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.

Sometimes life is just hard, Darlin’

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So. I’ve been AWOL and my people deserve to know why. The first part was a JOYOUS and wonderful thing, as my coworker and dear friend Becky had a BABY! Five was born May 11, and he’s just cute as a speckled pup. She is (as we knew she would be) an AWESOME mommy, and they’re adjusting just fine.  Being one of three people in our office, which serves all of our state’s soybean farmers means that when one of us is out, the “stuff” still has to get done. It was my pleasure to help cover for Becky while she was on maternity leave – I am sure she would return the favor, but let me be perfectly clear: AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN.

 

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On July 27, something truly awful happened. My friend and boss’ husband passed away unexpectedly. Tony was a truly wonderful man, and living two doors down, we are all pretty close. That loss rocked our world and continues to do so. In addition to his beloved wife, he leaves three truly awesome kids, ages 22 and 17. Life will not be the same without Tone in it.

Most recently, my dad has had some health issues. Tomorrow will mark three weeks he’s been in the hospital, and he just last night made it up to the Transitional Care Unit to start working hard (I hope) on physical and occupational therapy to get strong enough to come home.

SO – that’s my deal, and I am hoping that things will chillax around here so that I can get back to my weekly ramble/rant. Thanks to all who know me personally and have checked in on any or all of these situations.

I’m pumped to be working on a co-presentation with a GREAT Agvocate, Jennifer Elwell, for our Kentucky Women in Ag Annual Conference. It’s called “Agvocating Tips for Introverts and Extroverts.” If you can’t guess which one I am, you’re reading the wrong blog, Darlin!

D is for more than Darlin’, Darlin’. 

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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

Take me out to the ballgame, darlin!

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So in addition to the fun and glamour (and hog poo and chicken litter) that is the RGDJ, we have meetings. A lot of meetings. I have not yet achieved professional meeting-goer status, and for the most part our meetings are informative and I always learn SOMETHING that I can use.

One of our national organization’s contractors is based in St.Louis, so once a year or so, I attend a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game as evening entertainment after our meeting. Last night was just such a night, and the cards SPANKED the Colorado Rockies, 13-7. (Yay, team!)

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So, it must be said that my favorite part of this ballgame (aside from the company, the win, and the food/bev) is the opportunity to share this app with my followers. I love WordSwag! This app, on my iPhone, allows me to overlay text onto photos in a variety of fonts, to add value and/or meaning to the photo. Possibly more importantly, it lets me watermark a photo with my logo! (YAYNESS!)

As an individual, that’s fun and fine and great, and if my blog ever becomes more than an online diary, it will be necessary. In my job as the communicator for the Kentucky Soybean Board, it’s vital to watermark photos that I post on social media. It amazes me how people who may not have the access to, say, the inside of a hog house, (as I do) will take a photo out of context and use it for nefarious purposes.

There are several other applications that perform this same function, but Word Swag is my personal preference. It’s available from the App Store, and it enables me to build complete posts including messaging from the field – and in my case, it’s LITERALLY the field…. or the barn… or the tractor. 🙂

 

 

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.

 

 

Savannah Jane, darlin, what have you DONE?

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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!

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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!