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I am from where the green grass grows and where corn pops up in rows, yes, cue Tim McGraw.  I come from these two beautiful people, Kenny and Kathy (Kuhlemeier) Bushbaum, will celebrate 48 years of marriage on this coming Tuesday.

They met at the local roller rink! Someone dared my dad to go ask Kathy Kuhlemeier to skate with him.  He took the bet and went and asked her by skating smack into her and knocking her down.  When he went to help her up he asked her if she wanted to skate.  Smooth operator and a man of few words he is, but I guess it worked as I don’t think they have been apart since that late night skate.

I come from determination. Dad saw what he wanted and went after it.  My mom is the same way.  When I was in elementary school she decided she wanted to go back to school.  She started with a business degree, but didn’t stop until she was student teaching during my senior year of high school.  She began teaching during my first year of college. When I think back to the determination that it took for her to complete her degrees while working full time, raising a family, keeping our house in shape, and being a farm wife I cannot fathom how she did it all.  I think she did it because she was determined.

I come from strength.  If you have seen my parents lately you know by watching my dad walk that he currently has a pair of knees that are pretty much bone on bone. He has the strength to power through pain like no one I have ever met.  He had a valve replacement in 2010 and handled open heart surgery like a champ, barley touching a pain pill the entire time.  This past fall he tackled 40 radiation treatments for prostate cancer without missing a beat during harvest. He is strong in body and mind.  My mom might say I get my stubborn “strength” from him.

I come from a man who speaks few words, but a woman that has lots to say.  My mom is a writer and has a creative gift. She makes beautiful quilts and used to write amazing poems, stories, and papers when she went back to school.  I remember watching her paint on barn doors and shovels as a kid.  I like to think that she gave me my gift of creativity and my desire to share things with the world.

I come from a John Wayne lovin’, western show watchin’, cattle lovin’ cowboy. Just ask me, I can quote just about any line from the Duke.  I get my love of the cowboy way and cattle from my dad.  I cannot imagine him any other way.  I have read a lot about the cowboy code and way of life and I think they are the finer points that my mom and dad instilled in us:

1. Live each day with courage

2. Take pride in your work

3. Always finish what you start

4. Do what has to be done

5. Be tough, but fair

6. When you make a promise, keep it

7. Talk less and say more

This brings me to the end of the 3 part series of where I come from.  There is so much more I could write about so many amazing people in life that are “where I come from,” but these last 3 posts are where I biologically come from and the mix of all of them creates the DNA that drives me to be the best version of myself that I can.  I don’t want to be a disappointment to any of them and I don’t want their struggles and challenges to be something that are easily forgotten, I will carry all of them each and every day of my life as I dream big and huge!

Where do you come from?

Jen

All because 2 people fell in love...

2

Welcome to mud season in Iowa or the start of the big thaw or the big flood, take your pick. We have had so much snow and with rain expected this week we are under a flood watch. With culverts and ditches still full of snow, this week will probably prove to be quite the adventure for many living in the midwest. Nothing we aren't used to dealing with, just another challenge.

I thought I would give you a little baby beef update. Baby Mouse and Baby Will (born during the polar vortex) are doing fantastic! Their momma's are taking great care of them by letting them nurse, keeping them tucked in the straw, and giving them a little quiet moo to get back in the barn when they get a little rowdy. Since I am not their mom (I'm more like the aunt that thinks everything they do is cute) I think it is hilarious when they run around with their tails in the air at mach 10. They look more like race horses than baby calves.

Chilly Willy

The other cattle that haven't come in yet (given birth) are still living the good life enjoying an area to get out of the melting snow, fresh water, and haylage. We made haylage last summer that is feeding our cows this winter, they are doing very well with it and are in great condition. Haylage is cut like hay, but not allowed to dry as much as grass hay would be when it is baled. Haylage has a moisture content of between 15 percent to a maximum of 40 percent (60 to 85 percent DM) it is baled and then it is wrapped in plastic to keep it from spoiling. When the bales are all wrapped they look like a long white worm in our field. So far, our supply of winter feed is looking great and we should have plenty, but that all depends on how quickly pastures dry up this spring. The condition of the pastures will be determine how soon the cows can get out on them and start eating grass.

Big Baby Mouse

What do you feed in the winter? Is it mud season where you live?

There you have it, the beef, from the gravel road-

Jen

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