I don’t really have anything for y’all today that can be tied up nicely with a ribbon and made into one real blog post, so I’ll just shoot my bullet points at y’all, in numerical fashion. Kind of like a list. A list with numbers.
1. So I finished the book Half-Broke Horses last night, a mere forty-eight hours after I’d started it.
(Clearly, I am not a time-waster when it comes to reading. I take my dues-paying, nerd-holding status in the book club seriously, as I set some reading goals for myself.)
When I finished reading the last page, I quite reluctantly closed the cover and sighed, as I realized that this book was one of my all-time favorites, and that I adored Lily Casey Smith so much, I secretly wished that I could be her BFF. The only issues that I would have taken up with Lily would have been the small fact that I think I would have always passed on riding with her while she was driving the hearse (especially if she made me stand on the sideboards outside the hearse and hold on through the open windows), and I would have convinced her to wash her clothes more often when she was at the ranch.
Oh, yes! Lily Casey Smith decided that washing clothes on the ranch was really a complete waste of time, so they wore their shirts forward for a week, until the fronts were filthy. Then they wore them backwards, until the backs were dirty. Then they turned those shirts inside out, and wore them until the INSIDE FRONTS were dirty. And then (you guessed it!), they spun them around a fourth time and dirtied up the INSIDE BACKS. When every square inch of their shirts were caked with mud and horse manure and blood and flour and bacon grease and ranch dirt, Lily hauled them all to town and had them steam cleaned. She explained that they saved a lot of money this way, and, since ranch work was such a dirty job anyway, it really didn’t matter whether they started the day in a clean shirt or a dirty one, because they all were covered in muck by the day’s end anyway. Lily and I could have been BFFs, as long as she clearly understood that I’d be hauling my shirts and a bucket of Tide down to the creek every single day, and that I would totally be starting my ranch days in a CLEAN top.
Thank you, very much.
When I told Hubs this morning that I’d finished my very first book club assignment, and that I’d done it three weeks ahead of schedule, he asked, “So now what? You write a book report? Which will never be graded by a teacher? So why bother?”
Something like that.
People, y’all have to get out and read this one. It really opened my eyes to how tough life was on a ranch in the very early 1900s. Not long ago, with the nation’s recession hitting us like it is, my dad made the comment that my generation would never be able to survive a depression, because we had no idea what it meant to live without. At first, I was a bit shocked by that, because I am completely living without the Cadillac Escalade that haunts my dreams of desire, but then, when it got right down to it, I knew my dad was right, and reading this book cemented that fact in my mind. Lily and her husband ate saltine crackers and dill pickles for their meals for weeks on end, because that’s all they could afford, and I know I’d be hard-pressed to face an entire week without a trip to the local Starbucks for a hot beverage in a paper cup that would cost me the same amount of money that Lily earned in a full week by teaching school.
Lily moved around a lot, and, for a while, she lived in a house where she and her husband installed their own indoor plumbing, so that she had her very first toilet inside. Later, when they moved again, the next ranch had nothing but outhouses, and Lily was shocked at first to realize that she’d be missing out on an indoor bathroom. She made the comment that sometimes we take our wants and our luxuries so seriously, that we begin to think that they’re necessities, when they’re really not. She said that the necessity was just a spot to potty, whether that spot was an outhouse or a spot in an open field. Indoor plumbing wasn’t a necessity at all, and yet so many people looked at it as one.
Of course, this got me thinking about the two bathrooms that we have here at the Jedi Manor, and how I would consider them the biggest necessities in the house, and yet…they’re not. It’s quite evident that I do consider a lot of my luxuries as necessities, and my cups from Starbucks as requirements for the continuation of life.
2. The sleep eluded me last night for quite some time, because NIGHTMARE!
I dreamed that Sister and I were walking through an enormous house with a tour guide, who was showing us the rooms and commenting on the architectural features. When we came to an upstairs bedroom, there was a little old lady, who looked to be about a hundred years old, lying on her back in the bed. The tour guide told Sister and me in this dream, “Crawl into bed with her,” so Sister and I did.
Because that’s not weird at all, in a dream.
We both laid down on the bed with this little lady, fully clothed, and she whispered in this frail voice, “Can you both please slip your shoes off? I don’t like having shoes on the bed.” Of course, we quickly kicked the sneakers off, and then the little lady said, “I hear a noise outside.” She got up and shuffled the few feet to the window to investigate, and I kept thinking that she was hours away from death, because she was so frail and fragile and weak.
When the little lady turned away from the window, she actually spun! Spun with speed! And she had fangs! Enormous, shiny fangs! And her eyes were glowing red, and her ears were pointy, and her fingers were adorned with razor-sharp claws, and her white hair was down to her waist and flying all around her in a Hair Tornado. She jumped on the bed and started to attack Sister, and I was trying to fight her off by kicking and punching her. Then she turned on me, and Sister was trying to kick her off. Sister and I were both screaming, and the old scary woman was shrieking these blood curdling screams, and then…
…I woke up, and I was panting and out of breath and squeezing my pillow over my face.
And that was it for the sleep for me. I simply laid there in bed, staring at the dark ceiling, wondering how on earth Daniel would interpret THAT dream.
I’m pretty sure he’d say, “So let’s not take those brand new multi-vitamins that you’re trying right before bed any more. M’kay?”
3. Yesterday, Sister had a little brunch at her house, which was, you know, for me, on account of BIRTHDAY WEEK! Amy brought an egg casserole, Jodi brought sugar cookies, and Sister made several loaves of blueberry bread and almond bread and chocolate chip bread, and a big pack of us girls sat around Sister’s table, consuming vast quantities of calories and ingesting enormous mugs of homemade lattes. We talked, and we laughed, and we answered these little Conversation Starter cards, which Missi had brought.
(Have you ever been escorted out of a building? Which fictional character would you like to invite over for dinner? Can you belly dance?)
It was a fantastic time, and, for the record, one of us was escorted off the front steps of someone’s house during her elementary school years (NOT ME!), none of us can belly dance successfully, and Amy announced that she wanted to have Dwight Schrute over for dinner, which we all whole-heartedly agreed was the very! best! choice! Naturally, just thinking about Dwight sitting at our dining room tables, wearing his yellow shirt and beige jacket, sent us all into hysterical giggles, because we are rather mature like that.
Eventually, Missi brought up Jonathan and David, which took us off on a more serious tangent of that Biblical friendship, which is what we’re going over in Bible study this week. We talked about how sweet the friendship was between those two men, and how much we are thankful for our own girlfriends, and then I began to wonder…
…are girlfriends luxuries or necessities? And could I live on a secluded ranch, eating dill pickles and saltine crackers and washing my shirts daily (DAILY, PEOPLE!! With Tide! And Downy!) in the creek, without seeing a girlfriend for months and months on end?
The answer is a definite no.
The girlfriends, they sustain me. Even more than Starbucks does. And I love ’em to bits, and I have to chalk them up as GENUINE NECESSITIES in life.
Happy Tuesday, people.