Saturday, June 21, 2014

It's Time to Grow Up and Become Parents The Future of Our Children Depends On It

It's time to call it like it is and stop living in a dream world.

It's time to grow up and understand once we decide to have children or even if we didn't decide once we have them we are parents and that means we act like it.

Did you see the article in the Advantage this week?

It's entitled,  "Many babies are missing out on bonding, crucial to success."

It made me crazy when I read that.

Are we really so simple minded or is it we're so selfish that we have to have a study and then have it printed in the paper to tell us that?

Can we really believe we can take a six week old infant, wake them up at five o'clock in the morning, take them out of their home and leave them with people we may not have even known six weeks ago, not come back to get them until nine or twelve hours later then maybe leave them to go to the store or movies or friends night out and think that won't effect them?

Can we really believe that?

Or is it we just want to believe it?

Let's slow down and look at how many hours a day we spend with our children.

I think we would be surprised how few of them there are.

Don't leave them at the sitters or Grandma's so you can go to the store, families went on the Oregon Trail with little ones, and we say we can't take ours to the store.

Do you ever think about what it really sounds like when a grown man or woman says, "I can't take my child to the store or I can't do this or that with my child?

Maybe we can't because we never do.

Did you ever babysit?

If you did you no doubt, if you are honest, know how you sometimes felt like if you can just get through until the parents come back. 

That's what happens when we don't have our children very much.

We develop the babysitter mindset.

It becomes so easy to start thinking, I just have to get through and they will be going back to daycare.

Satan has so tricked us we fall into this and don't even realize it's happening.

He is stealing a whole generation of children out from under our noses and we're letting him.

The study I referred to above says, "The bonds that children develop with their parents early on can be fundamental to their success in life, but the latest research finds many babies and toddlers are missing out and that means problems."

They went on to say forty percent of our infants and toddlers fall into this category and it will effect the way they mature.  In a nutshell they will be troubled.

Do you see that number that is almost fifty percent of our future generation is in danger of being troubled due to our lack of parenting.

Parents are fundamental in the raising of children and it can't be delegated no matter how bad we want to think it can.

Motherhood and raising children used to be held in high regard it was honored because we knew in her loving , firm guiding arms and under her watchful eye the next generation was being formed.
We knew her job was needed to insure the future.

Mom and Dads your children need you, you had your time, it's not about you anymore.

We've never lived in a time when mom and dad had more me time and yet that's all we ever hear.

When someone starts telling you, you need me time you start becoming unhappy and thinking you need me time.

We need to be telling each other, you had some me time before you had kids, you will have me time again in a few years but for now its time for parenting, it's time to sacrifice your wants so your children can become all they can.

It's time to grow up and parent them when they are little so we don't have to keep parenting them in the same kind of way when they are adults.

It's the weekend and a great time to start.

Keep the kids close this weekend.

Work with them, play with them, train them to become men and women.

Take them with you so they can learn how to be a grown up.
You may have to work but plan to keep them with as much as you can all the other times.

You won't ever be sorry.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Let's Talk Stockyards

Let's talk stockyards.

 When Mark brought the mail in the other day I looked at the Advantage and noticed an article about the stockyards in a nearby county closing.

 They had closed once before but a group of farmers started it back up but now the number of cattle coming in to the yards has dropped again making it impossible to remain open.

 When I read this I thought of the Bourbon Stockyards, I recalled making trips there as a child with my father and grandfather.

 Do you remember all of those gates, all the noise and all those rats?

 I'm thinking back to when we saw so many pickup trucks with racks and not as many cattle trailers.

 It wasn't uncommon to see several pickups loaded with livestock heading to the stockyards at any given time.

 I also thought about what happened before you left for the stockyards.

 The sorting and loading.

 The cattle scared me and the hogs annoyed me

 If you and your husband have ever loaded hogs together and your marriage survived then you can make it though anything.

 The same is pretty much true for cattle.

 Not just for trips to the stockyards but to the locker plant as well.

 Once we had a steer to load for the locker plant and we had him in the back of the barn on grain. The day came to load him and Mark had the trailer backed up to the door and went back to let him out.

He looked at me and said, "Now don't let him through yet, he's been penned up and he is gonna want through but don't let him go."

 I always hate it when he says stuff like that.

 It's one of those no way to win things.

 If I hold my ground against the big oncoming steer and it runs over me he will say, "What's wrong with you, why didn't you get out of the way?"
 If I step aside to let it pass he will say, "What's wrong with you? Why didn't you stop it? It won't hurt you!"

 Finally after lots of stress the truck would be loaded and the trip to the stockyards or locker plant would begin would begin.

 I can still see my Grandpa Marshall, my dad and my uncles loading a big black angus bull. I was so afraid for them. They didn't seem scared at all but I was.
 I can remember how he tossed his head and looked through the racks at me.

 Mark's Grandpa, Herman raised boars and one of the last York boars he ever sent to Louisville weighed nine hundred and ninety-nine pounds.

 That was big but then back then we raised a different type of hog.

 Once there you looked at everyone else and what they brought. You notice how your animals look in comparison.

 You fill out the papers and sign your name and then we always left for home but first we stopped at Kentucky Fried Chicken in Hamburg.

 Then the waiting begins, you look for the check in the mail

 You talk about how you will be satisfied with whatever you get then the check comes and often you aren't satisfied but then again you may be very pleased.

It's really just another way farming has changed and we've had to change with it.

 Still though you have to admit it would be sort of nice to be crossing the Ohio River bridge look over and see an older man in his overalls, with his cap on, racks on the back of his pickup taking a load of good old fashioned fat hogs to the stockyards.

 I wonder if he would stop at the KFC on the way home?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Strawberry Season

It's strawberry time again.

While I love strawberries I admit I hate strawberry patches.

I don't like picking berries.

I don't like weeding berries.

I don't like strawing berries.

I don't like spraying berries after a frost.

I don't like stemming berries or slicing berries or putting them in bags.

I sort of like making jam but other than eating them or giving them away that's about all I like about berry season.

Mark has an obsession with strawberry patches.

He always wants them and he always wants them bigger than they currently are.

He always wants me to want them bigger than they currently are and he always wants me to help make them bigger.

He wants me to make shortcake by making crust, I want to make shortcake by baking a cake.

I think you are beginning to see the problem aren't you?

We're not compatible when it comes to Strawberries.

This is a point of  contention in our marriage every spring.

Thankfully it only lasts but a short time.

Soon the berries will be picked and in the freezer or jammed in jars.

The new plants will be set, the weeds will be gone and the berries and the contention will both sleep until next spring.

Who knows, by then maybe I will have decided to like weeding and picking and strawing and hosing frost off berries.

But then again, maybe not.

Maybe there are things you just have to accept about berry patches and marriage.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Making of a Farmhouse

Did you ever stop and wonder why a farmhouse is called a farmhouse?

It has to mean more than just a house on a farm, I think it means farm in a house.

If you currently farm or have farmed in the past I think you'll agree.

I mean what other kind of house save a farm house has had several baby calves come in to get warm by the wood stove a time or two.

Baby pigs in a box with a heat lamp, you know the ones that decide to be born on the coldest night of the year.

What about those new baby chicks you picked up at the post office if you went big time and ordered them from McMurry or even if you just picked a few up at the local Tractor Supply or hardware store.
Did you put them in  a washtub or large box with a heat lamp and sugar water right there in the kitchen or living room?
Did you listen to them peep all night and everyone gather around to look at them in the morning?

Are there various animal medicines in your refrigerator right now?

Do you have syringes and dispensers, razor blades and cat gut somewhere stored away?

How about this one, an incubator for starting eggs or heat pads and grow lights to start plants?

I've had both of those in my house.

In January we could never use our back door because it would have a table pushed up against it and be covered with heat pads and trays of tomato seeds while heat lamps descended from the ceiling held in place with bailer twine.

There's that trail of "stuff " you find on the kitchen floor because he didn't have time to take his boots off when he came back in to get that drill bit he left on the kitchen counter.

There's a farm calendar on the wall with important dates scribbled in along with planting signs.

Stray parts and tools, nuts, screws, washers, nails, gaskets, gloves, caps and workboots

Today farmhouses are a lot nicer than those of yesteryear and granted a lot less farming takes place inside the house than it use to but there is still that one thing that happens at the close of everyday.

The farmer still comes in for the night. 
He still has that place where he hangs his cap and takes off his boots.

He has his chair and the little table near by for his drink, his popcorn, remote control, farm magazines, and the paper.

There are the phone calls about crops and livestock, barns and bills.

The discussion of all he did today and what he wishes they had got done and the plans for the morrow.

It's when all of this is said and done that you know why a house on a farm in called a farm house.

It's more than a house on a farm, it's the farm and the farmer inside the house that makes

an ordinary house into a farmhouse..

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mushroom Time the Time When You Find Out Who Your Friends Are

Well, it's mushroom time in our area.

I feel like I should capitalize the word mushroom in order to give it the respect it deserves.

Mushrooms here are a huge deal.

It's the time when you find out who your real friends are.

If you know where they are you never tell anyone.

People sneak into other peoples woods under the cover of darkness to get them.

When you find some you often sneak them home as if they were some type of illegal drug and don't tell a soul you have them until after you have already fried them up and had supper.

To tell to soon would put you in a position of having to share and that can never be.

The local jeweler even has a sign up that they will trade jewelry for mushrooms.  Now that is serious.

I was raised to soak mushrooms over night in salt water to rid them of any little critters that might be hiding in them.

Mark believes a man should eat them as soon as he gets back from the woods and any extra protein in them is just that, extra.

Since I am the cook I usually win out.

We like ours fried with seasoned flour, fried crisp and then we make sandwiches.

I sometimes make mushroom gravy with the drippings just in an attempt to extend the flavor.

Mushrooms are one of those things everyone stands around the skillet to watch you fry.

They're one of those things that can almost make you forget you are the mother and that by nature you are to give up food for your children.  A good crisp platter of mushrooms can make you want  to growl across the counter at your very own offspring.

We love mushrooms and I know lots of people who do.

I think part of it is just knowing they are hard to come by and they are only here for a short time.

There aren't many things like that anymore.

Sort of like Miranda Lamberts song "Automatic"  we pretty much have whatever we want whenever we want it now days.

I remember my dad saying getting fruit at Christmas was a huge deal.

When I was a kid getting a soft drink daily would have been hard to imagine.

Mushrooms are one of the only things that we still have to wait for.

It doesn't matter how much money you have you can only get a true blue natural woods grown mushroom one time a year.

I guess it sort of keeps us humble, keeps us knowing we really can't do it all or have it all.

It's a reminder that some things you just have to wait for.

Who knew that a simple fungus growing in the woods could be a culinary delight and a life lesson all at once.

Here's wishing you an abundant Mushroom hunting season!!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Sometimes We Just Need To Be Still

Sometimes we just need to be still.

Why do we sometimes think we have to say what we think and tell what we feel?

Why do we think we need to tell what others have done or what others have not done?

Why do we think we need to tell  everyone?

I think the reason is we think to highly of ourselves.

If I really love you like I'm supposed to I will seek to protect you as much as I seek to protect myself.

I wouldn't get with my friends or on facebook and tell all about how I had done others wrong or how I had offended them.

So why do we do it to others?

Do we really think others don't hear us or look at what we said and think something negative about us?

I heard a story about  a person once who was offended by someone.

She made it a point to tell everyone she could about how this person had offended her and her family.

Once when she was telling about it a lady asked her why she thought she needed to tell  her that, she  asked her why she felt she had to tell others.

The lady just looked at her a little uncomfortable and said, well, I think people have a right to know.

To which the other lady replied I know about a lot of peoples sins or faults I even know some of yours and people know mine as well but I don't tell them.

She said she didn't think it was the place to talk about it so she asked her why it was an okay place to talk about the other persons sin but not an okay place to talk about hers.

The offended lady became so angry she started to shake all over and got up and left the table.

The story goes on but the point is this lady was blinded.

She was so busy telling how someone else had done or not done what she thought they should that she couldn't even see what all she had done.

She couldn't see that by telling others she was going directly against what God says to do in his word yet she thought she was being the righteous one.

I know it is a constant theme with me I know you probably get weary with me saying it but we have got to always be checking ourselves.

How many times have you had someone come and tell you something about another person, the person they told you about never says anything.

Often that's a clue to you to who the real problem is.

We don't have to defend ourselves, time is a friend to truth and it always comes out.

So it's a great thing to just be still sometimes.

It will all come out in the wash and we  look down in the rinse water we might find we ourselves were dirtier than we thought we were.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What Made Me Who I Am

I was in a conversation recently about what makes you who you are.

I guess we all wonder that at times.

I thought about myself and what made me like I am.

I know we live in a time when everyone wants to blame their upbringing for the way they are.

It is true none of us get raised without some type of emotional scars.

Our parents, no matter how much they loved us didn't do it all right, there were times they were busy and insensitive.

Times they were short with us and we may have been spanked when we didn't deserve it.

We vow to do better and in many ways we do but still we fail.

Our children will have hurts and insecurities they will be able to  trace back to us.

Thankfully that's not the end of the story though.

Thankfully most of us had parents that did a lot of things right too.

We were fed and we were clothed.

We had a bed to sleep in at night.

We were sent to school and educated.

I was thinking about my childhood. 

My dad worked hours and hours, he worked away all day at a public job and every night at my Grandpa's farm and his own farm.

We were Mom's career.  She was a homemaker.

We didn't have a lot but I never felt poor, it was a shock to me when I learned others thought we were.

I remember having a friend home with me one day and she said, "You're poor aren't you?"

I felt uncomfortable and confused, I told her I didn't know.

Isn't that wonderful?

I didn't know.

Why didn't I know?

I didn't know because of the way I was being raised.

I was never made to feel poor and I never went with out.

Our lunches and school books were always paid for in cash by my parents.

If something was going on at school and a new outfit was needed, we had one.

If we wanted to play and instrument, one was rented.

I don't know how they did it, I know it was all they could do, but they did it.

I'm so proud of my parents, I'm so thankful for who they taught me to be.

Years went on and things got easier for mom and dad, then I married and I was poor again.

Mark and I didn't have much I once again found myself surprised and uncomfortable when I realized others saw us as poor.

I didn't feel poor.

We were paying for our place, buying our groceries and paying our bills all though it often took us a while to get them paid.

I never felt anything but blessed.

Do you remember in the Bible when the Apostle Paul said, I have learned to be content?

He said I have been in want and I have had plenty.

I feel like that is my story.

I think that is part of what made me who I am.

I have been what people considered poor but we kept at it and worked together everyday until finally we had.

I'm not saying we have lots but we have what we need.

I'm so thankful for all of it and the attitude of contentment I saw lived out before me.

I'm thankful for all the people and the experiences that have made me who I am and I'm glad God has been gracious to me and allowed me to open my eyes and realize all of it.