Barefootin' Mama in the Middle of Nowhere

Paint Chips and Recipe Books!

Remember how I told you that Paul’s family (well, mom really).. wanted to move to town and let us move into their house… the original home that like Paul’s grandpa was raised in… and how I was really hoping this wouldn’t happen. Not because I didn’t like that house… I happen to think it is beautiful.. but imagine if you will.. moving into your mother-in-law’s (not even… because Paul and I weren’t married remember) house and then wanting to change things to make it more your own. If you added a door someplace.. she would think you thought her dumb for not having a door there in the first place… if you painted something that she had recently painted… she would feel that you think her paint colours and taste ugly… if you did anything… you would likely offend the woman who birthed and raised the man you love… and then she would likely hate you forever… was I willing to do that? Not quite yet. ALSO.. add in the factor that we would then be living in the ‘main ranch house’ at the ‘main ranch’ where men would be coming to work all the time. I would have to build a second office or bunk shack and get a second telephone line to get my father-in-law out of my hair and off my phone. Can you imagine?? The man would likely show up at 6:30AM everyday and have camp out in our house and talk on our phone and use our computer and be in our hair because he wouldn’t dare stay in town to do those things… he would need to be at the ranch. No… I wasn’t ready for that… I honestly believe that I would rather have lived in a mouse infested house than deal with those issues… and so that was my plan.
That was my plan until my lovely man informed me that we were planning on buying out our neighbours (whose daughter is married to Paul’s best friend) and that lucky for us… the new parcel of land came with a yard and a house! (a mouse free house to boot) HOORAY!!! And now I would have to move.. again.. for the third time in less than a year. So when Paul and I were discussing us buying the place I said to him that this was it… if we bought this place and moved into the house.. I wasn’t leaving.. EVER (except maybe when I turned like seventy or something I might go somewhere else)… but I wouldn’t be moving out until then. So if he wasn’t sure he wanted me to live in the same house as him for the rest of his life… he should speak now.. or else when the time came for him to throw in the towel… he would be the one moving out… because I wasn’t going anywhere ever again. And once we got that all settled and out-of-the-way, we got to planning our newest adventure.. moving in to a new house together… pregnant.
The owners of the house gave us possession as of July 1st… I was due Sept 25. That left us three months to do whatever needed doing before the baby would come. Now, the owners of the house didn’t move out on July 1st. For the month of July they went camping with their grandchildren and it was looking like we weren’t going to get to move in until the beginning of September (a mere one month before the expected baby)… which was making me scream with frustration.. how would I paint? how would I do anything? the baby was coming!!!! However, luck happened our way again and we got to move in at the beginning of August… no, that’s not true… we got possession and so began the painting parade! Now, the man who I happen to have fallen in love with is… well… practical… and a realist. The former owners, Kent and Sherri, had just painted all the upstairs rooms (with the exception of the horrible pink bathroom) the year before, so Paul saw no need for us to paint. But all the walls were brown… or beige… or some version in between… and the carpets were brown and the curtains were brown… and it made me feel so sad and lonely and depressed without my world of colour! So I got to work picking out paint chips to wrangle the mothers into helping me splash onto the walls. Paul gave me free rein so long as I didn’t do something wild and crazy like Pink… and I was a-okay with that!! We decided to hustle and paint everything before we moved in so that we wouldn’t have to worry about moving furniture and so on… good idea!!
We did the nursery first… dark brown, teal and orange… the one wall had different sized stripes.. and all the furniture was white so it pops terrifically… I LOVE it!!! Our room I did a steely grey… to decide the accent colour in bedding and window coverings later… the bathroom I did.. well, I am not telling because I HATE it and am going to paint over it pronto. The guest room is a greeny/browny colour…. the living room is an awesome weird green and eggplant … the kitchen and dining room are yellow and navy… and the porch is a forest green. THere is colour everywhere and I LOVE it… However… let me assure you that painting when you are 33weeks pregnant… is NOT a good idea!! I don’t recommend it to anymore… it is completely exhausting!!!
So, once the painting was done it was time to clean and move in. I am not ashamed to say that I hardly participated that day… I mostly just pointed and gave orders… and even had a nap on our partially moved in couch while everyone else worked like slaves. We got everything moved in, put away and settled so well that I felt like I had lived there for years by the time the baby came… but really it was only two months!
I was soooo excited!!! But with all this new land, and new room came the fact that now Paul’s dad and brother were over in our territory all that much more often and I was going to have to feed them. Now, don’t get me wrong… please… they are nice people. Dick (the dad) and Chester (the brother) are well… nice. They are completely opposite of Paul in almost every way but they are good people. They just have alot of opinions and aren’t afraid to share them (even at times when it would be nice if they didn’t) and they don’t care who they offend in the meantime. Also… well… that’s a different story for a different time. But the biggest problem with these men eating in my house every day was the amount of food that they could consume in one sitting. SERIOUSLY! I did not know that people ate that much!!! I grew up in a house with two sisters and my dad didn’t have a ferocious appetite…. I always thought he ate WAY more than we did… but little did I know… my dad was not a big eater.
At my house growing up… we had sandwiches and stuff for dinner… it was a meal that was light and didn’t require a lot of preparation. Then we would have a large hot meal for supper. In Paul’s house however, he had been raised having two large, gigantic hot meals so all a person did all day and night was cook… and cook… and clean up after cooking. And it is not so bad when it is just Paul and I because whatever I make for lunch I can have enough left to feed us for supper too and so I only have to cook once. When Dick and Chester eat here though… my god… I can fill my biggest pot.. my biggest casserole dish.. and it will be ALL gone. I can use 2lbs of hamburger and half a large box of pasta (plus countless other things) to make something to eat and it will literally be devoured completely. And those bags that come with three heads of romaine lettuce in them… I can use one of those bags (all three heads remember)… along with half my weekly grocery supply in vegetables to make a salad and there will be NOTHING left of it. There were days when I am sure that I felt that backing a small truck up to the door of the house and just chucking the ingredients in it would have been more time efficient than the HOURS I was spending preparing the food that would disappear in seconds. For those of you who don’t think this seems like a big deal… you have clearly never had to cook so much for people who barely stop long enough to eat let alone make sure you feel appreciated. AND to make matters worse… they don’t even put their freaking dishes in the dishwasher when they are done… or help clear off the table… or wait until everyone is finished (meaning me) before rushing out the door. So many days I would be sitting at the table by myself surrounded with dirty dishes and condiments… pregnant and hormonal… ready to burst into tears because not only did i not get a thank you but Paul didn’t even have time to kiss me before he ran out the door… On those days… I wondered how farm and ranch women even bothered to have children and reproduce.. because I was definitely going to warn my daughter (if I had one) to run away from these kind of men to marry… because it was a hard working, thankless job being a rancher’s ‘wife’.
But that was just on the bad days….

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