Farm Life

Our Corn Stove

With a freeze advisory, I decided I’d better get the girls’ beds dressed in flannel. Dh sleeps too hot for flannel. We’ve joked that I should sew a half-n-half sheet: a flannel half for me, cotton for him. I’m just thankful he doesn’t mind my frozen self snugged up tight to him! I don’t know how he radiates heat like he does…

Anyway, the warmth problem will be moot once we give in to winter’s arrival and crank up our new yard ornament.

Our main source of heat is the Woodmaster Corn Stove we invested in last January. Alternative heat is the up and coming trend with gas and electric prices so high. Our stove is 20 feet outside of our house, and a monstrous silver 300 bushel grain bin sits by its side to auger corn into the stove as needed. Sure beats chopping wood and carting it through the house to the wood stove insert we have in our fireplace! I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am to keep all that mess outside! We’ll still use our fireplace sometimes, but it won’t be the necessity it’s been in the past!

Our house is fifty-six years old, and has adorable resinors under each window–flush with the wall. The original heat was “hot-water heat”…hot water circulated through all the pipes and did a great job heating the house…till our boiler gave out. The corn stove utilizes the same concept…the corn burns (hardly any ash build-up), heats the huge outside boiler and sends the hot water underground into our basement and then up through the pipes in the house. The main pipe from outside just happens to run under our bathroom floor…making it sooo warm and toasty!

Here are some figures for those that want to know…we buy our corn from the nearest farmer–a friend–who sells it to us for $1.50-1.80/bushel. Filling our grain bin this time around cost us $430. If we start using it in November, it should last us till February or March…longer if the temps don’t get too frigid. We only put 200 bushels in last January and had leftovers in April when the weather warmed. Our electric bill one extremely cold month prior to owning the corn stove was $300. About $200 of that for heat. As you can see, big savings.

Anticipating the warmth is making me feel better as I sit here in our 60 degree living room! It would be colder in here if we didn’t have our two kerosene space heaters taking the edge off.

What are you doing to get ready for winter? (and if it’s not fall where you are, go ahead and rub it in why don’t you!?)

Farm Life

Playing Hooky with the Lamborghinis

Dh traveled out of town today on business and made a quick call home to gush (okay, he’s not the gushing type, but for lack of a better term) about a Lamborghini that flew past him and the surfin’ cowboy (co-worker) at over 100 mph! On the bumper in red: Bull Run.

Turns out that there was a Benefit “race” today so dh and S.C. had an hour to kill and pit-stopped it at the site of all the fun. There was a drag strip on which anyone could participate and be clocked at a quarter mile. Picture this: a stretch Limo challenges a Humvee. A cop in his police car even showed up to “race”… all fine and dandy till the dragsters (no exhaust-plug those ears!) turned out. Boys and their toys!

Dh was an arm’s length from Carl Lewis. Yeah. “King Carl.” Winner of 10 Olympic medals (9 Golds).

So I mentioned this was a Benefit (for children)…not much nosing around turned up the fact that each participant had to pay $7500! And a two-man team was a requirement! That’s some Benefit! The place was crawling with Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

Made my hubby’s day.

Family Farm Life

Picket Fences and Marriage

In a strangely generous gesture, I allowed my oldest two to wait up for their daddy last night. He didn’t get home till almost 11 P.M. Yeah, we waited supper on him. Neither dh or I grew up eating around a kitchen table. Now it’s a pleasure we hate to forgo. So till midnight at least, there we were, laughing and shushing each other (can’t wake the toddler!) as we ate warmed up meatballs! Poor dh had to roll out of bed at 4 A.M. this morning…this is the busy time of year for cattlemen…time to hit the pastures on horseback and gather up the dogies for shipping. And it’s been so hot. Cattle are dropping like flies. All our animals are listless, dragging. My prayers are with anyone who has to face an outdoor job in this heat. Mon-Weds all hit 105 or higher.

Anyway. My daughters, unused to such a late bedtime, are still sleeping in. So when I got up, I enjoyed the solitude. Fed toddler her banana and toast; then braced with coffee, I turned on CBS’s Early Show. Two experts were discussing why Peter Cook would cheat on a beautiful wife like Christie Brinkley. Okay. Another celebrity split, what else is new? But two points were made that I found interesting. Rich people—income upwards of $75,000—are more likely candidates for infidelity. One of their reasons…work and money took higher priority than relationships.

Baby~I’m glad we’re poor!

Keep those picket fences in good repair. We may not make $75,000 a year but life is busy. Busy can sometimes equal distant. Distance can feel like apathy. Spouses start to feel unappreciated, insecure. And the walls around hearts start to crack, to let in forbidden sunbeams. Stay faithful.

Be proactive! Every day do the following 3 things: pray for your spouse/marriage, do something to make your spouse’s day, and lastly, on paper or online start a daily list of things you are thankful for in your spouse. Each day add to this list. Then give it to them next date night.

Cultivate, nurture, love.