every life lesson can be learned

Month: December 2015

Christmas Came

If asked to sing a Christmas carol, it isn’t likely the first one that pops in your head is “Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat…”  But, now that I mention it, I bet you can sing the whole carol all the way through.  I know Christmas is over, but sing one last carol with me,

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.

Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.

If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do.

If you haven’t got a ha’penny, God Bless You!”

There is a story here… The Monday before Christmas as I was writing my grocery list for the week, I said to my husband, “Christmas is coming, what should I make for dinner?”  I shouldn’t have said it that way, because it rang a bell and he sang the tune, “Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat…so a GOOSE!”  “No way!” I said even before he finished saying the word “goose.”  Our eldest daughter was in the kitchen with us and had recently read “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens in her literature class.  One of the most famous Christmas dinners of all time is the one on Bob Cratchit’s family table.  So she sided with him, “We had a Victorian-themed Christmas celebration at school, mom, so we ne-eee-ed to have a goose for our Christmas dinner!”  I sighed and looked at my husband, “Fine, you roast it, I’ll eat it.”  I don’t know why my husband was so surprised when it turned out that a goose isn’t easy to find.  I don’t know anyone who has goose for Christmas.  But, unfortunately for the goose, my husband doesn’t give up easily.  After a dozen or so calls to local supermarkets and meat markets over a couple of days, he finally found a frozen goose one hour away!  So, on Christmas Eve, there was a frozen goose on our counter.  It wouldn’t fit at first in the refrigerator to thaw because I had that refrigerator stuffed full (partly because hidden on the bottom shelf was a ham I bought for a back-up meal should this goose turn out inedible).  My husband was rearranging the refrigerator when I noticed the price tag on the goose had been ripped from the package. “How much did this goose cost?!”  I knew my husband was hiding it from me!  I managed to get my hand in his pocket before he knew what was happening, and pulled out the torn tag, “$76.74!!!!”  Well, the tag didn’t have the exclamation points, but it should’ve!  I told my husband to get his new fedora out and get looking for some ha’pennies!  Of course, my husband suggested we start raising geese on the franch for that price!  I didn’t say another word.  In the end, that very elusive and expensive goose thawed, and Christmas came, and, on our dinner table, I must admit, was a perfectly roasted and delicious Christmas goose!


If You Only Want A Sentence, You Better Say So

My husband is responsible for teaching medical students and residents on how to be emergency medicine doctors.  Reading our stories of life on the franch, you may be thinking of how you want to know which ER he’s at with plans to avoid it.  But, he’s actually really, really good at keeping people alive!!  So, these students of his know a lot about how to save your life and also a lot about our life on the franch – some like to hear the stories and those who don’t certainly act like they do because, you know, there’s a written evaluation at the end of every shift.  Recently, a resident emailed my husband & asked for a franch update to be published in their upcoming residency newsletter.   I don’t know that my husband has ever responded to an email from a resident so quickly.  He was so honored.  And, this is what he wrote,

“Howdy.  I appreciate being able to give an unforced update about the franch.  Usually I force people to listen while I tell them about the franch.  So, the cows are bred and growing their babies well.  However, my daughter realized one of the cows isn’t ours.  When we took them up to a ranch with a bull, we got the wrong one back.  My daughter feeds them and has quite the attention to detail and figured out the one black and white one looks much different from the other black and white one.  The goat is milking.  She still limps a bit from the leg injury/sepsis thing, but the milk tastes good.  I’m trying to get back into the cheese thing, but the lousy goat baby keeps drinking all my milk.  The blind goat is now living large in Houston.  He sure made out pretty well.  Pretty lucky to be born blind, or he’d be at market a long time ago.  Instead he lives as a mascot, wearing funny hats at a vet’s office and goes by the name Capt. Jack (see attached image).  And don’t believe the lie that sheep eat quietly and serenely in a pasture.  We got this one loud sheep that is so loud I can’t hardly take it anymore.  I just wasted a thousand dollars on hay.  I bought the hay because the stuff looks really good.  Well, the cows won’t eat it.  Everyday, I spend time trying to trick the cows into eating this hay.  I put it in different feeders.  I mix grain/other hay into it.  I yell at the cows over and over to eat it.  These bales are huge round bales, so there’s a real problem of what to do with this stuff.  If anyone wants some really cheap hay, now is the time to offer me a really cheap price.  And that’s all there is to know about life on the franch.”

The resident responded, “I was actually only looking for one, maybe two, sentences.”

Captain Jack, the blind goat

Captain Jack

God Speed the Plough

Every now and then you need some fresh inspiration for why you do what you do.  This old English Folk Song from the 15th century did that for me today.

Let the wealthy and great

Roll in splendour and state,

I envy them not, I declare it.

I eat my own lamb.

My own chickens and ham, 

I shear my own fleece and I wear it.

I have lawns, I have bowers,

I have fruits, I have flowers,

The lark is my morning alarmer,

So jolly boys now,

Here’s to God Speed the Plough

Long life and success to the Farmer!  


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