Friday, December 09, 2016

The First Snow - Highland Style

Delilah didn't mind the snow one bit.

She headed right over to the hay feeder and dug deep for the yummy stuff!

Samson had to come see what was for breakfast.

His first snow!

He didn't seem to mind the snow...but he isn't too sure about Eli.

And Eli just wanted to go play!

Saturday, December 03, 2016

A Lesson Clearly NOT Learned

You'd think I would have remembered.  Perhaps it is akin to childbirth - traumatic enough to block out of your memory for survival.  In any case, when my sister nudged me a couple weeks ago, saying her birthday fell on a Friday this year and, like last year, did I want to take the day off and spend it with her, I should have found any excuse to say no, but for some reason, I emphatically agreed.

Maybe it's because I have a summer birthday, but in all my many, many years of having a birthday, I have never once had a to-do list for that day.  Especially not one written in ink on paper with many many items.  If anything, my birthday to-do lists include mental notes to sleep in, read a book, stay in pajamas all day and maybe, if anything, eat an amazing meal that I didn't make.  That's it.  Great day.
The fact that my sister takes the day off from work does not in any way indicate that she is not going to do things that I would consider work on her day off.  When I asked her the night before what our plans were, she said, "I have to get George on the bus, but then I'm ready!"  After reading this text, I turned to The Mister and said, "She thinks I am coming over to her house at seven in the morning on our day off?!?  What are we possibly going to do at seven in the morning!?"  While I am up with The Mister many mornings at 3am, and I can be known to be at school two or sometimes three hours before school starts, on a Friday, on a day-off, I see no reason to be anywhere or doing anything until after 8.

We ended up out the door and headed to, of all places Verizon before ten.  We actually had to come back to Verizon because they weren't even open yet.  We spent the day driving around town, crossing items off her list as I shook my head constantly and remarked how different we are.  Jules finds no contradiction in listening to "Silent Night" while shouting at the driver that just cut her off.  She was thinking of the location of stores she needed to go to as a deciding factor in where to eat lunch.  I had to remind her that it was her birthday and we could eat ANYWHERE she wanted.  But no, it had to follow a logical route.  The day was very task-oriented.  There was no browsing, wandering, lingering.

When we finally headed back home, we decided to head to my house for an adult beverage and some relaxing conversation.  I thought we were finally going to enjoy the day when she came out of her house and climbed into the Jeep with a bag full of presents and wrapping paper.  "What are you doing?" I asked.

"Bringing something to do.  I can sit on your floor and wrap gifts while we talk," she replied.  I stopped and stared at her.

"Koehns don't multi-task," I replied.  "You are supposed to just sit and enjoy and relax!   You don't have to DO anything else!"

I was fighting a losing battle, however.  She came and wrapped, and so I put together tomorrow night's lasagna.  We did, however, squeeze in a lot of laughter!

I think, next August, I will ask Jules to take my birthday off.  And I will demonstrate for her the proper way to spend a birthday.  We might watch a chick flick, or read an entire book without stopping.  I might make her lay in the hammock and take a nap.  I'm sure she will twitch without five things to do at a time, but she'll make it through.  Afterall, I survived Verizon, Toys R Us and Target all on my day off!

Happy Birthday, Jules!

Hey Teacher! Leave Them Kids Alone!

The Mister and I share the same Spotify account.  While this makes for some interesting "suggestions" from Spotify regarding songs we might like (when I give a thumbs up to the likes of Anna Nalick, Sarach McLaughlin and One Republic, The Mister is creating playlists of Hank Williams, Sr., Johnny Cash and Guns and Roses), overall, the shared account works great and saves us money.  The Mister listens to his account at work from time to time or if he's out in the barn working.  I might play some music on the weekends while I bake or clean, so there are few times when we both might want to play something.


This week, my students started writing fairy tales.  I used to have a whole playlist of Disney fairy tale songs on my iPhone, but since switching to Droid and Spotify, I had to resort to a "Disney Fairy Tale Wedding Songs" playlist for my kids to listen to during writing.  As it turns out, The Mister had been driving to another plant to grade cattle when his music was suddenly interrupted and changed to fairy tale songs.  It took him a moment to realize that my use of the Spotify account had booted him off while he was jamming to Van Halen.

The following day I shared with my students this story, eliciting many giggles from the eight year olds about Mr. James having to listen to fairy tale music instead of his rock and roll songs in his truck.  When it came time for writing again, and I picked up my phone to play more fairy tale music on Spotify, the whole class hushed and waiting for the ping that announced a text from Mr. James.  "What did he say?" they all shouted.  I replied, "Mr. James says, 'Again!?!?  Really!?!?', which made them all giggle even harder.

Later in the afternoon, with hopes to once again foil Mr. James, my class asked if I would play some music.  I responded by reminding them that we had our turn, and perhaps we should allow Mr. James some time to listen now.  While a less in cooperation and taking turns was appropriate, I was truly just afraid that The Mister might boot us off and my class might suddenly be listening to refrains of"We Don't Need No Education..." a joke he would surely find hysterical but my principal might not.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Little Samson

Fearless Eli

Friday, November 25, 2016

Yesterday I finally got around to doing the leaves out back.  They were wet and plentiful, but I was ready to cross the task off my to-do list.  The Mister helped me get strapped in to the new back-pack commercial-sized leaf blower he bought this fall.  Feeling much like an astronaut preparing for a space walk, I snarked, "Where are we off to today, Captain?  Mars?  Jupiter?"

Without missing a beat, The Mister winks at me and says, "Uranus?"

So indoors or out, it's probably just best if we tackle the to-do list separately.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

He Calls it Helping

Last weekend The Mister and I decided not to tackle any big projects (like building a cow shelter, or getting a cow...) but instead, to just hit a few small projects that have been on the to-do list for awhile.  The Mister took down all the blinds in the kitchen, living and dining rooms.  We said when we moved in that we'd give those blinds a year and then, if we didn't use them they were coming down.  Eighteen months later, they came down.  He also did some work on my oven racks as they seem to have mysteriously shrunk in the last couple months (or my oven has expanded) so that they slide off the rails at the most inconvenient times.  (It took sliding off and landing in The Mister's pizza on the bottom rack that got this item a higher priority on the "to-do" list.)

We also decided to tackle the illogical laundry room shelves, that included a pull-out drawer installed by the previous owners that just seemed to take up valuable sorting and folding space.  This project required a little more know-how than I seemed to possess, mainly to get the brackets to release the shelves.  The Mister offered his assistance.  "How do I get this tab to release so I can move this shelf?" I asked after trying for several minutes to figure it out and succeeding only in hurting my fingers.

"Well," came the reply, "you need a very persuasive tool."  And off he went to fetch such a tool.  He came back and handed me a screwdriver.  I climbed on top of the dryer so I could get a better angle on the tab.  The Mister decided this was a fine time to put his hands on my ass.

 "What are you doing?" I asked.

"Helping!" Was his snarky reply.  "What?!?" He said, "I have a very persuasive tool!"

This is why things stay on the to-do list for so long before getting done.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

Daily Dose of Delilah

Ya gotta love that face!


As if Delilah wasn't the cutest thing I ever saw...this is Samson.  
He is our seven month old bull calf and he is as adorable as anything I've ever seen.

No, "adorable" and "bull calf" don't normally go in the same sentence, but can you argue?
He's a bit shy at the moment.  He's getting closer every day, but he was a bit traumatized just prior to his arrival on our farm (not our doing) and so he's going to take a little extra work - read that, a little extra grain - to get him trusting us.  Every day he comes a little closer.  

We are so excited to have our pair.  They are getting along well.  Delilah is clearly the boss.  For now - as The Mister points out.  Certainly Samson will eventually rule, but he loves her company and makes a good pasture mate.  We couldn't be more pleased with our Highlands!