Saturday, October 20, 2018

My Cattle Adventure—Part 2

So after the gates are as they were, it's time to herd the cattle down the to the working shed.  Once there, Kordell tells me to get in Jarvis's pen next door while he separates some of the cattle.  So I hop in and Jarvis moseys over to me.
Now, I say 'mosey' in the most literal sense.  He was barely walking, really.  In case you haven't gathered the fact, he's the laziest calf you've ever seen.  Plus, he's potbellied, which adds to the effect.

So I started petting him, and he thought he'd take a taste.

Well, after he determined that my skin didn't quite meet his requirements, the top of his head started itching.  I didn't get that memo, since he and I obviously don't speak the same language.  So he took it upon himself to use me as a scratching post.

"Ahh, yes.. this is the life."
He then commenced to kicking up his heels once and tearing off behind a tree.

Where's Jarvis?
And what's Kordell doing this whole time?  Getting cattle ready to go through the working shed and into the trailer.

Well, it occurred to me that Jarvis is so lazy, surely he won't run away from the flag!  So I whipped it out and held it in front of him.  If I flicked it, he actually flinched.  But then he seemed slightly more comfortable, and even gathered enough gumption to come up and hesitantly sniff the thing.  But it didn't last long.

And about this time Kordell is ready to load the cattle.  So I went out to the loading chute, as per his orders, to make sure they don't try to come back out of the trailer, and to make sure they don't get stuck in the chute.

Wait for it...
And the race is on!

So after I masterfully prevented the return of the cattle, and even got a couple unstuck, Kordell told me I could go wash off my boots really quick at the hydrant while he pulled around the yard and out of the other driveway.

So we're on our way to the other farm to drop the cattle off and load some more to bring back here. Why, exactly?  Um, ask the guys.  I just tag along with minimal questions that I don't think of until after it's happened, like now.

G'bye, goats!
Once at the other farm, Kord pulled into the yard and commenced to backing up in semi-darkness with a trailer.  Slightly impressive.

So about this time Birdo shows up and my services are no longer needed, so since I have to just stand around waiting for my ride home, I watch him take my flag and help Kordell unload.

Then they moved to the loading chute to pick up some cattle to move home.

Shutting the gate...
And then we were on our way home again!  They were going to load some more cattle to take back over, but by this time I decided Mom needed my help with supper (AKA I didn't wanna do any more 'cause I couldn't do anything to help).
And thus ends my cattle adventure.  Have you had any similar experiences? ;)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

My Cattle Adventure—Part 1

A couple days ago, Kordell called to see if I'd help him haul some cattle.  Sure, I thought, I bet this'll be blog post material!
Well, I changed into work clothes, grabbed the phone for pictures (sorry, the phone's camera isn't exactly superb, so that's the reason for the poor quality of the pictures), slipped on my shoes, and headed outside, where Kordell was just pulling in the drive with the trailer to back up against the loading chute.

Well, he took one look at my footwear and sent me back inside to get some mud boots.  Kansas has finally gotten several inches of rain (right in the middle of bean harvest, unfortunately...), and naturally, this means the cattle pens will be quite sloppy.

So I get back out to the working shed, and he hands me this epic sorting stick with a flag on the end.

We walk through the shed to the alley, and at this point I'm very glad for those mud boots...

Almost lost them in the mud a couple times!

Once we're out of the alley and into the feeding lanes, it's time to set up some gates.

And finally, we get to the cattle themselves.  Kordell stuck his flag's handle in his side pocket, so walking behind him cracked me up!  It was like one of those little kid's bikes.  I never had to guess where he was!

Not too happy to see us... ;)

Kordell's job: slowly herd the cattle toward the open gate.

My job: make sure the cattle don't sneak past me to this side of the shed.

So there I stood, flag in one hand and phone in the other, desperately hoping that I won't drop the device in the muck, staring down the cattle as they warily made their way toward the gate.  "Don't wave the flag, and just talk quietly," Kordell had said.  I already knew that.
But it sure took away from the fun.

See ya!
There was one fella that was a little stubborn, but just a little, so after just a little flick of the handy-dandy flag, I chased him right back into the alley.

Well... okay, Kordell actually got him out.  But I did splendidly at lending my incredible presence and moral support.  And don't forget that flag's daunting appearance!

So after they're locked in the alley, it's time to set all the gates back to the way they were.
We'll avoid the fact that Kord basically did them all because I hadn't done it for a few years. Having four brothers to help Daddy kinda prevents that.

And thus ends part one of my cattle adventure with Kordell!  Tune in next week for part two, featuring Jarvis... ;)

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Top 2018 Books {Five Fall Favorites}

A tisket, a tasket, a green-and-yellow basket...
I have no idea why this popped into my head for the bushels room.  But it did.
Speaking of bushels, it's time to take a look at the last of the bushels of books we've looked at this week!  Am I the only one that's slightly sad that the week is already over?

Today I'm going to share my favorite books that I've read so far in 2018.  It was so hard to narrow them all down!  But here are my tentative five favorites.  Be prepared for lots of flailing and fangirling, and... yeah.  You've been warned.

Shadow of Legends by Stephen Bly

"Life in the shadows.  It happens to all of us.  We stand so close to a dominant personality that our reflection can hardly be noticed.  Someone more famous.  More skilled.  More powerful.  Sometimes they are people we hardly know.  Sometimes they are members of our own family."

Todd Fortune must follow his father as he takes over the family business with his wife, a fast-paced city girl who's not willing to settle into a small town lifestyle.  A tale of daily hardships and hard-earned victories, Todd struggles to prove himself a committed husband and a courageous frontiersman in the wake of his father's legacy.  Cross-country chases, deadly showdowns, and budding romances weave the story of this second powerful novel in the Fortunes of the Black Hills series.

I talked about the previous book in the series, Beneath a Dakota Cross, in my western recs, but I liked Shadow of Legends, the sequel, a liiiiiitle bit better.  Todd's struggle to make his own name, and not constantly live under his father's shadow... um, yes please.  AND ALL THE FEELS.

Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury

When former national baseball star Tyler Ames suffers a career-ending injury, all he can think about is putting his life back together the way it was before. He has lost everyone he loves on his way to the big leagues. Then just when things seem to be turning around, Tyler hits rock bottom. Across the country, Tyler’s one true love Sami Dawson has moved on. 

A series of small miracles leads Tyler to a maintenance job at a retirement home and a friendship with Virginia Hutcheson, an old woman with Alzheimer’s who strangely might have the answers he so desperately seeks.

A team of Angels Walking take on the mission to restore hope for Tyler, Sami, and Virginia. Can such small and seemingly insignificant actions of the unseen bring healing and redemption? And can the words of a stranger rekindle lost love? Every journey begins with a step.

It is time for the mission to begin…

Since I talked about this beauty in my pro-life recs, I won't say much here.  Except AWWWWW ALLLLL THE FEEEEELLLSSSSS.

Deliver by Tricia Mingerink

Can something broken ever heal? 

Martyn is broken. After torturing his best friend, he doesn't belong anywhere in Acktar. No matter how far he runs, he can't lose his guilt. 

Leith is broken. While healing from the torture he received at Nalgar Castle, he struggles to find his new role. But can a Blade ever run from his past? 

The country is broken. Bitterness divides town against town, neighbor against neighbor. What will it take to deliver Acktar from itself? 

They face their hardest battle yet. 

Tricia Mingerink is another incredible authoress.  Her Blades of Acktar series is phenomenal, and the finale is certainly no exception!  Martin and Leith were of course my favorite POVs, and ALL THE FEELS Y'ALL.

Code of Honor by Alan Gratz

Live by the code. Die by the code?

Kamran Smith has it all. He’s the star of the football team, dates the most popular girl, and can’t wait to enlist in the army like his big brother, Darius. Although Kamran’s mother is from Iran, Kamran has always felt 100% American. Accepted.

And then everything implodes.

Darius is accused of being a terrorist. Kamran refuses to believe it. But Darius has been filmed making threats against his country, hinting at an upcoming deadly attack. Suddenly, everyone in Kamran’s life turns against him and his family.

Kamran knows it’s up to him to clear his brother’s name. In a race against time, Kamran must piece together a series of clues and codes that will lead him to Darius—and the truth.

But is it a truth Kamran is ready to face? And is he putting his own life at risk?

Once again, I talked about Code of Honor in my contemporary recs, but ack I read it in one day because I seriously couldn't put it down.  Most of the time I was literally on the edge of my seat.  It was so suspenseful, and his loyalty to his brother?  ALL THE FEELS (can you see a pattern here in the kinds of books I like?).

Blaze of Glory by Jeff Strueker

United States Sgt. Major Eric Moyer and his Special Operations unit have been called in to track down a wealthy Egyptian terrorist who is believed to have sordid ties to a sudden increase in female suicide bombers. Chasing El-Sayyed through Italy, they soon gain interconnected details about a Mexican drug lord who is plotting to kill the U.S. and Mexican presidents. 
Now Moyer and his team must stop not one, but two madmen on separate continents. And with a new member of the unit hiding his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, a third problem begins to boil.

Okay, this was probably my absolute FAVORITE book I read this year.  It was every bit as intense and suspenseful as Code of Honor, and Jerry's PTSD, and every character, were just so huggable (yes, that's totally a word.  Don't judge me), and ALLLLLL THE FEEEEEELLLLLLLSSSSSSS.

*Coughs* that was interesting, eh? ;) All I can say now is go read EACH and EVERY ONE of these. You won't be disappointed.  There's a clear Christian message I really appreciated in each of these except Code of Honor.

Annnnd, last day to check out all the other blogs in the party!  So tell me, have you read any of these?  Do you love them as much as I do?  What are the favorite books you've read so far this year?

Also, there's one special feature to end off the party—today only, there will be a sale for some select ebooks!  Check out the buttons below for some free and $.99 books!