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~

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our First Born

Today is a good day. I have always been a TGIF gal. Although when you farm, Friday is generally just another day, its not like we have weekends off. But in the last year or so, some Fridays are particularly special. Our oldest son attends a college about 4 hours from home. This year he's an RA in the dorms, so we haven't seen much of him. Guess what? Today he's coming home. Actually as I begin to write this, he's likely 3/4 of the way home. (I will likely not post until I get home and can add a few pictures.)
Cody taught us how to be parents. He's the guinea pig. Aren't all first borns? We tried our hand at parenting, read all the books, tried to follow the rules, and then realized that the rules were a guide, find what works in your family and embrace it.
We were very lucky that he was such an easy baby, probably a lot of the reason why he has so many siblings. LOL
His curiosity and imagination are two of the first traits that I found most fascinating. He was always a busy guy. Sometimes that was fun, sometimes that was frustrating.
Growing up, he's accepted the job of 'leader' that oldest kids seem to automatically be nominated for. He's pretty organized with his time and resources. He's great at finding a solution, actually loves the process of finding that solution, as he seems to never be able to learn enough.
I can remember a conversation had with him probably less than a week after school was out for the summer, when he was maybe 9. Cody: "Mom, we are going to NEED to go to the Library TODAY?" Me: "Why?" Cody: "I have read everything in this house. We need to go NOW."
At a parent teacher conference, with his teacher, I mentioned that I am amazed and the amount of papers that they get done during class. And she just laughed and assured me, no they didn't always ALL do that many papers daily, she gave Cody extra papers, to keep him busy and would soon have to find more as he was moving ahead of the group, by leaps and bounds.
I have always been proud of his academic achievements. But, who he is as a person, far outweighs the 'book learning' His love of people shows through in his friendliness, his natural ability to relate to others and the beginnings I have been witness to of what he ultimately wants to do in a teacher.
He has enjoyed helping with the younger kids at church. He's the oldest kid, grandkid, he's ended up being in charge of the group unofficially for years. That was soon followed by other endeavors, like 4H camp, for one example. He enjoyed attending as a camper, but REALLY loved his years as a counselor. Now he enjoys his RA job, which just seems to be the next step in his journey.
Re-writing this post as the original only saved a partial yesterday, so now that its the first day of deer season, I am reminded of another deer season 17 yrs ago. My mom and I went shopping and let the guys do their things. Well we went to a favorite store of ours about 1 hour away. While shopping there, Cody lost his 'bobby' which was a blanket that he loved dearly. I had gotten back to mom's before I realized it. So even though it was getting late in the afternoon and remember its opening day of deer season.............but YES I drove back to the store which was north into the heart of 'deer country' and got his beloved 'bobby' I earned my Mom of the Week Star that day for sure!
You all know me, no post is complete without a picture, so here goes:
....and Momma loves you too, Sweets! 
Thankful for 20 yrs with this guy,
From Tulip~

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the Year

A friend posted about her favorite days and how she was thankful about each of them, which was sort of the post that was rolling around in my head as well. I am trying to not JUST do the same old thankful posts that I do every year. While yes I want to make sure and incorporate the people and things that I am truly thankful for, I am trying to do it in a different way this year.
So with that being said, today I am thankful for Special Days. I am also thankful for the people who make them special. Here goes--
I am thankful for four dates...........Sept 5th, Oct. 6th, Nov 1st and 2nd. Those are my kids' birthdays. I never realized as kid growing up just how special my own birthday was to my parents, until I became a parent myself. Their birthday far and away overshadow my own. I want celebrate them, shout from the mountaintops, 'That's my Baby!' So proud of those 4 kiddos.
I am thankful for one other date...........July 14th, the next one coming up marks a Quarter Century being married to my best friend in the the entire world. The person who I laugh with, work with, love with all my heart, my sweet Farmer. (he better take note, I spoke nicely of him on TWO Thursdays in a row, LOL)
I am thankful for Holidays.........we host family dinners at our house on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love having my home full of family. I love the prep, cleaning every nook and cranny (okay almost every nook and cranny). I love cooking the food. I love the extra decorating, burning candles, all the extras that it involves. I also love sitting in my recliner while the dishwasher washes the dishes afterwards and all the food is put away, etc.....knowing I can sit there with no guilt, job done.
I am thankful for Planting time and Harvest...... While I may call it, 'Seasonal SingleParenthood' I really do love those days spent eating meals in the field. Shouting our conversations over the sound of grain being augered into the bin. Helping move from field to field. Bringing more seed to the field. Going after a much needed part. Helping weigh the test plot. All of those extras that I hope my Farmer thinks makes his day run a little smoother.
I am thankful for days spent at fairs.........whether its local, county or state fair. Those are the times we sort of call our 'down-time' we get to visit with old friends, enjoy watching our kids make new friends, teach the public a little bit about what our life is all about and just generally have a great time.
I am thankful for a day of a 1,000 bales of hay........there's nothing I delight more in, than cooking and spoiling the kids who come out and work with us putting up hay. Granted they all probably think its hard work, but I like to hope not one of them has ever went home hungry.
I am thankful for game day/dual or tournament time.......... I love the prep, the anticipation, and finally the actual event. I love watching my kids do what they love, with their friends, seeing them work hard for a goal and enjoy getting to see it with friends.
My Farmer will hear of an upcoming event and I swear no matter where it falls, Jan 1st through Dec 31, he will say that's a busy time of year. And he's right, everyday on the farm is busy. Regularly we are busy with kid activities, church activities, 4H/FFA activities, games and much, MUCH more. For that, and those days, I am thankful.
Remind me when I am whining about it that I really am thankful for BUSY-NESS,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Family (Father and Mother I Love You)

Thankful for so many things and so many people. If there was anyone outside of my own household and the family I helped create with my Farmer, it would of course be my Mom and Dad. I am blessed with parents who live less than a half hour away from me, aren't a long distance phone and are ready and willing to drop everything to help, anytime I ask.
Just a few years shy of a half century of marriage, I think that they are in love more today than they ever were. I think about how I perceive their relationship and how I have seen it evolve over the years. It's a reminder that, you don't just fall in love once in a lifetime, if you are very lucky, you fall in love with the same person over and over, throughout your lifetime.
My mom and dad are the perfect example of that. They had their years of working and raising a family, the years of grown kids spreading their wings, adding in-laws to the mix, semi-retirement, grandkids, now retirement. They built a house. They owned a business. Through it all I think that they just continue to show us what lasting love is all about.
They aren't perfect, none of us are. Sure there are the conversations where its evident they are aware of each others imperfections, but the love always wins out. Because of this strong bond, they totally rock as parents. I am thankful that I have never had serious problems in my own marriage, but even when those littlest of things come up, they are very good at putting it into perspective and reminding me that I am blessed. They can build me up high. They can give me a reality check. They always seem to know what I need. Because they know what it takes.
Feeling thankful for and blessed by the greatest parents in the world,
From Tulip~

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Proud to be an American

The last two days have always been big ones in my family. Yesterday was the Marine corp Birthday and today is Veteran's Day. In my family service to our country is a BIG THING. My Dad and Brother, both Marines. Both of my Grandfathers served, several of my uncles, cousins, etc.
My Brother, Wayne on his first visit home, after Cody was born. He was stationed in Okinawa at the time.

My Mom and Dad when Dad graduated from Boot Camp in Camp Pendleton, California, 1968

Above and Below are items from my Grandpa's tour of service, he was stationed in the Pacific during World War II.

With things like Purple Hearts and folded flags in the homes of my family, being patriotic and proud to be an American are just what we are. I feel very thankful that my loved ones were willing to serve to keep our country free. If one of my kids decided to serve, of course I would worry about them, but I would also be so proud that they have carried on a proud family tradition. 
God Bless Veterans, Our Troops now serving and the grand ol' USA,
From Tulip~