Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Picture Pen Day

I had somehow avoided the event for four years.
For four solid years I had the foresight to plan something important at work, avoid my brother's phone calls or conveniently travel out of town.
But this year was different. 
Different circumstances.
Other outside obligations belonging to someone else.
My naivety showed when answering brother Luke's question: "Do you have any meetings Friday?"
I quickly revealed that I didn't. 
Rookie mistake.
After four years of avoidance, I had just agreed to helping in the picture pen.

Picturing sale cattle is not for the faint of heart. 
Or those who get easily offended by swear words.
Picture day is my least favorite farm event, so to those who make a living doing this:
I salute you.


1. Friends who show up on picture day are the truest of friends, especially if they understand what it entails.
My friend Cheyanne showed up after a last minute request for help, bless her heart.
No really, bless her heart. 
I sincerely told her that I wasn't sure I could return the favor. She grabbed her sunglasses out of the truck console anyway.
Friends who help on picture day sign an invisible contract that they'll never judge you or your family based on the escapade they're about to be a part of. That contract also requests that they clear their memory of any recollection of the day as soon as their truck pulls off the farm. Friendship is more sustainable that way. As is reputation. 

2. Don't invite your significant other to picture day unless you want to end said relationship.
This is the best way to end a relationship softly. Simply invite the significant other to the worst day to observe your family dynamics and they'll suggest "a break" before you get to LOT 50. There is stress, tension, foul language and fifteen years of built up frustrations vocalized in just 8 short hours. Who in their right mind would want to marry into that? If you want to keep them around, simply forget mentioning when picture day is.....until it's over. 
You're welcome.

3. Sometimes the least appreciated folks are the best resources. 
Momma had the job of moving cattle from the chute - down the lane - to the picture pen. She would then stick around and take the heifers back once pictured and videoed. Sometimes, her position outside the pen (not running around like the lunatics inside the pen) made her a focal point for the cattle. It was in these instances that photographer Laramie would yell to Momma to get the ears - or get the heifers attention so she is poised for the photo. In her defense, Momma had watched us in the pen, armed with streamers and party horns, make a scene. She had nothing to use but herself, so she resorted to:
Give me an E,
Give me an A!
Give me a G!
Momma was an Eaton Eagle, after all. 
Certainly not conventional, but the sixty-something cheerleader got the job done.
Good help is hard to find. Luckily, we had Linda on our team. 


4. Keep the stress carriers in the barn. 
I'm speaking of people.
Those who are exceedingly nervous about the day will go, how the photos will turn out, how the cattle will cooperate and how the 2:00 clouds will move through should be kept chute side, working alone with the cattle and a stereo - and no other individuals. They can find their way blowing out heifers, cutting out fly tags, applying fly spray and staying unusually anxious alone. This arrangement is better for everyone, cattle included. Our family stress carrier arrived to the picture pen on the last two lots. He was dismissed 78 seconds later. Simply put: his passion made him crazy. 

5. The family that pictures cattle together is hopefully speaking to one another come Christmas. 
This is a very real concern. The things muttered, screamed and thrown would be worthy of a restraining order in any other circumstance. But picture day is different. Its like everyone involved comes with this heavy coat of armor over them: Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. 
That mantra lasts for about fifteen minutes. As soon as the first head enters the pen, you're throwing stones and dodging sticks with the rest of them. It's personal. You have favorite lots. You have a vision for the herd, the farm, the breed. Cattle folks are the most passionate. 
The goal on picture day is remembering that you're all on the same team with the same goal: To show these sale lots in their best light to promote your program. 
And, to still be invited to Christmas. 



Picturing sale cattle is not for the faint of heart. 
Or those who get easily offended by swear words.
To those who make a living doing this:
I salute you.


Only you can wait on dozens of animals - in the sweltering heat - to perfectly position their feet, head and ears simultaneously, in an effort to meet someone else's expectations....and still have the patience to deal with the people behind the cattle at the end of the day. 


BSG cattle will be sold in the 2015 Leveldale sale, the Great Shorthorn Revival and The Ohio Fall Showcase.



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Stockman's Wife: Year Two

When I was about twelve-years-old -- after a long, stressful day of working cattle -- Momma made me shake her hand (she's not much for hugging) and promise her I'd never marry a farmer. 

I made that promise. 
With my toes crossed. 
Instead, I married a stockman.

Well, didn't that turn out well?


A Tribute to the Stockman 
by H. W. Mumford

Behold the Stockman!
Artist and Artisan.
He may be polished, or a diamond in the rough – but always a gem.
Whose devotion to his animals is second only to his love of God and family.
Whose gripping affection is tempered only by his inborn sense of the true proportion of things.
Who cheerfully braves personal discomfort to make sure his livestock suffer not.
To him there is a rhythm in the clatter of the horse's hoof, music in the bleating of the sheep and in the lowing of the herd.
His approaching footsteps call forth the affectionate whinny of recognition.
His calm, well-modulated voice inspires confidence and wins affection.
His coming is greeted with demonstrations of pleasure, and his going with evident disappointment.
Who sees something more in cows than the drudgery of milking, more in swine than the grunt and squeal, more in the horse than the patient servant, and more in sheep than the golden hoof.
Herdsman, shepherd, groom – yes, and more. Broad-minded, big-hearted, and whole-souled: whose life and character linger long after the cordial greeting is stilled and the hearty handshake is but a memory; whose silent influence forever lives. May his kind multiply and replenish the earth.

Let's just skip right to the chase: 


1. Your time is no longer your own. We don't even have children, but on August 10, 2013 I gave up any right to hide in a closet, read Cowboys & Indians and pretend to be busy. 

He busts through the mud room door. 
"Can you throw on some boots and come help? It will only take ten minutes."

This is a trap. 
There is no such thing as ten minute tasks when you're a  Stockman's Wife. 
And unless you have two hours to commit to a "ten minute" favor, don't do it. 
Make something up. Say you're marinating steaks, or something. Say you're on the phone with Direct TV to renew his ESPN subscription so he can watch the Royals. 
Avoid "throwing on some boots" at all costs if you want to get any of your to-do list done. Trust me. 


2. Dinner may be served anytime between 4:00 PM and 11:00 PM. There is no prediction for this. While you're thawing meat, there is no indication of when it will actually be consumed. Now is a really good time to forget anything you remember the quack Dr. Oz saying about timely protein consumption. He's as backwards Bruce Jenner. As you plan a week ahead like your fancy pants Facebook friend does - and publicizes - regularly, just know that your menu will not transpire as her's does. All you can do is invest in great storage containers and a self-sufficient husband who is able to operate a microwave. And for goodness sake: don't resort to the crockpot daily. No one wants to live life on a 6-hour boiled piece of mediocre meat. 

Hey Pinterest. I don't need to know how to recycle my old volleyball t-shirts into a glamping tent.  Show me a way to make a nutritious meal that can be re-presented perfectly 3 hours after it's been first served. You know, right after we get the cows back in. 

3. There is a difference in being lonely and being alone. Stockmen travel. They drive. They sort. They move. They're not much more than cowboys with a far-better connection with cattle than horses. But my goodness, they don't let the grass grow under their boots. This is an important lesson: There is a difference in being lonely and being alone. Being alone is part of the deal. Stockmen travel. They discuss and deal. They promote. They gain miles. Alone time is awesome.
It's during this alone time that the Stockman's wife gets stuff done. Rocking babies or mopping floors or pre-treating jeans or digging out an old hobby or reading a book or - frankly - sleeping. But probably worrying about the Stockman in a peacefully, quiet home. With wine? No question mark needed. 

4. No feed plan is ever set in stone. Right about the time you memorize the chore list, ol' nutritionist decides to switch things up a bit. Half rations become full rations and full rations get mixed with some magic dust. This circus has the likeness of the frustration felt when you get a recipe perfect every third try. Is it worth it? You ask yourself at 5:47 on a Tuesday morning, wearing basketball shorts and a wifebeater with wet hair. Then you remember: If these deals bloat out.....it's your fault. Dry erase boards with good instruction become a dear friend of the Stockman's wife. 

5. Functional gifts are the best gifts. This becomes very real, very quickly. So long, diamonds and massages. On our second Christmas the Stockman gave me four pairs of work gloves: one for every season. I could not have loved it more. It made me think of the half-truth promise I made Momma years ago; I think I ended up right where I hoped to be. It was an invitation to work side-by-side daily. And an invitation to get a load of work done while he was on the road.   I've learned that a Stockman will note gift ideas  year-around. Things I need. I tend to purchase gifts the week (3 days) before the occasion. 
I happily work at the local co-op.  What would I have done with a diamond pendant, anyhow?..................

6. You will learn to run. And no, not for fitness. You and I both know I only run if I'm being chased. You will learn to run to the parts store. To the dry cleaners. To the vet to pick up something you need after running all over God's green earth to get the unruliest heifer on the farm in, alone. You'll run buckets to thaw frozen pipes and run bailing wire where it's needed most: a gate. 

Forget the sunshine and rainbows when you marry a Stockman. You're more likely to encounter rain clouds over hayfields, pink eye in your favorite cow and poison ivy in the most inconvenient places. Plus many mornings to see the sky before the rest of the world, late nights working as the crickets sing and sun burnt skin with a story to tell. 


And that tacky little burn line will lead me right in to next week's blog. 
Stay tuned. 
And pass the aloe. 

To Read about the original Stockman's Wife, go here. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Buying A Farm

Two years ago today CS and I closed on our farm. 
(Have you read about the incredible way we found this old homestead?)
It was a Monday. 
I worked through an Answer Plot practice all morning. My boots were drenched with dew. 
We went to the title company to sign our lives away....kind of. 
We went to the church five days later to sign our lives away....for real. 
We bought a farm on a Monday and married on that Saturday. 
Started married life owing someone. 
EEK. 
Life isn't for the faint of heart. 


Between the wedding and reception we took one photo at the new farm. 

So on this day - exactly two years after closing - let's reflect on 



Rome Wasn't Built In A Day
Well, this would have been great advice to receive two years ago. 
We had ambition as big as the world. 
We had a balance the size of Maryland. 
We got creative. 
The key to success is paying in full. Trust me. 
The key to success is frustration. Trust me. 
The key to success patience. Trust me. 
Or, trust Cody. I'm not really good at patience. 

Remember, things of quality have no fear of time. 




How poor newlyweds wash the house. 




That old corncrib in back moved into our home. 




 Pay no mind to the semen shipper. 
And, that rusty chair belonged to my great-great Granddad, Oscar. 
Happy Trails (to you)

Good Neighbors Make Great Neighbors
We have neighbors who have brought us homemade jam, 
made our hay under dark clouds, 
helped me tend to a broken leg in the barn when CS was out of town, 
and showed us their samurai swords - - - in case the government overstepped their boundary (even more)
Good, dependable neighbors are sure hard to come by. 
We lucked out. 
Good fences are also really, really important. 




It's OK To Take Two
Why do you feel so obligated to take one lunch tote when Farm Credit offers them at their "customer appreciation day"?
Stop. 
If they really appreciated us, they'd knock out the interest rate.
An insulated lunch tote - that cost $1.18 when you order 300 - probably won't be missed. It would have cost $7.99 had I bought it at Meijer.
The lender asked for everything short of a blood sample. 
You can ask for two totes. 
Don't you remember my Dad's advice?

Save Your Money
I'm serious. 
Your pennies.
Your change. 
Your five dollar bills. 
From your first steer to your first job. 
Save your money. 
It all adds up. 
Saving pennies buys flowers in the spring and mums in the fall. 
Saving pennies buys seeds for the garden.
Saving pennies buys fence insulators and diesel fuel tanks. 
Saving pennies buys new windows. New windows lower electric bills. 
Saving pennies buys food when guests are on their way. 
Saving pennies buys gravel when the rain has changed things. 
Saving pennies buys paint. Lots and lots of white paint. 
Saving pennies buys pasture mix and fertilizer from Harvest Land
Saving pennies buys tractors, 4-wheelers, feed bunks and cows. 
Saving your pennies can buy cows. 


Every farm has a trash pile
This is real. We're all in denial of it. Listen to me. 
Trash. 
Baggage. 
Regret. 
Secrets. 
Take it from Blake & Miranda: No family is perfect. 
(I  am still not over this. 
And Reba and Narvel. My boss is lucky I'm getting out of bed this week)
Every farm has a trash pile. Be grateful that you even have a "farm".
No farm is functional without some dirt. 
Operational and successful doesn't come without a little pain and work. 
Everyone has weeds. 
Every home needs a place to discard their garbage. 
Every farm has a trash pile. 

This is just the beginning. 
I asked Cody what he's learned from buying this old farm and he has a list at his desk.
I have yet to review it. 

Rome wasn't built in a day. 
Good neighbors make great neighbors. 
It's OK to take two. 
Save your money. 
Every farm has a trash pile. 

Come see us sometime. 
We've been here two years and you've never even stopped. 
But give me an hour notice. 
You and I both know I have "cleaning" to do in this old house. 


(Month)



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Trapper Keeper Marriage

It’s funny the things you learn about a person after you’ve married them.
Super funny.
So funny that Cody nor I were laughing last night as we discussed the coon trapping binge I’ve been on for a few weeks.

Let me back up.

We’ve had unwelcome visitors in our feed room recently. 
They trespass.
They dig.
They rip.
They self-serve.
They have destroyed several perfectly good bags of feed.


After consulting strangers, friends and relatives regarding bait,  I set the trap and anxiously (weird, I know) awaited results. I’ve gotten into the routine of going to the barn first thing in the morning to check the live trap. I report back to Cody our hits or misses.

For as successful as we’ve been (we’ve been feeding a small nocturnal army for some time, apparently), Cody just doesn’t seem to get the same satisfaction that I do when there is another free loader caged in our feed room.

video
The most I've used the garden rake all summer. 

The first raccoon was caught when Cody was out of town and I enlisted my Dad’s help in disposal.  
Fast and Easy.
The second raccoon was caught when Cody was home we had a debate on how dispose of it.

“What’s your deal with not wanting to shoot this coon?!” I feverishly asked him one morning.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what’s happened to me. I’ve gotten soft hearted with age. I used to hunt all the time in Kansas. I loved it,” Cody responded.
I fastened a necklace around my neck and packed up my laptop.
“Whatever. I’ll take care of it when I get home. Don’t even mess with it. It’s a rodent. A thief  And it’s eating our cattle feed. I’ll kill him, no problem.”
Cody poured my coffee into an insulated mug.
Slow and steady.
Calculated.
Calm.
I strangely wished I could be more like him. 
Meanwhile, I was rushing through the house like a tornado in heels.
“Geeeezo preezo (a coined Cody Sankey phrase). I had no idea that I had married a cold blooded killer.”
I lost it.
“Well I had no idea I married a woman!”
We both laughed.
And said our PS Prayers. Much needed.

Cody confirmed that he’d get rid of of the coon before I got home that night.
And he did.

Two nights later I walked out to the barn in the pouring rain to set the trap again. Cody advised against it. I, however, was on a roll. I followed Uncle Hal’s advice and used sardines.
We caught another one.
A huge one.

Cody was less thrilled than I.
With little discussion, he told me he’d again take care of it.

Fast forward to yesterday.
That is when I gathered bait to catch creeper number four and Cody remarked that we should give the trapping a rest until we knew we still had an issue.
In return, I gave him a quick – but passionate - synopsis of the value in being proactive rather than reactive.
In one ear, out the other.

“I just don’t like the look they give me when they're in the cage,” he said.
“Like…..just put the bullet in their head. I promise they’ll close their eyes.”
He didn’t say much. I felt kind of mean, raw.
“Did you shoot the last one? I didn’t see your gun out,” I asked.

Game changing question.

I could tell by the look on Cody’s face that he wanted to tell me something but he was afraid to do so. 
It was the exact same look he gave me when he reveled that he forgot to bring home The Show Malbec wine during his last trek to Michigan.


“Cody. Did you shoot the last raccoon?”
“What do you mean?”
“Cody. Did you shoot the last raccoon?”
“Why does this matter?”
At this point I didn’t know if I was dealing with Cody Sankey or Rachel Dolezal.
“Cody. Did you shoot the last raccoon?”
“I got rid of him. Don’t worry about it.”
“Is it dead?”
“He took a ride and a fall.”

I was furious.
I took off my earrings and stomped upstairs. He stood at the base of the steps and called up, asking why I was so upset about disposal of a stupid raccoon.

“Because! I worked hard to catch them and you apparently load them in the bed of your truck and take them on a joy ride. Then give them a head pat. And a scratch behind the ears. Then turn them loose!” I yelled down. I could almost see him smiling at the base of the steps.
No bueno.

“No offense, (I took offense as soon as he said that) but all you really did was grease the cage and throw some salty fish in it. The cage did all the work.”
I didn’t know if I should laugh at his joke or ring his neck. I decided to put on barn clothes instead.
I responded with Silence.
That’s powerful.

After my blood pressure leveled out and Cody got done with a customer phone call I gently – this took effort – asked him where the raccoon was? Did he drown it? Shoot it? Throw it off of a bridge? Tie fireworks to his back? Hang it from a tree?
I strangely had to know.

This is where I stopped dead in my boots and thought maybe I should listen to his reasoning.
“Linds, I am not kidding when I say that the raccoon gave me puppy dog eyes when I went out to shoot it.”
This.
Right here.
This is when I asked myself: Who did I marry?
The Cody at the alter was gravel voiced and calloused and rugged and hardy.
Two years later he’s standing in the kitchen telling me about a heart-to-heart he had with a dirty raccoon.


“It like scooted back in it’s cage and stared at me. And I knew I wouldn’t feel good about shooting it. So I loaded it up, told it not to come back to Wayne County and drove it across two county lines and dumped it. It jumped off the tailgate. It was really fat.”

I stared blankly at the man I love so much.
Thinking of how much I wanted to kill him.

I don’t remember my response. 
I do remember walking out to the garden to weed, water and pick.
I walked back to the house to get gloves.
I trap. He keeps.

"This marriage deal,” I began as Cody made his way to the barn. “I learned today that I’m the trapper and you’re the keeper. We’re no longer BowSankey. Two years into this forever deal and we’re now TrapperKeeper.”

"There are worse things, I guess," he responded. 
Slow and steady. 
Calculated. 
Calm.
I strangely wished I could be more like him. 
Balance, my friends, is everything.

I am the trapper.
He is the keeper.
Together, we will change the world.


Or, at least waste expensive diesel fuel to 
transport fat rodents from 
one county to the next.
In the spirit of saving their souls. 

Ugh. 
Don’t even get me started. 
Again.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hay Help

Dear 'Ol Dad asked me two weeks ago what I was doing on July 18. I reveled that CS would be in Tulsa for the National Junior Angus Show and other than maintaining herds 1, 2 and 3 I didn't have much planned. 
I showed all of my cards. 
Rookie mistake.

Then, he asked if I could be "hay help."

Like....I'm 30. Not 17.
Shouldn't he have known by now that my bale tossing days are over? 
Shouldn't he have known that I'm not as good as I once was?
Shouldn't he have known that there are kids around the block (or 10-mile radius) that are looking for money?

I agreed to the deal. My skin needed vitamin D. My physique needed...a lot. 

I showed up early Saturday morning to learn that "hay help" entailed directing him as he loaded round bales from the field to the trailer, and haul them home. 

Easy peezy?

Without a doubt, whenever I spend an extended period of time with Dad (more than 2 minutes), I'm certain to take away a lesson or five. 

But for the sake of time - 
I know you have
expense reports
laundry
coffee dates
showers
county fairs
dirty dishes
yard work
snuggling
cows to feed
paperwork
and life to get back to. 

One hour into the 6-hour adventure with Dad and the farm truck - totally trusty since bought brand new in 2001 -  was over heating while climbing a 3-mile hill (4 separate times) and pulling 14 large bales, each load. How dare that truck?

Dad geared down, adjusted, watched the gauge move completely into the red zone and finally -  told me to throw my legs out the window. 



Dad and I spent the next 4 hours hauling hay -  in 89º temperatures - with the heat on full blasters because (apparently - who knew?) using your heated vents draws heat off of the engine. 
I couldn't deal. 
My legs were fixin' to combust and air hotter than a firecracker was in my face. 
Twice I thought my extremities were on fire. I couldn't put my feet in front of any vent. 
I sincerely thought: This is the hottest I've ever been in 30 years. 



Every so often I'd look over at Dad and he was driving cool as a cucumber back to the farm. Even in intense heat, and less-than-ideal-conditions, he knew it had to be done. 



"I know there is a blog in this situation somewhere, but it's too hot for me to even process thoughts right now!" I yelled over the roar of the engine and 4 windows down. 
He laughed. 
We made it home - all bales transported and unloaded - at 7:23 that evening. 

But the thing I learned - and you can too - from hauling hay several miles from home with Phil Bowman:

There is value in discomfort. 

So what if your heart is broke?
You had to move to another notch in the belt?
You had to use the cheap "Q-Tips" that bend with your force?
Your shoes leak in all of this water?
She won't call you back?
You can't afford to keep the house at 67º?
Your budget won't allow buying lunch daily or even the new dress?
You're homesick?
You have to work with shoddy equipment for a little longer?
You have to wait just a little longer?

Remember: discomfort means that you're growing. 
I'll be brutally honest when I admit that I moved home from Washington, DC too early. I was homesick. Sad from Granddad's passing. Listening to folks other than myself. And  left an incredible opportunity back in the District - rather than growing from that discomfort. 

But I've learned: 
It's good - no, great - for one  to experience discomfort. To not get what you want. Things have historically been easy, accessible, changeable and nice. 


Challenge yourself outside your comfort zone a little. 

The hay is home, the truck is operational, we have all extremities and Dad and I can laugh about it now. But trust me, next time he asks me what I'm doing on a Saturday  I'll be asking for clarification. 


My friend Brandon shared this, and I think it's worth passing on:
“If you are willing to do only what is easy, life will be hard. 
But if you are willing to do what’s hard, life will be easy.” 
– T. Harv Eker

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Killing Jack

I'm fortunate to say that one of my two favorite places on this earth is just 36.5 miles from my driveway. 
I'm foolish to say that I don't get there nearly as much as I'd like to because of my "busy" schedule. 



Last Friday I drove to The Original Jean's house after work. We had big plans for our grandma/granddaughter date: eat one of her famous cheeseburgers, then indulge in ice-cream as Granddad did, then sort family photos. The same thing we've done for three decades. It was Friday, after all, and our diets didn't start until Monday. 


We were having a peaceful evening watching the daily murder recap on the Dayton, Ohio news station when she suddenly stopped chewing. 
"What time is it?!" The Original asked as she dropped her fork of potato salad. 
I looked to the clock that has hung over the kitchen sink for at least 30 years. 
"5:48," I told her. 
Then, she started hustling:
"We've got to get the channel changed. I have to see if Jack dies for good this time..."
Wait. What? I thought to myself. I asked for clarification. 
"Jack," she went on, "it should be this one where we find out if he dies for good or lives forever." 
I stared at her blankly. 
She tried to explain, using her terrible eyes to change the channel with her perfectly painted nails. 
"What show are you looking for?" I asked. 
"The Young and the Restless....I can't see these damn numbers anymore...."
I took the remote and switched to The Young and the Restless rerun just in time.
"I wish they'd stop beating around the bush and just kill him off..." Grandma feverishly continued. 

World. Stopped. Turning. 

Just like that - it was as though I was 25 years younger, a stout blonde with bad hair, back in my little rocking chair in front of the TV eating bologna and cheese and drinking Kool-Aid, passing time before afternoon kindergarten and waiting to see if Jack died. Now - 25 years later - I can plainly see why Momma wanted me in afternoon kindergarten: so she wouldn't miss The Young and the Restless. 


Did you know I Grew Up Rich? 

"Is Jack Abbott still alive??" I asked The Original, a bit taken back as it felt like 25 years of my life flew by and somehow this slimy Jack is still escaping death avery 6 weeks. 


The Original and I continued watching the pivotal episode, my jaw fixin' to hit my dinner plate. 
Jack. 
Nikki. 
Victor. 
They were all still alive. I was certain when I graduated kindergarten they had all died in a fiery crash on their way to Malibu. 

She really did have great hair. 





Can't. Deal. With. This.  

I still couldn't get over the fact that Nikki hadn't killed Victor off. Like...she tried really hard in 1993. 
I remember. 
She reminded me of my reading teacher and scared the crap out of me.

But perhaps it wasn't the fact that they were all still alive that really had me floored, but rather the idea that my incredible grandmother - 85 years bold - is still waiting for something to happen on the screen. Day..to week...to month...to year to...decade. 



Later (but not by much) that night The Original went to bed and I continued to dive into a Rubbermaid tub of photos, sorting/labeling each one. It took so long because of gems such as this:


The handsome face of Bowman Superior Genetics.

While I sat and sorted, I couldn't help but think of - and laugh about - the soap opera situation I experienced earlier. For entertainment reasons, Grandma continued to keep up with Jack, Victor and Nikki after all of these years. Daily, wondering - without control of the situation - what is next
But it's more than that. 
So much more than daytime television, what things are we clinging to, keeping up with or holding on to, in hopes things will finally materialize? Or maybe even fear that they will?

The money you should have invested some time ago?
The succession plan you desperately need to address?
The wrong relationship you've tried to make work 100 times?
The plan to begin taking care of your body - your one and only body?
The resume that you need to submit?
The call you need to make, telling her how you really feel?
The two weeks you need to give?
The doctor appointment you desperately need to make but won't, out of fear?
The admission of guilt?
The sibling relationship you need to salvage?
The leap of faith keeping you awake at night?
The letter you need to write?
The application you need to submit?
The life you need to live - for yourself for once?

What are you waiting on? I sure hope it's not Jack to die off because that's taken decades....thus far. 

Would you rather change the channel and move on with your life or spend so many precious days wondering what will happen next?



Be the change agent. 



Or this could be you. 

....To be continued.