City Girl Walks a Country Mile

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Funny Farm Stuff / Hold My Gatorade and Watch This / Uncategorized

Today was a special day for me.  I was down at a friend’s farm this morning and a mama piggy was giving birth to piglets.  She had given birth to 6 (2 were stillborn) and was working on pushing the seventh baby out.  She was struggling for quite a while and I was starting to get nervous.  For a first time piggy mama, they can get startled easily when the babies are out and grunting and it can scare her.  My farmer friend told me that she thought the next piglet was probably breach.  I was worried.


I grew up in a neighborhood and have watched exactly zero animals give birth before so I’m going to say that I easily qualify as a city girl.  I’ve always liked the Aerosmith song Girls of Summer which has the line:

My favorite thing that drives me wild is when a city girl walks a country mile.

Hence the title for this blog.

So, last weekend I was chatting it up with this particular mommy pig and asking her when she was going to have her babies.  She let me in on a little secret that she was mighty uncomfortable and ready to have her piglets.  Evidently throughout the week she was eating spicy food and going on walks.

mama pig

Take a look at these little hungry beauties and their tiny tails.


Look at this little babe getting some warmth, cause it’s cold outside, y’all.


I did take a little video of the breach piggy birth that was holding up the train of the rest of the piggies.  Once she got this one out, the next few came pretty quickly.  I got to help with the delivery and clear the snout area to make sure the piglet could breathe, then help to move it over to the lamp.

Something that is really interesting is that the amniotic fluids and afterbirth don’t have a strong scent, in order to prevent predators from being alerted.  That’s pretty cool when you stop to think about it, that God had a plan to protect piggy babies and mamas when vulnerable.

For this city girl, it was a really cool country milestone.  I’m so thankful I got to see this moment.

If you aren’t squeamish about birth stuff, watch the video below!












Remember the House on the Hill

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Deep Thoughts About POTS / Funny Farm Stuff / Uncategorized

A little thought for today.

I live up on a hill (or up on a mountain as Carter describes it).  Down at the base of the hill is a river.  There are some fancy big houses right on the river, of course.  But up just a bit is a main road and most houses across the road have a river view as well.

Well, there is a very modest little 1500 square foot, two bedroom, one bathroom house just across the road.  It was built in 1931.  Nothing about the house can be described as fancy.  But, you know, the house has been there a long time and it has seen some things.  Long ago, that house had a front row seat to a booming teeny tiny town known as pleasant view village.  In the late 1800’s the tiny village was established to include a mercantile, livery, and blacksmith shop.  The tiny town businesses were closed down due to the depression right around when the modest house across the road was built.

This is what the modest little farmhouse up on the hill looks like:

house on the hill

Last year the old property down by the river was finally bought and the old building remnants were demolished, much to my disappointment.

Pictured here is the blacksmith shop before it was torn down completely last year.

Historic Pleasant View village being demolished

This is what was left of the old mercantile.

Historic Pleasant View village being demolished

My heart was slightly broken that I could never get my hands on anything from this piece of history.  The newspaper said the owners were going to be selling pieces and parts to neighbors and members of the community.  I’ve never seen a hint of any of that ever coming to fruition.

Well, the new people tore down the old buildings and began building their house, shop/barn, and horse arena.  The first thing to be built was the shop.  Not their house.  Not the place they would live, but a shop, only a shop.  It was built in the exact place on the property to guarantee that the little house on the hill would lose their view of the river completely.  I could understand if it was their house and this was the perfect placement for sunshine, wind, etc. so they decided to build their house here.  No, their house can’t even be seen because it is much farther down.  But on their whole property that they bought, out of all the places they could put the shop, they put it exactly smack dab in the middle of the river view of the house on the hill.

house on the hill- shop below

I’m just asking that we take the time to think of others.  Others who went before us and paved the way.  No, don’t compromise everything you belief and sacrifice yourself in a big way; no I’m not asking that we do that.  Maybe just that we as human beings have the common decency to just think for one second about how what we do might affect another human.

Just a little reminder maybe to think of the house on the hill before we act.




Dancing with the Stars, Athletes: Episode 3

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Dancing with the Stars Recaps / Uncategorized

By the end of this episode we will be down to THREE.  Three will go on next week to dance for the mirror ball.  Guest judge this week is David Ross, lovingly known as grandpa around the ballroom.  He was runner up a couple seasons ago with Lindsay.

Nastia Luken, Meryl Davis and Von Miller are in the ballroom dancing this week and mentoring competitors.  They can all still dance.

We’re going to learn about the MVP in each of our competitor’s lives this week.

Mirai Nagasu & Alan- Quickstep

Her mom is her MVP.  She’s quickstepping around the floor in a flowing gold gown.  I didn’t love, love the choreography for a quickstep, but that’s more on Alan than Mirai.  Len says she lost her posture a bit during the dance.  Bruno says a touch of her topline got lost.  Carrie Ann speaks Japanese to her mom telling her she did great, but didn’t have the awareness needed in front of a group of dancers. Erin asked her about the dance and she said she was first and wanted to give the other competitors somewhere to go.  Wow.

  • Carrie Ann- 9
  • David- 9
  • Len- 8
  • Bruno- 9

Jennie Finch & Keo- Viennese Waltz

Jennie’s MVP is her husband.  She’s dancing to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, which is fitting for her MVP, who is the love of her life.

She dances in a pink gown while pink rose petals fall from the sky.  It’s magical, but she looks a bit awkward.  I don’t sense 10’s in her future.  The dance ends with her running across the floor to her husband to get roses and kisses.  Bruno says there is a difference between throwing an arm and growing an arm.  Carrie Ann says she is seeing more fluidity and that she would thrive in a longer environment.  David says he’s super proud of her.

  • Carrie Ann- 7
  • David- 8
  • Len- 7
  • Bruno- 7

Chris Mazdzer & Witney- Foxtrot

His MVP is his mommy.  She’s a superfan of the show.  She gets to hang behind the scenes.  Tom tells her that since meeting her son, he now only luges to work.  Oh Tom.  We love you Tom.  Say what you want about Witney, but the girl can choreograph a fun dance!  There’s dancing on a piano, jumping off, cute tricks with top hats, and it ends with his mom hugging him on the floor at the end.  Chris says first off, ‘how do I top that next Mother’s day?’  I like this guy.  Carrie Ann calls it a show stopper, but when he caught Witney off the piano he then lifted her and technically no lifts allowed in Foxtrot.  BOO Carrie Ann.  David says coming from a baseball player– great catch!

  • Carrie Ann- 8
  • David- 9
  • Len- 7
  • Bruno- 9

Someone get Len a drink.

Tonya Harding & Sasha- Rhumba

Oh man.  Let me just say, my mom’s least favorite dance is Rhumba and her least favorite competitor is Tonya.  This is gonna be rough, folks.

Her MVP is her daddy.  She lost him 9 years ago but she knows he’ll be watching.  Sasha does a good job making the dance more flowy than sensual.  They all had nice comments for her.

  • Carrie Ann- 8
  • David- 9
  • Len- 8
  • Bruno- 8

Adam Rippon & Jenna- Contemporary

His MVP is his mom.  Single mom of six kiddos; she sacrificed a lot to get Adam to the rink.  She’s always been there for him.

This dance starts inside a bird cage.  There’s a lot of laying on the ground and flopping around wearing feathers.  They finally get out and do a bunch of contemporary movements.  I’m guessing Len will think it was weird.  Len says it was a little bit start and stop on occasions and ‘spiky’.  There we go Len.  He also says it was the best dance he’s seen tonight.

  • Carrie Ann- 10
  • David- 10
  • Len- 9
  • Bruno- 10

Josh Norman & Sharna- Contemporary

Josh has four brothers and they are collectively his MVP’s.  He grew up in a life of competition.  They are dancing a contemporary to Stand by Me.  The first thing I notice is that they aren’t wearing feathers and dancing in a birdcage.  Len is smiling.  Sharna choreographs some fantastic lifts to showcase Josh’s strength and form.  Len says the lifts were seamless.  Bruno says he took great care of Sharna and the lifts were so impressive.  Carrie Ann says it was surefootedness.  She has never seen that lift done so well before.  David says he knows he hard it is to do those lifts.

  • Carrie Ann- 9
  • David- 9
  • Len- 9
  • Bruno- 9

SOOO annoying when there is not one critique given, but yet not 10’s.

Ballroom Battles

Tanya & Sasha vs. Jennie & Keo

It’s battle time.  Two couples dancing at once to the same song.  The judges will vote for one couple at the end.  Nastia is here to mentor both couples.   Jennie and Keo are in light blue and Tanya and Sasha are in coral.  They were pretty evenly matched really.  If I had to judge I think I would give the edge to Jennie and Keo.  Bruno points out a few little timing issues.

  • Carrie Ann- Tanya & Sasha
  • David- Jennie & Keo
  • Len- Tanya & Sasha
  • Bruno- Tanya & Sasha

America’s Vote: 60% Jennie & Keo.

Adam & Jenna vs. Mirai & Alan

Their mentor is Meryl Davis.  Mirrorball champion and Olympic medalist.  Honestly this is a tricky one.  They dance to Johnny B Goode.  Hot pink polka dots versus blue polka dots.  Bruno says it comes down to personal preference.  It was very close.

  • Carrie Ann- Adam & Jenna
  • David- Mirai & Alan
  • Len- Mirai & Alan
  • Bruno- Adam & Jenna

America’s Vote: Adam & Jenna 64%

Josh & Sharna vs. Chris & Witney

Von Miller is the mentor for these two.  The trash talk between these two is hilarious.  Chris loses his shirt, but so does Josh.  You know I’m always a Sharna voter, but for what it’s worth, Witney is a fun choreographer too.  I think Josh and Sharna had the slight edge maybe, but it’s really gonna be close.  David says he’s just glad he doesn’t have to take off his shirt to compete with these two.  Len is not in love with the shirts off.  Well, we know this Len.  Bruno takes his shirt off too, which is very upsetting for Len.  Poor Len.

  • Carrie Ann- Chris & Witney
  • David- Chris & Witney
  • Len- Josh & Sharna
  • Bruno- Josh & Sharna

America’s Vote: Chris & Witney 55%

Uh oh, David wrote down Josh and Sharna but held up Chris and Witney.  Josh and Sharna get the two points.  David says he knew he would mess up before this was over.

Elimination Time

The first couple who IS dancing in the finale is: Adam & Jenna (duh).  Tanya & Sasha… also dancing in the finale. (WHAT?)  The third couple dancing in the finale is: Josh & Sharna.

Chris & Witney

Jennie & Keo

Mirai & Alan


Next week: season finale.  Be there or just read my blog about it afterwards.


New Trees, Bitch Chicken & the Great Egg Mystery

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Funny Farm Stuff / Uncategorized

I have a few little updates to share with y’all.  Let’s talk about what’s new on our little farm.  It was orchard pickup last week.  We have found a great family-run business who sell gorgeous bushes and trees that all have something edible, whether it is a berry, a flower, or root.  We love to order from them and we went last week to pickup our order.

This meant over the weekend Carter and Tom did a bunch of planting.  I drove the tree-mobile around the property to deliver trees to the proper locations.

tree mobile

Here is the rundown of new goodies we added to our property:

  • Honeyberry – which produces inch and a half blueberries essentially.

Image result for honey berry

  • Corylus Felix & Corylus Jefferson – which are two hazelnut plant varieties
  • Russian Quince – which produces first a pale pink blossom and then an ancient fruit which is common in Roman cooking and is grown across Turkey and Southeast Asia.  It’s health benefits include preventing cancer, aiding in weight loss, improving digestion health, reducing cholesterol and over all boosting the immune system.

Image result for quince health benefits

  • Cornelian Cherry

Image result for cornelian cherry

  • Seaberry- it is a nutritional powerhouse rich in vitamins A,C,E, and K.  The juice is used in cosmetic preparations for aging reversal and the juice and oils are also used to treat burns and eczema.

Image result for seaberry

  • Gooseberry- most commonly known when made into gooseberry pie.

Image result for gooseberry

  • Canadice Grape

Image result for canadice grape

  • Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

Image result for illinois everbearing mulberry

I think that covers all of our new orchard arrivals this year.  I’m very excited for the pretty blossoms and delicious fruit coming our way over time.

Bitch Chicken

I got a new chicken a few weeks ago.  Her name is officially Ginger Rogers, to go along with Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Marilyn Monroe.  Unfortunately sh has mostly been referred to as bitch chicken though.  We got her. I gave her orientation: this is where you eat, this is where you sleep, this is where you put your eggs, etc.  When I left the house a few hours later she was up on the hillside, not in her chicken barn or run.  I texted Tom asking if he could run get her and put her back in the barn/run.  I got a text about half an hour later full of expletives and that she was coyote food.  Evidently he chased her across our property, across the road and all over another property, then back down to our neighbors property and through their chickens, then back to our house where he still could not catch her.

The next day I clipped her wing and put her back in.  She was instantly back outside.  The next day I clipped her other wing too and put her back in.  She was out again hours later.  We saw one spot where she was hopping out so we covered that area with chicken wire.  Hours later she was out again.  Finally, we got a 16 foot by 14 foot netting that we covered the entire top of the chicken run with.  It took her two days, but she was out again.  Each night she goes back into the barn to roost on the top bar but then come morning she is out again.  As I’m writing this, she’s currently out.

Hence, bitch chicken.  But look how pretty she is.

bitch chicken

The Great Egg Mystery

One of the things I was excited about with bitch chicken was that she had recently been with a rooster, therefore her eggs would be fertile for 3 to 4 weeks.  She is a very pretty Araucana and the lady I bought her from said she lays baby blue eggs.   I was so excited to see such pretty eggs.  The other chickens have no access to the goat house, which is where I happened to find 3 eggs.  I checked  them in water and they were all fresh so they must have been bitch chicken’s.  Were they baby blue? No, light tan.  It’s so rare for araucanas to lay any color other than green/blue, but bitch chicken is one of a kind.  Just the other day I found another egg in the goat house nest, still light tan and still fresh.  The other chickens don’t get out.  So… I guess they are bitch chickens, which means they should be fertile.  I put two in my incubator just in case, but I’m guessing there never was a rooster at all.  There never were baby blue eggs.  I’ve been tricked.

In other news, I’ve been wanting a certain special variety of chicken for a while and I found a lady who sells hatching eggs.  We got an incubator and they are currently on day 5.  Look at the growth.  I’m so excited and loving learning about chicks growth and then hopefully hatching.  I shall keep y’all informed.

chick growth chart

chick in egg

So that’s what is going on around our little farm lately.  I hope y’all are happy and healthy.

Dancing with the Stars: Athletes, Episode 2

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Dancing with the Stars Recaps / Uncategorized

Keep in mind this is a FOUR WEEK season.  The eliminations are crazy and the competition is tight! Tonight each athlete will perform an individual dance as well as being a part of a team dance.  Eliminations are based on judges scores combined with viewer votes.  Week two: here we go!

Oh, there’s a guest judge this week.  Mr. Rashad Jennings himself! I love Rashad.  Everyone loves Rashad.

Josh Norman & Sharna- Paso Doble

They are training for this Paso on Josh’s family ranch/farm somewhere in the US.  It looks pretty and green and there are plenty of horses.  Here’s a secret– paso is not my favorite dance.  It’s a lot of marching around and someone dying at the end.  Don’t tell anyone.  Sharna rocked the pirate-esque-dress for sure though!  Carrie Ann was super Carrie Ann about her score.

  • Carrie Ann- 7 (bitch. who said that?)
  • Rashad- 7
  • Len- 8
  • Bruno- 8

Jennie Finch & Keo- Cha Cha

Jennie has an issue with the song.  She calls the producer to say that the song does not represent who she is and what she believes.  The producers change the song (we don’t know what the offensive song was) and Keo re-choreographs the entire song on Thursday.  I saw some cha cha.  Len thought it was competent, but lost some rhythm and timing on occasion.  Bruno is upset with her hands and her timing.  Carrie is proud of her for choosing what felt right to her.  Keo is visibly frustrated with having to change the dance Thursday.  Jennie said she had fun and that is all that matters.

  • Carrie- 7 (really Carrie? She was equal to Josh and Sharna?)
  • Rashad- 7
  • Len- 6
  • Rashad- 6

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Lindsay- Salsa

We learn his dad was a jazz musician in Harlem.  Lindsay starts the dance on another girl’s shoulders, which helped with the height quite a bit.  He really does a pretty good job moving to the music.  Bruno says it was Harlem at his best.  Carrie Ann loved the tribute to her father.  Rashad said his dad was looking down on him proud.  Len says he brought the party to the ballroom.

  • Carrie Ann- 7
  • Rashad- 7
  • Len- 6
  • Bruno- 6

Chris Mazdzer & Witney- Viennese Waltz

Chris mentions his ADHD diagnosis in practice with Witney.  Witney works hard with him and they really nail the dance.  He does great with his shoulders, lines, footwork.  Rashad called it organized chaos.  Len didn’t like the spin/lift move.  Len was impressed with the sway in hold and heel leads.  Bruno called him a heartthrob.  Then blushed and said it wasn’t a declaration, just about the dance. Witney says under her breath ‘riiiiight’.  This is a live show, folks.

  • Carrie Ann- 9
  • Rashad- 8
  • Len- 8
  • Bruno- 8

Tonya Harding & Sasha- Quickstep

In rehearsals Sasha tells her that they are dancing to Redneck Woman (which is a favorite song).  The routine opens up with Tonya walking out with an axe and I instantly thought it was a bad idea to arm her.  Was that just me?  All in all, it was a pretty cute quickstep complete with a bear chasing them all over the stage.  Bruno was worried when he saw the axe, bear, and fire.  He said all that was missing was DiCaprio and it would be the Revenant.  Oh Bruno.

  • Carrie Ann- 8
  • Rashad- 9
  • Len- 8
  • Bruno- 8

Mirai Nagasu & Alan- Foxtrot

I don’t fully understand their training.  In order to train, they went to Disneyland and ate cotton candy.  Just your average week of training.  She floats all around the floor gliding.  Her fingers were perfect even, Carrie Ann mentioned — which is to be expected from a figure skater.  I thought the dance was predictably good and a bit boring.  She’s a teeny bit annoying.

  • Carrie Ann- 9
  • Rashad- 10
  • Len- 9
  • Bruno- 9

Arike Ogunbowale & Gleb- Foxtrot

She takes Carrie Ann’s challenge and wears heels.  She looks a tiny bit awkward, but is much improved since last week.  Carrie Ann says she cried.  I don’t understand Carrie Ann.  Len says she nailed the footwork.

  • Carrie Ann- 8 (should Josh Norman wear heels next week?)
  • Rashad- 9
  • Len- 8
  • Bruno- 8

Adam Rippon & Jenna- Quickstep

He’s busy, you guys.  He flies all across the country doing shows for Stars on Ice.  He sleeps maybe three hours a night.  He does rehearsal whenever and wherever it fits in.  Carrie Ann says he had a few issues with turns.  Rashad wants to know where he got his suit.  Adam says he stole it from Rashad’s trailer.

  • Carrie Ann- 9
  • Rashad- 9
  • Len- 9
  • Bruno- 10

Team Dances

It’s 1970’s football versus 1950’s tennis.  Team tennis dances to a doo-wop version of Hit Me Baby One More Time.  It’s mostly adorable.  Len says it was tight and had great tennis references.  Bruno says it was witty, imaginative, and creative.  Carrie Ann annoying points out that Josh was off for a tiny part at the beginning.  Thanks Carrie.


  • Carrie Ann- 8
  • Rashad- 9
  • Len- 8
  • Bruno- 8

Team football is frustrated a bit because not one of them was alive in the 70’s.  They have super duper silver shiny football uniforms though.  Adam does a shimmy.  Here’s a shock: it was better than the shimmy Kareem did in his dance.  There is disco.  There are afro wigs.  There is glitter– just like football in the 70’s.  Carrie Ann shrieks and dances off her chair, because why wouldn’t she?

  • Carrie Ann- 9
  • Rashad- 10
  • Len- 9
  • Bruno- 9

Double Elimination

Couples in jeopardy: Kareem & Lindsay, Chris & Witney, Arike & Gleb.  Everyone else is safe.

The couple who is safe is: Chris & Witney.  Which means Arike & Kareem are going home.

Just like that we we’re down to six athletes!


Dancing with the Stars: Athletes, Episode 1

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Dancing with the Stars Recaps / Uncategorized

Black and gold sequins, rhinestones and glitter are the theme of this opening number.  We meet the referees for the season: Len, Carrie Ann, and Bruno in short-short-I-cant-believe-how-short-they-are-black-glitter-shorts.

Val is in the audience, which is wrong, wrong, WRONG.

DISCLAIMER:  I’m all about honesty.  Gay figure skater who performs to music for a living is not exactly comparable to baseball or football player.  Let’s not be confused and think that they are on the same ‘playing field’.  Some athletes in this competition have a huge advantage.  Just as long as we all understand that fact as we go through this season.

Chris Mazdzer & Witney- Salsa

Mr. Luge tries out an upright sport.  Let me just say, salsa is a really tricky dance for week one.  He actually did ok.  It could have been worse- we’ll go with that.  He seems energetic and excited to do more dances though, so hopefully he’ll be staying around! Len has only ever seen him before ‘laying down on a tray’.  That’s so close, Len.

  • Carrie Ann- 7
  • Len- 7
  • Bruno- 7

Kareem Abdul Jabbar & Lindsay- Cha Cha

He is 7’1 and she is 5’4.  There is a slight difference.  He says he’s going to show America that he may have old feet, but he still has dancing feet.  He does a lot of standing there and letting Lindsay twirl around him.  Bruno asks immediately how he can criticize a national treasure?  Carrie Ann says he could get a little groovier.  Len says if he was scoring purely on admiration, he’d get a 10, but he does need to loosen up a bit.

  • Carrie Ann- 6
  • Len- 5
  • Bruno- 6

Jennie Finch & Keo- Foxtrot

Keo travels to her Louisiana ranch to meet her.  She dances with a front porch backdrop to the song All American Girl, so it is pretty fitting all around.  Her kiddos get to be sitting on a bench on the front porch.  Carrie Ann senses her competitive nature (was it the gold medal winning that gave that away, Carrie?).  Len says she’s got to calm her grip on Keo down a bit; he’s not a softball.

  • Carrie Ann- 7
  • Len- 7
  • Bruno- 7

Jamie Anderson & Artem- Viennese Waltz

Another tricky first dance.  It’s a snowy scene background with a good deal of fog to hide her feet.  She does look a bit uncomfortable at times, after all this is quite different than professional snowboarding.  Bruno compares her to Elsa, but then she hit a slippery patch.  Her timing and footing was a bit off, but again she mentions how much it is out of her comfort zone.

  • Carrie Ann- 6
  • Len- 7
  • Bruno- 6

Mirai Nagasu & Alan- Salsa

My first thought is that perhaps figure skaters are better at salsa than luge (lugers, lugists?) competitors.  Her timing looks good.  Her movement looks good. Her flexibility looks good.  She looks like a pro dancer– you know since she pretty much is, just on ice.  Bruno says she had a lot of attack, but she has to be careful to not lose the softness of her hips.  Carrie Ann tells her to watch her head bobbing, and also to not be too eager.  Len says he could say there were too many tricks, but then decides he can’t because it was such a good dance.

  • Carrie Ann-  7
  • Len- 8
  • Bruno- 8

Arike Ogunbowale & Gleb- Salsa

Youngest competitor this season and only collegiate athlete ever on the show.  Gleb wants her to wear heels, but I can’t help but notice she is in tennis shoes for the dance.  She looks enthusiastic, although very out of her element.  Carrie Ann says she has her own ease with the dance floor, but she wants her in heels next week.  Len says she needed a bit more hip action.  This girl is taking a red-eye flight after the show to get to Chicago and drive to her school by her 9:30 am class to give a presentation.  I’m so tired just thinking about that.

  • Carrie Ann- 7
  • Len- 6
  • Bruno- 7

Adam Rippon & Jenna- Cha Cha

Shocker- he has showmanship nailed.  His moves are crisp and on beat, again not surprising.  Len has agreed to let the couple of ‘funny vogue-y moments’ go because the dance was so good.  Bruno is impressed with the synchronicity of he and his partner.

  • Carrie Ann- 8
  • Len- 8
  • Bruno- 8

Johnny Damon & Emma- Foxtrot

Emma choreographs a cute little baseball themed dance at foxtrot field to the song Put Me In Coach.  He actually does better than I thought he would do.  I was quite impressed.  Bruno says it was not effortless, but he will get better with time.  Carrie Ann wants him to watch his holds and his frame.  I think he has a cute personality and I hope he stays.

  • Carrie Ann- 6
  • Len- 6
  • Bruno- 6

Tonya Harding & Sasha- Foxtrot

Tonya was banned from skating in 1994, but no one can stop her from dancing!  She wants to perform and she doesn’t want to fail.  After quickly being searched for bats, she put on her dance shoes.  Too soon?  I kid.  I kid.  She is quite graceful and really looks to be enjoying herself on the dance floor.  Carrie Ann loves her lines.  Len says it was a lovely performance, both in hold and out of hold.  Bruno has a little critique about her neck/shoulder position, but otherwise she was quite lyrical.

  • Carrie Ann- 8
  • Len- 8
  • Bruno- 7

Josh Norman & Sharna- Cha Cha

dwts recaps

He mentions in his opening video package that he likes the fiery redhead hottie.  He also says he’s single and Sharna is single.  I haven’t decided if he is good enough for my Sharna just yet.  Moving on to dancing… he does look pretty crisp and seems to move pretty well.  I can definitely see athleticism.  I wonder if Carrie Ann will pick up on his competitiveness.  Len says he is another one of a long list of footballers that can dance.  Bruno is impressed… sex appeal by the truck load and natural musicality.  Carrie Ann says not only is there finesse, but style as well.

  • Carrie Ann- 8
  • Len- 8
  • Bruno- 8

Double Elimination

The results are in:  First couple in jeopardy is Jamie & Artem.  Next couple in jeopardy is Johnny & Emma.  Next couple in jeopardy is Tonya & Sasha.  Everyone else is safe.

The couple staying is: Tonya & Sasha

Eliminated: Johnny & Emma and Jamie & Artem

I don’t like double elimination on night one.  I don’t like a four week season either.  Dear producers, I’m NOT impressed with this plan you came up with.


My New Chicken Barn

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Bobby Pins & Bullets / Funny Farm Stuff / Uncategorized

The week of Valentine’s day Tom and I made a down payment on a fantastic little barn with the understanding that we would pay the second half once the owners helped us disassemble the barn, move it to our house, and reassemble it on our property.  A few weeks ago we completed the project and moved the chickens into their new mansion.  They are quite happy in their new home.

I put together a few pictures of the building process to share.

chicken barn 1

As you can see Hero was supervising from up on the hill.

chicken barn 2

The barn has hundred-year-old barn wood on the outside.

chicken barn 3

The nesting boxes you see in the back of the barn are from Tom’s great grandmother and grandfather’s ranch.  The roosting bars are made from saplings from our property.  Tom brilliantly installed them with hinges so they can be lifted up and hooked to the ceiling for easy cleaning underneath.  The poop hammock was my vision.  I saw a lady on Pinterest who had sewn one out of fabric, but then it needed to be cleaned regularly by shaking it off (which sounds too much like flying chicken poop to me) and brushing it with a broom (which sounded too much like smeared poop).  I came up with the idea of using cheap shower liners so they can be disposable and affordable.  Tom helped me put hooks into the roosting bars and the wall so I could attach it easily.

chicken barn 4

I had to decorate inside a bit to make sure it is fancy enough for my fancy hens.  I added a cute little chandelier and a pretty mirror for the girls.  I had the following message exchange with my mother-in-law.

Me: I did something in my chicken barn that may make you want to slap me.

MIL: Did you hang scarves?

Me: Just a small chandelier.

MIL: It is worse than scarves.

I had read that adding a mirror is good for chickens because it helps to entertain them and keep them from pecking at each other.  I was lucky enough to snap the above picture of miss Betty checking it out.

chicken barn 8

Next to the mirror I hung a little teacup for grit and oyster shells when the girls need them.

chicken barn 5

In this picture you can see the front porch and the gorgeous sliding barn door Tom installed for me.  You can also see a few of the chickens in the background in their chicken run, which is huge compared to their old one.

chicken barn 7

The goat pen also got expanded and they now have access to the front porch, which they are pretty tickled with.

chicken barn 6

To the left of the front door we branded both of our family brands.  -7K (pronounced bar seven k) and V.  Bar seven K is Tom’s family brand which has been used on many cows throughout the years.  V is the brand for Vollrath, which is my great grandparents brand from their ranch in Texas many years ago.

We even installed a goat scratching station for the little girls on their front porch.

chicken barn 9

But no, our animals aren’t spoiled.  The goats have been enjoying lounging on the front porch in the sun, although I haven’t been fast enough to capture any cute pictures.

I’m so thrilled with my chicken barn and all the sweat and hours of work Tom put into building it for me.  Our first Valentine’s day together I had worked a graveyard the whole night of the thirteenth into the morning of the fourteenth.  He had to teach all day on the fourteenth so at 6:30 AM we had a breakfast date that he made for me complete with flowers and balloons.  This year for Valentine’s day I got hours and hours of work to build me the best darn chicken barn around.  He’s the very best.

New POTS Research

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Big Medical Words / Uncategorized

Last week electrophysiologist.  This week neurologist.  Both relatively uneventful with the exception of some news from my neurologist.

He starts out appointments pretty much the same way each time.  He enters the room saying, “do you have POTS?”  When I answer that yes I do, he usually follows it up with “why do you have POTS?”  That is usually when I throw out some kind of sarcastic or smart ass answer.

He handed me a new study published in Neurology Today on April 5, 2018.  Essentially there is new evidence that POTS may be a possible autoimmune condition.  Patients with POTS have been found to have higher amounts of antiganglionic acetylcholine receptor antibodies.  I immediately asked him if we could remove mine.  Sadly, it doesn’t work like that.

Dr. Svetlana Blitshteyn (who is a pretty big deal in the POTS world) weighed in that “a better understanding of the etiology of POTS could lead to better treatment, which is badly needed.”

This may not be huge news, but it is proof that studies are ongoing and people are still trying to understand POTS better, which will eventually lead to hopefully quicker diagnosing and even more important, an effective treatment or maybe even a cure.

Cheer up, potsies.  There is hope!


Preview: Dancing with the Stars- Athletes

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Dancing with the Stars Recaps / Uncategorized

When I heard that DWTS (Dancing with the Stars) was going to run an athletes only season I was really excited.  I was far less excited to find out it is a mini season with only four weeks.  Although, it will be super competitive and move quickly so that does interest me a bit.

A few days ago the pros were announced and that doesn’t matter for me as long as I know that Sharna is one.  If you’re new to my blog, just know that I’m pro Sharna at all times and always vote for her.  She is my favorite and it’s not up for debate so don’t even try.  I mean, you can always start your own blog and write about whoever your fav pro is, but around here it’s Sharna.

The professional athletes were announced today and I’m here to tell you all about it.  This included some research as I’ve personally heard of only a few.  I went the extra mile and found a twitter excerpt from each celebrity to share.  You’re welcome.

Adam Rippon & Jenna

First of all, this is Jenna’s first time as a ‘pro’ so that is exciting and I’m confident she’ll do well.  Adam is a figure skater who recently helped his team to win bronze at the Olympics.  He’s won several individual championships along the way too.

dwts adam

Twitter Post March 30, 2018: My mom and I are filming together this morning and while she’s getting her makeup done I’ve heard her say “I just want a natural look” & quickly escalate to “can you make my eyes look bigger? you know how to do that right?” in case you were wondering where I get my dramatic flair

Arike Ogunbowale & Gleb

Arike is a junior at Notre Dame and plays women’s basketball.  Why they don’t have a fancy picture- I don’t know.

dwts arike

Twitter post today: To answer the question, YES OF COURSE I am coming back for my senior year at Notre Dame. Why would I not want to get a degree from the greatest University in the world 😄☘️ (& a chance to repeat 🏆)

Chris Mazdzer & Witney

He recently became the first American to win a medal in men’s single luge.  I’m excited to see if Witney can make him a dancer too.

dwts chris

Twitter post today: Breaking news announcement! I will be competing on Season 26 of Dancing with the Stars Athlete Edition with @witneycarson!!! Also news, I can’t dance… Good thing my partner is one of the best in the industry and is also fluent in sarcasm. Stay tuned for more! Like me tripping over my feet a lot over the next few weeks.

Jamie Anderson & Artem

Jamie has won 15 Xgames medals for snowboarding.  She recently won a gold medal in Slopestyle.

dwts jamie

Twitter Post January 16, 2018: You just gotta do what you can and let the universe take care of everything else🌞🌙👌🏼 milklife

Jennie Finch Daigle & Keo

I’m sorry to say that I can’t see her going super far only because Keo is almost always eliminated first or second, but hey, maybe this is his season.  Jennie won gold medal for softball in Athens in 2004.

dwts jennie

Twitter post today: Thank you! ❤️ grateful for the love & support! Im so thankful for the opportunities this game has provided & continues to provide. Young girls are growing up seeing their sport (female athletes) on TV & back in the , & pro.

Johnny Damon & Emma

Johnny played baseball and has World Series rings with both the Red Sox and Yankees.  Now he’s got one of the best teaching him dance.

dwts johnny

Twitter post today:  Yes It’s true, I’m teaching my dance partner @theemmaslater how to swing a bat and she’s gonna be showing me how to dance.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Lindsay

Mr. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all time leading scorer, has 6 championships, and the NBA’s only six-time MVP.  He’s a legend.  I know this because I at least recognize his name.

dwts kareem

Twitter post today: Don’t know if you guys heard but it’s true… I will be Dancing with The Stars starting April 30th on ABC. I hope you will all support me as I take this journey.

Mirai Nagasu & Alan

Mirai recently helped her team to win bronze medal in figure skating at the Olympics.

dwts mirai

Twitter post March 31, 2018: Today I was recognized at the post office as the girl who bought out all of the global stamps.

Tonya Harding & Sasha

Tonya was the first woman to attempt and land the triple axel.  Oh, and there was that wee bit o controversy with the Nancy Kerrigan injury.  Recently a movie was made about her life.

dwts tonya

Twitter post January 22, 2018: Lights! Camera! I hurt myself brushing my teeth 😂

Josh Norman & Sharna

Josh is the highest paid NFL cornerback, who currently plays for the Washington Redskins.  Of course he has a foundation for academic enrichment opportunities for the youth from his hometown in South Carolina.

dwts josh

Twitter post April 7, 2018: Huge thank you to for being the title sponsor for my 6th annual celebrity basketball game!

(and a bunch of other stuff about his charity)

Ok, I’ll obviously be rooting for these two.  It’s a nobrainer.

I can’t help but notice that there is no hockey player represented, which is just a crying shame.  Who is going to be watching along with me?  I’ll do recaps each of the four weeks and keep y’all in the know with the facts and most importantly with my sarcastic comments.

Tune in, friends!


Goat Polio, Getaway & Grab Bag of Spring Pictures

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Bobby Pins & Bullets / Funny Farm Stuff / Smile Makers / Uncategorized

Tilly Girl

Tom and I were outside the other day working hard on another project around the farm (to be featured in a blog soon hopefully).  We let the goats out to graze and play while we were outside.  Miss Tilly was acting super weird.  Standing by herself and just staring off into the distance.  She didn’t graze with the other goats.  She was standing pressing her head against the house.  Poor little baby was clearly not doing well.  Off to an emergency vet visit we went.

Did you know a goat can get Polio?  It is not the same Polio that humans can have.  Goat polio is caused by a deficiency in thiamine and therefore shots of thiamine are prescribed as treatment.  Luckily we caught it quickly and were able to get her in to be checked out by the vet that day.  It can be fatal if not treated within 24 hours.  She is back to 100%, but we will of course be keeping an eye on our little girl.  Tilly was confused by her sudden roadtrip with mom and dad.

tilly car ride


The weirdest thing happened at the vet.  We walked miss Tilly inside and the receptionist asked us to ‘wait outside’.  Nonsense.  They acted like she was some sort of farm animal in their vet reception area.  Her little tip tip tipping around on the vet floor was adorable.  While waiting outside in the parking lot she was highly distracted because even though she was sick she was enthralled with a donkey who was in a pen across the lot.  Tom walked her over twice to talk to the donkey.  Such a funny little girl.

She was highly interested in our snack buying in town though.

tilly pizza

“Whatcha got there dad?”

Tipsy Idea

Tom and I were feeling stressed and after he had a drink or two he came up with a great idea that we should go have a spa day and spend the night at the resort afterwards.  He is simply brilliant.  I did wait until the next day to make sure he was serious before I booked.

Earlier this week we loaded up the essentials (pills, swim suits, mini bottles of alcohol- because it’s just the smart economical decision, wheelchair and oxygen) and headed off on our little mini vacation.

mini vacay

The spa was lovely.  Tom was not thrilled about the toe nail filing portion, but then he did just fine with the rest.  He was holding the mimosa pretty tightly during the nail filing which was pretty amusing.

mini vacay 2

I enjoyed a lovely massage after the pedicure.  We relaxed and gambled a bit into the evening.  I won a whopping $14 playing the slot machines.

In the morning we enjoyed breakfast in bed and on the way home we stopped to buy new flip flops to show off our pedicures.

mini vacay 3

It was a lovely little mini getaway.

Grab Bag of Spring Pictures

goat sweaters

My goat girls have been sporting their spring pastel sweaters… and it’s ADORABLE.  Sadly, little Maizy is not pregnant so we didn’t get any goat babies.  Dang it.  She will go back to breed again in May and hopefully she’ll get pregnant.

goat sweaters 2

My chicken girls are pretty happy about spring time.

egg bucket

I’m pretty excited about one of my newest pieces of décor on my hillside.

camping limit sign

This picture just makes me laugh from our outdoor work day.  How is it that men can somehow always find a way to keep beer cold no matter what?  Another use for the rain barrel I guess.

beer in the barrel

Finally, this springtime sunset the other night made it look like the hilltop was on fire.

fire sunset

I’m hoping to be able to share another fun farm project in the next few weeks hopefully!  In other news, it’s officially the most wonderful time of the year… playoff hockey!  Go Penguins!

I hope y’all are finding fun things to be smiling about.  I’ll write again soon.