The kids are away!

Well, except for this one:


Baby Muggins and I are on our own today because yesterday my sister called and wondered if she could take my three big kids camping for two nights.

The big kids were all YAY!

Much as I love my little darlings, I was thinking YAY on the inside too.  Because…

*Sleep potential increases for me when the kid count drops.

*The house has been clean for 16 straight hours now.

*I’m going to have a cucumber and Oreos for lunch.  No developing brains to worry about!

*I can do whatever I want to do today!  Here’s tops on my list —

1) I’m finally going to clean the frig.


Seriously.  There are four bottles of barbecue sauce and two bottles of worcestershire within easy view here.  Why?

2) I’m going to finish writing ranch rodeo thank-you notes.


Is it just me or do other people love to buy cute stamps at the post office?

3) I’m going to unload and clean out the camper.


Because it’s been six weeks.  And because I’m hoping to find The Missing Jeans.

4) I’m… wait for it… going to build a new awning to replace this one over the kitchen window:


(I didn’t realize until I looked at this photo that the awning, in addition to other problems, is suffering from some serious mold/fungus issues.)

I am planning to build the new awning, which I can so readily picture in my mind, out of scrap barn wood I found this morning in one of the open face sheds:


(Open-face ranch sheds hide all sorts of treasures!  Spurred by pictures I’ve seen on Pinterest and my new interest in the TV show Fixer Upper [I know, I know, five years behind everybody else here], I am blossoming into a wannabe junker/crafter.  I am feeling pretty blessed right now that I live on a century-old ranch, because the wool has been taken from mine eyes and I’m realizing there is fantastic potential hiding within every single junk pile on the place!)

(Oh, and in case you’re wondering what those old trucks are all about in the picture, that’s the ranch’s welding truck closest to the camera… and the well truck is right behind it.  Both still in use.  Not junk.  Just so we’re clear.)


I feel like a disclaimer is in order:  I have no idea how to build an awning out of barn wood.  I have no idea how to build anything, actually.  I am wishing right now that I’d spent more time in shop class in my school days, because rarely does a week pass anymore that I don’t wish I…

a) knew how to weld… or

b) knew how to build.

Again, as always, regretting the time I spent sitting in high school math and science classes.  I should’ve been in the shop instead learning common-sense life skills!  (No offense, Mr. White and Mr. Emmons.  I know you tried.  I was a hard case.)

Alas, there is no turning back time, so thank goodness for those two-minute YouTube videos of the 21st Century that make doing anything look easy, from knitting a blanket to making banana bread to building an awning to performing brain surgery.

Not that I’ve actually seen a YouTube video on building an awning out of barn wood.

But I can sure see the finished product in my mind.

Beau is gone for the day, working on waterlines at the VX, but before he left he helped me secure all the materials he thought I would need to build an awning:


What’s that thingamaboober on the left there for again?  … Never mind.  I think I remember what Beau told me.


My sidekick and I will persevere!

(I am pretty sure the awning Beau is seeing in his mind does not look like the awning I am seeing in my mind.  But, as ever, he’s willing to take a gamble on me.  Even more, in a new development in our relationship today, he has entrusted power tools to my care.  God bless ‘im.)

Speaking of him, last night he and I got to watch a very grown-up movie together.  The story is so, so horrifying.  But the movie is so well done:


Based on true events, it offers a glimpse into the hardships — created by history and circumstance as well as everyday choices — endured on modern American Indian reservations… as well as the way in which oilfield “communities” are affecting social structures across the West.  The film is graphic and unsettling, but so well-cast and so unfortunately realistic.  It’s definitely an adult film.  At 36, I’d say I’m barely old enough to watch it.  I would also say that my parents are TOO old to watch it.  So if you’re in your 40s or 50s and made up of some serious intestinal fortitude, do watch this movie.  You’ll know more about life, people, and the world in which we’re living if you do.

On that pleasant note, I’m off to decide which project to tackle first.

© Tami Blake

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