Tuesday, July 31

AAAAhhhhhhh -

Freedom !!!

I just today sheared the very LAST of the ewes that were on my to do list.
I am completely DONE with that lovely chore for this year
~~~CELEBRATION DANCE~~~~~

It was just fabulous outdoors today. Temps in the hight 90's with 90 something humidity.
I stopped caring what I looked like after about hour 4 in the barn.

For those of you WITHOUT naturally curly hair, Having a good hair day in the summer is nearly impossible, nevermind the fact that I was in the barn working.

Why am I concerned with what I look like in the barn? Well, if I had my druthers, I would have went out today in nearly nothing because of the heat. But where we live, someone is always stopping by, dropping in or checking up on us. We live in the heart of friendly neighborville. If someone sees you outside, they will pull in to see what you are doing and visit.
Sometimes WAAY too early in the morning.

With my major barn chores complete, and no current sports activities to attend, and fair being over.....I am looking down the barrel of "free time" for a few short weeks until the girls go back to school.
Gawsh - I have no idea what I will do with myself.

I know I cant wait until school starts again - if only so I can get my sleeping schedule back to normal..
(grin)

!

Monday, July 30

I had a friend tell me just the other day -
that chemistry is dangerous.

Chemistry doesn't care if you are married, single, engaged.....
Chemistry doesn't care if you work at the White House or even the Vatican.

I pondered that for a while.

THEN - today -
a co-worker mentioned to me as we were just yakking, that a certain person, whenever she sees him just makes her weak in the knees. Another reference to chemistry. All in one week. She is even admittedly happily married.

Does that mean that we are all just animals?
Have I ever been moved by chemistry?
Of course.

They type of chemistry that I loathe, is the surprise sort.
Suddenly recognizing an old friend that you used to love/hate is a prime example.
When that old tummy does a backflip right into your Fruit of the Looms.

I have girls I went to school with that I just couldn't STAND. I see them now, at a school function or at the store, and the same 15 year old attitude rears it's ugly head and I am engrossed in the awesome spectacle of it all. "You stole my boyfriend, you raging bitch!"
Even though that was nearly 15 years ago. heh heh heh... we are silly creatures.

Just recently, I ran across an old boyfriend. My very first serious boyfriend. He was with some of my friends from school and they were strolling around the fairgrounds and happenned to run across me, cleaning out the sheep arena, shovel in hand in the 90 degree heat - shoveling poop.

You would have thought I was coiffed for a cotillion.

We exchanged subdued but inquisitive greetings, politely asking how the other was doing and etcetera...
Then he strolled leisurely away.

I stood there, half knocked over taken back in time some 15 or 16 years only to come back to the future again in my real life.
Those places are nice to visit for a while, but I was glad to be back.

ahhh yessss.....Chemistry is wicked.
I don't know what to do.
I am afraid.

My husband came home from work tonight at 9:45pm after arriving at the jobsite at 3:30 this morning.
He told me to look for him a new job. Now he wasn't dead serious, but I think he is giving me obvious warning.

I have to sympathize with him. I couldn't stay sane working those kind of hours - I probably would have left a long time ago. The only thing that greatly concerns me, is the uncertainty of what we would do IF he would quit.

Another job wouldn't be hard for him to find - thats a no brainer. He is very good at what he does, and several companies have already given him the nod in if he would ever want to leave where he is now.
So maybe I should tell him to just go ahead.

I hate the uncertain.
I like being able to lay out things well in advance. I like to KNOW what is going to happen. I am too controlling to just throw caution to the wind in most cases - though I have been known to freak out and be spontaneous occasionaly - but it hurt a lot afterwards...

I hate to watch him spend his life clocked in for someone else. I can tell he hates it too.
But Maybe I should remind him, that it isn't always this way, and that this too, shall pass.

Why didn't my life come with a manual and some directions.
A reorder blank for the broken parts would be cool too.
So you steal my SUV....
You are searching for some tunes to pop into the totally state of the art CD Player, and THIS is what you find in the console.

Soundtracks:
Hope Floats
Sister Act 2 (no kidding)

Tunes:
Trisha Yearwood - storybook
Burt Bacharac - 90's version with Cheryl Crow and Dave Mattews Band
Patsy Cline
Dixie Chicks
Everclear
No Doubt
Hard Rock Cafe - Vol 4 with Bad Company, Billy Squire, 38 Special,

ok - I'm a redneck.
Thats obvious

ok - I am messing around here

Thursday, July 26

Can you feel it?

I can go forever and a day without seeing you in the flesh
yet you still show yourself in my mind.

With you, months and years melt away and I get lost in my memories.

I wonder if you go there too.

Do you see me now and miss what used to be?
Or are you happy with your life and are glad I found mine?

I want to stop and talk. I want to laugh and remember a time where we were the key to everything.
I want you to remember that with me. I want to know that I have left an impression in your life.

But we just smile, exchange glances and part.
Afraid maybe to start again because of all the time that has passed.
I don't think I will ever know if you miss me in ways big or small.

It hurts to have to act like I don't care - or to be strangled by the baggage the years has given us.
I want to tell you.

I want you to know that without you, I wouldn't be the person I am, I wouldn't know what the honest and giving side of a friendship was. I am very thankful I can count you as a bright time in my life.

Years and families have separated us nearly into strangers.

But we still exchange smiles and glances.

I wonder if you wonder too....

Wednesday, July 25

Breakdown

Here is the final breakdown of our fair experience -
Other than it was generally hotter than HELL

How we did:

We lost the "hoof" part of the carcass class.
We won the "rail" part of the carcass class.
* what that meas, is we took live lambs in on Thursday, had a judge judge them alive.
Then, they were processed, and a meat inspector judged the carcasses in the cooler.
All in all - I would rather win the actual meat grading, and we did, so thats a good way to start out our competition for the week.

Saturday - Open Show.
We showed and placed very well - receiving several 1st and second places in many of our classes.
It was looking way way up.

Tuesday - 4-H show.
We did marginal to terrible in the market divisions, but came back quite nicely in the breeding division.
My oldest daughter recieved Grand and Reserve Grand in her class of ewe lambs, recieved Grand in her Pen of Two. She had a good day.

My youngest daughter didn't do "as well" in the breeding classes, but she took two lambs that she "liked" and didn't care that she didn't place any better. You have to let them have fun too.
I was really shocked at the judge. All day long he kept switching back and forth as to what he thought he liked. He was very inconsistent. I was a tad hot under the collar, but thats how it goes some years.
I shouldn't complain, overall we did very well, and I should be thankful.

I still don't like losing though
grin.......

Monday, July 23

AAAK -
Can you say
H O T ?

The heat index here is 105 degrees with 90% humidity.
It is awful.

I shower, go the the fairgrounds and in less than 5 minutes, I am a dripping mess.
The animals are doing well, with fans and shade. Actually better than the humans!

I have lost 6 pounds so far since Friday. I'm not complaining though

Tomorrow is the big day. It will pretty much be all downhill after that. but tonight there is work, and lots of it. I have 8 lambs to shear, and the sooner I get started, the sooner it will be done. So I am out of here, and I will return after tomorrow with all the hairy details.

Sunday, July 22

Ok -

I have about 5 minutes to update you all on what has been going on lately.

We took all the lambs into the fairgrounds Friday - including 4 extra ones and a calf of my friends.
The bad part, was that if we were to get the pens we wanted, we had to be there earlier than anyone else who might want them.
So - that meant that all the animals spent too much time to make me comfortable on the trailer.
But everything went just fine, and no one was the worse for wear.
AND we got our pens.

We had an open show yesterday- and the lambs did very well.
Everyone was pleased - but VERY exhausted.
We came home for a little bit - and everyone just crashed.

This morning it is more of the same, no show but we have a lot to accomplish as far as signing in our lambs for the 4-H show.

I have some pretty good hopes for Tuesday.
Time will tell.

Thursday, July 19

'Bout forgot

Fair starts tomorrow.

We are taking 8 lambs. 4 for each kid.
I feel like we have a pretty good set, if not great.

I'm not holding any hopes for GRAND CHAMPION - but we will be in there, I have a feeling.

I am all wiggly with excitement.
If I can live through tomorrow - I can make it the rest of the week.
We get to drag all the lambs in, and check them in.
YIPPEEEEE !!!
I don't like to be defined by my gender.

Funny how it works out for a woman, but for a man to prove himself in the kitchen, or other "female" areas, it somehow belittles his manhood.

Somehow - I have impressed people as someone not to screw with. Which is a good thing, but however most of those people don't even know me well, and those that do - know thats a crock.
Anyway - I am recently basking in the glory of my non-feminineness.

In our 4-H Club - there is a very distinct line that divides the board members. 99.999% of the women are the "Booth" workers, and arrangers, etc. They cook the food, order the food, make the booth look pretty and stuff like that. WHICH IS ALL NECESSARY -

But give me the shit.
I wanna be the one hauling manure, on the ladder setting things up, doing the
M A N
kinda things.
I guess this makes me pretty butch. I would rather be butch, than a sissy girl.
eeew.

All the ladies think I am weird. Maybe I am. They will go out of their way to steer clear of me, because I am such a badass. that works out well for me.
heheheh

Call me a lady and I will punch you in the nose.

If you read the post below, and don't understand
Thats okay.
If you read the post below, and DO understand,
it's still okay.

My plane has crashed into an unknown jungle on a deserted island.
It's not a totally deserted island, there are huge herbivores, and stealthy carnivores that track my every move.

I used to have a guide. We would search the island for signs of intelligent life, and report back to each other our findings daily and compare. Sometimes we would laugh, sometimes we would just shake our heads at the futility of it all - but we survived.

Well........ my guide found the way off the island recently, and I am here to observe and share my findings with the carnivores, because the herbivores are just too stupid to understand. This is a slightly dangerous practice, as they would also love to devour me.

I might stay here a little while longer, just to see what happens, but I think it might be a bit too lonely here all by myself without a lookout. Time will tell.

Wednesday, July 18

A well earned nights entertainment.

I have been dying to go see the new Jurassic Park Movie.
Ok - I am a weirdo.
But the first one got me so wound up, and interested that I am hooked.
A JP junkie.
They could make JP 20, and I would be there.

the weird thing about it, is that I went alone.
I had fully intended on dragging some unsuspecting family member, or friend but I blew the 7 PM show, and had to go to the 9:15 show. The girls were at youth night with some friends, and the hubby had fallen dead asleep -

So I hemmed and hawed around, not really wanting to go alone, but not wanting to miss seeing it either.
I almost stayed home, and then I thought - "Why the hell not?" Lots of people go to movies alone -
usually weird freaks that talk to themselves - but I couldn't think that way or I would have stayed home.

So I went. Unusually hesitant about parking, and walking in alone but my suspicious mind deducted that if I arrived right as the movie started, I could sneak in and ditch the "loser" status. AND - If I left with the group of people as the movie ended no one would notice me.

As I take my seat, I see one other lone viewer. I take a place behind him, and off to his right. A kid about 20 - who looked totally cool to be there with no one to yak at him and spoil the show. He laughed at appropriate times, and jumped when I did...I relaxed once I got there, and enjoyed the show.

I felt really vulnerable leaving, though. We take for granted the power in numbers. luckily I parked under a light, and lots of people parked my me and the lot was a busy place.

I don't like feeling creepy. Make me feel weak.

I get home, and my husband is all a titter - wondering where I was. I left a cryptic note for the girls that simply said - GO TO BED - I will be late. I had presumed his eyes wouldn't see anything until 4am. Apparently, I was wrong. He woke up, and wondered where I was.

We had talked about me going to the show only minutes after he got home, so why he didn't know where I was is still a mystery to me. Sheeeesh. Shadduppppp and go back to bed grumpy.

Thats all for now - I can say that the movie was all I expected, edge of the seat the whole time until the end. It was like they exhausted themselves on the story line, and forgot they had to end it somehow. It was worth seeing, but I won't go see it like I did the first one - which was at least 4 times.
ok - I'm a freak.
heh heh heh

Monday, July 16

The countdown is here.
On Thursday, we will start taking lambs in to the fair.
This is a yearly occurrance that is paralelled by nothing short of Christmas at our house.

You might think that we would eventually learn that it is very difficult to prepare 14 sheep for 2 kids, instead of something more manageable like maybe FOUR? But NOOOOOOOOO we have to take the whole damn flock.

My best friend told my girls that is the ONE day when she steers clear of me. Evidently I get a "little" zippy - to say the least. I will have to try a little harder this year to be more relaxed. Of course that means that we would have to have everything under control, and I KNOW that won't happen!
(heh heh)

Fortunately, I feel we have some great livestock to show this year. That makes it easier - a little.

Most average people don't comprehend the affinity for showing livestock. All I can say is that it is very similar to any other hobby that people have. You just get into it.
The difficult part, is to remember WHY you do it, and forget about the rest of the crapola that comes attached.

The kids are getting their first education about how working with their animals, makes it easier on show day. Now you and I can figure out quickly that an animal that is used to being handled will react more calmly to being wrestled around than an animal you have to CAPTURE to throw on the trailer to take to fair.
We used to insist that this, and that be done DAILY with the sheep - and this year we have encouraged, but not forced them to do it. It should be interesting, as some of their sheep outweigh them!

All in all - I am hesitantly looking forward to next week. be sure I will post, and let you know what is happenning.
ok ya'll

I just gotta say it.

I AM SO TIRED OF SHEARING SHEEP I COULD SCREAM

AAKKAKAKAAKKKKAAKKKK!!!!!

There - I feel better.

Friday, July 13

I hate stabbing in the dark.
(figuratively)

Having kids is one BIG stab in the dark.
After all, I never recieved any manual on how to train these creatures, so I only have what I was taught to go on. Thats a problem.

I was "let go" From the time I was 12 - 13, I called most of my own shots. My parents had NO vague idea what I was doing. I think I was a big enough pain in the ass that they were decidedly happier that way. I can say - that I did myself no great harm, never went to jail, got high - things like that, but I did learn to make my own lifes decisions without input from authority figures.

I don't want to raise my kids this way.
I WANT to know what they are doing, and I want to give them responsibility and accountability.
Right now, I am having to rethink my approach.

Why?
It's not working.

I can't reach them. However painful this will be for either one of us, it must be done.
I have to be open to the thought that maybe MY WAY, isn't the best way for them.
That hurts.
I always think I am the right one. ALWAYS

Maybe it is the age they are at now. I remember HATING being 13. It really sucked.
No one wanted to let you be a kid, because you were too old. YET no one wanted to give you adult things to do, because you were too young. Thats where they are.

I yearn for them to be sensible. I think they yearn for me to have a stroke, and be in a persistant vegetative state. I am really close.

If anyone has all the answers, please E-mail me, as I would love to talk with you.

The Prodigal Cat has Returned!

Before bed last night, I gave one last, futile attempt at calling my cat "Ronnie" inside.
I was just about to go to bed and forget about it when here he comes. slinking up the side of the house
looking like he was the star in a James Bond movie.

Evidently he has seen the other side, and it is scary.

He came back bearing gifts though, hundreds of tiny little round "stickers" in his hair.
This is not attractive on a long haired cat.

So I hugged him, and squeezed him, and I might just change his name to "George"
(Loony Tunes reference for those of you who have no idea what I was talking about)

He was very hungry,
very thirsty,
and VERRRRY tired.

All is well in the world now.

Thursday, July 12

I miss my cat.

Oh, sure, I knew it was coming.
He liked to scramble out my daughters window and watch the birdies from the roof.

Innocent enough.
Until he learned how to hop down.
Just once, he did that, and met me at the front door yeoowlling because he really didn't mean to.

I trusted him not to do it again.
After all, he is a declawed male housecat. His life is rather unstimulating. Let him have the feeble joy of imagining those birdies as lunch. He is harmless.

Sooooooo
today, when I can't find him, and the window is open I finally figure it out.
He has run off.

I am sad.
It's my fault. I should have fixed the screen, but didn't.
Now he is somewhere he's never been, and it's dark.

I sure hope he find his way home.
A big fluffy beanie baby of a cat is hard to come by these days.
I wonder what he is doing now......does he miss me too?

dang it all.



Wednesday, July 11

Oh - I about forgot
Brown Sugar /Cinnamon Pop-Tarts make me sleepy.
Ohhhh -

What am I today?
I can say, without a doubt, I am confused. I am so wrapped up in this life I have created that I don't know where I am anymore.

I am somewhere between a sex goddess, taxi driver, agricultural engineer, and home ec teacher.

Who knows what I am anymore.

The Sages say that we are constantly evolving beings. To define ourselves at any given moment is overlooking the whole. I have evolved way faster than my comprehension of it.

I think I know what I want, and then I arrive at that goal, and it no longer suits me. I can make a firm and steadfast decision, only to overrule it as it suits me.

My fear?
My fear is that I will come to the end of my road, and realize I did it all for someone else. There is great martyrdom in knowing that you have sacrificed yourself for others. There is no denying that. But what if?

What if I die tomorrow. What part of ME does anyone know?
What have I given them, of my true self?

Inherently, I am giving. Take what I have - if you want or need it - it is yours.
If you hurt, I want to be able to bear that for you.
I will work alongside you, but I will not work entirely FOR you.
I expect people to expect things from me.

That is all very nice.....but what about myself.

Does anyone know me.....the uncovered, unplugged, unkempt part of me that we don't show everyone.
Do I want that?

Ten things I would do right now if I didn't have any obligations to anyone, or thing.

1.) Move to a place where I could go to Vet school and only drive 10 minutes there and back.
2.) Buy a house with lots of land, barns and animals
3.) Buy a new bed - one of those air thingies, and put 400 count cotton sheets on it.
4.) Pay it all off
doesn't that just suck -
nothing else I could come up with didn't involve other obligations.
What would YOU DO?

If someone would let you be totally self-absorbed and just make yourself happy - whatever it took?
I think most of us would have a hard time being that self absorbed.

Another mind boggler for you...

What if something moved you deeply. So deeply that you felt you needed to act on it, but it might
damage or destroy what you already have? Would you deny yourself for the greater good, or would you forge ahead, and hope for the best?

I am a denier. therin lies my quandry. Until I am able to successfully balance personal need, with the greater good, I will always be in a mind flex.

Tuesday, July 10

AAARGH

I am exhausted.

Went to watch my neice and nephew show their lambs at their County Fair today. It was GREAT!
They both showed lambs from our flock, and recieved FIRST PLACE in their respective classes! My nephew got to show for champion lamb with his wether, but was outdone by a bigger lamb.

The lamb that they purchased for $400.00 from a nearby, well established breeder came in third to one from our flock. Things are definately looking good for our club lambs so far this year.
I am hyped.

My LAST ballgame of the season was tonight.

Y I P P E E E!
No more practices, no more games.
They won the first one, lost the second.

I am going to bed - totally spent.

No Pop-Tarts this morning.
I will have to save that for tomorrow. I think I will try the Brown Sugar/Cinnamon one and see what that does.

Homelife-
I don't think I have told you about my wonderful area that I live in...
Kind of like the movie "Neighbors"

We live on a dirt road. One of the few left in our area.. all the roads around us are paved, and my husband works for an asphalt paving firm - go figure.

Neighbor #1 on or road - I know them casually from the doctors office. Probably 40's or so. Not big socialites, though they do manage a meager wave if we make direct eye contact. They did put a swimming pool in this summer, that caught the girls attention for a while, till I told them if I caught them down there, hanging around waiting for an invite they would wish they hadn't.

Neighbor #2 Recluse... A husband and wife duo - also in their 40's. All the curtains are always drawn, and they drive looking at the floorboards. If they see anyone driving by, and they are outside, they rush to get back to the house. Never spoken to them - pretty weird

House #3 - us

Neighbor #4 - best one...
Moses.
No kidding.
A conservative mennonite fellow and his wife - in their 70's at least. Occasionally their wacked out son lives there with them. He is 50 or so. They dismantle and sell junk. Their property is littered with the remains of washers, lawnmowers, refrigerators - you name it. He is a funny old man. Once he has you nearby - he starts in on "Looooong Agooo" and you are there for an hour.

They are also very suspicious that people are always casing their joint to rip stuff off. They have about 5 motion sensor lights rigged up to the outside of the house.

One night - we were driving into town after 9pm and we had to stop at the stopsign even with their property. ON came the lights - and OUT came the son, waving a shovel at our truck. (in his pajamas no less)
I was caught off guard, and surprised, but my husband was pissed. He just about jumped out of the truck
and showed him how to use that shovel.
Just yesterday- Mo brought me over come comfry plants. He proceeded to tell me how wonderful they were, and that I should plant the roots so I could have my very own. He also stood there gnawing on one of the roots as evidence.

He had stopped by to pry my dead washer away from me. I was hoping he would notice it, and leech on to it, as I didn't know what else to do with it. Mo is about 4'11" I told him we should turn it upsode down before we loaded it - to make sure the water was all out of the drum, but he didn't think that was necessary.

Once loaded, I am sure it dumped at least 3 gallons of water that was a week old into his van.
"No worry" he said - the carpet needed washed anyway.
yeeeek.

So - thats my neighborhood in a nutshell.

Monday, July 9

I think the Pop-Tart I had for breakfast this morning was a magical one.

I had the gift of complete clarity and judiciousness all day today.
Gimme a problem - BINGO there was the answer.
I was ON - all day today.

The flavor was blueberry, incase you were wondering.

Except, tonight I came down with a huge migraine.
That will teach me to use my brain.
Today just about did me in.

Sometimes I think I am the most obviously stupid person in the whole wide world.
Not very many people share my views on work ethics. Work is what I have to do to get paid,
soooooo - I get there, work like hell and dream of clocking out.

I can do in 4 hours, what it takes average joes all day to do. I am proud of that. I expect EVERYONE else to work as hard as I do -
that sets me up for some hard falls sometimes.


By now - you all know just how much I love my job. Actually, I could say that I am addicted to my job.
I just can't bring myself to quit. I need a patch.

I finally collected my righteous feelings, compiled them together, and made fomal complaint #4 against my part time person that works opposite me. At first, the CHIEF supervisor wouldn't hear my claims, because I had not discussed it at length with my IMMEDIATE supervisor. Well THAT did a whole hell of a lot of good. I talked with her about it 4 weeks ago, and there were a lot of nods, and agreeing comments, but no one has the balls to deal with it.

So today - I itemized every grievance, dated and documented it. I sent it in letter form to BOTH supervisors.

It is one of those things where I really feel like an ass for doing it, after all, this person has worked there NINETEEN years, and so far I am the only one who feels like she should have been FIRED 18 and 3/4 years ago? ~ OR at least the only one willing to admit we suck hard for allowing her to continue to recieve a paycheck.

My complaints are (am abbreviated list)

She works hard to do the very least she can.
Difficult jobs fall right OUTSIDE her job description - which changes with her mood.
She procrastinates until closing time, and all undone work MAGICALLY becomes my jurisdiction come 8am the next day.
Mentally complex cognitive duties also become my domain.
She gets paid nearly 1 and 1/2 times what I do for 1/16 the work
She gets 4 times the vacation that I do , and she's part time - the only one in the practice that recieves paid vacation at all.

Thats just the tip of the iceberg.

This afternoon - there were lots of whispers and chats behind closed doors. Funny, I wasn't involved in any of them. Maybe I am paranoid now - but I think maybe instead of fixing the problem, they might just consider driving me to a new job.

There IS an office SUPERVISORS meeting tomorrow at the main office. I wonder if there will be any discussion.......hmmmmmm........Wednesday should be interesting.

Sunday, July 8

REAL MEN DO NOT WEAR SUNSCREEN

heh heh heh

We had a get together today, at a favorite swimming pond. Now when I say pond, I do mean pond, but unconventionally so. It has 2 diving boards, a slide and a sandy beach. Not your everyday hole on someones back 40.

Anyway - the ever prepared mom whips out 2 chaise recliners, beach bag with towels, several paperback books, and oh yeah , sunscreen.
I order the girls to me, and we slather it on them. Mostly for my sake, as I am the one who is awakened at 2 am by whining, welted kids who are "hot" with sunburn. I, myself, only use the SPF 2, but they get the good stuff - usually the 15 or the 30.

Once we are all set, I look over at my husband, basking his lily white chest, abdomen and legs. He has quite a farmers tan already to his neck and arms, but the other parts are virginal yet this year.

I offer up a middle road alternative - I hand him a bottle of 15. He scoffs at me, wrinkles his brow and states that he isn't a baby and doesn't need the stuff. Knowingly, I nod, and warn him that he will be sorry. Not to worry - he decides.

Just to let you know - mom's aren't stupid. You knew that this was how the story would end, didn't you?
He just went to bed, looking like a very ripe tomato, and used up most all of the aloe vera burn lotion we had.

WAAA HAA HAA.

He will be feeling that tomorrow while in the 300 degree asphalt....
I think I should get an honorary masters degree in public edication.

People are often unreasonable, illogical,
and self-centered;
forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, People may accuse
you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some
false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,
there may be jealousy;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.




- Mother Theresa


Saturday, July 7

OOOH CRAP

I just looked at our 4-H Club website page...

16 more days until fair show day.
that means that it is really only 10 days until the carcass show, and then only
12 days until the open show.

I might just panic now.

We are showing a total of 11 lambs. Hopefully, we will never EVER prepare 11 lambs for show again.
Just shearing them will wear me out. I will get the girls involved so I don't pass out. hee hee hee.

I am excited about fair this year. We should do very well.
Trust that I will keep you all up to date.
Today.....
Akk.

Hubby's mom came over yesterday afternoon and got the girls for an overnight.
That gives her 100 bonus points in the mother-in-law category.
However - my niece and nephew were going to be over there also.
That is at LEAST a -200 bonus point.

let me tell you where I am going with this.
I love my niece and nephew - and I feel marginally terrible for cringing when they are with my kids, but I just can't help it. My husbands sister is 36 going on 15. She has been in and out of trouble seemingly forever. Married and divorced, she cannpt seem to find a lifestyle that is not involved with sleazy men, questionable hobbies, and interactions with police departments.

Therefore, my niece and nephew have the street education of hardened criminals. I love it after my girls come home from one of these overnighters. They are full of questions. Most of them are ones I really am not ready to share with a 12 and 13 year old, such as the definition of a blow job, hummer, eating at the Y - aaak. That sucks. (no pun intended)

I give my in-laws great praise for volunteering to take the kids out of that situation for a weekend and provide them with discipline, fun, and a real "family" situation, because I am sure at their house it is total chaos.
I also understand the wide chasm between what they seem to "do" for my niece and nephew - versus our kids. It used to really bother me that Grandma would take her kids school shopping when I had to work extra to afford things for my kids. Now I am glad that we have it enough together that we don't put a financial strain on them, or make them feel like they need to take care of us.

So---- after getting the attitudes back in synch with my girls this evening, we ran some errands together.
No weird requests for definitions, so that leads me to believe that
1.) they either know all the answers or
2.) nothing contraversial was discussed or
3.) my niece provided ALL the details this time.

I don't even want to go there.

I know that instead of wishing they weren't like that - I should take some initiative and do more things with them myself. I should be a great Aunt, and give them some of our bountiful splendid home life.

But I just don't want to get involved.
Isn't that pathetic?

I am a poor excuse for an Aunt.
Maybe they will come revoke my lisence.
Some have asked why I blog.
Those are usually the ones who don't!

I guess, it's because I can feel totally free to say things here, that I might surpress otherwise.
Saying that, I consider if that means I am weak? I don't think so, I just know too many people who
have a broken filter from their brain to their mouth. Those who say something totally uncontrolled.

I am cool in public - but fall apart and can be candid here.
There are some things that I write that are just observations, just for me. There are very few people who know me personally that read this blog - I can count you on one hand. But it's nice to know that you are there.

So go sweep my living room whydoncha?

Wednesday, July 4

Happy 4th to all.

After doing some necessary running around, visiting and attending gatherings where we had fun relaxing with friends, we are home.

It really stinks that the 4th fell on a Wednesday this year, the extra long weekend would have been nice.
No fireworks tonight..... those are coming up on Saturday at the lake. It is the biggest show in the area, and I have done to see it since I was a small child. I always look forward to it.

Nothing quite as nostalgic as sitting on the side of the lake, getting eaten by carniverous insects who cannot read the OFF can. But we go - it's an ingrained part of my psyche.

What is really cool, is that on years when the 4th falls on a weekend, from our house we can see the fireworks from 5 different towns. Just by going outside we have a 360 degree panoramic view of the festivities.
Pretty cool.

Tuesday, July 3

We went into Syracuse today.
My youngest daughter wanted to drive past grandma and grandpa's old house.
(Grandma now lives in a condo, in the same town)

I told her we didn't have time.

She then wanted to go by the cemetary to see grandpa.

I told her we didn't have time.

Truth is, we actually did have time, but I didn't want to.
Dad died 7 years ago. That is almost impossible to believe, but yet days and years pass by seemingly unbeknownst to me.

I haven't been to the cemetary in years.
I don't want to go.

That might seem disrecpectful to some, downright irresponsible to most, but I can't bring myself to do it.
My husbands mother, visits her fathers grave regularly, taking flowers and making sure everything looks nice. I feel so guilty for not going there, but something holds me back.

Today when she asked, I should have gone. I should have taken her. Especially because she wanted to go. She didn't argue or complain when I said no, but I could tell she was disappointed.

I remember after he died, I had this realization of him, not as my father, but as a man.
Just a man. Who ultimately had goals and dreams of his own, just like each and every one of us.
His dying, and me having to step up into the power role at that instant to take care of all the arrangements for my mom, somehow stripped away all the layers of mystery and magic that fathers accumulate in their childrens minds.

He died at 47, leaving my mother, brother and I just devastated. I understand that dying wasn't his choice, but to lose something that fundamental in your life when you are totally unprepared for it knocked me out of my safe orbit - way out.

At the time, I worked nights. On my way home from work, I would drive 10 miles out of my way to visit his grave. Not many people are at the cemetary at 7am on a weekday morning. At first I would talk out loud, like he could hear me, then I realized that to anyone else, I might look like an escapee from a nuthouse so I just took to standing there......forever sometimes. I would rant on, in my mind about how fair it wasn't. How I wanted him to be there for my kids. And at that time, too, I would forgive him over and over for all the times he did what he thought was best - even though I hated it.

I was jealous, of sorts.
Here we were, trying to muddle through all the procedures acquainted with dying....insurance claims, paying debts, sending my brother back to college, selling the house where I lived 14 of my 17 years.
How dare he go on to somewhere better and leave us to wade through grief and red tape.

After getting over the immediate rough spots, and getting over my urge to visit and break down daily at his gravesite I decided that I couldn't do this forever. We all had to get on with our lives, or what was left of them at that point.

Time has moved on. And although I still think of him, and miss him dearly, I cannot associate the place where we laid his body - empty of soul as a place to connect with him. I consider that a place to remember the pain.

If you know what it feels like to have your body collapse like an accordion, and to feel the sharp pain of tears coming that may never stop, thats how I feel when I go there.

Maybe thats selfish.
Maybe I will get over it in time.

But for now I prefer to remember him in my mind, with the memories of what we had together,
not what I had when he was gone.
I hope that my kids feel this in me, and understand.
I did it again.

I am such a goof

I think that each year it will get easier to raise these dang things and show them.
But it doesn't. I need to be sure and re-read this blog next year to myself.

When we started out, all of our sheep had names. I knew every little thing about them.
When we put our very first 4-H lamb on the truck - I thought I was going to fall apart.
The girls did fine, until I saw a tear, then we all bawled like babies.

I went out tonight, to overlook everything, and make sure the feed was out, and the water, etc.
and I just stood there, over them. Some come to me to investigate the "feed person" to see what I might have for them.

Sometimes it's torture to know what they don't. Then I grab ahold of myself, and pull back together.
Every year I get choked up. I had hoped it would be different somehow this year, but It's not looking promising. I always say that I wouldn't get attached to earthworms.....maybe I should raise those.
New Addition

4-H

Should stand for:
Head
Heart
Hands
Health

what it really equates to in parental terms....

Headache
Hysteria
Hurried
Heart Attack

thats my vote for today

Monday, July 2

I said there was a lot to talk about today.

I also have a work observation. Just a rant.

Why is it that everyone at a workplace has to try and draw you into their circle.
I intentionally avoid circles.
Usually by avoiding circles, they seem to find their way to me.
I somehow end up being the evil circlehater, and everyone tries to lure, or somehow capture me and make me their pet project.

I really shouldn't say EVERYONE - because thats not true. there are other circle haters out there that I like to befriend, and we can be square together.

Today was a prime example. I live in a community where you are defined by where you worship.(not universally, but generally) Maybe even more so than WHAT you worship. It's not important that I DO consider myself a spiritual person, just nonconventional.

I had a conversation with a new office person today about religion.
WAAA HAA HAA

That is usually enough for any circle member to run screaming back to their leader.

She gave me that "knowing" oomfpgh after I told her that I do not go to church. Being convinced that I am now a heathen, raising heathen children and multiplying this world with evil, she judged me.
I gave up caring a long time ago about people like this, but it humored me to see that my lack of interest in her concern aggravated her.

She invited me to church.
Not a disrespectable thing, after all, aren't all good Christians supposed to lead stray lambs back to the flock? I can't fault her for this. but - you see.....I can't accept. that would make me join the circle.

I am oddly geometric tonight.

I don't appreciate the slathery, gooey politeness that comes with listening to people gush all day.
Hell - I don't even generally appreciate good conversation unless I, or someone I already like initiates it.
This doesn't at all include my meager circle of friends either -
YOU ARE SPECIAL
THE CHOSEN ONES!

I just don't cherish the whole "just because I work with you, I have to be your friend and do things with you" deal.

Granted - I have some very DEAR and special people that I have met and continue to enjoy on a regular basis that work led me to.....but thats a freak thing. (heh heh reversblack - I see you)
somehow those people are much like me, thats why we mesh.
WE ARE ANTI-CIRCULAR.

Now - none of that made any sense. and I probably offended most all of you.
Well shit - thats not what I meant to do.

COME ON - you know what I mean - you know me.
I'm a freak.
don't touch me
lol
:-)
OH-
so very many things to tell you.......where to start.

First off - close your ears if you don't want to hear me go on about kids and or sports...cause it's coming down the pipe. You were warned.

My daughter (the crazy thirteen year old, may not ever see fourteen) had a softball game tonight. Her sports career has hit what some pros might call a slump. Where she was berated for playing all rough and tumble like a boy a year ago, and before...this year has seen her be more timid and unsure of herself.
I wince sometimes watching her struggle with just how much of herself to give, and if she has the ability to do what she knows is very possible for her.

Fast forward to Softball. She has moved up into the league of "Show me your stuff" or get off the roster.
Not a good time for her to be very insecure.
She has not had a stellar career at bat to date. Several walks, strikeouts, and feeble attempts to put the ball in play.

Last Saturday,between a doubleheader, I had to have a talk with her. I explained, in a very parental way that if she didn't like what she was doing, that she COULD stop and no longer play. We did not EXPECT her to be perfect, or nearly so in everything she tried.

BUT - if she wanted to play - then she had to give it 800 percent. No one wants to play with someone who doesn't care, or try their hardest. I explained to her that the team didn't need her "out".

That either shocked her into gear, or gave her some inspiration...I'll never know, but the rest of the game, she continued to improve - probably just to spite me, but thats okay.

Fast forward again to tonight.
I couldn't watch the whole game, but I wanted to stay and watch her bat at least once before I went to our 4-H meeting. First time, she hit a whopper - unfortunately the center fielder had been paying attention and caught it about 10 feet from the fence. That was still a great hit though, and I was proud of her for giving it that extra ooomph, and forgetting any fears.
Second time around, she struck out - although she did so fast and furiously - much differently than before.
I left, being happy to see her regain some of what she had lost.

I return home tonight, to an exasperated daughter. I guess I missed a good one.
Evidently, she ripped a winner.
To hear her tell it would go something like this......
"I cracked one!"
"Right out to the far corner of left field, way above the 3'd baseman"
"1st base coach said, TAKE THREE!"
"I passed first, and then second"
"At third, they were throwing it into the 3'd baseman" (who was a junior in HS)
"I didn't know what I was going to do!"
"I ran REAL hard, and when I was almost there, I went to slide"
"Then I thought I'd never make it, so I should dive"
"I started to slide, then went to dive"

After that - I must finish telling the story from my husbands point of view who got to watch the entirety.

He said she resembled a cat pouncing on something. First he thought she would slide in, then he knew she was trying to dive. Divide them each in half, and thats what happenned. Only the unknowing 3'd baseman ended up in the equasion which equaled something that looked like a bowl of spaghetti when it was over.

She knocked the baseman flat out. And there she laid.
I can only imagine the commotion. It was the third out of the last inning.
Everyone came away unscathed....but I am sure it won't be the last time any of us hear about that weird "Last Out" Ash had.

WAY TO GO.
Well, it's almost here.

We have about 20 days left until fair. Thats when we see either the rewards of our work in the barn, or we decide to throw in the towel. About this time each year, I become overwhelmed with the things that need done. I decide that I am borderline insane for loving it so much.

Take 2 parents, 2 children and throw in 15 or so lambs that need walked, ran and fed and by the end of the second day, everyone is postal. No one wants to stop doing it, and sell the sheep, but no one wants to do the work involved either. It's a livestock thing. I will admit, that I am lazier than I should be - but I want the girls to learn to be responsible too. So.......20 more days.

It's actually funny what the girls will do to avoid doing what we ask them to do.
You would think, most people with a few brain cells would realize that going around the chores sure takes longer than actually doing them and getting it over with.

For instance; Barn Chores.
I love sending them out to do barn chores. Mostly, I love it because I can guarantee one of them will come in pissed off at the other one. Some one will not have filled the water tub correctly, or left the other to do the hay when they KNEW it was their turn.

It's just a contest of laziness. If they would do it all, and do it correctly without being asked, I would keel over dead - thats a guarantee.

This year, we have lambs all over the spectrum - some are barely big enough to make weight, some are overweight. It will be a big effort to slide them all in under the weight limits.

I will surely keep you updated.