Sixty, a number, and my age this year. I am sixty years old. BUT I do not feel like I am sixty years old. YET, I have never been sixty years old, so I would I know what it feels like to be sixty. Actually, I can not really wrap my thinking around being sixty years old. But the birth certificate does not lie, I have celebrated or marked each year and the total is sixty years of age.

At work, I am the second oldest person working. There is a cashier who is older than I am, but I am not sure how much older. We both work hard. Although she does not get down on the floor when stocking items on the lower shelves, leaving that task to younger folks. Most of the workers are in their mid twenties with management a few years younger than I am. Most are shocked to learn I am sixty. “You do not act sixty.” is a common phrase.

How is a sixty year old person supposed to act? Most of us, including myself base our determination of how a sixty year old person acts and tasks they are capable of doing by television or life experience with someone who is sixty. Stereotyping is how we form our ideas of what a person can or can not do at a certain age.

I do not have many grey hairs in my naturally colored hair. Some of my coworkers thought I had dyed my hair, until they look closer. My face does not have that many wrinkles, although the sun and years have aged my face and I no longer have the face I had when I was twenty. I move well, I work hard starting at getting up at 5 AM each morning to do chores before I go to work.

At work I climb ladders, but do not stand on the top step. I have not stood on the top step of a ladder since hurting my lower back. The injury has caused my balance to be a little off. Yet, I climb ladders in order to stock the top shelves. I sit on the floor to stock the bottom shelves. Although it is not a pretty motion of getting down to the floor or getting up off the floor, but is improving the more I do it. The one area I need to work on myself more is flexibility. My joints are a little stiff sometimes when I go to sit on the floor. I have not done a lot of sitting on the floor these past few years. I tell my coworkers I am stiff and have injuries, but I have lived life in my sixty years.

One coworker who is twenty years old made a comment yesterday after I showed her how to get a cloth bag of flour to stand on the shelf, that I know how to do a lot of things. My response is I have lived and learned for sixty years, that is a long time to learn things. I enjoy learning new things. I enjoy new experiences. I have injuries and can name each horse that caused the injuries, yet I can not name every horse I started under saddle and trained, or the ones I watched come into the world.

I began sharing with her some of my life experiences, watching a pronghorn antelope being born, standing and nursing in the wild. The evening I spent a few hours watching a pair of bald eagles teach their young how to fish. Or watching a fox catch mice. Seeing hundreds of elk in the morning dusk, start moving towards cover over the mountain ridge as the sun came up, seeing them silhouetted on the mountain ridge. Watching trout swim in the current of a mountain stream. Or watching the glorious colored lightening during a nighttime tornado. Playing in the snow, standing still and listening to snowflakes fall. Memories I hope one day I put to canvas to share with others the magical pictures in my memory.

This year I am sixty years old. I no longer have the speed to run a race or stamina I had when I was twenty-five. I have injuries that affect my movement and I live with back pain most of the time. But I have lived life and I continue to live life. Searching for new adventures and things to learn. I have goals to reach of things I want to finish or do. Some of youth’s dreams will never be, but there are plenty of dreams to look forward to. Sixty is a number, a number of my winters, but it is not a barrier or fence or prison.

I have lived life and continue to live life regardless of how many winters I have seen. Age is a number not a prison.



February Happenings

The month of February has been a busy month so far. Besides my job and the sheep there are been some projects that we are working on getting accomplished this year. Managing my time has become a priority this month.

One project is to have our acreage divided and sell a few acres. Since my husband is getting close to retirement, we want the mortgage on our property paid in full. I met with the surveyor after work one day. I spent three hours with him and his assistant finding every pin of the survey of when we purchased our place. Then he sent a purposed plat to me of the area we wanted to divide off and sell. I contacted the County Commissioner for the variances needed to sell the separate piece of land. Once I hear from the County Commissioners on if they approve the variances, then I will take the plat survey to the Land Development Department to pay the variances and replat the property. Once all this is done the surveyor will return and put down survey pins for the piece to be sold. When the final survey is complete, I will contact my friend and real estate agent to list the property for sale. Then I will have to be present for the property to be shown to prospective buyers.

From the sale of the small acreage we will be able to pay off the mortgage and do some work on our home. Our goal is to sell the home and remaining acreage and purchase a place near to my daughter who lives in Texas. This is not a plan that is going to be fast results. It takes time to get work completed. With not a big budget, most of the work will be done by myself. With the extra income from my job, I am able to purchase materials needed to finish the remodeling of our home. The remodeling has to be completed before we can sell the house and property.

Along with the remodeling of our home, one of our trucks broke down and we are getting it repaired. This week I will have to travel to pick up parts and deliver them to the repair shop so our truck will be in running order once more. The other truck needs a new clutch. So, when one truck comes out of the shop, the other goes in. Repairs become necessary when vehicles get 200,000 or more miles of use. We have done maintenance on the vehicles to keep them in good running shape, but parts wear down and need replaced. We would like to purchase a newer vehicle, but with the cost of vehicles, that is not going to happen for a while. The repairs are less money than the purchase of a newer vehicle.

Yesterday, I planted some tulips and onions. I should have planted the tulips a few months back. Since I stored the tulip bulbs in the refrigerator, they will still bloom. The onions will grow as well. I plan on planting one vegetable in the garden each week. I will not be starting my plants from seeds this year. I just do not have time to start the tomatoes and pepper plants from seed. I will purchase plants from the nursery for this year’s garden. Spring will be here soon, then summer. I want to have fresh vegetables for the table. I would like to be able to can some pickled beets and pickles this year for Christmas gifts.

This year is going to be a busy year as we prepare for retirement and wanting a larger place to raise more sheep to supplement our retirement income. Being closer to family is important as we want to share time with grandchildren and loved ones. Teaching the grandchildren about farm life and the love of animals brings us both joy.


Repost: The Power of Lipstick by

I am not a person who takes time to put on makeup everyday. My often response to why I do not wear makeup was, “Sheep do not care what I look like.” But the truth is I should care how I look for my own self. I realized this more when I read a post by a person I follow. This post helped open my eyes, that making myself look nicer was also myself loving me. Hope you enjoy.


Embracing Technology

Technology has grown in the past years of my life. I was a student in high school when computers first were developed. The computer was so very large, required a special room that had controlled temperature setting and data was inputted by means of a card with holes punched through in a select series of spaces. Today, our cellphones, an item we carry in our hand does most if not all the functions of a computer.

Last Saturday I had my first Zoom meeting with a person in South Africa. I used my cellphone as my computer does not have a camera. The experience was awesome. I had looked forward to this meeting for a week and was not disappointed in meeting and talking with this person. Only, our meeting was cut short due to technical issues, I think on my side of the meeting. I am searching as to why my phone would not let the meeting continue. I am also learning how to operate the functions of a Zoom meeting and more about such meetings.

This last year, I learned how and did a lot of shopping online. I have found I can get shoes and clothing of better quality than what is available to me in the area I live. The one big advantage in shopping for clothing online is finding my size. The local stores are always out of my size for clothing. Along with the size not be available the styles and color choices are limited. I have learned a shopper needs to read the print on the materials used to create the garment or item.

I have realized the generations younger than myself is all about technology and various ways of staying in touch with each other. A few months back, my grandson invited me to snapchat. I am still searching out snapchat and will probably join just to have the opportunity to communicate and share daily life with my grandson. I have had some young people at work invite me to Instagram.

I have seen on several websites of other sheep farmers they use Instagram in marketing their breeding stock for sale. I am probably going to join Instagram for the marketing of my sheep as well as communication with others. Considering the audience I am wanting to sell sheep to, I have to meet the buyer where they are looking.

In order to do well with my sheep farming and other adventures, I will need to learn to embrace technology and learn how to have a presence on the web. Starting and writing my blogs was a start, but there is so much more out there to discover.


Valentine’s Day

February 14 – Valentine’s Day.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Historically and commercially it is a day for romantic couples to celebrate their love. Leaving out those who do not have a romantic partner to share the holiday celebration with. Love is so much bigger. Everyone has and receives love from someone. To me these relationships are just as important.

When I was much younger and in school we celebrated Valentine’s Day. We would make some creative object to contain the valentines we received on the day of celebration. Each student was expected to bring a valentine for everyone in the class. There were students I did not want to give a valentine card to, so I would select what I considered the “ugliest” valentine to give to them. If the cards I was handing out that year had candy, those I did not like would get the broken candy. I am sure I was not the only child to do distribute valentines in this manner. The celebration was not true of the representation of the holiday. As I advanced in school, Valentine’s Day was celebrated by those who had a romantic partner, and I was left out.

Love is so much bigger. I celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special effort of sending a card to those I love and care about. This started when my children were small. During one of the times they were getting ready for their Valentine Day’s celebration at school and writing names on valentine cards for each student in the class, I decided to make cards for each of my children. I hid them in their pile of cards to hand out. A surprise as they placed cards for others, there would be a card with their name on it just for them. Through time this has evolved to sending cards to my children, and eventually grandchildren.

A few years back, I started sending cards expressing how important a friendship was to me. I feel that others should know they are appreciated and important to someone else. A way of letting my friends know I value their friendship, the times they were there to support me or encourage me when I needed it. Also, to let them know I am there when they need support or encouragement. These are not romantic cards at all, but ‘thank you for being my friend’. Valentine’s Day history and celebration has been to celebrate romantic love, love is so much bigger.

Today, I celebrate Love. Love of family, friends and my husband. I celebrate the fact I am loved. I celebrate that I love myself. I have spent most of my life not loving the person I was created to be. Three years ago, I started the journey to love myself.

This Valentine’s Day celebrate love. Love of a partner if you have one. Love of family and friends. Love from the Creator. Mostly celebrate the love for yourself.


From Days Gone Bye

There are many items I grew up with that are no longer used today. It is not all bad that items have gone to be replaced by technical digital items. Dial telephones that hung on the wall, and the distance you could move to talk was the length of the cord. The only thing a person could do was call someone, provided you knew their number. If you did not know their phone number, but knew the town or city and state, you could call ‘information’ (that is really what the service was called and listed as in the telephone book) and they would look up their number, at a charge to your phone bill. There was privacy then as well. If the person had a private unlisted number, ‘information’ would not give you their phone number. Not everything has gone away for good, somethings are making a comeback.

Today’s cell phones are little computers. A person can call people or be called. People can search the internet for a place, the address and if they have a website be able to look at their website. One app that cellphones have that I am most thankful for is the camera. The camera can take pictures anytime, anywhere and not cost money for the film or to have the film developed. Film had a limited number of photos a person could take. Today’s cellphone the pictures are unlimited, digitalized and able to be sent to others as a text or some other communication avenue. I am able to receive pictures and short videos of my grandchildren at what ever activity they are doing, snow sledding, playing softball, or singing in a Christmas program. I am able to watch them grow up and accomplish things as a child.

Recently, while my husband and I were at Wal-Mart looking for a sound system for our television we found an interesting “old item” returning to the shelf – Polaroid cameras. The instant developed picture of the Polaroid is available to today’s youth.

I remember when my mother received a Polaroid camera for Christmas. We were all excited to watch the picture develop in front of your eyes. The camera and film really did work like the commercials showed and said. The film was expensive with only eight photos per box. The first box of film was used quickly, afterwards the camera was still only used for very special, staged photos.

The film is still expensive, and there are few photos. But the Polaroid is back and young people love the camera. I wonder will the 35 mm camera return or what about the 125 mm camera and flash bar?

For me, I am going to stay with my camera on the phone. I have spent thousands of dollars on film and developing to pictures in my lifetime. I will let the younger generation have fun with the “old” cameras.


Getting Days Confussed

It is known by family and friends I do not keep track of time very well. I do not even wear a watch. There are a lot of days, I work and do not know what time it is and miss lunch. When my grandson visits, he is the time keeper for when to eat lunch and get dinner ready. Not only to I lose track of hours, but days. There was one year I thought Christmas was a week earlier than it actually was. I learned my folly when I called my daughter to wonder where they were at as they were “late” in arriving at my house for Christmas festivities.

Since I started working a job, I have been very good about being to work on time, by setting alarms on my phone. I am never late. My schedule is for the most part always the same, but I work different departments depending on the day I am working. Sundays and Thursdays I work the meat department starting at 7 AM sharp. Tuesdays and Fridays I work the restocking the freezer section when the delivery truck for the store arrives. The arrival time of the delivery truck varies, so the team that works the truck delivery is notified when the truck arrives by text message. There is one other day I work, which varies, as a cashier.

Yesterday, my confusion with time spilled into my job. I arrived sharply at 7 AM on “Thursday” to work the meat department. I was looking at the meat section, ready to take notes with pen and paper with the department manager. After a few minutes of discussion, the manager realized I thought I was working the meat department. “Today you work the truck.” he stated.

“No, today is Thursday. I work the meat department.” I responded.

He chuckles, “Today is Tuesday. You work the truck.”

Now there was another employee draw to us by this curious conversation. “Yes, today is Tuesday, the day the truck arrives.”

I had confused the days, at least I was not late. Only, I had to clock out and wait for the text message the truck had arrived and to arrive at work. Today, I would be the first to arrive.

When the truck arrived two hours later, I was sitting in the parking lot when the manager of the store arrived.

“What are you doing here so early, I have not sent the text yet?” the manager asked.

“I am waiting for your text. I thought it was Thursday.” I replied with a smile.

Before the end of the day, every employee knew of my confusion of which day it was. We enjoyed the laughing about it being “Thursday”. As I was leaving one employee who has known for a few years, “I will see you on the real Thursday.” as she went out the door towards home.

Yes, I get lost in my days and hours. I know I am imperfect and will make mistakes. I am not afraid to laugh at my own mistakes and laugh with those around me. With the stress of the economy, world events and other things in people’s lives that we do not know about, for one day everyone had something to smile and laugh about. And I am sure those I work with will still be laughing some when I show up for work on the real Thursday.


February Garden Prep

For those of us who live in Texas and some southern states it is time to start thinking about the spring garden. In Texas I grow two gardens – a spring garden and fall garden. I start planting the spring garden the last week of February thru the first week of April.

The first planting in the ground is of peas, brussels sprouts, radishes, green beans and plants that like cooler temperatures to grow and produce. Before I can plant seeds I need to get the planting area ready. I used a raised bed system of gardening due to the coastal grass that will take over a garden planted in the ground. Those who plant at ground level, now is the time to start tilling and raking to remove the coastal grass that invaded the garden last year.

As I begin to prep my garden area, I am deciding where I am going to plant each plant. I rotate the places where I planted squash and cucumbers to keep the squash beetles at a minimum. Planting squash and cucumbers in the same place every year increases these pesky insects that can kill the squash plant and shorten your harvest. The beds need additional nutrient rich material added, either compost or in my situation sheep manure. I usually add the sheep manure after I have pulled the plants from the fall garden. Adding the manure in the fall allows the natural elements to break down the manure releasing the nutrients for the plants.

The time has arrived to start the tomato plants inside. I use a two “solo” cup method of starting tomato plants inside. One cup has a rock in the bottom and is used for letting the water drain from the cup holding the soil and seed that will eventually be a tomato plant. The cup that I will put the soil in and plant the seeds has small holes in the bottom allowing for drainage. Seeds and plants will die if there is too much water. I fill the cup 1/2 full of soil for tomatoes, peppers and eggplant seeds. I use potting soil or seed starter as soil when I am starting seeds inside. I do not reuse the starting soil as the nutrients are mostly gone. Using fresh potting soil or seed starter helps my seedlings get a good start before placing them in the garden.

A picture showing the two cups I use for starting seeds.

After the seeds sprout, I will gently add more soil to the cup. Doing this creates a good root system for the seedling to grow into a plant once placed in the soil outside. When the time comes to plant outside, the cup has been filled to 1/2 inch below the rim with soil.

Cups with various stages of tomatoes starting to grow.

Punxsutawney Phil may have forecasted six more weeks of winter, but spring will arrive and I want to be ready for a summer and fall harvest of fresh vegetables for my table.


Brandy and Ace

Fictional story, a part of the novel I am currently writing.

The loft room was actually a very small studio type apartment above the horse stalls in the barn. There was a small couch, a bed, small table and cooking area with a separate room containing the bathroom. All the comforts of home. Brandy unrolled her bedroll on the bed, and prepared for bed and sleep.

“Ace, you are sleeping on the floor tonight buddy. I did not get your blanket out of the horse trailer.” Ace circled three times and plopped down on a rug beside the bed. Ace was Brandy’s constant companion, her border collie dog. Brandy turned off the light and both were sound asleep.

Brandy awoke seeing two large brown eyes staring and a black nose breathing in her face. Ace was awake and ready for the day. Brandy had purchased Ace as a twelve week old puppy. When he grew big enough to jump on the bed, he started starring at Brandy to get her up every morning sharply at 5:00, which was ok as Brandy gets up that time each morning, unless she is sick. Who needs an alarm clock when they have an Ace? Unlike an alarm clock there is no snooze button on Ace, if Brandy was not awake from his warm breath, his jumping on the bed and licking her nose and face would wake her up. When morning arrived for Ace, it arrived for Brandy. Healthy or sick, when Ace woke up, Brandy woke up and had to get out of bed.

Ace danced in circles as Brandy dressed for the day. He acted like such a puppy at times. Eager to start the day and work, Ace would run ahead and back to Brandy as they went down to the stalls to feed the horses before heading to the ranch house for breakfast. Since Brandy could not take Ace to the ranch house, she put him in an empty stall with food and water. Ace’s eyes showed he was hurt by having to obey his master and enter the tall.

“It is only for breakfast. I promise I will return and we will go for a ride.” Brandy reassured Ace. Ace laid down in the stall, and placed his chin on his crossed front legs, looking upward at her with his sad looking eyes. Brandy turned to go to the ranch house. Not everyone appreciated the bond of a border collie with their person. Ace was housebroke, but shadows Brandy’s every step. He thinks if the furniture is for Brandy, it is also for him and will sit or lay on the couches and chairs. During meals Ace sits watching Brandy put every bite in her mouth. Perhaps Brandy had taught Ace to watch her eat, as they shared meals most of the time. Ace never offered to eat off a plate or get food from a table or counter, but Brandy would hand him food from her plate as she ate. Brandy understood that Ace could not be with her when she went into other’s homes. When Ace was not shadowing her, Brandy felt there was a part of her missing.

Author’s Note: I have spent years raising and training Border Collies to herd. Border Collies are very intelligent and affectionate. I train using praise as their only reward for doing well. A Border Collie knows when they do well, and expect the praise. Border Collies are also very high energy dogs. They require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation each and everyday. A Border Collie is not for everyone. When considering a dog for a companion, please consider your established lifestyle and pick a companion that will match your lifestyle.

The post photo is of my partner, MHT Hank, the best hand I have on the sheep farm.


New Ambitions for 2023

While participating in Bloganuary 2023, I made time each day to write a post. I am proud that I wrote a blog based on the daily prompt everyday. I realized that I should do the same with the books I am writing. I need to set aside so much time to write the books I have started. Not edit at this time, just write. Editing comes after writing. So, for February and March I am going to be writing my books.

I want to continue to write my blogs as well. I may not be writing everyday. But I will be writing posts a few times a week. Spring time is coming and I need to start my gardening plants and spring centered projects so they are ready. I want to share this with those who follow my blog. So, I will be taking pictures and writing posts concerning gardening.

We are also getting our home ready to sell. There are a few projects that would be good blogs. Information that others may want to do with their home. I will show some before and after photos as well, to show the progress of some of my home makeover. Since I only have a few rooms left to update, it will not be a total home makeover.

Some big ambitions, but I think I can get them accomplished this year. I will not be sewing as much, or painting pictures. I will make sure I fit in some time to go fishing and a horse ride once a month.

Of course I will still be caring for my sheep. I have several that are due soon to lamb. Plus, one of my livestock guardian dogs is going to have puppies soon. I have the two show rams and two show ewes to get ready for an April show. I have high hopes for the show.