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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mourning with no Regrets

What do you have planned for your day today?

Do you even have plans?

Are you working, shopping, cleaning house, milking cows?

Today my friend is going to her daughter-in-law’s funeral. She has been grieving the last several days over the accident that took her beloved son’s wife’s life. She is hurting double. She is mourning her short time with this woman. They were married shy of three years. My friend is also broken hearted over her son’s loss. As a mom, she can’t fix this hurt.

As she drives to the church this morning for the service she will pass by some of you and wonder where you are going, what you are doing and marvel at the normalcy of your life. She’ll wonder if you could possibly know the pain she is enduring today.

As your day ticks off minute by minute, enjoy your busyness, your chaos and your unfocused view of life.

One statement she made yesterday while I was with her is “I want to just take in and remember everything about the service and what everyone has to say about her. She was such a special person.”

Listen to what your family and friends have to say to you today. Don’t expect endless days with them. Say what you want them to hear. Break free from your fears and reach out. Right the wrong. Lay down your pride and spread the forgiveness blanket before them.

My friend is at peace with her relationship with her daughter-in-law. All was spoken, all was shown and all was given. 

Regret will be one thing that isn’t at the funeral today.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Eternal over Urgent

A window to heaven.

Today I woke up a little early. And, I was well rested and ready to get the day begun.

I showered and took my time doing my make-up and hair. As I was transforming myself I thought about all that I had planned for the day.

Family members flittered across my mind as I was curling my hair. Thoughts of giving my husband a call before I headed out the door. Wondering how my parents were doing. Thoughts of the grandkids in school and all they faced.

I carried those thoughts to the kitchen where I loaded the dishwasher – who wants to come home to dirty dishes in the sink after a day of work?

I mentally leafed through dinner possibilities for next Sunday’s dinner. It was 6 days away so nothing had to be decided. Just thinking about my options waiting to see if anything hollered “Yes, cook me”.

I fed the cat, straightened the pillows on the couch.

I sat down and read the three devotional books on the end table. I read a couple of chapters in the Bible – I finished the book of James. Nothing jumped out as extraordinary. I sat for a few minutes listening for God. I knew he was there, but he had nothing earth shattering to tell me.

The weather had warmed and it wasn’t snowing so I decided to take a quick walk before jumping into my mile long list of duties for the day. The warmer weather had turned my thoughts to spring – optimistically so. Should I plant bright vibrant colors or warm softer shades . . .

A bright light followed by a rush of passing air surrounded me. Then I was in the presence of God.

He smiled at me and said “You probably are wondering what happened. You know you are in heaven, right?”

I was in so much awe I almost had a hard time comprehending. Everything looked different, it felt different, it smelled different and sounded different. Different yet amazing.

I still didn’t speak. I couldn’t. I had never been in such a holy, hallowed, peace filled place.

“Instead of me telling you, let me show you what just happened” God said.

And then right in front of my eyes I could see myself walking down the street and a blue streak that slammed into my body. I then saw the two angels who I hadn’t noticed that were walking by my side, reach down and pick my body up and sail upwards and then the image was gone.

I couldn’t believe it.

“I was hit by a car?” I asked.

God nodded.

“But, I didn’t see it coming, I didn’t hear it. I never felt it hit me. How can that happen?”
God just smiled and said nothing for a minute.

“My precious daughter today was your home coming day. The circumstances surrounding your journey are insignificant. You are here, you are loved and you are on the brink of life as you’ve never imagined. Let me show you around.”

My friend’s daughter-in-law was killed yesterday. A sudden, unexpected, never could have been prepared for death.

It knocked our knees out from under us and as a church/friend community we are having difficulties comprehending the news.

Once again, it brought the fragility of life to the fore front.

It got me thinking. I wonder how her morning went. Did she have any inkling she was going to see Jesus that morning?

We get so busy with life. We push thoughts to the back of our “to do” list in order to “get things done”. The things we sweep to the side that we will make time for later more than likely have a more eternal value than the urgent - doing dishes, arriving at work a few minutes early, watching the morning news or whatever it is that robs our minutes.

Making a phone call, saying a blessing over someone, even a smile, a hug, or an “I appreciate you” takes moments.

Let’s purpose to have our moments count.

I pray we choose eternal over urgent.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Dear Santa – All I Want for Christmas is Patience

On my way home from work last night I made some stops at various places and it was getting late so I decided to stop and grab a Chicken Little sandwich from a chicken place.

I saw the drive thru had about 6 cars and when I looked into the lobby I saw no one there.

So, being the efficient person that I am (at least in mind), I parked and went inside.
Standing at the counter was a large man. I noticed he had his billfold in his hand and it looked like he was paying.

“Great” I thought. “He’s just about done. I made the right choice!”

He stopped midway into his billfold and asked about a certain meal.

“Great” I thought. “He hasn’t even ordered yet, but this should be faster than 6 orders.”

“Can I replace the biscuits with a side?” he asked.

“Sure. What would you like?”

“Ummm” as he looked around “what are the choices?”

After he saw the board and having to read them all out loud, he picked two sides.

The kid rang him up and I’m thinking, 3, 2, 1 . . . my turn.

Then the large man asked “How much would it be for 6 chicken pot pies?”

The price on the board stated $5.00

The kid at the register said “Just a minute, I’ll figure it out.” 27 taps on his screen and 45 seconds later “$31.80”.

“I guess that is what six $5 pot pies would be. So, I wouldn’t really save much money if I ordered that instead” he stated as he paid for his order.

Car #2 passed by the drive-thru.

I’m thinking I will still be ahead of the sixth car. How much longer can this take. He ordered. He paid.

As the kid was handing the big guy his meal he asked “Do you want any butter or honey?”

“Oh, yeah. The last time I forgot and they were all mad. I need enough for everyone.”
The kid handed him butter and 4 packets of honey.

“I need at least six honeys” the large dude said.

“Just a minute I have to go to the back and get more.”

Two long minutes and 3 more cars passed the drive thru he made it back with a handful of honey.

I was riveted in line – I had to get my order in before car #6 passed. It was a matter of principal. But I figured he had his chicken, sides, butter and honey. What more could he need?

The big fat guy restated the anger from his family from the last visit and how he had to be sure to take some home this time.

By now I just want to say “Take your honey and get out of the way!”

He fumbled around with the bags of food. Finally, he left.

I stepped up and the kid said “What can I get you?”

Car #5 was just pulling away.

“I can do this” I thought.

“I just need one Chicken Little sandwich” I stated while watching the drive- thru window.

Just as he was tapping it into the screen another set of stubby fingers came over his shoulder.

As the fingers tapped a voice said “Why do you have the water on there?”

Apparently when the big dude wanted to know the price of the 6 chicken pot pies the kid also added a water. When he deleted the order the water stayed.

Also, apparently the water which was free and would have no bearing on my order was a problem with stubby fingers.

After another 2 cars passed by the drive-thru window stubby fingers had the free water erased and the kid tapped in my order.

I stepped to the side and waited for my measly chicken sandwich.

I stopped counting cars after 10 passed as my order was handed to me.

I walked out carrying my one pathetic chicken sandwich, defeated by my attempt to choose the more excellent path. The cold freezing cold air hit me as I skated across the parking lot trying not to fall and noticed nary a car in the drive-thru.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Now You See It, Now You Don't

This calf just had emergency surgery.


Well, I’ll tell you.

She was transitioning from calf feed to Total Mixed Rations. Basically I guess you could say she went from baby food to eating off the table. Anyway, there were pellets in her new food and the dust from the pellets caused her to bloat. We’ve had other calves bloat in the past and while it doesn’t happen on a regular basis, it is a common issue as far as dealing with it.

The cure or fix for bloating is to insert a tube into their mouth and down into their rumen – stomach. In doing this, the gas will pass through the tube and she will be back to normal.

The reason we have to “fix” the bloating is that the bloating will get more and more severe. If not taken care of a calf could die.

So, our calf manager followed our SOP and inserted the tube. This crazy calf chewed and chewed on the tube while he was treating her and expelling the gas. When he pulled the tube out only 1/3 came. The other 2/3 was chewed off and in her stomach.

Not a good thing.

(Since I'm not savy enough to know how to add a video you can see it on my A Farm Wife face book page.)

Our herdsman who is amazing had to do surgery on the calf. We have some sort of scope but the camera wasn’t working so he couldn’t scope her to find out where the tube was. So, he started by prepping her – shaved her, disinfected her, and numbed her.

He made the first incision – just a small one. He looked inside and WaLa! It was right there.

He sewed the edge of the cut stomach to the calf’s skin to keep the stomach situated where he could work on her.

As you can see in the video the part of the tube that was inside the calf was probably about 3 feet long.

Once the tube was out he sewed her up and sprayed her incision.

She is doing great now.

Just another day on the farm.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Things You Learn When Your Feet are in the Water

I had a pedicure today from a Vietnamese woman who escaped Vietnam. I’ll call her June.

When she was nine years old her mother along with thirteen other people from their family fled. They lived on an island off Vietnam and when the decision was made; her mother threw her and her brothers into the water and told them to swim to the boat out from the shoreline. She had been teaching them to swim previously.

There were thirty people in the small boat trying to get to Thailand. Her mother had hidden food inside her clothing. There was no room in the boat to even turn around. They drifted for two or three days to safety. They spent two years in a camp where her mother learned some English, how to write a check, shop for groceries and other basic skills.

They were sponsored by a church near Grand Rapids, MI.

Before they left, when they were living in Vietnam, they had to declare the number of people living in their home and could only purchase enough rice for that many people. Also they could only purchase enough material or clothing for that many people. This was to deter anyone from hiding a person from the authorities.

Oh, and by the way, her father was taken from their home when she was four because he was working for Americans. They had no idea whether he was alive or dead.

About 10 years after arriving in the US they were informed he was alive and finally released from prison.

June was in fifth grade, knew no English and was the only “foreign” kid in the school. She had to learn the language along with everything else taught in the school. She was the “different” kid. She looked different, talked different, totally different. 

She has since become a citizen as well as the rest of her siblings and her mother. They are all working in various occupations all over the country.

I asked her what she thought about all the “stricken, afflicted, suffering” people who didn’t get their candidate voted into office. The pain and agony that has crippled these free Americans that need to check out of life because it’s all too much to bear.

She said “send them to me. I’ll tell them what suffering is all about. They have no clue what freedom really is.”

For too many, freedom has no value. How have we arrived to the place where freedom is not recognized? Where have we failed along the way? How sad that so many American’s have perished on foreign soil for so many who have no regard or appreciation of that sacrifice.

Is it too late to change the direction of our future? Can we teach those who don’t to do? Can we teach them to cherish, treasure and hold dear the freedom they don’t even comprehend?

I have no solution to this problem. I have no way to wrap this blog up into a nice tidy package with a feel good ending.

I hope June’s story will cause some to stop and think. Think and react in an honorable way and to hold our freedoms to the high significance it deserves.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Ignorance Isn't Bliss - It's Ignorant. Go Towards the Source

OK. There’s this 120% uneducated person out there that is spreading lies about the dairy industry and as a Pied Piper their followers are dancing along behind them believing every word. I will not validate this person with a name or site. But I will dissect the lies and share the truth.

This ignorant person states that cow’s milk gets whitened. They must be confusing the dairy industry with the dental industry. I can see how easily that can happen when you ignore all the facts.

Cow’s milk is white. Comes out white and stays white. There is no blood or pus in your milk. Upon occasion an animal will have mastitis. That cow is removed from the herd and treated. When her treatment is done and the hold time is up the cow comes back into the herd to be milked.

Apparently this person knows more about dairying than us dairy farmers. Their “facts” state that a cow is milked 24/7. Hmmm . . . we never knew that. We’ve been giving them time to eat, drink, mingle with each other and chill out on their mattresses in between the times we milk.

Another statement: a cow’s life span is 20 years, yet as a dairy industry we turn them out in 4-5 years – it must be from having the milkers hanging on their teats 24/7 (insert eye roll here). We have cows that are double digit in age. Must be all the attention we are giving our animals – like feeding and caring for medical needs. This has to stop so we can have a turn over every 4-5 years.

Also, after the 4-5 year kick out the cows have their throats sliced at the slaughter house – this person’s false fact. I’ve been to many slaughter houses yet I’ve not seen this. A cow is an animal. This animal provides food and products in many different ways. Milk and meat are two. If this person is so anti-animal killing then they need to inspect their cupboards and lifestyle.

Footballs are generally made from cattle hide. Ooops, no more football!

Some soaps, lubricants, lipstick, face and hand creams are made from the fats from beef. There will be some stinky, dry skinned people out there once they see this.

Say bye-bye to buttons, bone china, piano keys, wall paper, sandpaper, toothbrushes, combs, glues and violin strings.  I guess it’s OK to not use toothbrushes since this person and those who follow only eat vegetables. The can mush them up and swallow – no teeth needed.

Are you diabetic? If you follow their reasoning and don’t use animal by products (which many do) then I hope you have your will made out. It takes the pancreases from 26 cattle to provide enough insulin to keep one diabetic person alive for a year. There are 5 million diabetic people in the US and about 1.25 million of them need daily insulin. We can reduce population that way – make more room to grow more vegetables.

Rape on the farm is a common occurrence in this person’s brain. I find it offensive to even suggest something that is so horrific to so many women be used to describe artificial insemination.

Personally, I see no need to attack people’s choices in food. If you want to be vegetarian – great! If you want to be organic – great! If you want to be GMO free – great! I choose to eat meat, drink milk, be a conventional farmer and I don’t have any concerns about GMOs. There is plenty of room on this ball of mud for all of us to have choices.

There is one thing I would ask. If you have any questions about organic farming – ask an organic farmer, not a conventional farmer. If you have questions about GMOs or other farming – ask a farmer who uses GMOs – don’t listen to celebrities and angry specialty groups. Go to the source.

A great source for all your farming questions is Ask The Farmers face book page, or their site This is a group of farmers – all sizes and types that coexist on this page to answer questions and share information on all kinds of farming practices.

You know the saying “Go towards the light?”

I’m saying “Go towards the source.”

Live long and carry on.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Shhhhh - Looking for a Wife

My son - outstanding in his field.

Shhhhh. Don’t tell him but I’m looking for a wife for one of my sons.

I have one son left to marry and I really want him to be happy – translates to I want more grandkids.

And, since he never reads my blogs I should be pretty safe.

I thought I’d list the qualifications needed in case any of you are interested.

Oh, he’s smart, good looking, a lot of fun and will be a great husband and an awesome dad.

Now on to the list:

1. She must be sturdy – if you’re going to come to the farm you need strength and the ability to stick with something until the job is finished.

S   2. She needs to be organically raised by her parents –  we all know organic is so much better than the conventional way of farming that feeds the world.

     3. She cannot have any added hormones. God gave her the right amount.

     4.  She must, must, must be antibiotic free – in fact never taken any antibiotics, ever. We want to make sure that no residue from the safe antibiotics out there has ever entered her body. We don’t want any issues passed down to the future grand kids.

     5. She can only be GMO-free or it’s totally a no go. Even though the National Cancer Society and AMA and scores of other scientific and medical communities have deemed GMO products safe, we just know that “they” who tell us GMOs are evil must be right.

     6. We prefer she comes from a small family. Large families are known to mistreat their kids. In fact, they have extra kids just to get more money from the government. We call them Factory Families. No large family is a good family.

7. Along with being from a small family, she needs to be familiar and have had spent time out side – free to roam and range out to the environment. Her value will be higher than a house bound woman.

Seven simple qualifications needed.

If any of you or if you know of anyone who meets this list then please feel free to contact me and we will set up an interview time.

Oh, I almost forgot. There will be a fee of $1000 to join this search, but that’s OK because the money goes to the HFW fund. Helping to Find Wives. You can search our website to see how that money is dispersed. I can guarantee you that no more than ½% will go towards the searching process. Sadly the expenses of the Board of Director eats up the rest of the monies. Notice it was Board of Director – singular? We do all we can to cut costs. But, you’ll feel good about your donation because we’ll send you a poster of a very sad eyed, cute Mother-in-law that will melt your heart.

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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