A Spontaneous Crab Feast

How many of you out there JUST. FREAKING. LOVE. your family?! I surely do (insert girl raising hand emoji here)! I love them for many reasons, but one reason is that we (the cousins) all get along really well. We’ve all been really close our entire lives.  And, when it means hanging out together, some fly in randomly from out of town or some drive four hours on a whim to share the fruits of their crabbing trip with you by putting on a full on crab boil.  And, that’s exactly what happened this weekend!

I got two calls within five minutes of each other on Friday that my cousin Ikey Boy and his girlfriend Shantal were flying in from Hawaii for a quick trip to Portland.  Just after that I got another call from my cousin Chelsea that she and her wife Angela wanted to come down and have a crab boil this weekend. They had gone crabbing the weekend prior in Washington and had a ton left.  Of course this sounded like fun (and did I mention my cousin Chelsea is an awesome cook?!)! Of course we said HECK YES!

We planned for a late Saturday lunch so we all could get together.  As you can imagine, it was stormy this weekend.  It was cold and windy, but that didn’t stop us!  We set up shop in the garage and eagerly waited for everything to finish up cooking.  We had the entire spread– corn on the cob, shrimp, Dungeness crab, potatoes, and biscuits made from scratch. It felt like we were at Bubba Gump’s or down in the bayou or something.

We laid it out over the table and indulged ourselves to the max. It was incredibly delicious.  You can’t beat good food, good beer and awesome company.  It was a necessary reminder for me that even though I had planned to get some things done this weekend, there’s nothing better than taking in the spontaneous opportunities as they come– especially when they involve the fam!  This weekend the laundry could wait, I could meal plan another day and spending time with my sister, nephews and cousins was most important.

What do you love about your family? Do you ever have spontaneous get togethers?

New Year, New Me

It’s 2018, and the year has started off with a bang! How did YOUR New Year start? We spent NYE at a low key celebration this year with some dear friends of ours. It involved hours of champagne and Cards Against Humanity- haha! I don’t know about you, but the older we get, the quieter our NYE celebrations get 😂 Well, I guess it wasn’t THAT quiet because there was a ton a laughter had by all!

With it being the new year, I’m thinking it’s time for a new me! It’s been a really long time since I’ve written a new year resolution. Like, really long time. It’s been probably since I was a kid, when it was a school assignment to write down a resolution– that long ago. So, I spent New Year’s Day jotting several goals and resolutions down for 2018. It really made me think about what and how I want this year to be and go like.

So far, I’ve been doing pretty good… except for my “consume less fancy coffee” drinks resolution. If you know me, you likely know I failed with that resolution already on Jan. 3rd- hah! Oops!

When I wrote my resolutions down I split them into categories- health, financial, relationships, mind, and spiritual. I’ll spare you all the details of what my resolutions were, but I will tell ya, there are some good ones!

One of the things I’ve been doing to ensure I keep up with my resolutions is to carry my little resolution notebook in my purse. That makes it easy for me to refer back to them and remind myself in the event I need a little nudge. I also purchased a little magnetic calendar to put on our refrigerator to keep myself a bit more organized at home and schedule in where I need to some of my resolutions. It was obviously made by a Mom, because it is SUPER CUTE.

Aside from that, the normal reminders in my phone and just mentally trying to remind myself is how I’ve been trying to keep myself on track with my resolutions. If I make it past January, that’ll be a win for me! But trust me, I’m really trying to make it to the next new year! If I’m being honest, I’m human just like everyone else, though. So even a 75% success rate on my resolutions will still be a win in my book.

Next week will be a busy one for me with lots of travel. So it’ll be a true test to keep up with my new goals. With a positive mindset, I know I can do it.

I hope your year is off to a great start so far. What were some of your resolutions?Did you write any down? You still can if you haven’t! How do you hold yourself accountable to them?

Here’s to hoping you all have a great weekend, get to enjoy this Oregon sunshine and welcoming the first weekend of the new year! Cheers friends!

Until Next Year, Summer…

If you’re new to Diary Of A Wannabe Farm Girl or it’s just your first time meeting me through my words on the interweb, welcome!  And, if you’re a newbie, you probably don’t know that I’m from Hawaii. What does that have to do with this post, you ask?  Well– everything!  You see, I am always a Kona Girl first and an Oregon Girl second. It means that sometimes I get to go home to Hawaii or my sweet parents get to come up to the great Pacific Northwest to visit!  And this post has to do with the latter.

You see,  mom and dad are in town right now for their yearly visit and it has been such a blast having them for the past week. I’m already sad that their trip is half way over and we still have a week more with them! Whenever they come, I love that they want to explore, get out and do things and have a good time.

This past weekend, we ventured out of the valley over to Sun River.  All of us, the WHOLE family– Jace and I, mom and dad, sis and my brother in law and my handsome little nephews.  We spent the past several days there and let me tell you– I needed it!  I didn’t realize it, but I really did!  Completely (sort of) unplugging from all responsibilities and electronics and getting to be with family, no plans in place– just wherever time and our hearts took us provided for some spontaneous times.  It was so relaxing and went by way too fast. But, as always, time flies when you’re having fun, right?!

We started our weekend by mom treating sis and I to manis and pedis.  I may be a “wannabe farm girl,” but I LOVE a good pampering!  Any trip that starts with a girls day like that is welcome in my book!  After that, we headed over the mountain, conquered the grocery store together to shop for our weekend and settled into our cozy little abode for the next few days with tasty burgers and movies.  The next day we went on a three mile walk through Sun River, checked out the Village and later that evening played some put-put golf and bumper cars.  The golfing was a little chincy, but Toby LOVED it!  He was one happy boy!  We also ventured to La Pine State Park and stumbled across a super serene area on the river.  We laughed and caught up and just enjoyed each others company as we talked about crashing a wedding that was going on in the park— of course we were only kidding and didn’t really do that!

The next day sis and my brother in law celebrated their anniversary, so we had the boys.  We took Jace’s advice to go for a drive and ended up in good ole’ Fort Rock.  Have you been to Fort Rock?  It’s a teeny tiny town south east of Bend.  It felt like it was in the middle of nowhere– and it was!  Desert scenery with sage brush stretched for miles as ground squirrels hurried across the road.  I had not idea what to expect, but when we got there it was such a neat area– so remote, so quiet and so simple.  The town was small and the ONE person we encountered was welcoming.  We stumbled upon the Fort Rock Homestead Museum.  My goodness– it was cool!  It made me appreciate all that we have today. All the luxuries of heat (and AC!), a comfy bed, a regular flushing toilet and a washing machine that doesn’t require me to do more then add the clothes and soap.  The boys were so well behaved as we weaved our way through each building. We were literally the last customers before they closed up the museum for the fall and winter seasons.  How’s that for good timing?!  Watching Toby’s eyes look like they were going to pop out of his head when we explained to him how things were back in the “old days” was pretty comical.  I’m not sure he understood completely, but nonetheless, the teacher in me came out to teach him. Once a teacher, always a teacher, right?!

Before we knew it, our trip was coming to an end.  I surely wasn’t ready to head back over the mountain and jump back into reality.  But, nonetheless, we had to. Back to the smokey air we came and back to work I went today.  I wish I could freeze the next week and this past weekend.  Saying goodbye to mom and dad after their trips are always hard but I seem to make it through the “see you next year” each time.  I am already looking forward to their next trip and our next adventure!  We’ll see where it will take us!

Besides that, one of my fondest memories of this past trip is little Parker, my youngest nephew and watching his fun little personality come to life.  That little boy has latched onto me like a little ‘opihi!  Look up what an ‘opihi is if you don’t know!  I must admit, it was hilarious every time he would yell, “Auunnttyyyy Niiikkkiiii” or every time he asked for more blueberries– that boy can eat!  I like to think I am one of his best friends and I’ll hang on to those “Aunty Nikki” cries forever. So sweet and so innocent.  My nephews truly making being an Aunty so fun and I had a blast spending the whole weekend with them too!

I hope you all have gotten to spend time with the ones you love too, made unforgettable memories and lived in the moment as this summer comes to an end. I am so grateful to have gotten more fun in during these last few bits of summer. I know I’ve said it before, but oh my goodness, this has been the best summer in a long time!

Until next time, Friends….. Have a great week!

Happy Cows, Happy Husband

It was a gorgeous morning to work with the cows!

Have you ever had to do a job with someone where it gets tense? Everyone’s walking around on edge, partially dreading the task at hand and you just know there might be a “bleepty, bleep, bleep” every other sentence while trying to get the job done?  Now that I’ve painted that picture, can you guess the two times that seem to fit this description at the farm?  You guessed it! Puttin’ up hay and workin’ cows! I’m not sure why these two jobs always seem to be so stressful when starting out, but for some reason they are. Probably because if anything goes wrong it could be a very big deal.  This weekend we worked cattle and I got to be the assistant.  I filled syringes, loaded the ear tagger and helped sort.  We only had a couple of minor incidents– including the one where a couple of the ornery girls scratched their backs on a gate and completely pulled it up off the hinge and knocked it over.  What the ??? Seriously, girls, get it together!

Working cattle meant pushing all of them through the chute– mother cows, heifers and the calves.  One by one they each got a shot of Vira Shield and Clostridium.  Both are common vaccines to aid in prevention of diseases and illnesses in healthy cows.  My job was to prepare an alcohol drenched cotton ball and the syringes each time for Jace, who would then inject them subcutaneously in their neck.  That just means they were injected under the skin.  Did you like my doctor lingo there? Just call me “Dr. Anderson”– haha!

tagging

Fly tag going in

Once finished I quickly handed over the ear tagger to my father in law who inserted a Dominator fly tag into each ear.  This is an insecticide tag that is used to help control flies.  As the animal moves it’s head backward to scratch, it spreads the insecticide onto it’s back.  Now, this is much later than usual to get a fly control program going, but the main thing is we got it done before the flies got too bad.

It’s so important to have a fly control program in place to help with limiting the spread of pink eye.  While in the chute being tagged, we checked their eyes.  We looked to make sure they weren’t droopy, cloudy or irritated– all signs of pink eye.  This year we are in good shape!  Flies can travel very far distances and can spread pink eye from herd to herd and multiple animals in a short amount of time resulting in swelling around their eyes to the point they cannot see.  If left untreated there are other more severe effects too.  The goal is to get a fly program in place just before the warm season starts. Of course with warmer temperatures comes more flies.

The last thing we did was to spread a fly powder over the back of the animal and it’s face.  We rubbed the powder down with a brush to help it get further down into the hair as added protection.  In addition to the fly tags and powder, we also have fly bags hanging out in the pasture that the cows can rub up against which releases powder onto them.  As you can see there are a few things we do to help combat against flies.  For the most part, it seems to work until cooler weather comes and they are all much more comfortable again.

After a couple pairs were moved through the chute (a pair is a mama and her calf), we sorted out a few more. One by one they went through until we were all finished, leaping out of the chute as happy as ever to be done.  It was so nice to have a few of us working them. Things moved quickly and efficiently– aside from the sorting part. In case you’re wondering, that’s probably the hardest part along with getting them into the chute which is really what makes things tense.  It’s so important to try to remain calm, though.  Animals can pick up on that stuff and it only makes it harder to work them.  When you’re working with an animal this large you definitely want to make sure they’re calm that’s for sure!

Going back to the pasture

You could tell they were all ready to get back to the pasture we brought them off of to be worked.  They balled like little babies begging to go back and eat.  We moved them up and over the driveway back to the pasture and they were all happy cows again!  The next time we’ll move them through the chute is in the fall when the calves have to be worked again. Until then… the ladies and gents are settled back into their favorite pasture for the time being and Jace is very happy we were able to safely and quickly move them all through.

*Side note- I don’t recommend trying to take pictures while working cows especially if you have a job in the process… Haha…