I know, I usually try to find the funny side of almost every thing.
We spent the weekend up to our eyelashes in cattle, deer and sausage making activities. And for those of you who’ve asked, here’s Butterscotch, or as we like to call her, “The Calf Who Lived.”
Okay, so I know we have other calves, but this little girl *snort–she weighs almost 70 pounds* came to us the hard way. Chap was in the cabin washing up from working on one of the fencelines when the neighbor rancher knocked on the cabin door to inform him that one of our cows was having trouble.
Chap went out to check on her, and sure enough, she was having a terrible time–like the calf was too big
for her. She’d heave and push and she looked so exhausted–no telling how long she’d been at it, and each time she’d push, Chap said he could see the hooves and long, oddly pale legs of the calf.
Odd, because most of our cattle are black Angus. Black Angus are not born blond. Not knowing how long Marian Anderson (named for a kick-butt, trail blazing opera singer) had been in labor, Chap stood ready to assist, trying to let nature take it’s sometimes brutal course.
When dinner time rolled around and Chap wasn’t home, I hopped in the truck and headed out to the ranch, and there they were, Chap with new baby Butterscotch . . . All three of them looked exhausted.
We think she’s half longhorn, because the bulls in the next ranch over are huge, and one is cream-colored boy that’s always bawling for the girls to come over and have a little fun.
Sounds like they had a lot of fun. We have several more heifers about to drop calves, so it should be interesting to see what color they turn out to be . . .
Chap’s son Bone Head came out to work for a while then the two will go fishing, and while they were getting their gear ready, we heard a loud bang!A bird hit one of the dormer windows so hard that he left a perfect bird print on the window.
I asked Chap to go outside and see if it was still alive, and he came back in with a teeny tiny, beautiful painted bunting. The little bird still had a heartbeat, but his little eyes were shut and he was panting, obviously hurt and in shock.I put a soft towel in a box, checked the bird’s beak to make sure it wasn’t broken or cracked and let him rest awhile. Chap of course, wanted to feed him, offering him seeds and worms, and I told him the best thing to do for him right now was to give him a little sugar water and let him rest. I sucked a little hummingbird nectar into an eye dropper, and squeezed a couple of drops into his mouth, which he swallowed, and I swear, if birds had lips, this little guy would have been smacking them.The hummingbird food seemed to be just the pick me up he needed, and he’s currently in the box, tucked safely away from Ninja Kitty, and when he’s up and trying to fly, I’ll take him down to the island and set his box in a tree.But for now, we’re just enjoying the sheer beauty of this small, little life . . .
A Painted bunting healing in a Ferragamo shoe box–if Ferragamo can’t cheer you up, I don’t know what could . . .
I just came back up to the house after watching fireworks over the river–the rest of our family and friends are still down at the banks, fishing, and as I sit up here on the porch, watching and listening, I realize how very much I have to be thankful for this 4th of July.
Up here on the porch, cutting watermelon, the sweet juicy smell of the red melon wafts on the sound of laughter ringing over the water. Chap’s sister and brother are sitting in lawn chairs, telling stories on each other, and stories of grandfathers and grandmothers who are gone, but never far away.
And I think about the freedom it takes to have such moments, the freedom to laugh and fish and tell stories, and eat watermelon by the river.
I am thankful for new friends
And old ones
And happy dogs
And peaceful cats
And above all, Freedom, and those who fight for it
May God bless you and yours this 4th of July, and may God bless America.
So Chap’s son Bonehead helped him rearrange the utility room last weekend, and somehow managed to tear up the plumbing on the toilet in the master bathroom.
I didn’t even ask how that could be possible. I have learned it is best not to know what Bonehead does in the bathroom.
And that’s where the trouble began.
Because appliances (or plumbing or whatever) were in need of repair, a “Little Trip” to The Home Depot was in order.
With God as my witness, there is no such thing as a “Little Trip” to The Home Depot.
Chap is an electrical engineer in between running cattle, and he approaches every little thing like he’s preparing for battle.
There are lists and plans and job assignments and even diagrams for the utility impaired (me) for everyone involved, as well as contingency plans should one of his troops fall behind.
It wears me out just thinking about it.
The Princess & Bonehead, long before I knew them
Battle plans in hand, duty lists checked and rechecked, we hauled ourselves into the pickup and over to Hardware Heaven.The Princess had swimming lessons, as she usually has something when we’re death-marched to The Home Depot.
Bonehead was instructed to find and procure some kind of rubber American Standard toilet thingy from the Rubber Toilet Thingy Aisle, and my job was to follow Chap to the Big Plastic Pipe Aisle and admire his prowess at all things plumbing.
Of course, there are other aisles in between, so in addition to Chap’s Official List, we also picked up that purple plumbing glue, drop cloths, a new set of plumbing wrenches (just in case), as well as the mandatory don’t-leave-the-Depot-without-it super-size can of WD-40 and a 12-pack of duct tape. And drill bits because he hadn’t bought any in at least a week.
We got home and I was excused from further admiration, because Chap was going to teach Bonehead how to fix the problem, and I had some writing to do.
In about four hours, give-or-take the time it took them to wolf down the BLTs I made them, Chap called upstairs to have me come down from the office and admire their work.
I nodded at their accomplishment, impressed. I admit I had my doubts, but not only was the toilet flushing properly and back in working order, the utility room was spotless, the dryer was stacked on top of the washer as I had requested and everything was where it was supposed to be.
Life was once again restored to its proper order.
The Princess returned home, safe from the threat of a trip to The Home Depot, and we ate a celebration dinner and congratulated one another before we all went to bed.
Two hours into a good REM sleep, I heard an ominous hissing sound.
And it was coming from the bathroom.
“Chap!” I shook him awake. “Do you hear that?”
And then he did hear it.
A big, watery BOOM sounded from deep within the bathroom.
I raced through the door to find a flooded bathroom made even more stunning by a fountain of water spurting from behind the toilet.
Chap rushed through the rising water, dove under the bowl and twisted the knob that makes the water stop.
We were both soaked to the skin by the time Bonehead and the Princess trampled down the stairs and into the bathroom, where they were promptly sprayed with gushing water.
“Oh, disgusting!” The Princess shrieked
Bonehead, however, was crest-fallen. He looked at Chap and waited for the other boot to drop.
I held my breath.
But Chap just grabbed two towels and tossed one to Bonehead.
“Well,” Chap said. “Looks like we’re headed to Home Depot.”
Be still my damp little heart.
Chap’s son came over to the house this past weekend to help his dad do Manly Man Things