church, we sorted piles of built up mail and papers. Probably
could start our own recycling business just with what we generate
in paper. Layton had a paintball game scheduled but with a holiday
coming most of the boys' plans changed. He ended up at home
The scholars bowl team at the high school will host an invitational
tomorrow. Louise made a fruit plate to bring in. Layton is on
Vance did some year-end accounting to get a feel for where we
are at on the debt to asset ratio. We decided to pay down some
land debt. When farmers buy land they usually borrow money from
a long-term lender like Federal Land Bank (FLB). FLB is a co-operative
of farmers who pooled their money together many years ago to
fund long term debt which means 15, 20,30 years. Short-term
debt such as for operating expenses to pay for fuel, equipment,
livestock, and crop management items is usually borrowed from
local commercial banks. Farmers and accountants often call this
operating debt. We need to borrow operating money or capital
from the bank when our expenses get bigger than our income.
A good example is in the spring when we start fieldwork we'll
have expense but no income until we cut wheat in July. The bank
uses the growing crop as collateral and maybe machinery. We
borrow money from the bank until we cut the wheat, sell it to
repay the bank. It is a very important system for the survival
of farms. It takes a lot of money to operate a farm and we need
the banks to provide that service until we get our crops in.
We sell the crops or livestock, pay the debts and when you are
out of grain or livestock, we go back to the bank again!! The
bank charges us interest to borrow that money. It's just like
if you buy a car and need a loan to pay for it.
So we will pay down on our long-term debt. Our short-term debt
has already been paid until spring.
continued to check our cash flow projections. The mules are
fine even though it is cold. After piano lessons for Marit who
is working on Christmas tunes and when Layton was done, the
three of us headed for Garden City to hear a college band--the
Concordia College Band of Seward, Nebraska.
Louise also grocery shopped preparing for Thanksgiving Dinner
in Wichita and also when feeding the crew at the Ehmke house.
Cole and Tanner will meet us at Grandma's house in Wichita.
mules get extra ration of hay and corn, as we will leave for
a couple of days over Thanksgiving. All of us piled in the car
and headed to Grandma Ehmke's house. It is a 4-hour drive to
Wichita down Highway 96.
Great to get to grandma's. The boys from KSU arrived Tuesday.
We will watch the weather closely as rain changing to sleet
and snow could cut our visit short.
We did visit some friends who have a new baby--the Schmieds.
It was great to seem them in their new home in Wichita.
is holding. Got the potato dish baked to take to Vance's brother's
home for our festive dinner. Most of the cousins will be together
so we are pleased to go there 26. Had a great dinner. Vance
had his first experience on the Internet!! We searched for farm
topics like triticale information.
Uncle Forrest has lots of rabbits for their 4-H projects. The
cousins Jeanette and Laura showed Marit the rabbits. Of course
that is the new project Marit would like to start. But we will
try bucket calf this year.
Sounds like the weather is starting to get nasty so we head
for home. Plus we really do need to feed the mules and dogs.
Both cars arrived home about 9 p.m. All was well. We did get
some rain. That is the best gift for farmers on the high plains
in western Kansas. Our wheat usually needs a rain.
boys are enjoying the farm. Cole went out walking as well as
grooming the mules. He is the main muleskinner! The others slept
in, watched movies. It did rain some more. We received about
Vance did some more budget planning for next year. There is
some land for sale ---320 acres nearby. We are thinking about
buying it. It is very good cropland with the best soil (Harney)
and the worst---a beautiful grass rocky pasture that is only
good for livestock grazing. In current language it is called
"walk around ground". For us, we would ride our mules
on it or perhaps rent it to a farmer who has cattle.
This kind of discussion calls for a family meeting. Each kid
puts in his opinion after Vance explains the details how it
would affect the cash flow, size of farm, long term debt. We
will probably make a bid for it.
Our family helped with the lighting of the city lights. We manned
the hot dog fire pit in Dighton. It was cold and fun!!! Sure
gets you in the holiday spirit.
and the boys tried to repair a yard light using the scoop on
the little tractor. But the light socket itself is damaged--it
is quite old and probably needs a new socket.
Our barber is in Scott City --Tanner and Layton drove over there,
which is 20 miles. And they both got butchered!! There's a new
barber in the shop. Luckily it will grow out.
Layton went out hunting for pheasant. He got two but then could
not find them in the milo stubble.
Louise started packing for the Kansas Association of Wheatgrowers
convention that will start on Sunday evening. Layton and Marit
will hold down the farm. She also had to prepare for her Wheatheart
meeting and the Wheatmania report---like make agendas, find
the support data, list of activities for the year.
We all stayed at home enjoying popcorn and TV as well as some
rummy. Tanner also played the piano. He misses it at college.
Both he and Layton played their guitars. Sure is great to hear
Since it was too wet to do much outside, Cole and Layton set
up their collections of Star Wars. Layton also spent hours building
a helicopter model. Rainy days are the best for getting hobby
work done, playing games!