Tuesday, March 25, 2014

National Ag Day! National Awesome Day!

Today is National Ag Day!! Hooray!! The theme of 2014 is "Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed." This is a very exciting day, and a lot of folks don't even know it exists. On that same note, a lot of folks don't know where their food comes from or how it gets to their plate.

Did you realize there are 7 billion mouths to feed? That is not a small number. Roughly 319 million of those mouths are residing in the US and only 2% of our population produces the agricultural necessities. No matter where you stand on the organic/conventional or GMO/nonGMO issues that fact is amazing. 2% of our country's population puts their heart and soul, blood, sweat, and tears into making sure we can put something on your table 3 times a day. In case you haven't noticed, I'm proud to be included in that 2%!!!

365 days a year. There is not a single day that goes by that our 150 (give or take) cows don't enter the milk barn twice a day at 3am and 3pm. Not a day goes by that the feed isn't mixed and the cows, heifers, calves, bulls, and steers aren't fed. The dry cows (pregnant ladies) are checked on several times a day, and the ones in heat....well if the bull isn't in with them, they get AI (artificial insemination) bred. And there is nothing more amusing than the Milkmaids telling people about their daddy "breeding cows." That gets a few priceless looks and very confused girls. Doesn't everybody's daddy breed cows? The point is that every head is cared for every day. 

That's not even close to everything going on over here, but I won't go on and on. This would never end. Does the Milkman take vacations? Yes. But he never stops, day or night, thinking about our farm. (And if he isn't here someone qualified is.) He gawks at anything for sale on the side of the road (we might NEED it or he's ALWAYS wanted one), he uses Craigslist and Dial-a-Trade like an office uses a stapler, he talks in his sleep (usually telling me how to feed/fix/do something), and when he isn't here he talks to the hired guys more than he does me. But I don't mind. I feel secure and proud knowing that the Milkman cares enough about the land and the animals and his family to spend 24/7/365 working physically and mentally to provide for us....and for you too. I hope you had milk with those pop tarts this morning!

National Ag day celebrates the people that take everything God has given them and put their hearts and souls into doing what they love so that we can do what we love in 'Merica...you know...eat. We really like eating. I plan my day around what to eat, where to eat, and who to eat with. Don't lie...so do you. 

I can tell all kinds of good stories about dairy farming but I won't today. (Remind me to tell the one about how the oldest Milkmaid saw the bull trying to "dance" with daddy...it's a good one.) But we are just a spoke on the wheel of agriculture that makes the world go 'round. We have to have the beef, poultry, hog, wheat, rice, soybean, (and all the other crops), and so many more areas of ag to take care of everyone. Don't be afraid to seek out a farmer and ask questions. Or ask me, I know a few farming experts. We love talking about what we do. It is a job we don't go home from, a job that we don't even consider a job because it is as natural as breathing. It is a job that we can't afford to lose....after all it is 365 sunrises and 7 billion mouths to feed. Who else is gonna do it?

Don't forget to thank a farmer! Happy National Ag Day!! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Seasons of Joy and Not: Part 1

On a farm, especially a dairy farm, about halfway through a season you start desperately wishing for the next season. Some years you don't even make it halfway before the longing for whatever comes next strikes you.

This winter has been one for the books. Record snow, record cold, and some days of complete frost bitten misery. You are looking at fewer hours of daylight with lots of extra hours of work. Feeding more, because that's what keeps the Mommas (and all the others) warm. Unrolling hay bales so they have somewhere to lay that doesn't freeze those necessary body parts (teats) off. Nothing worse that frost bitten udders. Can you imagine the fun of that...ouch! You gotta pre-dip teats before milking (to help clean them), post-dip teats (to coat and protect after milking), we can't scrape the holding pen because an ice rink of frozen poop isn't appealing to anyone. And then comes the melting. The joys of losing a leaky boot in shin deep you know what. There's no better Kodak moment than standing on one foot while sinking deeper and try to figure out how to turn and beg the earth to release your shoe. The earth isn't very forgiving. And if you do manage to keep from quick sand like trauma, you flop the mess all up the back of your head with that over dramatic steps your using to keep from being swallowed. It's quite a workout.

Winter also brings the black birds. The plague like curse at our house is overwhelming. They are everywhere. Chirping and pooping on everything. They hang around because....apparently this is as south as they go for winter and lookey, lookey...the Milkman buys corn and hominy just to winter the winged parasites. We've tried shooting, clapping, screaming, the predator bird recordings and nothing works. They stay and poop. Ick. I hate birds.  

In the winter the Milkman usually milks in the mornings. The day begins at 2am with blaring alarms and not a "good morning" to be found. It carries on with a few inside breaks to thaw out, and back out until well after dark. It's long, cold hours for the Milkman and all our help. 
I usually just leave a few towels by the door so the house doesn't flood when he comes in. Mopping is useless. Sweeping by the door isn't very effective either. The Milkmaids can work a broom after winter comes and goes!! Needless to say we have been wishing this winter away for a couple months now. But when it's over....

SPRING! Finally. Thank the Good Lord above. It is warming up! The first part is cleaning up winters ugly messes. And the waiting...is last fall's seed going to show up green? If it does, will that last pain in the butt show of winter kill it? Timing fertilizer with the rain and spraying without the wind. Watching the weather and gambling daily. Faith, faith, and more faith. 

Spring brings the first silage season of the year. Oh! The good times to be had!! Mowing, chopping, packing, and bagging. It is some dirty work. You can expect hours of equipment repair, grease on everything, lots of water and Gatorade, days of lunches for a crew of 4-8 guys, a washer and dryer full of cut grass, and anywhere pants come off (by the door or in the bathroom) there will also be piles of the fresh cut wet grass. Sometimes it's like living in a dirt/grass floor home. It's a really good thing the Milkmaids learned to use those brooms.

It's good for the allergies (insert sarcasm). We do lots of Claritin, Zyrtec, nasonex, and Kleenexes. It's worth it. We work really hard to produce as much of our own forage as we can. There is pride that comes with not only raising our animals, most from birth on, but also working the ground God gave us. Putting a seed in the ground, nurturing it as much as possible, praying for the rain and sun, and watching it grow. It can be as devastating to lose a crop as it is to lose an animal. 

Every farm is different. There are crop farms without animals, farms that raise only animals, and farms like ours with both. There are large acreage farms, small acreage farms, and hobby farms that produce in all different manners, but one thing is the same on them all, we all farm on faith. We all stake our livelihoods, our well being, and the future of our passions on prayers, faith, and putting our blood, sweat, and tears into whatever we raise. What we put in directly affects the outcome. We make our money doing something we love and we feed our families what we produce. It's more than a job. It is our lives, our loves, a part of our families that words can't describe. We may wish away part of a season, but we know without each one we can't do what we live to do. 

Eventually I'll write a part 2 of this and talk about summer and fall. Lots of good times and misery comes in those seasons too. I know y'all can't wait!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Broken filters and freebies

God doesn't make mistakes. That's a fact in my book. He does, however, have a sense of humor. Take me for example, I was born with a broken filter. It doesn't work right or maybe it just doesn't work consistantly. I don't try to upset people. I don't usually think of things to say that catch people off guard. It's just that when my brain thinks something it has a tendency to projectile vomit that thought through my mouth, usually louder than I intend. 

My face turns red on its own accord. It isn't an indication of embarrassment. Or maybe it should be and my embarrass-o-meter doesn't work properly either. I rarely feel embarrassment. 

I have been hypnotized twice now. Thanks to Harry. He gets wild entertainment for some of the conferences I attend and uses trickery and guilt to convince poor souls like myself to get on a stage and act like there's no audience. Anyhow, the first time I didn't think I could be hypnotized. I'm stubborn and strong willed. Apparently those qualities don't make you immune to hypnosis. I went under and proceeded to spend several minutes introducing the audience to my new friend, Brad Paisley. This version of Brad did not pick and grin like the beloved man on the radio. That is because he was a balloon man. Not a balloon animal, but a man...expertly crafted from balloons. I went into the audience and picked people out an introduced them to my friend Brad. This should have been embarrassing and, in all reality, should embarrass me to tell people about. It doesn't. 

If you have been hypnotized you know the feeling. The one where you are fully aware of your surroundings. You don't feel forced to do anything. Just compelled to do what you are told without feeling nervous or self-conscious or embarrassed. It only matters that you do what you are told to do. 

The second time I didn't want to go on stage and do something stupid and give everyone another story on me. Lord knows I have provided enough stories for a good book. Once again, Harry refreshed our hypnotist's memory of my balloon friend and they conspired for my return to hypnosis. I was hesitant but couldn't say no after being called out in front of everyone. So I found my place in the chair. Front and center. When the hypnotist asked me what in my life I would like to improve or work on my thoughts went to several different things, none of which I wanted to share with a huge room of people I barely knew. What was my response, you ask? I said, "Nothing. Everything is pretty much perfect." I was not hypnotized yet. That was all me. Now, do I think I am or that my life is perfect? Not even close. But my filter semi worked. Because what I was thinking is "none yo business. I didn't ask to come up here." But my semi-filter translated and vomited how perfect I am. It got a few laughs and the hypnotist didn't know exactly what to say for a second. Then he hypnotized me. 

I could have resisted, but what fun would that be? I was already in a chair on stage. When willing, I am easily put under. He wouldn't let me say my name. He told me I forgot it so I did. It is surreal but I see how it could be effective. It seemed to fix my filter, or it broke my brain. Either way. Something smart didn't shoot from my lips. When he said, "what is your name?" I looked up at him with a stupid grin and blank stare and said nothing. Nothing was in my brain. Nothing coming from my mouth. This might be the Milkman's dream version of me, but it didn't stick. He told me seconds later that I did, in fact, know my name and so I did. When I was done I knew the story and how I felt but my filter hasn't been fixed. I still allow inappropriate thoughts to spew from my mouth.

We were in Kansas City at a DFA (Dairy Farmers of America) conference. Yes. Dairy farmers, lots of them, attend conferences like civilized business people. There is always a big expo/trade show. I love these! They have equipment and booths and freebies! I love freebies!! I get a bag and go to the booths and get whatever they have for promotional items. Tire pressure gague? Sure! Coozies? Nevermind I have 10 zillion at home, these are free! Chapstick? Pens? Stress ball? Stuffed animals? Yes! Yes! Yes! Give me at least one of each! If you bring your cute kids the booth people love giving them free stuff! 

The Milkman is NOT the person to bring to these things. He does not like hunting and gathering the free items. He isn't above it, but it is somewhat embarrassing to him. He will peruse and ponder the Polaris, the CAT loader, the gloves and milkers, but take the free Chapstick? No way! He says, "Hey babe...get a few of those chapsticks." And I do. Because I love freebies!!!! And I am not above making useless conversation with the metal building guy out of New York to get the free pen. I will briefly consider a metal building of it gets me a free pen and notepad! Throw in an extra one and I'll take your card too. 

I do not get embarrassed. I almost fell down a flight of stairs at a conference in Nashville. No problem. I didn't hide. I made fun of myself. Gathering free stuffs? Absolutely. Not worried about it. Hypnosis? Doesn't scare me! Saying what's on my mind, unedited and unfiltered? Yep. Almost every time. You can count on me. 

It is more of a surprise when I manage to keep that thought in my brain. This is why I don't really do public speaking or talk on behalf of farmers. I testified in front of a house ag committee once. I don't know if I got anything coherent out because I was focused on not saying what I really thought. That's why this blog is good for me. I can edit. Sometimes some unedited, unfiltered stuff will slip in, and hopefully serve as entertainment for you. I really hope this little flaw I have is one of God's perfect examples of humor. Because if it isn't, I can add my broken filter to a long list of imperfections that my human nature has caused. I'd much rather laugh at it.    

Sunday, March 16, 2014

This ain't no candy shop

I don't care what people think. It is 6 simple words. I say them a lot. I hear them a lot. 
I know people that say it and don't mean it and people that can't imagine making a simple decision without thinking about everyone they might affect. 

The truth is that I care what people think. Not everyone, but there are people in my immediate circle that I care immensely about their opinions and weigh my options by considering how it will change them or myself. There are a few folks that aren't close, but I care what they think. I have worked hard to build a reputation, to be someone that possesses passion and wants to do the right thing. I don't want a decision, be it a bad one or just one that someone doesn't understand, to undo what I've established. 

I'm not likely to make a decision without consulting the opinions of the people I care about. I will consult and analyze until I'm satisfied with possible outcomes. 

I'm a firm believer in doing things that make you happy. I encourage my little Milkmaids to be themselves and wear what they like, not what someone else tells them is cute or not cute and be who they are no matter what someone may say. I want them to understand that decisions they make will almost always affect the people around them, but that shouldn't dictate everything they do. They should think about the right thing, and if what they do or say or how they present themselves sheds a negative light on who they are or where they come from. 

I grew up a preacher's daughter. We all know the reputation that comes with. I was pretty good, on a scale of saint to satan I would be closer to Selena Gomez than Miley Cyrus. Some of the people that know me might say I'm not very nice. I'm not always nice, I'll be honest, but a lot of times in small town speak "not very nice" actually translates into "not a doormat."  There is a difference in standing up for yourself and what you believe in and not being walked on or afraid of your own opinions. I have always stood up for my beliefs, myself, my family, my friends, and those who couldn't stand up for themselves. Those are the times in my life that it never mattered what anyone thought. Doing what's right because it is right should never be decided based on someone else's opinion. 

Being a preacher's daughter meant being aware that what I did or didn't do and what I said or didn't say directly affected my dad's reputation and the church. It wasn't always easy and I didn't always make the right decision. I am lucky to have a dad that is not in the candy business. He doesn't sugar coat or appreciate sugar coating. He likes the truth even when he doesn't really "like" it. I have a mom that has developed the same appreciation of straightforwardness and honesty. I am a genuine product of parents that put good decision making and doing what's right before anything else. 

It's a hard balance to learn. I have a reputation for being honest, sometimes to a fault. I know that the things I say sometimes hurts feelings and causes recoil. People that know me don't usually ask my opinion unless they want to hear what I really think. Sugar coating things isn't in my nature. You will have to look elsewhere that.

I put purple streaks in my hair last year. I'm a 31 year old mother of 2. Did I care what anyone thought? Nope. Not really. I'll probably do it again. I like purple in my hair. When I post on Facebook about my general dislike of the way our government is run, do I care what someone might say? Nope. I don't.  

My point of this is that we have stopped doing the right thing because we are afraid of what someone might think, or say, or what Joe Blow's opinion of us might be. We only buy certain brands because of what people think. We mortgage the house or farm to keep up with the Jones'. We gladly take on the disease of political correctness so nobody takes offense to what we say. That is a whole set of posts for a week of soapboxes. Yes. Something to look forward to.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dear Lord, help me through it.

The Milkman and I have 2 little milkmaids. They are 2 and 8, but think they are 12 and 18.
Kids aren't what you expect. You start out with this tiny human at the hospital and they let you take it home. Without an instruction manual, without supervision...are these people crazy? You don't know what you're doing. This tiny human is going to spend a lifetime depending on you for their every need. Well for that first little bit anyway. Holy crap! Who's idea was this?!?

Then you come home and you have the most perfect, smartest little angel of any little angel, ever. They ooohhh and aaaahhh perfectly and yeah, maybe that sweet little thing keeps you up at night, but that's ok because you just can't get enough. And then you hit about week 3 with no sleep, just a few showers, puke and poop, and crying. What was I thinking? How come nobody said, "Hey...I know you want one of these, but they are monsters and they will make you cry and beg for mercy like the devil himself."? 

Nobody really tells you that hard stuff. Except your own parents when you are about 17 and they say, "I can't wait until you have a teenager of your own and you blah blah blah." Who listens to that stuff anyway? I was 22 when Milkmaid #1 came. I was young and it was hard. I had and still have a lot of family and friend support. I'm certain that we never would have made it without them.

That first kid you have, it is going to be perfect. It will be well behaved and clean. None of that running around screaming and looking dirty stuff. This parenting thing isn't so bad. Made it through those teething months, and complete dependency, it will get easier now that this kid is getting independent. Ha! Then you hit age 2 aka terrible 2s and "I can do it by myself" all while bumping, bruising, breaking, bleeding everything, everywhere. Do Not Help this kid. They Do Not need it.

"But you're going to hurt yourself."
"I not. I ok"
"Sweet Baby Jesus, Lord, please help me get through this!"

Praying. Lots of praying. Along with cleaning, wiping, washing, fixing, potty training, and band-aids. Did I mention praying? You should definitely pray. Pray for help, sanity, guidance, and this kid...pray for this kid and that it survives your stellar parenting skills.

Skipping ahead to kindergarten. Oh kindergarten. (Yes, I left out a few years of snot, strep, stomach virus, shots, and cute little toddler giggles and wiggles, but this is a blog...I gotta limit it somewhere) 

School...a mother's dreaded "my baby's growing up" time. (not me so much, but most normal moms)

School. They gotta go. Unless you are brave enough to do it at home. I applaud those moms. I am not one of them. Public school is sanity for me. But back to it...school. Where they learn. They learn ABCs, 1-2-3s, things you are afraid to explain, attitude, and comebacks you are too stunned to respond to, for fear you might smack that look right off their precious little face. The first day of kindergarten Milkmaid #1 comes home and says, "This guy at my school....his sister got in trouble this summer because she was sleeping with her boyfriend."
Say what?!? Momma developed a stutter she didn't have before.

You learn really quick to withhold that initial reaction. You can't have your kid going to school repeating what you wanted to say. That could be embarrassing.

There is another thing about school. They get their feelings hurt a lot. Someone didn't want to play with them, called them a name, or was mean. This part sucks. You want to bestow a wealth of wisdom upon them and hand them a neat little package of your own personal life lessons so they can learn without living it. It doesn't work that way. And the "this hurts me more than it hurts you" saying pops in your head.

Kids are really mean. They don't always do it on purpose but sometimes they do. Watching your kid learn life lessons is hard. Everyday I say, "This is the hardest job ever. Nobody said it would be like this." Parenting, real parenting is probably the hardest thing you will ever do.
 Parents are supposed to teach their kids. To allow them the hard life lessons that they have to learn to be functional adults. We want to shield them, to not allow them to hurt, but that only causes more pain for them later. Parents are called parents for a reason. We aren't meant to be our children's best friends. At 2 and 3 years old they call us their best friends, but they are still sheltered and they aren't ready to learn those school-aged lessons yet.

I haven't gotten past the 2nd grade with my girls or this blog, so I'll let parents with older kids pick up where I leave off, but I don't think it's going to get easier. I know it gets harder. We will make it. We will ask for help and beg God for guidance and mercy and the ability to give our kids what they need to survive. We may be frazzled and half dead but we will have grown kids that make us proud. I know because if my parents can take me and my brother and get us there then we can do it too. 

"What do you do?" isn't the same as "Who are you?"

"What do you do?"
I really hate that question. I mean REALLY hate it. It's a common question. I'm guilty of asking it. But when someone asks me I stutter and stammer and appear to be having a stroke or something. Some people have fabulous answers to this question...doctor, nurse, lawyer, there are answers with lots of letters, and answers like, "I work at..." Those are good answers, but I struggle with mine. My general reaction is something like, "my husband and I have a dairy farm" but that leads to more of the "what do you do" questions. Um...pay the bills....raise the kids...supervise....which leads to the, "so you don't work on the farm?" question. Of course I begin having another one of the stroke-like episodes where I stutter "yes, I mean, no, well, sometimes...." Over the years I have come up with a few little self-deprecating anecdotes about breaking things or being slow, but I've never really nailed the answer. It's like a test I continue to fail so they keep giving it to me.

I suppose many other stay-at-homers have the same issue. Lots of people (including some of my family) think that not having a "real job" means I sit around watching soaps eating bon-bons (whatever a bon-bon is), or run around town spending money, or playing on facebook all day. I won't lie...some days I don't do lots of meaningful things. Some days I run around, or I have lunch with my friends or my grandparents, sometimes I just sit at the house with the 2 little Milkmaids. Those days are few and far between. Being a stay-at-homer isn't easy. I have friends that never understood then decided to give it a whirl. Most of them are back to their sanity at a "real job." Staying at home is hard enough, but staying at home on the farm is hard work.

When I say hard work I don't mean, "I gotta go to work today, be home after 5" kind of work. I mean the "this ain't no 9-5" kind of work. The 24/7/365 work. Stay at home moms typically have a husband that goes to work. He physically drives to another destination and stays there all day. The Milkman's destination is just a hop, skip, and a jump away. I'm thankful for this. Because when the 2 year old locks herself in the bathroom so she can "take a bash" and the key is MIA daddy can come in really quick and save the day. Or when the washing machine is pouring water onto the floor instead of washing the clothes the Mr. Fixit Milkman can quit whatever he's elbow deep in to see what's wrong. It is awful handy having him so close, but let's not forget the flip side to that coin. It also means when he needs something I'm just a phone call and a few steps away. He may need a tool from the tool graveyard we have in the laundry room (those things forget to jump out of the Carhart's and come in to die.) Or, he may need parts, and that requires a trip to town, maybe two. Sometimes it's that meeting that accidentally slipped his mind and can I please go for him? And the Milkman puts in about 12 hours a day on average...so he runs in for breakfast, lunch, and usually dinner. Most days I cook one big evening meal and if I'm here he likes eggs in the morning and a sandwich for lunch, and I don't mind.
The Milkman works harder than anyone I know. He is the kind of guy that can get covered in grease in a sterile room, and this job is D-I-R-T-Y. Which means every time he comes in he brings the job he's been doing in with him. I'm not complaining. I'm just painting a picture for you of how my days of soaps and bon-bons get interrupted.
I have lots of responsibilities when it comes to my family just like every other mom out there. I do the bill paying and accounting for the farm and the household, laundry, cleaning, yard work (I help as much as I can), I'm the taxi driver for the kids, the party planner, a referee, a counselor, a untrained nurse, a walking calendar and dictionary, the go-fer (go fer this and go fer that), I do the grocery shopping, and the clothing shopping (the Milkman doesn't like to leave the farm for clothes buying...even his), and much more. Sometimes I wish someone would say, "Oh, you have a farm? What do you NOT do?" That I can answer. I do not keep a spotless house as much as I'd like to, I do not watch soaps or eat bon-bons, I do not live off my sugar-daddy Milkman, I do not have a "real job."
I may not be a real dairy farmer, or have a super cool job title, or be able to answer that silly question that seems to define each of us, but I have lots of jobs. And the really awesome thing about those jobs is that even when they are a little stressful I know that I am doing what's best for my family. My milkmaids need me to do what I do, the Milkman needs me to do what I do, and I love every minute of it. Some days I question if I've lost myself or my independence, but the answer is always the same. No way! The reason our family and our farm survives is because we all depend on each other. God has given us the ability to live our lives this way and as long as it is His will, that's how we will live it! I am so thankful it's this way.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 8

I don't know what day I was made on. It had to be whatever day God made red headed preachers daughters. I do know that it wasn't on the eighth day. I didn't grow up on a farm. I didn't grow up in the city either. I grew up on dirt roads in rural towns. I had no intentions of being a farmer, but we plan, God laughs. I may not have been made on the eighth day, but without a doubt, God made my match on day 8. 
The milkman and I have been married for 11 years now and he has slowly brought me into the club of 8th dayers. I love living on our farm and helping when I can. I can't imagine us doing anything else with our lives. Raising our children here is one of the best parts. They get to actually see the work that goes into producing milk and feeding the world. They get to learn responsibility, life lessons, and see that hard work pays off and I don't mean in money! Being a farmer is rewarding (most of the time.) There are bad days too, but overall I wouldn't trade one day of this for fancy houses, expensive cars, private schools, or extravagant trips. 
Farming has never been easy. Throughout history farms have pushed through tough times. Sometimes it was a lack of money a farmer had, lack of rain, sometimes too much rain, and in our time it has been all those things plus part of a nation that has waged a war on an industry that sustains them, because they don't understand it. Farming is hard. We don't farm on guarantees. We farm on faith. We farm by looking for the positive, no matter how small of a glimmer we can catch. We farm because we love it and we have a support system between ourselves and our families.  
Thanks to Paul Harvey and Dodge most everyone knows who was made on the eighth day. God made a farmer. Today's farmers are a rare breed. People are so far removed from the farm; it has been generations since they have stepped foot on a piece of land that a family member worked or depended on for their livelihood and well being. The general public doesn't know that 2% of the population feeds 100%. Or that we produce more with less than their grandparents or great grandparents. People don't really know or care to know that real people, real families produce safe, reliable food to feed the world and their own families. But I know. I know it and today if you've read this you know it. Most likely you already knew it if your reading my blog, but take the time to share it with someone that doesn't know. 
Farmers aren't magic, they don't have all the answers, but they have heart and soul and faith and love for what they do. It doesn't come easy. The grit, stubbornness, faith and the desire to put every ounce of their being into success was infused into their blood on day 8. We are lucky to have these people. The ones that take whatever God gives them and grow and produce what none of us can live without. The ones that take the hard knocks, the bad with the good, the criticism from people that don't know any better and sometimes from the ones that do. I am thankful that I love a man that bleeds farm life. So today when you eat or drink a glass of milk with those cookies think about how it got there.  Take the time to thank a farmer and go ahead and thank God for those made on the eighth day....and the ones who may not have been made on that day, but have joined the 8th day club. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In the beginning...

I didn't sign up for this. I mean...I did, but it somehow seemed beyond my control. The Good Lord leads us in directions we aren't always comfortable with. I'm not much on writing or proper grammar or spelling. Thank The Lord for autocorrect (sometimes...you know what I mean!) I am going to give it a shot. I may fall flat on my online face, but I'm going to try. 
This thing is bound to be all over the place. I get passionate about agriculture and the war it's facing. Politics get me in a whirlwind of opinions and rants.  The terrible evil that consumes a good part of the world makes me ill, and if you know me at all, dare I bring up animal rights activists. My plethora of soapboxes knows no bounds. 
I know that everyone doesn't share my opinions. I can deal with that. I am always up for a healthy debate or just hearing differing opinions. I can agree to disagree. Most people can't be swayed...especially the ones that are passionate enough to voice how they feel about something. Most of the time I can't be swayed, but I invite anyone reading to respectfully respond or ask questions on anything I post. 
All that being said....you should know I'm a little terrified to do this blog. I don't know what's supposed to be in it or how I'm going to find the time to write anything. So I would ask you to say a prayer for me. That I can keep from completely failing at whatever I'm supposed to accomplish with this. I won't promise that everything I write will be very Christian-like of me. I will promise, that whatever I write, I will be passionate about and I will always be honest. Maybe I can keep a reader or two.