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So I was Basically the Mean Girl

Last week I took my three girls shopping for new bathing suits as the following week swimming lessons were scheduled to start. Because we live in a fairly small rural town we made a day of going to “the city ” (Lawrence, Kansas) -big but not the big city. 

We pulled up in the parking lot of Target and the traffic was fairly busy so I told my oldest daughter Boo, whom is 7, to exit her side of our Yukon and walk round to the front and stand close to me as I still had to unbuckle my two youngest daughters (Owl 4 years old and Bunny 3 years old) from thier car seats. Boo exited the vehicle as I’d instructed and starts to make her way round our Yukon when I notice a lady exit an SUV on Boo’s side. She is looking at Boo and I can hear her ask her a question. I’m unbuckling the two little girls and watching this unfold. Of course as a mom that frequently travels with all three of my young girls, I am very aware of my surroundings and alarm bells are sounding in my head. I am literally mentally shouting at Boo to quickly get round my side of the Yukon. 

Thankfully I have frequently had the stranger talk with my girls. And just as Boo and I had practiced she didn’t pay the lady any mind and high tailed it to my side. I did a collective sigh when I had my hands on her shoulder. But then ! The lady from the SUV continues to walk round to us standing on our side of the Yukon and says to me, “Wow, you have a whole crew there!” I commenced to nodding and paying her no attention. I look up expecting her to have gone but she’s standing at the end of the Yukon just staring. If my alarm bells were yelling before they were utterly screaming now. There is no way this woman could be up to any good. 

She then proceeds to say, “Nice Yukon, it looks much newer than in your pictures.” Meanwhile I’m thinking what? I don’t know you! What scam is this?! 

I’ll tell you what happened next. I became 😡 angry. How dare someone think to threaten the existence of me or my daughters. So I did what any insane mother bear would do, I became the mean girl. I squared my shoulders, tucked my girls behind me and lifted my shirt enough to reveal my shoulder holster and pistol. And I said, “I don’t know what you’re going on about but I don’t know you and I’d be obliged that you respect the space of me and my girls.” I didn’t draw on her or anything of the like, but I wanted to send a very clear message. 

The color commenced to drain from her face at an alarming rate and she put her hands palm up in mock surrender and said, “I’m supposed to meet a lady with a black Yukon for sale.” 

Before I could say anything more a black Yukon, identical to mine with a few more bumps and bruises pulled up next to her, rolled down the window and asked if she was so and so that agreed to meet to look at the Yukon for sale…..

I tipped my hat and took my brood on in to the store. In the moment I didn’t think much about the whole experience, just the fact that I was relieved this woman whom I’d thought a threat truly was just meeting someone and it was a case of mistaken identity. 

But these few days later it appals me that I even feel the need to behave in such a way in today’s society. I grew up where everyone left doors unlocked, where everyone said hello and offered you a cup of coffee even if you weren’t a familiar face. And here I am today in a public car park with my three girls armed to the teeth and ready to push back if threatened. Has it really come to this? 

I don’t want to teach my girls that the world is a place to be scared of. I do want to teach them to be prepared, aware, and minimize themselves as a target or victim of crime. In today’s world how do we do this without going overboard? 

So today I’m praying for knowledge, the knowledge to lead my girls and raise them into independent women that can protect themselves, but yet be the person that still offers a friendly word to a stranger in a car park. 

How do you raise children in today’s society to toe the middle of the road between safe, yet still personable ?

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What Are the HK Bar Cowkids up to?

Swimming! Lots and lots of swimming!

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Bunny, Captain Boo and Owl (from left to right) waiting on thier lessons

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Captain Boo with her swim instructor

This morning we were at the pool by 0830, and our last lesson finished at noon! Holy cow I’m going to have three little fishes soon!

I love the water, and I want my girls to not only love the water, but to be safe! Our rules are:
1. No running!
2. Life vest on! And in eye sight of parent/adult.
3. Wear sunscreen!
4. If you can’t touch bottom then you shouldn’t be that deep! (For now since my girls aren’t independent swimmers yet)
5. No horse play! Someone could get hurt.
6. Drink lots of water.
7. No peeing in the pool! (Added by Owl)

We are also starting the summer reading program at our library today. (After my little swimmers wake up from thier nap). I think it is so important to keep my kids reading and interested in books. They continually learn and progress. And it will make back to school time easier. We want to make it a good habit now!

Another fun thing Captain Boo, 6, is doing is writing letters snail mail style! She currently writes to a friend from school, a cousin, and one of her Great Aunts. It is a great way for her to practice writing, reading, and connecting with other people in a different medium. (Other than phone/computer/etc.) She loves sending them off and who doesn’t love getting
things in the mail???

Along with riding horses and gardening these are our big summer time activities. We are always on a shoestring budget. I want my girls to learn life skills while they are having fun ! And these are a few ideas that won’t break the bank! Need ideas for affordable summer fun? I encourage you to check with your local library, recreation commission, or area chamber of commerce for ideas!

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Staying Safe

I googled my own name out of curiosity and boredom. There was so much that came up it was shocking. Of course I have left a digital (is that the right word? I’m not techy at all.) footprint, but I didn’t realize how easily other people could access my life with a few simple key strokes.

Today I got two new followers, I was excited….until I realized they were incarcerated men. These men might be innocent and nice great fine fantastic people….but odds are not favorable that is true. And they can see pictures of my kids!!! It was all I could do not to ring my tech savvy best friend Jen right then and there to make her wipe out the majority of my pics. But she is in a completely different time zone, some eight hours ahead of me. I didn’t think she’d appreciate my middle of the night (my afternoon) revelation that maybe I had put too much out there into the internet abyss that I now wanted back.

Wow! Reality hit home. I even considered shutting down my Facebook….and if you know me even a little you’d know that’s BIG. You see. I love Facebook. I love keeping up with friends and family. I love seeing snippets of their day and what’s happening in their lives.

But I do not love the feeling of being so exposed to people I don’t know. I know I know I’m writing a blog, and I’m the one who chose to put my pictures out into said internet abyss. But really what happens when you want them back? What happens  when you want a little anonymity?

Future posts I will really put more thought into what pictures go up. I am a very protective person when it comes to my family and friends…..or at least I thought I was. I prided myself on being the bulldog of the family….ouch.. Reality hurts.

A few more hours and I will be messaging Jen for advice and possible ways to protect and wipe out what I have already divulged.

How do you stay protected?

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Keeping your Fingers and Toes

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Bunny ready to feed horses. Bundled up in her rabbit skins.

My girls go everywhere with me. Being a sahm and part time nurse, I know the importance of bundling when it gets cold. My girls help me chore feeding horses, cows, and dogs every morning. What kind of mom or nurse would I be if I let their fingers freeze off? 😉

Winter here on the HK Bar (kansas) hits with the force of a bucking bull, and ready or not you better be ready! Frost bite can occur quickly,  within minutes if temperatures and wind chill are low enough. Please protect yourself and your family.

The most at risk areas of the body for frost bite are fingers, toes, ear lobes, and nose. Although all body parts can be affected if left in cold Temps for prolonged periods of time. These are just the ones affected first.

Stages of Frost Bite
1.) At first skin cold or prickling. Skin may become red.
2.) Numbness
3.) Hard or waxy looking skin
4.) Clumsiness due to joint and muscle stiffness.

See Doctor if
1.) Skin stays white, numbness persists, or any other color change to skin.
2.) Fever
3.) Pain, swelling, or redness
4.) New or unexplained symptoms
5.) If there is any question in your mind about damage or necessity of seeing physician.

The best ways to prevent frost bite is by layering clothes and protective wear, as well as limiting exposure time to cold temps.

I often put a light pair of mittens under a pair of heavier water proof mittens on my girls’ hands. I also do pants then coveralls on bottom. On top I do thermal shirt, sweatshirt,  then coat. For head protection I often do a fur hat and then hat up on coat.

My girls love being outdoors, and it is a necessary fact on the HK that they sometimes be exposed to the elements. Horses, cows, and dogs won’t feed themselves!

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Boo and Owl

I hope these few tips help raise awareness about how frost bite occurs.
Warm wishes from the HK!

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