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Readers are Leaders 📚 📖

I was getting ready to pull out of my driveway to take the three little cowgirls to school and I look in my rear view mirror and see this view. My girls and I all love books. But it warms my heart to see them reading unprompted, all at the same time.

Readers are leaders people. Inspire your children to read. I’ve always told my girls I don’t care what they read as long as they are reading! Happy Wednesday!

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Ditching the Resolution and Choosing a Word

So it’s now 2018. In years past I would have already been a few days into my New Years Resolution….Usually having to do with losing weight or organizing my life better. And let’s be real for a moment, I have failed at them year and year again. SO, knowing i will never achieve those, I have come upon something that I can stick with!

I have chosen a word to inspire me in 2018! A single word can be so powerful. This year I have chosen “Truth”. This word just speaks to me. It reminds me to be truthful with others , but also with myself on a variety of fronts such as parenting, and financial ability. Being truthful doesn’t just mean telling your best friend her dress is absolutely hideous when she is asking your opinion; it means really considering things for what they are.

So this is me in the New Year, ditching the Resolution and living a single word.

What’s your 2018 word?!

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Morning Lessons While Riding

So JoJo and I have kicked off our fall riding routine. We call it #operationfatunicorn , but just between us of course, because well, you just dont call someone else’s unicorn fat…even if it is true.

Our five mile ride gives me so much time to think. I usually spend part of it talking to God. Trying to get my mind right. Today I was focusing on forgiveness. Forgiving myself, forgiving people that have hurt me, forgiving all the transgressions big and little both that all pile up on my soul.

I started out feeling angry, ungrateful, and just plain nasty. I asked God to put words of forgiveness in my heart. Something healing that I could repeat until I truly felt all the bad just melt.

As always he gave me words .

As I leaned forward in my saddle wind and mane in my face, with the sounds of Jos feet hitting the ground In quick succession I heard his words. And I let go of all that I needed to. I let it fall away as we galloped across an open field . I could just imagine the negative falling off in pieces and being carried away in the breeze. Sound a bit fantastical to you? Well, I’ll tell you, it was…. I mean I do ride a unicorn 🦄.

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Meanwhile in Kansas; Not far from the HK Bar

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Wild fires have been ravaging thousands of acres in Kansas and Oklahoma, while there is simultaneously a blizzard in another part of Kansas. Strange weather we are having recently.

The fires are a little over 200 miles from the HK Bar. Scary to think something so tragic is happening to farmers and ranchers that we consider neighbors. Anyone in ranch country knows that 200 miles isn’t a drop in the bucket, and distance doesn’t keep us from having a close farming and ranching community.

Today I am  praying for healing and peace to those whom have been affected by this disaster. I pray for the cows, horses, and hundreds of other livestock that lost thier lives. But most of all I thank God that he promises renewal after fire.

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Seeing Something Feeling More

I have hesitated to speak about this topic. I have begun at least a dozen posts much like this one. I rarely ever have a fear for judgement or ridicule of any kind. I am basically in most pretenses true to myself, and I am who I am type of person. I am naturally a forward person, often socially awkward due to being to blunt and having a general lack of appreciation of how I may be seen. Unless of course someone begins to speak of ghosts, spirits if you will, people call them by a dozen names, when people speak of these things whether a television show or thier own experiences I often wince and retreat within my own thoughts……and experiences…..

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I told my neighbor and great grandfather a story once when I was about four. I told them I went to the Indian graveyard (true place nearly a mile from my mother’s farm, Mockingbird Hill Farm where I was raised) and that I saw Indians and white people camping around a fire. There were Indian ponies painted in bright red with all sorts of designs on them…..and white settlers in primitive clothing. They were all sitting round a fire. I remember it was windy and as darkness fell they leaned in closer in a circle towards the fire. No one was smiling and there was a general heaviness in the air.

I remember my Great Grandfather and my neighbor, Jim, laughing and patting my head. Of course I was telling a story, after all wasn’t I always the girls that spoke to her horses and related better to animals than people? But I also remember the smell of smoke in my nostrils mingling with the smell of dirt and sweat off the painted ponies.

The thing is, all these years later and multiple experiences later, I really wonder if it was a story from my imagination, or if maybe it did happen.

I often see flashes of something. Often dark or light grey. Like when you see someone in your peripheral vision and you can’t see any details. Just a shape and maybe some color. Only when I turn they quickly vanish. When this occurs I sometimes get a cold chill run down my spine, but more often than not the voice in my head just says oh one of you again and that is the end of it.

After the first few dozen or so of these experiences after I was an adult, I went to see an eye specialist. I was convinced I was having what they call floaters, or having some other type of visual disturbances. It turns out I was having visual disturbances, just none caused by any medical condition of my eyes. They were  happening.

I have heard voices at least three times in the recent past. One of which was whispering at night. My husband and I were lying in bed when it began. I lay there listening, frozen in place wondering if my tired mind was playing tricks. That is, until my husband grabbed my hand and said, “Please tell me you hear that too?!” I said of course I hear it! Then it abruptly stopped. There was absolutely no explanation for what we heard that night.

Another time I was in bed, awake, minutes before my alarm was due to sound. I heard a young girls voice ask, “Mama? Mama?” With closed eyes, and presuming I was hearing the voice of my oldest daughter, Captain Boo, I said, “Yeah baby, climb up into bed on daddy’s side and we will get up in a few minutes.”. When after a few minutes I didn’t feel any movement on the bed, or hear any more speaking, I sat up and opened my eyes. No one was there. Upon further investigation I found my daughter sound asleep in her bed. And once again there was  no explanation for the voice I had heard.

I guess I’m tired of pretending I don’t see things. I know I must sound crazy to some people. But anyone that knows me would testify that I am a stable, sane, ” normal” person. There is a stigma against people like me, people who see and hear things that can’t ever be explained.

I even hesitate to publish this, even on such an anonymous forum as a word press account. But its time I put my fear to rest, and accept myself as I am, as a “sensitive” or whatever word someone wants to label me as.

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Because Muddy Jeans and Chore Boots Belong

Got up as usual and got Boo, Owl, and Bunny round. I usually feed horses before I take Boo to school. In nasty weather the girls sit in the truck and watch me feed and water. Today was one such day. The HK Bar received nearly an inch of rain last night so the pastures are muddy, the lane is muddy, hell, the mud is muddy.

While feeding breakfast to the horses of course my boots got muddy and my old jeans had spatters of mud as well. I wasn’t concerned about my attire, I mean it’s not like I was going to church! But then, that’s when reality hit. When I got back into the truck Captain Boo pipes up from the back, “Hey Mama, remember today is mass at school? Remember, you said you and the little girls promised to come!”

That’s when I looked down at muddy jeans and boots and thought Oh holy shit! Oh No! I have no time to change my clothes and I do remember I promised!

So I made a decision and said, “Of course I’ll be there Boo! I wouldn’t miss it for the world!”

The smile on her face was all worth it. So I got out once again, hosed of my boots the best I could and then headed off to church.

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At least the little girls were clean (no muddy boots) and dressed cute. No one batted an eye about my attire. Ok I’m sure there was someone that thought I looked like a bum. But then again, I don’t really care one way or another, because I was there fulfilling a promise to Captain Boo. And church isnt about what you wear on the outside, its about what you wear on the inside!

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Me, Owl, and Bunny

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Culling The Herd

On the farm tough decisions are often made. One of them is culling animals. I hate this job. And it always seems to fall to me. My husband works long hours at two and sometimes three jobs, so its only fair I pick up the slack and cover this area. And besides, if it were up to my soft hearted husband we would never cull anything and my breeding program would be a mess…OK not that things are great right now but still.

My little Angus herd is a sad affair right now. I have two mature cows I raised from bottle babies seven years ago, and then one weanling heifer born to one of said mature cows this past spring. Yep, that’s it, that’s the herd. I sold off ten black Angus last year to cover bills and unexpected expenses. 2014 was a trying financial year for the HK Bar, and 2015 is proving no better. So I’m slowly rebuilding my herd.

In that I’ve recently decided to cull one of my beloved cows, Ebony. The past four years she has only produced one live calf. She will catch, but no calf ever appears. Every season she didn’t calve I have said to my husband, “I hate to say it, but I think it’s time. We can’t afford to feed something if she doesn’t have a job.” And every time he would say let’s give her another go, and because I had blood, sweat and tears in this cow, I’d agree.

Everyone that knows my husband and I well would think I am the soft heart and that my husband is the cold hearted one when it comes to animals. But its the exact opposite really. Of course I love my animals deeply, and many of them become dear friends to me. But with cows, chickens, and the hogs it is me who is cold hearted. Unlike my husband who would let Ebony live out her days on the HK even when she was a financial drain and provided no income, I am the one to make the decision to cull her and sell her.

The HK Bar saying has always been, “We don’t do fancy, we do real.”

And culling is the very real NOT fancy part of the HK Bar. The time has come. I’ll be loading Ebony in a few short days and taking her to market. A part of me will be sad to see her go, and know that I am the one ultimately sealing her fate. We all know what happens to cows that won’t calve. It’s not a story book ending. And then that other part of my will make my heart go ice cold, because I know that this is the way things work on a farm. No matter how hard, I have to make decisions that make sense financially, not because it will break my heart.

I always pray for my cows I cull. It’s usually short and to the point, but I thank God for the chance to have cared for these animals, and to have benefited from them both financially and nutritionally. These animals are what make the HK Bar what it is. And to them I am thankful.

Maybe the emotional toll I go through culling is the price I pay for all the gains that they have blessed me with.

From The HK Bar to the world what needs culled in your life? Culling is a necessary, sometimes painful process, yet an absolutely necessary one to make the herd stronger.

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Ebony (far left) Fortune Cookie (center) Ellie (Far Right)