Friday, March 28, 2008

State Flower Found!

Anyone seen this? It's the state flower for the greatest state in the nation: The Texas Bluebonnet. As a child, I knew it was spring because I would see fields and fields of these blue beauties bloomin'. (whew! Say THAT 3 times!) They were everywhere; along the highways, in the yards, beside the buildings, in the pastures. We would stop and look at them... not pick them mind you... just look. And I loved spring. Now, I'm lucky if I can find one. This year, I did find one. ONE. In my front yard. Bloomin' all on it's own. Makin' a statement. Bold. Strong. Independent. True. Spring is here. Time to grow!
Anyone care to join me?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Portrait of a Farmin' Toddler

Meet the Doodlebug. She's our resident girl. She claims the princess throne, and does it well. Her favorite activities include anything that relate to the outdoors. Especially dirt.
She hates wearing shoes. I can't imagine walking around outside here... ants, stickers, snakes, rocks... snakes.
And yet she claims it like a pioneer, roughing it with the best of them. She's tough.
She's independent, prefering to explore on her own, find her own way, make her own mark.
And the dogs love her for it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm an -aire

Today, I had this conversation with my 4 year old:

"Mama, what's a millionaire?"

"Someone with a million dollars."

"Wow! That's a lot of dollars. Are you and Daddy millionaires?"

"No, honey. Not even close."

"So you are just -aires."

"Yeah, I guess so."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Meet My Grandma

This is my Grandma. She's celebrating her 88th birthday. Isn't that amazing? She has seen and lived through 88 years on this planet! Imagine all the things she has experienced! I am so thankful to have her in my life. She keeps me grounded and is never afraid to remind me of the realities of life. She is a strong woman, a faithful woman, and a good friend. She lives her life as an example for those who follow her. I hope I can be as good a Grandma to my grandkids as she has been to me. Thanks Grandma!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Let the Growing Begin!

Here it is... what we've been waiting for... the first sign of Spring. Around here, it's known as the start of Pecan season. It's also a time for fresh starts. No matter what mistakes I made last year, what bugs got us, what mold crept in, we can start over. I'm excited about this year's opportunity to start over. Last year's crop was tragic. This year, I want to do it better, smarter, right.
So here it is, my fresh start. Look at those little leaves growing. They have such an important job. Collect sunrays, water, air. And they are ready to do their job, and I am ready to do my job of protecting them.
It was such a clear day when I took this photo, we could even see the moon. I love clear blue skys. And I love little leaves. No bugs. No mold. No damage. Fresh. Clean. Ready to grow and make some pecans. One tree down...
1,499 to go! Let the Growing begin!

In the beginning....

After months of consideration, I am taking the plunge. Blogging has caught my eye and I wanna play too! We'll see what evolves. For now, I'm just gonna have fun!

This week we visited my in-laws at the Rio Grande Livestock show and rodeo. My nephews where showing their animals: chickens and a goat. They did a great job! Much better than I could have done.

The chicken show was interesting... they have a beauty pageant for one chicken and then compare 3 to see how well you raise chickens for consistency. My nephew stood out there with the best of them. He looked handsome dressed in his nice church shirt and wranglers. When the judge came by to check the chick's breast, he hung that chicken upside down with all his might. Finally they chose a winner... number thirty... (we were thirty four)... two. Awww man! He did really well. I think he placed, but I'm not sure where.

Then they had the judging-for-three-chickens contest. (I'm so new to this, I don't even know what they officially call that.) Anyway, there were about 15 kids showing their chickens and each of them had 2 helpers, cuz you can't hang 3 chickens by their feet on your own. So there were quite a few kids out there. My nephew had his big brother out there helping, and another friend from 4-H. Apparently the chickens don't do so well when you hang them upside down... causes stress and a stress chicken takes the low road and dies. So there were many kids out there struggling to keep their chickens from dieing. (How do you spell that?!? Dying? Dieing? Whatever!) Anyway, my nephew's big brother was making quite a scene trying to save his chicken... blowing in it's face, making it a nest out of the dirt on the ground, petting it... It was a real nail biter. I wasn't sure he'd make it! After about 30 minutes of hanging chickens and breast squeezing, the judge chose his winner, and it wasn't my nephew. He was disappointed but glad it was all over. I tell you, I wouldn't have lasted 2 seconds in that pen with all those chickens! I was proud of him!

The next day we watched my other nephew show his goat, Choker. He had a history of being a handful, so I was interested to see how it went. Choker was a good boy. He paraded in the ring like he knew exactly what was going on. I later learned he was just glad to be with other goats. Choker did alright, but my nephew, he did GREAT! I was tickled to watch him work that goat. I know you've seen dog shows on TV where the handler moves the dogs legs this way and that way to make them stand in just the right way so they look the best for the judge. Well, this is what my nephew was doing. He'd walk his goat over to the line and when he got to his place, he'd start messin' with Choker, adjusting him this way and that. My nephew was the only one doing this which made it that much more precious. And when the judge comes over, you apparently show your goat better if you can pick him up off his front feet while the judge feels his rump. My nephew was the littlest guy out there so pickin' up that 106 pound goat posed quite a challenge, but he gave it his all. With his little 56 pound body, my nephew used all his might and lifted and strained... and got that goat about an inch off the ground. I even noticed the judge grinnin' at him. In the end, though, Choker just didn't take the cake... or the prize. I think my nephew placed 14th... but hey, he placed! I was so proud of him. I thought he did GREAT!

I'm not sure what kind of 4-H Mom I'll be, but you can bet your bippy we'll be doing 4-H. My niece at Texas A&M, the greatest University on the planet, has 3 years of college paid for because of her 4-H activities. With 4 kids to consider, 4-H is looking really good. Even if I have to hang a few chickens...

...heaven help me!