Category Archives: Unfiltered

Sometimes I stick a needle in my arm

Sometimes I stick a needle in my arm

OK, I don’t. The phlebotomist does. And it’s usually every couple of months. 56 days is the rule of thumb, and I am talking about giving blood. As amazing as modern science is, there’s not, to the best of my knowledge, a universal, medically approved substitute for human blood. While that may not mean much to most of us, to those who have had traumatic accidents or even those whose bodies just don’t make the proper amount of blood, it can mean a lot, maybe even the difference between life and death.

That’s why I try to donate blood as often as I can. There is a blood drive about every 2 months, conveniently located just down the road from my office. The front desk lady at the church where it’s held is nice, the staff is efficient and friendly, and the process usually only takes about an hour. The long drawn out paperwork has been replaced by RapidPass, which allows the donor to complete the necessary questions prior to arrival and really speeds up the pre-donation process. IMG_1547.JPG

That little pin in the photo? That’s my 2-gallon pin, and although that means that I have donated 2 gallons of blood over time, I’m embarrassed. I should be at 10 gallons by now, had I stayed in the habit.

People say “I can’t even. I don’t like needles, doesn’t it hurt?” Well, I don’t love needles either, so I don’t look when they put the needle in. It doesn’t hurt, per se… especially if you tell yourself it doesn’t hurt. But you know what? Even if it DID hurt a little, SO WHAT? The people who will receive this aptly-named “gift of life” may have been in an awful accident or may have complications from surgery…

I think of “my people” when I donate.  Makes it super-easy. Someone incredibly dear to me was in a lawnmower accident as a toddler. I interviewed a farmer who lost both legs in a grisly silage-chopper accident. My dad is a stroke victim and his body doesn’t produce enough blood, so periodically he finds himself in the hospital, running “a quart low” and receiving transfusions made possible by donors.

So, if you’re thinking about donating blood and are able to do so, I urge you to roll up your sleeve. To find a donor center or bloodmobile near you, visit It’s something you can do that won’t cost you a dime but could save lives. What better “pay it forward” could there be?

Oh, and they have cookies after.

SQUEEEEEEE! #GarthBrooks


I have never been a literal Bucket List kind of girl. I am more a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. Shocking, I know.

But. If I HAD a written bucket list, seeing Garth Brooks in concert would have been on it. And I saw him. And Miss Yearwood. And it was all I could have ever wanted and more.


I have loved this man since 1989, and I might have even married a guy who bore more than a passing resemblance to this man. He speaks to me. From “In Another’s Eyes” to “Callin’ Baton Rouge” to “Friends in Low Places,” he just gets me. My funeral instructions include the playing of his “If Tomorrow Never Comes.”  Goes like this:

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 this 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 this 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

The fellas who wrote that song are really onto something. I am sure I wasn’t the only one in Bridgestone Arena with tears streaming when he played this song – because I know there are people in MY life who may not know how much I care about them, and that, my friends, is all on me.

Let ’em know. Because someday tomorrow won’t come.

Rae-Wagoner-Celebration-Of-Life attendees will also hear The Dance, written by the great Tony Arata:

Looking back on the memory of 
The dance we shared beneath the stars above 
For a moment all the world was right 
How could I have known you’d ever say goodbye 
And now I’m glad I didn’t know 
The way it all would end the way it all would go 
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain 
But I’d have had to miss the dance 
Holding you I held everything 
For a moment wasn’t I the king 
But if I’d only known how the king would fall 
Hey who’s to say you know I might have changed it all 
And now I’m glad I didn’t know 
The way it all would end the way it all would go 
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain 
But I’d have had to miss the dance 
Yes my life is better left to chance 
I could have missed the pain but I’d have had to miss the dance

Wow. Don’t miss The Dance that we call Life, friends. I know this talk of Bucket Lists and funeral songs is sad, but as I have achieved a “certain age,” I think about these things from time to time. I don’t want to hand God my one talent and say “here – I hid it and kept it safe.” Matthew 25:14-30  I want to slide up to the Pearly Gates sideways, comin in hot, having LIVED and LOVED and sucked every bit of joy from the gift of this life I have been given.

I encourage you to do the same.

On the subject of brown bananas


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:


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.

She’s my Person, Darlin’


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.


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.

D is for more than Darlin’, Darlin’. 

D is for more than Darlin’, Darlin’. 

  • Sometimes we have to pause for introspection, and this is one of those times for me. I am sorry, but my current status is reflected above. D minus. Not quite an F… But certainly not honor roll material in the wide world of blogging, either. I try, y’all! I really do!  Have a calendar alert set for 9 bells every Wednesday morning and  and everything – I fully committed to blogging once a week in 2016. 

But… D minus. Life gets in the way, AGvocating makes me tired and grumpy some times, we’ve had death and sickness and all those other t=”life things,” and I have failed. 

Enter My Tribe. Sweet Krista Stauffer, who you should TOTALLY be following at TheFarmersWifee, asked me to write a blog post about AGvocacy for the @agchatfound (I heart AgChat), so I did, and it was quick and easy and just flew from my fingertips… And to channel my inner Sally Field, “they LIKE me! They really LIKE me!” This came at a time that I needed a pick me up, and it picked me up, and the kind comments have me re-ignited. 

I’ve done something wild and crazy and put WordPress on my iPad so that it is with me always. (Yes, @JPlovescotton, we talked about this moons ago.) SO. Refreshed, reignited, ready to go. For those of you who follow me, I thank you, and I promise to do better. 

Xoxox Rae

Savannah Jane, darlin, what have you DONE?


So you know that I love my dog, Savannah Jane NaughtyDog, to a level that makes some people a little worried, right? I mean, I have a gift-with-purchase daughter that I got when I married Darlin Husband, and she’s GREAT, but my little fur-friend (ok, my dog-ter) is here with me all day, every day, and she will never go to college or move out on her own.

So we are close. VeryClose.

I had been out to dinner and shopping with my Person on Monday evening, and all was well when I came home about 9 bells. She was, naturally, very happy to see her mommy. Before long, it was almost bedtime, so I took her out to potty. On a leash. In our yard. Never completely out of my sight.

And all was well. We came back in and I turned out the lights in deference to DH who was ready to go to sleep.  SJ joined me in the recliner, where I was reading on my Nook (in the dark) and “snooted” up under my hand for an ear scritching.

Then I felt her nose, and Oh. My. Gosh!

There was THIS!


How awful does THAT look? It was immediate, and Dr. Brian BestVetInTheWorld Williams and I still have no idea what she rooted up into with that long snoot.

After Mommy completed her high-speed come-apart (which included DH getting up to turn the light on and LOOK AT HER NOSE, I gave her a benadryl and we went to sleep. She was acting fine. Frisky and chipper, even. Next morning, not a lot had changed, so off to the vet we went, and after a steroid shot for her and some calming talk for me, we decided that a day at Dr. Brian Day Camp was in order.

She is on the mend now – it’s going to take some time to get back to normal, and we STILL don’t know what she got into between the boxwood bush and the side of the house – but my goodness what an ordeal!


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Darlin’


Yes. Yes is it indeed February, so I’m not talking about Christmas. It was National Farm Machinery Show (NFMS) last week, and for a good ole redneck girl, THAT’S the most wonderful time of the year.

Have I mentioned lately that I love my job?? The NFMS is home to the National Championship Truck and Tractor Pulls, there are multiple places that sell BOOTS, and almost the whole shindig is filled with FARMERS. I mean, unless somebody starts handing out $100 bills, and my DH starts attending, it’s just not going to get much better than that for me.

So here I am, in the soy store.


Yes, the soy store is A Thing. One of the most interesting parts of the RGDJ is educating people on all the things that are made from soy, or that have soy as an ingredient. One of the things we sell the most of during the Farm Show is soy candles. They come in a variety of colors and scents, and they’re very popular. Soy candles don’t leave all that black smoky residue that candles with a petroleum base do, and they burn evenly and cleanly, all the way to the bottom.

You can see “soy nuts” behind me, and they’re a big selling item, too. They’re really roasted soybeans, some with seasoning and others with candy coating, but the terminology changes when they are roasted for food, and they stop being called a bean and begin being called a nut… which is just crazy because they’re a legume. But I digress. Frequently.

SoySoft Lotions are a big seller at the NFMS, because that stuff WORKS. The lipids found in the soybeans and the essential fatty acids and lecithin are great for moisturizing  dry, cracked, chapped skin without any gloppy, frou-frou smell added.  Behind me you also see Kentucky Butt Rub, which contains soy. Before I came to work for the soybean board, this product was called “Rocking River Rub” or some such. Being a marketing person, I convinced the powers that be that we should re-label it “Kentucky Butt Rub,” and sales have picked right up. Amazing how many guys will come over to the booth when someone hollers “hey there, fellas, come on over here and let’s talk about a butt rub!”

Aside from the family reunion that Farm Show really is, one of my favorite events is “First Beer Watch.” While there is a great deal of bona fide business conducted here, this show is similar to Spring Break for some farmers. Although there are no Girls Gone Wild (that I know of), some guys think there’s just something about a cold beer for breakfast that goes hand-in-hand with farm show. I do not know if the fellas who succeeded in making “First Beer Watch” a success each day were just getting started, or if they were on a roll and hadn’t been to bed yet, but each day of the show, all of the soybean folks and many in the booths around us are locked into fierce competition to spot the First Beer of the day.

We’re not judging. It’s just a Thing that we must do.


First Beer Boys often travel in packs… And this year they were slacking. The First Beer record for 2016 was 9:27 a.m., and that is NOT a time to beat. Last year, some overachiever rolled through with a cold one at 9:04… which is not too shabby, since the show opens at 9:00 a.m. My friend Freddell said something a few years back, and it really stuck with me. “You know, RaeRae, if you’re going to drink all day, you gotta start early,” and he’s right. He usually is.

So whether you’re shopping for equipment, strolling around with a cold “hop pop,” or just looking around, the NFMS is the place to be in February. And, as we have mentioned a time or two, nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day, Honey, like a basket of soy candles.