Cow Chips, y’all. I haven’t updated you in a LOOOOOOOONG time! I apologize and tip my hat in earnest that you haven’t forgotten about me!
So, what’s been going on since the last update? Ya know, since October? Well, settle in, grab a cold one, and read up on the craziness that is life out on the ranch.
The biggest story here is that on November 1 I opened my own fitness studio, Hi-Lo Studio, in Clayton! This was a huge step from being an instructor to an actual small business owner. Some days I still pinch myself – this is real! The community has been amazing with their support, coming to class and telling their friends and I couldn’t be more proud of my amazing instructors who have given their all for our team’s success. Of course, the real credit goes to my amazing husband and my mom. Seriously, their time in fixing up the studio so that I can teach the classes was above and beyond anything I deserve. Weekends, weekdays, trips back and forth from Albuquerque, retrofitting closet mirrors, Christmas decorating; the list goes on and I’m so grateful. Love you, Mom! Love you, Clay! THANK YOU BOTH SO MUCH!!!
Another cool update is we acquired (yet another) cute dog. Seriously, this little dog is a cutie! His name is Chimichanga. Well, I call him Chingon (Spanish for…well, you should ask someone; depending on who you are, it can mean awesome or…slang for other words!) Anyway, he’s half chihuahua and half heeler. He’s short and tubby and loves living out on the ranch! He and Corona get along great. Nacho’s more of the cranky old man that just grumbles whenever Chimi wants to play, but they all cuddle together every night so I have to believe that somewhere deep inside Nacho likes this pup.
We also had a nice Thanksgiving. Naturally, I had a lot to be thankful for – I mean, read the above paragraphs. I’m also thankful that all our cattle were sold. That’s a huge one in the ranching world. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, one gets sick, another has a difficult pregnancy. But we made it through and bills were paid. By the way, if you ever wondered, ranchers only get paid when their cattle are sold. Depending on the operation, that’s once or twice a year. Yeah. Talk about budgeting!!! Anyway, we had our first successful season as ranchers.
We went to Albuquerque for the annual River of Lights event. Whoever is in charge of this mastery of lights and sculpture is pure genius! I’m pretty sure we’ve been a dozen times and have loved it every single time. Check out the photo below – I mean, an entire ship!
This is my birthday month. Happy birthday to me! Well, my birthday comes second to the birth of Jesus, let’s be real for a minute.
Sadly, I lost a very important person. Ms. Marilyn Tyler, operatic soprano, friend, colleague, and my voice teacher, passed December 20. It’s still strange to think that we can’t call each other and gossip. She was an integral part of my growing up in college. It’s because of her that I appreciate so much in the world. The stories she could tell…we’ll be having a memorial concert for her this March 3 in Albuquerque.
A few days after Marilyn passed, we decided to take some time as a family away from everything. We headed to Durango, Colorado and rode the Polar Express train on the Durango Silverton Train. If you have kids, you’ve got to do this! We saw Santa, drank hot chocolate, and had a great train ride. Plus, you get to wear pajamas. In public. On purpose!!!
I was excited for this month because we had an awesome Christmas at home with family. The biggest surprise was yet to come…we surprised our daughter with a…keep reading.
Another event for which I’m grateful was that I passed my 200 hour yoga certification!!! I started teaching classes in January and people have steadily been enjoying the physical and mental (and for some, spiritual) awareness that yoga can bring. I’m slowly deepening my own practice and now I have a goal of doing a handstand. The cows may be the only ones to see it, but progress is progress! Now, I’m working slowly towards my 500 hour certification. In terms of yoga school, the 200hr is the equivalent of going to school for a Bachelor degree. The 500 is more of a Master degree level – basics are done but now the real understanding of yoga philosophy comes into play.
New Year’s Eve was an awesome one. We rang in 2018 with our dear friends from Las Cruces, the Heidemans. He’s Border Patrol (and we’re proud and honored to have him there!) and she’s a fitness instructor and IronMan Triathlete (yes! she’s literally swam, biked, and run a long distance for fun!). Their family joined us and we had an awesome time. It was too cold to do much outside but just having friends with us was fun enough.
Chickens! So…the chickens needed more nesting boxes. Really, I just wanted an excuse to have more nesting boxes for the chickens I didn’t have yet. So, we cut holes in our old horse trailer, added wood doors, and made them new nesting boxes. Now that I have 4 boxes, I guesstimate it could happily accommodate about 15-20 hens. Poor Clay. (Since the renovation happened, I lost about 5 hens to freak accidents: a door, a stock tank, extreme cold/age-related, one who fell off the roost, and pigs. Luckily, I have 10 chicks under a heat lamp.)
Finally, at the end of January we went on our awesome Christmas gift…a cruise! Not just any cruise, amigo. A DISNEY CRUISE. To the Bahamas. Yes!!! Plus, we didn’t go alone. We went with our amazing friends Steff and her nieces Audrey and Steelee (Steelee is also Lily’s BFF). It’s like Baby Vegas (aka Chuck E Cheese) on the ocean – no coins or tickets necessary! Having to keep this kid occupied for a full month before we sailed was beyond difficult but we somehow did it! The girls had a blast and, I have to admit, we weren’t even off the ship before I was trying to plan our next voyage. Y’all, I have to tell ya – if you ever have the chance to take a cruise (I’m partial to Disney), GO. DON’T THINK. JUST GO. We had such a great adventure as a family! It may only be a one-time thing but it’s a one-time thing your family will never forget. We visited so many beautiful places, like Key West (Clay met a VERY friendly lady there – until I pulled him away because let’s be honest; she was REALLY friendly…wink wink), Nassau, got to hang out at Atlantis Resort (can’t afford to spend the night but at least we got some pool time!), and their private island Castaway Cay is really nice.
Well, there’s not much that tops a Disney cruise so we’ve been taking it fairly easy this month. We do have 2 calves on the ground (whoops!) and we did have a great wine pairing and dinner at XIT (aka Ten in Texas) for Valentine’s Day. It’s a great BBQ joint in Dalhart, TX that we frequent.
My mornings are spent loving my job at KLMX Radio. We’ve been working hard to make our community the centerpiece of our work and I think it’s starting to show. My station manager, JJ, is doing a great job expanding our reach. Speaking of which, don’t forget: you can stream us at klmx.us and listen to our crazy every weekday!
Looking ahead, I’ve got senior classes coming to the studio, a few speaking engagements on how to stay healthy at any age, and so many more ideas on how to be of service to my community! It’s all on my Facebook page! I’m even seriously thinking of training for another half marathon. I mean, I hate running but I love the accomplishment of a race. And the wine and pizza after taste soooooo much better.
Oh, I have 2 ducks now. Well, ducklings. Y’all. What in tarnations am I gonna do with ducks? I blame it on Clay for not listening when I said they had them at the feed store and he replied with “Sure!”. Husbands, you should really listen to us when we talk; you might end up with 2 ducks. Or alpacas. Or dogs. Just sayin’….
Anyway, here’s the awesome collage of pictures you expect showing our crazy ranch shenanigans.