Tuesday, August 28, 2012

farm- this and that

this whole blog thing is still new to me.  i still don't have a process.  i think about something long enough and then i decide to write about it.  sometimes it is not enough for a whole post so i will combine a couple together from time to time.

really cool tractor

i had a first the other day.  i got to drive a really cool tractor while pug fed the cows just in case he got stuck.  the first night he did not get stuck but the second night we did have another truck get stuck.  it was really cool watching the tractor pull the truck out.  never been a mud bog fan but this was fun to watch.  we were shutting gates to keep the cows in a certain pasture and when we were done we had a cow and two big calves show up.  unfortunately they were not on the right side of the fence.  so we proceeded to push them toward an open gate so they would be with the other cows.  pug was in the large feed truck and Adam was in his truck and i was in the cool tractor.  lucky for me i could go anywhere because this tractor "just don't get stuck".  so i could go out in the middle where it was soggy and muddy and wet.  i am not much of an adventurer so i did not push the tractor to see what she could do.  i call her a she because this tractor is so cool, useful, and sleek it has to be female.  we are "borrowing" this tractor so i am really careful but i stay with the cow and calves weaving back and forth.  it is really fun.  no different than a horse or truck except for the whole "don't get stuck thing".  i stayed with the trio until they walked through the gate.  just before that pug came on the walkie talkie and told me to keep doing what i was doing and that i was doing a good job.  music to my ears.  praise doesn't come easy or often on the farm.  so when it does, it is greatly appreciated.  good thing this tractor is so roomy or my head might not fit.

when we sell calves van helps us for a while gathering the calves but as we get a pen full he stays back at the main cowpen and helps sort the calves with the broker guy.  that means at some pens i get to work the sorting gate.  some are better than others. i actually fell off one over 18 years ago.  i was fairly early in my pregnancy with kelsey and i was working a wobbly sorting gate.  i sit on a board that runs across the lane the cows go through.  they actually go under me.  anyway the cows came through really fast and hit the sides of the lane.  it jarred me so hard i fell off backward and somehow landed somewhat on my feet.  it was cold and i had on a really big coat so i was not hurt at all.  only a little shaken up because of my precious cargo.  needless to say my sweet father-in-law was there and quickly told pug that my cowgirl days were over until our baby was here.  of course i listened to him. i am happy to say that the sorting  gates are much sturdier now and whether it is van or myself up there we are safe.  i got to be the sorter today.  for the most part it is easy.  the guys let me know what is going where.  there are times we sort three ways but today was only two.  mommas & small babies one way and big babies, a bull & 2 misplaced heifers the other way.  seems pretty simple except for the fact that they all come at once and sometimes it  gets a little confusing if i have two people telling me how to sort them.  they put a few in a smaller pen with a gate and then try to let one or two at a time come to my gate.  since i sit up high my gate is easier to move with my foot.  there is a long piece of wood that i can make the gate move with my hand but i have to be able to get my foot on it too.  it is a heavy gate.   and i am just a girl :) ha ha this is where you laugh hysterically!!!  we got along really good.  there were a few near misses where two came at once that needed to go two different ways in the narrow chute.  i did it right most every time.  i was proud.  i love it when i can make a "save".  it is a pain to have to re-sort and we try to avoid that at all times.  mickey always gives me a "way to go mrs. kellee"  kind of our own high five from a distance.  even adam gives me a little praise now and then.  when he did today i looked at my sweet honey and said "i need a raise"!  my sweet honey smiled that big old smile and said "i will go right now and get you a cushion"!  i really hope he doesn't quit his day job because we don't need anymore unfunny comedians.  it was a good day and we got it done.  there were two calves that got by that should not have but that couldn't be helped.  we separated them out of the weaned babies and sent them back to their mommas.  that is really my kind of "save".
this is our sorting gate. i sit on the board that goes
across the top.

my right leg and foot do most of the work

mommas coming down the lane... under me

this is the view from the sorting gate at the lodge
the pens were soggy!

she's giving me the old stink eye

Saturday, August 25, 2012

our new cow "paw"

Remi helping Adam

the signature "bo" move... remi has got it down!!!
Adam brought Remi to work today.  his first day on the job as "cow dog".  he has a lot  to learn but for his first day he did really good.  he has so much energy and seems really eager to work.  his first meeting of the horses was interesting.  that had to be the largest animal he has ever encountered.  he learned pretty quick to stay with adam and follow behind his horse.  once he got the taste for pushing up the cows he loved it.  sometimes he did not know when to stop but he is getting really good at listening to adam and is a quick learner.  he and adam were working as a team.  even when adam was up on the platform at his sorting gate remi wanted to stand up there with him.  it was adorable and cow dogs are not supposed to be adorable but he is.  the crew will just have to deal with it.  i may work with remi but i am his nie-nie first. and yes, when we stopped for a break i gave him an oatmeal cake.  i will make sure he is treated just like the rest of the cowhands.  he also loved to stick his head under the fence and nip and bark at the cows as they came through the sorting pen from adam to me.  it reminded me so much of bo who was our cow dog for 14 years.  that was one of bo's trademark moves.  made my heart smile at the memory of it.  remi had a good day and i see a lot of potential in him.  adam was proud and so was i.  it will be fun having a cow dog again.  fun and productive.  there are so many ways a dog can make our jobs easier.  i am sure remi will not have to be rocked to sleep tonight.  he put in a good days work.  welcome to the crew, remi.  nie-nie loves you.

remi loves to ride!!

a love print from my granddog :)

a man and his dog... it's a beautiful thing

Atta boy!!!

i'm a fool for a fluffer

today i finally  got the call.  pug needed me to fluff hay.  it is about dang time.  that is my favorite thing to do.  we have two fluffers and one has been broke down (!@#$%^&*?!) ... that is my happy dance because i did not tear it up... this time.  they got the new part and it has been fixed and ready to run.  i am kind of excited.  this makes me really happy because i do love to fluff some hay!  i pack my collapsable cooler.  and yes it is by the way a nascar cooler, i am not a big fan of anyone in particular.  i am still partial to Richard Petty.  he is the king, right?  i pack my diet coke,  snacks,  my i-pod and a towel.  i head to the field to await the arrival of my fluffer.  i already see the other fluffer and one of the guys has been running it all day.  i get goose bumps just thinking about it.  i hear pug coming up the road and see my fluffer.  (!@#$%^&*?!) ...happy dance again.  i am so excited this is going to be so good. (!@#$%_________  note the happy dance comes to a complete halt.  OH SNAP!!!!!! somebody has hooked my fluffer up to a different tractor.  i am  an old dog... don't like new tricks... don't like change.... this is not gonna be good.  my fluffer is hooked to a big, old, blue, closed in cab tractor.  my fluffing tractor is usually a small, blue, open cab tractor.... like the one the other guy is driving.  the green eyed monster rears his ugly head.  i like the open cab tractor to fluff because i like to feel the sun on my face and body and the wind in my hair.  i like to smell the fresh hay, not diesel fuel fumes inside the cab.  okay big deep breath.  pug rolls up and i say  "i have never fluffed with this tractor".  he says "yeah i know".  that is all i got. "yeah, i know".   evidently he does not know the attachment i have to my little blue fluffing tractor.  i can do this.  no, no, i CAN do this.  i will adapt.  i will adjust.  i will not throw down about this.  i smile and ask about gears and speed because those are important in fluffing.  he leaves and i am alone except for the huge chip on my shoulder.  i refuse to be that person so i immediately knock that sucker off and move on.  it takes me a minute to adjust gears and speed but then things seem to go okay.  i am a little excited again and my fluffing begins.  i realize that maybe this air conditioned, roomy but at the same time claustrophobic, no breeze coming in tractor may be okay.  well that feeling did not last long.  i started hitting some bumps and holes.  pretty normal in a hay field.  although i don't remember them being so rough in the little tractor.  it was kind of like hitting those concrete speed bumps in a parking lot only they are really close together.   pug has assured me that small tractors mean you feel the bumps harder but i disagree.  i truly feel the bigger the tractor the more you feel the bumps.  this is experience talking not ag mechanics.  and i am a girl... remember... we feel things differently.  so this is getting worse.  it is so bad i have to re-evaluate how i am going to do this.  finally i find something that works.  if i put a death grip on the arm rest with my right arm and steer with my left arm that seems to help.  i am not left handed but at this point hanging on is more important than steering so i need my good arm to do that.  i also find that if i cross my feet and lift just a hair it helps with the bouncing.  the seat has shocks so it bounces with the bumps and is supposed to help.  i am not so sure.  i do realize pretty quick that this is really good for the glutes, thighs, and abs.  P90X my behind... this is tractor GW900XXX.  the GW stands for gut wrenching.  the only good thing is that when i hear the cha-cha slide i really feel like i am dong it.  well, the gut wrenching, boot camp, kick your butt version.    the seat shocks that are supposed to help you bounce with the bumps remind me of a bucking bronco.  and when i hit a series of bumps i feel like a cowgirl.  and no, i do not throw my arm up cowboy style and say yee haw... but i do think about it.  i can't do it because i cannot let go with either hand.  i do however count to see how long my ride is.  thank you Jesus i did not have any 8 second rides but believe me in this beast a 4 second ride is enough to do you in.  my guts are completely scrambled.  this is the bumpiest fluffing i have ever done.  i bumped so hard one time i really think i tied my own tubes.  it was a four second ride.  these bumps are so hard that i almost bump my head on the roof and i have a good 8 inches above my head.  staying in the seat is also a challenge.  i sit on a towel because as i have said before that i don't perspire, i sweat.  and even in an air conditioned tractor.  i am bouncing so much my towel shifts with each bump.  and there is nothing worse than sweaty legs sticking to a plastic covered tractor seat.  so i am constantly re-adjusting the towel which seems to be at least every 2 minutes.  and then there is my i-pod.  i usually keep it in a pouch and set it on the ledge to my right.  well it did not stay there for 5 seconds. it was bouncing all over the place and ended up on the floor.  oh no, not my collection of favorite jams.  so i tuck it in the waist band of my shorts, where i will sweat on it and it will get yucky.  can you believe all this stuff i have to deal with.  i will need to talk to my supervisor about my working conditions.    i am not  sure i can work like this.  i fluff on or i should say i bump on.  the next field was even worse in spots.  one time i think i actually had a complete hystrectomy and an appendectomy.  all at once.  so glad my baby making days are over.  and i am so glad i remembered to wear my sports bra.  by the time we are done with that field i am suffering from a roller coaster hang over complete with headache and dizziness.  i am high from the diesel fuel fumes.  my guts are scrambled.  where else can you get 3 major surgery  procedures, a killer work-out, a buzz ---  and get paid.  this is how i roll.   i look over at the other guy and wonder if he is asked tonight what he did today he will probably say "i just fluffed hay".  how boring is that.   i complain because i am glad to be alive and able to do this.  and it adds a little humor to my day and can't we all use that now and again.  even with my complaining i am happy to be part of this crew and on days like today where i can look back and see what i have accomplished, it feels really, dang good.  and guess what ... i get to get up saturday morning and do it again.  getting the hay up means doing it while it is dry.  so i will be right back at it. bouncing, singing, and fluffing.  my sweet honey already said he would drive the big tractor, which means i get the little blue one back.  he is so good to me.  :)    and i did not even have to throw down.  farm livin' is the life for me.

Friday, August 24, 2012

empty nest syndrome on the farm

mommas and babies

soggy cow pens

my muddy corner

the babies are as big as the mommas

so many of this years graduating seniors have chosen to go out of town to school.  i am extremely glad my girl decided to stay close.  and at the same time,  i am both proud and happy for those who chose to spread their wings and explore this world of ours. that first night away is so hard i am sure.  that whole empty nest thing has to be a lot to handle.  i have not experienced it myself but i do go through it with all the girls on the farm.   it is a time of year that i really don't look forward to.  time to wean and sell some calves.  it is good financially but it hurts my heart.  this means we have to take the babies away from their mommas.  it is part of the whole plan and it is what we do.  we raise cows, we raise beef cows to eat.  and yes i love me some beef.  steak is my all time favorite food.  but that doesn't mean i have to like the process.  i do admit that i am so happy that our babies get to stay so long with their mommas.  by the time they leave it is sometimes hard to tell the mommas from the babies.   this time we won't wean every calf.  only the biggest ones that we need to sell.  i actually like it better when we get them all.  when we leave some of the calves, i can just hear some of the cows talking and betsy probably says to flossie "now why in the world did they take my big, beautiful, calf and leave her little scrawny nasty butt calf"....   i am just kidding.  our cows would never talk like that.  we have strict rules around our farm and the cows have to form a certain sisterhood amongst themselves.  we let them handle their own problems and spats and they usually do a good job.  it really amazes me how these cows form families within the herd.  i know they do this  because we tag our replacement heifers  when they are really young and they have a number on their tag.  i see as they grow up that the cows with similar numbers stay together and when we work them through the chute the numbers are always close.  i have seen this over many, many years of working them through the chute.  i have seen them care for each other when one is sick, i have seen them nanny and babysit each others calves, and pug told me once he saw a group of cows push and nudge another very weak and sick cow to the water trough to keep her from dying.  they are smarter than we think and more sensitive than we can imagine.    i am quite certain the conversation goes a little more like this... "thank you Jesus, they finally came and got that humongous calf.  i have been nursing that now 600 pound baby for over a year.  my udders need a break and i need some me - time. (maybe they call it moo-time :)  i am trying to forget the fact that i already have another one on the way.  i hardly even remember the honeymoon much less the wedding.   a girl has got to have some fun  before it is time to birth another fun sucker, girlfriend, you know what i am saying!"  yeah, i think that is more like it.  we gathered some calves yesterday and got a huge bunch today.  the mommas and babies will be bellowing and crying all night long.  it is sad to hear and even from my house i can hear them in the cow pen.  these cows have a job, it is to momma the best calves possible.    they are good at it or they would not still be here.  my heart aches for them because they do have feelings.  they are God's creatures and He gave them an extroidinary maternal instinct.  i can relate to these mommas and i do feel their pain.  they will fight for their babies the best way they know how.  i admire that in them.  they are lucky to get to keep their babies for such a long time  and i feel like they are lucky to live here.  we do take pride in our farm and in how we run it.  i like to think we have happy cows because we sure don't want to hear the words... (this is where i whisper...)  mad cow.   oh Lord have mercy on us all... we call them angry cows... big difference!!!   we had a few angry cows today.  one put me on the fence a few times and with soggy mud i don't move as fast, my cat like ability is completely gone because my boots are stuck on the mud.  the cow pens were so muddy the guys usually move the cows around on foot but they had to stay on the horses. i also saw the guys on the fence today, i won't mention any names but we all did "fence-time" today.  it happens, especially when we are messing with the babies.  our poor mickey took an unplanned swim.  he was pushing cows through a water filled ditch.  after the cows made it through he proceeded to walk his horse into the water.  at the same time a baby gator decided to emerge from the deep and it swam through the front legs of his horse.  she swatted at the gator with her front leg and dumped mickey in the process.  he did go under, the only thing still dry was his right shoulder.  luckily he was okay.  it is scary to see this happen from a distance and not know what is going on.  i am still not okay with the fact that the crew thinks these kind of things are funny... they all agree it is funny as long as it happens to someone other than them... but then thankfully they add, it is only funny when we find out no one is hurt.  they do have hearts.  they just keep them very well hidden.  the next couple of nights will be sad.

it is heart breaking but doesn't last long, the mommas can then concentrate on the baby in their tummy.

i so wish i could talk to them

mommas saying their goodbyes
 we will hear the cows calling for their babies that are spreading their wings, exploring this world of ours as they head to their "job".   they are all born to do this specific job.  they are lucky to be born on this farm because they do have it pretty good here.  the best part is when a momma has a really good heifer calf, the heifer gets to stay here forever and become a Whitehurst Cattle Co. cow,  make beautiful calves and live happily ever after.  i wish i was a cow whisperer and could talk to them and let them know i empathize with them.  i think they know i am a momma.  i think they know i care.  i really hope they do.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

i see people in the cows... and God in the feed truck

one of my newer jobs lately has been to help pug feed up the cows we are going to work.  the purpose of this is to get them all in one place.  that in turn makes it easier for us to round them up and take them to the nearest cow pen.  we feed them at night for a few days to get them used to it and then the night before we shut a bunch of gates to keep them all in one pasture.  another one of our "methods to the madness".  last night i got to drive a really cool tractor out to watch pug feed the cows.  the tractor was just in case the feed truck got stuck because of all the rain and the pastures are pretty soaked.  luckily he  did not get stuck but i really did enjoy driving this huge tractor.  lots of levers and gadgets.  looked like an airplane cockpit.  and it drove oh so very nice.  not what i am used to.  as i watched pug drive out into the pasture i was amazed at the cows who came running.  no matter how far away they were they  came running from all directions... made me think of God and his people.  the feed truck made me think of God.  it carries food, something essential to the cows life.  something essential enough that they cannot live without it.  they still need other things to stay healthy like grass, medicine, and water but food is really important. just like we need wealth, health, family, friends and so forth, but it is God that we truly cannot live without.   i saw the quickest running cows as the"on- fire" christians.  they stopped what they were doing as soon as they saw and heard the feed truck.  no hesitation, no doubts, no fears.  they were coming like it was a natural instinct.  just like breathing.   i saw the slower more laid back  cows as the "luke - warm" christians.  they were not in such a hurry, taking their time but still getting to what they knew they needed.  i saw the calves as the "new christians." they were a little more skiddish, somewhat fearful, but still following the crowd because they wanted to know more.  they were kind of curious and "hungry" for something new.  there were a few calves that ran right up with their mommas and that reminded me of all the good, christian mommas i have known and many i still know who make it a priority to teach their children about God.  i saw the older, weaker, injured cows as the "elder christians."  no matter what the problem they were still going to the truck.  they would hobble, stumble, drag themselves, nothing was going to stop them.   they knew that what the truck had to offer was worth the trouble of getting there.  and then there are those few that think they do not need the feed.  that the grass will sustain them.  that they have all the answers and think they know all about cow life.  they just watch as the others go to the truck.  these bring to my mind the "lost souls."  these are the ones we need to reach out to.  on the farm we can get behind them and push them up and make them go with the other cows. easy enough.   in real life i sometimes wish we could do that with people.  just grab them up and push them into christianity.  but we all know that does not work.  no amount of force will work.  however,  we can reach out, and share our stories, and try to show them the way--- but they have to make that choice to give their heart completely.   i loved watching this unfold before me.  i see God everywhere, especially in all His wonders of nature.  Anyone who sees these kinds of things and still doesn't believe just boggles my mind.  it is possible to see God in everything.  sometimes it is as easy as opening our eyes.

Monday, August 20, 2012

the job that almost "whuped" me

this is the drag chain... works like a conveyer belt
this is where i would climb in and out... not fun in jeans

this is the edge i had to fit my butt on... actually the corner wasn't so bad

the spreader
it is once again peanut time around here. surprise, surprise, it has reminded me of a story.  last year i helped pug quite a bit with the peanuts. i know he doesn't like to ask me to do the hard jobs but i don't help much by telling him i can do ANYTHING. and bless his sweet heart he believes me. and there are times when he has to ask me because everyone else already has a job. so here is the disclaimer.... this post is not to make anyone mad at my sweet honey. he is beyond good to me and i bring these kind of things on myself. with that being said and re-iterated i was reminded of the absolute hardest job i have ever done for pug.  he needed to put out land plaster on the peanuts. usually this is a one man job. the land plaster looks like fine white sand. it is put in a spreader and pulled behind a tractor and it "shoots out" all over the peanuts.  well, that is what is supposed to happen. but when the land plaster gets a few rain showers on it, it becomes somewhat damp and not so easy to "shoot out". therefore manpower... in this case womanpower is needed.  i am not the first to do this. i guess it was just my luck to get chosen on that particular day. pug loads the land plaster into the spreader with the front end loader. "we" try to get as much as "we" can in the spreader because that means "we" don't have to come back so soon to get more. unfortunately that means it gets good and packed down.  that is where "i" come in.  there is a large drag chain in the bottom of the spreader that pulls the land plaster into the spinners that in turn shoot it out over the peanuts.  since the land plaster is damp it is like wet beach sand and packs really good. i could have made one heck of a sand sculpture!!!  my job is to dig a tunnel from the top of my pile of land plaster all the way down to the drag chain.  as long as i can see the chain i know the stuff is shooting out correctly.  but when i cannot see it that means it is packed too firmly for any to get through to the drag chain.  which means the land plaster is not getting put out at all, that is not good because we are not doing the job we set out to do.  sounds simple enough, except for the fact that "we" pile the stuff so high it forms a mountain in the middle and i ride on top of the piled up land plaster as i do this. not only do i have to climb up the back of this thing i have to do it in jeans... have you ever seen a monkey wear jeans... me neither...  it does make the task a little harder.  on the way to the next row where we start the next load i proceed to start digging out my tunnel.  i do this while teetering my fat (phat for my brother clay) butt on the side of this spreader which seems to be only a few inches wide. and as i have said before my sweet honey has two speeds.... stop and 100 mph. and of course we are not in stop mode so i hang on the best way i can.  it is a bumpy ride and i learn quickly to use my shovel as a seat belt sometimes.  falling into the land plaster is okay, but falling out and down into the peanut field is not an option. it is a long way down and then there is the speed thing to worry about too.  so as long as i see the drag chain i am okay.  but when i notice the land plaster doesn't want to fall into my tunnel on its own very well  i basically have to dig out the sides of my tunnel so the land plaster can make its way to the drag chain. i am talking major elbow grease here.  i have never been great with a shovel but i learned to become one with the shovel fairly fast.  we do this in the hot sun because you do these things when ever you can to beat the rain.  and as always yogi the bear was after me the whole time.  i would have whacked him in the ass with the shovel if i could have raised my arms.  but not sure if i would have had the strength because i had sore muscles in places i never knew muscles even existed.  so luckily we were able to stay ahead of yogi.... again with the fast pace of my sweet honey, even yogi gets tired and "bear caught" sometimes.  as the land plaster would fall down into the tunnel of course i would lose my foot hold. i would have to get off that dang edge and sit in the land plaster.  not so bad until i got to the bottom and had to stay on the sides to keep from being eaten by the drag chain.  the spreader sides go down into a v shape so there are no corners to stand in. i am not sure what was harder, teetering on the edge of a full load or trying to teeter on the edge of an empty spreader. there is nothing to get a foot hold with. so most of the time i would hold out as long as i could and then just slide down the side and balance on the slanted side. luckily the drag chain was off when we were empty.  still major bumpy but way safer. i learned a lot in a couple of days and about 250 acres. i was so glad when pug said we had just put out the last load. thank you Jesus! not sure i could go much more. it was the hardest job i have ever done, but i would not admit it at the time. i am sure my sweet Daddy was rolling over in his grave watching me do it... but i also know he was proud because he knows no one is going to tell me i can't do something...  especially when i am needed and especially if needed my one of my people.  i was proud and tired and exhausted.  i did tell pug later that i would NOT be doing that ever again.  sometimes you just gotta put your foot down.  in my case i should put it in my mouth before i agree to do something my old body should not be doing.  it is okay for me to say i won't do something.... totally different from someone telling me i can't do something.  only two jobs so far i refuse to do.  this one and moving a  tractor with the fluffer on the dike to the lodge.  i have done it once and it scared me too bad.  i was afraid the whole time i would either fall off one side down into the deep ditch or i was going to crash the fluffer into the tall fence on the other side.... either one would be major damage and i really don't like to tear stuff up. (regardless of what the crew says about me... the whole anvil and hammer thing).  the guys laugh and can't believe i have such a hard time with this.  not sure why it bothered me so bad.  maybe because the dike is so narrow and bumpy and the fluffer rocks from side to side.  i have never been good at keeping this big equipment in the middle of the road.  i like to broaden my roads as well as my horizons so if i am needed to stay on a straight path it is not the job for me.  that is the only reason i did not change jobs with pug and drive the tractor pulling spreader.  he has to stay right between the peanut rows exactly!!!  and at an extremely fast pace.  oh my, the mess i would have made.  i made the right choice to shovel.  and i made the right choice to NEVER do it again.  it has been a joke about my two jobs i won't do.  and honestly if i am asked to do either of them again i will have to unleash my totally-scary, completely-destructive, 2 tons of crazy dipped in psycho monkey wrath onto any one brave enough to ask. :)  my husband does have high expectations of me. sometimes that drives me crazy... but mostly i am honored and proud he thinks so highly of me that i can do ANYTHING.  i welcome the high expectations because it holds me accountable to someone and to something. Accountability is way too under-rated these days.  it is very important to me and ranks up there with character. two things that are not taught as much any more.  i am thankful for the lessons i learn about myself on the farm.  what doesn't kill us will only make us stronger... after that job just call me the incredible hulk!!  :)    i love farming.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

To blog or not to blog...

I have decided to start a blog. it has been an up and down battle and i am still learning.  I finally joined facebook and love keeping in touch with everyone. I started writing stories and i have a few fans... My biggest being my big brother Kevin. So if i can brighten his day only a little it will be worth my while. Hopefully this blog will keep me from sharing such large posts on facebook.  I have seen it written " we write to taste life twice ." That is one reason i write.  There are so many things worth a second taste. Another reason is to touch someone's  heart, soul, or funny bone. Some things are just meant to be shared. This  blog is only my opinion. It is not meant to offend or upset. I write just like i talk. The words come straight from my head and/or heart. I have no filter. What you read is what you get. I don't take time for correct punctuation or spelling. i am still learning the picture process and still can't seem to figure out proper placement. so you will have to bear with me. i probably won't ever get the whole what to say and what not to say right... isn't that part of the fun!!!  I like to tell stories about the farm. I like to make people laugh. But i LOVE to talk about my family aka "my people." I may from time to time tell stories from my childhood just so my kids can know them too. I have put my stories from facebook on this blog so that my grandbabies and future great grandbabies can know what a crazy old coot their Gran- nie- nie was. I wanted to have all the stories in one place. So pick and choose what you like to read. If you go to the first one i wrote and work your way up there are a few that are better read in order. there is some method to my madness but only a small bit... :)  I would love to know your thoughts either positive or negative. So please feel free to comment. A special thank you to my Annie for setting up this blog for me. You are my inspiration for so many things :))   enjoy.                                          Aug. 2012

Kelsey's moment to shine

Kels and her proud momma!!!

Kels and her proud Daddy!!!

Kels and her big dang check!!!

My girl kelsey filled out many scholarship applications. I am proud to say she has been awarded four. The biggest one is from the Florida Transportation  & Builders Association. Devin found the scholarship for us and Kelsey filled it out. They were very choosey about their winners. Kelsey won this scholarship because of her academic brilliance, community & church service and her sparkling personality. She also had to write an essay. We are very partial to our last name but i am happy to say that it did not help nor hinder kelsey in this process. We got a call that she was chosen for an interview and  that they were very impressed with her academic resume. We were so excited. We made an appointment for the interview in tampa. When we got there we found out kelsey would be first. She fought through her nerves and had a great interview. She told me they made her feel really comfortable and she made them laugh a few times which made her relax. The whole ride home she went over and over the interview in her mind. We finally got a letter in the mail. I could not even wait for her to open it because i needed to know if it was good news or bad. I guess i will try to be that cushion for her forever. it was good news! She had been chosen with 13 other students to receive a very generous sum of money yearly for four years. I could not wait to tell her. We screamed and jumped up and down and then called Devin because that is what we have always done with"kelsey good news." We had also been invited to come to the FTBA annual convention in West Palm Beach. We would be staying at the famous Breakers Resort. ( talk about country come to town... check out the other post) They wanted to showcase and celebrate their winners with  a dinner and present them their checks at a breakfast. The kicker was that each student had to make a 3 minute speech on a topic of their choosing. It would be their moment to shine. Me being so O.C.D. and kind of  over organized i said she should get started on her speech. I got the "mom, have you lost your mind look" and i am sure a rolling of the eyes. I said okay just don't wait until the night before. My precious queen of procrastination says so lovingly.... Okay mom.  The time has come and i start packing. Kels has done half of her  speech two days before we leave. The other half is done literally  the night before. She always  does this to me. We have been doing this for 12 years so why change now. We both freak out just a little... Not completely and she always  gets it done at the last minute. And it is always good. Kelsey did write the speech, Annie is always our editor and spell checker and our make it flow - er. The speech was really good. I was really excited but poor kels was a nervous wreck. We pull into west palm and realize we are in another world. Everything is different. Pug and i are still excited, but poor kels is still nervous. We get settled and ooh and ahh over all the fancy gadgets. Time for the meet and greet. It is only the winners and their families and a few board members. Very casual. The students all sat together and seemed to get along.  We met some really nice people. Kels could not eat which says a lot. We took some pictures and went back to the room. We all had a restless night in the same bed. Funny story... the other post.  We got up, got ready and we were off. Kels looked so pretty in her yellow dress but i could still tell she was nervous. At this point even momma can't do anything except be there. It did not help that we found out the night before that there would be 900 people in the ballroom. Now usually my go to number for everything is 900 no matter the real number. This time it was really 900. Kelsey only knew personally 4 people in this room of strangers. Her momma, Dad, Uncle Jack and Aunt Charlene. She has spoken in front of  church and at FFA banquets, but informed me quickly that she knew all those people. This would be a challenge! we anxiously awaited her turn and it finally came. She pulled back her chair and stood up. She looked kind of pale but i knew she had this! She walked up the stairs with a heavy burden on her shoulders but with her head held high and the poise of a lady. She smiled that stunning smile, tossed that beautiful mane of hers, and let those 900 people have it. She was amazing. She was awesome. She spoke slow and was very articulate. She looked up when she needed to and laughed when she needed to and was serious when needed. After a few seconds i looked over at her Daddy aka"the photographer of all things good", and he had not lifted the camera. I tapped his arm and when he looked at me he did it with tear filled red eyes. I nunged the camera and he was able to take one picture. He did not want the flash to bother her. The enormous amount of pride that was exuding from pug and myself was so strong i could feel it pouring from our bodies and filling this massive ballroom spilling out into the halls and covering the ocean outside. Yes we are that proud. This is ONE of kelsey's many shining moments and i am sure there will be many more to come. But there was  something so surreal about this moment. We saw our baby girl  in a different light. She's grown. Still our baby girl, still oozing goodness but grown. It is a lot to take in. She was magnificent. She did it and did it very well. What an extremely great representation of the Whitehurst family. She finished and walked to the other side and got a picture with her big dang check. This girl was proud of herself. What greater gift to a parent than to see self confidence and self pride in your child. She walked back to her seat again with her head held high and with a much lighter step. It was done and it was done well. After more awards and some pictures we were done and ready to go. Finally kels looked at me and said "i am starving, let's eat" music to this mommas ears. My girl was good!!! Kels did agree that all this was worth the money for school. But i don't know if she could go through it again any time soon.                         Aug. 2012

Breakers 'bout broke us but kels was amazing

Breakers Resort

beautiful beach

T.V. in mirror cha-ching!!!

Alligator Dan
Country done sho nuff been to town y'all!!  Our girl kelsey won a scholarship from FTBA and we get to go to West Palm Beach for her to be recognized as a winner, make a speech, and get her first check. Yee haw we are excited!!  We make the trip and found it with no problem. As soon as we pulled into west palm i said to myself... Toto, we ain't in kansas anymore. Yes i sometimes call myself toto. You will get used to stuff like this :). We pull up to the world famous Breakers Resort. It is beautiful in an old money kind of way. I did become an open mouth breather for a short moment. We looked for a parking lot... Funny a fancy place like this don' t have one. We find out quickly you HAVE to valet park... Whether you want to or not. My cha-ching meter went off. Here we go. We tipped our guy and carried our own luggage... We did not have much ( one night) luggage and i am sure we are "those kind of people" this type of resort could do without. It was hard carrying our own luggage because we had 2 or 3 people try to take it for us. What part of "we got it" don't they understand. We made it to the room. It was very nice. We are by no means "cheap" people at least pug is not ... me, okay maybe just a little. Anyway, we opted to say there were only two of us in a room to keep from having to pay an extra person charge. But my sweet honey did  not ask for 2 beds when he was asked "is a king size okay?" bless his heart he did not want the lady to think he and his wife needed separate beds. Ain 't that just the sweetest<3. So that means we do get to share a bed... With our 18 year old baby. Again only one night.  I proceed to check out our cool room. The bathroom is large with a glass shower stall. No tub :( i guess rich people prefer a shower. It reminds me of the shower scenes on scary movies... I try to block that from my mind. I then notice one of those dreadful mirrors that show everything so well you can count your nose hairs. And i see a remote that says electric mirror. I' thinking...hmmm does it light up or maybe pluck your eyebrows???  I start pushing buttons and  i see nothing then i notice a button on the side of the mirror and it lights it up. So... Why the remote? I keep playing and all of a sudden i hear voices in the bathroom with me and its not my peoples voices. I check out the whouge (a gracie word)  mirror in front of me and right in the center where my reflection just was is a t.v.  I said a T.V. Okay i have seen a lot... Now i have seen it all. I can shower and get ready and not miss my soaps... Where are the dang bon bons ( private joke)!!  anyway, this is way cool and so uneccessary. My cha-ching meter goes off again. I have to tell pug and kels about this and i didn't feel quite so silly when pug couldn't get it to work because he was aiming at the nose hair mirror too :) my honey and i decide to investigate some more. We tour the lobby and make our way to the pool. I look at him and say "you smell that?"  he says what? I say "money, i smell money!!" he laughed and we went on. We saw bungalows for private parties. No sun can get in, not sure why you would want one... Then i remember all these ladies in full make-up and awesome hair do's, wearing cover ups that look like evening gowns. I ask pug if we have a bungalow and then remember...  if we won't pay the extra person charge we dang sure don't have a bungalow. We want ice cream, its what we do... found a small coffee/ice cream shop. Pug got 2 big scoops on a cone, i got the same for kels and was fixing to order myself one and saw how much ice cream we had and decided to share with pug and kels. Good thing,  the guy rung up our 2 double cones... $14.00. my cha-ching meter will be worn out quickly! After cones we decided to catch some rays on this beautiful beach. Pug tried to grab some towels off of a table and was almost attacked by this dude who insists on helping us. He brings towels and chairs and of course sets it all up. He deserved a tip. Cha-ching. We enjoyed ourselves and i wanted a cup of water from the clear igloo cooler i saw on the table by the towels in "serve yourself fashion." I went to get up and my sweet honey said he would get it for me... I laughed and said okay as long as you don't pay for it. He took 2 steps and was immediately accosted by  another dude asking what he needed. Pug says my wife just wants a cup of water... He beats pug to the water and of course pug tips him. Cha-ching. I told him we had run out of tip money and had better get back to the room before we needed anything else. Dinner was nice, kels got to meet the other winners and we met the families. Kelsey was a nervous wreck. So much so she could not even eat. That is nervous. After a restless nights sleep we were pumped and ready. Again kels could not eat... Not even bacon. Her time came and she was amazingly awesome!! We were so very proud. Pug had taken pictures early that morning and saw a gold-plated hummer pull up. It said alligator dan on the tag. He then pointed him out to me. Short little man with a cowboy hat on and western shirt and boots. A unique looking character. In my mind i imagined just how dang wealthy he probably was. He could have been a smith except for the hummer and the wealth. We saw many characters. That is the fun of a trip like this. After pictures we made our exit, carrying our own bags... No cha-ching. As we pulled out of this magnificent resort i had to stop and take one more picture. We probably won't ever come back. Not so much fun for kelsey because of her nerves but pug and i always have fun discovering a new beach. Its one of our favorite hobbies. We did have fun, we rubbed elbows with some financially enhanced people, we laughed, cried, and almost threw-up... a few times. That is what we call a great time! As we left this beautiful place we were glad to have had the experience. But the closer we got to our beach... to "pappy's beach" the sweeter the feeling i got in my heart. When we got to our 2nd home and got out of the truck i took a deep breath of air. I did not smell money...  but i did smell comfort, relaxation, happiness, and ... fish!  oh the utter complete joy of it all!!!  You gotta love "pappy's beach"     Aug. 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

i was skunked

i took a picture of two deer out by my pool the other day. it reminded me of a time when pug and i had just been married. i was at home doing my domestic goddess and wicked-step-mother duties. it was early and i glance out the kitchen window.  i saw two deer not just in the woods, but in my yard. i was filled with excitement. i am a country girl and know all about the outdoors but have never lived where i could see deer in my yard. so what was my first thought, i have to call pug and tell him... he will never believe this.... what was i thinking! i did call and my excitement was overwhelming. my sweet husband just said "is that why you called me?" and i replied why yes of course. he laughed and told me that he sees that ALL the time. thanks for busting my bubble so early in the morning and in our marriage. it is still a joke and i sometimes have to call him and tell him again just to remind him how lucky we are!! i have had the pleasure of seeing many critters in our yard. not just a few deer but actual herds of deer, herds of turkey, gophers, foxes, coyotes, cows, lots of snakes and once i saw a bobcat with a rabbit in his mouth. i guess everyone has to eat. but my most interesting was a skunk. and of course there is a story. i woke up in the middle of the night to a strange smell. at first it smelled like electrical wires burning. i woke pug and we checked out the house and found out we had a skunk outside. the smell was so strong that is seemed to be coming from in the house but we saw nothing. the next day i looked around outside and found a hole dug under our bedroom window. not good. it reeked of skunk. we knew where it was now. we had to figure out how to get him gone. one Sunday after church we got home and the garage smelled exceptionally bad.  all skunked up. upon further inspection i found the skunk sleeping behind our boot box right by out front door. i was quickly reminded of a favorite cartoon as a child pepe' lapeau. that cool skink who was so charming and cute, but he also stunk really bad. i quickly learned that this was no pepe'. skunks are nocturnal and i knew he would not want to be moved but i had to try. by I , i definitely mean me, nobody else would even attempt this.  i had to save my family from this stinky villain. i was armed with a broom. i gently persuaded him to come out from behind the box and he only got as far as the next corner. he kept wanting to go to sleep. finally i gave a harder push and that is when he turned, tail up in the air and let me have it. i was kind of ready and out of the way but i was still not prepared for the magnitude of the stink. luckily it did not get on me. i have heard from someone in the past that once a skunk sprays it takes a while to reload up his skunk juice. so i am thinking that this is my moment to get him out for good. i not quite as gently as before push him with my broom and get him just about out of the garage and that is when it happened. he turned, tail up and i am thinking you are only shooting blanks buddy but i was WRONG. someone had either given me the wrong info or my particular skunk has a super sonic skunk juice filler upper. he sprayed again and this time i was not out of range. he got my broom and may arm. just a light spray feeling. but he might has well sprayed me in the face. i could fill it in my nose hairs. it made me gag and cough and i could taste it and i thought i was going to throw up. needless to say he sashayed out of the garage and into the woods. luckily we had covered his hole so he was gonna have to look for another home. preferably far far away from me. i washed, and showered and body sprayed. i could still taste it in my lungs when i took a breath. sorry to be gross but when i tinkled it smelled of skunk. kind of freaked me out. i went to the movie with a friend and kept asking her all day if she smelled it... she said no but i think she was just being a friend.  it took a while to wear off. my skunk removal days are probably not over, we have spotted several since then but none in the garage. i will be better prepared this time and remember that skunks are quick to reload, or at least mine was.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

daily walk

Aug. 6 2012  i love the farm and my favorite place in the whole world is my home. i love my house, my yard, my family and my animals. but if we get time to go away my 2nd favorite place in the world is the beach. kelsey and i got to have a mini.  i woke up this morning to two of my favorite views. the sun, sand, and surf was one and the other was my beautiful daughter's sleeping face. today is going to be a really good day. it was 7:30 am and i thought i should get up and go for a walk... then i thought again and said to myself "nah, i will just go back to sleep" why did i do that... because i can. after all it is vacation even if it is a mini one.  i slept for another 1 1/2 hours and enjoyed every second of it. i then proceeded to have breakfast. two, not one, two donuts. one glazed and one glazed with chocolate on top. actually so much chocolate was slathered on top of this donut that i broke the other donut into pieces and dipped it into the extra chocolate. there was a time in my life that i could not, would not have done this. those days are behind me. there is a time and a place for everything. at this time in my life the place for donuts is in my tummy. life is too short to not eat donuts!!! after breakfast i did decide to go for a walk because it is monday and that is when i usually start my new exercise routine. it usually lasts until wed. or so. we'll see how this week plays out. i began my walk on the beach. beautiful morning, already hot, i am already melting. sweating profusely (not perspiring). just in case you needed a visual. no worries i carry on. i am very observant of my surroundings. my first thought is why do all these skinny mamas make their kids run with them. these kids are already skinny and do not need to run. i am totally against child obesity but this is ridiculous. it is so obvious that these kids would rather be playing in the sand. i did like to exercise a lot when my child was small back when i did not eat donuts but i did not make her do it with me. just my opinion. i also saw a seagull with a string on his leg. it upset me and i showed it to the lifeguard who pretty much did not care. it was sad and pitiful and me being the "pray-er" about all things...  i did send up one for the bird. i was talking to God about suffering, and pain and wondering why it is such a necessary part of life for people as well as animals. i walked and prayed on and then saw a bird with no foot.  God has a way of telling me things just when i need them. i have always said i need it upside my head and He is always doing just that. i see this bird with no foot and he is totally fine. hopping around like he knows no different. i was reminded about how we all have strings around our legs at one time or another and how we ask for God to fix it. sometimes He may fix it by removing the string which is wonderful. or He may choose to fix it it by removing our foot which may seen a little harsh. or He may choose to leave the string for a while to do things in His own  time. Any of these ways it is an answered prayer. i choose to not doubt or question Him because i do not like the results i get when i choose those actions. i am very sure of my God's ability to take my anger and my questioning. this is just how it works best for me. so i had a daily devotional this morning while taking my walk. i do a lot of thinking, daydreaming,  praying and talking to God throughout my days. and yes i can talk to the Holy Spirit through the jamming music on my i-pod. if you think my Holy Spirit can't hear me through all that jam then you just don't know my Holy Spirit. again it is only my opinion, sometimes you just gotta have a beat, and i am quite sure my Holy Spirit partakes in some head bobbing from time to time and when He heard Joan Jett sing I love Rock-n-Roll with me this morning, if He has a tongue He stuck it out and made the "rock on" hand signal with His right hand. i'm just sayin'

Saturday, August 4, 2012

can't we all just get along

Aug. 2012    i am here to tell you that if you have to slow down for a tractor hauling equipment, or hay or a trailer of livestock, or if you have to stop for cows to be moved down the road this is not to annoy you, make you late for work, or pretty much just tick you off. it is part of our job. we are so careful to try to do these things at the right time of the day. we are careful to move off the road when we see you coming. we are careful to move our cows as quickly and SAFELY as possible and to get you on your way as soon as we can. when we move cows we always wait until the normal morning rush hour is over. we don't stop the traffic until the very last possible minute. and when we do stop it is for mere minutes at a time. we have had the unpleasant antics of idiots too many times to name but i am reminded of a couple. while moving cows one morning on the road our business is on.... where you see cows all the time...... speed limit signs there for a reason.... cow crossing signs are there for a reason... we had the traffic stopped with proper orange vests and orange flags. well "mr. i have to get to work" comes high tailing up to the stop point and sees what we are doing. first of all he should not be leaving for work at 8:45, i would have loved to have been able to tell him that we started our job at 6:30 that morning and had already been working 2 hours before he even left for work. second he should not be blaming us for him being late when he probably left later than he was supposed too. and third i just really don't think his "bread is done" if you know what i mean. anyway, he proceeded to go around the stop point, cussing at our flag man (who just happened to be one of mine) and gunned his engine spinning out and making the cows spook. he then ran some of our cows into the fence tearing through and mixing with other cows. therefore producing more work for us. he continued down to the other stopping point for the cars coming from the other way and "flipped off" and cussed at the other flagman (another one of mine). needless to say we were mad, no not mad, we were very ANGRY. someone could have got hurt and public idiot number one did not give a flip. we did get a plate number and tried to take some action but not a lot can be done. we now have a sheriff deputy come when we move cows to keep things like that from happening.  we have seen "our friend" a few times since and he always gives us that middle finger wave. i just pray for him. he needs it, there is no way he has any friends or a good life. he has to be completely miserable all the time. Jesus don't like behavior like that and i say forget karma.... Jesus will take care of it and He will take care of us. i have always been told it is okay to clench your teeth and fists and say "God bless him!!!"  i have to say that the majority of the people we come in contact with on these occasions are so nice. they are intrigued by the cows and sometimes even take pictures and ask questions. to all of those people we thank you and appreciate your patience. we really so try to make it go as smooth and quickly as possible. we have had cows get out at night before and that is really scary. we have to try to get them back in the dark and some people won't even slow down when they see weird lights at night. we have had some close calls. some people are just idiots and are not aware of their surroundings. all we ask is that you respect us doing our job just as we respect you doing yours. so next time to get behind that slow tractor try to be patient and give that driver time to get out of your way, i promise he wants to make it as easy for you as he can. and if you see a pile of cows heading down a road there is a method to the madness, and there is a reason for it. everything works on a cycle. fields get planted and harvested and re-planted. tractors and equipment have to be moved from one place to another, cows get moved from one pasture to another and unfortunately they are sometimes on opposite sides of the road. there is a plan and as complicated as it sometimes seems....  it always comes down to the fact that occasionally we all just got to stop, be still, breath,  and smell the roses ....  or in our case the cow poop.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sassy & me

July 2012           i am not a real cowgirl but i do get to play one on the farm. boots, jeans, belt buckle and of course a horse! my horse is red and her name is Sassifrass, she is affectionately known as "Sassy". she is not beautiful by horse standards but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. when the sun hits her red skin she has a golden glow. i think she is beautiful. she is fat, lazy, very clumsy, does not like to sweat, likes moss as much as i like diet coke and she is old. we have A LOT in common. we watch out for each other and take care of each other. she promises not to "dump" me and in return i don't take her into briars, thick woods, spider webs, deep water, wide ditches, or any where we may not be able to get out of. it may seem i do more for her but her not "dumping" me is very important to me! she stumbles A LOT. she has never dumped me (this is where i knock on wood) although she has made me almost tinkle in my pants quite a few times. we had a fi
rst the other day. we were galloping across the field and i was trying to watch out for anything in our way.... gopher holes, rabbits, rocks, briars and the dreaded bull holes. the grass was high so visibility was low. it was on us before i knew it. a very large bull hole. in 2 1/2 seconds i pictured her stumbling, dumping my fat butt, and her fat butt landing on me. but i was wrong! with her ninja like ability she leaped (front legs up and over the hole) and then followed with her back legs and we were magically on the other side of the hole. i would love to say it was as graceful as you see in the movies but it probably was not but that did not matter. she came through for me AGAIN! she on all four feet, my fat butt in the saddle and still astride my faithful steed. yes i said steed. she is too old to be called a filly, and mare is just not good enough. i know steed is manly but sometimes she has to work like a man. i can relate and i feel her pain. i have never been a "horse-girl". Sassy is not my pet. she is my partner and definitely my friend. i love her.

monkey business

July 2012     I am the only girl on the cow crew which means i get all the "easy" jobs. by easy i mean jobs a monkey could do. i am totally okay with that because we monkeys need love and a job too. i get to fluff hay, pick up hay string, stand at gates for long periods of time to let the guys drop off cows without having to get in and out of the truck too many times, count cows, crank up, turn on & off the sprayer, and if i am lucky i get to hold poopy tails while the cows are getting pregnancy checked. ( i do have boundaries and wear a glove for that task) i am not complaining because i am just happy to be part of the crew and after some of the harder jobs i usually get the easy ones are a relief. my main easy job is to watch the gap. i am stationed in the gap, my duties there are to not let anything out and to be ready to move quickly out of the way to let something in if need be. this entails either standing where there should be a gate and there is not one, standing in front of a closed gate to keep cows from crowding the gate and busting it wide open, or standing in an opened gate to keep the penned cows from getting out and to let the cows to be penned back in. i got to practice my "monkey business" many times this past tues. just call me Cheetah! while the first 3 times were very successful they were also uneventful. which is usually really good. just holding back cows and letting in the few stragglers that broke ranks earlier. no cow left behind.... we try but you know there is one in every crowd. that one who just will not follow the rules. and she usually has a few partners in crime with her. we still usually get them all. it is just how we roll. we penned, sprayed and separated the herd and now all we had to do was load the bulls. Pug and i were rolling up hoses when he looks up and hollers "there is a bull out". for me personally this is one of those "almost make me tinkle in my pants, blood pumping, adrenaline producing" moments. we all scramble towards the open gap that we do not want him to exit. Pug, David, and MIckey grab the large, heavy gate to block the gap. i spring into action, this time with my monkey-like agility and stood in the gap. i use the only weapon i have to stop this 2000 pound bull. i assume the position of "STOP, in the name of love" made famous by Dianna Ross and the Supremes. i stretched out my arm and peered through my fingers into the eyes of this massive beast and shouted "no, no, stay, get back!" while kind of jumping up and down ( yes, monkey-like) and it worked. he must have been excellent at "honeymooning" because he seemed to be really tuckered out he turned, gave me a wink and slowly meandered back in the right direction. i could have sworn i heard him chuckle as he sauntered off i am sure he said to his big ol' bull self "what a silly, silly, monkey".

the honeymoon is over

July 2012          it is that time of year again, time to take the bull's off the cows. the weddings were in april and march. short and sweet. we do have strong moral values here at Whitehurst Cattle Co. but these guys were rip roaring and ready to go and meet their new "brides". i would love to say they were in a romantic mood but the word "frisky" comes to mind. they were arranged marriages but at least each bull did get to choose his bride. some bulls are pickier than others but isn't that true in all of life. color, size, horns or no horns, the choices are limitless. the ceremony is not even over yet and the bull is ready to start "honeymooning." nothing like saying i do and let's start a family in the same sentence. just a way of life here. how long the bulls stay here at WCC depends on how well he "honeymoons." when we pick them up 3 to 4 months later it is kind of easy to see who is good at their job. the ones that slowly get from point A to point B must be great at it because they are tired and ready for some rest and relaxation. the ones that are harder to round up and still frisky, i am thinking they are not so good at it and they may find themselves a one way ticket out of here. what is really funny is when we took them back to the bull field today two bulls started hollering at each other. bulls have a tendency to fight over the stupidest things (is that a male thing?) and they do it often. i figured these two bulls were fixing to fight. but then i thought the conversation probably went like this "hey dude, where are the chicks?" and the other replied "i don't know man but this is not the job i applied for!" they will have to wait a few months to start their jobs again but until then "the honeymoon is over!"

wedgies, potty breaks, & diet coke

  • July 2012         WARNING there may be offensive material in this post. but in all truth it is a fact of nature! Farming is not as glamorous as you may think it is. i prefer to wear shorts when i drive a tractor. especially in an open cab tractor. i do like to get sun but i am at an age when i am still hot but it comes in flashes. so being "cool" is very important to me. but i have been wearing pants because i am not always alone in the field and proper dress is required. so i am not a small girl by any means but also do not consider myself a big gal and i tend to bounce around a lot on a tractor of any kind. my feet do touch the floor but barely so i tend to bounce even more. (God bless the person... probably a woman... who invented the sports bra) any way with every bounce my jeans (dungarees as my grandaddy would say) tend to ride and no not down but up, up, and up. with every bounce i take i am headed to an epic wedgie. and i must say while my tractors are very roomy, so much so that i can practice my fine dance moves, there is not standing room... therefore no way to readjust. so i am left with this luxury until my potty break which brings me to my next story. i learned to potty in the wild at an early age. i am not bragging, it was just a necessity of life as i grew up. and it has served me well in my adulthood being a farmer because there are not always proper facilities close. and me trying to follow the strict regimen of hard work i am surrounded by i cannot take time every time i have to go to stop the tractor get in my truck and find a bathroom. most of the time this is easy because i am alone ... but there are those times i find myself in a field surrounded by more fields with other people in them. so i have adapted and learned to be quick with my catlike agility and to be oh so observant. it is all about precision. watch all the other tractors and wait until they are at the furthest end of the field from me. then i spring into action, watching all around me and especially in the direction of the one road leading into my field for that one person who thinks they need to be in my space at that particular time. most of the time i am lucky but for those times i am not it is stand up, pull up and zip up all in one move and act like i was checking a tire. :) works every time. for those of you who are all antibacterial, i do keep paper and gel on my tractor. i am practical but not gross. and without being too gross i keep it simple some things require a truck trip. enough of that TOO much info i know. as for necessities on my tractor these are my top five...5. paper and antibacterial hand wash they just go together 4. my i-pod cause sometimes you just gotta have a good beat 3. some kind of food something small i can eat with one hand while holding my drink (cause if i spill my drink i will cry!!!) steering, and lifting and lowering the apparatus that is on the back of my tractor with the other. 2. my phone i only had to leave it in my truck once to know what a huge mistake that was .. oops! and number 1. a cooler with ice cold diet coke.... nectar from the heavens it has been known to cure any ailment, quench hunger as well as thirst , and genuinely makes me a happy person. (just ask anyone who knows me- my honey keeps them in his cooler for me just in case). I LOVE FARMERS! especially mine!

cab critters

July 2012        i did not have to farm today and got to go shopping with my daughter. but..... i can still tell you about my cab critters. when i fluff hay i drive an open cab tractor and i am bombarded with grasshoppers. every shape, size and color. they really don't bug me unless they hit me in the face and it is more of a scare than anything else. i have learned to tolerate them and my sunglasses keep me from getting any eye injuries. in the closed cab tractors i have had many uninvited guests. i had a mouse one time who kept to himself and i only saw him a few times and he was very quick to hide and stay hidden from me. no big deal he was kind of cute, i named him mickey. now if i get a spider, different story. i do not know enough about spiders to tell who is poisonous or who bites and who isn't or doesn't. so unfortunately all spiders are met with extreme violence and sent back to their maker at first sight. i did have a fly in the cab with me the other day. i did try to whack him a few times and even though he was close to death he was still quicker than me. i even tried to mr. miogi (karate kid) him but to no avail. if he would have left me alone we could have become pals. i actually like having someone to sing to while i farm. but for some strange reason he kept head butting me. yes, dive bombing me right between the eyes and he was all up in my face and flies are just yucky. and he was much bigger than usual so i took all i could and stopped the tractor, opened the door and shooed him out. shoo fly don't bother me. i was reminded of my sweet mama with her "fly flap" back in the day. she hated a fly and could not stand one in the kitchen while she cooked. she was really good with that thing and had all the flies shaking in their boots. i am sure the fly flew straight out went about two feet and them fell to his death. he then became dead fly carcass fertilizer to the freshly plowed and sorghum planted field. ashes to ashes and dust to dust or whatever. just glad he was gone!!!