Tips For Tough Conversations About Food, Farming & Faith


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My job at the Ohio Pork Council has led to good things like access to many meals of properly cooked pork, a bi-weekly pay check and my recent marriage to Joe, aka the Turkey Farmer.  He is amazing!

turkey farmer promotes pork

Prior to our arranged marriage I was told that “he’s shy.” Look at him! He talks about farming and how to cook pork to princesses, cow girls, mothers, children, aunts, sisters, grandmas, daughters, etc. If Mr. “Shy” can talk agriculture to strangers you can too!

We’ve had some differences to work through, like living two hours apart, as in who would move and change jobs and food preferences like turkey versus pork (just kidding, we NEVER fight about protein, we just eat it).  Another topic of much discussion is we’re both Christians, but one of us attended a Protestant Church and the other a Catholic Church.

The two of us made the moving decision on our own; this was a big decision, but one that we were equipped to work through together.  The protein drama is purely make-believe.  Making a decision about church for our family has taken study, time, thought and prayer.  We spent a lot of time reading while dating and learning from others whom we trust and respect.

I can draw so many parallels between much of what I’ve learned regarding church to a person who has suddenly become more interested in food.  Circumstances in people’s life change, possibly health status changes, or family size changes, or someone develops a hobby or interest in food and cooking.  These reasons might prompt a person to study and learn more about their food and the food system in the United States.

An unexpected relationship sparked a great deal of honest inquiry in my life into a very personal topic.

We’ve asked questions and listened.  We’ve worked to actively listen and understand the new acronyms and how different study group opportunities (outside of regular worship) work.   After doing some homework the next step was a meeting to learn with church staff to learn more.

The meeting was held.  There was brief and calm sharing, some questions were exchanged and some concerns were shared.

A response was given that included a suggestion that one of our past upbringings was “unfortunate” and “incomplete”.  There were also misconceptions addressed that neither of us harbored.

Discussion resulted in confusion.  That conversation did not grow our interest in participating or supporting this group.  We had done homework, we’d genuinely tried to learn, and the meeting was held with the intention to put effort into learning more.  Yet, this conversation did not bring any more clarity to our lives.

I’m grateful for the deep rooted faith and personal experiences that we each have which were not swayed by a single conversation. We’ve learned and grown in our faith, I wish the same for you.

I could look back and critique every aspect of my life and find many faults.  Being wrong often, has been part of my human experience, so I’m not upset at this person.  I truly believe this conversation became tough because of deep personal beliefs that could’ve been better communicated to bridge the gap between us and them.

I think many of us can really feel empathy and wonder how this happened.  How could someone called to love people come across so cold and disconnected?

How often do we as farmers, confident in what we do, why we do it and how we do it inadvertently talk to our customers just to leave them more confused?  How often do we as farmers so often unintentionally come across as cold and disconnected to the people that buy our products?  When the answer to a question is so obvious that it’s just silly, how do we respond?  Do we invest enough time to really think through a sincere and honest answer?  I’ve found the people asking (the same people that buy what we grow) just honestly want to know what we’re doing and why and how that may affect their body.

There was no personal harm meant by disagreeing in our discussion, and there’s rarely that intention when food is the hot topic.

I’m writing this for the purpose of learning.  We’re all human, and we all have opportunities to improve.

Here are some tips that could improve our future conversations about food and farming:

-Know what you do on the farm and be able to talk about it in very simple terms

-Know what you believe and be able to share from your personal experiences

-Think of each person as valuable and worth the time to talk or type with

sandwich shop

The turkey farmer talking to the owners of a sandwich shop in the suburbs that serve the turkey his family grows. He shared his background and they had a great conversation.

Those of us involved in production agriculture have heard that we are less than 2% of the US population.  We know that we need to do more to tell our story, the story of our food, our family farms, the land, etc.

My hope is that the non-farming public would feel good about eating after talking to a farmer.

I’ve worked to improve how I share my personal story.  I’m nowhere close to having all the answers, but I truly believe having genuine conversations is worthy of our time and beneficial for our future.

A Fall Friday Night in Turkeyville


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The Turkey Farmer grew up in western Ohio, and he moved to central Ohio after we got married.  His parents have asked that he continue coming to western Ohio to help on the farm in return for the use of their equipment to plant and harvest his crops on his farm.  This is a pretty good deal.

We picked the Little Farmer up from school yesterday and headed west.  Harvest has begun!  The turkey farmers made a big upgrade to this New Holland combine.

new holland combine harvesting corn

New (used) New Holland Combine running corn

Last Christmas the Little Farmer wanted a toy replica of their old combine, I wonder if this purchase is going to affect my pocket book too?

There are computer sensors everywhere on modern farm machines.  Sometimes that can be very helpful to have more information and sometimes, if there’s a glitch it can shut things down unnecessarily.  There was a glitch earlier in the day with a sensor on the transmission, but some good trouble shooting and a couple trips for parts by Mama O, my mother-in-law, and the problem was fixed.

Girl unloading corn

This girl’s got unloading corn under control

By the time we arrived things were running smoothly.  Farmers were farming and it seemed as though everyone else was watching high school football.  We opted to change the tires on my car.

chevy equinox on lift in shop

Our car on the lift in Papa O’s shop

Conveniently for me Papa O, my father-in-law, is a mechanic by trade, so he’s got some cool machines.  The best part, he’s taught his boys how to use them.

Tire remover tool

Tire remover tool helping take the tire off of the rim

tire putter on tool

The same tool can put a new tire back on the rim – with some skilled guidance

Tire weight remover tools

Tire weight remover tools – used for balancing tires – a tool I could use!

tire balancing tool

This spins the tire and determines where weights need to be to balance the tire and make a smoother ride

I’m grateful for access to tools and time to hang out with a multi-talented turkey farming family!

Let’s Teach Our Kids to Be Thankful


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The Little Farmer had a great summer full of fun.  Many of his activities were sponsored by a business or family in the community.  My mom has impressed upon me the importance of writing thank you notes to those sponsors.

In my job I’ve had the chance to interact with lots of people and to sponsor programs.  I’ve taken notice of people that take the time and effort to say thank you and how sincerely they do so.

I want Henry to “have an attitude of gratitude”.

So when he won a prize in pedal tractor pulls, got a ribbon and dollar bill in pee-wee showmanship this summer, he wrote thank you notes.

Hartford Fair Pedal Tractor Pull

Hartford Fair Pedal Tractor Pull

pedal tractor pull class winner

1st place and the only full pull in his class!

pee wee swine showmanship

Pee-wee swine showmanship. What a great hands on opportunity to learn and have fun!

Street fair pedal tractor pull.  Another award!

Street fair pedal tractor pull. Another award!

To help prompt him and teach him the flow of a good thank you note I wrote out the words, and he copied them in his own writing.

Let's teach our kids how to write thank you notes!

Let’s teach our kids how to write thank you notes!

I plan to continue working to live and share an attitude of gratitude.

Thank you mom for setting a great example!  And thank you to those who help sponsor great activities for little people!

Are Farmers Really Rich or Poor?


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I was asked a good question yesterday, “How do some farmers seem to barely scrape by and some seem to be rich and have all kinds of fancy toys?”

Of course this is a very complex question. I’ll work to share some of the variables in as simple of a way as possible.

I think expenses, weather and off-farm income are the top variables.

Here are some personal examples:  The turkey farmer has purchased two farms at significantly different prices per acre.  The yield and income per acre is similar at the farms, but the cost of the ground is different.  When he gets those loans paid off that will significantly decrease the expenses and thus there will be more income.

Another big help is that his parents share their equipment with him to use on his land.  He wouldn’t be able to start farming by purchasing all of the tools needed at once.  His parents are very generous and want to do what they can to help their kids get started farming.

Weather is another huge variable.  Weather affects the yields, which affects the market price offered for the crops, which affects how much money is in our bank account.  The weather is a big deal to farmers.  Farmers watch the forecast regularly.  Farmers discuss and analyze the weather and how crops are growing continually.  I’m sure you’re tracking how drastically the weather affects a farmer’s income.

I’d like to give more examples on expenses.  The members of the turkey farming family that I’m proud to call my in-laws are all REALLY handy.  When things break they fix, weld, mend, and often improve the design in their shop.  Disposing of the item and buying new is often not the most efficient way to farm.  I have been so blessed by the skills that the turkey farmer has learned growing up in this type of ultra-DIY environment!

For example, gates in pig pens get wear and tear and weaken over time.  The quickest solution would be buying a new gate when an old one breaks.  I was helping in the shop one day this spring when my father-in-law (Grandpa O) was welding new pieces of metal on an old gate.

welding gate

Don’t buy toys, just give kids tools to play with.

no toys just tools

I was impressed when Grandpa O bought a new grease gun, walked by the Little Farmer, and without missing a beat handed him the new tool and asked him to put it together.  I think hands on practice helps build experience.  Hopefully the Little Farmer will learn some strong DIY skills of his own!


A part of me wishes this was sarcastic, but it’s not…at all…in any way.  Don’t buy clothes.  When we were dating and discussing serious things like budgeting, I asked the turkey farmer how much he spends a year on clothes.  He gave me a serious look and had an unusual, slight “duh” undertone in his reply, “I don’t buy any clothes.  I get all I need at Christmas or at work.”  I’ve since learned that his work pants come from a used uniform store and run a few bucks each.

cheap clothes

I couldn’t resist posting this picture to prove that it’s okay to splurge on a new coat in the winter if yours is grease covered, stained and from the last century.  But I also really respect the counter-culture value he puts behind his belief, “if you don’t need it, don’t buy it.”

Trucks and tractors are essential on most farms.  Having the latest and greatest can be very expensive.  Costs can often be cut by using older equipment until there is enough equity to upgrade.

The final variable I’ll share is off farm income.  If a farmer works off the farm and has that money for living expenses (house, transportation, utilities, food, etc) he or she may be able to re-invest all of the income from the farm back in the farm.  If the farmer needs to deduct living expenses from farm income, that leaves less money to use for farm expenses.  My Turkey Farmer has always worked off the farm and had some of that income available in case he needed it to help cover farm expenses.

Farmers are often self-employed and work to keep their business profitable just like other business people outside of agriculture.

I like to fill-up at this gas station.  They are typically the cheapest in my western Ohio route to Turkeyville.

old gas pump

As my Turkey Farmer pointed out, their overhead is pretty low, so they don’t have to charge as much to make a profit.

small town gas station

So the answer to the question, “Are farmers really rich or poor?” depends on how well they manage money as well as many other aspects of the farm.

Burlap and Lace Country Wedding Decorations


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We have been so blessed!  We want to say thank you to our family members and friends that worked together to make our wedding celebration so beautiful.  With God at the center of our union I think everything looks brighter and more joyful!

Our decorations were truly a collaborative effort and I wanted to share them with you!

I love the head table back drop (which we rented) and covered with strips of cloth.  I chose several different neutral colors and ripped strips one to four inches wide and tied a knot around a piece of sisal twine.

I made the Mr. and Mrs. banner by printing letters as large as I could on my home printer and then cutting them out to use for the template.  I placed the paper template on pieces of burlap and painted the letters black and strung them on another piece of twine.

The turkey farmer found small trees which he made a base for and lagged the trees to the base.  He spray painted them white and family and friends wrapped the trees tightly with white Christmas lights that I found on clearance for $1 per box!  Just remember to take some white extension cords along with you, for they can be hard to find at crunch time!

cake table and head table

The head tables formed a U shape and the cake table was in the center.

And how about that cake?!?  I’m so proud that my mom made that beautiful cake for us!  She also bought the wood stand and servers that I will always keep and treasure!  Great cake and memory.  Thank you mom!

mr and mrs burlap banner

I made our Mr. & Mrs. Burlap banner to hang behind head table.

burlap and lace wedding reception

The view as you walk in the front door.

burlap banner pic

An unexpected lovely picture. I love the spacing of our faces between the banner!

The mason jars have been in our family and I borrowed some of the more modern pieces of glass to vary the height.  We did purchase about four bunches of baby’s breath to sprinkle throughout the hall on Friday before the wedding.

wedding centerpieces

I wanted to use pieces that we had or could make and incorporate elements of our lives, corn, soybeans and feathers into the country wedding decorations.

corn filled vase with burlap ribbon

We borrowed these vases and filled half with corn and half we soybeans. We put one in the center of the decorations. My sister-in-law used these for decorations at our engagement party and I loved them!

country wedding centerpieces

The tea lights are turned on so the party is about to begin!

wood centerpieces

The turkey farmer sliced some logs to make the wooden coasters. He cut logs of varying sizes and heights and drilled holes for the tea lights to sit down in.

head table decorations

We used a slightly different treatment with logs and the tea lights at the head table.

head table decor

We had 34 chairs at the head table. There were two eight foot rounds on each side and this is how we decorated those. The bridesmaids put their bouquets in the vases.

burlap swag

My sister-in-laws rocks decorating. She used some extra sheer pieces from the back drop and burlap, worked in some lights and ta-da!

burlap swag with lights

The extra light was nice to have as the night went on.

card table decorations

Our card table with cloth strips and lights strewn underneath.

milk can decoration

My family actually used this milk can. Joe wanted a card holder that couldn’t easily be moved or knocked over, this fit the bill!

snack table

Snack table decorations also featured burlap and lace!

snack table

The snack table complete with snacks! Joe’s aunts and my mom and friends made 1,200 cookies and they all quickly disappeared!

These girls wrapped cardboard boxes with burlap and used long pearly pins to hold the burlap and lace in place.  I like how the boxes gave the table height variation.  That also allowed us to put more cookies on the table.  Access to more cookies more quickly is important people.  These girls didn’t drive from one side of the Midwest to the other for nothing.  They had purpose!

great friends!

They drove all night to get there (and back) to decorate the snack table and share in the party. Great friends!

entry table

We shared our parents’, grandparents’ and great grandparents’ wedding pictures on our entry table

I used the bucket milker from our families dairy farm along with some branches and glued burlap flowers onto the branches.  Our guest book sat on the table along with the man-style scrapbook that the Turkey Farmer and Little Farmer used to propose.

burlap wrapped hula hoop lights

Burlap wrapped hula hoops draped with icicle lights greeted our guests.

burlap silverware holders

A sweet friend loaned her burlap silverware holders. We have around 300 guests attend, so we alternated silverware wrapped in doilies and tied with sisal twine and the burlap silverware holders.

true sports

These kids are true sports! The little farmer had been fixing gates in the hog barn and came straight to help decorate. The warm smile must have covered up the fragrance enough for Miss A to enjoy the visit!

Thank you to so many people that helped with ideas, made decoration, food, helped set-up, tear down and pray and support us in many more ways.  We are truly grateful!

Worrying About the Mud Hole


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The Little Farmer has come to me many times in the past few days to discuss this mud hole in the driveway.

mud hole

Having fun in the mud during the fall of 2013

The primary concern is that people will think the muddy area is part of the driveway. After all there are tire tracks visible in the wet soil, so somebody (other than him) clearly drove through believing that it was the driveway. Don’t you dare blow this situation off, because it’s in the forefront of that little brain continuously.

I’ve tried to explain that it’s not really a big deal, maybe it was farm equipment that is wider than the driveway, or maybe someone wasn’t putting their full focus into staying in the center of the driveway and inadvertently made tracks in the hole. No matter how many times I tell the Little Farmer this is not a real problem and does not matter he can’t divert his focus.

I looked out the door one of those days and he was very seriously trying to outline the problem to my dad. His effort to recruit a sympathizer failed.

As I tried for what felt like the eighth time to explain that this “huge problem” wasn’t really a problem at all it hit me…this must be how God looks at many of our “problems”. He wants us to talk to Him, give our problems to Him, and then listen and know that He will take care of us. He doesn’t want us to focus on our worries like this boy has his mud hole.

The new perspective got better when I remembered that it was the Little Farmer himself who dug that hole. He spent hours using as much equipment as he could find. He became so engrossed in the enjoyment of creating the mud puddle last fall. I asked him multiple times to stop doing that.

Isn’t it ironic that he was oblivious to creating a problem just six months ago that he is agonizing over now?

While driveway puddles are a pretty straightforward mess to clean up, not all of our worries are. Our problems may require manual labor in conditions that aren’t pleasant.

fixing a puddle

Fixing another puddle in the driveway in March 2014.

Figurative mud holes take prayer and repentance. Prompted by a Bible Study and conversations with other Christians I’ve recently been prompted to repent and change. Change and the work to implement it are NOT easy. The reward, my spirit is glad to have a cleaner heart, and that is worth the change!

Matthew 6:27 Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Butterflies – Fighting Hunger & Saving People


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I was coerced into going to a Women of Faith weekend event a few years back. My favorite speaker was Andy Andrews, a story teller talking about The Butterfly Effect!

Here are the rough notes I typed from the video I’ll share below: Henry Wallace was Vice President under Roosevelt and a former secretary of ag. He used the power of his position to create a station in Mexico whose sole purpose was to hybridize corn and wheat for arid climates. He hired Norman Borlaug to run it.

Nineteen year old George Washington Carver had a dairy science professor who allowed his six year old boy named Henry Wallace to go on weekend botanical expeditions and learn the importance of plants from Carver.

We can’t stop the story here, you need to know about the Missouri farmer named Moses and his wife Susan who lived in a slave state but didn’t believe in slavery. Raiders drug off a lady, Mary Washington, who wouldn’t let go of her little boy named George. Moses went to a crossroads in Kansas to meet raiders. Moses traded the last horse on his farm for what they threw him in a burlap bag. It held a cold, naked almost dead baby boy. Mr. Carver walked the baby out of the situation and promised him to raise him as his own.

While the details of this story have grown a bit fuzzy in my mind since the Women of Faith event I attended, the bigger meaning has stayed in my heart. We all have a purpose and can be contributing and changing the world around us far more than we can see now by the little things that we do. How about the Washington family doing jobs that can feel monotonous and can lack meaning like changing diapers and cleaning up after a kid? What if they hadn’t done the basic stuff? I love stories where the tedious tasks turn out to be some of the most important things we’ll ever do in our life.

I wrote this post to join the celebration of Norman Borlaug’s 100th birthday.

He is credited with saving two million lives through the course of his research, but look at of the people who contributed to his story!

As I’ve read about him, his granddaughter shares in this article that he would want people to focus on what’s next in terms of feeding a growing population.

I work in agriculture, I continually see restrictions being put on our food production system, but when I have conversations about the bigger picture people sometimes seem to zone out or become disconnected. I think it’s hard to live in the United States with a full belly and think about how our choices might affect someone on the other side of the world in ten years.

No matter your job, you (as a human or “butterfly”) are part of the food equation! You can affect lives by learning about GMOs and the potential they have to help contribute to the growing the hunger problem. You can study whether you want to live in fear at the grocery store, or purchase with confidence. You can be informed about food purchasing decisions and more confident about how you communicate those with others. What if one misinformed comment snowballs through other conversations into a regulation that ends up taking away food from someone on the other side of the world in ten years. You are a part of this. Please learn about what current researchers are doing to address this challenge and think about how you can support that. There certainly are a lot of myths about food that are being propagated.

You have wings that flap, how will you use that power to positively contribute to a growing world?



Why is Life So Hard?


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Does anybody else find it a little easier to get knocked down and feel a little sad this time of year?  Or you start thinking about how you meant to start the New Year with a nice, clean organized house, healthy meal ingredients in the refrigerator, etc., etc.  Then you realize January is half over, your holiday time off from work is over and you didn’t get nearly accomplished what you wanted to at home.

Yeah, that happens to me too.

So one sad feeling can so easily lead to another, then another and then you’ve got this crazy tangled web of feelings that aren’t even related to each other and it all could’ve been stopped.

But how do you stop feelings from spiraling out of control?

If you read on looking for a simple answer you think I’m much smarter than I am, so let’s level with some expectations management here:  There’s a lot that I lack in knowledge, wisdom and general ability, but I compensate by hanging out with people who have more of that stuff than me in hopes that it will wear off on me sometime!

So, I asked a friend recently why life is so hard sometimes and she quickly said, “So that we don’t get so comfortable we just want to hang around here on earth.  We’re supposed to be in the world, not of the world.”

You know with our hearts.  We need to long for eternity, not just be cool with chillin on a dirt road in the back of a pick-up truck like a good country song, properly cooking pork to 145 degrees (still slightly pink in the center because that’s safe and tastes better) or whatever really floats your boat.

Then part of my morning scripture reading today was about what Paul and Barnabas did.  Acts 14:22 …strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.  “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.

No sugar coating any of this business, life’s challenging for everyone!  It sure does give my extreme Type A personality some peace to know there’s purpose behind everything that happens.

So, hang in there and keep going.  Life isn’t easy, but God made you tough enough to do it.  Focus on Him, eat pork and keep walking!

pigs in heaven

Serious topic, kind of a crazy picture, just laugh and roll with it.  Laughing will make life a little easier 🙂


2013 Christmas Card Life Update – Plans and changes to them for 2013


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2013 has been a great year!  I’ve been pretty public about the highlights of the year that were planned:  building a house, selling a house and sending the kid to kindergarten.  But as life turns out some unplanned stuff has happened too.

This year I planned to build a house near the livestock, parents, family, corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, etc.

Check – done!

I planned to send the kid to kindergarten, whether he wanted to go or not.

Check – done!

I planned to sell the house we bought ten years ago – And was incredibly blessed to get a really strong offer less than two weeks on the market that closed almost a month before I had to give up possession.  I didn’t even know a deal this good could exist.  I had prayed about this for a while and God took care of that in bigger and better way than I ever imagined!  Check +++!

I planned to help my dad some with harvest.  Another check mark.

And then I planned to sit on my darn couch and rest for a couple months and enjoy all that I ran myself so ragged the entire rest of the year accomplishing…. Until into an awkward (pre-planned by his uncle for well over a year) meeting walked a turkey farmer.

I’m not generally a sappy, emotional, whatever girly person, unless you have a great personal Jesus story or pork cooking experience to share with me because like somebody once said about bronchitis on YouTube “ain’t nobody got time for that!”  I said that so you wouldn’t read on hoping to cry or something ridiculous.

I was invited to a wedding in the turkey farmer’s area.  The bride’s family are bacon and turkey farmers (it’s kind of the thing to do out there).  The specific turkey farmer we’re discussing’s uncle (this uncle loves turkeys more than my kid loves Santa Claus, but is he involved with pigs too – that’s how he knows me) learned of my invitation and insisted that I needed a dance partner.  Feeling VERY awkward about the whole deal I asked him to tell me about this nephew.  All I really got is that he’s shy.  And shyness is what dreams are made of right?

I never got an answer from myself about what was happening in my life, but I thought whatever and rolled with it.

One of the nephew’s co-workers had asked me for a full report post dance partner program.  What do you seriously tell somebody like that?  So the next day I sent him this text, “It was love at first sight, I’m trying to figure out when to quit my job and move.”

He replied, “Oh, okay,” fully knowing I was full of crap – so I hope you readers are picking up the intense sarcasm at this point.

A few days later (I haven’t heard back from the turkey farmer at all, not sure if I’m going to) I get a completely unexpected text from the co-worker “the uncle must think his dance partner program went well because he just fired somebody in the office to make room for you” – My intense sarcasm just got one-upped.  Dang, the poultry fumes must be fueling some good humor in western Ohio.

I obviously heard back from the turkey farmer / dance partner or I wouldn’t be telling you about this would I?

I told him I wasn’t going to post anything about whatever is happening on Facebook until he quit fence sitting with the two proteins and got a pork tattoo.  A friend who knew this joke, I mean story, asked the turkey farmer if he had the tattoo when they met.  The turkey farmer responded, “Yes, but I can’t show you.”

Well the last thing about to happen to me as 2013 winds down is getting duped by a turkey farmer.  He’s got a few brothers, which I don’t know very well, so I debated whether to ask one of them to look for it.  But, then I didn’t know whether to make this request in front of his parents or how that might go over, so I’m just trusting him at this point.  I mean a tattoo can always be added, if needed, maybe even bigger and better as punishment for lying, right?

And all of this after the Little Farmer sends this note from our strictly John Deere loving house to Santa:

Case IH Santa request

What’s going to happen the next time I let him make decisions independently?!?

While we’re all here together disclosing shocking personal information on the internet I might as well admit that pork is a red meat.  Yep, I’ve grown up in a family that made a living from all things red meat (and milk) and I’ve carried on that fine tradition to support my son and me.  So, I guess we’ll all just have to wait with baited breath together and find out how long this deal with a real white meat farmer will last.

No chicken jokes will be approved in the comments.  Remember he’s a turkey farmer!


Two Qualities I’ve Worked Hard to Avoid…


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I just wrote a note to a friend who is getting married.  Others have enjoyed it when I’ve shared it verbally, I’m hoping the sarcasm translates to the written version…

Several years ago when I was married some friends from church had a game night.  Mark (husband) and I got the high score and grand prize – a book about marriage called “Love and Respect”.  I was like, well it’s the thought that counts, but I’m fine, and I don’t need to change a thing.  I did the logical thing and put the book straight on the shelf fully knowing I had not a thing to change.  I probably kept it in case Mark would ever need to refer to it.

A few years later Mark died and I had a lot of friends around.  This book (that I never read) from the past kept coming up randomly.

One day a friend was talking about her marriage and like a light bulb turning in the middle of the night it occurred to me that I had a great resource that could help her.  So, I gave her the book, still knowing that loving and respecting people (especially men) had no direct application to me.

This summer there were some changes with my women’s Bible study and me moving.  I’ve had it on my heart recently that I should take the Little Farmer to Wednesday night Bible study at our church.

It rained today, so we weren’t helping in the field, and I really had no good excuse not to do what my heart was telling me – take us to church.

I dropped the Little Farmer off with the other kids and I was two or a few minutes late to the adult session which I expected to be downstairs, because that’s where it was a couple years ago when I dropped in.  Somebody told me adults were upstairs.  I wondered if the preacher was on vacation or what was causing the change.

Yep, I sat down to the opener of a six week series from Dr. Emerson Eggerich – on Love and Respect.  Guess what, he wrote a book too.

Funny thing – my preacher has been talking about this special study inviting everybody for WEEKS.  And I completely forgot – because, remember, it doesn’t apply to me!

I’ve even had a good friend go the conference and talk about how life changing it is and how much the principles they teach would help me get along better with all men.  But I thought if my son, dad and boss don’t also hear it how will they change?

I’ve been studying something Biblical for nearly five years straight, yet I’ve successfully avoided the relationship strengthener “Love & Respect.”


Now that the opening principal has been freshly reinforced I’d like to share it:

Each one of you must also love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.  Ephesians 5:33

In summary – men need respect and women need love.  I’d share more, but there’s already a book about it.  If you do read it drop me a line if any of it applies to me.