Monday, December 19, 2011

Are YOU ready for Christmas?

We're in the final stretch and Christmas is going to be here very soon.  Are you ready?  I'd love to say that I am, but in all honesty, I'm not.  Probably won't ever get there.  I've reached a point that I'm okay with not giving that extra little gift and I refuse to feel guilty about not sending cards to EVERYONE in my address book.  I've found enjoyment in buying an extra toy and putting it in a barrel or box destined to a child that will truly appreciate it this year (and I didn't have to wrap it).

The Grinch & I have come to an
understanding this year.
Before anyone starts thinking I've gone off the deep end and have no holiday spirit, let me assure you that I've bought presents for my kids and have arranged a surprise for the hubby (not a small job).  I haven't completly turned into the Grinch.  A very wise lady told me today that instead of fretting over not getting all of my holiday baking done, just do it after Christmas and share it when everyone has had a chance to eat all the goodies they've already received.  Good advice.  I'll finish baking after Christmas when I'm not so rushed.

I'll still do all the normal Christmas traditions.  We'll get together with family, visit with friends and there will be chores to do no matter the weather.  I'm just finding a happy-medium this year and trying not to stress about having everything perfect.  Count your blessings, make some memories and enjoy the holidays...Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day "off"?

Over the last year, I've gone from working part-time to full time at a veterinary clinic.  When added to the many jobs I have at home, there isn't enough time in the day to get everything done I'd like to.  For many of you, this is a very familiar story.  Normally I would have our house decorated for Christmas by now, but not this year.  I shudder just thinking about having to drag all of the wonderful decorations out of the basement that I've collected over the years.  There's still laundry to do, the refrigerator needs cleaning out, clothes to iron, my bookwork has been sadly neglected, I'm pretty sure the calf stalls need fresh bedding...yes, decorating for Christmas just isn't on the top of my list right now. 

I had today "off"; well, at least from the clinic.  As I sit here typing (knowing there are more pressing things I should be doing), I keep thinking of all of the chores I had planned to get accomplished today.  Didn't happen.  Nope, not today.  We needed to sort and wean beef calves.  Most farm &/or ranch wives out there will tell you: working cattle with your significant other (and family) can be a really stressful job.  Some will tell you it should be outlawed.  Rarely will you find a couple who can work cattle without at least one nasty remark being said.  Luckily, things went pretty good (all things considered) and nobody has threatened to move out of the house.  Hubby and I will celebrate another anniversary.  All in all, you can't ask for more than that.  Except maybe another day or two to get caught up!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Dairy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and my ongoing grocery list is getting a little longer.  Everyone in our house has a favorite dish they want for Thanksgiving dinner including several family recipes that have been passed on from family and friends.  Of course there will be the "staples" and a few other non-traditional things, but everyone is usually happy by the time we get the meal finished.

Of course we won't actually get to sit down to our meal until all the chores have been done and the last animal has been tended.  There won't be any grumbling because that's just the way it is on a dairy farm.  Our animals come first.  As our boys have gotten older, they have learned to appreciate the responsibility of living on a dairy farm and the care that is required for our animals and land.

I don't usually get any complaining about "chores first & eat later", but then again, I tend to spoil my family and prepare plenty of food to ensure that there will be leftovers.  A favorite place to visit for recipes is and for delicious, healthy dishes.  One of my favorite "anytime" recipes is the that reminds me of something grandma used to make.

We'll get to spend time with family and catch up on stories and ongoings.  If you're getting up to shop the early sales, don't look for me because I'll be up...and in the milk barn.  I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer Schedules

Summer is definitely in full swing.  The cows have claimed spots under the shade trees, tractors are a common site on the roads going from one hayfield to the next and the sunset from my back door reminds me that it's well past supper time (even if the boys are still outside).  Several of my friends have taken up residency (or so it seems) at the local ball parks and complain that they don't have enough time in the day.  The local fairs & rodeos have started and parents are busy hustling kids from one event to the next. 

June Dairy Month is in full swing.  I normally have events planned out to celebrate everything dairy, but like everyone else, I've been busy as can be.  With so many busy schedules, don't forget to take time to enjoy some nutritious dairy products.  I think I'll try to enjoy a few more sunsets while savoring a smoothie, bowl of ice cream or a glass of milk...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Memorial Day means different things to many people.  On the farm, we were pretty much business as usual.  There's no going to the lake or going off for the weekend with friends or family.  This year it was a kick-off to hay season and just about every farmer in the area was cutting hay.  I made the trip to the cemetery to decorate the graves of loved ones (between milkings). 

We always take time to recognize the brave soldiers who are serving and have served our country to ensure we enjoy the freedom we have today.  We always have a special "Thanks" for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and their families in our prayers today as well as everyday.

So to everyone who has served, is serving and all of their families...THANK YOU. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Young & Old (?) Agree...Chocolate Milk is Good!

Among the many jobs I have, I work part-time at a veterinary clinic.  Most of my fellow employees are young enough to be my kids.  (sigh)  Just another one of those facts that reminds me that I'm getting older.  It's amazing what I've learned from some of those "kids".  I may not always understand what they're talking about, but I try to keep an open mind. 

We were working right along the other day when one of the girls said "Did you hear THAT?"! Apparently we weren't all paying attention to the radio, then again, I don't always agree on their choice of radio stations. 

She was floored to hear that chocolate milk was being banned from some schools.  Please keep in mind this is a young woman still going to college and has no intentions of having kids any time in the near future.  The general concensus was that chocolate milk should be left in the schools.  Period.  End of discussion.  (There are more articles with more information about the facts on chocolate milk at   

So if the younger generation knows chocolate milk isn't a bad thing, why can't everyone else understand this?  It's not like we're asking everyone to listen to the same radio station all the time.  As a mom, I have to put my vote in favor of lowfat chocolate milk.  I can honestly say it was nice to find something that we could all agree on.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Animal Care is Priority

Sadly, it's happened yet again.  An animal rights group has posted a horrific video of a calf being abused.  As a farmer in animal agriculture, I'm angered, appalled and downright mad.  Who ARE these people?  It's bad enough that there are disturbed people who will harm animals (and other human beings) for amusement, but I find it equally disturbing that there are people who will film it instead of stepping in to stop the incident and report the abuse...immediately. 

My husband & I were raised on farms and have chosen this as our careers.  We have also chosen to raise our children much like we were raised.  At no point do we find it amusing to see an animal be hurt or suffer.  I can't think of a fellow farmer who finds animal cruelty acceptable.  Our animals are our livelihood, so why would we want any harm to come to them? 

We have spent countless hours over the years with our animals.  When a cow is calving, a calf is sick, a horse is lame or our farm dog isn't feeling well, we make them our priority.  Over the years, we've left family gatherings early (or got there late) to make sure everything is okay with one of our cows.  I left my great-aunt's 100th birthday party early to check on a cow who decided it was a good day to have a baby (everything  turned out just fine).  I can't count the many nights we've gotten up at midnight to check on a sick animal or expecting cow.  We cut our anniversary weekend short one year because there was hay to bale; the cows would need hay in the winter.  These are just a few of the things we do because we take caring for our animal seriously.  This is what responsible farmers do.  We don't abuse animals for the fun of it, nor do we find watching garbage like that entertaining.

Before you pass judgement on all farmers because of a sensationalized video on the Internet, take the time to check out a real farm.  There are numerous farmers on facebook, twitter and other sites that have pictures and stories to share with you.  You might start with and get the facts about dairy farming.