Monday, July 29


I have been doing a lot of thinking lately..ya know, cuz that's what us farmers do.
We think.

Checking cattle, building fence, mowing a field...thinkthinkthink.

Anyway, I have been thinking about the reason I am here now.  As in managing this farm now.
Not like, sitting at the kitchen table now.
Glad we cleared that up.

I'm back to me.  The 'enjoying all of God's creation' me.  The 'taking care of beautiful(and often sneaky) cattle' me.  The me that has more time to be thankful.  Just me.

That's not why we're here today....youcanbreathenow.
BUT, if can answer that quandary I would be delighted.

We're here, at the kitchen table, because I have been thinking a lot about moments.
Ever since Malinda's friend (and mine) Jaclyn gave me her "before wedding" advice I have thought about moments differently.

Jaclyn told me to take mental pictures of moments during my wedding day, and the days leading up to it.  I am so thankful she did.  There is no way a photographer could catch each and every special moment that took place, much less do it from my eyes. 
Her advice was to, "take a step back, and watch every detail with the intent to revisit later".
I did, and continue to do so every day since.

Sometimes if I really concentrate I can remember special times from my childhood with such clarity, it's almost as if I was taking a mental picture.

I mean, a real picture is nice and all, but to be able to go back and feel something is irreplaceable.

...standing on the beach, just before sunset, trying not to cry...but crying..while holding Chuck's hands in mine, and looking into his eyes while reciting our vows...

These moments hit me while I'm driving to the COOP, dad pulling poem, clipped from a newspaper, out of his suit pocket to use in his toast to us after the ceremony.  A toast he spent more time secretly preparing for, than I spent worrying about him doing...

While I'm measuring a field, on foot, for fence posts,

...sitting at the tiny kitchen table at Granny and Granddaddys house, across from Granny Smith, while she tears open pink packets of Sweet'n'low...

Walking through the cows and calves while they relax in the shade,making sure everyone is there,

...standing at the top of the dairy barn, eyes closed, smelling cows and silage, while the fans blow, listening to the steady 'clank' of the headlocks, and feeling so full of love for each one of those animals...

Filling up mineral feeders, Church with my two greatest blessings, when we stand to sing and MY SONG!  MY ANTHEM, is the first one they play and I could just cry I'm so happy...

Checking fence in a new field,

...the last time I saw my mother, and how much more beautiful and happy she is each time I see her..

Driving to work,

...the last time I Face-Timed with Jackson, and he said 'I love you aunt Rachael'...

These moments are just a few I revisit each day.  Memory is such a gift, and it only takes a second to make one.  A second that could so easily be forgotten. 

Thanks to Jaclyn I make a conscious effort to stop and look around me, take a deep breath and remember how if feels to be there.  Sometimes it's hard to go back, sometimes it hurts but that's why those moments are in the past. 
Maybe that's why I'm here now?



Sunday, July 21

A Product of Grace

Happy Sunday!
I cannot even begin to tell you how happy I was to sleep in yesterday...ugh.  I slept until 9:21...9:21!
My beastie...and I do mean beastie...Rachael J and I were to be at the gym by 9:30 to workout together, so sleeping until 9:21 was not the best plan...
Oh well, we got our workout in anyway!

BTW this is Rachael J and I last night at my little sister Beenie's bridal shower...

Rachael and I have been friends since 9th grade.
She was the "new kid" so I was all like, "Her name is Rachael so she must be awesome" and the rest is history.

Plus she is good with numbers and can do stuff like count, and add them together flawlessly, so she comes in handy most of the time since I can do neither very efficiently.

She makes sure we do 3 sets of 10 at the gym, if it were up to me we would probably do 6 sets of 8, or 9 sets of 12, depending on what I was rambling about at the time.
She completes me.

I also have a great, super, fantastic picture of The Heat and I....

She's my rock.
If I could pick anyone to grow up to be just like, it would be her.

Okay, so here's the cake I made for the shower...are you ready?


Hands-down the darned prettiest cake I have ever made.


With monogramming!

It was eight layers of moist, dark chocolate cake, with alternating marshmallow and malted chocolate butter cream between the layers, and ombre' iced with vanilla bean Italian meringue.

I have a box of leftovers if you want some.

This week on the farm has been good...actually it kind of flew by, but not at the time.
We got quite a bit accomplished.
Fields chisel-plowed and planted before the rain.
I rotated the cattle to a new set of pastures, AND introduced my man Curly to the ladies.

I totally prepared them for his appearance, "He's not tall...but definitely not short.  You know what they say girls, 'dynamite comes in small packages"'.
They were looking pretty darn sleek and shiny themselves.

We should have some Curly babies next year:).

By now you know me pretty well, I think.
Well enough to know that I tend to look at things as "learning experiences".  At the time I might freak, or get mad, but in the end...maybe after I have slept on it...I have learned something and I appreciate that.

Throughout everything I have done in life, I have learned, grown and gained appreciation for every bad experience as well as good.

I truly believe I was meant to manage cattle, but most often a few people get thrown in with that.
It's how the operation works.

I will be the first to tell you I am not the best people manager.
I am not that friendly, or understanding, and I tend to expect everyone else to have the same work-drive as I do.
Heh.  Most people aren't crazy like me.
I can appreciate this.

When you have someone working for you, whom you don't have any experience with, there is a lot of compromising that takes place...more so on the manager's side.
That's hard.
But then you get to know the persons' work-style and things can get rolling.
....most of the time.

For me, there are two big hurdles to managing:
1.  My gender.
2.  My age.

I would love to say we live in a society where neither of these things matter, and maybe in some occupations it doesn't.  In farming it is very much still alive.
I understand this, especially when I hire someone who is older than me.

In my last job I tended to let my employees get away with more...buttheydidn'tspeakENGLISH!
It was a hurdle, and looking back I shoulda, coulda, woulda done it differently.
The past, you learn, you remember.

Luckily, maybe not for my new employee, I throw every punch I've got.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a tyrant, I just want there to be no question as to who they are working for.
I want to get the job done, and if they aren't going to do it then either I will find someone who can, or I will.

To me, it's an absolute blessing to be outside each day, enjoying this wonderful creation.
The land and the cattle are constantly changing, evolving, and I get to be a part of that.
It's a passion.

To genuinely want to take care of these things is a task, and not for someone lacking spirit.

Through love and experience I have learned to watch and wait patiently for changes to take place.
This business is not very cause-and-effect.  It's a patience, and a lot of prayer, kind of thing.

On the flip side, through experience I have also learned grace.
The ability to understand what people are going through and why they might act a certain way, and to "sleep on it" before I  react is grace.

Right there in that tiny space before judgement is grace.

I am proud to say I am a product of grace.

Don't get me wrong, I certainly have a lot of learning left to do, but when I realize new things about myself, I take it as a nod that I'm going in the right direction:). 

Have a wonderful day:).


Sunday, July 14

Getting it Together

So how ya been?
I'm good, like really good!

It's the weekend. 
let's appreciate that for a moment....

I was thinking yesterday, as I enjoyed my Saturday, that when I ran the dairy I totttttally thought weekends were overrated.
Because I worked all the time. Duh.

You were right, they're not.
Boom.  I said it.
Hey!  I admit when I'm wrong, okay?

Never mid that this is like, the only time.
And you are across the internets.
Through the cables?
This conversation never happened.

I entitled this here post, "Getting it Together" because...well...that's what I have been doing.
With the animals!
I've, got it together...thankyouverymuch.

The cattle on the farm have been partying like it's...well ya know.
For entirely too long.
So I put a stop to it on the first day of the month, and dooped em all into a trap!

Actually, what happened was my oblivious honey agreed to help me work the cows/calves alongside Dr. K.
No prob.

Holy fazzoli, I am the proud mama of some legitimately bat-poo-crazy cattle.
We got them worked, and now all of their numbers and mental status' have been recorded.
The world can continue on course.

I can out virtually unscathed, except for the loss of a few pounds due to heat, however my loveysweetpetuniaofthevalley, hurt his knee.
I still can't wrap my mind around this because, after YEARS some experience working cattle I have no long-term  physical injuries.
The horse I owned for 2 HOURS?
That's another story.
We won't go there. Ever.
Especially by horse.

Once we got the cows/calves worked, we had to move and take inventory of the steers.
It was a situation.

Luckily, I hired a guy to work for me and he had no idea what he was getting into and he was ready to get things done!

Catching the steers involved building a corral and baiting them for a week with feed.
Nothin' doin'.

We got them caught last week and spent a day trucking them to another field...with grass.
This is important for a grass-fed finishing operation.
They were all out.

Now, they are swimming in the green, leafy-goodness!

That makes me smile:).

Let's just tell the rest in pictures, shall we?
I think so.

After a week of rain we finally had blue skies!

I didn't complain about the could be the other way around.
And trust me, if there was a drought, you would hear from this gal.

Upon moving the steers I had to take water troughs out to their new digs.
.....wait is that snapping?
.........behind me?

Gangs of Greenback.
I don't know about you, but the dude in the middle looks like a bad mamma-jamma.
Moving on.

Did I mention it rained?
Oh, I did.
Well, did I mention that it's JULY, and when it stops raining it gets HE-YEUM-ID?
Well, it does.

I spent more time sweating than I did BREATHING.

But, I did enjoy lunch on the bed of the truck.

And enjoyed the view:)


I had my first baby..well, not mine but ya know.
Isn't she a doll?!
I call her "Baby CRAZY Schnookums".

I needed to get some things done, so I taught myself how to drive this dude...
Ok, so when a person is ONLY used to driving skid steers made by John Deer or Bobcat, that person's world gets r-o-c-k-e-d.

You get in, turn it on, disengage the brake, and hold on because allofthesudden you're going forward, the bucket's dumping, you're beep-beep-beep-ing while evidently going backwards AND sideways atthesametime.
Then you let go of the joysticks and BREATHE re-group.

I so got it now, don't worry.

I had a few minutes in-between sweating and being a ROCK-STAR on the skid steer, so I took the kids on a nature hike!

There will be a quiz this week.

That was pretty much my week, how was yours?