Another sick day

Poor little Marsi was still feeling pretty puny today after her bout with the flu yesterday.  And — here’s the kicker — it was about noon today, when I was putting Muggins down for a nap in his crib, that I realized he had been sick in his crib last night (yep, I’m just that observant these days).  For the rest of us in the family, it was one of those “I’m not sure I feel quite right.  Are you sure you’re feeling okay?” kind of days.  (The waiting and the wondering if we’re all going to come down with this bug!)  The good news is, it doesn’t seem to be a terrible sickness… probably the sort of flu that can be expected in a family with little kids this time of year every year… so, in spite of it, we will do our best to keep doing our thing here at the Blake house.


Today’s Weather:  High of 35.  Low of 3.  Overcast with snowflakes in the air most of the day.


Today On The Ranch:  Our washer went out the day before Marsi came down with the flu (great timing, right?!) and so Beau picked up a new washer for us yesterday in Billings.  He started to switch everything between the old machine and the new machine this morning and of course discovered that our 100+-year-old house is not set up for an easy transfer, so inevitably had to run in to the hardware store to get a few parts.  By the time he got home from the hardware store, the morning had disappeared, and he needed to get to Butte Camp in the daylight… so, the short of it is, I am still without a washer.  Good thing we all have way more clothes in our drawers than we usually need!

At Butte Camp, Beau met Vergal in the Indian Creek pasture.  The water well there had recently shocked Vergal (in a relatively minor way) and so Beau’s job was to figure out if the electrical issue was a ranch problem or a Fergus Electric problem.  I always tell Beau it’s a good thing he’s a quick study, kind of a jack of all trades, because you’d be surprised at all the random fix-it jobs he is taxed with on a daily basis.  (And before Beau, it was my dad who had to have the answers.)  In the end, Beau decided that a bare wire at the well site was causing the trouble and he’s pretty sure he’s got it fixed.

He came in from Butte Camp about 3 p.m. and immediately headed back out, to Creeks’ this time, to cake the cattle there.  He took with him Asher and Emi (who had just finished school for the day) and Muggins; Marsi stayed at the house with me and spent some quality time with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while I rushed around trying to do all the things I had hoped I’d do yesterday, before the flu hit and when I still thought I’d planned a foolproof solitary Tuesday morning for myself.

In culinary news, I’ve been experimenting with cooking a 6-pound brisket (which I’ve had to cut into 1-pound pieces so it will fit — in two go-rounds) in the instant pot.  I don’t love brisket but had one I needed to use out of the freezer.  Also, I haven’t learned to love my instant pot yet… definitely not the way some people love their instant pots.  So, with the help of, I’ve cooked brisket two days in a row in the ol’ instant pot… and I have to say it’s the best brisket I’ve ever made.  I’m not saying it’s so good I would seek out a brisket in order to make the recipe (when we received our most recent half-beef from the ranch, I asked for the brisket to be ground into hamburger; I know, I know, that’s probably a travesty to some folks, but if you’re out there and you’re reading this, how about you make me some brisket and try to win me over?).  What I am saying is that these past couple days I’ve been learning more about the (ingenious) instant pot and its relationship with hunks of beef (which I always have lots of).  And that, as Martha and I like to say, is a “good thing.”

© Tami Blake

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