Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sweet September

Yesterday was our 65th day of temperatures, in North Central Texas, of 100 degrees—or higher. It’s been mostly “higher.” Lovely. This summer has been beyond brutal. Our drought continues and is downright frightening. There are too many fires and some are getting too close to our home.

Despite the daily struggle to cope with this Hotter Than Hades Challenge, August brought me many wonderful things!

On August 1st, a handsome bull calf (who probably had a Charolais Dad) was born to an Angus cow I named Little Mama (okay—not hugely original). Two more cows—Sugar Mama and Sugar Baby—are due any moment. I clearly have a “theme” to my names. My first theme—for four Texas Longhorn steers—was male Country singing stars. Hence, we had Cash and Willie (no explanations necessary, right?), Stoney (LaRue) and Rodney (Atkins).  My next theme was female Country singing stars: we had Loretta, Reba and Martina. I named this little calf Buffalo—because there was a very rare white buffalo born near Dallas right before (click here) the Mavs won the NBA Championship in June. Our Buffalo is a cutie-patootie, don’t you agree?



While Hubby and I were in Ruidoso for a few nights a couple of weeks ago, we got 3 ½ inches of rain! At our home in Texas, that is. But it also rained in New Mexico, too. Yippee! We’re behind close to thirty inches, but it was WONDERFUL. We were (and still are) deeply grateful. Animals, birds, bushes, grasses—every living thing—is suffering and in pain. We’re losing trees by the day. After every rain, though, most “sage” bushes in Texas (and, I’m sure, everywhere that has sage) bloom with beautiful purple (although they may appear to be pink) flowers. Hubby and I can count on it—even in the winter. I took this picture at our gate a week after the rain. There’s another bush on the other side—both were stunning.



On August 16th, Hubby and I “adopted” a 4-year-old chocolate Lab. (click here to read When Henry Met Teddy).  We haven’t had a dog for many years. Cobbler and Morty live in our Barn (although they do, of course, venture over for daily visits). This life-changing decision will continue to be an adjustment for both of us (apparently we thought that at 57 and 67 we had way too much time on our hands). The moment we saw him, we fell in love and happily brought him home. Two days later we learned, from our Vet, he has two heartworms. We'd never considered that possibility. Once he’s had the treatment, it won’t be easy—he has to stay “quiet” for five to six weeks. I’ll be changing my schedule even more than I already have to make sure he heals. He gives us unexpected and tremendous joy. We can’t wait to tell the other: “Guess what Teddy just did?” Like a baby or toddler has moved in with us. As I type this, he’s sleeping next to my desk. How did we get so lucky?



This is a picture of Teddy by our “outhouse” (my idea, when we built our home, for a well house—it’s not an authentic outdoor bathroom—thank the Lord). The beautiful flowers are lantana. They adore the Texas heat—obviously! Our lantana greets Hubby and me, as we top our hill, with vibrant flowers so yellow, they’re almost orange. Even a gal whose favourite (fancy spelling) color is Sky Blue can appreciate what the color yellow does for our spirits, right? You simply have to be cheerful when you see yellow. It’s actually a law, I believe. Our lantana blooms for almost five months out of the year. Hallelujah!

When I look back on the eighth month of this heartbreaking/sorrowful/confusing year, and I think of our fellow Americans who have suffered through hurricanes and floods, I have to believe that all of us—all over the United States and the World—will find a way to somehow cope with these tragedies. We must continue to wake up—each morning—and face whatever comes with courage and determination. We must carry on. We must embrace the beauty that comes to each of us—at some point during our daily life—no matter how small or seemingly insignificant that beauty is—with thankful hearts.

I’m looking forward to this ninth month of the year with hope, faith and trust. Not only because Hubby and I will celebrate thirty-three years of marriage tomorrow, but also because we will (surely!) have cooler days and nights—deep, nurturing rains—more of God’s Amazing Grace.

Hasta La Vista, August Baby! ADIOS.

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