It's untamed unrestrained frolicking flame tempts me and teases me. The romantic forceful flicker freely dancing about inhaling oxygen summons and beckons me into its magical powers. Hi, my name is Nezzy and I love fire. Yep, I adore setting fires. I covet watching the uninhibited consumption of the forceful blaze. Living smack in the middle of the Ponderosa allows me to feed my addiction. I get to burn trash, brush piles and enjoy the heat pushing from my fireplace every blessed day of winter. Hi, my name is Nezzy and I might be a pyromaniac. I once burned a hole in my moms kitchen linoleum floor as a young fire crazed child. When mom left the house to do chores I headed for the matches. I truly believe it is hereditary. My son loves the flame and he married a gal who loves to burn. I caught my twelve year old grandson just sittin' staring into the fireplace announcing he'd rather watch fire than T.V. Today I want to touch on a subject that burns within.
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: Wrap up the babies and get the young'ens out of the room. The subject today is for mature audiences only!
Men-o-pause: What the heck do men have to do with it? Rita Rudner once said, "Male menopause is a lot more fun than female menopause. With female menopause you gain weight and get hot flashes. Male menopause-you get to date young girls and drive motorcycles." Well let me tell ya'll, major mood swings, racing pulse, drenched clothes and sleepless nights are not this farm chicks idea of fun. Your temp can swing from hot as a fireplace to livin' in an igloo faster than an Ozarks weather change. This is not your mothers menopause. Our mothers were on birth-control pills and stayed on them during "the change" which I believe kept them from turning into a psycho mama drama. I never saw my mother want to shuck her pantyhose right in the middle of praise and worship service 'cause they were melting into every pore of her body. How do you know your in perimenopause? Well girls, if you have stripped your heating system from your house and put it in the neighbors yard sell your probably there. Your definitively there if you are calming watching your favorite program or reading a good book and get the urge to rip off your clothes and run naked through the cow pastures.
The symptoms differ for each individual at various intensities. One might see a change in their periods. A once monthly visitor might skip a month or decide to come visitin' several times. Until three months ago I thought I would be the only old lady in the nursing home that attendants would have to order tampons for. I could just hear 'em, "Did anyone buy the OBs? Aunt Flow has come to visit Nezzy again!" Weight gain seems to become a problem at this time sometimes causing a menopot otherwise known as the midriff bulge. Seventy five percent of ya gals suffer from power surges (hot flashes). Your internal furnace basically short-circuits putting you on a roller coaster ride of wet hot sweat that soon turns cold and clammy ending with a mass of freezing chills. Ya step out of your wonderfully relaxing bath toweling off to apply lotion that only wants to lather. Nobody promised this was going to be pleasant. Night sweats are just hot flashes that give you menomares and steals your sleep waking you up so you can change your sheets and put on some flippers. If you see your Hubby shivering and putting on more clothes you know you have entered this phase. Others suffer from the forgetful menobrain or fuzzy thinking that is just a form of temporary insanity. These menopausal moments can be rather entertaining. Instead of having another emotional breakdown just dance and celebrate because you finally found the missing toilet paper you stored in the freezer. Some experience mood swings that don't require a mood ring to tell anyone around to stand back and give you your moment. There is hair loss due to the imbalance of hormones and facial hair growth for the same reason. Then comes the drying of the skin and the absence of your natural personal lubricants leaving you as dry as the Mojave Desert. Not needing to be reminded I'm still one hot chick has not been the highlight in my life.
I will try not to dwell upon the fact that this phenomena can last up to ten years. I'm just tryin' to focus on the joy that I haven't chocked the life out of anyone yet. Hubby keeps reminding me in his very wise tone, "this too shall pass!!!"
Ah, I see the light....there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Help is out there in many forms. I decided not to go the way of HRT treatment due to the vast side effects and go au'natural. I am just a natural kinda gal. In the beginning little tweaks helped. I practice yoga, exercised and ate a balanced diet. Aloe Vera gel is a great personal lubricant. Soyshakes are good along with added vitamin E. I added a topical progesterone cream and passion flower as I progressed. Two years later I added black cohosh. A couple years later red clover was added to the mix. Then the walls collapsed and I was having sweats every fifteen minutes day and night with little or no sleep. It wasn't a pretty sight. A topical estrogen cream was added. I tried an array of products tweaking different mixtures and was getting no relief until I tried Menopause Solutions which changed my life! After one dose the hot flashes diminished and I was able to sleep again without the menomares. I was able to drop black cohosh, red clover and passion flower from my arsenal. I get nothing from Menopause Solutions, they are not a sponsor nor even care that they have helped this gal from runnin' naked through the fields. I'm just sayin' when the time comes or the next time ya feel that old power surge running from the top of your head to the tips of your toes ya might want to try Menopause Solutions total system balance instead of fallin' into the "Ring of Fire."
The past three weeks we have experienced wailing that would put any infant nursery to shame. Mothers diligently screaming at their children at the top of their lungs. Ya know, like the ones you see in department stores who just lose it and go berserk . There have been jail breaks like convicts escaping after an unattended Brinks truck. Stampedes like the ones you see in an old John Wayne western flick. Gooshing gooey mud like quicksand sinking this farm chicks barn boots so deep that when Hubby called out, "catch that renegade!" I helplessly replied, "I can't move, I'm stuck !" The Young Guns have been the most difficult bunch of calves to wean on the Ponderosa......ever! I don't know if any of ya'll believe in the sign of the moon thing but when you work with animals or children it can make a believer out of you. Hubby has the habit of checking the sign in the Farmers Almanac after we work, castrate, dehorn or wean the cattle. Three weeks ago after we penned the Young Guns we settled in our comfy chairs for the evening as Hubby pulled out the almanac announcing, "well, we couldn't of picked a worse time to wean 'em." No truer words were ever spoken.
Our nights echoed of loud blaring sounds from mothers with bulging leaky utters calling out to their obvious starving children who would all sing back in vocal unison ," Maaaaaaaaa!" Sweet uninterrupted sleep was not an option not for just a night or two but nights upon nights. During all this we had jail breaks of the occasional starved baby who weighs between 500-700 pounds push through a barbed wire fence and the secondary electric fence just for a nightcap of warm rich milk. Each and every one had to be retrieved during our flood and deep mud. Did I mention the bear? Yep, Smokey took a liking to the liquid feed which has a molasses base that was placed in the weaning pen for extra nutrients. Cattle just love it but to a bear it's like a rich sweet chocolate truffle to a woman with PMS. The act of a bear dining in their territory sparked more than one stampede not only tearing down tight barbed fences but bending steel posts to the ground. Each evening Hubby would arrive from work and I'd don the barn boots and help capture the runaways returning to the house with my fresh washed hair sporting the smell of cow manure. I just want to wash my hair and retain the luscious smell of my Catwalk Fashionista which lingers on my pillow. You know what I'm sayin'?
Last Saturday gave us a much awaited dry day. A day in which we could vaccinate the calves preparing them for pasture. We usually call in the Strongbacks (farm hands) when we full throttle work cattle but we had already castrated the Young Guns so Hubby and I went solo. We have been working together so long we have this vaccinating thing down to a rock and roll science. I had totally forgotten about the large bull calf who had been saved for a nearby farm. The farm that had backed out of the whole deal. The large 700lb bull calf who was now too large to be castrated would need to be banded. We needed a large burly dude with curly chest hair and some tattoos to kink this animals tail up and over its back in the head gate so Hubby could keep all his teeth while banding the calf's treasured family jewels. Nope, there was nobody 'round here to fit that bill so I became the chosen one. The one who slipped thicker leather gloves on her dedicate tiny hands. The one who reached up and over the head gate not really having enough leverage to do the job. The one who said, "I will NOT reach between the bars to grab the animal!" (Reaching to grab said large hysterical ballistic animal between two steel bars=broken arm, duh!) The one who filled the farm air with her high pitched tones announcing to God, Hubby and bordering farms, "I don't have enough testosterone to do this...I NEED MORE TESTOSTERONE!" The one who did it anyway and gott'er done.
Finally the Young Guns have settled. They have been roaming between the corral and holding lot enjoying their feed , sipping on fresh cool well water, snacking on hay and chewin' their cud. After three long weeks of weaning they are ready to be moved to wider greener pastures where they can roam and await the move to the lush winter wheat pasture. I look forward to silent nights, fresh washed hair and smelling like Cinnabar verses the calf pen. Soon and very soon the Young Guns will be moved and will not be singing that old familiar song, "Don't Fence Me In!"
*If you'd like to read more about the Young Guns see "Daddy Sang Base Mama Sang Tenor " July 28 under Ponderosa
It is not the stuff dream-filled sandcastles are make of. Rich warm squishy mud oozing between the toes of a barefooted child cannot compare to its sculpting constructional texture. It is the medium Michelangelo,Picasso or Bastlitz would have preferred if they had grown up on a farm seven miles away from civilization or playmates.
I loved playing outside on warm humid summer days with John my imaginary girlfriend (yes, John was a girl) and my little toy fox terrier, Tiny. My mother was most patient as she lovely set an extra plate at the table for John, helped her into her red coat with the big black buttons or calmed down hysterical visitors frightened by my vivid imagination. What's a girl to do if a friendly visitor steps right on your BFF? Poor trembling neighbor! I was carted off the the doctor shortly after that episode to see if I was in my right mind. John and I had a great time together but the best memory was one afternoon spent in the shade of the old maple tree that overshadowed our backyard. John rested in the shade as I sought fresh cow manure filling my little purple plastic bucket. Working in just enough dirt with my red shovel to improve the almost perfect texture, I remember thinking this is going to be the best! I'm going to make my daddy a surprise birthday pie. Not even close to his birthday this would really be an awesome treat. The birthday pie would be placed upon a broken mudflap platter, adorned with rock decorations and stick candles. A creation any little farm chick would be proud of!
As daddy pulled up driving the big black cattle truck, John and I ran toward him full of excitement carrying our prized creation. In my loudest voice I proudly announced , "Daddy look what we've made for you!" He snatched that old mudflap from my dirty stinkin' little hands faster than a five year old could blink as his surprise birthday pie went flying through the summer sky. Devastated my heart leaped into my throat as he yelled," get this kid out of the @&#%$* cow manure!" Daddy did not share Mamas compassion and enthusiasm for John or beautifully creative birthday pies.
Today I can still be found roving green pastures for dried cow patties to enrich my roses and fertilize my hungry flower gardens taking me back to a younger time on a hot summer day when my daddy did not appreciate my cowpatty surprise!!!
Gatherings with our family are usually a riot. I'm not talking the ha-ha this is so funny it's a riot type thing. The fact is when our gentle loving clan get together it often means guns and explosives....or both! Is it not normal for all the men folk to pull out their prized weapons after the traditional Thanksgiving dinner stuffing their bellies tighter than the turkeys and prove their marksmanship to the other alpha males of the family? Let me tell you the Fourth of July is a real blast. Since we live on the Ponderosa in the middle of Ozarks, anything goes. Our pyrotechnical kin go hog wild seeing who can tie the most explosives together and live to brag about it. I'm still lookin' for the neighbor who called the sheriffs bomb squad!
Weddings are not immune to such behavior. This farm chick is always quite interested in whatever unusual grand event might take place at a wedding of a niece or nephew as soon as the announcement arrives. I have had a nephew and his beautiful bride carted off in a hot air balloon for their nuptials. Once everyone in the wedding party wore flip-flops. We have had camouflaged weddings, comical ceremonies filled with quirky songs and antics from the bride and groom that had me rollin' with laughter. The fish fry reception was something I had never ever witnessed. When I opened the announcement of the latest invitation I was enthralled with the question, so.... what's next?
I was ecstatically happy when my two youngest granddaughters were asked to be the flower girls. Something the oldest of the two had dreamed of and longed for her whole life. When asked she told the bride, "well, I'd love to but I don't have a dress!" When the bride assured the little fashionistas she had dresses for them and would not have to toss the petals in something they'd already worn, there was an instant 'yes' from both sweeties. The flower girls did a marvelous job. Truly they did....really..... nope....not any grandma braggin' here. They were the perfect flower girls. Goldilocks (who I call Mini-Me) pulled me down in the receiving line and said with great excitement, "Grandma, I can't believe I am really, truly, actually a flower girl!!!" Dreams really do come true, especially when your five goin' on six.
The only hitch in the wedding was the hitchin' that took place when the pastor pronounce the bride and groom, "man and wife." There were no guns, horses, bubblin' grease or explosives. DARN! The beautifully normal wedding was followed by cascades of bubbles leading to a lovely reception. The flower children were really into blowin' bubbles and the chocolate fountain was a major hit! Especially with the youngest of the two. The happy bride and groom whisked away to begin their new life together but they weren't the only ones who had their dreams granted that day. Two little flower girls had the time of their lives and we all know that "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!"
I am a fun loving farm wife.
A modern mother and a gleeful gardening Grandma of eight.An A-type personality with an artful flair.
A primpy person who can also sling manure with the best of 'em.
I am a unique creative creature of God.
I am blessed!!!