Archive for March, 2016

Big Red’s Last Ride


In November 2011, Gene bought a Hereford bull that was soon dubbed Big Red. That is what he was; BIG, long and stocky. He was truly a gentle giant with one speed. Slow.  I think I could walk faster than he could run but never wanted to be challenged to the race.


He has curly hair on his forehead, big sad eyes and loved to have his head scratched.


Big Red never once posed any danger or was a threat of danger but you always treat a bull with respect.  A charging bull can be lethal.


Big Red was “king” for four years, wooing the ladies and producing many offspring. You always knew which calves were his. They had white-faces. A white-faced Hereford bull always produces white-face offspring, called “Black Baldies”.  All our other bulls were Angus.



Even “Spot” had one of his babies.





Gene really liked the genetic formation of Big Red’s offspring.





Occasionally his rank as “King” was challenged by a younger “Prince”.  A bull fight is fearsome;  the head butting, foot-pawling, dirt kicking, and body pushing is accented with very distinctive bellowing. You stay your distance even on a golf cart and use your camera zoom!


Last summer we began to notice that Big Red was aging and his joints were getting stiff.  To get up, he had to rock back and forth to get the momentum needed to allow his legs to lift his weight to a standing position.  He seemed to be moving a little slower than his already slow gait.  Gene let him rest over the winter but this spring we noticed there aren’t many ‘Black Baldies” hitting the ground, Prince is now King. The enviable was here. It was time to say goodbye.

Today Big Red was loaded on the stock trailer for his last ride. It was sad and I almost didn’t want to go look. But, I had to say good-bye. I walked up to the trailer with my camera to take his picture.  Gene parked the trailer by the edge of the driveway where Red could have one last look over his empire while he changed clothes and grabbed a bite to eat. Immediately one of his ladies came running across the field and stood by the fence her eyes glued to the trailer.

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I was going to talk to him but instead he talked to me.

It seemed as if he knew what was happening.

(Be sure to listen to this short video)

The gentle giant cried and then he took his last ride.

My Fitness Pal

This never ending battle with my arch-enemy “weight” just does not seem to go away.  I made a New Year’s resolution but then suddenly January was gone and I was still procrastinating! February brought a new day of reckoning; our pastor called it “40 days of Lent”.  How do you wiggle past that one? Now I had a “righteous, spiritual” reason to get with it! It actually gave me the resolve I needed. I weighed myself and marked the calendar.

The first 4 pounds came off fairly easy but then I hit a wall which I couldn’t seem to scale. (Don’t you like that pun on words!!!).  I went searching on the computer for a calorie calculator and found

Let me tell you, this is my lifesaver! If you are trying to lose weight and struggling with what diet to use, I highly recommend this site. You don’t have to deny yourself food or starve to death.  You put in your weight, height, current weight and desired weight goal.  It tells you how many calories you can eat a day to accomplish your goal.  I am goal oriented so this site is perfect for me. It allows me to manage how and when I eat my calories. Portion size has been very revealing!  Of course foods like breads, snacks and sweets are calorie loaded, but having to record each food and see the actual calorie count has been very motivating to me.

Each day I record what I eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, how much water I drink and calories I burn on the treadmill. The treadmill (or exercise) gives bonus calories to eat, if you want, and still stay on course with your goal. The site has a huge resource of foods and almost everything you can imagine is there, including brands.  Homemade foods are the hardest but with some creativity you can come close. I can have 1200 calories a day and in five more weeks I will be at my first goal (165 lbs). I say first goal as I put in what I thought was a modest, attainable goal. Now I am very optimistic that I will be able to do better and reach my second goal of 160.

I have tried numerous times to lose weight and did so successfully several times but could not keep it off.  I am hoping this method will have a more successful long-term outcome.


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