The Heifer

I’m anxiously awaiting a heifer to calve.

I’ve called Jason several times to ask him if there is any progress.  I want to be there so badly. 

Heifers are young cows, first time mommas.  Sometimes they run into trouble, so Jason has to babysit them.  There’s certain signs a learned cowhand can look for to know when they’re getting close to calving.  A winking vulva, for one.   When these signs appear, Jason pens the heifer so she’ll be handy in case he has to help pull the calf. 
I got the opportunity to see this once and it was awesome, the most exciting thing ever!  And I have also witnessed a gruesome birth where the calf was stuck in the birth canal.  The calf was too big for the momma cow and died.  It was not so pleasant.  Utterly devastating actually.  But that is the way nature operates.
We went out the other night to check on the little momma.  The stars were just beginning to appear.
Here’s the expectant mother. 
Isn’t she great?  I especially love her hair, the way it appears that she used a rat tail comb on it.  We interrupted her supper so Jason could could check her parts.
Go ahead and hang your head Maybelle, it’s humiliating I know.
This night was not her night.
Neither was the next.
Tonight, we’ll do it again.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed.


Softball and other life matters

A few days back my niece Ashlynn tried out for softball.  It’s an effort to redeem the family name from when I played. 
From the year I played.
From the year I attempted to play.  

You see, I should have been a ballerina.  But my sister was an all-star softball player.  Not to mention a klutz at ballet.  So my parents, God love ’em,  erroneosly thought that since we both possessed the same genetic code, that I too, by default would be an all-star softball player as well.  Or maybe I begged and persisted until they cratered.  It doesn’t matter now does it?  It’s just one of the many hobbies I took up that vanished rapidly.  Like painting, quilting, guitar, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

An allstar, I was not. 
The three words that best describe me and I quote,
“Stink, Stank, Stunk!”

I was number 9.  I remember well because I was also nine years old.  Our team was called the Panhandle Perforators, whatever that means, and our green caps had  very large white letters PP emblazoned on them.  It might as well been the scarlet letter.  Two red P’s or yellow P’s for that matter, could have only worsened the situation for me. It was humiliating to this nine year old girl who would rather be wearing toe shoes and tutus to wear a ball cap with PP on it.  If you have already surpassed the maturity level of a nine year old girl, I’ll help you out with my humiliation.  Pee pee and doo doo.  Get it,  PP? 
They stuck me out in right field where I picked dandelions and did pirouettes with not a care in the world of what was happening in the game. 
What ball?
I was daydreaming of rainbows and glittery ponies.
My dad would occassionally walk down the fence line and come visit me in my lonely position where nary a ball came.  Never.  Never, ever.  He’d give me a drink of his coke, lean on the chain link fence and advise me to “Look Alive.”

I’m sure my parents buttons were really busting when I got up to bat.  I had no intention to swing the bat.  I already knew deep down that I would never swing, even at a perfect pitch.  I wouldn’t choke up on it, I wouldn’t even get in a stance.  I stood there, stiff as a board with the bat resting on my shoulder, butterflies swarming in my stomach, palms sweating, heart racing, and I prayed.  I prayed for four balls to get me to first base.  I wasn’t going to swing.  Two strikes may whizz past, but I continued to pray.  It was too great a risk to strike out on purpose.   My nine year old, self-conscious logic told me, I’d rather strike out standing there like an idiot than to strike out swinging and prove to everyone how pathetic I really was.  It makes no sense.  It’s completely illogical.  I realize that now.  

But alas, my nine year old faith grew as strong as the mighty oak, because more times than not, the Great Coach in the sky heard my childish prayer and delivered me into the safety of the first base where I would run and grin back to my parents applauding in the stands.  I don’t know why they didn’t wear paper sacks with two cut out eyeholes to my games.  Ah yes, because my sister was playing on the same team.  They surely wanted to be associated with her.

I still have my jersey.  Twenty-six years later, I can’t bear to part with it.  I’m sentimental like that.  We also made it to the championship and earned a trophy.  I still have that too. 
Actually, I think I scored the winning run.
Or maybe I was on the bench the whole game.
My memory escapes me now.

When I discovered a few days back that my little bitty, non-athletic, chicken-legged, never thrown a softball in her life, niece was trying out for softball, the first thing I did was pull out the scissors and the papersack and went to work. 

We are anxiously awaiting to see which coach pulled the short straw.  But I’ll be there at her games, nevertheless, cheering her on as she twirls in right field.
If you’re looking for me, I’ll be the one with the sack on my head. 

I once read a report that asked some 100 year old people what they regretted most in life, and the most common answer was they wish they had taken more chances, more risks, and not always stayed on the sidelines. I think of those centuryites, centurians, centuropians old people often.  And I, with my wrinkles and wisdom, look back on my younger years.  And I wish I would have swung that bat.  Swung it like I meant it.  Whether I struck out or not.  At least I would have taken the chance.

So to my niece I say, play your heart out, whether you’re good at it or not.  I’ll be cheering you on.

And to all of you as well.

We only get one go at this, so swing for the fence.


No wonder Jason wants to be a Cowboy

I picked up this book from an elementary school library a couple years ago.  They were cleaning out some titles.  It’s old and they were getting rid of it due to it’s copyright date…..1977. 
It’s like any other ABC book you can find…..
I adore this jackrabbit.
Skinny sucker, aint he?  He’s scattered all through the book.
Ramrod = Jason
Tenderfoot = Angel
Ewe = Range maggots according to Jason, but I’m still getting some…..someday! 
And chickens too!
Oldtimer =  Jason in about 6 months!
When I wrote my little storybook called Doggie went a Courtin, I wanted it to be Dogie went a courtin’, but I figured most people would just think I misspelled it.
So the Cowboy ABC book goes on to talk about the standard cowboy words like jerky, mustangs, things you expect in a children’s book.
Then, it gives a litttle dating advice:
Filly = a good looking girl.
And maybe, just maybe, it fosters substance abuse a bit much, for a children’s book I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with that. 
Drinking and Driving, why not?
It was probably this book that kicked off the need for the DARE to keep kids off drugs programs.
More good advice:  Blow all your money on your addictions.
Feeling tired, hungry or thirsty kids?
Have a cigarette!
It fixes it all.
And then…..
W could be for wranglers, the original western wear.
Or wild west.
Or wabbits.
But wetback does start with a W afterall.
Maybe the library was just getting rid of it because of its copyright date.  Or maybe kids never checked it out because it didn’t have wizards or avatars or sparkly princesses in it.  Or maybe it is a bit inappropriate in a public school in a politically correct era.
 I love it.
I can’t wait to read it to my grandchildren.
Luuuucccccyyyyyyy!!!  You got some ‘splainin’ to do!
This book has a new copyright date of 1990 and from what I can tell, its a revised edition.
For more James Rice books, here’s a website

Good-Bye Lilly

Jason called the other day to inform me that he had found a German Shepherd out on the road in the middle of nowhere. It didn’t belong to any of the neighboring ranchers.
My response was:  Take her to the pound. 
She’s real hungry.
Well bring her home, feed her, and then take her to the pound.
Why do I say crap like that?  Sometimes I just try to sound so tough.  Like the minute I saw this little puppy, my heart didn’t ooze into a puddle of goo?
Meet Lilly.
She spent the night with us. 

We fed her real good and gave her a round tummy.  No one can stay here longer than 4 hours and remain thin.  It’s against our religion.

She was the sweetest dog.  She just laid on the steps by the back door most of the time.  She didn’t bark, she didn’t cry, she didn’t chew up anything. 

I posted her picture on facebook as an abandoned country dog and had someone to give her to in about 0.8 seconds.

Then by the good will of the Lord one of Jason’s friends called to chit chat.  Because that’s what Jason and his friends do.  Really, they are worse than women. 

During the course of the conversation, Jason mentioned this German Shepherd to his buddy and he just so happened to know who it belonged to.  The owner came by to pick her up the next afternoon.

She had traveled about 12 miles away.   He even mentioned she had papers.  Are you kidding me?   She was actually worth something?  

It’s incomprehensible to me that a dog can be worth something.
Especially when I own this.

Yo! Happy B-day Steve-O

My brother Steve……..

……..loves the camera,

…….eats icecream on a plate,

……….has patience o’plenty when it comes to his kids,
…..except maybe not right this second,
……..loathes removing fish hooks, but does it anyway,
………should think twice before doing this kind of stuff at his  age,
……..or this kind of stuff,
…….and wears out easily!
Sleep tight Birthday Boy.
It’s all uphill from here.

There’s Green Stuff in My Fridge, Trust Me

My Spring Break To-Do List:

1.  play piano
2.  read
3.  catch up on DVR
4.  nap
5.  surf the Internet
6.  blog
7.  nap

So far, so good. 

I am cruising along enjoying the art of absolute nothingness. 

Treating Tuesday like it’s Saturday. 

Basking in my alone-ness.

Nooooooo problems at all.

Until I get hungry.

And Jason isn’t here to feed me. 


Lately I’ve become obnoxiously spoiled.  Yes I admit it.  Jason takes very good care of me in the food department.  Very soon I’ll be shopping for my wardrobe at the tent and tarpaulin store.
Very, very soon.

I rarely have to fend for myself when it comes to food.   I confess that I haven’t cooked a meal in a very long time. I mean a VERY long time. Like try two months, maybe three.

But Jason has this thing called a J-O-B and is out driving around looking busy.  And I have these things called hunger pangs. 
Not really, but it sounded good.
So I open the fridge.
And the hair on the back of my neck stood on end.

 I am faced with a dillema.

Should I:

A) Clean out this very frightening fridge and risk throwing out something good.
B) Eat something from this very frightening fridge and risk ingesting something bad.
C) Sink even further into pathetic-ness
D) Notify Hoarders as soon as possible

I remember  test taking strategies. 
When in doubt, choose C.

I pick up the phone. 
Jason, do we have any left over chicken fried rice from last night?  And if so, just where would I find it?   Because, I’m like on vacation here and certainly don’t want to have to do anything labor intensive.  Better yet, why don’t you run home and fix me some lunch?

Too bad for me, he responded with a dial tone.

Now these little devils are good right here.  These are some blueberry tarts that were whipped up last night. 
Not by me.
I had one for breakfast at 11:00 since it was too early to make an important decision like A, B, C, or D and they were just so handy.

If you want to know a good way to ruin a great cup of coffee, try this.  Sugar Free Coffee Mate, bought by mistake. 
And yes, I CAN see that there is a small carton of buttermilk dated February 21st. 
Stop judging me!
And that right there, peeking out from behind

That is a yoo-hoo.
Because doesn’t everyone have a yoo-hoo in their icebox?
Do you call it an icebox or is it only me that reverts back to 1923 during desperate times like these?
Well, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. 
 I carefully weigh my options.
 And then I sink even further in my cesspit of pathetic-ness.
Choice E:  Grab a Fiber One bar and hold out till Suppertime.
All this has made me very tired.  I must nap now.
Good bye.

Rain + Dirt = One Ill-Tempered Cowboy

Today is the official first start day of my Spring Break. 
The weather is crazy!
To borrow a line from a facebook friend:  It’s like snowballs from heaven.
It began raining about 3:00 a.m.  I know that because I was awake.  I was awake because I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t sleep because I can’t walk.  I can’t walk because I need two knee transplants.  I need two knee transplants because I ran 10 miles yesterday.  I ran 10 miles yesterday because I signed up for a half marathon.  I signed up for a half marathon because I destroyed way too many brain cells when I was a teenager.  I mean, OBVIOUSLY!!
Anyway, it rained most of the morning, then these ginormous snowflakes began to fall.  They were gorgeous actually.  Fluffy, wet, and the size of quarters. 
Today was the kind of day to curl up, wear fuzzy socks, sip coffee, and watch movies while listening to the rain pitter patter against the window panes. 
Unless you’re married to a cowboy.
Then you have to work.
I went out with Jason today to put out hay.

Fun stuff,
if you like mud.
But as my dad would say, Cows gotta eat too.
They were waiting for us at the gate.  A little wet. 
A lot muddy.
Jason was grumpy.
Me:   “It’s not that bad.”
Him:  “You’re sitting in the truck!”
Me:  “Well I’d be out there too if I had artificial knees, and if I didn’t have flip flops on!” 
(The previous comment is the result of lack of brain cells)
Jason pulls in with a big round bale of hay.

And they surround the pickup like savages.
Hungry savages.
Like this one.  See how savage his long eyelashes are?  He’s cold.  I want to rub him down with a towel.
 As soon as Jason puts down the hay bale, they run to it and snag a bite.
Until they notice we’re leaving, then they’re all like, “Wait, don’t leave us! 

We want to drink coffee and wear fuzzy socks!”

Sorry, suckers. 
And we gun it. 

My Birthday Blog and Desserts to the 7th power

I woke up to this.
Ate two pieces.
Had lunch with friends.
A cupcake for dessert.
Yellow daffodils to brighten my day.
Had this at my mom’s with homemade ice cream and chocolate syrup. 
Three candles on one side, five on the other.  It’s not eight. Think hard.   
Ate this for supper, prepared by my chef Jason.
Pepper crusted filet.
Loaded mashed potatoes with fresh chives.  These make me moan.
Vegetables sauteed in butter and lemon pepper.
It was super good.   I was stuffed from all the dessert to really enjoy it. 
But I still cleaned my plate.
I had a great day with my family.
Me and my nephew Maxx loved on each other.  Well.  I loved on him.
My brother Steve-O was right in the “YOOOOUUUUU” of the Happy Birthday song when this pic was snapped.
My nephew Harley showing off the painting from my niece Ashlynn.  I absolutely love it! 
My sweet husband by my side and in my kitchen.
My best birthday ever, surrounded with good food, friends, and family.  What more could a girl wish for?

Well…a  28 inch waist for starters, and I did blow out all my candles in one breath. 
All 8 of them.

I got fans!

One of my students wrote a story about me.  I thought I’d share.  It’s not perfect, which makes it precious.  Before you judge me as a teacher who cannot teach spelling and grammar, please let me give this small disclaimer:  In the writing process, we encourage children to get their thoughts down on paper and write with voice.  If too much emphasis is put on perfect spelling, children are inhibited and will only write the words they know how to spell instead of taking risks and using larger vocabulary.  That tends to limit them as writers.  During the editing and revising stage of the writing process is when we polish it up and fix all the errors. 
This story is entitled  “all about mis. wheeler an me”  by a precious little blonde cowgirl in my room.  Here goes:

Transcription after some editing in case you’re not yet a pro at reading phonetical spelling:  Me and Mrs. Wheeler are the same. We both like riding horses. We both get short tempered when people interrupt us.  I just, I love my teacher.  I would not go to a different classroom.  But she is too classy.  She always wears dresses that are classy.  I love you Mrs. Wheeler.  You are the best teacher ever!

Another disclaimer:  Really, really, I’m not terribly short tempered.  Not too terribly anyway.  It’s just that I’d had a certain little boy talking out of turn entirely too much.  Right before this writing lesson, I had sternly pointed my finger and reprimanded him about interrupting me.  I guess it was perceived as a bit short tempered.  Maybe a little.

See?  That is a classy green dress.  See my green bunny slippers I’m wearing?  See I’m smiling.  I do smile at kids. 
On occasion.

Aren’t kids the cutest?  Makes me almost want to have one.  And then I go stick my head in the microwave.

Just a Smattering

Jason and I made a pizza.  This was a first for me.  We didn’t make our own crust however, we cheated and bought a pre made one.  We used a recipe by The Pioneer Woman found in her cookbook.  It is called Leek and Potato Pizza.  It sounds atrocious I know. 

This pizza recipe calls for potatoes, leeks, bacon, mozarella, parmesean, and goat cheese.  Potatoes on a pizza?   That was my first thought.  There aren’t any tomatoes or tomato based product found on this pizza anywhere.

It was delish!

And cheesy!


I’m still training for a half marathon and hating myself for committing to this.  It is very challenging, time consuming, and not to mention hard on my body.  I ran 8 miles last weekend.  Tomorrow I have to run nine.  After this is over, I vow to never run again.   One of my friends who is not a runner said,
“If you see me running, call 9-1-1 because someone is after me.”  That will be my new mindset after April twenty whatever-it-is.   I can see how people can love running, but the whole not-being-able-to-walk-afterwards is a big turn off for me.  I’m not an extremist.  Running this many miles at one time is a bit too extreme for me.  I’d rather run 2-3 several times a week. 
I told Jason next year when I want to sign up for this again, there’s only one thing I want him to do.  Talk me out of it!


Today is beautiful.  March has come in like a lamb I think.  The birds are chirping in the oak trees outside my window.  The wind is light and the sun is out and I am going to go dirty up my fingernails in the flowerbeds.  It’s cathartic.  My tulips have popped their little green heads out of the dark earth.  I’m going to grow an herb garden this year.  My husband is so much into cooking these days, I think I’ll add to his hobby and grow fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, and perhaps some marijuana. 
Just seeing if you’re paying attention.


Last weekend we went down to Abilene, TX to see a group play called The Hot Club of Cowtown.  They are some talented musicians let me tell you.  Go ahead and have a listen.  It just might make you tap a toe.  They hail from NYC and play this type of music.  Come on, open your minds and have a listen.
We stayed with Jason’s dad, who thinks that anyone who doesn’t know who Gene Autry is should be hanged before the masses, or at least kicked out of Texas.  I had to google him when I got home.  I thought he was from Gunsmoke.  Jason gave them my blog address, so now I run the risk of him reading this and finding out I’m not worthy to be called a Texan. Oh well, that will give him plenty of time to have the gallows built for the next time I’m down there. 

Scarlett O’Hara….now, if you don’t know who she is, you oughta be shot.  It’s just my opinion.  Different strokes for different folks, I guess.  And what does that expression mean anyway?  What are these folks stroking exactly?  Makes me wonder.