Monday, November 23, 2015

Add Another Fluke to the List - Repost

"This has never happened before."

"Tell me again, how did you do this"?

"Um. . . I'm not sure what to do about this."

These are comments I get way too often.

The latest installment in "How in the World did that Happen?" occurred Wednesday.

I left my personal office in my house with a handful of envelopes and a check that had to go to the bank and went into the farm office, which is in my house also. I laid it all on the counter and proceeded to finish up some computer work.

As I was in a hurry to leave, I grabbed a new stack of envelopes that I just produced and the stack from my office and headed out the door. I piled everything on the kitchen counter and went to find my shoes.

When I came back I picked up the pile and sorted through it looking for the check to place on top since it was my first stop. No check. I retraced my steps back in the farm office, back in my personal office, back in my bedroom - where I never had the check. I looked high, low and in between. I knew I had it in the farm office. How in the heck can I loose a check in 10 feet?

After a 15 minute search I had to leave. I wrote another check and took off.

I called Farmer and asked him to keep his eyes out for the check that was MIA.

This is where Farmer found it.

It must have floated off the pile as I rushed out the door and parachuted into the wood base board. I have no idea how he saw this considering he can't find his glasses when he's wearing them.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Less Stress for Thanksgiving

The best reason for Thanksgiving. Spending time with family. My four sons listening to my dad's stories.

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful day, yet it can be overwhelming if you are the hostess.

I have hosted Thanksgiving most every year except the year we were in Florida as a family. I guess my house is the biggest so that's just how it is. We’ve had as many as 43 and as few as a dozen. This year we are expecting 23.

There is so much stress and busyness with the approaching holidays that I thought I'd post a few suggestions on how to create a wonderful Thanksgiving without additional stress.

I've thrown in a few recipes - always, always bake with real butter and fresh dairy products. It really makes a big difference.

* The best way to cut down on work is to bake your turkey ahead of time. I usually bake my turkey on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I bake the turkey in an oven bag. Let it cool off to touch. Being careful to save the juice, take all the meat off the bones and put it back into a throw away aluminum baking pan. Pour the juices back over the turkey. Cover tightly and refrigerate. Then all you have to do is put it in the oven and warm thoroughly. It is so moist and tasty from sitting in all that juice. AND, the mess of carving is done. You can use the juices to make gravy. Then your house smells like you’ve been cooking all morning.

* We sort of started a tradition of having cinnamon rolls in the morning while preparing dinner. These are made weeks ahead and put in the freezer. Also, if you’re going to bake do it on Tuesday while you’re baking your turkey. No need to wait until the night before or that morning. It will taste delicious.

* Normally I make real mashed potatoes, but when I am feeding that many people I go for the potato buds. They are so good you can't tell that you cheated. But it saves a bunch of time. But if you have a smaller group or you want to make your own, peel the potatoes the night before and cut them in small pieces. Leave them in a bowl of water. Make sure the water covers all the potatoes. If you cut the potatoes into smaller pieces it will take less time to cook them. And always use real butter and milk.

* Set the table the night before. For me since we do buffet I use a table cloth (you can use the fun paper ones – easy to clean up) and set the glasses, silverware and napkins. No plates.

* If possible serve buffet style. We gather everyone around our island which is heavy with enough food to feed a small village. Once everyone is around we pray and thank the good Lord for putting up with us another year and for all the amazing blessings we have. Then we file past the food and load up the plates. When it is buffet style anyone can get up and get whatever seconds they want without disturbing someone to pass the food.

* Use heavy duty paper plates, nicer plastic silverware and cups. There will be enough dishes to do without using your plates, silverware and cups. It is so nice to throw away the biggest portion of work. You have a lot more time to sit around the table with that second cup of coffee and visit.

* I used to make several batches of punch to serve with dinner. It’s just one more job and more expense. Serving water is perfect. It’s inexpensive; easy and with all the great tasting food why waste calories on what you’re going to drink?
* Don't waste your time cleaning house before everyone comes. I noticed my kitchen floor really could use a good mopping. But, knowing there will be all those people walking around dishing up food it is ridiculous to waste time cleaning a floor that no one will see and that is guaranteed to have food dropped.

* Thanksgiving is a great time to try new dishes. We always have a few new ones. If they are a hit you're the star of the day. If they bomb then most of it has been tasted so you have less to throw away. 

* Don't worry about having enough food. There is always enough. Even if there isn't, no one is going to starve.

* Have plenty of Ziploc bags to send leftovers home if you have anything left after the tribe swarms the tables.

*Sometime during the day take a moment to sit back, be quiet and take in the blessings of your family. Pay attention to the laughter, the hugging, the little ones fussing. It's music straight from God.

* Last but not least, look for someone who needs to join your family and invite them to join you. Holidays spent alone are painful.

I pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving Day and some great family time together.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Dear Veterans - An Open Letter

Dear Veterans and Families of Veterans,

Chances are I will never meet you in person. But, if I did, I would shake your hand and thank you. And if you looked like you were up to it I’d give you a big hug and tell you how much you mean to me.

I am grateful for all the daily choices I have that so many others in this world go without. And even with all the disappointing actions taken by many here in America we still live in the best country. We have a lot of things, way too many things wrong with America and way too many issues that need fixing.

But, one of the things we have right is you. Veterans. Men and women who are brave enough, committed enough, strong enough, and dedicated enough to fight to keep this country free.

Courageous is a word that should be reserved for you. Not a person who tries to correct their identity confusion by throwing money at it.

You’ve had to do things that should never have had to be done.

You’ve seen things eyes should never behold.

You’ve pushed yourself past your limit, walked in harm’s way, fought your mirror image and held your brothers in your arms while watching their life bleed away.
You’ve lost your peace of mind, body parts, your conscious, and who you really are on the battle field. You’ve left parts of yourself on foreign blood stained soil.

Some of you will never see another sunset because of blinded eyes or hear your wife say I love you. Too many have no arms to hold their children or will be able to run and play with them because what was stolen from you in combat.

How can we ever honor that? What could possibly begin to be worthy of your sacrifices?

And to all your families that watched you go. They stayed up all night praying for you and wondered if they would ever see you alive again. Thank you seems beyond inadequate. Words can’t hold enough power to portray what needs to be spoken.

I have a cross I put on a hill on our farm that is right by a main road. I put the cross there to remind people of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us. The cross is enhanced at Easter. The cross stands alone most of the year. There is only one other things that adorns my cross. The American Flag.

I cannot see the flag without seeing you. You and the flag are one to me.

On Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Veterans Day I hang a flag for the whole world to see and be reminded that what is good and worthy comes from the men and women behind the flag.

You are the best this country has grown.

Inadequately I want to say thank you. I pray for you regularly and have nothing but respect, admiration and love for you.

You are our true heroes.

May God Bless You,

Monday, November 9, 2015

Veterans Day repost

This is a repost and as I read it I noticed that it feels as if some of these things are being threatened by our government. How things can change in a few years. We need to wake up, take a stand and honor those who have fallen and suffered so as not to waste their sacrifices.

Today I get to go to work where I want to work, not to a government run workplace. 

Today I get to worship my God of choice in the open. I can proclaim His name without retaliation. 

Today I get to tell you whether or not I like the President of the United States. I can call him every bad name in the book and not be hauled away. 

Today I get to carry a sign out side of any building stating my disagreement with the establishment of that business/government office. I can do it alone or have a group assemble. 

Today I get to have as many children as I want. I am not monitored and coerced into having an abortion because I have fulfilled my quota. 

Today I get to carry my pistol if I want. I can shoot you dead if you become a dangerous threat to me or my family. 

Today I get to choose who stays in my home. No one in the government can impose upon me. 

Today I get to have my business be my business. No one can come into my home and rifle through my personal belongings without getting a legal document stating they have the right. 

Today I get to have a trial of my peers if I mess up. I am innocent until proven guilty. 

Today I get to choose my government officials. 

Today I get to read my Bible in public. 

Today I MUST thank you veterans for protecting all our liberties. 

Today I MUST thank you for your sacrifices and your precious blood that soaks our land. 

Today I MUST thank you families of veterans for all the tears, fears and sorrows you experience.

Today I MUST thank you servicemen and women. 

Today I MUST pray for your protection, wisdom, healing and your families. 

Today I MUST thank God for each and everyone of you.

Considering I get to have my get tos everyday, Veterans Day should be each and every day.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

C- Section - WARNING GRAPHIC - repost

"Want to take pictures of a C Section?" Farmer asked.

"Silly man" I thought.

She is numb and her hair is shaved and her skin has been cleaned. All ready to go.

Carefully cutting through each layer.

This layer is the peritoneum.

The other girls are watching.

This is her rumen - stomach.

Moving things around looking for the calf.

The calf inside the uterus.

Here is the calf's back leg.

Cutting the uterus.

One leg. Hold on while I find the other one.

She's coming out butt first.

Clamping her umbilical cord. She was bleeding.

Starting the clean up.

In the warmer.
I debated whether to tell the whole story.

We want life to be this nice, neat package and have such romantic and idyllic ideas.

This calf was due to be born in another week. But, mama had a very bad abscess on her foot that we've been treating for some time and it just wouldn't get better. She could not get up. We did everything we could to help her, but it wasn't enough. She was going to have to be put down.

Everyone felt bad that once the calf was born the cow would be euthanized. But, we were able to save the baby which is a small victory considering we were losing the mama BEB (Brown Eyed Bossie).

I cried. The herdsman spoke quietly to mama and Farmer was left to take care of it.

This is one of the hard and unpleasant aspects of farming. And, if I didn't show and tell it, this whole blog would be a farce.

So while we have a new little BEBette warming up in the warmer we also had to say goodbye to one of the girls. It doesn't get any easier as time goes on.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lil' Newby Up and at It.

This is a new born twin calf. Isn't he cute?

He isn't even an hour old and trying to stand up - he learned from Bambi.

He's trying so hard . . .

And, then he's down.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Deer Blind - Outdoor Facilities - not for the Farm Wife - Repost

It's that time of year again - hunting season. This year Son #1 is taking Wigglie #1 with him. It’s the first year Wigglie #1 is old enough and he has his own compound bow, has been practicing and is ready to go get that big one.

Son #1 has a tree stand of the condo kind out in the field south of us. I'm not kidding. We could put a couch, fridge and a small TV up there. In fact, if I could physically do this, it would have been done. I could have used it all summer as my "run to" place.

But my over active imagination stopped me. I imagined that I would have went up there with a good book, relaxed, fallen asleep to wake up with squirrels dancing around head. I would have freaked out and fallen out of the tree with my cell phone still up in the tree. No one would know where I was. At night fall the coyote would come and taunt me while I lay there broken and mangled. But then, there would be the chance that my Farmer in shining John Deere Green would have become worried and would have traversed field and dell looking for his extremely good cookie baking wife. He would have called all his farmer friends and the search would have been so profound I would have been found before day break. And, then there's a chance that a billion and five dollars will fall from the sky and land in my driveway.

Needless to say, no books or Famer's wife has graced the tree stand condo alone.

Last summer there was a desperate need for another tree stand in a field north of us. Son #1 is cursed with the first born qualities of having to do it right. So, no small wooden box would do.

He used attractive camouflage plywood and for a nice added touch a metal roof to keep the rain out. Plexiglas windows were to follow but I haven't heard if he installed them. So, the big, heavy, sturdy box was built in the driveway and had to be moved out to the field and up onto a platform that Son #1 also built. It was time to call in the reinforcers - Farmer and John Deere Green.

Farmer brought the tele-handler over from the farm and using the forks, he lifted the deer blind up and slowly carried it out to the field.

When we got to the field, Son #2 and Wigglies #2 and #4 were precariously perched on the tinker toy platform that the blind was going to be placed. This platform is 20 feet in the air. My blood pressure elevated to equal heights seeing my babies up there.

While watching them climb down from the platform I didn't know I could hold my breath that long. It's a good thing Son #2 could descend as fast as he did or I may not be here today to share. Wigglie #4 became a monkey as she clung to her daddy and brave Wigglie #2 came down on his own.

With Farmer at the wheel he was able to delicately lift and place the blind on top of the platform just about perfectly.

Once the blind was set, Son #1 secured it in place.

This is the field the blind overlooks.

Last season he watched several deer pass by. He made a commitment last year that he would only shoot at the really big ones - he's trying to get the little guys to grow up. There were several 6 and 8 pointers that he let go.

Now, this year, Wigglie #1 is out there with his bow. They don't use the blinds for the bow hunting. They have tree platforms. Wigglie and Son have a harness that they hook to the stand in the tree to keep them from falling. It's a comforting thought that either or both could be hanging around well after dark before someone came looking for them.

Coyote den behind the stand in the gully.

 I keep thinking, "Isn't there some sort of hobby or activity that my Sons could get involved with that would include, cushy, comfy and safe in the description?"

Gooey enjoying his cookie - nice and safe.

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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