Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Make Hay While The Sun Shines

Well, you have to make hay while the sun shines. 

I never understood the meaning behind this old line when I was a small child. 
I knew what it meant to make hay. 
I knew the importance of sunshine in the hay-making process. 
I did not understand why adults said this in the middle of winter during a conversation that had absolutely nothing to do with hay. 

Then I got older. 
And a bit wiser. 
But mostly just older. 

Now I understand the importance of "making hay while the sun shines" - 
or taking advantage of an opportunity that can easily pass. 

Part of "living my life" is learning to recognize and take advantage of said opportunities that don't often arise and likely won't come back 'round on this carrousel we call life. I'm finding ways to recognize resources and utilize them. It has been a lesson learned and one I still need to work on. But I'm getting better at it. 

For instance, last week I utilized my (un-deserving) "mom-purse" and stuffed two bags of chocolate chips, 4 avocados, a pineapple and a box of Triscuits into it during check out at Aldi. I wasn't about to pay $.25 for a grocery bag. 

What I'm even better at, rather than making hay while the sun shines, is watching my brother make hay while the blazing hot sun shines down on his fair skin. Literally. 

I approached the southern end of our farm the other evening to see Luke tedding hay. Tedding hay is the process in which the rows of mown hay are picked up and scattered so that the sun can dry the forage. After the sun does its job, the hay is then raked into rows that will be baled. 

The sun was getting lower in the Indiana sky and the dust floated across the dry land. It was a really awesome scene - but the looks of the situation paled in comparison of the smell. Momma and I always said we'd make millions if we could just bottle the smell of fresh cut hay. I venture to guess approximately 2 million other people have had the exact same thought...
Never "made hay" on that deal. 

Below are just a few images from that evening last week  at Bowman Superior Genetics. Special thanks to Luke for not running over me, though given the number of times he yelled (I couldn't understand what he was saying - the tractor was loud) and shook his head at me, I know it crossed his mind more than once.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Work In Progress

I consider myself very fortunate with this blog. I’ve been asked again to be a guest speaker at a blogging workshop in June. 
I (feel like I) have 6 followers, 4 of which are blood relatives. Nonetheless I accepted the offer. 

Monday I was asked for my blog bio. 
Blog bio?
I can confess my guilt in stealing hotel soap, I'm comfortable writing about the anxiety I feel as I walk into rural America Wal-Mart, I'm fine telling hundreds of people that I've started my shoddy "diet" 36 times over in 2012, already. And failed miserably each time. 

I'm not comfortable writing a bio that is supposed to shine a glorious light on myself. 

But, I worked on it Monday night, anyhow. 
As you're about to see, this bio has gone through several...revisions. 

Lindsay Bowman grew up on a farm in Indiana and understands the meaning of literally making hay while the sun shines.
Lindsay Bowman has been a part of animal agriculture since a very young age, when she would stuff her pygmy goat in a mailbox and wait for the mail lady.
Lindsay’s passion for agriculture was cultivated by early mornings at the barn and impromptu pitchfork throwing competitions with her siblings.
Lindsay Bowman was raised on a purebred Shorthorn operation in east central Indiana where her passion for agriculture was ignited. Bingo.

Lindsay is a humorous writer who is also active in social media and agriculture. 

Lindsay is a self-proclaimed blogger.

Lindsay is a self-proclaimed funny person who also posts a lot on Facebook. 

Lindsay enjoys writing and drinking Malbec wine at the same time. 85% of the time people enjoy reading 75% of what she says -- only because they can relate to her writing; not because it is Earth-shattering information. Bingo. 

Lindsay hasn't always been a writer; she's spent most of her life as a
Farm kid.
Funny sister.
Shoddy listener
Happy-go-lucky blonde in cowboy boots. Bingo. 

The majority of days, you can find Lindsay appreciating the simple beauty of life and capturing those moments through her camera lens. 
With a camera around her neck and curious like a tourist.
HeyTelling and driving a tick over the speed limit.
With a Waylon Jennings song stuck in her head. Bingo. 

Lindsay enjoys traveling as long as her luggage always arrives with her, making beautiful things out of repurposed junk and humor.

Though a positive person, Lindsay doesn’t care for people who take photos of themselves in the bathroom mirror, in the car, etc. then post them on Facebook.
The price of gas.
Cats and poison ivy. Bingo.

She also spends a large majority of her “free time” appreciating the landscape.
Looking for matching Tupperware lids.
Trying to stomach over-the-top holiday letters from acquaintances.
Asking forgiveness from her family for being painfully honest when telling their homesteading story, which still takes place outside an otherwise sleepy one-horse town. Bingo.

I’ve found that is it not easy to write about yourself when your intent is to be illustrated in the brightest light. I’ve also learned this assignment can take less than 15 minutes if you’re authentic and true-to-self. It has been a real challenge and pleasure sitting down to write this bio. An enlightening and testing experience, I’m convinced what I come up with this week could very likely still apply in two years. I’m predictable and steadfast.

 Still, always a work in progress, right?

What would your bio say?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thanksgiving in May

Have you ever experienced hours, days or weeks that truly make you think? 
Count blessings. 
Slow down. 
Wonder why?
Appreciate a sunset. 
Watch a sunrise.
Give thanks.

I'm the kind of gal who craves time alone and reflection every once in a while. So I slowed down, put on a pair of old jeans and spent 30 minutes Monday evening - and 30 minutes Tuesday evening - capturing these photos. 
I needed it. 
I needed to see life and new beginnings and hope and beauty in creation. 

This Wednesday morning, enjoy a Spring sunset around Bowman Superior Genetics

And if you're reading this, don't forget to give thanks for the opportunity! 

 One of my favorite cows on the farm. WHR Dace D 3904 was a show heifer for Luke years ago. No longer at the end of a leather halter or traveling North America, she has certainly earned her keep amongst the rolling hills just south of Greens Fork, Indiana. 

It will be knee-high before we know it.

A good mother protecting her baby.

Such a special place.

Linda: The hardest working woman I know. 
And always telling a story you don't want to miss....

I get many questions about what our family does in this fly-over state. 
I welcome those interested to come take a tour. This photo is a great example of genetic selection: a recip cow (surrogate mother) raising a calf that was an embryo transplant. 
The real mother of the calf is a former All-American named Monica.

This is one of our purebred Angus cows, raising a half-blood calf by 
Saskvalley Task Force 105T (see more here!) - a Shorthorn bull.  
Bowman Superior Genetics. 

No two alike -  
There have been 137 of these thus far in 2012. 
How many have you taken the time to  appreciate?

Don't forget to become a fan of Jean's Boots on Facebook - click here

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Many Faces of Miss Zoey

I was fortunate to spend last Sunday afternoon with Miss Zoey, who just turned a year old. Zoey's dad and I grew up on the same bus route.  Of the three Hoover Homesteads that were once the pride of Washington Road, I grew up in one and he in the other. The third - and best - went down in flames a few years ago. But that is a blog for another day...

Zoey was happy and curious and fun on Sunday. Rumor has it, she's like that most days. I'm still so thankful to have spent that time with her and her parents. I've never seen a child have so many different expressions in such a limited amount of time. 

She made my job easy! Enjoy the many expressions of Miss Zoey - 

What a sweet Zoey-smile to end my Sunday afternoon - New teeth and all - 
Thank you for the opportunity!

Don't forget to "LIKE" Jean's Boots Are Made For Talking on Facebook - CLICK HERE!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Diet Starts Tomorrow

There is certain verbiage that runs through a family.
These words span generations and create a familiarity that covers time. 

On Dad's side of the family the words that have traveled decades and generations come from Psalms 23:6. We sing the chorus of Surely Goodness and Mercy at every gathering of my large Bowman family: reunions or funerals. The music and harmony bring a certain peace to my heart.

On Mom's side of the family, the familiar words that have been recited countless times for endless decades are, "My diet starts tomorrow."

I heard this phrase twice on Easter Sunday as I stood in line for dessert. 
Ironically, there was no line for seconds on the spinach salad. 

My nephew Harrison 
May 1, 2012

My jeans have become a bit tighter than I'm accustomed to (I've never actually experienced baggy jeans. In my life. Ever.), so I've decided to go on a diet. 

The two most effective diets I've ever been on involved either 1) removal of body parts or 2) a broken heart. Since there isn't much left to remove when it comes to my tonsils and I have no plans of having a broken heart anytime soon, Monday night I did what any person who is trying to lose weight would do - I ridded my cupboards of any temptation. 

Only, instead of throwing away the junk food in the Tuesday morning trash run, I ate half a box of Triscuits with pepperjack cheese, polished off the butter pecan ice-cream, killed the last of the spicy-hot Cheeze-Its and went ahead and ended the rampage with what was left of the cottage cheese that I have no recollection of ever buying. 
Do you notice a trend here? 
I'm a real-life Dairy Queen. 

In theory, I should have woken up looking like the next contestant on The Biggest Loser and feeling terrible; Tuesday morning I fried bacon and eggs for breakfast. Had to get rid of it. 

I've heard people call themselves "emotional eaters" and sometimes I wonder if I'm not an emotional eater, too. I get strangely sad when I eat the last bite of raspberry sherbet. 

I went to the grocery last night and bought food to promote healthy eating. Like water crackers. In my defense, I do try to drink a gallon of water a day - even if it's in the form of crackers. They happen to go great with cheese. 

I get it honest. When my wonderful Great-Grandma Ruby passed away, I was given one thing  from her home. It wasn't the decades of journals that she wrote in every single day with out fail (she recorded the weather, what she cooked for every meal and any happenings around the farm - even on the three days she buried sons) or her old yearbooks or even her Damon Bailey memorabilia (not that I would have wanted it). 

I got her TOPS bracelet. 

TOPS, you ask?


Yep. I got the charm bracelet that documented Great-Grandma's weight loss journey. It isn't very long, in fact I'm convinced there are missing links. The ends don't even touch when I try to put it around my wrist. Good news is she kept two pounds off (sensibly) in 1971. You go, girl.

I remember being very young and sitting at The Original Jean's dining room table for a family event. There was pie. Over the span of an hour, I watched The Original devour several slivers of pie: from apple, pecan, chocolate, butterscotch. 
"Mom, have you had a piece of pie yet?" one of her daughters asked. 
"No," replied Grandma. "I'm on a diet," she responded.
My blonde ponytail whipped around and I cut her a look. 
She grabbed my thigh. 
"I've had slivers. Slivers don't count as pieces," she muttered under her breath to me. 
If my memory serves me right, The Original Jean had 7 slivers that day and never ate a single piece of pie. 
Well done. 

I was cruising down I-70 westbound yesterday and made a call to catch up with Momma. 

"I started my diet today! Doing great so far," she proudly announced over the phone line.
"Well, good Mom. But it's only 10:52 in the morning," I responded as I looked at the clock on my dashboard. 
"I know Jean. And I Am STARVING!! And, Aldi is having a sale on butter. If you're on that side of town this week, will you pick me up some? Remember, I always buy butter by the case."

.........My diet starts tomorrow.