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.

My Future of Ag

Recently I wrote a blog for a contest. I wasn’t sure if I should, but the topic was one that hit so close to home that I couldn’t help myself. As I sat to type, it was if the words were already there…I just had to put them on paper.

You can read the post here (and vote for it, of course!), on the Alltech page.

I won’t reprint the whole thing here, but I don’t think the topic will surprise anyone. It’s about my boys. And they’re the whole reason I started this journey.

You see, about 2 years ago I attended a conference hosted by the AgChat Foundation. (AgChat and the foundation are celebrating their 3rd and 2nd birthdays…Happy Birthday to them!) Side note: AgChat is an event that occurs on Twitter on Tuesday nights from 7-9 p.m. CST…it’s a great time for consumers and producers to connect and to learn from each other.

At the conference in Chicago, I participated in a round-table discussion, where you could ask any questions you wanted from different people with experience in different areas. I sat at a table with a woman who was soon to become a fast friend in real life, not just online.

She was answering questions about blogs…and I had a bunch! I wasn’t sure if blogging would be for me, but I wanted to give it a shot. I just didn’t know if I had enough of a story to tell, or if it would be of interest to anyone, or if it was different enough to make a difference.

I felt a little bad about monopolizing a little block of her time, but I was hungry to know more. And she was willing to fill me in.

And so it began.

A few weeks later, in September of 2010, Wag’n Tales was born…and the rest, as they say, is history.

Happy Birthday, AgChat! Happy Birthday, AgChat Foundation! And thank you, Janice, for giving me a push (OK, more like a two-handed shove!) into blogging. Your encouragement and support has meant the world to me.

Fish Out of Water

About a week ago, I spent a few days on a road trip with my good friend, and fellow Prairie Mama, Katie. We left our families on a Sunday evening and drove a few miles to this place called Hutchinson, KS. (And by few miles, I mean, like 700 of them.)

Why would we do such a thing? It was all in the name of sharing our story and spreading our circles.

You see, Katie and I think a lot alike on certain topics. And we’re both passionate about certain things, like our family, our faith and agriculture. And yet, we are very much so different. Katie is a stunning, tall blonde, who is an experienced traveler and can fit in anywhere, including the fields of North Dakota and the boardrooms of California. I’m, well, I’m more corn-fed and am a bit timid when it comes to spreading my wings and venturing out to places unknown.

But our trip was amazing…and it made me realize so many things (I’ll get into the details in a later post).


  • It’s good for the heart and soul to get away and laugh like a teenager again.
  • The most amazing support you can find may not even be in your own backyard…well, unless you consider the internet your backyard…or a Starbucks in Hutchinson, KS.
  • The most accomplished of speakers can spin words of wonder, and yet you will never hear a single message that they are trying to get across to you. And yet, the most quiet and nervous of speakers can knock you over by bearing their heart to you.
  • When I think space exploration, I think Hutchinson, KS. Doesn’t everyone?

The Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, KS, was truly out of this world!



  • The man in the Garmin does not like bridges. He makes us float over water.
  • There are amazing Tweeps all the way from Aberdeen, SD, to Hutchinson, KS, that can give you great tips, like when the speed limit changes or how fast you can drive before risking a ticket.
  • If you need to prepare too much to tell your story, then it’s not your story to tell.
  • Perhaps the Police Surveillance Van #4 would be more undercover if the van did not use the network titled, “Police Surveillance Van #4.” Just sayin’.
  • I love sharing my story.

And I learned this all thanks to a late-night Twitter conversation with a gal that only lives an hour from me, but I probably would have never met, had it not been for social media. And we traveled to a social media conference. Coincidence? I don’t think I believe in them any more.

A New Year

We are eight days into 2011, but it’s been a long eight days!

Boss Man and I are presently in Atlanta at the 2011 American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. This was our first full day here, and it was a GREAT one! We read a farm-related book to a pre-school class outside of Atlanta, started our business meeting and went through our run-down for the rest of the weekend. (If you want to check out what’s going on, go to the blog here!)

Tomorrow brings more meetings, more planning and more activities…and I can’t wait. Unfortunately, the weather back home hasn’t been so great, which always makes us worry.

Whenever you leave the farm, it’s never far behind. Even more so in the winter. No matter how much planning you do, a few inches of snow and high winds changes everything. But there is nothing we can do about it here, so we try not to think about it.

Maybe it will work tomorrow.

Sure is Monday

Yep, Monday reared her ugly head. Went to have Eli’s pre-appointment blood work drawn, and decided to kill two birds with one stone and take Evan in to have him checked over. (We’ve spent a lot of time on antibiotics lately, 5 days of amoxicillin, 5 days of zithromax.)

The tests came back and Evan has strep. Woohoo! We won the jackpot! Ten days of augmentin! Yippee! If that doesn’t give him a flaming case of antibiotic butt, nothing will. Yogurt, here we come. (Normally meds don’t make you jump for joy, but when you can’t do anything else, you might as well celebrate…right???)

Eli has a double ear infection. No big deal, since he’s not symptomatic, but we’ll have to watch it. (Much like our animals, I don’t give my kids antibiotics for no reason.) But the fluids could be part of the reason that he doesn’t talk. Sooooo…just because it’s Monday, we got to discuss surgery. Not just one, but two! YAY!

If Evan’s meds don’t work this time (or he isn’t successful in the self-tonsil removal), we’re probably looking at having his tonsils removed sooner rather than later. Since the doctors and insurance companies seem to have a thing going, I’m guessing it will be right after the first of the year. But since we never have any problem with meeting our deductible anyway, I figure, the sooner, the better. (And, by the way, I LOVE telling the office that we have no copay for visits…”Sure, go ahead, schedule 14 follow-up appointments, schedule away my dear!”) Just kidding…kinda.

And in 3 months if he happens to check and Eli is having an infection, or fluid build up, in his ears, we will schedule tubes, health permitting. *sigh* poor kid, can’t catch a break. But out of the last 10 times his ears have been checked, 8 times he has had infections, or fluid. He has only passed one out of three tympanograms, so I guess that’s enough proof for me. Plus the doctor hopes that it may be the key to getting his words to come out. And I’d love to hear “Mama” again! (I’ve heard it once, at a Farm Bureau YF&R meeting, of all things!)

Oh, on a positive note, I got to talk to two lovely ladies about the Humane Society of the United States while picking up my wreath from the local crisis center for their fundraiser. I know of one organization that’ll be short some funds this next month! Woohoo! And, donations are now being DIRECTLY given to a local shelter.

See, Mondays aren’t ALL bad…just mostly! 😉

End of an era

Sorry about the down time. I’ve been dealing with some family things and didn’t want my thoughts to taint my blog. Long story, but I’m done with it now.

Anyway, last week Mark and I were fortunate to be able to attend the fall meeting of the American Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher committee. Those that we serve on the committee with are some pretty amazing people. It was a GREAT few days!

When we got back home from St. Louis, we were blessed with a few days of absolutely amazing weather here at home. We reached 70 degrees on Monday…that’s right, I said 70! Woohoo!

To take advantage of the beautiful weather, my husband and father-in-law decided to do some maintenance work around the farm. One of their chores was to take down the TV antenna that stood at the top of the house, like a sentry watching guard.

Boss man and his dad work on removing the TV antenna that has been on the roof of our house for decades.

It was kind of sad to see the antenna come down. Just one more instance of where old is replaced with new, the changing of the times. I’m sure my children will never even remember it was there, let alone what it was for.

So, do you have any things that YOU remember that the future generations will never have an inkling as to what it was all about?

Quick update

Things have been crazy around here. We finished harvest! Yay! Cows are on the way home as we speak, Halloween is over, parent-teacher conferences are done, Grandma’s house is now empty (a story I’ll have to share sometime…it’s a doozy!) and I’m getting ready to leave tomorrow for a fall Farm Bureau YF&R meeting in St. Louis. Yeah, and that is just the last 4 days!

Good news: Measure 2 was defeated – yay! I’d like to think that I helped educate a few people and had a small role in that.

Mediocre news: There will be lots of changes in the future for ND. We now are sending 2 new members to Congress. Good? Bad? We’ll see. Whatever happens, here’s to hoping that agriculture is at the forefront of their minds when voting. We will all need to be vigilant and loud when moving forward.

Bad news: Eh, why dwell on the bad. Lets skip it.

So, my next post will be in St. Louis (if the hotel has wireless…any suggestions on a carrier for traveling? Some of those are way spendy!). We’ll keep you posted!

Tonight’s menu – humble pie

Sorry about the down-time again, but somehow life keeps sneaking up on me! You would think by now that I’d be ready for just about anything, but then again…that’s half the fun!

Last week I spent a few days at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. It was amazing! I’ll write more about it later this week.

I arrived back late on Friday (another one of those long stories) and have been battling a few kids with the ickies since. But even with all that, I had a date last night that I’m glad I didn’t ditch out on.

A little over two months ago, my grandmother passed away at the age of 89. She was an amazing woman, and had lived an amazing life. The last 17 years she shared her time and her home with a dear man, named Bernie. When Grandma passed away, Bernie had a hard time adjusting. He’s since had to move into an assisted living center, since living on his own at almost 92 just wasn’t such a great idea.

Last night Bernie and I had a date. There was a wild game feed at the nursing center and all the residents were invited, along with their families. I was privileged enough to be considered the latter.

While sitting there, watching the nursing home residents and some of the assisted living center residents dealing with whatever limitations they may have, I realized just how blessed I’ve been. I’ve been reminded this week, on numerous occasions, that I’m a mother of four children, I don’t have time to be going out and talking to people about those issues that I’m passionate about. I have a built-in excuse to be absent from meetings, absent from church, absent from most of life. But I don’t want to be.

Yes, I have a busy life. My house is not always company-ready. My energy level sometimes dips to comatose levels. My husband sometimes wonders why there are no socks in his sock drawer. But that’s OK. It’s better than the alternative.

So, as long as my feet will carry me, my arms will juggle my children and my mouth will (for the most part!) cooperate and vocalize those random thoughts that gather in my brain, I will continue to plug on. In fact…I will do so with a smile on my face, counting my blessings with every step.

Going out on a limb

They said it couldn’t be done…they said it wouldn’t matter…they said we had to keep doing things the way we had in the past. Well, guess what, we didn’t…

The Dickey County Farm Bureau (of which, I am a board member), decided to hold its annual meeting a little differently this year. We called it “Pigs, Pits and Pistols.”

We roasted a whole pig (as in the whole thing, directly in a “pit”), had inflatable games for kids, had shooting sports for the bigger kids, had a Marksmen Quadrathlon and an archery demonstration. There were laser shooting games for kids of all ages, a keg of root beer and ice cream on the deck, sodas for all and room for about 150. Oh, and it was all free…well, except for the Quadrathlon, but the two top scorers took home all the cash.

Guess what? We ran out of room.

That’s right…we had an annual meeting (of which our yearly attendance averages right at 30) and we served over 160 at supper. We planned for 150, but figured it was a pipe dream. It was amazing! We had to open up the other section of the lodge…we had to have people eat outside!

We had teenage boys there on a Saturday afternoon! And they were having fun! At an annual meeting!

I didn’t include video of the meeting part, but the grassroots movement is definitely alive and well. And we were able to initiate some interest and excitement about becoming more involved in our organization. What more could we possibly ask for?

I don’t know how we’ll top this next year…but we better start planning now! 😉 Hmmm…wonder if Siegfried and Roy would come out of retirement…