RockingWMom and Wife

I stepped outside to check on the kids. They were traipsing after Lex as she led the new gelding around outside the stable. It was limping along, fully trusting in Lex’s gentleness and her soothing voice.

Behind Lex, Lorrie and Mel were following their mother. Mel was imitating Lex while Lorrie pretended to be a horse that her sister was leading. Looking at my girls took my breath away. I realized, for the millionth time, how incredibly lucky I am and how much I love my family.

As my eyes began to tear up, Lex looked up and caught my gaze. The light wind whipped her hair away from her face, leaving her looking windblown and positively gorgeous.

Before I realized it, I was standing in front of my partner, wrapping my arms around her while she lifted me off my feet, her lips descending toward mine.

“Mush!” Lorrie pretended to gag as her sister joined in.
“Oh, mush!” Mel added. “Mom! Momma! You two are yucky!”

Just wait little ones. Your time will come.



Out For The Night

In case anyone is looking for us, we’re headed to town for dinner at my grandparent’s home. Then out to a movie with my dad and Lois. It wasn’t planned to be an evening out, especially on a school night. Lex just wanted to make sure that the house wouldn’t spontaneously burst into flames if I stayed in it, as angry as I am.

No, I haven’t taken after my mother and started talking to match sticks. What I did do was to foolishly leave a platter of roasted chicken too near the edge of the kitchen counter.

Did you know that Lorrie’s dog, Freckles, is a rat terrier? They can jump, effortlessly, several feet in the air or in any direction. This one jumped, grabbed the chicken, and landed several feet away before I could say, “Freckles! Don’t!”

Lorrie came running in to see what her dog had done this time, and thought the whole thing was too funny for words. “I’m sorry, mom. Freckles! Bad dog!”

The next time I saw Freckles, she walked by me with a satisfied grin that I refuse to believe was just her whippet genes showing. She looked up at me and burped. And burped again. Did I mention that the movie is in Austin? That should give me several hours to cool down.


140 Characters? You’ve Got to be Kidding

Lex made a valid point last night.

I was telling her about this thing Jeannie showed me. It’s where you share bits about yourself on the Internet, but you can only use 140 characters or less.

I have NEVER used 140 characters or less to talk about anything. That’s what Lex told me. That’s why I have this lovely bouquet of flowers that was just delivered to me, and Lex is peaking around by the porch to see if she is forgiven.


I Am Chagrined

I really am. Totally flummoxed by my own attitudes. I actually channeled my deceased mother today. That is not a good thing. It is a bad thing. A very bad thing.

Lex and I were discussing whether to allow the children to take the school bus to school. Since I am no longer going into town every day to manage Sunflower Realty, Lex thought it was a good opportunity to let the kids ride with other rural children to school and back.

She had reason after reason for Lorrie and Mel to ride the bus, and I shot down each one. My kids were NOT going to ride the school bus like some ordinary kid if I could help it. I’ve been taking them to school each day since Lorrie started daycare and I refused to see any other possibility.

“Amanda, is there some reason you don’t want the kids to take the school bus?” my much better half asked.

“How do I know they’ll be safe? I mean, who is this bus driver, really?” I wore a pout guaranteed to make my Lex think twice before answering.

“The bus driver? He’s Wanda’s brother, Phil. His own kid is on the bus. Remember Frankie? We had them all over for barbecue last summer.”.

“Oh.” I looked away so that Lex couldn’t see my pout turn into an embarrassed flushing of my cheeks.

“Amanda, didn’t you ever ride the school bus? I mean, with you house way up in the hills above Pasadena, how else did you get to school?”

Now pay attention, because this is where the chagrin comes in.

“Our chauffeur drove us.” I said that in my smallest, “please don’t hear me say what I just said” voice.

“Your chauffeur drove you?” Lex fell over laughing.



Poor Little Mel – Foofy is gone.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but we are in the midst of a severe drought. Texas is famous for having them for weeks at a time, running into several months. Usually, the winter humidity makes up for a lot, but this last winter didn’t quite measure up.

Lex is worried about the cattle. If it wasn’t for the aquifer that she located on that last bit of land she purchased, we’d have lost the entire herd. But, even so, it’s tough on the cattle that wander off to more remote places. Lex and her men go out every day to round them up and bring them back to where the water is available, but some of them insist on heading off to other areas of the ranch. We’ve lost a few because of that.

Between lack of water and natural predators, cattle who stray off, especially those in weak states, tend to become another animal’s lunch. Unfortunately, Foofy and her mom suffered that fate.

How to tell Mel? Mel was three years old when she witnessed the calf’s birth. She immediately named the calf “Foofy”, for reasons only she knew. When she overheard discussion about selling some of the young calves off to the market, Melanie cried her eyes out and made Lex promise not to sell either Foofy or her mom. Three years later, we still had Foofy, and her mom, whom Melanie also named, “Madame Calvolina”.

It’s a few hours later now, and can I say how proud I am of our daughter, Lorrie? We all sat with Melanie in the den and Lex, with tears in her eyes at her little one’s pending distress. explained as sensitively as possible that Foofy and Madame Calvolina were gone.

As soon as Mel’s tears began to fall, Lorrie took her sister’s hand and tugged her until she had Mel sitting on her lap. She consoled her sister until Mel’s eyes dried and heaving sobs were reduced to hiccups.

Then Mel asked, “Is Foofy with Granpa Travis and Gramma Mel?” Fortunately, the phone rang, and it was Wanda asking if our kids could come on over and play with hers.

As Lorrie began to leave the den to gather her things together, Lex pulled her into her arms and gave her a hug that needed no words. “We are so proud of you, Lorrie,” I said. Our eyes shone with tears of pride as well as sorrow for Melanie’s loss.

Lorrie straightened her posture and beamed at her mom and said, “Does that mean I’m off ‘striction’ and I can go riding tomorrow?”

It almost worked.


Temper? Moi?

Okay, so here’s the deal.

Our angelic little angel, “Mel from Hell” was throwing her latest tantrum because her older sister, Lorrie, was helping Lex out with a new gelding that needed some extra care or something.  Lorrie was not the least bit sympathetic, which is typical lately. She is starting those pre-pubescent hormonal changes that make pre-teens heads spin in circles.  Mel, of course thought it was her right to help since Lorrie had been helping Lex out from an early age.

Lorrie is the potential rancher, and heir apparent to Lex.  Mel, should maybe consider something else entirely.  I never saw a child who could spook a horse just by saying ‘hello’ to it.  Thus, the tantrum.  And Lorrie, the not-so-sympathetic, reminding our young princess that she wasn’t cut out for the job, which made Mel cry even harder.

Lex swears she didn’t mean for me to hear her mumble, “Seems she’s got her mother’s temper”, to her adopted brother and our vet, Ronnie.  Of course, I overheard her and handled the situation with all the grace and aplomb that the situation called for. I stormed back into the house and started making dinner for my family.  I have absolutely no idea why the kitchen cabinets were slamming shut and the pots and the pans couldn’t find their way to the stove without a lot of racket.  I don’t have a temper. Not me.  Never.  Except for when i was pregnant, or  when we run out of chocolate at a very crucial time of the month. 

Thankfully, my Lexington is brilliant at anger management.  She left Ronnie in charge of the kids, came in the kitchen and led me upstairs to show me a better mood to be in.

Gotta love that gal of mine.