The course remains uncharted, but our destination stays clear. The water cycles between calm, choppy, and never-before-seen. Though tattered, the ship groans on as the beloved crew commits to staying afloat. Our journey continues with full days of completing routine work, defining new business, and creating a new normal.
Thank you for sharing our journey!
~ Amy Blum, The Writing Rancher
April 13, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate “The Day After Easter”: You can thank me for sparing you a close up visual of this ranch experience!
School today was a quick lesson chock full of education for Middle Son. Anatomy, language arts, math, and MUCH more were well covered in our 20 minute socially distant and responsible visit to the vet.
He is now sure of two things: he wants to be a vet as long as he doesn’t have to de-horn critters, and he wants a couple peacocks because the ones at Dr. Joy’s are the coolest thing he’s ever seen! #ranchlife #learningeverywhere
April 14, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate 97886.72: It’s birthday week for The Rancher, and the kids are especially excited to creatively help him celebrate turning 50 on Friday If you’d like to join the efforts as we encourage him “Not to run out of gas now” and “To live like someone left the gate open”, watch for a Facebook Event tomorrow night where you can share memories, drop him a note, or give a birthday honk if you want to take a drive … There’s even a birthday dropbox at the end of our driveway (thanks to The Rancher’s Sisters for the idea!!) Love you, Babe#cheersto50years #virtualbeers
April 15, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate 97889.67: I read a lot and generally take great effort to prioritize material quality.
Today, however, I got sucked into the other side, so this lesson is courtesy keyboard warriors …
People are like roosters. Sometimes, they’re graceful beauties, and you can enjoy their presence. Other times, they’re rotten peckers, and you run away. And, if ever either becomes more pecker than beauty, it’s perfectly acceptable to bid them adieu (via different methods for humans than roosters, but you get the idea)!
Thank God for the amazing people who fill our life; what beauties you are#bekind#graceNgratitude
Captain’s Log, Ranchdate “Day B4 Dad’s Birthday: Cakes were baked. Cows were fed. Everyone’s tucked sound in bed. And some days, that’s really all that needs said! #graceNgratitude
April 17, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate “The Big Day–Post 1”: Happy 50th Birthday, dear Rancher! The sun is shining. The kids aren’t yet whining. We’ve got cake for days, and you get to grind hays Enjoy your day; we love you every which way #WeAreRanchers
Captain’s Log, Stardate 97894.99: In keeping with tradition, this entry marks my annual day of PDA for The Rancher. After this, it’s back to sarcasm and keeping him on his toes
Dear husband, you’re the calm to my chaos and the grounded to my dreamy. I hope you enjoyed a few moments of celebration today and felt all the love and appreciation we have for you. I am so grateful to share this life with you. Cheers to the now, dear
April 18, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate 97897.92: In a touching turn of events, our pre-teen daughter looked at me, studied my face a minute, and said, “Mom, you’re really pretty, and you only look about 27 today.” Aww Of course, before I could even tell her thank you, middle son stated, “She must want something, Mom. No offense or anything but most days you look as old as Dad instead of younger.” Little turd! Also today, pre-teen son realized at birth he was the size of a legal-to-keep walleye. Though he was indeed tiny, I can’t recall ever thinking to compare him to a fish#truth
April 19, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate 97900.48: A full Sunday morning of chores and clear skies led to the kids enjoying a couple afternoon hours of quality time at the river with their dad. And, “what did Mom do?” you might ask. Not a damn thing more than she wanted! I enjoyed a scoop of ice cream from the container we adults hide in the freezer … I sat outside to soak in the country quiet and to pray–for us, for you, for all who need a break or rest but can’t find it … I cleaned in the garage and worked on the shed. Then, when my little family returned home, I was happy to see them and hear their tales, and I don’t feel an ounce of guilt or “should haves” about any of it. I think this all means I’m growing up, or as middle boy might say, getting old#grateful#SayNoToMomGuilt#IntrovertRecharge
April 20, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate 97903.32: It wasn’t necessarily the greatest day to have a great day, but we did anyway … Take that all the crap that will remain unnamed
In heartwarming news, the big boys embraced my simplicity and whipped up a vintage-inspired “fence” to keep the chickens out of my hydrangea. Like 99% of the DIY projects around here, it isn’t exactly what I pictured, but it is 1000% appreciated and doing the job required of it!
As an added bonus, I barely had to mention the need and the project was started, finished, and cleaned up before I knew what happened. Even more bonus, it didn’t cost Jay a dime, and he didn’t have to help.
In other news, kids are creative, resourceful, and happy with FAR less than we tell ourselves they need … This is evidenced by the makeshift shed two boys constructed from leftover junk and without access to power tools or an adult. It is a FAR cry from the beautiful keepsake shed Boy 3 dearly wants, but he went to bed with a happy heart and visions of all the fun he will have with it. And, no one died or even bled enough to need a bandaid!#gratefulhearts#NOT4hire
April 21, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate <Tuesday?>: Our tomboy has officially had her fill of burping, farting, wrestling, rough-housing, stinking boys! Her father hopes it stays that way for many years to come, and I hope she knows they don’t get any better
As of today, she sectioned off her room to create a girl-only sanctuary for reading, drawing, nail painting, day dreaming, and journaling for when she isn’t working outside. She would prefer her father to install one of those “fancy buzzer locks like cool city apartments” have, but she is resigned to accepting permission for use of a standard door lock and to deploy any necessary level of martial art skills as long as the said skill won’t actually kill or permanently disable anyone. It’s about to get fun up in here!#likeaboss#onguard#stillgrateful
April 22, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate Earth Day: There was a lot going on today, and I can’t quite capture it all in words yet. But, what I can capture, I’m not sharing with pride. I’m sharing because it’s real. We are real people working through our own real stuff. Though we are full of gratitude, joy, and optimism, we’re human, and some of us use foul language So, here it is I was working in the office with the window open. Middle & Youngest Boys ran out to put a couple cows in, and I hear, “You dirty <blippity, bleepity, bleeps> turn your <bleeps> outta these trees!” Um, I think we’ve graduated second grade and gone straight to the dark side On a positive note, I raised my eyebrow at little one when they came back in, and he got very sheepish and said, “Oops, sorry mom. You weren’t supposed to hear that, and I shouldn’t have said it.” Damn cow talk!#grace#gratitude#momfail
April 23, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate 97911.56: There are days when the emotional gamut both fuels and exhausts you. Today was one of those for me. Not a bad day, mind you; quite the contrary overall. It was simply a very full day. I was also reminded, if you find yourself thinking of someone, reach out with a call or a card or a text. You have no idea exactly how much your thoughtfulness might be needed! The person you reach out to might not realize how much the connection is needed too.
And yes, I walked on the treadmill while drinking a beer. Don’t judge–middle son told me it was scientifically backed as a method of relaxation as long as I only drank one, and it is infinitely safer than braving the freeway that is our gravel road#gratefulhearts
April 24, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate 97914.2: Picture it … the day is calm and cool. The sun shines in a beautiful blue sky full of marshmallow clouds. Suddenly, your beloved calls and shouts through the phone, “Rattlesnake! Get down here with a spade.”
Knowing you chewed on him the day before regarding his poor choice in snake killing paraphernalia (a hammer), you overlook the fact he clearly ignored your strongly-worded suggestion to properly outfit his four-wheeler for snake season. Instead, you grab the only tools at your disposal–a shovel and a rake/hoe–because your children are like their father and didn’t return the spades.
You speed down the road, through the pasture, and to your partner’s side where you valiantly proclaim, “I will get him, dear!”
Alas, your lack of coordination makes this a laughable moment. Finally, you behead the calf-killing beast and pull his body from under the tire. Instead of rejoicing, you look at each other with disappointment because you realize you wasted a production worthy the reward of a rattler’s tail on, wait for it … a bull snake.
Not to be deterred, you agree it was an honest mistake, wish each other a good day, and go back to work. And that, my friends, is ranching in a nut shell — Valiant and romantic in gesture but often ANTICLIMACTIC in result#WeAreRanchers#graceNgratitude
April 25, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate 97919.76: I hope my husband remembers this message tomorrow when he goes to unload the truck. Surely, the gratitude he feels for such a lovely wife will resolve any dispute that might arise around exactly how full is “too full”Also, I am infinitely grateful for kids who are generally excited to help cover meal prep; Piper’s fresh apple crisp was a delicious late night supper#grateful#testlimits
April 26, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate “Sunday”: Sometimes, the best part of a day is when it ends; yes, there can be beauty in endings too. Our littlest cow checker missed his mama and wanted to cruise pastures together tonight. After a long, dirty day (week) of work, the time spent present in the moment of sunset and calm was a great note on which to end outdoors! #bepresent #graceNgratitude
April 27, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate “Monday”: Life takes fuel. Sometimes, the tank runs low. Power through when you must, but please don’t forget extra grace and prayers when you’re running on fumes. Then, above all else, make time to refuel — be that literally or figuratively — and don’t forget the prayers and grace then either#time2refuel#graceNgratitude
April 28, 2020
Captain’s Log, Stardate 97925.09: Today required lots of emotional and mental effort.
Our kids cook, clean, and do their own laundry. They drive, work in the fields, and have responsibility for livestock chores. They take on school, 4-H, community service, and extracurricular responsibilities.
They also watch too much TV, would live online if we let them, eat too much junk food, fight like rabid dogs, and challenge us for independence.
Do you know what Jay & I often forget in all that? THEY ARE KIDS! We are guiding and encouraging them to function and live and process in a big, scary world full of things their brains aren’t yet capable of understanding. And all that is exactly why I treasure the way they still play together.
I go to the basement nightly for visits and prayers; otherwise, it is their domain.
They’ve got a show barn, calving barn, make-shift barn, machine shed, vet clinic, sale barn, implement dealer, and lots more. They spend hours every week moving and changing and trading and improving their operations.
I know they’re “off to a show” when the Bluetooth speaker loudly blares music of various genres up the stairs. I know they’ve developed a new plan when the oldest grabs the mic and starts the auction while the others break out monopoly money. I also know there will come a day sooner than I’m ready when the playing stops, the toys find home in a tote, and these kids fly off to become adults.
Today was not our finest, most calm day. This agricultural climate is a hard one with lots of spillover. But, there is still so much hope with child-like faith and time for play.#playmatters#605strong#gracengratitude