Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Where is spring??

I was flipping through some pictures this afternoon and came across this one. There were several from this day but for some reason, my heart welled up when I came to this particular one. Wonder why??? Look at it, everything is lush and green. There are clothes hanging on the line, why you can almost smell the petunias and hear the hummingbirds. I don't remember a winter that has lasted so long. Yesterday was warm and I was outside in it all day working in the yard. Sadly, the cold wind has pushed me back inside today. Where are you spring?? Why are you taking so long to arrive?? While I was outside yesterday, I heard a flock of geese overhead, so I looked up and sure enough there they were. But wait, they were headed south, wait, no, west...where are they going anyway? Even the poor geese are confused about this weather. They are ready to head north but the cold keeps pushing them back too I guess. I know God has his reasons for this belated spring, perhaps just to make me appreciate it more. It will be welcomed with open arms when it arrives...I mean literally. I think I'll even kiss the grass and hug the flowers. 

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Living on a farm which has more than a few acres, you have to identify the different locations by name. You have heard me mention "lighting hill". Well, I am excited to announce that the jonquils are blooming on "jonquil hill". This was obviously an old house place and we continue to find little treasures over there, besides the jonquils. There is a large old fashion rose bush on the fence line that Rodney keeps threatening to cut down. Mom has a large water pump in her rose garden that was harvested from here. But look at what other treasure I found!! Kyle picking Jonquils for his mom. He picked a whole bunch of them that are now gracing my kitchen table, he even helped arrange them in the vase. Now before you start to think how sweet it is for a 13 year old boy to pick flowers for his mother...you should know that I sent him on this mission. I would have picked them myself but I was trying to get some other things done. I also thought that this might be a nice counter offensive to all of the gun shooting, skinning, spitting and scratching that he is learning from his dad. After all, this boy will be a man soon and I would like for him to grow up to be the kind of man that might actually think to pick flowers for someone he loves. I'll be expecting a big thank you from whomever he marries. 

Friday, February 22, 2008

Where is the joy?

It is another gray and cold February day here in Southwest Arkansas. My spirits are somewhat better than what they have been the last couple of days. I have a sense of urgency to get my house clean and organized. This happens to me periodically, probably a hormonal thing, or maybe it has to do with the phase of the moon, who knows. I am thankful that I have plenty to do to keep my occupied and busy. My heart is still very tender over the loss of my beloved Buddy. In fact, it started to rain really hard last night and my chest just tightened and hurt. I don't know why the rain set off this pain, but it did. I hate to keep bringing this up, for I know it must be a big bummer to those who read it and my wish isn't to be a bummer but a inspiration. So, people who read my blog, this is my inspiration for the day. Life is cruel. Crap happens everyday. Bad things happen to good people etc etc...The goal here is to look beyond the crap. Where is the joy in a dead dog you ask?? Well, the joy is in this. I am blessed beyond measure. I was blessed to have Buddy for the 5 years he lived. What a blessing it is that I have a husband that took a better part of a day to comfort me and take care of the arrangements, calling the vet, driving me there, digging a grave, crying along side me and holding me and on top of all of this, had to do all of the farm work too. The blessing I have in my beautiful children is beyond any description. I got a glimpse of how precious my family is as we stood over the grave of our dog, weeping together, leaning on each other for comfort. It is in all of this that I find JOY. Can you believe it, joy!! It is times of trials and tragedy that families are pulled closer together, and I will consider this Buddy's last act of love and loyalty to this family. 
(The picture is of "lightning hill")

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Memories of Buddy

Buddy's injury turned out not to be an injury at all, but a tumor. Our only options were to amputate his leg or put him through expensive and painful treatments. Neither of these options were ok with us, so our decision was to let him go. I couldn't see making him carry that big ol body around on three legs, although I know he would have done it without complaint, or to spend a bunch of money on treatments that would only prolong the inevitable. Ironically, today is Buddy's birthday, he is 5 years old today, and my what a life he has led. I could tell story after story of his bravery and dedication to our family. The one I think of now that reflects his loyalty is this: Once I was in the chicken houses and Buddy was waiting for me outside the door I went in, as he usually did. But instead of going out the door I went in, I had to go out the opposite door for something, so he never saw me leave. The next morning I was wondering where Buddy was and Rodney said that the last time he saw him, he was still sitting down by the chicken houses. We drove down there and, sure enough, there he was, loyally waiting for me to emerge from the chicken house. He had been there all night long. What a dog. I will cherish the memories I have of him always. I will remember him running through the fields, swimming in the ponds, running along side me, clearing my path and being ever present and my big ol guardian dog. He will be buried in a place of honor on top of "lightning hill" where Dexter, another brave and loyal family dog is buried. We will miss him.
Goodbye my beautiful Buddy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I was walking out to the calf pen this morning when I heard this mournful whimpering behind me. I turned around and there was my Buddy, visibly injured and in pain. He was holding up his front right leg and barely moving. It was one of the most pitiful things I've ever seen. I went to him and looked him over, all the while reassuring him that everything would be ok, and poor babying him. Rodney looked him over too and we agreed that he needed to go to the vet. The consensus is that he was kicked by a cow. We thought that if he had been hit by a car he would have other signs of this, abrasions, dirt, etc... The only thing visible was his obvious pain. It was quite a chore to get him in and out of the car but we did it. He is at the vet now. They said that it would at least be tomorrow before I  can pick him up. We are pretty sure that his leg is broken but they couldn't get x rays until later and then if it is broken, the setting of it and casting etc.. would take a while. So here I sit, waiting on a phone call. My heart is heavy and I feel like a little breeze would cause me to break into tears. He has been so precious to us. I am praying that it will only be a broken leg and that I'll be able to pick him up tomorrow and baby him for a while. I'll post the results when I find out.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


We woke this morning to the sound of a panicked teenager shouting (in a whisper) "get up!!! get up now... look out the window, hurry". When my bleary eyes finally focused enough to see, I peered through the bedroom window and saw movement out in the pasture behind the house. I hadn't yet put on my glasses so I couldn't tell exactly what I was looking at. Taylor informed us that the house was surrounded by coyotes. They were in the front pasture and behind the house. After a lot of running around, from window to door to window, looking and gasping at the situation...Rodney showed up with the gun. There were 3 of them about 50 yards from the front door, and he shot one. 
We have been hearing them at night and it always sounds like they are really close but I didn't know that they were that close!! The fact that they were this close during the day is quite an audacious act of a pack of coyotes. Taylor said that Buddy was posted in front of the pen where the calves are and fearlessly barking and protecting the two helpless calves. This, I'm sure is what has lured them in. They are pretty much sitting bait, penned in without their mothers and coyotes are smart enough to know this. We estimated that there were 10 to 12 in the pack, enough to take down a calf. The Barrett family is on the defensive now, watching and waiting for predators lurking about. 

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Speaking of "things" not making one happy, I'm pretty thrilled about this one. I have been waiting for over a year to make this purchase, now here it sits atop my desk. It was quite a leap to switch from PC to MAC but I took the plunge. The set up is completely different, but actually a lot more simple. I've been really happy with it so far, it kind of does things by itself. When I took it out of the box opened it up and turned it on, it detected my server, got me set up quickly and painlessly and I was up and running in no time. 
I have always been attracted to shiny things, especially buttons that light up. Why this thrills me, I have no idea but the entire keyboard lights up on this thing and this many lit buttons is enough to make my heart palpitate. I'm having to learn the system but this is another thing I enjoy, learning. I can't wait to start writing and keeping my farm finances, and sending e mails to all of my favorite people. So send me an e mail and I'll be glad to sit and type away on my lit keyboard and e mail you back. 

Thursday, February 14, 2008


This sunset was from a few days ago. It fits perfectly with my mood this morning.
Rodney and I decided last night that we were going to bring home the little bull calf (one of the twins) and feed him here instead of keeping him with his mom down in the lot. So this morning after I got the kids off to school, we hopped in the truck and went down to fetch him. It was only about 25 degrees this morning, clear and frosty - beautiful. It didn't take much doing for Rodney to corner the little guy and pick him up and carry him to the truck. This is when my services were required. I sat on the tailgate of the truck while Rodney handed him over to me. I scooped him up in my arms, held on tight and away we went.
This is the part that I was getting to, the part I wanted to share. For a few brief moments this lovely February morning, I got a glimpse of what my purpose is. I have ridden on tailgates many times with calves in my lap, many times have I desperatly bottle fed a new born hoping that this will save it, many times have I helped in pulling calves who were breech or too big and helped them take their first breath of life...but for some reason this morning, all of this came together for me. I was so happy. I was freezing, sitting on the tailgate of an old pickup, going down an old dirt road, my feet swinging in the breeze with my big dirty boots on, holding on to a calf and I was so ridiculously happy. This is my peace, my place, my life, my home. I've often thought about what life would be like if we had wealth and great possesions, and I never felt peaceful about it. Happieness doesn't come from things, in fact it takes very little to make one happy. I've always known this intelectually but I truly felt it this morning.
I hope that all of you, whoever may read this, is at peace in your place today. That whatever you may find yourself doing will bring you fullfillment and joy beyond what money or things can provide. My prayer is that every person can have these little glimpses of peace in their lives, no matter how mundane the task may seem, that it makes you feel like you are where God wants you and you may feel that you are home.

Friday, February 8, 2008


We had two sets of twins this past week. The first set were two heifers, the second was a bull and heifer. Of the set of twins that were both heifers, one was being fed and the other wasn't. So...she is being fed now by...me. Her mom didn't want her, or seem to be able to care for her. We tried to put her with a cow who lost a calf, and she was shunned by this cow as well. It was so heart breaking to watch this helpless little creature being rejected not only by her own mother but seemingly by everyone. It wasn't hard to decide to bring her home and be her mom. If nobody else will love her, I will.
As you can see, Buddy is in love with her too. Actually I think he is in love with the milk drippings which he lovingly licks off of her face...but I like to think that he loves her too. I think it makes him feel important to guard her from danger...and Charlottle. We haven't named her yet, just calling her baby and sweetie.
The other set of twins are in the lot with their mother. We are helping her out with feedings too, since this can be quite an undertaking for a cow. She gets pretty ticked at us when we start handling her babies, I sometimes wish we could explain to them that we are just trying to help. We also have a cow in the lot that we weren't sure if her baby was nursing. We put her in the squeeze shoot and milked her, put the baby up there and tried to get it to nurse. In the middle of all of this, the cow kicked and got Rodney in the arm. Nothing is broken but he is pretty sore and has a nice war wound to show for his troubles. When it rains it pours around here.