… and I’m not sure where the time has gone since then! I’ve been writing lots of good blogs in my head, but alas, have not been getting much down on the glowing screen. The days here in the house are filled with loving, teaching, and cooking and cleaning with these three little characters:
Here they are eating the buffalo-burgers Asher procured during our trip to pick up 4 freshly-processed beefs at C&K Meats in Forsyth last week. (Because he is a true frontiersman at heart and he’ll never be fully satisfied eating just beef.)
The kids are my sous chefs and No. 1 taste-testers. This is Marsielle and Asher mixing up the pie dough we used for the chicken pot pie we fed to the crew this past Saturday. That crust alone required six sticks of butter! I’m going to have to go back to Costco soon. Wonder if I should blame the heart attack on Costco itself… or the butter I buy there? In case you think I’m preoccupied with groceries, it’s just that since October 1, I’ve served 115 plates of food to ranch employees out of our kitchen (I keep track because the ranch pays me for cooking. Enough? Well, that’s a subject for a future blog).
Emi and her fantastic gingerbread house! This year I’m trying to strike a wise balance in our family between Christmas anticipation and excitement and Christmas K.I.S.S. (you know: Keep It Simple, Stupid). So far my plan has involved letting the kids unpack and examine ALL the Christmas decorations — and then re-packing and re-storing most of the decorations when the kids weren’t looking. They don’t seem to miss any of it!
The main reason I’m writing today is to report on the outcome of Beau’s big plan to wrap up weaning here on the PV by Thanksgiving. While the PV crew did not pregnancy-check every last cow and wean every last calf by Thanksgiving 2017… they did get it all done by the Tuesday following Thanksgiving! I think Beau and the rest of the guys were feeling pretty proud that they’d set a goal and came so close to meeting it. (Here at the PV, hitting a target within a six-day margin of error still feels pretty much like a W!)
There’s still a little fall work to do around here — getting the steer calves shipped off to another feedlot, getting odds ‘n’ ends shipped off to market, getting mama cows situated either on winter grass or here in the feedlot (because of drought and spring grass concerns). Things are continually on the move in the feedlot, i.e. in our backyard:
(The kids and I had to climb a really tall hill to take these pictures. Some of the guys were working in the feedlot when we did it and later expressed their amazement that I not only got my [apparently incapable-looking] pregnant self up the hill but my three little marbles as well!)
There are a few quotables I’ve been meaning to share, as they all aptly reflect the state of our lives right now.
- Hit by a sudden wave of what-have-we-done panic, I asked Beau (about seven months too late), “What in the world are we going to do with a brand-new baby in this house?” And Beau said, defeatedly: “We’re going to cry with him.”
- Marsielle, the two-year-old big-sister-to-be, is expanding her vocabulary every day. After months of withholding verbally and therefore, somehow, wielding a certain power over the rest of us, she’s recently become very fond of the phrase DANG IT! Beau and I can’t think of anybody in our lives from whom she might have picked up the words, and it’s not like there’s a problem with her saying them (actually, it’s pretty hilarious to hear it). It’s just that she slips the phrase into her everyday vernacular with a certain satisfaction that does concern us a bit. Yesterday, because I wasn’t responding immediately to yet another of her requests, she didn’t cry but instead bellered, Dang it, Mom! DANG IT! As her parents we can easily imagine that DANG IT! could be a gateway phrase for her.
- I overhead 4-year-old honest Emilyn telling someone that I only cook real food in our home if the cowboy crew is coming over for lunch. “The rest of the time we just snack, snack, snack, all day long,” she tattled. And I am… guilty.
- Part experimental, part cost-savings, I recently gave myself a haircut consisting of stylishly heavy bangs. The short haircut I sprang for last winter is good and grown out now, and I can’t decide from day to day if I look better with short hair or long hair. In the meantime we are saving, saving, saving toward a vehicle that will fit our soon-to-be-family-of-six, and I have simultaneously become preoccupied with the notion that I need to shield the world from seeing my aging forehead, and then I became very inspired by a photograph of a heavy-banged mom which I spotted while sitting in my OB’s waiting room. A haircut at home seemed like the obvious answer! So the kids crouched on the edges of the bathroom counter one morning as I cut myself a set of heavy bangs. And I really kinda like them. Even Beau has admitted to liking them. And dear Asher — our eldest child, a thoughtful boy with a soft heart and a propensity for reading between the lines — has gotten some mileage out of the bangs, too. The other day he caught me in the middle of a breakdown — was it a batch of lumpy gravy? Yet another hair-on-it’s-so-fresh calf leg bone delivered to our front door courtesy of our stinking dog? Perhaps a few more tears shed over my social shortcomings? Here at 34 weeks, it could’ve been any or all of the above… and just about anything else, too. Anyhow, on this particular day, little Asher, who has grown up an awful lot in the last few months, saw my distraught face and offered the very best he could think of: Your bangs look really nice today, Mom.
Thank you, Son. I did them myself.
So this is our life these days. There’s much more to write about than I actually get down. I guess I just use up all my time running around cooking and cleaning and trying to pass the semi-acceptable-homeschooling-mom test and sleeping wherever I can fit that in… and all I get in return is yelled at: Dang it, Mom. DANG IT!
About most of that.
I do hope, soon, to find the time to fill my reader(s) in on The Real, True-Life Story of a Pregnant Woman Who Failed the First Glucose Test. It’s a pretty good tale and I think you’d get a kick out of it. (Disclaimer: I do not have gestational diabetes. I failed my first glucose test this time around but passed my second… and therein is the story.)
Until then… 18 days ’til Christmas!