Jay goes BANANAS or…pickles?

Hello Sweet Readers!

I hope you all are having a great week!

I am SO excited about what Jay has for you all today! If you need a laugh, well, he’s got you covered. He’s doing something a little crazy (okay, it’s a lot crazy) and he is absolutely hilarious! I don’t want to spoil anything, but just let me say…this is Jay like you’ve never seen him before (and he’s wearing his cat shirt, so you know it’s gonna be good!).

Plus, he’s doing a LIVE preview (my favorite kind) and he has been absolutely amazing in this book – Tender Mercies. The voices are absolutely character-perfect. (And look at that thumbnail he made! I love the sleek look. So classy. : )

Alright, I have a fantastic book from a beautiful soul, Kristen Iten, below. It looks fun and funny and Kristen tells a great story, so I know you’ll love it!

And, down below all that, I have some more of the farm story I started Friday. I’ll have the rest in later this week.

Thanks so much for spending time with me today!


New from Kristen Iten!

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My charming nemesis thinks he’s irresistible. My job depends on proving him wrong.

Whoever heard of starting a new job with a mandatory vacation? I didn’t know that was even a thing until it happened to me. But like most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true… it probably is.

I just met my Hawaiian tour guide for the week. He thinks he’s irresistible, and there’s no point in arguing with him because I completely agree. But as I get to know him better, I begin to see that there’s more to him than a pretty face and smokin’ beach body.

I’m into him. He’s into me. We could totally make beautiful ukulele music together. So why can’t I give in and enjoy the romantic sparks that won’t stop flying?

Remember that mandatory vacation I mentioned? Yeah, it turns out it’s not really a vacation. My new boss has given me the lovely task of going undercover as a tourist to spy out our competition. My job depends on delivering a report detailing exactly how we can shut down our competitors—including my almost-boyfriend’s generational family business.

He’s the guy I didn’t realize I needed in my life. I’m the enemy he doesn’t even know he has. And I’ve only got a matter of days to figure out how to save both our jobs. The scariest thing is, if I don’t get this right I just might ruin both our lives and any hope we ever had at a happily ever after.

LIVE Preview from Jay! Be ready to belly laugh today!

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Enter to WIN!

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Some more of the story from last week – I’ll have the rest in on Friday. : )

Cutie couldn’t take the heat, and we found her down by the creek. Dead.

She died with her legs tucked up under her. I’m noting that because when you drag a dead cow with a chain, you usually hook it around her feet. We couldn’t get to her feet.

Even though she’d lost a lot of weight, she still probably weighed 1500 pounds. Plus, she was stiff. And if that wasn’t enough, she was below about a three-foot drop-off. It wasn’t going to be easy to drag her out.

The weather forecast said it was going to be 97 degrees again on Friday. (It was right, by the way.)

Cutie was going to blow up and stink. We needed to get her out of there.

I sat on the four-wheeler with Julia, staring at Cutie and not just upset that she’d died, although I was—she was a sweet girl—but honestly, I had NO clue on how to get her out of there.

I mean, do any of you have any ideas on how to move a dead, stiff 1500-pound cow, who had her legs tucked up underneath her, up a three-foot cliff and carry her a mile away to a place where she would not be contaminating anything as she decomposed?

I can wait.


As I sat there, I really wasn’t coming up with anything.

I mean, I knew I’d have to drive a tractor or our telehandler, but…maybe I’ve mentioned what a bad driver I am, and I figured getting close enough to the creek to hook a chain on her might involve me actually falling into the creek with the tractor. Also, I’ve never driven our telehandler. I had no clue how to run it.

Plus, we needed to do something with my little premie that was lying dead in the side pasture.
I guess right then I felt like I was looking at a job that was too much for me to handle.

Maybe all the death was a little overwhelming, too. Plus the extreme heat. Plus, I’d tried so hard to save 54’s calf, so much time spent bottle-feeding and coaxing him to eat and watching him and babying him…to lose him hurt. To lose Cutie, too, well, I don’t quit very well, but I did want to throw my hands up and walk away for a bit.

I wanted to say the heck with it and let Cutie lie there until Watson came back on Saturday.
But if I did that, she’d definitely be stinking, and I didn’t want to have to touch her to put the chain on her (WHERE???), and I knew that would be my job since Watson would be driving whatever piece of equipment we used.

So, I said to Julia, “Let’s get a chain and get it…around her neck. That should work. Then when your dad comes home on Saturday, at least we’ll already have the chain on her.”

Julia agreed, so we went back up, got the Gator, which has a dump bed on it, went to the side pasture, and lifted my premie on the back. They’d been using the Gator to spray oil on the fences, and it was filthy—the steering wheel, seats, even the gearshift. So, we pretty much were dirty as soon as we sat down.

I don’t know about you, though, but dealing with dead animals makes me feel filthy everywhere, so the dirty Gator just got us filthy faster.

We take my premie up and put him in the same place we need to figure out how to get Cutie to.

This is where I admit, a few months ago, I quit drinking Dr. Pepper.

Well, Julia and I decided before we’d put the chain on Cutie, we’d make a Dr. Pepper run. I felt like I needed it. So, yeah, I totally fell off the wagon.

But as we were driving (it’s a fifteen-minute drive to the nearest Dr. Pepper from our house), I was thinking about how I never allowed my kids to quit and how I was always telling them to do the hard thing.

And there I was, going to take the easy way out, not do a job that needed to be done, and leave a huge, stinking mess for Watson to deal with Saturday.

That’s not the kind of person I want to be.

I want to be the kind of person who does hard things. Who doesn’t let a little mountain (or a big one) stop me from doing what needs to be done. I mean, was I really going to be okay sitting around all day Friday, knowing that there was a dead cow to deal with, but not doing anything about it?

You know, God puts hard things in our lives to make us stronger and better. How was I getting any stronger or any better if I didn’t do the job in front of me?

By the time we got back with my Dr. Pepper (and we might have gotten some ice cream, too?), I said to Julia, “We’re gonna get that cow.”


Me: (gets out of the car and puts the ice cream in the freezer and opens a Dr. Pepper. I’m getting the cow, but I’m gonna have a drink first.)

Julia: How?

Me: I haven’t figured that out yet.

So, I drink my soda, and I do what any good farmer’s wife does. I call my husband.

Watson is at the fair in Pennsylvania, truck pulling with our boys. They’re in the Appalachian Mountains of rural PA, the service is terrible, but he’s able to tell me how to start the telehandler, and then he proceeds to tell me how to run it. I understand about every other word. (Did I mention the phone service was terrible?)

It’s a little complicated to explain, but the telehandler has a boom that telescopes out. It also goes up and down in the air, and you can tilt the forks up and down as well.

That’s the short version.

Let’s just say, it took me four years of owning my car before I remembered where the windshield wiper switch was consistently.

I’ll not talk about how terrible I was at running the thing. I will say that I didn’t hit Julia or anyone or anything else, and I made it down to the creek, parking far enough away that I wasn’t in too much danger of falling in. (I was still scared about that. But my go-to fix for being scared is closing my eyes. It usually works.)

It was dark, and I really couldn’t see much of anything while I was driving, so it didn’t matter much whether my eyes were open or closed for the mile ride down to the bottom of the lower pasture. In theory, I guess.

After we got there, I had to call Watson back because I couldn’t remember how to work the boom. After he tells me, he says, “It’s time for me to pull. Call me later and tell me how you made out.” And he hangs up.

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