Monday, April 15, 2013

Keepin' it real...

(Okay -- I may be busy, but I WILL make time for this!)
I’ve been really busy…and I’m not too good at it.

I consider myself a “small plate” person. My plate fills up pretty quickly as far as activities go. I wish it were different, but try as I might to enlarge my plate, it has only increased a little.

And let me say right now that I know I am really, REALLY blessed to be able to tailor my activity to fit my small plate. True, our summers on the farm are FULL of busyness, but the rest of the year we have plenty of flexibility.

Because of that flexibility, I have been able to work in the place of my friend, Sharice, who is recovering (well, I might add!) from her surprise (that’s the nice way to say it) open heart surgery. It’s a chance for me to put into action God’s admonition to “bear one another’s burdens”, and if it makes Sharice’s burden lighter, I am happy to do it.

But truthfully, I’m having a little trouble getting my feet under me! I feel a little lost when I look at my day, and wonder how it’s all going to fit. A bit of paralysis sets in when I try to decide which task should be first. Thankfully, it’s easy to decide to just go to work at the truck repair shop, and worry about the rest later.

The past month has been full of calendar events, so I have just moved from the first urgent demand to the next urgent thing. Most weeks, I have had more than one event scheduled for 4 out of the seven days of the week. Not the norm for me!

It makes evident that I am not good at internal motivations. I am pushed along by the external schedule until a little free time appears and I’m not sure where I am, and what I should be doing, and woe to the hubby who asks when dinner will be ready.

Not good, really -- not good…

I still need to learn to be a grown-up, and make my own choices instead of jumping into the River of Urgency and getting swept away. I haven’t grown out of The Good Dutch Girl mindset that expects that no activity or responsibility can be dropped in a season of busyness – The house must be kept up, the cooking continue, the schedule must be kept…Really, there is stuff that CAN be let go, while more important issues take the forefront in my schedule! (I’m thinking cooking and cleaning are the best things to jettison! {wink,wink})

So once again, God is using circumstances to remind me that I still have a lot of growing up to do. I avoid being busy most of the time, and this season of busyness is teaching me that more lessons need to be learned.

You may notice me muttering to myself…I am likely saying, “Come on, Leslie! Be a grown-up!”

Or I might be wondering what I came into the room for…

I’ve noticed that busyness exacerbates the mental pauses of age and The Big M…

But it does keep life interesting…If you can remember it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A post in which I wax on without much eloquence, but feel better afterwards...

So yesterday I stayed home from the Truck Repair shop, where I’ve been filling in for my recuperating friend, Sharice. The purpose of this “day off” was to catch up on my responsibilities with revising the Good Agricultural Practices policy book that we are required to have.

My dear sis, Erin, has done a yeoman’s job of creating this, and now I need to adapt it to our farming operation. I was supposed to accomplish this while she was gone on her South African safaris…but it didn’t happen.

And by the way, she and Larry had a wonderful time! They acquired (PC way of saying they shot) many trophies. I’m proud to say that my sis got her zebra with one shot, and not only a zebra! Wildebeest, blue & black, blesbok – or something like that…so many ____boks in that country, and eland and kudu and duiker and everything except a warthog, which just seems wise to me -- Who wants a warthog on their wall? And when I say trophies, I’m meaning all the animals they will have mounted for display – but, in actual fact, they got some animals that were of exceptional size and quality, and would be considered record-breaking and therefore true trophies! Apparently, Larry & Erin are not just hunters; they are skilled marksmen! We’ve heard some of their stories, but I think we’ll be hearing many more in the next months. I love hearing them – and am so proud that I have a brave sis, who thoroughly enjoyed the excitement – and some danger – of this trip.

But I digress – and really, in the best way this time because what I say about them is probably a lot more interesting than the rest of this missive.

I would stop – but, you know I won’t.

Anyway, I spent the whole day saving, copying, deleting, revising, and generally getting eyestrain because we have to have a manual that is supposed to be a substitute for common sense.

Common sense has become so rare that it’s not a given in business anymore -- same for personal responsibility. Everyone/everything is suspect, and so we have to prove that we are responsible, and have common sense by lining out each action we will take to ensure that the berries we grow and process are indeed edible, and that we are not, by neglect of common sense, poisoning anyone.

Okay – I have a bad attitude about it. I could take the viewpoint that we are showing people how careful we are with the food that they will give their families…and giving proof of how we aim to achieve best quality…

But, I find it tedious in the extreme, and more than a little confining that we have to document that we have told our workers to wash their hands after using the bathroom, and to sing the ABC song while doing it to guarantee the germs are gone. Didn’t they learn that in kindergarten? And then we must also put a poster on the restroom with the instructions in case they forget what we have told them.

Or that we have to document, every time we have a flat tire in the field, that we have assessed the risk factors for fruit contamination, and addressed them…and explain the 6 steps that we took to accomplish this, as well as what tools we used to fix it, and whether we put them anyplace that the fruit might touch, and that we retrieved every one (the numbers must be documented) before we started the machine again.

It reminds me of my brother-in-laws query whenever my sisters or I start telling a story: “Is this going to take longer to tell than it did to live it?”

Pretty soon, that’s how it will be! It will take us so long to describe all the responsibility and common sense we exercise that we won’t be able to actually do the deed.

Our country seems to be bent on becoming The Land of No Risk, which I think is dumb, not to mention impossible. I know it is all part of the quest to insure equal outcomes for everyone, which I also think is dumb and impossible.

And yesterday, The Land of No Risk invaded our farm, and my life, and I wonder just how nonsensical life in The Land of No Risk is going to become…It’s already pretty nonsensical. Our Congress is spending way too much time trying to make laws that protect us from people who don’t obey them anyway. They are also trying to portray that our system will fall apart because now they will not get as big an increase in funds for the next fiscal year. You made it last year on less – why won’t that work again? And in the meantime, they are brushing off the threats of a deranged dictator bent on sending a missile our way…

It is already the Age of Non-Reason…

But, never fear, I have a manual that will teach non-reasonable people how to use common sense when they grow and pick raspberries.

I’m pretty sure that those who need a manual for common sense aren’t going to have much success with it anyway…

God Bless America.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

His name is Angus...

...and he's our new grandpup.

AND he's about as cute as they come...
Since the first of the year, Caitlin has been contemplating an addition to her little family...a little brudder for Olive.
Since shortly after the first of the year, we have been discouraging her, and doing our best to dissuade her. I guess we couldn't quite imagine adding another Olive to the mix.
Oh the caninity!
And now you know how much influence we have over our children as Angus arrived a week ago. Cait and I trekked down to SeaTac to pick the little guy up at the Delta Cargo depot.
I even did the driving -- during rush hour...which is something Caitlin has been very grateful for because it is something her momma just doesn't do.
But for the sake of Girl/Puppy bonding, I did it. And lived to tell about it.
Cait's first moments with the little guy. "Are you my mother?"
Yes, yes little man -- she is.
When we got to the cargo depot, a lady who was loading her packages into a van outside it, said to us, "Oh! Are you here for Dimples?" (Dimples was the breeder's name for the pup.) We were a bit surprised, and said that yes, we were. "Oh, they thought we were here for him. He is so cute! Have fun with your new pup!"
Dimples, soon to be Angus, was in his crate just behind the counter, waiting for us, and being doted on by the staff, and the customers.
"Dimples! Your mommy is here!"
I think they wanted to say "already here" because they seemed to be enjoying having the little pup on the premises.
Dimples, now Angus, was more than ready to get out of his crate.
He covered us with kisses, and danced some happy wiggles...(so different than Olive's fearful, trembling introduction...Though that was the last time we saw Olive fearful and trembling.)
Anyway, he was a happy little boy...even after a long day of flying from Tennessee. And we were his heroes, his new-found family and recipients of his undying love and affection.
I'm sure that what he was trying to say.
We stopped in Bellevue to show him off to Jess, and while we were at his place, Angus got a little bath to clean off the...well...the nasties that had got on him from the flight. After drying off, and a little romp with duties done in the yard, it was time to head home to meet his Big Sister.
Olive was THRILLED! And not in the predatory kind of way that we feared. She thinks he is a fantastic playmate...a stuffed toy come to life! And not all the wires in her brain are crossed or shorted out because she knows that she can't be too rough, or use her teeth on him. She kind of gnaws at him when they are rough-housing, but the teeth are not used as weapons.
Angus, for his part, thinks she's pretty fun too, and he's not intimidated. He rears up on his little back legs and barks his tiny bark and pounces at her...and OH THE JOY that ensues as they wrestle!
Daisie looked at us as if to say: "Seriously, we're doing this AGAIN???!!!" But she couldn't deny her curiosity and has been checking him out, and herding him around, and trying to play as best you can with someone who is one tenth your size. I think that once she found out that Angus was not going to jump up, bite her floopy lips and hang on until he fell off, (Olive's modus operandi when she came) Daisie had hope that something compatible could work out. Mostly, she is still suspicious that she will be the doormat of everyone, but now and then trying to exercise some authority over Angus. He's quite happy to oblige, and then Daisie is not sure WHAT to do.
So far, Angus is Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky, doing the things that puppies love to do. His antics are dog in miniature, which make us all laugh. His snuggles are addictive, and his naptime snores on your shoulder can paralyze.
I had told Caitlin that this time we would NOT be doing puppy day care again...
...but we pretty much can't say no to this little face.
So we are back in business...
...and right now, pretty happy that Caitlin doesn't listen to us.

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life ( and one where I can vent. (