Our humble bonfire

Let’s just start here, shall we?

The Alpacalypse is coming
The Alpacalypse is coming

The above might just be the greatest picture ever taken…In the history of all of ever.

The 25th marked our first (hopefully annual) bonfire party at the ranch.  The week leading up to it marked 7 days of complete insanity trying to prepare for our first (hopefully annual) bonfire party at the ranch.

I will admit that I sort of scheduled the party as a shove; I knew that we would work harder to finish things if we had some sort of deadline.  And we did.  I was under the (incorrect) impression that we would work harder over the course of 6 weeks or so.  No.  That is not how we roll around here.  Mostly, we let things roll into major crunch time.

Guys, four hours before the party starting, I was painting baseboards.  The morning of the party, I was still hanging and glazing cabinet doors. The night before all of this went down?  This is what my kitchen  looked like.

2014-10-24 19.35.37 2014-10-24 19.35.42 (And then Jeremiah photo-bombed things.) 2014-10-24 19.35.45 (I would like to point out that we don’t live like this; we still don’t live here at all, and about every corner of the house is undergoing renovations.)

Miscellaneous boxes were still piled high in the living room.  Any and all dusting that I had done days before had been rendered pointless as Jeremiah had drilled through drywall and installed new light fixtures since then.  (Drywall dust…everywhere…)

I spent Saturday morning working on the house.  When I left at 2:00pm (to go back to the other house, fix food, and shower), the house was still a mess.  However, as I was the one in charge of feeding all the people, I couldn’t stick around.  So, I took a deep breath in, explained to Jeremiah what was still left to be done, and prayed for a miracle as I walked out the door.

When I got back, carrying large quantities of food and fearing that I would be met with chaos, I found my miracle wiping down the counters of a mostly spotless kitchen.  Jeremiah’s mama to the rescue!

There is no way to tell this story without mentioning that my mother-in-law completely, totally saved my butt.  Seriously.  Unequivocally.  She showed up early and finished all the cleaning…without even being asked, by the way.  (I think I hugged her about ten times over the course of a half an hour…I honestly could have cried.)

Anyhow, thanks to her (and a lot of help the day before from siblings, cousins, parents, etc), we had a very presentable home when most of our guests began showing up.

Our tiniest guest showed up with his mama and dad early in the evening.  He and his parents were treated to a private tour, complete with pony introductions! 2014-10-25 18.08.49 2014-10-25 18.08.58 2014-10-25 18.09.06

Isn’t this the cutest! Violet and Slash love ALL tiny humans, but they seemed to take an extra liking to this little guy.  He loved them right back with grins and pats and giggles.  It was adorable.  Jeremiah and I gave a lot of farm tours over the course of the evening, but this one was probably my favorite.  It was definitely my bitty babies’ favorite.

Of course, farm tours notwithstanding, the main event of the day was the bonfire itself…and holy cow was it a fire.

Have I ever mentioned that Jeremiah used to be a professional fire officer?

Did you know that basically all firefighters are pyromaniacs who have managed to productively channel their “interest”?

Fire
That tiny looking person standing in the lower left is my husband. He stands just a little bit under 6 feet tall.

Well, now you do. There were no fewer than five firefighters present at the bonfire.  I was briefly afraid that we would need all of them involved in some sort of professional capacity. still fire still aflame Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire fire 2 everything burns aflame The guy walking around in bunker gear is my dear, sweet husband/personal pyromaniac.

My hero...
My hero…

At one point, he brought out the big guns to push the fire around.

This should probably be on an advertisement for Caterpillar.
This should probably be on an advertisement for Caterpillar.

(We actually had to build a secondary, smaller fire to roast marshmallows and hotdogs.  The actual bonfire was way too big and way too hot.)

Around 30 people came by over the course of the evening.  Friends from college came down and stayed the weekend.  My grandparents even took the time to travel down several hours to check things out.  (Grandma, I know you read this, so I thought I’d let you know that your pumpkin bars were a major hit!)

Good food.  Great company.  A fire that will probably live in infamy.   For a bonfire, that equals success.

I am so glad we had this party.  (I am also so glad that it’s over and the pressure is officially off.)

(By the way, the watermarked photos of the fire were taken by an incredibly talented friend of mine, Bob, who actually takes photos semi-professionally.  Big shout out to Bob for letting me use these photos on my humble little blog!  Also, if any of you are into web design and would like to trade for pictures, he’s your guy!)

(Second by the way, all of the animals were way out of the way of the fire.  Even though it looks from the photos that the flames were rolling towards the pastures, I assure you that everyone was perfectly safe.  The llamas weren’t even that interested.)

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And, I’m panicking…

Ever since we moved our horses to the ranch (very early in the pre-buying process), Jeremiah and I have been talking about, finally, being able to entertain large numbers of people.  For the first time in our married life, we finally feel like we have the space to have big get-togethers.

A few weeks ago, in my eternal optimism, I decided that we would definitely be moved back in by the middle of October.  (I have no idea why I thought that, but I did…)  With that in mind, I decided we should hold a bonfire/housewarming at the end of October.  You know, really celebrate moving back in after all of the set backs and “rug pulled out from under our feet” moments along this crazy ride.  And what’s not to celebrate?  We are, after all, moving onto our dream property.  Our horses are there!  Eggs are fresh every day!  I have little ponies!  I’m taking care of llamas who I have LOVED since I was a teenager!  This place, and everything it is and can be, is amazing and beautiful and a huge gift to our lives.

I figured we could have a lot of our projects done by then.  We could be moved back in.  All would be more settled and right with the world.

But, the thing is, we’re not actually moved back in yet.   And, the more I think about it, the more I have no idea why I thought we would be.

So that started me thinking.  (I should not be allowed to do that…)

It’s going to get cold soon.  In fact, the cold settled in for a bit over the last few days.  Thus far, it hasn’t gotten cold enough to require turning on the heat in the big house, but it will.  (And never mind heating a house I don’t live in…)  Once it does, we won’t be able to vent out the house like we have been; since we moved out, it has been shut up a few times, and each time the mothball smell and mold issues came back like a raging flood.  Jeremiah and I can’t even really work in there when the house is not venting.  There is pretty much no chance we can consider moving back in, with the cold, until we can bring Serv-Pro in to clean up the basement.

And while we’re on the subject of things I’m vaguely panicked about, I’ve had Jeremiah’s truck for several weeks while he’s been running around God’s Half Acre with my car.  And suddenly I’m realizing how much it costs us to keep the vehicles running back and forth to the ranch every day.  (I think it’s around 10-15 dollars a day for the truck…)  I could do the math, but I really don’t want to.  I am pretty sure that amount would more than pay for our hay for the winter though…

Oh, and speaking of panic, the snow is coming guys.  According to the Farmer’s Almanac, who totally nailed their predictions last year, the snow in my area is going to be another snowmageddon…  Last year, going back and forth during the worst of the winter was pretty bad.  There were times when the roads were so bad that it took over an hour to make the twenty minute drive to the ranch.  We were hauling water from one barn to the other, coming out multiple times a day to knock ice off the horses (who didn’t want to go into their nice, bedded stall with the heat lamp), and the only thing that made all of that ok was the knowledge that we wouldn’t have to do that routine from the Heights again.  And, it seems, maybe we will.

last year knocking the ice off of Vinny...
last year knocking the ice off of Vinny…

And, so, I’m panicking a bit over here.

I think I’ll go breathe into a paper bag now…