Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I have no trouble sleeping.  I hardly ever wake up at night, and if I do wake up, I go right back to sleep.  And I can go to sleep anywhere. I am NOT one of those people who have to have the room totally black, and a ceiling fan blowing on them, and 27 pillows piled up behind them.  If I can close my eyes, I can fall asleep and stay asleep.

But not last night.  For some reason, sleep just would not come.

I went to bed at my normal time.  I read for a little while like I usually do.  And then turned off the light to go to sleep. 

And I waited. 

And I waited.

And I waited.


And I could not go to sleep.  This never happens to me.

So I got up.  I put a load of laundry in the washer.  I paid some bills.  I cleaned my Keurig.

Wait a minute?   I did what??

Yes, it's true.  I had just seen a blog about cleaning your Keurig, and getting all of the hard water out of it.  So that's what I did.

I poured a cup of vinegar in the machine and started it up and OH MY GOODNESS.  You cannot BE-LIEVE the FILTH that came out of that machine. It was horrible.  Brown, gross-looking water with chunks of hard water floating in it.  So I ran about 4 cups of clean water through it to get that vinegar-smell out of it.

I will say that the machine is much more QUIET now that all of that hard water is out of it, and it brews my tea faster.

So that's what I was doing at about 12:30 this morning.  Cleaning my Keurig coffee maker.  What an exciting life I lead.

But still I was wide awake. 

So I took the clothes out of the washer, threw them in the dryer, and started another load.

I got on the computer.

And finally, at 1:30 a.m., though still wide awake, I made myself go back to bed.  I don't know how much time went by before I went to sleep, but when my alarm went off this morning . . . 

Well, let's just say by this afternoon I may be propping my eyes open with toothpicks!!

Really, this happens to me SO RARELY!  Maybe once a year I have a night like this where I just can't sleep.

But my Keurig sure is clean!!

Monday, November 26, 2012


I do not have an Iphone.  I do not have a "smart" phone.  I have just a plain old cell phone.  I can talk, I can text, and I can take pictures.

One day I will break down and get an Iphone.  I am not anti-I-phone.  I am anti pay-$25-per-month for a "data plan."  But I digress.

I lost my cell phone Friday evening.  I mean, it wasn't really "lost."  I just couldn't find it.  But I wasn't too worried about it.  I knew it was in the house because my dad had called me that evening and I hadn't been outside since then.

So Saturday morning I started looking for my phone.  I looked everywhere.  I looked all of the usual places, and all of the not so usual places.  I looked under the bed, under the couch, in drawers, everywhere.  I had my husband "calling" my phone with his.  Unfortunately, I had my phone set on "vibrate" so no way to hear it ring.  (Note to self . . . do NOT set phone to vibrate).

I had my daughter walking around the house with her phone "calling" my phone.  Finally, I thought I heard a little "buzz" from the vibration.  I turned the washer and dryer off to make the house as quiet as possible and said "call me again." 

And there, just faintly, in the laundry room, I could "hear" the vibration of the phone.

Do you know where my phone was?  AT THE BOTTOM OF THE TRASH BAG!!!

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I did a lot of house cleaning to get ready for company on Sunday.  I went through the house asking myself "why-did-you-ever-keep-this" and I threw away a LOT of stuff.  Somehow, I must have picked up the phone with a handful of papers and tossed it.  And I couldn't "hear" the vibration until I had taken the trash bag out of the trash can and set it on the floor for my husband to take outside and burn (yes, we live in the country, yes we burn our trash). 

I would really hate to lose that phone.  Not that it is an expensive phone, but, I have LOTS and LOTS of phone numbers in the phone. Numbers I don't have anywhere else.

So today, in addition to all of the MANY WONDERFUL THINGS in my life, I am so thankful that I found my phone!

Have you ever "lost" your cell phone?  Isn't it unreal that something I couldn't have even imagined as a child, is now such a big part of our lives?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Workin' Cattle

Just a few weekends ago we worked some of our cattle.  Now for those of you who don't know what "workin' cattle" means, I'm going to show you.

Working cattle means giving shots to the mama cows and their calves, pouring on de-wormer, and castrating the bulls.

It was an absolutely gorgeous fall day.  And I really enjoy it when we are all working together.

Here is a calf in the head gate. 

You see the white plastic container with the yellow label hanging upside down?  That's pour on de-wormer.

Cole bringing a calf down the chute to the head gate.  See the short sleeves?  It was a gorgeous fall day.

All the mama cows are outside the pen (the had already been worked), and all the babies are inside the pen, and the mamas want to get to those babies.  They think we are hurting them.  If they could just understand the shots help them!

 Another baby calf in the head gate.

Hang on baby calves.  We'll turn you back out with your mamas in just a few minutes!!

It may sound crazy, but we really do enjoy working together.  And while it is WORK, at least the kids are working with us. It was a great day to be outside enjoying the beautiful fall weather.

Yesterday fall turned to winter here at Down On The Farm.  It was 70 degrees when we left church.  By the time we got home (about 25 minutes later) it was 57 and raining and the temperature just kept going down, reaching the 20s by early this morning.

I think old man winter is trying to make an appearance here in Missouri.  But I am so thankful we had a gorgeous day to work cattle a couple of weekends ago.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Remodel "Before"

As faithful followers know, I live in a 1968 ranch style home.  While our house is warm and dry and I am very thankful for that, 1968 ranch style homes are pretty plain jane. 

We moved here in February of 1998, just a couple of weeks after our baby's second birthday.  Wow!  She really doesn't remember living anywhere but here.  Our son was just getting ready to turn 5 when we moved here.  He doesn't really remember much about life before Down On The Farm either!

If you recall, last year we remodeled our bathroom.  Click HERE for the details. We have two bathrooms, but we don't have a "master bathroom."  The bathroom we remodeled last year is the bathroom next to our master bedroom, but it doesn't adjoin our bedroom.  Really, what that means is the door to the bathroom is in the hallway, not inside our bedroom.  I am VERY HAPPY with how the remodel turned out.  We didn't spent a lot, and truly got a lot of BANG FOR THE BUCK.  Two sinks are MUCH better than one, especially when I share that bathroom with a 16 year old daughter! 

I'm really into "bang for the buck."  I don't want to spend a lot of money remodeling our house.  Our house is in the middle of our farm and we will never sell it.  Eventually, we I would like to build a new house over on another farm to get away from the turkey barns, get away from driving through cow manure on the road, and get  away from living on a gravel road and my car being always dusty or muddy.  But that's another post for another time.  So when I say I'm "remodeling" it really means I'm trying to spend as little as I can, and use what I have, only make it BETTER.

I hear people talk about remodeling and spending $10,000 on their bathroom, or $30,000 on their kitchen.  WHAT??? 

So if you are interested in what remodeling on a BUDGET looks like, keep reading.  Here is a picture of our other bathroom, the bathroom we are remodeling now.  This is the bathroom just off the laundry room.  And really, I don't have a "laundry room."  The washer and dryer are behind the door when you open the back door to our house.  So far the ugly wallpaper border has been removed (see the white at the top).  That mirror is going to get a frame, and the light fixture will be replaced. 

Sorry this is so dark!  Backlit!!

This is looking toward the shower.  That shower curtain is GOING!  The sink is to my left as you are looking at the shower.

The big problem with this area is the floor.  The toilet has been leaking for awhile, and the floor between the toilet and the shower is very "soft."  Which means the underlayment is rotten and will have to be removed.  So we have hired someone to tear out the two layers of old vinyl, replace the underlayment, and install a new vinyl floor.

Yes, I would like to have a tile floor instead of vinyl.  However, my handsome husband walks into our house several times a day to use this bathroom, and he doesn't always take off his boots.  And his boots aren't just covered in grass clippings.  They are caked in cow manure, turkey manure, mud, all sorts of lovely things that are then transferred to this floor.  I need a floor I can BLEACH, so for us, for now, vinyl is the practical choice.  When we build a new house, I will have a separate area the farmer can use so he isn't tracking up my pretty floor.  But again, that's years down the road.

So far we have purchased a bag of floor patch for $15.00.  We purchased 6 sheets of underlayment at $20 each ($120.00).  We purchased a new exhaust fan for the bathroom ($115).  The new fan has much more suction power and is MUCH QUIETER than the old fan that is 44 years old.  The old fan SQUEALS when it runs, and makes a lot of noise.  It also doesn't have much suction power.  And, the new fan has a light!  Woo hoo!!!  We also purchased a new light fixture for the wall ($59).  The old light has 3 lights on it, but only 2 work.  So now we will have a light in the ceiling and three working lights above the sink. Hallelujah!!!

I have tentatively picked some vinyl, but want to look one more place before I decide for sure.  I will go with something fairly neutral.  This is a relatively small area, so nothing too crazy. Nothing too expensive. 

While we're at it, I'm doing a little updating to our master bedroom.  We painted last summer, and got new carpet.  We also had an electrician install a wire so we could have a light in the middle of the room.

For some strange reason, the folks who built our house in 1968 installed THESE beauties in the master bedroom.

And as you can see, they hang about two feet from the wall??  Really?  I mean why would you do this??  This makes no sense to me. 

So we are going to be taking these babies down from the side of the room, and installing THIS BEAUTY in the middle of the room!  You may be wondering why we have waited a year to get a new light fixture.  Well, so am I.  I have no excuse.  But now that I've decided to do it, I can't WAIT!!!

I love it!, $109 and FREE SHIPPING!!!!  I can't WAIT to see that light hanging from the ceiling.  I have also purchased some new pillows to go on our bed.  I will do a post just on the changes to the bedroom, but wanted to give you a sneak peek!

I am so excited to get the new floor, and the plan is to have everything done before Thanksgiving.  So stay tuned and I'll keep you updated!  I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Be The Church

This has been on my heart lately.  BEING the church.  Don't get me wrong, I love going to church.  I love my church and our pastors and our worship team and all my church friends.  But going to church is pretty much all about me and my relationship with God.  I am singing, I am praising, I am worshipping, and building myself up.  But for what?

I believe we are blessed to be a blessing to others.  And I believe we go to church and build ourselves up in Christ so we can GO AND BE THE CHURCH TO OTHERS IN OUR DAILY LIVES!

Many people don't attend church.  So they don't sing and praise and worship and get built up in Christ.  They don't even know who Jesus is.  They need to see ME (AND YOU!) as a living example of Jesus.  They need to see us living a life of obedience, and that means NOT SINNING!!!  We can't be a shining example of Jesus if we are leading a sinful life.  And I know, I know, we all sin every day.  But we need to walk the walk if we're going to talk the talk.  Nothing turns people off to Jesus faster than not being authentic, not being real.  People can spot a phony a mile away. 

So go and be the hands and feet and mouth of Jesus today.  At school, in your work place, at the grocery store.  Wherever you are today, take Jesus with you and show Him off.

Speak words of kindness.  Compliment someone.  Being the church doesn't have to mean standing in the back of a pickup truck and reading the Bible (although it certainly can be)!!   Being the church is as simple as holding a door for a mother with her hands full of groceries and babies.  Being the church is as simple as smiling at someone who looks like they are having a bad day.  Being the church is sending a cheery card for no reason at all to someone who could use some cheering up.  Being the church means loving your family no matter what.  Let the love of Christ flow through you.  Let the JOY of the Lord just ooze out of your soul in all you do.  Don't worry, others WILL NOTICE!!!

HAVE SOMETHING THAT SOMEBODY WANTS IN THEIR OWN LIFE!!!  Be the kind of person others want to be around.  Because if they see in you a life lived with peace and joy, no matter what your circumstances, pretty soon they are gonna be asking YOU what is so different.  And that opens the door to sharing the GOOD NEWS.  You don't have to begin in Genesis and preach through Revelation.  Just be honest, tell them that Jesus loves you, and loves them too.  Tell them that they can have what you have by just believing that Jesus is the Son of God, believing that He can forgive them of their sins.  All they have to do is invite Him into their heart.  And that's it.  Plenty of time for all the "details" later. 

So today, as you go about your daily life, BE THE CHURCH.  Let your light so shine among men (and women) that people know there's something different about you.  Different in a good way.  Different in a way that brings GLORY AND HONOR TO OUR LORD!