I will point out before the text gets going, this is testimony of the ever changing seasons of North Dakota.
2013 is already into the last month of the first quarter. Amazing how time flies! Officially, I have packed away my passport for the year and will focus the next 60 days on bringing babies into the world (fluffy, black, 4 legged, ruminant kinds - hopefully about 250 of them). Those 60 days will be followed by lots of other busi-ness (and business) until October when those March and April babies are weaned and on a good growing / development ration at Pesek Farms in the western part of McKenzie County near the productive Yellowstone Valley (Montana / North Dakota boarder).
How I missed the first two months of 2013 at the ranch? Three days in Bismarck at the legislative session (with RLND), ten days in Brazil in January also with my RLND (Rural Leadership North Dakota) class and eight days in California visiting Pete's sister, Carmen and her crew. For the math, of the first 53 days of 2013, I was on the road or in the air 22 of them.
For me personally, two amazing things happen when I travel and they aren't in any particular order. First, I learn A LOT about life - specifically, how little I know about it. You can read about things and be lectured on them. You can watch them on TV or google them on the Internet, but until touching and feeling and pondering FIRST hand there really isn't that 'moment' of true understanding and appreciation that only experiencing something can provide. Secondly, venturing out really makes me appreciate HOME so very, very much. It truly is affirmation to those internal struggles of finding 'the key to happiness' or defining 'the meaning of life'. It was great to go and it is great to be back home...
Some of the traveling highlights if you are interested:
BISMARCK - LEGISLATIVE SESSION
|RLND class V at the 2013 session of the 63rd assembly of the North Dakota Legislature with Senator Rich Wardner of District 37 which includes the city of Dickinson.|
|A sand sculpture on Copacabana Beach, Rio De Janeiro - with the Brazilian flag flying.|
|Me at the Hata Ranch, Pantanal Notre region, Moto Grosso state|
|Me with a group of Mr. Hata's 5,000 Nellore beef cows which he runs on 37,000 acres with year round grazing.|
|Boots in Brazil - Cassidy Kersten, Stacy Artz, Breanne Ilse, Vawnita Best|
|Our last morning in Rio|
|Kyle's first time flying. Busy reading the Delta safety brochure. Important stuff when you are 4 1/2.|
|Patiently awaiting his Trolley Car ride in San Francisco.|
|Trolley car ride.|
|Kyle and Pete at the Trolley Car Museum.|
|Kyle at the Trolley Car Museum.|
|G & G Best and Kyle riding the Trolley car in San Francisco.|
|Our Agri-tour of the Salinas Valley north of Monterey, the world's salad bowl - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salinas_Valley|
|A demonstration on how to prepare an artichoke.|
|A field of artichokes, cousins to thistle. I know. A thistle field.|
|Field workers harvesting a field of broccoli.|
|Commercial raspberry production.|
|At the ocean, Pacific Grove CA. Kyle tide pooling.|
|Grandpa Lyle and Kyle rock climbing at the beach, Pacific Grove CA.|
|Must move aggregate while at the beach.|
|Toes in the sand near Pacific Grove CA.|
|Up close with the creatures at the Monterey Aquarium CA -http://www.montereybayaquarium.org|
|Amazing aquatic wonders to watch for this High Plains native.|
|Cousin Sara and Kyle enjoying their time together and experiencing the Monterey Aquarium.|
To close, it was a great start to 2013. My travels have been absolutely wonderful and although I love the rock I live under, I still try not to let it hinder my view...
AND, it is sooo good to be home, even if the chore for the day is sorting and moving cows in a snow storm.