Edumakashun

Bottom line, I know a lot of people who need it… Ok, so maybe what they need isn’t education, but a desire to be educated. I honestly don’t know where my need to learn/find the truth comes from (and believe me, there are things I don’t want to learn, like how to do my own taxes) but I’d venture to say part of it is from my upbringing and another is from experience. The upbringing would be responsible for my relationship with Jesus/God/The Holy Spirit and respect for others. The experience would be responsible for a deep-rooted understanding that no matter the situation, there are always two sides to a story.

In today’s world, people are lightning quick to judge and condemn things they have no knowledge of. They allow emotions and opinions to dictate how they act and react without giving time for the dust to settle. A lot of times, all it takes is a few minutes and a little research to see if what touched a nerve is actually true and factual or just someone else stirring the pot. Here’s how I feel about pot-stirrers (and please excuse the language)

Stirring the pot

It happens in every facet of every of every possible corner of life from politics, to public schools, to vaccinations, to private lives. Someone is always trying to put, let’s call them what they are, lies out about these things in order to push their agenda and bring more people to their side. They want support and they don’t care how they go about it. Ya know, I really don’t know what’s worse, the people who spread the garbage, or the ones who believe it without doing their own checking. The funny thing is that when these people are corrected or ‘caught’ in the act, very seldomly do they apologize or make the effort to stop the proverbial ball from rolling. In a day and age where teachers and parents are getting hundreds of thousands of likes for pictures to prove to their students and children that ‘news travels fast’ on social media, we should all know, once that post button is hit, a message has reached someone (and possibly several someones), even if it is immediately deleted. So please, do everyone a favor and before getting in a rush to hit the share button, at least bring up snopes to see if there is even a bit of truth involved.

One last thing….if you are in a position to have one of these things I listed below affect you, please do some research and ask the people who would know about it before getting so involved that you are partially responsible for making a decision that will affect others…

Common Core, GMO’s, Vaccinations, The 2nd Amendment, Abortion, Breeders….. I could go on, but we’ll start there 😉

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Ugh….Why is getting back to writing a blog like trying to exercise after the holidays? It’s hit and miss; some days you feel like a superhero, getting things done with lightning speed and extreme efficiency while other days you feel like an upside down turtle on the side of the highway, going nowhere and spinning in circles when someone passes you by. Today, I am a turtle…

turtle

I have SEVERAL blog ideas and even a draft started, but none of it sounds like a barrel (I can never spell that word, why is it so hard to remember if it’s two r’s or two l’s?) of fun. All I’ve got are serious blog notes and, between you and me, I don’t have the brain power today to be serious :-p Is it between you and I or between you and me? I was always told if you take out part of the sentence that includes the second person, you would use what makes sense…. He gave Eddie and I some lemonade. By taking out ‘Eddie and’, it would make more sense you use ‘me’. He gave me some lemonade. But you can’t take out ‘you and’ without it making no sense whatsoever. All I’ve got are serious blog notes and, between I (or me), I don’t have the brain power today to be serious. Also, I have an issue with ‘ ‘ and ” ” at the end of sentences… I can hardly bring myself to put the punctuation inside. And does the punctuation have to go inside with ‘ ‘ also, or just ” ?”  How confusing is that last sentence?? Ok, moving on, as silly as it may seem, english is soothing to me. I caught myself mindlessly playing a word game yesterday evening where they give you 6 letters and you have to spell as many words as you can with those six letters (it’s whirly word in case you’re interested, I love it). Most people would call that torture, I called it winding down :-p I’m such a nerd… But then again, if you know me well, you probably already knew that. Seriously, during Christmas break I took a grammar quiz just for the fun of it. And I loved every minute! I still have trouble with effect and affect, but I *think* I’m getting better. Most of the time I just try to find a word to replace it or just rewrite the entire sentence so I don’t get caught using it wrong (wrongly?).

Anyways, I’m certain you’re tired of this mumbo-jumbo I called a blog post, so I shall end it here…

Stepping in

At what point do you step in with someone else’s child? I think it’s easy when you’re a teacher or someone who is to be in charge of said child (babysitter, etc.) because the parent isn’t around and you can expect them to maintain a certain level of behavior. The gray area is when you are at a party/event/get-together and someone else’s child starts acting out. Now, I have good reason to bring this subject up, because I was recently witness to a situation that I wish I had acted on. No one was hurt but that doesn’t mean that child’s behavior won’t hurt someone in the future.

When several families are in one place to socialize and have a good time, it’s hard to keep track of children sometimes. Maybe I’m ‘that’ mom who likes to frequently check on her kids to make sure that not only are they behaving, but also not getting into any dangerous situations (when you live in the country, there are plenty of places to get in trouble :-p) but I’m fairly secure with that title. I’d much rather someone tease me about how I raise my children than have to make frequent hospital trips or worry that my kids said something ugly to someone else’s. And don’t get me wrong, I let my kids have some freedoms, but there are also consequences for certain behaviors and things I don’t allow. I am of the impression that more than likely, I probably won’t know if my child needs reprimanded unless I at least somewhat supervise.

Anyways, back to my question, when is it ok to intervene? At a get-together recently, my boys were running around and playing, having a good time, when my youngest comes up to tell me that a little boy is pointing a gun at and threatening to shoot him. Poor little guy thought it was real because that’s what the older kid told him. I didn’t do much other than just told my son not to play with or around the boy anymore. You see, in our house, we don’t allow ANY guns (sometimes not even water guns) to be pointed at anyone be they toy or otherwise. We feel it’s just safer that way and helps to develop a healthy respect for something so powerful. It’s the way I was raised and I believe it’s a good rule to follow. Back to the social event and a short time later, my oldest comes to tell my husband the same thing, that this kid is pointing a (toy) gun at people. I believe Mark’s advice was, “Tell him to knock that sh*t off.” I really don’t know exactly what my son went and told the kid, but all was quiet for the most part, at least until I looked out the door about 10 minutes later and saw the kid in question. What I witnessed made me sick to my stomach and like I said before, I wish I had done something. The little boy with the toy gun had it pointed at his chin and he closed his eyes and pulled the trigger….and THEN he made the little girl next to him hold still while he did the same thing to her!! It all happened so fast and they proceeded into the house that I think I was still in shock. What made it even worse is when I found out later that it was an air soft gun, not a toy gun. In my humble opinion, this was WRONG… I don’t care in the least to hear arguments about how they were just playing because my next question would be, “What is this teaching those kids?” How on earth can you even begin to think those kids will have any kind of respect for firearms with that being allowed to happen?

My husband and I are raising our boys in the way I was raised to repsect guns. We do NOT handle guns without adult supervision. We treat EVERY gun as if it were loaded. We do NOT EVER point a gun at something that we don’t want to shoot/kill (even if gun is unloaded) and this includes handling, the barrel is ALWAYS pointed in a safe direction. We ALWAYS keep our finger off the trigger until ready to fire. And we know and respect that they are tools not to be taken lightly or feared, but to be educated about. I have been so well trained with these rules that they are second nature. I cringe deep down in every part of me when I see a gun pointed at a person, no matter the reason (it’s unloaded, being cleaned, or they didn’t even realize it) and I hope to raise our boys the same way.

So what do you think is the best way to handle the situation I described? Do I address the kids? The parents? Both? Because in that situation I don’t think it would be good enough to just tell my kids to stay away. I’m certain it would be difficult to live with if I ever found out something happened and I hadn’t done my part to step in and stop it.

Lots of randomness

This is the face of a dirty dog…

Kodi

She’s not always this filthy, just when she’s found someone who will wrestle with her when there is even the slightest amount of moisture available. Luckily, she then likes to dive into the water bucket (regardless of temperature) and splash around until she’s mostly clean. So I guess it’s not as bad as it could be, since she ‘somewhat’ takes a bath when she’s done playing. Bad dog trainer you say? Nah, I just say good doggie mom 😉 I often tell my clients that your dog’s behavior should not rely on what’s acceptable to other people. Only you get to make that decision. You just have to be sure that it’s you making the decision about what’s allowed and not your canine companion calling the shots. 🙂

Part two of randomness:

Unfortunately this little tidbit doesnt have a picture to go with it as I didn’t have the forethought to snap one when it happened.

Mark came in the house one evening after being outside working on things for a bit and as he was fiddling around in our bedroom with something, I kept hearing a strange noise. It was really like a squeak or high pitched ‘something-or-other.’ I swear we looked and dug around for probably 15 minutes searching for that sound. After a bit, I realized that the noise was moving when Mark moved, very weird!! We looked around and checked him out to see if we could determine what on earth was going on. We didn’t find a thing. At this point I was about to go nuts. I knew something was out of place and we couldn’t for the life of us figure it out. That is until Mark got tired of looking and started to go back into the living room. I don’t know how I saw it, but as he turned around I glanced at his waist and there behind his holster, tucked in a belt loop was a little cricket! I about fell down I was laughing so hard! What blew my mind was that normally crickets will make all the noise in the world until you get close to them, which is what makes them so hard to find. That little guy apparently thought it was dark enough and he was safe enough that he just kept chirping away and with him being tucked in a little space like that it distorted the sound just enough we couldn’t figure it out. Happy ending though, he hung on in that belt loop until Mark stepped outside and ‘freed’ the little bugger.

I should really have a third random story or tidbit to round this whole thing out, but honestly, I haven’t been feeling this blog the entire time I’ve been writing it. Sometimes it flows and sometimes it’s like trying to load cattle into a trailer without an alley…(for those of you non-cattle people, that’s hard). Anyways, good day and here’s to the next blog not sucking 🙂

 

***Soapbox Alert***

If you follow my blog, you’ll remember my post a while back about the responsibilities that come with owning a pet, no matter what it may be. I shall hop back up on my soapbox yet again as I feel people have had enough time to recover from the last rant 🙂 (All warnings and disclaimers from previous post apply. If you don’t know what they are, go back and read, if you’re too lazy to do that, I basically said be nice or I’ll delete you and if you have a problem with what I say, address me, not someone else. 🙂 )

Alienation…It finds opportunity in every situation where people SHOULD be agreeing to work together for the greater good but are too blinded to see they are on the same side. A few examples…
The stay at home mom vs. working mom debate- Let’s be mature here and realize what we are teaching our children about behavior when we argue which is harder, better, or more important.
The gun debates- Open carry vs. conceal carry, modern sporting rifles vs. old school, target shooting vs. hunting, and trophy hunting vs. ‘provision’ hunting. We don’t all have to agree on what we prefer, that’s why the good Lord made us all different, but when we fight amongst ourselves, we allow ourselves to become divided and therefore, we become weaker as a whole.
And finally, buying a pet vs. rescuing a pet, which is the argument I choose to focus on today.

As with anything you come across, there are good and bad people involved in pets, so please don’t take what I post and assume that I think badly of any and all people who breed pets or any and all rescues. What I find in the honest to goodness, caring breeders and rescuers is an ability to work together. That being said, why is there such a volatile line drawn between other breeders and rescuers?

A little history on me, I’m a third generation dog person who has grown up with mostly purebred dogs. While I have an appreciation for the lineage and history that goes into a pedigree, something you may not know is that it’s not all superficial. Specific breeds have been (and still are being) developed over long periods of time to be what their owner needed. Border Collies to work livestock, Pointers to hunt, and Saint Bernards to aid lost travelers. Obviously these dogs all need different attributes, physically and mentally.

Now, back on track, why is there so much animosity between breeders and rescues? I see it from both sides. I’ve seen breeders (which, for the sake of this article, let’s define what I mean by breeders. When I use that word, I am referencing people who are interested in preserving a breed, as it has been developed, or continuing to develop something to work for them in areas they need it. I’m not referring to what some would call puppy-mills or backyard breeders) with their noses stuck up in the air, thinking their way is the ONLY way to do things. And I’ve seen things like this

image

from the rescue side.

My question to everyone would be: What good does either mindset do? Does being stuck up or rude save lives? Nothing, absolutely nothing good comes from shaming people into buying a purebred and nothing good comes from guilting someone into adopting.

A few things I want to address and then I shall end this, and know that just because I stopped here doesn’t mean I don’t have more thoughts on the issue.

1. Purebreds aren’t for everyone. There are people that don’t need something specific from their dog and since there are plenty to rescue from shelters, it’s best for those people to adopt.

2. Rescues aren’t for everyone. There are people who do need something specific from their dog and when you can track a dog and it’s attributes back several generations, the likelihood of that person getting what they need goes up exponentially.

3. Not all breeders are anti-rescue as the above picture would have some believe. I know plenty of breeders who dedicate large portions of their time to saving shelter animals (as a matter of fact, that’s where most breed specific rescues come from).

4. Not all rescues are anti-breeder because they accept any and all help, no matter where it comes from. They care about the individual animals more than just a platform.

So, in conclusion, can we all take a step back and evaluate our position? Is what we are doing truly beneficial? Or are we sacrificing the greater good for anger, attention, and personal preferences? Just think on it. If your first response is to argue, you might be part of the problem.

 

Annie the Nanny

Growing up, I wanted to be a vet. When I found out all the things that go into being a vet (almost always dealing with sick animals, long hours, and lots of student loans) I thought I wanted to go into some sort of animal research. And no, I don’t mean the kind where you put lipstick on a pig and see if it breaks out in hives… I mean the kind where you study animals and see the inner workings of everything they are. Little did I know that I’ve been in animal research all my life. Today my light bulb popped on with an experience with one of our guardian dogs, Annie.

It’s lambing season.

Annie the Nanny

Why on earth these things happen in the coldest, nastiest of times, I won’t understand until I get to heaven, I’m sure! I keep telling these little cuties it would have been much nicer if their mom had decided to ‘bake’ them a little longer, or at least until the weather warmed up. But then I think it’s probably like most kids, and they are eager to come out. I’m guessing playing in the snow may not be as exciting as they thought it would. This year, the little white fluff balls are curious. I can’t remember a time that I’ve pulled more of them out of a jam than this year. And Annie the Nanny (as I deemed her this morning) is always quick to let me know when trouble arises.

Annie the Nanny4

This morning, as I was trying to let dogs out, I heard quite the ruckus going on in the sheep pen. I knew something was up, because barking isn’t an issue with the guardians unless something is wrong. When I glanced up on the hill, I saw a stuck baby. I immediately assumed the worst, but was in a rush to get there, just in case. When I got closer, I noticed the baby was still moving, so I ‘extracted’ it from it’s misfortune and that’s when I noticed the SECOND stuck baby. Poor Annie was laying beside the second one, because where the first one was, there was no way she would have been able to get close. I quickly came to the rescue of baby # 2, but decided this one needed more attention because it had gotten it’s leg stuck in such a way it was unable to move it. I tucked it in my jacket, wanting to warm it up (actual temp here last night was -3, not counting wind chill, brrr!!). I carried it around a bit, even out of the pen to feed calves, and all under the watchful eye of Miss Annie. After about 20 minutes, the lamb started to stir in my jacket, so I got it out and set it down in the pen. Annie came running and I told her, “Watch this baby and keep it warm for me” because I didn’t know if the momma would come back right away (I’d fed the ewes on the other side of the pen and some were still eating). She apparently took what I said to heart, because as I was walking away I heard a very aggressive growl, snarl, and even a couple snaps. I swung around to see what exactly was going on, only to see Annie and a ewe fighting. Apparently the mother had come back and Annie was having none of it. I scolded Annie, telling her, “If the mom came back, you have to let her have her baby.” She was none too happy about that, and didn’t give in right away. She started to give another dirty look and be aggressive towards the mother, but I scolded her again. That’s all it took, as she then huffed and walked away (although you could still tell she was perturbed). She walked along the fence and was about to be hit by another ewe, who had apparently seen the whole encounter, when she turned her head away and gave the body language of, “My problem isn’t with you. You didn’t abandon your baby” to which the other ewe responded by backing off and nosing her baby.

Annie the Nanny2

I’m sure some of you are wondering if I’m just a good story teller….but that wouldn’t be giving the credit where credit is due, to sweet, protective, Annie the Nanny. And if you’ve ever had a guardian dog, you won’t have to question me 🙂 I just know I’m blessed to be able to witness every bit of it.

 

 

I like wine…

I like wine, yes I do! I like wine, how ’bout you?

I was never a cheerleader, but my mom was!

Can you guess which one she is??

Can you guess which one she is??

Anyways, that was a little off topic, wasn’t it? No, I have not been drinking yet…yet! Are you keeping up? Cause I’m not sure I am. So, back to what I was saying. I really like wine, but I’ve found out something about myself that apparently applies to my mother as well. We like and can drink white wines, but red wines make us sick. Anyone else have this issue? I’m just curious, because I didn’t think that there was much of a difference. I personally, can also drink dark wines that aren’t made of grapes. So maybe it’s the red (purple?) grapes…

I have also come to the conclusion this is the dumbest blog yet, and I’m not certain I’m brave enough to post it. Ok, yes I am, but I’m going to attach a few more pictures of some neat wine things so you don’t feel like you’ve completely wasted the last 5 minutes (or 10 depending on your reading speed).

 

wine7

wine2 wine3 wine4 wine5 wine6

 

 

I’m baaaack!

As we begin this new year, I’d like to revisit my social awkwardness (does anyone else have a hard time spelling awkward?). Yes, I know we’ve gone over this, but I have more to reveal. Let’s pretend like you’re surprised….

Ya wanna know the most dreaded question people can ask me when I run into them (and haven’t seen them for an extended period of time)? “So, what have you been up to?” I’m sorry, maybe it’s my inability to actually interact with other people without breaking out into a sweat but that single question sends my brain into overdrive. When someone asks me what I’ve been up to, I start wondering, “What HAVE I been up to?” Actually quite a bit I’m sure, but none of it comes to mind. Let’s see, this morning I washed dishes, vacuumed, did laundry, and took care of chores. But that’s probably not what they were asking…. start over.

I have been working really hard, I’m tired and sore, and busy all the time. But what have I been doing?? You see, when people ask this question, it’s kind of like when they ask, “How are you?” No one expects you to say anything more than, “Good, and you?” and then they say, “Good!” and neither of you would have even had to stop for such a short exchange. When someone asks me, “What have you been up to?” I guarantee you they aren’t prepared for what floods my mind. I clean house (which entails washing dishes, doing laundry, dusting, vacuuming, putting away everything that gets left out, and trying to find homes for things that don’t have one), do chores (feed dogs, feed cats, feed chickens, feed calves, feed sheep and goats, clean up after the dogs, vacuum the kennel, make sure everyone has water, etc.), I cook (no gourmet chef, but my family is alive), I write a blog (didn’t know that one, did ya?), I manage my family’s ranch (feeding hay, working livestock, working with XP Ranch clients from time to time, helping cut firewood, grazing sheep, chopping thistles, and the list goes on), I train dogs and teach clients how to train their dogs, I volunteer at the school (Monday is 2nd grade and Wednesday is Pre-k), I substitute (when the school calls), and I’m a mom and a wife and that those titles entail. But like I said before, I’m fairly certain no one would wait for me to say all that before they started to back away with a skittish look while mumbling that they left candles burning or something else equally dangerous that requires immediate attention.

So how do I answer said question? Well, I’ve come up with a quick answer that kind of sums it up, “I feel like I’m busy all of the time, but never get anything done!” I get some dumb looks, like they don’t understand how on earth that’s possible, but a majority of the time people tell me they know exactly what I mean. So maybe I’m not the only one who doesn’t always know what they’ve been doing even though they feel like they are constantly busy. 🙂