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Late Upon a Cold Clear Night

My multi-talented husband DJ-ed a dance for the local Legion hall, we were able to leave The Goblin Child with the mother-in-law and enjoy it as a date night. Not that we danced or anything, OK once, but it was fun to sit and watch the very talented couples who can really dance and the music was good. Old country mostly, Don Williams, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Alabama and George Straight,  with some requests for interesting seventies stuff. It was a lot more fun than listening to the horrible hip hop stuff the teenagers like.

It was an incredibly late night for us, we didn’t get home until almost midnight. Hey, we’re old and pregnant and have a child who is guaranteed to wake us by seven thirty at the latest, that’s way late.

We got home, picked up the child and transferred her to her own bed without waking her. Got ourselves ready for bed and I settled in first. I laid there alone waiting and playing on my phone when I heard a noise. Like a Jack in the Box with its crank turned once, the noise is very unique and distinct from all others. Stilling I waited listening for more, nothing else came and I resumed my game only for it to come once more. A single turn of the handle.

Staring at the baby monitor I listened again. Sometimes it will pick up interference, surely it was some distant noise being carried to us over the air waves. Nothing.

I resumed the game my senses on alert, concerned but telling myself it was silly. As I carefully matched three on my complected and mind enhancing game I noticed the faint ding ding as the matched pieces came together. And the pieces dinged together in my mind as I decided that I had found the answer.

When my husband came to bed I told him about the weird noise and the source I had found for it. I explained how much scarier it would be if someone went into the child’s room and started winding a jack in the box than if someone was just in the child’s room. I think he saw my point. We then fell into an exhausted sleep.

I was awoken from said sleep bright and early the next morning by my husbands urgent query as to whether I had heard the jack in the box noise. I did awaken in time to hear one winding of the crank. My phone sat next to the bed plugged into its charger, untouched. So much for that theory. I was too tired to care if some maniac was in her room winding a jack in the box, I went back to sleep.

The Goblin Child was still alive when she wandered into our room shortly after seven so we assume the noise wasn’t coming from a psychopathic mass murderer with an obsession for jack in the boxes that was hanging out in her room. We will have to assume that one of her incredibly obnoxious noisy toys was playing games with us. She doesn’t even have a jack in the box.

Baxter Black

baxterWe got to see him last night. He was awesome.

The tickets went on sale Monday and by the time we got ours a couple of days later they were more than half sold and within a few more days he had sold out. The PAC center was packed to the gills. Not too surprising, we knew it was sold out and tried to get there early enough to get good seats. Everybody else had the same idea apparently. The closest parking was a block away and most of the seats were full when we arrived. And Baxter was on stage checking the microphones. We got to enjoy him for a few extra minuets, not as long as earlier arrivals got but still it was fun.

We are told that this may be his last year touring, obviously not his last show as some people are saying I checked out his calendar and he is one busy man, if so we were lucky to get to see such a great performer one last time. I laughed so hard I thought my belly was going to burst. Literally, I thought the kid might fall out. At one point he did try to crawl out my belly button. My stomach hurt and I laid a hand on it only to discover an elbow? or some such protruding point sticking out of my belly button. It was a bit distracting. By the time I got my husband to feel it he had moved again and I went back to merely having an outty.

He talked about friends he had in the area, a vacation to Car Hinge, cows horses and cowboys and told the story about how to tell a header from a heeler. I was so glad he did I had been trying to tell my non horsey husband about it for a while now. His brother-in-law is a team roper and a header and he so completely fits the description.

Sore from laughing so hard and exhausted from being up so far past our bed time we stumbled out of the theater shortly after ten. After a quick stop at McDonald’s for ice cream we started the long drive home.  It was after ten Dairy Queen was closed, McDonald’s wasn’t bad though.

He closed with this one:

White Out

The Goblin Child and I went in to see her doting father for lunch today. The morning had been warm and sunny, clear up in the thirties. As we headed out the door I bundled us up in a sweat shirt, for me, and a darling vest the child got for Christmas, for her. I had a brief moment of worry as we walked out the door as to whether I should bring warmer clothes but shrugged it off as too much work. It had been a pretty good struggle to get ready  already and I just wanted to get going.

As we got to town a few light snow flakes began to fall. Eating lunch we could see the snow barreling past the windows but dismissed it as mostly wind and soon to pass. After time spent visiting and hanging out the announcement came that school was canceled for the rest of the day. A bit of an over reaction surely.

We waited for the kids to get out of there and for my hard working husband to finish a couple of things up so he could follow us home. Bundling the child in a blanket to help keep her warm, I made sure the straps of her car seat were fit just right and we headed off into the storm. Town wasn’t bad, the children let out of school early so they could get home to safety were out spinning cookies in the roads. We managed to avoid them.

The wind howled across the highway pushing the powdery snow ahead of us. At times the faint glow if the blazers tail lights ahead of us was all I could see. Staying at low speeds the road didn’t feel bad but I was happy to have brought the pickup instead of trying to get the snowed in car out for what would’ve been the first time in weeks.

Break lights lit up ahead of me. Cars were parked along the side of the road. We slowed even further and gawked at the Toyota pickup in the ditch. With a U-Haul trailer on behind, it was facing north in the south bound ditch nearly to the fence line with snow pushed ahead of it nearly over the hood. Two cars were already stopped with them parked on the road, headlights shinning to alert traffic. My much beloved pickup could probably have helped pull them out, or I could have a little too much confidence in the old girl, but I am pregnant (the excuse I use for anything I don’t want to do and no reason for me not to do anything when other people try to use it to talk sense into me), the child was asleep and really how did they manage something like that anyway? Silly people if they would just slow down, probably from Colorado. We went on home.

I put it in four wheel drive as we pulled onto the county road. Snow drifts had already covered the road before this latest onslaught. Leaving the shelter of the trees along the highway visibility immediately dropped to nothing. Creeping along I could peer over the hood and make out the road directly under the bumper. My phone rang. It was my husband no longer visible in front of me. What better to do when driving in a white out than talk on the phone? I couldn’t think of anything so we talked. He said to watch for the fence lines on either side and try to stay centered. It worked for the most part until the wind driven snow obscured even them from view.

Turning south down the driveway between open wheat fields I realized that the small difficulties that came before were nothing. With no markers to follow on either side and the roadway, already white and covered with snow, finding the path was a matter of memory and feel. The piles of snow already plowed to the sides of the road gave the tires something to bounce off of putting us back on the proper path. We found our way home though and stayed put.

Back to Normal

Which is not necessarily a good thing.

We, or at least I, enjoyed Christmas break immensely. One of my multi-talented, hard working husbands many jobs is in town at the local school from which he gets the same break the kids do. We have loved having him home a little more often than usual. His other job is working here on the farm, he doesn’t get days off from that one.

We got used to sleeping late and eating lunch at home. Unfortunately everybody got sick, but it was nice that my poor sick husband didn’t have to go into work all day. Instead he only had to go feed every morning in the sub zero temperatures and work on “stuff” outside. I really don’t know what they were doing out there in the cold all morning, I was not going out in that miserable cold to see. He might have preferred to be at his job in town, at least it would have been inside where it was warm.

I offered to go feed for him a couple of times but the weather was so bad I wasn’t sure that we would be able to get to town should something untoward happen. In the end I sat inside where it was warm and relatively safe with the child and let him freeze.

The weather was awful most of the time. Besides cold we got lots of snow. Walking across our yard the snow is high enough to fill winter boots. When it got done blowing and drifting from one direction it would switch and blow new drifts in another direction. By the time we fought our way out Sunday the drive way had been dug out multiple times and the road was blown over.

Today it was my job to help feed again. I’m sure my father-in-law is as sad as I to see his son back at work, he is far better help at feeding than I am. I am not only not as competent as he but unwilling to spend a whole morning out in the cold working on things and hugely pregnant as well as toting one child along with me already which excuses me from many little tasks. My poor father-in-law is reduced to getting gates and such.

The Goblin Child lived up to her name trying to get dressed for the bone chilling cold. She has gotten used to being excused from feeding by crying and refusing to set foot outside. Today she had no choice. She’s not quite old enough to stay home alone and I had to go feed. She cried and pushed clothes off as fast as I could get them on her. Faster probably I wasn’t having much luck. Until I held her up to see the pay-loader out the window. Then she cried because she wanted to see out some more.

By the time we got to the feed truck she was a little more enthused. And once the handheld radio started talking she was really getting into it. Driving the truck with her tuck up tight against my arm is not the easiest thing, we go pretty slow. She sat with the radio in her lap perfectly still until her papas voice came through with instructions. She would jump and start whoaing and wowing, often making the instructions a little hard to hear. I showed her how to push the little button and she had a blast talking to papa.

Hopefully she enjoyed it enough that tomorrow it wont be as much of a fight to get out of the house.

Too Cold to ???

IMG_20141225_153826_635It’s cold out.

Twenty eight below last night. The night before was only four or so below. We have been letting the cat and dog inside at night so they don’t freeze. The cat was nowhere to be seen night before last though, so with a slight feeling of relief that it wouldn’t be inside to wake us up in the middle of the night we left it out.

The next morning it was waiting at the door and dashed inside as soon as it was opened.

We ate breakfast then began our many treks back and forth through the house chasing the child or fetching for her.  Soon we noticed a stench about mid house. Looking around we decided the floor was free of animal leavings. Poor Daisy originally received the blame, she had been in all night and was still refusing to set foot outside and the cat had just gotten in. We looked over and under furniture and finally remembered the litter box.

I am not a big fan of cats, not indoor cats for sure. When our cat it was a tiny kitten and spent most of its time indoors so we got it a litter box. The box got used regularly for the first year, almost. Then it became a good little kitty and started going outside where all good animals go. We left the box for emergencies. Like cold winter nights when it gets to stay inside. It hasn’t been used for almost a year now, but we leave it still just in case.

Now it had been used. Well used. Apparently it is too cold to do that sort of thing outside.

Merry Christmas!

DSC02724We have been enjoying a long and snowy Christmas here. So much to say about it, I think it would be easier to tell with pictures.





On Christmas eve the guys started clearing snow. Before that the wind was blowing to hard to be worth trying, things blow shut so fast.

That evening we headed east to a beautiful old country church for the Christmas eve service. My father-in-law and his family attended this church when he was a boy. That wasn’t enough of a draw to convince the in-laws to come with though so we enjoyed it with just us. I had never been in the church before, it is quite beautiful. Lots of intricate wood work and tin ceilings. The pews were packed and we knew almost everybody. The Goblin Child’s favorite playmate was in the children’s program and we had fun laughing at his very good behavior. After the service the two of them had fun running up and down the aisle, playing the piano and hiding in the pulpit. We will never be allowed to come back. As the service began I received a text from my brother with a picture of the gorgeous and completely different service they were attending. It is amazing how opposite the two were while still both being so great.

Christmas morn we slept late and ate a leisurely breakfast before opening presents. Probably the last time we will ever be able to do that.

And some more sledding cause who can ever have enough. We made a date last night with Whitten to go sledding together today if the weather was nice. It’s not. We are getting MORE snow. Guess this will have to do for now.


I tend to complain a lot about being pregnant. Some, me, might call me down right whiny. I’m fat, I can’t ride my horse (as much), I have hart burn, I have to get a shot. What fun is Christmas when we spend most of our time running to town for doctors appointments. What fun is Christmas when I don’t get to go see my family this year. My self absorption is overwhelming, even to me at times.

Sometimes it takes a little wake up call for me to appreciate how good I have it.

On my way in, to get that nasty shot I hate so much, the other day I passed a tow truck hauling a pick up that had obviously been rolled out of a roadside corn field. It didn’t look so bad but is the third vehicle to roll this month on our quiet little highway. It wasn’t until later that day that I heard the story, it’s a small town things get around fast. Four children from one family had been on their way to school, driven by the oldest brother when he lost control on the slick road. They were all beat up pretty good with the youngest thrown from the car which then landed within a foot of him. He was rushed to Denver with serious injuries.

What a way to spend Christmas with one child out of state in the hospital and the others recovering from injuries. What a way to spend Christmas for those poor parents thinking how close they came to losing one or all of their children. What a way to spend Christmas thinking how lucky I am to be pregnant, to have a beautiful, sweet, healthy child by my side. To have a loving, caring, considerate husband who helps so much with doctors appointments and caring for our little girl, I couldn’t do it with out him.

I am blessed, sometimes it takes seeing a real problem to remember how insignificant mine are.

A Thing for Bing

Every year I seem to get off on a different Christmas music kick. Not that I don’t still love the ones from before, I just find that another has taken the place as a favorite. This year it seems to be Bing, Crosby. If I were to have a celebrity crush it would be him. He’s so dashing, so debonair, kind of reminds me of my husband. The Goblin Child appears to share my affections. We got her hooked with The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad back around Halloween. She happily sings “Ba ba baboom”. Sometimes even when she recognizes his music.

We have finished watching Holliday Inn ( I always thought the Happy Holidays song was one of the early attempts at political correctness.Who knew that they were really talking about all the hollidays) and will be seeing White Christmas some time soon. Maybe today with our little blizzard going outside. We will definitely be enjoying a white Christmas.

My Favorite, at the moment, is I’ll be Home for Christmas. We started the Christmas movie watching season with Joyeux Noel. One of the best and saddest Christmas movies ever.


Facebook Gone Wrong

Of course those who know me know that I consider Facebook to be wrong even when it goes right.

Having recently helped my Grandmother to get a smartphone we have embarked on an adventure together. It remains to be seen if either of us will survive, but it’s been fun. With a phone there must come Facebook; how else to keep up with friends and family? With the rather dubious help of my mother she has begun to experiment with commenting. Through speech-to-text of course which only adds to the adventure. So with lots of begging for forgiveness grandma, here is a fine example of the joys of modern technology. Can you guess what she was trying to say?

Grandma commenting on a picture of a new pair of pants:
-How The Hobbit kathryn grey black pants why didn’t you take a picture of them I only saw the top half of you buddy
-Sorry kathryn I was trying to say what they used to say many years ago and not grey black but black pants sorry I’ve been drinking by
The wearer of the pants, baffled:
-I can’t help that I’m short lol

Grandma to her other granddaughter:
-What an adorable little snow girl you look very pretty Melanie this is your great grandma died
-I’m I’m sending a correction to my earlier message I did not die I am the microphone picks up the strange things I think I said I start to say to tammie did I and then hit picked up dad died sorry I’m not dead by

Here’s hoping  Grandma will still speak to me after posting this. She’s doing a great job with the new phone even if she doesn’t always think so. These very amusing mistakes come from the speech to text and are not her doing. And should definitely mention that she wasn’t drinking. Never having had a computer of any sort it’s a big jump from flip phone to smart phone. Be patient and keep trying Grandma, you’re doing good.

Christmas Festivities

DSC02720How did it sneak up on us so fast? Only eleven days to go, if my math is correct and it seldom is.  I had so many big plans and have accomplished none of them. We have Christmas lights up and a tree but no cookie decorating parties, and what else, I don’t know maybe that was it.

We did go to the Santa Soup Cook Off last night. It was packed. The Goblin Child sat on Santas lap and smiled for a picture. We looked at what was for sale, waited in the mile long line to sample the soups and decorated an ornament. It was just to much for the child, her head nearly exploded as we tried to sit and eat. The only thing she really wanted and that would get her to hold still was being with her cousins. Ava and Cade were there with their mom and she wanted to spend every second holding the hand of one or the other.

With her bouncing off the walls we decided to forgo the Christmas concert. The music teacher always does an excellent job with it and we were hoping to see it again. As much as we had wanted to see it there was no way The Child would sit still long enough to enjoy any of it. As a consolation, to us, we went to look at the Christmas lights. There are a few houses around town that go all out and a farm east of town that decorates the whole yard. We let the child come stand in the front seat with us as we drove slowly around the yard. She oohed and awed at the over abundance of Christmas spirit but was mostly interested in anything Micky and Minny related. She was not happy to get back in the car seat but we had more lights to see. Another house back on the highway was aglow and visible from miles away. Not as big but brighter perhaps. She had no trouble in her overstimulated state staying awake till we got home to look at our neighbors lights once again. They are always impressive and have two Micky Mouses.