The last stories of 2021! (newsletter)

Jan 01, 2022

I'm 52 years old and didn't know this! Here's the story:

It was the Wednesday before Christmas. My brother was in town and we were hosting a preChristmas brunch for the fam before Michael went home the next day. I was working on this huge 30 egg fritatta (someday I'm going to record myself making that thing, it's a feat and it's DELICIOUS!) and my brother had started the Niman Ranch bacon. The first package was being cooked on the griddle and the house was filled with the smell of it. The bacon went onto paper towels to drain and the next package was opened and started cooking.

I caught a whiff of Ew. Was that coming from outside? It was warm and the windows were wide open. I went out onto the screened porch, nothing. Back inside, it was worse. What the hell? Went out to the front porch, nothing. Back inside, it was even worse. I had never smelled anything so vile in all my life and I have intact boy goats for breeding! I've had animals die on the farm—I know some gross smells. My brother, son, and hubby are looking at me like, "What? What is wrong?" as I'm racing around the house trying to find this horrible stench that nearly has me gagging.

It took me about 5 minutes before I realize it's coming FROM THE BACON. Good GOD. It was just the WORST. My brother stopped cooking the bacon and cleaned up. I opened all the windows and eventually it aired out. I googled "horrible smell coming from bacon" and found this:


But why am I the only one smelling it?

That is an understatement, "enough to put one off bacon for quite awhile?" AWHILE? I think FOREVER. If you've ever smelled a boy goat during the rut...well I'll say that is gross but only like 10% of what "boar taint" smells like. Gag. Gag. Gag. I've been trying to edge myself into vegetarianism, this pushed me HARD.

But that's not the end of the story! As I'm telling the boys what that smell that they couldn't smell was, I'm informed that one of the boys doesn't understand the word "taint" in this context.

Him: Do you know what "taint" means?

Me: Taint, like tainted meat, something is wrong with it.

Him, laughing, tells me a version of this:

Good GAWD.

So now bacon and an everyday word have been ruined for me.

The day after Christmas we had the kids and grandkids over for brunch and I told them the bacon story and at the end just told them what that smell was called. They seemed to be trying to hide their snickers and grins behind ducked heads and sideways looks at each other. LOL.

Apparently you have to be a certain age to know this terminology! I had to look it up on Urban Dictionary to take a screen shot. I guess I need to spend more time there :-)

Christmas morning sunrise.

Christmas morning chores:

Matching jammies!

Table being set for Christmas dinner. Oh I was throwing a completely silent internal fit over the fact that I didn't have fancy napkins and water glasses! And suddenly I remembered:

And I went ahead and paired it all together and it was good enough. It's fancy Limoges and Ball jar water glasses. And we were all together.

Speaking of perfect, a friend got these earrings for Christmas, I hope you read the words that went along with it:

The rest of the week was spent puttering around, so needed after Christmas! Such a strange time of year I think. I saw this today and laughed:

That's definitely me: confused, full of cheese, unsure of the day of the week :-)

Some of my puttering involved walking my critters around the pond:

Sweetness had been walking up to the edge of the pond every chance he got so I brought him around to the far side where he could put his feet in if he wanted. Can you see his body language? That's a hard no LOL.

Caught a pic of the boys being extra good with Brad this morning during chores:

The unseasonably warm, dry weather has graduated to warm and humid and I'm wondering if we will even have winter? The plants are wondering too, I found this mushroom this morning:

And when I went out for a walk in the forest after chores I found this stump that makes me want to paint a crumbling tree castle with fairies:

Teeshirts, two new designs uploaded!
I'm loving teespring, I can choose lots of different shirt types for each design and lots of different colors. Make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page and then over to page 2 for new stuff!

In case you're new, what I'm posting in this new online store are original designs I've created like the Be The Light tee or artwork I've painted (for instance the two horses is called Breathe and was originally a watercolor that I painted.

Happy New Year and much love to you all from the Mother Ranch,


If you want to some really great end of the year words, click here!

PS I'm so sad to see my beautiful Colorado be devastated by more fire. I will write more about it this week. We know several people who have lost their homes and more that were evacuated, even more that were so close to the evacuation zones but were not evacuated. Last year we were in the midst of a several month fire and when it got close, I packed the basics and found friends who would help me move animals if needed. Thank God we were not evacuated but we could see the wildfires. It was hellish and terrifying—and my experience was NOTHING compared to yesterday. This time, an entire town was swept away by 100 mph winds and grass fires. Many of you are in Colorado, so if you are safe and sound in your warm home and have a moment, please shoot me an email and let me know what I can do. If I were there I'd be able to donate things, but being in NC makes that much harder. Do you guys have good places to send funds, places you trust?

My heart is with you all.


Photo by Amber Rosendahl who lives just down the street from my old Colorado ranch. The fires were not threatening Longmont but were instead southeast of Boulder.

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