Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday - Invincible

photo by Maddie

They survived the snake!

They survived a vehicle ton and several drivers!

They survived the egg-loving, bird-killing dog!

They didn't survive the happy, energetic 4 year old with a stick.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday Memories - P.S.

Frequently I add P.S.'s to my prayers, just so the Lord knows I'm still thinking about something even if I didn't spend much time telling Him about it.

I P.S. other things in life, too.  Like blog posts.


P.S.  Happy Memorial Day.

I really do appreciate the lives sacrificed for our well-being.  I am indebted and I know it.  Not only am I grateful to the soldiers, but I appreciate the sacrifices of military families as well.  Like the Wade family:

Ginnie Wade was a young woman during the Civil War with a soldier boyfriend.  One day she went to help her sister with a new born baby.  Ginnie was kneading dough in the kitchen on July 3, 1863 when a bullet from the nearby Gettysburg battle came through the window and struck her.  After going through her heart, the bullet lodged in Ginnie's corset.  Ginnie died immediately.

On July 4th, Ginnie's mother made 15 loaves of bread from the dough that Ginnie was kneading when she was shot.

And that is what military families do.  They carry on.  Even when it's hard.

Thank you.

Monday Memories - Happy Anniversary

Calvin and me in front of the Washington, D.C. temple two days ago

Happy, happy 30th Anniversary to us.  

I asked Calvin today if he had any words of wisdom about marriage for the kids and he said, "Don't gripe."  

And there you have it.

So let it be written.  So let it be done.

As we were flying home late last night we flew through a lightening storm which threw our plane up and down, to and fro.  After several kiddie-roller-coaster climbs and drops I asked Calvin, "If we crashed on this flight, which of our kids would take it the hardest?"  

We discussed each child and how we supposed, knowing their personalities, each would fare.

Finally he said, "Why do you ask?"  

"I was just wondering," knowing he'd wondered too.

Then he asked, "How many people on this flight would go into a panic if we started to go down do you think?  Half?  More than half?"

I replied, "I don't know.  How about you?  Would you feel at peace if we were going down."

He thought for a moment and then said, "Yeah . . . yeah, I would.  I'd feel at peace.  How about you?"

I answered, "I would too."  (Partly because I'd mopped the floor, vacuumed, changed the sheets, and finished the laundry and ironing before we left, and . . . Emily had just helped me connect part of my family history lines a few hours earlier, so temporarily my i's were dotted and my t's were crossed .)

We quietly leaned into each other thinking and then Calvin looked back out the window at the storm and I leaned over his shoulder and we watched the lightning together.  I was so glad we were on the same plane, literally and figuratively.   

Thank heavens for eternity.  Thirty years isn't nearly long enough.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

52 Blessings - A Name and a Blessing

Afton Jayna Payne.

Some religions call the event a christening, we call it blessing a baby.  The reason we chose this week to visit Ty and Michelle was to attend Afton’s blessing today.

Afton wore the same dress and ruffled bottom that Michelle wore when she was blessed.  Whitney (Ty and Michelle’s matchmaker) made her a tiny beaded bracelet to wear too. To say that Afton was darling is an understatement.

Ty gave Afton a beautiful blessing and, much to Michelle’s relief, Afton slept quietly through the whole thing so we could hear and appreciate every word. I love anticipating those pronounced blessings being fulfilled.

Dallin, Brian, Calvin, Ty, Michelle, AFTON, me, Emily, Addie, Levi, Andy

(Calvin and I hadn't yet seen Andy and Addie. Calvin remarked to me after spending time with them what
good-natured and well-behaved kids they are. They are just like Emily and Levi, peace-loving and happy.
It was so fun to spend time with them, even if only shortly. They're a great family.)

What made today day even better was that Brian, Kathy, and Dallin (Michelle’s folks and brother) were also here to celebrate, as well as Levi and Emily (my nephew and niece) who came from Virginia with their two children Andy and Addy. 

Kathy, Afton, and me

Whitney said that when she arranged for Ty and Michelle to meet, she was really just making it so Kathy and I would
make a new friend. Whitney was sure we'd enjoy each other, and she was so right. When we played a marriage game
this afternoon, many of Calvin and Brian's answers describing us were exactly the same. Michelle repeatedly
whispered, "You guys really are sisters aren't you?" and I just smiled because
I love and admire Kathy.  I'm so glad Whitney made it so we could go to these events together.  

After church we went to Ty and Michelle’s for dinner and ate grilled steaks, baked potatoes, broiled corn, watermelon, and real cheesecake. Afterwards we visited and played a marriage game (Calvin and I redeemed ourselves from the last time). 

Afton’s blessing day was a great way to help Ty and Michelle celebrate their very first anniversary.      

Friday, May 25, 2012

Life in My World - Life in Aftonland

I've said before that I naively thought when the kids started leaving home that the best time in my life was over.  I didn't quite wail, but I certainly mourned.

Afton and me about 12:30 am

I was so wrong. Ever so wrong. I should have trusted that there is a season for everything and that each phase of life can be considered the best because there is so much best in it.

We came back to be with Ty, Michelle, and Afton this week. They live in Maryland, not far from downtown D.C. They have created a wonderful home and family. One of the best things about this time of Calvin's and my life is enjoying the talents and personalities of the kids while they are creating homes and leading their own families. And, as a bonus, each set of our kids (Ray/Cali, Abe/Grace, Ty/Michelle, Joe/Ande) are incredible cooks. They are all better cooks than we are (Calvin will say, “Speak for yourself, Jane” because he has lots of confidence in his abilities. But since I’m the other half of his team I can safely say it, for while I’m a good cook, I’m not a great cook.)

We started Wednesday morning with these Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.  Ty and Michelle tried them at a bed & breakfast and came home and experimented until they recreated them.  They are bed & breakfast worthy.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs separated
2 Tbsp grated lemon peel
1/3 cup ricotta cheese

     Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  In another bowl mix buttermilk, egg yolks, and lemon peel.  Stir liquids into flour mixture until moistened.  Add ricotta cheese.  In separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Fold egg whites into batter until incorporated.  Pour batter onto greased griddle and cook until pancakes are browned.

Ty served these pancakes with blackberry syrup and buttermilk syrup.  Both were good choices.

I think she loves me.

After breakfast we went to the national cemetery at Arlington. If I lived here I would be a volunteer there; it’s such a beautiful place. Arlington was owned by George Washington and then through time and marriages passed on to Robert E. Lee. When the Civil War ended, neither Grant nor Lincoln wanted to make the South grovel or pay remunerations. Except for the land where Arlington sits. Some felt it was the least that Lee could donate to the cause. Besides, it would be a perfect place to bury the dead from both the North and South – the South had owned it, but it was just across the river from the North’s capital – and could help the healing process to begin.

There were pools of schools there. Eighth graders. While it is a humbling and reflective experience to go to Arlington and walk on the wooded hills when it is quiet, I very much appreciated the controlled chatter of the kids this time because it signaled history passing on to the next generation.

While we were at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier the thunder and lightening turned to rain, then it turned into a downpour.  It dumped.  Afton's eyes stared wide at Michelle as she cried and we rushed for shelter.  While we could see her mouth move and tears drip down her face, we couldn't hear her for the storm.  Michelle said it was the most painful part of mothering to date.

See that hair sticking up at the back of Afton's head?  It is so uncontrollably cute.  Her hair is dark and long in the back
and that fan of hair at the crown is so funny.  It would make any bird of a feather jealous.

We waited in the car while Michelle fed Afton and by then the rain had become a drizzle so we went to the Lincoln Memorial.  

I was a freshman in high school during the bicentennial year – 1976.  Our government and civics teacher took a half dozen of us students on an early American history tour seeing sights in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York that year. The Lincoln Memorial was one of my favorite stops and I quietly resolved that day that some day when I had a family I was going to bring them to see it.

Ty, Michelle, Afton
Ty worried that putting Afton in the picture would give me a whole new goal of making
sure all of the grandkids make it to see Lincoln as well.
He's got me thinking . . . 

I’m two kids closer to that goal.

After touring the memorial, we came home and Ty and Calvin made supper.  The recipe said soooooo easy and SO GOOD! on it.  It was right.)

Queso Dip

2 10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes
1 7 oz. can diced green chilies
1 can chili with beans
1 can refried beans
1/2 jar of salsa (small)
1 large package Velveeta cheese

Blend all in pot except cheese and once warm, dice cheese, and melt in mixture.  Serve with tortilla chips.  (We had regular, hint of lime, and hint of jack tortilla chips.)

We visited until well after midnight.  (I like Eastern time.  I can stay up with the big boys because it's only 9:00 my time.)

After having one son go to the Military Academy at West Point and another go to the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, it was only right that we go and see the Naval Academy at Annapolis.  So, on Thursday morning that is where we went.

Army - Air Force - Navy are all in the picture

Calvin says the Navy cadets have a swagger bigger than the Air Force cadets.  He said that swagger just may be their secret to whipping Army every year in football.  Calvin briefly considered getting a Navy hat, but it wasn't worth disappointing Abe.

Where was Afton all this time?  Attracting everyone:

She attracts all ages - middle school boys in the cemetery to grandmas on the street. If I am holding her, people tell me all about their grandchildren, if Michelle is holding her they give loads of unsolicited advice, nobody says a word if Calvin is holding her, and if Ty is holding her the women cluck.

Michelle stroking Afton's face

Afton is so sweet and such a pretty little baby.  She's alert and attentive and tiny.  I have to keep reminding myself she's only six weeks old.  Not only do I love holding  and watching her, I love watching Ty and Michelle take care of her.  They are wonderful parents and take their role seriously and confidently.   A baby is a miracle.  A family is a miracle.  It's hard not to stare at miracles.

We ate crab cakes at the Middleton Tavern in Annapolis, just a short walk from the Academy.  Built in 1750, the tavern's plank floors creaked and the stairs were worn.  It was easy to imagine it in colonial times.  The ambiance was second only to the fish on the menu.  Calvin had smoked blue fish, Ty had rock fish, I had haddock, Michelle had a hamburger, and we all shared crab cakes - rich, thick ones.  Each thing was so very, very good and the portions were plentiful.  It is a restaurant that I'm sure we'll reference in the future: "Remember that time we ate those crab cakes at that tavern?"

We came home and took a nap.  I like Afton's schedule.

That night while Calvin and Ty were out mowing and trimming the lawn, Michelle made Parmesan Chicken and served it with spaghetti sauce and fettuccine noodles.  It was really good.  I thought I was still full from the tavern until we started to eat, but after one bite I suddenly had lots of room.

Parmesan Chicken (from http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/parmesan_chicken/)

1 clove garlic, minced
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup or 1/4 pound), melted
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or 2/3 cup if you are using a Microplane zester)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
A large pinch of Italian seasoning (herb mix)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 lbs of skinless, boneless, chicken meat, cut into pieces no larger than 2x2 inches

1 Preheat oven to 450°F. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels.
2 In a bowl, combine the minced garlic with the melted butter. In another bowl mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, salt, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Dip chicken pieces into garlic butter, then into crumb mixture to coat.
3 Place coated chicken pieces on to a 9x13 baking dish. Try to leave a little room between each piece. Drizzle with remaining garlic butter and bake uncovered 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Note that the chicken will get much more browned on the bottom side than on the top.
Yield: Serves 4-6.

And then, just in case we hadn't eaten enough for the day, we went to Rita's Ice Custard Happiness.  Oh man.  The name says it all.  I even looked up the cost of a franchise when we got home.

Later, Michelle and I just watched (and wondered how they kept from throwing up) and Afton rocked in the swing as Calvin and Ty wrestled

Some things never change.

Once again I am reminded of my ignorance as to think the best is behind me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Homemaking Tip - Pack Enough for Three

We flew into Baltimore yesterday after a plane change in Minneapolis.

I sat next to one harried woman.  She was moving cross country with her daughter and had paid an unexpected $400 in luggage charges at the ticket counter that morning.  After we had pulled away from the gate, the captain came over the intercom and said, "Ladies and gentlemen we are going back.  Someone forgot their wallet at the counter."

The woman next to me groaned and said, "I know it's me."  We both looked down at the pile of assorted toiletries that had been dumped in a large plastic bag at her feet (to save another $50 in fees) and she started to paw through them.  She gave up, "I don't know where my wallet is.  I'm sure it's me that left it though, who else?  It's got to be."

She looked at me and said, "Would you please pretend you're Patricia V_____ and claim the wallet?  I'm so embarrassed."

I laughed and agreed though I hardly looked like a Patricia V.

Five minutes later the stewardess came over the intercom and said, "Would Patricia V______ please turn on the stewardess light so we can return her wallet to her."  

I reached up and turned on my stewardess light and the stewardess made her way down the full flight until she finally reached our aisle (because nine times out of ten when we fly we're at the very back of the plane and this trip was one of the nine).  As I took the wallet, the passengers began to clap.

The real Patricia V., a lawyer, whose son attends Princeton and whose daughter attends the same private school as the Obama children, ducked.   

Patricia V. and I had a wonderful two and a half hour conversation (evidently swapping names builds instant camaraderie), while Calvin quietly read his book on the Comanche Indians.

My tip of the day?  Pack your own lunch when you fly and pack enough for three while you're at it.  That complimentary bag of pretzels is not enough to sustain you on a long flight, let alone share.  And while Patricia declined a torn half of our peanut butter sandwiches and all of the carrot and celery sticks, she gladly ate her share of the mini-snickers and almonds.      

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Happenings

A lot can happen in a week.  

These . . . 

robin eggs
some of you asked if I edited this picture.  No, I did not, but only because I don't have enough skills to edit.

. . . can turn into 

baby robins
photo by Maddie


And one kill-deer egg in a nest can become one of four with a sitting mama.

Yes sir, lots can happen in a week.

My niece Maddie came to stay with us for nearly a week and during that time . . . 

Calvin and Maddie making chicken-fried venison steak

We lived regular life.  Maddie came with me to school and she helped in the kitchen, garden, and gathering the eggs.  In fact, she taught us how to hypnotize a chicken just in case we should ever have the need.

Maddie got the chicken to focus on her hand and then drew a line in the dirt over and over.  The hen's pupil got larger and smaller, larger and smaller depending on how close her finger was to it.  Eventually the chicken lay there motionless with her eyes open.  When Maddie clapped her hands the chicken got up and ran away.

Maddie and Calvin weeded the garden and planted a few more things and we had a wiener roast.  Then Calvin taught Maddie how to shoot a black powder gun.

This next week we're going to see Ty, Michelle, and Afton.  I can't wait to see that hair, smell her, and see those dimpled knees.

Lots can happen in a week.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday Thinking - I Don't Know What to Think About It

photo by Maddie

A kill-deer laid her eggs right smack-dab in the middle of our driveway. It wasn’t an emergency delivery, she nested first. 

What, oh what, was she thinking? I’m sure she had good intentions, the rocks camouflage the eggs so well, but she frets (with good reason) all day long that someone is going to run over her nest. I put a bucket next to it to try and help her out and remind everyone it’s there, but it doesn’t do a thing for her nerves.

Calvin says it’ll take 21 days from the time the last egg was laid until they hatch (unless that 4 ½ foot bull snake that we saw slither across the driveway yesterday, not far from the nest, swallows them first). That’s a long time to fret and fuss. I guess it's no surprise that even in the animal kingdom it takes a lot of work and worry to successfully raise a family. Goodness knows I’ve laid my nest in a driveway more than once and prayed for more than a bucket while I worried and waited.

I do so hope they make it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

12 pictures on the 12th of May of 2012

We spent the 12th in Seattle.  Ray and Cali have a great little bakery nearby.
My niece Maddie, Levin, and I walked to it and picked out everyone's breakfast.
photo by Maddie

Ray and Calvin planted fence posts and raspberries
photo by Maddie

The Follett family at Family Temple Day
photo by Maddie

Levin and his just-the-right-size imaginary friend
photo by Joe

All of Seattle was in bloom and the temple grounds were beautiful.
photo by Maddie

Maddie, Levin, and I waited outside on the temple grounds while Calvin, Ray,
Cali, Joe, and Ande were doing temple work inside.
photo by Maddie

After going to the temple we went to Five Guys and Fries.
(Our potatoes were from Sugar City, Idaho in case you wondered.)
Maddie has come from Oklahoma to help cousin/nephew Ivin and his family with their triplets,
 but we took her with us over the weekend.
photo by Maddie's camera

While Cali, Calvin, and Ray were planting raspberries and Joe was watching a soccer game, Ande, Maddie, and
I went to the Asian market.  Their vegetables were so beautiful and fresh . . . and cheap.
photo by Maddie

Ande and Joe made us pho for supper.  Ande is an incredible cook and knows how to use all the spices in a spice rack.
photo by Maddie

Meanwhile, across the country in the other Washington, Ty, Michelle, and Afton also went to the temple
 because it was Family Temple Day.  Afton didn't get to go into the temple with us, but she did touch it.
(We took turns going in / watching her).

 Is Afton too young for shoulder rides?  Michelle would say, "Definitely."
 Ty would say, "Ummm.... maybe. If Michelle says so. After I try it once anyways."

Ty and Michelle went on a date and left Afton with a babysitter for an hour.
 V Date = Vegetables (salads) and Vanilla milkshakes.

Yes, you're right, there are no photos of Abe and Grace.  They forgot to take pictures and since Abe says it's like Groundhog's Day every day in Afghanistan I suggested they send in pictures of the 13th, but Grace said that wouldn't be right and they'd better wait until next month.    

Sunday, May 6, 2012

52 Blessings - Lots of Little Things

When I saw the date today I remembered it was my due date with Cali 29 years ago. She didn’t come until three long days later. (I swear that last week of pregnancy lasts nearly as long as the entire nine months. Don’t you agree?) Memory: it’s what separates people from fish. I’m grateful for memory.

I finished reading Unbroken yesterday. I have a 90 year old friend and sometimes we read a book together and discuss it. Unbroken is our book this time. Her eyesight is failing and so we decided she should have a big head start on the book. I worried I’d ever catch up as she loved the book and moved steadily forward before I even had a copy. Each week she told me what she’d read. I finally got a copy last week and quickly finished it. My, my, my. I’m a better person for having read it. I’m grateful for good books and read-along friends.

I'm grateful for Sunday evenings, too. Popcorn is almost as much a part of our Sunday as hymns or high-heels.  Plain, buttered, carameled...it doesn't matter.  Calvin likes hard caramel popcorn while I prefer soft.  The cracker jack variety takes an hour to bake while the soft kind takes five minutes on the stovetop (that may have something to do with my preference).  Tonight I made both.

Cracker Jacks

8 quarts popped popcorn
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
1 cup margarine
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cream of tarter
½ tsp soda
1 cup peanuts (give or take)

Boil sugar, corn syrup, salt, margarine and peanuts for five minutes.  Add cream of tarter and soda.  Pour over popped corn and stir.  Bake in a large pan in a 200 degree oven for one hour. Stir occasionally. 

*It's fun to individually bag this popcorn with a small party favor as a prize, or bagged in a 2 gallon recloseable bag with lots of prizes for a family.

 Gooey Popcorn

½ cup brown sugar
1 cube butter
½ bag of marshmallows
½ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla
4 quarts popped popcorn

Boil sugar, butter, marshmallows, and salt until marshmallows are melted.  Add vanilla.  Pour over popped popcorn and stir well.  *This is a variation of rice-krispie bars.  

            How about you?  What's something you're grateful for this week?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thursday Thinking - Who Do You Think Said It?

From:  Abe Payne
Subject: You Wanted Arts and Crafts? How's This for Arts and Crafts?


My watch band broke recently, and I was in the depths of despair.  For those of you that don't know, when I deploy, I become a pretty big tightwad.  I hate spending money on anything while I'm gone.  I didn't want to spend money to buy a new watch or watch band, so I did what any reasonable person would do...I got on youtube.  I taught myself how to make a watch band out of 550 cord (paracord) by watching a couple videos and combining their techniques. I'm now quite good at it and can make all sort of crafty things like watch bands, bracelets, survival bracelets, lanyards...you name it.  Attached are some pictures of my new watch band.  

I'm pretty happy with it, although it was a little too tight at first (which you can't adjust later).  It's kinda like a new pair of underwear.  At first it's constrictive, but after a while it becomes a part of you.

I love you all.


P.S.  There are three pop culture references in this email.  Whoever can find all three gets a neat surprise.  (No cheating!)

Dear Abe,

Oh my goodness!  Can I order one?  Camo color, just like yours.  With a button from a uniform, just like yours.  I knew you had it in you.  Anybody that can cross-stitch a cow and come up with his own pattern when he runs out of embroidery floss can do anything.

My guesses: 

"Depths of despair" -- Anne of Green Gables

"It's kind of like a new pair of underwear.  At first it's constrictive, but after a while it becomes a part of you". -- That has got to be from Bill & Ted

"You wanted arts and crafts?  How's this for arts and crafts."  -- This has got to be from Jackie Chan.

Am I right?  Am I close?  You can make me a bracelet for my prize :)

I love you.


Ha ha...mom, you got one right.  I can't tell you which one or everyone will copy you.

Sooooooo, help me out folks.  Will you?  Please?  Without googling, where are the quotes from?  (Angie, surely you know them don’t you?)  There's a prize at stake. 

Thursday Thinking - A Great Day to Have a Bad Day

Oh man.  You missed it.  We had a catastrophe wreck rodeo circus.  We got three calves.  Calvin spent all day Saturday getting the hot-wire strung and then on Monday the three calves came.  We stood and watched them and waited until the calves nosed the hot-wire, got shocked, and bellowed.  We assumed, wrongly, that they’d leave the fence alone after a jolt or two.  However, within a half an hour two calves busted through the wires and ran and ran and ran (and we couldn't catch them because we weren't the gingerbread man . . . funny how those storybook lines pop into your head randomly when you don't need them).  Argh.  I was still in my dress from work when the calves got loose.  My job was to stay behind to guard the lone calf still in the pasture while Calvin went to find the other two running through the fields.  Mind you, the hot-wire was down so there was no way to really keep him cornered.  I just hoped.  Hope is not enough.  It takes electricity and barbed wire too.  Finally calf number 3 out ran me and now all three were roaming free.  And roam they did.  They easily went a few miles in a short time.  Calvin called a friend who came to help round them up on his four wheeler. 

It was a zoo.  Calves were running everywhere.  Calvin ran through the canal twice trying to outrun them.  Even with the shortcut he lost.  Another friend came to help as did a couple of men from the feedlot down the road.  As I was running from one end of the pasture to the other I thought, "At least the lilacs smell good and it's sunny.  It's a great day to have a bad day."  

After a few hours we got two of the calves back in the pasture and Calvin went right to work at putting up a third hot wire with plans to put in a barbed wire fence the next day.  The two calves were pooped and settled down, so my job of keeping them calm and cornered while Calvin went to town for fencing supplies, was finally easy.  And enjoyable.  I sat on the grass, pulled up my dress, sunned my legs, read a book, and took a few pictures.  

(I took this picture out in the pasture before the debacle)

After the third hot-wire was up and the calves had touched it several times and were leaving it alone, we went looking for calf number 3.  No luck.  He was last seen by the canal two miles down the road, but no one knew whether he was headed north or south, which was critical information.  We couldn't find him anywhere.

Even with all wires hot (and they were hot.  Calvin and I both got shocked hard enough that it made us fall flat—he to his butt and me to my knees.), Calvin was too nervous to leave the calves without a barbed wire fence through the night, so he slept in the pickup watching them. 

In the meantime we just kept praying that we’d find the lose calf.  Calvin and I were both embarrassed that we hadn’t put up a better fence to begin with; we both knew better than to put new calves in a hot-wire for the first time.  Funny how you forgot those kinds of things though (. . . until the minute it happens and then you suddenly remember).  I hoped the Lord would answer our prayer like he did the lady who lost the coin between the cracks of the floor.  I knew it was our negligence that caused the calf’s loss, but $400 is a lot of money to lose in five minutes when you aren't gambling, and I hoped the Lord would help us recover it.  Calvin prayed that the calf would make it back to Roylance’s (our friends and neighbors we bought it from).  I asked him why he asked for that and he said it was easier to answer that prayer than it was to get it back in our pasture.  He had a point, a valid one, and much more practical than mine which was that it would come begging back and get himself back in with the other two (which would mean the fence still wouldn't hold).

The next day Calvin put in a barbed wire fence in addition to the hot-wire.  After teaching, I came home and helped him finish it.  The two calves finally accepted their new home and were content.  We both still felt a bit sick about the lost calf, mostly Calvin worried it would get out on the highway and cause an accident while I am lesser and was sad about losing the money.  There was no way to find it – too many fields, too many coulees, too many calves down at the big feedlot.

That evening Brent Roylance called and said the calf had come back to their place and was in the pen with some heifers.  It was a great answer to prayers, and I've tried to say as many in gratitude as I did in begging.

Next week we get our pigs.