Sunday, December 30

What Have I Done?

I am guilty of speeding occasionally.
Road rage creeps up on me at times.
I haven't always tithed at Church.
..and sometimes I say bad words.

Yet somehow, someway, I have managed to become so amazingly blessed that it is making me feel like I am living in some fantasy world.   Having said this I may wake up, but until I do I am going to be thankful for every second.

This is my second weekend in a row that I have had totally off.  Like, totally.
Not to mention I had 4 days off last week.  Ok, now I'm just bragging.
But for real, I'm also typing this on my new iPad...whaaaaat????
Yeah, totally bragging.

In truth I catch myself wandering occasionally around the house, like I'm not real sure what to do.  I clean a lot.  I gym longer than I used to.  I lay on the movie chair with my honey in the man cave and watch movies.
Is this a dream...or my new reality?
Maybe I shouldn't question, maybe I should just go with it.
Yeah, I'll just go with it;).

I love it.
I took Caden to school one day..the first time eva..and it was nice!
In all honesty, in hopes of making some sort of impact we listened to "Jesus music" the whole way there.  I prefer Christian rock  99% of the time thankyouverymuch, and maybe he kinda liked it instead of knowing every word to every Ludacris song out there.  No offense Luda, but you're not meant for 11 year olds.

I am learning so much in the small animal world, and getting my cattle fix in the form of 80-100 cows at a time....and that's just fine with me:).

I also learned last week about how condescending and rude people can be for no apparent reason.
Coincidentally it was simultaneously learned with the why-I'm-not-secretary-material lesson.
I need to become softer maybe, so things just roll off.  I'll work on that.

Until then I have a quiche in the oven and Church with my 2 best guys on the horizon.
I'm just breathing it all a new gift every day:).

Love and  new ipad struggles,

Tuesday, December 25

Christmas Day

Christmas on the farm, might just look like any other day.

The cows, they are milking,

The calves are at play.

But if you look closely, you might notice a change.

The animals act differently,

Some may even call it "strange".

The cows, calves, cats, Peacocks even!

They know it's almost time,

They know it's the season.

For when they were born, their mothers taught them well.

They heard of the Angel, the Kings and the star.

Their mothers told them about the baby born, Immanuel.

At first they are shocked, it's unbelievable to hear!

The King of Kings was born in a stable,

Much like right here?

The babies keep the story locked up tight in their heart.

Always remembering,

Never skipping a part.

They will teach it to their babies one day.

A story from their hearts,

One that is sure to light their way.

It is important to remember that Silent Night long ago.

To remember that of all the palaces,

A simple barn is where they would go.

To this day, on that very same night,

The animals all gather, look to the star,

And kneel under it's light.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21

I Carried a Watermelon

Like, all week.

First of all, for anyone who is not familiar with a certain Dancin' Dirt-ay movie, here ya go...
I carried a watermelon
Click^ and learn.

Did you wince a little when you saw that?
Oh the embarrassment!
I always wince a little, like really?  A watermelon?  Dork-tastic.

I carried a watermelon this week, pretty much every day.
Anytime I was in "small animal world" at the clinic I was trudging along with that great big thing.

I would be standing, oh, anywhere really, and someone would walk in the door, catch my eye and say something CRAZY like:
"I'm dropping off my dog"
"I need a new heart worm pill"
"How much does a rabies shot cost?"

And there I'd be...."Uh...I carried a watermelon....".

Then I would run and ask someone what to do.  Problem solved.

My only saving grace were the large animal days, or the random "hey can you go pull a calf?" call.
Couldn't. leave. fast. enough.

Or, when someone would would walk in with a calf question and suddenly I was struck with diarrhea of the mouth...which, by the way, is what happens if you eat too much watermelon.  Only not the mouth.
Just so ya know.

There's been a lot of crazy, a little normal, and a new world of learning, but I have enjoyed it so far.
I love the people I work with, and laugh more each day than anything...other than gagging.
I can handle cow smells, horse smells, heck even pig smells..but there are some dog and cat smells that are just off.the.charts nas-tay.

I actually got into a man named "Coyote"'s truck today and gave his wildabeastofadog a shot...and made it out alive with ten fingers.
That's a win.

Then, at the end of the day I had to answer phones for a short stint, which involved a lot of unintentional hang-ups, in betwixt the intentional ones of course, and trying to manage payments while holding a watermelon.
People just wanted to give me money, and I will be danged if I didn't know what to do with it.

Oh, and I learned that I can handle a 300 lb calf all by myself, but I need 2 people to help me hold a chihuahua.
Go figure.

I guess this would sum up my week....

happier than a squirrel with a nut!


Sunday, December 16

The Goings On

I left the dairy: old news.
I started working at an equine hospital: old news.
I left the equine-only world and started working for my veterinarian, Dr. Kirksy: new news!

Yes, that's is where I am I have been this past week and hope to remain:).

I kicked off the week by breeding 75 beef cows, and during the course of the week I assisted his equine vet, IV'd some cows, pulled a rowdy calf, and ended up working 150 steers by myself on Friday.
(That took me about 6 hours...and it was awesome:).)

I feel like I have found my spot, all nestled in between the cows and Dr. K's need for a little help. 

It was during the haul home Friday evening, after working at the stockyard, that I really felt like I had carved out my spot.  I was talking to Dr. K and at the end of the conversation I asked what he needed me to do on Saturday, and his response was this; "Nothing.  If you haven't ever felt appreciated I can tell you right now that you are.  Have a good weekend and we will hit it hard on Monday". 
The truth is I hadn't and until then didn't realize how much I needed to hear that. 

Yesterday I was able to wake up, do a little baking, take Caden to basketball (during which I went to a "parents meeting"!!!!!!), and play with my dogs some.  Can I tell you how cool that was???
Loved it.  Loved sitting in the bleachers watching him play, beside Saigon, and telling people #4 was my stepson.  Loved it.  Rejoice in the small pleasures, always.

I have been overwhelmed with blessings this past week.  My heart swells with appreciation for them and at the same time breaks for those lives in Connecticut.
My very dear friend Jen, made a good point and said, "I have never heard of a farm kid losing it".  While this statement isn't a researched fact, I believe there to be a lot of truth in it.  I think, being a farm kid, there is a lot of truth in the danger of "idle hands", but that's just me.  We will never know why, and really if we did it wouldn't make us any safer.
Malinda said, "Something has got to change" and she is so right.

Jeremiah 31:15
"A sound is heard in Ramah, a sound of crying in bitter grief.
It is the sound of Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because her children are gone."

Though it's easy to think He doesn't always care, God weeps too.

My stepson is 11 and my nephew is a (almost) a rowdy 2, and they absolutely hung the moon as far as I am concerned.  
I believe in God and His love, and that's enough.  It has to be.

A hug, a squeeze and whole lotta love,

Sunday, December 9

I'm Not Tired


Between you, me and the internets I have been on vacation the last week.
ACTually, I do more on vacation.  After working the five day stretch and experiencing the weekend all I can say is...what?
What is all the complaining about? What? What? What?

OK, I'm done complaining.  Sorry.
I should take everyone's advice and just reeelaxxx.  ButICan't!  I have to do something
I held a dog, a couple of sheep legs and some horses this week...and the cleaning.  Don't even get me started.  But hey, it's a pretty cool place.  I saw a surgery like thisclose up before I cleaned the room.  It was a horse with a fracture and, hold for trivia time, did you know that the riskiest part of knocking a horse out is not the anesthesia, nor the surgery itself, rather the waking up part?  Holy padded room Batman.  That's a very scary time. 

I will say this, it is the off-season as far as horses go, and there just really isn't much going on.  This is great for someone, like moi, who needs to learn how to properly put a catheter in before the ICU gets slammed and allofthesudden there are 6 colic cases that come in and I'm over here all like "well let's just tie its head to its leg and get this dance over with"...yeah cuz that's what you do with cows.  Not horses Rachael.
Horses are different.
Horses are more fragile than cows, Rachael.
Well, I can tell you about a horse who is about as fragile as a Water Buffalo, thank ya.

Which brings me to tomorrow...I received a call from my friend Dr. Kirksy on Friday, and he asked me to help breed 150 beef cows on Monday.  Hallelujah Chorus, Angels, twinkling lights....
Home.  That's home for me.
I called the head technician and asked if they would have a problem with me doing that tomorrow and they said not at all.  So...heck yesssss!
Give me cows, give me smelly, ornery cows any day.

I had an experience this morning that pretty well says it all.  I walked into Church right at the beginning of praise time and realized that I hadn't breathed out deeply all week.
Fish out of water?  Yeah.
Different everything? Oh yeah.
I stood there, singing quietly, and wrung my hands the entire time.  Couldn't stop.
Slowly as worship continued, I could feel myself letting go and sending all of the anxiety and tension somewhere it could be dealt with better than I could ever deal with it.  I was thinking a million things from my new job, to praying for my old one, and left service this morning feeling like all of the pieces had been put back together.  Awesome. Powerfully awesome.

So what now?  Well tomorrow I go breed cows for Dr. Kirksy and Tuesday I go back to my new job.  I am grateful for my new opportunity but I know this isn't over;).

Thank you to everyone who has sent me messages and prayers.  You are more than I could dream of.


P.s. This is Rowdy, the blind wonder, I know I haven't shared her post-incident picture here before:).

Sunday, December 2

Closing Time

What a strange December so far, huh?
It was 65 degrees out here yesterday and the bugs they are confused.  I saw a few yellow jackets stumbling around and sighed the "you're-gonna-die" sigh.  Strange indeed.

So today is my last day as herdswoman here and it's a heartache and a half.  I told Mercy yesterday that I just feel like I was put on this earth to take care of these cows, because they can't take care of themselves.  Maybe my purpose is taking care of things...not so much people things.  Animal things, yes that's where it's at.

I took Rowdy the Great and Kirra the Sweet home with me yesterday, and this morning I have missed them terribly.  They are happy though, and I was able to sit on their big, fluffy beds with them before they went to sleep last night.

The vibe around here is sort of the "oh well" kind.  It's funny how some people can be so easily-effortlessly-replaced.  Oh well.  It's like Eddie told me before I left to get married, and I was freaking out about leaving(you remember), "the circus still goes on, even if one monkey drops out of the act".
He's writing a book now called, "Eddie's Words of Wisdom" and I probably will wait until the $1.99 downloadable version comes out before I think about buying it.  Thanks bud.

Gus has been sold, there really is a sucker born every day, heh JUST  KIDDING!  We did sell him, buuut the purchasers know the good/bad/ugly details about the fella.  They have lots of time to spend working with him, and getting him over his...quirks, so that's a plus! My back hurts......

This whole, sad ordeal is kind of like my back pain.  As long as I don't think about it I can take off running after a cow and be fine...for 20 seconds.  As soon as I stop for a minute it hurts.  That's where I am right now.

From where I started to where I am now has been a journey and a half.  This is not a job, it's a life.  Anyone who says otherwise isn't doing it very well.  I started with a herd that had few records, the cows were disorganized, the equipment old and rigged-up and employees habits were horrible.  I have made an about-face and can leave knowing I have given everything I have, sometimes more, to this dairy and these cows.  I am proud of me, and maybe I can be happy knowing I finished strong.  We shall see.

Tomorrow means a new day and a new job.
I just need to get through this day.

.....every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.


Wednesday, November 28

No Bull

Soooooo...what's up?
Let me just go ahead and tell you that there is a lot going on in the world of me.  Like a lot a lot.
I have to buy exactly half of the grocery store after work today, a quarter of the liquor store, make lasagna, bake a cheesecake, make a chocolate cake, jalapeno poppers annnnnd fire Witty comebacks at my husband while NOT getting covered in any of the above.
So much, so much.

I seem to have fallen, gracefully I think, into some catering gigs as of late and let me just say, I'm diggin it like MC dug some gold Hammer pants back in the day.
OK, so maybe with a tad less enthusiasm.

NOT to mention, Sunday, like a few days from now, is my last day on the farm.   Major tears are waiting in the wings for this.
But I gots to do what I gots to do, right?
There's this thing about me leaving the farm...actually it's a they and they come with the package. (That's me, I'm the package FYI).
My doggies!  Kirra(aka "Peepers" aka "Peepy-peeperstein" aka "Peepy-peeperson") and Rowdy(aka "Roozie" aka "Roozer-my-dozer" aka "The blind wonder dog") (don't you already feel sorry for our kids?).
Anyway, so my girls are coming to live with Charles and I at our estate, where they will eat caviar and drink filtered water....heh.  I kid.
But they will have a brand new fenced in back yard(if the fence people come) and a big soft bed(fingers crossed for in the house...I could use your support here) somewhere!  Woot!
They really are sweet girls and they will be happier at our house.  Kirra won't eat nearly as many grains, as we don't generally have corn kernels scattered on the floor, and Rowdy might not run into nearly as much.  Win.  All around.

What will I do?  As much as I would love to read food blogs, bake, cook, clean the house, and NOT fold laundry, I gots bills to pay.  Ugh.
Starting Monday I will have a position as a large animal veterinary technician at a local(and very renowned) large and small animal practice.
I have a list of duties, the majority of them dealing with horses...I'll give you a minute....
Ready?  (My back hurts by.the.way..)
OK, assisting with large animal and small animal procedures, preforming procedures, analysis, riding with vets and assisting them, ICU work, etc, etc, etc.

It's a lot like what I have been doing...only not at all...and with horses not cows.
But, eh.  There's a lot to be said for someone who knows their way around large animals, and has common sense.  (Both qualities are severely lacking in our society justsoyouknow).
So that's what I will be doing.  The end.

Oh, and this whole cooking, baking, catering thing is very much a part of my future I hope:).
We will see.

Will I still have this blog...uh..does my husband have Christmas decor from the 80's?
Heck yes!

I hope that's OK, I know it is such a huge part of everyone's day....chirp chirp...

Oh, and before I go do something extremely important, I want to share this video with you.
I took it yesterday, while sitting in the truck refusing to get out'll see.

We(Teddie) were loading up a heifer who had calved early out in the heifer fields...they aren't supposed to do that there.  So, Daddio here was not too happy about us invading his space.
Before I started the video, I was backing the trailer to the barn to load the heifer and the bull was standing behind the trailer head-butting it.
They have really hard heads.

*Disclaimer...NO bulls were harmed during the taking of this video.  The only weapons present were the window roll-up button and my squeal...and that's no bull!


Saturday, November 24

Our Love Language

Hiya!  Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving? 
Eat lots of good homemade grub?
Wash it down with gravy?
Have a piece of pie?
Well, that's what you're supposed to do anyway.

Me?  I worked.  Actually I gave Eddie the day off, since his family lives an hour away, and took on his feeding as well as my own.  Buttttttt, I still baked up a storm!
You bet your boot straps I did!
Cakes, cupcakes, pies, cookies, yeast rolls and the random mashed potato...I brought joy..and calories.
That's what New Years resolutions are for, no?

Chuck and I have a day after Thanksgiving tradition of putting up the Christmas tree.  I LOVE this!
I had to work yesterday(please try to hide the shock), so he went ahead and drug Christmas out from under the house before I got home. 
Now, please keep in mind that he was single (and ready to mingle) for a long time before we met, so he has a lot that cause me to sigh deeply.
Let us take a moment to remember the safari bedroom decor that was tragically lost in the move....
A number of ceramic giraffes and lions lost their lives.

Moving on.

So, yesterday I got home from work and he met me at the door.
When Charles meets me at the door it's either:
A. Because he knows I have had a rough day and he is the best.husband.ever.  OR,
B.  He is taking mental pictures of my reaction.

Yesterday he was in camera-mode as I got out of my truck and approached the porch.
Christmas had arrived.

Three-foot Santa greeted me at the door, as well as a stuffed Frosty the Snowman.
Upon entering the house I noticed he had indeed decorated it as well.
Now, when my honey decorates he takes everything out of the boxes and puts it somewhere.
I mean everything.

He lead me into the dining room, where he had put up a tree(it was really pretty) and set the table with some 1991 felt-with-stars-cut-out place mats, and lime green napkins.

Then I saw the fireplace where he had hug the stockings(with care) and piled pillows and yet another stuffed snowman on the floor in front.
Personally I would have put the pillows on the couch, but I think he was going for some sort of ambiance.

He needed me for years.

After tweaking a few things, and realizing that our apartment decorations are only enough to fill the living room of our home, this is what we came up with... far anyway.

The longer we are together the more I am beginning to realize we have a certain "love language" that only we know.
I am sure that is the same for anyone with a significant other.
For example, I know that when he says, I got you something, it really means he found something from the year I was born that he wore..OR he has red felt place mats.

One of my favorite ways to open up conversation with him is by saying, so I did this thing... and then watching his reaction when I tell him about making a duct-tape mask for a cow, or opening my own business.

He says, I'm going to bring sexy back, which means he wants to grow a mustache, at which time there is no hope for sexy to live much less come back, and I need to start packing as well.

I say, Soooooo I have been thinking, by which I mean to say, "there's something you said 3 months ago that I have not forgotten and I'm going to probably make you feel bad about it, but at the same time ask for something which will cause you to agree to whatever it is that I want in hopes that I will forget what you said"...or something like that.
I remember lots of stuff...except taking my keys out of my truck before I lock it and close the door.
Funny how that happens.

I think we can all agree that Chuck and I are pretty much perfect for each other...and the red felt place mats are just proof that he couldn't have gone another year without me.
Now, if only our new home didn't make our Christmas trees look like those in munchkin-land we would be all set....


Saturday, November 17

What's Been Going On

I have been holding out on you, and for that I am sorry.
Lately there have been a lot of things going on and I haven't felt like I could really talk about them until now.  So, if you're up to it, here it is...
About 2 months(maybe 3) ago I made a decision, and as a result of that decision I cried for 2 weeks straight.  No lie. Sobbing.
I decided that I was going to dust off my resume, beef it up a bit, and start looking for a new job. Maybe this wouldn't be something you would cry about, but you are not me and you should be glad for that.  I cried because it was as if my best friend, a part of the center of my universe, had moved away and I was saying goodbye.  It still pulls so relentlessly at my heart, even thinking about it. 
So why leave if it's so hard?
Good question.  I don't want to, but I have to.  I'm not being asked to, haven't been fired...but I was told to "quit" on a couple of occasions after questioning some decisions.  That's me.  I tend to question things.  If you don't like being questioned by an educated woman then you don't deserve me or my hard work and dedication.  Truth.
Why this is so hard...
Imagine the roots running underneath this entire farm, grass roots, crop roots, tree roots, now imagine them with blood running through them.  That's where I am.  That is my blood.  That is what this place means to me.  These cows are my me.  Only in reality they aren't.  I have poured everything into the last five years here and have no real ownership...other than what my imagination allows.  So I don't own the cows, big deal right?  When you realize that you are progressing backward instead of forward, it is a big deal.  When it is brought to your attention that all of the cows could be sold out from under you all at once, it is a big deal.  The overall lack of 'say-so' is the most unfair deal of all. 
So why do you want to stay?
Because of the dark, starry sky in the morning.  Because sometimes the barn cats meet me in the road, and my blind dog runs into the back of my leg out of excitement for the day.  Because of the tremendous racket that 40 hungry calves make before I feed them, and the dead silence of full bellies after.  Because of the tangible difference I can make every day, if I am allowed.  Because I care more than anyone has ever cared.  Because you can make a good herdswoman, but great herdswomen are born that way. Because I learn every day.  Because of the cows.
Then..why are you leaving again???
I know, all of the things I have said are making you question my decision, just like I do every single day.  I am leaving because things have changed here.  I am 29 years old and just cannot continue to work 7 days a week, 12 hours a day and still barely pay my bills.  That's the truth of the matter.  I don't have the luxury of paid days off...or a paid day off.  There is a lot I would like to do with this new family of mine, and most of the time I just can't because I am so tired at the end of the day.  Just as much as it is not about the money, it is.  I don't measure my worth by the number on my paycheck...but someone does.  An alarming realization indeed.  I am not leaving to prove some sort of point, I am leaving because deep down I know that if I stay things will be the same.  Working for family is not for the faint of heart.

I was actually scared to come right out and say this.  Probably more-so scared of disappointing people who might think I am just giving up.  I tend to worry about disappointing people even when the result makes things harder for me.  I have done an abundant amount of praying and talking to God and last weekend he spoke back.  Maybe things will be OK.  I sure hope so, because this is scary for me. 

When I can muster the courage I will convey to you my career destination-which is still with large animals-but for now I am asking for kindness and understanding during this difficult time. 


Sunday, November 11

I'm Proud of You

Some of us don't need constant reminders that we are doing a good job.
We thrive and often soar far above expectations by receiving just the opposite form of encouragement.
Maybe we are just wired differently.
It could be some form of sickness, like being a glutton for punishment. 
Perhaps it could be that we enjoy the challenge far more than the reward.
Maybe the reward is a let-down.

Maybe we work so hard for so long and lose sight of the goal we had originally set out to attain.
We could get lost in the process, eventually losing ourselves in the confusion.
We could lose our way, until we hear those 4 words that make a world of difference.
I'm proud of you.

Walking alone, except maybe for a furry sidekick, we lose ourselves in our worry.
We are in deep internal discussion when suddenly a voice, as soft as the light breeze blowing through the thin fall air, slips into our thoughts-invades them like a whisper-and says, I'm proud of you.

The discussion stops. What?
The thoughts cease, as you are overcome with emotion from something so unexpected that you know it's origin was neither earthly or unplanned.
Right there, on the dirt road less traveled, you hit your knees.
I'm proud of you.

Something breaks inside of you.
The wall holding your breath in finally lets go and you breathe out so hard that it hurts.
I'm proud of you.
That's all.

You're not that different, and there's nothing wrong with you.
Maybe you need to stop trying to take care of everyone else and take care of you.
You realize that life is meant to be lived to hear those simple words, when you need them the most.
I'm proud of you.


Friday, November 9

Mexican a JIFFY!!

OK, it's stew season right-o?
You know, it's getting dark earlier, a bit nippy and the only thing you want at the end of the day is something to warm the soul.  Ahhh yes...Fall.

I have made chili, beef barley and butternut squash stew, and a hearty chicken stew in the past few weeks.  We are slow cooker people.  Actually, we are make-the-house-smell-good slow cooker people. 

I just love it.  Especially if I can throw everything in, come home, maybe add some finishing touches, then voila!  Dinner.

You know what really completes a meal?  The bread.  Duh.  Yeast rolls or cornbread.  It doesn't matter, just make it.  I happen to have an awesome recipe for Mexican cornbread that you should totally try.  It's pretty much fool-proof because you use Jiffy corn muffin mix, which costs like 28 cents a box...OK maybe more like 50 cents.  Oh, and guys, really I saw them make the mix on the Food Network and it's safe.  Mark Summers said so.

To make this recipe work so that you don't have like, half a can of corn left, I made enough for 24 muffins, which causes you to use 3 boxes of Jiffy.

What are we at, like $1.50 here?
You got this.

The Jiffy itself calls for  milk and an egg to be added to the do that. (I use buttermilk, because I think it makes a more moist muffin...ha!  Say that 3 times fast!  moremoistmuffin moremoistmuffin moremoistmuffin..I'll stop.)

To Mexican-fy it I added a can of whole kernel corn, a can of chopped green chiles, 1/2 teaspoon of Chipotle powder(you can use chili powder or cayenne) and about 2 cups of cheddar.
Cheddar makes it beddar.

Mix it all in a big bowl, let it sit for a second, mix it again then fill the muffin tins!

3 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 (14 oz) can whole kernel corn drained
1 (7 oz) can chopped green chiles(often found near the salsa)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground Chipotle chile powder(or less if you don't want the spice)

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, and let it rest for about 5 minutes.  While it's resting make sure you grease 2 (12 cup) muffin tins reeaally well.
Stir the bowl again and fill the cups.  (It's pretty much dead-on 24 muffins.)
Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes, then rotate the pans and cook for 7-8 more minutes or until a  toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs attached.

When the muffins come out I always melt some butter and brush it over the adds a little something I think.


Wednesday, October 31

How Do You Do It?

In the mornings I often have time to quietly reflect on things from the previous day.
Things I have encountered, read or said.  Kind of like when I told Chuck his burp smelled like garbage.  That's to be on my "highlight reel" FYI.

I believe in introspection to the highest degree.  Thus I often feel a sense of guilt for oh, I dunno, the garbage comment for example.  It was funny though, and I'm still laughing.  But for the most part I look back and think of how I handled situations and if I could have done it differently. 

Would the outcome have been different?
Would it have mattered?

The biggest question I ponder is how to live life.  I mean, how do you do it? 
Do you "live every day to it's fullest"?
Are you a "regret nothing" kind of person?
Do you "plan for the future"?
"Dream big, act small"?
Are you a worrier?

I think I am in the middle of the mix.  Somewhere.  What I would really like to know is the answer.  I mean, should I live for today?  Dancing in the rain is fun at the time, but then you have wet socks, your pants are sticking to you're wet.  Yuck.

But you don't want to be that fuddy-duddy who stands by and watches everyone else, then when it's all said and done second-guesses their decision like, maybe I missed out on a life experience!
Then again they are sitting on towels and you're not.  Hmm.

Is it really worth going to bed angry to prove a point?  Should you make up in case there's no tomorrow?  Or, does making up mean giving in?  Hmm.

I'm a fast mover by all counts.  I mean if you're just standing there then you're probably in my way.  I have to make myself STOP collaborate and listen and be in the moment.  The father-in-law-on-the-roof-while-husband-is-facebooking-while-holding-the-ladder kind of moments.  Those don't just happen every day.  (And it's a good thing).

I have to give-in to the urge to dance Gangnam-style in the bathroom while Chuck gets ready.  Not just because I'm AWESOME at it, but because it makes him laugh and that's the best way to start the day.  Am I right?

Is there a wrong way to live?  I think living selfishly is the obvious answer.  Would living for the day be selfish?  I know what is waiting for me after this life, but what about those who don't?

This may be too deep for this hour, but these things are often on my mind.  I guess deep-down I wanna do it right.  Experience everything, but at the same time miss nothing.  That's tough muffin.  

So I guess my question for you is, how do you do it?  Do you take pictures remembering the moments, or are you left sitting on the towel?
Bet you didn't think there would be a quiz:).


P.s. Happy Halloween!!!

Saturday, October 27

The Heart of a Farmer

As of late I have had a lot going on.  From the ladies in my head who won't stop interrupting me, to the ridiculous amount of heifers who have decided to calve atthesametime...there hasn't been much down time. 
WAIT!  I have to break to tell you about this thing that happened yesterday...then we will continue.

So, Tim and I were bringing a fresh heifer up to the dairy barn yesterday morning.  Now 99.999% of the time, which is like more than half, I back up to the barn, swing the gate open and they run into the barn at lightening speed.  (Then they hit the concrete and try to find the brakes).  Yesterday, we backed up to the barn, swung the gate open and she headed off the trailer...made a HARD right, bumped her head into the office door, which swung OPEN...and there she was...deciding whether or not she was going to run into the brains of the operation.  The home of the surveillance system.  The place where the computer, medicine, paperwork and everythingelse reside.  She stood there for 5 hours seconds, as silence fell on the world, my heart slowed, color drained from my face and I felt like I was going to throw up.  If you could imagine watching a train wreck, as it was happening, in slow motion...that would be quite the same I imagine.  Then, she changed her mind and ran back on the trailer.  I had to sit down.  Good grief.

Moving on...

During this past month I have done a lot of soul-searching, had an enormous amount of conversations with God, and overall tried not to worry about the future.  No easy task for anyone, right?  Throughout the talks I had had with Chuck, my sisters, my mom and Dr. Kirksy, one thing has become very clear to think differently.
Like waaaay different from non-farmer folk.  It really is the strangest thing.  Maybe people who didn't grow up on a farm don't see it much, but it's there.  We have this thing...this overwhelming sense of Hope that we are born with.  It's that "I can do anything if I try" mentality.  It's the inner entrepreneur coming out.  Like a silver lining around...everything. 
Sometimes I feel like Pollyanna (yeah, that's old-school) in that I am always trying to find the good.  My initial reaction to bad news is, "OK, now how can we make the best of this?".  Farmers don't give up.  We are born without the "quitter" bone.  I'm proud of that. 
We dream and we try, and if it doesn't work out at least we won't regret never giving it a shot.  That's what being a farmer is.  It's believing in something bigger, something greater, that even if we temporarily fail, in the end we have won.  We are self-made, and nine times out of ten our answer is "maybe" not "no". 
I didn't realize any of this until now.  Until my numerous conversations with people from all different backgrounds.  I have honestly never listened to someones idea and told them they couldn't do it.  Never.  Hey, it might not work.  They might crash and burn, but they tried. 
How many acres of corn have been planted that have gone to dust from lack of rain?  How many times has mother nature thrown a curve ball?  That hasn't kept us from planting or planning ahead. When the road seems to end, we start clearing trees.  We just don't give up.
There's a whole world of possibilities, and you don't have to be a farmer to realize it.  All it takes is having the heart of a farmer.


Thursday, October 18

Lessons From Mom

This past Saturday I left work early, and spent a couple of hours at the fall festival with my mom.  The Heat, you know her and love her.  She's without a doubt "awesome" all rolled up in a petite package.

While we were walking, browsing and chatting she said something that has stuck with me ever since.  She told me she had been talking to the ladies she works with about her kids and how she raised us, and she said, "I never really taught my kids how to do anything.  They picked up cooking, sewing, and any other activities like that on their own".
Say wha?

My mother, The Heat, honestly thinks she didn't teach us how to do anything.
I'm going to let that soak in.

OK, that being said, I' prepared to inform her that she is wrong and deal with the consequences.

My mother did not take me into the kitchen and show me how to make pie crust, cake, toast, frosting or chicken legs. She did not teach me how to perfectly decorate a cookie, or hem a cuff.  The Heat wasn't by my side washing windows, mopping floors or making my bed.  My mother did not fill out my college application, job applications or take my drivers permit test for me. She did not grab me by the hair and drag me out of bed so I would get up on time, she didn't quiz me on the books of the Bible or pressure me into feeling a certain way about the Lord.  My mom didn't teach me how to shoot a basketball, hit a softball or keep from getting a cramp when I'm running.  She wasn't by my side in dance class or dance auditions.  My mother did none of these things.


My mom sewed us little red bags with bears on them.  She made dinner every night, and let us help.  She took us out to eat and showed us how to be polite and quiet.  She made Malinda and I play together, which made us closer than sisters.  My mother always took us to dance class and watched every recital.  She never criticized us if we messed up or laughed at us when we looked ridiculous with our rosy cheeks and lipstick on.  She left us chores to do, because she knew we watched her do them and could repeat the procedure.  She left us lists of things to do because she knew, out of respect, we would do them.  She trusted us to be each others baby sitters, and take each other to school.  She always listened to our ideas and dreams, and never told us we couldn't do it.  She answered the phone when we couldn't figure a recipe out, after we took a hard test, when we thought we got a new job...and when our world seemed to be shattering.  She was the first person we called...for everything.  When she cried, we cried.  When she laughed, we laughed.  As we got older and saw how Church changed her life, we let it change ours. 

She's right.  My mother did not teach us how to do everything...she taught us that we can do anything.

If there is one lesson I have learned from my mom on how to be a good mom, it's the importance of loving and guiding your children. 

My mom will never think she is anything special, but there are at least 5 people who are a living testament otherwise.

I love you mama,

Tuesday, October 16

Nothing Like the Brochure

Have you ever gone on a trip and were thoroughly disappointed because the hotel you stayed in was nothing like the brochure said it would be?
That was totally yesterday.
Good grief.

I don't even know when it started its downhill spiral.
Was it with the machina no worky, first thing?
How about when it was brought to my attention that I put the wrong RSVP phone number on my friend's baby shower invites, that.I.already.mailed.?

Those are "no sweat" right?
The culminating factor was after lunch, when I chased a cow around the field.  No biggie, except for the the fact she had two feet and half a head sticking out of her.
She didn't think she needed to go to the barn, and proceeded to duck-and-dodge all across the field.
Occasionally I would get a hand on one of those slippery feet sticking out and try to dig my heels in, in an effort to slow her down.
That worked about as well as it sounds like it would.

I was left each time with slimy hands, and the dilemma of figuring out how I was going to pick up my water bottle that I tossed aside every time I caught up with her.

One of the more memorable events of the day was when my vet, Dr. K, came out and I stumped him.
I might be a little proud of that.  It's not often a large animal vet sees something new, trust me.
We finished our herd check and I popped the question, "what do you give a sick peacock?".
He fell silent, as if I had initiated a knock-knock joke and he wasn't sure if he was going to take the bait.

Then I showed him the sick peacock and he admitted that he had never even seen a sick peacock before.
FYI a sick peacock is a peacock that stands in one place for 6-8 hours on end.
It's an odd peacock.

I would say the turkey is still standing there considering the plan of action was to give it a 1cc shot
Uhhhh. Yeah.
It probably just needs a vacation.  I needs a vacation.

Speaking of needing a vacation, do you know how to get a kitten out of a baler?

Your initial thought might be to reason with it...sort of a hostage negotiation situation...

When that doesn't work, because we all know cats don't negotiate, you need to be sure that if you're going in you announce it so that you don't alarm the subject...
"Kitten!  Heeere is my hannnnnd!"

As with any rescue mission, positive reinforcement is necessary to keep everyone involved at ease.
A simple thumbs-up might be the ticket.

Finally, making sure not to put your body in harm's way, you dive in and make the rescue.

Cats are so grateful.

I don't even know where we would put a bale of kittens.


Monday, October 15


There once was a rough-looking cat,
Who's coat often looked like a rat.

He had miles of whiskers,
Never smiled for pictures,
And didn't once care where he sat.


One day after the milk he had drunk,
His brothers complained that he smelled like a skunk!

So Felix took note,
And glanced at his coat,
And discovered a bit of the funk.

It took him some time to decide,
Just which look was indeed his best side.

What's the point in a bath?!
Someone please do that math!
Give some reason before I abide!

His mother came to his aide,
Felix, what's all this trouble you've made?

He told her what had been done,
She then rescued her son,
And with her rough tongue she bathed.


 Monday morning cat's a good thing.


Monday, October 8


I try not to worry, try not to think about what could happen.  We live in a small town, not the big city after all.  Occasionally reality strikes and I realize that I have ignored silent calls for attention.  So silent that, unless you were looking for them, they easy go unnoticed.  

Men are the "protectors", especially in your line of work.  Who protects you?  Who erases the mental images from horrible, secret realities?  Who silences the noises from the helpless? 

Then it hits me.  I do.  

I, who so often am lost in my own world, with my own thoughts.  I, who think about the things that have happened to me at the end of the day, not the things you have seen.  Me.  Your love, your someone...your wife.

While it's so easy to ask, "what's wrong?", it's much easier to take the answer at face-value.  It's so easy to think it will get better, it will be OK.  Will it by itself?  Will it if looks don't linger after-the-fact?  Will it if I'm not looking for the clues? 

No, it's not a car chase or a showdown every day.  It's an ugly reality.  It's what happens behind closed doors.  It's what I don't see, but you do.  It's images, words, actions that cannot be erased from your mind.  They can't be taken back.  Nothing undone.

Patches are temporary.  Sewn with weak thread, in hopes of holding until they weaken and eventually tear...again.  Words are so easily used as bandages.  Words that come from mouths and not hearts.  Just to pass the time.

To be with you forever means to be strong.  Strong from the inside out.  Strength in emotions, feelings, thoughts.  Physically strong enough to hold you when you the thread gives way, and with a heart so strong it can handle months, years of ugly reality.  

I cannot make your days easier.  You have been put here, by God, to protect and serve.  It's your purpose, and something as natural to you as breathing.  I can be strong for you though.  So strong that nothing, not anything, can ever come between us.  We are one, and we will go through this life together. 

You and me.


Thursday, October 4


6 pounds of butter, 16 cups of cheddar cheese, 10 pounds of potatoes, 56 ounces of cream cheese, 6 pounds of broccoli, 64 ounces of macaroni noodles, 2 boxes of Ritz crackers, 20 ears of corn, 2 gallons of milk, buttercream galore and ONE broken crock pot=Wednesday.
Whew.  I'm spent.

Was it an early Thanksgiving?  Nope.
It was our neighbor Bill's birthday!!

Ever since we moved into our subdivision and met our dear friend Debra, who also happens to be our realtor:), I have been cooking Wednesday night dinners for her family.
Before you think I have completely lost it, you need to know she pays me.
There.  Better?

See, Debra has a, and she loves sit-down family meals in her home.  No restaurant.
I can't blame her.  More great memories are made from across the dining room table(not in front of the TV), than at Cracker Barrel. I have a part of my heart reserved for CB though, no disrespect. 

When I told Debra about how much I love to cook she asked if I could make a few things for her, thus began our food relationship.  Oh trust me, I have made plenty of things that she didn't like, but luckily the wins outweigh the losses.  Since she has quite a large family, I generally have to start the night before by making deserts and prepping food for the next day.  One oven=a lot of planning.  Even more when your crock pot just doesn't turn on and you have to resort to plan B.  Oh well, things happen.

One the menu for pick-up at 7:10 (an extra ten because of plan B) last night was;
-Mac and cheese (
-Broccoli cheese casserole (with Ritz crackers on top, because THAT is where it's at)
-Green beans
-Mashed potatoes (Tip in a sec)
-Corn on the cob (I have an awesome method for this, I'll tell you in a sec)
-Yeast rolls (duh)
-3-layer chocolate cake (with "Happy Birthday Bill" written on it bya4yearold)
-Cheesecake (Amen)
And banana bread and chicken salad for the week.

OK, so there are a couple of things I really feel like I need to tell you because they are helpful to know....
First, leave the shucks on!! When you are making corn on the cob the BEST way to do it (unless you're grilling it) is to leave it as-is, shucks and all, and throw it straight on the rack in a 350 degree oven.  Rack in the middle of the oven, don't touch it, don't worry for 30 minutes. I actually left my 20 ears in for 40-ish because I had a broccoli and cheese situation happening up top.  After 30 minutes, take it out, put it on a sheet, cover with aluminum foil, then shuck it when it's cool enough to touch.  Voila!!! Perfectly cooked corn, and it's easier to shuck!

Second, make a roux for pete's sake!  Velveeta isn't real.  Sorry to say, it's not.  It's cheese that can be left on a shelf, unrefrigerated, until the apocalypse and stillbegood.  Real?  Um,no.  If you're going to make anything with a cream or cheese sauce it's cheaper(and healthier) to skip the Velveeta and grab some butter and flour and make a roux.  Then add milk and cheese.  Then pour it over any vegetable no one wants and magically the veggies disappear!  You're a hero!

Third, you can make the mashed potatoes ahead of time.  Say wha?!  Yep, you sure can AND they will be good.  You won't resort to potato pancakes, or adding a little milk in them to moisten them up.  Promise, no crossies.  After you boil the taters, mash them(with a hand masher to keep the gluten more intact) and add butter, milk/cream/whatev, and cream cheese.  The cream cheese keeps them moist, so the next day all you have to do is set them out so they thaw a bit, then reheat them.  Why sure you can add a little more butter too:).  They may not be healthy, but if you wanted healthy you would be mashing cauliflower, savvy?

Those are 3 things I have learned that I wanted to pass along, in the event they may help someone in a potato crisis.  You're welcome. 

Disclaimer:  My stepson won't eat most of what I make, something about kids and fast food and smiley potatoes/velveeta shells and cheese/frozen chicken tenders etc,etc,etc.  I do have hopes that one day he will.  He eats the yeast rolls which is a start.  So I am not bashing anyone for what they prepare, just challenging.  I feel accomplished when I make something from scratch, and that feels good.  The end product may not be fluorescent orange, but I know everything that went into it.  If I can do it, anyone can.

Now to restock my fridge with food for my husband, so he doesn't have to resort to rolls and marinara sauce....again.
Still hearin' about that.


Saturday, September 29

Things I've Learned Along the Way

29 is not that old, and to be honest I don't feel old.  I feel like I am just beginning, if that makes sense.  It feels like all of the life I have lived up 'til now, was just preparing me for the life I have before me.  I made me better, more strong...more soft.

I am the poster-gal for "everything happens for a reason", OK not "poster gal" but I think everyone who knows me knows those are the words I live by.  I am not a conclusion-jumper, I am an "OK this happened, now let's see what comes next".  Honestly I wasn't always like that.  I have learned the value of trust and patience, both of which are hard lessons.

Just when I think I have it all figured out, it becomes quite evident that I'm wrong.  Sometimes changes take place in a quiet, suggestive manner, and sometimes they smack you upside the head.  Sometimes it takes a good smack to get me to slow down.  When seemingly "big" changes, or life changes, take place I recite a childhood line in my head, "Please be patient, God isn't finished with me yet".  I have never told anyone that.  Sometimes I wonder if He ever is really "finished"?  If given the open heart and open mind, could we just keep getting better?  I think so. 

Settling is not for me.  I want to be better, stronger, smarter...but sometimes I get lazy and I just want it to be easy.  Why can't it be?  Maybe it could be easier if I would just accept things that come my way and "go with the flow", but I just can't.  I'm not wired that way.  I'm a mover, I try to make things happen..but there's that "patience" thing again.  It sneaks up on me in a way that only something deep, down inside me can.  Something that knows my heart and knows my will, and knows that a slow-down is the best answer. 

If you sit still life has a way of walking all over you.  It does.  I learned rather recently that if I am just "here", not being very assertive, then life goes on.  With me or without me, things run smoothly.  I get very offended when I think about that.  It actually hurts my feelings, because I want to make a difference.  I don't want attention, I don't want recognition, I want to help.  I want to lay in bed at night and be proud of the decisions I made that day and confident that I did something good. 

There are a million things I "should have" done.  Even right now, I should be doing something else.  Something productive, but this is my opportunity.  This might be the only one I get today to clearly state how I feel.  To know how I feel.  I grew up with the intention of going to vet school.  That was supposed to be my path, but I chose a much windier road.  Maybe I should have gone to vet school.  Maybe I should have been something, anything else.  Would I be here now?  Maybe in an office, or on a big comfy chair typing away.  Would I be thinking the same things?  I'd venture not.  All that I have done has lead me to today.  I don't live in the past, I live for my family.  I live for the opportunity to make a better life.  I live for every "oh well" that happens after a new experience doesn't work out.  I will not be ruled by "what if's". 

Lately I have had an unsettling feeling that maybe this isn't my landing spot.  Maybe it's just a chapter, in what I'm convinced will be, a very dramatic book.  There's no way to know.  That's the thing of it, every second is so uncertain.  Trust and have patience, because God is far from being finished.

Love bigger than life,

Thursday, September 27

A Tree Grows in Mandi

Do you ever have so much going on in your head that, though you may not actually get anything tangible done, at the end of the day you.are.exhausted?
Ugh.  Story de mi vida.
If  "vida" means life, that is.

Right now my head is I could stand in the middle of the barn and wear myself out without taking a step.
I think you get my point.  Moving on.

So, um, helloooooo fall!
Hello hoodies (I love them), hello tall (non cow-poopy) boots, hello chapped lips (and washing a gazillion tubes of chapstick) and hello beautiful leaves!
I have already stocked up on pumpkin and made my first batch of dark chocolate chip pumpkin bars.
Be still my heart.

They are one of those recipes that you make, fall in love with, and vow never to make them unless you're giving them away!
There are 4 left and I'm pretty sure Chuck only had one...that means we have a ghost.

I look forward to pumpkin rolls, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin swirled brownies, pumpkin sweet rolls, pumpkin bread...what have I forgotten?
A pumpkin hangover is what I'm talkin' about.

I haven't told you this yet, but I am super excited about throwing a baby shower for my bestie!!
Mandi is due in March, going to have a BOY and her shower is in November!!
I was gonna be all cool and not do much blue, do more of a fall-theme, ya know with hints of blue...then I went to Hobby Lobby and bought e-v-e-r-y-thing that said, "IT'S A BOY!".
I stick to my guns like that.

There is one thing that she will KILL me for telling you must know.
This happened the other day when I met her and our friend Erin out for dinner..just the 3 of us...and the guy who had a staring problem.  Ugh.  There's always one of those.  What's wrong with some girls chatting, giggling, and talking about placenta?
Wait...have you eaten yet?

OK, so there we were talking about having babies.  Two of the three of us have never experienced child labor but that's what happens when you get around a pregnant lady;
1.  You order water (but don't drink after her).
2.  You talk about labor.

I have learned this and seen enough movies and cows giving birth to the point that I feel like I can put my two cents in, OK?

"Strange rituals of birthing" was the topic of the evening. 
We talked about how some mothers eat the placenta, in like a fajita or milkshake or something.
Some mothers give birth in the bathtub or swimming pool, Mandi thought it was cool, then I told her to go watch "The Back-Up Plan" with J-Lo and getbacktome.
Then Erin brought up the fact that there are a few who will keep the afterbirth/placenta and plant it in the yard, signifying new life with a tree in its place.  I looked at Mandi, who was staring at Erin-mouth wiiiide open-and before Erin could finish her sentence I saw it coming.  Mandi, in utter shock, got 2 inches away from Erins face and said(rather loudly), "You mean THAT STUFF GROWS A TREE?!!!".
Bless her heart.
That's why sometimes it takes a village.

I love my friends and the comic-relief they bring to my life.

Have a great day!

P.s. What kind of tree would you be? o_O

Tuesday, September 18

The Holy Spirit Scooched for Me....

Um, hello!
It's been a while, for a number of reasons really...there was the computer crash of 2012 for starters then the CowLady crash soon followed. 

We are both recovering nicely. Toshiba(Toshi for short) is good as new, whereas I am limping along:).
It's I'm told.

I tried to go off the pain meds (the only one I am taking now is Ibuprofen, no more hardcore stuff, because I just cannot operate machinery when I turn into a Mermaid...) but had to come crawling back yesterday.  I went to the gym...tried to be all normal after I did my elliptical warm up successfully..and spent the rest of the day remembering that time in middle school when I had a stomach bug and though I was better, so I ate a HUGE bowl of granola cereal...we all know how that ended.

Things on the farm are pretty normal, it's underwater at the moment and my jeans are soaking wet from the pockets down, but I'm.still.cheerful..

I do need to tell you one thing, that may shock take a seat....
I, Rachaelnonpeopleperson, joined a small group at Church....wait!
...and I'm excited.
There.  Whew!

I have been thinking on it for some time, or at least ever since they mentioned it.
You know how that goes.. hear it, think on it, let it marinate...then pull the trigger.
Nottomention, Sundays sermon was directed at me.
It's OK Pastor Brad, I have come to terms with it.

There I was Sunday, sitting alone, which I happen to enjoy, Chuck asks me every Sunday who I sit with and I always say, "Alone...except for the others, ya know Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  WhoelsedoIneed????".
I mean really.

Then he began to talk, and during his sermon he said to me "Are you the type of person who slides in when Church starts and doesn't make eye contact then finds a seat?".
This was when I slid allllll the way down in my seat and leaned over onto the seat beside me, the Holy Spirit scooched over, and propped up on my elbow.

Then he said to me, "Do you slip out before it's over and don't say anything to anyone?".
Finding myself in the floor at this point, it was fairly easy to slither underneath the seats where I found a penny...formythoughtsI'msure.

Pastor Brad ended with, "If this describes you then you should join a small group!" directed at me.
I got up and limped out.

I really did leave, but it was because my back felt like someone was pushing a screwdriver into my right hip (I wasn't a Mermaid at this time).
BUT, before I left I signed up for a group:).

I love Church because it makes you think, feel and reflect.  I love it because it is relevant to everything that happens every single day. 
I also love it because my pastor has a sense of humor:).

Wish me luck in my small group, or better yet, wish my small group luck with me!!


Tuesday, September 11

Why I'm Not a Rodeo Queen

I'm not a cowgirl.
I have cows and I'm a, but not a bonafide, bronc-ridin-steer-wrasslin cowgirl.
But I have caught up on enough daytime tv to last a lifetime.  Ugh. What a waste.

So, here's the pre-pain killer deal...
Yesterday afternoon Chuck, my love-muffin, decided to come out and work with Gus.  He hasn't had much time lately to come out, and since the weather was glorious it was the perfect day!  Yes!

After working him in the round pen, I hopped on Gus to sort of feel him out.  He can be cranky and hard to handle, but he seemed fine.  No biggie. 

I rode him back over to Chuck and saidddddd, "He's fine, I think he's just curious today"............."I'll just ride him out of the field and into the dry cow lot."
So Gus knows where the gate most horses do.  As soon as I started him up the hill toward the gate he got excited and started to pick up pace.  I was ready for this, so I was in the process of hunkering down a bit and getting a good seat when I realized his nose was to the ground and I was lurching forward...
He's fiiiinnnnneeeee, just curriioousss todayyyyy...I'm so stupid.

Evidently I rode the first buck fine, but the second one got me and flung me off the saddle where I landed on my lower back as if sitting in a chair. 
Aw crap. 

It knocked the breath out of me and I couldn't get up, but I could wiggle my toes.  That's something.
Chuck loaded me into the front of Beenie's car and before we pulled away I, sobbing uncontrollably, looked at Chuck and said, " you tell Tim to feed the calves (sniff sniff)? put Kirra in the office? shut the gate? (sob sob sob)".
Yes I did.  Imma b'ness woman.

After 10 painful x-rays dad determined that there was no break, there could be a fracture but I was so jammed up it was hard to tell.  Well it hurts and I still couldn't walk.  Poop.

Chuck has really never had to take care of me before, but he has done a wonderful job.  From carrying me into the house (I'm heavier than I look), to giving me my medicine and "firefighter dragging" me around the house so I could go to the restroom...he has been there.  He even brought me a bowl of water so I could wash my face and brush my teeth.  He's my guy.

I am now rocking this awesome brace and sending people text messages that make no sense.

Don't act like you don't wanna be me:).
I can almost put my right foot down all the way, and I'm pretty robust so I think I will be back on the tractor by Thursday;).

Definitely not in the rodeo arena!


P.s. Anyone looking for a "spirited" horse???
I can make you a real deal!

Wednesday, September 5


So, because I am impatient, I am writing this via my Blogger app on my phone. This could get crazy is what I'm tryin to say.
Stay with me.

My work (and blog) computer gave out on me yesterday, so I am without it at the moment. Not a big deal except ITHASALLMYCOWSONIT!!!

I don't even know what minute I was Facebook stalking (oh, like you don't??) and the next thing I know, black screen. Uggghhhh.
You know what's next...a trip to the place where you walk in apologizing for the 6 inches of dust on the keyboard, while trying to decipher the strange language they are speaking. (Motherboard? Andwhattheheck is a megabyte anyway?)
Then, for some reason, they don't understand what your "cow program" is, even when you say, "it's like Facebook for bovine"...cuz you're smartlikethat.

They haven't called yet.

I hope you had a glorious Labor day holiday!

Mine was pretty cool.
For the past few months I have been kind of in a rut at work...and by that I mean (the Man's bringing me down!!!) I haven't been as quick to start something new.
I have been doing my work, taking care of my animals, but haven't had a lot of oomph!!
Very contemplative really.

Monday this changed.

I called the vet out to look at a Jersey cow who had gotten down. I couldn't figure out what had happened, especially since she was out in a field. She was 16 days away from calving, so something had to be done.

Dr. Kirksy came out and determined that she had broken her pelvis.
No good.

The only choice I had was to put her down and get the calf out...and pray that I could save it.

It was sad. I won't act like it wasn't.
These are my girls. They are my heart.
It's inexplicable, the feeling of loss followed by hope, followed by amazing grace. But it's still with me.

I came full-circle in a moment, and reaffirmed why I'm here.

This is all the reason I need.


Sunday, September 2

Deep Like a River

I never assume to know what Caden is going to say next.
In a lot of ways he is the typical 11-year old boy; spirited, random and sweaty.

I really don't even assume I know what he is thinking.
He can come up with the strangest questions at times. 
I just let his mind do its thing, and check his homework when he asks.

*A note on the homework:  Um, at some point after Chuck and I met I gave off the impression that I'm smart.  I think there is a big difference between intelligence and being an Olympic-level Google-r.  (I'm the latter...)

We don't have Caden as often as we would like, but when we do I try to...ya know...listen more than speak.
OK, so I'm not perfect and during the UT game Friday night I maybe, mighta, said something along the lines of, "Youdon'thavetocommentonEVERYTHING!".  But really.  He was playing on his iPod and not even looking at the tv, yet all I could hear was...him.
I didn't yell and there wasn't a tear shed!  Victory!

Anyway, what I 'm trying to get at is that Caden and I don't have real lengthy, deep, emotional conversations about anything.  Brownies are as far as we venture.  He's young and pre-teen, I'm old and un-cool.  I get it.
No bigs.

I really think that if he needed to talk to me about something, he would.  He's a thinker.
He may see or hear something that he doesn't understand, and instead of forgetting it, he thinks and reasons out the answer.  Then, a week later, he splurts it back out and we all stand there like, "wha?".

This morning after Church I was on the phone with Chuck and he told me that he had just talked to his mom (Gayle), who Caden had spent yesterday with.  She had told him that Caden said something about me while he was with her.
Leeeeesten to me...I immediately thought aw crap.  It was probably that 'she fussed at me for talking during the football game'.  Lord Rachael, why can't you just keep your thoughts to yourself?

I asked him what was said and he told me that she and Caden had been in deep discussion about the importance of Church and prayer.  They had talked about how you should always talk to God, and be thankful even when you don't get what you want.  Caden told her that he understood that everything happens for a reason, even if you don't know the reason at first.  Gayle used Chuck and his ex's divorce as an example(this is very much a non-issue for everyone involved).  She said that them getting divorced was hard at the time and maybe we don't know the reason, then Caden piped up and said, "I know why.  So that Rachael could have someone to love."

Deep like a river.
I am so blessed and grateful to have such a sweet boy in my life. 

A little love for this Sunday:).


P.s. I think I could live on that forever.

Tuesday, August 28

Redheaded Step Calves

The reds are here!
The reds are here!
OK, just two but me thinks there will be mo.

See that one in the back?  She's black and white and NOTredallover. But she is the little red chick's mama.  Funny how that happens huh?  Must have eaten too many strawberries, or the milkman dropped her off. Orrrr somethin.  Don't even act like your not pickin up on that f-i-e-r-c-e "you're not my mother" body language. 

Zeeees one is the other redheaded gal I had this week.  She is even more hot-tempered than her hair would make you think. I had the distinct pleasure of chasing (read: continuous duck-and-dodge circles) this jewel all around creation this morning, until I caught a back leg.  Hers not mine.  But I think I pulled a hammy.
Anyway, I got the leg and held on for dear life in the field beside the road (story of my life), so that passers-by could watch as the "mean old lady" played wheelbarrow race with the "poor widdle cawf". 
I sweated much.
It was delightful.

We are finally finishing the never-ending silage chopping saga.  (That wasn't at all redundant was it?)
We are allllll over it.  Like...soooooo over it.  Tim and I had a bit of a stinky situation involving outofcontrol manure this morning, and when I called him this afternoon to tell him that the joystick on the front-end loader working..his response was, "That's OK.  I have already given up hope for today". 
He needs a vacation.

OH!OH!OH!  Take a look at my new art that I just purchased from a very talented gal Crystal of Grabers Graphics!
I found her on Etsy(lovelovelove).

This first decal is in Caden's bathroom, opposite the mirror...

It's blurry.  I know.  You have had a few haven't you?
Just kidding.  It's not you it's me.
I love it and the placement in his bathroom is perfect:).

The second is this large decal, which I placed in the dining room...
(The first one is blurry...sorry pals..but I wanted you to see where it be..)

My wingspan almost hindered this project.
There was grunting and stretching and fingertip walking, but the result was so worth it!

Maybe I will find a place for a mural of a redhead with a, sort of, "ethereal" look?

I think it would totally work in the man cave, don't you?!
I'll just take "Miss August" down....

Love and Gingers,

Wednesday, August 22

It's Going to be Alright

You know this "blog thing" that I do here?  I was trying to explain it to someone and I had a hard time.
"It's about cows, milking cows, cow antics, cats, kittens, cooking and life."
That's the best I could do.  Let's describe it as more of a buffet of thoughts, feelings, experiences and ideas.  I like describing it as a "buffet" because sometimes you get lucky and they put out out fresh cornbread, but other times all you get is watery jello salad.  Yuck.

Anyway, what I am trying to say is that today it's not about cows or cooking.  I felt compelled to write about something else, and I wanted to scare prepare you.  You are so welcome.

Nine times out of ten the news is bad.  Bad things are happening across the nation and in our hometowns.  This is true.  Bad things are happening in our lives each day.  Inexplicable tragedies consume us.  Don't they? 

This week our county has experienced terrible heartache.  Heaven received new Angels to watch over us.  I did not know these people, but from what I have heard it was my loss.  One was very young, the other beautifully selfless.  One of them was in law enforcement and my husband knew him personally.  Needless to say the loss of a friend has struck our house and is weighing heavily. 

Yesterday, when I had finished feeding calves and was headed to the dairy barn, I got a notification on my phone that I had a new "friend request" from the Facebook.  You know the Facebook, right?  Youand955BILLIONothers. 

Anyway, after responding to the request, the Facebook gave me a list of "suggested friends".  I couldn't take one more step, I was frozen.  My breath caught in my throat while I scrolled down the endless list of people who were "suggested" that might have a common interest as me.  Every single person had changed their profile picture to a picture honoring this fallen officer.  Every single person on the list.  I got chills. 

You tell me there's no hope.  You tell me to give up faith in humanity and I'll show you a bottomless list of reasons not to.  We may pass each other and feel like strangers but we share a common interest.  Love.

 Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.


Monday, August 20

I'm The Lucky One

My sister/best friend came home for the weekend!  She and baby J made a brief trip home and left yesterday..which makes me sad, but so glad at the same time.  ANY time is better than none at all, wouldn't you agree?  Gosh, if there's one thing for certain it's that this boy is growing so fast!  It feels like just yesterday I was fighting with The Heat over who was going to hold him, and planning my outfits so that there were no buttons that might scratch his face:). 

He is all smiles.  That smile can make everything OK.  It's a sign of hope, I think.  A sign of the future.

Saturday evening Malinda, baby J, The Heat, BossMan and Mercy all came over for dinner.  It was like a scene in a movie, when we all sat down to eat.  It was the first time we have had a sit-down family dinner in our new dining room.  My heart was bursting with joy.  Caden to my right, my honey to my left.  My best friend across the table, and my nephew beside her.  And yeast rolls.  Hoo-boy the yeast rolls!  The world would be a much happier place if there were more family dinners with yeast rolls.  You can quote me on that.

After dinner we had cupcakes(I'll have to tell you about that later) and homemade chocolate ice cream.  We are a chocolate family through and through.  Chocolate and yeast rolls.  It doesn't take much really.

It didn't matter what was going on outside that night, all that mattered was family.  Laughter and smiles.  Being together.

Unlce Chuck and Caden played with Jackson until they were all exhausted...

Dinner was mushroom and bacon stuffed pork tenderloin, creamed corn, smashed red-skinned potatoes and ROLLS.  Baby J had bread, guacamole and creamed corn:).  Then I sent them down the road with a pan of maple sweet gift.

Yesterday after church, Chuck came out and worked Gus a bit then we met up with Malinda, The Heat, Beenie, Mercy and Baby J at the barn to feed calves...and kittens.  J loved the cats...

even more than the calves...

..I told the Jersey no crazy eyes, but they never listen.
 (I don't blame J for not being overly excited.  Cats are waayyy easier to deal with:).)

Jackson was very interested in Uncle Mercy and his... ways...
Story of his life.
Seriously, the way Jackson points with his little hand next to his head melts me:).

Mamas best guy..

Aren't they too much.
Jackson and Chuck had an impromptu "man talk".  I'm not sure what it was about but there was a lot of pointing going on.

I miss her so much:(..

 I think there is a little resemblance..

Rotten Mercy..

The, always lovely, Heat..

Beenie baby..and photo-bomber..

I love this one so much..

Having Malinda and Jackson home for the weekend was truly a blessing.  I dream of the day we are just down the road from each other.  I hope that is what the future holds.  As for now, I guess I will just miss her terribly and count down the days until Christmas when I get to see them all again!


Maybe he won't get too many more freckles before then...I don't want to miss a thing!