• Holly Spangler

    Corn Scene

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 29, 2010

    Corn harvest on the Spangler farm has officially come to an end, and I suspect the same is true or nearly true for many of you. Illinois Ag Statistics Service put the harvest at 57% complete as of this past Monday and given this week's lovely weather, that number has likely jumped considerably. Their numbers also show this to be the earliest/fastest harvest in the past 10 years. Only 2007 came close, with 52% harvested by this date. And last year? 2%. That's about right. So with this one in…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Cow Cam Meets Dryer Cam

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 27, 2010

    So last week, I wrote about my husband's fall from the dryer, which, incidentally, happened last fall (oops – a clarification). Almost immediately, we received the following email from our friend, Todd, who farms in the greater Effingham area.   John and Holly, I just read your blog about John's fall. Glad to hear you are ok. If you have a GSI dryer you should install the "WatchDog". It lets you monitor and adjust settings on the dryer from any computer connected to the internet…

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  • Holly Spangler

    But Is the Concrete OK?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 23, 2010

    ***Just a note to emphasize that this occurred last year, in 2009. John told me it was confusing, but I insisted it wasn't because it had the date at the top. We started getting calls from concerned friends this weekend. I hate it when he's right. But I, too, am a speed reader, so I can see how you might skip over that! So now, a clarification. Enjoy! And be safe! Wednesday, October 28, 2009, 4:15 a.m. My husband gets in bed. He says he has this bump on his head and rubs at it. "Do…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Semi Incommunicado

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 20, 2010

    I spent a few days last week driving a semi, hauling grain from the field back to our bins and by Day Three, I discovered I could get quite a bit of work done in between the actual driving and dumping. By Friday, I'd wiped out the mending pile, gotten fairly well along into a flower-pin craft project, read the entire September issue of my mother-in-law's Good Housekeeping, and made a dent in the latest reporter memoir I've been reading. And, I discovered my cell phone was my lifeline to a…

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  • Holly Spangler

    No Christmas Cookies this Harvest

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 17, 2010

    Check this out…before we headed to the field this morning, I pulled out a bag to throw in a few things to take with me in the semi. It's the same one I used last year. Here's what I found in the bottom: That's right. It's my mother-in-law's December 2009 Good Housekeeping. That's what we were reading last year during harvest. Christmas cookies. Buffets. Snowflake decorations. You know, yields aren't great this year, but there's one thought that keeps running through my mind: at…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Girls from Albion

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 14, 2010

    I am blessed in many ways, but this weekend was reminded how abundantly I've been blessed in the friend department. Really. Truly. Blessed. Two of my oldest and dearest friends loaded up their vehicles with their small people, snacks and movies and drove the 240 miles from their homes in southern Illinois to my home in western Illinois. Two women, five children, one SUV. If that's not love, I don't know what is. I've known these two women, Jamie and Jill, since we were in kindergarten…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Not For Profit? Not Back Then

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 13, 2010

    In the course of my trip down memory lane last week, I (carefully) flipped through the 1941 Prairie Farmer Centennial Issue. Right there on page 26 was an advertisement from Henry Ford and Harry Ferguson, for their "Ford tractor with Ferguson system." Want to know how far we've come in 70 years? Henry Ford wrote the following at the top of the ad: "I have long held the conviction that something should be done about farming. In too many cases, farming has not only ceased to be profitable…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Slipping Away

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 9, 2010

    I feel it. Summer has slipped away. And not just because of the cooler temperatures this week – though that's helped tremendously. The Farm Progress Show has come and gone, and it feels that so, too, has the lovely early fall: that blissful time before we head to the fields. And I know, many of you are combining away and perhaps have been for two or three weeks now. We, however, were blessed with 28+ inches of rain in May and June and we're just a titch behind the rest of the world…

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  • Holly Spangler

    To Serve God and Country

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 7, 2010

    I've had two boxes of stuff sitting in the corner of my office for well over a year now. I knew they were full of Prairie Farmer memorabilia, rescued from our Decatur office when we closed it in early 2009. I just hadn't taken the time to sift through them, because I knew I'd get sucked in and I didn't have time to get sucked in. Until today, when I didn't really have time to get sucked in, but I let it happen anyway. The thing is, I just love all this old farm stuff. I love that Prairie…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Self-Reliant Living…at Wal-Mart?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 3, 2010

    Ok, this cracked me up and after surviving Wal-Mart with a toddler, I needed a good laugh. I looked up in the checkout line and there was this magazine. Now, I'm all for a good magazine and I wish these people luck in their premier issue, but I wonder, really, how many people who are interested in the pioneering, self-reliant lifestyle shop at the local Super Wal-Mart? Super Wal-Mart doesn't exactly scream "off the grid." I'm just saying. Then again, I'm not sure how you reach people…

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