Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wink Wink

In the beginning of our marriage times were a bit tough.  To help bring in a little extra money I was a substitute teacher in our local school.

My very first day of substitute teaching was a cold, nasty, snowy winter day.  So nasty, in fact, that school was delayed and didn't even start till 10am.  I was THRILLED as that meant there was less time for the little people to eat me alive.  Seriously, figured that the school secretary was scraping the bottom of the barrel when she called in a brand new sub on a late start snow day to sub in a rowdy room full of KINDERGARTEN children.  I suppose Linda needs to find some entertainment in her day, but seriously.  This seemed ridiculous.

I tried to calm my nerves as best I could.  The kids were understandably rowdy, what with the screwed-up snow day schedule and a fresh meat substitute standing in the front of the room with a look of terror in her eyes.

I stood at the front of the room, trying to calm my shaking hands while I explained how to color inside the lines or some such nonsense.

I must have had a look of sheer dread on my face.  I remember the desks and chairs were arranged in a half circle.  I started by looking at the child on the left side of the half-circle.  He, like almost every other child, had his head down and was dutifully coloring away on his sheet.  By that point he ceased to care what any adult had to say, he was just ready to color.  Leave me alone, Lady.  Thank you very much.  I made a point to look at every. single. child.  That's what awesome teachers do, right?

I finally made it clear to the right hand side of my half circle, still with a look of dread/terror/nervousness on my face.  The little boy on the end was not coloring though.  He was sitting at his desk, crayon in hand, waiting to make eye contact with the new sub.  He gave me a big smile and a wink and then ducked his head down and began coloring.

I remember making my way to the teachers desk with tears in my eyes.  I was amazed that such a little boy could make me feel so calm, reassured and just plain happy.

The little boy with the big smile, Braysen, died last night from neuroblastoma.  Shitty kid cancer.

I know he's in heaven; I know he's all better now; I know he accomplished so much in nine short years.  That doesn't mean that I, or anyone else in town, is going to make it through the day without shedding any tears.  It is 8:30 am and I already have a headache from dehydration since I've shed so many tears.

Say an extra prayer of thanks for all your blessings today, and if you have a kiddo.... please teach them to wink.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Possible Trifecta

It's been one of those days.

I have been peed on by my son.

I have been bled on by a cut on Loopie's ear.

If I can manage to get poop (preferable from a bovine) on me before the day is through I will have managed to score a perfect trifecta of bodily fluids on my person in a 24 hour period.

You don't have to tell me I'm awesome, I know.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Adventure

Bear with me, folks, I'm trying something new.  I started an instagram account the other day.  I had to text both of my little sisters (well, sister and sister-in-law technically) and ask them all sorts of old-person questions.  Pretty sure I could hear them snickering as they typed back their replies.

It prompted me to ask myself if I had become too old to sign up for something 'cool' like instagram.  (The fact that I put ' ' around 'cool' should probably be my first indication).

Is there some sort of unwritten age barrier that I have broken?  I have a friend that used to adamantly declare that 'retired people should stay retired'.  Does this fall into the same sort of category?  Should middle aged people act middle aged and leave social media to the young 'uns?  Gasp - does this mean I'm MIDDLE AGED?  Have I become the old woman that dresses embarrassingly young and visits the college bars where true 20 year olds with perky, seriously padded boobs with fake IDs roll their eyes at me?

All minor ranting and meltdowns aside, my instagram 'handle' (is that even the right term, Liza?) is the same as this blog: The Rancher's Wife.  If you can follow whatever the hell I just said and find me in the outerspaces of the world wide web, power to you.  We'll see how long I can Keep Up With The Kiddos.  (Hey - I just made a pop culture reference.  Maybe I'm NOT too old!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


The other morning I was hanging Kenyon's cloth diapers on the line to dry.  It was 7 am, I was barefoot and in my bathrobe.  After filling up my clothesline I then went out to the garden and picked a basket full of produce.  It was a cool day so I decided to turn off the air conditioner and open all the windows wide.

It occurred to me that from an outsider's perspective, you might be under the impression that I am a hippy.  I immediately had a minor freakout and decided to remedy the situation.  Fear not, I ran back to the house and got my trusty canister of Sevin to dust my garden with.  I went to the freezer and pulled out some home grown steaks that were responsibly raised with the use of exogenous hormones.  (This also helped make room for more of my valuable produce.  But I digress.)  And then, finally, I went inside and gazed upon my sweet, healthy little boy who is current on all his vaccinations.  No, I reassured myself, I am DEFINITELY not a hippy.

Nothing against hippies, I just would prefer to be a anti-social, frugal hermit instead.  Although 'hippy' is a much catchier term.  Ya' got me there, hippies.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"Home" "Lab" "Cook"

This title should be sufficient enough to get me on every sort of national druggie watch list, I assume.  If I see black helicopters flying overhead in the next week I'll know I was right.  I didn't really need to add "cook", but I figured I'd throw it into the mix anyway.

I love to run my little home laboratory during K's naptime.  When we receive new cattle on our place we like to take an ear notch sample and test to see if they are PI (persistently infected).  Wesley brings me the ear notches and I run them as soon as K lays down.  If something is identified as PI, I let Wesley know PDQ and he sorts the calf off to find him a new home before he spreads it on to others.

Events like this help solidify in my mind that I am a total nerd, or at least not totally normal.  I lay out all my testing materials across the top of the washing machine and test approximately 30 animals - the max I can fit on my super duper high tech laboratory countertop.  While those are "cooking" (hey, look!  I did need to add 'cooking'!) I turn around in the other direction and start the process again on my counter top.  Back and forth, back and forth, I repeat this process for an hour or two.  Sometimes K wakes up a bit early, so I let him in on the fun, too.  I can't wait till he goes to kindergarten some day and tells the teacher all about his mother's 'home lab'.  I may have to speak with Mrs. Redeker soon about this and give her a heads up.  Fun stuff, folks.  Let me tell you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Freezer problems

I have absolutely LOVED having a garden this year.  It's been therapeutic beyond belief.  Every three days or so, when Kenyon lays down for a nap I blanch a batch of tomatoes.  You just can't say that without a Southern accent.  Blanch.  If you're really good you can turn it into a three syllable word.  Seriously.

So now that I have blanched a ton of tomatoes I am running out of freezer room.  To make matters worse, a neighbor gave me a huge pot filled with sand plums she'd picked.  If you've never had sand plum jelly, shame on you.  Sand plum wine is pretty freaking awesome, too.  FYI.  

I half-jokingly mentioned to Wesley the other night that we were going to have to get rid of some meat to make room in our freezer for more of my produce.  Helpful tip: know your audience.  That joked bombed with my husband.  

I've canned a bit of salsa so far, but my immediate plan is to get as much produce in the freezer right now as possible and then have some marathon canning sessions this fall when things hopefully calm down.  Ha.... ha..... ha.....

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Partners in Crime

As I sit here at the kitchen table typing away I can hear a wrestling match going on in the bedroom.  Wesley and Kenyon love to jump and wrestle on the bed.  They scream, they laugh, they squeal with delight.....  Until I walk into the room.

Last night, the two of them were wrestling away in the bedroom oblivious to anything else.  I walked into the room and stood in the doorway for several seconds.

Kenyon spotted me first.  He figured out fairly quickly that I probably didn't want them jumping on the bed.  he immediately sat down and started to look innocent and angelic.  Wesley didn't quite get the memo and kept on bouncing away.  Kenyon looked over at his dad, gave him quite the disapproving stare and stuck his hand out on his dad's chest.

Kenyon seems to be quite adept at throwing blame on others.  Lord help us if we have a second child.