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.