Feb 28, 2013

Woman Lock and Loaded

"The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."

 - James Earl Jones

There has been a lot of talk about gun control over the last few months. I have posted about guns before but never really shared my opinion. I am obviously pro-gun. I am a Woman, Wife, Mom and, you guessed it, a gun owner.

On my way to an appointment I turned the car radio dial to a talk radio station. This morning talk program just happened to be discussing women and guns. I immediately turned up the volume. Much to my dismay it was little about woman and guns. These morning personalities were debating if it was hot or not to see woman handling firearms. It was a funny angle so I listened on. The general consensus was if the woman was hot, then girls with guns was hot!  

I happen to think that women who know how to use firearms in a proper and safe way are extremely empowering and, apparently to some, even hot. I mean, what could be hotter than a gun toting conservative woman who can defend and protect herself if needed?

Our second amendment “The right to keep and bear arms” was established by our founding fathers. There is much debate around this amendment. Maybe the writers of the Constitution would have worded this statement a little more specifically if they could have fast-forwarded in time. Our politicians have gotten very good at twisting words and making things more complicated than they should be.

Back in the day, women used guns on a daily basis to protect their families and land from unwanted predators and even intruders. If you were a woman who could not load and shoot a gun I cannot help but think you would be in the minority. Today it is the common place that many women have never held a bullet let alone a loaded gun in their hand. Guns are not bad, but the people who use them with poor judgment can be. It is our duty as not only as citizens of the United States of America, but as parents, to teach our children how to use firearms safely, especially our daughters.  

The average woman like me does not have as much strength as a male. While I believe I am a tough cookie, I feel much safer going into some situations knowing that if I need to, I can protect myself with my hand gun tucked away. Yes, I carry a Smith and Wesson .380 with me on a regular basis and yes I have a permit to do so.  When I was getting my conceal to carry permit, my sister and I were the only two women in the class. I am excited that the trend of woman learning to use guns is on the rise. Women are gaining on men in the purchase of firearms for hunting and personal defense, according to the National Rifle Association. The National Shooting Sports Foundation keeps track of the increase among women purchasing firearms. Gun-store owners reported the number of women buying guns for personal defense increased 83.2 percent.

While I am an advocate for gun ownership and use, I am also an advocate of gun safety. Being a mom it is my top priority to keep my children safe and the guns out of reach. I think this can be easily accomplished by beginning with education from an early age. Call me Annie Oakley, but I feel pretty confident that if any unwanted predator or intruder pays an unwanted visit I will be locked and loaded.

"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him."

- G. K. Chesterton

Feb 7, 2013

My double life

I had the privilege to introduce our Governor John Kasich on a trip to our state’s Capitol as part of AgriPOWER last year. As I stood in front of our group, Governor Kasich asked me “Are you a Farmer?” It took me a second in my head to think and say “Yes, I am a farmer.” I said that with great pride and I think that was the first time I had ever said it out loud.  Was I a closet farmer? I outed myself and in front of the Governor of Ohio. Do others really think of me as a farmer? After all, I kind of lead a double life.

On one hand, I am a farmer. My dad was a farmer we have raised livestock my entire life. But while agriculture is in my blood I never really considered myself a “farmer.” Farmers wear bib overalls and hold a pitch fork right? I surely hope that is not your image of a farmer, but I also think I am not the typical farmer image either. I do not drive big equipment or even raise row crops. Those who know me when I am at home working in coveralls with our sheep or in the hay field sometimes have a hard time thinking of me in a suit and heels. 

On the other hand, I work off the farm in a professional capacity, too. I spend a lot of my time with people who are 4 and 5 generations removed from agriculture. Most are shocked to think that I go home to a barn, bale hay, deliver lambs and haul manure. I have had some pretty interesting conversations with clients and coworkers about country life. People want to know what it is like to live a rural life.  I have found that when I take time to develop a professional relationship with people they feel comfortable asking questions and seeking you out when they hear things that go against what you have told them.

In my double life, I have had some pretty amazing opportunities and have lifelong friendships with some one of a kind people because of agriculture. During the Superbowl, I am sure you either saw it live or on the Internet, the Dodge commercial “So God made a Farmer.” This commercial was great for many reasons, which I will not go into, but you can read my husbands thoughts on his blog.  Once this aired, I got many messages from people saying they thought of me when they saw this ad. I kind of chuckled because when I saw this ad I thought of all my friends who are farmers.

We live in a society where people are increasingly becoming more interested in farming and food. This is fantastic and I am so excited that people are engaged in what they are putting in their bodies and in our earth. Farmers come in all shapes and sizes. There no longer is a typical farmer. Farmers can wear a suit under their coveralls, deliver lambs and then go back to work. Farmers can have grease under their fingernails and go to a board meeting. Farmers in the middle of harvest get a call that the neighbor’s cattle are out and they stop to help a friend. There are no limits to what one can accomplish in agriculture and this is a concept I am so excited to be instilling in my children. We farmers get to do what we love because everyone needs to eat. Everyone can eat because of farmers and all those who are involved in the agricultural community. In Ohio, Agriculture is our #1 industry.

What makes a farmer a farmer? A hardworking, dedicated, caring individual who will make personal sacrifices to better whatever situation it may be. A farmer believes in the future of agriculture and will let nothing stand in their way to make what we have now better for future generations.

This may sound a little familiar because it is for the farmer in everyone, even those of us leading double lives.    

Feb 5, 2013

Tuesday EWESday "Lamb is for Lovers"

When I was growing up my parents started a tradition that I hope continues on for generations. Each Valentine’s Day my mom would pull out the fine china, sparkle up the silver candelabras and we would dine by candle light. The entire family had to be present and if we have a date they were invited to come. This was smart thinking on the parent’s part. They could keep their eyes on all four of their teenage children. We usually eat a variety of meats including lamb as well as other family favorites. Lamb Chops are one of our favorites and there are oh so many easy ways to cook them.

4 Loin or Rib Chops
1tsp. Cumin
1Tbl Kosher Salt
1Tbl Black pepper
1Tbls Garlic powder
1tsp. Mrs. Dash (original)
1tsp Tony Chacheres

Mix together the spices and pat each chop into the mixture. Be sure the entire chop is coated on both sides. Let them sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes and then throw them on the grill. Recommended internal temperature for lamb is 145°F. Remove the chops from the grill and cover with foil for 10 minutes. This will allow the chops to cook a bit more and be even more mouth watering. When cooking a chop think of it as a steak and you will be just fine.

Fun nutritional facts: A fresh look at lamb's nutritional profile

There is nothing better than flavor you can feel good about. American Lamb is the perfect combination: deliciously flavorful and nutrient-rich. If you are trying to improve your diet and do not want to compromise taste, consider American Lamb. It's a tasty and healthy alternative to other meats and proteins lamb is lean

On average, a 3-ounce serving of lamb has only 175 calories and meets the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) definition for lean. According to FDA guidelines, lean meat has less than 10 grams of fat, less than 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams (or 3.5 ounces)

As the below information indicates, 3 ounces of lamb can easily fit within the daily fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.


(per 100 grams or 3.5 ounces) AVERAGE VALUE FOR 3-OUNCE COOKED PORTION OF LAMB
10 g total fat 8 g total fat
4.5 g saturated fat 3 g saturated fat
100 mg cholesterol 80 mg cholesterol

Lamb is nutrient rich

Because lamb naturally contains many essential nutrients, it is an easy fit for healthy diets. On average, lamb is an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc, and selenium while still being a good source of iron and riboflavin. All of this within an average of 175 calories per 3-ounce serving makes lamb naturally nutrient-rich.
*information is from the American Lamb Board

Feb 1, 2013

When mom is out of commission

This past weekend I got the horrible dreaded flu bug that no one wants but many seem to have gotten this season. I am typically very healthy and on the go all the time. I had a very busy weekend planned and of course, who has time to get sick? My main concern what that no one else in my family got what I had. While I made my comeback, it was a slow one. Feeling and looking like pond scum, I could not help but lay in my bed listening to all that was going on in my household. Since I was quarantined to my room, I had no idea what the rest of the house looked like but I had a pretty good visualization in my mind based on conversation that was going on with the kids. When I felt well enough to venture around to survey the damage, my stomach began to churn again and I decided it was best to stop my investigating.

I had planned on taking a trip to the grocery store but never made it, so we lacked milk, bread fresh fruits and vegetables. It was slim pickings for the family. The kids were wearing shorts and tank tops, the dog was barking for food, children were crying for the mommy they wanted to hold them, and daddy had reached his limit. Bath time may have been the most comical time of the day. The kids had reached exhaustion and so had the daddy. They wanted their special towels, which were in the giant mound of laundry, and their favorite pjs, which too were in the dirty clothes. They were pulling out all the stalling tactics in the book.  I was half laughing and half saddened to be listening in on this and not being able to do anything about it. The children were screaming in their beds. I yelled down to remind Matt to pack Campbell’s lunch for pre-school. He said it was already done I was impressed.

The next day, I was mostly back to functional. I picked up Campbell from pre-school. We talked about her day and she said, “Mommy I have to tell you about my lunch.” She proceeded to tell me she was the first one done with lunch at school and she was starving. I asked her what daddy packed and she laughed. He packed her cold cheesy rice, cottage cheese and pudding. He did however remember to include a napkin and a spoon!

 I am just glad the family survived mommy being sick and we did not get a note home from Pre-School informing us of what is appropriate for a healthy preschooler’s diet. And, for my entire family’s sake, I hope I do not get sick again anytime soon.