Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Animals - For Life

Animals played varying roles throughout my childhood.

Cats went for a ride around the block with Dad. 
Pygmy goats ended up in the mailbox for the mail lady/man to find. 
Nate, the stray dog that made BSG his home, came and went as he pleased. Usually after he left, litters of little black pups began to show up around the community. 
Frogs were friends. Until they peed on us. Then they were just gross

And cattle belonged in the pasture.
Or on our plate. 

But then we got Aggie.

She changed how our family viewed animals. She quickly became not only a family favorite, but a community favorite, too. She was fast, and funny and changed my rigid father. Every night, Aggie fell asleep in the recliner next to Dad. 

We lost our beloved Aggie on December 21, 2012. It was a terribly sad time. 

They say a good job is one you learn from every day. While I know there have been days at Wilt PR that I've barely made it through the motions of returning phone calls, attending meetings and traveling between Indiana and Ohio, I've also learned immensely in the last 18 months. 

One of the greatest lessons has come to me through working with the Animals for Life Foundation (AFL). AFL was created to educate the public about the value animals bring to human life: Whether it’s through food and fiber or medical and social benefits. Even as a farm girl, I hadn't realized how animals impact our daily lives. 
Whether we have an "Aggie" or not. The rehabilitation and learning programs that include animals are incredible. The health benefits of protein from animals is astounding. 
They are literally intertwined into meals, clothes, companionship and conversation. 

To this day, I blame being late for dentist appointments solely on my pup, Dixie

On March 20 animals behavior specialists and veterinarians from all over the United States will meet in Columbus, Ohio to discuss the human-animal bond and how animals affect every human life. Dr. Temple Grandin and Steve Dale are included in the list of presenters who will discuss with attendees how animals have changed the way our children learn, our dietary decisions and how we spend our hard earned money. 

You can learn more about The Summit at the Animals For Life Facebook page.

If you need to find me on March 20, I'll be in Columbus learning more about trends in the animal industry. 
And also about how incredibly confused that little pygmy goat was each time we stuffed her in the mailbox....

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dear Ol' Dad

This weekend at the farm we'll have a small get-together to celebrate Dad's 62nd birthday. 

Dear ol' Dad. 

I have not always understood each of Dad's philosophies, but I've always - always - respected them. 

Dad intimidated every boy that walked through our front door to see one of us Bowman sisters by keeping two rifles next to the door. 
He told me the boy who wasn't intimidated by the accessible guns was the one he could trust with his daughter. 
And Dad was right. 

Dad may have missed my 6th grade graduation and about 98% of my cheerleading obligations (at what age will I let that go?), but he made up for it by sitting on the end of my bed and trying to console me with logic as I sobbed over a boy. 
He told me this wouldn't be the last time. And each time would hurt. 
And Dad was right. 

Dad enjoyed dinners with a lesson while we were growing up. The "Word of the Day" game, where we found one word out of the dictionary, defined it and each used it in a sentence, lasted about 9 days. His science lessons about how much sugar was in one can of pop worked; rarely do I crave a Coke. 
Dad told us some of the most important parts of our childhood would take place around the dining room table when the five of us were all together. 
And Dad was right. 

Dad taught us we would learn more by keeping our mouth shut and our ears open. 
And Dad was right. 

Dad told us one day we would appreciate firm handshakes, medium-rare prepared steak, hard work, early mornings, late nights and  full-bodied beer. 
And Dad was right. 

Perhaps two of the best things Dad has ever taught us deal with confidence and frugality. 

Dad also taught the three of us how to be confident in ourselves and our choices. He's never apologized for making us tuck our shirts in (Luke even had to tuck in his Shawn Kemp jersey - I so wish I could have found photos), wear belts every day or abide by the earliest curfews known to mankind. Because of that, all three of us have done things our own way, on our own time, in our own style. 
Dad used to preach that what is popular doesn't matter; rather, what matters is character. 
And Dad was right. 

Over the years, Dad has also taught us a lot about saving money (If It's Free, Take Two) and utilizing our resources. We smashed cans growing up and took thousands of them to the recycling center. And if any one of Dad's "Lucky Charms" can be recycled, you better believe he will. Because of these frugal (TIGHT!) ways, he allowed Momma to be a homemaker, sent three kids to college and continues to own one of the largest purebred Shorthorn operations in the United States. 
Dad promised himself one day he would do things right. 
And Dad has. 

But time passes. 

Dad and I teaching Laura and Luke how to work. 

Kids grow up. 
Herds grow. 
Parents age. 
Things change. 

Last week my brother sent me a video that confirmed something: in a time where change is beyond each turn, a few things will always remain the same. 

Dad will - without fail - load his 1964 Ford Camper Special (when I was in junior high, I could look through the floorboard and see the road pass beneath my boots) as full as he can possibly get it and drive it (ON PUBLIC ROADS) 15 miles to Richmond and cash in on each of his "lucky charms" at the recycling center.

The second truck was hauling Dad's aluminum cans...

He doesn't care what anyone thinks. 
He cares that those lucky charms just paid a truck payment. 
Or, at least for lunch on the way home from town...

Cheers to another year with dear ol' Dad and his unique ways. 
His lessons. 
The empire of integrity he has built. 

Happy Birthday, Daddio!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Ahh, Valentine's Day.

When I was young, Valentine's Day meant two hours away from school work to exchange paper valentines and feast on cupcakes with red icing that left our entire class looking like blood hungry vampires. 

In high school I went on a first date on Valentine's Day. The shy boy from across the county brought me a dozen roses. Poor kid - he was so obligated. 

In college, Valentine's Day was more of a girls' night (as though we didn't have enough) than a sappy date night. Flowers from out west sat on my vanity while with my girlfriends I toasted another February 14 farewell. 
Really, we could have found anything to toast to that night....passing Chemistry, our senior year, getting that job interview...

February 14, 2007

Last year on February 14 I spent the day emailing back and forth with a guy a met in Denver (his name is Cody) and my girlfriends, analyzing every flower picture posted, taken with a stapler in the background. 
Every predicted proposal. 
Every mention of "hubby", "man of my dreams" and...."love."

But really, what's love got to do with it?

Definition of love from old Mr. Webster:


 noun \ˈləv\

Definition of LOVE

(1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties <maternal love for a child> (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt bylovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests 


And this is how a few of my Facebook friends define love:
  • Just love the busy season! Keeps me sane!! LOL
  • Michelle's dress: I LOVE IT!
  • Got your invite to Caleb's party today - I love them :)
  • Luv my baby boy> No mater wat! (this accompanied a photo of a steer)
  • Love getting RSVPs for our wedding!!! Hope I get a bunch more soon so I don't have to stalk people lol! 
All of the sudden, we love (or worse, luv) every one and everything. We love songs and television shows and new cars and clothes. We are so guilty of saturating our language with "love" that it holds little value anymore. 

Don't get me started The Bachelor. I tuned in for an hour this week (guilty) and heard the "L" word something like 6 times. You love him? You LOVE him?! You have never had to wash his dried up toothpaste off the side of the sink. You haven't experienced him drunk with his best friends. You've never even met his father to have some sort of gauge as to what you may be getting into. 

It is so, so special to tell someone you love them for the first time. What a moment to remember. But how exciting can telling them you love them be, if you've already used the word three times earlier in the evening?
6:30: PM: That's my favorite shirt you own; I love it. 
7:15 PM: I love their bleu cheese dressing. 
8:40 PM: I loved her when she played in Everybody Loves Raymond. 
10:30 PM: Oh, and I love you. 

I remember playing in my Grandma Bowman's yard when I was pretty young. During our playing and gallivanting around, one of us kids had promised another something and then broke the contract. The disappointed one did what any kid would: reported the lack of follow through to Momma. I remember we all got scolded that Sunday afternoon. Momma told us that a promise was a very serious thing, and none of us, not Laura, Luke or Lindsay, were mature enough to make a promise to anyone else. At that point in time, we simply didn't understand the commitment that a  promise entailed. 

Then and there, a promise became a pretty serious thing. 

And love is, too.

Sure, there are different types of love, but I consider all of them powerful. Right now, I'm committing to not throw the "L" word around. I used to be pretty good at watching my usage. In fact, I recall one summer night when I told a guy I was, "completely you". Good way to promptly end a date. I just wasn't there yet. 

I believe a thing as powerful as love deserves a correct context.

"I just love Valentine's candy. It's so good," remarked Cody one day a couple weeks ago as he chomped away on a package of sweet tarts. 
"You use that love word a lot," I responded, smiling at him. 
A few second passed. Cody was chewing. 
"Linds, please just know that the love I have for sweet tarts is a totally different kind of love that I have for you. Just, trust me. Two different loves."

That brief exchange inspired this entry. 
And, I rest my case.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Keeping Time

When I was a young girl I was lucky enough to have my best friend also be my cousin. With less than three months separating us in age, Kathleen and I spent our fall and spring breaks at Grandma and Granddad's farm. In the summer we'd spend a week during the Preble County Fair. 

We ate pizza for breakfast, popsicles for lunch and cheeseburgers for dinner. 

We'd sit on the markers at the end of the driveway and wait for Mikey Dare to drive by. When we finally saw a Dare truck coming down the road, we were too shy to even wave. We'd usually jump off the concrete land marker and hide behind it. But that is a blog for another day...

Then time passed. We got involved in other things (Kathleen successfully pursued music while I attempted toe touches in a purple and gold uniform) and sadly our time at that farm in Ohio seemed less and less. 

But, before we grew up and forgot what it was like to be 10 years old, we buried a time capsule. 

After finishing a pale of ice cream (with the help of Granddad), we filled it with pieces of our young lives. The good news is I can only recall a few things that Kathleen and I put in that time capsule, which is so exciting. The opening will be even more telling of our childhood.  I know that we put popsicle wrappers and a newspaper from the weekend we were there. 

We buried the capsule right next to the milk parlor. I remember having a hard time determining the year that we would open it: either in 2033 or when we turn 33. We settled on opening it at the age of 33, since we were unsure if we would have enough memory left when we're 49-years-old in 2033. Oh, perception. 

Now, 33 seems just around the corner and I anxiously await finding that capsule again with Kathleen. 

I think I get an appreciation for those types of ideas from Momma. When she and Dad remodeled our home in the '80's, Momma left notes in the walls that they built. Notes about our family, the price of groceries and gas. Notes about life as we knew it

This summer I plan on burying another. It will be a summer of change for myself; time to close one chapter and blaze a glorious trail into another. At no other point in my life will things be just as they are today. 
And that is the case for everyday. 
For everyone.
Each sunrise opens new doors, new opportunities. 
Each day changes life. 
How will we remember it? 

Bowman Superior Genetics
Greens Fork, Indiana

So what should I put in a time capsule at 28? 

Current events. What is making news in the United States? What is our president doing? What are the popular television shows or musicians? 

Numbers. The price of milk, bread, gas and hairspray. 28 or 88, I will always go through hairspray more quickly than I do milk. 

Letters to myself. What makes me happy? What do I worry about? What do I look forward to? Who do I wish I knew better? Where do I want to visit? 

Art. I'd love to have Marlee and Harrison draw pictures for me so they can see their works of art years later. I'd also love for one of them to become famous so Aunt Lindsay's time capsule will pay for her funeral. 

Newspapers. Just one or two. Maybe the real estate section to see what houses sold for. Maybe the comics. 

Photos. Lots of them. Photos of my home, interior and exterior. Photos of Bowman Superior Genetics. Family photos. Photos of my vehicle. My workplace. Components of my life. 

My goals. Where do I think I'll be in 10, 25 or 45 years? Much more importantly, where do I want to be?

My boots. Just one pair. One that I can obviously live without for a few...decades. A pair with a story to tell

Burying a time capsule is an easy way of keeping and remembering time. 

I'm no expert, but I  recommend putting in things that don't mold or breathe. Those popsicle wrappers may be problematic in a few years and cats tend to put up a fight. 

What will you put in your time capsule?