Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tune In Tuesdays--Wildman, a Mostly True Memoir of a Missouri Cattle Man

Almost 25 years ago, BC, or as I like to say before children (oldest would say before Cody) I worked in town at the local Furniture store. Loved that job, got to know many of the local business people, several who have been friends since and are some of my good friends today. One day, a friend of mine, Sally came into the store. Her mother in  law had sent her in to buy a high chair for their oldest daughter. (was picking out her own gift, that's always fun!) We sold beautiful wooden ones and she and I looked through our selection. Probably that day was the first time I knew who Sierra Shea was.
After we started adding kids to our family, I stayed home with our kids and a social outlet I participated in was a monthly coffee group. Sierra was in school by then but her mom attended the group as well. Being a mother of 4 kids, I always have stories and Sierra's mom could always appreciate.
Over the years, we had kids, they had some more and everyone got to be 4H age. Sierra and her sisters comprised the Charolais class of the local fair most years and I would tease her mom about it. Of course she replied, you will be there and in a few years, I was. Different breed, but multiple class entries.
Fast forward a few more years and over half of these beautiful girls have graduated from High School, (Selestia in a few weeks) went to college and are starting to find their place in the world. Sierra has certainly accomplished that. The mom in me, thinks I wish she lived closer, as I am sure her family misses her. But in this day and age of social media and access, I guess they can 'see' her everyday.
Prolific blogger and newspaper contributor, Sierra Shea has published her first book. One, that I am certain has been a labor of love. Wild Man: A Mostly True Memoir of a Missouri Cattlemen is beautifully pieced together collection of stories intermingled with a basic family history of about 4 generations of the Angell family. The main star, is Sierra's grandpa, Luther Angell. Well known in our state for his involvement in the cattle industry, from raising cattle to marketing them in the family owned sale barns.

Stories of family, business and good times fill every page. You will laugh and cry along with the Angell family as they move from post World War era to modern times. Certainly a family who works hard and plays hard, but mostly just loves each other. 
I knew this would be an entertaining read. What I didn't expect, especially since I have read some of the beginnings of this through Sierra's column in the Cattleman's Advocate and the tidbits she shared was that I had a such a hard time putting it down. She broke it up nicely and neatly into many short stories, but I just kept thinking, oh I will read one more. Needless to say, I wasn't particularly productive until I got it read. I think my family is glad it wasn't any longer. HA! 
Like Sierra's Uncle Jon rates her Aunt Charlotte's cooking, I would give this a 5 cowboy hats out of 5 on the official Angell cowboy hat rating scale. 
It would be a great keepsake for any local person and anyone who loves the country, cows and rural life. Locals can purchase their copy at Angell's Western Wear in downtown Centralia or click on the link above and order it online. For more incredible stories of the life and times of Sierra Shea, follwo her blog, or follow her page on facebook, SierraSheaWrites
Proud when a local kid makes the 'big time',
From Tulip~

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Started out the month strong, adding Thankfulness posts. My goal was to not just be thankful for the same things that I am every year, although I am thankful for the same things year in and year out. I wanted to give you a deeper, new insight to life on our farm in the process. Well life on the farm has gotten in the way in the last several days and blog posts just haven't happened.
Had a few extra moments this afternoon, so I decided to add a post about the one place/location I am probably most thankful for and that of course is our farm. Obviously most people are thankful for their home. But, for us, our farm is so much more than our home.
We are living in the same house that My Farmer was raised in, raising our own kids. But its more than a home, more than a farm. Yes its our livelihood. It's also where we are teaching our children core values like responsibility and work ethic. We are teaching them stewardship of the land. They are learning about life in the care of livestock. We are teaching them the value of an honest days' work.
I love that such a high percentage of our time is spent 'at home' on the farm. It's so ingrained in our souls, that I am sure that we wouldn't be happy anywhere else. I love to watch the growing season unfold before my very eyes. As the ground is prepped for planting, seeds sown, then the plant grows. We watch it mature and dry in preparation of harvest. We are blessed to be able to harvest. Afterwards, we begin the process of prepping for the next year.
It's a similar process with the animals, from calving season in the spring until they are loaded onto the trailer en route to the sale barn. The step by step process is absolutely breath taking. It's one that I am honored for the privilege to witness.
There's no place like home,
From Tulip~

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our First Born

Today is a good day. I have always been a TGIF gal. Although when you farm, Friday is generally just another day, its not like we have weekends off. But in the last year or so, some Fridays are particularly special. Our oldest son attends a college about 4 hours from home. This year he's an RA in the dorms, so we haven't seen much of him. Guess what? Today he's coming home. Actually as I begin to write this, he's likely 3/4 of the way home. (I will likely not post until I get home and can add a few pictures.)
Cody taught us how to be parents. He's the guinea pig. Aren't all first borns? We tried our hand at parenting, read all the books, tried to follow the rules, and then realized that the rules were a guide, find what works in your family and embrace it.
We were very lucky that he was such an easy baby, probably a lot of the reason why he has so many siblings. LOL
His curiosity and imagination are two of the first traits that I found most fascinating. He was always a busy guy. Sometimes that was fun, sometimes that was frustrating.
Growing up, he's accepted the job of 'leader' that oldest kids seem to automatically be nominated for. He's pretty organized with his time and resources. He's great at finding a solution, actually loves the process of finding that solution, as he seems to never be able to learn enough.
I can remember a conversation had with him probably less than a week after school was out for the summer, when he was maybe 9. Cody: "Mom, we are going to NEED to go to the Library TODAY?" Me: "Why?" Cody: "I have read everything in this house. We need to go NOW."
At a parent teacher conference, with his teacher, I mentioned that I am amazed and the amount of papers that they get done during class. And she just laughed and assured me, no they didn't always ALL do that many papers daily, she gave Cody extra papers, to keep him busy and would soon have to find more as he was moving ahead of the group, by leaps and bounds.
I have always been proud of his academic achievements. But, who he is as a person, far outweighs the 'book learning' His love of people shows through in his friendliness, his natural ability to relate to others and the beginnings I have been witness to of what he ultimately wants to do in a teacher.
He has enjoyed helping with the younger kids at church. He's the oldest kid, grandkid, he's ended up being in charge of the group unofficially for years. That was soon followed by other endeavors, like 4H camp, for one example. He enjoyed attending as a camper, but REALLY loved his years as a counselor. Now he enjoys his RA job, which just seems to be the next step in his journey.
Re-writing this post as the original only saved a partial yesterday, so now that its the first day of deer season, I am reminded of another deer season 17 yrs ago. My mom and I went shopping and let the guys do their things. Well we went to a favorite store of ours about 1 hour away. While shopping there, Cody lost his 'bobby' which was a blanket that he loved dearly. I had gotten back to mom's before I realized it. So even though it was getting late in the afternoon and remember its opening day of deer season.............but YES I drove back to the store which was north into the heart of 'deer country' and got his beloved 'bobby' I earned my Mom of the Week Star that day for sure!
You all know me, no post is complete without a picture, so here goes:
....and Momma loves you too, Sweets! 
Thankful for 20 yrs with this guy,
From Tulip~

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the Year

A friend posted about her favorite days and how she was thankful about each of them, which was sort of the post that was rolling around in my head as well. I am trying to not JUST do the same old thankful posts that I do every year. While yes I want to make sure and incorporate the people and things that I am truly thankful for, I am trying to do it in a different way this year.
So with that being said, today I am thankful for Special Days. I am also thankful for the people who make them special. Here goes--
I am thankful for four dates...........Sept 5th, Oct. 6th, Nov 1st and 2nd. Those are my kids' birthdays. I never realized as kid growing up just how special my own birthday was to my parents, until I became a parent myself. Their birthday far and away overshadow my own. I want celebrate them, shout from the mountaintops, 'That's my Baby!' So proud of those 4 kiddos.
I am thankful for one other date...........July 14th, the next one coming up marks a Quarter Century being married to my best friend in the the entire world. The person who I laugh with, work with, love with all my heart, my sweet Farmer. (he better take note, I spoke nicely of him on TWO Thursdays in a row, LOL)
I am thankful for Holidays.........we host family dinners at our house on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love having my home full of family. I love the prep, cleaning every nook and cranny (okay almost every nook and cranny). I love cooking the food. I love the extra decorating, burning candles, all the extras that it involves. I also love sitting in my recliner while the dishwasher washes the dishes afterwards and all the food is put away, etc.....knowing I can sit there with no guilt, job done.
I am thankful for Planting time and Harvest...... While I may call it, 'Seasonal SingleParenthood' I really do love those days spent eating meals in the field. Shouting our conversations over the sound of grain being augered into the bin. Helping move from field to field. Bringing more seed to the field. Going after a much needed part. Helping weigh the test plot. All of those extras that I hope my Farmer thinks makes his day run a little smoother.
I am thankful for days spent at fairs.........whether its local, county or state fair. Those are the times we sort of call our 'down-time' we get to visit with old friends, enjoy watching our kids make new friends, teach the public a little bit about what our life is all about and just generally have a great time.
I am thankful for a day of a 1,000 bales of hay........there's nothing I delight more in, than cooking and spoiling the kids who come out and work with us putting up hay. Granted they all probably think its hard work, but I like to hope not one of them has ever went home hungry.
I am thankful for game day/dual or tournament time.......... I love the prep, the anticipation, and finally the actual event. I love watching my kids do what they love, with their friends, seeing them work hard for a goal and enjoy getting to see it with friends.
My Farmer will hear of an upcoming event and I swear no matter where it falls, Jan 1st through Dec 31, he will say that's a busy time of year. And he's right, everyday on the farm is busy. Regularly we are busy with kid activities, church activities, 4H/FFA activities, games and much, MUCH more. For that, and those days, I am thankful.
Remind me when I am whining about it that I really am thankful for BUSY-NESS,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Family (Father and Mother I Love You)

Thankful for so many things and so many people. If there was anyone outside of my own household and the family I helped create with my Farmer, it would of course be my Mom and Dad. I am blessed with parents who live less than a half hour away from me, aren't a long distance phone and are ready and willing to drop everything to help, anytime I ask.
Just a few years shy of a half century of marriage, I think that they are in love more today than they ever were. I think about how I perceive their relationship and how I have seen it evolve over the years. It's a reminder that, you don't just fall in love once in a lifetime, if you are very lucky, you fall in love with the same person over and over, throughout your lifetime.
My mom and dad are the perfect example of that. They had their years of working and raising a family, the years of grown kids spreading their wings, adding in-laws to the mix, semi-retirement, grandkids, now retirement. They built a house. They owned a business. Through it all I think that they just continue to show us what lasting love is all about.
They aren't perfect, none of us are. Sure there are the conversations where its evident they are aware of each others imperfections, but the love always wins out. Because of this strong bond, they totally rock as parents. I am thankful that I have never had serious problems in my own marriage, but even when those littlest of things come up, they are very good at putting it into perspective and reminding me that I am blessed. They can build me up high. They can give me a reality check. They always seem to know what I need. Because they know what it takes.
Feeling thankful for and blessed by the greatest parents in the world,
From Tulip~

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Proud to be an American

The last two days have always been big ones in my family. Yesterday was the Marine corp Birthday and today is Veteran's Day. In my family service to our country is a BIG THING. My Dad and Brother, both Marines. Both of my Grandfathers served, several of my uncles, cousins, etc.
My Brother, Wayne on his first visit home, after Cody was born. He was stationed in Okinawa at the time.

My Mom and Dad when Dad graduated from Boot Camp in Camp Pendleton, California, 1968

Above and Below are items from my Grandpa's tour of service, he was stationed in the Pacific during World War II.

With things like Purple Hearts and folded flags in the homes of my family, being patriotic and proud to be an American are just what we are. I feel very thankful that my loved ones were willing to serve to keep our country free. If one of my kids decided to serve, of course I would worry about them, but I would also be so proud that they have carried on a proud family tradition. 
God Bless Veterans, Our Troops now serving and the grand ol' USA,
From Tulip~

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Friends who are like family and family I am glad to be friends with.

I started to write my thankfulness post yesterday morning and kept rambling (worse than normal) I couldn't seem to tie it together. So I decided to let it sit and 'live my weekend out.' After spending a rejuvenating weekend that included productivity of farm work, catching up on odds and ends, prepping for upcoming events, cleaning my house, then spending time last night with great, GREAT friends and ending the weekend with family; I am hoping that the clarity of this post will end up shining through.
We  have many groups, families I prefer to call them, that are made up from the different activities that we are a part of. Wrestling season is upon us. That is one of my favorite families to spend time with. Of course, that's good, since we spend LONG HOURS together in gyms for the next three months. One of my favorite phrases to describe a wrestling tournament, 9 hours of sitting for 9 minutes of wrestling. Of course that is sort of flexible, since obviously I have a HS wrestler, some many days its more than 9 minutes and if you add drive time, 9 hours doesn't catch it either. We will also being getting to know the younger end of this 'family' as Seth is going to wrestle in the 'club' (little league) this year. He has tried both wrestling and basketball, and isn't really sure what his thing will be yet.
We love this group so much, definitely as close to them as if we were actual family. We have our inside jokes and fun times, we are there for each other in the harder times as well. Just like family.
Today was spent celebrating our two littlest kids' birthdays. We had our parents there, our siblings and my grandmother. We were mostly all here. Our oldest was up at school, wasn't able to come home this weekend. Truly makes me sad that he wasn't here. My brain realizes that the goal was to raise them and they grow up, but my heart wants to cling tightly to my babies forever and never let go. Even without their oldest brother, my littles had a good day.
Which brings me around to my thankfulness for the weekend. I am so thankful that within our lives we have people that we love so fiercely, whether they are related by blood or not. I am also thankful that our family is like friends and that we enjoy their company so much, I know that some aren't afforded that luxury. I am also thankful that among everything else, we just plain had a great weekend that makes me smile and leaves me ready to tackle the week ahead.
From Tulip~

Friday, November 7, 2014


They are your first friends in life outside of your own home. And likely they are your life-long friends. They know all about you, the good and the bad---and they still love you. Yes I am talking about cousins. I am very blessed to big a part of a large extended family.
All of the Angle first cousins but two. 

Barnes first cousins, plus spouses and children and steps and all the extras plus my Grandmother. 
I love how with my cousins, its always game on, and a good time will always be had. It really doesn't matter what we are doing. And its ALWAYS the more, the merrier!!! The example that comes to mind of a most recent 'goodtime with my cousins' involved cousins who were MILES apart from either other, but we had a blast anyway. For that, I have to thank social media. I was feeling sorry for myself last Friday, thinking about all that I wasn't going to be experiencing with my own family and just generally feeling lonely. I jumped on Facebook to check out what was going on and my brother had posted the picture at the top of myself and most of my Angle cousins taken last summer. His comment was something to the affect of, is it too early to start planning a get together for next year? All it took was a few folks replying and away we went, literally have next summer's reunion planned, we know where we want to go and when we want to go there. 3 of the 5 branches replied. Guessing the others will jump in if they are able. The planning was just details, the funny comments and snarky barbs back and forth made my afternoon, in fact it made my whole week. I am pretty certain that my cousins are the reason I will never REALLY feel lonely in this world. 

Feeling Thankful for the Love of Cousins on this fall Friday afternoon,
From Tulip~

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day 6, My Farmer

I was warned not to write about him. So instead I will share pictures. (He didn't mention that) I am blessed and thankful this man is in my life. Here's some of the reasons why.
My Farmer is a pretty serious guy, but when he smiles its always genuine, nothing fake with him, ever!

Four kids changes the dynamics of a family, that guy takes it in stride.

Had to add one that shows the humor he brings to my world, sometimes I am laughing with him, sometimes I might just be giggling a little at him. ;) 
We might call JH the cattle whisperer, but she gets that skill naturally. The cows know what an important person he is in their lives. 

When we were dating, going country dancing was a big thing. almost 25 years, later it takes a younger woman to do a little shaming to get him out there. 

I think these skinny young people used to be us. 

So glad we got a dog 'for the kids' (another animal that knows how important he is, but this one plays him like a violin, she may be more spoiled than our two legged kids, and HE is the reason why.)

Always game for mischief, the board or 'stud' in the picture was part of a practical joke played on the neighbor girl. Totally his idea Brittney, here's the proof!

My hard working man. 
Downtime is rare, but is usually spent at a cattle show.
Since I am not supposed to write anything, there it is, I figure if pictures don't count, neither do the captions. My life is certainly blessed with him in it and for that I am thankful today. (even on a Thursday!) 
Proud of the title Mrs. David Hasekamp,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

5th day of Thankfulness--Head Heart Hands and Health

As a kid growing up, I tried many things. I played sports, little league, then school-ran, playing softball, basketball, track and golf. I was in Girl Scouts. I was in 4-H. I played in band. Not all of these things at once, mind you. But I tried it all. Then I grew up, got married and we started our family.
When our oldest child was old enough to be on a T-ball team, I was ecstatic! He tried that for a few years, but then the much strong influence and possibly at times a driving force for rural kids came along...................4-H. F&L Hustlers, to be exact. It was the club we would join 12 years ago and would become a big part of our family for over a decade---SO FAR.
It's the club that The Farmer was a member of, his sisters, all of the neighbor kids, the kids at church, the kids on the bus route and so on. (of course that's a lot of the SAME people mentioned over and over, but that's okay) Our club meets on the first Wednesday night of the month. (tonight) The club is primarily comprised of kids who attend Centralia schools, who live in western Audrain county. There are a few rebels who live in Boone county or Monroe (like us) and a few who attend other schools.
F&L Hustlers was established in 1949. One of our neighbors, Bob McBride was a charter member. Within his family three generations have been members. Many families have the second generation going through the club.
4-H and the skills learned through it have made a big impact on the lives of my children. The responsibility and commitment that it takes to raise a beef project are two that stick out in my mind. My oldest son will say that his years at camp taught him that he has a special skill with young kids and plans to put that skill to use as a middle school teacher. My quieter younger son may not say that he improved his speaking skills through doing demonstrations and leading the meeting as President, but he did. Our littler two kids are just starting to see all of the places 4-H can take them. As we drove to school this morning, we talked about which projects that they will enroll in for the coming year. I am always surprised by where their interests lie and then amazed that 4-H has something to accommodate those interests.
As I prepare for tonights meeting and juggling all that makes up our busy life, I am ALWAYS thankful that 4-H is one of those things in it,
From Tulip~