Guest Post by Dad Strahm: Life's Not The Breath You Take...

Life brings things your way every day, that sometimes your not sure your ready for, or maybe it is just something that your not ready to hear yet. They can be sad or hurtful things, they can even be great things. Fifteen years ago,I had given very little thought to what life would be like without my own Father, but then life brought that news that he had taken his last breath, and honestly, I don't think anybody was ready for that except him, it was news that I was not ready for, but again,something that I could not change. Life went on....and Dad became a memory in my heart forever. I maybe had an unfair advantage over my other four siblings in that I farmed with Dad everyday, so we visioned things together, built things together, worked together to bring those things about, but perhaps what I remember most, are the times at the end of a hard day or a moment in which we stopped to catch our breath, we would sit down,and Dad would share something with me about the past, his experiences, a family story, a life lesson, maybe even a song he learned as a child, and perhaps his favorite topic......geneology, and a "result there of".

Five years ago, I was given the news for the first time......"Dad, your going to be a Grandpa!" Again, looking back, I am not sure that was news I was quite ready for. Ooooo, that sounds so old! I remember selfishly thinking, "Hey, I just got these kids raised up and out of the house, and now I'm going to have more little ones running around? Where is that time to myself?" But then, that is not how it is. Grandchildren are thee absolute greatest!!! Life issued another another blow, by not even getting to hold little Jentry before she went to be with Jesus. But today, there is Jude, Hutch and Libby, and two more in the making....Good Times! Each moment with them is soooo cherished. This past week, Jocelyne and I were privileged to take Hutch to the American Royal, then off to the PRCA Rodeo followed by a "Little Texas" concert. I am pretty sure that Mommy was a little hesitant when I told her over the phone that the rodeo didn't start till 7:30, and we may not be home till 10:00 or later, anyway, I could sense her rolling those big blue eyes, thinking "What is he thinking, does he know what he is in for?" Hutch hits the hay at 8:00 pm.....except for when he is with Grandpa Strahm, (alias PaPa-tractor).

What joy, though, to walk hand in hand, with such a little man. Life takes on a new perspective when we live in such a "hustle bustle" world, and then we suddenly slow down to the pace of a two-year old's footsteps. Ahhhhhhh....it feels so good! Hutch enjoyed everything, from sitting atop a life size bronze sculpture of a quarter horse, to feeding young goats, being face to face with a market hog, feeling the soft coat of show cattle, getting behind the wheel of a new pickup, or playing on a horse hay feeder. Then, the rodeo, just the mere size of Kemper Arena caught his breath. So we walked step by step, down and down, to row three....great seats!!!! Yes, the rodeo was good, fireworks, laser light show, all the cowboy events, and even Papas-tractor in the arena. But by far the best part......holding little Hutch on my lap for nearly three hours. I don't know how many times I caught myself just looking at his beautiful hair, and caressing his shoulders and legs, and wandering what will become of him someday......what will his dreams be? Could we share he same dreams since we share the same genes? What will be his God given gifts? Will he like sports and be very athletic like his Dad? Will he like to grow things like his Grandpa Strahm? Will he be a great cook and manager like his Grandpa Wiese? What will he name his children someday? Crazy how all this stuff went through my head while he was completely consumed by the busyness of the rodeo.

I have been spending most of my time in a combine these last two months, and in so, listening to the radio each day...."county" of course, and one of my favorite songs today is performed by George Strait called "The Breath You Take" and the chorus goes like this...."Life's not the breath you take,
Breathing in and out,
That gets you through the day,
Ain't what it's all about,
Ya just might miss the point,
Tryin' to win the race'
Life's not the breath you take,
But the moments that take your breath away.
Thanks Dad and Mom Wiese for letting us have Hutch for a day, and thanks Hutch, for taking my breath away.............again!

Love you all,
Papa tractor

"I think I could do that.....I take that gray filley with the two white socks "

"If I give this pig my cracker, will you buy me a cowboy belt?"

"If you put a ball bearing under this horse feeder, it would be a great merry-go-round"

Dad: Such a beautiful blog post!! Thank you for investing time in my son, he adores you and you are his hero these days!! :) Love your daughter, Vikkie Jan.


Day at the races

Last week my friend at work had a couple extra tickets to the Nascar Races and was so kind to give them to me. I have been wanting to go to the races to help inspire me for my event that is held at the speedway but I am also always up for an adventure. When I was given these tickets, I thought of my Dad right away. I later found out that, my husband,who may spend more money on his hair cuts than I do (not that it would be that difficult to do since I have not had a hair cut in 17 months), only dresses from banana republic and refuses to drink Bud light, wanted to go too. Who would have known Brett had a little need for speed in him?? :) Anyway, Brett graciously agreed that he would spend a fun filled day with Hutch so I could take my Dad and it could be a great Daddy/Daughter day.

We had a great time!!

Happy Birthday Dad and thanks for coming up and spending the day with me!!! Nascar fan for life baby!!!!!!


Diagnosis: Bad Parenting

Ok everyone,
some of you may know that over the last few years I have tried to become a bit more educated on what I am putting in my mouth. The good news, after learning what I am about to share, is that I think I have only had chicken nuggets less than a handful of times in my lifetime. I also want to take the time to give a shout out to my mother for not feeding me this crap all the time. Thank you for the fresh veggies from the garden and Dad, thanks for rarely feeding us hot dogs but feeding us farm fresh pork chops, steaks and hamburgers. Get ready:

"Say hello to mechanically separated chicken.
It’s what all fast-food chicken is made from—things like chicken nuggets and patties. Also, the processed frozen chicken in the stores is made from it.
Basically, the entire chicken is smashed and pressed through a sieve—bones, eyes, guts, and all. it comes out looking like this.
There’s more: because it’s crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaked in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color.
But, hey, at least it tastes good, right? High five, America! "

After reading this article I just had to stop and think about how many kids I see eating these chicken nuggets from McDonald's all the time and I now need to vent. Ok, Ok parents, I will give you a free pass if you have fed these to your children in the past. Yet, if you have read this article and still just can't find time to pack some carrot sticks, an apple and a healthy sandwich for your kid. I am diagnosing this as bad parenting!!!! I know we can't always control how our kids act in the super market or what they do at daycare but you can control what they eat. It is disgusting, no excuses!!!

The End