Sunday, May 18, 2014

They is kind

I was reminded this morning what a gift the right parents can be. I'm always amazed how God builds families. How Je knots together parents and children that need each other.

I know much of who we are is built off genetics. I look in the mirror every day and see my mother. I laugh at the ways my personality mimicks my dad's. I know that we all stem from a core person and who we are at our core is who we are. But I'm also of the school of thought that much of where, how, when we grow up can also have a great impact on who we become. 

Thankfully I have some cool people in my corner. 

My dad called me on his way to church this morning to tell me he had visited a church and run into my elementary school principal. But where he ran into them is the point. There was a pastor in my parents hometown who passed away last Sunday. He posted a sermon series on his Facebook page at 3AM, went to sleep and didn't wake up (my dad stays awake that late so I gave him a little lecture while I had the time). So, dad had gone over this morning to see if he could meet or pray with any folks at their church this morning. Just to be nice. No other connection. 

While dad was there he ran into my old principal who was there to fill in the pulpit. Of course they struck up a conversation and started connecting the dots. I was surprised by all this given the fact that I've not seen this man since I left that school in 3rd grade. But apparently my dad has run in to him over the years, even visiting him at the hospital when he was almost gone at one point. 

All these details are kinda rolling out to be a little morbid, but I have a point. These people that raised me are kind. We always joke at our house that my mom's love language is desserts. Skip gifts and acts of service, my mom can fix almost anything with a dessert! But I've realized over the last couple years as I grow older and watch and learn from them that most of the motivation behind what they do is that they are kind people. 

The kind of people that go out of their way to visit someone who is sick. And I'm not talking about just their closest friends, they visit friends of friends just because it's the kind thing to do. 

The kind of people who plan ahead when grocery shopping or meal planning to include extra for someone. My mom thinks if she is baking one cake, she might as well make 2 and take one somewhere. 

The kind of people who have a crushed tree in their front yard but will go down the street to cut down (and break your saw on) the older lady's tree at the end of the street. 

My stories could go on. They are simply kind people and I'm grateful they are mine.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Farmland Film

Last week, I had the fortune of attending a local movie premiere viewing of Farmland Film.  Hosted by Arkansas Farm Bureau, this was an evening of classy casual.  I mean you can't invite farmers, politicians, locals and bloggers and not have a mix of both! 

I went to view the movie as a blogger.  Actually I got in line with a State Representative from South Arkansas and found myself trying to decide which hat I actually had on that evening.  I wasn't sure if my invitation was because I'm in Leadership Arkansas with Director of Marketing for the Arkansas Farm Bureau.  Or if I'm considered a community leaders.  Or, if my world's have collided and if indeed my status as a member of the Arkansas Women Bloggers has truly made me one of the megaphones for the state. Whatever my role, and whatever my place, I was thankful to be among some of those who produce the food that arrives on my table, those who regulate how it gets there and the cute boys who were filling up the room probably because they've spent most of their life learning way more about agriculture than any of them would let on by their frat boy looks and southern boy tans.

So, I went with "consumer" brain and decided I would just let the evening educate me.  And, it did not disappoint.  I was educated on lots of things
  • Farmers have a old world order type of fraternal bond.  They just "get" each other.  And, what I heard over and over was a respect for each other.  Like most professions, there are different ways to get to the same end result.  They may not all agree on the process, but they do know that they must internally respect each other for those externally to respect the profession.  It kinda felt like the rule we have in my family.  We can talk about each other and discuss our differences, but to the world we approach with the same front.  Similar to the war room conversation at the office.  Our differences challenge us, make us better and guide us to dream beyond today, but when we go out in the world, our message and our mission are the same.   (thought was shared - we have to build our internal communication first, but if we spend too much time working on it, our external influences with dictate it for us)
  • Farming is about the future.  Both in the movie and in the post movie panel they talked about what they do today is about laying the foundation for the future.  Much of the process they use is about adding to the soil and to their farms, things that will help them next year.  But, more importantly, its about future farmers.  They challenged each other to take the next generation and invite them into the process.  Not just their children or grandchildren, but the children who live near them and might be interested in the profession.  I loved hearing them talk about farming as a mentoring project. 
  • I was also reminded of the great role Mother Nature plays in the farming process.  These folks can spend a whole season and loads of money getting the crop ready, but if its too hot, too rainy, too windy, too stormy, everything can change.  And, its not just a line you heard in a movie, its the story the gentleman who opened the evening shared.  Just that morning, he was trying to work his farm to get it ready ahead of the storms that were to come this past weekend.  So much about their job depends on environment.  Its not like the rest of us to go to and office, make some phone calls, send a few emails and drop by and make appointments.  They can put forth every human effort possible and still come up short.  Very frustrating I must imagine.
  • But, the thing that stuck with me the most was the HUMAN FACTOR.  Unlike anything else we encounter in our lives, everything we consume on our dinner tables has a person involved.  And its not just some redneck, back woods dude with a piece of wheat grass sticking out of his teeth, these are educated men and women.  People with degrees and credentials miles long.  Yes, much of what they do and know is from the school of hard knocks, but more of it involves real science, real math, real sociological studies.  Do you realize the marketing, public relations and writing skills that go into setting up and establishing a farmer's market brand?  Do you know the science and math behind laying out a field, rotating crops, separating a heard, and raising poultry?  Have you stopped to think about the hands that planted, cut, and sorted the food on your table.  Stop and think about it.  Look at your dinner plate tonight or even at lunch and think about how it got there.  WHO helped make it happen.  So often we take much of life for grated - we forget that the people behind the things we encounter every day have a story.  A real life story.  A story that involves hurt, heartache, back breaking work ethics, heartbreaking loss, and simultaneous laughter, rejoicing and celebration. 
Farming is a dying field.  And by dying, mean the younger generation is not stepping up to take their place.  Because I'm terrible at numbers (and I didn't write them down), I don't have specific statistics for you, but the average age of the farmer is growing.  Much of that has to do with the lack of respect MY generation has for working the land, doing manual/physical labor, and the jaded view of the people who bring us life's nourishment.

I CHALLENGE YOU to seek an opportunity to watch this film.  Netflicks will carry it and community watch parties will occur.  Do yourself a favor and go watch it.  Educate yourself.  And think about this quote from our discussion panel, "everybody's gotta eat, and our food has to come from somewhere". 

For me, the evening was about real Reality TV and real Heroes. Our movie theather that night was showing Spiderman, Noah, Captain America and Farmland Film.  All are superheroes.  Some just happen to be in real life. (and that Sutton was a cute one and I'm pretty sure Margaret could kick your butt and serve it to you in a fantastic dinner setting!)

Let me also compliment the Arkansas Farm Bureau brotherhood on their treatment of guests.  They provided a fantastic reception at a nearby hotel with yummy treats and room for conversation.  It lent itself to ease of access and conversation.  Both institutional for bread breaking and networking.  And, because no trip to the movies is complete without a little popcorn and soda, we all got in line like school kids in our jackets and business attire to gather our treats for the movie.

Photobucket

Monday, May 12, 2014

wordless weekend-

the one where I didn't really use any words.  I rested.  it was glorious and much needed.  So, I don't have any pictures except these 2 to offer

-Friday lunch date that turned into 4 hours
-nail time
-movie night out
-Saturday didn't get out of bed until 2
-did dishes
-decided I was tired from that and went back to bed
-got out at 8:30 to design wedding celebration invites for a friend
-Sunday morning church and sobbed like a baby during baby dedication
-email clean up
-dinner with to of my favorite guys

I'd say I did pretty good this weekend!






Photobucket

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Timber

So I got a sad text from my dad today. 

The tree in our front yard at home was broken in a storm today. I'm so sad. Like I kinda teared. 

Is that silly? To tear over a tree?

It was a really cool tree. Somewhere, many years before us, when the tree was young a big wind storm can through and blew the tree's roots over and the tree developed and grew along the ground. (On the other end of the next block is a similar tree with a limb that was blown over to grow the same way ). 

Not one much for heights, it was always cool to have a tree that you could go all the way to the top. I've never been a coordinated one, but it was cool to pretend balance beam along the trunk. 

It grew at a perfect height where the canopy of the tree curved up and made the perfect spot to scoop your body to lay in the curve of the tree. I read books, attempted to climb, laughed and watched clouds under the space limbs of that tree. 

I took lots of pictures during my awkward years in front of the tree. (Thankfully I'm too far away from any of those to share them!). That's where I stood in my first formal, before my first "outing" with a boy. Every Mother's Day, Father's Day, random summer gathering, etc were taken in front of that tree. It's where I stood as a stage while I practiced my best Lee Greenwood's proud to be an American and Part of that World from Little Mermaid (2 of my best go to songs)!

We moved to that house when I was in the fourth grade. So much of my childhood happened there. All afternoon I've been playing Miranda Lambert's House that Built Me in my head. 

It's sad and I kinda wanna cry and hug my tree.

I told my dad this afternoon that we will have to start thinking about planting a new tree. I think about the people and neighbors that lived in that house before us. They never expected those 2 little girls to move in to that house. They had no idea all the memories we would make under that tree or the afternoon serenades that would ensue (thankfully the cops were never called for the high pitched noises coming from the developing soprano under the mesquite leaves). 

So we will think. And, we will plant. Something new will grow. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

cinco de relay

Today I'm dedicating my blog to Relay For Life.  As you know I spend my days (and nights) fighting alongside some brave warriors.  We have some awesome volunteers in North Arkansas who commit lots of time and creativity to the fight against cancer.

I want to ask you to join them today.  All across our great state, we are asking folks to give a donation of $5 to the American Cancer Society.  There are many reasons to give, but here a few
  • give to honor someone you know who is fighting cancer right now
  • give to remember someone you have lost to this disease
  • use today to give a "high 5" to someone in your life who is doing a great job.  What better way to be honored than with a life saving gift
  • maybe you wanted to go out for Mexican food an instead decided to stay in - donate that $5 instead!
  • give to just say thank you to those volunteers who daily work to raise life saving funds.  
But, maybe you are like me and wonder where the money goes and what it does.  Let me encourage you to take a moment and watch this little video.  Still not convinced?  Then watch this one about the guy who saved my life!


yea, I'm pretty convinced that $5 can make a difference!

Just follow this link to my Relay page and give as you are able!!  I promise to do the Mexican hat dance and say 'ole!