Friday Night Lights

Eric (#42) is one of the players on the sidelines taking a knee while an injured player is cared for out on the field.

Rebecca and her cheerleading squad pose for a picture while there’s a break in the action.

The Milford Band performs during halftime and throughout the game. A few members of the band also play football so those guys have to lose the shoulder pads during halftime and run over to the band and help with the show. Eric is the Tuba Man. If he misses a note, it’s pretty obvious, since there’s only one tuba in the band. A few of the cheerleaders also play an instrument in the band.
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When You Live Out in the County, This is What Can Happen to You

You probably can’t tell what this picture is unless you look real closely. But a few weeks ago, I was sitting in the driver’s seat of our van the Waxahachie YMCA parking lot, minding my own business. Well actually I was waiting for Diane to come out. Then I felt something kind of hit my foot by the brake pedal. I couldn’t imagine what that would be. When I looked down, I was a little shocked to see this rather large toad. I’m not sure how it got there. It would certainly fit Noah’s profile to have brought the toad into the car in the first place. But the old ticker did skip half a beat while I tried to process what live animal just dropped out of the steering column and onto my foot! I can only imagine if that had happened while driving at full speed on a crowded freeway!

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California Said to be Considering Law Forcing Mothers to Pasteurize Their Own Breast Milk

Well, that may be an exaggeration, but it won’t be long before they do. All to “protect the children”. I can imagine that pretty soon California will mandate that all human breast milk must be pasteurized before a baby can drink it.

I’m not an alarmist. I don’t see conspiracies around every corner. But I do see an entrenched dairy industry that is trying to eliminate the grass-fed, raw milk industry in California. There are studies after studies that show that raw milk (non-pasteurized) from grass-fed cows is fantastic food. The pasteurization is what kills all the good stuff. It has to be handled correctly at the dairy, this is true. I invite anyone interested to go to and read for yourself the volume of research on this topic. Here’s what Sandy Fallon, advocate for raw milk says, and I find it compelling: “Officials cite health risks to raw milk but once milk has been pasteurized, all the anti-microbial and immune-supporting components are reduced or destroyed.” I like this San Francisco mom’s reasoning about raw milk on her blog. Check it out here: Raw Milk and Cheese: I switched

The anti-raw milk hype on this topic is stifling, but try to see past it and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The problem with this type of milk is that it is very expensive to produce, but when people study about it, they DEMAND it. California has been a leader in allowing people the choice to buy raw milk, now legislation has been passed that will effectively end raw milk sales in CA.

They are very clever in how the crafted this legislation. Keep in mind that dairies can test every batch of milk they produce for the presence of any pathogenic bacteria directly. There needn’t be any guesswork. But the state of California now mandates that there be virtually no bacteria (pathogenic or not) present in the milk, or it won’t be “certified”. This is a bogus test. Raw milk will have bacteria, just not pathogenic bacteria. This legislation seems aimed squarely at ending the ability of individuals to purchase something shown to be healthful. Check out this article on this new law in CA.

Can You Trick or Treat in a Horse Arena?

Our indoor arena provides a great place to trunk-or-treat. Rain or shine, the show goes on. This time we had perfect weather, but as soon as I took these pictures, we turned off the lights and turned up the atmosphere.

The Blankenships had a scary trunk!

Here’s Eric and Rebecca’s age group posing for a picture after they participated in the costume process.

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Halloween Party Almost a Disaster

The day started out on a bad note. One of the boys friends, Michael, had come over. The boys were all playing in the Haytrix while the adults were prepping for the annual Halloween (ok, Fall Festival) party. Well, they got up on the hay bales, and that’s usually not a problem when it’s just a few kids, but this time Michael fell off. He had an obviously hurt wrist. Diane treated him with ice packs and laid him down and kept him warm since he seemed to be in a little bit of shock. Parents were summoned and got him to the ER. Diagnosis was a hairline fracture of the wrist. Bummer! But like a real trooper, he still managed to get his costume on and was back that evening for the party. But this was only the beginning.

When you look at this picture of Katie and her friend Bronson holding Sky and Sapphire and looking down at what looks like a wheel, you might be able to start to piece together what happened. Rebecca and Katie were out on the first wagonnette ride of the day. They had a light load, mostly of little kids. Everything was going normally. The horses were acting just fine. They went down to the golf course and were going to turn around and head back for another load. They went sideways through a depression along side the road as they were turning around and the wagonnette leaned hard (but nothing different from other trips) to the right. Apparently one of the spokes in the wheel under pressure of the lean splintered and gave way. Then in quick succession the rest of the spokes broke and the wheel was compromised. The wagonnette dropped down to the hub and since it was already leaning that way, it continued to tip and basically tipped over and all passengers were ejected. It all happened quickly. There was certainly potential for injury. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but everyone was understandably a bit traumatized.

Thankfully, this all happened while the wagonette was moving at a very slow speed, but with horses you never know how they’ll react to something like this. In this case, Sky and Sapphire were remarkably composed and Katie and Rebecca handled the situation perfectly. They were both ejected and the horses just continued pulling the wagonnette forward. They did not bolt which is a minor miracle, since no one was at the reigns and since there was a lot of noise and confusion going on behind them. And thankfully all the passengers except for one, was dumped out and clear of the vehicle. The one remaining passenger was holding on inside the wagonnette. Rebecca and Katie ran after the horses and yelled at them to “Whoa” while also yelling at the this last 11 year old girl to jump out. But again the horses weren’t running, just walking forward, probably wondering what was going on and why the load was so heavy all the sudden. They gave heed to the call to whoa and stopped at which time the young lady jumped out triumphantly cheering “Yeah!! I made it!” She thought it was quite the adventure!

Where was I, you ask? Well, I had just turned the rig over to the girls and had gone in to get cleaned up, when my phone rang. It was Rebecca and she was frantic and near tears telling me there was a problem with the wagonnette and it had tipped over. She said no one was hurt, but I bolted out of the house and jumped on the Ranger and got my brother Steven (dressed up as a Milford Football Player) and we sped down to the scene. We found all the passengers kind of standing around in one spot and the wagonnette and horses in another spot by the wagonnette about 100 yards away. I checked with the adults there and then all the kids to make sure everyone was ok. Everyone was shaken, but not hurt. Thank goodness. I checked in with each parent later in the evening to make sure all were ok. All assured me everything was ok. That could have been a disaster. We’ve never had any issue like that before. I’m going to have those wheels checked. I’ve got to get a brand new wheel altogether. Yikes! Rebecca and Katie did such a good job of minimizing the danger once the wheel broke. No one who was a part of that will forget it. Oh yeah, Noah was on the ride also. He didn’t even have a scratch.

When I think about the possible injuries that could have resulted, it scares me. I’m sure we were being watched over. Just the week prior I had taken my parents, and my mom’s 3 sisters and one brother-in-law for a ride on the wagonnette. That’s 6 passengers all in their seventies (or close to it) and had we had a similar accident, there’s no telling what injuries would have resulted. Then just the day before, was the homecoming parade at Milford too. Oh my, what a blessing that if this had to happen, it happened like it did, at slow speed with no injuries.

King Corn — The Movie — "People are basically made out of corn."

I read an interesting review of a movie soon to be released that chronicles how corn has changed our diet and our economy. Interesting stuff, check it out here.

Did you know?

“If the American people wanted strictly grass-fed beef, we would produce grass-fed beef for them,” feedlot owner Bob Bledsoe says in the movie. “But it’s definitely more expensive and one of the tenets in America is America wants and demands cheap food.”

Iowa farmer Chuck Pyatt is quoted in the movie as saying:” ‘People are basically made out of corn,’ “

Also this: “Thanks to hybrid corn, chemical fertilizers, powerful weed killers and other modern farming methods, the filmmakers’ yield is four times what their acre would’ve produced in their great-grandfather’s day. Cheney and Ellis grew enough corn to sweeten 57,348 sodas, feed enough cows to make 3,894 burgers or produce 6,726 boxes of corn flakes. “

So, with all that productivity increase, you’d think we’d have planted less acres of corn right? but according to this article, “Although productivity has increased, so has the number of acres planted in corn. More than 93 million acres of corn were planted this year, a 40 percent increase since 1970.”