Monday, June 3, 2013

Unplugged and Eight Extra Legs Under My Table at 4 am


   I’ve been away for a bit. Not  away, away. I’ve been here, but  our  Internet has been down for 12 days. Right after my last post, the Internet quit. Later, I realized the TV was out too. The roofers were shoveling  4 layers of old shingles off of the roof…right onto our satellite dishes. :)

 We’re not big TV watchers so that wasn’t a big deal, and even the Internet isn’t a big deal, but being without it made us realize how much we depend on it. We couldn’t check the weather or get any news and I felt lost without checking in with y’all. Only learned about the Oklahoma tornado from one of the crew on Tuesday morning.  Those poor people. I cannot imagine. We don’t see people on a day to day basis out here so we tend to rely on the Internet for our news.

 After 3 days, we did get the DISH technician out so we had TV for news. Found out we were in the path of some severe weather that included hail. Half finished roof plus hail does not make for a good combination. Thankfully, we were spared the hail, but sadly, we didn’t get any rain either. All of you in Texas who are soaked…let’s dig a ditch to NM. I’ll start from this end.

Our Internet was another story. We have Hughes Net. It’s our only option out here. I used up all my cell phone minutes chatting with the lovely representatives in India. Still no Internet. Nuff said. 12 days later, and another $100 tacked on to the phone bill and we're finally up and running.

We branded 2 days the week the roofers were here and had a small crew. Just  5 men. Not a big deal, but that 3:30 wakeup call is getting harder and harder to obey.  After cooking for a crew for 26 years, I have a system. I know what they like and how much they eat and no one goes hungry…except maybe this morning. We’re not working tomorrow so I planned everything just right. I finished up a lot of stuff. Cracked the last egg (with just enough for scrambling, plus a few for the blueberry muffins, and 4 left for a chile rellenos casserole); used the last of the bacon and sausage and hash brown potatoes. Last piece of bread for toast too. Then the neighbors walk in the door…4 of them. Suddenly, my 5 for breakfast turned into 9. DH didn’t have them scheduled until the 30th. Oops! LOL. Um…think fast.  Grab those 4 eggs and dig very deep into the freezer for a package with 4 pieces of bacon left. Have just enough coffee left for a few more pots. Gather more chairs… and silverware and plates and cups and pull out the table to put in an extra leaf.

 I saw the crew watching me. I think they were wondering if I was going to blow. LOL. Honestly, I just laughed and dusted off the initial surprise and made due. What kind of ranch wife would I be if I didn’t? If you’re planning on being a ranch wife, flying by the seat of your pants is a skill I highly recommend, and add in a dose of humor. It’ll serve you well on a daily basis. At dinner I was highly praised for not coming unglued. 

 Poor DH had to quickly change his schedule around too. The day before, he had hauled the branding rig to the pens where they were going to work and I was going to drop the crew and their horses in another pasture. We didn’t need a big crew for what he had planned so he quickly changed things up to take advantage of more help. Oye! It was a little like Keystone Cops in my tiny kitchen for a while.
To top it all off, a little critter jumped out of my apron when I pulled it from the hook on the wall. He looked like this:


Sorry fella…you are not invited to breakfast this morning.

I had already made up a big pan of chicken enchiladas and a berry pie for dessert the day before. With 4 extra, I had to expand my menu. I was already fixing a salad, and a big pot of beans, and homemade rolls, and Pico de Gallo. There is a really nice family at our North Camp and when Jake left after breakfast he whispered, “Kassie’s up and planning on making a trip to town if you need anything.” Dear man…married to a dear wife who picked up some apples and orange juice for me to make a big pan of Spiced Apple Twists to serve with ice cream for dessert. I was trying to think of something that didn’t require eggs since I had used my last one. Then I went out to the coop and sweet talked the chickens into laying me just 2 eggs in time for me to make a different chile rellenos casserole. I bribed them with the promise of watermelon later in the day, and a few minutes later I ran to the house with 2 eggs. Good girls!

Heck, there’s always room for one more around here…or 2…or 3….or 4! Just don't judge my gray hair...I earned every one. 

20 comments:

Pauline said...

Oh WOW! So glad to hear from you, I'm glad everything is in control and no one's hurt. Being without the internet is better than someone being hurt. Thank goodness for the earlier years of meeting unexpected events, it's made you very inventive. I'm sure your DH and your guest appreciate you. Here's a big high five and an "atta girl" just for you.

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

WOW! The extra folks for a meal would have put me into a tail spin and I would have fainted when the critter came out of my apron!

Ugh--talking to India!

Dorian said...

LOL Karin, what a time! I was just wondering about you yest. So glad your internet is back up and running. That spiced apple twist sounds yummy, can you post/email me a recipe, when you get a chance that is ;) pretty please. Hope you get a few restful days...without any of those little surprised jumping out of your apron!

teresamnj said...

Oh my goodness, I think I would have had a heart attack had something like that scorpion jumped out of my apron! Geez, spiders freak me out around here!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I had just recently found you and wondered what had happened to you. You work hard - I wouldn't like to have to cook for so many - I'm sure you are used to but I it would be hard for me to make sure to have so much food in the house, I'm just used to cooking for me and DH

Nancy said...

You are juggling a lot of plates, but it sounds like you kept them all in the air. Nice job!

Doniene said...

Wondering about ya!!! Mike asked if I had heard from you!!! Oh do I remember those days - but you're right - being a rancher's wife determines that you will wear a "multitude" of hats - the most important a smile! Besides the Lord multiplies the work of hands!!

Blessings sweet friend!

Gwynette in NW Arkansas said...

Checked in every day and hoped nothing was awry. We are all so used to internet, being without is totally unacceptable!!!! LOL...

You amaze me with your 'make do' skills. You go, girl!!!

Glad your little 'friend' dropped to the floor before you got your apron on. When we lived in Tulsa in an upstairs apartment, one nailed me on the side of my bare foot and I didn't wear a shoe for a week. I'm sure the neighbors thought DH was killing me as I was literally wailing with the pain.

Sorry about the no rain. We had almost 5 inches over the weekend. We are up to 30" for the year. Ended last year with a total of 42.7" and that was year two of drought. I'm sure someone will find the spigget and turn it off soon.

Good to see you posting again!!!

laverne said...

Sure glad you hadn't quit blogging!Always makes my day to see a new post of yours!Praying you get some rain.

Janet said...

Sounds like you have a real way with those chickens. :)

Anonymous said...

I wondered about you too, glad everything is up and working. You are a true farm/ranch woman who thinks on her feet. I don't cook for a crew but understand how you think. linda

Carolyn Sullivan said...

Thanks! I'm not a ranch wife, but I know about flying by the seat of my pants! your style.... w the critter too! is fabulous!

Julie Feldhaus said...

I've had extra people around here to feed too. Your menu sounds better than mine!!! I won't mind when it's back to just me and hubby to cook for. Just for a few meals then I will be missing all the commotion. What's wrong with us!! My grandson said my job is to feed the family!

Alycia said...

I love that kind of flexibility!!It takes a while to learn it! Glad you all are safe and sound.

Hilachas said...

Wow, Karin, you really don't have time for the internet with the busy life you lead, haha. I'm glad you're back online though since I enjoy reading about your "life at the end of the dirt road." I love the way you're so flexible and how you take everything in stride. I hate the way those Texas scorpions just pop out of everything when you least expect it. I guess you haven't found time for quilting lately with all the cooking you're doing. Sounds like you enjoy what you do ;)

Nancy said...

I love reading your stories about ranch life, Karin. It is so far removed from my own experiences that it seems a wonderful adventure, though probably one I enjoy reading more than I would succeed at living.

We saw photos of wind and fires in N.M. a day or so ago and I wondered if they were headed your way. Glad to hear you're safe. And that you have the internet back, too.

Jo said...

A good cook keeps good help keep coming around!! I hope your hubby appreciates your role.

Michigan Gal said...

I read the entire blog post and promptly forgot everything I read after seeing the picture of the scorpion. I would have screeched! Or screamed! I have never seen one so close and I can't imagine taking a picture of one. You definitely are a brave woman! :)

Mara said...

Thank you for sharing I loved reading it all, good girls your chickens!

Denise :) said...

We don't see a whole lot of scorpions around here, but they're here and I did kill one last summer. *Ugh* I think I'd rather see a snake. Hahaha!!! You know, Scripture says that grey hair is a crown of glory!!! :)

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