A book you need!

A must read!!

I LOVE books! I absolutely love them! I read them. I collect them. I buy them (cue my husband’s jaw clenching a bit when Amazon boxes show up at our house during the drought years!). I treasure books! I write down quotes from them in my journals. I keep a book with me at all times. I have one in my purse. One in my pickup. Stacks of books by my bed, on my desk, by the guest-bed, piled high in my office, bookshelves filled with them, etc. I even dabble in writing them. It thrills me to no end when I see my husband and children reading them! I am book-crazy!!

A field we were blessed to custom-disk to bring in income during the drought.

My love of books comes from my Grandmother. She had beautiful books including leather-bound copies of Louis L’Amour in her over-flowing bookcases. She read voraciously! This helps prove my theory about book-lovers everywhere…they are wonderfully interesting, lively and some of the best conversation partners you’ll ever have!

Dryland corn.

My Dad is also a huge reader when weather drives him away from his farming to the air conditioned land of the indoors. He has fabulous taste in books! We often share books – using the term “share” loosely because if we really like a book, we keep it and the other one of us who has “shared” has actually (and most unintentionally!) gifted – leaving the “giver” to buying another copy. He and I have a long-standing dispute over the ownership of David McCullough’s book The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914. Spoiler alert: I wound up buying a second copy…

The Sleeping Ute Mountain

My Mom also enjoys reading, but she’s more into self-improvement books. We do enjoy reading a Richard Paul Evans book most years during the Christmas season which is always so fun to discuss! Clearly though, my book interest comes from my dad’s side of the family…we apparently either see no need for self-improvement or do not care! Probably a healthy mixture of the two! Let’s just say the self-improvement books are few and far between… if they exist at all in our personal libraries! No ownership disputes on those…ever! Message: We. Need. Help!

Order this TODAY!!

This book – The Law by Frederic Bastiat – is a MUST have! It is widely available on Amazon for less than $10. Mr. Bastiat was a Frenchman who was enamored with America’s governmental experiment. He wrote this book in 1850, shortly before his death. It is 55 pages! See – you can totally read this! AND make sure you do! It is full of pertinent information on liberty! Mr. Bastiat was not a fan of socialism nor legislators. His take on both is fabulous and so captivatingly educational!!

Liberty lovers everywhere need to buy and read this book! He writes on page 53 “Which are the happiest, the most moral, and the most peaceable nations? Those where the law interferes the least with private activity; where the Government is the least felt; where individuality has the most scope, and public opinion the most influence; where the machinery of the administration is the least important and the least complicated; where taxation is lightest and least unequal…”

Read this book! Share it with your friends and family…well – coming from my Dad’s school of book sharing…give them their own copies! BUT – do it! You won’t regret it!

Too fat, too dumb, too lazy and too drug addicted!

Our fifteen year old son, calf-roping with his horse, Nya. He is neither fat, dumb, lazy and better not be drug addicted!! 😉 He is truly a great young man! He won the incentive calf-roping the day this picture was taken.

Late December 2020 sent me frantically, but I’m sure totally safely and law-abidingly, driving to Arizona for a family emergency. My heart and mind were racing with what-ifs and oh-nos. In an effort to distract myself, I turned to talk radio. Barry Markson was filling in for another host. He referenced a study that shocked me. He said something to the effect of most of our youth being too fat, too lazy, too dumb and too drug addicted to qualify for military service. Maybe it’s because my brain needed something other than my immediate reality on which to fixate, but this study has haunted me especially lately when we see how necessary good military is in a world spinning out of control!

Our daughter and her steer, Ferdinand. He was her bottle calf. Notice his tongue stuck out to lick her. She fed him milk bottles twice a day, every day, for his first six months of life! She is also not fat, lazy, dumb nor drug addicted! Photo credit: Jennifer Lanier Photography.

I think the study Mr. Markson referenced may have come from Mission:Readiness. In October 2018 they released a report titled Unhealthy and Unprepared. Mission:Readiness is a group of retired admirals, generals and other military leaders who are part of a Council for a Strong America. Read more here: https://www.strongnation.org/missionreadiness.

Our son as the judge approached to shake his hand, signifying him Grand Champion in Showmanship at our County Fair. Photo credit: Jennifer Lanier Photography.

I was thinking about the study this last weekend while watching our son compete in high school rodeo. Looking around I thought these are the kids they’re going to be coming for. The athletes. The ones with parents who are paying attention, setting high expectations, spending time with their kids, cheering them on, pushing them toward excellence! The ones whose parents have taught them to work like a house on fire, look people in the eye, shake hands, be truthful and seek forgiveness when necessary because Heaven knows we all mess up…no one knows this more than I do! Yikes!

My baby. We are so proud and thankful for the young man he is! Photo credit: Jennifer Lanier Photography.

We are born totally helpless! Yet, in our first two years of life we learn to feed ourselves, demand things we need, walk, talk, express ourselves, etc. We push ourselves long before the world or our immediate environments teach us not to. We don’t just lie in the crib waiting to die like Jersey calves. We are constantly pushing for more. We are born with a desire to achieve and succeed! It is Divinely given to each of us! It is our right and our privilege to push ourselves, to be driven, constantly becoming the best versions of ourselves!

The Champ!

Set goals and achieve those goals with passion and integrity! Remember what we came here to earth with: the DESIRE FOR EXCELLENCE AND GREATNESS! Be disciplined! PUT OUR PHONES DOWN AND READ BOOKS!! Pray for inspiration to know which desires and goals are for your best good and God’s glory! And, let’s all get out there and get to work TODAY, NOW!! Don’t delay!

Locke’s Labor Theory

Pairs coming into water we’ve hauled where drought keeps the ponds bone dry.

According to David Barton in his Founders’ Bible (which is fabulous and available on Amazon!), John Locke was the third most cited political authority in the Founding Era.

One of our shockingly dry ponds.

Locke states in his Two Treatises of Government that “The law of nature stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men’s actions must…be conformable to the law of nature, i.e to the will of God.”

Winter wheat ground Over East.

Based on Locke’s statement above, it might be time for some – or even better, all – of our current government officials to revisit Locke’s writings…

Locke also waxes eloquent on labor in his treatises on government. He explains that the labor of our body and the work of our hands is ours, our private property. He explains that “every man has property in his own person.” He goes onto say that “whatsoever then he … hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in…that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer.”

Winter forage crops being sown by my hubby. Dirty window courtesy of a little rain shower that wasn’t enough to stop the planting!

I wonder if this is why the farmers hold onto things so dearly and feel such a deep sense of ownership over their land and everything they do. Not only have they mixed their labor into the land as Locke explains, but they’ve also mixed their blood, sweat, tears, decades of intense labor and fervent prayers into it. They’ve knelt in the soil to beg the Lord for rain, for one more night without a freeze, for the impending hail to pass by their fields, for help to find the bolt they’ve dropped in the loose dirt, the list is endless. They’ve hit their fingers impossibly hard with impatiently aimed hammers while hastily fixing their equipment so they can finish the field before the deadline they and nature have set. And against all odds, they steel themselves to continue putting one foot in front of the other, never giving up, never giving in. They press onward with some of the strongest will and most unshakeable faith imaginable regardless of the weather, the markets, the forecasts, or any other imaginable obstacle. They face it with confidence, knowing they will deal with whatever comes.

Temporary planting headquarters Over East.

We’re in the middle of a horrible drought here. As one of our neighbors said regarding his approach to the drought, “we’re going to do the best we can and go from there.”

A farmer’s best is never just what he feels like doing that day. It’s truly his best, his everything. It is facing impossible odds, digging deeper than most are willing to for true strength, and pressing forward with calm, quiet courage, faith and insane amounts of rigorously hard work. Then, they come home and love their families with their strong, calloused hands and their incredibly true hearts.

Our babies and Loucious the Dufus (yellow Lab) heading out to check cows with my husband.

The list of tasks is never complete. The life they make is beyond beautiful. My husband, my dad and farmers everywhere – what a blessing they are to us!


My dad and Nya.

I am a life-long lover of history. Originally, I wanted to major in history when I was still wet behind the ears and studying my undergraduate classes. I remember breaking this news to my dad. We were between the two fields we called “number 9,” loading up the dreaded hi-cycle (a self-propelled spraying machine which never worked correctly, and still doesn’t to this day!, so he was likely already in quite the mood…), when I decided now was the ideal time to let him know I was changing my major. Dumb! SO DUMB!!!

Me – circa 1980-something…Irrigating cotton in the upper field on Number 6, the Hegi place. It’s all covered in houses and concrete now.

It was probably only slightly less than a bazillion degrees standing there between those beautiful Arizona cotton fields, sweat pouring from both of us, the humidity from the monsoon season – stifling. This setting lends itself to the shortest of fuses for anyone, but especially my Irish-descended dad. Immediately, the box he was holding while standing on top of the hi-cycle impacted the ground. I don’t remember his exact words, but the message was clear…history is the same, it’s already done. You’ll be bored stiff. AND – you’ll be asking “do you want fries with that” for a living until you get graduate degrees!

I continued in my studies and earned my BAILS degree from Northern Arizona University’s pioneering-at-the-time (dating myself something fierce here!) statewide program. It was fabulous! I’ve been blessed with many exciting jobs since, but a love of history has remained.

Everyone loves history, they just don’t know it. I’ve been supremely privileged to live 99.9% of my life in very rural communities. Ever drive by that small-town coffee shop before the sun has even awakened and see that parking lot full of pickups? Or the livestock sale barn with people who aren’t even buying and selling cattle that day? They’re all there for one reason: history. Sure, mostly recent history such as who’s farming that place? Who’s selling their hay for more than their neighbors? And, sometimes even more sordid questions than these. But, you get the idea. We like information. Being in the know. This is how the National Enquirer became a thing in the first place…gossip – we’ve gotta have it! And, most of it is about a person’s or place’s history! Even if it’s just yesterday’s history.

I followed my love of history to a M.A. in History from Liberty University. I’m pressing forward in their PhD program as I type. This website will be a place where interesting tidbits of history are shared.