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The Niners Toothbrush

February 4, 2013

About six months ago a guy I had been seeing told me he wanted to talk about some things with me. Now, I’m a worrier. Especially if I think I may have hurt someone I care about. So until the time we talked I worried and to top it off was sicker than a dog. Needless to say I was not a happy camper.

After this dreaded talk we decided to each go our own ways. But after all that I still remember my initial concern was a toothbrush at his place that I wanted back. I held his San Francisco 49ers toothbrush hostage til I got my boring old one back. When I was younger I never would have guessed grown up “breakups” would come down to toothbrush swaps.

I was upset for a while after and I still have a few friends that would rather kill said guy than speak to him but since then my life has been filled with wonderful times, friends and learning experiences.  I don’t think back on what we had with regret, in fact I rarely think of it at all.

This weekend the toothbrush incident popped into my head as the 49ers got their butts beat in the Super Bowl.  I smiled thinking of how caught up in the moment we, humans,  can get and how funny life is sometimes.  All in all I got my toothbrush and my heart back.  My toothbrush has since been retired as Aunt Diane and Uncle Dick (my dentists and wonderful relatives) would be happy to hear.  My heart on the other hand is stronger than ever and as always getting me into more trouble than this girl can usually handle.

 

Until next time…

“Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.” -John Wayne

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I’m Back…

March 18, 2012

Go ahead and read that in your best Independence Day-Randy Quaid voice.  I know you did it…I did it too.

Sorry it had to be done.  Moving on…

A lot has changed in the months since I last posted.  I have a new job for instance and it involves food and animals.  Mostly food animals and in that way is right up my alley.  I run a small meat locker in rural Colorado!  Get this:  I get a discount on steak.  Nothing warms my ice cold heart more than great food on sale.

I had two roommates in my little ranch house for a while.  S has her own place now in town and is working full time at Cabela’s doing graphic design.  My ex-fiance has moved back home and is well on his way to being the auctioneer he has always wanted to be.  I cannot be happier for either of them.  They are both well on their way achieving all their goals!

I have a horse that is my very own…bought and paid for by yours truly.  She’s a bit of a project but as the days gets longer and longer the more time I have to spend with her.

I’ve put together a 101 in 1001 list which I’ll post soon!

I’m happy to be back and cannot wait to share some house decorating projects, meat facts, and life in general.

The little black dog is naughty as ever and making me crazy.

Much Love!

MDC

The Face of Dedication

June 20, 2011

Fathers day was yesterday and as any dutiful daughter does I called my Dad to wish him a very happy Fathers’ Day…or is it Father’s Day?  Since I only have one I think that makes it Father’s Day for me….I don’t know!  Dang apostrophes!

“This is what the ants do with their antennas when they’re warning the other ants and they say “SEND THE ALARM”!”

Sorry…focusing. Moving on…my dad and I aren’t very sentimental…I didn’t say “Dad, I appreciate you,” although I do.  Or “I am so happy you taught me to be caring and upstanding,” although he did.  Instead we talked about how I fixed my stove when the pilot light went out, and the broken windows in my house from the hail storm, or the possibility my new little house might flood if the rain keeps up.

“What’s new with you I ask him?”  “Oh you know, same old, same old. When are you getting your new floor put in?” he asks.

Always about me…always.  It was about me when he spent 4 hours of his Saturdays taking me to horseback riding lessons. And all those times he let us “help” in the garden, even when we pulled plants, not weeds, and stepped in all the wrong places.  And all the times he was there in the bleachers to watch me compete or sing, that wasn’t for his own enjoyment.  Or when my sister and I went to Art Start at the Detroit Institute of Arts as kids…okay well that was a little about him…but mostly about us being well rounded.

There is so much I could say about my dad and so much I am sure I will say someday…I mean I am a blogger now I guess.  But the one thing that sticks out the most is his selflessness.  He could have pursued his art but he chose instead to provide for his family in a way that has allowed me to succeed as a person, student, and career-woman.

Now there are things I know I got from my dad, for example, his wrinkly forehead when I worry, his hair color…although hopefully minus all the grey, my bowed legs…see photographic evidence below.

But what I hope I really have gotten from him is his selflessness.  His sense of passion for art, music, and the beautiful wilderness God created.  His love for history and knowledge.  A devotion to his family and his children.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!  I love you and miss you!

Terrific/Terrible Tuesday

June 14, 2011

So since tonight is #agchat night I am pumped to post but time constrained so here is a list….one because I am a perfectionist and lists help me taste perfection more often than not and two because they are quick!

Terrific:

1. www.agchat.org : Awesome resource for consumers and farmers/ranchers alike!  Especially check out the archives from our wonderful Mom panel.

2. My garden is 90% planted and the soak hose is set up…and the boss’s kids are more excited to do it than me…which can only mean less weeding for me…hoooray.

3. Cattle grazing make my day!

Terrible:

1. My living room still isn’t totally painted…I am going to do it as soon as I finish this post…I promise…ugh.  Pictures when I’m done otherwise its too embarrassing.

2. The clean laundry pile is WAY bigger than the dirty one…and for this there is no excuse.  Where is mom to do laundry for me when I need her?

3.Ok so this one is terribly awesome….I’m optimistic today…you’ll just have to deal with it.  Oakley, aka the Queen of Naughtiness, aka my dog.  Seems to  be getting accustomed to ranch life where people come and go.  The barking has decreased immensely which only leads to me being a nicer and more sane person!

Until next time…I’ll be painting.

Keep livin’ the good life!

~MDC

The Reality of Pasture

June 13, 2011

As I type this I am surrounded by over 8,000 acres of beautiful, and today very stormy pasture.  For those of you who have trouble envisioning the true size of an acre it is most often compared to a football without its end zones.  Those 8,000 and some odd acres only include those that belong to the ranch where I work; if I included all pastures I could easily be surrounded by over 50,000 acres of range. In this part of Nebraska over 80% of the land is used as pasture for grazing livestock, most often cattle.

Land Use Map of NE

Now, there is a school of thought out there that is based on the idea of eliminating animal agriculture and using the land to grow food.  With this in mind I present you with this situation.

You are a farmer in Mid-Western Nebraska you have always raised cows on your land but now corn is projected by some to reach $9.00 a bushel.  With today’s regionally adapted corn varieties yields have often exceeded 160 bushels per acre in the US.  Let’s do some quick math.

160 bushels/acre x $9.00 a bushel= $1440 acre

You have over 5,000 acres so: 5,000 x $1440= $7,200,000

Yes, that’s right seven MILLION two HUNDRED THOUSAND dollars.

What would you do?

Now remember you’ll need to buy seed, gas for the tractor, some fertilizer, and maybe some herbicide and a few various other things so let’s say you come out with…oh about…$3,000,000.

Would you plant corn?

If it was that easy I would too, but there isn’t a single farmer around here tearing up his pasture to put in corn.  Why is that?

Most of the land around here is like in this picture taken at the ranch: steep and rugged or sandy and dry.  Now we raise corn and hay here too, don’t get me wrong, but those fields are as flat as can be and easily irrigated.

The Dry Nebraska SandhillsIf animal agriculture were to be eliminated, as some would like, we might grow some more fruits or vegetables, but at what cost? Cattle, sheep, horses, and goats are uniquely qualified to inhabit this sparse land.  They are the most efficient converters of this wild prairie to human food.

The reality of pasture is this:  it is that way because it can’t be farmed, developed or irrigated in a way that is more economical or sustainable than using it for grazing.

Next time you drive past some pasture take a look…they are beautiful!

Keep Livin’ the Good Life!

~MDC

Practice Makes Progress

June 7, 2011

A few days ago, the Chanting Ref (see the About MDC page to find out who in the heck this is!) and I made the trek from my hometown in Michigan to his place in Illinois.  As we drove, I had the pleasure of listening to him practice tongue twisters and chants in preparation of his upcoming trip to auction school.  He did them for what seemed like hours occasionally having me try my hand at a few of the tongue twisters.  And let’s just say auction school is nowhere in my future.  However, this got me thinking about agriculture’s past and the future of food production.  Don’t ask.  I don’t know how it happened either.  But I got to thinking, every day, week, year, decade, and century in agriculture is a practice for the next harvest, breeding season, and plant.

Horse Drawn Harvesting

Looking back on the history of agriculture even just the last 100 years we have seen improvements in technology, practices, crop yields, and quality.  We have transitioned from animal power to GPS guidance.  Farmers used to feed their own family plus a little to sell.  Now each American farmer feeds 155 people annually.  From practices that created The Dust Bowl to those that ensure a dust bowl will never happen again.  It really isn’t much different from the automotive industry, an industry of which a large majority of Americans are consumers and familiar with.  Initially there was the Model T.

The Model T was a temperamental piece of machinery that had to be crank started by hand.  Oh, and be careful not to break your arm starting it.  Today I can start my car by the push of a button…from inside my house.  Now I don’t know about you but my car gets about 25 miles to the gallon, is air conditioned, and has the capability to tune hundreds of radio stations purely for my entertainment pleasure.  The difference between my car and the Model T is one hundred and some years of innovation.  Just as the difference between corn or broccoli or wheat yields or quality in 1900 and in 2010 is the result of years of research, trial and error, and invention.

Is there room for improvement in agriculture?  Of course there is.  Anyone who tells you they know what the perfect agricultural system is is fooling themselves.  But, just like any other industry, the men and women of agriculture are striving to become more efficient, knowledgeable, and safe in their practices.  I want to feed my family safe, healthy, and abundant food, but it will always take practice to make progress.

Keep Livin’ the Good Life!

Modern Day Cowgirl

Wanna try one of the Chanting Ref’s tongue twisters?

Check out this one here!  Betty Botter  (The tongue twisters start around 2:40)

P.S. Don’t get too excited but tomorrow I’ll try to show some photos of the horrendous moth infestation in my new house.