Last Tuesday Afternoon, I left you for the Liberty Longhorn Ranch. The Plan was to enjoy nearly a full week among family and friends in the midst of my absolute favorite place on the planet. Angry shenanigans, hissy fits and temper tantrums were expected and while Angry Baby did not disappoint, I am here to report back with my tale of a family Thanksgiving out in the beautiful Texas countryside. So pull up a rocking chair, shoo the flies away, and pour yourself a glass of Iced Tea and grab one of the 13 pies…this post is a long one.
After what seemed like a year of packing and loading, we piled into a full White Lightning and headed out for our 5 hour trek to the Ranch. The beautiful Autumn day was the perfect backdrop. As we distanced ourselves from “the Real World,” and hit a steady stride on the highway, Angry Baby fell asleep and didn’t awaken until we stopped to stretch our legs and let El Rey take a whiz. After a quick diaper change, and procurement of road munchies from the nameless truck stop stocked with delights. The rest of the car ride was quiet. We arrived just in time to unload all of our belongings and hit the sack, the three of us were exhausted. El Rey on the other hand, was all atwitter with energy. He had already morphed into RANCH DOG. 99% of the time El Rey is a shy quiet timid little creature. When he prances onto the Ranch, he becomes the littlest Alpha Dog in the entire world. Always barking, bullying the other dogs, running around like he owns all 700 Acres of the place and being a little boss. After running all over our room and bathroom, he proceeded to jump on and off the bed at least 10 times that I could count.
At 5:30 am, Angry Baby woke for her first Thanksgiving Wednesday on the Ranch. The Day was spent shopping and preparing for the massive Thanksgiving Meal ahead of us. Thanks to Angry Baby and her HELPFUL early wake-up call, she ended up giving us a winning head start. We hit up the Stephenville Wal-Mart at the perfect time. We crossed everything on our lists, including Hunting licences in a little under an hour and a half. By the time we left the scene of the retail crime, it was becoming a a crowded mess. But even on the day before Thanksgiving, the people and staff in the Stephenville Wal-Mart couldn’t be nicer.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing, baking and cooking my dishes for the Big Meal. I made cornbread dressing (from scratch) and savory sweet potatoes. I purposely made sure my stuff was done because come the morning, I was orchestrating a meal for 20. The remainder of the night was spent out at the pavilion enjoying the fire, good conversation, and guitar music. In a word, it was perfect.
Angry Baby had a blast, she stayed up until 8pm and loved every fireside minute. The next morning, she (and I) slept until 7:45am. Thank Goodness I wasn’t in charge of the turkey. As I burst into the great room of the Bunkhouse and said “good morning,” to the family, the cheer of the beautiful Thanksgiving day became apparent.
It was perfect, too perfect. Something was bound to go wrong. Shortly after breakfast, the red herring showed itself when I decided to put Angry Baby in her shoes. That was a huge mistake on my part. You see, because I gave her the car ride up and entire “indoor prep day” off from shoes (she only wore socks,) Angry Baby instantly forgot all of my previous hard work shoe training. As she threw a hissy and kicked me through the entire shoe-ing process, I calmly explained, “Cry all you want, you’re wearing these
clodhoppers Stride Rite shoes.” The temper tantrum lasted for an hour. After she had exhausted every limb, vocal cord, tear duct and shred of goodwill, I carted her off to her pack n’ play (aka Ranch Crib.) She proceeded to sleep for 2.5 hours(!!)
Good thing, because the meal needed all hands on deck, out of nowhere, we were in the weeds, thankfully, the last 30 minutes of prep became a symphony of generations in the kitchen working feverishly together. I peeled and deviled an entire platter of eggs in 5 minutes!!!! (Thanks to my future brother in law’s assistance.) Magic was happening in the kitchen I tell you!
Angry Baby woke up just in time to enjoy her first Thanksgiving meal at the Ranch, with real food. All together, 19 people made it out for lunch. We dined and enjoyed a SURPRISE Birthday serenade for my Mother in Law (it was her birthday) and cousin Amanda, whose birthday was the day before. Yep, because as if the TWENTY DIFFERENT DESSERTS WEREN’T enough, I decided we needed to have a BIRTHDAY CAKE ON TOP OF THAT. What can I say? I never do anything low-key!
Angry Baby hated all of my cooking and refused to eat anything except this raspberry cranberry jello cool-whip salad thing.
Real Talk: it wasn’t my thing, but the kid couldn’t get enough of it! She ate 3 servings. Gorging herself on the reddish/ pink mess, until she could handle no more, she made an absolute mess of herself.
So, for the first time ever, I stopped mid-turkey enjoyment to give a wiggling red nightmare a bath and complete change. I was in a hurry to get back to my Mother-in-law’s AMAAAAZING TURKEY, so I quickly grabbed a couple of garments extruded Angry Baby into her sausage casings and went back to my dinner of delight. Upon entering the main room, I realized I was perhaps too hasty in my choice of outfit, the room giggled and AWWWW-ed instantly. She looked like a hot mess express here is the outfit…
Ever the giving mother, I kept chowing down on my delicious platter of food. Angry Baby enjoyed an after dinner bottle of prune juice (don’t ask,) and mingled around the room, eating up all the attention thrown her way. As she schmoozed and I finished
wolfing savoring Thanksgiving Dinner, it soon dissolved into the inevitable putting away of food and doing of dishes.
As coordinator of the feast and festivities, I feel it is my duty to spearhead the cleaning, and storing of all Thanksgiving remnants. So, I got to work, with the help of some elves, we made light work of it and had the kitchen cleaned by the evening hunt. The very hunt I had planned on attending. The problem was, I was pooped. Baby wrangling + Thanksgiving = One zapped Crib Keeper. Luckily, the family was all to happy to entertain and watch a very sweet Angry Baby. While Lover fo’ Life went hunting without me (at my insistence,) I went back to our room and enjoyed a glorious 2 hour nap.
Good thing I napped, because my brother Thane bagged a buck in the evening hunt.
The excitement of his success, combined with the heavy meal earlier, caused the family to peace out early. Only three of us were able to stay up past nine…My best friend and her husband arrived at 10pm, I led them to their room and left them to unpack and get settled. About 20 minutes later, those of us still awake met up and hung out for an inpromptu party of leftovers, booze and conversation. At midnight we called it a night because we were hunting at 5:00am.
The next morning came early. Black Friday for yours truly, began at 5:30 am in the black of the countryside, the stars our only light. Lover fo life and I enjoyed the cool, windy walk, and after 20 minutes and a scaled fence, we were safely nestled in our deerblind.
After we returned from our hunt (complete with a deliciously sized wild pig!) The rest of our time at the Liberty Longhorn Ranch was spent relaxing, resting, enjoying the scenery and playing with a very happy and long nap-loving not so Angry Baby. Saturday afternoon, we decided we would celebrate a wonderful holiday with a party at the pavilion, complete with booze, steaks for everyone, and dancing. We began preparing for the festivities which basically meant calling surrounding friends, and pouring everyone healthy glasses of our new drink, The “Liber-Tea SWEET Spiked Sweet Tea.” The recipe is as follows:
Iced glass (or Solo cup,) 2 shots of Firefly sweet tea flavored vodka for every 8 oz. of unsweetened freshly brewed Iced tea (we used Lipton) add one teaspoon of Truvia sweetener and stir.
Voila! There you have a deadly delicious cocktail that is not only refreshing, but the booze is virtually undetectable on the palate. Believe me when I say this, even Memaw will get her DRANK ON with this miracle!
And now, my friends, I’m ending the tale of my time at the Ranch, you see…The Party we threw for ourselves Saturday night, is hands-down one of my top 5 party experiences ever. It deserves its own post and it was SO AWESOME it was EXTREME.
You’ll have to wait for the ending of my Ranching saga, and more importantly see and read all about the most incredible night out at the Ranch Pavillion fire ever. Don’t fret, I’ll be back tomorrow. Until then, buy yourself some sweet tea vodka and make yourself a LIBER-TEA Sweet Vodka Spiked Tea.
See you soon my Lil’ Buckaroos,
Cowboy Crib Keeper.