Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick Or Treat?

The sunshine made its comeback today. It was a beautiful day!

It was also Brooke's birthday party today. (I will post pictures on Monday.)

Now we are sitting around, watching the Razorbacks romp on Eastern Michigan...63 to 20 with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter.

All in all, it has been a day of treats without the tricks!

Happy Halloween, y'all!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cute Video

Jim forwarded me the cutest video today...go check it out if you get the chance. This little boy may be the next George Strait. I have no idea how to post copy and paste the following address to your web browser.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Guess What I Did Over The Weekend

Last Thursday evening, Jim, Bri, Will and I loaded up the ATV's, the guns and the compound bows and headed for the deer lease.

Daddy and Donna gave me a muzzle loader for Christmas a few years back in hopes that I might finally get a chance at a buck IF I made up for opening weekend before the woods are full of people.

The first season I was unable to make it to the lease because Miss Brooke was expected at any time. The following season Hurricane Ike and Operation: Meagan's Wedding took me out of commission.

But this year...I was finally able to be in a deer stand on opening morning!!! (Not my deer stand which is currently under about 5 feet of water...but A deer stand.)

Date: Opening morning.

Location: Ken's stand.

Sighted at the break of dawn: Several does, yearlings, a spike, a very young 6 point and a very mature 4 point.

Time: 9:00 AM

Everything has just left the food plot, when two bucks walk in. A two year old 6 point and a nice 8 point, probably about three and half years old.

I have never seen so many antlers in all my life! Don't get too excited. These are not Boone and Crockett antlers I am talking about here. They wouldn't even make the outtakes reel for Bone Collectors or Primos Outdoors...but I rarely get the privilege of seeing a mature buck when I am on the deer stand. To see five bucks in a matter of a couple of hours is amazing to me.

Thanks to Daddy's tracking skills and Jim's willingness to drag this deer a quarter of a mile to the ATV...I am able to show you MY VERY FIRST BUCK!

To me, he is the most beautiful 8 point I have ever laid eyes on!

(Don't judge my fashion sense too harshly. Make-up and hot rollers are not needed to entice a deer. And consider the camouflage to be the native attire of deer leases everywhere.)

Saturday evening, Will took the muzzle loader with him to his stand and brought home his own trophy. A nice mature doe for the freezer.

Unfortunately, Bri never found her a hog. (Neither did I, for that matter.) And Jim will have to fill his tags come November when we head back home for the Thanksgiving hunt. Hopefully the water will reside between now and then and we will be able to find a piece of dry ground to sit on.

Hope you had a productive weekend too!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Ghost Story

One of my all time favorite books is The Time Travelers Wife. You may have seen the previews for the movie that was released a few months back...but trust me the book is better. I haven't actually seen the movie yet, but I just can't imagine that anyone can capture the essence of the story in less than two hours.

I was surprised to discover that this was Audrey Niffenegger's first novel. Her much anticipated second novel was released on October 1. Her Fearful Symmetry is a story about love, family dynamics and the afterlife. It is an understatement to call it a ghost story...yet that is the world you enter as you open it's pages.

Her Fearful Symmetry is the story of two sets of twins...Edie and Elspeth who have not seen each other for twenty years, and Edie's twins, Julia and Valentina, who inherit their Aunt Elspeth's London flat. The younger twins, who have never even met their aunt, move from their parent's Chicago area home to London for a year in order to receive their full inheritance. There is one odd condition of the will: their parents may not enter the flat during that time. It seems there are secrets that are just as haunting as the ghost of their aunt who is growing stronger and making herself known to those who frequent the flat.

I will not spoil the story for you, but I highly recommend the book. It was a good read, and yet I found myself taking it slow so as to savor the story...even if it is unbelievable on more than one level.

I finished the book last Monday evening.

Fast forward to Monday night. It is 11:01 pm and a steady rain is falling outside. Jim and I are in bed when his cell phone rings. Nothing strange there as he is the first call for one of our clients. Every time it rains or the winds blow, one of their facilities lose power and the alarm company calls to let us know that we need to get someone out to reset the fire pump.

Jim picks up his phone and looks at the display, he begins reading the number to me. The number is familiar, but it is late and I can't think clearly. Just then, my cell phone begins ringing. Since I have contacts set up in my phone (he just remembers every phone number he has ever called) my display reads: HOME.

As you know, we still have a few kids at home...but what you probably don't know is that we do not use our home phone because we all have cells. We only have a land line for emergency situations (and hurricanes - when cells are always overloaded). Not only that, but the only land line phone in our house is in our office...which you can only access by going through our bedroom.

We look at each other and deem it all 'weird'.

At 11:25 pm, it happens again...both phones. His first and then mine. I am a little freaked out at this so I burst into the office to see what is going on. The telephone is sitting on the desk and when I pick it up it is full of static and playing the recording, "If you would like to make a call, please hang up and try again." What the heck?

I call AT&T and make a repair request. Over an hour later there is another phone call to Jim's cell...and another the next day.

Maybe it is the ghost story that is fresh on my mind...but the phone calls freak me out for a little while!

A few days later it is determined that there is a short in the line and that short is somehow causing the telephone to call the first two programmed numbers. Either that, or we have a ghost!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Meet The Girls


Miss January, the cow who stayed home.

BAD COWMiss March, who led us on the twenty-four hour cow hunt.

I was calling them Cagney and Lacey...but Bri has named them after their due dates.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Great Texas Cow Hunt

This is a very long post...but there was no way I could condense it and still convey it's true effects. Just consider it my week's worth of news contained in one story. Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of diet coke and enjoy!

Friday was a very interesting day in the Goode household...but let me set the stage by filling you in on the events of Wednesday and Thursday first.

Wednesday evening we went over to Albert and Stacy's for dinner and to await the arrival of the newest business venture. Sometime between 3 and 5 pm Brianne was to receive delivery of two bred black brangus heifers. That time was later moved to sometime between 7 and 9 pm, so Stacy asked us over for hamburgers and fellowship as we all waited. Delivery did not go as planned, and around 9:30 we left with no cows in sight.

Thursday afternoon Bri received the telephone call to let her know that the heifers would be delivered that evening. After dinner, she left the house to go back to the Lozanos and await delivery AGAIN. Since Meagan, Davin, Brian and Jessica were over for dinner, we decided to wait until Friday afternoon to go over so that I could take a few pictures. The house quietened down around 9:30 and we headed off to bed, even though Bri was not home yet.

Friday morning, while I was making our coffee, Bri came in from feeding Missy Goat and began recounting the events of the previous night (which we had slept through totally unaware of the drama).

It seems that the cattle were delivered after dark and when Albert inquired as to whether or not to place them in one pasture area over another, he was told that they were very calm animals and thus could be kept in either place. Against his instincts, he agreed to unload the cattle in the same area they kept their young bull, T-Bone. When Bri and Stacy fed all three of the cattle, the young man who delivered them commented how the two heifers were in hog-heaven as they had been raised on grazing and now they were being fed grain. He took his money and headed home.

Fast forward twenty minutes. I am not sure where everyone was at the time...but a loud commotion drew all their attention to the pasture where the cattle were located. Cow #1 had plowed through the fence and Cow #2 had jumped over the fence to follow Cow #1. Thus ensued a night of cow chasing that ended at one o'clock in the morning with only one cow being relocated to the pasture of Albert's first inclination.

Back to Friday morning: I take Jim his cup of coffee into the bedroom and tell him that half of his investment has escaped and is now on the loose. He and Will head out for a meeting about an hour from the house. I am ready to head in to the office, coffee in hand, and Bri is changing her rancher wear (jeans and t-shirt) for office attire. No sooner had Jim and Will left than Bri gets a telephone call that Cow #1 has been spotted by Stacy on her way out of the neighborhood.

Bri runs out the door, jumps in her car and heads off to try and corral the cow. Since I am in flip flops, it takes me a few more minutes to grab some different shoes and throw them in the truck. By the time I arrive at the scene, there is a Constable, a concerned neighbor, Stacy, her daughter and Bri traipsing back and forth down the road and in the woods. The cow has escaped their clutches and headed into the woods.

After thirty minutes or so of no cow sighting, the Constable and neighbor leave. We decide to set up stakeouts on three sides of the woods that the cow has disappeared into. Bri spots her on the other end of the property, but when she crosses the fence to get a better look, the cow bolts. Stacy and a friend decide to go horseback to help in the process. I spot the cow in a pasture area, but as soon as one of us crosses the fence line, off she goes again. This pretty much describes the next four hours of our day...cow spotted, cow disappears, we search, cow spotted, etc.

So many people stopped to offer advice. We are told numerous times to try and lure her out with a feed bucket...but she has only had feed one time. We are told that she will come home...but she doesn't know where home is (after all she was only there for 20 minutes!) I call Jim, "Is there not a service we can hire to come catch this thing? Surely they have a 1-800-Cow-Catcher or something. We do live in Texas, after all."

We call in the Calvary with Brian, Josh and Brice. They arrive about the same time as Jim and Will. The guys set off through the woods to try and find the cow. No cow in sight. We decide to head back to Stacy's to regroup and grab a bite to eat. As we head back down the street into her neighborhood...out of the woods walks the cow. Thus ensues a chase that I cannot properly describe...but as I think back on it, I can't help but laugh. There were people jumping all over the place, vehicles trying to keep her off the side streets, people jumping fences and running through the woods full blast. Alas, she got away again.

Our help slowly dwindles down as people head off to work and other plans. Jim, Stacy, Bri and I take three vehicles and circle the places she has been seen until about 5 pm with no more cow sightings. We finally give up and decide we had better let her be for a few hours and see if she makes her way back to the pasture.

Bri and Stacy were supposed to be working on their big fundraising banquet all day. I volunteered to help them try to catch up on the things that still needed to be done. We work until about 11 pm. As I drive Stacy home, we take it slow through the neighborhood and stop at every shadow, hoping to see the cow.

As we pull into the driveway, I tell Stacy, "I have been praying that the Lord would bring the cow home and we would find her standing in the front yard. I am afraid if He doesn't bring her home, we will never get her back. Oh, well, maybe we can find her tomorrow."

We pull into the front yard so that the headlights will shine into the pasture with the other two cows so we can do a quick headcount. Stacy says she sees one of the cows by the fence...but wait a minute, that cow is on our side of the fence. Could it be the missing cow? Stacy rushes to close the front gate. Should we call Jim? Let's make sure it is the missing cow and not Cow #2 that has escaped while we were gone. Nope, there are two more in the pasture. It's our prodigal cow returned home!

Stacy went in to get Albert. We put the feed bucket that I had been hauling around all day in the front yard with a flake of hay. Poor cow is so hungry she goes straight to the bucket, even though I am only a few steps away from her. Stacy goes out to the pasture to feed the other two because they are hanging at the gate to see what's going on and we don't want to let all three out. Albert opens the gate once the other two are occupied with their meal. I take the feed bucket from her. She steps away and begins to eat the hay. I walk her bucket in through the gate and step to the side of the fence. She studies Albert for a minute, her mouth full of hay. Then she looks at the feed bucket that lies just inside the gate. What the heck? She walks right in and begins to eat.

We are all but jumping up and down with joy at this point! I call Bri and tell her. She thinks I am lying to her at first. Then she says that she, Tim and Will were just talking about how cool it would be if they got home and she was standing in the front yard.

Jim is still amazed that this cow found her way to a home she had barely known from a mile away. We are so thankful that God answers prayers...and that cows are not as dumb as they look!

We now have a better understanding of the old saying "til the cows come home'...they come home when they want to...on their timetable, not ours.