Life Goes On…

As usual I was AWOL last weekend. It seems on the weekends I am not home or anywhere near the internet. Last weekend was Rodeo and I was out at the ranch from Thursday evening through Tuesday evening. All I had for internet access was my tablet–and the service for some reason is very sketchy on it–and my phone. Hardly conducive to writing a blog or anything else for that matter.  Plus life for me is seldom lived at a sedate pace. I seem to tend more towards a frenetic sprint for a finish line that is forever just out of reach… So let me catch you up on everything going on here at The Menagerie.

First off the rodeo was a success. Friday is always our busiest day and this year proved to be no exception. For some reason they decided to run the barrel slack on Friday after most of the other events of the day. Normally we do this on Thursday evenings as an event on its own. I traditionally pull the gates for the ladies during the actual rodeo so I stepped up. And pulled the gate for 79 contestants. I am not kidding you. 79 barrel racers hit that runway and ran the barrels. Fastest time was 17.58 which is pretty good for our arena. We had two pull 17.59. I had already stripped about 60 head of cattle from the team roping events and pulled gates for calves so the girls could go check out some of the vendors that were opened already.  We went home dusty and tired, showered, and everyone knocked out except me. I decided to sit on the veranda and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa–and listen to the rain. Yes, it started to rain. And it never stopped.  The next morning we awoke to gray skies and the constant patter of rain drops.  Needless to say the arena and surrounding grounds were a sloppy mess. The girls and I hunkered into our Carharts, covered our hats with hat covers to protect them, and went to work.  I swear–by the end of the day our jackets each weighed ten pounds more from all the rain!  We all wore rubber boots–I refuse to ruin my Ariats in the mud! Sunday started out wet as well but by the time the rodeo started it stopped raining. We managed to make it through the entire rodeo without any blood shed on our team, which is always a plus, and only a couple of the cowboys got hurt–mostly got their bell rung when they got dumped on their heads in the mud by a cantankerous horse or bull.  I had to wash our jeans twice to get all the mud out of  them but all in all it was a great rodeo and we are already looking forward to next year’s!

In other news. Hobo is improving.  The vet looked at him last week and was pleased with the progress he is seeing. The sores are starting to dry up and he seems to be feeling better.  He still tries to sleep sitting up but he is more active and alert. He comes out of his kennel when I come home from work to greet me and he actually tries to stand on his back legs to put his front feet in my lap when I sit at the computer. The first time he tried this I was so surprised and then I had to got a little choked up. As long as we have had him he has NEVER tried to do this! Most of the time he can barely walk so this was HUGE!!  he is also asking to go outside, which mean he has to maneuver down two steps, and he is doing it without much trouble at all. I am so happy for him!  My greatest hope for him is he gets completely well and goes to a wonderful home with a lot of love and attention. He deserves everything he can get for all the suffering he has been through. And maybe a better name–we discovered on his last visit to the vet that he is actually a Bichon Frise, a very expensive little dog breed. All healed up and groomed and he will be a pretty little dog that anyone would be lucky to own!

This past Thursday was a Big Day for our family. We had another court date concerning the guardianship of our precious DriDri. Her mother came for the court date, and has decided to contest the guardianship, which means we will have to go to trial. My daughter had hoped that she would not fight us, but her lawyer is confident we will win. The judge also seems to be on our side after reading the report submitted by the court-appointed social worker.

The social worker happened to come out to the ranch, which is where my daughter and DriDri now live, on the Monday after rodeo. My oldest daughter, myself, my younger daughter, and my girlfriend who owns the ranch were all home that day. I always take the day after rodeo off so I can rest up a bit from the weekend, and since we rode to the ranch together my oldest daughter was still there as well. The social worker seemed a little stunned at how beautiful a home and property my daughter lived in. A bonus was that she was able to see how DriDri interacts with her family. The worker watched how Dri went to my oldest and snuggled up with her on the couch while we talked. How she calls my younger daughter “mommy” when she asks her for anything. Dri took her by the hand and showed off her room and toys and books and was just her wonderful outgoing self. By the end of the visit, in which at the beginning the worker stated she was waiting for more documentation from Dri’s mom about parenting classes etc that she was supposed to do via the court orders before she wrote her official report, the worker stated she had seen enough and was writing the report immediately recommending that DriDri remain in my daughter’s custody.

On Thursday in court we received a copy of that report, and she was very adamant in it that we have provided a stable, loving, nurturing home for DriDri and that she should stay.  The judge also read the report and informed DriDri’s mom that at this point it will be an uphill battle for her to regain custody of her and set the trial date in September. At this point in time I don’t foresee her being able to do all of the things required by the court to get DriDri back. One of the biggest was that she had to move out of her aunt’s home since there is a history of violence with that aunt and the judge does not feel it is a safe environment.  So next week my daughter is going to be looking at preschools in earnest for DriDri. She is already enrolled in ballet/tap classes that she absolutely loves and spends a lot of time with us here at home when her mommy works and out at the ranch when she has time off. She loves the goats and the horses and the dogs and the cats out there and helps her mommy and aunt feed them every night she is home. She enjoys playing in the dirt and running on the 11 acres available to her and riding her horse. she has a wonderful life right now and I pray every day that it will continue to be wonderful. She deserves the world and god willing she will get it.

So that is life as I know it. As always its crazy and fast-paced and topsy-turvy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. (Well, unless I could go live in a cabin in the woods with my dogs and my horse and  with full internet access so I can FaceTime everyone –that I would probably take without much of a backwards glance! But since that isn’t going to happen any time soon I will be happy where I am at!) Life goes on no matter where I choose to live it!  Keeping up with it? Now that is the challenge! Anyone want to join me? I can guarantee you won’t ever be bored!  Okay well I have all three of the little girls to care for today so I am off to feed them lunch and hopefully keep them alive until my daughter gets back from the two bridal showers she is attending. Wish me luck!!