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Friday, November 18, 2016

Let Go

Often when I am out on my walks I encounter sights that steer my thoughts toward deeper subjects.  Here is one that I encountered last winter.  I have various paths I take the dog(s) walking on depending upon where the milking herd is quartered.  Both coming and going I pass by this old grapevine:


You can see one little dead vine tendril clinging to a dead twig.

The main vine stretches from one tree to the next, so the twig is hanging between the trees.  There is no way to tell how long the vine has held the twig prisoner; swaying in the breeze, for years maybe.

  Once upon a time when the grapevine was small it sent out a tendril and caught onto the small limb of a tree.  It needed the support while its central stem climbed higher.

But at some point the vine tore away from the tree, or perhaps it was a small tree that died.  Who knows?  But the main trunk of the vine continued reaching upward into the canopy of the forest, leaving the small tendril hanging there, clinging to what used to support it; both of them dead now.

 (click on link for one of my favorite poems)

For myself I think of all the things I cling to that I don't really need; emotional crutches especially.  But also just THINGS, junk to which I have some sort of attachment.

Some people cling to resentments, dead relationships, whatever.  Things whose era has passed.  We cling to what is no longer alive and relevant to our lives now.  

I consider this and think of the things I really no longer need and should no longer hang on to.

Sometimes it's hard to let go.  But with much prayer I am learning to close the door on past things and no longer let them hang there in the breeze of my emotions.

Let go.

(Thankful for learning how to let go of things and emotions that clog my living in the present). 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Circumstances?

Ever have a bad day? 

What's a person to do?

Get out from under

What's crapping on you. 



(Thankful for the little lessons in life that God shares with me.  Also thankful that bovines tend to have oily fur which sheds stuff like this fairly rapidly.  By next morning she was pretty much cleaned off.  haha)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

My Whole30 Story



Not that my story is all that terribly dramatic.  However I did get on here and on Facebook and talk a bit about it, so I thought I'd wrap up the first 30 days.

Yes.  I did write the FIRST thirty days.

Today is Day 30 of my Whole30.  Here are my results:

*  This morning the scale advised me that I'd lost 10 pounds!  Yay!  This is really a pretty dramatic weight loss for four weeks of not half trying.  I did 30 minute to 1 hour walks 4-5 times per week.  But no major workouts.  And, with the exception of about 3-4 oopsies, I followed the program to the letter.

*  I can honestly say I went a WHOLE month without sugar!  This is a biggee for me.  My sugar dragon used to wake up roaring every morning, and roared loudly most of the day.  I will not say I do not have the occasional desire for chocolate; but the craving to consume everything and anything sugary is now pretty much quenched. 

*  I know this is TMI, but it has to be noted.  My GI tract is running quite smoothly.  No more constipation problems.  I do not know if that is related to eliminating dairy or not.  But it's a relief in more ways than one. 

*  Only once in the whole 30 days did I ever feel bloated or uncomfortably full.  And that was when I ate a bit too much of the roasted chicken and veggies one evening. 

*  Maybe it's my imagination but my joints don't seem as stiff.  My hands still get achy at times from too much activity or from the cold, but overall I feel more limber.  It's hard to describe.

*  This one isn't going to make sense either, but maybe it's just an overall feeling.  I don't feel as sludgy as I used to.  I think that comes from no sugar and no processed junk. 

*  I still get stuffed up from pollen when I'm out in the wind.  But I don't feel as stuffed up all the time; like the nasal drip down the back of my throat is gone.  Maybe the absence of dairy. 

*  Occasionally I feel so blase about food that I just don't want to bother fixing a meal to eat.  

Those are my most noticeable results.

My goal is to continue on for a Whole60, though I do plan on trying out legumes for a day.  And for now that is all I plan to test out. 

Ellen is bemoaning the fact that I am not going to have desserts like a "real mommy" should.  But I am hesitant to do so and break my good record.  Not to mention awaken the sugar dragon.  haha

I also plan on adding spinning or aerobics to the mix, to see if it will help the weight loss. 

Cheers.

(Thankful for the Lord helping me though this program and gaining so many good results.)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Whee, What a Day...

Actually, all in all, it was a good day.  Fridays are always shopping day.  Taking my mom into town to go shopping is always an adventure.  She is like a kid.  But I have become used to it; I find the humor and enjoy laughing with my mom.

Anyway.

Gary has been getting in our supply of hay for the winter.  He did bale some a few weeks ago, but he has had to search around to get enough to last all winter.

Last week he went over to L--- to look at some.  He said they were 4x6s, which are large, but manageable, and will last a couple of days up the road at the dry cows or heifer lots. 

He asked to have them delivered; I believe from 2 different farms, but the same driver.  Earlier this week the driver brought 2 loads; no problems at all. 

Then today he brought a 3rd from a different farm. 

Major problems.  The hay wasn't what Gary had seen and inspected when he was there.  It was the same size but was super wet and heavy.  I'd walked by it and it already smelled sour.

About the 3rd or 4th bale of hay was so heavy it broke a hose.  Gary did not have a replacement on hand so he and the driver went into town and got a new hose.  After he got it installed, an hour or so later, and went back to unloading, the very next bale of hay broke the hay spike completely off.  So he just paid the driver for his time and asked him to take the hay back where it came from.  He figures they hay will be rotten by the time he gets ready to put it out anyway.

So now  he has to not only find more, better hay, but also repair his hay spike somehow. 

That was this morning.

This evening I was just running water to wash dishes, Gary was just getting the cows in to milk and a neighbor calls and tells us a cow is out up the road.

When we get up there it's not *A* cow; it's about 6-7 out of 11 of our dry cow bunch! 

The story in a nutshell on that one is:  I'd left the gate open this AM when I'd grained them and it took them from 7:30 am to 5 pm to discover it. 

But a bucket of feed got them all back where they belonged. 

(Thankful for the problems we have and that the Lord provides a way to fix them.  Thankful for a husband who loves tinkering with things and fixing them.  Thankful that cows love their feed and will come back into their pasture to get some of it.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Turkle

Long, long ago, back when I was still living my California life, my sister got me a turtle.  A red-eared slider.  This was by my request, by the way.  For some reason I have always been fascinated by turtles and I wanted one awfully bad.  I put it in an old aquarium and kept it for about a year.  Unfortunately I don't think I ever actually took a photo of it; for some bizarre reason.

In any case my dad started calling it the "Turkle."  This is because his mother, my Grandmother Davis, always called them "turkles."

In June of 2015 I caught the below photo of a red-eared slider, commonly called a pond turtle around here, laying her eggs in my green bean patch.  


Then this past spring I'd pretty much forgotten all about it.  Gary tilled the garden beds and imagine my surprise when I went to plant my beets and found this:


Isn't that the cutest thing?  A baby red-eared slider.  I was enchanted, so I kept it.  It wasn't until much later that evening, after the beets were planted, that it occurred to me that there might have been more than one of them out there.  I went out to check and sure enough there was a little oval-shaped hole where one had crawled out.  I never did find it, so I hope it found its way to the pond.  But the mortality rate is pretty high.

At any rate, ours needs must have a name.  Right?  Ellen went online and looked up the most popular turtle names.  She came up with "Pebbles."  But, as is our wont around here, we have given it a nickname.  I remembered what my Dad always called them, and "Turkle" is what we call it.  A Davis family tradition being passed on.

I strongly suspect this is a female, though it is hard to tell.  You are supposed to look at the plastron, the bottom of the shell.  If it's concave it's male, convex means a female.  I believe...

The Turkle has grown by leaps and bounds.  We probably won't be able to keep it very long, due to a proper housing shortage here.  You are supposed to keep them in a tank with 10 gallons of water per inch of shell length.  She is rapidly reaching 3 inches long now, and I only keep her in a tub with maybe 2-3 gallons of water.  At this point she is happy enough, but I am going to try and get a bigger tub and larger rocks for her to climb out on so she can sun herself.  When she gets TOO big, maybe in a year or two (females can reach 12-13 inches in length) I will let her go back to nature. 


Until then we will enjoy watching her little quirks. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Full Bull Story

This actually happened on Sept 1st.  I started this on Sept 2nd, but have had in draft since then.  LOL  In the intervening time I have forgotten quite a few details....maybe on purpose!  Haha

To begin with let me just say that  in the almost-13 years I have been on the dairy,  I have had minimal trouble with any of our bulls, and have only been in dangerous situations a couple of times.  All of those times were up the road in the heifer/bull pasture where we take the open heifers to be bred for the first time, and Gary was always with me.

 (Hi! I'm Ellen :P ) (Um, this is what happens when you walk away from your blog for a moment.)


Yesterday however I was on my own.

Last year I went into the heifer/bull without hesitation as the bull was quite docile, minded his manners, and stayed with his ladies.  We were in and out of the multiple times from Nov through Feb; feeding, getting calves and cows...etc.  He didn't make a moo about it.



All summer however I had been going in the side "keyhole" access gate that goes directly into the corral, instead of taking the 4-wheeler through the big gate into the pasture.

Then yesterday I had to catch him because unfortunately his number was up to be culled.  So I thought, erroneously, that it'd be easier to catch him by going inside the enclosure, so I could nip out the gate after I closed it behind them.

Didn't work.

Soon as I went in to the pasture he saw me and came after me, chased me around a bit, with me screaming.  AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

Then I threw a bucket at him which distracted him a bit until I got to the corral.  Then I grabbed the bucket of feed, tossed that toward him (as well as I could with 30 lbs of feed in it) and got to the corral.

He displayed a bit, moaned and groaned at me a bit, but I chased him away from the bucket, got the feed, or what was left, into the bunks and got him caught.

It was rather hair-raising.  He wasn't actually attacking me, per se, he was just excited about getting his breakfast.  But when an animal weighing almost a ton gets excited and shows that excitement by butting at you or your 4-wheeler, things can get out of control.    He could easily have flipped the 4-wheeler.

At any rate.  He's hamburger now and I am still around, undamaged.  So all is well.

(Thankful: thankful that God is good!  I am still alive.  Life is good!)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Here I am again

So...

I am trying to get back into the groove here of blogging.  But I am failing abominably at it.  Nothing for it but to get back up and write about anything that comes to mind.  Here's what's happening on the dairy now.

Whole30
Last Saturday I started "The Whole30" plan.  It's not really a "diet" as you'd think a diet should be.  It's more of a lifestyle change really.

There are no calories to count.
No points to keep track of.
No portions to weigh.
Just lots and lots of whole, delicious foods to eat.

A friend asked if my food was boring.  No, not really.  I am, or was, a boring eater anyway.  Though I do like the varied spices in Indian foods, and try to imitate their cuisine when I can.  I am attempting to be a bit more creative with making my meals compliant to the program.  We are supposed to go easy on the fruit, but I am probably pushing that rule to the limit.   

Here's what the basic rules consist of:

For 30 days thou shalt not consume:

Wheat, in any form
Soy, in any form.
Legumes in any form, including green peas and peanuts or peanut butter
No dairy in any form
No sweeteners of any make or model in anything
No additives like MSG, modified corn starches...etc.  They have a list.
Nothing that has any of the above as an ingredient in any amount.

If you mess up; even a lick of a spoon or a stick of gum, you start all over.

Thou shalt consume:

Vegetables
Fruits
Meats

Easy peasy!

You do this for 30 days.  Today is day 8 for me.  I feel pretty good.  I can honestly say I don't really have any cravings for sugar or sweets now.  Today I made a batch of apple butter.  I didn't even lick the spoon.  I let Ellen taste it, she said it was good, so I took her word for it.

What I do really miss, and this sort of surprises me, is gum.  Usually I have a piece after a meal, so it's more habit than anything else.

Several people have asked "Why?"

Because:

Until I started this program I would go to bed at night berating myself for my poor food choices during the day.  I would wake up determined to do better and then fall off the wagon again.  Since Ellen was about a year old I have gained so much weight and seem to have little energy.  And no matter how I tried I just couldn't break the sweet tooth habit. I would make small efforts that would last a day or even maybe a week, and then I'd give in to the cravings and start gaining weight again.  A never-ending cycle.

It was awful.

I had come to the realization that I needed to take a drastic step.  The old cliche about the definition of insanity has a grain of truth in it; you can't expect different results if you are doing the same stupid thing over and over and over and over.

So I took a drastic step.  I am glad I did.  I sleep better at night; not only because by body is no longer trying to come down off of a sugar high, but also because I no longer feel emotionally drained by mentally flogging myself for my poor food choices.  I wake up in the morning knowing that I can eat as much as I want of wholesome foods.

Knowing without a doubt what I can and cannot have to eat really made things easy.  And for me it's kind of a fun challenge to come up with menu items for ME that the fam will eat too.  Really it's not that difficult.  A chunk of meat, some peeled veggies, salt, pepper, garlic...another spice or two: chuck it in the crock pot.  Voila! 

Tomorrow I am going to make sweet potato chili.  We shall see how that will go over.

Ha!

(Thankful.  I am thankful for that scripture: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13.  Several people6 have commented that they couldn't live without cream in their coffee, or some such.  But I have a promise from God to sustain me.)

(Ellen added the number above, the one that's out of place.  See if you can find it!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Two Questions

Recently...well...a month or two ago...two people asked me two different questions:

"Do you do what you do in the garden because you enjoy it or because you are expected to do it?"

"What keeps you motivated?"

One question came via a phone conversation and one by Facebook, within the space of a week or so.

I have been pondering these questions since and I believe the answers are almost the one and the same.

To me gardening is, in many ways, magic.  God's magic as it were.  It is the old, old story of death and rebirth.  The circle of life. The sort of magic that never gets old, that never ceases to thrill. 

How miraculous is it that you can take teensy little dead things like this...

                                                 (source: gippslandgardener.wordpress.com)

plant them and get a plant that grows taller than you are and produces, under ideal circumstances of course, pounds and pounds of fruit like this?

                                                            (source: senior-gardening.com)

I love to watch the little green beans sprout and unfold their initial umbrella leaves.

 The sweet potatoes fascinate me as well.  Just plant a little slip like this:

                                                             (source: ourhappyacres.com)

and then you can get several pounds of these.

                                                      (source: blindhogblogger.com)

What could be a better motivator than this?  I dunno.  But in the dead of winter when the temps are hovering around ten degrees I love to pop open a quart jar of green beans and heat them up for supper.  For dessert it's fun to roll out a couple of sheets of pie crust, pop open a jar of apple pie filling or blueberry pie filling and slop it into the crust, cover and bake.  Super easy.

In the freezer are stacked bags of corn, ready to be taken out, cooked and enjoyed: the taste of summer in mid-January.

Or a jar of homemade salsa to go with some tortilla chips.  That is another taste of summer in a jar.

The list could go on, but I guess this is enough to give an idea of my motivations for gardening and also to answer whether I do it because I like it or because it's expected of me.

Of course okra and cabbage fall under a different category.  I grow them because Gary likes them and I need a variety of things to feed him.  But I wouldn't be inspired of my own self to grow them for me.  If that makes any sense.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Learning Life Skills

It needs to be said now at the beginning here; I am not and likely never will be much of a homemaker.  It's a fact.  But I have a daughter; therefore I needs must teach her SOME life skills of homemaking and sitch.  This summer I have been attempting to do that. 

We are transitioning her laundry into her responsibility.  I still help a bit, but she does most of it.

This morning I had her put it in the washer and then we went down to visit my mom.  (Who is doing quite well, BTW, though it's routine that she forgets to take her meds.  Which story is for another blog post perhaps.)

My mom, after a bit of chitchat, inquired about our activities for the day.  I told her we'd harvested our onions, weeded in the garden a bit, and played with the dog.  But we needed to go home so Ellen could hang out her laundry.

My mom was puzzled: "Ellen needs to hang out HER laundry?"

"Yes." I said.  "She's learning how to do her own laundry."

Mom:  "Why does she have to do her own laundry?  I always just did your laundry and all of it all together."

Me: "Yes, I know, Mom.  That's why I reached age 20 and had no clue how to do my own laundry.  This is not happening with my child."

Seriously.

Ellen giggled and my mom laughed.  As she does at every thing, serious or not.     
 
I distinctly remember one morning, way back when, when Mom was at work, I had the morning off from college classes and I thought I'd do some laundry.  I was quite proud of myself for figuring out the washing machine and getting a load done.  I remember being a bit crushed at my mom's rather irritated comment as to how I could have been doing it all along.  Ha!  True enough.  But I was never forced to learn how and was never given regular chores to accomplish.

I had an ideal childhood.  True, I did plenty of outside choring around; cutting kindling and hauling wood was a year round job. I remember working hours in the garden, weeding, hand-plowing, harvesting, shucking corn, picking peas by the wheelbarrow load, shelling them, trapping gophers...  But as far as day to day chores; laundry, housecleaning...I had little to no part of it.  And very little got done.  I am not trying to pick on my mom here, or criticize her parenting, but I do want to make sure that Ellen grows up knowing how to do the things that I had to struggle to learn on my own...and am still struggling with this day to a certain respect. 

I am not going to overload Ellen with responsibilities, but as she masters one chore or skill I am going to add another.  She's going to know how to cook when she gets into her teens, how to do laundry, run a vacuum cleaner...etc. 

I have very little self-discipline of my own, so trying to teach my daughter is a challenge for me, but I am persevering at it.  

Thanks:  I am thankful for a daughter who realizes that she needs to learn how to take care of herself, even though she does protest at times.  I am thankful that I am aware enough of that need to force myself to teach her, even though I have to endure her occasional prolonged protests.  I am thankful that I can spend the time with her teaching her these things instead of someone else teaching her.  I am thankful that my mom can laugh at the past even when I make snarky remarks.  I am thankful that my mom didn't catch my snarky remark.  I am thankful for the wonderful onion harvest that we got today. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ellen's "Times"


In various books that we have read together the children in the story have written their own newspapers.  Ellen wanted to follow suit, thus here is her newspaper, spelling errors and all. 

May 29, 2016  By Ellen

Memorial Day
Tomorrow, as we all know, is Memorial Day!  It is a day to remember all of the Vetrans.  Lots of people celebrate with barbecues and such.

Fashion Trends
The most popular fashion Items are swimsuits.  Of corse they will be, well because its summer, and it's also time for swimming.  Popular patterns are usually cheveron and Polka dots.
   Boy fashion: Plaid shirts and Nike/Under Armour are very popular

Hard Times
As we most all likely know, the Beloved Long Lane Elem. has closed. ):  My Long Lane friends and I are trying and have secksessfully ajusted to the new school.  How did we do it?  Easy.  4 cups of faith and one of friendship.

5 Questions ansewerd

Today unknown has ansewerd 5 questions to the book The Dragon's Whim, By Pamela Dean.  Here are the questions:

What is this book about?  Five children in an imaginary land.
Who are the characters? Ted, Ruth, Patrick, Ellen and Laura
What is the setting?  The Hidden Land
Why do you like this book?  It's fun
What about this book do you like?  The literary style

Bluebirds day
Today a local blue bird nest's eggs FINALLY hatched!  There are five baby blue birds in the nest.

From the author
Dear Reader; Thank you for reading this.  If you love it don't throw it away.  I did it, exept for the front, by hand..  Ellen

Credits
Thank you for inspiring me to do this.

Closing
I guess we don't need one.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Country Can-do...

 On Facebook a few people commented on my fix of my broken glasses:
Hubby's idea; A section of coat-hanger and hot glue.  So far they have worked for 3 days!  It was something to the effect of a Humboldt or Ozark fix... Anyway; I said I liked to call it "Country Can-do."  You come up with whatever works.

I did that in another way last week, too.

We do not have a microwave.  This was a mutual decision hubby... (Rabbit trail:  Why do I keep calling him that?  I dunno.  That's what I started calling him when I first started this blog, and I have just kept it up.  I call Ellen Ellen...  Hmmm...  His name is Gary.  Maybe I will just call him that.)

Anyway.  Gary and I decided to forgo having a microwave for a couple of different reasons.  Gary doesn't believe they are healthful.  I have never had luck with a microwave; they will last maybe a month for me and then go KAPUT!  Then I have to figure out how to get rid of them.

Then there is the fact that I have very limited counter space here in the house.

So...

No microwave.

However.  On occasion I get a serious craving for microwave popcorn.  You know what I mean?  Well, maybe you don't.  But if you do  you know that even though you may have one of those poppers that spits out healthful happy kernels of puffed up corn, that's just not the taste you crave.

It is very difficult to have microwave popcorn without a microwave.

Hence another Country Can-do:



Open microwave popcorn bag and scrape contents into your skillet.  Cast iron is probably best since it heats more evenly.

Make sure you have a roomy lid that will fit over your skillet.  Make sure it fits securely.  Ha.

Turn heat to medium, shake pretty much constantly.   After a short time the kernels will begin to pop.  Keep shaking until popping slows down.

Do not remove lid until after you have removed skillet from the heat.  Wait, but shake.

Remove lid.

Tah-dah!


 Enjoy.  This makes for some yummy toasted old maids, too.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Another Mom-ism

As much as she is able she tries to keep in contact with family and friends from California.  She does, when prompted, remember names and situations.

For instance; at the senior living apartment complex she'd lived in for so long there were a few neighbors she became friends with, or otherwise was acquainted with.  She does remember them and ask about them from time to time.  The apartment manager, Doris, has written her a couple of letters and kept in touch; which is very sweet.  There was one man there who was friendly, but irritating, that she remembers; Brad.  He had Parkinson's Disease, I believe, though don't quote me on that one.  He was in a wheelchair, but could use a lift to get into his truck and hold a part-time job, I think.  Or he volunteered, I am not for sure.  Anyway. 

A couple weeks ago Mom got a letter from Doris saying that Brad was in really bad shape and was waiting for a referral from his doc to be admitted into a care facility. 

Mom:  "Oh, that's too bad, I didn't know anything was wrong with him, except for what was wrong with him."

This also struck me as funny.  How could she know what was wrong with him until Doris told her?  I don't know.  She is just funny.  Sometimes I can't help but laugh; (as long as it's appropriate) and mom will laugh along.  Still cheery as ever.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mom-isms






Here, in case you missed it last fall, is a pic of my mom in our new Mule.  She seems happy, waving joyfully at the camera, but afterward she admitted she wasn't quite impressed with her ride in it; "I felt like I was about to fall out the whole time."

Ha Ha.




Anyway.  She still gets kudos for being willing to try new things at age 86.  Her mind may be going, but she is willing to give most anything a try.

On the subject of her mind going.  Yes, she is quite likely in the earliest stages of dementia; very forgetful.  She will ask the same questions several times in a row, doesn't recognize her own possessions if they are out of her sight for any length of time...etc.  But she is almost always in a happy-go-lucky mood and smiling.

Even when she was younger, I can remember she'd forget phrases or names and come up with funny sayings.  One in particular I can remember is what she called the popcorn dude; Orville Dickenbocker.  hehehe...

Now she is coming up with some funny stuff again. 

Last Friday in town we were at the library.  I was inside getting books while she worked on her word search puzzles out in the car.  Well, right in front of her, maybe two cars up there was a collision at the intersection.  An older lady and a dude collided and somehow the dude's car ended up over the sidewalk about 2 inches from the library building's corner. 

I asked my mom if she'd seen it and said I hadn't even heard it when I was in the library.  "Oh, no," she said.  "I didn't hear anything until there was this big THUD!"  For some reason this struck me as hilarious. 

That's one mom-ism.  More to follow.

Thankful:  My mom is still with me, she is sill happy, she can come up with funny stuff. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

1 1/2 Inches


Yes, that's about how long that clipping of hair is. 

You'd never guess only that much hair would bring on the end of the world. 

Or seem too, at least.

My daughter, bless her heart, has this "THING" with having long hair.  She has never...even when she was too young to really care one way or the other...wanted her hair cut.  She has always wanted long hair.

So about 3 weeks ago when I suggested we trim her hair, Katy bar the door, you'd've thought I'd suggested we cut her head off instead of her hair!  I hadn't trimmed it in over a year, almost 2 years in fact, so it was uneven on the ends and rather raggedy. 

O, Lord...talk about carry on!  She summarily refused to agree to a trip to the hair salon, so I must needs do the dirty deed myself. 

She wailed and gnashed teeth for a while...then insisted that we get it over with ASAP, necessitating my leaving supper dishes in the sink and heading to the bathroom to accomplish the scalping.

Before and after the dirty deed she insisted on my measuring it.  So, having nothing else, I used a yardstick and got crude measurements of 24 inches before and 22 1/2 after.

I am pleased to announce that yes, she did live.  Here she is with her hair in TWO braids. 


I say "TWO" because for this whole past school year she had insisted on having only ONE braid down her back.  Her bangs have not caught up with the rest of her hair though, so they forever come wisping out of the braid and straggle all over her face. 

So after the horrific trimming event she has wanted TWO braids, and that has done wonders for keeping her bangs off of her face. 

When she can take care of her own hair I shall mightily rejoice. Yes I will.

My thankful notes:  A daughter who sticks to her principles through thick and thin.  A daughter who makes up her mind as to what she wants and sticks to that.  (Maybe those are the one and same, but who cares...this is my list!)  Braids, which are easy enough to do.  TWO braids instead of one, to keep her bangs off of her face.  A daughter willing to get an ordeal over with, even though she summarily and quite vocally disagrees with the ordeal.  LOL

Friday, April 22, 2016

47

On Wednesday, about...oh...maybe 3ish PM, I was fixing supper and happened to catch a glance of the palm of my hand out of the corner of my eye.

On it was written, in black Sharpie: 47 

That's all.  47
I remembered writing it there, but for the life of me I couldn't remember WHY or WHAT it stood for or WHEN I'd put it there.  I mean, that IS my age, but why the samhill would I write my age on my palm?

I finished preparing supper; we ate, did chores, went to bed.

In the course of time the 47 wore off.  But my curiosity remained.

On Thursday I pondered; off and on.  Well, Wed morning I'd gone to our Book Study.  But there are no Sharpies readily available there.  Afterward I'd stopped by my mom's.  We keep a Sharpie handy there.  Ellen uses it to mark off the days on the calendar to help my mom remember what day it is.  (Not that this works, but that's a different blog post altogether.) But why 47?

Hmmmm

I keep a  Sharpie in the kitchen at home.  But still; 47 what? 

It really had me flummoxed.

Until today.  Friday.  48 hours later.

I had to stop at the post office in town and get a book of stamps.

Then I remembered.

On Wed morning when I left the Book Study, I ran up to the post office there in that town where the lovely lady at the PO told me the new price of 1st class stamps.

And that is the mystery of the number 47 on my palm.  And it also cured me of EVER wanting to take OTC allergy medication EVER again.  Because it was on that day I'd taken 2 of them and not only could I barely stay awake during book study, but I had trouble remembering things.  Allergy meds cause short term memory loss.  So now I am taking homeopathic allergy meds.

HA!




Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Great Escape

Last night we had just finished eating supper...maybe about 4:30 PM, when the phone rang.  It was sister-in-law who was just getting home from work, from Lebanon way.  Here's a brief version of the conversation:

SIL:  "Yeah, I think your cows are out, down at the creek on P Highway."

ME: "What, what?"

SIL:  "They are all Holsteins and it looks like the whole herd, some are in the road."

ME, talking to hubby: "She says there's a herd of Holsteins on P Hwy at the creek."

Hubby: "It has to be them, their the only dairy cows in the area. Get the car, get going!"

ME:  "!"

SIL, half hour later:  "I asked what I could do to help, but I was talking to empty air; you'd hung up on me." 

LOL

Hubby got on the 4-wheeler and Ellen and I jumped in the car really quick and off we went.  It's not too far from us; just a mile around the corner maybe.

When we got there only 2 cows were on the highway, but yeah, aside from 2 sore-footed ones, the WHOLE HERD was down there, all FORTY THREE of them!  Fortunately, they all knew it was time to head to the barn so they didn't give him any trouble....which is why in the pic they are already headed back from the highway.

Anyway; hubby had to abandon the 4-wheeler at the far side of the pasture and walk them ALL THE WAY back.  It must have been a mile or more, I am not sure.  SIL and I had to take the Mule back by the highway to get the 4-wheeler afterward.

The cows seemed to have ambled down the creek bottoms from our place, through our fence and two other neighbors' fences.  We figure all the fences down in the bottoms were destroyed by the flood back in December and, like us, no one has had the chance to go do repairs.

Hubby said in 29 years he's never had them to do that.

And here's the understatement for the day:  Hubby spent the bulk of today fixing fences....

(And he didn't let them go down into the creek bottoms today, either!)

(I keep forgetting to do my thankful list:  This one calls for lots of thanks:  family that will help out, neighbors who will help out..there was one there at the hwy blocking traffic for a few minutes, cows to make me laugh, a husband who can hike a mile herding cows through briar and brush and still laugh afterward, cows that know their way home and are eager for feed at the end of the day, no matter how wayward they may be, a 4-wheeler and a Kawasaki Mule)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Cows are Funny

It is finally spring here in the Missouri Ozarks.  The cows are happy to forego the hay and nosh on grass and clover. There is a pasture to the west of the farm barnyard here where hubby puts the milking herd at night in the spring.  He has kept this pature shut up until now because he had to put up cattle panels to protect some new equipment we put out there this winter. So the grass and clover are ankle deep; lush and green. 

Last night, for the first time in months, hubby opened the gate and let the cows go out there after milking.  Boy did they ever enjoy it. 

They enjoyed it so much that in the morning they were rather uninterested in coming into the barn to eat during milking.  Hubby said he opened the door for the first batch, all of which usually come into the barn voluntarily, and they all just stood there and looked at him.  He had to go out and coax them in.  They'd filled up on green stuff.

So, after milking in the mornings in spring and summer, they are usually eager to head down over the hill to the creek bottoms.  Meh.  No.  Not this morning.

They went over to the gate leading to the west pasture.  They wanted out there again.  That was some GOOOOD stuff out there. Ha ha.  Hubby had to chase them off down the hill to the creek bottoms.

But at noon they had all come back up from the creek bottoms and were standing at the gate to the west pasture again.  In ELEVEN years I have never seen them do this before. 

Hubby had to chase them off again.  I laughed and laughed.

But that's not all.

Over winter we had about 15-20 (I lost count) heifers freshen, that is, have calves and join the milking herd. 

After milking last night, when the rest of the herd beat feet out into the newly opened pasture, about a 8-9 of these heifers just stood there at the gate.  When we headed to the house they were still standing there, watching their colleagues walk by them into the tall green grass and wondering what to do.

When hubby went out at 4:30 am to do the round up, there STILL stood 4 of those new heifers.

They stood there; at a 16 ft wide gate, ALL NIGHT!  Watching 40 some other cows chomp down on ankle-high, lush green grass.

Why? 

I dunno.  Cows are just funny like that.

But tonight, we watched and yes, they finally ALL went into the west pasture after milking.   There is some sort of message in this story, but I am not ordained to preach and it is beyond me to ferret it out at this moment!

Ha ha!