Monday, October 31

Wedding Shower!!!

Happy Halloween!!

Hello Kitty is all kinds of ready to go Trick-or-Treating tonight...I have to pry her out of my fine china first.

Why yes! 
That IS my fine china she is nestled in which I unwrappedAndSetOutForChuckToNotCareAboutSee.....

It's OK thought, he really isn't supposed to care about the intricate detail of the pearl pattern on my china.
His only job is to say things like, "when are we supposed to use that?" and "I like the section-plates where your food doesn't touch, did you not get those?". 
He does his job well.

One thing I must tell you before I give you a pictorial montage of my sister's visit and my shower and that is....
I made pumpkin ice cream last night.
Chyeah I did!

Actually I made the ice cream is chilling as we speak.
It got all uppity on me so I was like hey, why don't you get in the fridge for a while and chill?
It's better that way.

I fully intend on churning it when I go home for lunch and I am soexcited!
If it's good, there will be a recipe and pictures.
If it's bad, I'm moving away.

OK sister Malinda and her husband Del and their baby Jackson came to visit last week!!

It was a great week PLUS my shower totally happened!
It was amazing.
The people were amazing, the decorations were amazing and the food was amazing.
An amazing situation it was.

Before the shower festivities we participated in a lot of baby J fun....

This picture makes me wish I could go back to the days where the relationship of my belly to the waist of my jeans was not directly connected to my emotional state.

It also makes me wonder why they don't make spatulas like that anymore?
The Heat totally used that to flip my grilled cheese when I was 4...

This is yet another lovely hair picture of me....
But you know what?
I'm gonna man-up and put it on here anyway!

FYI The Heat was the one with the camera...and DidSheTellMe???????
Evidently not.

But it's a great picture of my sister with Jackson and me with
That's all I got.

On to the shower!!!
We must set the scene...

My sisters and mother worked diligently on the decorations...maaaaajor kudos to their creativity!

There were glitterfied pumpkins, some cleverly carved with the letters R and C AND the date of the wedding!!
Very cute!

The most delicious cupcakes I have EVER had which contained E-normous diamond rings.

Only the best for the guests.

The party favors????
Why Hello Kitty cookies of course!
Shown off by my cousin Amy...

Rebecca(Beenie) made these out of a basic sugar cookie recipe which she kicked up a notch by adding mini M&M's to.
She also iced them...DE-licious!

The next pictures are an assortment of guest glamour shots..
Two of my beautiful sisters Beenie(left) and Taylor!

A really great picture of Chuck's mom Gayle and I...

Taylor and I...

THE man, Jackson...

With his gorgeous mama..

...cheating on me with my friend Mandi...(isn't she pretty?)..

...and here he is wondering why no one told me about my hair...

My cousin Amy and I proudly displaying the cow clock that she and her friend Jeff(taking the pictures) picked out...

My friends Erin and Mandi...

The always amazing Heat and I...

It was such a wonderful night!

Stay tuned for the ice cream and have fun tonight!

Saturday, October 29

Toughest Girl I Know

This picture has ZERO to do with this post.
I'm not even sure what is going on here...but I looked through the window and this was the scene.

So I promise to post pictures of the shower asSoonAsIgetThem...ahem...
As for now just picture cleverly carved pumpkins, Hello Kitty cookies, an assortment of cupcakes with diamonds in them, a baby with a mohawk and a table full of laughter.
It was a GREAT night.

The governor was even there!
OK, so he was in the vicinity..and I didn't even see him...but I heard he was around.
We didn't have a seat for him anyway because he didn't RSVP.
He missed out.

I can't even begin to talk about the generous gifts...but  I will tell you that I have decided to ONLY eat off of my fine china for.ever. Amen.

The night ended with everyone departing the restaurant, some going home, while a few of us decided to have a glass of wine at a small bistro across the square.

My younger sister, you know her as Beenie, left with her friend Jennifer.
While we were chatting at the bistro, Malinda received a call saying that Beenie had been in an accident.
Long story short, Jennifer's car had been t-boned in an intersection when a van decided not to stop.
The van struck her car on Beenie's side, and if it hadn't been for the side airbag poor Beenie would have been even more severely injured.

Let me take this moment to explain my 3 sisters and I a bit...

What do you get when a man who owns a farm has 4 daughters BEFORE having a son????

You get 4 girls who can do ANYthing a man can do WHILE putting on mascara.

4 girls who can haul wood, work calves and have developed matrix-like moves to avoid being whacked upside the head by BossMan's cattle-paddle back swing.

Shoooooooootttttt...we don't back down, we adapt.

So Beenie is in this terrible collision, right?
The van hit them so hard that it knocked the diamond out of the setting in her ear, she had to be drug cross the console, rode in an ambulance with only ice for relief and the ONLY time she cried was when they started taking blood at the hospital.

Luckily Jennifer was not seriously injured and Beenie received a plate and 4 screws, courtesy of the BossMan.

Maybe one day you will get to meet my Beenie, she is the toughest girl I know.

By the by, I have decided that I need to go ahead and get the broken bones over with before BossMan quits his day job.

Thursday, October 27

THAT Kind of Girl

Have you ever been asked to describe yourself in a few words?
Um HELLO difficult.

I can't do that.  I also can't whistle..but that's beside the point.
No, really I can't...and don't pull one of those "Aw, of course you can! Just try!" things on me either. 
It will no longer work.  I refuse to look silly with my lips forming an "O" inadvertently blowing spit out of my mouth.

See? How do you describe that in a word? Please don't tell me the word you were thinking.
Instead of single words, I prefer examples or phrases, if you will.

Such as..

I am the kind of girl who noticed that one thing on her registry was purchased and squealed, then called her fiance' and said, "This registry thing actually works!!".

I am the kind of girl who will turn the radio down to hear herself think.

The kind who will keep her dead iPod in her ears at the gym for "protection".

The kind who rarely listens to the radio and doesn't even notice when it isn't on.

I am the kind of girl who could lay on a blanket beside her 8 month old nephew and him for hours.

 Never say a word, just watch.

I am the kind of girl who has more conversations with God each day, than anyone else..even Chuck.

The kind who talks to her cats, dogs, cows and calves as if they understand.

I am the kind of girl who can work 7 cows out of a group of 70 by herself, without alarming them.

I am NOT the kind of girl who gets surprises left on her doorstep by anonymous people...

......but that changed last night.

I am the kind of girl who falls asleep saying her prayers every night.

The kind who is going to marry her best friend.

The kind of girl who has very few close friends, because they are so special to her.

I am the kind of girl who once pulled a calf while wearing wedge sandals.

The kind who can IV cows blindfolded, pull calves and deal with manure all over her, BUT who doesn't want to touch it, smell it or even look at it when it comes to people. Ick.

I am the kind of girl who falls short every day.

I am the kind of girl who lives for things like this...

and doesn't need a camera to remember them.

The kind of girl who cries when she even thinks about talking to her dad, because who he is and what he thinks mean so much to her.

I am the kind of girl who thinks she can always do better.

I am the kind of girl who gets excited when her hoof trimmer comes to work on the cows, because she knows they will feel better after.

The kind who never thinks she is good enough for her dogs.

Lastly, I am the kind of girl who is in disbelief that there are people coming tonight to celebrate her getting married.

Excited doesn't even begin to touch what this girl is.

Tuesday, October 25

I Would Rather...

I would rather wake up every single day at 4 am than have to stay up each night until eleven.

I would rather be the there as the sun rises than watch the lights go out.

I would rather get soaking wet in the rain than sit inside and do nothing.

I would rather have calluses on my hands than have soft, delicate skin.

I would rather live the rest of my life in coveralls than worry about how I look.

I would rather be trapped in my thoughts all day than have to speak to 5 different people.

I would rather sit in front of the fireplace and watch than open presents on Christmas morning.

I would rather have 4 siblings than be an only child.

I would rather work than rest.

I would rather stand than sit.

I would rather change dirty diapers than never be called "mom".

I would rather dream than settle.

I would rather pray than worry.

I would rather say "I love you" than hear it said to me.

 "I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special." ~Truvy in Steel Magnolias

Sunday, October 23

When We Began

"Hey, aren't you Jens friend Rachael?"
This is what I heard one day two years ago, from an unfamiliar male voice while I was walking out of the gym.
"......Uh...yeah", I said, then turned around and immediately smiled at this guy because his eyes captured me.
"Yes, I'm Rachael?", I asked in a who wants to know? kind of way.
"I'm Jens friend Chuck, she has mentioned you to me and I thought I would say hi."

Oh, OK so this is Chuck.  He's attractive, he is introducing himself to me...awesome!

"I think you asked to be my friend on Facebook, sorry I am just now getting around to that," he said, TOTALLY serious.  I wanted to DIE.
Ugh.... Facebook making me look like a stalker! Of course he introduces himself, he wants me to know he sees me and my stalkerish ways. 
Great Rachael. Smoooooooth.

The picture of cool, I said, "Ohhhh yeah!  I forgot about that.  Yeah she told me about you and I figured I would send you a friend request...haha"

He then told me about how he had been meaning to come eat sushi one night with us, but was either working or taking care of his son.  We chatted for a bit in the parking lot of the gym, then parted ways.

I am fairly certain I spent the next 36 hours in a cloud, daydreaming about this guy Chuck, and what he could have possibly been thinking when he came up to me out of nowhere!
I could NEVER do that. The term "guarded" has nothing on me.  I'm Fort Knox.

Looking back now I realize I didn't think twice about him having a son.  To me it showed that he was a responsible family man, which are qualities I liked.

The next couple of weeks I was an idiot.
Chuck and I evidently had the same workout schedule, so I would see him there almost every day, and when I didn't? I was sad.  Such.a.dingy.

We would always come up with some smart comment to say to each other..and I am no slacker when it comes to quick wit.  I gave it my all.

I should have known then that I had feelings for this guy, Chuck. 
I would look around the gym while I was working out, and when we would lock eyes I would smile all over myself!  I was the epitome of ridiculous.  I just couldn't help it. 

He had me.  One day while I was there he wasn't speaking to me.  Actually, he was ignoring me.
I attributed this to the day before, when he saw me talking to a guy I had previously dated. 
This was not acceptable.
I marched right over to him and said, "So, you not talking to me today?", in that "bring it" kind of way.

He tried to act like he hadn't seen me.  Such.a.liar.
I wasn't buying it.
Being that I was currently taking residence thisclose to his face, I had to come up with something to hold his attention fast, "Well, I was going to ask you if you wanted to use this Texas Roadouse gift certificate with me that I won, but you're not talking to me so I guess not."  Oh good Lord I'm a redneck. 

His next comment surprised me so much that I was speechless.  I am not often found to be without words, so this was unnerving to say the least.
"Well, I was going to ask you if you wanted to ride with me one night while I supervised graveyard."

I knew enough from mutual friends to know that Chuck didn't EVER let anyone ride with him.
I had also been told by them that he was a perfectionist.  He always found something wrong with a girl, some flaw that ended things.
I was nothing but flaws.

But I couldn't say no to him for some reason.  I wanted to be around him, to get to know him better.  Heck, I just wanted to look at him and see him smile at me.  I could make him smile, that I was certain of.

Thankfully the Texas Roadhouse commet was forgotten and he sent me a text a few days later asking me to ride with him. 
I coolly accepted, then told everyoneIknew in, like, two minutes.

The night he picked me up in his cruiser I was a nervous ball of energy.
Well, make that a butt-less nervous ball of energy.
I had to dress nice and wear khakis, and seeing as my occupation does not demand anything but jeans, the only pair I had made me look like a butt-less guy.  Awesome. 

I sat in the passenger seat feeling like a kid who had just been allowed to ride in the front.
The center console was HUGE given the fact that it was home to a zillion police-ish buttons and lights and a laptop.  I took up approximately a quarter of my seat as I curled into a shy ball, wrapping myself in my jacket.

No gym equipment, no loud music, just Chuck and I.
We spent the evening upholding the law, and talking about EVERYthing under the moon.
He asked me about the farm and I got the skinny on all 645 buttons in the car.
There were a lot of witty comments and tons of laughter.  Best.Night.Ever.

He dropped me off at my apartment at 3 am, knowing I had to go to work in just 3 short hours. 
I had been fighting sleep since midnight, but like any Cinderella didn't want the night to end.
I got into bed and sent him a text thanking him for asking me to ride.
He responded and told me to sleep well.

And I have been in a dream ever since.

Saturday, October 22

Spice and Everything Nice

I saw a Bald Eagle in the dry cow lot Thursday!!
Sorry, I had to get that out.

I pretty much feel like the luckiest.person.on.the.planet.
Who gets that opportunity??? Well, besides Dolly Parton.

I did manage to get a picture of it using The Heats' camera, but that's the only thing I know how to do using said device...
Trust me. It happened.

Tennessee weather never ceases to amaze me.
I started out Thursday not wearing my UA cold gear, which was the BIGGEST mistake eva, only to wear it yesterday which also turned out to be a rather large mistake.
Holy sweat Batman.

Ugh I am not a fan of the sweating-under-layers feeling.
But I managed to run home and change at lunch...then I froze when I got back to work.
Hmmmmm...maybe it's me?

You know what else I did when I ran home at lunch?
Hmmm? Do ya?
I made crock-pot chili that could make a grown man was so good.
It was also pretty spicy-hot...speaking of sweat...

I might tweak it a bit to make it less spicy-hot, however I will not change it much because it changed me.
It changed the way I will forever look at chili.
It completed the chili circle.

See, I have never been a chili fan.
Cornbread? Heck yes. Chili? Nah, not so much.

Now I am a chili believer thanks to Martha.
Martha has opened my eyes to chili possibilities.
Before it was just a little meat, some beans and tomatoes with their juice.'s, it's like the chili secret garden.  It makes sense.

I used Martha Stewarts "30-Minute Chili" recipe BUT I slow-cookerized it.

The only ingredient I added was a diced jalapeno with the onions.

The process I changed a bit....

I am a "browned-meat believer", so I got my pot screeeeeeamin' hot and browned allll the ground beef.
Then set it aside.
Then...THEN(this is of the utmost importance) I removed all but 1 tblsp of the drippings and sauteed the garlic,onions and jalapeno in it.
This is a flavor situation here people.

Once the onions were soft I added the tomato puree and spices and stirred them around so the flavors fell in love.
Then I added the beer and poured the whole shebang into the slow cooker.
Once all tucked in, I stirred in the tomatoes and beans and cooked low and slllllow for 5 hours.

Wait!  I almost forgot..almost forgot the KEY to chili success...are you ready?
The cinnamon.
Yep. Cin-na-mon.
To chili?  HeckToTheYes.

Do it. Don't doubt, don't think, don't limit yourself to a cinnamonless chili lifestyle.

I don't know what it is about the cinnamon, but oh man, Martha was on.point. that day.
I like it so much that I took a vow, right there in front of that slow cooker, to never again deprive my chili of this spice.
Never again.

The chili was no fluke, my friends.
She knows her spice.

I made Martha Stewarts "Pumpkin Bittersweet Chocolate Marble Brownies", to accompany the chili..and she did it again.

She added cayenne pepper to the first I was all like whaaaa??? but I trusted.
She didn't let me down.

Try won't be disappointed.

Thursday, October 20

In Their Shoes

Before I go any further I want to let it be known that this content is MY go ahead and have yours. 
That being said, I am not under any false impression that this post will be popular.

Kinda like when people complain about the news paper only printing "the bad stuff" when in all reality NO ONE would buy a "good news" newspaper.
Misery loves company.

Now that I have run everyone off I wanna tell you about yesterday....

The scene: 20 degrees colder than the day before, rainy, windy, yucky.

I feel like I got nothing accomplished..well nothing "cow" accomplished.
The washer AND dryer ANNNNND well stopped working.  All in the same day.
How do you like them apples?

The washer and dryer are used to clean the towels we use to wipe the cows' udder with before we milk.  (You might have already known that though.)

So that could wait, but the lack of water pressure couldn't.
Something about clean milk lines, food safety and all....

As it turned out the well had a bare wire down in the center of the earth and was causing an arc.
I have no idea what all of this means but that is what I was told.
Electricity scares me..have I ever mentioned that?

You get shocked enough times by an electric fence when you're a child and you become a little leery.

I just don't know enough about electricity..but one day I will.

Anyway, around 2pm the "well guys" came and fixed it. Awesome!

In the meantime I had to go to Lowes and buy a new washer and dryer....NOT awesome.
I despise to the 118th degree ANY home improvement store...I just can't help it.

I'd rather go to the Co-op.

The kid(he was obv. younger than me) helping me, brought the appliances out to help load and wrap them in plastic, he then proceeded to tell me how cold it was outside and how much the rain "sucks".

That is a very important point.  That scene is the reason for this post.

Did I mention that when I walked into Lowes it was so in front of the fireplace warm?
Or that I was soaking wet in a t-shirt, thermal shirt, hoodie and fleece plus I had on wet, blood-splattered jeans(from IV-ing a cow) and manure covered boots?
My eyes told him I had been up AND working since 4:45 and I.Was.Starving.

I very calmly looked at him, smiled and said, "Yeah, it must suck working in there".

Then I left and prayed for both of us. (For real...we needed it.)

You know, I could have walked into the store and complained to everyone about the weather..BUT I didn't because I made the choice to do this job...and no one would care...and they might call the police.

I am OUTside every day, but I don't think I am better than ANYone else because of it.
For every ONE person out there who has it better than me, FIVE have it worse.

I don't call my DrSister and tell her how much I hate getting called at 4 am..she gets those calls ALL the time.

I recently learned through a new friend(!) that having an occasional headache is NOTHING compared to living with one EVERY day of your life.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't get paid near enough for the time/effort/care that I put into doing this job, BUT lots of people don't get paid at all.
Besides, I take this as my calling...I care about them.

Not to mention if I got paid more then something farm-related could suffer because we needed the money there.

A few years ago I decided to make a conscious effort to not complain about the things I can't change, like the weather.  Psssyeah I'll tell you I'm cold! But I try and fix that.
Unless it's like that day last winter when it was 18 degrees and the power was out at the barn.  There was NO PLACE to go to be warm..all we could do was sit and wait.

I wanted to cry.

Happiness was in Florida that day.

If I wanted to complain I would complain about how the rain comes through the holes in the roof of the barn, pools in the freestalls and causes my cows to get watery-mastitis...which makes them so sick they could die.
Or I could complain about how much a new roof would cost because it's past the point of "patching".
Or I could complain about how when it's cold outside my hands turn white and lose circulation...and I can't fix that.

But I won't because I can't do anything about those things.
To me, life is about the choices we make with the cards we're dealt.

Generally speaking I can just smile and go on, when I hear someone complain...and I do not voice my opinion very often, especially about things I don't know. 

I try to put myself in "their shoes"...even if they do have Hello Kitty duct tape in them....

Now, let's go check on that baby I saw stumbling around in the dark;).

Tuesday, October 18

DJ Cheezy Chuck

I want to catch you up on some weddingness, however I must first tell you about dinner last night. ArentYouLucky.

Picture, if you will, a pork roast in the slow cooker, crisp, roasted asparagus, creamy butternut squash risotto and cornbread with honey-butter brushed on top..............give me a minute..........

Then.....THEN follow that with warm apple crisp made in a cast iron do you feel now?

That's how I felt.

The moment of the night came when Saigon asked me what was in the risotto, and I told him that it was roasted butternut squash...then Chuck said, "Oh, I thought it was peaches"....He'sSoPretty.

I need need NEED to tell you about this wedding deal.
OK, so  had my first official dress consultation this past Saturday and am SO excited!

Colleen from White Orchid Bridal will be making it and it will be a dream...I feel so good about it!

I can't give you details because Chuck reads this....I think he does just to make me feel good, and I tend to give him pop-quizzes on blog content.  Keeps him on his toes.

So wedding booked at Seaside, Fl, registry DONE, dress in the works...what am I forgetting to update you on?
Hmmmmmm...OH! Right the music.

You would think after the "peaches" comment that Chuck made, the night couldn't possibly get any better....right?  Oh, you are in the innermost layer of wrong.

While I was feeding calves yesterday I received a phone call from a Florida area code.
Had it been someone I knew, I wouldn't have answered and just called them back when I was finished.

But I though maybe I had won a prize or was going to be offered a job in a warmer climate...not that I would have taken it I SO would have.

It was a girl from the entertainment company calling about my wedding ceremony music.
I don't normally answer while feeding calves because of the background noise.
Something about the calves bawling, cats meowing, roosters crowing, guineas waking the dead, and a cow that must sound like an elephant can be hard to explain.
So, after telling her that I work in a zoo, she informed me that I need two more songs for the ceremony.

I had already picked the song I will walk down the aisle keep in mind this is acoustic guitar.
I can't tell you what song it is, but it means a lot to me.

I need a song for the mothers, as well as another song.
I told her I would discuss it with Chuck.
She asked if we had camels. 
I said "no" and she sounded sad.
We hung up.

At dinner last night, after telling Saigon about how I very nearly knocked myself out with a wooden fence post at work, I remembered the phone conversation.

Have you ever met Chuck?  Do you know him well?  LetMeJustTellYou.....
On registering: "All I want is a refrigerator".
On invitations: "I like them all".
On wedding location: "I wanna get married on the beach".
On rehearsal dinner: "Is there a Ryans nearby?"
On dark chocolate ice cream that I made:"I can taste the peanut butter".
Ya dig?

What age is it that guys are de-opinioned?  Where is this done?

I told my lovey-love that I needed two more songs and Mr. "It's whatever you wanna do" became Mr. Google-it.

He immediately started searching for songs using the words "worst wedding songs EVER".
He really loves me.

So, while doing dishes DJ Cheezy Chuck followed me around with his phone playing "You've lost that lovin' feelin'", "You give love a bad name", "Tainted love" and my personal fav "Dude looks like a lady".

Personally I am pulling for "Ring of Fire" for the mothers.
Caden plays the trumpet too!!
Now, where to get a little mariachi outfit...

Monday, October 17

The Journey From Calf to Cow

Babies amaze me, they really do.
One second they are a lump you can see when a cow stands facing you and her belly kicks out to one side, the next minute they are two feet followed by a big, slimy body, and then the next they are standing there....

lookin' at you while their mother licks them.
I can't even begin to tell you what that is followed by.....

-Separating them from their mother, really not that painful people.  YOU are sadder than mama is.

-Wrestling with baby, with her head between your legs, trying to get her to drink a bottle.
  -Is it bad that when I am in public and I see a mother try and feed her baby with a bottle, and the baby doesn't close its mouth around the bottle, I have an almost insatiable urge to grab it around the mouth and clamp its mouth onto the bottle to make it drink?  I didn't think so....

-Baby gets the hang of the bottle thing and expects you to show up an hour early every day to feed it.  Because it was hungry, like, yesterday.

-Baby moves into a hutch where she more than likely will try to jump out, get a bucket stuck to her head or get her head stuck in a square of woven wire...I don't think they ever learn how small their head is compared to their body.

-Baby is weaned and turned into a field, where she finds out that she is lightening fast.  Like my early twenties fast.  All of her energy has been confined to a hutch...until now.  Only one problem..just a small one really..the stop.  She will run into a gate, they all do, then she learns that the stop is as important as the go.  But it sure is entertaining to watch. 

-She also must get used to a no-milk diet.  This is not normally a problem.  The only problem is prying her out of the feed trough when she tries to use it as her stage for table dancing. 

-She spends her first year doing WhateverTheHeckSheWants.  Which may, or may not, include running through a fence during a thunder storm on Christmas Eve night, and ending up TWO MILES down the road in a field with an Angus bull, on Christmas day.  That was a LONG day.

-When she is a year old she takes a trip to the dairy barn...oooooooh....aaaaaahhhhhh.  She will spend the net month job-shadowing in preparation for her big move next year.  Oh, and she drinks THE water and winds up 13(months) and pregnant. 

-She is then moved out to the field to spend the next 250-ish days eating for two.

-When she is close to calving, she  joins the veteran close-ups and waits on baby to arrive.

-Her baby is born, and she has a choice.  She can either learn to be a mother, take care of it and make Farm Girl proud.  OR, she can go eat.  The second choice is often the most popular.  I call this "job security".

-After 24 hours, or so, she is taken up to the dairy barn to start her first of many lactations. 

-2 years is the blink of an eye.

Oh, the places you will go baby girl.

Saturday, October 15

Keys to Working on a Farm: Back That Thing UP

I found this yesterday and it concisely describes where I am right now.
Not really.
But how many times do you run across the word "bombdiggity"???
Let me tell you, not many.

Yesterday I found myself at the corner of delirious and tired.
I don't like describing myself as being "on the corner" of let's just say I was at the intersection.
K...sounds good.

I had to take a cow and some baby calves to a farm tour thingy, where a bunch of little kids would care less.
They were at the corner of of AD and HD.
They really truly don't care...unless the cow poops or the calves kick someone. 
Then it's the

The Heat and Mercy went to edumacate the childrens.
Actually Mrs. Heat was doing the edumacating while Mercy served as the bouncer.
Calves can get rowdy...he put one in time-out.

Part of being a farmer is pleasing the people...that's where I seem to fall short..and my mother knows this.
The Heat rescues me from social situations during which there is a chance I could make someone cry.
True story.
So The Heat and Mercy wowed the crowd and I entertained my admirers.

You see my fan-base is anyone from the age of  0-6  and anyone over 60.
The 6 and younger love that I "play" with animals, especially cats, ALLLLLL day and step in poop.
The 60 and up seem to relate to what I do.
The ones between 6 and 60?  I tend to make them cry.
Inadvertently...for the most part.

Yesterday was all about the mature audience where a very important skill came into play.
This skill will get you surprisingly far and is considered a "life skill" when it comes to working on a farm.
What is this skill, you ask?
You gotta be able to back that thing up.

Not like in a club to Luda.
No, back a trailer, tractor, wagon, bobcat, truck or even lawn mower.
You back it up and you back it up good...ya hear?

This skill is not is earned.
It's developed, molded through years and YEARS of doing it wrong and getting yelled at by Bossman.

What will 14 years of practice get you? 8 Years of therapy.
The ability to parallel park a 24 foot cattle trailer and the admiration of the 60 and up crowd.
And a little something called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

I can back anything up anywhere you want it...just don't try to help or I will back over you.

So the more seasoned gentlemen stand and watch, wearing their khaki pants and starched plaid shirt with their brand new "FARM TOUR!!!" t-shirts over it coming down to their knees.
They smile and say things like "Gal, I knew you could do it", and "That's one hard working farm girl"...and by then you know you've made it.

You won them over.
Hey, they might even take you to Shoneys;).

Thursday, October 13

My Perfect Person

You probably know by now that I am one of those people who has to make sense of everything.
Like, things don't just happen folks, there's a reason.
Sometimes I even wear myself out trying to figure out why something is happening..that's where the crazy part comes into play..

Here lately I have been thinking about my small group of friends and what makes them unique.
It really is a 'small' group because I am entirely too guarded to let lots of people in.
...and that's the you don't have to dissect me.

I like to think the group is small because they are the best of the best.
A stellar group of people whom I can learn from, laugh with and don't judge too harshly when I do pretty things.
...there's some more truth for ya.

So yesterday I decided to dream up the perfect person using attributes I admire about my friends.
I had a lot of extra time, OK? 

My perfect person....

Would be beautiful, like my mom.

Her skin would be as radiant as Malindas.

She would have hair as perfect as my sister Rebeccas.

She would be tall like my cousin Amy.

She would have eyes as bright blue as my sister Ann Taylors.

She would smile like my dad.

She would be athletic like Paige.

She would have a heart as pure as Mercys.

She would care about people like Erin does.

She would always do what she believed in, just like Malinda.

She would tell you EXACTLY what she thought, like Debra.

She would be daring, like Rachael J.

She wouldn't care what people thought, like Julie.

Like Jen, she would only expect the best from herself.

My cousin Amy is so quick and witty, she would be just like that.

She would be committed like Mandi.

Like Matt, she would never know a stranger.

Saigon makes good decisions, and so would she.

She would be fluent in Kristy C's sarcasm.

She would see beauty in everyone, like Kristy A.

Like Gayle, she would always be there to help.

My perfect person would put her family before all else, and be able to see the forest for the trees...just like Chuck.

Maybe my list of friends appears small, however it is overwhelming when you look at the depth of character.
I appreciate each and every single one of them for who they are.

She would be Blessed, like me.


Tuesday, October 11

Hypothetically Speaking..


These are the two I had waiting for me when I got to work yesterday morning.
A first time mama and her baby girl.
Very cool.

There are so many questions I have stemming from situations that may, or may not have happened last week. 

I'm going to share whether you like it or not the highlights, but you have to remember these situations are all hypothetical...and the people are not real..

1.  I don't like calling my food 'white trash' or 'dog food'.
Maybe I am making white chocolate-covered trail mix...but I aint callin' it "white trash".  I don't even understand that.  It's doesn't sound like something I would willingly be a part of. 
And "dog food"?  Wha?  I buy my dogs food and I have never once wanted to eat it.  True story.
If someone comes up to you with a baggie and says "hey here's some dog food" do you;
A.  Eat it, no questions asked?
B.  Wonder how they know you have a dog?
C.  Look confused but not want to risk sounding stupid, so you put it in your purse and forget it until the bag rips 3 weeks later when you're digging for a pen you suddenly have it jammed under your nails?  
Not that it happened..

2.  You know when something, say a calf, bloats and they have that balloon of trapped air inside them?
Have you ever though about how that air smells?  Probably not, right?  I mean I sure haven't wasted sleep wondering what a skunk would smell like if it was dead for 6 days and ate a dead skunk before it died.
Now I don't have to...
Cuz that's gross...right?

3.  It took me all of an hour to register for our that bad?  I did it ALL online...should I have?
Did I miss something?  People consider this act "fun"...did I miss the balloons?  I will admit I when I informed Chuck I said, "Hey guess what?  At 6:30 this morning we were registered for 7:30 we have 86 items on our list!"  and then I might have given it a loud and proud "BOOOM-shaka-laka!" 
 Might have...
But that's normal...right?

4.  Are Mercy and I even reading the same series?  We sure aren't on the same chapter, or in the same book.  Did I miss the part where he never learned the idea behind a manual transmission?  Are people not born with that knowledge?  Should I have started in the classroom before he killed the truck SIXTEEN times in a row before asking me to take it back to the barn and then saying.."OK, so what is the difference between 1,2,3 and 4?"  Did he even know what we were doing?

Am I even writing this?  And for goodness sakes, what day is it?

Sunday, October 9

LilyCat Makes a Friend

Once upon a dairy farm there lived a little kitten named Lily.
Lily was one of three in her immediate family.  She had a brother named Tito and a sister named Vana.

Tito, Lily and Vana were born and raised at the calf barn among many other cats, where Farm Girl and Tractor Guy watched over them.

They were all three very lucky to have a great mama to take care of them and raise them just the same, never picking favorites.
Tito and Vana seemed to have a lot of the same characteristics, however Lily was a bit different.
She was always doing what she wanted to do, not what everyone else wanted.

When everyone else was fighting over their place at the milk bowl, Lily was taking advantage of her small size and sneaking in unnoticed.

She was a character, that Lily.

She didn't mind being different, except when it came time to play.
While the other kittens rolled and nipped, Lily sat and watched.

She wanted to play, but she just didn't quite fit in.
Therefore, she spent most of her free time either watching the others or napping with her sister.

One afternoon, after all of the cats had eaten dinner, Lily was restless.
Typical after dinner activities were bathing and napping.  Lily wanted to play.
None of the others were interested so she decided to wander out to see what Farm Girl was doing.

Lily's mother had warned her about the calves ever since she was big enough to walk.
Mama had told Lily that, although the calves mean no harm, they are so big they could possibly hurt her.

Never one to disobey her mama, Lily kept her warning in mind while venturing to the gravel where Farm Girl was feeding calves.

The calves were everywhere, and they each had their own house.
One characteristic that made Lily unique was that she accepted all others, no matter what size or color.
She was a friendly kitty, unlike many of the others.

One calf that caught her eye was a bull named Trey.
Lily immediately walked up to Treys hutch and introduced herself.

They exchanged smells and quickly became friends!

Who would have thought a kitten and a calf?

Lily got her mamas approval and visited Trey each day to play.

Lily would bat her paws at him, and in return he would give her a mohawk...

Unlikely friends indeed.

She would tell Trey all there was to know about being a kitten...

......and instead of disliking each other because they weren't the same, they learned acceptance...

...because all it takes is an open mind and an open heart to be a friend.

Friday, October 7

The Hunted

I started yesterday out being the hunter....little did I know I would end up the hunted.

For the past couple of mornings I have waited until daylight-thirty to take a walk back through the field to check on my far-off dry cows.
When I say far-off I mean faaaarrrr off.
However, I believe I have mentioned this before.

I don't normally check them first thing in the morning but we have been having some domestic dog issues lately.
Those "issues" have involved someones dog...not some WILD dog..this is someones Fido, Spot...or Tulip, and their taste for MY baby calves.

These "pets" are allowed to run free because their owners more than likely think they have the right since they live in the "country".

That'll be fine, because I have the right to take my gun with me when I check on my cows and their babies.
And you can tell them I said that.

Now, I realize I do not have my two dogs on leashes but I'm not real worried because one is blind and the other would be easy to catch, seeing as she stops every half second to scratch.

Anywho, I went out early, didn't see much then came back to do my work.

........But I was being watched....

Have you ever had that 'someone's behind you' feeling?
OK, now have you ever had that 'there's a cowTHIScloseTOyourEar' feeling?
Hello 2,000 pounds of SCARY.

I had my high group locked up because I had a few in it to breed.
When I had given them some time to rouse and head to eat, I walked down the aisle looking for the lucky ladies, and I noticed they were still in bed.
Ugh. Such kids.

I climbed in the group to get them up, because I am Ingrid the Impatient, and as I was walking around the freestalls I felt a...presence...

I glanced over my left shoulder..nothing..
I glanced over my right shoulder....
BOOOM 8474!
In yo face!

OK, so 8474 has always been all about some Rachael.
If I am ever just randomly standing around the cows, she comes and stands beside me..but like 3 feet away.
You know, we're close but not thisclose.

She had that look in her eye too....uh-oh....
That moonlight stroll to an old castle for a candlelight dinner look.

Psssssshhhhhhh! Hello! I wasn't born yesterday people.
I am one of FIVE, I know the dealy-o for realy-o.

She was in heat.  No biggie.  It's actually a good thing...unless she decides to choose YOU as her someone special.
I know, I know I am devastatingly attractive in my manure-splattered blue jeans withAholeINtheBUTT.
But we are not compatible.
Sorry Charlie.
PLUS I'm taken! Hello!

I was not finished getting my lazy girls up so I continued on...and 8474 continuedonthiscose.
It was like a bad dream....

I have had cows follow me before, but really not like this.

Every time I stopped she stopped and licked my jeans....

I finally made it out of the group using my super-sneaky evasion techniques, and gave her the 'HA! You can't fit through the gate' look.

She told me she would wait forever...

I immediately walked into the office and forgot everything that had just happened.
For real.  Everything.
I must have because I got my things ready and headed back into that same group to breed one of my cows.
Never thinking twice.
Nice, Rachael.

Apparently unaware, I entered the group on the lower end and started to breed my cow and in literally the blink of an eye 8474 was rightthere behind me.
I was scurrrrrrrd.

One arm in, and one hand guiding the rod, I tried to shoooo 8474 away.

Now, the "smart" Rachael should have just stopped and tried again later, but the Rachael we all know and love, ahem, was NOT about to waste a straw of $18 semen.
Ummmmm heck no.
Besides I wasn't even through the cervix yet...distracted.

I took turns with my right hand guiding the rod and pushing her head away, and just as I made it through the cervix it happened......

8474's right "knee" was on my right shoulder and suddenly 1500 lbs of cow wanted to chicken-fight and I had to be the one in the water.
No thanks.

So I did what any other tough-as-nails farmer would do...
I yelped....and ran.....

I mean, we're not in the same place right now anyway....