31 January 2015


IMG_20150126_105139_940The weather turned cold again. It is January after all but the warm weather was nice while it lasted.

We fed the cattle this morning as usual and when we finished the neighbor who has been helping feed showed up on his day off to help get more work done. Much to the child’s delight out of the pick up climbed his boy too. She marched up to him and proclaimed him to be Jack. And yes, yes he is.

She then proceeded to follow him every where. As their fathers discussed the work they were preparing to embark upon she demanded her fathers hand so she could offer it to Jack to hold. He wasn’t interested, strangely. He was very nice about it though, very nice to her all around. She demanded Jacks hand and he let her hold it as she led him where ever she wanted.

They, with me trailing behind, followed the guys as they got the battery charger on a tractor and wandered back towards the house to get a pickup. She began demanding “Jack home, Jack home too” as she drug him that direction by his finger.

It is pretty cold this morning. The wind that came up is damp and brisk. The guys walked with shoulders hunched and hands in pockets. I think Jack was happy to be diverted indoors. His dad commented as they headed off that we ought to be a bit worried about her and as she sits on the floor playing with the boy that she kidnapped I think he might be right.

29 January 2015

Developmental Growth

It’s amazing how it just happens one day with no warning. Not gradually, although I suppose it does it’s just not as noticeable when it’s slower.

The Goblin Child woke up Monday, I think it was Monday, and started using full sentences. I wanted to make a note of it since this is  also her/their baby book and general memoir. We are always fascinated by the moon and sun and planes. As we took advantage of the warm weather to play outside on the straw bales we heard a plane flying low. Looking around until I spotted it over the pasture I pointed it out to her. She looked until she found it then gleefully exclaimed “There it is!”.

That has become her mantra. Every time we lost it only to spot it again she would joyously proclaim it. Going into town to see her father for lunch we found the crescent moon playing peekaboo through the buildings. She grabbed her father by the hand and drug him to where it was visible to tell him that “There it is!”.

When I left Monday night for bible study she clung to my neck asking “I come too?” until her loving father offered  the temptation of playing on the computer. She thought about it and decided that that would be fun too and dove into his arms instead of mine.

This is not an example of brilliant speaking but she was being so cute and wanted to talk to her father so bad. And I never meant to do anything with it so didn’t even try to get it so it would be upright. Sorry.

On another note, we have mostly finished the nursery. Not that we will be using  it for quite a few months to come but apparently the nesting instinct is kicking in and I really had to have it finished so I could start organizing. The room is small but looking so good right now all crisp and clean, no mess or clutter. That will change soon I know.

The finished nursery also means that we got The Goblin Child’s new bed put in her room. She was very excited by it, jumping up and down on it and scampering over the foot-board. Fortunately she was as willing to sleep in it as play.

It has been a long busy couple of weeks for us. The father-in-law had shoulder surgery two? weeks ago, funny how hard it is to remember. My hard working, sleep deprived husband has been getting up bright and early to get the cattle fed before he has to be at work at his other/real job. A neighbor has been driving clear over to help feed every morning, weekdays at least. It’s a good ten mile drive on the dirt and I am amazed the he is able and willing to do it before he has to go to work at his real job.

On weekends we feed as a family. The child sometimes chooses to ride with her father in the pay-loader. It’s so much fun to watch her staring intently out the window as they go past. She looks so serious, I suppose staying upright takes lots of concentration. Sometimes she rides with me in the feed truck. She colors in her notebook and turns the PTO on and off for me. One time she spent the morning helping me shift. It took awhile but she could figure out the R and D and could almost do it herself.

This week the neighbor was gone for a couple of days and instead of inconveniencing anymore friends I said that I would do it. With the small child to think of these very early hours are difficult for everybody. So we woke up even earlier, dressing a small child can take more time than would seem possible, and woke The Goblin Child at hours we usually work hard to convince her to sleep through and went to feed cattle. She enjoyed looking at the stars and I enjoyed trying to point out the sunrise. Its getting earlier! Not sure she found it as interesting as the moon, which we looked for every morning but it was “gone”.  She’s a trooper she took the disturbances to her routine very well, better than me I think. This morning I am enjoying having slept in, another fifteen minutes, but at this point every minute counts.

I am very impressed that the father-in-law was able to find someone to come do his feeding for him. I would never have dreamed of asking such big favors from anyone. I guess it doesn’t bother some people to ask for big favors the way it would me, his willingness to ask and ability to find willing subjects never ceases to amaze me.

26 January 2015


We met some friends for lunch after church Sunday. Sitting there in the very middle of Taco John’s we laughed and talked and discussed things we probably should not, so loudly and surrounded by people.

With our child bouncing between her doting father and I on the bench we talked about the importance of boundaries and our horror of badly behaved children.

The difficulties of being an old mom surrounded by beautiful, perky, overly energetic collage kids.

Voices raised to be heard over squeals and giggles from a tickle war between two children we discussed dog breeding and semen collection methods for dogs in general, Bull Dogs in particular. Gross. The importance of tying up the female dogs not just the males during heat and general bad behavior of female animals.

We went through napkins by the ton as our child happily drank her salsa and licked the last drop of cheese from the container. So much for pretty dresses. I notice I can’t find anything to say about their well behaved and quiet children. I guess that’s not reason enough to stop speaking to them although it would be more fun if they misbehaved too.

All this as we sat with our small children, fresh from church, in the middle of a restaurant crowded with people we know. I love being that group. The crass vulgar crowd people are shocked and horrified by and try to avoid.


24 January 2015

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.

10 January 2015

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:

8 January 2015

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.

5 January 2015

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.

31 December 2014

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.

25 December 2014

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.

24 December 2014


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.