Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Miniature Herefords and the Human Condition

There are many reasons people over the millenium have kept livestock. In biblical times and before, livestock was a sign of wealth. Wealth should be able to compound (thats how wealth accumulates....) so before there were banks and compounding interests, there were the original "stocks", who would produce little "dividends" yearly if all went well.

Sounds simple to me.

So for those of us who prefer to be out of doors (i.e. outside) instead of indoors (i.e. never ending work), and like working with "stocks", having a few head of cattle is a real and viable way to accumulate wealth. Ted Turner knows this, so does Ralph Lauren; they both live on large landholdings out west, raising, you guessed it, cattle! (and horses probably; I have seen both their ranches and livestock --just not in person)!

To me, being outdoors is truly connecting to life itself. The dirt under my feet, the smells of the earth, the sun, the rain, snow wind warmth,; the cycle of plowing, planting, birth and death...we are all a part of it, whether we like it, acknowledge it or disdain it......all of it. It is to truly engage with being, "living" alive.

Now don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the city and arts, culture (I grew up in suburban NJ, just 40 miles from New York City), great food and good music. Love it. The hustle and bustle and excitement.

But I cant live with concrete under my feet.

I don't "live" within four walls.

I don't follow the crowd.

Sure I can comply.

Sure I can "fit in" dress up, talk the talk, engage.

I like to think I am informed, concise, articulate.

I take my kids to the rodeo.

I take my kids to the Philharmonic.

I take my girls to NY City and Rockefeller Center

I take them to the Susquehanna State Forest 4wheeling.

We go to the Jersey Shore.

We watch Jersey Shore.

We watch PBR, NFL, NHL, Professional Boxing, Nova and Frontline. The American Experience.

We watch The Bachelor and Family Guy. (!)

Life is to be lived. Experienced. Hands on. In it. Sometimes life is clean, done up, dressed up New York Times; sometimes life is knee-deep in mud and manure helping a struggling new born calf to its feet.
That is one of the reasons I keep cattle. Because its all about life. And living. And watching my stock. And the "works of her hands". At least there is something to show for my time here on earth that is good, along with my home, my children; a garden....

"Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field." Ecc 5:9

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Best Medicine....

As you all know, I have been faced with some of life's harshest realities over the past 6 months. A life that was revealed to me and my children of lies and infidelity.

Of course the pain and grief over a loss that simply will not go away (unlike death, which slowly heals after burial...) is seemingly never ending. With my tears and great grief came the repeated declarations from friends and family that "you MUST get on some sort of medication to help with your depression!"

I assured them that I was not suffering from depression, but only from a broken heart; never the less, I finally gave in to the nagging and asked my physician if I should, indeed, be "on something?" (Medication Nation!!) Finally, she prescribed me some Zoloft and told me to begin taking it at half dose for the first week. I really did not want it, but decided maybe I should take "something", after all, "who wouldn't be depressed?" "Depressed" is not what I was, in no uncertain terms. I was heartbroken, pissed, disgusted, repulsed, completely blown away. Can you say "stupid?" well, I guess I was then; now its someone elses turn for stupid. Wiser now, my daughters and I will deal with issues of trust for a long time.

So I take a half dose of this medication, only to feel worse than ever afterwards.

I take the prescription bottle back to my doctor and tell her I don't really want it, nor do I feel I need it, as again I state, I am not "depressed" and believe in fixing a problem, not masking it with a prescription pill, as so many in America do these days. (Prescription drug abuse, especially among those who are involved in the medical professions, is a huge issue in our society today).

She then goes on to speak these magical words that probably very few physicians today speak...she told me:

"Diane, the best thing for you to do is to keep doing what you are doing, that is get outside every day as you do, take care of your cattle, get out in the sun and fresh air. Work with your hands and stay involved with the things that make you happy, which will keep you physically and mentally fit."

And she was absolutely one hundred percent right.

No medicine in the world will give you the satisfaction that one gets from the "fruits of ones labor". No anti depressant will take the place of a beautiful sunny morning, birds signing, a warm February breeze...the cattle running with glee, or dozing in the sun on the snow. The satisfaction of knowing the animals are well, calves are on the way, the wood is in before the rain comes, the gutters are all working, your house is in order. There is a satisfaction money cannot buy; no drug can offer, no tattoo can mask, no car can provide, the satisfaction of knowing that what you put your hand to is good, and that the results will be of benefit to yourself and others, that what you do with your time here on earth is decent and good; and will bring happiness and health to yourself and others. Tearing down, breaking apart families and homes for selfish desires, divorce, lies, drugs, all hurt people. Who will find true lasting happiness at anothers expense?

There is a reason the Amish have very little depression in their society...they are simply too busy taking care of things; their work, their families, their faith. True happiness, I believe, comes from serving others, not serving yourself. EMPATHY.

So my little foray into the Medication Nation halted on day one.

I think I WILL take my doctors advice, and "keep doing what your doing"

Because I know it is good, just, right and healthy. It benefits me and my children.

And that is GOOD MEDICINE for the heart body and soul.

"She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.."She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness..."

Prov. 31

Still, words of wisdom.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Thank you to all

Thank you to all who have watched my blog over the years, the stories and musings, sharing the triumphs and some of my deepest despairs.

Months have passed, late summer has passed into what was a beautiful but heartbreaking fall; winter rolled in gently, and gratefully is easing its way into hopefully an early spring....

It is an unfortunate fact that my blog, my livelihood, was being "monitored" by a certain someone who is a too-active participant in the demise of my marriage presently... some one who, and I quote .."was crying in the motel and dreaming of divorce and your children".

So as one can imagine, I have been very busy protecting my home, children and livestock from this gold-digging home-wrecker by remaining vague about the details of my present life. I certainly do and will continue to protect my children and the way I support them from any person so lacking in character, morals and quite frankly, intelligence.

Be that what it may, life will go on for us here on the farm. The pastures will green up, the barns will get cleaned out, the fences checked, the babies will come, and my children will continue to grow and mature into decent, moral and caring young women . They certainly have had the unfortunate opportunity to see firsthand what lying, cheating and adultery can and does do to a family, and they assure me that they have a great example of who and what they do not want in a husband and or a marriage. How very sad.

Like a hard pruning, I know this is for a greater good for my children and I. What has been revealed to me over the past months has been almost unbelievable; apparently the old saying holds true," once a cheater, always a cheater"... What goes around comes around.

With that I look forward to new beginnings. Faithfulness, joy in the small things that money cannot buy. A new calf, an Oriole building its nest; sunrises and clouds, sweeping storms. Laundry on the line, my girls growing into adulthood, laughter, swimming in the pool, maybe a horse or two. For all too soon they will leave the nest , a few more years they will be off to college, off to start their own lives, taking with them all the experiences of their childhood.

Peace love and joy.

I appreciate you all sticking with me through this.



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Prepare Your Work Outside

...and make ready for yourself in the field; Afterwards, then, build your house. Prov. 24:27

Ever wonder what that means? To me, it means set your self up to provide for yourself and your family first (as in the days when agriculture and livestock were a sign of wealth), then build your comforts; house, etc. For without the income, who can have the rewards?