In the spirit of Christmas

I know that their are many things to do in this time of Holidays. And every year I seem to get less and less done. But this year I am beyond proud to share some pictures of the live nativity that our County 4-H kids did. They spent three long hours out in the cold with their animals.

Many heartfelt thanks go out to the organizers and to the other 4-H parents who helped make this possible.





But by doing this, not only did these kids get to share the story of our Lord’s birth with others, they also got to spend so time sharing agriculture’s story too. By letting children pet and visit with animals they don’t normally get to see, those kids spread more than the Christmas story.

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The holidays always bring family together for meals and time together, and ours is no different. Brian and I are blessed to belong to very large extended families on both sides. Brian’s father is one of six siblings and his Mom one of three. My Mom is one of three and her Mom was one of six as well. So, juggling all the family get togethers can be fun.

But, what I have noticed throughout the season so far is that family can exceed the traditional definitions placed on the word. Family can be difficult even in the best of times and strait out awful at others, but what makes family great is that no matter what, family will be there. Even if being there in today’s world is a digital affair.

I think that the traditional ideal of family is going away, even in my still traditional world, and that makes me curious about the world my children will inherit. I want my children to grow understanding that “family” is a belief and a group effort, and not always a perfection. There will be strife and disagreement, unhappiness, and joy. There is never a right or wrong answer with family, but there is always love an acceptance of family. I want them to embrace times spent with family, to learn from their past, and grow towards their future.

My children come from a diverse past. Where I come from a suburban neighborhood with professional working parents (that were never home), Brian comes from a sixth generation working farm with involved stay at home parents. I hope that we can show our children some of both and teach them that family means accepting differences as part of the love of family.






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Springtime chores

This is a link to my google plus account and the pictures tell a story about a daily set of chores better than I can in words. If you have a minute stop by and check it out.

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Beautiful thought

A picture worth a thousand

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A great day off

Most of my days are spent as a full time Emergency Room physician and I have to say, I feel truly blessed to be able to love both my job and my workplace. But everyone needs something to do on their days off. So, I am a mom, a wife, a farmer, and a sorta chef. Oh and I am learning how to hunt too.

So, today has been a beautiful fall day here in Upper middle Tennessee. We started off with scrambled eggs and toast with coffee. I have to admit that my husband fixes breakfast- I am not my best till after caffeine. Then we were off to the barn to check in on our premie baby Angus heifer (girl calf). She was born in a storm about three weeks early to a first time momma cow, so we are helping them get established in this mommy thing. See, being early Momma’s milk took longer than baby had to wait for the milk, so we have been giving little bit some milk while waiting for Momma’s milk to “come in” as my husband and father-in-law say.



On top of working with our little calf, we had an unexpected helper in the barn. Our middle child has had the stomach flu for the last three days. So, while she has finally felt better today (I am feeling very confident that school is in her future tomorrow) she was helpful today.

Next on our list for today was training squirrel dogs. Yes, sounds like a terrible chore. So, I spent a few hours waking in the beautiful sunshine with my husband looking for the ever elusive squirrel. We did not get any cause it’s too early to hunt squirrel with dogs – too many leaves on the trees.

Then we took our Blue healer and checked on all our cows. I think both the dog and my husband had fun.


Now, everyone is home from school and its homework time. So, the sick kid decides she wants to taste the hot peppers that Brian got for me to cook with. That was funny.


Then, family supper of farm raised beef, as hamburgers tonight with potato salad. Laughter and music all around too.

Then back to the barn for round two of bottle feeding baby calves. First our premie. I am sure my husband was wondering how many kids it takes to feed a little calf.




Ok, so if you have never been blessed to try and get chores done with more than one child helping, I hope you get a chance to some day. Next we are off to feed our orphaned baby calf that we are raising on a bottle. She is almost a month old, and getting bigger every day. Tonight we thought we would see if she liked a halter.





So, all and all I am very tired and ready for bed. But looks like I have to go read a bedtime story.



Posted in Agriculture, Angus, Animal Welfare, Beef Cattle, Chores, doctor, effective communications, family, Farm, farmer, farmer's wife, farming, growing up, home, Life in Rural America, Mom, My Life, new calf, Perfect Day, personal choices, social media, Tennessee, work | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Working Late

We are tired getting ready for our fall church hay ride. So not much to say tonight. Gonna let my pictures talk for me. IMG_2797.JPG



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Fry baby Fry…

Cooking for me is a hobby, a relaxant, a way to connect to my past, and a way to try to get healthy foods into my family all at the same time. While there are some aspects about cooking that I am better at than others, it is a process that I have come to enjoy. Turning on my music, dancing around my kitchen like Tom Cruise in Risky Business, enjoying music and family while the evening meal comes together, and then explaining the food to the kids and watching them (and sometimes Brian) try to wiggle their way out of trying something I made.

Tonight, was a peaceful time for me as I am still healing from gallbladder surgery. Listening to Clair de Lune on Pandora, and making diner with my great-grandmother’s cast iron skillet. It nice to be back into my regular habits and off all the icky medications that come with surgery.

So, tonight we had spiced Italian sausage and lentil soup, fried deer (harvest by my middle daughter on our farm), roasted new potatoes, and we would have had roast broccoli but I forgot and left it in the oven too long…

Oh well.

I love my collection of cast iron skillets, Dutch ovens, and cook ware that I have had handed down through the generations. I can feel the love and care in each piece, even if I am not as good with fried foods as my forebears were.





We have a new twist on food at our home as well. I am having to learn how to cook for my oldest who is discovering that she needs to eat “Gluten free”. We have known for a while that she carries the genes that predispose her for celiac disease, and for the last several months she has complained that her “belly hurts”. It was a constant complaint. So, enter mom doctor experiment – go gluten free and lo and behold – less migraines and less complaining about her belly.

So, now we are learning gluten free, so tonight that means one batch of gluten free flour fried deer and one batch fixed the regular way with AP flour. I personally liked the gluten free batch better. And, the part about cooking that I don’t like – dishes, tonight that is the girls chore, so all in all a perfect evening.

So, new things mixed with old tonight here on the farm. Now time to listen to the first graders homework, if I can figure out the silly “Common core” stuff that passes for schoolwork these days.

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Bounty of Fall on the Farm

Fall for most people brings images of falling leaves, pumpkins, Halloween, and Mums – and please don’t get me wrong – we love those things too, but a find today while I was going through some of my grandmother things … Continue reading

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The “Girls” in Country Songs…

There is nothing like a surgery and being forced to heal, to let a mind wander in search of topics. Mostly, I blog about farm life, kids and food, but today I think I shall take up a topic that has been on my mind for a while.

For those of you that are new here, let me start out with saying that I live in very rural America. For the most part, for the last 18 years I have listened to country music, but I grew up with a varied taste in music. I would listen to everything from rock to rhythm and blues. I still do enjoy variety in music, but in my family – we are Country fans at heart. So, what is a Mom to do when lately thanks to country music women are being turned into nothing more than brainless, booty short wearing trophies whose only purpose in life is make the truck look good?


See, I am trying to raise two girls up to know that there is more to them and life than being a guys decoration/trophy. Now I know that music does not imply that my girls will grow into bikini wearing airheads, but still, does every other song have to be about half clad women and drinking.

I would like to ask men like Luke Bryant, the duo behind Florida Georgia Line, Billy Currington (especially like to thank him for discussion I had to have about the “mile high attention” ), Jason Aldeen, and many more how they would feel to have their daughters dressing and acting in the manner portrayed in the music videos on CMT.

Yes, I know I can choose to change the channel – and we have. We no longer watch Country Music videos due to their explicit nature. And I realize we could listen to something else, and I am rapidly reaching that point, but I wish that we could enjoy music, without making me feel like I need to have a conversation on self respect for my girls and that real men don’t treat women in the manner portrayed to my son.

But, I do gotta send out a big “atta girl” to the group Maddie & Tae for their song “Girl in a Country Song” which shows in pictures (the video can be found on the web if you are like myself and won’t watch CMT) how very wrong it has gotten to be female in country music.

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The Difference a (few) Days can Make…

In my last post, we were out late working to help keep a baby calf alive and well. So, I thought I would post an update on her health. She is doing great, up and about, and nursing on her own. IMG_2707.JPG

I also, wanted to take a moment and relay thanks to our local Vets (Drs. Donaldson and Todd) who have been available by phone and made trips to the farm during our calf’s illness. See, unlike human medicine – a vet’s patient never tells them what is wrong, is usually always very Sick by the time they get to them, and there are limits both in resources ( ie no hospitals for 1500 pound cows close to where I live and the cost of care for an animal).

So, while I am thankful to be able to help on our farm, I want to make sure that my guessing and helping in No way makes up for the training and experience of our Vets.

But, between us and a lot of help from above, our little lady, who is now Dubbed “Lucky”, is on her way to growing up fat and healthy. So we will see how she does and keep watching as more calves are born this fall here on the farm.




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