Sunday, August 30, 2009

Buttons at Home - Part 3

Trying to describe Cade’s relationship with Button’s is hard without sounding dumb or embarrassing Cade. But at the risk of sounding corny I’m going to say it anyway…Cade fell in love with Buttons as soon as he laid eyes on him. Ever since that day in February Cade has talked about him constantly. He always wanted to go to Jim and Sharon’s just to see Buttons. He even used some of his Summer School money to buy a halter for him. If you knew Cade’s relationship with his money you’d know that was a huge thing. He doesn’t care much for spending his own money.

Obsessed would be another way of describing how Cade feels about Buttons. Last weekend we were finally able to bring him to our house. Cade jumped out of bed on Saturday and didn’t stop moving all day long. He was beyond excited.

He even conned my parents into buying him some Hereford toys to play with when they took him to Silver Dollar City a couple of weeks ago. The next morning I went to get on our treadmill and this is what I found.

The day after we brought Buttons home Jay had to go to the State Fair to pick up the FFA projects. That afternoon Cade asked me no less than 16 times if he could go out and check on Buttons. He was in and out all afternoon. That evening Cade and I went so a church swimming party. On the way home I called Jay to see where he was at. We talked on our cell phones about Jay talking to Jim B (the guy we bought the embryos from). Jim said that his son-in-law was thinking about taking Buttons to the American Royal. I didn’t say anything about Buttons I just asked Jay if he would let Buttons go. Jay said he’d have to see then his phone cut out. After I hung up the phone Cade asked me why we were talking about Buttons. I tried to get out of it by telling him we weren’t. He told me that we were too talking about Buttons. I told him about Kevin wanting to take Buttons to the show. Cade thought for a minute and then asked if he would get to show him. I told him no, but that we could go watch the show. Cade thought for a minute and then said he didn’t want Buttons to go. It was His Bull and His Rules and Buttons wasn’t going to the American Royal.

After I told Jay that story he got to thinking about selling Buttons, which has been the plan from the start. Jay’s afraid Cade won’t want to sell him. On one hand I know that Cade has a concept of money and would understand that part…but Cade likes money that he can physically touch. I call him Scrooge McDuck all the time because he takes out his $1 bills and plays with them. We’re hoping to get more money out of Buttons than just a few $1 that Cade can jam in his wallet and hide in his Jammie drawer. We’re just not sure what Cade will think about that when the time comes. Jay started on a new saying with Cade this past week to go along with My Bull My Rules. The new one is If the Money Talks, the Bull Walks. We’ll see if Cade can actually follow through on it next year.

We’re planning on taking Buttons to a cattle show this next Saturday. It will also be Cade’s first show. That could be pretty exciting.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How Buttons became Buttons - Part 2

When we had originally talked about the calf we really hoped it was going to be a heifer. Since it was due around President’s Day we decided we’d name her First Lady. We hoped she would be our first in a long line of show cattle and it would be a good way to make a name “theme” for all of them. We’d continue to name all of our cattle after Presidents and their wives. Of course 4 years of infertility has still taught us nothing – things don’t always work out like we plan. The calf was born a bull about a week after Presidents Day so we just couldn’t make sense out of naming him George or Abraham. We didn’t have a name.

Normally Jay wouldn’t have been concerned about this. He had only named cattle out of necessity for their registration papers. In day to day life they were only referred to as the Show Bull or the Show Heifer. Of course that wasn’t going to work for me. I like to name my animals. Mostly I prefer real names like – Charlie, Sadie, Jacie, PJ, etc. but I knew we needed a “cool” name for the bull. We thought and thought and had nothing. Finally Sharon came up with the name we put on his registrations papers – Anticipation.
Considering that we had wrapped almost 2 years of our lives into this, made numerous phone calls back and forth and Sharon called the vet twice about it – it was a very fitting name.

Jay and I were all set with Anticipation, until Jay discovered something else about the bull. Once he discovered this, he chose not to tell me about it for a few days – which was probably smart. Since Buttons was bred from Polled Hereford stock I never gave any thought to the thing being born with horns. But, our calf had horns , which if you are unaware is a RECESSIVE gene. Of course I was concerned. I’ve watched 8 Seconds I’ve seen horns on bulls and I was not happy about the thought of my little boy showing a large bull with spikes shooting out of its head. My first question or maybe it was more statement was “we’ll dehorn him, right!!!” That’s when I was told that it was “tradition” to show cows with horns if that’s the way they were born. But Jay assured me that Buttons’ horns would never get that long and definitely wouldn’t be long while Cade was showing him. I’m still not sure if Jay was blowing smoke to make me feel better or what, but as it turns out it’s not something we had to worry about.

So Cade loved looking at his calf and talking about his calf. One day Cade and Papa Jim were discussing his horns. Papa Jim told him that when the horns are little nubs they are called….I bet you’ll never guess….Buttons. That’s how Buttons became Buttons. Jay loves the name. In fact if you see Jay you should ask him about his vision of Cade leading a bull that weighs 1300 who goes by the name Buttons into an arena. He loves talking about Buttons’ name.

The other thing that makes it even funny is to hear Cade say Buttons. It sounds like two different words put together with the emphasis on tons..But Tons. And even funnier was Cade went around telling everyone his name. Cade knows no stranger and always gives out way too much information to anyone – Jay’s students and parents, the checker at Wal-Mart, anyone at church, etc. So anyone who was “fresh meat” in Cade’s eyes got the story – I have a baby bull at Memo and Papa Jim’s. His real name is An pis i tation but I call him But Tons. He’d reverse the p and t in anticipation and accent every syllable exactly the way I typed it. Yes, it did sound like he said a bad word…everytime.

He’s finally learned how to say anticipation so the story isn’t quite as funny but it’s still being told a lot. Mom and Dad took him to SDC on Monday and he told the cashier all about his bull. Dad was trying to hurry him along, because there were 10 people behind him in line but Cade wasn’t budging until his story was finished.

The day after we had him dehorned Jay and Cade had to take me to work (it was during the car incident). Jay said something to Cade about changing his name since he no longer had buttons, which didn’t go over well. I made a joke and said we could call him Buttonholes. For some reason I was the only one laughing….

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How Buttons Came to Be - Part 1

Here is the story of Buttons, Cade's Hereford Bull calf. Since this has been a huge part of our life the last 6 months it might get to be a long story, mostly because Cade's been hilarious talking about him, I'm going to break it into installments for your reading ease. Enjoy!

Buttons started his life as an embryo in a tank of liquid nitrogen. Jim B., a good friend of Jay’s family, raises Hereford cattle. At the Ozark Empire Fair a couple of years ago he had a silent auction for 2 embryos. Jay called me all excited about the possibility of purchasing these embryos. At that point in my life I was extremely skeptical about buying these things. For one, it was a considerable amount of money and for a couple who was spending a lot to get their adoption started it just didn’t seem like a good idea to me. Secondly, I was extremely grumpy when it came to talking about anything to do with embryos, fertility treatments, babies, etc. I really didn’t want to go from talking/focusing about my infertility issues to talking/focusing on those issues in a cow. Yes, fun times around our household for a few days.

Once Jay had the go ahead to get the embryos he was the happiest guy. His dreams of owning show cattle were just a thaw and implant away. I was grumbling because I had to open up the checkbook and shift money around to pay for the things all while my attitude towards us being able to produce a baby of any kind, human or bovine, was very very pessimistic. Jay was also a little scared because he knew if this didn’t work out his chances of ever doing something like this again were low (we’ve had numerous “livestock” disasters during our marriage).

After months of talking about it, observing the cow, and hauling the tank with the little embryos in it around FOREVER one of them was finally implanted in a Hereford/Dairy mix cow that now goes by the name of “Sally”.

Of course the big implant day couldn’t slide by without some sort of an incident, because after all it is US we are taking about. Cade, who has always been a good child, did something he had never, ever done before. He never got into things, he never emptied out our bathroom cabinets and tried to eat cleaning supplies. He never wrote on walls or furniture. We never had an incident until that day. For some unknown reason he decided to use a permanent marker, used to mark calf ear tags, and scribble on the inside of a tailgate that was attached to the truck of the man implanting the embryo. I’m so thankful that I wasn’t there and that Jay got to explain that one. Luckily the man laughed, shut his tailgate and rolled on. We were horrified.

So after some anxious weeks of daily phone calls to Jim and Sharon to make sure the cow wasn’t in heat it was safe to assume she was pregnant. Fast forward to February 14, 2009 and it was show time. Jay started making several phone calls a day to his parents to check on the status of the cow. Jim and Sharon were as anxious as we were. It was like we were all nervous first time parents. I think Sharon called the vet twice because the cow was acting funny. Finally a few nights later we got the phone call we had been waiting for….our baby calf was here. Sharon was so excited she called us before Jim even had a chance to see if it was a heifer or a bull. We were a little disappointed because it wasn’t a heifer, but we were just tickled that it was born alive. Since it was almost 10 at night I think Jay had a hard time containing himself until the next afternoon when he could go look over the calf. At this point the baby bull still did not have a name. That was to come later....thanks to Papa Jim.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Roy Blunt

Roy Blunt, one of Missouri's Representatives, visited Jim and Sharon's farm on Monday. Some of you more political savvy ones might remember that he served as Minority Whip a few years ago. He's also running for Senator in 2010. When we visited DC in 2007 we got to see him in the Whip's office in the Capitol. Every year, in August, he has an Ag Tour through the part of Missouri he represents. He goes to different farms and other ag related business. A lot of big names in agriculture are represented on this trip - Farm Bureau, Missouri State Ag Department, FCS (of course!), etc. There are roughly 70 people on the tour. This year Jim and Sharon's farm was selected to be a part of the tour. In 2007 they worked with a government program to plant trees along the sides of the chicken houses to reduce their odor pollution. Jay's FFA students spent a couple of days helping plant and mulch the trees. The tour came to look at the trees and lean about how it is supposed to work.

Of course it was a huge honor for Jim and Sharon. The whole family was able to be there which made it even more special. It was also really neat for Cade. Blunt remembered him from when we were in DC last month. While he was talking he touched Cade on the shoulder and said something about this young man just being in his office in Washington. Cade, who knows no stranger, piped up and said "yeah, we had to get through National Security". Blunt asked him again what he said and then held the microphone down to his face. Jay and I both inwardly cringed. We were frightened of what he might say. We breathed a sigh of relief when all he did was repeat that we had to get through National Security. All 70+ people on the trip laughed at what he said. Jay is really hoping that Cade continues with his ability to speak in front of people because he's got big plans for Cade's FFA future. As Blunt was wrapping up his talk he said that there were 8 people in the family who could answer any questions they might have and 9 if you count Mr. National Security.

After the tour was over and the guests were loading up on the buses and Blunt was trying to get away Cade said he needed to tell Blunt something. I (being a bad mom) told him that Blunt was really busy and needed to leave. He didn't care for my answer. Cade stood by Blunt's vehicle and cornered him before he could get in. He told the Congressmen all about Button's, his bull. Again we cringed because Blunt asked him what kind of bull it was. He's gotten some things confused in his mind and can't remember if Button's is a heifer or a Hereford. Since there is a huge difference between the two he needed to get it right. Cade paused for a minute and then was able to tell him that Button's was a Hereford (whew!). I tried to rescue Blunt at that point so he could get away. I guess Cade told Sharon that he was upset with me because he wanted to tell Blunt what field Button's was in but I wouldn't let him. Oh, the unfairness that a mother experiences!

We were telling Cade that we were pretty sure that no other kid in his class got to see Roy Blunt two times over the summer (not that any of them would care). So when his teacher asks him what he did he better say something about his trip to Washington or seeing Roy Blunt in his office and at his Memo and Papa Jim's farm....not the time Jay took him to Bass Pro during his tonsillectomy recovery.

I promise that I will get pictures and the story about how Button's came to be posted as soon as I can.

I love this picture. This is our State Representative who ran for office a few years ago. Sharon got aggravated at him because he was campaigning at a function at their church so she told him about it. I love it because it looks like she's really giving it to him, even though I know that she's only answering a question for him...probably about the poultry houses.

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Car Incident

Here is a story on myself. If you look back over the last two years of posting you’ll see that there aren’t many of these. It’s not because I don’t do stupid things, because I make dumb mistakes all the time, it’s that when I try to type them out they don’t seem quite as funny as Jay’s problems with Charlie or Cade’s thought process. This incident actually occurred the day before we left on vacation and I would’ve blogged about it then, but we were busy getting ready to leave. Then I didn’t get around to doing it, which is just as well because the story got funnier (or more irritating, depending on how you look at it) over the weekend. Yes, this is one of those stupid mistakes that I will be paying for for a very long time – not only in terms of money but also by comments from Jay. In fact Jay is quite busy today running around taking care of several little problems. So many in fact that he had to make himself a list….

The initial incident happened on July 9th. That day I had to cover our Cassville office. It’s what FCS calls a “contact point” which is code for hole in the wall. It’s only open 3 hours on Tuesdays and 3 hours on Thursdays. There is no computer there. The Loan Officer who normally covers the office has a laptop. Since I don’t have a laptop I get to sit there for 3 hours reading a book. Really I don’t mind, except the day before a woman leaves for a 10 day vacation she really doesn’t need to sit for three hours with nothing to do except for thinking about all the stuff she needs to be doing at home. When my time was finally up that day and I rushed out to my car I remembered I needed gas. Luckily there was a gas station not too far from the office on the right side of the road. I could quickly pull over, get the gas, and be back on the road in a matter of minutes. There was a flaw in my plan though because I had to pull out onto a side street before I could make a right back on to the highway. When I tried to pull onto the side street I couldn’t because there were two cars on the street all trying to turn left onto a highway. Since I had too many things to do I didn’t have time to wait on 2 jakelegs trying to make left turns. I decided to take a right on the side street and wind around until I could get a clear shot back to the highway.

A couple of driveways later I saw this one that looked perfect. I could go into the back of this parking lot and exit the front right on the highway. This is where my memory gets a little fuzzy….I don’t think I was driving all that fast and I honestly can’t remember what happened or why I seemed to not be using my brains at all that day….As I was heading to the highway I didn’t realize that the entrance on this parking lot had a major dip to it. It was so steep it was like my car didn’t even dip down it just went straight into the other side of the dip. I hit it hard enough that I came to a sudden stop, my seatbelt locked up, and I heard that horrifying noise of plastic being scratched. Then I made my next bad decision of the day…Looking back I should’ve tried backing the car up but that option didn’t even start to enter my mind. Instead I hit the gas and heard more of the awful sounds of plastic and probably some metal scraping against concrete. It seriously could’ve been a scene straight from National Lampoon’s Vacation.

So after stopping to make sure that my front end didn’t come off, almost getting hit by a van and stopping again to shut my gas cap that I had forgotten to do earlier I made it home and got the car parked. I didn’t drive it again until the day after we got home, 11 days later.

As I pulled into work on the 21st my car scraped on the bottom in the parking lot. That has never happened before so that caused warning bell #1 to start ringing in my head. When I left work that day I noticed my two front tires were low – warning bell #2 started going off. Jay kept saying that the scraping was a piece of plastic and the tires were low because the car had sat for almost two weeks. Finally after two weeks of embarrassing noises while pulling into parking lots and two more low front tires Jay took the car to the tire shop Saturday morning. I had a nail in one tire and a screw in the other. We’re assuming that happened at the time of the incident in Cassville. Then while the car was jacked up Jay noticed that what he thought was ok (because the sides matched) was in fact not ok. I had bent the metal things holding up my radiator. Both sides were damaged identically….again were assuming it occurred during the incident.

Then to top off that act of stupidity I drove past a sign Friday night that said “We do vehicle inspections here” and it dawned on me that my tags expired in June. I had never renewed my tags. I had drove all over SW Missouri for the last month with expired tags. I met my mom and grandpa in town for lunch on Saturday and the whole time I was afraid I was either going to get a ticket or my radiator was going to fall off. Either one would’ve been equally embarrassing not to mention extremely inconvenient.

So back to today’s list – Jay was going to go get my tags and call the dealership to see about repairing my car. He also had to get dog food and take Cade’s calf, Buttons, to the vet. Somehow on Saturday Buttons pulled a off one of his horns. I don’t know that I ever mentioned Buttons on the blog – but he’s a whole other post for another time. We’ll have to decide if we are going to dehorn him or hope that it grows back. Yes, I’m sitting here at work seeing $$$$ signs flash before my eyes. I’m going to be paying for this in many ways for a very long time…But at least the flashing $$$$ signs are blocking the view of the large piece of plastic hanging out under my car…