Training and Raining

Hello Friends!

Much has happened since we last caught up!

We had the vet out for our yearly checks. Nellie actually did pretty good all things considered. She didn’t let us vaccinate (I did that later) but she also didn’t really kill anyone, so ya know, we count our blessings. The other critters acted like the vet professionals they are and handled it with grace. Ro is on some anti-inflammatories now for some arthritis aches, and so we mitigate any unnecessary damage. Nellie is supposed to be wearing a mask now, as her little pink skin around her eye is just primo skin cancer material and the vet is worried. We are working on it.

Unfortunately, this vet visit caused a bit of a spiral in Nellie’s behavior and I’ve had to employ some tougher love lately. She started getting pretty aggressive about haltering and the barging and kicking officially put us into dangerous territory. So as much as I hate giving the girl any sort of uncomfy consequences, I had to take off the mama hat and put on my trainers cap, remind her and myself that allowing bad behaviors like that is a huge disservice to this horse and her cleverness. I’m happy to report that while it’s still a massive work in progress, she seems to have a lot of pride in the new, tougher consequences style work. Unsurprisingly I don’t have to dole out consequences often when the right answer is easy.

We’ve had some interesting storms rolling through. I’ve been trying to capture what I can, I’m still not great with the GoPro and lately, these storms have come with so much dust I’ve worried about leaving it outside alone anyway. I know they are tough, but I don’t have any sorta tough weather case, just a little tripod and I usually tie it to the porch post.

We’ve had some dry lightning, and lots of rainstorms. Although, we’ve had a lot more drizzly days than usual too, normally it’s a downpour and done, but the gray drizzle has persisted this year. We’ve also had our usual share of windstorms, which always stress me out. At least with the roof replaced I don’t worry so much about another waterfall from my kitchen light. My favorite thing about the storms around here is that often they come in the evenings, after you’ve already put in a good day’s work, almost like a little reward. But they are also usually gone by the time bedtime rolls around, so you aren’t often sitting up late worrying over the weather. 

The rainy day cuddles are adorable

I was out at the ranch the other day when a little cell went through. In theory I was out there to help my aunt with her scanner, it wasn’t scanning again, but it kinda sorted itself out. I’m not exactly sure what changed but it was scanning by the time I left. I’m a little afraid to ask if it’s still scanning to be honest, I don’t think I really want to know the answer. Anyways, while I was there I got to see the latest batch of babies. Love me some little cows. We met Little Boy, Sue, and Esuni. Little Boy got his name exactly how you’d imagine, but Sue and Esuni have cute stories. Sue is named after my great great grandma, because they share a birthday (how my great great grandma would feel about sharing a name and birthday with a cow is a question for another time) and Esuni was supposed to be Sunny, but they realized she was out of Eve’s line, and they try to keep with the same leading letters to make lineage a little easier. Luckily Sue is out of Sissy, who is out of Sadie. Remind me to tell you all about Sadie cow one day. It’s a cute story (have I told it before? Maybe, doesn’t matter, it’s worth a retelling). Little Esuni was born so small, she literally weighed less than one of my grain bags. They were worried about her, but she prevailed. Those little guys can be hardy when they wanna be. I helped my aunt count the herd, and, of course, we did it in a rainstorm, while that random cell went over. Didn’t rain a stitch before or after. But it was fun riding around with my aunt goofing off.

We’ve had lots of fun things happening around here lately. We’ve had a new baby born to the family, my uncle has a new little girl named Sadee (yes, I know, I don’t think anyone else put it together, but Sadie the cow spells hers different, and has since gone on this year after a long and happy life anyway, so I am not saying anything). Another of my cousins is graduating high school this week. We’re prepping for the Fiddle Fest and I’m very excited, because a dear friend of mine is coming down to visit while it’s going on. 

Lots to look forward to, can’t wait to share it all with you soon!

Until we chat again my friends!

She’s Been Thinkin’ Her Thoughts Again

Hello Friends!
A mere three ish months after the big blog overhaul, we are going to have to make some changes again. One of the things I was hoping to accomplish with the first change was get you more interesting content without putting a whole lot more work on myself, because I’m running out of hours in the day. The good news is, I think we accomplished that! I’ve been pretty happy with what we’ve accomplished, I wish my editing skills were better, etc, etc, but that all comes with time. The bad news however, is that work is demanding even more time than before, as is my extended family, and I’ve got to get creative to make sure I can still keep all the plates spinning.
I’ll admit, my first thought was “what if I just took a break from working on the blog?” but that didn’t really sit right with me, I like chatting with you guys, and I’d really like to think you all enjoy a couple minutes of shenanigans each week (let my ego have this one). Plus, to be quite blunt, I am a prime example of Newton’s 1st law (ish) in that, if I am “at rest” I will stay at rest, so if I took another break from the blog “just until things calmed down” the chances are too high I wouldn’t come back, and I am just not ready to be done with this project yet, ya know?
So, then, my second thought was really scaling back content for a while, more like twice a month over twice a week, and to be honest this might end up the ultimate answer, but that also didn’t quite sit as the right answer either. It felt like a plan B, something I should think about, but not something to commit to yet, when there were potentially other options.
I actually credit Christopher with the idea that I think we are going to go with for now. He suggested I start stockpiling content on slow days so I have it during the crazy weeks. This is a fantastic idea in theory, but I can’t really stockpile weekly content about the farm that easily, because some things need to be timely, like sharing spring blooms and the highs and lows of loving critters, and quite frankly, it’s weird to be posting about being cold in July because I wrote about the goings on way back in March. But I like the idea of stockpiling some content so I started to have me a think.
The other issue that I wanted to look at while planning these changes is that while I love the blog, it’s not what I set out to do. Not to say I don’t have pride in what we’ve made but things have gotten a little “shallow”. My posts were feeling a little like putting on a show, and that’s not the goal here. I want to share the pretty little things I get to see every day, not a production. Authenticity. I realized what I was trying to do with adding videos, and this whole trying-to-figure-out-next-steps thing, is that I started this blog as a public journal, actually based on a little roundup I used to do at an old job, and I wanna get back to that, posting the things that bring me joy, in hopes they’d bring you joy too. Just in a fun, mixed-media format. Think about it like a journal-meets-scrapbook….but online, and without glue.
So, anyway, here’s the tentative new plan, subject to change as life does:
1st week of the month: Photo Gallery Post – a collection of photos I’ve taken with my camera, theoretically with an overarching theme, more than likely flowers, because I love photographing them so much, and slightly more verbose descriptions without needing to be a full blog post. This is a post style I can plan ahead for and stock up on, and it gives me an excuse to add a little “take a walk outside” time to my day occasionally, even just for a few minutes.
2nd week of the month: Topic Chat – a post on some topic or story, similar to those I wrote way back when the blog was just finding its feet, before the routine of life dulled the content. Again, these are stockpile-able posts, I can plan them well ahead, and it gives us a chance to chat without always feeling like we have to catch up on the day to day. Think “Things that I do in the country that never would have happened in the city” style posts… but with better titles.
3rd week of the month: Video Log – Turns out my favorite thing to do is capture little snippets, sometimes serene, sometimes exceedingly silly, of farm life, so I want to do more of those. Basically the same content we’ve been doing now, but without the need to “stick to a theme”, so maybe a clip of Dad enjoying his well-earned new lawnmower, then a sunset over our foothills, to Ro and Nel stealing tack off the fence, and maybe a few seconds of me attempting some silly food thing from Instagram, all gathered into a little “vlog”. I am kinda envisioning the fun goofiness of watching old home videos, where it’s just silly scenes that someone felt like capturing. I wanna bottle some of the warm fuzzies I get from the farm and share them, and this is my best guess at how to do that. I’m gonna try to get the family in on it and see what they capture, so fingers crossed on that eventually happening, although I wouldn’t get excited about that quite yet.
4th week of the month: Catch Up Post – This will be the tried and true “what we’ve been up to on the farm” post, just like we’ve been doing, but I am hoping that keeping it to once a month allows me to not be stretching for content and we won’t get caught bored when it rains for a week straight. Makes them a little more special, maybe?
5th week of the month (if applicable): The “Bonus” Post – Seems like there’s four or five 5-week months a year, so on that rare fifth Friday we will have a bonus! I don’t really know what this is yet, I was thinking maybe behind the scenes, kinda, like “here’s what my real life day job kinda looks like” or “this is my camera equipment” or “here’s how I schedule my posts” kinda stuff, but honestly, I don’t really know yet. Taking suggestions.
The main posts will go out Friday per usual, with accompanying social media stuff, Tuesdays will still most likely be an odd collection of off the wall pictures, quotes, verses, websites, etc. I know I said tiktok was a thing, but I’ll be honest, that app still terrifies me three months on. Maybe when I get a better grasp on twitter and Instagram first, I’m still a little social media phobic, believe it or not.
Anyways, sorry to dump all these changes on you at once, but I wanted you to know what’s up, and the new goals we are trying to achieve. Hopefully my schedule chills out and we won’t be doing this again in three months with me telling you that I need to lessen the content. I’d really hate to do that. Hoping these changes help mitigate that.
Until we chat again, my friends.

Family Adventure Day

Hello Friends!
I took the family on an adventure in and around Boise recently, and let me tell you, it’s been a minute since I have been to a bigger city. I was a little out of my element, but it was so fun!

So, we had two goals in mind, one was to find the Reuseum, and one was to find a kitchen store. We were successful on both fronts and had some great food to boot!

So first, what is a “Reuseum”? It’s super cool, it’s basically like a tech-centered thrift store, maker space, and STEM learning space all in one. We rattled around the retail space looking at everything from old radio equipment, to old monitors, some old camera equipment, and refurbished computers. Plus just lots of odds and ends, actuators, soldering supplies, every kind of nut and bolt you could think of. It was really awesome! They also have a “maker space” which I love. It’s super cool to see more and more places like that opening up. It’s basically a shop with various tools for machining and building, usually specialized things that may be hard or impractical for the hobbyist to own, that you can come in and use for a fee. Think things like 3D printers or grinding wheels, milling machines, things like that. If you’ve ever watched Adam Savage (of Mythbusters fame) on Tested (his YouTube channel), he has a very extensive maker space style shop. Finally, they have STEM classrooms for kiddos, where they host various classes throughout the month, like build-a-robot and learn-to-code classes to get kiddos interested in math and science. I’m sure, since my official job title is “software engineer”, you can guess how excited I get about making STEM accessible.

We managed to surprise Dad with some old radio equipment from an old police car they had for sale. He brought it home and was able to plug it in and, after a little clean up, get it working again. Dad just loves old police memorabilia. I guess you can’t be a second generation, thirty year vet of the force without a little vested interest, huh? I wonder if I’ll be that nostalgic about old tech when I’m 30 years into my career. More pressing question, I wonder if I’ll still be in my career in 26 years and what my field will even look like. Dad says police work really changed over the years, and I imagine I’ll be looking at that too.

We found two different kitchen stores, one a restaurant supply and one was more boutique-y. I bought a few whisks, and a giant bowl from the kitchen store, and Christopher bought a pizza pan. I’m really excited, we’ve broken so many whisks so I’ve invested in some heavy duty ones, and I’ve been wishing for a big bowl for a while. Just today we used it for dinner, but so often I’m cooking for a lot of people and need a big bowl for mixing. I was looking for a big pot with a strainer built in, but I’m still on the hunt for that for now. 

The other store was really cute, they have some gorgeous spoons made with stripes of different woods, a whole matching set of spoons and stirrers. Thing was, it was a little more form over function, and while I love a good aesthetic kitchen, I need hardy tools that hold up to heavy work right now. They did have some cute reusable straws I really thought about, but they were metal and I’m not a huge fan of metal straws. At least not without the little squishy bit, ya know? Lots of niche cocktail making gear too, which always looks so fancy, but would be virtually useless in my kitchen.

Finally, we decided to eat at Tupelo Honey again, which I wrote about when I last talked about a visit to Boise. I am down there fairly often, but rarely for “fun”, like window shopping for just goofing off. So, it was fun to splurge on a nice lunch, and no one else had been there so it was an exciting new experience for them. I had a shrimp po’boy, which honestly I am still thinking about. 

It’s been just crazy busy around here with errands, adventures, work stuff, and holidays. Not to mention birthdays, new cousins on the way, and the very beginnings for spring prep (if the weather would cooperate). I’ve been trying to find moments of peace on the farm, and I shared some in last week’s video, and finding little ways to engage in some old hobbies as a way to settle. Share with me, what do you guys do when you need a little calm in the midst of a fun, but crazy, world?

Until we chat again, my friends!