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Sunday, February 07, 2021

Remember that line from the movie, Twister? As a farm girl, it always cracked me up. She almost seemed like she'd never seen them before . . . stuttered to even spit out the word. Well, I've seen PLENTY of cows in my lifetime--most before the age of 18. But I might stutter, too, if they were flying. THAT, I'd never seen!

Here in Mexico, we see plenty of cows, although I'm no farmer's wife. They (along with sheep, goats, burros, dogs, etc.) pretty much go where they want to. Most don't even have a fenced area--many are herded to a "greener pasture"--which is usually the side of the road. That makes for some interesting scenarios.(Don't ask DH about burros. One little girl still calls him the "burro killer," because she saw him hit a burro on the loose.)

So . . . yesterday afternoon as I was preparing our main meal of the day, all of a sudden I heard a terrible ruckus. Someone was hollering at Hubby, then Hubby started hollering, and then our wonder dog went wild. What on earth??!!! By the time I could see out into the yard it was all over. Seems a herd of cattle had decided our yard was the "greener pasture," leaving lovely cow patties all over. And do they stink! Hubby scurried back out to clean that up, and I was VERY grateful he didn't decide the farm girl should do the job!

There is an easy way to avoid this problem, which can be a lot of trouble, but to which I adhere. JUST CLOSE THE GATE! Once Hubby leaves, he often leaves the gate open. Getting out of the truck, closing the gate, then getting out of the truck to open it back up, AND close it for the night can seem like exercise to him. I just see it as more steps towards my goal, and I often follow him out and close it behind him. You see, Hubby waters our yard during dry season, so it's like a restaurant to these poor cows. I've had to herd cows by myself more than a few times, and all these cows know is that I'm trying to take away their feast!

Later as I gingerly walked across the yard, carefully watching for cow patties he might have missed, a thought suddenly occurred to me! "This is not a good time . . . we've got c-c-c-cows!" How certainly this applies to the pitfalls we have when changing a lifetime of bad eating patterns. We may go along just fine for quite a while, until suddenly old habits wander right in. At first we might not even notice; it might even seem like a nice change. Until suddenly we realize they've taken over, and nothing is right! Does that ever stink! THIS IS NOT A GOOD TIME! If we're not vigilant, we might not even notice it. It might even take someone else drawing our attention to it. We may stutter before we can finally spit out the words! "I've got b-b-b-bad h-h-h-h-habits again!!!

Hard truth is that they won't leave on their own. They will park right there eating up all our progress. We have to get up off the couch, grab a stick, and run them out in no uncertain terms. AND CLOSE THE GATE!!! KEEP THE GATE CLOSED!!!

It's funny how quickly things can turn sour on this journey. I started this challenge good, but Hubby didn't sign up for this challenge. And I can so subtly slip into nibbling along the fence line . . . you know . . . "just a bite" or "just one won't hurt you," as he likes to say. And before I know it I've pushed my head through the fence and am stretching to reach just a bit more. What begins and stays within my calorie range soon escalates until I'm way out of it! If I don't notice it happening, pretty soon I don't notice at all what I'm eating. And while it never went quite that far this time, things were starting to stink! All that nibbling along the fence line and stretching to reach a particularly green and luscious clump of grass, effectively OPENS THE GATE!

When we've got cows aka bad habits, we have to figure out how and when we opened the gate. Or maybe we just fudged and didn't put the padlock on. Maybe sometimes we left it ajar, because we were hoping for a pet cow. That wouldn't be too bad, right? Goodness . . . do I have a pet cow right now???

I really feel like I have things back under control, but yesterday's little episode reminded me that I need to evaluate more closely--make sure I know how that gate was left open so that it doesn't happen again. Here's to re-evaluating and learning how to KEEP THE GATE CLOSED!
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