GRATITUDE… AND THEN PEOPLE

Linking up with Laurel over at ‘Alphabet Salad‘ and showing my gratitude today!


I did this today, I do this most days but today I actually laid in bed and said my prayers of thankfulness for opening my eyes, for my children and grandchildren, their health and happiness, this day..
And then.. People.

I found myself engaged in a debate over the death penalty. Someone was against it, I’m for it, and so it went. Fortunately this debate took place on a good friend’s page and he had my back, as he always has my back, and today, he makes my “gratitude list.”
Today I am thankful for my forever friend, online hubs, fellow blogger and amazing writer, the one, the only, the “Beastly Bear!” He blogs over at “The Den of the Beastly Bear” and writes at “Beastly Bear Fiction.”

I have already expressed my gratitude to God for my children and grandchildren first thing this morning, but I will express it again here because they are my reason for being and there aren’t enough words or feelings that run deeply enough to express my love and gratitude for them in my life.

Every creature comfort, every modern convenience. I am grateful for these. So many things I would be lost without, my home, my car, food, a washer and dryer, stove/oven, warmth in the winter, cooling in the summer. This is a gratitude list in and of itself and I am grateful for each and every one.

I know this is so, so true and I am indeed mindful.

Modern medicine. I can’t say it enough. If a person has to be ill, the year 2015 is the year to do it in, and every year after this one. So many breakthroughs, so many avenues to explore, so many cures and treatments. I am truly thankful for this..

And last but certainly not, and never, least, my Catholic faith renewed, restored. I have felt closer to God since I began my journey back to my Catholic roots than I have ever felt in my entire life. This blog, my cussing like a sailor aside, the core of who I am, rests in my faith. My children and grandchildren may stake claim to my heart and every beat thereof, but my soul belongs to God.

MIRANDA THROWS A PLEASURE PARTY

It started out something like this.

Miranda – Hey, we’re gonna’ be branding this weekend if you wanna’ come over.
(She says this in her very sweet, country girl-next-door voice but with a twinkle in her eye like she’s inviting me over for a “Pleasure” party.)

Me – Sure
(I answered in my, city-fied limited knowledge of branding which, I’m not gonna’ lie, consisted only of old westerns I’d seen on t.v. as a kid.)

Not.A.Clue of the day that awaited me!
Not – A – Clue!!!!

I knew branding had something to do with livestock; cows/bulls/horses and that was pretty much the extent of what I knew. I honestly thought it was just taking a long, hot poker rod with a brand at the end of it and poking it at an animal.
True story. Hey, shut up, it’s all they did on t.v.!

I couldn’t have been more wrong in so many, many, many ways!!!

First you have to round up your livestock, in this case, cattle, mostly cows. Blake and the boys did this part, on horseback.

So far, so good, just like in the movies.

Now the cattle moves to the corral and it’s time to separate the mamas from the babies.
Not gonna’ lie, Hitler crossed my mind at this point..

Blake and the boys maneuver the mamas into the chute.
Here’s the littlest buckaroo moving the cows to their impending doom in position.

AND THEN MY WESTERN MOVIE ENDED!!!!

Everything – EV.ER.YEEEEE.THING – after this point waaaassss…
WHORE-A-FYING!

Wait… I mean HORR-I-FYING!!!

Yeah, this, this is what I felt like inside, and you’re gonna’ see this photo A LOT!

After the cute cows get into the chute, gently prodded by the much cuter lit’l buckaroo, it’s time for their shots and ear tags.
Thoughts of my kids getting their baby shots and my daughter getting her ears pierced as a toddler cross my mind..
Yeah.. NO!

THIS!

The look on the cow’s faaaacccce!
The look on the mother fucking cow’s face, people!!!!!

The whole shot, ear tag thing happens in the blink of an eye and the cows know it’s coming, they fucking know because they run full speed ahead into that steel torture chamber trap of all things livestock and then BOOM! Nowhere to run folks, trapped like rats in a cage.

Fortunately for them Miranda did the majority of the shots and tagging and she was very swift with her needle and giant livestock ear piercing gun, and yes, I’m pretty sure that IS the technical term for it, so the cows were in and out, and what I surmised from this process is that first and foremost, Miranda may have missed her calling in nursing, and secondly, to a city person, this is fucked up but as Miranda educated me every horrifying step of the way, it is absolutely necessary for the health of your herd.

Next up, the babies. No chutes for them, nope, nope, nope. They’re in the corral to get to roped n’ tied.
This is a true blue cowgirl.
(I smiley faced her face because I didn’t ask permission to post this pic but it’s my pic and now, this could be anyone, right??)
brand rope kyla12
Again, look at the cow’s face…

The babies get all kinds of shit done to them.
– Nut cut, castration, whatever.. If need be.
– Shots
– Ear tag
– Ear cut/mark
– Branded

These are the branding irons heating up.

And then the deed…

I would’ve asked for a bucket to vomit in if I wasn’t so busy taking pictures. Seriously, it was horrifying and mesmerizing all at the same time, like a National Geographic special right before your eyes. How could I not take pictures??!! And, the only bucket available was filled with these..


Rocky mountain oysters, cowboy caviar, call ’em what ya’ want. They’re fucking balls, testes, testicles, and people fucking  eat them. Yes they do. Here in Idaho they have a huge “Rocky Mountain Oyster Feed” every year in the city of Eagle, and in Clinton, Montana, they have their annual “Testicle Festival.” Not even kidding folks.

And that was pretty much Miranda’s idea of a “Pleasure” party. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, she said branding but you guys weren’t there, you don’t know the twinkle in her eye that, on most days is angelic but not on this day, oh no, no, no, on this day I’m certain that twinkle was put there by satan himself! And you guys didn’t hear the soft, allure of her voice.. She said branding but it rolled off her tongue like “Pleeaaasure…” AND, to everybody in attendance, it was pleasure! Not the “Pleasure Party” kind of pleasure, well maybe, if you got the horse off to a nice trot, wait, no, seriously, this whole day was fun to them, seriously fuuunnn, so much so that they all went and helped the neighbors do the same thing the very next day!!!

There is a happy ending to this story.
happy ending
No.. Not that kind..

This kind!

Elk burgers on the grill! Elk burgers that Blake n’ Miranda and their “boyz from the woods” shot and prepped themselves.
They were delicious, and we all lived happily-ever-after.
The end.

*****

I poke fun in this post but the truth is, this is hard work, and this family is one of the hardest working families I have ever met, ranchers in general, are hard working people, hard working people. They’re not “good ‘ol boys” or “jethro bodines,” and the women are definitely not your “daisy dukes n’ cowboy boots.” They are highly intelligent business people who just happen to conduct their business in the all outdoors, and trust me, they don’t keep bankers hours and they don’t get holidays off, they’re working 24/7 to keep themselves fed, you fed, me fed, and all people north, south, east and west. 
Seriously folks, if you love your steaks n’ burgers and that Sunday meatloaf, take a moment to thank a rancher. What they do is important. They’re important..

*****

ON A SIDE NOTE – I no longer eat beef. True story.

THINGS I WISH MY PHONE WOULD STOP DOING

Scaring the shit out of me! Let’s just start with that one because that one, is allll encompassing!

UPDATES AND REBOOTS – Is there any reason why this has to happen always, with.out.fail, in the middle of the flippin’ night???
– Suddenly, WITHOUT WARNING, outta’ the corner of my eye I see those swirling bright lights of my phone and instantly my heart starts racing and my ass tightens up and all I can think about is abduction, anal probes and death because my entire body has just vapor locked!

INVOLUNTARY RESETS, DOWNLOADS AND APPS THAT YOU CAN’T DELETE – It’s like a constant “fuck you” from my phone.
– I set my clock to mountain time, my phone says, “Fuck you, I’m a New Yorker, I’m setting it to eastern time.” Nothing against New Yorkers but if I set my alarm for 6am because I have an appointment at 8am, I’d really like for it to go off at 6am and NOT 8am, the actual time of my appointment.
– I delete apps and my phone says, “Fuck you, I’m downloading ‘Flipboard’ – again – ‘Flipboard’ is cool and I’m keeping ‘Jigsaw Puzzles’ too because maybe one day I’m gonna’ wanna’ put together a 500 piece puzzle on a 5 INCH screen.”
– And what’s with these apps that you can’t delete??? You can disable them but you can’t delete them, especially the “S” apps. ‘S Health,’ ‘S Translator,’ ‘S Memo..’
I don’t use any of these, and yet my phone says, “Fuck you, they’re staying right where they are, running in the background slowing the rest of your shit down, and don’t even think about resetting or deleting them because I’ll put ’em right back on, so you just hang tight, jump on ‘Twitter’ and bitch about me there in 140 characters or less.”
And speaking of Twitter…

TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM NOTIFICATIONS – *See above involuntary resets. –
First of all, I’d like to thank everybody who’s following even though I’m pretty sure I don’t know 20 people personally who want to follow my random food, toenail, and basketball hoop pics on Instagram, but apparently 200 people that I don’t know personally, do, so yeah, thanks for following… Twitter is very much the same, and again, thanks for following but the notifications are driving me nutso.
I’ve made every attempt humanly possible to STOP THE NOTIFICATIONS and it’s  like Stephen King’s ‘Pet Cemetary.’ “They always come back..”
I’ve put my phone on vibrate to stop the once cool and now annoying ‘Law & Order’ sound notifications and now I deal with the incessant buzzing, all.night.long, which, I’m not gonna’ lie, wouldn’t be a bad thing if it were coming from me, but it’s not, it’s my flippin’ phone!
Maybe the reboot is the climax after all of the buzzing, who knows.
Side note – It’s a sad day when your phone is getting off more than you are. Just sayin’.

AMBER ALERTS – Okay, okay.. Get off me, I’m not a moron, I know the importance of the Amber Alerts, and honestly, I don’t mind them – much – BUT, I didn’t sign up for them and when I’m driving down the road in the middle of rush hour traffic with some jackhole darting in and out of lanes like he’s Mario Andretti at the Indy 500, I really don’t need to be scared shitless when I hear what used to be the sound of “the emergency broadcast system” back in the day when you actually had to get up and turn the channel on your t.v.

For those of you too young to remember that awesome sound, this is it…

Yeah, not the random sound you want to hear during rush hour…

Dear Dumbass Smart Phone,
Maybe I’ll pay your bill this month, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll pay late and leave ya’ hangin’ on life support for a 6 day grace period, how ’bout that? Ya’ know if I wasn’t so attached, addicted and obsessed with you, trust me, you’d be under my tires right now…
Fuck me dumbass smart phone? No, fuck you.
Sincerely,
I own YOU!

Ah, who am I kidding?

WOULD YOU LIKE FRIES WITH THAT?

Remember the old days of applying for a job? You sat down at your dining room table, the classified section of your local newspaper spread opened to the “Help Wanted” section and there before you was every job available from apple picker to zebra trainer. There was a phone number listed, you called it, a pleasant receptionist answered, she gave you a basic job description and then she invited you to come into the office, fill out an application and speak to the manager.
Easy peasy.

Or, maybe there was just an address listed with the words, “apply in person,” so you’d dress up, show up, fill out the application in the office, and most of the time you’d be interviewed on spot.

Other times, if you were really lucky you’d know somebody, who knew somebody, who knew somebody who was hiring and they could get you a job by word of mouth.
Those days are gone.

Fast forward to the computer age. Personal interaction is slashed by ninety percent and everything is done online. Now take that a million fucked up steps further and you come to the job application process that son #3 recently encountered.

Craigslist, the local newspaper of 2015. Son #3 clicks through to the “Help Wanted”/”Jobs” section and bada bing bada boom several employment opportunities pop up on his screen. Unfortunately, most of those jobs don’t pay above minimum wage.
The ones that do? Restaurant work. Perfect. He’s young, most of his work has been in restaurants, and bonus, he is a certified sushi chef.
He’s got experience, he’s not a dumbass, he’s a hard worker, and he’s pretty cute, so in theory, he’s got a job, right?
Yeeeaaaaahhhhh, not so fast.

A little soup n’ sandwich joint was opening up here in town, an out of state chain, and at first glance their application process appeared to be the norm. Online form, name, email, age, mailing address, onto the seemingly normal application.. Experience, references, blah, blah, blah..
THEN.. The other half of the application.. A personal presentation.
Not.Even.Kidding.

  • A passion video – Seriously. A video of yourself showing how passionate you are about life. How in the hell do you make this video??
  • A collage – Still shots of you and your passion for life, and last but not least…
  • A word cloud – Expressing your passion with words.

What the hell people. You’re serving soup and sandwiches. You’re not a Fortune 500 company.
A personal presentation??? Here’s my presentation, I need a fucking job! I’m qualified.

Needless-to-say, my son did not get hired at the soup n’ sandwich joint,
a.) Because he’s not a moron, and
b.) Because he’s my child and he couldn’t stop laughing long enough to put together a passion video, a collage and a word cloud.
He did, however, apply in person at a pub/brewery, filled out the application at the pub, interviewed with the manager and was hired on spot. No video, no collage, no word cloud required.

So my question is, is this the employment process of the future?? I mean seriously, is this what a person will have to go through to get a job?

That lit’l soup n’ sandwich joint is so lucky it wasn’t me applying because they’d of found themselves kickin’ back watching a porno and looking at a collage of naked midgets with a word cloud that said, fuck off.

#whatisthisworldcomingto

MIDNIGHT MOCHA


Why do people spit in public?
Seriously.
And no offense but it’s mostly guys. I’ve only ever seen one woman in my entire life spit in public and she packed a can of Skoal in her back pocket.
Either way, male or female, it’s disgusting.

I was sitting at a light today and the guy in front of me opens his driver door and hocks a big ‘ol luggie on to the street.
I pulled into the parking lot at “Burlington Coat Factory,” I open my door and a big ‘ol luggie right where I need to step! – I found a luggie free parking spot… –
I’m coming out of Albertson’s (grocery store) and a big ‘ol luggie right on the mat where people come n’ go.

Why??? Seriously? Do people have some kind of freak medical condition that causes them to salivate so much that they can’t help but leave rivers of spit and swamps of luggies everywhere they go???

I mean I totally get it if you’re up in the woods, or on your own property, spit away.
Hell, spit until you’re as dry and shriveled as a 200-year-old vagina but for fuck’s sake, stop spitting in public!
It’s vile and disgusting, and nobody wants to see it, let alone step in it!

And, FYI, there are some states that still list spitting as a crime, and in ALL states you could be charged with assault and battery if you spit AT or ON someone and your big ‘ol slimy luggie happens to land in their eye or on their person.

Of course, if someone even thought for one split nanosecond that they were going to spit at me, let alone on me?? They’d have a helluva’ lot more to worry about than an assault and battery charge, they’d be worrying about that funeral home charge and you’d all be watching me on an episode of “Snapped!”
Not even kidding.

It’s probably not a good idea to spit at or on police officers either.
Spitting on the PoPo?
Yeah, that’s a big, huge, no no..
A woman in Texas got sentenced to 5 years in prison.

This is what’s on my mocha mind at midnight.
What’s on yours??
Happy Tuesday!