Doing Good at Feeling Fine

This whole thing where I work really hard to live in the moment (ruining my previous hobbies of “pre-worrying” and “dwelling on how things could have gone) has really been working out. Little things keep happening and I just look at them as bumps in the road as I sail down my merry path. And, hey, look, today’s tarot card even shows my merry path!

It is always fun to me when I’m subconsciously thinking of something, and my reading literally draws a picture of it. Archetypes amuse me.

My quest to enjoy the moment led to me just sitting at last night’s high school football game and listening to the drama and pageantry, without worrying about winning or losing. It was just pleasant to be around nice people doing small-town things.

In fact, the current plan is to go with the lady who sits next to me at the games and watch the Away game next Friday. She is a whiz at football, so almost as fun to watch a high school game with as my kids’ friend Wes, who analyzed the games from his trombone spot. He’s now a high-school football coach, so his dream came true, even if his parents didn’t want him playing the game. I’m so glad to make new friends.

Football action. Note how many people the other team had in the stands. They were from a LONG way (Katy, Texas). They won State last year, and we were the only team that beat them. I hope it’s that way for them this year, too.

On my way home I got to see a huge owl eating a kill, then flying off when my car approached [hn hn – Vlassic typed that by laying his head on the keyboard]. Then I found a big spider in the garage, but Vlassic scared it off before I could get a picture.

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Cattle Drama! Newborn Interventions!

That’s right, I’m posting about calves again, even though hardly anyone has read the other post on calves (cattle drama is nowhere near as interesting as my personal drama I guess). And, to be honest, this is not drama if you live on a cattle ranch, but it’s fun if you’ve never been around them. So I’ll share my action shots.

I’ll get you!

The dogs went crazy, and I looked outside to see a mama cow and a very new baby trotting around. I then heard the unmistakable sound of a utility vehicle. A quick glance at the little tan calf told me what was up: it hadn’t been tagged yet.

Run! There’s a guy coming after us!

One reason that the cows get checked on so often during calving season is that each newborn needs to be checked out quickly, to make sure everything is okay. The cattle owners also check to be sure there’s no cow in distress or anything like that, too.

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Milkweed and More

Time for another look around our dry ranch.

A view of my riparian garden. This is the first time we ever let things grow to their full size here.

You never know what you’ll find during a walk around the Hermits’ Rest. Even in this awful weather, there are fun things to discover. I found that out today, when I went over to get a photo of the little grouping of Zizotes milkweed I’d found recently. Lo and behold, the milkweed was doing its job!

Zizotes milkweed.

Each plant had its own beautiful Queen butterfly caterpillar on it. They were merrily chomping away and waving their festive red antennae and spikes. I’ve seen a lot of Queens around this year, and I am happy to see that there will be quite a few more, if things work out well.

I took some pretty good photos, I think. (Aside: Lee just got one of the new iPhones with three cameras. I am looking forward to heading out into nature with it to see if I can get better close-ups and distance photos with it. However, I think I’m going to get myself a regular camera, too.)

I also saw more subtle beauty last night. After the Vrazels mowed our field, not much sticks up, since the grass is not growing while we are in drought. One plant is growing, and it’s the horsenettle. It’s a prickly thing, but it’s strong and tenacious, and I happen to think the flowers are beautiful.

Pretty purple nettle flower, and extreme finger close-up.

In any case, the sight of all those little purple flowers sticking up above the dead grass pleased me very much. Sometimes you have to be prickly and strong to deal with what life throws at you. Physical beauty is just a happy bonus.

I hope you can see the little spots of color from the horsenettle.

While I was admiring tenacity, I had to admit to myself that one of my least favorite garden weeds, the spotted surge, can be beautiful when allowed to flourish and grow. I’m just glad I don’t have to weed it and get all that milky stuff on me.

It looks like some kind of sea urchin or something.

Darn Dogs, Can’t They Be Polite?

It looks like our newest canine companion, Penney, will be needing some training or something. She continues to poop and pee in our bathroom every night that I’m there. We have three theories: one is I’m taking up her space in the bed, and another is she’s afraid to go downstairs in the dark. A third possibility is that she’s showing irritation that Vlassic’s in the room.

Carlton the weather dog points out that it still has not rained,

Poor Little Vlassic

Penney seems to have it in for him, at least when he’s trying to do his favorite thing, which is snuggle up with me or Lee. She believes SHE is the resident snuggler. We have been working with her on this, but as you can see from Vlassic’s head, we aren’t always successful.

Ow. Also I have an owie on my tummy from last week. Save me!

Now, they are fine outdoors, and run and play very happily.

Vlassic now spends his time at the ranch either outside on the porch, or upstairs in the bedroom.

And that’s a problem when night comes, because everybody wants to be on top of the bed. Harvey likes to sleep where he isn’t touching anybody, and growls if they try. Carlton is either next to me or in the dog bed. Vlassic is usually glued to me, while Penney glues herself to Lee.

I would like to know how I never realized how much brown hair is on the back of Vlassic’s legs. I swear, I look at him all the time. Cute little butt swirls, though.

But last night, Penney apparently wanted to be next to me, and went after Vlassic for being there instead. Much screaming, peeing on my dang bed, and growling occurred. I had to spend the rest of the night downstairs with a shaking (but relatively unhurt) dachshund.

I’m glad we know dog trainers.

Also, Dogs Like Stinky Things

Lee reports that Alfred came home Wednesday night with a very large spine of something. He loved it. It smelled very bad. Thankfully, it’s mostly gone now.

Penney explores the milkweed, looking for remnants of the spine.

Then, today, while Vlassic was in the office staying safe from Penney, he jumped in Mandi’s lap, causing her to react in horror. He’d found a very dead and stinky mouse. I guess that means our mouse removal campaign is working. But wow, is it smelly in the kitchen area, and so is he. We washed him, but not well enough.

At least the love of stinky items is funny.

Was a Little Out of It

Sorry for the absence. I was limiting my screen time, and dealing with “issues”. Then, out of the blue I got a very weird headache yesterday that lasted until 8 pm. Stress? Stroke? Jostling from the car incident? No idea.

It rained, so rain lilies and their golden cousins pop up.

I was no good to anyone in the meeting I was at in the morning. I mostly worried people. But the wildflower brochure is being printed now!

Thanks to that brochure I hit the first post-certification milestone for Master Naturalist. 250 volunteer hours. That’s me and Lisa.

I managed to get some “real job” work done, and then begged out and got my nails done. Of course, Yoe High maroon and silver. Tina did a great job making up a technique!

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Recharge Time

This morning I waved goodbye to Eva and Joe, found out what was going on with the rest of the family, and realized I was gloriously alone for a while. Lee and Kathleen are still in west Texas, Mandi has other issues, we canceled Sunday dinner due to stress and confusion, so no visitors today. Alone.

Part 1

Of course, being me, I felt compelled to write up stuff for work blogs and volunteering blogs. And I’m late on my LLL newsletter, so I worked on that.

Mmm. Football.

After 5 hours of writing, I’ve declared I deserve some recharge time. No one can keep going and going forever.

Mom is a great pillow.
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Family Stuff and Coping

Tell you what, it’s been a whirlwind around here the past couple of days. Lots of it’s been fun, but there has also been challenging stuff.

Me looking tired, but proud of my pink glass decanter to go with my orange glass.

Kathleen, Lee, and I have made a kind of unspoken pact to just go with the flow as our plans constantly shift due to weird circumstances. We’ve just been trying to start a business, deal with an elder care challenge, and remodel a building.

You can’t be sad if you have cherry pie with a paw print on it.

But all sorts of paperwork issues, legal surprises, scallywaggery (I made that up), illnesses, and twists and turns have meant schedules and priorities change at a moment’s notice. I’m proud of how patient we’ve been, though I think I could do better.

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