Warning: Long. Boring. Read at your own risk. I had nothing for you tonight, and so I rambled. It’s a little quirk that I have — the rambling.
1. It’s a list. Because it’s Sunday, and because the weekend has been full, and because we are worn out, and because being worn out translates into this: Writer’s Block.
2. On Friday night, we met Hubs’ parents and three of Brother’s kids (the boy’s cousins) at the park for a picnic dinner. The kids played in the creek until they were sopping wet, muddy replicas of themselves, ate their weight in chicken and cheese pizza slices, climbed trees, endured mosquito bites, chased one another, caught butterflies and water skippers, and laughed until their sides hurt. Naturally, I forgot my camera, so none of the three hours’ worth of fun was documented or digitally preserved.
3. On Friday night, it didn’t take us long to learn that the boy’s five-year-old cousin, Miss A, has her own rules for the game of tag, and they can change instantly. Finally, the boy has met his match, as the boy loves to adapt the rules of a game to fit his wishes. Miss A can give him a run for his money here, and they were both changing the rules of the game right and left, until no one really even knew what the rules were any longer.
4. On Friday night, when the boy was standing in the creek at the park and dripping wet, with mud slopped all up his back, and throwing his head back to howl at some joke his cousin W had told him, my cell phone rang. It was Enzo’s mom. This is what she said: “Please tell me that you’re coming to the baseball game tonight, because I’m sitting in the bleachers alone, and I want you to come sit with me, and I cannot believe you are not here yet.” The boy had plum forgotten to inform Hubs and me that he had a make-up baseball game on Friday night, from when we got hit with the torrential downpour on Tuesday. Needless to say, we skipped it, and Enzo’s mom had to suffer the bleachers by herself.
5. The boy’s baseball team won their game on Friday night.
6. The boy didn’t care at all that he’d missed his game, because he’d enjoyed his cousins and the water skippers thoroughly.
7. On Saturday morning, we got up at the crack of ugly, because that seems to be what we do now days. The boy’s good buddy, Ben, lives on a ranch several miles away from Small Town, USA, and he had invited the boy to come spend the weekend with him. They were branding. Our plan was to get up at the crack of horrid and drop the boy off at the branding site at the crack of ugly, but we ended up staying.
8. It was the second branding that I’ve ever attended in my life, and let me tell you this: My job at a branding is to be eye candy. I just stand around looking cute and let the work go on around me, because I’m not sure that I’m made of tough enough stuff to slam a month-old calf onto a table, squeeze him in the rails, brand him, give him two vaccines, cut his private parts plum off, notch his ear, de-horn him, and cauterize the spots where the horns used to be. City girls do not do this sort of stuff. And also? Ben’s parents had a teeny little calf who was feeling quite under the weather, so he didn’t get slammed onto the calf table and locked in. They just held him in the grass, because he was plum miserable with an upset tummy. He could barely bawl when he was branded and snipped, so he simply whined and broke my heart. With all the other calves, they bolted and ran like the devil was chasing them when they were released. This poor little guy shuffled off slower than an elderly woman with a walker. I simply announced, “I’m going to go cuddle that one and rock him a bit; he needs a mama to hold him tight and sing a lullaby to him this morning.” Hubs actually got put to work at the branding. He was the Fire Overseer, and also the Cauterizing Iron Overseer. Jobs like these are clearly more important than working as Eye Candy and Sick Calf Rocker.
9. Also? Showing up at a branding with a cup from Starbucks isn’t really kosher.
10. When you have to get out of the Suburban to open a gate, it is very difficult to do with one hand, while your other hand holds the Starbucks cup.
11. And another thing? Ranchers tend to laugh at people who show up at a branding with a paper cup filled with expensive, coffee-flavored milk. I guess cowboys and ranchers just make their coffee with lots of grounds in it, over a campfire at 3:00 in the morning, and they don’t tend to add a lot of milk and sugary goodness to it.
12. Clearly, ranchers have no idea how to drink coffee, and I wouldn’t mind stepping up and teaching a Starbucks 101 class for them to sign up and attend. I’m sure once they taste the bean of the java plant done up right, there’ll be no going back to grounds-filled cups at 3 AM; they’ll all fight over who has to drive to town to bring back the good stuff. Teaching Starbucks 101 will be my little, personal ministry.
13. Hubs and I ended up staying at the branding for a couple of hours.
14. Hubs and I were offered freshly cooked Rocky Mountain Oysters, and I used my manners by saying, “Not in this lifetime; thank you.”
15. After Hubs and I abandoned the boy at the ranch, we took some back roads, because Hubs asked, “Do you want to go to that little antique place you like so much?” This would be like me asking Hubs, “Do you just want to sit in this recliner all day, with ESPN tuned to hockey games?” Yes! Of course I wanted to go to the BIG antique shop, so Hubs and I navigated the back roads, and off we went.
16. We didn’t spend a single cent on antiques, because most of the cabinets that I wanted were equal to a year’s worth of college tuition, and we’re going to need those funds to send the boy off one day, in preparation for him building rockets for NASA.
17. Later, Hubs and I traveled some more back roads, and we ended up in Gymnastics Land, USA, where we had lunch at this quaint little diner, which is all the rage in Gymnastics Land. Hubs and I gazed at the menu for hours, because at this little joint you can literally have anything you want. Shrimp? Yep. Chili? Uh-huh. Fried chicken? They’ve got it. Mexican food? They do that, too. Burgers? Theirs is all the rage in Gymnastics Land. Hot dogs? Absolutely. French fries with cheese melted all over them? You can get those there. Ice cream? They’ve even got that. Hubs decided to get some nachos. I told him, “Um, wow. Nachos are almost ten clams here!” Hubs didn’t care; he was in the mood for nachos.
18. The reason that nachos are so pricey is simple: One order of them at this little diner will feed a family of nine in Mexico for eight days straight. When our number was called and I walked up to the counter to collect our order, I laughed out loud at the plate of nachos sitting on the tray. I have no words to describe it, other than these nachos were on a plate that was roughly the size of Rhode Island, and they were stacked nearly three-feet high and covered with an entire tub of sour cream.
19. When we left the diner in Gymnastics Land, Hubs mumbled something about feeling like a boa constrictor who had just swallowed a goat, whole, and how he wouldn’t need to eat anything else for the rest of the week. And then he mumbled something else about wanting to prove to himself that he was man enough to eat that order of nachos.
20. Hubs’ new nickname is Macho Nacho Man.
21. When we returned, via the Interstate, to Small Town, Hubs and I decided to hit a matinee together, and keep Date Day going. We saw Knight and Day.
22. Dear Tom Cruise, You made me giggle a couple of times in your new movie. It wasn’t half bad. The end.
23. This morning, Hubs and I got up, and we went to church. And afterwards, our church threw the biggest BBQ that’s ever occurred in Small Town. We talked. We ate. We talked. We ate. We talked. We ate.
24. And when that BBQ was over, Hubs and I had a big going-away party to attend for our friends, Ed and Bev, who have decided to pack up their bags and move to Georgia, even though this ticks everyone in Small Town off. Bev is originally from North Carolina, and Bev loves hot temperatures and humidity, and she claims that Small Town is simply too cold and dry for her. I told her that she can just sign her boys up for swimming lessons at the indoor pool in the summer, and she will truly know hell-degrees-Fahrenheit and humid. There was more food at this party, only Hubs and I couldn’t even acknowledge the buffet without throwing up a little in our mouths, on account of all the eating we’d done at BBQ #1. So we talked. And didn’t eat. And talked. And didn’t eat. And talked. And didn’t eat.
25. And then Hubs had to pry me away from all the talking and not eating, because…goodness! I was so busy chatting with a pack of my girlfriends, I plum forgot to check the time, and I had to drive out of town and pick up my boy!!
26. When we showed up late at the halfway-between-the-ranch-and-Small-Town point, I told Ben’s mom, Bridget, “Sorry. I was busy talking and forgot to watch the time!” And Bridget said, “Um, wow. I would never have guessed you were busy talking!” And still…I keep her as one of my good friends.
27. People, I was plum thrilled to have my boy back. Oh, goodness, but did he ever have fun at the ranch, but guess what? I missed him like madness, and Hubs and I spent the weekend understanding what retirement will feel like. When we picked him up, he was filthy. I do not exaggerate. He was so dirty, I almost needed his dental records to determine whether or not he was actually our boy. He was covered in dirt and mud and scratches and bug bites. His socks are beyond the help of an entire bottle of Clorox bleach, and they will simply be thrown away. His shoelaces were broken, his jeans were ripped, his hair was sticking up in twenty-six different directions, and he was grinning for all he was worth. He and Ben camped out in a tent in Ben’s front yard. They announced that the sun was coming up when they finally decided to go to sleep. They played in the creek. They played with Ben’s new litter of puppies. The boy announced, “And listen, Mom! I think we should get a puppy of our own!” The boy and Ben built a fort. They threw salt blocks out of a truck for some cows. They ate an entire watermelon between the two of them. They didn’t comb their hair. They had sword fights with sticks. They did everything that little boys should do, and I’m glad the little punks had a grand time. And also? The boy went to church with Ben this weekend, and I had only packed extreme play clothes, and he did not even comb his hair when he went. Oh, well. I’m quite certain that Jesus doesn’t really care too much if little boys show up at church with dirty faces and crazy-mangled hair and hole-filled jeans. I’m sure that He’s just plum tickled to see them at church, exactly as they are.
28. The boy was squeaky clean from his shower and sound asleep in his bed at 7:15 tonight.
29. And there’s our weekend.
30. And if you read all of this, you truly deserve a medal for enduring the most boring blog post ever put up.
31. And also? I just realized that this is my 200th blog post! Two hundred posts! When I started this blog a few months ago, I had no idea that I’d actually stick to it and keep the crazy thing going.
32. Of course, when I started this blog a few months ago, I didn’t anticipate that I’d ever type a long-winded post that was this boring.
33. Happy Sunday night, people.