You choose. Be happy.

So I haven’t been here for a while. But this was too good not to share.

Warning: This is about get a little preachy.

Life is all about choices. Whatever you do, whatever happens, you can choose happiness. It may be harder at times than others – I know that firsthand – but you can still choose. My favorite line of the whole thing?

“Enjoy  your relationship with yourself, and then anyone who comes in will enter into a party you already started.”

I got a party goin’ on. I love that.

Oh, another favorite: “If you don’t see yourself as valuable, nobody else will.”

And: “If you don’t like you, it makes it hard for me to like you.”

And my final favorite is: Relationships – with God, your spouse, your friends, your kids – are important because, “You can’t be fruitful by yourself.”

But stop reading. Go watch the video. It’s way better than I could ever say.


No excuse

So I have no excuse for not blogging. None.

But I can’t even wear socks that match my pants and shoes, so what do you expect?


Seriously? I don’t even have the excuse of dressing in the dark. I thought these socks were black, just like my pants and shoes. Nope. Blue.

At least my shirt isn’t on inside out. Yes. That happened.

Does anyone else wonder how I manage? Because I do.

A victory dance

I would like to share a little victory with y’all. (I know I’m not from the south but that sounded appropriate.)

Last weekend, I did ALL the laundry. I don’t mean, I got the major stuff (jeans and underwear) done. And I don’t mean everything but the towels. Or everything except for the delicate load that I’ve needed to wash for six weeks.

I mean jeans, colors, whites, sweaters, towels, sheets – the WHOLE stinkin’ mess is clean.



For about five minutes there was nothing in the baskets, nothing on the floor in the bathroom, nothing hanging on a door handle. It was done. It was all very exciting. Or at least it was for this working mom.

And then? For three days now, I’ve done a load a day to keep up. I know. It’s just too much.

I know by writing this, I’ll jinx it. But hey. I’m going to celebrate while I can.

Today is unusual

One of the first things I do every day, is look at my calendar for the day. Ok. I don’t always do that and sometimes I miss appointments. Like last night when I should have taken my oldest son to a meeting. I forgot.

That was until my phone beeped at me 15 minutes before it was to start and by then, it was way past time to be able to get there before the meeting was over. I’ve recently switched to an electronic calendar that I can sync with my phone. It is supposed to keep me from making those mistakes, but hey. Nobody’s perfect.

Back to the point. This morning, this is what my calendar looked like.

And this is what my afternoon and evening looks like.

I intend for this to be glorious. I am checking things off my “To-Do” list right and left. Hence, a new blog post.

And if you are my friend and know that I’ve forgotten to put something on here, just don’t burst my bubble. Let me enjoy it. Please?

One of those days

You know how people say there should be some separation between your work and personal life? Yeah, well. I’m not very good at that.

So here I sit at my computer at work and I’m supposed to be writing a column about work stuff – about agriculture and the stupid Congress that hasn’t passed the stupid farm bill. Or about the stupid drought. Or whatever.

And as hard as I try, I cannot make my brain head in that direction. All it wants to do is dread tomorrow. Tomorrow is the day that we will lay my friend to rest. And I worry about her husband and her boys. I wonder: Do they need dress socks? Are their boots polished? Do the boys even have a handkerchief? They are going to need one of those tomorrow.

You know, all the things that a mom should be thinking. And I’m a mom and they don’t have theirs anymore. And that’s just not right.

I know. I know. God has a plan. I get it. But crimeny, it’s hard to accept sometimes, isn’t it?

I was scrolling through the texts on my phone and there it was. Just a couple of days ago she was going to stop by my office to bring me some stuff for 4-H. And I told her not to worry about it. I’d see her soon. I’d get it then.

Only I won’t see her soon.

And so what I’m saying is this: Sometimes life sucks and today is one of those days.

Love me some state fair


Note: I started this blog post oh, about 10 days ago, and then life happened. You know, the work project that has been in the works for approximately 10 months but all of the sudden goes into Fast Forward mode, the realization that 4-H record books are due soon, and 627 loads of laundry. So, instead of wasting a good blog post, I’m going to post it anyway. And then I’ll get caught up over the next few days.

Last weekend the boys (big and little) and I headed to the state fair. It was pig showin’ time again. We had fun, brought home a little hardware and saw friends. Here’s a list of highlights.

TV stars

So one of the dangers of knowing a writer is that your words sometimes end up being a part of a column or a blog post. Sometimes, if you are the kid of a writer, who has friends who are television reporters, your mom signs you up for a television interview that you really don’t want to do. But then your friends say they will be on TV with you, so it really isn’t that scary. That happened. At the fair. I was lucky enough to know it was coming, so I could set my DVR. OK, not really. I knew it was scheduled and had every intention of setting my DVR, but forgot. So my mother-in-law got a frantic phone call to ask beg her to set it for me. This was shortly after the frantic phone call to ask her to bring my son’s shirts. And shortly before the frantic phone call to ask her to bring my boots. Yep. I’m organized like that. Good thing she’s nice and was coming anyway.

Back to the point. The interview. My boys were interviewed about their pig projects at the fair and because I’m no technology whiz. I couldn’t figure out how to get a video off my DVR other than to play the recording and video it. I’m such a redneck.

Grand Drive

The show went well and Campbell made it to the Grand Drive. The Grand Drive is a standing-room only event where all breed champions and reserve champions have are announced in front of the crowd and show off their animals in the ring. The shows were held earlier in the day, but the Grand and Reserve Grand Champions are not announced until that night. It’s an exciting event, complete with an announcer and cool music. He didn’t win it all, and that’s OK. He met his goal of making it to that night.



But as with so much of this pig showing stuff? It’s not about the ribbons and buckles. It’s about this:


It’s about fun times with friends and family. Our kids work hard, but they have fun doing it. And they learn that all that work at home leads to being able to meet your goals.

The Ferris Wheel


Fair Food

A state fair blog post without comments about fair food is just wrong. I love fair food. Not the price of the food, but the food. So the best thing I ate? A cucumber stuffed with crab salad. Yum. It was fantastic. And the good news? It was not fried and sort of healthy, right? Or maybe it just seemed healthy compared to the chocolate covered bacon or the Krispy Kreme burger.

Here’s the point where I should show you a photo, but alas, it was not to be. I was more focused on eating than I was on photography. Sorry about that. You are just going to have to trust me. It was good.

Tomato blobs

One of my goals when I started this blog was to share what I thought were good ideas – particularly for country working girls. It’s not that I come up with many of those ideas by myself. Mostly, I steal them. That’s what a good idea is for, right? To steal? Well, that’s my philosophy anyway.

This happens to be one of those good ideas that is my own. I’m sure that someone else has had this idea before, but I thunk of it mine own self. You see I have this problem: if a recipe calls for less than a whole container, I won’t can’t throw the rest of it away. And so I have half a can of tomatoes in the refrigerator until they spoil. And then I throw it away. I know. Brilliant.

One thing that you almost never use all of, is tomato paste. For some reason, recipes call for one or two tablespoons of the stuff. And then you’re throwing away almost a whole can. Ack! Or, if you freeze the rest of the can, it is in one big hunk and there’s no way to divide it up for the next recipe.


Enter my cookie scoop. I realized my small cookie scoop is about one tablespoon. I used it to drop balls-o-paste on wax paper and then froze them. Voila – easy-to-use, pre-measured blobs of tomato paste. (Please ignore the fact that I don’t know how to make that accenty-thing over the ‘a’ in Voila!)


Ok. So maybe it sounds weird when I say it like that, but trust me. It works.

Reading material

I love my boys. Most certainly I do. The little ones can be sweet and helpful. The big one keeps me laughing and protects me from the things that go bump in the night.

BUT. (You knew there was a ‘but’ coming.) And speaking of “buts” this is where I tell you this post is about the bathroom. If you are squeamish about bathroom talk, just move on to The Pioneer Woman’s blog. Who am I kidding? It’s not like you would read my blog before hers. And, truth be known, she may have talked about the bathroom a time or two so you might not be safe there either. Where was I?

Oh yes. BUT. Every single day I find this on my bathroom counter.


Every. Single. Day.

No, it is not always the same magazines, but the subjects are the same. Pigs. Cows. Tools. Farm stuff. (Notice there’s not a High Plains Journal. Sad, really.)

And here’s the deal: I don’t care that they read in the bathroom. There’s no “flagging” of magazines in the Martin household. George Costanza would get along fine here.

It’s just that I have a basket for the magazines in bathroom. They never get put back there, though. And I always find them on the counter, like the picture above. And every day I move them back the basket.

It’s a vicious cycle. Does this happen to anyone else? Anyone?

My (un)organized work life

Last week I spent the entire week in the office. The. Entire. Week.

No work trips. No day meetings across the state. AND no hours-on-end meetings.

It was blissful.

But the problem with weeks like that? You realize all of the things you have neglected as you ran around and did the things that must be done.

One task that has been sorely neglected is backing up my computer. I have good intentions. (See note hanging above my desk.)


But when I go to back up my files, I don’t have any way of knowing which files I have updated and which ones I haven’t. Consequently, it is just one huge backup folder that keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And it keeps taking longer and longer to back up because every single file has to be re-written.

So I’ve decided to reorganize my entire computer into files divided by year. Always before I had a folder called “columns” with subfolders of “2012,” “2011” and so on. Now, I’ll have a folder called “2012” with a subfolder called “columns.”

Now, I know to some of you who organization comes naturally this seems like the most obvious fix there ever was. To the organization-challenged (that would be me), it took me a while.

I’ve made one last huge dump onto the server of my last system. And from now on, I can simply replace the 2012 folder at the first of every month, house the old stuff on the server and live happily every after.


I’ve thrown a lot of files into the trash. See below.

And that’s just to “A.” But I have yet to say “Empty trash.”

Why? No idea. I just might need that mailing label from 1998, you know. Geez.

If they ever have a Hoarders episode for computer files, sign me up.