Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trailing Cows

I know, I know... a month of no posting, and then what, three posts in one day! Why? Well, my grandpa and his friends read this blog, and I didn't want to get an email from him lecturing me about writing about my metabolism for the world to see. Not that he'd actually call me, but I know I lost the attention of every male reader I might have, so... I'm bringing back the ranch!

A few weekends ago, the Chef and I decided we needed to leave town and get away. Since we had no money to go to a fancy resort, we visited my parent's ranch. It was relaxing, but of course, we got put to work, and took a pleasure ride to bring in a herd of cows with late calves that needed to be branded.

Look, it's my two favorite men! My incredible husband, The Chef, who looks very comfortable on that horse, and my daddy, Cowboy Extraordinaire. It was short ride, probably just 45 minutes or so as we rounded up the small herd and brought them to the headquarters, but I had a blast.


Notice the colt my dad's riding? That's Badger, a new horse Dad just got, that is a cute-as-a-button-Bay. He's got a long flopping mane and forelock, that my fingers just itch to play with.


This really was just a pleasure ride as Dad and his two cow dogs could have easily brought the herd in by themselves. JoJo (the terrible) is in the front, breathing heavily on the heels of the cow. JoJo, a pretty affectionate and lovable blue heeler mix has tough looking head, and has managed to convince everyone in Cherry County, Nebraska, that he's mean. Because of this, UPS drivers cower in their trucks, tossing out dog treats. The postman gives JoJo food as well, and JoJo is no fool... he now expects to be bribed for his affection. Recently he corned a realtor and three ranch buyers in the shed because they were on the ranch without my dad's presence, and they had no food. But really, he's as friendly and innocent as a lamb!
Behind him is Billy, (the one with the tail) or his more formal name, Billy Bob Barker. Billy's young, just under a year old still, and covers his terror of new things by barking loudly (thus the name).


Ahh... it's a grand sight for my eyes to see... cows, horses, wide open spaces covered with grass. Oh! I guess I should actually get closer to the herd and pretend to help out!

Identifying the Evil Within

A challenge was issued yesterday on one of my favorite blogs, Mabel's House. She named her "horrendous, sluggish, witch-like metabolism Maleficent the Vindictive." Since she got such a positive and humorous response, she challenged the rest of us to name our metabolisms. Naming the evil metabolisms seems at least the first step to recovery, right? We have to identify the problem. Women have always struggled with metabolisms that have changed our lithe firm teenage bodies (at least in my mind, my body was lithe and firm) with widening hips, an ever growing butt, jiggling thighs, and a gut that looks so much better tucked into high waisted pants than low rise jeans-- GASP! Did I just say that??? Am I turning into my mom?!

And so as I contemplate, I've decided my metabolism is psychotic and suffers from multiple personality disorder. Somedays, BubbleButt Beelzebub comes calling in the grocery store when I have my cart loaded with veggies. As I stand in the check out lane, Redvines and Twix seductively whisper my name, and BubbleButt Beelzebub answers.

Other times, ThunderThighed Thelma rears her ugly head. Instead of going for a run, a walk, or even doing a bit of gardening or housecleaning, Thelma convinces me to open another bag of chips and watch just one more episode of Friends.

But most of all, my constant companion these days is Paunchus Pilate, the despotic ruler of my body held in captivity. Paunchus Pilate-- no, not plate, P-I-Late-- greets me in the morning, sits next to me at work, and every time I look into the mirror, I realize that I have inherited my grandma Betty Kay's gut--her paunch.
In the Bible, Pilate refused to take charge of the situation with Jesus, merely changing his whims based on the crowds, and when confronted by temptation, he folded to please the crowds. So does my Paunchus Pilate refuse to take charge and often folds under pressure, in group situations, or whenever there is a cookie, candy bar, chips... in sight.

Oh dear. I have not created a monster, but have only given my monster within three names! Now on to exorcise this beast! Or is it exercise? Has anyone else noticed how close these two words are? Exorcise/Exercise? I just did right now, it can't be a coincidence!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

He's alive! (And I am too!)

So I apologize for not writing in what, like a month? End of the quarter crazyiness at work, student registration, budget issues at work, my final paper for the class I'm taking, copyediting two dissertations... they have all been distracting me! But never fear, I am alive, and still breathing (barely).

I love my brother. I’m proud of my brother Thane. He’s my hero, a patriot for our nation as he fights for freedom around the world.

Well, since he’s a communications/network guy, he’s not really fighting, he’s making sure the soldiers and officers on the front line have wi-fi and internet access. So he’s safe, playing computer games in the barracks, making sure that all the connections are up. But he’s supporting those fighting! And on Veteran’s Day, and every other day, I’m incredibly proud of him, the sacrifices he’s made for our country, and our freedom.

Thane has served one tour of duty in Afghanistan, and has served one tour of 15 months in Iraq already. He only has one more tour to complete, and prayerfully he’ll be out of the Army in February 2010.



He’s been in Iraq about five weeks now. This is a picture of us, taken in our backyard in Colorado, just a few weeks before he shipped out (notice the barren backyard and ugly fence? Stay tuned, home improvement sagas and catastrophies coming soon!). Since he boarded the plane in Hawaii, we hadn’t heard a word. Not a peep. Not a scrawled note, email, or text message.

Mom and I kept comforting ourselves with the fact that he’s busy, he’s training and getting acclimated in Kuwait before going to Iraq. He probably didn’t have internet connections. Every other day or so we’d call each other, check to see if the other had heard anything, and then console ourselves with the above statements…

And then, we got an email. Thane is alive! He had strep throat and a bad cold (go figure, it’s the desert for crying out loud, isn’t it supposed to be hot?), but he’s alive!

Woo Hoo!

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