Come on over for a decaf….

Do you have time for an evening coffee?  In my case it will have to be decaf. 

The windows are open, the birds are chirping a bit, the air is still, it is a gorgeous evening.   It is 9:28pm on the longest day of the year.  I think I have about a half hour before my pillow and I need each other. 

I am missing my blog.  I just haven’t made it here too much lately and definitely not for a chatty blog.  I like doing those.    This is my chance.

We feel like these are good moments we are in.  Maybe that’s crazy, considering the fuel bill for last month is a little more than $9,000.   Life is kind’ve expensive these days.  We carry on.  We are counting ourselves blessed in this moment that our dugouts are full, the creek is full, the well is full and the grass is growing quickly.  This was a scene we couldn’t imagine last year at this time.  Our cow herd is doing really well, gaining some weight back after our tough winter and doing well with pushing out the calves.  We are thankful.  The last little bit has seen Ron and Russ working on fence repair and construction.  Ron has also been attending to machinery upkeep.  Russ has been getting cow/calf pairs trucked to their summer pastures.  Morgan has been a jack of all trades and recently started doing some horse training.  Jill and I are floating around the edges.  Jill dives deep when needed.  She has had the nerve wracking job of running the controls on the hydraulic chute and continues to be the head castrator on our crew, she is swift and kind.  So………….all our skills are being expanded and deepened as we all continue to monitor the calving herd and respond to things.

When we checked cows after church on Sunday we found one abandoned by its Mom in 34 degree heat. It was dehydrated. We kidnapped it and through electrolytes and bottles have him almost thriving again. We have a calf to bottle feed for the foreseeable future, his Mom is AWOL.

Off the ranch Gina has had a great month so far and I am going to write about that a bit more in a few days when we celebrate her 20th birthday.    She arrives into the Regina airport tomorrow and we are sure looking forward to setting our eyes on her.    

Jill graduates next week.  We have so many different feelings.  One of the big ones tonight is concern.  Morgan tested positive for Covid this morning.  Our hope is that he remains the only case in the house, he works through it and we are all good to attend next week.  However, it may unfold in a multitude of ways that mean we will be flexing and bending.  I picked up five more boxes of test kits, so we have about 30 tests on hand.  That should allow us to test the heck out of ourselves.  At this point Morgan is doing well, he has a sore throat and a bit lower energy but otherwise is feeling good.

I have a lot of baking to do in anticipation of next week and today dawned cool and cloudy so it was the day to get at it.  I put a mask on and baked away. 

Seems like overkill maybe, but peace of mind for me means this is how it looks.   I made a puffed wheat cake using a new recipe and put it in a bundt pan.  It turned out so well.    That kind of stuff excites me.  I also made a batch of buns and bowed to peer pressure, (just from Russell), I used a little mini branding iron and pushed our brand into the buns.  It didn’t really turn out. 

Once they rose the brand became almost invisible. It was worth a try.

When I was a kid our route to the cottage included driving past a pig farm near the Petrofka bridge.  It was inconceivable to me that anyone could live with the smell that came from that place.  I perhaps was acting like a bit of a snooty city girl.  Anyways, its spring on our ranch and Ron started taking care of the manure in our corral today.  Our whole yard smells just like that spot on the highway.  I never thought I would be a girl with a not-snooty nose, but here I am killing it! The balance to this smell is the heavenly aroma on my kitchen counter from the bouquet of roses that Russ picked me in the pasture. He was thrilled to report the abundance of wild roses found there and took me for a tour later today. The smell is incredible.

We celebrated Father’s Day by attending church together, having lunch out and our good ol cinnamon bun and bacon celebratory meal for Supper.   On the way to church everyone answered the question, “what is your favorite memory with Dad/Russ?”  At lunch we talked over, “what is something Dad/Russ has set as a good example for me?”.  At supper we worked with the question, “what is something you are looking forward to doing with Dad/Russ?”   Later on Gina phoned Russ, I was there, Russ put the phone onto speaker phone and I asked her those questions.  She indicated that she really liked answering them.  Maybe sometimes words can be gifts.   (I hope so at least, because Jill was the only one to buy Russell a gift.)

I spent half an hour on the phone yesterday reporting fraud on my credit card.  Today I was telling Gina about it, she reminded me that I had given her permission to use my credit card to pay for parking fees at the course she was at.  So………..I called the credit card company today and spent half an hour getting the fraud report reversed.  Oops.  In my defense, Gina was in Vancouver and the line came through on my credit card for “Honk Mobile Toronto” and I had just been in Toronto so it just seemed that these $20 dollar daily charges were a result of my number getting lifted.  Nope.  Russell did say, “weird that they would steal your card number and then only spend so little.”  Yes.  Weird.  And……… mistake….again. 

Time is up.

I wish I could put into words all the funny stuff that happens.

There is hours I could spend writing about the Tenderlands.  I have been struggling.  Maybe a few minutes will present itself.

We have some deeply uncertain days ahead.

Mostly, we are well.

Our deepest truth is that we are thankful.

I promise if you were here in person I would not do all the talking like this. I would enjoy hearing about what you are being tested by, what you have been smelling lately and any mistakes you are reckoning with, along with the funniness, gratitude and worry that might be shaping your days.

Saturday Morning

I was the first customer into the Flying M diner in Carnduff this morning. After dropping Morgan off at the school to meet his team for a basketball tournament I found the doors open and the coffee brewing ahead of schedule. It is now 7:55am and I am content. When I was a city girl it was one of my favorite things to do, grab my journal and head to a coffee shop where I could work through what was brewing in my head.

I have been wanting to blog all week but just couldn’t give myself permission to make it top priority. Its not that my week was full of big and urgent things, but just the regular stuff of life can take up time.

Something interesting happened last weekend. I was leading worship at our Church, our minister is on sabbatical and we laypeople have handled her absence by filling in. I was a bit overwhelmed by the reality of being the first to lead after Russia invaded Ukraine. As I sat at my computer outlining the service I had an idea come to me. I wanted to do the “Passing of the Peace” in a way that reflected this unusual Sunday. We have always used this part of the service to communicate peace between the people in the pews, but this Sunday pulled something different from me. I decided I would take our globe to church and I would offer everyone a chance to bless the world with peace by simply placing their hands on either side of the globe without touching it. As I sat at my computer I liked the idea. However, as Sunday morning drew nearer I found myself doubting, wondering, “is this stupid and cheesy?” Something compelled me to go with the plan. When the time came in the service I picked up the globe and I went to everyone where they were seated, everyone took the chance to do the blessing of the globe. I was still unsure of the plan, but I believe you could say “I went with God.” I started with those at the front which was Russell and Morgan. Russell whispered to me, “good idea” and that gave me some ease as I went to everyone else. I sensed it was well received, but after the service I received a couple of messages telling me how much it meant.

When we got home Russell was looking for an update on the war as I was making lunch. He went to BBC and found an article detailing the civilian lives lost already. He is tenderhearted so it was a double whammy to read about children who died after their kindergartens were bombed and find with that story this image.

It was a mirroring of what we had been doing in Church that morning. It was kind’ve mystical to see this. It was an affirmation of what we had been doing but also very much forged a sense of connection, the exact same action which had been enacted over and over in our pews that morning matched what a Ukranian person created as artwork and what was being used as comfort in announcing horrifying news.

Its 11:20am and I am now in D’Barrios in Oxbow, the first game is done. It didn’t go so well from a points point of view but as the coach said to me, “for some of these guys that was only their 3rd game ever!” My boy is one of those boys. From an experience point of view, it was major.

That is Morgan, #1 on his jersey.

There is perhaps no significance at all to the similarity of this picture to the previous one. Similarity you say? What similarity? Well…. hands are poised to hold a globe, there is a visual similarity. There is something else here…..eagerness. There is an eagerness to keep that globe (ball) from slipping through the players hands, to catch it. I see that eagerness in the response of people around here, as we lament the violence, suffering and harm we are seeing on the news and find our way clear to do something about it. We want to catch the earth from a free fall towards chaos and those of us who don’t remember WW2 perhaps feel like the guys who have only played 3 basketball games in their lives. We don’t yet know what we need to know. How do we catch the earth?

I saw a poster in the post office this week. I scanned this code. The link looks legitimate. As we think about “catching the earth” I think this looks like a good option. There is a fund to support the military effort and a fund to support the humanitarian work.

As I watched the game I found myself quite aware of one of the team members. Ivan came from Ukraine about five years ago I think, maybe more. He is in Jill’s class. I wondered to myself what he would be doing if he still lived in Ukraine, what would these exact moments in time hold for him as night falls there? The opportunity to share these moments with him feels like a vivid reminder that as humans on this earth we have so much in common.

Well….its back to the tournament as well as a trip to the Co-op to pick up supplies for a cherry cake . Jill turns 18 tomorrow and we have some celebrating to do!