Dirt Road Charm

Motherhood, Agriculture, and everything in between

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Amber teething, real or woo?

My lil peanut is starting to chew on everything.......I mean everything. Most of his time is spent shoving a burp rag in his mouth to chew on.  I'm no rocket scientist but I assume this is the beginning of teething no?  Lots of drool and chewing.  Sure fire signs right?

I see a TON of moms out there putting these necklaces on their kids and claiming that it is the miracle cure for the teething woes.  I am a fan of anything that relieves my kid of pain and takes him from angry panda to happy baby.  I decided to look into this miracle cure. 

(from google, of course)

I am a fan of science.  I feel that science proves many things in life.  Naturally I went to the science of these teething necklaces.   I had a hard time finding anything that shows evidence of these working.  Before you chew my head off, I'm not saying they don't work, I'm just saying there isn't much science to support them.  DO NOT start sending me links to mother jones or natural news with articles of how they work.   We won't be friends.  They are not an unbiased source of info.  Just saying

So here are a few questions to all the amber wearing teething moms out there.  I would love your thoughts and insight to help me make a decision as to if I use these.

1.)  Here is where I have a hard time.  Apparently it lets off this natural analgesic substance called succinic acid which is to be what relieves gum pain.  Wouldn't the concentration need to be pretty strong to be able to absorb through the skin, into the blood stream, and make it to the point of pain?  There is only around 1.4mg of said succinic acid in these necklaces.  To put that in perspective, in a regular dose of children s tylenol there is 160mg of acetaminophen which is your pain killer.  This is why I just find this hard to believe.  Not saying it isn't, I'm just saying the science isn't there to make me a believer.

2.) How in God's name do you put something around your babies neck and not fear of choking?  Didn't they remove the strings in sweatshirts and coats because of fear of choking?  Now we voluntarily will put something around their neck?  Gives me anxiety.  What if it breaks and they swallow the beads?  what if they get their hand tangled up in it?  These are questions I have?

So for all you amber wearing moms out there, share with me your success stories, becuase as of now, I have serious doubts.  Make me a believer.  Plus I just don't see my husband allowing me to put a necklace on his baby boy.  Ha!! 

Happy Day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mommy guilt and other nonsense

So we got new family pics done...... awe....

Becoming a mom has shown me a whole new group of crazy.  Prior to popping out my lil nugget, most of the crazy I encountered were all the anti's that were on facebook.  Anti anything really and you could find a group of people so passionate about their beliefs that they were on the verge of needing white coats.......

So now that I am a mom, I find that my newsfeed on social media, and the fact that my computer knows my every move and suggests creepy things I may just be thinking about, suggests and shares all things mommy.  Recently the ol' interwebs are being bombarded with the "DO NOT PUT YOUR COAT ON YOUR CHILD IN ITS CARSEAT".  Holy hell.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine an image such as this could wreak such havoc among mothers of today

Naturally I am a sucker for the comments......it's like a bad train wreck, I can't look away.  This is where the crazy happens.  A mom from Minnesota comments that she will not be taking the coat off of her baby in -20 degree temps.  Her child is well secured and will be just fine.  Well that didn't sit well with another mother as she replies to Minnesota's comment with "I hope that you and your children die from your stupidity"..........Um.......Wha..........I just.........   Where did that even seem like a good idea?  Who are you to wish death upon another family because they don't seem to see your view as the same?  Just.  Wow..

Since curiosity kills me, I had to test this theory. I put a coat on my lil nugget.  Strap him in the car seat.  Pull the straps tight.  Take him out, take off coat, put him back in and strap up.   Unless the 1/8 of an inch difference could be the cause of my child flying out of that strapped in harness (highly doubtful) I will also be keeping the coat on him.  There literally was hardly any difference from taking the coat off.  So to the crazy death wishing mom......cool your jets.  Do you.

I just don't understand this mommy shaming/guilting that is happening in today's society.  Who are we to tell everyone how to raise their children?  Maybe you are in fact doing it wrong?  hmmmmmm?  It is never ending. How about we start lifting each other up instead of dragging each other down.  Lets be real, it's difficult enough to get ourselves and the kid around in the mornings and out the door with child in hand let alone remembering to strap him in the carseat.  (did that happen?  maybe so, maybe no......).
Happy Day!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I see those Judgy Eyes

Happy October friends!!  It has been a solid month since I have posted......as you can see that real life Wednesday idea was great in theory.......good effort.  If you haven't picked up by now, clearly the Gerber soothe formula was a life savor.  Life. Savor.  After about week 8 we have had nothing but a happy, smiling, laughing, lil bambino.  With that, life has pretty much flown by at an incredible pace and my peanut is now 4 months old and we are 10 Fridays away from Christmas!!  If that didn't give you anxiety I don't know what will.

Speaking of flying and time and babies...as if all of those things are in common, we come to the issue at hand.  Last week a group of my closest girl friends and myself, whom are all turning the dirty 30 soon, hopped on a plane and took a nice relaxing poolside vacation to Las Vegas for the weekend.  I know what you're thinking.  Yes you there judgy eyes.  You quickly glanced back up to the previous paragraph to see that I mentioned my child was 4 months old and you quickly made a comment in your head such as......she left her baby at 4 months old!?  I heard this numerous times.  I guess I am confused.

Many were quick to let me know that their child was 3 years old before they left them for the first time.  Another was sure to share that they couldn't imagine leaving their child that young!  How could I actually leave and have a good time?  Well here is how.  I suppose I am one of the lucky few (?) that married an incredibly responsible and nurturing father who is extremely capable of keeping our little one alive for the 3 days that I was away?

I mean I didn't really think anything of the trip until everyone started informing me of the timeline between the birth of their child and when they left them for the first time.  It usually ended with the same time frame of over a year old.  Don't get me wrong, I missed the lil peanut immensely and we face timed daily, but my question lies........why are we so quick to judge a mother for leaving the child in the hands of the father at a young age.  We don't bat an eye when the father leaves and the mother is home caring for the child do we?  Just a thought.......

If you were wondering, the weather was perfect and we had a wonderful time preparing for upcoming milestone of 30........but in the words of Carrie Bradshaw... "30 is the new 20 right?"

Happy Day!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Real Life.....

So last week I said I was going to start a series of real life Wednesday......  As you can see this Wednesday business is clearly a difficult task.  So it's more like real life who really cares what day it is.  That will be my new title.  Here we are another week later.  Not much has changed except my child is a week older.  I get an email from the hospital that explains what my child should be doing week to week.  That shit will give a new mom straight up anxiety.  So for example this week it says that my child should start reaching his hands up at me when he wants picked up.  Are you freaking kidding me?  I swear last week they told me that he still can only see 10 inches away from his face and now you are telling me he can see me enough to let me know he wants picked up?  Blasphemy i say.  Who comes up with this weekly update?  So here I am standing in front of my son, testing this theory.  Fail.  He is still in a flailing arm stage.  They clearly have their weeks screwed up.

Pretty sure that most of my baby posts revolve around baby poop. Well this week is no different.  Pretty much every time my lil peanut makes a turd and I go to change him, he puts his foot in poop. I don't know how he manages it most of the time but he does. It's a conspiracy I swear.  Sometimes it may be a solid couple hours after a diaper change that I notice he has a poop smear on his foot.  Like it magically appears.  I swear I check to make sure he is poop free.  Where is it coming from?!?!?!

That is currently what I am dealing with in my real life.  The fact my child is behind on his arm reaching to let me know he wants picked up and his phantom poop smears that appear outta no where.

On a side note, we are 1 day away from one of the best national holidays of the year.  Labor Day you ask?  No, obviously because that is Monday and not 1 day away.  It's the beginning of Spartan football!!!!  He is pretty excited about it if you can't tell!

Have a great holiday weekend!!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Real Life Wednesday

I had the idea of starting a series every Wednesday that shares a glimpse of my real life.  I find that the ole interwebs tend to show people with the white picket fence, hair and makeup done, and dinner on the table with the perfect family.  However the real life behind the computer screen is mad chaos.  Why do we hide it?  Why do we try to paint a picture to everyone that we have life all together.  

I am here to break that mold and let you all know it is ok to not have your shit together.  My life is bananas right now.  Straight up bananas.  I have a hard enough time remembering to eat let alone have my hair and makeup done.  Here is a lil glimpse into my real life......

My kid makes man sized turds.  To the point that you see here.  I am feeding him, minding my own business and with one solid grunt I am holding a handful of poo.  As i tell my sister "Do something!" I was thinking more like grab the kid so I can wash my hand, she instead grabs her phone to take a picture.....classic

Currently my son has eyes for 6 ounces of milk but the stomach capacity for only 4 ounces.  In turn that means mama wears the bottle shortly after feeding.  Straight down the shirt soaked with curdled milk.  It smells wonderful too might I add.  

So there you have the first edition of real life Wednesday.  Stay tuned next week for more madness.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Weight loss with a lil Zantac

First let's talk about weight loss after pregnancy. Pumping/breast-feeding is like a secret magic tool.  It conveniently makes weight quickly fall off. Two weeks postpartum I was down 5 pounds pre-baby weight. That is all of my baby weight plus an additional 5 lbs if you couldn't do the math. Four weeks postpartum I was down 10 pounds pre-baby weight. Pre baby weight!!!! That is a total of like 31 lbs. At this point I pretty much felt like a rockstar.  Then comes along a little thing called a plugged milk duct. (If any of you need to know how to get rid of said plugged milk duct refer to this post). 

After that little treasure of an experience showed up I could only produce one ounce of breastmilk so I stopped pumping. Gasp I know, my child only got one month of breastmilk so I'm sure he will not thrive or prosper (insert mom shaming that my child was not breast-fed for one year). I wasn't really even a fan of pumping anyway so I was impressed I made it 4 weeks. I really just wanted to know what it felt like to be a milk cow. (Kidding........kind of). 

So now fast-forward to week five postpartum where I am only down 5 pounds pre-baby weight. Yes that means I in fact gained 5 pounds back.  We are now at six weeks postpartum and I am only 2 pounds lighter than pre-baby weight. Dammit, I am going backwards. I suppose I should stop eating ice cream multiple times a day since I am no longer excreting milk from my tits. So there's that.

On to the Zantac.  I like to update you all on my angry baby situation for what reason I don't know, other than maybe this will be a cute timeline for later on to refer to as to why my hair turned grey so quickly. We started my adorable lil peanut on Zantac last night for his reflux. Zantac.....not Xanax.  Everyone pauses when I mention Zantac thinking I am treating my child for panic attacks.  No.  After about an hour of medication I had a laughing and smiling baby......yes, I said laughing not crying.  
Look at that precious thing.....How can it really ever be mad and scream for hours you ask....I'd like to know as well

So the good news is that the happiness lasted about 2 days.  The bad news is that the happiness lasted only 2 days.  We now have screaming gas pains......I took him to meijer to get a new formula to try (Gerber soothe please be my saving grace).  He screamed the whole time.  The check out lady was like, "are you a new mom?" I replied, yes, how can you tell?  She laughed and said "the anxiety in your face and spit up down your shirt."  She then said "Don't worry it gets better".  If I hear that one more time I may go bananas.....I need gets better to happen pronto!!! 

 So now we wait to see if the new formula will help.  I mean if we get rid of the gas and screaming he would literally have no reason to cry.......but what fun would that be?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thank you Old Milwaukee Light

I have officially become my grandma.  I have aged myself a solid 50 years.  I had an Old Milwaukee Light this past weekend and it has never tasted so good.  Or it could be the fact that this is only the second beer I have had in the 5 weeks following the birth of my lil nugget.  I used to wrinkle my nose at the thought of having to drink an Old Milwaukee Light, but after a month of trying to figure out what a newborn baby wants when he cries......I was willing to drink anything at this point.  Pure deliciousness, that's what that tasted like.

We are now officially into week 5 of this adventure called parenthood.  I think it is important to keep it real because so many people try to make child raising sound so easy and glorious.  Everyone's child is an angel and never cries or makes you want to drink a 30 pack of Busch Light in one sitting in an hour time period.  I have quickly realized that they are all liars.  Lies I say!!!  All babies cry and drive you batty at times.  I'm not buying it that they don't.  No shame here in admitting that.

I love examples.....so here is a good one.
Everyone told me about a time that would come when my little angel would have a blowout in his car seat. Not my child I thought.  He has cute lil baby poos and I quickly change him and all is well in our wonderful world. Today that all changed.......

As I was sitting waiting for my sister to show up to go for a walk in 90 degree weather with 100% humidity......dumb....I noticed my lil angel grunting.  Grunting and turning his face red.  I thought, awe lil peanut, you gotta poo?  So I go sit in the back seat waiting on the arrival so I can quickly change him.  Because I am johnny on the spot like mentioned earlier on the diaper change end.  He finally pushes out what I thought was a turd along with some farts.......  Nope.  All poop.

I pull his hand up, which was conveniently by his side, to get him out of his car seat and his had is covered in baby shit.  I slightly freak out.  Naturally when i grab his had to keep him from so kindly putting it in his mouth he smears it across his face. Baby. Poop. Everywhere.

I lift him from his seat......Woah....

 My lil dinosaur took a dino sized shit......clearly

Car seats have little to no nooks and crannies that poo can nicely get stuck in.  Said no one ever.  So here's to you Old Milwaukee Light!  Thank you for being so tasty and getting me through yet one more milestone in baby's life.  Also, let this be a lil public service announcement for all you soon to be moms out there.  Don't buy a car seat that doesn't wipe down easily.......

Monday, July 20, 2015

Moms and the influence of Google

I get it!  I totally get it!  All of these years I have never understood why people believe anything and everything that they read on the internet........until now!  In the industry of Agriculture and more specifically food, I was completely mind boggled by the mis information that people believe because they read it on the internet.  I used to sit and wonder why others would believe random people with no experience growing food over someone like myself who lives and works in it everyday. Well, I can tell you now that I understand fully how this happens; desperation and the top Google answers.

It's called become a first time parent with a baby that is fussy most of the day.  You will go to Google in hopes of finding anything that might make your baby happy for longer than 5 minutes.  Over the past 3 and a 1/2 weeks I have spent many hours searching a million different baby symptoms and cures.  I have read a thousand mommy threads in hopes of finding something to make a difference.  I finally understand.

When you are experiencing a situation in your life that is either a struggle or a challenge, you seek out information to help make it easier.  When you are desperate you may just try anything and everything.  It all makes sense to me now.

Examples:  My child, if he is not eating or sleeping is fussy and crying.  He cannot just be awake and happy.  It doesn't happen.  So this mom goes to Google university for any glimpse of a chance of finding something that makes my baby happy. I now understand how people can be influenced to believe things when all evidence says it's probably not true.  It's called being desperate.

Another example:  I got a plugged milk duct.  This shit is for real.  I wasn't about to get mastitis like I've seen in cows.  Gross.  Wasn't going to happen.  So, what did I do?  I of course went to Google to find a cure.  All the professional websites said to just put a warm compress on it and strip it downward in hopes of unplugging it.  Didn't work.  I then go to a mommy thread where a woman explains that you should get on all fours and pump from the ground.  Sounds crazy but it worked!!!!  Mommy thread for the win!  No mastitis here......but to prove my point.  The suggestions from professionals didn't work and some lady that tried something crazy and it worked just saved my boob from curdled milk.  I might believe anything she tells me at this point.  Now i'm not saying that is a reason to not believe the professionals, I'm just saying that I can see how people look to other sources when things don't work.

So what is the lesson here?   I really don't know.......but what I do know is that I totally understand how people believe off the wall information when they are desperate for an answer. It definitely makes me want to keep telling my story so that if people are looking and searching for info about where their food comes from, I hope they stumble upon me in their frantic search. Or if they have a plugged milk duct.....you now all know the secret!  You can thank me later :)

And here is a random off the wall fact......This is what I look like in 80 degree weather in the evenings when i take my dog out to go potty.  We have man eating mosquitoes.  Not exaggerating.  And that is the annoyed look I keep on my face the whole time I am out there as well!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

This isn't a Mommy Blog....I swear

I have no intentions of making this a mommy blog....but some of this stuff you just can't make up and is too funny not to share. So here are my mommy confessions part 2!

I had a hair appt made for Saturday and after 2 weeks of being in my house with a newborn all day everyday I was so excited for this appointment, for a of couple reasons.  Reason # 1: I just needed a lil me time.  Judge if you may but for real, I was ready to just relax and not hear a baby cry for a couple of hours. I have never had anything need me this much in my life, not even my puppy, so it has been a life changing experience.  A wonderful blessing of a change, but life changing nonetheless.  Reason # 2:...............

Holy frizzy fly away madness.  It was time for a Tibolli treatment.  If you have super frizzy hair that turns into a brillo pad such as above in even the tiniest of humidity, then you need to ask your stylist about getting one of these!  Life. Changing.  

I left early to run into walmart to get some formula.  I used to spend my money on cowboy boots, now I spend my money on formula.  As I was walking through there was a new mom with a very tiny baby doing some grocery shopping.  The baby was screaming.  I walked by and smiled thinking to myself, I get it and it's ok.  You let that baby cry my dear.  I then also realized that the baby screaming was an instant trigger for milk stimulation.  I have been pumping (couldn't do the breastfeeding thing) and quickly realized I came to town without any nursing pads......fail.

I quickly ran to the bathroom, found a maxi pad in my purse (all you fresh moms know exactly why I had one of those), ripped it in half and made some make shift nursing pads.  No one wants to be walking around walmart with 2 wet spots on their shirt and then you find yourself on the people of walmart facebook page.  I started laughing in the bathroom stall thinking to myself.....this is real life.  I know someone else out there has been in this situation.......no?

I think that documenting these lovely times in my life will give me a chuckle later on when this nugget is like 12 years old and thinks he doesn't need me anymore and is way too cool to be around me.  

It also will remind me of the adorable moments like last night when he was fighting sleep and wanted to cry for hours and all of a sudden smiled and laughed for the first time.  He even startled himself when he laughed.  It made me forget about the crankiness......for a short minute :)

Happy week friends!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

New Mom Confessions

You read that correct......I finally calved!!  I'm a mom!  Woah.....that still gives me anxiety a lil to say out loud.  Don't get me wrong, it has been a pretty awesome experience, but I have to admit that I was so unprepared for new mom status.

Here's the deal;  you spend 6 hours in labor and after you push out that little bundle of joy you have an army of nurses that are at your every call.  They check on you every hour, bring you anything you need, and take care of the baby while you get some rest.  Then all of a sudden they tell you that you are ready to go home after 2 days of nonstop care and your quick advisers for any and all baby related questions and concerns. My instant thought: But wait, you all aren't coming with me?!?!

You head home and it honestly feels like you are just babysitting and someone is coming to pick up this lil nugget at anytime.  It is all trial and error.  Then after a wonderful evening and first day home with your new lil one he all of a sudden gets pissed.  When I say pissed, i mean pissed.  Like scream at the top of his lungs for 4. HOURS. STRAIGHT!  I bawled.  I was a horrible mom. I couldn't even sooth my baby.  I didn't know what was wrong.  Thank god for a wonderful husband and sister that came over to attempt to calm the storm.  After a healthy poop and some serious burps we finally had a sleeping baby.  Did I mention 4 hours later?

All I wanted to do was go back to the hospital and have the nurses care for me and my new baby that I felt I was failing at miserably.  I cried.  I have never been a crier.  Very rarely do I have emotions that soar or even get expressed.  That changes with a baby.  Those hormones that people speak of are legit.  I sometimes just burst in to tears and not even have a reason or know why.  So strange.  Hopefully that goes away........it does right?

With all that being said, we are slowly but surely getting adjusted.  Through the ups and downs and just going day by day its moments like when he shits his diaper with a big grin on his face that I realize I wouldn't change a thing.

Happy Day!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday Inspiration for this Frizz Hair Filled Day

The title of this couldn't be more fitting as I have had little to no inspiration to write lately........don't judge.  Planting has drug on forever and with rain in the forecast every other day I feel the end isn't as close as I would hope.  Plus I am getting pretty close to calving out this child that's brewing inside of me, so as you can imagine that has added some extra things to get finished up.  But enough with the excuses......IT'S MONDAY!

Monday is really the bastard day of the week.  Nobody likes Monday.  It reminds you that you have 5 days until the weekend. To top it off it's grey and gloomy outside with drizzle that does nothing but make my already frizzy hair into a Brillo pad.  Legit what I look like today:

Thank you google search

In other news.....I recently attended Alltech's Rebelation Conference in Lexington Ky and I cannot begin to explain how amazing this conference is.  It seriously is the best conference/symposium I have ever been to.   I feel that says a lot because I have been to my fair share of conferences.  Alltech really knows what they are doing and leave you blown away with inspiration and that feeling of wanting to take over the world when you leave.

This year was my third year attending and it only gets better and better.  So what that means, you really need to plan to attend next year.  Bottom line.  During the conference, so many amazing speakers say so many amazing things that I just have to share them with you.  Hopefully it will turn this Monday into a Friday (yeah right) and you will be just as inspired or it will get your thinking cap going.  

 I can't agree with this more!  I feel a good leader is someone that isn't afraid to put their neck out on the line for the greater of the team instead of following all others and just going through the motions.

 This is huge.....all of you leaders/managers/bosses/CEO's.......ask this to yourself honestly


I leave you with the last question from Dr Lyons.  I think this is an excellent question we should all ask ourselves.  I hope that in some small way I am impacting the world.  Are you?

Happy dreary, cloudy, frizz hair filled Monday friends!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring has Sprung!

It is officially spring!  The weather is finally nice out which means outside work has officially begun.    This past weekend my boo and I spent a lot of time outside cleaning up the landscape, rolling the yard, and cleaning up the mess that was created from the kitchen remodel.  I'm pretty sure I even got my first suntan of the year.......or wind burn, but I'm gonna go with tan.  One of the best parts of the weekend was building a raised bed for my garden!

So to be completely honest, my husband has me on garden probation.  A couple 6 years ago I had a garden at the old house. It was huge and I had big plans for it.  I planted everything and anything.  Needless to say...........it got away from me and might have been overgrown with weeds.  It kind of all started with the appearance of a tomato worm.   I can handle a lot of things........tomato worms aren't one of them.  Anything that big with horns is not ok.

So because of that he agreed to give me another "chance" at a garden with this much smaller raised bed.  I'm so excited!  My mom does all the canning for me (don't judge), so this year I'm going to raise my own green beans and tomatoes for salsa and sauce. I will also learn how to can!  Mom, I promise!

What are some other garden plants that are a must have?

Happy Spring friends!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It all starts with a conversation.......

I have this horrible habit of getting the local newspaper out of the mailbox, scanning the front page for anything that looks interesting, and then throwing it away.  Rarely do i move past the front page.  I love the nostalgia of getting the paper in print and cant come to terms with switching to an online subscription.   A couple weeks ago I called my dad to ask him a quick question and at the end of our conversation he quickly threw in "hey be sure to look at the newspaper tonight in the page of opinion section."  My instant response is.......why?  He chuckles and says "oh it will just get your blood boiling."

I went home that evening, grabbed the newspaper, and quickly turned to the public forum section.  Inside was an article from a local lady with a clear passion and concern for food.  With the title of her article being "Avoid GMO's: Choose organic, chemical-free foods."  While I didn't allow myself to get worked up, I more so just felt bad that this lady had been clearly filled with false information.  Many of her claims and concerns were just not the truth.

While I sat there going over my options of rebuttal it quickly dawned on me that writing an article in the paper to clear up her claims wasn't really getting to the root of the issue.  I quickly turned to social media to seek out this lady.  I sometimes forget that not everyone in rural america understands agriculture and all that is entailed.  I sink into the thought of the "city people" are the only ones that don't get it.  But here is a lady that lives out in god's country of rural america.   I went to Facebook first and quickly found her and sent her a message.  It went like this.....

To my excitement she responded!  We set up a time to chat and I waited.....patiently......  While trying to decide my plan of attack I quickly realized I needed to go into this convo with no agenda to shove research at her.  For all she knew, her info was the correct info.  Their is no good ending to a research war.

As I spoke to the woman that following Saturday I opened the conversation by saying that I grew up in Ag, currently work in the seed industry, and would love to be a local resource for her to ask questions if she had any concerns.  While their was hesitation at first it didn't take long for her to open up and the questions just started flowing.  We discussed everything from gmos's, organic, spraying roundup on wheat, farm subsidies, and health issues.   She was shocked to hear that organic used pesticides and wasn't "chemical free".  She didn't realize that 80% of the farm budget went to food stamps and that every farmer didn't receive over $500,000 in subsidies.  (Wouldn't that be nice though!)  She was also surprised to learn that not all wheat in the US, actually very little, is sprayed with glyphosate pre harvest.

After over an hour of talking we found that we are both very interested in learning more about canning and she gave me tips on dealing with renters (as we now have a rental house) because she currently works in that area.  She even asked me to send her articles on the studies of gmo's because she said she clearly isn't able to find enough credible information.

I was extremely pleased with our conversation and we will be staying in touch and sharing information.  It quickly made me realize how far I have come in my agvocacy journey.  At the beginning I used to get so mad and quickly lash back with research and information instead of listening to the real concerns.  We are all human and sometimes all it takes is finding common interests that builds a little bit of trust and people will open up and actually listen to what you have to say.

Happy National Ag Day friends!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The #Underdog

If you have followed along here for any period of time, you have probably noticed my dislike for mainstream country radio.  All (or most I should say) artists sound the same on the radio these days.  The men of country music or "bro country" as it's called, sure don't do it like Willie, Waylon, or Johnny used to, that's for sure!  It is hard to find a song on the radio that tells a story outside of chicks on a tailgate in shorts drinking beer.  Sad.

That is why many years ago I started listening to Texas Country, (also referred to as red dirt music).  I was instantly hooked!  They all have such a unique voice and most of them write their own music.  That is definitely a rarity in mainstream country music anymore.  One of my favorite artists is the extremely talented Aaron Watson.  He is a man that definitely sticks to his roots and beliefs and you can hear it in his music.  If you follow him for even a short period of time, you can tell instantly that his faith and his family are most important to him.

A couple weeks ago Aaron's latest album The Underdog debuted.  To everyone, except his fans, surprise it quickly rose to the top of the country music charts.  Like the charts that Jason Aldean and that boy band Florida Georgia Line are a part of.  Their is no better way to describe it than how Rolling Stone put it:

 "For the second week in a row, America's top-selling country record isn't a big budget release by Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert or any of the usual suspects. It's Aaron Watson's The Underdog, an independent album released without the help of a traditional record label or a national radio campaign."

His album title and the outcome are so fitting.  The Underdog.  It got me thinking a lot about the Ag industry and how their is a crazy correlation between the two.  Many times I feel like Ag is the underdog even though our time and effort is spent trying to feed the millions and billions of people around this world.......irony?  We have so many groups and activists that want to shut us down or end our practices, but we keep trudging along with our heads high because we love what we do and understand the importance.

What do you feel like the underdog in but your passion just won't let you give up?  Aaron Watson is the perfect example of why you should never give up and keep following your goals and dreams.  You have got to check out this album and take a listen.  You won't be disappointed!   

Good Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Breaking up with the Nutritionist

My thyroid doctor thought it would be a good idea to have me sit down with the nutritionist in the office.  She said it was just to get some ideas about what is good for the thyroid and what is bad for the thyroid.  I hesitantly agreed and off to group nutrition class I went.

As we sat down in the group setting, with other people experiencing thyroid issues just as myself, this nutritionist began to tell her story.  In the middle of her "speech" I noticed her quote the book The Wheat Belly.  In my daze of boredom I quickly perked up to catcher telling the group that the wheat we eat has been genetically modified and that is why our bodies do not accept it like it used to......

Hold it right there!  As my face turned red and my heartbeat started going faster and faster I kindly raised my hand and asked her to please share her source for genetically modified wheat.   She looked at me dumbfounded.  I kindly explained to her that there is no genetically modified wheat being sold in the United States.  For some reason she had a hard time believing me until another farm woman spoke up and said "no she is right".  The nutritionist then went on to ask well why doesn't wheat look the same as it did 100 years ago........

Head to desk.  Myself and the other woman explained that with breeding we are able to control height and other features that work with the different environments and equipment being used today.  I asked her to please stop saying that it was genetically modified as she is putting a bad perception into the minds of these people she is talking to.....plus it is just not the truth.  Her answer: "well I will have to look into it."    Classic.

Next on our list was meat.  Of course she tells us that we should really chose Organic meat as it is a healthier choice to make.  That is when I about walked out and she lost all credibility with me.  How do you sit and tell a group of women that they should choose organic because it is healthier without sourcing your claim.  Also, is that fair to the other women?  If I were a mom on a budget and just couldn't afford organic, that may make me feel as though I am supplying an inferior product to my children.   That is not ok!  Show the choices and leave your fear mongering out of it!!!!!!!

 I left that day angry, confused, and disappointed.  It quickly made me realize how so many people become so misinformed.  These people came to this group meeting to gain information from someone that is looked at as a professional in her field.   This is the kind of information they are walking away with.  Sad.........

We walk into a meeting expecting to hear factual information from someone that many may see as an "expert".  Instead we get very biased and false information.  I would expect professionals to show the choices out there and let the consumer do the choosing instead of fearing them into a choice.  If I wouldn't have known better, there would have been no reason why I wouldn't have taken what she said as the truth and made those lifestyle changes.

It really made me realize the importance of not taking everything at face value.  While we may be seeing experts in a certain profession it is always important to keep asking questions and maybe get a second opinion.

And that my friends is why I broke up with the nutritionist

Good Day!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

From Chris Kyle to Temple Grandin and the controversies in between

Sometimes I like to sit back and just read my facebook and twitter feeds without getting involved, posting, or commenting.  I just sit there and read.  Read what people like, what people share, what people post.  It is very astounding to me at times.  I sometimes worry about the future of america after doing this.  I mean there is a lot of crazy out there.

This week has been quite the week of controversy in the social media outlets.  The hottest subjects scrolling down the media pipelines in my small world have been about Chris Kyle with the movie American Sniper coming out and Temple Grandin receiving the Distinguished Service to Agriculture award from the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Both of these are quite interesting to me in the controversy they are creating.  First of all lets start with Chris Kyle.  A couple hollywood celebs voiced their opinions of the movie American Sniper in a not so favorable fashion.  I don't even know how one begins to slam a veteran and then is able to sleep at night?  I truly feel that if you don't respect those fighting for your freedom oversees then the gates are open for you to kindly leave.  Unless you have actually spent some time in the battle fields you really have no ground to even start to disrespect anyone in the military.  That's just my opinion......

You can get a lil idea of the comments made here.  Some other celebs quickly took to social media to defend those serving......like one of my favorite country music stars mostly for his lack of a filter

 Next up in the ole interwebs controversy is Temple Grandin.  I've always been inspired by her work in the cattle industry and was fortunate enough to listen to her speak a couple of times.  I think that she is a very honest lady that brings tough issues to the forefront and isn't afraid to speak her mind. She is well known for her cattle handling systems and designing slaughter house facilities.  It was mentioned by some in the Ag industry that she is our own worst enemy and doesn't use scientific evidence to support some of her claims but uses emotion instead.

One of those claims being that in "dairy cattle we are breeding for production and compromising feet and legs and animals are getting too big.  Too many lame cows entering slaughter houses."  First I don't think this is just a dairy issue.  I think all species are bred for production....right?   I also don't think production breeding is 100% correlated to feet and leg problems.  I think that is also a management issue.  You need to evaluate the animal as a whole and while your emphasis may be on production, you need to correct feet and leg issues as well.  Obviously if you want a cow to milk it needs to make it to the parlor.  You can have high production cows that have great feet and legs.  The question is how do you get all producers to equally focus on feet and legs as well as production?

Not to stir up a big debate here but I think a lot of issues come from the show ring.  For dairy they want huge open ribbed cows.  That is not economical for a production facility.  Look at the club calf industry.....Who Made Who....hello?  That bull had the worst feet and legs but was used because 1 out of 25 calves was kickass.  I see so many steers come out of the club calf program post legged and hardly able to walk.  You don't see many people breeding for good females out of club calf bulls do you?  These animals will not survive in a production environment.

One of the important things I think we need to remember is that she is well respected by the large slaughter and packer facilities and the USDA. While some claim not all of her statements are scientific base but emotion based is this really hurting the industry?  With a society that is very emotionally based when it comes to food choices, isn't this something we should embrace instead of attack?  I mean if you can't connect with people on a scientific level but you have someone in the industry that can connect on an emotional level are we really that bad off?  Livestock don't lead their lives by what is scientifically correct.....they do what is comfortable.   I mean lets be real....a woman that can rock those awesome outfits can't be so bad in my book. :)

What are your thoughts on these matters?  I would love to hear!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Christmas Beauty Swap

I don't know about you but I feel the week of Christmas through the New Year is pretty much a marathon.  You split your time between your 10 family gatherings all while trying to not gain 15 pounds.  I mean you have to at least eat something at every gathering right? I tend to always end up at the desert table......fail.

In all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays I totally forgot to share my post of one of my favorite parties in the social media world.  Crystal Cattle has a beauty swap multiple times a year and they are pretty much the greatest thing ever.   You get to meet new ladies and try out new makeup.  What really could be better than that?  Nothing!

This time I was paired up with the lovely Jill Harvie.  She is an awesome cattle woman from Canada.

Jill sent me an item that was tried and true, one she just started using, and one she was going to try new with me also!  Such a great idea!

1.  Her tried and true: Maybelline Colorsensation Lip Liner Clear  For you women out there that wear bright lipsticks this is your saving grace!  It keeps your color form smearing all over your face.  You know what I'm talking about!

2. Her recently started: Loreal Linear Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner  I love liquid eye liners and have used the one from MAC for many years.  This one has great reviews and I can't wait to give it a try!

3. New to us both: Covergirl Blastflipstick Lipstick in Smooch  This color is amazing.  It has a dark and light to give and ombre effect.  If you put the lighter in the middle and darker on the sides it makes your lips look fuller.

Follow the links to get these great items for yourself.  You won't be disappointed!

I hope you all had a great holiday and your new year is starting off with a bang!!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Christmas in The Country Reveal

While I realize that it is a touch past Christmas, and when I say a touch I realize it's clearly well past, but nonetheless while it is a current blizzard outside with temps of -10 degrees their is no other time than the present to catch up on a lil blogging!

This Christmas I participated in the wonderful gift swap that is held by the lovely Lauri Link of countryLINKED and Jamie Rhoades of This Uncharted Rhoade. This is such a fun swap because it focuses on local handmade gifts.  I always enjoy going out and getting goodies for the person I am partnered up with because it reminds you about all the cool local stuff that is made so close to home! 

I was given the name of a fabulous farm gal from Canada.  I instantly went to town to get some gifts!  She is a cattlewoman that loves to snow shoe.  I guess when you are in Canada that is a pretty good hobby to have!  Here is a sneak peak of what I sent which you can find on her blog Buttons Thoughts 

Photo from Buttons Thoughts (I forgot to take one :/ )

I in turn received a gift from a lovely blogger from Missouri.  She blogs at Penn to Paper.  She did such a great job of gift selection.  We give a description of our likes and hobbies to give them an idea.  Well she nailed it.  

I received this adorable cow chalkboard with nails at the bottom to hang items from.  This fits my color decor in my kitchen perfectly!!  I also love this pillow which is a great reminder whenever you read it.  And last but not least the thirty one bag.  I can always use a lil organization in my life so this was perfect to do just that!

This is such a great way to meet new people and you all should plan on participating next year!  You will love it! In the meantime, stay warm out there!  Winter has finally hit here in Ohio.  I hope it is much warmer where you are at! 


Monday, January 5, 2015

Reflections from 2014

As the new year has started many people begin to look back on 2014 and decide if it was worthwhile or a bust.  As I think back to last year I remember distinctly some of my goals.  My first one was to lose weight.  Classic I know, but this has been an ongoing struggle.  Thankfully this past year the mystery had been solved.  After 2 years of constant working out and trying different diets to see if anything would kick start my weight loss I finally had my blood drawn and was diagnosed with borderline Hoshimoto Thyroiditis.  Cool.......not really.  However I guess the upside is that we have found the problem and now we can get on the right track to fix it.

Now with that right track comes some slightly annoying lifestyle changes.  I have to take a hormone replacement every morning an hour before I eat.  That's all great and dandy except I normally forget until my stomach is screaming at me to pound the leftover pizza in the fridge from the night before.  So I'm working on that.

It also means I need to limit my gluten.....damn you gluten.  So with hoshimoto thyroiditis pretty much what is happening is my thyroid antibodies see my thyroid as bad and attack it.  Fail antibodies.  Gluten increases your thyroid antibodies so it makes sense to limit or eliminate it from your diet so it doesn't continue to attack my thyroid.  They also said to limit dairy but that ain't happening so I will do my best with the gluten.  Give and take right?

You don't realize how much gluten you eat until you aren't supposed to anymore.  I have found some great alternatives but sometimes you just want that bacon cheeseburger on a pretzel bun from Wendy's.......ya know what I mean.

My second goal was to pay it forward more.  I feel I did a decent job at this.  I always try to remember that we don't know what is going on in someones life so if they are cranky with you at the checkout line maybe all they need is someone to smile at them and tell them to have a great day.  My favorite pay it forward of the year was when I was pumping gas and this nice older man came up to me and said "ma'am this is really embarrassing but i left my wallet at home and I just need a couple bucks to be able to get home.  Can you help me out?"  Well I rarely carry cash so I told him I would swipe my card and he could fill up as much as he would like.  He began to cry and said "no no no I'm not asking for anymore than I need.  You are too kind.  I didn't even think you would help".  My first thought was well what's that supposed to mean?  Do I not seem friendly?

I swiped my card, told the man to have a lovely day, and drove off.  It wasn't until later that day I was checking my bank acct to see if a check posted and noticed that the man in fact only took what he needed.  $3.67 worth of gas.  Sometimes you just have to have a lil faith in humanity and that man restored mine.

My last goal was to travel and challenge my mind and thinking.  That I pretty much nailed.  This past year I traveled to Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Nebraska, Missouri, Nevada, Colorado, and Illinois.  I attended many conferences and heard from inspiring speakers that left me yearning for more and wanting to take on the world.

This is my year to take on the world and help make some positive changes. Oh and I'm going to attempt to do better at this gluten free thing.  Against my every desire for yummy pasta and domino's pizza.   What are your goals for 2015?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Time to Party!

New year, new month, new party! That's right, its time for our new Country Fair Blog Party.  This month the theme is Holiday Treasure Hunt.  If you are like me the holidays are a crazy time.  It's almost like a marathon of gatherings.  So hunt through the archives and share with us what you have been up to!  Perhaps it is your favorite recipe from the holidays or even a project you made or received.  Whatever it is we want to see it!

Be sure to check out the other hosts and see what they are up to as well!

I hope that your new year is off to a fabulous start!!