Archive for the ‘Farm Stuff’ Category

Cowgirl Rides with the Big Dawgs

Cowgirl is my number three beautiful gorgeous goddess. She is not my only animal lover, but she is the one that is pretty much fearless around animals. People tend to freak her out, yet any animal is an instant connection for her.

Cowgirl is my one and only horse show kid. Every spring, we load up her horse in our tiny trailer and drag it behind our ’94 Chevy Suburban along with saddles, tack, washing gear and more, and head to the shows in nearby communities. She and I play horse beauty shop until her baby looks as near perfect as we can get him, then she leads or rides him into the arena in front of judges and stopwatches.

Cowgirl isn’t much of a fan of being judged. She doesn’t have a whole lotta use for the shows. It sorta stresses her perfectionistic, competitive spirit beyond its elasticity limits.

And darn it, that girl can get cranky when she and her horse don’t do well.

She’d rather be riding with the wind, hair flying out behind her, running free across the pasture. Or maybe circling a few barrels. She’s okay with that, too.

Cowgirl’s uncle is the one I blame for this bleeding hole in my pocket book. He recognized something in this kid when she was younger and pretty much told me she needed to be on a horse. I think he was just jealous that he didn’t have a Cowgirl princess of his own (he’s an all-boy dad) to dress up and parade around the arena, so he just “borrowed” one of mine.

Cowgirl has decided she believes she’d enjoy actually WORKING cattle with her horse. He is, after all, a well-trained roping horse. I put a bug in Uncle Cowboy’s ear and we sat back to wait for opportunity to jump up and bite us.

The call finally came.

Uncle Cowboy called us this week to ask if Cowgirl had plans for this Saturday (today). With nothing major on the agenda (well, there was this Big 5 banquet and swimming to attend, but that got trumped), he invited Cowgirl to help them work a few cattle. Apparently they thought they would be somewhat short-handed, and when desperation kicks in, almost any “body” with a little bit of horse sense is better than no “body”.

Cowgirl washed her mud-dog horse last night so he’d be clean and fresh for the job. This morning she got up early and put on her layers of hoodies and t-shirts to brave the cool morning breeze. We headed to the farm and I watched from the distance as Cowgirl did her thing. She fed, saddled, grabbed the necessary tack, then waited for her ride.


Sounds like it could be a long day. I can hardly wait to hear the tales of her adventures.

10 Reasons I Miss Living in the Country

For all it’s downsides, growing up in the country had some strong advantages. Many of them I am only now beginning to fully appreciate…

….Mostly because it is now my children I’d like to isolate in the lonely barrenness that is the middle of nowhere. When I was growing up, it was sheer torture being out there.

Here are my top ten reasons (so far) for wanting to return to the isolated country life:

1) The teenage toilet paper brigade loses interest at about the six mile point. I never had to clean up a TP and shaving cream mess. Of course, I was a social reject and probably wouldn’t have been chosen TP-worthy anyway.

Note to self: Investigate ways to de-popularize my children.

2) Climbing a haystack for exercise and solitude is much cheaper than driving to and paying for yoga classes and a shrink.

3) No one gives a rats behind how many horses, cows, goats, chickens, or other strange and unique critters you choose to keep, nor do they care how they smell. If you can pay the feed bill and stand the smell, you can have the critters.

4) Really bad teenage drivers don’t usually show off their engine revving corner-sliding skills that far out. The teen drivers out there are too busy hauling hay or plowing a field to be very annoying.

5) Baby rattles aren’t necessary. Just find a nice-sized diamondback snake and use his post-mortem remains for infant entertainment. (Actually, I DON’T miss rattlesnakes. Those are one of God’s creatures I can certainly live without.)

6) Being grounded is hardly noticeable. What? Wanna take away my social life? What social life? I live 10 miles from the nearest human my age. Go ahead…make my day.

7) Driving lessons start early…..like about age 6. There is no crunch to squeeze in all of the driver’s ed hours, no worry about finding a road on which to teach driving skills. Just a few fences to dodge and gates to avoid….unless you terrorize your father badly enough early on so that he never puts you on a tractor and barely lets you drive a pickup.

Dear Dad….It was all part of my evil plan to avoid plowing forever.

8. If you choose to ditch church, everyone just figures you had a livestock or mud issue to deal with and they leave you alone about it. God excuses and forgives those kinds of absences.

9) Power outages are never ten minutes long. They are HOURS and sometimes days long. Sucks if you have an entire cow in the freezer or if the temperature is minus 20. Much fun if the kids are all at a friends house and you and hubby are alone with candles, strawberries, and whipped cream.

This assumes of course that your hubby is not the one having to go fix the power outage.

10) Edutainment is free. With that many animals, you will not need to go see a movie to laugh until your sides hurt, plus your children will know every part of the mammalian, reptilian, and insect life cycles including specific details for how each critter makes babies.

Have you ever seen rabbits “do it”? ‘Nuff said.

Magnum PI DejaVue and a Jail Break at the Farm

We had a jail break yesterday. Apparently our horses, Buddy and Shorty, both lacking anything important resembling manhood (studhood?), were quite upset when their female pasture companion for the last month had to go back to her home way out in the country.

I didn’t realize just how upset they were…..

….Until I returned from picking up HorseGirl from cheerleading camp only to find my baby girl running up and down the barditch between our farm and the football field and acting like a lunatic. Then I saw them….the big beasts that had just busted through my pathetic attempt at a horse fence. They were enjoying the munchies available on the other side of the road…..visitor’s side concession stand.

I slammed on the breaks, hollered at HorseGirl to jump out and get her horses, backed up that minivan and jumped out with her.

HorseGirl hollered at my baby to go get halters. Meanwhile HorseGirl and I did everything in our power to keep the nutless wonders contained and calm. Belly scratching was working pretty well…until Buddy decided to move and my sandal clad foot decided to be under his 25 year old hoof.

Forgive me Father…I know not what I said, but I’m pretty sure it probably wouldn’t be suitable in church…..if I ever went.

Pretty sure my mom wouldn’t approve either.

Halters arrived, horses were under control, and HorseGirl led them both back to their jail…er…uh….pasture. A little feed, and our adventure was over….I thought.

A few minutes later, my hubby calls and asks if the horses are out. I told him, “Not anymore.” He said he was listening to the police talking about horses being out and trying to find them.

I looked out the window and saw no less than two cop cars driving by. HorseGirl was trying her best to hide until they drove away. I figured they were trying desperately to find the “loose” horses and in an attempt to relieve their desperate search, I walked out to give them the scoop.

The first police car had already driven off, but the second one, unmarked yet obviously a police package car (I know this from my years of being a sheriff’s daughter—valuable and important information for life), was still driving slowly. I waved. He rolled down his window. I didn’t recognize him. Strange– because I know almost everyone of any authority around here. It makes me feel important.

I gave him the whole ugly story, including the part about the agonizing pain on the top of my foot, then stuck my hand out towards him and introduced myself. He obviously needed to know me. Had he been bald and wrinkled, I might have been less forthcoming, but this older dude was still sporting a good amount of hair that was actually still on his head, plus he had a thick salt and pepper colored ‘stache on his top lip.

Since I consider myself quite a connoisseur of attractive older men, I had dubbed him worthy of knowing me. He reciprocated the introduction, handed me his card, and we parted ways.

Five minutes later as I looked at the name on the card, I had a serious dejavue moment.

Serious dejavue.

Flashback to 1980. I was about 12. We had a fun lady coach for junior high athletics. She always commented how her husband looked like Tom Selleck/Magnum, PI. He came to a few of our trackmeets, and most of us agreed. At the ripe old age of twelve, we all helped her admire the deliciousness that was her man.

Time passed. Thirty years to be exact. As the CSI photo enhancing computer in my head did its amazing aging work, I stood there realizing that I had just had a personal encounter with Magnum. Him. That man who was once the spouse of my coach.

Poor sucker.

Next time I see him, I have to tell him. HAVE TO. It’s a desperate obsession.

Am I weird or what? Do any of the rest of you remember this?

So yeah….crazy horses and a huge dose of dejavue. Turned out to be a good day, I’d say.

Sharing the Love

Cynthia sent me some no obligation love. It seems like a nice way to step back into blogging after a little over a week of almost no writing. Besides, the rules of “accepting” the love award might just make for a good post, so here goes.

The first rule is to thank the person who gave it to you.

Thank you, Cynthia, for your words of encouragement, your interest in finding a better way, your passion for making a difference, and your willingness to share your insights.

Part Two–Ten Things I Love

1) I love the man with whom I share my four beautiful girls. I’m not even sure where to begin other than to say, I’m glad I listened to my heart instead of my head and my religion 20 years ago.

2) I love these four beautiful girls. They amaze me. Constantly. They challenge me. And I’m grateful. Through challenging me, I know they will grow up to think for themselves and live with a strong sense of self.

3) I love the serenity of nature. It doesn’t really matter if it is flat lands or mountains, deserts or beaches. Nature feeds my soul.

4) I love thunderstorms. Their powerful violence is coupled with nurturing energy. They feed plants, settle the dust, and occasionally wreak life-changing havoc. Sometimes life-changing is ultimately good.

5) I love watching my daughter ride horses. Her grace, power, and beauty is a most amazing form of art.

6) I love simple. Simple soothes my soul. Sparse, minimal, essential working together to provide ONLY that which is necessary and no more removes the clutter from my mind and my life.

7) I love green grass. There is an amazing energy that feeds me when I can walk through green grass barefooted.

8. I love late spring/early summer. The winds have gone. Gardens are kicking in. Fruit trees are beginning to share their bounty. Nature nourishes us.

9) I love cold snowy days when I can be inside by a fire. Snow + Fire + No Work = Heaven.  I love it even more when the snow goes away the next day and a warm sunshine takes over.

10) I love freedom and its necessary partner faith. Freedom of knowing that I can do whatever my heart desires requires a tremendous amount of faith that if I do what my heart desires, I and my family will have all we need. I love watching the evidence of this partnership reveal itself. It’s truly fascinating.

Part 3–Pass It On

I have the privilege now of identifying ten other bloggers to receive an “I Love Your Blog” award from me. In no particular order, they are:

My Little Life–I so enjoy reading the every day antics of others who are making it day by day with a house full of kids. The material generated in these situations is endless, and priceless.

Living the Questions–Elissa Elliott is the author of Eve: A Novel of the First Woman. We are travelers on a similar journey, and I am blessed to have her encouragement and words of wisdom to help me along the way.

Trey Morgan–This is one cool preacher dude. As preachers go, he is one of the few who “get it”, in my opinion. Some days I wonder how he keeps his job as much as he challenges the status quo of religion. Other days I think I need to corrupt him just a wee bit more, but those are few and far between. He’s definitely out to make us all think and rethink.

The Rambling Poet–Renae Cobb found me. She is another sojourner on a similar road facing the realities of her religious and societal history, her desires for her girls, and her love for her man. Traditional but not. Feminist, but faithful. Adventurer with one foot in the safe zone. She is a wonderful encouragement to me.

Farmer’s Daughter–Abbie is a Connecticut farm girl who seems like one part me and one part who I wish I was. This is one very “got-it-together” farm girl with a talent for writing and sharing her ideas about lots of things from farm life to nature conservation to living green to parenting.

Blue Jeans and Cotton Tees–Melinda is another living-the-rural-life mom with tales and adventures of normalcy around every corner. She shares cooking experiences, kid experiences, family get-togethers, and so much more.

Cleavage–Kelly Diels is raw, direct, and real. She’s not out to keep anyone particularly happy. She’s not out to avoid being offensive. She doesn’t worry about the fact that her mom might read her blog. She is real. She talks about real issues that make me think. Issues about sex, relationships, self-doubt, seeing things as they really are. Kelly rocks.

My Modern Country–Darcie is just up the road in the southeastern plains of Colorado. She’s another countrified mom with a great guy and some kids and she’s making things work. Who needs comedians when you’ve got kids, country, and a camera?

Attack of the Redneck  Mommy–I never realized rednecks could live in Canada, but apparently redneck mommies do. Tanis educates me in so many ways. She is a parent who has experienced the greatest of joys and the most tragic sadness. Her writing helps me to become more aware of my own ignorance in the area of disabled and differently abled children. She is not afraid to be different, to take a stand, and to go boldly where no one has gone before. And she’s just hard-core funny, too.

10) My last award goes to a some blogs (which means I actually picked 12–I’m such a rule-breaker) that are “big-time” and don’t really need any love from me, but I just can’t help but love them. Danielle LaPorte’s White Hot Truth, Ronna Detrick’s Renegade Conversations, and Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman are incredible. They make my day in so many ways and in such different ways. Very cool stuff.

None of these bloggers are in any way obligated (guilted) into passing this along. I don’t do guilt. It’s annoying. I just found this was a great way to ease myself back into writing before tackling some of my more intense topics. It also gives me an opportunity to thank some people who bring a smile into my life.

Finally, I will attempt to let each of these beautiful people know that I love their blogs, their words, their wisdom, and I have publicly acknowledged them, no guilt attached.

Tree Sex and Nature's Womb

The title might be a little over the top, yet there is something so amazing about a year in which nature outdoes herself in productivity.

This winter saw an abundance of snowfall in our region. The old timers say lots of snow is what the fruit trees love. I’m sayin’ lots of snow is what EVERYTHING loves.

Notice I didn’t say Every BODY. Plenty of people got really tired of the stuff this year. But the outcome of enduring that endless parade of snowfalls means we’ve got good things on the way.

There is a small plot of dryland wheat pasture just east of the Wellness Center. That means the farmer plants it, but its only water comes from the rain and snow over the winter. No wells. No irrigation ditches. No center pivot sprinkler system. Not even a strategically placed waterhose.  I’ve watched it for a couple of years now, and this is the first time since we’ve owned property over there that he’s had any success.

And it is GORGEOUS.

That’s my word for the day.

GORGEOUS.

Saturday I heard the whir of something with an engine outside the wellness center windows. I looked out and someone had a swather in his wheat pasture laying out wind rows of freshly cut wheat hay to cure before baling it.

Mother Nature done good this time.

Then I started thinking about all those beautiful blossoms that had been gracing the trees with their GORGEOUS-ness a few weeks ago.

Cherry Blossoms 2

Cherry Blossoms in Bloom at the Farm

Peach Blossoms

Blossoms and pollination are tree sex, in case you didn’t know it.

I decided to inspect the various fruit trees around the farm and wellness center.

I wasn’t disappointed.

Tree sex and a mild mother nature this spring means we have fruit.

Tiny green apricots are hiding behind big floppy leaves. It’s been several years since they survived the late spring freezes.

The old plum tree next to my in-laws house is proving itself to still be worthy of existence.  Not many plums on there, but enough to make a statement about the amazing bounty we are going to experience this summer. This old tree spirit can say the womb still works. For all you non-scientists out there, the fruit is the womb for the seed. That’s such a fun word. Womb.

My grapevines have tiny grapes peeking out. This is their third year in the ground, and I am very proud that they are showing signs of productivity.

Tiny cherries are everywhere on the collection of cherry bushes that are located around the farm and wellness center. I’m betting they will be the obnoxious sour kind, but they’ll get eaten by something. If not us, then the birds will likely feast this summer like never before in recent years.

My two year old peach trees are popping out all over with tiny peaches, while my apple trees are holding off a bit longer, taking their time, just beginning to think about showing their pregnant bellies.

Yes, this year is shaping up to be one of new life and rebirth in ways far exceeding fruit and veggies. Life itself is being reborn for so many.

An incredible and amazing harvest is in the making.

Time to go plant some zucchini!

Miss John Deere Lives Here

I simply must get pictures of my other children, but they just don’t frequent my favorite photo spots as much as this one does.

Cowgirl thinks this is actually her Tonka Toy. As coincidence would have it, she was born quite close to Father’s Day, and occasionally her birthday lands on Hunky Farmer Boy‘s special day.

Last summer in the middle of a deluge, I ditched Saturday massage class and our crew headed the opposite direction in search of a Father’s Day lawn tractor. The existing lawn tractor was approaching 20 years old and there is only so much that bailing wire and parts stolen from another mower can do to extend the life of an old piece of equipment.

Cowgirl had her heart set on a green and yellow model, and after some research and price comparisons, we decided a John Deere LA175 would suit our needs and our budget for our modest acreage.

Of course any new “tractor” purchase requires a baseball cap. She managed to squeeze the salesman for a pink cap for her and little sis plus the traditional black farm cap for HFB.

Here’s where things get confusing. The green machine was actually Dad’s purchase on Dad’s credit card. That would suggest that any sister willing to learn to drive it and mow should have access to our version of four-wheelin’.

Not so. Cowgirl is quite the possessive one. If a sis wants to go for a spin, they are relegated to riding in the pull behind trailer. That works for Little Sis, but the 15 year old has some issues with Cowgirl’s constant claim to ownership. Cowgirl doesn’t have a problem with it at all. Stealing the key is a frequent strategy. After all, it was purchased for HER birthday. (No Cowgirl. It was actually HFB’s Father’s Day on which your birthday fell last year.) Okay, in all fairness, we might have gotten out of a $100 birthday party by bribing her with joint ownership.

Did I mention she mows this whole pasture? I guess that makes it hers after all.

Pruvit’s Keto O/S

What if you could have the energy to get through your day and take care of your body at the same time? Experience Keto and discover how great you can feel!

Keto O/S is available Here!

Physical Performance
Human Optimization
My Favorite Books

Angie Cox, AHN-BC
Image of Angie
My Awakening
Got a bit of time to kill? Grab a hot cup of lemon ginger tea and kick back on the couch for a tale of this female's transformation from Religious Zealot to Divine Feminine Goddess.
Cool Wellness Tools
Really Old Archives