Monday, March 30, 2009

Pencil Lines Sketch #128

Oh my gosh, Oh wow! I don't often have this need to
shout at the top of my lungs.
But I am today!
Pencil Lines Sketch #128
Guest Designer Brigit Koopsen from The Netherlands
has the most stunning LO I've ever seen!


"Cow-Tax" Bill Introduced - In Support of Producers

I found this wonderful blog yesterday, sponsored by a couple in South Dakota. To me they are wonderful to keep me politically informed about Agriculture. I love talking about Agriculture and telling my stories. They are about the triumphs and despair one experiences devoting so much energy and emotion to what I love. Yes, it is a part of our family income. Yet who in their right mind would invest over 1/2 a million dollars in structures, equipment, and animals or seed & chemicals to do what they love. A farmer and ranch would. What is our return for that investment, NONE. There isn't a corporation in America that would do what the American Farmer and Rancher does just because they love what they are doing. So I'm sure there will be plenty of double posts in a day. I hope so!

Time and again I find the citizens of this country have no idea where their food really comes from or how much we contribute as a nation to the hunger in this world. We crave certain fruits and vegetables year round, we want specialty items like gourmet coffee, cocoa, etc. These items can and do cause Agriculture production to be limited to meet the needs of a developed nation. Staples like rice and corn are put aside to grow the things we consume.

On January 13th I wrote a post about the proposed EPA tax on cows (beef & dairy) as well as pigs. I'll let you go back and read it instead of writing it over. I'm happy to say Frank Lucas from Oklahoma introduced the House Bill 1426 to amend the Clean Air Act to not allow the EPA to tax or charge a fee for emissions on cattle and pigs. In the Senate, Senator John Thume (SD-R) and Senator Charles Schumer (NY-D) introduced their version of the bill. As you can see there is bi-partisian support for this bill. New York has is a large dairy producing state and of course South Dakota is a large beef production state. These bills are ultimately to keep our food available to the US consumer at an inexpensive cost. It keeps fast food chains from going outside the country and importing beef for you to eat from South America and Australia. This keeps both the American Farmer and Rancher in business. The farmer producing grain the pigs and cattle eat. It would greatly please me if you would be so kind to take a moment to ask your congressman(woman) and Senators to support this bill.

Let's work together to keep American Farmers and Ranchers in business to help feed the rest of the world. Let's not be part of the problems of demanding of other countries for our food when we can grow our own. Let's keep our food products inexpensive so our population in the lower end of the economic scale can afford to eat. Remember you enjoy your lifestyle because of the American Farmer and Rancher!


Sunday, March 29, 2009

California's Farmers and the Liberal Establishment

California is once again at the for front of stupidity when it comes to humanity and agriculture production. I have yet to understand why some individuals put animals over humans first, especially when it comes to fish.

In 2007 a federal judge sided with liberal environmentalists and put the Delta Smelt on the endangered species list. In the grand scheme of things the environmentalist, state government and the federal judicial system puts priorities for water in a very interesting fallacy. The population gets water first, the fish second and the farmer third. How in the world can people think this way! The fish comes before humans eating!

Let's take a real look at the situation. Pumps that feed water to agriculture production in the Central Valley of California are turned off during the time period farmers need the water the most, spring and summer. This is to protect the fish, or rather so called protecting the fish. Inflow and outflow areas of water into a water system actually protects the fish. Introduction of game species of fish such as bass endanger native stocks of fish. There are problems with more then just the Delta Smelt (a minnow) to include salmon. Hello folks a human induced problem. Pollution is the other problem to the fisheries. Who is the number one polluter in the country. The home owner! It isn't industry or agriculture. I use to work in an environmental lab who serviced the Petro-Chemical industry along the Gulf Coast. All of the chemists I worked with agreed it was the home owner who caused the most chemical pollution in the country. Need to get rid of the weeds in my lawn or the fungus caused by brown patch, etc. The attitude of the home owner when they read the directions in spraying for these problems they are using think that adding a little more the spray will work better. WRONG! The minimum amount runs off somewhere, eventually into our waterways. Humans need to use the right amounts or go organic in the care of their lawns.

Now here is a novel approach, as I stated in California the population gets water first. That means having a green lawn has priority over agriculture production to feed people. Why?

How about the economic impact of this species being protected. California in this recession already has the highest number of tent cities in the nation due to recession. Job loss to the Central Valley is 40,000 jobs and could be as high as 70,000. Jobless figures as of this date in the Central Valley is 20%. Why do we not turn the water on? California's government is already struggling not to go broke. Or actually they already have as they decided not to return income tax refunds to the populace. Just the job losses in California means there will be less tax revenue to the state and instead a larger tax outflow from the state. Last I checked we are in a very severe recession.

So you think, well that's California and it doesn't affect me. Guess again, the Central Valley grows 25% of the fruits and vegetables in the nation. You'll pay more because the supply just went down. It's spring....don't laugh at the Obama's for planting a garden on the White House Lawn. Maybe you should be doing the same. It really infuriates me that those at the bottom end of the economic scale go once again to the bottom of the list as a priority to our governments, environmentalists and judicial system when it to feeding people. You should be as mad about this as AIG bonuses. Right now I'm watching on ABC's This Week and projection for the next several months is a loss of 600,000 jobs per month. It is so simple to save a minimum of 40,000 jobs by turning water on. It's so simple to not force our population to pay more for food by turning the water on.

I found a host of articles on the web about the crisis of job losses in the Central Valley. My two favorites are below. I invite you to read these articles or search your own. If you live in California I invite you to tell your legislature to do something! The logical solution is to build a bypass for the Delta to supply water to farmers. The Delta is an aqua duct running through the state north to south.

The Ironic Danger in Becoming an Endangered Species

The above article written in October, 2007 is as pertinent today as it was when the article was written.

Despair as California's Central Valley Dries Up

Other Bloggers gives an insight full post:

Life in Small Bites Environment Blog
Coffee Muses

Then there is the crazy view from the liberal side:

Views from the Left Coast

Of course it is always great to find a California gardener that has the right idea to help being a part of the solution then part of the problem!

The Yard Farmer

Photo credits from top to bottom: Student Britannica and US Department of Interior Bureau of Reclamation


Thursday, March 26, 2009


I love my "Reading List" on my blog site! Yesterday, there was One Little Word's Word Up #48 Post. I thought oooh that's difficult. Yet, when I went to the Blog and read the post I was thinking of the pictures I have waiting to be scrapped. All I could think of was the pictures of Blake's T-Ball Game. I've always chuckled at watching the 7 and under kids playing ball, swimming, football, karate or whatever sport they are involved in. Are they really "ready" to play the sport? Not really, but oh what fun they have playing. Attention spans are short, energy is ready to burst at the seems and then something happens and these youngsters sure aren't ready! Yet the kids give it their all! They are truly so much fun to watch!

A friend of ours Mark is furious at what sports teams are now doing,
'They aren't keeping score!' Mark won't let his girls play sports. For Mark I can understand his frustration. Sports are about winning and losing. Are we teaching our children there is no winning and losing. I remember swimming at 9 competitively. I hated losing a race, all it did is make me try harder during practice to be ready for the next week. As I got older it became not about winning my heat, it was breaking my time. So lets make the kids ready for real life, lets go back to keeping score. Ready boys, "LET'S PLAY BALL!"

I also used Pink Sketches #25. This was a very difficult sketch for me to work with. I finally decided how I wanted to work up the sketch. I then decided on papers that were outside my box. I love primary colors and darker colors or deep rustic colors. I got all of the paper cut out & placed it down without the adhesive, I didn't like any of it. So I slept on it. When I came back this morning I finished up the LO. I found a frame to fit the picture of Blake at bat. I fell in love with the arrow border. I used Colorbox Fluid Ink then sprayed Lemon Zest Glimmer Mist over it and dried. I took Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold and stamped a flourish on the border to keep with the flourishes on the paper. I just loved the Doodlebug Crushed Velvet brads I had in my stash, I couldn't believe they matched. I felt like I put together a fun LO to go with the five year olds playing T-Ball. Thank you Pink Sketches for challenging me!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday Musings....

I look at so many blogs. Somewhere I need to learn how to have my blog look more creative. I found a site that explains how but I don't get it! So the next time James is at the ranch I'll get my computer literate son to explain how to do it. Then I'll like the look of my blog..... Just my musing of the day.

52 Sketches...52 Weeks had an awesome sketch this week, Week #12. Make sure you check it out. The sketch fit perfectly with my take on Sketch 10 and has become the companion page. I just love five year old boys when their pictures are taken....they can get so silly. Blake you are so adorable!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Say Cheez....

My little great nephew has been through way too much in his short life. No child deserves to have the parents he does. It has been so hard on the family to watch Daniel and Christa struggle with drugs. Both are no longer together. So Lynn and I spend as much time with Blake as possible. Blake had his first vacation with us last year. We did so much with him: the Houston Zoo, Space Center Houston, Schlitterbahn Water Park in Galveston, and Moody Gardens. He loved the satellite TV, getting him away from the cartoon channels Lynn showed him was impossible. The family scattered to the four corners of the earth over Memorial Weekend 2008. Lynn off to her grandmother's so she could go to Blake's Kindergarten Graduation. Larry to the ranch and James to a Paintball Scenerio Woodsball Game in Harwood, Texas. So I stayed in Angleton to care for the animals there.

I sent Lynn with my camera and ordered her to take lots of pictures. I've been scrapping Lynn's visit. Activities other then graduation were T-Ball and meeting all of Blake's friends and spending time on a playground with them.

When I saw the wonderful sketch for Week 11 on 52 Sketches...52 Weeks I so fell in love with the sketch. I knew just the picture. I knew just the papers. I printed the picture in 5x7 and then cropped it to get the size I wanted for the LO. I was able to get half the LO before I left for the Houston Livestock Show last week. On the way into Houston I stopped by Lonestar Scrapbooking Store and found embellishments that would make this a fun LO. I rotated the picture to continue the idea of laughter and fooling around my lovely daughter and her second cousin were having together. The picture in the picture can't be seen. I cropped out a drink in a styrofoam cup Blake had and he was eating something. I find it hysterical he's got this huge smile with food showing. The joys of 5 year olds! Blake you are special and so much fun to be around. Your Aunt Kim loves you beyond belief!

Mother's and Daughters Creations Blog also used Julie's sketches for Week 10 or Week 11 as their challenge (MDCSB22) last week. I've found so much creativity through their blog. I love their store, too! They carry lines I've never seen before and I can't wait to decide on something they can add to my award from last week. Make sure you check their blog and online store out!


Friday, March 20, 2009

Mother's & Daughters Creations MDCSB21

It's been a long week at the Houston Livestock Show. We had a really good time with our Lowline Angus friends from around the nation.

I was checking out the wonderful challenge blogs I keep track of being away for four days. OMG....the second time Linda & Tamara have chosen me to be a winner. Thank you ladies. I love your challenges! Please visit Mother's and Daughters Creations for some great inspiration. They also put some great kits together over at their store. Follow the link on their blog to enter the store. I had so much fun putting this LO together with some more inspiration from One Little Word (Word Up #47).

I really appreciate the award. It was a real boost for my confidence in my scrapbooking. I needed it after my first application to a design team. I wasn't chosen and I was a little disheartened. There are so many wonderful scrappers out there in cyberspace! I can say I was not crushed by not being chosen. Just makes me want to step outside my box a little more to become more talented at my wonderful hobby!

Thank you again! If you haven't seen my LO, just read the next post!


Monday, March 16, 2009

The Rose, The "Real" Me

I loved how GiGi presented the Word Up #47 "Real." I so love One Little Word, the inspiration is incredible. I could relate to everything GiGi wrote about. She used a commercial to describe how as a society we have pressure to present ourselves in a way that isn't ourselves.

Not every female can be 5 foot 8 inches and above with long legs, perfect skin tanned to perfection, and has the kind of physical beauty which turns the head of both sexes. The same could be said for a man on what society considers the perfect man.

I have plenty of flaws and internal struggles with my flaws physcially and emotionally. It's ok to have all those struggles, as I know my family and friends love me. The real me is a mother, gardener and rancher. I like I don't have to wear makeup everyday can get filthy dirty taking care of the cattle, horses or my garden. A shower wipes away the physical dirt, the work brings me peace and fulfillment.

So when I read the post by GiGi I could only see roses. I've always thought the rose is God's perfect flower. You look at all those wonderful roses on the front of a catalog, so perfect. But not every rose is perfect like those pictures. But what every rose is perfect unto itself. So the 'REAL ME' is like the rose, perfect unto itself.

Thank you OLW and Mother's and Daughters Creations for inspiring me to be me. I realize with this post my Scrapbooking may not always be like some of the wonderful artists out there but it is mine, belongs to me and it is great. One of those internal struggles I feel better about this morning.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

LTL Peyton aka Pey Pey

Thank you to Pink Sketches for a great sketch to work on pictures of my favorite bull on our ranch. LTL Peyton is a Lowline Angus Bull. Actually we bought him to be a show bull and then a herd bull for our Lowlines. From the moment I met Peyton at Lone Tree Lowlines in Colorado he was one who just loved attention. Scratches should be his middle name. Those back scratches are his favorites. He was seven months when we bought him home, he wasn't even as tall as my waste. These pictures were taken in May of 2008, then just at my waste. Now he is about 44 inches tall weighs in at 1000 lbs. I did this page to reflect my affection for him. He's my big little baby. He has a ton of nicknames. Lynn gave him the nickname Pey Pey. Larry calls him Mr. Studly. I call him Pey Pey, Lil Moo, Lil Bull. Now at 2 1/2 I loaded him on the trailer yesterday for the Houston Livestock Show. Chances are it will be his last show. I'm nervous as all get out....I so want him to do well. As soon as I post this I'm out of here for the show. So meet my Pey Pey, the Big Lil Bull.

I've found myself in the last five sketches realizing I'm about to be done with my last album that is under Creative Memories old format for my family albums. Since I am I've been almost in a "OH MY GOSH" state of mind. I really need to use the papers that fit the old format, so I've been doing a lot of pages using those papers. I have one more album in the old format. I need to review the pictures I'm putting in that album, all 8x10's of my grandmother's career as a editor for American Home Magazine way back when. I then need to check my supplies and see if I have to more pages to go in another album. If I do I'll order one more album in the old format. I've already ordered the new Wishes and Dreams Creative Memories album. It is beautiful. If you haven't seen it check it out at my Creative Memories site since I'm a consultant.

The other nice thing is I'm done with doing the Spring 2008 pictures of the cattle.....I was starting to get tired of doing a lot of cattle LO's.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

2009 HLSR Santa Gertrudis Show

First part of our 2009 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is now over. Lynn did a great job caring for the girls all by herself. Angelica's calf went in not halter broke after six weeks of trying my best to get him halter broke. By the time I arrived he was halter broke. Get home and he's determined to revert....silly 'Lil Man.'

We had a good time visiting with friends and talking cattle. Lynn, Natasha and Chase showed the girls as both were in the same class. I'm now off to get on a soap box. I respect judges beyond belief. Their knowledge of the animals they judge is astounding to me. I love showing animals. As a show mom, I now enjoy watching my daughter show more then me being in the ring. I always respect the judges decision if they are consistent in what they like. I don't care where my cattle place as long as they are consistent. We had a very inconsistent judge, Jim Reeves. You watched your first class and you think you knew what he like and the next class was placed all kinds of different. It was tough to even sit in the stands and watch him work. I can live with our girls at the bottom of the's just tough to see a heifer at the bottom of the class when she placed sixth in a class of 52 at Nationals and she's better now. It's tough to have a judge say, 'She looks like a bull." Every other judge she has been in front of has been consistent in saying, 'She was one of the most feminine heifers they have seen in the Santa Gertrudis breed.' You know it could be me getting pretty upset at the judge, but when every exhibitor in the barn is complaining about it....your not so off. So my hope is we don't have to show under this judge again.

The positive comment though was on 'Lil Man.' He said he was the best calf in the class. Actually everyone who watched 'Lil Man' walk took a double take. He was the best Santa Gertrudis calf at the show by a long shot. I didn't see the judge take his double take at him, but Lynn did. That made her feel good. I really need to get a picture of 'Lil Man.' He will get a new name at some point. I'll register the calves in another two to three months and by then Lynn will know what to name him. I think his barn name will stay what it is right now.

I made sure to stop on my way in to take a look at Gunner stalled at Pitchford Genetics. Oh, Lynn was right he didn't look as good as he had when he won his Yearling National Championship, but nice nice bull and I immediately see where Gunner stamped his son. Even Darrell told Lynn how nice he was and make sure to feed him well. Darrell isn't one to give out a compliments on a routine basis. That compliment alone made Lynn feel really good.

I'm looking forward to this weekend with the Lowlines.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Buttons Galore & More - A Review

Buttons Galore & More is a company who directs their business towards a number of different crafts. The list other then scrapbooking could include quilting, wood projects, sewing, hand made garden decorations, etc. Back in December I made two stops in Archivers over in Katy, TX. I'm not a big wild fan of Archivers as I can find the same things in stores more in line where I travel in the Houston Area. I do love their bargain bins though! So if I'm going to hit Houston traffic I head home from the ranch via College Station and down to the west side of town, then more back roads to Angleton. Archivers is on the way so I just have to stop in for those bargain bins. On one of those trips I found some Mini Embroideries Cats and Fiesta Felt Flowers Bravo (Black and Cream color).

I'm a real pessimist when it comes to something that is declared self-adhesive. 95% of the time the adhesive on the so called self-adhesive is awful and I have to add adhesive. Not so with the flowers from Buttons Galore & More. They are wonderful! I then added the buttons to the flowers. I had noticed when I finished the LO on the package was the website. As I went through some of the website I kept finding things like I gotta have that, and that and more of that! I could order direct and that was my undoing. I placed an order for just a hair over $20.00. Even printed out the receipt. Something I don't always do. I am totally impressed with everything I received. I was running low on yellow buttons, so I thought what a great way to get some. I thought a great deal 50 buttons for $1.79. Sure couldn't get that at even Hobby Lobby. They sell buttons in all sorts of packages and grab bags of buttons, and shape buttons and more. I bought some of the Fiesta Felt Buttons and they are wonderful. I even have the marks to use stitching around the edges! I love the colors of the two packages I bought. I also found some more Mini Embroideries I couldn't live without. Then the translucent small Alphas were a must have. They come in all kinds of colors! Only one thing I ordered didn't come in and has been discontinued. They took the item of my order and charged my account accordingly.

The two items I received but was only slightly disappointed in one of the two Hand painted Resins. I ordered the Tomatoes and Bluebirds. I LUV LUV them! Top Quality! The tomatoes are just a hair more bulky then I would like for a scrapbook page. The bluebirds are Awesome! I may just have to try another craft to use the tomatoes on that can go in my containers this year. I may double check to see if they have more veggies to use in that project. So by all means order these really nice embellies.

I couldn't be more pleases with the order, the timely arrival of the product, and the shipping was great. It only cost me $3.85 and arrived via USPS. Smiles all around.



Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Mother's Love

Since I'm a mother myself, I often translate being a mother onto the cows in the herd. Each cow is slightly different in the way they handle motherhood. Some very protective, some not so much. Yet relationships in the herd develope. Those cows who have full grown daughters in the herd maintain very close relationships with their daughters. There is also a relationship between the placement in the pecking order and where a daughter will be in that order, too. Very close relationships develope between unrelated cows and those relationships are directly affected by breed. Our Santa Gertrudis are very close with no close friendships between the Lowlines. It is the same with the Lowlines. Boss cow is Wendt 7855 aka Angel. She is the alpha female. A quiet leader she is the one who decides where and when the herd will move. On occasion her eldest daughter Lexie can be found elsewhere with a small group of cattle. Lexie is #2. Lexie would make an awful Boss Cow. She is a tyrant for the most part. I think she uses her mother's position to throw her weight around. With the Lowlines, Cimmaron is top gal, yet she is beneath both Angel and Lexie. If Lexie moves off with her group of friends, Cimmaron stays with Angel. On occasion when Cimmaron is with her own group in a separate pasture she is Boss Cow.

Angel is also a very prolific cow. Like clock work she has a calf every year and two weeks. She has only had daughters, 4 total with the last born week before last. Last May I happened to catch in cow terms a very tender moment between Mother and Daughter. So I took the picture. Here's the LO.

I want to thank 52 Sketches...52 Weeks for a great sketch to work with. The LO is better in person. Somewhere I lost something in the colors I chose.... Anytime I do that I just move on.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Miss FJL May Day FJL02

It's always a wonderful feeling when your the first individual to accomplish something. At a previous job I was the first woman supervisor in Agriculture Production. May Day represents the first Star 5 Calf using Lowline/Santa Gertrudis cross. She is a very special girl. There are big plans for her. She will be bred this fall to a Lowline for her first calf. The next year we will be flushing her to a Santa Gertrudis Bull to implant embryos for the hope of producing a smaller Star 5 Santa Gertrudis Bull. One who would help to reduce the size of Santa Gertrudis in the pasture.

She has developed into a very nice example of an English/American cross animal. Nice enough she is a show calf. I look forward to seeing her in the ring at the Houston Livestock Show. May is red, most Lowlines are black. She should be a standout in the ring. Her sire is Murrumbong Bluey out of nice Santa Gertrudis. Her dam is nothing special, just nice. One of our best Santa Gertrudis gave us a really nice heifer out of Nova. So I can only imagine if she had a calf from Bluey.

I loved the Pencil Lines Sketch #122. AWESOME SKETCH! I love to Layer Lots of Paper. After taking the picture I don't like some of the things about the LO. All of a sudden there is pink and green with the Alpha Stickers. Now that I see it in a picture I should have chosen something else for the title. I love the photograph. May is nine days old in the photo. She was an absolute cutie pie. And no, May is not a sinking ship, she was born May 1st, May Day.

May weighed in at 56 lbs at birth. Over the fall calving season, we have come to realize the great part about using Lowlines on heifers is they have no problems calving. The growth rates are really good. At eight months she is just over 700 lbs and will be a pushing 900 when we breed her. Full adult weight I think will be around 1200 lbs. Perfect size for the commerical cattle herd. She is highly feed efficent. In relation to feeding the Santa Gertrudis show heifers I'm feeding only 2/3 of what the Santa Gertrudis are eating. This would equate a definite savings in harvested feed stuffs in the winter to cattle. It also means one can stock more cattle and more pounds of beef produced on a per acre basis. I truly believe we need to equate pounds per acre of beef produced in the same way we do any of the grains. At the same time we need to consider lbs of gain per day. It's the paradigm shift that is beginning to occur in the beef industry. Just in talking to beef producers around us, they are so resistant to this pyhlosophy. We just have to prove it to the beef producers of Texas.

I talked about size of the Fullblood Lowlines in my last post. I was able to get a really cute picture of Lynn's friend and roommate Natasha with Tillie. Tillie is a very nice heifer in our show string.