, ROUND!
hay

There we are home with the first group. See that truck out back by the bins? That's yet another project going on here at the farm. We are putting in a new drying system. I will tell you about that in another blog too! Dang! I'm going to have a lot of blogging to do about this place!
hay

Tall Guy stored this first group and some of the next in this barn, right out where we feed our cattle.
hay

See how the forks go on either side of the bars to slide under and pick up the bale?
hay

Works slick as a whistle!
hay

hay

Everyone loves a parade! The horses above are miniatures with a donkey or two mixed in, and below are a few of our future freezer guests! Anyone need any beef?
cattle

So I realize that I neglected to include a picture of all the bales lined up all ready for winter chewing for this crew or rather the new crew to come. Dang! It's too hot to do it now, so I will include it in the farm tour I am planning for next week. Everyone have a great weekend! Tink and Bear have their first soccer games tomorrow, and I need to scoot and make snacks for Tink's team. I think we will have some hamburger tonight, compliments of those bovine who used to peek through the siding! Toodles!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

School's Out School's Out!

Yep, it's been a week.  That last week of school.  It's really not as stressful as it used to be.  No tests to write or grade, no anxious graduate-want-to-bes waiting until the last possible moment to to pass a needed course for graduation, no having to say "Good-bye" to a group of great kids as they go off to college......

Ah the good old days....... ;-)

Now I have these two 24/7 until August 15th!  


Oh well, not to worry, there is always plenty to do here on the farm, especially for Tink with FIVE 4-H projects to start and finish by July 9th or something like that.  

Here's a look at their Field Day.  Such fun, and Tuesday was a beautiful day to be out playing in the sun.













 "Let the wild rumpus begin!"

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday~ What's Growing on the Farm?

Thought I would share today what is growing on the farm.

First up:  Soybeans....kind of
Soybeans

Some look like this....
Soybeans

and some look like this...
Soybeans
 Tall Guy is replanting about 200 acres because some plants are just having too hard of a time coming up through a hard top crust of soil.

 Meanwhile, the wheat is looking to be ready 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule!
Wheat

Wheat windmills

Wheat

Then there is the corn, which was actually planted first and is doing much better thanks to a rain we had come through Sunday.  Unfortunately,  not all my farmer friends received this beneficial rain.  Some corn is in distress from drought and heat already!  YIKES!
Corn

Corn

This little plot is our sweet corn.  Looks like a couple boxes didn't get much seed put in them.  Maybe the raccoons will eat on the right side and leave the left alone!  A girl can hope!
Corn

Another crop we grow on the side, pardon the pun, is grass hay.  It grows in our water ways, places that usually flood or hold water when it rains.  Tall Guy mows these, and bails the grass into large round bails for our cows to eat.
Watterway hay

This momma cat, Cutie Pie, keeps moving her kittens on us.  There are four, and right now they are living under TG's tool bench.  It's pretty funny to watch them jump all over the thing-a-ma-bobs he has stashed below the workspace!
kittens

kittens

kittens

Ah peonies...Our state flower, and they will be past their beauty by Memorial Day this year, when they usually first start to come out!  Here are some more of my flowers.




Yep, the moos are growing too!
cattle

Now the last set of pics make me smile.  These two have had a budding relationship all fall and winter.  They are good buddies, but Sadie hates to own up to her end of it. 
dogandcat

dogandcat

dogandcat

dogandcat

Yes, I am watching AND recording all this so behave!

dogandcat
I'm going to "assume" Sadie is giving this guy a smooch.  If the girls weren't both asleep right now, I would be able to tell you if the cat was Columbus or Rocky, but I honestly have no clue.  Lovey is still being a bit camera shy with her new week old kittens.

As you can see, Spring is in full tilt around our farm with maybe a foot even in to Summer.  The saying goes that our corn should be "knee-high by the 4th of July," but I will bet that most of it here and around the state is that tall by the 4th of June.  Let's just pray it stays that tall and straight and healthy through harvest.  I am also saying a prayer for those farms that have not had the beneficial rains yet.  I pray they come soon!  This summer is going to be an interesting one.

 Memorial Day Weekend is coming.  We in Indiana usually spend it honoring those who have passed, especially serving our country, and watching or listening to the Indy 500.  How do you celebrate at your house, and how are things growing where you live?