Saturday, January 30, 2010


Some of you that know me and my love for ag and livestock, probably thought this post was going to be something about that. Well this is actually a house/living/wifey post! I took the advice of my sister-in-law, Lindsay, and my co-worker and bought the Dyson Animal vacuum cleaner. It is soooooo awesome! Pretty shocking at how great the suction is. (Here is Lindsay's Animal story.)

Before we bought it, we vacuumed the whole house with the old vacuum (I think it wanted to die anyways after being in my college houses). The next day, after we had bought the Animal, we vacuumed again. And had to dump the canister 3.5 times!!! Part of it is due to the fact that Hank, our dog, is shedding more and more since he can't go outside to roll around in the grass. And partly due to the fact the other one just sucked...I mean didn't suck. :) Yeah for a clean house!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Our winter…

This might help you understand what type of winter we’ve had.


These photos were taken on the Bellwood Subdivision, between Seward and David City, Nebraska on the BNSF RR. Seward (where we reside) is about 25 miles west of Lincoln on the Ravenna Sub. The picture above shows how big the snow blades were and below you will see how deep that is buried in the snow. That man has to be about 6 ft tall, so you can imagine how big these drifts were.

A few blizzards and sub zero temperatures coupled with moderate winds made for a beautiful, but, flash frozen environment. A freight train was snowed in at David City and a rotary snow plow was sent to clear the track of drifts that varied from 6 ft or less up to 12 ft in spots!! The photos were taken on Jan. 8th through Jan. 10th...


Also, here is a link to a video. If you watch til the end (you can fast forward) you’ll see how high the drift was that the cutter chopped through: 


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Update from Afghanistan/Pakistan

Some of you may remember my trip to Fort Riley, KS this summer to meet up with a friend who was training there. (You can read it here.)


Megan is in the Air Force, and has been documenting her trip with email updates to friends and family. She works in the medical side and does a lt with administration and logistics of getting medical equipment and supplies to dangerous areas. I received Update #10 today and wanted to share with you what she is doing and how she is changing lives. In her Update #9, she talked about working with the Brigade Commanders wife as she was not well. Here is an interesting story about the female interpreter:

Earlier this week, I made a follow up appointment with the Brigade Commanders wife.  We convoyed to pick up the Doctor and Technician.  Then I arranged to have a female interpreter assist us with the visit.  The appointment ended up being very short.  The patient only needed her spine and neck realigned because her muscles were finally relaxing.  She doesn’t have any more anxiety!  PRAISE JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!

After the appointment we had a few minutes and I took the female interpreter and the Doc to eat lunch.  As we were eating, interpreter began to talk and really open up about her life.  She is an Afghan lady who moved to the US when she was little.  She is a US citizen and has worked in the US at a Bank for about 15 years.   When she heard about this war and about the opportunity for her to be an interpreter for the US military, she gladly jumped on board to travel back “home”.  The interpreter is a beautiful lady in her mid 40s.  She is an extremely professional interpreter.  She is not like any of the other afghan ladies I’ve met.  She doesn’t wear a Berka or a scarf to cover her face.  Actually, she wears jeans and a long sleeve shirt all the time.  She wears make up, jewelry, and carries herself with dignity.  Quite different from the “always hidden” Afghan ladies.  She is a Muslim, who believes in Jesus as a Prophet, Mohammad and the Koran, loves the Bible, and worships Allah (God).  

The Doctor and I began to ask her questions about her "mannerisms".   She was telling us the reason she came back to Afghanistan was to tell/show her people, there is much more to life than following the rules of the religious officials in Afghanistan.  She explained that since 70% of the Afghan people cannot read, they believe whatever they hear.  This gives an immense power to the religious leaders in the nation.  For example, this year the religious leaders of Afghanistan said, “It is sin for any Muslim to say “Merry Christmas or Happy New Year”. “  Therefore, all the Muslims didn’t say it because they were afraid they would go to hell.  The interpreter on the other hand told me, “Merry Christmas”.  When asked by her afghan friends, “why?”  The interpreter is saying, “Where in the Bible or the Koran does it say I cannot celebrate Jesus Birth?  No one has shown her in writing where these statements are at.  She also uses this same argument for all of her mannerisms.  "Where does it say I must remain covered from head to toe hidden?  Where does it say Women cannot read or write?   Until I get an answer, I won’t do it.” 

I immediately fell in love with her and with her explanations.  We spoke for 2 hours about how she is teaching a few Afghan children to “think for themselves.”  To be happy, and to live a free, loving, joyful life.  These are her exact words,   “The focus in Afghanistan is on war, on “tribal” differences, on selfishness, corruption, greed, and envy.   In order to change Afghanistan, we must change the negative, selfish, greedy mindset and hearts of the Afghan people.  You American and coalition forces give us hope.  If you were not here Afghanistan would be completely run by Taliban.  Every “good person” here would flee to Pakistan.   We need you!  We need you to help us change and to continue to give us that hope.  Hope that the good people of Afghanistan will win, that we will overcome the evil mentalities.”

HPIM0964[1]This picture is of a West Point Grad, An Air Force Academy Grad and a Naval Academy Grad... pretty cool!!!  We are on the Pakistan border.

This was so inspiring to me that I wanted to share it with you. Megan and her crew have been doing so much in Pakistan and Afghanistan to help the people. Let’s continue to support our troops and pray for Megan.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Animal welfare

Yesterday, I had an interesting conversation with an atheist/vegan on Twitter and recorded the conversation on my animal advocacy blog, Ag on the Forefront.

You can click here to read the comments and be sure to share with others factual information about the agriculture industry and how/where are food is produced!

Conversing with a vegan/atheist on animal welfare

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Weekend project #4

So, obviously this took longer than one weekend, but was completed over a series of weekends, thus justifying it to be called a weekend project! We added two walls to our current unfinished laundry room, sealed and painted the concrete brick wall, and installed a toilet. Lots of work for two new homeowners!

Here are the BEFORE pictures:

DSCI0087 - Copy - CopyDSCI0086 - Copy - CopyMy sister, Emily, came to visit during Thanksgiving and she graciously helped with the sheetrock efforts!

DSCI0089 (2)DSCI0090 (2)DSCI0091 (2)

Mudding came next:DSCI0108 

DSCI0093 (2) Thanks for modeling, Em!

Then painting!

DSCI0090 (3) DSCI0091 (3)  DSCI0092 (3)      

Ronny had to seal the concrete wall before we painted it.

Then time to start with our three layers of brick-red paint! DSCI0119 DSCI0120DSCI0121DSCI0155

Ronny caulked around the windows. Before there was insulation coming out of the window frame.

Then a toilet appears! There was already a plug for the toilet, so we just had to have a plumber come and install it.


Then to add some accessories!  DSCI0127DSCI0160

And we’re done!
Before and after:

DSCI0086 - Copy - CopyDSCI0156

Nebraska should be called the North Pole…

Yes, that says –8 degrees. I should have taken a picture of yesterday’s when it said –14 degrees! I have never seen my truck say a negative degree temperature before moving to Nebraska.

Ok, I need to preface my bitterness with the fact that everyone says, “You’re from Colorado, you should be used to this!” And the answer is, “No, it’s a different cold!” And it’s true. Colorado (where I live on the plains) is very, very dry. So when it snows in Colorado it looks like this:

HORIZONTAL! With little accumulation. And lots of wind. Always wind.  Makes for disappointed kids who want to sled.

But in Nebraska, it dumps:

We’ve had two huge storms with 10-12” each, 4” this weekend and are planning on getting hit tomorrow too. This snow is full of moisture, and when the temperature doesn’t get above freezing (or even above 11 degrees today), the humidity in the air makes it so much colder.

Even yesterday, it was colder in Nebraska than it was in North Dakota! Now my blog friend, Corineah, who lives there will probably vouch that it it colder there right now, but she lived in Lincoln for a while, so she knows what I’m talking about. :) Ronny has been living here for three years and he always told me over the phone how cold it was at 4 a.m. when he was preg-checking cows, but I believe it now!

I’ve always said my favorite season was winter because I love winter clothing and skiing and the brisk air, but I should change my mind to saying that my favorite season is Colorado Winter, not Nebraska Winter! :)

(Disclaimer: even though I’m tired of this coldness and wanted to vent it out, I really do like Nebraska and think it is a great place. :)  )