Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Calving Season or Off Season

For many cattle breeders, fall is their chosen time for calving. At H&K, our herd is primarily late winter/early spring calvers. Reading social media yesterday, a fellow blogger, Laurie Link, of Country LINKed asked her readers to weigh in their guess as to whether the latest arrival was a bull or heifer calf.
This instantly took me back a few years to when our little cattle whisperer was maybe 6 or 7. She helped her daddy check cows, especially when we are calving. Honestly she'd be happy to go to school later in the day and help him everyday, but alas, she's hindered by law to only helping on weekends and off school times. 
It was one of those times, on a cold brisk morning as my Farmer and the whisperer were headed to check cows at a neighboring farm where we take care of a herd of Saler/Red Angus cross herd owned by a veterinarian who lives about 60 miles away. 
As they drove, of course the conversation was one of bovine in nature, as most conversations are with our sweet JH. Out of the blue, she asked the Farmer,"Do you know how to tell the difference between a bull and heifer calf?"
Assuming he knew the answer and interested in her take on this subject, my Farmer asks,"How?" To which, Miss Sass, the Great JH, rolls her eyes, lets out a disgusted sigh at what she must deal with and commences to schooling her daddy. 
So it seems, according to our local cattle whisperer, who at the time might have weighed 75 pounds and likely stood no more than 4 foot tall; that her father had no idea the proper procedure. While my poor simple Farmer was basing assessments purely on checking for the presence (or of course absence) of notably "hangy downy" parts (my ha ha spin and politically correctness); our sweet JH instructed him to simply look into the animals eyes.

Actually eyelashes to be specific.

Based on her intensive research during her many years as a cattlewoman, the most discerning of ranch folk could deduce from simple observation of the eyelashes of a newborn calf. And if one were to follow this philosophy the result would be quite simple. Long eyelashes, heifer calf obviously, and well those short eyelashes, were those of a bull, for sure. 
While my Farmer concentrated on keeping a straight face and not driving off the road while laughing hysterically (which he was thankfully able to hold inside), my first response to this report was much less muted, and I quickly retorted, 'has she ever looked at her own brothers eyelashes, apparently this scientific data she's collected doesn't carry over to other species.' (I think somedays, or MOST days, my Farmer is glad there are ONLY two of us GIRLS in the house) 
Since then she's decided that while her method mostly works for her, that there MIGHT be a few other more sure fire obvious ones. But she still likes to check the cows and calves with her daddy, calving season or not. 

Not calving season for us, but there is ALWAYS something to keep us busy,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Here's another clutter busting article I recently read. There's something reassuring knowing EVERYONE has clutter. Knowing it's okay. Within reason. I have been taking steps daily to reduce ours. 
Some things that seem to be working:
~reading mail at trash can
~only buying what we are 100% out of at the store. I am in town daily anyway. Great excuse to indulge in one of my guilty pleasures and that's visiting with people I know in the grocery aisle. 
~set the table(s). Our kitchen and dining room tables have been catch alls. I have the kitchen one sat for next meal and dining room seasonally decorated, so far that is keeping the majority of things from landing there. 
~being a "FlyLady" follower, I try to shine my sink at night. For me that's not actually the sink, it's a 30 second pick up in the living room, kitchen and bathrooms but those things help make mornings a little brighter. 

If you've read the book, let me know your thoughts,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Takin' Care of Business

That is one of my favorite songs ever..........takin' care of business. I have decided to add a new feature to my blog and it will become a tab that you can click on and get direct links to ways I am takin' care of business around our home and farm.
I will never ever win any clean house awards, but its certainly not because of lack of effort. And while some areas need work, some are a work in progress, others are a work of art. So thanks to social media and elbow grease, I plan to share with others both the successes and failures. We are all human, and will never be perfect, but maybe if we work together, we can find some peace and happiness in our homes that are free of clutter and chaos.

The first link I would like to share is this:  List of things to Dispose of this was a link and article shared on Facebook by Real Simple, a favorite magazine of mine. If you strictly want to print 'the list' pages 3 and 4 are all you need. No sense in making EXTRA clutter!

Have a great day and please check back often to see us 'Takin Care of Business' and look for the tab to appear in the coming weeks as I gather more posts.

From Tulip~

Monday, July 20, 2015


Over the last several months there have been many changes around our place. I went from working a lot, to barely working. Two part time jobs that are neither one consistent have both ceased to need me. One because of its seasonal nature and in theory it should pick up next month again. Thought I had the opportunity to change that last month when a full time position became available, but alas it wasn't meant to be either.
Recently learned of a longtime business who is considering shutting its doors. One that I have a great interest in. Have made plans this week to meet with owner and discuss the possibilities. Don't know if we can handle being multiple business owners, but maybe this is the answer to WHY the other things haven't panned out. 
This isn't my first venture in the business world. The first one was with a partner and didn't work out so well. Thinking it may have happened to prepare me for this. Sometimes it takes a long time to find the lesson in things. If that was the WHY on that experience, guess I will take that. 
Don't normally ask for prayers in this blog as its normally my place to be thankful for prayers answered and blessings to be counted, but the enthusiasm of potential has made me think maybe prayers and support of my friends and followers could be needed. So if you feel so moved, please add us to your prayers. We are praying for peace and understanding throughout this process.
From Tulip,

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Every Day is a Gift

This morning my littlest and I got up well before daylight, dressed and drove to town. We stopped at the 'wrestling room' and he stepped on the scales. 2 pounds over. Calls were made and we headed home.
Some readers know what that means, but for those who don't here's the rest of the story. My boys are wrestlers. Oldest wrestled throughout his club/little league years and our middle son  has wrestled since he was in 1st grade and continues to as a Sophomore in HS. He's 35-4 for the year, is creeping up on some school records.
The littlest one is trying it out. I let some bad advice influence my better judgement and signed him up for a weight class lighter than what he's been weighing in after practice---my bad. He only gets the chance to wrestle on the weekends that the HS boys have off, so to not be able to go today, really stunk. But here comes the beginning of where the 'gift' is in this post. I was probably more upset than he was. He didn't realize that I had signed him up in the 'wrong class' then failed on my 'sworn-in wrestling momma oath' and didn't monitor his weight. His answer was, okay, so I wrestle in the heavier class next time. Then that smile that melts my heart broke out across his face.
We came home, scrambled eggs and went on about our day. I am appreciating the gift of an unplanned day off. Playing catch up around the house. The kids got a cooked breakfast, something that RARELY happens at breakfast time.
And while I am missing our wrestling family today as they sit those long hours on the bleachers, I am reminded something that has been the underlying theme since the moment I knew Seth was on the way into this ol' world. I thanked God for unanswered prayers then and again today. After four kids, I like to hope that I have learned to savor the moment more and quit being so busy looking forward that I forget to look around and enjoy the here and now.
Seth is my walking, talking, SMILING example of that everyday.
We will likely only do things like house cleaning and errands today. but we won't have to rush and we can do them together. He still likes to hang out with his momma.
Sitting at my desk enjoying the sunshine (from inside in the warmth) and savoring THIS MOMENT,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

W4DW----Easy Apple Coffee Cake

I love experimenting when I get the chance in the kitchen. And when those experiments go well, I obviously have to share. For several years, I was a stay at home mom and I had a lot of time to bake, sew, do whatever I wanted honestly. Looking back, I am not sure that I appreciated just all the time I did have. I  have entered the working world a couple of years ago and I will admit all day long every day how much I miss being at home. It's not because I don't love working, I do. I am a social person, being around others makes me smile. But I really miss have the time to spoil my family like I  used to. Baking has always been one of those ways that I spoiled them.
My Farmer's birthday was this week. He has a sweet tooth, but recently had a check-up that ended the way a lot of them do at our age, with the could really stand to lose a little weight. Sigh. No German Chocolate Cake this year. (note: make sure that appointment happens AFTER his birthday next year)
Well, doctors orders or not, I couldn't NOT bake him something. So a few weeks ago on Pinterest I noticed a recipe that I thought would be a hit at this house. So I pinned it, of course. I am such a visual person, I am not always good at checking back at the instructions, especially when I think I know what would work. So while in the grocery store, I made a point of buying the 'canned' cinnamon rolls. Just so happens this particular can had caramel icing, bingo, great compliment to my apple plan..........
Before baking I did head over to Pinterest to check out the instructions. I was surprised to learn that the original recipe was for home made dough............well, recipes are just a suggestion, right? I grabbed a couple of apples, the can of rolls and the experiment began.
I am the proud owner of a Pampered Chef 'Deep Dish Baker' I am not sure if they even still make those anymore, but boy do I love mine! I sprayed it generously. I peeled and sliced two apples. Popped the can open and began. I unrolled the first roll almost all the way, and slid an apple slice in between the cinnamon roll layers. I kept doing this and adding more strips of cinnamon roll dough until I had filled the pan, used the apples...........
I set the oven, per the instructions and planned to bake like I would regular rolls. I checked at the end of that interval and the dough wasn't quite as golden as I felt like it needed to be. Thinking that I ended up baking this about 15 minutes, but that could be my oven. Please watch yours closely. When it came out, I drizzled the caramel icing across the top. MMMMMMMMMMMMMM
What a quick, easy and inexpensive surprise for your family!
Smelled so good as it cooled and hoped I'd be able to wait for the Birthday boy to come inside so we can test taste it,
From Tulip~

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Farmer

Today is my Farmer's birthday. How will we celebrate? Well so far............we were up till after midnight last night, so I got the honor of being the first person to wish him a Happy Birthday. This morning slick roads meant the kids didn't go to school until 10AM, late-start, as the district calls it. So he got to leisurely eat his bowl of cereal and browse craigslist. Then, when he went outside, he unfroze the car doors, and scraped most of the ice off the windows. Popping his head back in the door to remind them that they would still need to start the car early to finish the thawing process. Then it was off to feed the cows.
His birthday is like most days, he's working. He's taking care of us. He regularly carries a heavy weight on  his shoulders-------us, this farm, the future. He takes it all in stride. It awes me and amazes me. How did I get so lucky?
Next year is a 'big' year, birthday-wise for him. While I would be shouting it from the rooftops and throwing my own party, that's not his style. It will be another day to him. He will continue to take care of us, amaze us and if he's his cereal and browse craigslist in the peace and quiet.
Since he doesn't like me making a big deal about him on this blog, I better stop with this,
Wishing my Sweet Farmer a Happy 49th Birthday,
From Tulip~

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas in the Country

Through social media I have met many fellow bloggers. Most are like me, rural women. Some are very involved in the farm, some not so much. We are all alike in one way, we share a love of agriculture. We are passionate about our way of life. We agvocate daily to others in order to keep living this life. With that one driving force among us, we have a close knit community that stretches from Maine to California, South Dakota to Texas and ALL POINTS in between.
All year long we share each others stories. At Christmas time, we share with each other. We hold a gift exchange, 'Christmas in the Country' It's hosted by three or so of our group. We promote it on our blogs and through social media. Each participant is asked to share a gift with a few basic criteria in mind. It should represent items of your local area, things you love and things that you think the recipient would enjoy based on what you learned about her on her blog.
This year, I got Danielle, of High Heels and Shotgun Shells. The following is the letter I wrote her:
 Dear Danielle,

Hello, I am Kathy Hasekamp, of ‘Hasekamps of Tulip’ blog and H&K Farms facebook page. I am your Christmas in the Country secret Santa. I stalked your blog and facebook page. I will say it took me back in time a little, in many ways, some unexpected, which was kind of fun.
In my blogstalking, I felt like I learned several things about you, some that I found fun were. It looks like you are left handed, in a picture you were doing something with your left hand. If I wasn’t also left handed, I probably wouldn’t have noticed that.
Your mobile home, is almost the same exact floor plan as the one that my Farmer and I lived in when we were first married. I noticed funny things like the goofy light switch covers that aren’t like the ones you buy in the store, the trim on the walls over each piece of paneling, etc…… Your stories of remodelling it sound so much like some of the projects we took on. At the time ours was practically new, but young brides like to make their mark on things. :) 25 years into marriage, we have moved to another home now. But there were many memories in that mobile home. And I am sure you will make many in yours as well.
I love that we have the same last name initial, H. As I was looking for things for you, grabbing a letter H just seemed like something you would like. After seeing some pictures of you and your husband, I think with a sign that had your last name on it, I really wanted to think up a project using your last name. That never panned out, so I bought you a little black metal H that I thought might work into your decor somewhere.
As for your other gifts, they all come with a reason/story. First off after reading your blog post about canning, I felt like I needed to share something that I had canned. I read that you miss the ‘west’ so hoping that the jar of hot peppers will offer a little reminder. My pepper plants were ABUNDANT this summer and I canned salsa, pickled peppers and dehydrated them, plus giving away tons all summer long.
You mentioned that you have chickens and cattle. When I saw that cool ‘chicken wire’ ribbon, I just knew that was another item to add to your box of goodies. Then I know that every farm wife needs a cute and colorful tea towel to line her basket to go to a potluck dinner, so hence the two ‘cow’ towels. I made (did the machine applique) those. They were a project that I had on my blog back in the spring and seemed to be a popular one.
We were also instructed to add items from our local area. I added ‘Sticky Pig’ BBQ sauce and Mustard. That is canned right here in my town and is popular around here.  Hope that you enjoy it. I also added a small bag of peanut brittle. We have an Amish community about 2 miles from our farm and they make some wonderful candy this time of year. So I thought that I would share a little.
I also thought that I would share a product that I love. I sent Mary Kay Hand scrub. I know being a farm wife and mom, I sure don’t pamper myself much. That stuff is my one ‘guilty pleasure’ and in this season of giving, I thought I would share a bottle.
I hope that the items give you some things to enjoy, a little sense of who I am and add a little smile to your day. Really enjoyed participating in the Christmas in the Country gift exchange and look forward to seeing everyone’s posts.

Merriest of Christmases from Mid-Missouri,
From Tulip~

While I was busy blog stalking Danielle, in another part of the country, I was being blogstalked as well. Sure makes you think, am I really portraying who I am............well here are the items I received from, Sarah at Hewitt Farms in Minnesota:
Totally spot on, I love things with 'H's' or our name on it. I am a scarf wearer, and totally switch out everyday for Christmas in my kitchen. She told me stories about her gifts and how they tied into her own story. I just loved it.

Feeling extra blessed and loved in the Christmas season,
From Tulip~

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tune In Tuesdays--Wildman, a Mostly True Memoir of a Missouri Cattle Man

Almost 25 years ago, BC, or as I like to say before children (oldest would say before Cody) I worked in town at the local Furniture store. Loved that job, got to know many of the local business people, several who have been friends since and are some of my good friends today. One day, a friend of mine, Sally came into the store. Her mother in  law had sent her in to buy a high chair for their oldest daughter. (was picking out her own gift, that's always fun!) We sold beautiful wooden ones and she and I looked through our selection. Probably that day was the first time I knew who Sierra Shea was.
After we started adding kids to our family, I stayed home with our kids and a social outlet I participated in was a monthly coffee group. Sierra was in school by then but her mom attended the group as well. Being a mother of 4 kids, I always have stories and Sierra's mom could always appreciate.
Over the years, we had kids, they had some more and everyone got to be 4H age. Sierra and her sisters comprised the Charolais class of the local fair most years and I would tease her mom about it. Of course she replied, you will be there and in a few years, I was. Different breed, but multiple class entries.
Fast forward a few more years and over half of these beautiful girls have graduated from High School, (Selestia in a few weeks) went to college and are starting to find their place in the world. Sierra has certainly accomplished that. The mom in me, thinks I wish she lived closer, as I am sure her family misses her. But in this day and age of social media and access, I guess they can 'see' her everyday.
Prolific blogger and newspaper contributor, Sierra Shea has published her first book. One, that I am certain has been a labor of love. Wild Man: A Mostly True Memoir of a Missouri Cattlemen is beautifully pieced together collection of stories intermingled with a basic family history of about 4 generations of the Angell family. The main star, is Sierra's grandpa, Luther Angell. Well known in our state for his involvement in the cattle industry, from raising cattle to marketing them in the family owned sale barns.

Stories of family, business and good times fill every page. You will laugh and cry along with the Angell family as they move from post World War era to modern times. Certainly a family who works hard and plays hard, but mostly just loves each other. 
I knew this would be an entertaining read. What I didn't expect, especially since I have read some of the beginnings of this through Sierra's column in the Cattleman's Advocate and the tidbits she shared was that I had a such a hard time putting it down. She broke it up nicely and neatly into many short stories, but I just kept thinking, oh I will read one more. Needless to say, I wasn't particularly productive until I got it read. I think my family is glad it wasn't any longer. HA! 
Like Sierra's Uncle Jon rates her Aunt Charlotte's cooking, I would give this a 5 cowboy hats out of 5 on the official Angell cowboy hat rating scale. 
It would be a great keepsake for any local person and anyone who loves the country, cows and rural life. Locals can purchase their copy at Angell's Western Wear in downtown Centralia or click on the link above and order it online. For more incredible stories of the life and times of Sierra Shea, follwo her blog, or follow her page on facebook, SierraSheaWrites
Proud when a local kid makes the 'big time',
From Tulip~

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Started out the month strong, adding Thankfulness posts. My goal was to not just be thankful for the same things that I am every year, although I am thankful for the same things year in and year out. I wanted to give you a deeper, new insight to life on our farm in the process. Well life on the farm has gotten in the way in the last several days and blog posts just haven't happened.
Had a few extra moments this afternoon, so I decided to add a post about the one place/location I am probably most thankful for and that of course is our farm. Obviously most people are thankful for their home. But, for us, our farm is so much more than our home.
We are living in the same house that My Farmer was raised in, raising our own kids. But its more than a home, more than a farm. Yes its our livelihood. It's also where we are teaching our children core values like responsibility and work ethic. We are teaching them stewardship of the land. They are learning about life in the care of livestock. We are teaching them the value of an honest days' work.
I love that such a high percentage of our time is spent 'at home' on the farm. It's so ingrained in our souls, that I am sure that we wouldn't be happy anywhere else. I love to watch the growing season unfold before my very eyes. As the ground is prepped for planting, seeds sown, then the plant grows. We watch it mature and dry in preparation of harvest. We are blessed to be able to harvest. Afterwards, we begin the process of prepping for the next year.
It's a similar process with the animals, from calving season in the spring until they are loaded onto the trailer en route to the sale barn. The step by step process is absolutely breath taking. It's one that I am honored for the privilege to witness.
There's no place like home,
From Tulip~