Dust yourself off…

I’ve been MIA, but the last few weeks have been like watching a video on fastforward while taking speed. Not that I really have a lot of experience with that, but I think I have a good idea as to what it may be like.

I’ve put an insane number of hours into my weeks, and have literally felt myself at the end of my rope several times – so I guess it’s time for a revamp.

It’s crazy to think about how life can work out. I think my biggest struggle lately has been coming to terms with who I am, and realizing when what I’m doing is just not enough – and maybe it never will be. I remember the first few times I thought I was in love, yet no matter what I did, I couldn’t make them love me back. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that it wasn’t anything I could do, you can’t force someone to love you any more than you can force someone to communicate with you.

As I get older, the same lessons occur, just in different themes. But maybe I’m finally making headway.

I can’t make people understand where I come from, but I can still do my best to communicate what I can, and take it from there. I just need a little brush up on that communication part. A work in progress, I guess.

But aren’t we all?

Tomorrow on the blog I have a few cool projects to share – they made our fall spectacular!

And a few cool stories, because that’s what this is all about.

Catch ya on the flip side.

When the picture starts to sharpen…

I would apologize for my lack of writing, but I’ll just chalk it up to life occurring – which is kind of a funny way to put it, with where my thoughts are right now.

Sometimes we think we have life figured out, and we’re going along at a pretty good clip, and then the rug gets pulled out from under us and we realize that everything that we were pretty sure wouldn’t matter…well, we find out deep inside that it does.

Sometimes it’s not that we’re looking for answers or some magic spell to make it all better. We’re just looking for reassurance that our efforts aren’t in vain. That there’s a reason for the madness and that one day it’ll all make sense.

Yeah, I’m being a bit vague and general. Because it’s very hard for me to be open – well, to most people.

It’s been a crazy summer already, and the Fourth is upon us. I haven’t been fishing with my boys, we have projects that haven’t been completed, we haven’t been to the camper yet, we’ve not roasted marshmallows – the list goes on and on. But as of right now, it doesn’t matter.

This week I have walked pigs with them, watched them play baseball, listened to them argue, and have taken what I can only imagine will be amazing photos. And I cannot wait for the morning, so we can do it all again.

Yes, sometimes the reminders that we’re getting wrapped up in the wrong details come pounding on your door, and other times they are as light a feeling a butterfly land on your cheek.

And as I rest my head tonight, I will remember those that don’t have that chance to share their thoughts with the ones they love, with the world, with their friends and family – and I will enjoy more, and take for granted less.

And I will write.

Day 20 – Thoughts on gardening

I love to garden. I really, truly do. My problem is time. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

One of George's favorites out of the garden this year!

One of George’s favorites out of the garden this year!

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about people who are pretty serious about where other people should get their food from…and here’s a deep thought for them: butt out.

I’m sorry, that’s not very polite, but I’m getting a little tired of the judgments that occur daily, without people thinking twice about what it is that they are truly saying.

Guess what? The world’s not such an easy place. Answers aren’t always black or white, and so many times we get so wrapped up in being right, that we forget what it is we’re even arguing about! Argh! (Sorry, there went a rant, I should have warned you.)

Let me put it this way: If you can garden, go ahead. If you can buy organic, go ahead. If you have 10 minutes to shop and the produce aisle in Wallyworld happens to be right next to the diaper aisle, go ahead.

We need to quit getting so wrapped up in other people’s business, shouting from the rooftops that they aren’t doing it “right” that we forget to be thankful that they can even make those decisions to begin with…there are so many that do not have that privilege. And yes, it’s a privilege.

I garden because I enjoy it, not because I do not believe that anyone else could possibly grow food for my children. I use my canner because it’s a tradition, not because I fear anything at the grocery store.

Homemade salsa, a staple for the winter months!

Homemade salsa, a staple for the winter months!

But my decisions are just that, my decisions. And you each have your own to make.

It’s a month of thankfulness, perhaps we should work on that, instead of judgments.

Just a thought.

Day 6 – Thoughts on Miss A

Who is Miss A? Well, she’s my rock. Without her, I would not be able to travel, would not have the support system that I do, would miss out on one of the most rewarding friendships I’ve ever had.

Miss A and George. They make me smile.

Miss A and George. They make me smile.

Here are the things you need to know about Miss A:

  • She pretends to be tough, but I know she’s not. Just don’t tell her I told you that, I don’t want her beating me up. ;)
  • She’s sassy. And so am I. It’s why we get along so well. That, and we like to drive other people nuts. It works.
  • She loves my boys as if they were her family…and they kind of are, actually. I trust her unconditionally.Miss A and EJ...two peas.
  • She is driven, has goals and a clear path to get there. That’s not typical in today’s youth. At least, not from my experience. And although we sometimes butt heads over stuff, most of the time it’s simply because neither one of us is willing to concede the point. She’s stubborn. Really. It’s all her. Trust me.
  • She steals my Almond Joys.
  • She reminds me to be me. That means a lot. ‘Cuz sometimes I forget.

I’m not ready to face the fact that she’ll be in a different city next year. In fact, I live in denial pretty readily about that. Looking for a replacement? Never. I couldn’t, even if I tried. There is no other Miss A.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Knowing when to hold your horses

 I am on a bus, on my way out of a tour at a horse sanctuary. It was a first for me…I had to walk away, knowing that I could not express the ideas and opinions in my head.  It wasn’t because I wasn’t sure what to say, or how to word it, it was because I knew that we were too far apart in the conversation. We would never see eye to eye and neither of us would  be able to be rational in our discussion.  

When the conversation turned to horse slaughter, and comments were being made that equated the horses in the rescue to children, I knew that our views were not compatible. So I decided to walk away.  Sometimes in life you need to know “when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em,” and this was one of those moments.

Why did I walk away?  

It was the right thing to do. We were on a tour, I was a guest on a farm and I had no business criticizing her decisions on her home turf. It would have been rude, impolite and unacceptable.  But it doesn’t change how I feel, and it most certainly didn’t change my opinion.

But I did learn a lesson on how to walk away, and exercising control.  

My tongue will heal from biting it, my brain is spinning from the information and I was motivated to break out my blog…so it was a great experience.  

But I will admit that I did not leave anything in the donation box. That was as loud of a statement that I could make.

The truth about cows – a summer’s tail

Recently it was brought to my attention that there is a lot of misunderstanding about how our cattle get from the farm to the plate, so I thought I would give a quick rundown of the actual time frame that our cows spend on the farm.

Let me start by saying that I’m not claiming that this is how ALL cows are raised, but for the most part, most farms/ranches follow a similar calendar, depending on location, management styles, etc. But this will go a long way to explaining how MY farm works.

Here we go: 

To start with, our cows are bred to have their calves from the second week of February to the beginning of April or so. The reason being that our lots handle snow and ice better than mud and water. I’ve talked about that many times before, so I won’t bore you with the details. But be sure to check out some of my calving posts!


We breed our cows for the next year in May. Then, shortly after being bred, they head to pasture where they stay until close to winter, or if the grass in the pasture deteriorates enough to warrant them being brought closer to home.

That’s right. Our cows spend a majority of their year out in the prairie…on green grass, left to their own devices. But that’s not what you hear from animal right’s activists, is it? 


Even when our cattle are brought home, we tend to move them to a field of corn stalks or something similar to graze, instead of bringing them in our calving lots. It helps the cows to keep moving throughout their gestational period, and it provides natural fertilizer and helps break down the crop left in the field.

In average year, our cattle will come home to be fed twice a day starting in December or January…just one month or so shy of calving. 

And those calves that are leaving the farm to get to the plate? They follow a similar schedule, but are fed a little sooner, making sure that they are the healthiest they can be prior to going to a finishing operation. Generally, our cattle leaving for food production weigh about 900 to 1,000 pounds. Cattle ready for slaughter are usually about 1,200 pounds or so.

What does that mean? It means that our cattle do not end up spending a lot of time at a finishing lot gaining weight for slaughter.

Our cattle are not considered “grass-fed,” even thought that IS what makes up a good portion of their diet. And that goes the same for a majority of beef raised for your plate.