Overheard this afternoon in the lobby:

GRANT: What are you doing?
SANDY: Just downloading some things for my grandbaby to listen to. I read somewhere that if you play music and read to babies in utero, it makes them smarter.
GRANT: Allen Ginsberg?! Mom, I love you dearly, but I swear to God, if my child’s first word is “Moloch,” I am calling CYFD on your ass.

Somewhere, my English-teacher mama just collapsed in paroxysms of laughter. I’m sure of it.

— Sierra


No, I’m not dead. Yes, I have an excuse for my lengthy silence.

“Let me ‘splain. No — there is too much. Let me sum up.”
Inigo Montoya

Here are all the things I’ve done in the past week:

1. Made approximately seventy million cookies in forty-two different flavors. (You have no idea how many cookie exchanges are held in Coldwater, N.M., during the month of December. It truly boggles the mind.)
2. Attended two school programs, a band concert, a chorus concert, a Chamber luncheon, a chili supper, and a church Christmas cantata.
3. Helped the Chamber director sort and wrap umpty-three gifts for kids on the Angel Tree we put up at Bill Swinney’s place.
4. Watched Sandy and Joey use poster board and tinted craft glue to make a suncatcher for Grant’s office window.
5. Discovered firsthand that morning sickness is a bitch.

Yeah, you read that last part right.

Thus far, we have not told Joey. He will, of course, be utterly thrilled, but I am not sure exactly what he does and does not know about how pregnancy works or where babies come from, and we are not telling him anything until Grant works up the nerve to explain it to him.

If anybody wants to start a betting pool on when this will happen, I’ll put five bucks on “baby’s 35th birthday.”

— Sierra

Nothing doing

I wish I had something exciting to share this evening, but Coldwater is quiet, except for the yipping of the coyotes somewhere out beyond Hank Freed’s property line and the creaking of a speed-limit sign that’s trying to work itself loose from its post in the New Mexico wind.

Lil Miss spent this evening wrapping presents in the lobby with Joey and three or four members of the Coldwater High School FFA chapter. The kids organized a gift drive for the residents of the Coldwater Nursing Center, and I told Lil Miss she could use the Tumbleweed as a staging area for their project. My lobby was completely covered in wrapping paper, ribbons, and giggly teenagers for several hours this evening. The kids stacked all the presents in Unit Four when they finished. They’re going to load them into Lil’s truck and deliver them to the nursing home on Christmas Eve.

I was busy thawing out frozen pipes in Unit Three when the kids showed up, so Grant took over the kitchen and made some peppermint bark, a batch of chocolate-chip cookies, and a huge bowl of popcorn for them to munch on while they worked.

Not to belabor the point, but I think Grant may be the most awesome principal in the history of high schools. Sandy raised her boy right, and Coldwater was lucky to get him.

Speaking of Sandy, she’s supposed to be rolling into town next weekend. I can’t wait. I’m not sure what I did to deserve such an awesome mother-in-law, but I’m glad I’ve got her. She is one of the few people in the world who not only tolerates my quirks but understands and encourages them. I am blessed.

— Sierra

Friday night (twinkly) lights

Blogging from Grant’s iPhone this evening as we drive around Tucumcari, looking at Christmas lights, after dinner at Golden Dragon and a trip to the grocery store to stock up on supplies.

I don’t anticipate any guests at the Tumbleweed this evening, but we left Joey and Lil Miss in charge just in case. When we left, they were making kettle corn and hot chocolate and getting ready to spend their evening watching A Christmas Story and playing video games.

Hope you’re having a good Friday evening, wherever you are.

— Sierra

Lights on

Grant spent most of this afternoon up a ladder, hanging Christmas lights all over the Tumbleweed.

I spent most of this afternoon standing on the ground behind Grant, admiring his handiwork. And by “handiwork,” I mean “arse.”

I’m told this sort of diversion will eventually cease to amuse me.

I would like to point out that the women telling me this are not married to men who look like Grant. No offense, ladies, but until I hear it from Margaret Sandberg or Billie Perry, I’m afraid I’ll have to take your matronly wisdom with a grain of salt. Just sayin’.

For the record, Grant did a nice job with the lights. The Tumbleweed looks really beautiful this evening, with hundreds of little twinkly lights tracing the rooflines and architectural details.

Hope your Friday was filled with beautiful things to admire, too.

— Sierra

Fairy tale ending

Having read my last blog entry, Grant came in after the rest of Coldwater was tucked into bed last night, put “A Song for You” on the stereo, swept me into his arms, and slow-danced me around the lobby.

As the kids say on Facebook:


— Sierra


Sorry I haven’t posted in a couple of days; our Internet service got all jacked up the other night, and it took me a while to sort it out with the tech-support guys.

Sunday was the best Halloween ever. Grant is a giant kid when it comes to holidays, and he and Joey and Lil Miss sat on the floor in the lobby all afternoon Sunday, assembling 150 treat bags. They weren’t skimpy, either. Grant bought good stuff to put in them: little Snickers bars, plastic spider rings, shiny Halloween-themed pencils, snack-size Reese cups, SweeTarts, and I don’t know what all else.

Joey and Lil Miss stretched polyester fiberfill “cobwebs” all over the porches outside the rooms and hung rubber bats and pumpkin party lights and LED-lit nylon ghosts all over the place, and then Grant helped them carve elaborate designs into a half-dozen pumpkins and roast the seeds to snack on later.

I was sure the treat bags were overkill — after all, there are only 258 people in Coldwater, and that includes all the adults — but I think Lil Miss must have spread the word at school, because we saw a LOT of teenagers with younger siblings and cousins in tow, and by the end of the night, we had less than a dozen treat bags left.

Highlight of the evening: Watching Grant try to keep a straight face when a 4-year-old dressed as Tiana from The Princess and the Frog tugged on his hand and said, “Hey! Are you listening to me? Tell me back what I just said!” after he failed to look serious enough while she was explaining how princes turn into frogs. I wish I’d had video of that, because it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

— Sierra