If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Farming Decisions

When you have thirteen calves on the bottle...
...and even more in the barn who all need water...
...deciding where to start can sometimes be a hard decision.
Mike and I were so glad to have our grandson, Harris, here on Saturday.
Not only did he help us decide which ones to give wa-wa (water)...
He also helped out by carrying the empty bucket back to the hydrant after filling each bucket.
It's the little things...
...and it is nice to have the little man take charge.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Grass Mowing Season

We have had enough warm weather lately that the grass needed mowing.  Mike took care of that this week.  He cuts his mother's yard as well as ours and that is no small feat - several acres.

I guess it is grass mowing season for our entire family.  It seems we sort of have a thing about keeping the grass looking well.

My dad breaks his multiple acres of mowing up and does it in tracts...for days...marked on the calendar...in rotation.

Mike's son, Stephen, mows the grass surrounding his store, Bonnie's Barnyard, his yard, down the driveway, out the highway, and around the creek.  He and Mike keep it looking like a park around here.

Our son-in-law, Corey, operates his own lawn care business.  He is The Yard Boy and makes not only his own, but also many, many lawns look beautiful.

My son, Bryan, has always had strong interest in grass cutting.  When he was a little boy, his backup plan for a career was to cut the grass on the baseball field.  Then, when he was in college, he got the chance to work for a lawn care business and called me one day when he was cutting a college football or baseball field to inform me he was 'living the dream.'  His focus on making his lawn look beautiful had intensified this spring because they have their house on the market and are hoping to sell and move.

Maybe they all have a little help coming along...

I think the one in our family who seemed most focused on the mechanics of grass cutting this past weekend might have been our eldest grandson.

When he was visiting us, he had to climb up on Mike's mower and check everything out.




He knew that the control handles had to be pulled over in front of the seat to drive it.

He knew the ropes and did his best to master it.

He even knew that wearing the radio/headphones was a big part of the job.

He was intent on getting the job done.

After all, the pride of the family grass moves from generation to generation.
I think ours is in good hands.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Like a Country Song

We had a little visitor yesterday...

He brought along his parents...

Even though we love seeing the parents...

This fellow seems to steal the show...

I think his favorite part of the day with us was when we spent some time out at the barn...

We did some farming, but that is a tale for another day...

The big thing this fellow had a chance to do...

...is to sit up on the ATV and touch each and every button...

...pull on every single lever...

...pull and turn with the steering wheel...

It was so cold with a brisk breezy wind, that we didn't move that machine an inch...

Still, I think he will borrow the tune of a popular country song...

He might adapt the words a little bit...

I think someday he will say something like...

It was just an old Kubota Mule...

...held together with bungee cords and twine...

...but Daddy Mike let me drive...

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Start Dancing!

Last year I discovered 24 Hours of Happy and shared it with everybody I could think of who really needed to have a little Happy.

I still go back and visit it when I need a little bit of Happy from time to time.

I've been known to sing off-key at the top of my lungs hum along and dance around in my kitchen numerous times.

Sometimes it will be grooving to Happy or showing homage to Trace Adkin's disgraceful song.

MoTown music is always a hit with me as I think there is NO BETTER MUSIC MADE than that.

Right after we married, Mike and I shocked his son, Stephen, as we sang and danced along with Elton John on a classic number.  (I guess I bring out the best in folks, huh?)

I think it might be sort of a tradition in my family to dance around in the kitchen.

I remember Mama teaching me to do the twist with Chubby Checker or Elvis right there in our farmhouse kitchen when I was a skinny girl growing up.

Bridgette has been caught in the act and even had her moves posted online for the world to share.  We are dancing vacuumers as a family, too, I guess.  I know that her skinny girls dance along in the kitchen, too.  Continue the family tradition, girl!  She sent me a link the other day to a wonderful blog post that encourages dancing in the kitchen.  Looking at the vinyl floor the author was heating up with her moves took me back to the days when my own children were skinny munchkins growing up.  We would dance around in our kitchen on a floor exactly like that one and share so much joy.

Then, my journey down memory lane took me to high school dances I used to chaperon when I was sponsoring student government in my early educator years.  Some kid would always dare another to ask me to dance and of course I would oblige.  They would buzz about it in the hallways the next week and giggle behind their hands as we passed in the hall.

One of my colleagues shared a post about a young lad dancing out his Happy at the recent NCAA basketball warm-up music this past week and I just smiled and admired his moves.  He reminded me of my middle school teaching days.  We would have school dances for those adolescents and at first nobody would dance.  Then, I would coerce some kid into being my partner and we would get out there and shake a leg.  They were never surprised at my crazy dancing because I always told them how I loved to dance when we were in class.  At first they were a little skeptical and there was some eye rolling.  Then, they might hear music playing in my classroom during my planning time.  I always claim my favorite music is LOUD.  Next, they might notice me swaying or barely containing a little jig while music was playing and they were taking a benchmark assessment or exam.  So, when I broke out and busted a move or two at a basketball game during warm-ups or half-time, they simply rolled their eyes and giggled.

Mike and I often will turn up our old-school stereo and put in CDs or just let the radio blare out and do a little dancing right in our den or kitchen.  It makes us laugh and gives us a good excuse to hold one another close and sway around, if nothing else.  (We call it belly-rubbing-music.)  But, just the other night Mike and I were crashed in the den watching TV when a healthcare commercial came on.  It featured a couple who are built a little bit like us and they were recreating the Dirty Dancing lift and had a bit of a mishap.  In unison, Mike and I looked at one another and said, "That could be us!"

I don't know why we don't just set aside a time to simply do some silly dancing at times.  It brings out the Happy in most everybody somehow.  Life is too short not to enjoy it.  So, come on, do it.  Dance like nobody is watching and just look at how your soul is lifted and so are your spirits!

I'm turning on a little Uptown Funk and cranking up the volume right this minute.  After that will come a little Aretha, wanna join me?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Random Wonderfulness

Is it because we had such a long and cold and snowy and shut-in winter?  I have been all over the place this week.  I cannot seem to focus on much and I don't want to do anything specific.  I feel like I need to dart here and perch there and zip here and slide there.

So, this blog post will be the same way.

I look forward to hosting the Easter Feast and Egg Hunt at my house someday.  We still tend to get together with family - either Mike's or mine - on Easter.  We go to my parents' house or Mike's aunt's house for the feast.  Then, we all watch the grandchildren hunt those brightful plastic eggs and run around like it is a big race and discovery when really there are only a couple of them who are picking up the eggs.  This year there will be three little hunters ranging in age from 1 1/2 years to eight years.

When I grow up and host the Spring Extravaganza, I want to have a table that incorporates these.

I will probably have at least one seasonal piece of artwork like this watercolor printable hanging on the wall.

I will not fret over the front bedroom where I have asked folks for suggestions and bought about $100-worth of fabric samples to try out as a way to make that room be complete and finished.  Why?  Because I will not have to be Reminded that it's Worth the Trouble and will realize, "Home was never meant to be built in a day."

Then, when everybody gathers for the big Spring Extravaganza at my house and I am the grown-up hosting, the most important thing we are all going to do is have a dance party in the kitchen.

Happy Random Wonderfulness to you this week!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Updating Has Begun

I spent a little time during my spring break to do a bit of spring updating after I was inspired.
The French doors at the back of the house got new accessories.

I commissioned new banners from Goody Stuff, my daughter, Bridgette's business.  I simply told her that I liked the monogrammed ones she had crafted for me a couple of years ago but would like something fresh and new.
All three of our back doors now have a fresh look.  The O monogram is white with a black swirl design appliqued onto burlap and embroidered with our last name in royal blue.  I got some quarter-inch dowel rods and Mike cut them to size for me.  I added some little finials and spray painted them with a metallic paint.  Then, I used black and white striped baker's twine to craft a hanger which loops over the wreath hook.  I tied a blue burlap bow atop the burlap ones with black swirls and added a black and white hounds-tooth bow atop that.

On a recent trip to Hobby Lobby I found a metal O that was painted black with white polka-dots on the clearance aisle.  (I'm wishing now that I had bought the other one there, too!)  It now hangs on the porch gate with a blue burlap bow.  I'm thinking the grapevine wreath may have to find a new place soon.  Toby's groomer must have been clairvoyant because she tied a blue kerchief on his neck this time and he coordinates as well!
The doors are nice and welcoming now.  (Well, except for all the dog nose prints on the glass.  That is a little bit gross.)
I decided to stick with the blue and white look but added some cheerful color in the kitchen.  I brought out my hand-made rag-quilted piece as a table runner.
The tureen holds some green paper scrunchy 'grass' and some bright plastic Easter eggs right now.
The blue and white bunny is coseying up to the tureen as if he is he one who is springing everything up.

It isn't done and isn't completely spring here, yet, but there is a start!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Let the Sunshine In!

The barn tack room has become the milk-prep station...the hub...operation central.  It is located on the southeast side of the barn.  The sun beams down upon it all day long during the summer.  So, it becomes HOT!  This past week it got an update...
The window has been resting in the shadows in a corner of the barn for several years.  We will be rigging some kind of screen onto it soon so that it will allow some air to stir in there when it is raised.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


They like to run and jump and play.
They climb into tubs and out.  They snug down for a nap in the tubs.  They are just generally curious.

They like to climb and can turn even the smallest little rise - like the remnants of a bale of hay - into a hill for jumping and pushing and playing upon.
First, one will dash over and claim the top...
Then, a couple or three more zip across the lot to join him...
...the perkier and peppier they are the better!
A small group of kids gather together and start just climbing and pouncing and jumping.
The group expands and soon a game of king-of-the-hill breaks out.
First one is on top and then another.
One will give another a little head-butt or shove.
Then, it is the next one's turn to be the king-of-the-hill if only for a brief moment.
The next thing you know, it is somebody else's turn again.
There will be more running and jumping.
The crowd will thin a bit when one after another gives up or finds something else that captures their curiosity.
And a new game is discovered across the lot leaving the king-of-the-hill to reign supreme.
Then, a new game breaks out and the fun begins again.