Still Alive!


I don’t know about your family, but when ours does anything out of the ordinary — i.e. vacationing, camping out for two nights at the arena, or even taking a trip to town — it takes us about a week to recover for every day we’ve been gone.  Which explains why we Blakes have been exclusively eating sundae cones, hot dogs, and Rice Krispies treats for the last… let’s see, let me count ’em… 4-1/2 days.

This is no joke.  So far this week we’ve been through three packages of bun-length Ball Park franks, complete with buns.  Some were roasted over our fire pit, which we sat around in our camp chairs in the fading light, and some were just plain ol’ fried on the stovetop.  I actually got a video of the kids squirting mustard into their mouths right out of the bottle.  After that hilarity passed, I decided I better make something wholesome and from-scratch for the family to eat — what, are we turning into those people? — so I whipped up a batch of Rice Krispies treats, followed by a second batch, and then a third, and I need to make another because we’re about out of treats again.  They’re too yummy.  I just can’t stop myself from doin’ what we need to do to stay alive… in a very delicious way.

Why the long recovery in the Blake family?  It’s just that there’s always the stuff to unload from the pickup and pack into the house, where it has to be sorted through and put away, and that job alone can be overwhelming.  Then there’s the getting-back-into-the-swing-of-things and catching up on normal household chores like The Dishes and The Laundry.  Sometimes after we’ve been out and about, the kids get sick, too, although this time they seem to be holding up well (it’s probably our excellent diet, see above, that’s keeping them so healthy).  Then, often, following the ranch rodeo we put on, there’s a certain mental numbness that overcomes me for a couple weeks… as though I used up every last brain cell and every iota of energy I had available and even borrowed some on credit.  I think putting on the ranch rodeo might be akin to organizing a wedding every year.  I keep marrying the Custer Ranch Rodeo year after year… because I’m a genius!  To exacerbate the situation, if I feel like the event went poorly any given year, the effect is even worse — almost paralyzing.  But as I wrote a couple days ago in I’ve Been Drug Before, I feel like things went really well at the ol’ 2016 CRR, and I don’t feel nearly as wasted this year as I sometimes do.  In fact, my energy carried through so that when we returned home, I got the two pickups unloaded right away, and I’ve even unpacked all our stuff right down to the diaper bag (!), and I’ve sorted through all the rodeo paperwork and started on wrap-up.  All this in between roasting hot dogs and stirring up Rice Krispies treats!  At this rate I should have the thank-you notes done by…


That seems reasonable, right?  I don’t want to rush myself.

A couple notes on the kids:

*We couldn’t find the TV remote the night we got home from the arena.  The search continued the next morning until finally I thought to look in the kitchen garbage can.  There it was in the very bottom; Baby Marsi had evidently tossed it in immediately upon our arrival home.  Is she trying to tell us something?

*Three-year-old Emi has a shirt which she is convinced is a dress.  It’s the only thing she wants to wear, and I would happily let her wear it day in and day out as long as she was wearing something on her legs, too.  We have repeatedly told her that a garment doesn’t qualify as a dress unless it covers your undies.  She does not believe us.  On the way home on Sunday, we stopped for a bite to eat at the Junction City Saloon, where we had to force her to put on jeans out in the parking lot, as she had been running around all morning with only The Shirt on (and undies, and her little white dress shoes).  It’s not a simple task, forcing a 3-year-old into jeans, no it’s not.  With tears rolling down dirt-streaked face, she whimpered, “I just look so silly wearing jeans under my dress.”  The whole fiasco has Beau pretty worried about the onrushing teenage years.


Be like us today and walk around in your underwear eating weenies, mustard, cereal, and marshmallows.  There’s nothing to regret.

© Tami Blake

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