Wednesday, June 26

The Beast

See that peekchur up 'er?
That's us.  That's pretty much what we do.
Oh!  Except when we are swimming, or chasing the Cowlady in her farm truck around.

The farm truck.

Picture, if you will, a 90's style Dodge diesel flatbed that sounds like it breathes FIRE.
Every teenage redneck boys d-r-e-a-m.

Annnnd it's a 5-speed...or does reverse count?  I never can remember.  If it does then it's a 6-speed, and we never had this conversation.
My pride.

With every gear I hit, this baby bellers out something that sounds like a person who ate a polish sausage with fried onions at the county fair last night.  

The first time I drove it...Monday I think, I loaded up my companions....

I mean, who else would I possibly need?
They are thrilled.....and tongue-y.
But not mouthy.  Wait, the little brown one is.
Never mind.

SO I loaded up my girls, cranked the truck up, and BAM!
The farm truck became the farm BEAST.
...and I laughed all morning.
Laughed today as well.
...still laughing.

On a side note, 4th and 5th produce some SERIOUS  black exhaust.
Which brings me to a written apology I should probably write to the entire town of Greenback.
Population: 103.
It won't take long.

NO one shall sleep past 8am while the beast is on the loose!
Just kidding.

Beef farming is soooooo different from dairy farming.  You have no idea.  
Unless you do, then you understand andyoucanstoprightHERE.
But if you don't, all I can say is it's management by pasture rotation, organic mineral supplements and genetics through breeding bulls, instead of frozen semen. 

Kids, I'm just a dairy gal living in a beef world...taking lots of notes and asking questions.
Who says you can't reinvent yourself?

God has lead me here and I know there's a reason.
It's challenging, every day is a challenge actually.  But what's so scary about that?

As long as I put my Faith and my family foremost in my life, I am positive I won't be lead astray.
There are so many people I have met and confided in along my route to this point, and the majority of them are no longer in my innermost circle.
Sad to say, but it's true.

I have learned so much from all of them, but there is a reason we grew apart.
Geographic, personality clash, or difference in doesn't matter.  They have either helped me grow as a person, or hindered my forward progress.  Being able to recognize which category they fall into is a very valuable lesson my mother has taught me over the years.

I would always go to her with my problems and she, being wise and wonderful, would help me figure out what was going on.  
I see so many people who are spread thin...wanting to make everyone happy, but inside they are miserable.  That's no way to live.

Those people who really matter, will stay no matter what.  They see the value in your friendship and will pop-up out of nowhere when you least expect it, with an encouraging note or visit.
I used to try to make everyone happy, but in the end I had strayed so far from myself that I didn't even recognize 'me'.

Learning and accepting who I am, rebuilding my relationship with God, and surrounding myself with loving, supportive people, were the best things I ever did.

Every day I give the glory to God, work hard for my family and stay true to myself.
You know who you are, don't apologize for it...and don't change!

Farming might not be glamorous...especially when you are blazing down the road leaving a trail of black smoke a mile long...but it makes my heart smile.
That...that feeling is greater than any title, degree or accolade I can imagine.

Thanks for listening:).


Sunday, June 23

You're Doing What?.....

So.....there's this thing, and it feels very dejavu-ish. Totally not a word.
It's the "what I'm doing now" sort of thing, that I am pretty sure we visited with it 6 months ago.
Yeah, we did.

I'm doing something different now.
Job jumper.
NO! I'm NOT!

I don't know if you can tell, but I am a little sensitive as far as this subject goes.
Sensitive yet very excited.
And happy.
Did I mention happy?

I'm happy.

Anyway, last Monday I started a new job as the Herd Manager at Century Harvest Farms in Greenback, TN.
Like "herd" as in beef, not dairy like you may be used to.
Yeah, lots of beef pictures now peeps.

Contain your excitement.

Now for the exciting part....
Century Harvest Farms is brand new, progressive and the possibilities are endless.
Chris, my boss and the "man with the plan", started the farm to answer the need for grass-fed, organic beef in Tennessee.
He is all about sustainable agriculture, and taking care of soil and animals in a way that promotes health and longevity without chemicals and antibiotics.
See?  Told ya, progressive.

When he approached me with the job opportunity and started talking cattle, my heart jumped.
Like, really, the thought of taking care of a herd of cattle made my heart swell.

I accepted the position, and when I told Glenn he genuinely got excited for me.
He will be my go-to vet:).

Right now, counting cows/calves/steers/bulls, I have around 150 head...maybe more.
I also have my work cut-out for me.  That's OK:).
This gal is no stranger to work.

I have a TON to learn, as far as the process Chris wants to use to do things, and the Organic way of raising cattle.
The research is endless.
But rewarding:).

Wanna see some pictures?!
It really doesn't matter, they are coming...


This...THIS is my view!
It's OK to be jelly:).
I kinda hate that word, but I love saying it.

This hill is where we will be building the first cow/calf barn, which is something we hope to begin in the next few weeks.

Zeeeessss are a few of my employees.
Aren't they lovely?

This big guy is Curly, he is going to be introduced to, like 80, girlfriends shortly.
Lucky guy.

This is what we do.
Red here, is the lifeguard, because they all listen to her.
Wonder why.

Eventually, all of the water sources, like the pool here, will be fenced off as well as any natural shade areas...trees, etc.
This will cause the cattle to come to the barn when they are hot, to find water, fans and shade.
They will also be fed there, and deposit manure there...instead of in the pool.
No one likes that kid.

The manure will be composted and used on the land.
Circle of life, people.

I am blessed beyond belief, and don't take one ounce for granted.
The question is, are YOU ready for this adventure?
I know I am:).


Sunday, June 16


Happy Fathers Day!!

Are you celebrating?
Grilling?Chilling? Napping? Remembering?

Whatever you may be doing, I sincerely hope it's wonderful:).
I will be seeing my father later this afternoon when we grill at mom and dad's to celebrate today, duh, and tomorrow which is his birthday!
(He will be 78, but I'm pretty sure he stopped counting when he had Mercy.)

I was thinking about all of the fathers in my life, and how they have had some affect on shaping my view on what it means to be a great dad.
I would like to share with you a few of them, and honor them for what they are doing and have taught me!

...drum roll pahleeeze...

First up is my brother (from another mother) Del!

Del is married to my seestor Malinda, so technically he is my brother-in-law.  But that takes too long to say.
Let's keep it simple, shall we?

I have always admired Del because he is the strong, silent type. 
He is so even-tempered and never seems to get his feathers ruffled.  I like that.  My feathers are always in disarray! 
Ever since they welcomed baby J into their lives, Del has filled the "daddy" role perfectly. 
Malinda has a very demanding job, not that Del doesn't, but hers required a move and a lot of snow!  Del has stood beside her the entire time...and enjoyed the snow entirely too much!  They make decisions together and they raise their boy together.  Jackson is a very lucky boy to have a daddy who wants nothing more than to lay outside on the hammock with him, or to push him on the swing. 
I admire Del for always jumping at the chance to spend time with Jackson, and being the rock Malinda needs to lean on:).

Daddy Saigon is another man I have a lot of respect for.

He is both my father-in-law, and the man I have deemed my "protector".
I feel like, and have honestly always felt like, he gets me.
Like the me no one else seems to understand.
The me who gets anxious in crowds.
The me who wants to cook everything perfectly.
The down right annoying me.

I have never had to explain my love for the farm and the land to him.
I have never had to explain anything to him.  He just understands.  He accepts.

I look at Saigon and I trust him, without question. 
I admire that in the way he presents himself and carries himself, people have that automatic reaction to him. 
He is a great listener and is slow to react, both of which are admirable traits as well.

Next is this guy.....

The absolute love of my life.
He is my everything.

He became a dad about the time I was graduating from high school....heh.
Snuck that one in there....

He is a great dad.  If you asked him he would be the first to say that he isn't perfect, but what dad is?
I have learned a great many things from my love, but the one parenting tip that reigns supreme is that it's a learning experience.  There's no manual, no magic trick to being a great parent.
He is harder on himself than anyone.  He wants Caden to know that he is loved and feel it at the same time. 

The last, but not least, father I would like to talk about is this fellow....

My dad.
From riding us around on his back around the sunroom like a "horsey" when I was a kid, to teaching me how to drive the old farm truck...and bobcat...and tractor...andotherstuff...he has taught me a lot.
I have spent some time thinking about this, and the biggest, most important lesson I have learned from my dad is that in order to get what you want in life, you have to work hard.
He has. 
Maybe he hasn't always been the cuddliest of dads, or the easiest to talk to, but he has consistently been the hardest working for his family.  I didn't see him that much when we were little, because he was working.  Maybe I was afraid of him, since he was the end-of-the-line disciplinarian, but you know what?  That's the dad's role.  He is the leader, the example to follow.  Dad's aren't meant to always be buddies, pushovers.  They are meant to lead.  He did that.
I admire that in my dad. 

I love my dad, and all of the other dad's who have taught me something different.

Have a wonderful Sunday!