15 days ’til Christmas

The countdown to Christmas continues:


The countdown to finish fall works continues:


Here’s how Beau’s day went:  he left the house, saddled and loaded his horse at 6 a.m.  His pickup and trailer pulled back into the yard here at 6:30 p.m.  His day was passed with the cowboy crew at Ridge Camp, at the northwest corner of the ranch, where they had hoped to preg-check 600+ cows today.  Unfortunately, in the middle of today’s works, a cow suffered a freakishly stuck and very broken leg going through the lead-up alley.  Two precious hours of daylight were wasted extricating her.  Those two lost hours meant only 400+ made it through the chute today.

The good news is that the cows that were pregged today bred up at 95%.  The bad news is that a pasture-full of 2-year-old heifers that went through the chute bred up at an astonishingly poor 53%.  Dr. Cunningham of Treasure Vet is guessing that bad reservoir water in the 2-year-olds’ summer pasture is to blame for the fertility issue.


Here’s how my day went:  I am, I must explain once more for my own benefit, no help with cow work these days.  We have these four children, see (I remind myself again and again), and they’re not old enough yet to go along for a day of working cows in single-digit temps… so they and I stay home when Daddy goes.  We stay in the warm house.  Which, admittedly, isn’t always a bad thing.  Sometimes, like when I discover the toilet is plugged yet again or that the baby has spilled a box of spaghetti on the floor or when I look out into a porch that is a magically muddy mess again, already… I think my job as a mom surely is not much of a job.

But Beau assures me it is the most important job.



Easy for him to say.


So here goes.  A quick list of some things I’ve accomplished in the last couple days:

– Acquiesced and let the kids talk me into entering our creepy cellar yet again to mine out more Christmas decorations, which I lugged in heavy tubs up the stairs to the kitchen floor, where the kids proceeded to attack like wolves on fresh meat.  They quickly turned the kitchen into a crime scene strewn with glitter, bits of ribbon, ornaments of Christmases Past, some wrapped presents that apparently were never given last year (huh?), and all the Christmas cards we’ve received in the last 15 years.  (Why am I saving those old Christmas cards?)

– Held it *mostly* together when the kids went on a spree to gather up our “unwanted” household items to regift as Christmas gifts for every friend they have.  Compromised with them by insisting that everything that goes under the tree must either be wrapped or in a gift bag, not to mention clearly labeled as to the intended recipient.  Considered investing in a company that makes wrapping paper.

– Read 8 (or was it 80?) picture books about Christmas.

– Called and reserved the community center for the ranch Christmas party.

– Called our local meat processor to finalize the orders on the ranch beef that is being cut and packaged this week.

– Called a different local meat processor to (sadly enough) reserve a date for “Bacon,” the piggy Asher won in this past summer’s pig scramble.  Bacon has been a super fun project for Asher, and though Asher thinks we should just keep him forever, the truth of the matter is… well, pigs can’t stay forever.

– Mined our calendar for upcoming commitments that might be postponed or cancelled.  Because the truth is that we just can’t do it all.  So far I’ve cancelled this week’s piano practice for the kids AND a meeting I was committed to attend.  And I feel a little bit lighter.

– Hayed the horses at the barn multiple times.  Because they always nicker at me when I walk out the door, and it’s hard to resist!  In a world full of cowboys rushing hither and yon, the horses know that I am the one who is always here and therefore available to feed them.

– Got two kids through the shower.  Washed one set of bedding.  Disciplined myself to fold five loads of laundry right out of the drier!

– Helped a young friend prepare for her audition for a vocal solo in the school Christmas program… whilst harkening back to my days in the college choir.  *grin*

– Allowed our kids to have four friends over this afternoon for a couple hair-raising hours.  When things got rough, smoothed it all out with Raisin Bran and TV.

– Made supper both last night and tonight for dayworkers who have hired on to help Beau and crew make the big push to finish weaning before Christmas.  The crew will be here for lunch tomorrow, but luckily I made a huge lasagna this afternoon that will cover our needs for tomorrow.  Asher took a picture of me while I was doing it:


– Stayed up late last night to write a skit for the upcoming Sunday School Christmas program.  This morning I drove the skit to my mom’s house for her to read through.  On the drive took this pic out the window:


– Rocked the baby to sleep while watching the NFR.

– Did most of the dishes tonight, which is a big accomplishment for me.  And now off to bed… because I think those dayworkers are going to be in my kitchen for breakfast at six.

© Tami Blake

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