Category Archives: Archives

On the subject of brown bananas

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So, darlin’, life is short and uncertain. If you know me at all, you know I’m a “seize the day” kind of girl. Yes, we need to make plans for the long run such as 401k and saving for the future, insurance and the like, but I’m talking about little, everyday choices that can enrich our lives.

For instance:

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While great for making banana bread, these are not what I’d want for my morning snack. They’re past their prime, yet for YEARS my mom had some that looked like these on top of her refrigerator. Oh, she’d buy new bananas on her weekly grocery run, but the house rule was that we had to eat the brown, spotty, mushy bananas before we could have the new ones.

We always HAD bananas, but we stayed a week behind. Drove. Me. Nuts. After I was grown and moved out, and numerous events had happened to decrease my tolerance for living “less than,” I was able to convince my mom to pitch the brown bananas and break the cycle. I am happy to report that she has embraced fresh, yellow bananas and never looked back.

I think many folks “save the good stuff for later,” and what if later never comes? What happens is that your kids or grandkids will come clean out your house after you die, and they’ll find brand new housecoats and fancy soaps in the shape of flowers that have long since lost their scent, still wrapped in petrified plastic wrap. And those things won’t do anyone any good.

So, friends, let’s pledge to ditch the brown bananas, use the monogrammed soap while it still has a scent, and LIVE OUR LIVES. If tomorrow never comes, and some day it won’t, I want to be that person who has enjoyed and savored the life with which I have been blessed. I want you to be that person, too.

This drives me NUTS, darlin!

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So. It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I am grocery shopping. DON’T YOU JUDGE ME! lol. I used to be such a planner, and now I am flying through life by the seat of my pants. I was cruising down the baking aisle and what to my wondering eyes should appear but this:

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Now, I realize that ‘Tis the Season for pecan pies, and yes, I live in Kentucky. I have it on very good authority that this is a bag of “puh-cahns” because a “pee-can” is what used to be under Granny’s bed at night so she didn’t have to go to the outhouse. See that little label up there in the top right corner? It says Non-GMO project Verified, and that chaps my bee-hind. (Not to be confused with “behind.”)

Why? Well, first off, food from biotech/genetically modified/GMO plants has been proven nutritionally equivalent to food from conventional plants, and second, THERE ARE NO GMO PUH-CAHNS. Not on the market. They don’t exist in your neighborhood Kroger,Walmart, or corner grocer. So why in the world would Fisher and many other companies that have products not even available as a biotech crop pay the money to have their stuff “Verified” as non-GMO?

Fear factor, my friends. It makes me so sad that people are afraid of their food, here in the US where we have the safest and most affordable food supply in the world. Don’t fear your food! There are no antibiotics in your ham/turkey/standing rib roast. There are no added hormones in the cheese you’ll use in your holiday meals, and there is no scientific evidence to support the outlandish claims that enjoying food with biotech ingredients is any more dangerous than enjoying those same dishes containing their non-biotech equivalents.

So as the holidays are upon us (and I don’t even have my naughty/nice list made yet!) please eat, drink and be merry. Don’t fear your food. And, IMHO, tofurky is for the birds. Remember, your Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts are brought to you by Granny’s recipes and America’s farmers.

Be Grateful, Not Hateful, Darlin’

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I swore to myself this was not going to be a political post, but I get a D minus on that effort. I think that anyone who doesn’t know there’s been great unrest and unkindness in our nation before, during and now after the 2016 Presidential Election, has to be living under a rock.

The good news is that Election Day is behind us, and Thanksgiving is upon us. I choose to be grateful instead of hateful. There are so many who are grieving about the election – what about those who are grieving the loss of a loved one? There are those who are clinging to the political power struggle – what about the folks who can’t pay their power bill? Some are screeching “not my president,” while those on the other side of the world can’t really grasp the concept that people in America have a say in who is the highest official in our government.

So I say be grateful, not hateful. I’m thinking bumper stickers, folks. It’s a great message. There are people in many parts of the world who have no food, no shelter, no clothing and no hope. If you woke up today, be grateful. If you took a shower with running water (hot is a bonus!), be grateful. If you stood in front of your closet deciding which clothes to wear, be grateful.

If you have food to eat, rest assured that the “white, uneducated, rural people” who got so much news coverage over the past few days will continue to produce food, feed, fuel and fiber for the world. I am grateful to be a part of such an intensely personal and noble endeavor.

As many of you know, I enjoy the work that is done by volunteer farm women under the umbrella of CommonGround. This program was originally developed so that farm women could start conversations with non-farm women and help consumers to better understand farming practices, answer questions, and share the things that we have in common.

I think it’s time that we all focus on finding common ground – places that we agree, places to start conversations – and go from there. And don’t forget to “be grateful, not hateful.” (I’m thinking that would make a really nice cross-stitched sampler…)

As the holidays are upon us, I encourage us all to embrace our traditions. Listen to Uncle Bob’s stories one more time – you never know when it’ll be the last time you hear them. If Granny’s turkey is dry, thank her effusively for going to so much trouble for the big family dinner. If your cousin comes in with brand-new vegan, anti-GMO, antibiotic-free ideas, be kind. And God bless us, every one.

 

She’s my Person, Darlin’

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So Monday was my birthday, and my age now ends with a 9 and I don’t want to talk about the next 362 days. I took the day off work (thankful for Personal Holidays!) and spent the day with my Person.  For those of you who are not familiar with the concept of having a Person, it’s different than having a friend. Friends are GREAT – I LOVE my friends, and they’re great. But, really, you can only have one Person at a time.

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The phrase was coined from Grey’s Anatomy (YAYNESS!) and it’s a good one. I am not that woman who says “My husband is my verrrrry best friend!” because he’s not. He’s wonderful, and I love him, but trust me that we are NOT going for mani/pedis and shoe shopping. Ever. He is my hubby, not my bestie and not my Person. I  mean really – if your hubby is your best friend, who do you talk to ABOUT HIM when you want to roundhouse kick him to the face?

So, my Person is Lisa Galusha. She’s pretty awesome, and she knew I had been very down recently with some personal crap (daddy is still in the hospital, other family icky stuff  – rest assured that Darlin Hubby and I are fine). My Person sent me a funny, encouraging, prayerful, OR totally inappropriate meme every hour of my birthday from 7 am to 9 or 10 pm. We were together from 10:30 to about 3, and she sent them anyway.

In addition to dragging a body or digging a hole, everyone needs a Person with whom we can let it ALL hang out. My Person came to the hospital when Daddy had surgery, my Person took me for a pedi and pasta for my birthday, my Person PRAYS FOR ME, and she knows everything about me and she loves me anyway.

So today’s post is a salute to my Person. If you don’t have a Person, get one. Having Lisa as my Person has proven to be vital to my sanity, and she makes my life better in innumerable ways.

So, about Siblings Day and sisters from another mister

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My newsfeed was flooded, as I am sure yours was, with photos of brothers and sisters on National Siblings Day. Some photos caused me to say “awwwwww” with utter sincerity, while others brought a quick snort and thoughts of “well, aren’t YOU just the pick of the litter?”

I posted the obligatory picture of my sister and me. She’s 11 years younger than I am, and I love her dearly. That got me thinking, though, about my other sisters. The ones I’ve chosen for myself.

We do that, you know. Women. We make families. We bring people together – we bond deeply with our girlfriends, and, as an extrovert, I tend to gather friends wherever I go. I have my friends from elementary school with whom I still enjoy dinner from time to time, I have my “book club” that now really only reads wine labels, and my “framily,” the girlfriends here in western Kentucky who I love so much.

Becoming an AGvocate in the Redneck Girl’s Dream Job has opened up a while new world of “sisters from another mister,” though, and social media helps us keep in touch. I can call up my favorite Baconista (and her Grams) in Kansas, send condolences and a hug across the miles to a sweet friend in Minnesota who just lost her mother, comment on the success of that FABULOUS young man in Wishek, North Dakota, and rejoice with every new arrival born to the mommies in my tribe. I’ve learned about life and love and loss and sugar beets and goats from a bunch of perspectives. I now have friends who run dairy operations, own feedlots, some who are piglet midwives and others who grow wine grapes. I’ve prayed for a turkey farmer friend when the avian influenza virus hit Iowa. I have an awesome friend who is the online engagement director for Monsanto!

The sisterhood is alive and well, ladies and gentlemen, and in keeping with National Siblings Day and my personal #Thankful365 campaign, I just wanted to take this opportunity to send a shout out to all of the ladies in the CommonGround and Ag sisterhood. We are alive and well… and we are family.

 

 

It’s a sad day, Darlin’

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Today is a sad day because I’m going to the funeral home for visitation. That’s always a sad time, but even more so today because I am going to pay my respects to this guy: Kristy and Joel Laughing

He was 45. What makes this visitation even MORE sad? That lady with him? That’s my friend Kristy. They were married, as you see, on September 17, 2012. (Look at how HAPPY they were. I was honored to do their pictures, and much of the day was filled with laughs like this one.) She died just a couple of weeks shy of their first wedding anniversary, on September 5, 2013.

So you see, folks, life can change even at a young age. Kristy didn’t live to see her 44th birthday. (I HATE CANCER!) Now Joel will be laid to rest tomorrow. These were good, good people, both separately and together. The world is poorer for their passing, and their children (and their parents and siblings) will ache with missing them every single day. I guess the point of this post is to encourage each person reading it to seize the day, every day. Don’t put off that trip of a lifetime, don’t put off saying “I’m sorry,” or “I love you.”  Take advantage of every opportunity to do the kind thing, the right thing, the thing that helps someone else.

You know that I love Garth Brooks, and once again the man is right on with the words to this song that he cowrote with Kent Blazy. It’s called “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” and I think these lyrics contain good life advice. Tomorrow won’t come on this Earth for my friends Kristy and Joel… but they said the words and showed their feelings and crammed a lot of love into a very short time frame. Each of them knew the other’s heart. Can you say the same of your loved ones?

Sometimes late at night
I lie awake and watch her sleeping
She’s lost in peaceful dreams
So I turn out the lights and lay there in the dark

And the thought crosses my mind
If I never wake up in the morning
Would she ever doubt the way I feel
About her in my heart

If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day
That she’s my only one

And if my time on earth were through
And she must face the world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes

‘Cause I’ve lost loved ones in my life
Who never knew how much I loved them
Now I live with the regret
That my true feelings for them never were revealed

So I made a promise to myself
To say each day how much she means to me
And avoid that circumstance
Where there’s no second chance to tell her how I feel

If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day
That she’s my only one
And if my time on earth were through
And she must face the world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last If tomorrow never comes

So tell that someone that you love
Just what you’re thinking of
If tomorrow never comes
Joel and Kristy walking away w fence