Payton

PaytonSomeday when Jeff retires, the legacy of our farm will belong to Payton. What a bundle of energy he has been since he came out of the womb!  Of course, keeping up with his older cousins added to any incentive he had to excel, though he would have regardless.  He was a standout in high school and gave us one of the most exciting moments of our lives when he won first place in the state wrestling competition in the Schottenstein Center at OSU.

Payton has excelled in everything he has put his mind to and is now learning the ropes of our operation from the ground up.  Jeff is not playing favorites and has him in the milking parlor six days a week for many hours and is teaching him aspects of the record-keeping we do on cattle.  Payton has also spent many hours fence walking.  We Payton fishinghave well over ten miles of electric fence on our farms.  In summertime tall grass and weeds can short out fences and cattle learn quickly that they can escape.  Somebody has to walk those fences with a weed whip and cut down the offending grass and weeds.  Of course, it’s always a hot summer day when the job needs done, but when it is done we can keep our cattle captured in the paradise of luscious legumes where they live.

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Jack

Jack

You can tell Jack was pretty thrilled to pose for me!

Jack is the “city” cousin of my grandsons, but he and his sisters Maggie and Erin still spent many hours at our house while they were growing up. One time when his family was spending the weekend at our farm, Jack decided he would just like to be there a little longer and asked if he could spend the week. His parents said, “yes,” and he promptly asked his grandpa what time he left for the barn in the morning and set an alarm for that time. He got up that morning at 5:00 and went out with Gerald all dressed up in some borrowed tall rubber boots and an old shirt. He said he liked helping with chores, but he may have been being polite because that was the end of his farming days. He spent the rest of the week playing with his cousins and swimming in our pond.

He isn’t a hunter or rider like his male cousins but is especially strong in many different ways. He has great discipline and is a gifted musician, playing in many bands throughout his adolescent years. He went through a grueling ordeal, which has been likened to army boot camp, to become a member of The Ohio State Marching Band (best band in the land!) The honor of becoming a member of this band belongs to an elite few OSU students. This still of Jack playing his bass horn was taken when the OSU halftime was on television as he played for the first time on the field. Can you imagine our excitement? He had not only made the band and was playing but was captured on TV!

Jack on TV

Pea Salad for an Easy Summer Dish

This pea salad is a tradition in our family, and we have it often at family gatherings. Whenever I would fix this salad, Jack’s Dad, Brian, who was always so well-mannered and polite, never failed to crack us up when he would dryly say that it had been a long time since he’d “had a good pea.” We’re obviously an easily amused bunch!

My daughter and her husband enjoying

My daughter and her husband enjoying “a good pea”

It doesn’t take very long to throw these ingredients into a plastic bowl and cover until lunch time the next day.  Anything I can make ahead of time so that it’s easier to put a meal on the table is usually a hit with me.  If you leave the bacon off, it’s still good and is a nutritious side dish.

Combine one bag of frozen peas that have thawed, two chopped hardboiled eggs, one-half cup chopped green pepper, one-half cup chopped onion, one cup shredded cheddar cheese, three tablespoons mayonnaise, one-half teaspoon salt and one-quarter teaspoon pepper.  Top with three slices crumbled bacon.  Let the salad set overnight before serving.  Stir and serve.