So much to be thankful for.
My sons. I have memories of them growing up that never fail to make my heart swell. I laugh recalling their antics and when I close my eyes, I can sometimes still feel the soft little hands on my face and arms around my neck as I hugged them tightly and hearing them speak my favorite name in the world, “Mama”. Nothing can take that away. Now, when I lay eyes on them, I am breathless at the amazing men they have become both as husbands and fathers. I am pleased and proud, even though my heart often feels it will break because I miss them so very much.
There are our daughters and daughters-in-law, raising their own broods of little ones, navigating life’s waters with an eye to the future and the kind of people they are molding their own children to become, learning to balance life between being mother, wife, friend and career woman, giving their all to each endeavor. I remember well those days.
Then there is unrelated family. That is, those who we love and love us back as if we were family. Sometimes it’s hard to believe I have not known them all my life.
This includes our ranch family. People we are blessed beyond belief to know and share life with.
Things have been so hectic here recently, I have had NO time to blog. Cleaning out cabins and houses for both visitors and new ranch family members. Moving stuff in, moving stuff out. The ranch is putting in pivots and much needs to be done, keeping Randyman hopping. Some of our little people came to visit and their dad worked hard taking down a mile of fencing among other things, helping out, while 9/10’s of the ranch crew was out fighting fire. It was a blast to have them here and it already seems like they have been gone too long.
A new family moved in to fill the cowboss position opened by our nephew leaving, a sad event in itself. I didn’t see him much, as he was always working and I have been sick the past couple of years, but it was comforting to just know he was here. On the bright side, Randyman’s mom, sister, daughter and newest grandson came up for a long weekend to help him get moved. It was bittersweet. A few tears were shed as goodbyes were offered.
An old friend is moving in with us, to help me on those not-so-swell-days, so everything stored in our back bedroom needs to find a new home. New shelves had to be built and there is much going on.
The rocketcar people are coming back and there are supposed to be 42 of them staying at the ranch in various situations....cabins, tents, motorhomes. I think there has been more activity and more people here lately than I ever saw in the city. It's fun and exciting but I am also looking forward to the quietness of winter again, when things are not quite so hectic.
My sons and their families are due next weekend so I am excitedly making plans and figuring out strategy of how to get things done and still have time to enjoy them. If I can do the food planning ahead of time we will have a little better chance to do some fun stuff. One set will be hunting all week, the other will have but a day to see their way around. I'll be trying to fit a weeks worth of stuff into just a few hours that day.
I personally, am in a period of transition and also one of great expectation. My mind and body can’t quite keep up and grasp it all, hence no blogging. A great percentage of the time, my mind has been pretty much a blank. Trying to settle into a 'new normal' has proved to be a little more challenging than I had expected.
The ranch kids have gone off to college, all but the boys. I sent them along with 'care packages' of home canned soups and meats as well as sending some along with one of our daughters, which has left our own shelves kind of bare. I got some beef chunks canned this morning in the new All American Canner (which I LOVE). In a couple of weeks I will begin to restock the rest of the shelves with soups and stews and more sandwich and dinner meats. Unfortunately, our cold summer kept my tomatoes from ever ripening or even getting close, so there won't be any bruschetta, BBQ sauce or any of the other goodies I had hoped and planned to put up.
Beyond that, two amazing cheesecakes are in the freezer, a special salad is marinating, turkeys are defrosting and plans are in the works to get yams and stuffing made before Saturday so I can just stuff the bird, bake the breads and heat everything else up. It is the first time in 8 years the whole family has been able to get together so I am celebrating with a very early Thanksgiving Dinner. Bread cubes from the last loaf of homemade bread are drying in the oven and will be seasoned tonite, after we eat homemade pizza. There were just enough basil leaves left for me to make pesto for the sauce on one of them.
More good news, EmmaLou is about 3 months pregnant, per the vet and SushiMoo is big enough to be bred, whenever we can get her to a bull or a bull to her. The Polarbears are diligently protecting the sheep from what sounds like record numbers of coyotes. One night they woke me up, the howling was so loud and pitched. I went out with a flash light and the hair stood up on the back of my neck as I listened to large packs in three different directions around me. I was concerned for the dogs, that they may have become separated, attacked and overwhelmed. But they returned in the morning, as usual, unharmed and the coyotes seem to have moved on as its been pretty quiet lately.
I've managed a couple of rides with my friend which makes all the difference, not having to ride alone. Even though I am getting on and off to open and close gates, it helps tremendously for her to be there to block Mister when necessary from stepping away while I balance precariously on rocks, stumps or next to ditches to remount.
It's all good.