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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sheep Sale Weekend Report

“When you do what you love, the seemingly impossible becomes simply challenging, the laborious becomes purposeful resistance, the difficult loses its edge and is trampled by your progress.”   ~Steve Maraboldi

To set the background, my family raises show lambs....this means that we raise lambs and sell them to kids in 4-H and FFA to exhibit at various fairs in their state.  The kids will buy the lambs in April, take care of them all summer, and then show them at the fair in the fall.  If they do well, they will sell the lambs in what's called a premium sale hopefully for a profit.  Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

The first time we decided to have our own lamb sale (rather than going to a sale where multiple breeders each sell a few lambs a've read before about that first sale) was probably about 8 years ago or so.  The sale was at our little show barn.  About 7 buyers came.  My dad just called off the various ear tag numbers and asked if anyone was interested.  We started the bidding low, sold about 10 lambs maybe, and I don't think anyone paid much.  But it was a start.  It gave us something to work on and grow and aim for.

This weekend, we had our best sale to date.  There were over 100 people there.  We sold 59 lambs in about an hour.  It was pretty cool to look around and know that all of these people were there because of the work that we (my parents in particular) have done to continue improving the quality of our lambs.  It was even cooler to know where we started and what we've been able to create.

Of course, the sale is first and foremost a revenue generator for us.  Obviously, we've got to pay the feed bills for all of those sheep we have hanging around having babies!  But beyond that, it really is a little bit like a reunion of sorts.  We are blessed with great neighbors and friends who show up to help us every year.  We never have to wonder if they will come, we never have to pay them, we never have to ask if they remember.  They're just there, ready to help.  And we've got several long-time customers...some who were there at our house that day 8 years ago buying sheep and did the same thing yesterday at the fairgrounds.

I suppose I could end this blog in a lot of ways.  Thoughts about setting goals and working hard.  Or wrap things up by talking about the sacrifices that my parents have made in order to keep things afloat during the worst drought in history.  Or look back on the winning lambs we've had over the last few years. 

But in the end, I think it's about the people.   Isn't it always?  It's about spending time as a family, be that feeding show lambs or sorting ewes or making a sale list the night before the big day.  It's about having a day to visit with people who have been part of my life since I was a little kid who I might just see in a barn a couple of times a year now.  It's about doing our part to be sure that the kids showing today make those same memories that we got.  That's what's important.  That's what matters.  We're blessed to be a part of something like this.

Oh, and by the way, stick around tomorrow to hear some of Little Cowboy's best quotes from the weekend.  You won't want to miss that.

Friday, April 11, 2014

You Know You Live In Texas When....

"Y'all may go to hell, I am going to Texas!"  ~Davy Crockett

I go to the doctor and he walks in wearing scrubs.  Maroon, of course.  I do live in Aggieland, after all. 

Guy has the obligatory Texas twang, which I certainly appreciate in a medical professional (or any man, really). 

Then I noticed it.  The boots.  Tan.  Square toed.  Worn with his scrubs. 

I asked him about it only to learn that he was the son of a vet and an animal science major who grew up helping his daddy doctor animals and that's how he got into medicine.

God bless this state.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

American Country Music Awards

At the risk of sounding like an 80 year old grandpa, country music ain't what it used to be.  There were several songs (and outfits) that made me sort of cringe watching the ACM awards on Sunday evening.  But there were a couple of winners in my book.

1.  Tim McGraw and Faith Hill sang "Meanwhile Back at Mama's".  I love them, I love this song, all good.

2. Blake Shelton and some girl from The Voice that I don't know sang  "My Eyes"  I do love me some Blake Shelton.  I think he's super good looking, hilarious, just enough of a bad boy, and I really do love almost all of his songs....with the exception of that stupid one about chewing tobacco and spitting.  What exactly was that crap about anyway?

 3. George Strait won Entertainer of the Year.  Do I really need to say anything here? He looked genuinely shocked. He kissed his wife.  He bragged on his fans.  Mentioned his family.  Thanked God.  And did it all whilst rocking a black hat.  Sigh.  That, kids, is why he's the King.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tips for the Traveling Girl

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”   ~Earnest Hemingway

This is probably not breaking news for those of you who know me or have been around this here blog, but I travel.  A lot.  Be it weekend trips to see The Boy from Texas or my crazy family, amazing trips to Europe, crazy events like steeplechases or running with yucky naked people or St. Patty's Day in Chicago, or work trips that take me to every small town in Texas....this girl knows a thing or two about traveling.

So today I thought I'd share a few tips for you other travelers out there.

1.  Make yo bed before you go.  My mother is probably currently doing a mix of head nodding and having a stroke that I am actually saying this after rebelling and refusing to do so for so many years of my life.  But I'm here to tell you, before I go on a trip of any length, I put clean sheets on my bed and make that baby up.  The odds are that I'm going to return exhausted, late at night, probably sunburnt, and there's not much that beats crawling into a fresh, clean bed!

2.  Have two of everything.  I'm talking toiletries here girls.  I have two of everything---hair brushes, toothbrushes, shampoos, razors, soap, name it.  I keep my travel stuff in a big ziplock baggie and it never leaves my suitcase.  This prevents me frantically trying to pack 5 minutes before I have to get out the door and leaving my deodorant sitting on the counter.  I know that it's already packed and I'm good to go.

3.  Always have some cash.  I'm actually really terrible about this one kids.  I'm completely reliant on my friend DC---debit card.  But, that being said, when you travel, you need to have some cash.  I keep a $20 in my truck at all times (no one go robbing me!).  I always try to have a $20 in my wallet before I leave town.  And I keep some change in my purse in case I have to pay to use the bathroom....I've told you before how this is just the dumbest thing ever in life about traveling in Europe.  You don't want to be caught next to some old castle with a full bladder and no Euro.

4.  Get off the beaten path.  Some of my favorite experiences have happened when I got off the tourist map and just explored.  You meet the locals.  You see amazing piazzas.  You eat yummy food at awesome side street restaurants.  You accidentally end up at a Feast Day celebration.  I'm all for doing the touristy things and taking your picture in front of the Coliseum, but give randomly wandering around a try for an afternoon.  My bet is that you'll love it.

5.  Enjoy the experience.  Traveling can be stressful---worrying about delayed flights or slow cabs or hotel reservations can make you crazy.  Sometimes there are differences in the place you are that make you crazy.  There is no Dr. Pepper in Wisconsin.  They have no idea what you mean by "green" when you're ordering enchiladas in California.   Europe doesn't believe in ice.  Have I mentioned you have to pay to use the potty??  But you know.....let it all go.  It really doesn't matter.  Look around, appreciate where you are, find the beauty.  As they say, it's the journey and all.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lazy Weekend Report

I don't know if it is because I've been going non-stop for the past....I don't even know how long...or if it was the rainy, cloudy weather we're having or what, but I was pretty lazy this weekend.  And it was awesome.

Working in my sweats.  I've started doing some contract work on the side for my old law firm in Albuquerque, so that took up a lot of my time, but it turns out that I kinda enjoy that work when I'm only doing a few hours a week and working in my sweats! 

*  Wedding Shower Invites.  As ya'll know, Blonde Oklahoma Girl is getting married!  This weekend I got her wedding shower invites all signed, sealed and delivered (at least to the mailbox).  Here's a sneak peak.

Grill Master.  I did my first grilling of the season last night--burgers (well I ate it on a tortilla because that's how we roll in New Mexico) and corn on the cob.  It was glorious.

Stealing a Tree.  While I was on my run/walk yesterday (I started out the run part WAY too fast and died a mile in, so it turned into a walk), I collected some cuttings from a tree that was growing in someone's yard but hanging out clear over the sidewalk.  Yes, it's someone else's tree.  But I did not trespass in order to get said cuttings, so the lawyer in me says it's okay.  I'm not sure what it is, but it was a big tree and it has pretty purple flowers that smell like lavender.  Anyway, I have the cuttings in vases in my kitchen window, so let's all cross our fingers that roots appear!

Stupid TV Shows.  I don't know why I watch the stupid tv show called Hart of Dixie.  It's stupid and predictable, but for some reason I watch it anyway.  Well, this dang week it ended up being all about how Zoey and Joel had to do long distance for 6 months (that then turned into a year) and they ended up breaking up because Joel chose his dream job over the dream girl.  This sends me into a tizzy and the poor Boy from Texas had to explain to me that that TV is not real, I am not Zoey,  he is not Joel (despite the fact that he's certainly never seen this show), and neither of us is moving to London.  Bless his heart.

*  A Little Paint.  I officially crossed "nails" off my to do list and am loving the Turquoise and Caicos color from Essie.

*  Cupcakes.  Yes.  Well I sort of blew the whole low sugar thing I've been trying to stick to this weekend when I whipped up two dozen strawberry cupcakes.  Whatev.

*  Lack of Blog Material.  As you might have guessed from this rambling nonsense, I'm running a bit short on blog material here lately, so if anyone wants to suggest some ideas, I'm all ears!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Prayers for Ft. Hood

Yesterday my mom called and said, "There has been a shooting at Ft. Hood."  I knew why she was calling.  Soldier Cousin is stationed at Ft. Hood.  Immediately, his little, dimpled, 20 year old baby face was in my head.

Fortunately, she went on to say that he was okay and that they were all on lockdown, but he got a call out to his mom and asked her to let the family know before we saw it on the news and panicked. 

Of course, my initial reaction was one of relief.  I was thankful to God that Soldier Cousin was okay.  That he was not one of the 4 people killed or 11 people injured in this rampage.

But as I watched the news coverage last night, I realized that not everyone got the call that my family got.  For 4 families, the call was the opposite.  Their worlds were turned upside down.  Their lives were changed forever. 

The truth is that life is fragile.  It can change in an instant.  We never know which of the phone calls we will be receiving.  The other end of the receiver could hold thankfulness or heartbreak.

So today, I ask that you join our family in thanksgiving for the phone call that we received, and please pray for peace and comfort who did not receive the same news on the other end of that line.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I Used To Believe

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Reliving Our First Date

Last weekend, The Boy from Texas and I got to relive part of our first date when we headed back to my hometown to go to the annual National Rifle Association Banquet.  The NRA banquet is basically a big event held each year to raise money for the 4-H shooting sports teams.  They have a bunch of raffles, a silent auction, and games.  Last year, as you read about before, this little event capped off our big day.  And although we didn't win any guns in 2013, we walked away with a relationship.  We called that a win.

This year when we headed back, we were hoping to add some guns to this relationship.  I wanted to win a pink pistol---I tried last year and didn't get it.  He wanted a shot gun.  The money we actually took with us was my bar review book refund (when you take the prep class, if you return the books, they give you a small refund...sort of like selling your books back in college).  Anyway, we decided that since we both had to go through the hell that was the bar exam, we deserved a little reward, so we cashed that refund and off we went.

A look around the room
Pre-dinner photograph
Me and Cousin Whitney (who was a champ at the casing toss game)

 And, well.....then this happened.

With our winnings.
The "Pink Lady" loot package that I won.

Yep, we both won guns.  What were the odds??  I have no idea....there were 500 people there for crying out loud!  Anyway, first off he won a Benelli Super Nova 12 gauge shotgun.  I had warned him previously that if he won something, I would scream.  And I did.  Embarrassing him and everyone else at our table.  When he got back to the table, I started doing a bit of strategic maneuvering.  "You know what, dear, it was your ticket, but my money, so I think we should share custody of this gun."  He responded with, "We won't have to.  You're going to win the pink pistol."  About 2 minutes later, they read off the winning ticket number, I jumped up from my seat, screamed "yes!," and pumped my first in the air.  I ended up with a Charter Arms "Pink Lady" .38 caliber revolver.

I'm here to tell y'all, the bar exam was hard.  It was hard on me, it was hard on The Boy from Texas.  These two guns do sort of make up for a lot of that. :)

So to sum it up.....we love the NRA banquet.  In the last 2 years, we've gotten a pretty darn good relationship and two guns out of it.  Pretty excited to see what happens next year!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekend Reading Materials

Most people don't blog on the weekends, which leaves me with two days of nothing new to read about other than the news on MSN (speaking of that, I have developed an unhealthy obsession with the Malaysia Air flight 370 news).  Anyway, in light of that, I decided to share a few weekend reads with you....just some of the posts or stories I've read this week that I found interesting.  Enjoy.

1.  This blog talks about a time when the author was asked to make a sacrifice to help others because that is what Jesus would have done.  I love the whole message, every word.  The fact that it involves shoes (which we all know I love) makes it even better.

2.  This blog where a girl talks about her need to have everything be neat and organized and how maybe she should just let life be messy.  Maybe we try so hard to keep our houses and offices clean and neat because we think that if they are not a mess, or life cannot be a mess.  And maybe we should just let go and enjoy the fact that messy can sometimes be good.  If you're Type-A like me, you probably need to read this one.

3.  This post that talks about how maybe when we claim to be "waiting on God" we really need to get a move on.  I think that generally I'm not too bad about this one (The Boy from Texas might disagree beings that we still live 9 hours apart!), but I know a lot of people in my life who really struggle with this and sort of end up stuck in a rut because of it.  I think sometimes we  use "waiting on God" as a bit of an excuse when we are scared to make a move.  Maybe, in truth, He is waiting on us!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Facebook Status Updates That Might Have Been (Part 2)

And now, for Part 2 of "Facebook Statuses That Might Have Been" (had I not given Facebook up for Lent and all).

1.  Today, I drove to Van Horn, Texas.  Directions:  Drive to the end of the earth.  Then go 100 more miles.

2.  Pretty sure I am going to win the $1 million prize.....8 games in and my bracket is still perfect (yes, I picked Harvard over Cincy and Dayton over Ohio State).

3.  Sour cream sauce---whatever the heck that is---does NOT qualify as Mexican food.

4.  Thank you to the nice man who picked me up off the ground after my heel got stuck in a crack in the sidewalk in front of a gas station and I managed to do an epic faceplant.  You are good people, sir.

5.  Whoever said "absence makes the heart grow fonder" clearly was not a long distance relationship and can suck it.

6.  Seven days after being planted in my flowerbeds, I am happy to report that all flowers remain alive and well!  It's a horticultural miracle!

7.  Dear toilet that overflowed and flooded my bathroom for the second time in a year....I've about had enough of you and your crap.  Literally.

8.  Dear stupid, snobby college that did not admit my sweet Baby Hepburn.....Big mistake.  Huge.  You just wait and see where this girl is headed!