Sunday, October 16, 2011

Loving, week deaux

Howdy.  My daughter and husband have successfully survived week one of parenthood.  They are strangely competent considering at least my half of the gene pool.  Tim's family could probably handle anything, well, except California maybe.  I have promised them some tie dyed goodies, a bong and some Birkenstock's from the homeland once I return, but the blank stares to my direction pretty much said it all.  heavy sigh.

Baby Sam is without a doubt an exceptional baby (that too from my gene pool), he is very cool and collected.  He sleeps 4-5 hours at a stretch so the mother unit is pleased and is still radiant.  Without being the slightest bit prejudiced,  he is gorgeous and well behaved.  He has amazing feet. I may have a little bit of an obsession with them.  However, you may keep your opinions to yourself, unless you agree with me in which case we can get along.
Happy Feet!

My time here in Loving is rapidly coming to an end.  I don't know where the time has gone, but the daughter does not like for me to have any free time while she naps.  Something about idle hands and the devils playground.  So I have cooked and cleaned, hung pictures and rearranged the furniture, made pillows and offered both sanctioned and unsolicited advice.  My revenge observations of daughter- mother hood change vastly depending on the task at hand.  As a Dairy Bar/Dairy Queen, daughter is a champ.  But I'll tell you this, she's been peed on more than anyone I know.  She and the father are attempting to bathe the little prince right now and there was quite a kerfuffle which meant that the prince-ling had aimed and hit the mother target with a well place whiz.  I don't change diapers, so I'm dry..  We've had "that" chat.  What they will do without me is any one's guess, but just now I'm not even entertaining the idea at all.  I will miss them all way too much.

Lucky for me my beloved and I will be busy busy once I return as we will venture to Fresno for yet another horse trials.  As you know this means a three hour trek in the cab of the little pick up with three ill behaved dogs and their people.  Then, because the weather is unpredictable of late, we will either roast to death in the sun, or I will huddle pathetically in the truck in the case of torrential downpours. With the dogs for three days while the course is designed, built and jumped.  Oh, wet dogs.  I forgot.  Awesome.  It will come as a surprise to many of you that I can be unpleasant when cold and wet.

All too soon it will be time for Thanksgiving with the annual squabble as to who has to host the festivities.  I always vote for someone else's house.  And I like to take a lions share of the left overs home so we can have sandwiches, which is, as you know, the very best part of a turkey.   I am getting ahead of myself as we haven't even celebrated Halloween yet.  This is when  Steve and I huddle in the house, in the dark with no lights visible to the outside so we don't have to give away our candy.  So we have that to look forward to.

At any rate I still have two full days to share with the newest offspring.  And a lot of Loving, and Carlsbad have not been explored yet.  I suspect tomorrow and Tuesday will be rather full.  There are also projects my darling daughter has not yet presented to me to complete before I fly away.  I will be very tired when I get home and really in no mood to cook and clean, Steve. But until then there will be much baby holding and such like.

I was party to a calf roundup yesterday.  Well in actuality I watched as Tim ordered some youngster cows to get in a trailer so we could take them to his folks house for some reason.  I very astutely understood the safest place to be was on the other side of the fence, but Tim and the two herding dogs did a bang up job ordering the herd around and after some adolescent pouting and tantrums, they obediently loaded up for the short drive to their new digs.

I asked Tim  if they had a new fangled way to brand calves, but was assured the physical burn maiming is still the way of it.  It is not calf branding season, so I have been spared.  It is all to clear to me what would happen if I had a red hot branding iron in my tender horn paws.  I don't even like tattoo's.  It's a really grim thought.for all involved.

Alison's beloved is from this area.  Like many generations from here.  As in the whole population of Loving and Carlsbad, NM are ALL related in some fashion or other.  We had dinner (lunch) at his parents house today.  There were four generations of Ballard/Magby's at the table.  for fun they made chile rellenos for yours truly.  You know with the nice big green chiles?  Uh no.  I took one bite (without realizing they were eagerly looking at me no less) and squawked "Holy Mackeral!" then "Sapphire that's hot!"  And was there with tears streaming down my face whilst they had a whoop and holler at my expense.  I shall exact revenge at the earliest possible moment.  Perhaps I shall send them some tofu. Hah!

I must run chickens, I'm sure there's something I haven't done that needs to be done right now, even if it hasn't ever been done before.  I shall get back to being Step-n-Fetchit.

Cheers y'all

Monday, October 10, 2011

Loving, New Mexico

Loving, New Mexico is in southeastern New Mexico.  I know this because my son-in-law told me you could tell where a cowboy is from by the way his (or her) hat is shaped.  His is shaped in the way that those from southeastern New Mexico shape theirs.  So there you go.

So Loving.   Folks from all over the US, and probably beyond, send their valentines to the Loving post office so they can then be postmarked from "Loving".  Isn't that sweet?  Remember that come mid-February or so if you want brownie points.

I am in Loving to be a supportive and nurturing mother to my eldest daughter who has had a new baby.  Yesterday as a matter of fact.  Master Sam arrived at 10:02 in the morning which is quite civilized if you discount the getting up at 4:00 a.m. to scurry about bleary eyed to go to the hospital.  But I did that very thing, cheerfully, or at least not unpleasantly, and did my due diligence at the hospital all day.   My new grandson is particularly attractive and is a credit to his parents to whom he bears some likeness even today.  I had the honor of alerting the family in California of the progress of labor, the whining during my exile during the delivery, and the pronouncements of the subsequent weights and measures.  Naturally they were ever so pleased to get all the gritty details from my pithy comments to them via texts complete with pictures.  I am clever.

It would seem that the new mother expects that I shall avail myself of the domestic duties usually reserved for the "help".  In this case, it would seem, I am the help.  Somehow you'd think I'd get a new outfit out of this deal.  But we are casual here in Loving, so no new duds for moi.  I had an inkling of these sad tidings a couple days ago when the then pregnant and tetchy mother to be demanded to know what I wanted to from the store (mercado) so I could cook meals.  She also explained to me what her beloved gets in his lunch that is lovingly (that word again) packed each morning at some unholy hour before he scampers off to work.  This is in sharp contrast to how I pictured my time here.  It went something like this, I would sit around and have my pick of bon bons and offer worthy bits of wisdom concerning the needs and care of a new baby.  I would receive and "vet" visitors before allowing them access to my new grandson and I would take lots of naps.  We do not communicate effectively in this family.

I got to ride the range and chase some cows around the other day.  Not only that, but I got to ride a palomino horse which is a blond horse.  And he was little, being how he was something like 14 hands and a bit.  My last horse was about 16.2 hands.  A hand measure is four inches and a horse is measured from the ground to the topmost point of the wither.  If none of that means anything to you it's probably ok.  Take my word for it that blondie was short.  Happily he was fairly good natured and tolerant of my floundering whilst pretending to take control of a steer.  I had a very good time for myself , he not so much. You will be relieved that I did not completely embarrass myself, managed to stay on and even kinda bossed a small calf around.  Proof of this:

A bit about cows.  After the new heir was born the new mummy and daddy stayed together at the hospital over night.  This meant I was alone on the range with all the critters.  What this really meant was that I got to feed all of them in the morning.  I knew they were hungry because they were making an extreme racket.  Those of you who know me know that I am not a morning person and I like for things to be v.e.r.y. q.u.i.e.t..  Anyway none of that was happening so I figgered (cowboy talk)  I should mosie on out to the corrals to do something about it.  What I got to do about it was lift bales of hay.  I am old.  The bed on the pick up was high because it was beyond me to park so it was lower in the back, but details be damned, I still had to heft the hay bales in to the truck bed so I could cart it down to feed the horses who were in a near riot stage, because they are spoiled.  The calves too were ill tempered and were doing that moo/screech thing and the donkeys were making their unfortunate hee haw noise.  Quite a cacophony.  I fed the horses first, well duh, then I went down and fed the sick cow and her calf (she was sick, looks better now, she'll be alright unless she doesn't...this is the wild and woolly west folks, stuff happens...stiff upper lip and what not.) Then the donkeys  were fed and they were grateful and adorable, kind of hard to resist.  Lastly I fed the weaned calves.  I am pretty sure I will never own cows.  They stare at you when you arrive with food, they stare at you when you toss the food to them, and they stare at you till you leave them be.  Kinda rude, and they run away from you if you make any movements.  Further you can throw many piles of food for them, but they will only all eat from one pile at a time and they are rude to one another.   All pushy and head butty and all.  Plus they poop indiscriminately, and we won't even go in to that methane problem.  So cows.  Not feeling it.

I will be in New Mexico absorbing the culture for a total of two weeks.  I already have an accent and have heard myself say "might could" and "fillin' station" and "innerstate" more than once.  I am a cowgirl, howdy,howdy, howdy.             


Cheers ya'll