Wow. It’s been a really long time since I did anything with the family. Between COVID and family stresses, I’ve been on my own. So it was a pleasant surprise to have Kathleen coming back. More pleasant was a visit from her daughter-in-law, Moriah, and her baby Oaklynn (recipient of one of my baby blanket series).
I’d intended to go do a Master Naturalist thing today, but a ladies’ trip sounded more fun. Besides, I’d missed doing stuff around Cameron with anyone. (But I’m grateful for Anita and the Austin book group for some feminine company.)
So we got in Moriah’s car and headed to exotic Calvert, Texas, home of many cute shops and houses. Less than half an hour from Cameron, this little town has done what I wish we could. Dang, it’s been renovated well.
We had a great meal at the beautiful Calvert Hotel. It’s so well done and you get free wine with your meal. I had a great burger with bread and butter pickles on it. Mmm. Other than a lady insisting on touching the baby, it was a great time. Here are some pictures.
Then Kathleen and I shopped some in the stores. One with lots of colored glass really had nice stuff. I got some purple glass for my bathroom.
A visit to Calvert is not complete without checking out the En Geddes winery store. We enjoyed a wine flight and snacks, along with good conversation with the owners. I got my favorite sparkling wine, which they’ve almost sold out of it and the freeze killed a lot of the grapes.
I enjoyed all the wildflowers on the roadside. At home we have a couple new ones things to look at, like monarchs, carpenter bees, and false dandelion. The giant earth ball mushroom keeps growing, too.
When we got home we decided to ride horses. Kathleen groomed Mabel, but decided not to ride her due to a hoof issue.
I rode Apache and practiced all our stuff. He started eating grass and yanked the reins out of my hands. Then he stepped in them. Luckily his jumping wasn’t too bad. I got off and had a firm word with him. Very firm. He did fine after that. Yay me.
It was nice to see Kathleen back on Dusty. It had been six months. It will take a while to get her muscles back. Moriah hadn’t ridden in years, but she got on. Good for her.
She rode, and that’s what counts.
All in all, we had fun. a good ladies day. We even went to the CAB (Central Avenue Bistro) for the first time in ages. Lee won’t eat there. Ha. He missed Tom Petty songs.
I spent much of (but not all of) today getting my closet re-organized. Thank goodness, there was a nice interruption when a baby magically appeared. (Figuratively —he came with parents, too).
It was my great-nephew (by marriage—my siblings were not breeders). Actually he’s a step-nephew but what the heck, little Ryker is as close to a grandchild as I’ll get, I’ll wager.
I hadn’t met him yet, thanks to the good ole pandemic, but no one was in quarantine at the moment and his parents needed to stop by briefly. I enjoyed every moment of holding him and being goofy.
However, that was a brief highlight. Mostly I organized my closet, a thing I tend to do about twice a year. Now, I always thought I had a messy closet because my closets were too small. Nope. My closet is this big, thanks to how we enlarged the first floor of the house.
Our contractor, Ruben, did this for me, and I’m forever grateful. That island holds 8 drawers Bd is covered with beautiful natural quartz. Too bad it was totally covered with clothing, suitcases, and Christmas gifts this morning.
As I finished my three hours of hanging, sorting, and selecting things to donate, I realized that the size of the closet doesn’t matter. Unless you’re a really organized person (like my dad was) your closet will slowly become a mess until you make yourself fix it.
I can’t blame my narrow and annoying closet at the Austin house for my poor closet management, since I can’t keep this huge room looking neat. It’s me. I’m not a whiz with the closets.
Let’s see how long this lasts. I plan to iron some things, and maybe get some cute organizing stuff. And tomorrow the jewelry area will also be fixed. Maybe if I spiff it up a bit, I’ll do better.
Am I alone, or are closets hard for most people? Does your closet look like a California Closets ad?
Maybe you know this, and maybe you don’t, but back in the early days of the internet, I was a semi-famous web designer, specializing in sites for people working with breastfeeding mothers and babies. Now, THAT was a career I never would have foreseen (besides not knowing there would BE a World Wide Web, I was pretty sure I would never reproduce. My first love didn’t want children (and never had them, just cats), and I thought they’d slow down my feminist agenda, or something.
Turned out, though, that not only did I like babies quite a lot, doing websites allowed me to stay home and watch them grow, with plenty of time left to support other mothers and babies. And by gosh, I got a career out of the whole deal. That pretty much fit right in with my agenda, after all.
While that career path has dwindled a bit (oh wait, I am still the webmaster for some organizations), my enjoyment of babies has stuck with me. I love the potential. I love watching them change every day (though I haven’t had a chance to do that in a long time), I love watching parents grow and rise up to all the inevitable challenges, or lean on others when those challenges overwhelm.
Parenting brought me life-long friends (I have some from 30 years ago, when I first got pregnant and looked up information on online bulletin boards). Now that my friends are grandparenting, I get the joy of watching those relationships develop. It’s really amazing how my friends have been helping their children’s children during the pandemic, ranging from caring for them so the parents can work from home to home-schooling programs on Zoom.
It doesn’t appear that I’ll be a grandparent (I guess if K fathered children, I’d not get to see them, and there are some challenges for D). I guess that’s good for overpopulation. But I’ll miss having the chance to be there for my sons and their partners, and to hold and smell little ones again (yes, I remember there are also bad smells).
But, other people’s kids aren’t quite so set on not having babies, so I got to be a great aunt by marriage a few days ago. I’m excited, though the pandemic means I only get to see photos of the little guy. I look into his face, with eyes old beyond his age, and see so much potential. He already shows what he might look like when he’s older, with a large mouth, lots of hair, and very expressive eyes. What a wonder, indeed. His young mama is enjoying him, and his grandparents are ridiculously excited, as they should be. I get to enjoy it vicariously, which is better than a kick in the head!
I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few very scary months in the world, but I’m very glad that I will have a sweet baby boy to distract me and to remind me of the timeless wonder of babies as they grow. May he grow into a world full of peace, love, and kindness.
Rip the bull calf has had a lot of adventures in his short bovine career. He was born! Something happened! He rumbled around! He was in a scary place with many frightened animals! He rode in another rumbly thing! A human fed him milk! He was in a grassy place. He slept. Many humans and dogs appeared. He ate and slept.
Then, one day the human who fed him and the large human picked him up (he’s a small calf still) and put him in another rumbly thing, only one that smelled better and wasn’t so rumbly. They called the SUV.
They rumbled along for a while. When Rip had to poop, they stopped and took the poop away. Weird. After some time, they let him out, and he was in a new place! It had other cows and calves. And different friendly humans, one who appeared to be ready to calve soon, herself.
Rip liked the place. He still got his milk, but also had a herd to hang with, when they’d let him. There was some tasty grass, too.
A few days later, though, they put him back in the fancy rumbly thing. He had to poop in the same place, and also peed. The female human said she sure was glad they put a tarp in the back seat. So, that’s what the strange slippery brown dirt he was standing on was called.
Next time the rumbling stopped, he was back at the first place with all the dogs. He liked to try to play with the little white one, but the male human didn’t like it.
The other female made him feel better by giving him a delicious kind of feed she called a peppermint horse treat. That was fun to chew.
There was a rectangular prickly thing in the wheelbarrow next to Rip’s pen. It smelled really good. The big male human broke some of it off and tried to get Rip to nibble on it. Nope.
Then he set some of it on the ground. Rip changed his mind about it, after a lot of sniffing. He put a bit of it in his mouth and chewed. Not bad!
The humans called it hay, and they kept telling him it was just like grass, just dry. Rip, having so far only lived in the height of summer drought, thought all grass was pretty dry.
It was time for a nap. His plan is to eat and nap enough to get big and strong, so no human can pick him up and rumble him off again.
Shh, don’t tell him about trailers, and how he’s being trained to walk on a lead for easy loading. Dream on, Rip.