Why Dames Don’t Let Their Men Drive Motorcycles Unprotected

Yesterday I celebrated my 15 year wedding anniversary.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s been a long road to get this far and I know the road will keep going, but not without it’s pot holes and crossroads. That’s just life.

But I will admit that last week I received a phone call that stopped my heart and made me fear that road had come to a end.

It’s the call we Dames all dread when we’re married to someone who drives a motorcycle.

It doesn’t matter that my husband has been driving a motorcycle for over 15 years.

It doesn’t matter that the motorcycle he was riding has been in our family for 12 years and his family for even longer than that.

It doesn’t even matter that for the past decade my husband has been a motorcycle safety instructor.

What matters is that every time he walks out the door to get on his motorcycle he is suited from head to toe in gear. That as he goes out the door I remind him, “Be safe” because every time I hear that motorcycle rev up in our driveway that I say a little prayer.

Sadly, it’s not him I so much worry about, then those driving other vehicles that pay no attention to motorcyclist.

Tis the season.

 

 

 

 

WATCH FOR MOTORCYCLES, PLEASE!

My husband is like a duck. Everything seems to roll off his back.

But when he called and asked me to pick him up in front the local Burger King, I initially thought the motorbike had broken down as it had two months before, but when I asked if he was okay and he replied, “I’m a little sore.” My heart stopped and my head told me he wasn’t broke down.

The young gentlemen leaving college that evening says he never saw my husband coming down the road, so he turned in front of him.

I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but when your motorcycle safety conscious husband is wearing bright yellow pants and a yellow reflective vest over his motorcycle jacket, it’s hard to believe the driver didn’t see him.

I have often teased my husband because of those bright yellow pants and listen to others make remarks about how my husband is the dude with the yellow pants.

According to the ER doctor it was those yellow pants that kept him from having a broken leg and possibly broken hip.

It was his motorcycle gear, covering him head to foot, that prevented him from road rash and another further damages to his body.

I feel so blessed that when I arrived at the accident scene my husband was able to walk away from the accident.

Not all motorcycle accidents have happy endings.

While my husband is not totally without injury, it could have been a lot worse.

Not all motorcyclist have enough common sense to wear helmets let alone proper gear to protect themselves.

It’s hot. I get that.

It’s your life. You got that?

My husband says I’m a nag. He’s probably right.

Don’t ever be afraid to make speak up and make the person you love gear up before they step onto that Motorcycle. Even a helmet is better protection then none at all.

More Than A Dame Can Handle

There is a saying about God and how he doesn’t ever give us anything we can’t handle.

If anyone ever tells you that – don’t believe them.

Just ask Kristen of We are That Family. Life isn’t fair. Whether things happen for a reason or not, won’t stop them from becoming over bearing.  Just like the girls at Mercy House in Kenya that Kristen helps and supports, no one ever asks for their circumstances.

We can only rise above them.

Even if it means stepping out of the picture perfect world we dream of having into a more rigid and pain filled reality.

Last night my seven-year-old stomped up the stairs for bed time exclaiming “Not fair!” to which I replied, “It’s not supposed to be.” And she argued, “Yes, it is!”

How I wish I had a pair of goggles that I could put on and bask in this child-like view of life once more.

We were all to trusting at that age, all too eager to please, and all too un-destructible (or so we thought we were).

We were taught to say ‘no’ and forced to take life slow.

But now, we can’t help ourselves. We’re busy. Too busy. We have cellphones that talk or alarms to keep us going from one thing to the next. Our world encouraged to do more in the time we have and so we say yes.

Our plates become full.

Our time becomes less.

We just keep saying yes.

Then there comes a time when we are overwhelmed stressed, and stretched to beyond our limit.

God didn’t do it. We simply stopped saying ‘no’ and keep saying ‘yes’.

I don’t know about you, but my plate has become full and its about to topple over.

It never ceases I know.

Sometimes we just have to learn to say ‘no’.

Sometimes we need a helping hand.

And sometimes we have to just ask.

Finish this sentence in the comments and share:

If there were one thing someone could do to help me today, it would be__________________.

A Dame, Her Book, and A Campfire

I realize in this holiday weekend that with schools soon letting out in the next week or so, that many summer reading programs are going to be staring up at local libraries.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have my kid with their nose in a book then pressed against a electronic screen with their eyes glued to a video game or movie.

Ever since my children have been old enough to read we’ve swapped reading time for video time. Every minute reading = a minute of electronics. Needless to say Boy has really taken off on reading and even though he takes his video time I find he balances the two best of our three kiddos.

There is so much we can learn from reading. I once read that there are so many books available to us that even if we sat and read all day long we would never even be able to read a fourth of the books in the world in our life time. Wow!

I find myself taking books with me when we travel, on camping trips, and especially in the evenings we turn off the television and curl up to read.

My TBR (to be read) has been stacking up on me lately. One of my dear friends’ new book Surviving Jamaica is up for Pre-Order. I encourage you to check it out. It’s a Christian YA comedy that you’ll enjoy.

While you are reading this, I am lounging somewhere near a tree or by a stream enjoying nature with my family on our traditional Memorial Day camping trip. Hopefully we won’t be running into any bears, or if we do I hope they like books or roasted hot dogs over the campfire. I don’t think there are any marshmallows left to share.

Susan Lower

Where do you most often find yourself relaxing with a good book?

35 Acre Horse Farm Essay Contest

A friend sent this to me on face book as it made her immediately think of me.

It’s an essay contest where you pay $200 to submit a 1,000 word essay and the prize is a 35 acre Virginia horse farm. It has a 5 stall barn and a cottage.

I would be lying if I didn’t say I was tempted to enter. I’ve written the essay about a hundred times in my head.

Each time, it starts like this:

“There’s a saddle that sits in the corner of my living room….”

$200 is two weeks of groceries for us.

Entries are being accepted up until October 1, 2015. They’re hoping for 5,000 entries.

At 200 x 5,000 that’s $1m. I’d say that pays for the farm.

Winning is like pulling a needle from a haystack. Even if my essay would get selected, then the farm still isn’t free and still cost more than $200 entry fee. Thanks to the government, you still have to pay taxes on the value of the farm. I’m guessing those taxes probably exceed the value of our house.

But a loan for the fraction of having a farm like that… is it worth it? Is it worth pouring one’s heart out into words on a paper and hoping beyond all hope to win? Is $200 worth playing the farm lottery?

Because that’s basically what it is, a gamble.

Check out the contest for yourself.

What are your thoughts?

 

Crowd Funding For Farmers

It’s time for this farm girl to get out of town.

I’ve been a backyard farmer for way to long now.

And I know I’m not the only one. There are many of you out there dreaming of both small and large farms of your own.

If only buying a farm were as easy as crowding funding is to filmmakers or authors for movies or books.

It’s so much cheaper to live in the city. It’s also so much nosier and so much more intrusive.

For the past seven years, this is has been my little backyard farm. The only thing I truly love about our house in town is our backyard.

backyard farmI wish it I could take anything about our home with us when we leave here, it would be this piece of our backyard. My dad and brother made the white gate into the garden, and I hate to leave it behind. I remind myself that it’s just a gate and the memory of making it is worth so much more.

As a senior in high school, I wrote up a business plan for our dairy farm. As a member of DECA – Distributive Education Clubs of America – my farm business plan landed me a trip to the national competitions that were held in Orlando, Florida that year. I know for a fact, no one else had a farm plan that year. I spent more of my time explaining the functions of farming then I had to explain and defend my business plan.

I guess it just goes to show that you really can make money in farming, or at least on paper.

Somewhere, I know I still have that business plan. OR at least I hope I do or that my brother kept his copy.

I always thought my brother and I would be running the farm together. How life has a way of veering us from the places we thought we would go, or not go. Yet, I have always carried the farm along in my heart.

Farming isn’t something you just do, it’s a way of life that gets into your blood and stays in your heart. Tweet This.

Our house went on the market at the beginning of this month. I don’t know where we are going. God love my husband, as I do, for going along on this journey. Our fifteen year anniversary is fast approaching, and when we got married he promised me I’d have horses again. I’m still waiting, dreaming, holding onto that promise.

I know there is no place for us on the family farm. Thanks to the new Amish neighbors there is no place for us to buy land or a home. Even if we could afford a farm.

Most large farms cost about $500,000 to $1million. That doesn’t include the equipment or the cows. Horse farms can range around $300,000 and up. Even if I worked full-time and with my husband working to raise our family, reality is we could never afford a farm. I would need to sell more books than I could count, and even though that can happen, (because I do believe in miracles) I also know my husband is allergic to animals. I also know that by the time I could afford a farm I would be too old to enjoy the labor and efforts to see it grow. By then my children would be on their own and have no ties to this kind of life.

Even with a business plan, a bank would never grant that kind of a loan while raising a family and living off a teacher’s and writer’s salary.

Reality bites.

Practacalty kicks in, so for now I’m praying for a 3-4 bedroom house, on an acre or two of land – just big enough for a horse, maybe a potbellied pig, and space to grow a garden that is outside of town where there are no cars flying past the house every minute, or people yelling across the street to one another or throwing trash in my front yard. Just peace and quiet and a little bit of a farm that I can call my own.

Perhaps one day there will be crowd funding for farmers. Instead of offering a signed copy of a book or naming a character it could be like naming the calves, or claiming a cow on the farm (like adopting them but the always stay on the farm.) Or perhaps getting names recorded down the side of the barn to show the support of a community helping one farmer’s dream turn to reality. Or the dream of a farmer’s daughter.

What do you think, will crowd funding farms work or ever exist?

Until then, there are other farmers in other countries trying to expand and feed their families on Kiva.org. This is a place where you can loan like $25 toward the money needed by the individuals there to give them the funds to take the next step in providing for their dreams and way of life.

This story, a woman named Gulshaiyr  caught my attention recently. She’s trying to raise money to buy a bull and cultivate her land so she may continue to provide for her family and see that her children are educated.

It makes my own longing for a farm small in comparison to her simple need of one bull to rise her up another step toward her goals for her family.

So for now, I will live my dreams of farming through those I can help.

Spreading The Love

A couple weeks ago I was nominated over at Sue’s Simple Snippets to “Spread the Love.”

Here are the rules:

  1. Write 10 four-word sentences about what love means to you.
  2. Share your favorite quote on love.
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers to join in.

As a teenager, I used to clip out the “Love is” comics from my dad’s Sunday paper. I always loved the cute little sayings about love. I feel like this challenge is kind of like those comics, but will go beyond a smile to warming your heart.

Can you relate to any of these ten?

1. Always by my side

2. Lifting each other up

3. Baking me a birthday cake

4. Smelling like the farm

5. Orangesicles in the summer

6. Always there when needed

7. Holding onto one another

8. Making supper on Saturdays

9. Words of praise shared

10. Cleaning up the mess

Love much… There is no waste in freely giving; more blessed is it, even than to receive. He who loves much alone finds life worth living. Love on through doubt and darkness, and believe there is no thing which love may not achieve.

Ella Wheller Wilcox

Now this is the  spot where I’m supposed to nominate 10 bloggers to do the same. I thought I’d break the rules and nominate you! Can you come up with ten four letter phrases that describe love to you? Post them in the comments below!

A Life Worth Living For

Her name was Sloppy. She was the only cow in the barn that pressed her nose down on the ball of the water bowl then slurped the water with her tongue.

Not only did she make a mess splashing water everywhere, you could hear her drinking from the other end of the barn shed.

She hadn’t been ‘Sloppy’ in weeks. She was the dame who laid down and gave birth to that bull calf last week.

A Life Worth Living For

For the couple weeks and this past week, she drank from a bucket that was placed in front of her and filled until her thirst was sated. She’d lay, chewing her cud, and keeping her chin up.

I clung to the hope that, while she could not stand on her own, she still ate, drank, and made manure like all the other dames in the barn.

Hope is one of those things that no one should easily let go of, nor give up.

Every day, Sloppy was picked up and put on her four hooves to stand. Without assistance she was unable to hold herself up. Her one back leg was stiff and useless. I wonder how many massages it would have taken to regain use of it. However, the number doesn’t matter. I was only able to massage her hip and leg once, but I tried.

Trying never hurt anyone. But we knew before I tried that chances were slim. That’s why I asked her to let him live.  She could have choose to give up and her calf would most likely have died with her.

Her bag never filled with milk. She’d done what she could that morning to bring her calf into the world, and now he frolics amongst the other calves.

I wish I had a happy ending to Sloppy’s story, but she simply couldn’t hold on any longer.

Yesterday afternoon, Sloppy slipped peacefully into Heaven’s green pasture.

Yet, I can’t help wondering if I would have been able to stay there at the barn longer if she wouldn’t have improved more. I’m told the answer is no, but there’s always that what if that lingers inside you. Though living on a farm has taught me that farm animals can come and go, It has always brought me grief when one of the cows dies.  Usually not that often, but often enough that like a beloved pet, you mourn them.

Sloppy was more than a number on the farm, she was one of the dames, and she’ll be missed – slurping noises and all.