Just The Beginning

Thanksgiving 2015 was a “messy” one for much of the state of Kansas.  Rain, turned sleet, turned ice.

Ice EditedWe were fortunate to be able to travel for one of our Thanksgiving feasts before the weather turned bad.  But, by Friday morning… It. Was. Nasty!!!!

Freezing rain, icy roads and cold animals that needed fed.  Ranchers and farmers don’t get bad weather days.  That’s when they’re needed the most.  The animals rely on us to take care of them when Mother Nature gets ugly.

The weather kept unloading through the weekend.  By Saturday, cabin fever had set in our house. I was going to lose my mind if the kids and I didn’t bust out.

We all bundled up and climbed in the feed truck to help Daddy feed the cows.

Ice 2

Some of us were still a little sour because it was too slick to be able to get out of the truck.

Ice 3

While we’re not normally feeding hay this early in the winter months, when the ice sets on like this the cows need the hay since they can’t feed on the ice covered grass.  These girls eat a LOT of hay.  This bale would be gone by morning.

Ice 1  They were so happy to see us.

Ice 4

Ice 10

Ice Cow

Ice 13

Happy, happy girls.

Hopefully, storms like this are seldom this winter.  But…. on the chance that we ARE blasted again, our girls will be well taken care of!!!

 

 

Peace, love and ICE cream!!!!

Ruby Slippers

I have never, in all my life, been happier to return to my warm, cozy, familiar home.  On more than 15 occasions I would have KILLED for Dorothy’s ruby red slippers to click three times transporting me back to the safety of Kansas.

Our misfortunes didn’t end with Tucker’s nasty face plant.  Although we were relieved to find out that he didn’t break his nose, we WERE certain that he had a mild concussion.  His demeanor over the rest of the stay was sluggish, sleepy, moody and odd.  He just wasn’t our normal spunky, fun loving boy.

Ella…oh, poor Ella.  The cough that she’d had turned into a hacking, vomit inducing bark that resulted into she and I missing the Saturday night performance and having multiple wardrobe changes Sunday night. 

Both kids ended up with fevers and chest congestion leaving them pale and sickly for most of the trip.

It was a parenting nightmare.  My patience and faith were certainly tested over those six days.

With all of that said, we DID have some good times.  We shared laughs with great friends, watched some incredible athletes, saw a monkey ride a dog and heard a six-year-old belt out our anthem like no other.

There is always excellent shopping opportunities for the girls AND the guys.

And this AMAZING toy section for the kiddos.  We, literally, let the kids play for at least an hour on the first day.  They never want to leave.

We got to see Ella’s boyfriend, Hank.  Isn’t he the SWEETEST!!!!  He’s such a little charmer.  Her daddy is already worried!  I just LURVE him!!!

We paid tribute to the many men and women of our armed forces.  It’s always touching to see these faces every year.

Grady had two really great rides.  I’m so very proud of him.  He improves with every year and I’m always so impressed with how his hiney can stick to that seat.

I actually have a lot more pictures, but WordPress is being a big pain in my hiney on this post.  I’ll try to share the others later.

I’m looking forward to a completely LAZY and RELAXING weekend.  I hope you do the same.

 

Peace, love and slothlike movement!!!

Faith and Patience

My life sometimes demands that I play the roles of single mother, faith seeker, and patience guru.  Last night was such a night.

As with any normal evening I called Grady on my way home to find out what his routine is looking like and when he thinks he’ll be getting home.  On any usual night he’s home by 6 or 6:30.  No worries.  I like to ask though because one of my biggest pet peeves is to have supper ready and still be waiting on him to show up.

On this particular evening at 5:00 he was certain he’d be done shortly and on the road.  So, with no worries, I picked up the kids, ran to the store for a few essentials and headed home to start supper.  Nachos to be exact.

In the middle of my food preparations I get a phone call from said husband informing that he wouldn’t be home any time soon.  A water pump had gone out and they had to stay to fix it because, well…the cattle HAVE to be able to drink.  I moaned and groaned, but understood.  It’s his job.  It’s out of his control.  I knew all of this.

So, I continued with supper knowing the kids and I would be dining alone.  No, biggie.  It happens.  I got to play the single parent role.  Big whoop.

Several hours lapsed and the kids were bathed and ready for a bottle and snuggle time.  I tried to call Grady and got no answer.  It was 8:00 at that point in time. 

“It’s fine,” I kept telling myself.

“I’m sure he’s elbows deep in water and mud right now.  He CAN’T answer his phone.”

Remember when I posted about being the mother of the year?  Remember when I talked about being a worrier.  Well, those tendencies didn’t fade with the onset of adulthood.  I am STILL a worrier to this day. 

Grady has a relatively dangerous job.  No he’s not fighting fires or dueling it out with criminals on a daily basis, but the life of a cowboy has many risks that come with it.

Okay, so it’s not THIS dangerous on a regular basis, but it’s close… (and this is his hobby…)

My mind started going 100 mph wondering what was going on 40 miles away.  Couldn’t he have taken a short break to call me and let me know they were doing okay and still working on the well.  Didn’t he know his wife would be just a little worried.

No.  When Grady gets focused on a job his mind is nowhere else but on the task at hand.  I know this about him.  That’s not to say that it doesn’t drive me bananas.

So, I had to rely on my faith that he was fine, he was getting his work done and he’d be home when he got home.  I had to have faith that God was protecting the guys and helping to guide them in the right direction of repairing the well.  Afterall, in the grand scheme of things, these men are doing God’s work taking care of these animals.

And then I had to remember patience.  I am NOT a very patient person.  Oh, I’m tolerant and understanding.  I am patient when I know I need to be, but combine worry with a small lack of patience and it can get messy.  So, I usually dive into a book, turn on a good show and fold clothes or do my best to get some shut-eye.  If I am patient, I know he’ll call when he’s done and on his way. 

It’s tough to be in the “unknown”.  I can’t imagine what it would have been like before the days of cell phones.  I’ve heard countless stories of absolute crazy disasters my father had to fix while my mother was the single parent, faith seeker and patience guru at home.  She did a good job.  There weren’t many times any of her internal worry trickled down to us.

So, I suppose I did my job well last night.  Tucker wasn’t worried about where Daddy was and Ella was her usual ornery self. 

Grady got home safe and sound somewhere around 11:00 and the cattle had water to drink.

God bless a cowboy and his big heart for without it we wouldn’t enjoy our cheeseburgers and t-bones.

Peace, love and patiently waiting.

It Goes A Little Something Like This

Cowboys and their wives do NOT have conventional conversations.  Of course they talk about the usual things, supper, the kids, the weather, the neighbors, blah, blah, blah.

But, I’m pretty certain you haven’t had a phone conversation like this one…

Me: Hey, Honey, what’s up?

Grady: Oh, not much.  Just guttin’ a critter.

Me: Oh, yeah?  Have a sick one?

Grady: No, darned (replace with equal explicative) thing broke his leg.  I’m elbow deep in guts.  I’ve gotta go.

Me: Oh.  Okay.  See you tonight.  Love you.

Lose translation of this conversation is that they had a steer break a leg.  This happens on occasion, people aren’t the only ones who are accident prone.  While it isn’t uncommon to cast a CALF’S leg it would be next to impossible and ridiculous to cast a fully grown 1600 lb. steer aka “critter”.  They’d never go for that kind of restraint.  You can’t let the animal suffer so he has to be put down and since the purpose of raising cattle is for food it would be wasteful not to butcher him.  Therefore, the cowboys had to “dress” him prior to taking him to the meat locker.

Yet another example…

Me: Hey, what’s going on?

Grady: Oh, nothing, just stirrin’ the tater pit.

Me: Nasty.

Grady: Yep, but the cattle love it.

Me: Want some potato salad with supper?

Grady: No, thanks.

Loose translation.  At the feedlot the cattle eat mixtures of what they call commodities.  These are all the different things that make up the cattle’s diet on a daily basis, corn, hay, silage and other stuff.  One of the commodities are the leftover scraps from a local food producer, a commercial potato salad and coleslaw manufacturer.  This company has massive quantities of “leftover” food that has either gone bad or was the waste from their day’s production.  Rather than letting all of that go to the local dump these “leftovers” get hauled in a big truck to the feedlot and dumped into a big pit.  It’s pretty oogie looking and doesn’t make you want to go home and have potato soup, but the cattle LOVE it!!!  The “tater pit”, as the crew calls it, has to be stirred daily so that the bits and pieces that the cattle really love and are the most nourishing don’t settle to the bottom.

So, the lesson in this story is this.  Ladies, as sexy as those guys are at the top of the page, remember this.  If you think one of these fellas is the type you’d like to end up with just make sure that you’re okay with some randomly strange and not so pleasant conversations.  Oh, and those things that we were talking about on the phone…it gets on their clothes too…

Yep.

OOOOOGIE!

Peace, love and tater slop.