Thursday, July 24, 2014

Come Home - A Lesson Learned from Face Book

My mom who is 83 is learning how to navigate face book on her new IPad. I love that she wants to learn and she’s doing a great job.

But. . . as she learns she gets into trouble now and then.

“Diane, how do I get back to where I was and I don’t know how I got here.”

My instruction to her which have helped tremendously is “When you’re lost, go home. Click on the home button and start over.”

Then I started thinking, or more likely God dropped the idea into my head – “What great advice. When you’ve lost your way or you are confused, come home. Come home to where you started, better yet, come home to me – see what I have to say about your situation.”

I have a friend who has completely gone off track. I ache in sorrow for the choices she is making. She’s so lost and confused because of a new relationship that she’s wandered away from her God, her family, her friends – everything that was of importance to her. She’s traded her life’s inheritance for a false prophet so to speak. I just want to shake her, wake her and tell her to come back home where we are all waiting with open arms.

I’ve watched leadership in churches try to mimic other ministries. I observed as they changed into a cookie cutter establishment and leave behind what made them unique to the community they served. Following the newest trend isn’t always the wisest choice. Go back home church. The basics of the gospel never grow old.

Mid-life crises drag people away from home and into the plastic surgeon’s office, import car show rooms, and clubs. Individuals close the door of home behind them seeking a better, younger, more exciting place because they’ve been sold a bill of lies that convince them they don’t have enough or aren’t enough. People – the surgery will sag, the cars will rust and the clubs will drain your pocket and your soul. Go home. At home you are loved, accepted and wanted. Life is ever changing and evolving. Learn to enjoy the seasons.

Finally, too many have walked away from God. Life has beaten them down, filled them with doubt and despair and made unrealistic demands on their performances. Life says “You screwed up. You’re not pretty, good, thin – fill in the blank – enough. What you did, thought, said is unforgivable. No one wants you. You are damaged goods. You are beyond fixing. You are worthless. The world would be better off without you.” It continues with lies such as “God is ashamed of you. God can’t help, heal or deliver you. God is dead. God is a fairy tale. God helps others not you. God left you a long time ago.”
I have two words. “Come home.”

God never changed his position or feelings for you. A perfect life has never been promised. A life with a greater power to walk with you, help you and hold you is a reasonable expectation.

For anyone reading this if you are lost, confused, can’t find the answer you want - Come Home.

This Little Moo Piggy Went to the Foot Bath

Yes, we specifically wash our cows’ feet.

Our girls get foot baths Monday through Thursday every week to prevent disease. We walk them through the foot baths one time for four days in a row to be more effective in killing bacteria that loves to find its way into the soft spots of their hooves. The bacteria appreciate the soft tissue between the toes and it grows even better when there’s moisture. That's 2,800 feet a day!

The girls are milked and then as they return to their freshly scraped free stall areas they walk through a solution of copper sulfate. 

Keeping the alleys clean where the girls walk is another weapon against hoof disease.

Bacteria grow better in a higher ph environment. The copper sulfate lowers the ph so the bacteria will die. The solution we use is 5% copper sulfate. The foot bath trays are measured and the amount of the powdered copper sulfate is calculated and mixed with water to create the 5% ratio.

The two most common hoof problems are digital dermatitis or hairy heel warts. These are treated by hoof trimming practices and management of the foot baths. If an abscess is discovered it is cleaned out and wrapped sometimes using a medication in the wrap or we use a shoe wood block. The wedge of wood is placed and taped to the hoof to relief pressure on the sore. You may notice the cows limping or holding their feet in an odd way to avoid putting pressure on the sore spot.

The other is foot rot. This one is more serious as the disease can enter the blood stream and travel through the animal causing other issues such as pneumonia. Foot rot is easily recognized by swelling of the hoof. With hoof rot, antibiotics are necessary to fight the disease. Another avenue for foot rot is through retained placenta. The bacteria can start there and travel through the animal resulting in foot rot. Also a new mama is more pre-disposed to this because her hormone levels change.

Both of these diseases are contagious by contact. Keeping the alley ways clean and hooves clean and treated are important to fight this battle.

It is routine for the girls to walk through the chute, into the baths and out the sorting gate and back to their free stall area.

This is one more thing we do to keep our girls healthy and happy.

Daily Ordinary for July 24, 2014

Celebrate the knowledge that there will always be someone else who can do what you do but there will never be another person who can be who you are. Go out there and BE SOMEONE!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

REWIND WEDNESDAY - You Won't See This on Your Evening News - Original Post of 2011

Looking up from the inside of the silo.
I MUST, I have to, and I can’t take another breath until I write about how good God is to us. How his Word is true, how quickly his presence changes things.

If you ever wondered where I stood on God, satan (I will not give him a capital S) and Spiritual warfare, you will have no doubt.

Regularly, I pray for protection around my family and farm. In fact, sometimes when I walk, I’ll walk a perimeter around sections of the farm praying for God’s angels to protect. My beliefs in God’s protection through his angels come from this verse:

"For God will give his angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways." - Psalms 91: 11.

I pray because I am well aware that satan will try any tactic to hurt us. This belief is based on:

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly”. -John 10:10
The cement silo with the platform on top.
Son #4 and Jake were getting a silo ready for harvest. We have the blue Harvestores and a couple of cement silos. This is briefly and simply the way the silo works. There is an unloader made of steel, a motor and some wheels. It sits on top of the feed and a cutter/gathering chain brings the feed to a blower which blows the feed out a side door to fall down a chute into a feed wagon. Very simplistic description. Anyway, this 1500+ pound piece of metal has to be pulled to the top of the silo and anchored there while the silo is being filled with feed during harvest.
The pulley at the bottom of the silo.
That is what Son #4 and Jake were doing. Before the feed is blown into the silo the heavy unloader is hooked to a cable and pulled by a tractor to the top. Using a 130 foot cable, one end is attached to the unloader, fed up through the top of the silo through a pulley, over to the side of the top of the silo through another pulley, straight down the outside of the silo through the last pulley and attached to the tractor. A rope is also attached to the unloader and up through the top of the silo to the small outside platform Son #4 was standing on. He had this rope to help guide the unloader up so it wouldn’t spin around on its way up to its filling position at the very top of the silo.

This has been done 100 times and it becomes common place. Perhaps, too much so.
The frayed cable.
Jake had slowly pulled the unloader just about to the top when the cable snapped and the unloader plummeted to the floor of the empty silo.

The rope that Son #4 was using to keep the unloader from spinning had been somewhat carelessly laid in a pile beside his feet on the small platform as the unloader was rising. Some of it had draped over his foot and he had kicked it to the side a time or two.

The smashed unloader. I could not get a good picture of the whole thing confined in the silo.
When the cable snapped several feet of the rope flew between Son #4’s fingers before he could even react to let go. In a blink of an eye the 1500+ pound unloader, and the 70 feet of rope laid at the bottom of the silo in a heap.
At first Son#4 wasn’t sure or not if he had lost part of his finger or fingers in the process. The speed, the sound of the crash, the expectancy, the dust, and the slowly accumulating realizations of what could have happened hit him all at once. He took stock of his fingers – they were all there with a few tips a bit numb.

Some of you may think, so what, no big deal. This is what you need to know.

1. No one was in the silo. While that is normal practice for us, there is always the possibility of something out of the ordinary happening that might cause someone to be careless.

2. If the rope would have been wrapped around his hand he could have lost fingers, his hand, who knows.
The platform that Son#4 was on.
3. If the rope would have gotten tangled around his feet, it could have knocked him off the platform onto the pavement 60 feet below.

4. The rope could have wrapped around his leg and drug him through the top of the silo and down with the heap of metal.

There are so many possible ways this accident could have been tragic or deadly.

There are no coincidences in our life when we serve God Almighty. Nothing happens by chance.

If for whatever reason things would have gone differently and the awful would have happened there is a good possibility you would be reading or watching on the news about an accident on a local farm that injured/killed a worker.

Well, I am doing my best to broadcast that what satan had planned was ruined again.

This is what God’s Word says:

And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. -Deuteronomy 28:13

The reality of God’s intervention and protection is not lost on any of us.

My indescribable gratitude for God’s grace and protection of my son can not be written. There are not enough letters that could string together into words to begin to show my appreciation.

Life is so precious. There should be no time for cross words, jealousy, strife, or unkindness.

I have another day to love my son. It will not be wasted.

Son #4, my baby with his baby.

Daily Ordinary for July 23, 2014

Celebrate routine. Quite often we miss the beauty of the daily rhythm of life. There will come a time when the daily routine changes because someone grows up, moves away or passes on. 
Let's pay attention to our daily gifts.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Daily Ordinary for July 22, 2014

Celebrate a slow paced morning and give yourself 
permission to enjoy it. Repeat until you believe this.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Minimal Monday for July 21, 2014 - Rare White Tailed Squirrel

This cool looking squirrel hangs out at my parents' house.

Celebrate the ordinary

Today is the only day you have. Don't wish it away, worry it away or plan it away. Your ordinary days add up to life.

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