Life on the X-Bar Ranch...

I am an ordinary woman, with an amazing family, serving an awesome God.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day in the Life of a Ranch Wife.

My birthday falls a mere 4 days before Valentine's Day. I always loved that as a kid - because my dear, sweet mom would (almost) always make me a heart-shaped cake for my birthday. I loved it. I think it started the love of valentine's day in my life... I have always loved the pink ~ the flowers ~ the candy ~ the lacey, girly, sweetness that is unique to Valentine's Day.
But little girls grow up.
Fall in love with the man of their dreams.
Marry and bear children.
Learn to clean a house and clean up her soul.
Learn what true love is...

...Then they hear a calf bawl.
At 2 am. Seriously. 
I sat up in bed - trying to figure out why there was a cow right outside my window. 
"And the window must be open, it's so loud! Why would My Cowboy open a window in the middle of the winter?"
I know - my thoughts were less than coherent. But in my defense, it was 2 am. Seriously.
I got up and walked out to the kitchen, trying to figure it out... As the light from the laundry room shone out through the crack in the door, it hit me; there was a calf in my laundry room. I cautiously peek in the door, and sure enough - a new calf lay there, bawling piteously.
Where was My Cowboy??
I tiptoed gingerly around the calf - trying to avoid getting my toes smeared with new-baby-calf-slime. What in the world do you do with a calf that acts like it is dying? And the noises coming from that calf were amazingly loud. In the quietness of the night, it was deafening. 
I ran to the kids rooms and quickly shut their doors, hoping that they wouldn't wake up.
Back to the calf...

I didn't want to bug My Cowboy, in case he was in the middle of pulling a calf. (he probably didn't have his phone on him anyways.) So I did the only thing I could think of - grabbed a rag and rubbed that baby hard. Hoping to coax it to live. I had no idea what was wrong with it - but it sure seemed like it was dying - with its neck stretched out stiff, and its eyes glassy.
Finally, 40 long minutes later, My Cowboy showed up. By now I was getting slightly deaf from the incessant bawling. (Slight exaggeration)
Cliff said that it was already born and laying on the snow till he went out for his first check of the night. Pretty cold night for a wet baby to be laying on the snow! He tried drenching it with colostrum, etc, but to no avail. He took it out in his truck to the barn, and awhile after that it expired. Poor thing. Till all was said and done, he finally came to bed at 4 am.
So, my friends, while you were eating heart-shaped pancakes with cute lil heart-shaped strawberries, I was fixing a big plate of eggs for My Cowboy, and his Wranglers were already smeared from hours of wrestling with baby calves.
Love? Oh yes. Not as pretty, but just as true.
I had been planning to go to town yesterday for some cool Valentine's Day treats for my kids. I wanna be the fun, cool, mom too. But when my littlest one came down with a cough/fever, I decided to stay home. So I made some funny mustaches  for my kids' drinks at lunch. I wished for red punch, but all I had was water. You know what? They didn't even notice what they were drinking. They were enamored with the 'staches! What do mustaches have to do with V~Day?? No idea. It was just something cute I had seen on Pinterest, and was about all my brain could scramble up after a 2-am calf ordeal. (In my defense, I did make red finger jello. It was quite well received. :)
Love? Definitely. Not pink - but love.

In the afternoon I worked on my cinch some more.

The cool frame My Cowboy made for my birthday gift. Is he talented or what?
 Here I am stringing the cinch.

Weaving the diamond.

 The kids were doing whatever it is that kids do. I let them have a holiday from school.
Done with my first cinch!
               Several mistakes, but overall I am pretty pleased for  my first try. I am definitely hooked.
 Do I like to celebrate Valentine's Day? Yes. Do I like to get flowers and chocolate and cards? Yes. But when life happens, and my child is sick, and my husband is working his tail off day and night for us - I don't waste even one moment on regret or disappointment. Life is now. Life is to be enjoyed. I sit up late when the family is sleeping, to wash My Cowboy's smeary, caked-on-filth coat.
                                                   Love? uh-huh.
He wanted to go to town and get me flowers, but had to work. It's all good.
                                                Love? you bet.
 I played a game with the kids. I made dorky little mustache straws, and we ate red jello. I hugged my husband, ignoring the odor of afterbirth, and we shared a smile and several good laughs... we are family, we all love being together, and no matter what day it is, we love living this life together. We said: "Happy Valentine's Day!" to each other, because we love each other. We have many celebratory meals, days, and moments throughout the year where we give each other presents, special meals, and fun memories. When a holiday slips by unnoticed - it's ok. Seriously.
                                      Love? Oh, so much love.
Happy Valentine's Day!


  1. I smiled all through this post! love it and love you! :) anyway.. a lot of people show 'love' at valentines day and not much any other time.. we are beyonded blessed with our amazing guys! ;-)

  2. lol. i'm sitting here trying to figure out what "beyonded" means...??

  3. :) I was wondering the same thing! haha! ...and yes. We are SO blessed.

  4. You make such an excellent wife Kay! We both think so! ~Alicia (+ Gabe) :-)

  5. Most of the time, love is displayed best when it's not expected, like on Valentine's Day. Glad you had a fun day with your kids- those little things (like the mustache straws) are actually the big things. :)

  6. Kay, I just had to comment... I love your choice to recognize "real" love. And it's the kind that make the chocolates and roses so much sweeter when they do happen!


I enjoy reading your comments! It's fun to hear your thoughts. I do receive spam, therefore I must now moderate all comments. I do publish them just as written. Thanks for understanding!