Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mouse hunt in granny pants

I was almost asleep... You know, right at that point were you feel your entire body come at ease...

With a sudden shock i realise there is somebody besides MY BED! And no I'm not dreaming and YES i should be all alone. O my gosh, there is somebody besides my bed...

And then realizing all in a couple of seconds, I'm defiantly not dreaming, i defiantly should start wearing granny pants and pj's (if there would be a crazy man besides my bed, it's less attracting to wear granny pants, i hope) and i defiantly hear something creepy but it's not a man! I turn over to turn on the light and there on my dresser is see a tiny mouse playing hide and seek with my clothes.

Ok, freak out time has officially started, although it's not a scary man but a little tiny mouse.

So I'm watching this little bastard running over my dresser back and forth, climbing up and down and trying to sneak under my bed, i don't think so buddy!  So I'm trying to think of a strategy to catch this little intruder. As a real girl supposed to do, i call my husband and tell him we have a little problem in the bedroom, and ask him if we have some traps. Turned out we did, which is a good thing but that meant me getting out of bed and putting on something, which is a bad thing.

EVERYBODY knows if you have monsters in your bedroom, you stay IN BED! That way they can't catch/grab or attack you...

So after some serious consideration i got out of bed, put on some granny pants and got the mouse trap. We had a little bit of left over sausage and i figured my little mouse would like that. So i set the trap, used some sausage as bait, crawled into bed and waited...

And oh my gosh, two feet away (maybe four feet, but it felt really close) comes my little mouse, so cute, and headed right for my trap!

Haha, got you you little bastard...

At the same time i was hoping i would catch him, i was also hoping that that trap thing would snap really fast so he won't feel nothing, AND thinking that i really can't watch this because it is so mean!

The little mouse grabs my sausage and takes off to a safe place underneath the dresser. No snapping of the trap, no me freaking out about killing a little, really cute, mouse. Just utter amazement. That little bastard stole my sausage!

After Bastiaan got home we tried to catch him but no luck (which wasn't a surprise, he just had lunch) and we set some more traps the next day but so far we haven't caught him yet.

Hopefully he went to the neighbors, maybe he can score some more sausage there, cause he's not getting it from me no more!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's just not that easy

I’ve always been a very impatient person.

That is why I like painting, cleaning something that
is really, really dirty, trimming hedges and so on,
you see immediate result! And I need my immediate
result fix every now and then to keep my sanity.

Well, getting cancer kinda messes everything up,
even my immediate result fixes.

Somehow I lost them completely! Not that I don’t
trim hedges anymore or paint something that doesn’t
really needs to be painted, but it’s all the small things
that life’s all about that I do not have any control over
anymore, and somehow I cannot find the patience to
see the end results. So now I start to wonder if I’m
losing my sanity as well…

In America people LOVE their pills….. pain pills,
sleeping pills, energy pills, concentrating pills, anti-
depression pills, diet pills, making love pills maybe
even more then they love their shrinks, or dr. Phil.

It is truly unbelievable all those pills that an average
family has in their cupboards. I do not like pills. After
one and a half year of many, many pills and don’t forget
the chemo, I am sick of pills. So I think I’m not going to
tell anybody, that well, maybe things aren’t that dandy.
First thing they want to do is sent me to a shrink or get me
on some fabulous cheer me up pills!? And I do not want
Live can’t be that bad, cancer is gone, farm is still
here (bank didn’t take it yet), have a great family and I
can look at my horse every day. What could there possibly
be to bitch about.

So I figure I must be stuck in an after chemo, pick
your life up, and get over it fase.
Makes things a bit harder when you are an impatient
person, I just don’t want to wait for it!

I just want to go back to normal, right now, where I
am the nice blond who chased her American dream,
always being positive who laughs at and with people,
doesn’t worry about every little single thing that goes
wrong, doesn’t feel that she has to change the world
and doesn’t feel like shit every time she yells or gets
angry with somebody for some silly reason, and that
happens often lately…

I did some research and apparently the chemo I had
does mess up the way you think, behave and act. Well
I have to believe I can change it back, somehow the old
me must be still in here and I should be able to grab it
and pull it back out. Just haven’t gotten there yet.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Come and have a look on a LARGE farm in Indiana

This coming September the Indiana Soybean
Alliance is taking Legislators, Senators, Mommy
Bloggers and other participants on a tour on large
farms in Indiana. We are proud to tell you that our farm
will represent the dairy industry. Below you can find some
information and/or register for the tour:

Indiana Soybean Alliance Now Accepting Applications
for 2010 Farm Tour Sept. 8-9

Has anyone ever asked you why sows are in gestation
stalls; why egg layers are in cages; or other questions
about the way we raise livestock today?

This two-day trip, starting in Wabash, Indiana, will
allow you to experience modern farrow-to-finish, dairy,
egg-laying, and aquaculture operations first hand. You will
get an in-depth look at what techniques are being used on
modern livestock farms. The goal of the farm tours is that you
come away with a better understanding of the livestock
industry and be able to share what you learn with others.
Space is limited, register soon!

Applications must be completed and returned by
August 23. Applications will be reviewed and those
accepted on the tour will be contacted. Expenses are
covered for the tour.

Download form, complete application and either
send via mail, fax or e-mail to
Shelia Lingle, Indiana Soybean Alliance
5730 W 74th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46278
Fax: 317-347-3626

Find more information at:
Download Application at:

The tour includes visits to:

Four Leaf Clover Dairy -
Four Leaf Clover Dairy is a family dairy operation
located in Geneva, Indiana. The family is owned and
operated by members of the van de Laar - Oostdijck family,
who are originally from the Netherlands and moved to the United
States to start the operation. The dairy opened in 2007,
and has since produced approximately 130,000 pounds of milk a
day since. The herd consists of 2,000 cows and 72 cows can be
milked at a time. The dairy is located on 80 acres and currently has
21 employees on staff. The family is committed to running the dairy
operation in the right way. The company is the first dairy in the
state to operate using the Direct Load system, or pumping all
milk from the cows' udders directly to a tanker trailer. Four Leaf
Clover Dairy also uses computers to regulate the milking and
provide medical history for each of the animals.

Liberty Swine Farms -
Liberty Farms is a 1,000 sow, farrow-to-finish, swine operation
located in North Central Indiana. They produce about 22,000
pigs each year, primarily Landrace and Yorkshire breeds.
Although swine production is their primary business venture, the
farm also works 800 acres of row crops and alfalfa. Much of
the farm ground has been in the family for six generations. Over
the years, the farm has gone from a multi species farm of dairy
cows, chickens, sheep, hogs, and beef cattle, to the current
specialization in farrow to finish swine production. Currently,
eight workers are employed by Liberty Swine. The farm sits
amid 190 acres of crop land and woods. Buildings are sited
well off the road and planned in order to up-draft the majority
of odors. The farm uses all of the manure as fertilizer for the
crops raised, which becomes feed for hogs, and creates a
cycle of renewable resources that helps to keep production
costs downand raise protein for consumers in an environmentally-
friendly way.

Midwest Poultry Services
Midwest Poultry was formed in 1968 and operates as a fully
integrated producer of shell eggs. Originally started as a water
-powered mill, this family owned agricultural business has
been operating continuously in North Manchester by the
Strauss family since 1875. The family entered the egg business
with the construction of five hen houses in Indiana holding
30,000 birds each. Over its time in production, it expanded its
operations to farms in Fort Recovery, Ohio, North
Manchester and Mentone, Indiana, and Loda, Illinois.
Today, Midwest Poultry Services continues to operate as a
family owned farm with more than 300 employees. These
farms currently have six million hens in production with an
annual capacity of approximately 120 million dozen eggs.
With annual sales in excess of $73 million, Midwest Poultry
is one of the largest egg farmers in the nation. Midwest
Poultry's facilities represent the state-of-the-art for integrated
shell egg farming. Midwest Poultry's various entities
service the entire egg farming cycle, from the raising of pullets,
feed production and shell egg production, to processing and
cartoning. With its primary facilities located in the central
Midwest, the Company has developed longstanding
relationships with its customers. These relationships allow
Midwest Poultry to compete on the basis of service and
quality rather than relying on price alone.

Bell Aquaculture -
Bell Aquaculture is a yellow perch farm located in Albany,
Indiana. Sitting adjacent to land that has been family owned
for more than 100 years, the farm is the largest of its kind in
the United States and is a leading aquaculture facility. The
vision for the farm began when Chairman Michael Miller
became interested in the subject of aquaculture in 1994; he
dreamed of bringing the personal and local favorite yellow
perch back to prominence. In business since 2005, Bell
recently surpassed the milestone of selling 10,000 lbs of
Bell Perch. Although the focus has moved from terrestrial
agriculture to aquaculture on the land, the sense of loyalty
to the community shown by its first owners is the
foundation of the Bell's business today.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How a girl gets a horse...

It was 1998 and being in a different country, speaking a different language isn’t that easy, but manageable. A bit harder to manage is riding 15 horses a day, cleaning stalls and look after the mommies and babies. But given there are 24 hours in a day, it is doable…

Nice thing about working with babies and mommies there are usually daddies too! And daddies make a difference! As a little girl I always been and have been a real sucker for Walt Disney movies, you know the ones that always end right.

So being in a foreign county with all these beautiful horses was just fantastic! There was one in particular, a Morgan stallion named Fox Trim Classic. He was just like the black stallion, but sweeter! Basically he was just big pup but nobody had the guts to compare a horse to a dog. Anyway, I had the pleasure to ride him in a big show and every day after. And I just loved the “big” boy. After talking to his owner I told her if I was EVER going to move to The States and if she EVER wanted to sell him for whatever reason I would take him! Off course being 19 years old and very optimistic and naive about live, I thought it was reasonable suggestion.

And live goes on…

When we moved to the States in 2006 it never occurred to me that Classic, was still around. He probably had to be in his twenties and after a full live of breeding every mare presented to him, I didn’t think it was a possibility of him being around and alive and kicking…

In April of 2008 I got the terrible news that I had cancer and I was very much lost and lonely (even with all my loving family and friends surrounding me) so it was a hectic and stress full time. But two weeks after I
received the news I got another phone call. From the woman who had Classic!?! If I would be interested in having him, he was after all retired and she needed a good home for him, because she was getting a divorce and needed to sell him.

After 12 years I said YES right away! It was just a gift from heaven to let me know that I didn’t have to battle cancer all by myself …

So he came, a little more gray, being beautiful, understanding, sweet and powerful and every time if I felt I just couldn’t do it no more I just have to look outside the window and see my black stallion and I know I can…

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What have i gotten myself into!?! Awards...

What have I gotten myself into…
I got two awards for my posts at my blog so far and I have to
give some in return, plus there are rules!!!??? So here we go:

The Rules:
A. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this
B. Share seven things about yourself
C. Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, and
    experience using five words.
D. Pass this award along to 15 bloggers who you have
    recently discovered and who you think are fantastic
    for whatever reason.
E. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know
    about the award.

A. Thank you so much Liz from Two maids a milking and
     Leah from Beyer Beware for this great experience!

B. Seven things about Myself:
    1. Most people do not know how to say my name:
        Leeyawnteen is what comes close
    2. I love matchbox twenty, but I never want to go to
        a concert again with my hubby, you just can't go all girly...
    3. I do NOT do Diet or light
    4. I only have 3 pairs of shoes and some rubber boots
    5. My horse is almost as old as my husband
    6. I really do not think cows are good looking animals
        although we have over 2000 of them
   7. I miss my sister heaps, she is all the way in the Netherlands
       while I’m here

C. Five words to describe this experience
    Surprising, New, Strange, Innovative, did I
    mention Strange!?!

D. My 15 New Finds are as follows…
     1. The besty of betsy
     2. Jon is writing on the wal
     3. Ash you grow older
     4. Signature notes
     5. Pure Purcell
     6. Laura Jean life as we live it
     7. Kramer Kreations
     8. Gabby dazeinwise
     9. Jeansboots
    10. Jents front porch
    11. Thumpken special
    12. Butterflies gourds and more
    13. Gamer girl blinx
    15. Dodging chicks

E. Ok now I’m off to tell another 5 people
    what I’m doing and that they got an Award!!!!
    Whoohoo, loving the blogging community….

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Living my American Dream...

Imagine a little blond girl, on her little pony
with red wheels, cruising thru the kitchen. A
strange man comes in and tells her about a
spider.She has NO clue what he is talking about
because she is Dutch…and Dutch people do
not speak English. But she just KNOWS it is
a scary thing, a big problem! This was the
very first word she learned in the English

Couple of years later when this little blond girl
turned into a taller, skinny blond girl that man
showed up again in the kitchen.
He turned out to be her dad’s younger brother,
and tells her about America…. About the
endless roads, the proud mentality, the friendliness
of the people, the green pastures and the horses
he loves so much.

This blond girl knows what she wants,
(read this as: she’s incredibly stubborn and
hard headed), and she decided to go to the
land of endless possibilities and discover it
for herself. And she did, after three months
spending time on her aunt and uncle’s horse
farm in Michigan; she came home to the
Netherlands and told her mom and dad,
“When I grow up I’m going to move to
The States!!!

She went to high school, focusing on horses
and cows. Went to College, focusing again on
horses and cows and finally to University to
study Agricultural Economics and to get her
teaching degree. She visited America as much
as she could during school breaks. During this
time she worked to get the right papers so
she would have a better shot at being able to come
to this great country. Her mom was terribly sick,
which made it very hard for her dad to run the family
operated hog farm and to raise three “little” kids.
The family held it together as good as they could
but because of the “Swine Fever,” that went all
through Europe in 1997, the farm ended. ..

Her dad always dreamed of having a dairy
farm. When he was a young man himself he
wanted to milk cows, but after meeting and
marrying her mom they took over the homestead.
Her mom just loved her family so she said she
would go where ever it would make them happy.
Her brother also was very fond of milking cows
and everything that had to do with agriculture.
He followed his big sister and went to the U.S.
to do some practical training sessions
for College. The youngest sister in this story didn’t
like America at ALL! Even the idea of visiting was
outrageous no matter what kind of fairytale stories
her big sister would tell…

But in 2003 after the blond girl graduated from
University, madly in love with this boy from
the northern part of the country, and who she
told on the first date: “you better believe it, I’m
moving to the States when I got my degree,
even if you come or not!” The family and the
handsome young man made the decision to sign
some papers with a well known Dutch/American
organization, to move to the land where they
would live their American dream and milk
some cows!

Arghhhh, try to get into this country!!!!
It’s grueling!!!

After several years (yes, YEARS) of trying
to sell the farmstead, visa denials, moving
from one friends to another with only the clothes
on your back (because the container with the
rest of you belongings is already packed and
on a ship). And finally visa approvals, saying
goodbye to friends, and the emotional
rollercoaster that you are not a resident of you
birth land any longer but not quite a resident
in the other new land either.

We entered the United States of America on
February the 14th of 2006, with our visas and
hopes for a better and new future. Except
for the younger sister and her boyfriend
(of 9 years), they decided to stay in The
Netherlands. But they did change their minds
about visiting and America!!!

Construction of the dairy started in November
2006 and on the 20th of November 2007 we
milked our first cow, and oh my gosh,
IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!! All the planning,
hiring people, construction problems, start up
problems, documents that needed signed,
restrictions, Indiana Department of Environmental
Management visits, convincing the public: we are
NOT big corporation monsters, just a family who
loves being here, was more than worth it!!!

We are truly BLESSED to milk 2200 cows and
we love every single day of it!

I have grown up quite a bit. I love my
family, friends and all the other people I know
very much. I have learned problems are not
problems, they are just challenges that you
need to overcome. Without learning the
word “spin” in English (spider), I would never
have had the opportunity to live my
American Dream.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dipshits and pressure washers...

This is a older post i posted on my facebook and hyves page in 2009.
Because i got great responces i'm putting it up again on blogger.

Have Fun!

As of November 9th 2009 I’m officially healthy!

The reason being: the didn’t find anything in my head and that I’m a blond, doesn’t have anything to do with it…

This means we do not have to go to the oncologist, dermatologist, gynecologist, ER and eye doctor every week. Now I can get myself together for 3 MONTHS, ahhh, live is good, before I have to go back! This means let’s kick some booty…

So in order to do that, I figured I might get myself useful and start with cleaning things up. You have to set the right example, right? So I got the pressure washer ready and started cleaning. Trying, anyway... We do not have a little pressure washer, it is a big kick ass thing apparently only to use by whom do not just have to do their driveways and cars.

So I turn the thing on and am about to fall in the derbis, of course for the obvious reason, it hasn’t been cleaned yet. I get myself back up straight and started… I’m a very impatient person, so it is nice to see immediate result. Not that it was that dirty but it is like when you paint, you notice the difference.

a clean milking palor

Next thing I know our guys (who were suppose to clean in the first place) are standing there, watching me handle that pressure washer… Yeah, funny thing... little girl, big pressure washer…
I could’ve kicked their booty’s right there, but I figured it is better to do that in a meeting with some proper translation (Spanish, yeah, working on it) and get some actual results instead of just some snickering and more funny jokes.

Next day I’m walking like an 80 year old woman, with walking stick, feeling terrible everywhere, knowing I didn’t kick nobody’s booty but mine. And yes, big pressure washers are for big guys not little girls who are just recovering from chemo…

A girl and her bathtub...

Being a farmer doesn’t mean I’m less of a girl/woman. It is hard to say what I am, being 31 doesn’t qualify me as a woman because I look like a 20 year old (at least that’s what I think, on a good sunny, my hair does exactly what I want day) but am not a girl anymore either, I’m married after all…
Being a girl in a men’s world makes it even harder. It wasn’t easy in college and university, being in a classroom where they are just one or two other girls, out of the 40 guys; it is even harder in the real world.

First off; they (the men) do not believe you… Imagine going into a meeting about management and hoof trimming, they think you are the wife of a farmer, and believe me that is by far, the best category you can fall into. So… you do not qualify as somebody with any kind of knowledge or expertise, so they think they do not have talk about cow stuff with you. And so you sit alone in a meeting until you find a sweet farmers wife OR heaven forbid another girl/woman that IS a farmer herself!

Second; they do not take you seriously.
When they do find out you are the farmer instead of the farmer’s wife, girlfriend, or bunny hugger, maybe they will talk to you and ask you some serious questions. And I have to admit the “older” gentlemen amongst us seem to be much MORE acceptable of a women then the younger generation. Wonder why…
Mostly it starts with talking about calves, maybe every girl or women is supposed to like small animals? And I have to admit, I think they are really cute, especially when I see them at somebody else’s farm!

Third; they are scared.
When you are milking over 2000 cows and you just started, never milked a cow of you own in your whole life before. And you are able to make deals they haven’t been able make with all their manly powers, and you are enjoying yourself immensely, I can understand why some men are a bit afraid of you.

Of course with social media coming up it is much easier for me to get some really good feedback, we pose ourselves on the internet, on twitter ,facebook or any other media and most people assume you are a guy, so they will talk to you and answer your questions and value you opinion. By the time they figure out you are a woman, most do not really care no more because they see you as a person with a reasonable opinion and some (I hope) decent advice.

But luckily for me we are blessed with great guys here in Indiana! They are maybe a bit scared, wary and a bit suspicious at first but that is ok! If you do not know me, or any other girl or woman that shows up at your door step and starts talking about milk quality, conception rates, breeding possibilities and the quality of the crops last year, I would be a bit confused too! But almost all the men I have met since we have moved to this great country have proven to me that there is a way for somebody new no matter if you are a boy or a girl, from China, Africa or the Netherlands, to get accepted here into the dairy industry. And I am most grateful for that.

I really think that if I would have stayed in The Netherlands it would have been different. Most Americans tend to be much more open minded and acceptable to change then they think they are!
Of course everything has to come from two sides but I am really happy with the men I have met in de dairy industry so far.

I didn’t tell you about the advantages yet, and wherever there are disadvantages there are advantages!
I never have to wait in line going to the bathroom when we have a meeting. I usually do not have to work the evening or night shift. And heavy lifting, some sweet guy who sees me struggling will rush over and take over. Also most of the men are really polite and even if you make them really, really mad, they still are nice or at least try to be really nice.
And sometime a little smile and a wink can make life so much easier….

Together you can get things done that at first may seem impossible.

So Wednesday nights I will lay down in my bathtub, get a good scrubbing, put some girly clothes on (not the coveralls rubber boots and a hat), blow-dry my hair and put some make-up on to watch America’s next top model and think about the past week and about all the wonderful men I have in my life, who I work with and who I respect. I have to admit, it is pretty SWEET being a girl in a men’s world!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What Cancer does to somebody like ME

One year, eleven months and somewhat days ago I got confronted with this awful disease. I can tell you, it wasn't and is not funny...

After several surgeries, lots of pain and fear I got 4 weeks of chemo treatment for 4 hours in a row every day. After that we did 48 weeks of chemo shots, 3 times a week, with one of the most terrible chemical substances that people have invented. Things lasted a bit longer because we had to quit a couple of times (weeks) because my body or mind couldn’t handle it too well...

Cancer does a lot to people... So does the treatment of cancer...

It makes you angry
Angry against the world, because every time you go to the hospital, the people that you meet are in their fifties. Where are all the young people??? Am I the only one? Angry towards the people surrounding you. I doesn’t matter how hard they try, they can’t feel, understand or know what you feel! Even if they are by your side 24/7 in the hospital and at home, keep your hair up when you are puking your guts out in the toilet or when you do NOT want to say ANYTHING because you are to tired to the bone or when they hold you until the shaking has stopped… Angry towards your friends, you thought they were there, but they are not. Angry towards you family, they do not deserve it, but to admit that to yourself only makes things worse. But most of all angry towards yourself. Because you just can’t understand why this had to happen. And if you could have changed it or prevented it! And of course I am MAD because I thought I could change or adapt to anything. I could do everything and I didn’t NEED anybody. Angry because it is not fair. Angry because it shouldn’t have to be this way. Angry because of all the hurt I caused other people...

It makes you scared
Scared that you never get off of the rollercoaster of emotions, your sad, happy, angry and hurt, and all over again. Afraid that with every bump, every little thing that hurts, every little change or little mold, it is coming back... Scared that all the statistics are true. Scared because we have to go back to the hospital every 3 months the coming five years, and you NEVER know what “they” are going to say... Afraid you can never have any little kids, and even if you would, and you would die within two years, Bastiaan would be all alone with that little bundle of love... I can’t do that... Afraid that you can not give the people, who you love the most, what they deserve.

It makes you sad
Because live passed you by for the last two years and you can not get it back. Because you wanted to build friendships but didn’t have the energy to do so. Because you wanted to face the mistakes you made in the past, but that didn’t work out. Because this was supposed to be the new country with the new life and possibilities. Because we are shallow and you do not realize that until you have a hole of 3 by 2,5 inches on you leg and so many other scars on you body you do not even want to count them. Because you are hurting of the scars that mark your hart. Because I, like so many others want to put problems, subject and other things behind us.

You Learn
That if you do not have anything nice to say, it is better to stay quiet. You do not rule the world, even if you think you did. Things happen for a reason, it will not help you if you do not accept them. Sometimes you have to agree that choices other people make are for the best of you. You can not run from whatever it is you are hiding from. It will come and get you eventually.

You feel loved and blessed
Because no matter what happens (your yelling, crying, being silent and everything in between) your family is there for you. Because the boy who wanted to go with you (because you felt the need to milk cows in the USA) has to deal with all of this and STILL loves you. Because people that you hardly know came up to your house and gave you food, money or other things that would comfort you. Because of the friends that did stay are the ones you need to love the most in return! Because ordinary people with ordinary lives felt the need to pray for YOU! And wished you the best and MEANT it... Whenever you are sick, your mom, dad, husband, brother, sister, family, friends and all the other people that care for you are a little bit sick too. And if they can fight for you, you should fight for them.

It makes you happy
For every day that you can complain, yell or blabber to your family. That you can look to your husband and realise how much you really love him. That every morning you can get out of bed, and you do NOT have to stay in that dammed bed! Because you can go to your work (the dairy), because it is a dream come true
Running a large family operated dairy is a gift and blessing, and i am so dammed proud that i can. I can make choices about who what and were. And that every day, one day is that I can enjoy.

For the first time since April 2008 I feel like myself again, although it is a totally different me
After 5 terrible days, because yes, they put you on all the meds, but how do you get off of them again!!?? Without sleep, with lots and lot’s of pain, and feeling like a zombie who just like a drug addict is missing out on his shot, and doesn’t feel quite alive, I got out of the shower.

And I am glad to be here...