Farm Manager’s Report 🐾

To our friends scattered to and fro,

When I took on the job of becoming farm manager, “secretary” was not in the fine print. I read and reread the contract before I signed it just to be sure. 🐾 Nope, not mentioned. However, it did say, that as manager, my job was “overseeing the afore mentioned tasks of the outfit” and since KH has clearly fallen off the face of the earth (at least she sends pics 🤔)

I will henceforth do my best at bringing you up to speed on the goings on around here.

And well, since I’m the one talking, I guess we will start-hehe-with me.

I, Detroit Snappenbarker Mendoza, have kept relentlessly prevailing on the harvest around here. So I let Eldon and Deborah and Kendra (whenever she’s around 🙄) help just enough to make them feel needed… but I must say, we are coming along well, and Lord willing, we could be done within the next week. Which is a good thing. The last time I sent Eldon to check the amount of storage left in the grain bins, he reported “its starting to Philip Knicely” which is code for “the bins are full.” Also Philip Knicely is a neighbor, and maybe his bins are full too. I don’t know. I saw him running soybeans recently and gave him a stout “barking at” for sending soybean dust over into my field. Also he parked his pickup within my view without clearing it with homeland security. Ummm 🤔

Rolo: she’s good. Well actually she’s kinda depressed. Her puppies have all left and Deborah is too cheap to get her a phone so she can keep up with them on social media. You’d think after the amount of money she brought in, she could afford such a necessary thing. But no. It really is a good thing for parents to be friends with their children on social media. But what do I know? Like somebody dear to me often says “old maids raise the best children” I guess that’s true about bachelor dogs too 😜 This is one of her pups- Mr Remington.

River: Rolo and I are loving having her here. One really neat thing about having a puppy here is that she is automatically accused whenever something new is shredded. And face it-there’s a reason for those accusations. But I think stress can drive even a sane dog to shredding things. Poor pup watches in the door as her mom is trying to get better and it’s stressful on all of us. Em got a picture of her knee the last time she visited the Doctor.

River gave me a full report and threw around a bunch of words that neither of us understood, but apparently Em isn’t able to bend her knee like the doctor wants her to. I’m no doctor, but it looks to me like the screws are too big for her bone. Hand me a screwdriver, or a cordless drill, and I’ll have that one remedied in a hurry!

The Dairy Dogs: the German Shepherds of our family have taken on a new position. A position that Rolo and I filled quite well when we lived on Paradise Lane, but this is new territory for them. They’ve become game wardens. Julia was out in their new deer blind, so Kalila and Dora went out to pay a friendly visit and make sure Julia was abiding by the rules. They waited patiently until the deer came out of the woods, then they barked like mad to let her know deer were on the move.

Their interview with the Coyote Brothers was noteworthy. Who is surprised that they were running on some sort of shady license? The dogs gave them such a stern warning that it brought the farmer with his spotlight. The confrontation took place right there in the middle of the front yard- two dogs vs two coyotes. Good work, pals! We stand for truth on this ranch.

And that’s about all I have to say about that. We enter the season of thanksgiving with full hearts. Life has some difficult things right now, but we have much to be thankful for.

Especially that we have a fearless and capable farm manager at the helm of this ship.

Warm Regards,

Detroit Snappenbarker Mendoza for the rest of the gang

Well done, Aunt Nancy

As long as I can remember, she’s unchanging. Time seems to smile upon her face, and she responds so cheerfully.

The reality is that she was probably in her 70s during my first memories of her. “Aunt Nancy” was an aunt, or great aunt, or a great-great aunt to basically the entire church except me, so I jumped on the bandwagon too.

Each Sunday, she wheels into church in her trusty old gray car, she sits in the same spot up front, and as she makes her way to the back of church, she always stops “well hello, Kendra how are you?” She’s always full of smiles and doing “just fine”.

I’m often been on the receiving end of her encouragement- notes in the mailbox, kind words sincerely spoken-she has a way of leaving sunshine wherever she goes.

But when I stop and think about it-I don’t know too much about her. I had to ask Mother what her employment had been. I know that she quilts and is quite generous with donating finished products to the local relief sale.

I know she loves company and has a refreshing sense of humor. Last Christmas season, when our group of carolers stopped at her place, Aunt Nancy welcomed us in and requested that we “sing them all, I like all the Christmas songs.” We sang the allotted amount of time and Aunt Nancy was shocked when we started singing the final “we wish you a merry Christmas” tune signaling our departure.

“What?! You haven’t sang ‘Joy to the World’ yet!” The leader appeased her with “ok, one verse.” And imagine our surprise as we came to the end of that first verse, and a fearless soprano took over the leading “Joy to the World the Savior Reigns…” and onto verse three. Aunt Nancy wasn’t about to leave that song unsung.

I know that she’s the youngest of her siblings, and that she’s been alone for some time. Maybe that’s why she’s adopted several people from church. One Sunday afternoon several summers ago, I met that familiar gray car coming in our lane- Nancy had loaded up a stroke victim and his wife “because they needed to get out of the house” and they were out touring the countryside. Mother invited them in for watermelon, and we were rather amused at Nancy being chauffeur for the more elderly, yet much younger couple.

And that’s about all I know about her story. I’m sure she had one-everybody does. But she pours her love into her siblings children and all the generations that follow.

I’ll admit, I was shocked when I received the call that Aunt Nancy was gone.

And I cried.

But they weren’t tears of sorrow. I can imagine the glow on her face as she went to meet her Bridegroom. “Jesus Lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly”

Thanks for being such an inspiration, Aunt Nancy, for being such a gracious example of a fulfilled life. For shredding all the stereotypes about the personality traits of single ladies, and raising the bar a little higher.

Well done, Aunt Nancy, I am so happy for you.

Love you,

Kendra

Bonus Pic:

The sunsets/moonrises have been so spectacular recently. Doesn’t it make you wonder how beautiful Heaven must be?

📷 credits for this post: my sister Deborah

Choose Life

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that you and your children may live. Deut 30:19

Sometime recently a family walked the Valley of the Shadow of Death. I can imagine them learning to navigate the corridors of the Intensive Care Unit at the University Hospital.

Maybe the bedside vigil was long and exhausting and stretched out for days and weeks. And maybe not.

I imagine that there was incredible compassion in the medical professional’s face as they broached the dreaded discussion. In the face of death-what would they choose?

My mind’s eye can easily capture the scene as the family holds a brief discussion- wouldn’t that be what they would want? Yes, this is the right decision. Tears flow freely and splash on the paper, blurring the ink, as they sign consent forms.

And as the monitors silence, they release their loved one from a stricken body. Their hearts break as they say good-bye to their future plans- the anticipated family vacation, work appointments, weekend fun.

But in the midst of their heartache-they have peace. They choose life.

* * * * *

I don’t remember when it first showed up, but my sweet, loose-jointed sister Emily has been dealing with a bum knee for awhile now.

She scheduled an appointment with the surgeon who had worked on her 12 years ago when she was 12, and was really disappointed when he looked at her MRIs and said “Wow, your knee is awful, you need a knee replacement-come back when you’re 40!”

Sixteen years seems like a long time when your knee is so unstable, that it gives out unexpectedly and dumps you-in a crumpled heap on the floor.

Thankfully a second opinion came up with a game plan, and we felt both relief and apprehension as the big day approached.

* * * * *

I could hardly wait to get home the night of Em’s surgery. First stop was our sunroom that had been transformed into “recovery area”.

My sweet sister looked like she’d been through the mill. And she had. She handed me a small card without saying a word.

Dear Patient,

Your recent surgery included the use of:a gift of donated bone, heart or connective tissue. This would not be possible without the final act of generosity and kindness of donors and the support of their families. The decision to donate, whether made by the donors or their family was done in the hope of helping others in need. Most families never learn the difference their gifts have made to recipients like you.

You can change that.

I looked at the mysterious serial number and wondered who had made such a sacrifice for her-for me.

Em has been recipient of so many thoughtful gifts

There’s so many things I’m looking forward to: Emily climbing the ladder to the combine, enjoying the AC, and a break from grain cart operating; hiking along the shore enjoying a morning sunrise; watching her run down the walk, hop in her car, and praying for whoever is in trouble-as her tail lights disappear into the darkness-as she hurries off to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

So many things to look forward to. Because that family chose life.

I’m praying for the donors family-that God will comfort them today. I would love a chance to thank them personally.

And maybe they can find some peace- turning grief to grace-knowing how they’ve impacted my world.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 1 Cor 15:55.

And should this nightmare ever visit my family, I hope that the decision comes easy. Yes, please! Choose life.

Thankfully,

Kendra

Bonus Pics:

Em’s get well cheerleading committee in all their autumn splendor 😍