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.