Saturday, July 27, 2013

National Day of the American Cowboy

Today is the National Day of the Cowboy so I thought I would share this poem that I found the other day written by Tom Streeter. 

"Maybe a little insight into the magic that happens on the flight deck of a good bronc ... maybe just the rambling reminiscence of a broken, old bronc rider. 

After the disappointments, discouragements, and the repeated horrible beatings you take learning and endlessly practicing.... there comes that one, singular, incredible moment in time when it FINALLY all comes together. 

Everything feels right, you nod, the gate opens, and seventeen hundred pounds of professional athlete explodes under you. You feel his rhythm and match it, a nanosecond ahead of his. You see him clearly, you feel his every move.... you hear his breath and grunts. Your mind is clear, sharp, and focused. Your body responds instinctively to his. 

You and him meld together into a living, breathing, efficient, machine in perfect timing. His power and speed helps you. Your lift on the rein helps him. You complement each other with every move. You're partners, understanding each other. 

No colorful adjectives can ever describe the energy, the symbiosis, the sheer joy of that moment. As near as it can be described is a free trip to Disneyland, seeing every sunrise and sunset, winning the big lottery, and meeting God face to face... simultaneously ... all in eight seconds.

You don't want it to end. You don't want to surrender that indescribable feeling to a pickup man, but end, it must. It changes to an intense exhilaration, an 'afterglow', but there's a secret letdown that goes with it, mourning the loss of that magical moment. 

That feeling is addictive. It becomes part of every cell in your body, every thought in your mind. You spiritually, physically, psychologically and emotionally crave it. Heroin junkies call it 'chasing the dragon'. Bronc riders call it rodeo. It's why we willingly pay every dime we get to chase the rodeo dragon even though we might not be making money or a shoe-box full of buckles. 

Getting old is inevitable. Bronc riders tend to get old a little quicker than most. I try hard to age gracefully and enjoy the knowledge, wisdom and experience that comes with age. Most things I wouldn't want to do over, that "If I knew then what I know now" thing comes into play. As hard as I try, I can't help but mourn the loss of the incredible feeling of riding a big, strong, fast, honest, professional bucking horse." 

Written by Tom Streeter, Bronc Rider

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

County Fair 2013

Sorry this is practically a small novel and a little late but a lot has happened recently that I wanted to share with you!

Wow what a week!!!! I feel as if I could sleep for a solid week straight after the week I just had! This past week was my county fair. Now for most kids and people when it's the county fair all they are concerned with is the carnival and going up town to be with their friends. For me by the time all of that is happening I'm ready to be done with the fair. For the past 10 years (half my life!) the county fair for me has been centered around the livestock show. I show on Wednesday at either the pig or goat show or even sometimes both and then Thursday night was the premium sale. Along with livestock my sister and I being very involved with 4-H had achievement day as well where we brought all of our projects to be judged.

May not be from Indiana but every word is true!

This year however my dad and I got to help judge the projects on Sunday. We have been out of 4-H for a couple of years now and have been asked to come back as a judge. Let me tell you it's not easy being a judge!! I think i'm too nice of a person when it comes to judging. I want all the kids to do well and I hate to break their hearts when I give them a bad review. But it's still fun to get to do the asking of the questions instead of answering them. I got to judge the garden, horticulture, beekeeping, and part of the self determined categories. All the kids who exhibited this year did a wonderful job.

Tuesday afternoon was the chicken show and the beginning of the livestock shows. I was in town that afternoon and thought that I would just stop by and see how they were doing (at 3:30 pm) and say hi to my Ag teacher not really planning on staying. When i'm walking up the extension leader is there and asks if I would be willing to help out. I said sure not knowing what I was getting myself into! Well a good friend of mine and her dad were supposed to be the superintendents but her dad had to be gone for the night which left her by herself. So they asked if I would help her out and turned out I ended up becoming Co-superintendents with her!  We helped weigh the market birds, pass out ribbons, and I even got to help announce. We had a very successful night with the biggest poultry show ever with 95 birds! Since the show didn't start till a little after 6 and we had so many birds we were at the show until 9:30 that night!

The next morning bright and early was the swine show and since I wasn't showing pigs this year I decided to go and watch and maybe help out if they needed it. Turned out I got asked to announce again which landed me a permanent job. I got to announce the chicken, swine, sheep, and beef shows. Since I was showing goats I let someone else do it. It was lots of fun announcing because you get to watch the show from a ring side seat. We had a great pig show with quite a few hogs. I think they said the number was down a few from last year but still a good turn out.

The Pee Wee Class

After the pig show was over I ran home and got my goats and came back and showed them at 3. In a weeks time they each gained about 6 pounds!! This brought their totals to 99 and 98 pounds each! They were in the heavy weight purchased market class. There were 6 entries in their class and I got 3rd and 4th which is just right in the middle and nothing to be to sad about. They did good showing for the most part. The wether that I showed gets a little antsy when he stands for to long and wants to move around and rear up which is totally opposite of the other wether. Once you get him set up he just stands there and doesn't move a muscle. After the wether classes we had the showmanship class. This is probably one of my favorite classes because it doesn't matter what your goat looks like it matters on what you know about your animals and how you show. This judge asked questions which I really like because some kids don't have a clue when it comes to the animals they show. For me he asked the gestation, how much I thought he ate per day, and what I would change about my goat. I did pretty good I thought didn't really know how much they ate per day but oh well. I didn't end up getting it but still had a pretty fun day.

My first county fair and first ever goat show 

Me on the right and the girl behind me also has my other goat.

When the goat show was finished we loaded them up and took them home and I turned right around and came back for the sheep show that night. I got to announce it and we didn't end up leaving there until almost 10:30 pm. They had a nice sheep show with about 55 head if I remember right. Not to many ewes but mostly commercial lambs.

The next morning we had the cattle show which I also got to announce at. They had a decent amount of cattle there. Numbers were down some because many of the kids were away at different shows or had quit showing all together.

I had to leave the cattle show a little before it got over because I had a test I needed to retake from Monday! I went and took it Monday and the computer while I was doing it decided to shut down and do a systems update which meant I got locked out of the rest of my test! Luckily it was a proctored test so I had someone to vouch for me and the teacher reset it. So I went and took it and actually got through the rest of the test. I hope they get their computers figured out because a bunch of us have to go in to take our finals next week!

Thursday night after all of the shows are over they have a Premium Auction, which means that you "sell" your animal but get to keep it. Different businesses and people buy your animals but basically give you money for future projects, feed, or what ever you want to do with the money but you keep your animal. We also have a supper for the buyers and exhibitors and their families. My goat sold for 400 dollars which is pretty good. It was a great sale and all the prices were up from years past. I tried to buy a couple of animals because we figured that like in the past there would be new kids who wouldn't get but a couple hundred dollars. But everyone I started to bid on went way over our limit which was great but I didn't get to buy.

Even though the fair was going on this week I still had lots of homework and school stuff to worry about. I also had my nursing orientation Friday morning. We learned about our classes, stuff we needed, all the background/drug/physical tests that we had to get done before we did clinical, and got to meet some of the people that we would be spending the next year with. It is kind of exciting that we are getting close to starting but also very nerve racking of what the year will bring! All in all I'm ready to begin this class!!

Along with all of the livestock showing for the fair my beekeeping club had a booth set up on the square. I had quite a bit i had to do to help with it too. I had to get a banner, get the t-shirts ordered and picked up, and track down the guy in charge of the fair to make sure we had place to put our booth! So I've been busy last week and this week both getting all of the stuff for it lined up. I helped work the booth Saturday night. It was lots of fun and we had lots of people interested in beekeeping. It was a beautiful night and really not to hot so it was rather enjoyable!

All in all it was a great fair. Kind of sad being that it will be my last year showing but I know brighter and better things are on the horizon. Showing livestock was a wonderful way to spend my summers. I made countless friends and memories and truly had the time of my life. I encourage anyone with younger kids to get involved with 4H or FFA and to show livestock because you will not regret it ever! More on my sappy memories for a later post.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Walk Down the Dirt Road with....Brandi from In John Deere Green

This week's is a little late but I really wanted to get Brandi from In John Deere Green on because she was part of the reason I started doing this. She mentioned a while back that I should do a feature on my blog. She and I have a lot in common we both are/want to be nurses, we both love Ag, and we love small-town life!! So everyone I would like to introduce you to Brandi. PS Go and check her blog out she has some great posts!! 

Tell us a little about yourself: My name is Brandi, I blog over at In John Deere Green. I’m just a small-town farm girl from Iowa. I turn 22 on July 22! I graduated with my Associates Degree in nursing last July. I moved in with my wonderful boyfriend, Kyle, a little over a year ago. So we've been working on fixing up our house. We also adopted a little black lab/mix and named her Jules. I’m a part time RN and secretary at my boyfriend’s family’s Ag repair shop. My boyfriend is an Ag mechanic. My boyfriend’s family is part of a 5500+ acre corn & soybean farming operation, & hog building operation. So since dating him, my life has become much more agriculture filled.

Photo Credit Brandi

Why did you start your blog? The main reason I started a blog was so that I could have an outlet to blog about anything & everything I wanted. I also started one to find people who had common interests and that I could relate to. Agriculture and nursing both have an impact on my life. I’m also an advocate for both agriculture and health, so a blog is a good way to reach people. It’s just something I made in my free time to have fun and hopefully make some friends!

Photo Credit Brandi

What is your farm like? My boyfriend is part of a 5500+ acre farming operation so there’s a lot of land! We (Ha Ha we joke I’m already part of the family) mainly plant corn, occasionally soybeans. This year we did end up planting more soybeans because of the long winter then crazy wet spring. My boyfriend recently bought an acreage & we rent out the little farm-able acres we have. There is an 80-acre field that surrounds our house but the man that owned our farm before us put it in a 20 year trust; meaning it cannot be sold for 20 years & that it could only be rented to ‘small’ farmers – so we were out on that. We have two grain bins, a machine shed, a converted corn crib-to-auto body repair building (previously done), and a detached garage/storage building on our property.  We recently purchased a 50 x 60 building that will be put up in a month or so. This will be a shop for my boyfriend to work on tractors, trucks, etc.

Photo Credit Brandi

What do you enjoy most about life in Iowa? I enjoy the small-town life. Everyone knows who you are (good & bad, ha). When you pass someone on the road, they’ll wave. Strangers will help you out. Generally everyone is nice! And that’s great – I've been to big cities in other states and people are just flat out rude.

Talk about your job as a nurse: I work in long-term care. I do enjoy LTC because you are really able to get to know the residents and they almost become family. I am a Charge Nurse, so I don't pass medications. I take care of all admissions, deaths, falls, assessments, phone calls, neuros, etc. Because I love to get out there and do stuff (and to help out) I also do all of the blood sugar checks and feeding tubes. If a resident is sick it's my responsibility to assess them and call doctor for orders if needed, and to assign follow up care as needed. It's a little nerve-racking to be in charge of the whole building! I work 2nd shift so the DON and Administrator aren't around. And from 10-11 p.m. I am the only nurse in the building.

What are some of your hobbies? Tractor pulls, going to the movies, spending time with Kyle, family, and friends, going out for dinner, diesel trucks, tractors, blogging, playing with the dog, farming, being outside.

Since it is summertime what summer activities do you most enjoy? Being able to spend more time outside! During the summer I attend A LOT of tractor pulls and the county fair is always a blast.

What’s the most rewarding part of being involved with agriculture? I think it’s rewarding knowing that you are part of the driving force of the US. Without farmers/agriculture there would be no food.  It’s also great because it’s allows people to stay in touch with their roots. Agriculture is one of the most time consuming but rewarding industries out there.

What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you? I tried really hard to think of one specific piece of advice that someone has told me, but I honestly couldn't think of one! My grandpa is very important to me and has given me such great advice throughout the years so I’d like to give a shout out to him. Also my mom and Kyle have given me great advice as well.


Thank You Brandi for doing this feature! It was so great to get to learn more about you! If you would like to be featured on here email me at I would love to have you on! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Present

Here is the prompt:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to her website and invite others to join in.
3. Be generous and leave an encouraging comment for the person who linked up before you. That’s the best part about this community.

This weeks topic is : Present

For the past few years my life has been focused around the future. I recently graduated high school and for my whole senior year we were focused on where we wanted to go with the future. We had to decide what we wanted to do with our lives like with college, career, and path we wanted to be on. However it was also a time to back to the past and remember all the wonderful and not so wonderful times we had together as a class.

My mind still is strongly focused on the future. I have many goals and things I am working towards now that truly cause my mind to go there immediately. It can be a good thing to think towards the future because if you didn't you wouldn't have anywhere to go. You would just get stuck.

But in order to have a good future and the future we want we must take advantage of the present. We can't overlook things that are happening in the hear and now just to skip towards the future. I know that many an opportunity is overlooked right now and then we regret what we didn't do in the past. Plus how we handle thing now in the present will go on to either make a positive or negative future.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Walk Down the Dirt Road with....Suzi from Chores and Chandeliers

This week for A Walk Down the Dirt Road I asked my friend and fellow blogger Suzi from Chores and Chandeliers. I first came across her blog through her post she did about having a Chandelier in her barn. I knew from that moment on I would love following her blog! She is a very talented artist and photographer with so many wonderful ideas. If you don't already you need to follow her blog!! 

Thank you Suzi for going this guest post! If you would like to do a feature I would love to have you on! Just shoot me an email at 


Tell us a little about yourself:
Hello I am Suzi,  I blog over at Chores and Chandeliers.
I am a busy mom who always has a project (or 2) going at a time.  I am a mother to 2 beautiful redheaded cowgirls and one handsome cowboy. I am happily married to a very talented man. Without him many of my projects would not be nearly as impressive.  I am a Christian!  I am currently a substitute teacher.  My degree is actually in Art Education but for now I am a substitute. I’m an artist, accessory junky, animal lover, free spirit and a dreamer.   I love to remodel, refinish, cook, paint, sew, shop, decorate and redecorate.  I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty.  I am a kid at heart (and never plan to grow up).   I keep my camera at an arm’s reach at all times.  I'm addicted to cowboy boots and the color turquoise.  My home is filled with hand-me-downs and garage sale finds.  I have an eclectic style.....If it makes me happy, it goes in my house!  I live down a dusty dirt road in the center of Nebraska.  I attempt to make country life fabulous.  Not going lie, chores are not always fun, but if I can make them look “Farm Fabulous” it sure does help.  I am probably one of the most random people you will ever meet.  My blog reflects that....

Why did you start your blog and how did you come to name it?
I started my blog to show off some on my DIY projects and to share some of my thoughts.  I have no idea if anyone would follow but I didn't care.  I've been blogging for less than a year.

Well I made a list of like 20 names; I finally decided Chores and Chandelier fit me well.  Why does it fit me???  Well, I love to do chores, be with the animals, get my hands dirty on the farm, and dig into yard work.  I’m not afraid of hard work…..I actually REALLY enjoy it!!!!  I love the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a hard day of work.  I also love getting fixed up and heading out for supper after that hard day’s work.  This is where the chandeliers come into play.  I enjoy getting all dolled up!!!!!!  I’m a girly girl too.  I love makeup, hair, fashion, style.  But, I DON’T ALWAYS LOOK GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I also like my place {Inside and Outdoors} to look good!   I'm always doing a project inside the house or outside on the farm.

I love the juxtaposition of Chores and Chandeliers.
I think it fits me well, for instance…..

I have chickens but the coop has pillars, shutters, and a wreath

My smelly horse barn has a red chandelier

I LOVE Jewelry and it is displayed on an old screen door.
(it looks so bare in this photo compared to now *blush*)

I have old beat up wood floors, but I painted them with a chevron stripe!

Talk about your hobbies (photography, remodeling, etc.)
 I always have a couple projects going.  I don’t have any rules with my projects or photography.  I just do it.  I do what I like and what makes me happy.  I actually just made a quick link page on my blog with all my DIY projects I've done.  Check it out HERE

What makes Nebraska a great place to live?
4 DIFFERENT seasons:  I like variety and you definitely find it in Nebraska. We have EVERY extreme here.   I look forward to each upcoming season!

Huskers:  I Love Baseball season and the Ladies Volleyball Team!  But there is NOTHING comparable to a Husker Football Game!  The tunnel walk gives me chills EVERY TIME!!!!

Good morals and values:  Nebraska is far from perfect but I do appreciate that as a state we have good strong morals and values (especially in rural areas).

How “small” Nebraska is:  Ok, it is not really small but it feels small.  You can’t go anywhere in the state without running into someone you know, they know someone from your family, are related to and old college roommate, best friend use to date someone from your hometown, etc :)

Talk about the farm/ranch that you live on.
 We live only about 6 miles out of town {a small town in central Nebraska}.  We have no farm ground only pasture land.  We have cows, horse, pigs, chickens, cats, and a new pup.  I have a nice garden but plan on making it Larger next year.  {Every year it has grown in size}  We have lived here for almost 3 years. I LOVE living out here!!!!!  I cannot imagine living in town again.  I love raising the kiddos out here. 

Were you in 4H or FFA growing up, if you were what all were you involved in?
 Did 4H.  I LOVED IT!!!!  I started showing bucket calves and worked my way up.  I have shown a variety of animals over the years; cattle, goats, rabbits, horses { I think that’s it}.  I also did other areas of 4H like cooking, photography, first aid, etc.  I think it is an amazing program and great for all kids,  not just farm kids!!!  I can’t wait for my girls to be old enough to do 4H.

I did not do FFA.  I am the only one of my siblings not too.  I’m not really sure how {why} I didn’t do it!!!  But my only excuse is I was in a ton of art classes and I never took much for Ag classes in school so somehow I just never joined FFA.

A fun fact is I thought I wanted to be a bull rider when I was younger!  When I was in 3rd grade we had to pick a career of what we wanted to be when we grew up.  I REALLY wanted to say “bull Rider” but I knew the girls would laugh.  So I said “teacher” knowing that I WAS NEVER GOING TO BE A TEACHER!  HaHa, Guess what I am now???  A teacher!  Anyway I started out ridding calves at Jr Rodeos  and worked up.  The last time I rode {middle school} I tied for 1st with boy {he was not impressed by sharing with a girl}.

Where is the coolest place you've ever visited?
Well to be honest I have not visited many places!!!!  I’m pretty boring on this area.  {sorry}

What are some of your favorite blogs to follow?
YOURS!!!  :)  and….
There are lots more but I really enjoy these.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I received was when I was getting married.  I was trying to plan everything and a woman told me,
Don’t stress over the wedding.  It is only a DAY.  Your marriage is the REST OF YOUR LIFE! It really helped to keep me in check.

If money were no option what would be your dream vacation?
Well….. I have never seen the ocean!  REALLY!!!  So anywhere warm next to the ocean.

Thank you Erin for featuring me this week!!!!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Walk Down the Dirt Road with: Paige Stout

Hello everyone I have had some interest lately in doing a guest post section in my blog and I think it's a wonderful idea. I have enjoyed doing the few guest posts that I have done and thought it might be kind of fun working with the other bloggers and guests.
So for my first guest post or "A Walk Down the Dirt Road with" segment I decided to start of pretty big! This weeks guest blogger is Paige Stout, who currently is a stock contractor for the PBR (Professional Bull Riders). She is very much involved in the Ag industry, very passionate about her faith, and plans on becoming a nurse. So I'm sure you will all enjoy reading about her.

Tell us some background info on yourself: I am 18 years old. I have grown up and continue to reside in Weatherford, TX. I graduated high school a year early in 2012 in order to be on the road hauling bulls more. Following graduation I enrolled in Weatherford College and began working on my pre-requisites to get into nursing school. I recently got the news that I was accepted into RN school; therefore I will start nursing school this August where I plan on working towards my RN license and Bachelor’s degree in nursing.
What made you want to get into raising bucking bulls? I was raised at rodeos with my dad being a bullfighter for the Texas High School Association in West Texas. After many years of fighting bulls, my dad decided to begin raising and breeding bucking bulls. At the age of 10 I decided I wanted to purchase a bucking bull of my very own. The first bull I ever bought, All or Nothin’, I hauled and competed in many youth futurities with. I eventually sold him as a 4 year old and he went on to make his debut on the PBR tour.
Has it been hard as a women going into a field dominated by men? I began making my appearance in the bull riding industry at such a young age that I grew up with a lot of these guys. I have never thought twice about being a female in a male dominated industry because I’ve been a part of it for awhile now, it’s all I’ve ever known.  These guys just got used to seeing me everywhere and have done an excellent job of making me feel comfortable and included.
Who has helped you out most? My dad has been the most influence and guidance for me. He has taught me just about everything I know about the bulls and how to care for them. Bob Tallman is also someone that has supported me. Since I first started out and even today he continues to support me every step of the way.
What have been some of your biggest achievements? I have won Reserve Champion in 2009 at the National Bucking Bull Association World Finals, 2012 Youth Futurity Champion at the National Bucking Bull Association Bull Bash, and 2012 Junior World Champion at the American Bucking Bull Incorporated World Finals in Las Vegas. 2013 has held my biggest achievement yet by becoming a PBR stock contractor and hauling on tour.
What have been some struggles? The biggest struggle in the bucking bull industry is finding the quality of bulls needed to make it to the PBR level. A person can go through hundreds and thousands of bulls before they come across just one that is the right quality. It is like trying to find a diamond in the haystack. There are so many great bucking bulls out there; however the competition is so tough that you have to find the best of the best bulls to bring to these events.

 Photo Credit: Andy Watson- Bull Stock Media

What are your future plans for yourself/your business? My goal for 2013 is to have bulls at the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas. I plan on continuing to raise bucking bulls and haul on tour for a very long time. This is something I have worked my whole life for so it’s not something that I take for granted.
Talk about how important your faith has been throughout your life. My faith is the only reason for where I am at today. I love being on the road and hauling bulls, I’m living my dream and I’m more than blessed. However, I am in the position I am to spread God’s word with as many people as I can and glorify Him in all that I do. My faith has helped me get past all the challenges which have lead to my success today.
Are there many opportunities for women to get involved with bucking bulls? There are many opportunities for women to get involved in the bucking bull industry. Many all women futurities are now being held to help promote women getting involved.
 Photo Credit: Andy Watson- Bull Stock Media
What is it like being on the road traveling to different states and events? I love being on the road and getting to see the country while also doing what I love, hauling bulls. It’s a lot of fun seeing and exploring different places and meeting new people.
What has been your favorite event to go to so far? So far my favorite events have been Las Vegas and Albuquerque, NM. Both of these events were full of some of the best PBR fans. The excitement and noise the fans brought to these events was crazy, they were a blast!
What advice would you give to anyone looking to go into the bucking bull industry? Never give up! I can say from experience that there are going to be ups and downs, but I promise in the end it will all be worth it.
 Photo Credit: Andy Watson- Bull Stock Media
How do you name your bulls? I have a list of bull names on my phone that I started when I was a young. I think of names at the most random times, whether I’m singing a song or in the middle of a conversation. As soon as I think of a name I’ll write it down. My bulls have to earn their names though. Once they earn it I fit names to the bull’s personality.
Do you have a favorite bull? I do not have a favorite bull. All of my bulls are special to me; I spoil them and take care of them as if they were my kids. Every bull is unique in their personalities and character.
Thank You Paige for taking the time to share with all of us it is greatly appreciated!
You can keep up with Paige and her bulls via:

If you would be interested in doing a guest post I would love to have you on! Just shoot me an email at