• Are You Eating Mold?

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    Opportunities are presented to us each and every day, but do we see them. To see opportunity we must be open to all thoughts. –Catherine Pulsifer

    Horses and hay, they go together. We gave it the ole’ college try again this year but somehow, someway it seems every year we lose a few hay bales to water and mold. This year we thought we had the perfect way to make good come from this misfortune. We would use these moldy hay bales to create a few small berms in an area of our pasture where we need to fix some erosion problems when it warms up a bit. We covered the bales in plastic so that they wouldn’t become too heavy to move when the rains came.

    The cool spring grasses are now coming up and we are close to seeding. The beauty of the green grass and clover is amazing this time of year. The horses are free from the gloom of their winter dry lot and onto the grass regularly. What horse would want to dig under some plastic to get a bite of dry moldy hay when there is green grass and clover all around? Apparently ours. I am sad to say I have spent the past several days tucking, taping, weighting, stuffing, and re-wrapping these mold ridden hay bales in an attempt to save them from being eaten, all while thinking how nuts this whole activity was. At times I have even had to stand out there like a fool waving my arms just to get them to leave the wretched things alone and go eat grass so I can recover them. You would think this moldy hay was a bushel of the finest apples!

    While planning out my next strategy to stop the ridiculous onslaught I got to thinking. Sometimes when great opportunities present themselves in life we choose to return to the moldy hay. We can so easily become blinded to the green grass that surrounds us, a new opportunity for something positive, something better to take in. We often would rather return to the negative simply because many times it is more familiar. Addictions, bad relationships, negative co-workers, bad entertainment choices; these are all good examples of some common moldy hay we have trouble leaving behind for greener pastures. Take the time to look around, I’m sure you can find some green!

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  • Do You Dig It? Dad Does

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    I learned the value of hard work by working hard. –Margaret Mead

    For as long as I can remember, my Dad has been digging. Some of my earliest memories of time spent with him take place on the wrong end of a shovel. Over our years together we have dug countless holes, trenches, drains, ditches, wells and a myriad of other cavities. We have toiled by day and by night, been half frozen, rained on, and have surely sweat a river all in the name of digging. I’ve often wondered about his fascination with digging, curious as it is, and sometimes even a little nuts.

    Here is my Dad in action on one of our biggest digs. He is 71 years old in this photo. I did say it could get a little nuts didn’t I?

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    My Mom recently gained some insight into the origins of his burrowing behavior, when he shared a childhood experience. At just 13 years old he and a friend were given the opportunity to earn some money over summer break. A neighbor cattle farmer had a barn in need of cleaning. As it turns out the neighbor had neglected to clean his barn for such an extended period of time that the manure was so deep the cows were literally hitting their heads on the roof! Now there’s a problem you likely don’t have. My Dad and his friend accepted the offer and dove into the cavernous pile with their shovels. Five days a week, using the neighbors tractor and manure spreader, they would shovel this massive accumulation one load at a time. To keep the flow going they would take turns driving the tractor and spreading while the other chipped away at the pile, loosening up the next load to shovel upon return. By the end of the summer the concrete floor of that barn was evident once again. The reward for this task, $3.00 a day to each of two 13 year old boys.

    My Dad took some of his hard earned money and bought a motor scooter for $50.00 from a relative. Funny thing is, my Dad is now 71 years old (and still digging) and I have heard stories of that motor scooter and the adventures it carried him on delivered with  great delight many times over the years; but never how it came to be his until just a few days ago. Only now do I realize I’ve been hearing how he got that scooter all these years one shovel full at a time, while “digging with Dad,” I just wasn’t listening. Thank you Dad, for grounding me in a good work ethic and giving me the opportunity to realize the joy and satisfaction of reaping the fruits of hard labor and a job well done.

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