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Dad

28 Jul

July 28, 2013

Whoever let it get to be July 28 is very irresponsible. This is no way to manage a summer. I demand a recount!

So, over a month ago I started a post about my one-and-only, very favorite, Best in the West Father. And then life happened and blogging dropped to about 32nd on my priority list. So, without further adieu, let me gush a little about the man to whom I owe my life and so much more.

June is a special month in celebrating my dad, Steve. With Father’s Day, my birthday and my dad’s birthday, it’s a month-long reminder of the incredible guy God chose to be my father.

Me & Dad

I love my dad. He is my friend, my adviser, my support and my hero. He picked me up and dusted me off when I was hurt. He set me straight when I was wrong. He cheered me on when I was working toward my goals. He offered deserved reprimand and much-needed hugs. He set the example for the husband and father I looked for in my own husband.

Mom & Dad

My dad is smart, strong, humble, capable and a servant of God. He taught me how to treat others, how to bring glory to God in my daily life and how to be a proud and productive American. He is extremely hard-working, self sufficient, patriotic and faithful.

Dad teaching a Bridle-Bit client (www.bridle-bit.com)

I respect my dad and work hard to be like him. He sacrifices for his family and the only thing he asks for in return is the occasional quiet day to eat steak and carrot cake and visit with his loved ones or watch a John Wayne movie.

Ben, Dad and Liz

Dad instilled in me a love for corny jokes, conservative politics, animals and the land. I will never be able to repay him for the amazing father he is to me.

I love you, Dad.

Liz

Read my dad, Steve LeSatz’s own blog at http://bridlebit.wordpress.com/

Paranoid

8 Jun

June 8, 2013

I’ve always had an irrational fear of the dark. When I was young, I’m almost certain I slept with a nightlight. I can also remember two instances in my youth that scarred me for life. The reason I tell you these harrowing tales is to lay the psychological framework for what I did last night. (Insert dramatic music here.)

When I was a pre-teen, I stayed up late one night reading ghost stories. Smart, right? Well, then I had to go to the bathroom. So, I got up, slowly and carefully opened my bedroom door, tip-toed into the hallway and turned on the bathroom light. All the sudden, out of nowhere, I heard the sound of quick footsteps behind me! Someone was in the house and they were after me! I wheeled around and screamed! …only to see my little brother standing behind me. Poor guy. He’d just gotten up to warn me that the toilet was plugged. I think it scarred him for life, too.

Then, when I was 16 or 17, I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep. Our dachshund was in bed with me that night and she started to growl and bark. There was a window just above my headboard so I looked out in the backyard thinking maybe there was a deer or a raccoon. I didn’t see anything, but wasn’t worried. After all, we lived a mile outside a rural Wyoming town with population 244. The crime rate wasn’t really a notable factor. So I put my head back on the pillow.

My eyes still open, I could have sworn I saw a flash of light in my dresser mirror and then there was a scraping sound on the outside wall. I flipped over, looked up and, much to my horror, there was somebody with a flashlight in my window! I screamed bloody murder and hit the floor. My dad came bolting from across the house. Seeing me on the floor he hurriedly asked me what was wrong. “There was someone in my window!” I squealed. He grabbed his shotgun and raced out in the yard. By then, the would-be intruders were gone. Dad called the sheriff and he and Mom did a quick search of the surrounding pastures and roads, but to no avail.

In no mood to drift off into dreamland, my whole family sat in the living room. They were asking me what Peeping Tom looked like. It all happened so fast and I was still pretty shaken. I said, “I know it sounds stupid, but it kind of looked like they had a big, white, clown wig on.” I can still see the light casting a glare on the person, illuminating something big and white on their head. I also explained that I heard scraping and scrambling like they were trying to jump up and grab the window sill.

My little brother, Ben, had been sitting quietly, listening. Then he said, “Maybe it was a midget clown.” We all looked at him, stunned, at what had just come out of his mouth. “Well, he must have been short, and you said it looked like he had a clown wig on. So it was The Midget Clown.” We all busted up laughing and, to this day, the perpetrator in the window is known as The Midget Clown. (It turns out it was a couple of my guy friends who thought it would be really fun to come get me to sneak out and drink beer with them. One of them had his cowboy hat on. Not quite a clown wig, but their behavior still fit the description).

Not surprisingly, all my adult life, I’ve continued to have an irrational fear of someone breaking in to the house at night. I never slept well when my roommates were away in college. It was even worse when I lived by myself after college; I don’t think I really slept for a year and a half. Then after I got married, I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep until Tyler got in from the fields (sometimes not until Midnight or later). Rationally I can tell myself not to worry. We live in a safe town, and on a very safe street. There are two HPs and the Chief of Police on my block alone, for Pete’s sake! But, when the lights go out, there’s no stopping the crazy train in my brain. Since marriage, this paranoia has also grown to include a fear that something might happen to Tyler if he’s out at night. Not necessarily that someone will get him, but that he’ll get hurt on the equipment or get struck by lightning while irrigating.

So, please understand why last night, after I called four times and couldn’t get a hold of my husband, I put a jacket over my PJs and went out in the night with no socks and no bra.

Tyler is so good at answering my calls. He almost always answers right away or calls me back within a few minutes. But, he didn’t pick up. I’d been calling since 10:40 p.m. and it was 11 p.m. and he still wasn’t answering. So, donning my snowflake pajama pants, no makeup and disheveled hair, I went traipsing into the night to find my beloved. I wasn’t sure what to think. Was he hurt? Was he lost? Was he abducted by aliens? Wait, I don’t believe in aliens. I was praying in Jesus name that God would protect him and keep him safe. I was on the verge of tears.

He wasn’t in the yard, but the truck he’d had at the field was. He wasn’t in the field he’d been planting, but the tractor was there. I drove up the road to see if he was at the Campbell pivot. Nope. I stopped again at the tractor. Maybe he’d left his phone there. I called it, but didn’t hear it ring. So I drove back to the yard and checked the pickup. No phone there either. So, I took off toward another pivot.

Oh thank goodness! I saw lights! Relief washed over me as I spotted two pickups parked by the ditch. I turned down the ditchbank road and saw him standing there. He had been talking to the ditch rider and came jogging over as I pulled up. He felt terrible, saying he’d seen the ditch rider out while he was checking pivots and he’d left his phone in the truck while they visited. He kept apologizing, but I told him not to worry, I was just glad he was okay. Feeling dumb, but relieved, I went home and praised God for keeping my husband safe.

I’m sure this won’t be the last time I pull a stunt like this. But, as long as the outcome is the same, I’m fine with that.

God Bless You & My Fellow Crazies,
Liz

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

Showering

5 Jun

June 2, 2013

My friend Kassi is getting married! She currently lives on a ranch in Missouri and we’re not sure how they handle hygiene out there. So, over Memorial Day, Megan and I (maid of honor and bridesmaid) took it upon ourselves to make sure she showered first.

We got all her family and friends together, set the scene and showered her with love and encouragement!

Megan made all the arrangements and I threw in a few decorations, games and my assistance. We had so much fun celebrating Kassi’s upcoming nuptials!

Hosted at the Historic Plains Hotel in Cheyenne, we had a lovely setting upstairs. When guests walked in they were greeted by this beautifully decorated table and Pinterest-inspired banner.

Inside we had a pretty gift table with this fabric backdrop Megan found.

I also made these decorations which had pretty paper on one side and graphics on the other. I had steers (Kassi and Ian met at cattle shows and raise cattle), cameras (Kassi is a photographer), hearts, and the couple’s first initials.

Megan decorated the tables with pictures of Kassi and her fiance, Ian, and a lit candle. I brought alstromeria and willow branches and we put them in blue mason jars Megan brought.

Then the guests started to arrive and a little while later the Bride-To-Be came, looking gorgeous from her wedding hair and makeup run through.

Then the party started! We chatted and laughed while 90s female Country singers played in the background (Kassi’s request, much to the delight of my inner 90s child). We ate a yummy breakfast hosted by Megan, drank mimosas and cooed over adorable babies.

I even talked Kassi into letting me host a couple of games. I stayed away from the toilet-paper gowns and kept it low-key. First we played, “Guess Kassi’s Age”. Kassi’s mom, Patsy, brought several photos of Kassi growing up, and I threw in a few from our college-roomie days. We numbered each picture and guests had to guess how old Kassi was in each photo. I made pretty matching answer sheets for the guests too, but didn’t take a picture of those.

We actually had a four-way tie on this game! I was glad I brought plenty of prizes (some of Kassi’s favorite beauty products).

For the “He Said/She Said” Game, I sent the same list of questions to the bride-to-be and the groom-to-be. I picked which answers I liked the best (it was a battle of the most humorous and heart warming) and mixed them up. I designed these cards for the guests to use in guessing.

Megan also had a brown tag sitting at each place-setting on which each guest wrote marriage advice to the newlyweds. She put the tags on a ring and separated each of them with strips of ribbon. Now Kassi has a keepsake she can hang strategically and reference any time she and Ian need some help. Which, I’m sure will never happen.

Megan collecting the marriage advice
 

Of course we opened presents! Caden, Kassi’s step-son, helped, although he wasn’t too thrilled by the assortment of household items. I think he was hoping for a rope or a race car, you know, something cool.

Kassi’s mom may or may not have advised her daughter that sometimes in marriage you need to put on your “big-girl panties”. So, there may or may not have been an extremely large pair of panties in this box. Kassi’s dad may or may not have helped pick out said undergarments. Kassi may or may not have laughed so hard she cried. The facts are still under investigation.
An unknown suspect, who is still currently at large, gifted Kassi with two unusual items. First, a note saying this box contained what she should wear on her wedding night – the box had nothing in it. Second, a bag containing baby booties. Again, no one has been apprehended in this case.

After presents, we had cake. Kassi’s cousin and bridesmaid Kendal made this beautiful creation. The top decoration is a likeness of their cattle brand. She also made these adorable Charolais cattle mints. Look who whipped out her Martha Stewart that day!

Megan also put together these adorable party favors for each guest. It’s a heart-shaped cookie cutter with a family cookie recipe attached. She had someone design the recipe card and it turned out fabulously!

I met Kassi when we both were selected as Wyoming State FFA Officers in 2005. Not only did we spend the next year as teammates and traveling partners, but we also became the best of friends! We spent the next three years of college as roommates. And two years ago she was my maid of honor. I love this gal more than I can say. She understands me and makes me laugh. I’m so happy she found the man and son she wants to spend the rest of her life with. She deserves all the happiness!

And, Ian? I adore you. You are a great guy. But, if you hurt her, I will hunt you down. That is all.

With Abundant Love In My Heart,

Liz

If I speak in the tonguesof men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)

Friends

1 Jun

May 31, 2013

It’s been a really busy couple of weeks. Yes, there’s been lots of farm work. Tyler got done planting corn and has impatiently been waiting for the rain and wind to die down so he can spray. He’s also been picking rocks. We grow ’em good out here. We’re grateful to rent a machine that picks them (thanks Adam!). Tyler’s had his fill of doing it by hand.

Planting Corn
Checking corn sprouts

I’ve been working on house and yard projects. You should see the garage! You can eat off the floor! On second thought, don’t. That’s really gross. But, it is clean!

I’ve also been on a fun streak lately! I’ve had the opportunity to spend lots of time with great friends.

I attend a weekly Bible study with some wonderful young women and our mentor Bonnie. Jenna, Mira and Crystal are all young moms with precious little girls. The kiddos can play while we go through our readings and memorized verses. It’s such a refreshing, uplifting end to the week and pushes me into the weekend with a renewed fervor for the Lord. If any of you local moms are interested, we meet on Fridays at 9 a.m. and would love for you to join us!

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see my college-friend, Samantha. Sam and I got to know one another through UW College Republicans. It was wonderful to see her again! She is studying botany and doing some really interesting photosynthesis research. It was interesting to hear how this type of research may someday have applications in crop production. Isn’t it curious how our world’s can collide? Sam is still the sweet, interesting, enthusiastic person I remembered. She has a wonderful love of the Lord and a staunch passion for conservative politics. I was so grateful for the opportunity to renew our friendship.

A group of us College Republicans with Rep. Cynthia Lummis (front row, middle) during a rally featuring Dick Cheney in 2008. It’s fun to know I’ve also kept in touch with Megan (black sweater), Laura (pink Barrasso shirt…hmmm, guess who her employer is today?) and Caitlin (front row, far right).

My mom and I also got together last week for a girls day. This was the best kind of Mother’s Day gift to give, because I also got so much out of it! We shopped, went to lunch, talked, laughed and even had to start joking at one point to keep ourselves from crying. I said in another post that Mom was so good at striking a balance of disciplinarian and friend. I always feared and respected her, but as an adult I don’t hesitate to call her for advice or just to chat. We had so much fun together and I will treasure it always.

Oh yeah, and I helped with my friend Kassi’s bridal shower, too. She’s getting married. No big deal. The End.

I kid! I kid! I save this for last, because I’m going to do a separate post on all things Kassi. Because an awesome college roommate, bridesmaid and friend deserves her own post.

Sneak Peak

 
God Bless You & American Agriculture,
Liz

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. – John 15:12-15 (NIV)

Monday

20 May

May 19, 2013

Tonight I had a good conversation with Haley, who is taking over my position as Communication & Publication Director of the Wyoming Stock Growers. Tomorrow is her first day and she is nervous and excited about starting her career. 

In Evanston for the 2010 AgriFuture conference. (L-R: Me, Kosha & Jim)

It made me think back to when I started with WSGA. That time was filled with the promise of new adventures, learning and challenges. I loved it! And looking back over the four years of working for WSGA, I would never trade that time.

Senator Barrasso and I at a WSGA convention
The 2012 Environmental Stewardship Tour
Speaking at a WSGA Convention

The one thing I will never miss about my job,  however, is the commute – a two-hour round trip between Wheatland and Cheyenne. 

 

When I saw Laramie Peak on my commute it meant I was almost home.

I used to have a love/hate relationship with Sundays. I loved them because it was a time of fellowship and growing in my understanding of God’s word and plan for my life. I hated them because I stressed about plans for the coming week and didn’t want to get up Monday morning to drive to Cheyenne.

But, as it’s been for the past two weeks, tomorrow I’ll wake up and stay in Wheatland. Haley will take on the role of promoting WSGA and advocating for Wyoming’s livestock producers. And I’ll be the new me. The farm wife. 

I’m blessed.


God Bless You & American Agriculture,
Liz

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. – Psalm 119:105 (KJV)

Admiration

16 May

May 15, 2013

Filling the grain drill (thanks for the truck, Keith)

I get to work with my best friend every day. I get to work with my best friend every day? I get to work with my best friend every day!

Not many people can say this, so I said it three times. I’m also really good at counting to three.

Filling a fertilizer tank

I admire my husband so much. He makes me laugh. He makes me think. He encourages and inspires me. He pushes me to be better.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been reminded at how hard he really works. When he says he’s going to “sleep in” he means until 7 a.m. (I’ve been known to sleep past Noon. But, that was in college so it doesn’t count, right? Right?). When he says he’s going to shut down early, he means 8 p.m. (I remember taking 1/2 days off of work to go to Fort Collins for a facial.)

Planting corn

I’m amazed daily that he agreed to let me quit my job to come work with him. It’s a real ego boost to think a man of which I’m in such awe, actually wants to spend his days with me. He’s patient with me as I learn and he’s always making sure I’m okay. “I can finish that.” “Don’t hurt your back.” “Thanks for your help.”

No humans were harmed in the taking of this photo.

Boss. Friend. Husband. Love. He’s got a lot of titles and I’m glad he’s mine.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,
Liz

So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adamno suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.” 
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. – Genesis 2:20-24 (NIV)

SuMTuWThFSa

16 May

May 14, 2013

The days feel like they’re running together.

Get up, chores, make lunch, help Tyler fill and move tanks, fill seed hoppers, plant, head home, chores, make supper, help Tyler, go to bed, get up…

I’m still so grateful for this life and I don’t want to complain. I just don’t feel like I have anything “checked off” my list. My friend, Kosha, and I used to talk about the satisfaction that comes from crossing a project off the list. To get the magazine sent to the printer, to wrap up an event, to send a press release to the media. You checked the “done” box and went onto the next project.

I guess it’s kind of like that on the farm too, but I haven’t been able to see it that way yet. It’s busy and we’re playing catch-up so things feel more like they’re running together and no project is really complete.

And there is dirt everywhere. For an OCD like me, it’s a little tough. My floors are dirty. My car is dirty. My kitchen is dirty. My laundry basket is dirty. My ears are dirty. It’s a nice mix of fertilizer, talc, soil and treated seed. I used to be the clean one with the office job cleaning up after the dirty guy with the farm job. Now I’m a major contributor to the filth.

We are really busy and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed (who asked me if I’m having trouble finding things to do now that I’m home?!). It would help if I’d get in the habit of making an earlier start to the day. My two major hang ups have been 1) I’m not a morning person. At. All. and 2) By the time we get in the house, shower, clean up dinner pans, and get to bed, it’s 11 p.m. And this girl doesn’t do well on less than 7 hours of sleep.

But now I’m just whining.

Thank goodness tomorrow is another day to get up and do it all again, Lord willing. Maybe I’ll get a couple things crossed off my list. And maybe I won’t. Either way, I’ll still get to be a farm wife who knows God’s grace. And that’s pretty awesome.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,
Liz

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each
be rewarded according to their own labor.For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. – 1 Corinthians 3:7-9

Mothers

12 May

Happy Mother’s Day! I’ve been blessed by the best.

My mom, Amy, and I in 2008

I could go on and on about my mom. She found that great balance of being a stern disciplinarian and a loving, compassionate confidant. She taught me how to love, how to stand up for what I believe, how to ride, how to keep Christ as my center and how to go after my dreams. When it’s time for me to be a mother, I will have confidence because of the example Mom set for me.

Tyler, Kristny, Sunni (& Skye), Mom and Cooper in 2011

Tyler’s mom, Kim, is the best mother-in-law a gal could ask for. She raised the most amazing son who she taught to be strong, hard working and caring. I could never thank her enough. She has also welcomed me into her family with open arms. She includes me and encourages me. And she’s fun!

Gramma Marcie and I in 2010

I’ve been blessed to be able to spend a lot of time with my Grandma Marcelyn. We all lived on the same ranch growing up. She also gave me a roof over my head twice during summer internships while I was in college. She taught me the joys of domestic life and instilled values of hard work and family.

Today I also think about my Grandma Rozella, who passed away when I was a toddler. I enjoy knowing her through Grandpa George, her kids and her recipes. She left a legacy of love that lives on through her family.

Tyler’s Grandma Gerry passed away last year and Tyler has so many fond memories of her. He was at her house almost every day growing up and tells me about her stories, love for gardening and love for her family.

He also is grateful for his Great Grandma Merle. She lived well into her 90s and was sharp as a tack. She was outspoken, knew everyone in town and loved candy. We miss our pizza dates with her.

We both have so many wonderful aunts and friends who have “mothered” us. We’re so grateful for your prayers, lessons and acts of kindness.

There is so much sadness and pain in life, so when we look at how much joy, faith, caring and compassion these wonderful women have created, it truly does brighten the world.

God Bless All Mothers Today…and Every Day,

Liz

Weary

11 May

I’ve never been the most athletic or energetic person on earth. But, it’s become very evident over the past couple of days what kind of effect a commuting office job has on a person’s body.

Apparently sitting at a desk every day, commuting 2 hours a day several days per week, not exercising regularly and eating lots of fast food is not a good health plan. Go figure.

Farm life will soon cure me of my physical laziness. But in the meantime…

I’m sore.

This is about as fast as I’m moving today

God Bless You & American Agriculture,
Liz

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  – Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)

Flexibility

10 May
May 10, 2013
I have always told people I’m very flexible as long as you give me advance notice that I will need to be flexible.
So, okay, maybe I’m not such a “go-with-the-flow” gal. But, I think I’ve found the cure for it! It’s called farming.
Strip-Tilling

Tyler’s friend Keith asked him the other night what he was doing the next day. After Tyler went through the list of plans he’d made, Keith chuckled and asked him when he was going to quit making plans. They never really work the way you think they will anyway, Keith said.

When Tyler and I talk in the morning about the “plan” for the day it’s one thing. When the day is done and we look back, it’s another.
I had a similar conversation with my friend Jenna when we were talking about babies – more specifically when I was going to have them. I told her our plan was to start trying in a year or two. She smiled and said something along the lines of, “that’s great, but if we want to make God laugh, we should tell him our plans.”
Touché. It seems I’m reminded on a daily basis that we aren’t in control. And while that’s a really hard concept to grasp, when I really think about it, I’m so glad God is in control. If I submit to Him and his will, then no matter what happens, it will be for my good and his glory.
Yes, as much as my rigidity is trying hold on, it looks like flexibility will have to be a learned skill. If for nothing else, than for sanity’s sake.

One of the few surviving tulips in my flower bed. My bulbs had to learn to be flexible this year, also.

 

God Bless You & American Agriculture,
Liz
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV
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