VTMAS No.76: Adam’s Hair

I talk a lot about my days in FFA (Future Farmers of America). It was a great time in my childhood and I made some amazing, long-term friends. Even now, in our ever growing lives, we are spread all over and we still reminisce about those times at the fair or in the yard working cattle. This comes right back to a particular fair that produced a lot of stories for us all. It was a strange Wonderland and so much smaller, stranger than the other fairs we had experienced. Alachua

VTMAS No.75: Drive Thru Stalker

We all know I attract weirdos of all flavors. This one incident takes us back to my Senior year in high school in the days where I drove around town in my big blue Yukon. My vehicle became an instant icon and a one-of-a-kind truck in my hometown. If you saw a Blue Yukon, you just saw Valerie drive by. It was easy for anyone to know where I was going or had been for the day because of this. Note, this detail will come into play… At this particular time, there was a boy who had

VTMAS No.65: Cow in Reverse

Most of my close friends know I was a fanatic about cows. I raised them, showed them, and even enjoyed drawing them on occasion in my sketchbook. In fact, my reputation had grown so large, I was coined the nickname Cow Goddess and became a feature in a friends comic once. One of the most memorable steers I worked with was the Chapter Steer, Beethoven. Yes, that’s me and the big guy in the picture. Here he was only 800-900 pounds, but by the time fair season, he weighed in at

VTMAS No. 60: I’m Not Cleaning This Classroom

Picture courtesy of Pixabay.com by Werner22brigitte: https://pixabay.com/en/steinbach-mennonite-heritage-village-56641/ If you hang around me long enough, I am pretty sure you may know this story. It was one of those moments you suspect happens, but never think you would be able to catch people in the act. At this time in my life I was my mother’s janitorial assistant. There are no words to express how awkward it was being a high schooler and being the “janitor” to a rival sc

VTMAS No.58: I Was Bad, Once

You see that blue gorgeous hunk of SUV. That was the love of my life in high school. I had somehow worked it out with my divorcing parents to sell me the truck. That’s right, I had the title on that 4×4 beauty and I could go anywhere without the fear of getting stuck. In FFA, it came in handy, loading up fellow members, both in my grade and below, along with supplies in the back and traveling to fairs or FFA competitions. Ah, those were the days. Oh, but this post is a confes

VTMAS No.53: The Not-so Silent Cujo

I can’t remember what day it was, but we had been slow at the Veterinary office. As my routine dictated, I came in, clocked in, and set to work in the kennels. I had only three dogs to walk, but I was super excited to see we were temporarily housing a young red macaw by the name of Cujo. Naturally, as would any of you, I could not resist the urge to try to make him talk or repeat. After about ten minutes of no luck, I went back to my job. Ivette peeked around the corner, “Are

VTMAS No.50: Rocko the Rottweiler

As you’ve read before, my first job was a kennel worker at a veterinary office. I would leave school, head to work, clock in and immediately start doing my thing. Hardworking, I had a routine, a process to make sure I never missed anything. Coming in the door there was a white board we all used to list kennel medications, warn one another of a volatile animal or list who the technicians still needed urine and/or stool samples from. On this particular day the white board indic

VTMAS No.49: Between A Cow’s Butt & the Gate

It’s been some time since I shared a cow or FFA story, so here’s a short, sweet and semi-horrifying moment. I remember that day well. It was sunny and pretty out, I had on a tank top and overalls sporting a baseball cap which I was wearing backwards. My sister was outside the gate waiting for me to finish so I could drop her off at the mall. I was taking care of a small Black Angus heifer named Mary Ann at the time and so I was finishing the last chore. She was over with my s

VTMAS No.48: Vaccinate the Tiger, Val

I have to admit, my first job was amazing. For three years, I got up close and personal with a wide range of animals that most only dream to at least see in person or at the zoo. Dr. Stephens was a talented veterinarian for both local foundations and residents. When I first came to work there, I started off at the “Kennel Worker” and it didn’t take long that my work experience with livestock made me a valuable asset throughout the office. By the time I left, I had aided in su

VTMAS No.47: Night Trip to the Cemetery

I believe at some point during our teen, pre-adult age we are curious enough to visit a cemetery at night. Well, my friends and I were on that cuspis of curiosity one late weekend night. In fact, we were all huddled there debating on what we wanted to do and somehow it came up to two choices: Cemetery or Wal-Mart? So we did what any practical person would do; flipped a coin. “Cemetery it is!” Ash declared. We all loaded up into my big blue 1992 GMC Yukon. I love (and miss) th

VTMAS No.46: Martin & The Cow

If you’ve been following this series, you’ve already been introduced to one of my all time best friends, Martin. The best part was I actually took a creative writing class with him and we became great buddies, but my expertise of the Bovine sorts sometimes led to some interesting questions from my peers. This was the one time I recall having a conversation with Martin about cows while I was still in high school. I can’t remember if I was driving him home or sitting in class o