Archive | Life at Cocklebur Junction RSS feed for this section

Time flies by when you are typing slowly….

15 Jul

Seriously, has it really been that long? I have missed you guys. And I have a lot to share with you. I mean, of course, we’ve had lots of surprises around Cocklebur Junction since January. So here’s the first part of our update. With no pictures. Sorry. I wasn’t able to take pictures for a while….

It was mid-January. A white blanket of snow covered the ground. The Cowboy was in central Nevada working on a pipeline. The kiddos and I were having lots of fun snuggling on the couch, eating popcorn for dinner and ice cream for breakfast and doing all those horrible things the Cowboy should never, ever know about.

We’d had a massive all day long, use every single dish you own, cooking-fest. Homemade pizzas were in the oven, the mozzarella just starting to melt into the sauce. The girls were kneeling on the floor in front of the oven watching their pizzas, waiting patiently.

I reached over their heads and grabbed a large glass dish I’d been using as a double-boiler off of the stove. It slipped. I threw my hands down in front of them to shield them as the bowl hit the corner of the stove.

Bailey had blood all over her face. I was trying to see how badly she was hurt when Dally pointed out that I was the one hurt. I looked down at my hand and my pinky finger was just a mangled mess. It had been sliced by the glass.

I wrapped it with a dish towel, put it over my head and got the kiddos in their shoes. Dally helped her sister into the truck and buckled her in. Off we went to the nearest town. Twenty minutes away. With my hand in the air.

Dally kept saying, “Calm down Momma, you’ll be just fine,” over and over. I don’t know how I would have done it without her.

I was hoping it wasn’t that bad, so we went to Urgent Care. I made it that far before I completely lost it and started going into shock. They bundled me up – I was falling completely apart – and a kind nurse got us all back in the truck and she drove us around to the ER entrance.

Now, let me just say this once. Our ER is not the best in the world. Sorry if you are reading this and you work there, but it really lacks sometimes. There was no one in the waiting room, I was bleeding heavily and hysterical and it still took almost an hour for a nurse to assess my condition. She sent me back into the waiting room and told me to wait. Several hours later, they called my name and the kiddos and I went back.

The nurse unwrapped my hand, immediately wrapped it back and went for a doctor. I had a severed artery in my hand.

At this point, I was so beyond caring that I actually thought it was kind of cool that the blood actually does shoot across the room with every heart beat. I thought movie people just made that up.

An hour later and through the use of what is basically a mini-branding iron, they had me put back together.

The rest of the month was miserable. The Cowboy was 15 hours from home. I couldn’t even wash dishes. I couldn’t cook. We ate things that I don’t see how anybody eats. The kiddos apparently have discerning taste. We discovered that Nutella sandwiches are much better tasting than freezer lasagna.

But, we survived.

Six months later and I am just now able to slowly play a scale with my right hand. I can’t type with it at all. But I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks, because I don’t need it to type. Who would have guessed?

So — that’s what stopped me from writing here. Then we just got busy. You  know how that goes. You wake up in the morning with your entire day planned out. Then a child happens to squirt an entire tube of toothpaste in your cowboy boots. You realize that you can’t find your cell phone, house keys or one spur (where the heck is that spur? It’s been missing for over a year now!). Then just when you think you’ve got it all pulled back together, you get stuck in a snowdrift.

I don’t mean in a vehicle. I fell in a snowdrift. The quarter mile walk to the barn will take you one and a half hours when over 20 inches of snow falls and drifts all the way from Nebraska to stop at the first buildings — which happen to be our barns. I left the kiddos at the house and went half way to the scale house (holds the cattle scales) to check on the water heaters for the horses. One horse was missing. How could a horse be missing. So I trudged down to the horse barn. By the time I got there, I was out of breath and thanking God I’d been going to the gym several times a week.

Horse was there. Somehow had locked himself into one of the outdoor runs. Have no idea how that happened, but the current theory is we either have a ghost, or Bigfoot did it. I just think our horses know how to operate latches.

On the way back towards the house I was walking straight into the wind. The windchill for the day was around negative 20. IN OKLAHOMA. We aren’t talking Siberia here. OKLAHOMA. Again. OKLAHOMA.

This woman just wasn’t raised for that.

So I wasn’t watching where I was – just kept going North. Just about the time I felt like I was walking on old snow, not the ground….I fell through. It was deep. Like between my waist and shoulders.

I dug myself out. It took a while. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack.

But I made it out.

And that stinking horse must have been sent from God. Because the entire way back to the main gates, he pushed me. Right behind me, pushing his head right in the middle of my back. Without him, I probably wouldn’t have made it. He has a free pass for the rest of his life. Even though a month later, he knocked my side mirror off my truck….

Oh, so much I have to share with you.

The Cowboy’s had three trips to the ER, he brought home a four-legged. keep me up all night, monster who eats shoes…expensive shoes…puppy for the girls. I got sucked into raising a fawn — that’s a baby deer — and it lived under my desk for a couple of months.

Oh, it just keeps going and going around here.

No surprise in that!!! If you don’t hear from me again for a while, I am probably hiding in the closet, eating Oreos and playing on Pinterest. I may never be seen again!

Baby, it’s cold outside….

11 Jan

 

I’m not a fan of the cold. The perfect temperature for my house in the winter is somewhere in the 70’s. If I wasn’t so frugal and didn’t have such a large space to heat (and old barns are not all that efficient), I’d just crank up the thermostat.

The first winter after we had Dally, we had a little run of bad luck that resulted in my having a few bottle calves to feed.

Every couple of hours. Day or night. In the cold night. Me bundled up like a small marshmallow man and trudging down the road to the barn with a warm bottle of milk replacer.

And somewhere between the moon reflecting off the white blanket and the stars quietly dotting the sky, I discovered that the most precious thing in the whole world is the peace and quiet of a snowy winter night. It’s even precious enough to make up for baby calf slobber.

After being up all night with a crying baby, it feels really good to volunteer for bottle calf duty. For 20 minutes, it is perfectly calm.

Five years later, I wish I had 20 minutes of bottle calf time. So I slip out in the early morning before the kiddos get up for a few minutes just to breath in the cold winter air and I always go feed the dog after they go to sleep. In my opinion, it’s the only way I stay sane. Not that I don’t love the kiddos. But without the quiet, would I recognize how sweet their endless chatter is?

Don’t let them lie to you, you’ll never sleep again….

10 Jan

 

I have no idea what they are up to all night long, but lately I get up in the mornings and find that all the horses in the front pasture are laying down.

This is weird. It is unusual. I can walk right through the middle of them and they don’t even stir.

Causing me to freak out the first time because I thought they were all dead. But, um…let’s just keep that between us. It doesn’t exactly fit the smart cowgirl image, now does it?

The Cowboy wanted me to take a picture because he doesn’t believe me. He never believes me. Not even when I swear I didn’t side swipe the gate even though there is red paint on my white fender and white paint on the red gate…or the time he says I drove the tractor into the pond and got it stuck and left it there….and he found the key in my coat pocket….or the time I….okay….I kinda get why he doesn’t always think I’m truthful.

 

 

There are five more horses just like that off to the left.

I’m so jealous. Do you know how many years it has been since I’ve had a nap?

 

 

Do you have any idea how long it’s been since I’ve slept through the night? I’m not talking weeks here.

 

 

It’s been years……long years…..filled with lots of caffeine and oreos. There have been nights that I’ve purposefully carried a screaming baby into the bedroom and laid them next to the Cowboy in the bed. After five minutes, I feel bad for the crying baby and pick her up and return to the living room to rock some more. The Cowboy never stops snoring. Between the crying kiddos and the snoring Cowboy I sometimes feel like moving into the horse barn. Because apparently, they live a pretty easy life.

 

 

And this horse has the nerve to lay there all stretched out, nice and comfy and then SMILE at me?

I think it’s fitting that it’s snowing right now. I’m all comfy in my pj’s on the couch in front of a roaring fire. This morning, the kiddos and I ate homemade doughnuts.

It makes it a bit better.

 

 

But who am I kidding? I really would like a nap.

In memory….

24 Dec

Yesterday, the only sound in a small section of the Osage was the snapping sound of a flag in the crisp December wind.

The solid, echo-less notes filled the air as a soldier paid a bugling tribute to an old Oklahoma cowboy.

The Cowboy and I stood there both fighting back tears. His for the memories of a true cowboy and a good man. One born on a ranch, raised on horseback and toughened by the times. Sent on a tour of the world courtesy of the US government while his young wife stayed home and waited.

A good amount of my tears were for her. I know that God has another cowboy in his bunkhouse. But I cannot wrap my heart around what it would feel like to be with someone for sixty plus years and then wake up to find them gone. But I know that every moment that I’ve gone through as a young cowboy’s wife and mother….she’s been there.

She stood there once and pledged to love someone that she knew was wild and full of dreams. She had his babies, raised them and probably felt like killing him a few times in the process. She’s prayed for rain…not just for the pastures and ponds, but for the short amount of time it forces the cowboy to stay indoors. She learned how to handle a man as strong as leather and as hard headed as the red, dry Oklahoma ground, while understanding that deep down, he’s still just a boy that dreams of spending some time down at the creek with a pole and some worms.

I’m convinced that all of the trials and tribulations that a wife goes through help to toughen her for this moment. Every prayer said was practice for this moment.

He’s up there right now riding though bluestem so deep that it’s brushing his stirrups on a big, stout horse with a proud roman nose. Where the air is so crisp and clean in the mornings, he looks forward to getting on a horse with a little buck to him. And she’s still here, rock strong for her family. Holding it all together as she always has. A proud display of everything he was shining through her.

Saying thank you doesn’t nearly say enough…

10 Nov

I’m the daughter of a Veteran. I’m the niece of a Veteran. I’m the Granddaughter of a Veteran. I’m the sister of Veterans, cousin of Veterans and a friend of several Veterans.

The words “thank you” can’t even begin to cover the feelings I have for those who sacrifice for our country…..for my family.

Sometimes I’ll be sitting on my porch watching the kiddos chase fireflies and think, “This is what so many have fought and died for. Right here in my front yard.” And I pray a prayer of thanks. All of my blessings come from someone who I don’t even know fighting for our country and our freedom.

I’m so blessed that my children have so many beautiful opportunities. Dally’s Daisy Troop marched in our local Veteran’s Day parade this last weekend. I love that her first parade was for something so special and meaningful.

I didn’t realize how much it really meant until we were actually there.

 

Nor did I realize that I was in this picture. See my flag? I was holding it and the camera at the same time!

 

 

The parade started off with a flyover. It was really amazing. I can’t believe I’m as old as I am and have never seen a flyover before! I also can’t believe I took this picture without falling over backwards on a Girl Scout.

 

 

We were right behind the bagpipes when lining up. Can I just say that I think that dude was totally rocking out in his head? He is definitely the coolest bagpipe player I have ever seen. It must be hard to remember not to shake it when you are wearing a kilt. I give them all big time props for that.

 

 

The girls were given bags of candy so that they could throw them at the children along the parade route. It took a bit for this information to sink in.

 

 

As the parade got underway, one of the first places we passed was the Senior Citizen’s Center. I was so proud of my girls, who waved big time at all the lovely seniors. However, after the parade, we stopped back by the Center to visit and  I learned quickly that you do not drag two children through a mile and a half parade, back up the parade route and into a building of seniors. Let’s just say Dally bumped Bailey. Bailey bit Dally. Dally screamed at Mommy. Mommy dragged both girls out of the Center while the seniors all chuckled.

 

 

There was so much to look at and so much noise that Bailey just couldn’t remember that she needed to walk. And I’m not talking a leisurely stroll down Main Street. This parade was in high gear. The feet behind her don’t belong to the group of people we were supposed to be walking with. In fact, in the process of taking this picture, we fell way far behind. Which resulted in my carrying my 40 pound two year old while trying to run on pavement in cowboy boots to catch up. It counted as all my exercise for the next month. I was literally out of breath by the end of the parade route.

 

 

When we reached the end of the parade route, Bailey was clinging to her bag of candy like it was her lifeline. Not only did she not throw any, she made sure she picked up all the candy she came across along the way.

 

The kiddos are too young to understand, but the parade was truly amazing. So many generations of Veterans all in one place. As I walked by and waved at so many of them I wondered if they were thinking of how they became Veterans. The prices they paid. The freedom to have a small-town parade honoring them.

And when the bike drove by with the POW/MIA flag, I couldn’t help but think of those that never made it home to see the parades or the scouts or hear the bagpipes. But maybe they see it anyway.

 

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…or the stuff that lives in my purse!

1 Nov

I guess a look in a woman’s purse really tells a lot about her. The things that fall into that black pit are indicative of the important things in our lives. I am one of those women who has honestly dumped her purse/diaper bag out on the pavement to find her car keys. My purse seems to be where a lot of things go to die. Along with the center console in my truck, the laundry room and the top drawer in the entrance way. And at this moment, I’ll put my desk in that category too.

I honestly never thought about it until I saw the contents of Ally’s purse over at Two Normal Moms. She was inspired by Erin at The Mother Load.

So, I’ll show you yours if you show me mine.

Here’s my pretty purse. Purchased, of course, at the local feed store!

These pictures are all blurry because I have two kiddos who thought I was dumping out a treasure chest in the floor. I was trying to take pictures and fend off children still high off of this weekend’s sugar fest. Today is going to be a loooong day.

Okay. That’s one pair of kiddos sunglasses. Four combs (and the reason I just bought a new package of combs), a clear welding lens cover, a thingy of diaper bags, a hair clip, a plastic ring and one spur.

Not sure where the other one is, but I vaguely remember going through the house wearing one spur last week and wondering where the other was. The kiddos were following me and helping. I had just put on new spur straps and cleaned them up. Somehow, they got separated and I ended up wearing a different pair. Today’s mission: reunite my spurs. Before the Cowboy comes home and finds out I’ve lost a spur somewhere. Seriously, how does this stuff happen to me?

From the top now. Three tubes of Mary Kay lotion. There were four, but Dally squeezed one out on my Coach wallet last week. A tube of Minnie Mouse lip gloss that Bailey begged for. Four things of mommy lip gloss. A compact. Wrong color. Two hair clippies that I guarantee I wore in my hair somewhere before I remembered they were there. Crayons, but no paper. Two Tide to Go pens — one dried up. Four ink pens. But no paper. A turquoise stone that Bailey pulled off my shoes. Change. Which I never have when I need it for the toll booth. A paper clip.

Almonds. Trail Mix. A snickers. I ate the snickers. Junior Mints. I’m eating Junior Mints right now. Six packages of Ketchup. Just in case. A twizzler. Dally ate the twizzler. A tootsie pop. Bailey ate the tootsie pop.

An empty Premier Jewelry box. Six batteries. The reason I couldn’t find any batteries. A sewing kit. Eight candy corn buttons. And on top of that left button package — one straight pen. And the reason I am now wearing the one bandaid I found in my purse.

Tissues. Germ wipes. Three hand sanitizers. Trash. Children’s Pepto. Children’s Tylenol. Anti-itch cream. Sun block. Spray Neosporin.

Seems like a lot of stuff. I like to be prepared.

Now the major questions are: where is my wallet and the first aid box I just filled with new bandaids?

Show me yours now!

Baring it all…

30 Oct

In the spirit of Halloween, I decided to scare the peanut butter out of all of you by posting a pic of me with no makeup on. It’s a trend that’s been going around the blog world for a while and since I am frequently spotted around town without makeup…. Occasionally with my hair in a ponytail. And twice last winter in a ski cap and carhartt bibs.

I figure that as long as I am toting kiddos behind me, I have an excuse. The cowboy, who used to love me without makeup and in a t-shirt and jeans, now asks me to please go put some makeup on. And some heels. Unless we’re going to work cattle. Then he just yells at me to hurry it up.

99 percent of the time, my family is the reason I don’t have makeup on.

Once, I got all the way through all my errands before someone pulled me to the side and let me know that I had apparently forgotten to put eyeshadow and mascara on my left eye. That moment came to me courtesy of my darling Dally squirting tinted moisturizer all over herself.

Sometimes it’s better to wear no makeup at all than half a face of makeup.

It floats around the blogging world occasionally for us to post pictures of ourselves minus the makeup. Since that is the way I am all the time, I figured I’d be brave enough to do it.

But once you become a mom, it’s easy to forget to look at yourself anymore. I honestly look at myself once in the morning and most days — that’s it. If I had a dollar for every time I realized I had a kiddo hairbow, spaghetti sauce or sucker stuck in my hair and didn’t even know it….well, I’d hire someone to tell me when I have stuff in my hair!

So, Dally took pictures of me minus the makeup and after spending 2 hours out in the wind. I’d like to say I’m not too happy about all the little wrinkles on my face, but they are all from laughing. I wouldn’t take a single one away.

I say that now, but I guarantee by 9 pm I’ll have my face slathered with anti-aging creams!

So, with a deep breath, here I am. In black and white. Without makeup.

Hope I don’t scare you too badly!