Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy Mother's Day to my favorite ladies

Sunday (tomorrow) is Mother's Day. On that note, if you haven't gotten anything (or atleast a card) for your mom, you should get on that...quickly.

Speaking of the holiday, I have two special ladies to celebrate and I'm lucky to have them. I rarely get to spend Mother's Day with either of them, but last year Mom flew to Indianapolis for a fun weekend of cows, gardening and other random adventures. It was awesome.
Being silly runs in the family...I get it from Granny! We have so much fun. 
Patience isn't my best quality--although I'm working on it. I'm stubborn, but I don't think I would be a Johnson if I wasn't. Despite all of that, they both constantly go out of their way to help me meet my goals and all of that good stuff. They're also pretty entertaining.

Not my first year in 4-H, but I always loved this picture
When I joined 4-H in 2001, I didn't know what I was doing. I had no idea. Despite several people asking if I wanted to join, I was adamant that no, I had better things to do with my learning to snowboard. On the way back from a youth calf sale where my brother purchased his first show calf I decided that I too wanted a calf. So, I got a calf and never turned back. That first year was full of trials and tribulations. That lack of patience didn't help when the baby calf who didn't understand why she needed to walk with a halter and lead rope wouldn't walk down our driveway and around the pasture area. I gave up a lot. And time and time again, they calmed me down and convinced me to try again.

Granny spent countless hours walking the calf. I mentioned that stubbornness runs in the family. Well, one day when my little Holstein calf, Allie, wouldn't move, Granny bent down to her level and said, "You may be stubborn, but I'm more stubborn than you and you will MOVE!" Allie's ears went back, but somehow she understood. Granny never had any more issues with Allie. They became fast friends and she would follow Granny around the garden fence.

I don't like to lose (but does anyone??) and when I placed last or second to last at every cow show that first year, I was very discouraged. I almost quit after state fair. I had enough.

After more encouragement from Mom and Granny, I decided to work harder and spend more time walking the calf and learning how to be good at showing cows. It paid off and I won the first show the next year. I didn't expect it, but it was just the encouragement I needed.

Mom's work schedule has always been crazy. If we didn't get something on her schedule atleast a month in advance, we didn't participate in whatever we wanted to do. This taught us fast that we needed to plan ahead. There are a lot of times when you really can't plan ahead (planting and harvest come to mind), but Mom did that so she could be at as many of our events as possible.

When I feel like my whole life is crashing down on top of me, and that's happened a few times in the last five years, they were always just a phone call away. It doesn't replace actually getting a hug, but it works. One of the few great things about life falling apart when I moved back to Washington in 2012 was that I was only 20 minutes away from the farm. I would head there after work a lot and spend all my free time there. Mom and Granny literally just a few minutes away and that was awesome.

We opened the gate (there's another behind one is running away today!) and the girls came to say hi!
On the farm, every day is Mother's Day for cows. They get special treatment every day. Access to food and water at all times and they can take naps (almost) whenever they want. Our beef cows can literally sleep whenever, but the dairy cows do have to take time out for milking twice a day. Dairy cows are lying down for about 14 hours a day. They eat better than most people do and there's a vet on call should any of the cows need medical attention. Sounds like a pretty good life if you ask me!
These girls are curious and so sweet. I snapped this photo last weekend while working on an article I'm writing.

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