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by Erin Weaver

Life is hard and everyone has to deal with their personal smorgasbord of problems. For women who farm, these issues are usually compounded by a mixture of business stress, physical aches and pains, and long days of work. It’s great to plan a relaxing holiday or splash out on a spa day with friends when you get the chance, but what about the rest of the time? Well, that’s where pamper evenings come in.

A pamper evening is your at-home remedy for a bad day. It’s a vital way to take some time for yourself and recharge your batteries when you’re feeling down, or when you just want to treat yourself. If you can gather up a few hours and a bit of space, then you’ve got the makings of a good pamper evening already. But how can you make it a perfect one? Try some of these irresistible pamper night ingredients.

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Say no to work, say no to responsibilities, and say no to stress. Don’t worry, it’s just for a few hours! Emails, chores, family concerns, and anything else can do without you for one evening, so set them aside for now.

Turn Down The Lighting

This one seems like a cliché, but it’s really important. Low lighting helps to get your body ready for bed and bring about the sleepy, relaxed feeling you’re looking for in your pamper evening. Flick off the main light and switch to lamps and candles instead.

Take A Bath

Soak in the bath or take a long, hot shower and let your troubles melt away. Use your favorite soaps and scrubs while you’re washing, and spend some time massaging a good moisturizer into your skin afterwards. Get as clean as you possibly can so you’re feeling sparkly fresh by the time you leave the bathroom.

Grab A Soothing Drink

Look, there’s no judgement here! It could be an organic peppermint tea or a jumbo glass of red wine – as long as it delights your taste buds and soothes your soul, it’s the perfect accompaniment to your pamper night activities.

Do What Feels Good

Pick an activity that relaxes you and devote some time to it. Not something that you feel you should be doing, but something that really relieves your pressure. It could be reading a trashy novel, marathoning a new Netflix series, doing some yoga, or catching up on celebrity gossip. If it feels good, you’re on the right track.


Don’t fall into any bad habits before you get into bed. You don’t really need to check your phone or send that last work email. The dishes in the sink can wait until tomorrow. The best end to a pamper evening is a good night’s sleep, so let yourself drift off in peace without interrupting your flow.

There’s nothing better than a pamper evening to put a pep in your step when you’re feeling drained. Having these tricks in your personal pampering toolbox will have you feeling great before you know it, so dim the lights, put your phone away, and get ready to relax.

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Oh, we are all about…

3 Great Dog Breeds for Farm and Family

For many people, there is nothing more exciting than adding a new canine member to the household. Most will focus on how that dog will fit in with their lifestyles and home, as they should. They will envision fun trips with their dog, playing fetch, and picture their kids growing up with their newest buddy.

If you’re a farmer or rancher, you need to take a few other things into consideration. For example, if you have any type of livestock or other pets, you have to think about their safety.

  • Are you looking for a “livestock guardian” or a family pet who has a job?
  • Is the dog breed you’re considering usually mellow around barnyard animals or do they want to herd or “work” them?
  • Do you want a working dog that can help out on the farm as well as act as a pet and protector for the family?
Livestock Guardian vs Herding Dog

Livestock guardians are just what the name implies – they are bred to guard the livestock. This usually means that they will be raised with, bonded with, and live outside with their adopted herd or flock. They are almost always mellow animals that are pleasant to be around, but they have an important job to do. Becoming a family pet can often make that job harder, or even impossible for them to perform. Of course, that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve and want to be loved too, they just won’t be that trip-taking, ball chasing dog from the above scenario.

Herding dogs can be “heelers” who move animals from behind or “gatherers” who circle and direct the herd. Keep in mind that the drive to move animals (and people) is in the genes of herding dogs. It can be a huge benefit OR a hindrance. It is also “always on” so it is best for these particular dogs to have some type of job or activity to do, even if it is just playing fetch with the kids or going on regular walks.

Here are 3 great dog breeds for both farm and family – including excellent herding dogs.

Border Collie

Border collies are a workaholic breed of dog that is also always ready for a hug and some playtime. This energetic, predominantly black and white beauty is known for its agility, eagerness to please, and trainability. Their intelligence makes them an excellent companion as well as a worker on the farm.

With a life expectancy of up to 17 years, these dogs have a long time to charm and entertain their humans. They are a medium-sized breed with the males weighing up to around 45 pounds and the females a few pounds lighter. They can reach heights of around 20+ inches at the shoulder.

With their high play and work drive, Border Collies excel at herding work as well as game playing with the older kids. (It is always a good idea to keep an eye on them with small children as that herding instinct doesn’t always pertain only to livestock.) These dogs are also a favorite on the agility courses due to their natural athleticism and competitive nature.

German Shepherd

One of the most popular and recognizable dog breeds in the world is the German Shepherd. On the larger side, these dogs stand up to 26 inches at the shoulder and can weigh up to 90 pounds. When part of a loving family, these big babies don’t realize they aren’t a lap dog so early obedience training is a must.

People usually equate German Shepherds with police or security work. Most don’t realize that herding sheep was the job they were initially bred for. Their large size combined with extremely high intelligence and natural ability made them top choices for most other jobs as well. These animals are one of the first to be considered for military, search-and-rescue, and service dog roles.

German Shepherds have a life expectancy of around 7-10 years. They are wonderful family protectors and make excellent companions. They do have longer coats that require regular brushing or grooming as they shed quite a bit.

Welsh Corgi

Even though their name is descriptive of their size and means “dwarf”, these dogs think they are giants. With huge personalities that don’t quite match their short stature, the Corgis have made an impact as both family and working dogs.

As indicated by their names/varieties of Pembroke and Cardigan, the breed comes from two different agricultural areas of Wales. They were bred as a heeler due to their short height making them perfect for nipping at the heels of cattle. Even though they have sheepdog blood in their genetic makeup, they were found to be ill-suited to herding sheep. They can be a little too rambunctious when working the flock.

The Pembroke is the more commonly found of the two types of Corgi. They stand about 12 inches at the shoulder and weigh 25-30 pounds at maturity. They are often found in the tan and white coloration, but it is not unusual to find reds and sables. Corgis make great family pets and have long been prized as companions and guardians for children.

The More You Know

Learning the habits and traits of the dog breeds you’re looking at now can save a lot of frustration and heartache in the future. Talk to people who have the dogs you’re interested in and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Finding just the right dog breed might take a little research, but it will pay off in the end with a happy new family member.

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