Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Spanglish is Flyin' in this House!

Spanglish:  part Spanish + part English = all wrong!

So...my kids are taking a Spanish class at our homeschool co-op.  After two weeks of lessons, their Spanish is like totally amazing!


The truth is that my three little white kids aren't pickin' up the language too well.

They don't sprechen sie Spanish.

No habla  Espanol.  No comprende.

El queso esta viejo y putrido. (The cheese is old and moldy.)

Name that movie!....

I digress....

We live in a state that borders Mexico, and I'm tickled that my kids are starting to learn Spanish. It really comes in handy around these parts.  For the last two weeks, my children have been "practicing" their foreign language skills with all of the family members, and it's been quite comical to say the least. None of my kids pronounce anything authentically. They all sound like they're from Arkansas.

(Did I ever tell you about the time I once went to a Taco Bell in Arkansas? Funniest thing ever! They pronounce everything wrong! They substitute a short "A as in apple" sound for everything on the menu...Taaacos, Naaaachos, Burrita)  Oh, and they don't put taco sauce on anything because, "People 'round them parts don't like their Taaaacos spicy.")

Back to the story....

The kids have been practicing their numbers and colors lately.

My daughter screams across the house, "Mom, what is ocho times nueve?"

My son chimes in before I can answer. "It's siete and dos".

(He hasn't learned any of the numbers past ten so he's developed some form of Spanish roman numeral system to try to say 72. Seven and two. Get it? Neither did I. It's ok.)  Hopefully, this week's lesson includes numbers beyond 10 or my children will continue to create their own.

Now I'm no expert in Spanish, myself.  I had 3 years of it in Jr. High/ High School and could only say enough to find the bathroom or get directions. That all changed when I started working in the agricultural industry.  Some of my Spanish speaking co-workers gave me a real education while I was working side by side with them in the barn.  After six months of "on the job training" I knew all of the Spanish cuss words, could tell someone off in Spanish with vigor and vibrato, and could order people around in Spanish like I was the boss.

Good times, good times.

I'm sad to say that in my decade of being a stay-at-home mother in this mountain town, my Spanish has turned rusty at best.  When people speak it, I can understand what they're saying, but I forget some of the words to respond back to them.  However, I've retained enough to know bad Spanish when I hear it.

So I'm trying to grin and bear it when the terrible Spanish flies around the house, hurting my ears like the sound of my Illinois farming Grandpa ordering Chimichangas from the Mexican Food restaurants here in Arizona.

Which reminds me of another story...

Did I ever tell you about the time I went to Ohio with my church youth group and my youth pastor wanted to take us out for Mexican Food at a place called Chi Chi's?  We refer to a woman's.....chest area....as her chi chi's around here so I was totally shocked when he said that! It seemed scandalous coming from my youth pastor. I was envisioning some sort of place with women of ill-repute or a restaurant like Hooter's. Nope. It was a totally legit' Mexican Food Restaurant. (But still...can Mexican Food really be that good in Ohio? That's a looong way from the border. I'm not saying it's impossible for Ohio to have good Mexican food...just improbable. If you're from Arizona and go to Ohio and think there's a place that has good Mexican Food, you have found a true diamond in the rough!)

Let's land this blog-post plane shall we? In conclusion.... I'm trying to have an extra measure of grace with my three children as they learn to roll their r's, and communicate in a foreign tongue. I am also trying not to burst out laughing when they speak to me with random Spanish words and sing Feliz Navidad repeatedly because it is the only song they know in Spanish.

Adios Amigos,


P.S.- Wow. My rambling was at an all time high in this post.  My brain is a very busy place.  Thanks for not leaving me despite my inability to focus on one thing.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"Do Something Small and Watch it Snowball"

I consider myself to be a recovering perfectionist.  I have "go big or go home" tendencies, and when I decide to do something, I sink my whole heart into it. I'm all in. On occasion, this can be a great quality to have.  When I choose to take something on, I'm usually quite proud of the outcome.  I'll work tirelessly to ensure that I've done something to the absolute best of my ability... something that at the end of the day, I'd gladly stand behind.

But perfectionism has an ugly side.  When I don't think I can be a huge success, win all the marbles, or be the best....I  sometimes choose to simply do nothing at all. It's every perfectionist's dirty little secret.  If we can't do it flawlessly and on a grand scale....we don't even attempt it.

The older I get, the more I'm learning that, although there is a time and place for doing monumental things, more often than not, something simple will suffice.  In fact, doing something small is, at times, better than not doing anything at all.

I'm changing my mentality.

I'm trying hard not to overlook the benefits of doing small things.

When I felt overwhelmed with the thought of jogging 3 miles, I didn't quit. The old me never would have attempted it, but the new me knows that even though I won't win the race, it's doing something good for my body. I started small by jogging for 1 minute. And then the next day, I jogged for two minutes, and so on.

This idea of micro-change spread into my eating habits. When I knew I needed to eat healthier, I didn't throw out all of the junk food in my house and go on a strict lettuce diet.  I just resolved to put some more vegetables on my plate at every meal. Slowly, I'm replacing junk food with healthier alternatives.

In my attempts to read through my Bible, the old me would have quit the first day that I got off track.  But when I can't read my daily 4 chapters, I just try for one. And if I forget today, then I jump back on the wagon tomorrow. I won't let perfectionism defeat me anymore.

The same mentality is spilling over into some other areas in my life.

As a perfectionist, I would read about the millions of widows and orphans in Africa and think that unless I had the wealth of Bill Gates, I couldn't possibly make a dent in the problem.  I'd look at the hoards of starving people and crumple with defeat, knowing that I can't save them all. I would start to feel that unless I sold everything I owned and moved to Africa to be on the front lines, my efforts were in vain.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of need.

But I've stopped the "all or nothing" attitude. It kept me on the side-lines and incapacitated me for far too long.

I believe that as Christians we should be willing to sell everything we own and move to Africa...if that' what God is calling us to do. But he might not be calling us to do that!  I can't allow fear of failure or the need for perfection  to paralyze me from doing something good for the Kingdom of God.

My new motto: Do something small, and watch it snowball!

God might not be calling us to save millions of people, but He may call us to adopt just one orphan.  Even if he hasn't called us to adopt a child right now, he commands us in His Word to take care of widows and orphans.  Our response to that command could look a hundred different ways.  We could financially sponsor orphans who we may never meet this side of  Heaven.  We could also do something as small as writing letters of reference for friends who are going through the adoption process.  We can support those families with prayer and meals and service while they make their difficult adoption journeys. It may seem like very little in the grand scheme of things, but everything helps. Every single life is important to Jesus!

Maybe we haven't ever brought a widow into our home, but we can certainly support organizations that give micro-business loans and training to help widows get back on their feet and support themselves.

We may not be called to be on the front lines of missionary work, but perhaps we can send supplies, and financial support to those who already have "boots on the ground" in places of need.

I'm convinced that these small and seemingly insignificant actions have the potential to snowball into something much greater.  In fact, we may never know their true impact!

I'm not going to waste my time waiting around thinking of something HUGE I can do for God, and beating myself up for failing to do something massive and awe-inspiring.  I just want to take every opportunity to do small things as often as possible, and then pray that God will multiply my efforts and grow fruit from the tiny seeds that have been sewn.

After all....

"Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed." -Robert Schuller

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Through my Lens

"Licking the bowl clean."

"The Perfect Back Scratcher"


"Looking North East"



"Old Shipping Corral"

"Snowy Pasture"

"Ducks on the Pond"


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

7 Random Things

Dubble Bubble Gum, 16 oz

1. I chewed approximately 20 pieces of Dubble Bubble Gum at my son's ball game last Saturday.  The stuff is tasty, but the flavor only lasts for like 2 minutes.  This means that you have to spit it out and get a new piece every few minutes to keep the flavor sensation going.  Imagine my horror when I saw the back of the bag and realized that each piece has 20 calories.  That doesn't sound like much, but when you have to eat 1/4 of the bag to get you through the ball game, it adds up quickly! I think I'll let the kids eat the Dubble Bubble and I'll stick to the grown-up stuff.  Plus, my jaw hurt that night. When I'm chewing Dubble Bubble, I feel like a cow chewing her cud.

Where the Red Fern Grows

2. My son just finished reading "Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls for a book report.  I know that he really read the book and didn't fake it because after he closed the book and I asked him to tell me about it, he got all teary eyed. The book has a really sad ending, and I remember crying when I read it 24 years ago.  Sad dog books just get me right in the gut! Apparently, they pull at my son's heart-strings too.  Every night he stayed up late reading in his bed.  Ordinarily I'd tell him to turn the light off, but I know what it's like to be wrapped up in a good book and I didn't want to squelch his love of reading.  I decided to just turn a blind eye to the light shining down the hallway.

3.  My girl's got strep throat. Blah!  The poor thing.  She's my toughest kid when it comes to getting sick.  She rarely complains about not feeling well, so when she came to me with a headache, sore throat, and ear-ache, I didn't wait long to get her in to the doctor.  For some odd reason, she doesn't fit the mold when it comes to strep.  She gets it twice as much as my other kids and doesn't get any type of fever with it.  She's also the kid who once woke up in the middle of the night with an ear-ache, and by the time the doctor's office opened, she busted an ear drum. So when she said she had both an ear-ache and a sore throat, I got her right in to the doctor.  I'm glad I did!  Hopefully she'll be on the mend soon.

4. I've been on a crusade to fill half of my family's plate with vegetables at every lunch and dinner.  It's been going well except for when we eat Mexican Food.  Somehow, broccoli, carrots, and salad don't seem to go well with tamales.  When my family was walking through the junk food aisle at Walmart the other day, my kids asked if they could each pick out something to put in the cart.  I said, "No, but I'll tell you what...when we get to the produce section, I'll let you pick out any vegetable you want!!!"   Needless to say, that didn't go over too well.  Hey, you win some and you lose some.

5. I can see patches of dead grass in my yard for the first time since November. I'm sick of seeing dirty snow.  It either needs to all melt, or a fresh storm needs to cover it up with white beauty again.  Not that I'm being picky or anything.

6.  I failed to mention that our old hens went to be with Jesus awhile back.  It was time. They were ancient, and not laying any more eggs.  I'm only sharing this because our two new hens haven't started to lay yet, and I've had to buy eggs at the store for the first time in ages! *GASP* Oh, the horror! There is a huge difference between fresh eggs and Walmart eggs and I forgot how good we had it with our supply of fresh eggs every day. I'm counting the days until these young gals start laying.  We'll get more chicks in the spring, but these two gals have got to start stepping up to the plate in the mean time. Any day now, they can start giving me their little hen berries. After all, with the old ladies gone, they've got the whole chicken mansion to themselves.

7. I'm slightly irritated that right now in my town, diesel is over 60 cents more per gallon than gas. That ain't right, folks. Do you remember the good ole' days when diesel was cheaper than gas?  My husband remembers filling his truck up in college and when the price of gas went to $1.38/ gallon he thought it would break him. HaHaHa! Now we'd be doing the happy dance if it was that cheap.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Fun Purchase!

"Never spend your money before you have it."- Thomas Jefferson

We've been carefully saving our nickels, dimes, birthday money, and Christmas cash,  for months and months and we finally had enough money to make our big purchase!

This weekend we bought a brand new shotgun!!!!

It's a Semi-automatic 12 Gauge Remington 1100 Sporting Shotgun with a 28" barrel and an interchangeable choke. We can't wait to use it!

The wood on the stock is gorgeous!

I think that working hard to save up money for things makes you appreciate them more.

For quite some time, we've wanted to get a shotgun of good quality that could be passed down to our kids or grand-kids one day, and  we did a lot of research before making our purchase. There are many newer models out there, and we considered many other brands, but in the end, we decided to stick with a classic gun that has a history of great performance.

My Grandpa bought his 1100 in 1965 when they were still new on the market. He traded a pistol for his shotgun, and he still has it to this day.

My dad has owned a Remington 1100 since 1969, and he bought it new for $165.00.  Wow! Times have changed! For the last 43 years it has just been a great all-around shotgun for him. When he was 15 years old he worked at the local Rod and Gun Club, and Remington supplied several 1100's  for them to loan out to people shooting trap and skeet.  Remington's only stipulation was that they were not allowed to clean the guns, and they had to keep track of how many rounds went through them. The 1100's were new and they wanted to see how well they held up.  By the time my dad left, those guns had over 12,000 rounds shot through them with no malfunctions and no cleanings.  That's over 480 boxes of shells!

The same year he bought his shotgun, my dad used it to become the Colorado State Junior Skeet Champion. He and my grandpa were also the Colorado State Father/Son Skeet Champions of the year. They both shot their Remington 1100's.

I grew up in a family of avid sportsmen, and I have fond memories of many Saturdays spent at the shooting range. My brother and I would have friendly shooting competitions with our cousins under the watchful eyes of my dad, grandpa, and uncles.  We put up paper targets and shot rifles and muzzle loaders while my grandpa looked to see where each shot hit the target with a pair of binoculars. Then we'd line up and shoot pistols at tin cans and closer targets. The winner had bragging rights and got to keep the paper target for proof.

I distinctly remember my dad and grandpa gently telling me to "squeeeeeze the trigger" so I didn't jerk it and miss the target when I was a young girl. Those were important lessons!

But my favorite competitions have always involved shooting clay pigeons with shotguns.  Often times, my dad sits in the back of the truck with a clay pigeon thrower and we shoot away until we run out of either shells or clays. It's great family fun!

Now that our kids are getting older, we'd love to pass on the love of shooting sports with them as well.  My dad passed down his 20 gauge shotgun to our son this Christmas, and our boy was so excited with his new gun that he had tears in his eyes.

 My husband also has a shotgun passed down from his dad.  Add our new gun to the mix and we have enough for several people to hunt together without having to share guns. In addition to hunting birds, our kids can't wait to try their hand at 4-H shooting sports.

We hope to have many years of enjoyment with our new shotgun!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Just Another Day at the Vet's Office

We made a "family" trip to our tiny little vet office today.  The pets were due for Rabies vaccines, and we had several errands to run in town so we decided to bring the whole family along.  It was slightly comical, to say the least.

We looked like rednecks coming through the door.  Our dogs always work right beside us so we never use leashes. I don't even know if we own any.  In order to stay in compliance with the "All dogs must be on a leash" sign, we had to grab a set of reins from our tack wall as a makeshift leash.  But hey....it's better than using bailing twine! My inquisitive kids couldn't wait to take the pets for an adventure at the vet's office!

Imagine SEVEN people (including the doctor and vet tech), two dogs, and one cat in an exam room the size of the handicap stall in a Walmart bathroom.  It was a TIGHT squeeze.  All of the body heat made the room feel like a stuffy inferno.My oldest daughter carried the cat in a tiny little cage and when the vet tech pulled Miss Kitty out, pieces of hay went all over the exam table. The worst part is...I don't even know where the hay came from!

And the smell.... well, lets just say that the only baths my cow dogs ever get are from swimming in the irrigation water, and well.... the ditch shut down in September.  There was a definite canine perfume in the air.

The vet told me that Boone (our14 year old dog) was in pretty good shape for the shape he's in.  Totally deaf, nearly blind, a few growths, but his ticker is still ticking pretty good.  I told the vet that since they told me Boone was dying four years ago, I consider every day a gift!

After the exams were finished, my husband just couldn't control himself and HAD to ask the vet a question to settle a little arguement we've had going on about the cows.( I bet vets hate settling husband/wife disputes! LOL!)

We got a load of new cows last month and had to treat one for ringworm.  I told my husband that he shouldn't just put the cream on his finger and rub it on the cow without some sort of gloves on. Totally gross. He said that you can't get ringworm from cows.  We've been cussin' and disscussin' the issue for weeks now, and he just couldn't wait to ask the vet.

The vet said that it's "unlikely" that you could get ringworm from a cow...a cat, yes....a cow, probably not. Then he said that cows get a slightly different strain of ringworm than humans.

"Unlikely" and "probably not" are not definitive enough answers for me.

I say, why chance it? Just rub the athlete's foot cream on the cow with a paper towel or a little stick to be safe. Who actually wants to find out about ringworm the hard way? (And there you have it. THIS is what husbands and wives discuss when they are doctoring cows in the chute.)

When we FINALLY left the exam room, the people in the waiting room chuckled.  It looked like we were all stuffed in a clown car and people and pets just kept pouring out of the room, one after another.

Let's just say that we left an impression at the vet's office.  Thankfully the vet is very nice, down to earth, and quite understanding when it comes to children, pets, and marital disputes.

(You can all sleep better tonight knowing that cows "probably" won't give you ring worm. Hahaahaa!)


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quick and Easy Tissue Holder

I found the cutest project for my daughter to make on Martha Stewart.Com.  It's the perfect craft for teaching beginning hand sewing.  We had so much fun making these and can't wait to give them away as Valentine gifts.

Here's the link to the project on Martha's site:

Here's how ours turned out.  We made these for about 50 cents each.  Cheap, fun and cute!

Start with a 7" x 5.5" piece of felt. Trim the edges with pinking shears.

Next, fold the felt so that the sides meet in the middle.  Pin both sides folded flat.

Using embroidery floss, do a simple running stitch along both edges to make a pouch.

It will look like this when finished.

Then use some left over felt to make an embellishment. Flowers with a button in the middle, initials, and butterflies would all be cute.

Pin it on and sew it with a running stitch.

Put in a package of pocket sized tissue, and you're done!

I've seen these made with cotton fabrics as well. They sure make tissue packets look cuter.

Have a beautiful day!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I'm back!

I didn't mean to take such a long break from blogging but alas, my household was sick with a nasty stomach bug.  When Mama's up until 1:00am several nights in a row holding the puke bucket for her babies and consoling them that "this too shall pass", I lose all track of time.  I lose all blogging inspiration.  I lose all the headway I made with housework. I lose my will to cook.

But all is right again, and I will pick up where I left off.  I shall return to the blogging world, and I shall conquer the cleaning!

Did you know that this is my 400th blog post?  When I saw this, the first thing that went through my mind was, "WOW! I didn't know I had so much random junk to write about!"  400 blog posts ago, my mom was my only reader and she faithfully commented on all of my posts.  Now I have many wonderful visitors and I just want to say that I APPRECIATE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU!!!!

I read every one of your comments, and they make my day! I love your messages, your thoughts, and your encouragement. You all are FABULOUS, and such a blessing to me!

Thanks for sticking with me through the good, the bad, and the ugly posts. Even though my computer skills are marginal at best and my blog has a complete identity crisis, you have been there in the trenches with me.  You have read about everything from cattle to hair products, and about everyone from Jesus to George Strait. You let me prattle on about whatever's on my mind at the moment, and turn a blind eye when I write a myriad of run-on sentences or use too many commas. I'm so thankful for your abundant grace.


Feeling all warm and fuzzy,


P.S.- My 401st  blog post will be back to business as usual!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Small Town Radio Quirks

They say "Love is Blind", and I'm here to testify that sometimes it's deaf, too.  When my husband first moved me up to this mountain as a young bride, I was in a bit of a culture shock. The first time we drove around looking for houses, I specifically remember thinking that this town had some of the most "Podunk" radio stations I'd ever heard.  In fact, my brother once told me that our radio stations were a full decade "behind the times".

My response: "You get used to it!"

But now I'm more than just "used to it".  Now, I love them. Now, I find them familiar, fun, and dare I say...comforting.

They are LOADED with hilarious quirks.

Did you know that elk outnumber people in my town, seven to one? We have a local car dealer who advertises religiously on our radio, and he is well aware of this fact, too.  Apparently on our mountain, we buy vehicles based on how well they fare in head-on collisions with elk.  Accidents involving elk can be serious or even deadly.  These animals  can stand 5 feet tall at the shoulder and can weigh over a 1000 lbs.  A city dealership would never take the "elk collision" angle, but our guys know their demographics, and they know their market. Between every 3 songs, there is a car advertisement with real live "testimonials" of people who have had elk accidents and survived to tell the tale.

Here's an example of one of the commercials. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)

"It was late one night and I was driving home. I was going fast and there were two elk in the road.  I swerved to miss the first one, but I hit the second one head-on.  The truck was totaled but I walked away with no injuries.  I was so impressed that I'll never drive anything else again.  My name is Ruby Sue and I drive a Toyota Tundra."

Yep. True story.

And another thing:

I find it fascinating that our small town has room for not one, but TWO country stations.  Yes sir, we're hicks who love our western music.  But even among country fans, there is discord in the ranks.  That is why both stations have designated hours to play country oldies.  One station has an afternoon show called "Country Classics with Cindy" and the other station has the "My Kind of Country"  radio show once a week where folks call in and request the golden oldies from Hank, Willie, and Patsy Cline. The show always ends with the classic,"Happy Trails".

This reminds me of the timeless church war that all congregations have with the older folks insisting on singing only the old hymns, and the young whipper snappers wanting modern worship tunes.  I guess the battle has leaked over into the secular side as well with country music.

All I have to say is, "Can't we all just get along?"

We also have this daily show at lunch that my husband is addicted to.  It's called "Tradio".  It's basically an on-air yard sale where people call in to sell their junk.  The men-folk LOVE it. During lunch break on the mountain, men huddle around the radio in their work trucks and tune in while eating their sandwiches.

Here's a glimpse of how it goes:

DJ-"Hello, You're on Tradio!"

Caller- "Um yes, I've got a 1974 Ford Bronco up on blocks...needs a little work and a set of tires.  I'm asking $750 or best offer on that.  I'd also trade for a bass boat in good condition.  While I'm at it, I've got an old  Stihl chain saw, a rototiller, and a winch...all in pretty good shape.  I'm askin' $300 for the package deal. If you're interested, call Bill at 555-1234.  Thank ya."

Every day, my son or my husband approaches me with a "smokin' deal" that he heard about on "Tradio".

Unless you're hiding under a rock, you'll also know exactly when hunting season rolls around in our town. The radio is flooded with advertisements for this year's "must-have" supplies including bows, rattler bags, camouflage, some substance called deer cocaine, and elk urine in a bottle from our one and only archery shop. I don't shoot a bow, but if I ever did, I've been influenced enough by local radio into thinking that I must buy the "Matthews Solo- Cam" for optimal hunting performance.  Now I know why every hunting season costs us an arm and a leg!  The men in my house are bombarded with advertisements that make them feel as if their hunting supplies are inferior, and they will be unprepared without the newest things on the market.

Anyway, whether it's a group of lady DJ's chatting about the day's lunch special at the diner, or the local Forest Service giving the latest fire conditions, or the Girl Scouts advertising their canned food drive, or the Rotary Club having a pancake breakfast, our radio is loaded with informative tid- bits for folks who live on this mountain.

Our stations aren't perfect, but they're filled with small town charm.... and that's why I'll continue to tune in regularly.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Confessions of a Complainer

 Folding socks is about as exciting as scrubbing toilets, and I was on my second load of the day.  With the laundry basket next to me, I mindlessly and mechanically folded pair after pair as I quizzed my first grader about her spelling words.

 I'm ashamed to say that I have uttered more than my fair share of whiny objections to doing the laundry in the past, and my friends have had to speak the truth in love to me about this on several accounts.  I've been told that I should be thankful I have clothes to wear, and a houseful of loved ones to care for. They've pointed out to me that a load of laundry takes a mere 8 minutes to fold and put away. One friend even suggested to me that I should thank the Good Lord for every one of my family members and pray for their needs as I fold each piece of their clothing.

I've slowly taken these slaps on the wrist with a wet noodle to heart.  I know darn good and well that I'm blessed beyond measure, and I've mostly quit bellowing about my loathe for laundry.  Occasionally I catch myself gazing longingly out the window, fantasizing about working outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Then my mind whirls back to the17 socks sitting in front of me without a mate, and I go on a quest to find them under the beds and behind the couches.

But this is happening less, and less....that is, the fantasy of being outdoors, not the matchless socks.  I do find myself being more content with the daily grind of housework.

In fact, this morning I pulled a new pair of my Christmas socks out of the laundry basket and actually laughed out loud.

These could quite possibly be the ugliest socks in my wardrobe and my husband gave me two pairs, with love, for Christmas.  They are the perfect shade of Cream of Wheat with Oscar the Grouch green accents. 

I absolutely LOVE them!

Do you know why I love them?

I love them because my sweetheart of a fella went to Western Drug and hand-selected them from a whole wall of socks with me in mind.  He wanted to buy something heavy-duty to keep my feet warm in my boots during the long winter.

The same man who bought me this cowhide purse simply for its beauty...

also bought me two pairs of heavy duty work socks purely for their practicality.  They're toasty, and soft, and never slip down when I'm wearing boots. Would I have picked them out for myself? Nope. I pay little mind to my socks, but my husband was looking out for me. I now wear them with pride and honor.

My husband not only treats me with special things that I want, but he also gets me the practical things that I need.  He takes good care of me.

Every day, he crawls out of bed before dawn, puts his work clothes on, takes care of the livestock, and works hard outside in snow, rain, heat, and wind.  He puts in an honest day's muscle to provide for his family at home, and I'm honored to wash his muddy Wranglers and filthy shirts.  I'm thankful that because of his hard work, I can stay at home with our kids and take care of our house.

Whenever I start to grumble, I think about my abundant blessings and thank the Lord for things like my Oscar the Grouch green socks and for my husband who so thoughtfully picked them out with my comfort and needs in mind.

Folding Socks with a Smile,


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Random Snapshot of my Life

Today, I've decided to post a little snapshot of life. Join along, if you'd like!

1.What I'm reading today:

My Bible...trying to read through it again this year.

The Loveliness of Christ  -     
        By: Samuel Rutherford

"The Loveliness of Christ" by Samuel Rutherford... Short extracts from the letters of the great seventeenth- century Scottish Christian, Samuel Rutherford.  ( This is a little book full of sparkling jewels to ponder!)

Magazines: Western Horseman, Beef Magazine, Homeschooling Magazines, Farm and Ranch Magazine

With the Master in Fullness of Joy: A Ladies' Bible Study on the Book of Philippians (With the Master Bible Studies)
Bible Study- "With the Master; In Fullness of Joy" A Ladies Bible study on Philippians... We start this next week, so I'll let you know how it goes.

2. What I'm listening to in the truck:

Product Details

"Hank the Cowdog"audio books by John Erickson.  We are unabashedly huge fans of Hank at our house, and I'm not ashamed to tell you that my husband and I have listened to them and laughed many times when the kids weren't even driving with us. LOL!

3. What I'm loving in the kitchen:

Flour Sack Towels Commercial Grade 12 Pack 28in X 29in
Flour Sack Towels.  I love them for so many reasons! They are large, thin, absorbent, and don't give off lint or fuzz when placing them over a rising loaf of bread dough.  They're white so they can be bleached, and they're cheap...$5.49 for a pack of 5 at Walmart.

4. What I'm Loving in my Purse:

Super-Softening Hand Lotion - Look Ma, New Hands - True Blue® Spa - Bath & Body Works
True Blue Spa Paraffin hand lotion from Bath and Body Works.  My cousin bought me this for Christmas, and told me that it had the seal of approval from her husband who is a Dairyman.  If it works for a guy who milks cows and is out in the elements all day in the cold Canadian winters, then by golly, I was going to give it a try! All I have to say is, I'm a believer!  This stuff is doing wonders for my cracked, withered and chapped cowboy hands! It has Olive, Avocado, and Apricot oils along with vitamin E.  It also has paraffin to lock in the moisture.  Good stuff!

Ultra Mentha Lip Shine - C.O. Bigelow - Bath & Body Works

This is an oldie but a goodie! I have had an ongoing love affair with this CO Bigelow Ultra Mentha Lip Shine from Bath and Body Works for several years now, and in my humble opinion, it's the best of the best! It is refreshingly cool, and ultra minty with 2.3% Peppermint oil, and .2% Field Mint oil.  If you wear this and kiss your sweetheart, he'll kiss you back! Guaranteed!

5.The picture on the front of my iphone:

6. My Current Ringtone:

I change ringtones frequently. Here's the latest:

George Strait, "I can't see Texas from Here"....♪♫ I can't see Texas from here, no matter how I try, it makes me wanna die, so if you see me lookin' down, I'm tryin' not to show this frown, cuz..I can't see Texas from here...♪♫

It's a bit "out there" in terms of ringtones, but it embodies my great love of Texas and the fact that I'm far away from it....and it's classic George Strait.  You've got to stick with the classics, man!

7. My newest iphone app:

Endomondo Sports Tracker

I can't take credit for this one. Our tech savvy friends told us about this.  It tracks my jogging by GPS, and tells me distance, time, calories burned, elevation change, lap time, etc. etc.   Bottom line: It was free, it's cool, it tells me if I've burned enough calories to eat a Blizzard at Dairy Queen, and it talks to me while I jog.  'Nuff said!

8. What crafts I'm working on:

Some simple Valentines cards using scraps of fabric sewn to card stock. I'll use them as inspiration for the young gals in our beginning 4H Sewing class who will be making their own cards very soon.  Sewing into paper will help them learn control of their machine, while creating something cute that they can make for friends.  I'm excited to see their artistic creativity come out in this, their first sewing meeting of the year.  I want them to know that sewing isn't just about making curtains and pillowcases...it can be fun and creative too!

9.  What my house smells like:

Luna Scentsy Bar Wickless Candle Tart Warmer Wax 3.2 Fl Oz, 8 Squares

Right now, I'm melting Scentsy "Luna" in my warmer.  It has a nice, soft scent. (I'm a candle fanatic and I change the scents in my house on a weekly basis. Good smelling candles and waxes are my weakness! LOL!)

10. The last thing I bought:

A new pair of jeans for my 10 year old son.  He's outgrown every pair of Wranglers in his dresser. One of my biggest pet-peeves is seeing people with cowboy boots and high water jeans. It drives me nuts! It's a fashion disaster!  Every few months, I have to rescue the boy from embarrassment by buying him longer pants.  The damage to my wallet never ends!

How about you? What's going on in your life right now? What are your current favorite things?  I'd love to read about them in your blog, or in the comments section of mine!

Happy Tuesday!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Snow, Cows, Protein Supplements....Just another Winter Day in the Mountains.

This morning I brought along the camera when we left the house to go check the cows.  

I haven't seen the grass in my yard in a very long time because the white stuff won't go away.  We've had beautiful 55°F degree days, but the snow isn't leaving.  

Our winter pastures are about an hour away at a lower elevation. We drove over the mountain to get away from the frozen tundra so we could check on the "ladies"...

As you can see, they were "checking" me out too.  One by one, a few of the brave gals approached me as I squatted in the tall grass.  They sniffed my camera and one even fogged up my lens.  What a difference a year makes! Last winter they were wild little punk yearlings that tested my patience at every turn.  This year, they're eating out of my hand.  Such is the life of a heifer. 

We're trying a new protein supplement this year.  We got a load of these tubs out of Texas, and if the cows do well on them, we may be repeat customers.  We've tried all sorts of supplements over the years, from blocks, to licks, to liquid tubs with rollers.  

Some are expensive, and some are consumed too quickly. Hopefully this one is just right.

These are pretty reasonably priced, and they seem to be true to their daily consumption estimation guidelines. The picture above is what they initially looked like, and the one below is taken after a week of licking.

I'm anxious to start crunching numbers this summer to see just how well our steers, cows, and heifers do on them.  Do any of you lovely blog readers use protein supplements to extend your winter forage? If so, what do you use?

(Sorry that I'm talking about protein supplements on a blog post.  This is probably terribly boring to you but I've got to be real.  This is our life in the winter time! Cows, cows, cows. I promise that in my next post I won't utter a word about bovines! Deal? Just stick with me.)

After we checked the cows, my son happened to have baseball practice nearby in town. Here's the view from the ball field.  You can see the snowline up in the hills off in the distance.  The entire team drove an hour from home just to find a field that wasn't covered in snow. Lucky for us, it's near our winter pasture so we killed two birds with one stone.  I think my son's traveling baseball team is the equivalent of the Jamaican Bobsled team.  For 6 months out of the year, they practice in gymnasiums and travel to the ends of the earth in search of sunshine and a dirt field to play in. 

 I guess that's life in a rural mountain community.  But you know what? I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Nell-The one who bores you with talk of cows and protein supplements.