She works hard for the money

The girls got their first checks for working today.

Each girl was given an orphan bottle calf to feed. They (along with some help) fed the calves every day, from a bottle then from a bucket with a nipple until the calves were weaned from milk replacer (basically, cow baby-formula) and on hay, feed and then grass.

They loved it. The calves did not make cut of quality animals to retain for replacement animals,  so they were taken to the stockyard last week to sell. 

Caroline got to go see them sell. Claire isnt much on sitting in one place and letting Lynn think about things so she stayed behind.

Today they received their checks. Lynn went over how much the calves weighed and how much they brought per pound and showed them how he was subtracting the fee the stockyard charges to sell animals. 

First “paycheck” at the ripe old ages of 2 and 4. They are very aware that they earned it themselves by the work they did.

Next week I will take them to the bank so they can make a deposit in their savings accounts. 

I hope this lesson and future ones like it makes a positive impact on their future work ethic and money management skills. Can’t start too early learning how to support yourself.

Farm girls


The birds and the bees

I knew it was coming someday.

We took a tour of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium last night. Part of the tour included the men’s locker room. Being the nosey person I am, I wanted to see the orange and white bathroom. 

There for the first time, Caroline caught a.glimpse of a urinal.

“Mommy, what is that?!”

Me: “It’s a urinal. Boys go pee in them”

Caroline, squinched her face – you could see her trying to figure it out. “But…how does that work?”

So, there in the men’s locker room in the football stadium, I explained basic male anatomy to my 4 year old daughter.

All went well, I thought, mentally patting myself on the back. Not bad. Dodged the bullet.

Then this morning, BEFORE COFFEE….

Caroline came armed with 12 hours of hard thinking. 

“So Mommy. How do boys go pee in those things? Why do they do that? How come boys bathrooms smell different than girls bathrooms? Why did Jesus make boys different than girls? Why are we different? What do those things on boys do anyway?!!”

Gahhhh. I told her to let me drink my coffee and to go pick up her room and get dressed. (Stalling tactics) I realized then that if I didn’t explain things to her she was going to ask me loudly in public in front of strangers one day.

 I guzzled a cup of strong black coffee, wishing it was something stronger for this conversation. 

(I used to teach a farm animal anatomy college class, which included a section on reproductive anatomy and physiology. I can do this right? Sheesh. Help! Why are my palms sweaty?! I wasn’t expecting this talk for at least 5 more years. And WHY DIDN’T SHE JUST ASK HER DADDY??!)

Don’t judge. I’m making up this parenting thing as I go.

So I pulled up some diagrams on my phone call and sat down with my overly inquisitive kid and explained all the basic external parts and their functions to her. 

Caroline”How do the babies come out? What about c-sections, where do they cut to get the baby out? What are those round things on the boys? What do THEY do? So, do you HAVE to be married to do THAT? Have you SEEN that before Mama?!”

My original plan was to just discuss the basics but after her barrage of questions we went through the whole thing, from terminology, spermatogenesis and ovulation to how babies are born and why boys bathrooms smell different than girls and why they have urinals.

It was traumatic for me…but she didn’t seem phased at ALL. I asked her if she had anymore questions. She grinned “Nope. I’m going to go color”.

So if your kid plays with mine BE WARNED – she has been informed of the birds and the bees. 

Who knows what she will ask me tomorrow.

Love your spouse challenge

We aren’t mushy people. I appreciate the thought of the love your spouse challenge,and we do love each other but … long stories of romance and affection just aren’t us. We may be totally unromantic. Or weird. But that is fine. We are weirdos together. 

That brings me to yesterday (Please don’t take me to the crazy house)

The cat snuck in the garage and threw up a hairball on the floor. Yuck.

I had to back the car out so the kids wouldn’t step in it when they loaded up for daycare/pre-K.

Then, my loving and adoring spouse called me a terrible, awful, I name while we were getting dressed.

He called me …. “SPOILED”. Can you believe it? Me?! Spoiled?! Sheesh.

He wouldn’t take it back either. I shook my finger, stomped my foot and gave him the stink eye and he wouldn’t relent. Know what he DID do? LAUGH. 


Got the girls loaded and buckled up for school then went to take care of the cats mess with a shovel since Lynn gags and retches when he sees bodily fluids. And I’d rather clean up one mess than two messes.

While I was looking for a place to dispose of it, I saw my opportunity. Lynn was out in the driveway hugging the kids goodbye for the day.

I snuck up behind him.

“Take it back!” I bellowed waving my shovel. (Like the delicate flower I am)

“No!” He yelped while jumping in my car and locking the doors.

Hmm. I didn’t expect that.

Luckily he had a busy day at the farm and knows how stubborn I am. Do or die trying.

I held the shovel and it’s contents up to the car window. “Take it back!” I gave him the meanest look I could manage while people we know were driving by the house honking and waving on their way to work and school (Finally they have proof that Lynn’s wife IS indeed crazy) 

“I got all day” I tried to look as serious as possible.

Lynn looked out the window at the shovel and retched and looked away. “I take it back”

Feeling mean I pushed it further “Say I’m not spoiled”

He wailed “You aren’t spoiled. Let me out!”.

I disposed of the mess, washed my hands and we went on our separate ways for the day. Being the mature woman I am, I took a little time to point and gloat for a minute before we left.

I got to work, and a few minutes later I get a text from my husband. “I love you spoiled wife “.


This isn’t over.

I’m not the favorite

I am not the favorite parent. Not by a long shot. 

If the ratbabies have a choice to go with me or Lynn, they choose Lynn every time. Even if I’m doing something fun and he’s working.

It kind of hurt my pride last night when either Lynn or I had to attend a meeting, and the kids BEGGED me to go so they could “Be with Daddy”.  Yes, I know not to take it personal.

Tonight having that in mind I watched the three of them.

I took this photo out of the bathroom window. It’s Lynn burning trash and watering the garden…sometimes squirting the girls with the water hose. The shrieks are what made me look out. (Also notice the mini donkey in the background -he belongs to the neighbors and is rarely where he is supposed to be)

Excuse the glare. I took it through the less-than-clean bathroom window

Then right before bed they decide to play “beauty salon” and Lynn is their mannequin . They are not gentle. They pretend primp and pretend curl and smack him on the head with the brush trying to brush his hair. 

Not exactly a relaxing spa day for Lynn.

So maybe he’s their favorite because they are smart. They see in him some of the qualities I saw in him when I married him. Strong and gentle. Honest and direct but kind as well. Steady and patient. Careful and constant.

We are some smart gals for picking him as our favorite. 

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