August 2017

Summer greetings to our Friends near and far. It’s hard to believe it is August already, how time seems to fly by. Weather-wise we are enjoying such pleasant temperatures compared to most of July. I wish it would stay this way for the rest of the summer. But we are very dry, haven’t mowed yard for weeks, the pastures are dried up to the point the farmers are feeding some hay. It will definitely affect corn yields, some worse than others. But it seems like it is just a pocket, not very far north, not very far south, it looks altogether different. I’m not sure how far east and west it is, farther than the other way. At least not everyone is so dry.

The latest news is granddaughter Janita Rose, arrived on July 30th to daughter Jane Marie & Randall, weighing 7 lbs. 12 oz. She has a nice amount of dark hair, but it will turn lighter like the rest, I think. This is their 2nd girl, it makes a happy sister. She makes our 17th grandchild.

On Saturday August 5th, they had some misfortune. Curvin, 20 mo. old, was in the haymow with his siblings, they hiked him along up on bales and he fell down, apparently landing on his leg.

He has a broken femur, they took him into surgery to put the cast on, no major break, but he has a cast from above the waist to his toe on the broken leg, and to his knee on the other one, with a bar from the knee of the one to the toe of the other. He was in the hospital from Saturday to Monday afternoon. He was happy to be home yesterday, but it will be a long 6 weeks or however long he has to have it. He can’t get up, can’t look out, it will be a challenge to keep him happy. Jane Marie says she thinks she will have 2 babies again, almost as bad as when she had the twins. At least he has siblings to help some. I hope it won’t be too much for Jane Marie, with the baby so small yet. Their Kenneth was 20 months and 8 days when he was killed in a skid loader accident, Curvin was the exact same age on Saturday when this happened. I told them to think of that when things feel overwhelming, at least they still have him, but I know it doesn’t make it easier when you feel like you can’t keep up.

Rufus and I had planned to go to them for the week, now with Curvin’s mishap we are especially glad we are. We arrived Monday afternoon, August 7th (they live in Withee, WI. by the way) and plan to stay till Sunday. I picked beans last evening, they will not get enough from their garden for the year, Randall plans to buy some at the produce auction so we can do them this week. We plan to can red beets today, sour them to use for red beet eggs.

Their children are Leon Earl – 9, Sheila – 6 (will start 1st gr. this fall) David & Daniel – 4, Randall Jr. – 3, Curvin – 20 mo. and now Janita. Busy happy children.

We are sleeping at daughter Rose and Dennis’ house. They aren’t at home, we won’t see them at all. Dennis’ job takes him away quite a bit and this summer Rose and the children, Mary Ann – 7, Lori – 5 & Brian – 3, are going along as much as they can. Won’t be long anymore till school starts and they will have to stay home. It is very nice for us, also for Randall’s, gives them time alone and us also. If we are there 24/7, it can be wearing, too long.

Last week Rufus went to the produce auction in Drakesville and bought tomatoes. Our dau-in-laws Crystal, Rachel, Mabel Ann & I got together at Rachel’s house to make pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce for Randall’s. Rufus overbought a little, we did 117 qt. in all. I almost felt like a tomato myself till we were through, but we are glad we could do that for them, especially after Curvin’s accident. The children did well, allowing us to get it done.

Galen & Rachel’s Rebecca is 2, a little chatterbox and repeats everything, very quick to observe and likes to help with things. Emma is walking for over a month, her 1st birthday is the 23rd. She is petite, such a smiley girl, both girls spend lots of time outside with Rachel and have bleached hair from the sun, tanned.

Mark & Mabel Ann’s Tonya is 8 month, very roly poly and not petite. She doesn’t get around at all, Mabel Ann say she is too fat. She used to be more sober, but now you can get her to smile and respond.

And Junior & Crystal’s 3, Jeremy- 5, Jessica – 4 & Austin – 2, are thriving living on the farm. They recently acquired Trixie, a puppy. Oh what fun they have! They have a couple bottle calves to feed for chores, also the cats to feed. Having chores is such a good thing for children, even if it isn’t much, but teaches responsibility. Austin still doesn’t talk much, no sentences, but words and lots of expression. It’s hard not to laugh at his actions, he gets the point across. But what he lacks in talking he makes up for otherwise. Last week Rufus & I took Crystal & the children to Boone to ride the Scenic Railroad. We all enjoyed the day, Jeremy wished we’d have went faster. They’ve always liked trains. Jeremy’s next wish is to go on an airplane like Grampap and Daddy do.

Many changes have taken place at the cheese plant, yet many things stay the same. We are sending out more cheese than ever, some weeks it is hard to keep up with the cutting and shipping. Space is a big issue. We took out a wall between the cooler and aging room to add more cooler space for pallets. Lots of our cheese is aged at Heartland Creamery, in MO, so on a regular basis we have Jay Alan & one of the others taking 10 pallets of new cheese down and bringing ready-to-sell cheese back. We need to do something for more space, increase production as we are expanding sales with other cheeses, the Old Style Cheddar and 4 Alarm Cheddar. There are changes on the horizon, we’re not sure just how and what will shake out yet.

Prairie Breeze took 3rd place at the American Cheese Society contest held in Denver, CO this year. So did the Quark, we were pleased to have them place. We would like to expand our Quark, space is an issue. Rufus & CJ are experimenting with another kind, a spreadable cheese. There also, we need more space to proceed with that.

Jennifer Flory, one of the makers of the Flory’s Truckle is getting married on October 7th, we are pleased to be invited to her wedding. She won’t be leaving the area, so the cheese making should go on as usual.

Junior has been working hard to keep things going. There are so many decisions to be made on a regular basis, plus trying to expand, etc. Chris has been a very valuable employee to us with her experience and a big help to Junior.

Rufus is busy with demos, food shows. On Saturday he will go to Minneapolis to a Kowalski’s on Hennepin for their new cheese case opening. Next week he will fly to Phoenix, Arizona for a food show, then to Almeda, CA for another one the next day. He was in Duluth, MN in June. I went along and we took a few extra days, rented a cabin, took an Apostle Islands Cruise, went sail boating, something Rufus has long wanted to do. We had an enjoyable time. We also went to PA for a weekend for a History Tour of the Groffdale area in Lancaster County. We do try to take some time for things other than work. Junior is planning to take his family on a camping trip this weekend.

As of this week, our employees are Jeff, Joseph, CJ, Craig, Roy, Stephen, Doug, Jay Alan, Chris, Stephanie, Carol, Taylor, Judy, Niki, & Sky. Sky will be going back to school in a couple weeks, Jeff handed in his 2 week notice, and Cindy will be starting in 2 weeks. Niki will be taking maternity leave shortly. We are thankful for all the good help we have.

Thanks to each one for your support. Have a great rest of the summer and fall.

Jane Musser