More Life in the Country

So yesterday was hubbub day; wrapping gifts, grocery lists, work on Chapter 31, and general madness in anticipation of the arrival of some of our offspring. So I was sitting on the back porch talking on the phone to my sister-in-law about the plans for a Saturday night get-together involving egg nog….

when what to my wondering eyes to appear?…

but two long-horned, ornery steer.

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Yep. The two fellows in the photo wandered up the hill to the meadow behind the house. I am told by BH that I shrieked “Honey! Cows! Cows with horns! Big horns, honey! Big, pointy bad horns!” and then I told my sister-in-law I’d call her back.

(In defense of my semi-hysteria I’d like to say that when I worked on a dairy farm to earn money to go to college, I had a violently abusive relationship with the bull the farm kept to take care of his lady cows. I think the stupid bull saw me as a threat to his ability to get a date with the girls. There was one memorable afternoon when he chased me across a field towards an electric fence. I am still not sure how I got under the fence without being fried. So I don’t like bulls. And you can’t see it in the picture, but these guys had wicked nasty horns.)

We called the Sheriff’s department. We weren’t the only ones who had reported seeing the Happy Wanderers. While waiting for the police (although unsure what they were going to do about the situation) we contemplated the bulls. From inside the house. They chewed our grass. Suddenly, the boss bull picked up his head, said something to his buddy, and they trotted down our driveway and off into the sunset.

A deputy showed up ten minutes later. We still don’t know what happened to the bulls. Did they escape to Canada? Did they find the milk cows of their dreams? Are they perhaps Amish bulls, and this is their wild and crazy rumspringa? Inquiring minds want to know.

But that was the highlight of my day. What was yours?

Distant jingle of bells

Today I start decking the halls with one hand and writing with the other. By midnight, we’ll have three-quarters of our brood home, plus a boyfriend, and festivities will ensue. (Six cords of wood will be moved by their elf hands, but they don’t know about that yet.) Because we are a blended family, the kids come and go in waves from now until mid-January. I adore this.

The only thing missing is snow. All the beautiful snow that we had had melted and it is unseasonably warm. Bah.

::shakes off Scroogyness::

This is the second year in a row that I am deep, deep in writing over the holidays. I have the most understanding and forgiving family imaginable, thank goodness. If I get this book done by February 1st, then I will achieve a goal I’ve been wanting for a long time – I will have novels out in two consecutive years: TWISTED in 2007, and the current WIP in 2008. And if I’m a really good girl, then next WIP out in 2009.

The new goal is to structure my writing schedule so that I don’t have to do quite as much work in the month of December. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’m off to clean so we can decorate tomorrow. My heart is already thumping a little faster at the thought of bringing in the trees and hanging up the lights and the stockings and getting Bill to make eggnog and making rice pudding for the elves and wrap-wrap-wrapping, and and and and and ….

One last note of celebration. Everybody sing happy birthday to my friend and editor sdn!!!! She’s the Birthday Queen!


Dear God.

But mostly feeling a cello note of ache; long and drawn-out, for the pain that led him to this decision, the pain of the people who loved him. The awful truth that if he could have held on, it would have gotten better.

What do you say to someone who cannot see tomorrow? To the person who wants to give up?

Is this really happening?

Right now there is 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter of the New Orleans – Dallas game. New Orleans is spanking the Cowboys!

Current score: NO 42 DAL 17

I must be hallucinating. I need to go to bed.