Cows!

I just titled a post “Cows.”  Next I’m going to introduce you to a friend.

I’m confident Jody and I have friendship that can withstand my tactlessness.

I, for one, would not be thrilled to be introduced to you following a title like “cows” with a lovely photo of bovine friendship.  In fact, I’m still trying to get over being born in the Chinese Year of the Cow.  Yeah, yeah, technically it’s the Year of the Ox.  But you know what picture is next to my birth year on the paper placemat at the Chinese restaurant?  A cow.  A great big, eating cow.

But Jody’s always been made of tougher stuff than me.  I bet she can take it, especially with this specific disclaimer:  Jody is not at all cow-like.

Enough prefacing.  On with the post:

You know how you have those friends who turn into family?  Jody’s one of those friends.

She lived with us for a couple of years after she finished college, back in the “Three Kids Are a Lot of Kids” days (aka, The Days When We Had a Spare Room.)

Jody’s sassy, cool, fun, and likes kids.  Our family fell in love with her, and she accidentally became our kids’ 3rd parent.  Whoops!  And, yay!  ‘Cause who needs more parents?  My kids do!

With Greg, Abby and Ian away in Mexico, I loaded Aden, Cai and Cael (and lots of crap) in the car, and we drove 2 hours to see Jody, way out in the country.

I’m trying to figure out how we’re going to break it to Abby and Ian that they missed out on the trip.  Jody’s so cool that “but you got to go to Mexico” probably isn’t going to fly.  Let me know if you have any great ideas.

We went out for breakfast on Saturday.  The kids didn’t play underneath the table until, like, 20 minutes into our meal.  That’s probably a new record.

Reason #1 My Kids Love Jody:  Jody never says dumb things like “Stop climbing on the pig.”

Check out the pig’s expression.  Not bad for a statue.  I think he has some real acting chops.  (Sorry.)

Reason #2 My Kids Love Jody:  She lets them drive.

Drive, baby, drive!

Or sit and contemplate the joys of farm life.  Either one.

Reason #3 My Kids Love Jody:  She has cool friends who have toy rifles and real cattle and horses.

More specifically, toy rifles my boys are allowed to shoot.

(Can you tell by their expressions that they don’t have rifles at home?)

Live horses that they’ll let my kids touch,

and brush,

and — Oh, Mommy, this is my DREAM come TRUE! — ride!

Monkey the Horse was introduced to us as the equivalent of a 90-year-old man.

See all that dust?  Yeah, that’s ’cause my fearless kid made Monkey, the 90-year-old man, really move.

Sorry, Monkey.  You’re good peeps.

Mr. Cai, making kissy-kissy noises at Monkey:

Like his sister, Cai rode alone and made Monkey move.

Unlike Cai and Aden, Cael did not want a long ride.  Nor did he want to ride fast.  Or alone.  Or on a horse.

Cael:  Can I get down and be done now, please?

Me:  But I didn’t get a good picture of you riding Monkey.

Cael: Can I get down and be done now, please?

Single photo of Cael riding Monkey:

Monkey:  Cael’s my favorite.

I tend to think we live in a place that’s pretty rural.

Granted, we can get to a city within 30-40 minutes.  But we can also see llamas and hear coyotes from our house.  My kids can walk to a creek.  Sometimes, quail and rabbits run across our yard.  One time, we had to shoo a cow out of the front, which was quite entertaining since the front of our house is all suburban neighborhood with its sidewalks and streetlights and whatnot.

I think we’re country folk until we go to a place where people work hard and use words like ropin’, and heelin’.

Our hosts have full time jobs as teachers.  They raise kids, dogs, cattle and horses.  They take care of acreage and their neighbors.  They’re generous and hospitable and welcome strangers like us, just ’cause Jody’s our mutual friend and our kids want to hang out with horses and cows.

Nice, nice people.

Their only fault is that they do all that and keep a clean house.

I mean, really?  Really, really?  You couldn’t leave a dirty diaper laying around, or empty beer cans, or have a cow wander through the living room?  Anything to make me feel a little less like a lump of lazy?

Clean house confusion:

I feel it, too, boys.  I feel it, too.

Reason #4 My Kids Love Jody:  Her nice, nice (clean-house keeping) friends teach them all about ropin’

…even when Cai almost hits her in the face with said rope…

…and feeding…

… and dirtin’.

Our hosts have a two-year-old son.  Dirtin’ is his very own term.

That kid has a future as a writer, I tell you.  If you’ve ever been around a boy, you know instantly what dirtin’ is.

Can I get a what-what?

Cael dirtin’:

Cai dirtin’:

And just in case you missed the way Cai used his boots for dirtin’, here’s a close up:

Aden and Cael dirtin’:

Notice that the girl-child is the only one lifting her pants legs out of the filth.

The inventor of dirtin’, showing off his epic dirtin’ style:

Cael, finishing up the dirtin’ to head home:

Whew!

What a weekend.

Special thanks to Jody and her friends for showing us a great time.  You’re all the kids can talk about.

And, if you ever want to see how we live, I’m happy to do an exchange.

Bring your boots.  You’ll need ’em for my living room.

Beth

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
11 comments
  1. […] do to cap off all this excitement?  (“All this excitement” referring specifically to cows.  There hasn’t really been much other excitement, but, around here, cows are usually enough […]

  2. What a great “field trip”! Usually the teachers take you somewhere else, not home.

    1. I took them to someone else’s home. Does that count?

  3. Yay! Someone finally went to visit Jody! It looks like you all had a great time! I would like to go visit Jody and do the less muddy sites!

    1. Come visit me anytime Angela! I would love that. We have plenty of nonmuddy sites around here as well 🙂

  4. I will NOT be showing my kids this post. They would be drop dead jealous. You’re so blessed to such a sweet friend. That makes me a little jealous. 😉

  5. Wow! I say ‘wow! Yeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! (had I mentioned we’re visiting North Caroliner this year, again! yeeeeehaaaaaw y’all! 🙂 )
    Anyway, does Jody have any sisters? Nieces? Desire to move to Holland? 😉 Selling points: we do have cows over here, plenty of ’em as a matter of fact (though most of them are black&white). Sheep, we also have many many many sheep, across the road actually, we occasionally have chickens in our front yard, but we have yet to learn how to rope those! 😉 Let’s see, we don’t have a spare room right now, but we could always add one on (don’t tell Mark about that plan… he needs time to adjust to my crrrrrrrrrazy ideas, but he usually learns to see that I’m right, unless I’m not, which happens more often than I’d like to admit, so I’m just gonna leave that topic alone now 😉 )
    Can’t wait to show the kids your dirtin’ pictures, they’ll probably hurry on over to their boots and go dirt themselves up a bit as well!

    1. I am a high school teacher so I do have summers off… let me know when the room is ready. All it takes is a plane ticket 😉

      1. I am a high school teacher too! Dare I say ‘FATE’? 😉 Anyway, I’ll have a talk to my husband about which bank to rob & which kid to chase out of his/her room and I’ll get back to you, okay? 🙂

  6. I was going to comment on how it’s easy to keep a house clean if you don’t have kids, and then you had to go and introduce the little dirtin’ kid. So, yeah, there must be something wrong with them. You need foot protection to wade through the Legos on my living room floor. I told my son to clean them up before we went to bed last night, and he pushed them all up against the wall. Voila! done.
    Those cows are purty.
    Once again, we live in a similar location. While I am delivering papers I see peacocks and hens, rabbits galore, chipmunks, deer, horses, ducks, geese, raccoons, skunks, (p-yew) foxes, and my favorite, a heron. Then you can go 12 miles west and be in Philadelphia!

    1. Ha! Cathie, your son’s cleaning technique is *exactly* what Miss Aden did to “clean her room” the other night. We had quite a talk about how garbage is still garbage and still on her floor whether it’s in the middle of the floor or shoved against the wall (or piled in the closet). She didn’t like that talk. I enjoyed it thoroughly!

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