my daily life on a cattle farm, my love of agriculture, and stories behind my photos

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Farm Chick Favorite

*  wish  *
my inspiration

Love these necklaces! It's perfect for me! It inspires me to work hard and dream. I paired the *wish* pendant necklace with a silver beaded necklace.

Keri and I went to Round Top, TX! We had so much fun shopping...especially at Gypsyville! I found these necklaces at Junk Gypsy!



i am in junk gypsy heaven
When we walked in, I was in Junk Gypsy heaven! I was in awe. I would love to visit Round Top, TX during Antique Week.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is one of my favorites during the holidays!

2 cups      sugar
1 1/2 cups      water
24 ounces      fresh cranberries
1 teaspoon     cinnamon
1 teaspoon      orange zest
1 teaspoon      vanilla

Mix sugar, and water in a saucepan. Bring water to a boil on medium heat. Add cranberries, cinnamon, and orange zest. Return to a boil. Stir regularly.Reduce heat to low. Simmer until cranberries burst and sauce thickens.
Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool at room temperature. Cover bowl and refrigerate. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Farm Chick Favorite

twisted x

I am absolutely in love with these Twisted X boat shoes from South Texas Tack! My friend and I both bought a pair when were at South Texas Tack. We love them so much!

The neon yellow on the brown leather is so pretty! Looking forward to wearing them! So adorable. And, I might just have to buy another pair...


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Farm Chick Favorite

historic fort worth, texas

On my way through Texas to visit a good cattle friend, I stopped at the Fort Worth Stockyards. Fort Worth, TX is one of my favorite places! It is so rich in cattle history. Being a cow chick...I love it! I adore walking on the bricks that pave the streets of the stockyards. There is so much history to appreciate!

bricks pave the streets of the stockyards

Fort Worth Stockyards is such a fun place! And, I especially love to shop in the stockyards. The stores are so absolutely adorable! With my rustic farm chic style, I always find something to decorate my farm home.

mercury glass hearts

While walking through downtown cow town, I found these mercury glass hearts at Maverick Fine Western Wear. I think they are so cute! They look so pretty in the wooden bowl on my antique wash stand!

When I visit, I also like to relax and enjoy a local beer at the White Elephant Saloon.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday on the Farm

cows graze as the sun sets

As the sun sets, cows graze a snowy corn field. Our cows graze cornstalks after the field is harvested. It is always a beautiful and peaceful site. I have a blessed life.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Farm Chick Favorite

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I found this adorable pillow on The Magnolia Market. Love it! With this pillow, I am ready for a winter wonderland in the country! It is perfect for my rustic farm home! The grain sack fabric goes with my rustic farm chic decor.

And I love this pillow so much, I bought one as a gift for my mom. Hope she enjoys it!
This pillow is fabulous as an accent pillow. Add some red, plaid, knitted, and cream faux fur...cozy. So charming! It will bring warmth to the home. I found a beautiful faux sheerling pillow at Pottery Barn! These pillows look amazing together. And to be even more warm and cozy, I found a fuzzy, cream throw at Target.

Grab a mug of hot cocoa, and this cute pillow to get cozy by the fireplace this Christmas!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday on the Farm

anhydrous ammonia track
Anhydrous Ammonia [NH3] was applied this week. Applicator tracks remain in the harvested soybean fields.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Farm Chick Favorite

I love this necklace from Premier Designs! A very good friend of mine gave me this gorgeous necklace as a gift! Every time I wear it, I will think of Stephanie!
I absolutely love layering necklaces! It adds so much color and texture.
i love my bling

Layering necklaces is my favorite! When I layer neckalces, I use two or three necklaces...a long necklace with one or two shorter necklaces. I choose a focal point, then coordinate necklaces. It really makes an outfit pop! 

I love my cow chick bling!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Farm Chick Favorite

my purple lemon designs stamp

I love Purple Lemon Designs! A stamp from Purple Lemon Designs is sitting in my desk drawer among my pretty paper and paperclips.

Add a personal touch to a note to a friend. A stamp dresses up an envelop.

For photography orders, I use my stamp for packaging. It adds a cozy, rustic touch.   

A stamp from Purple Lemon Designs is a fun little gift!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday on the Farm

a bale sits in the field

Cornstalks have been baled. After fields of corn are harvested, we have cornstalks baled. Throughout the winter, we use the bales. Cornstalks are used as bedding for calves in the feed lot, and cow herds. The cornstalks keep the calves and cows warm and dry.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Farm Chick Favorite

love me some carhartt

I love Carhartt. LOVE it! It is my addiction. As a farm chick, I have a closet full of Carhartt...bibs, hats, jackets, sweatshirts, and vests. Carhartt is a must working on a cattle farm.  
 My favorite is my plum Carharrt jacket and coordinating stocking cap!


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Farm Chick Favorite

I love these notebooks from May Designs! They are so perfect as gifts for friends and family! The notebooks are entirely customizable...patterns, shapes, colors, fonts, and type. So adorable! Design a notebook for your office desk or to carry in your purse!  
For a fun, personal, and unique gift... I love May Designs notebooks! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday on the Farm

corn is ready for harvest

During a pleasant fall day of harvest, I snapped a few photos in the field. Corn was ready to be harvested as the combine rolled through the field. Husks revealed golden kernels of corn.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Farm Chick Favorite

farm chick favorite

damask cosmetic bags

These cosmetic bags from Giddy Up Glamour... I absolutely adore! The lime and teal damask print is so much fun! The small cosmetic bag is 7x3x4.5. And, the large cosmetic bag is 11x4x6 with four interior pockets. They are perfect to hold all my make-up and beauty products.
They are so sweet! I am looking forward to a weekend getaway with these lovely bags!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pumpkin French Toast Bake

8 cups      bread
7      eggs
2 cups      1% milk
1/2 cup      pumpkin
1 1/2 teaspoons      pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon      vanilla

4 tablespoons      brown sugar
1 teaspoon      cinnamon
1 teaspoon      pumpkin pie spice

Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Cut bread into one inch cubes. { i used marble rye } Use enough bread to fill the pan.  Whisk eggs, milk, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla together in a large bowl. Pour over the bread. so it is entirely soaked. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cranberries, and chopped walnuts. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.

Cranberry-Orange Coffee Cakes

4 cups       whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon       baking soda
3 teaspoons       cinnamon
1/2 cup       butter
1/2 teaspoon       salt
1 cup       brown sugar
1 cup       granulated sugar
2 cups       vanilla yogurt
2       eggs
1       orange zested
4 tablespoons       orange juice
1/2 cup      walnuts coarsely chopped
1 cup       fresh cranberries chopped

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together. Add egg, orange juice, orange zest, and yogurt. Combine minxture with dry ingredients. Fold in chopped cranberries and walnuts.

Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. With a spoon, fill muffin tin 2/3 full with batter. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Makes 2 1/2 dozen coffee cakes.

orange glaze:
1 cup      powdered sugar
2 tablespoons      orange juice
1/2 teaspoon      vanilla
1 teaspoon      finely shredded orange zest

An orange glaze may be drizzled on the coffee cakes. Drizzle orange glaze over coffee cakes once cooled. Sprinkle extra orange zest over coffee cakes.

These zesty coffee cakes are perfect for fall! Enjoy!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday on the Farm

sun sets on a day of harvest

Harvest is going well. We are very pleased with corn yields. It is a blessing.
The sun sets on a day of harvesting corn. This gorgeous Illinois sunset is absolutely breathtaking!  

God creates such beauty.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday on the Farm

corn filling the grain bin
Grain bins are starting to fill with corn. On Tuesday, we started harvesting corn!

Fields of corn are in great plant health. Corn is testing around 21% moisture. We are extremely pleased with the yield so far. Corn is averaging 245 bushels per acre!  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday on the Farm

soybean residue
Soybeans have been harvested. Residue rests in the soybean fields after harvest. No-till farming has been utilized on our farm for over 30 years. My dad has carried on the tradition of being a conservationist and steward of the land. He is a caretaker of our farm.

Crop residue serves many purposes. Residue covers bare soil and helps protect the soil from erosion by wind and rain. And, residue enriches soil. As crop residue decomposes, it is added to the soil as fertilizer.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday on the Farm

cattle manure spread on the field

This week, we have been busy cleaning out the feeder calf lot. We have been loading, hauling, and spreading cattle manure onto fields. The manure is a great natural fertilizer added to the soil.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday on the Farm

 fall sunset on soybeans

The sun sets on a field of soybeans. Such a beautiful sight. The field cools as the warm, autumn sun slowly falls.
Harvest has begun! Dad started cutting soybeans on Monday afternoon. I love seeing the Gleaner roll through the field during harvest.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday on the Farm

aster on the farm
I love Aster! It is my favorite fall flower. The Aster are in lovely shades of purple...my favorite color. Absolutely gorgeous! And, I love how bees and butterflies are attracted to them. It is such a beautiful site around the farm!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Technology in the Pasture

bringing technology to the pasture

I decided to purchase a Dell tablet for the farm. It arrived! So excited to use my new tablet on our farm and bring this technology to the pasture!

There are so many possibilities for using the tablet on our cattle farm! We will have quick access to our cattle records wherever we are. I have created documents for calving, replacement heifers, weaning, and pregnancy checking. These documents will be available to us in the pastures or barns at any time. I am elated! With the tablet, I will also be able to photograph or video our cattle. Being able to do so will be extremely useful.

In the near future, I plan on using barn cameras during calving season. And, I would love to view the barns from the tablet. It would be so amazing! This tablet provides us with so much potential, and I look forward to all of the possibilities!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Flushing Y5

Arrangements have been made to flush a cow! It is pretty exciting! Colleen Lewis of Tuition Genetics will be flushing Yellow #5 for embryos. Yellow #5 is one of my dad's favorite cows. He has been wanting a heifer from her for quite a while. So, we decided to flush her for embryos.

We are flushing a cow for the first time in 71 years of my family raising Shorthorn cattle. I look forward to documenting the process! It will be an amazing experience.
We hauled Yellow #5 to Tuition Genetics this afternoon. She will be examined for reproductive health. In 30 days, the process will begin. Over a course of a month, she will undergo a series of shots to be flushed for embryos. She will then be artificailly inseminated. Straws of semen were ordered. Yellow #5 will be artifically inseminated with semen from Homedale Creole 135. After seven days, she will be flushed to retrieve the fertilized eggs [embryos]. The embryos can then be frozen.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday on the Farm

soybeans are turning

Soybeans are maturing. The leaves of the soybean plants are yellowing. Fall is nearing! We hope for good yields this harvest.
[ monicastevens.photoshelter.com ] 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Weaning 2014 Calves

We weaned our 2014 calves yesterday. The calves were hauled in from the pastures to the feed lot to be weighed and vaccinated.

antique scale used to weigh calves
We are very pleased with weaning weights this year. I calculated weaning weights for heifers and steers at each farm. Heifers and steers weighed 30-50 pounds heavier than last year. Quite impressive. There are several reasons for the increased weaning weights. We had a milder summer. Temperatures were fairly comfortable. Cattle were able to graze the pastures most of the summer. With adequate rain, pastures grew well. We also started feeding the cow herds hay and some gluten to help supplement the pastures. In June, I started feeding calves. I filled creep feeders with rolled corn, oats, and cotton seed hulls.    

a lovely heifer calf 

In the evening, I fed the calves a bucket of oats. They quickly walked up to the feed bunks to eat.

Tonight, I had a visitor...I found a cow in my backyard. A cow from the pasture where I live walked up to the feeder calf barn. In the morning, she will take a ride in the livestock trailer back to the pasture.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Preparing to Wean Calves

As of this afternoon, we are prepared to wean our 2014 calves. Much effort goes into the preparation of weaning our calves. The feeder calf barn and lot have been cleaned and sanitized for calves, and the barn has been bedded down with straw. We have the scale and records ready to weigh calves.

barn is ready for calves

So much work has been put into redoing the For-Most cattle chute we use for feeder calves. Many calves have been vaccinated in this chute. My dad welded a new floor. It looks great! In time, I hope to sandblast and repaint the chute.

for-most cattle chute

After speaking with our veterinarian, vaccinations were ordered. We vaccinate our calves according to our health program we have developed with Dr Baird. Calves will receive four shots...Bovi Shield Gold, 20/20 Vision 7, Vitamins ADE, and BP48.

shots administered according to our health program


Every year, we weigh calves at weaning. We sort and weigh the heifers, steers, and bull calves from each herd. In 2006, I created a spreadsheet to better track weaning weights of our calves. The spreadsheet lists average weights from the farms, and shots administered to the calves. Information we collect is extremely valuable! 

weaning records

We are weaning calves from the two cattle herds on Tuesday. I am extremely excited about these calves! There are many high quality heifers and steers this year. These calves have been so much fun to watch grow. It is a proud moment for a cattleman! 

We are continuously improving every year. We can proudly say that we have improved from the previous year. It is something we strive for as cattlemen. Each year we evaluate what we do and make changes as we see necessary.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday on the Farm

foggy morning over soybeans
As the sun rose, a dense fog hovered over the fields. It was a beautiful way to start the day!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday on the Farm

kernels are beginning to dent

Looking at corn fields today, I opened a few ears of corn. Corn plants are in the R4 stage. Kernels are in a series of development stages. The kernels of corn in the dough stage and beginning to dent. We need rain to ensure a good test weight.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday on the Farm


soybean pods

Soybean plants are in the R5 reproductive stage. The plants have set pods and soybeans are filling within the pods.

The fields of soybeans look great, but they are in much need of rain. Rainfall in August will ensure a good soybean yield.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday on the Farm

corn silks

The sun begins to sit on a corn field. Corn has pollinated and silks are browning. The weather was perfect during corn pollination. The kernels are now beginning to fill.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday on the Farm

soybean bloom

Soybeans are blooming in the fields. Fields are in the R3 stage. The soybean plants are blooming and starting to form pods.

Monday, July 28, 2014

My First Tractor!

It's official. I bought a tractor...my first tractor! It is very exciting! Every farm kid cherishes the moments spent on the farm in the tractor. And, a farm kid dreams of this moment of buying their first tractor.

Proudly, I bought a Case IH JX 80. My grandpa would be smiling. I am very much looking forward to using it on our beef cattle farm!

my first tractor :)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

2014 Knox County Fair

July 18 and 19, I was in Knoxville for beef assistant superintendent duties at the Knox County Fair. It was a great two days looking at calf butts. Ha! I have enjoyed working the cattle shows the past few years. And as always, it was a lot of fun! This year, my parents and I proudly sponsored the Shorthorn breed in the Knox County Fair junior beef show.
beef...it's what's for dinner
BEEF...it's what's for dinner! I worked Friday and Saturday evenings at the Knox County Cattlemen's Association food stand at the Knox County Fair. I have enjoyed it and looked forward to it every summer! As a little girl, the Knox County Fair always meant promoting BEEF! 

love my knox county cattlemen shirt!
Great cattle. Great beef. Great friends. It was an enjoyable 2014 Knox County Fair! I am so blessed to be with wonderful cattlemen and beef producers! I look forward to 2015 at the Knox County Fair!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday on the Farm

queen ann's lace

Simple beauty. Queen Ann's Lace... one of my summer favorites. I love Queen Ann's Lace along the rural roadsides. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday on the Farm

Corn is in the R1 stage. Silks are starting to emerge on the ears of corn. Soon, pollen will be shedding.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday on the Farm

monarch on red clover

A Monarch butterfly collects nectar from a red clover blossom. The red clover was in full bloom as Monarch butterflies melodically fluttered throughout the field. It was so beautiful and peaceful.