Fiesta Time

I help teach English as a Second Language one night a week at my church. I figure if God has blessed me with a gift of teaching, then I should use it.  So I try. 

The students in the class are adult learners, with a huge amount of courage. My heart goes out to them because I know what a great challenge this is, and that they are doing it to better their lives and the lives of their families.

For our Thanksgiving holiday celebration, we had a fiesta!  

Everyone brought a dish. 

A potluck if you will. 

As the students meandered in, bearing their platters, bowls, and such, they brought great joy and smiles with them.  In the Hispanic culture, food is a big deal.  They find it insulting if you do not accept food that they offer.  Keep in mind, this is not Tex-Mex, like I’m accustomed to, this is good home-cooked, authentic Mexican food.   I try to stay away from Menudo or anything that may be made from bovine intestines.

As the plates were uncovered, revealing an assortment of great smelling foods, I could pick out a few familiar items.  Among the recognizable were Chile Rellanos, rice, enchiladas, and fajitas.  I gravitated towards those. 

One of the students wanted me to try her dish.  A fajita-type thing-a-majigie.  With her hand gestures, thick accent, and broken English,  she explained to me to begin with a corn tortilla, put a lot of beef on it, add a little cabbage, and a little cilantro, and a little caliente sauce. 

I finished filling my plate and sat down to eat.  Everything was good, but the fajita dish was my favorite.  I nibbled on the other things, but hoovered the fajita. 

When the meal was finished, and we were cleaning up, another teacher was talking to the fajita cook. 

That’s when I discovered, (gulp), that it wasn’t beef after all, (big gulp), that the delicious, succulent, tender meat that I piled onto my tortilla, and ate with great enthusiasm, was after all, (gulp),

tongue.

Tongue.

TONGUE!!

Just in case you didn’t catch all that. 

I ate tongue!

And I loved it!
Will I do it again? 
Not on your life.

Help!

This is my nephew Maxx.  (the one chewing on his bib)

This is my husband Jason. 

This is the first time I’ve ever seen Jason hold a baby.

This is probably the last time, I’ll ever see Jason hold a baby.

Neither one of them look like they’re enjoying it much, do they?

Day After Thanksgiving Blues—a poem—-a very crude poem

This morning I woke up to see,
The bathroom scales lying at me.

Up five pounds, that can’t be right,
The pumpkin pie had Cool Whip light!

Elastic’s now my new best friend.
Buttons and snaps, never again.

There’s nothing left to do but wish,
I hadn’t eaten that eleventh dish.

If I don’t get my butt in gear,
I’ll  be the butterball next year.

The kitchen looks like a tornado hit,
Facebook’s calling, I’ll just sit.

Dirty dishes pile the sink,
Toss ’em out and buy more I think.

The turkey carcass is out back,
A special treat for an alley cat.

The family fight I did endure,
four weeks till Christmas, then some more.

I’m not a poet, you will find,
Tryptophan has clogged my mind.

by Angel aka Butterball

Rest, Refresh, Refocus

Okay.  So I had a mini-nervous breakdown yesterday. 

I lashed out.

I’m better now.

It’s just that things are a bit overwhelming to me right now.

My toenails need clipping.

My mustache needs waxing. 

Yes,  my mustache.  My loving brother told me a few years back that I better hurry up and find a husband before my mustache got any thicker.  That’s when I decided I’d better tend to it.  Thanks Steve-O, you helped me catch a man.  I don’t think I could’ve done it without you.

And if that is how neglected my body and hygiene is, you don’t even want to think about my fridge. 
Don’t go there.

I have a to-do longer than Santa’s naughty list, and to top it off, Ashlynn wants to make cookies. 

When life becomes so stressful, and I need a vacation from it, I’m reminded of Matthew 11:28.
Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  This translates to I will refresh you.  It continues  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for you souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

I’m reminded of when Jesus walked on the water.  The disciples had gone out in the boat.  Jesus had told them to, but he didn’t go with them.  He knew a storm would come before he sent them out.  He sent them anyway.  He was on the other side and we’re told He saw them toiling, straining at the oars because the wind was against them.  Jesus sees our toil, our labor, and our work.  He’s there to help us through storms.

I’m reminded of a time when Jesus and the disciples needed to get away.  The crowds had been pressing into them.  He needed solitude, serenity, and peace.  He went away from the people for a time to spend with the Father.  Mark 6:31 says in red letters:  Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.

So that’s what I did.  I went away to a quiet place and spent time with the Father.  He granted me rest and refreshing. 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  It is my most favorite holiday.  But there’s a lot to do.

So I’m going to go bake some cookies, clean out my fridge, and clip my toenails.  Not necessarily in that order.

Blessings,

Angel

Serenity Now!

My life is hectic lately. 
And I don’t like it.
I like peace and serenity.
I go visit the cows.
Aw, serenity.
The soft moos.
The whisper of the breeze through the bluestem grass.
The sweet suckling at the teet.
 The pictures of nature.
Aw,serenity.
Deep breaths.
Calmness in my soul.
Until Jason cusses.
See all these black ones?  And that charolais?  (pronounced shar-lay; that would be the white one)
See how they aren’t red?
They don’t belong here. They belong to the neighbor. They’ve busted through the fence. They think the grass is greener here.
It’s not.
It’s dead here too.
That creates more work for Jason.
That makes him mad.
All the cows in this pasture should be red. 
Like this pair:  a momma and her baby.

But this pair?  There’s something in the woodpile here.

This one has a booger.  It happens.  One of my second grade students needed two kleenexes, and announced “I have a lot of boogers.”  It just happens.

It’s still cute.
Serenity again.
 And then…..
these two.
They face off.
They go head to head,
 and toe to toe.
They kick up some dirt.
And some more.
ENOUGH!!!!  I scream.  Q—U–I—E—T!!!!! 
Aw, serenity.
Then we just lie in the pasture, and enjoy the day.
It doesn’t get much better than this.

Who I Am.

I’m a loner.

I’m a homebody.

I’m a recluse, if you’ll let me.

I’m an introvert.

Thanksgiving.

I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

I’ve got five days off.

I want to be left alone for five minutes.

Can the phone stop ringing?

Please.

Can anyone relate to this?

Anyone??  Besides me and Henry David Thoreau?

Some people are recharged by others.

Not me.

I’m exhausted by them.

They wipe me out.

Plumb out.

I need to be alone to be recharged.

It’s who I am.

I can’t apologize for it.

I can’t deny it.

I can’t pretend.

That’s just me.

Thank you for listening.

Now, LEAVE ME ALONE!!

WARNING: Bovine Porn

Hey Jason, whatcha doin’?

Checkin’ for springers.

What’s a springer?

A cow that’s gettin’ close to calving.

How can you tell she’s ready?

Any questions?

Ladies who are reading this blog:

And you think your backside looks bad??
I don’t care who you are, this has got to make you feel better about yourself!

Ree? Ree?

Last weekend I was at the World Finals Ranch Rodeo Competition in Amarillo, TX with my husband and some great friends.  As the teams were being announced and riding in with their state flags flying, I heard the announcer say something about Pawhuska Oklahoma.  My ears perked up.  I jabbed Jason in the ribs with my elbow.  “That’s where The Pioneer Woman is from!  I wonder if it’s her ranch?”  We looked in the program and sure enough it was the Drummond Ranch.  That’s her last name!  Heart beating increasingly faster and faster, I started scanning the audience, looking for a woman with hair the color of Lucille Ball  and a big camera.  I HAVE to meet her! 

This would work out perfect. I’ll meet her, get a picture, get my cookbook signed, all without having to drive to OKC and wait in a line for 2 1/2 hours.  Maybe I can even have a conversation with her.

Have you heard of The Pioneer Woman?  She is my new obsession.  A couple months back, the principal at my school recommended I check out her blog, because she said she kind of reminds her of me, but then after telling me all about her, she realized we’re actually nothing alike, except our husbands both ranch.  I checked out her page and instantly gravitated to her.
http://www.pioneerwoman.com/
The Pioneer Woman has a section for photography, cooking, homeschooling, and general confessions.  I was originally drawn to her ranching stories.  This month, her cookbook came out and is currently on the NYT Bestseller.  I already have my copy, thank you very much.  I bought it the exact same day.  She’ll be in OKC on December 15th.  Maybe I’ll be there.

Meanwhile, back at the Rodeo…….  So, I’m sitting there, fully alert, watching this team from Oklahoma.  I have some pretty honed stalking skills from an ex-boyfriend I used to follow (we’ll save that story for another time) so when the crowd cheers after team penning, I instantly spot the section with the loudest hollerers.  I almost went to the pickup to get the binoculars to really have a look-see. 

My loving husband, whose only desire is to satisfy my every whim, decided I am squinting way too much and he’ll just go up to the group of cheering fans and ask if Ree is there.  Ree!!  Like we’re on a first name basis or something.  As he approaches a couple of women, I hang back, looking at a display of saddles, pretending I don’t know him.  Well she wasn’t there.  The lady said they were cousins from the other side of the ranch, but recommended I befriend her on facebook.

Right now, I have Pioneer Woman’s Braised Short Ribs in the Oven.  They are smelling divine.  Because I plan ahead so well, we’ll be eating supper at 2:00 a.m., but I’m sure it will be delicious and we’ll be famished.  I’m trying out that polenta stuff too, which I have no idea what that is, but I’m sure PW won’t let me down.

I’m telling you, she is saving my marriage.  I cooked Grilled Ribeye with Blue Cheese Sauce the other day, and it was to die for.  Jason didn’t sleep on the couch that night.

I’ve emailed her twice.  She hasn’t responded.  I’ve tried to befriend her on facebook.  She hasn’t responded.  It’s obvious she doesn’t know I’m her #1 fan.  When she reads this, because I’m sure she will, she’ll have visions from Stephen King’s Misery, Kathy Bates, and hacked off limbs. 

Not to worry, I hate blood and guts.

Fine Feathered Friends

Dear God, make me a bird, so I can fly far.  Far, far away from here. 

Can you name that movie?  Sometimes this is all I say too. 
I long to be a goose. 
Okay, no snide remarks necessary.  But I envy the geese this time of year.  They just know where to go.  They don’t weigh the pros and cons of their decisions.  They don’t look at a budget.  They don’t talk to a psychologist.  They just do what needs to be done to survive.  Simple, really.

I hear the geese honking, and it makes my heart happy.  They remind me that life keeps on keeping on.  Seasons change. The sun comes up, and hurries back around to do it again.  We are all just in a great big circle or a great big cycle, or a great big…..well whatever.

The geese are leaving to go to their winter homes. They’ll get to their sunny destination and wear bermuda shorts and sunglasses, lay on lawn chairs, and drink fancy little drinks with umbrella straws. We’ll stay here and forge the long cold winter, endure the icy winds that cut to the bone, and the layers and layers of clothes.

I learned about migrating geese and the formation they fly once upon a time in the oddest of places.  A math meeting.  I was assigned to be on a math team to represent co-workers and help make the oh-so-important math decisions that invariably are shoved into a manilla folder and not implemented.  The first meeting was a complete waste of time.  They taught us how the geese fly.  I sat there madder than a hornet, checking off the list in my head of all the things I needed to be doing, would rather be doing, and should be doing, while appearing thoroughly engaged in conversation.  (It’s a gift of mine)  And now, here I am,  7 years later remembering the story. 

Things I remember about geese:
1.  They honk loudly to encourage each other.
2.  They take turns being the V leader.
3.  If another goose gets hurt and needs to fall out of formation, 2 other birds go with him and wait until he recovers or dies, then find another flock to travel with.
4. Each bird flys slightly higher then the one behind to create a draft to help lift and carry the others along.

What lessons can we learn from these birds of a feather?

1.  Maybe we should encourage others during their journey.
2.  Maybe we should take the lead on occasion to give others a break.
3.  Maybe if we see someone struggling, we should stop and help them out, until they can carry on.

Or…..

Maybe we should all buy shotguns and shoot the
noisy *@&!**@%

Whatever makes the world a better place.

Hey, it’s Thursday.
If you stand on your tiptoes, you can see the weekend from here.

Love and peace,
(and geese)
Angel