Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day

Happy Boxing Day, everybody. Christmas was crazy-busy, as could be expected. They've been having me pull double duty as a housekeeper and server, but in two days I should be able to go back to only housekeeping. Christmas morning was nice, with stockings for everyone and some time to sit around the fire. I had a break in the afternoon, too, but it was kind of rough. My grandma passed away last week, and we always spent Christmas day with that side of the family. I went home for the funeral, and I hated to jump back on a plane right before Christmas and leave everyone, esp since my grandpa passed away this summer, too, and it's really strange to think of Christmas without them. There were some tears. I actually started crying when I found out the housekeepers went for a horseback ride while I was working. It's so weird how you can have deep things going on in your life that you're thinking about and trying to process, but something small and stupid will set off the tears. Now I just have to make the push through New Years. After that life should slow down a bit. I'll have two days off a week--whoo-hoo! Right now I just want one day to SLEEP IN.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Melodic Monday - Be Still My Soul and I Need Thee Every Hour

Be Still My Soul

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake

To guide the future as He has the past

Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below

I Need Thee Every Hour
I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.
I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.
I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.
I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
Oh, make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.
I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rusty's Ranch Relay and the Adventures of Chico the Towel Burro

Oh, what an eventful past couple of days! We've been having ranch orientation, which has entailed much training of the 4-star way to clean a cabin. It's been fun meeting everyone, and the housekeeping team is awesome. I'm so glad I decided to switch. But yesterday was when things really started happening.

To begin with, last night was Rusty's Super Ranch Relay. I knew I should be prepared for all possible disasters when I heard that Dace had put Rusty in charge of the "fun" activities, but I was not at all prepared for Rusty's Ranch Relay. There were some fairly harmless things, like trying to pop other teams' balloons while keeping your own from being popped, snowshoeing out to the pasture and having another teammate pull you back on a sled, and naming ten states and their capitals. But the other two completely canceled any harmless factor: The Pudding Challenge and Bobbing for Turds.

I guess Rusty, God love him, forgot we're not all thirteen-year-old boys when he picked those two games. Bobbing for Turds involved fun-sized Milky Way bars in yellow-dyed water with bits of toilet paper floating in it. People had to bob for them the same way you bob for apples. I almost vomited just watching.

The Pudding Challenge was my part of the relay. I had to pull a knee-high stocking over my head and slurp a Snack Pack chocolate pudding through it. It was actually not as hard as it sounds, but gross. I have never eaten a Snack Pack in under a minute before and I never hope to again--esp through a nylon net.

I have to admit, though, the night provided a lot of laughs and a lot of bonding. I think the stories will be told all season.

Today the other big adventure occurred. The housekeepers have been trying to figure out how to make towel animals. None of the instructions we had were for ranchy or western animals, so we tried to combine an elephant and a dog to make a horse. It ended up looking like a burro, which gained the name Chico. Today, we walked into the laundry room, and Chico the Burro was lying on his side with a bull's eye drawn on his side! Naturally we were outraged. We wrote a note from Chico's mother, conveying her heart-brokenness and anger, and left it with Chico on the seat of the ranch hands' truck.

Tonight was also a lot of fun. Tomorrow is our first day off, and lots of people were planning on going out, but it started snowing really hard, so most people just stuck around. I baked cookies, and Anita and Matt had their guitar and flute respectively, so I had a personal serenade while I baked. More people trickled in later, and we played Scattegories for a while, and there was lots of hanging out and some wine and laughs. It's always weird at the start of a season, getting to know everyone and realizing that everyone from last season is gone, but I think this winter is going to be really good.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Vista Verde Adventures

I am safely back in Colorado, and oh, what a journey it was. I rode out with my friend Mindy across the most boring states in our union. It remained very boring until we crossed the border from Wyoming into Colorado and Mindy's car started making noise. We kept going to the closest town, a tiny little podunk place named Walden, and stopped at the gas station. The auto repair place was closed because it was Sunday, but they lady in the gas station referred us to this guy who was in the store and said he was good with cars. This older gentleman, who goes by the name of Tex, said that a connecting rod was out in the engine. It was knocking into it, and if we kept going, it would knock a hole in the engine and catch on fire. He was a very nice, fatherly type. So anyway, apparently he owns 80 acres outside of town, and has a lot of work vehicles and restores cars on the side. So he offered to lend us one of his vehicles for $50 dollars and keep Mindy's car at his place until she decides what to do. I'm pretty sure he's an angel in disguise. Except he has relatives in Indiana. His brother-in-law is actually head of the chemistry department at Purdue! He got really excited when he found out we were alum. It pays to be a Boilermaker!

So we set out from Walden in Tex's old pick-up truck, a bright orange vehicle that he bought from the county. Hilarious. We were so thankful to arrive at the ranch. But there was no heat in our house! The thermostat is stuck at 56 degrees. Bill, the maintenance guy, is trying to fix it, but last night I slept in two sets of long johns, plus my pajamas, plus my down winter coat and huge pile of blankets. I kept getting up and adding more layers. Ridiculous! I really hope this problem is fixed soon!

Well, it's back to staying in touch through the virtual world. I will keep reading your blogs and follow your lives!