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Tickled Pink
Wednesday 31st of August 2011 08:58 AM

By Kim L. Fritzemeier

KFRM Central Kansas Reporter

Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line

Our Little Ladd will be a Lady! We are, of course, tickled pink.

Jill (our daughter) & Eric had a sonogram on Monday. There is always some question as to whether the baby will cooperate with the sonogram technician. But I had no doubt our future grandchild would perform beautifully.

We were in Manhattan for Randy to attend meetings as a Kanza Co-op board member. So Jill & Eric came after work to tell us the news in person.

Both Randy & I had guessed a girl. The vote was split among immediate family members in Jill and Eric's family tree. Half of us thought girl. Half of us thought boy. Half of us were sure to be right.

They brought us a gift to open, and we discovered a pretty pink frame around a "photo" of a beautiful little girl. Within an hour, we had already purchased our first ruffles - with a Powercat thrown in for good measure.

You see, my beautiful new granddaughter is blessed with smart parents. They knew that first-time grandparents on both sides of the family would have trouble resisting the baby aisle. They were right.

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Response 1
Wednesday 31st of August 2011 11:12:57 AM
Submitted by: Gary
Congratulations are in order, not only to the prospective, anxious, anticipating parents, but to the grandparents as well. Only one concern, .... you and Randy don't look old enough to be grandparents!!! That in itself is reason to celebrate. Trusting and praying that all goes well in this new chapter in Eric and Jill's lives.
Response 2
Thursday 1st of September 2011 08:00:04 AM
Submitted by: Kim
Flattery will get you a big THANKS! Thanks for the prayers for our little lady's safe arrival. We are all excited to meet her!

Fudge-Filled M & M Bars
Tuesday 30th of August 2011 08:26 AM

By Kim L. Fritzemeier

KFRM Central Kansas Reporter

Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line

What's colorful enough for a party and easy enough for everyday? Fudge-Filled M&M Bars!

I found the recipe in my
Journey Toward Excellence: Skyline Schools 40th Anniversary cookbook, always a source for tried and true recipes. These have elements of two other favorite bar cookie recipes I've used for years. You may want to try Fudge Bars or Toll House Cookie Bars. Or try these .... Mmmm! The best of both worlds!

Fudge-Filled M&M Bars
1 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
2 cups quick oats
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. margarine
1 cup plain M & Ms (I used minis)

In a mixing bowl, cream 1 cup margarine and brown sugar. Add flour, salt, soda and oats, mixing well. Reserve 1 1/2 cups for topping. Press remaining into a greased 9- by 13-inch pan.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine condensed milk, chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons margarine. Microwave at 50 percent power until chips are melted, stirring after each minute to prevent burning. Spread melted chocolate mixture over the bottom crust. Sprinkle with the 1 1/2 cups reserved crumb mixture. Top with M & Ms.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes or until nicely browned.

Note: I thought maybe the recipe had left out the eggs, but the bars turned out great ... just in case you're wondering the same thing!

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A Lesson in CRP ... Not CPR
Monday 29th of August 2011 08:12 AM

Land in CRP

And now for your crash course in CRP. No, I'm not about to take over for the American Red Cross and teach you CPR (though that's a very good thing to know).

CRP is the Conservation Reserve Program. The program involves taking land out of agricultural production and planting it to native grasses and wildflowers. This helps prevent wind and water erosion and also enhances native wildlife populations. Most of the land that qualifies for CRP is less productive for agricultural crops anyway.

Usually, farmers can't graze cattle on CRP acres, and they can't harvest the native grasses. But this year, because of the extreme drought, the USDA has allowed emergency haying or grazing on part of the designated CRP acres. A neighbor asked Randy to custom swath and bale about 60 acres of CRP grass.

This is more action than our baler has gotten all summer long.

The resulting 180 bales will be used to feed cattle this winter. With the lack of rain this summer, alfalfa bales are going to be in short supply. The fields of silage have withered with the lack of rain, too, leaving cattlemen with few options for winter foodstuffs.

The CRP hay is much lower in nutrients and protein than alfalfa. It provides all the nutritional requirements for a non-lactating cow, but a cow nursing a baby calf would require additional supplements.
Maybe it's a little like comparing a home-cooked meal to a McDonald's Value Meal. But that bale of native hay will look mighty good this winter in the midst of a snowstorm.

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Tractor Fever
Friday 26th of August 2011 08:14 AM

By Kim L. Fritzemeier

KFRM Central Kansas Reporter

Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line

Tractor fever: It's a malady that can strike at any time. Symptoms include restless leg syndrome, tapping fingers and a general malaise.

The cure? Getting behind the wheel of a tractor and actually getting some field work done.

It has been so dry this summer that the guys stayed out of the tractor cab for most of June and July. At the County Line, Jake is often disking wheat stubble during or right after harvest. This year, even the weeds were struggling to survive.

It wasn't until we got about 2 inches of rain within the past 3 weeks that the weeds have started to thrive. And the guys could begin the road to recovery from their drought-imposed tractor fever.

Randy chose to use the fallow master on the wheat stubble fields, rather than a disk. The fallow master leaves more residue on top of the ground, decreasing the chances that the ground will blow.

(Pulling the fallow master.
Sorry the photo is a little blurry.
It was bouncy in the passenger seat of the tractor!)

Who'd think we would welcome the sight of weeds in the field? Well, we didn't really welcome weeds. But having that little "rough around the edges" look gave us a little hope that something besides weeds might grow too.

I, for one, prefer the well-groomed look.

 And now, if we could just order some more rain ...

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By Leaps and Bounds
Thursday 25th of August 2011 07:37 AM

By Kim L. Fritzemeier

KFRM Central Kansas Reporter

Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line

(Either that tub is shrinking or Millie is getting bigger.)


The pile of laundry wasn't the only thing that grew while we were on vacation.

Millie seemed to have morphed from babyhood to adolescence. Well, she still acts like a puppy. That's a cross that Ralph just has to bear.

But I'm no longer worried that her little legs won't make it back to the house during our morning walks.

Here she was on June 16, her little legs pumping to keep up with Ralph.

Two months later, on August 15, she's the one keeping both Ralph and me on our toes.

It's amazing how quickly little ones grow in that first year. It's a lesson we witness all the time on the farm with baby calves. 

 Come January, I'll have a whole new way to learn that lesson when our first grandchild is born. I told my daughter it was probably a good thing I didn't know whether we are adding a girl or boy to the family. My pocketbook just might have come back home a little lighter had I known whether to buy ruffles or camouflage at Yellowstone.

Hmmm ... I wonder if that's the reason the secret will soon be revealed. With both first-time Grandmas hanging out in the miniature clothing aisle, that appears to be a smart move.

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