Friday, February 18, 2011

It's a GREAT DAY...

"It's a great day to be alive.  You know the sun's still shining when I close my eyes!"

So that song by Travis Tritt (one of my favorites It's a Great Day to be Alive ) came to me this morning at my kitchen table.   We had an early start as P-Pa headed out early to go pick up the Firecracker!!   She is going to hang with this Grandpa today.   Her other Granddad takes care of her a lot and she seems to enjoy these old guys!!!   And I think they might just kind of like her too!!

It is hard telling what their day will entail...but I can bet they will have fun!  You know looking at sheep and cows...eating oatmeal cookies...the life is good stuff if you are a P-Pa or Izzy!   Plus P-Pa will have a secret weapon--BO!   That seems to be who Miss Isabel thinks should be coming to visit her whenever any of us come.   She loves those dogs.  Actually those animals...

So I just want to say it is a good day!   It is Friday and Payday!  (means I have a job and am thankful).   Get to see my granddaughter and probably my kids.   Have a husband who 30 years ago today asked me to marry him and I am thankful I said yes.   See this stopping and counting your blessings thing...I know you have some too!   Make it a great day to be alive!!

Psalm 100: 1-2 in My Living Bible says...
"Shout with Joy before the Lord, O earth!  Obey him gladly; come before him, singing with joy."
So join in..."It's a great day to be alive...I know the sun's still shinin when I close my eyes..."   JOIN IN!

My folks would have been married 50 years today...wish they were here to sing with!!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

She loves her baby...

So my inspiration today came from the shepherd.   I am going with him to the doctor today to get his "nose job" check up kind of thing.   Decided that I would just work a little from home and not drive down in time to drive back.  Okay Okay I am getting back to my inspiration just giving  you a little setting of why I am here blogging and not working!   

Anyway the shepherd sent me this picture titled "She loves her new baby".

You might look at this and think this baby looks nothing like its mama!   But this mama loves this baby.  A few days ago, this first calf heifer lost her own baby during the birthing process.   She was one that mourned for her lost baby and would just wail almost at the side of her lost calf.    Well the shepherd who has a soft spot for Holsteins and loves when a mama can raise a baby, heads off to a nearby dairy with his dad at his side and comes bringing this trophy baby home.   Well the mama loved it right away almost.   Which is not always a common thing.   

But as I was walking across the yard from receiving this picture on my phone...I drifted off as I sometimes do...And it made me think of some of those special people I know that have different mothers than the one who gave birth to them...but mothers that love them so very much!    I also thought of  those who I think of as family that some might say they are not blood...but they are deeper than that they are heart!   So I thank the shepherd for sharing this pic and so happy for this little baby.   Also, thankful for all those mama's that love no matter what!

In fact to add to this story...Tim let this little guy out to pasture with his new mama and he said he just started running.   Being from a dairy and confined all his life...this new found freedom was a miracle in itself not counting having a mama who chased right after him saying I love you baby of mine!!


Monday, February 14, 2011


I have seen all kinds of takes on Valentine's Day today...some love the day....some dislike....some it makes sad....some think a waste.

I think I have always LOVED Valentine's Day and I haven't always had a Valentine but I just like the thought of a day dedicated to Love is how I looked at it.   I can see the sadness from those who want a "Valentine" but to me it is just another chance to say I Love You!

So I am taking the opportunity with my very favorite Chapter...

I seen kind of cool deal today...Bill I'm stealing it from you...

For GOD So loVed the world, thAt he gave his onLy begotten son, that whosoEver believeth iN him should noT perIsh, but have everlastiNg lifE.


So love to you all whether you love the day or not!!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Spring is coming!!

And again from my kitchen table...on a Saturday week of learning continues and the lessons of life are showed to me so very clear.   I was "the CHARGE" this morning!   That's right the shepherds were gone being cowboys and so I was left in CHARGE!   Oh yes I reminded Bo and Sweetie when I went out to check on sheep..."I'm the Charge" you two just do as I say!   They both seemed very impressed with this new found status!!

But I was all too well reminded of the coldness of the week we had when I went to make my rounds and there under the heat lamp was one sweet little lamb that had not made it.  The heat lamp was still going so I assume that perhaps this one may have happened on my watch...but this little one had lost its mama already...I sometimes wonder with sheep as some say they die of no apparent reason that maybe they just die from a broken heart?

Even with observing this loss, the beauty of the day still reminds me that Spring is coming!  So I breathe in the beautiful sunshine and head back in to my kitchen table...where I hear the ever familiar sound coming at pretty regular intervals out my kitchen window...something was going on.   I went out and followed the sound--one of the ewes was in the process of having a baby.  I was told by the "phone a shepherd" that she could just stay put and lamb outside because it was nicer outside than in the barn anyway and I am sure my trying to put her in would not be a good thing.   (This can bring about dirtier sheep but the warmth was such a nice thing!)  The weather being such that being outside was even an option was such a change in and of itself from the week we have had.   So I go out and check her out and she is just beginning to work on her "project".

The twins...
a little dirty being outside but sunshine and a good mama took
care of them until the younger shepherd took them in the barn.
I head back in the house and decide to hang out my sheets on the clothes line (Can you say spring...I love sheets that have hung on the line and the beauty is that they may actually dry and not just freeze).    I am out without a coat (and quite comfortable--temperaturely speaking I might add).  As I am hanging my sheets, I see right there from my clothes line, the miracle of life taking place with the noisy "chargee".   (I think of the pain of this part of the whole birthing process and I smile to myself thinking about my daughter matter of factly stating, "This is ridiculous" when giving birth to our precious Isabel.  One of those thanks Eve moments!)   And in this short period of time--the ewe has dropped twins out on the ground who appear to be trying to stand up already.   I head out to get a closer look and take a little bit of the "slime" off of one of these little guys face.  I love it when mama's just have them and take care of questions asked!  (I like this in the people world as well).

While I had seen the sadness of life...I was again reminded that Spring is coming.  New life begins.   Like I said, I had sort of a theme this week as far as what spring makes me think of.   In God Calling by A.J. Russell (the two listeners) it was written:
"Think of My trees stripped of their beauty, pruned, cut, disfigured, bare, but through the dark, seemingly dead, branches flows silently, secretly, the spirit-life-sap, till, lo! with the sun of Spring comes new life, leaves, bud, blossom, fruit, but oh! fruit a thousand times better for the pruning.

Remember that you are in the hands of a Master-Gardener.  He makes no mistakes about His pruning. Rejoice.  Joy is the Spirit's reaching out to say its thanks to Me.  It is the new life--sap of the trees, reaching out to Me to find such beautiful expression later.  So never cease to joy.  Rejoice."
That one really made me stop and think about the pruning!   And how sometimes after these times we do come out "better" for it.  But the theme did not stop there.   In My Utmost for His Highest Oswald Chambers was adding to my lesson:   (Sometimes I feel pretty dang special that God would take the time to have all these different sources teach me...give me words to listen to.)  
"Learn to associate ideas worthy of God with all that happens in Nature--the sunrises and the sunsets, the sun and the stars, the changing seasons, and your imagination will never be at the mercy of your impulses, but will always be at the service of God."
And I am lead to Psalm 92.   And while I come across it this week as though a new treasure, I had also journaled about this chapter before, and the same part stood out to me...

"13 For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house.
      They flourish in the courts of our God.
 14 Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
      they will remain vital and green.
 15 They will declare, “The Lord is just!
      He is my rock!"

Even in old age they will still produce fruit!!  And I think of the whole growing and springtime, and I want to be one who "still produces fruit and remains vital and green" for always.    And so I think of the hard winter behind and how I look forward to spring and so this morning at my kitchen table I write:
Saturday morning at my kitchen table and I know--Spring is coming!   Sure the weather may not be giving complete confidence to the fact--but by faith I know Spring is coming.   We will get through these cold days and in return will be first hints of green and tulips coming up through the snow and before long--all is green again.   Yes, Spring is coming and the sunshine through my kitchen window assures me that all is well.  The warmth goes deep in my soul and there is a peace that I cannot describe.
And I think of another Jars of Clay and Sarah Kelly are singing "I'll Fly Away" while I write.   A song of my Mother...and Me...and I reflect on a tea party with a certain sweet little Firecracker and her mama yesterday and I think how this circle of life continues.   And maybe this whole theme is making others trying to follow what I am saying go in circles--but it all seems to be one theme to me. 

What first caught my eye in Psalm 92 and though it does not talk about spring and the like, it does remind me to be thankful:

"1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
      to sing praises to the Most High.
 2 It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning,
      your faithfulness in the evening,
 3 accompanied by the ten-stringed harp
      and the melody of the lyre.
 4 You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!
      I sing for joy because of what you have done.
 5 O Lord, what great works you do!
      And how deep are your thoughts."
And though this writing might cause one to say boy she is going on a long "bike ride" today,  I close my eyes and give thanks to the Lord, for this day, for you, and for "SPRING"--Life Eternal!   Yes indeed Spring is coming!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


So Bo and I made the far so good.   No one having babies yet on our watch and hey we are up to 18 ABOVE zero now on the old mercury!!

This little guy was watching me watching him watching get the idea!!!

Taken from my if not a smart phone then is it a stupid phone?????

Aye Yi Yi...

So took another sick/snow day.  I had one person say SICK OF SNOW day?    I have mostly just been fighting off the coughing, headaches, and this morning it felt as though someone may have kicked me in the stomach...I am sure it wasn't the shepherd because that would have required him to be in bed to do so.   I think he spent a lot of time just hanging out at the barn...and checking the temperature!  (I think it stayed at a fairly consistent 18 below on the old mercury thermometer). 

I may have mentioned this a time or two but I am married to an EXTREME weather fan!  Anything that has to do with weather...count him in.   I think I have a new idea---WEATHER BOCK...on the idea of Facebook but you are only allowed to speak of weather.   Tim gets on Facebook but his favorite part is when others tell what there weather is in their "neck of the woods".

His favorite television personality is Jim Cantore on the Weather Channel or as I call him Joe Cantrell...Well I must say he has had plenty of it to keep him occupied...just not much time to watch it as he is living it!!   Since I have weathered the storm mostly from the confines of my home,  (Yes right near my kitchen table!)  I have not taken in much of the cold.

However, this morning I went out to help load up some heifers (because as some of you know heifers kind of are like me...not always do what they are supposed to do...not always want what you want them to want...but they clearly think they know what they are doing or at least try to fake it!!    So I layer up (no I didn't put on coveralls as I know they are an essential if out in it for long but they seem to make me claustrophobic--don't ask me why--but I was layered up well).   I look out my kitchen window at my little windmill that helps me know to which way the wind doth blow...and it is not turning.   I don't buy it and know that the house is breaking the wind.   Well walking to the barn...I am facing east so still not really feeling it.   We load the heifers and I decide that I can go get the mail since I am bundled up.   Bo and I take off and hit the road, and as we turn west towards the mailbox I get my HELLO WORLD moment.   That wind she is a cold one!   I do not know how those of you who are working out in it do it--but you do!  

I am on sheep patrol while the shepherd/cowboy is gone.   I sent a memo out that all babies should wait until later to make their grand entrance...I hope they all get it!!!   As I am sure the shepherds do too.

So please stay warm as I know there is a lot more snow further east...but I think spring is coming.  The sun is shining and warmer weather is in the forecast...because we know Jim Cantore wouldn't let us down!   Better go make my rounds...


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The "c" word...

"CANCER SUCKS"   (That was the post I seen on Facebook and so once again I pulled out this blog that has been sitting on the shelf.)    This was stated by a young woman who is watching her sister-in-law ANOTHER YOUNG WOMAN have to deal with something that I wish no one ever had to deal with!!   CANCER!   And I pray for this family and am so sorry for what all they are having to go through!   Just the word makes me almost sick inside and my heart hurts for them.   And so I go back to earlier work that I have started and stopped writing several times...

Lately it seems that the "c" word--cancer--seems to be everywhere and it seems to have come to my kitchen table as well.   I hate that word...I hate that disease...I hate what it does to those we love!   I have put this one on the shelf because it was one that I know will be hard to write!  But I continue writing because it is one that keeps building...while my nature seems to be one to avoid if possible...these words and these people keep stirring me--touching my heart.

Like I said this one has been on the shelf but I am back working on it.  Perhaps just coming through my husband having a skin cancer removed.   While not as serious as was serious enough to me.  And now he is healing up from having a "nose" job and they think that they got it all out and all he has is the scar left behind (lesson...use your sunscreen).

I lost my Grandma Bessie to cancer in November of 1981.   I watched her go through the pain and suffering that the cancer caused her but also the pain from the treatment.   My Grandma Bessie was one of my "people" one of my constants.   I still miss her and wish there were days she could enjoy my with my grandaughter...know my children.   I wrote a poem for Grandma titled--"Grandma's smiling again!"   And that is what got me through having to watch her suffer so...knowing she went to a better place.

In 1989, after watching the fight of his life, we lost my Dad to cancer as well.   While I would not wish the experience on anyone...I know that my Dad held on and  fought just for his family.  It would have been easy to give up...but he fought to the end.  We had the opportunity to say things that might have been left unsaid.   Chances to appreciate everyday just a little bit more because it was another day we got to spend with him.   My Dad was one of the tough guys...strong as an ox and yet the cancer took little pieces from him.   As a young wife and mother with two little children when he was diagnosed...those were hard times.  Times I wouldn't wish on anyone.  But in those tough days there were some awesome days!   Some miracle days!   Some days that just made you stop and give thanks.   I have always wondered what I could have done different.  It has been in my mind that when I prayed for my Dad I prayed for perfect healing.  I used those words "perfect healing".    As a Christian, I know that there is only one complete "perfect healing" and I know my Dad is healed.   I knew the moment that the lightning lit up the sky at the very moment the phone rang with my brother giving me the news...that my dad was gone.   However,  I also know the kind of man my Dad was he would never have been happy if he would have been slowed down by oxygen or the like.  So instead we lost him only 51 years young.  I always said he lived hard, he worked hard, he played hard, and he died hard.   My Dad wrote a note in his last days that he could barely write and a copy sets with his picture on my fireplace but he writes:

                                                                                                                  LOVE YA
 Another loss that touched me and perhaps because it was so close to home was losing a guy that I knew mostly through work but also through just living in a rural community, knowing his wife and just having children close to the same age as my own.   Allen Ringle was close to the same age my dad was when he lost his battle with cancer.  He also had two children...a daughter with children of her own and then a younger son.   Much parallel to my own life.   I had wished I could have been there more for Cindy and her family but it seemed so close to home and seemed to bring old pain to surface.   And I know I wasn't as supportive as I wanted to be.    Much like my dad's memorial service,  there were so many people from so many walks of life there to give just made you hope that you might touch just a part of the many lives they touched.

And finally the other name that was put on my heart and came to me at my kitchen table was the daughter-in-law of a very special cousin.  I did not know Libby personally, but I remember watching a video put together to the song "What a wonderful world" by her sister-in-law that was an amazing tribute.   I seen pictures of  her and her husband along with her beautiful children...and my heart hurt for them all...and I wished they would have had a little more time--one more day!

So just as many of you have had these stories...reasons for us to hate cancer--we continue to hope because we know special people that are fighting this fight.   And I have come to realize that their stories are not my stories.   I hope and pray that their stories are the ones that continue to give us hope and courage.   Ones that will give strength to those who must fight.

I know a special man going through this battle and he too is one of those "tough" guys.   The "John Wayne" types that are filled with so much character.   The kind of guy that just makes you smile thinking about him or one of his stories.   I have known Curtis all my life.   He went to school with my mom and "Butch" has always been someone that was almost family.   His wife was a good friend of my mom's and a friend of mine as well.   One of those that are kind of like another mother/grandmother (sister:)and  not "just" a friend.   And I watch their daughters and their family and friends coming together and I see such a bond of love.   This family is growing and bonding through ways that I am sure they couldn't imagine.  After seeing Curt the other day, I am hopeful...and I continue to pray that this will be one of the stories that you love to tell.  One of the miracle stories how he took that nasty old cancer out behind the barn and he let it know what was what!

A motto of their family seems to be "One day at a time."   A song that we should all sing.   Because even though those with cancer are more aware that their time is not their own...they seem to cherish more the time they have...although none of us know how much time we really have.    So with that, I hope we remember the words "One day at a time--Sweet Jesus..." and be thankful for this day we have been given!

My love and prayers to all of you who are going through so much!


Thursday, February 3, 2011


So I had seen several people post the following on Facebook:
BREAKING NEWS: There will be no farms\Ranches closed due to the frigid temperatures.  Each and every rancher will be out in the blustery, cold, blowing wind tending to their livestock. They will be praying for machinery to work and non-frozen water pipes. If you know a rancher, say a prayer for him or her and repost so the prayer line may grow for our ranchers to be safe.
And I must admit it has been pretty chilly.  Of course this is the one who takes on the cold, cold days by going from the house to the truck...the truck to the office...and maybe a few sneaks out here and there.   BUT that is not the case with the "shepherd".    It takes him most of the day to get the chores done/the ice broke/babies delivered--then it's night and time to start over.

I keep hearing various temperatures.  In fact at our house the shepherd compares the mercury thermometer to the digital one.   I prefer the digital because it always shows warmer...I could be in "DeNile" (I think it is warmer there:)   All I know is that it is way too far below zero.   Of course, as with anything you can look just a little ways...and there are others having a much harder go.

I had said earlier, the "shepherd"--but he is now calving heifers out can shepherds watch over calves...Is he a cowboy shepherd???  (Actually he is usually a "shepherd" to whatever needs taken care of).

Last night the lamb cam is kind of crackling a little.   I say last night but it was probably like 3 in the morning or some such time.   The shepherd says that sounds like one licking a lamb.   To which I reply in my middle of the night voice, "WHAT???  How can you hear a ewe cleaning a lamb?"    And so he says he better go check it out.   It takes something to convince yourself to go out in subzero temps to see if there is a new lamb out there.   Well he comes back some time later happily reporting he is having his first heifer begin calving!   It seems that these animals would say, "Hey, I think I'll wait and not expose this poor little one to such conditions."    But as the shepherd tells me, "They will come when they're ready!"

So from my kitchen table I say stay warm.    And my hat is tipped (because I ain't taking that baby off) to all of you who do not have the option of a snow day.   You don't get a day off...but sometimes you get an off day!