Friday, May 25, 2007

Lightning Fast

That is how quick that I developed my newest, most intense fear.


It happened last year, but I was reminded of it today with our less than stellar weather.


We were on vacation, nonetheless, when this developing took place.....


Yes, here I was, out with the family, immediate and extended, enjoying ten days of riding four-wheelers in the mountains.....





when BAM!, I turned into a freakin' scaredy cat to the core. And I must say, rightfully so.


Now my version of what happened varies from Steven's version. This is expected. He is, after all, a man. And well.... you know how men are.


The first day of riding was fairly uneventful....(snicker, snicker)....if you consider the descent and ascent of the Devils Punchbowl uneventful. (If you are wondering......check it out here. I do not know these people but their description is fairly accurate.)


The second day of riding, well, it didn't go as well. We started out going through the ghost town of Tin Cup, CO. We enjoyed breathtaking scenery...beautiful lakes, gorgeous mountain views...it was truly picturesque. We crossed over the continental divide and made our descent into another ghost town, St. Elmo, and yes, this one did have a fire.......


After climbing to a lofty, 16,000+ feet, we returned the way we came, stopping to eat our packed lunch on the side of the road, in St. Elmo.



This, my friends, is where the fun began.......


Quicker than I ever thought possible, the sky turned pitch black. I MEAN BLACK. Rainfall-read: a downpour- seemed inevitable. We all donned our rain suits and started the trail back home, and yes, back over the continental divide. The group took off fast.....with the us being somewhere close to the back of the pack. We had to head through 10 miles of timber along the mountain side before the treeline stopped and we climbed the next 3 miles to the continental divide. We were making decent speed while trying to go slow enough not to jar us to death. The rain had started to come and I was shielding the kids from the onslaught. Although we had no roof, we had a windshield that took the brunt of the rain.



Yes, please take note, we (second from left) did indeed, have a windshield.......


We continued picking up speed to catch up with those ahead of us. We came upon my sister and her boyfriend in the middle of the trail.


"What are you doing Sarah?", I yelled up ahead to her, only to notice that she was crying. Hysterically.


"What is wrong with you?"


"Lightning! It hit not 20 feet over there" pointing her finger while sobbing.......


"Well," said me with my sisterly wisdom, "we aren't getting any closer to the trucks sitting here....we have got to get back..... Let's just continue on...."


So, we did. God, however, had other plans. AGAIN.


We, along with Sarah and Jason, made it approximately 50 feet when lightning streaked in front of us while our windshield, and only protection, simultaneously exploded.


And, yes, exploded is the only word that accurately describes what it did.



Folks, it did not look like this. Imagine a gazillion little pieces of glass in a 20 foot radius of the Ranger......


The kids were miraculously unharmed, and Steven and I only received a few minor cuts to our hands and faces.


Now it was my turn to be the one hysterically sobbing.



Picture, two women hysterically sobbing, two kids looking at us for answers why, and two men thinking we were nuts.



I still maintain that they, the men, were as scared as us, but couldn't (wouldn't) act like it.



We stayed put for approximately 30 minutes....the whole time Sarah begging to go back to the vacant church in St. Elmo. I wonder if she would still feel that way if she knew it was haunted?

Lucky for us, we managed to slide in behind the first storm and stay in front of the second as we skirted over the top of the Continental Divide. The other members of our group who went ahead of us got caught in wicked lightning and hail...... we managed to hardly even get wet. Once again, God slowed us down. And I am thankful......I would have preferred a deep gentle voice reminding me from somewhere beyond the mountain top, but instead, I got lightning......

and because of that, a goose bump raising fear anytime I hear the menacing sound of thunder.

If I am inside the house, I am good. If I am anywhere outside in the elements.... um, not so good.

As I said earlier, Steven and my story differs. And this is why:

He, in his I-am-a-man-i-know-everything-about-mountains-and-four-wheelers-way, thinks that apparently, we must have struck a rock at the EXACT, hear me, EXACT millisecond that the lightning flashed and SOMEHOW that caused the windshield to explode..... Um, sure. Whatever.

While I might not go as far as to claim that I have survived actually being struck, or rather, the Ranger actually being struck, by lightning, I do believe......with all of my scientific knowledge, that the extreme temperature change (cold, rainy mountain top vs. extremely HOT lightning bolt) caused our windshield to meet its demise. This makes sense to me. Because I am telling you, THE LIGHTNING WAS THAT CLOSE!


So, Sarah, as you are now on your relaxing, spa resort vacation, just think about how even if the weather is less than stellar where you are now....... it could be worse. Much worse.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Boondocks

Just some music to lead you into the weekend......

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Simple Folk

That is what we are.

Weekends are generally spent working around the "ranch".

There is ALWAYS something to be done. We seem to be outside from daylight to dark during the summer, and you can easily note the arrival of summer by the black ring of dirt around the bathtub each night as the kids are given their baths.


It's seems like we have a lifetime worth of work to do, so we take frequent breaks. I mean, you can't work ALL of the time, right? We take:


Breaks to visit with friends and neighbors that have stopped by......
Breaks for that big glass of ice tea.......
Breaks to re-group..........
Breaks where you pull out the ole' lawn chair and relax.....
Breaks to watch the hummingbirds......
Breaks to run to grandma's house........


You name it. A break is a break. And a break is always welcomed.


I wanted to remember these times spent as a family......and since I take pictures of everything..... Well, what's one more? Even if we are grimey and sweaty.

Becca thought this one should be named: See no evil, speak no evil, and .......
what does that make Miss L? Evil? Not hardly!


Friday, May 11, 2007

The missing one......

I have noticed something missing when looking at and reading back over my blog.

There seems to be someone noticeably absent, at least in comparison to his sister.

Yep, that's right, Mr. B is missing in action.

It seems as if there are more stories and pics about his sister. And quite frankly, this isn't fair, and I need to change it.

At first I didn't have any pics of him here at work that I thought were suitable. I mean some were actually quite pitiful. This one for instance:



In fact, Becca told me that he looked like he needed to be on a donation can at either a convenience store or Wal-Mart. He isn't. In fact, it isn't as bad as it looks. He just has what turns out to be allergy induced asthma and it seems as if breathing treatments are becoming pretty regular in our household. However, if anyone feels so inclined to donate anyway, don't hesitate to email me and I am sure that we can set something up......


Mr. B generally doesn't sit still for very long. Breathing treatments are one of the rare times. In fact he is a true busy body. Or as most people say.... "he is all boy".


In February he had tubes put in his ears. Everybody warned us that many times the child is disoriented and agitated once waking from the anesthesia. At the very least, "they" said that he would be drowsy most of the day. Does this look drowsy to you?


Me neither. He awoke minutes after the procedure, arms up, ready to be held---and ready to charm the nurses. Which he did. Effortlessly. He even waved bye-bye to them as we left the recovery room. This, of course, received the "Aw, isn't he cute" response that he was looking for. What can I say, he IS a ham.

Mr. B keeps me busy like Miss L never did.

She was the nice, content child that did as told and stayed where put. Ummm, not Mr. B.

Has my parenting technique changed? I don't think so.
Am I more lenient on the "baby"? Not intentionally.
Has he got me where he wants me? Absolutely.

Both of my kids do. I am a sucker. I fall deliberately, and hard, into their tiny hands and they do with me as they will.

We still have rules. They still have to mind. But......well, if you are a parent, you understand the "but". It is put in place every time you look at someone else's child and think "if that were my child" and then when it is your child.......that little "but" comes sneaking up on you again.
"Mr. B may be climbing on the furniture....BUT he is really wound up because he didn't have a nap."
You know the drill. It is that "but" that every parent has the right to exercise. It -"the but"- is a right that sets your children apart from others. It is what makes them your own.

The "but"......it is what keeps you from seeing all their faults.....as I know my children our blind to mine. They think that I can do anything and fix anything. This is the glory of being a parent. At least a parent to young children.

I know that this too will change. Soon, and very soon, I will be:

The mother who doesn't know anything.
The mother that is old-fashioned.
The mother that embarrasses her children.
The mother that is over-protective.
But for now, I am just Mommy. The "do-er and knower" of all.

And although, this is without a doubt the scariest position I have ever held......it is equally the most fulfilling.

I love my kids. They are the only gift I will ever need for Mother's Day. Well, unless they just want to get me something......




Monday, May 07, 2007

It's not easy being a cowgirl......

Just ask Miss L, she would know since she IS a cowgirl and all.
There are the good times and bad.
Riding Peanut.....good.
Losing your cowboy boots.....bad.
Selling your calf, Candyland, that you bottle fed and raised yourself.....very bad.
In fact, its very, very bad. So bad that the mere announcement that the time had come to sell Candyland, as we do all of our half-grown calves, brought on an onslaught of tears and pleas heard through the hiccuping cry of a four year old.



Steven assured Miss L that this is what we do.....we sell the calves. This is in part how we make a living..... It is necessary. He pointed out that we were aware that this calf was special (and no, not special because of her special....uh, hum...abilities) ....but because this calf was hers and Mr. B's. This money would go to them. She could put her half in the bank and save it to by something later.....like a cow to make more calves.
Miss L was not going to hear of it. She decided she didn't want her own cow to make her own calves and she didn't want money.....she just wanted Candyland.
Steven pleaded for her understanding. He explained how she would go to the sale barn and go home to a new family and make new friends. And then, Steven, appealing to the girly "princess" side of Miss L, exclaimed: "You can help me get her ready to sale. We will comb her hair and brush her tail.....It will be fun!"
Miss L perked up and I could see the wheels turning...."We need to make her pretty?"
Steven: Yes, that will help her bring more money....
Miss L: "So I can fix her hair?"
Steven: Yes, won't that be fun...
Miss L: "Can I put make-up on her too?"
Steven: (not missing a beat) Sure! Why not? We will make her so pretty!
And that, my friends, is what it took for a little girl to feel good about sending Candyland to market, so we rolled with it, and Steven stood good on his word.

The next morning we penned Candyland up and ran her through the head catch and Steven commenced to brushing out her hair and Miss L ran to get some make-up.


Although, she had actual eye shadow, Miss L didn't want to "waste" it on the calf, so she used a bright pink lipstick as eyeshadow.
Steven held the tube so she could "reapply" as needed.
Although this type of treatment isn't given to all of our calves, if Candyland brings a record price, this may be the start of something big. You know, kinda raising the bar for others.
I mean, tell me folks, what man could resist this calf batting her eyelashes at them as she walks through the sale barn pen?


If putting make up on her calf makes her feel better about it leaving .....then it was time, and make up, well spent.
(Sorry all of the paragraphs kinda ran together.....for some reason it wasn't recognizing my line spacing?)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Inadequate

That is how I feel.

When I started this blog a little over a year ago, it was at the insistence of a couple of friends.

A way to keep in contact and keep laughing, throughout the work day.

A year later one of the friends is no longer blogging and the other friend only blogs....occasionally.

With or without them I have very few readers, yet that is OK.

This whole blog world is new to me, yet very intriguing. These blogs allow you to peek into someones life and view what is going on in their world. Sometimes it is very superficial and fun, and other times, it is much more deep and intimate, leaving you feeling like you very much know this person......this person you very much DON'T know.

I read stories of people investing so much of their time and energy striving to make the world better and I am inspired..... yet I find myself at a loss of what to do, and armed with an arsenal of excuses of why I can't do anything.

I want to be the person who gives selflessly, but at the end of the day I feel like I have nothing left to give. Am I bad? Rationally I know that everyone is born having something of value to offer. I guess I need to figure out what that is.

Sure I donate money every now and then. Not enough to make a dent, but some. Yet this too feels inadequate. I feel called to do more. But I sit here not knowing what.

Soon, hopefully, very soon, I will get this ball in motion.