Monday, October 10, 2016
Blogorado, Day 4
Sunday dawned cool and clear, but with clouds drifting in slowly, promising unsettled weather later in the day. The wind was picking up.
We rendezvoused for breakfast as usual. The hostelry had learned from previous mornings' experience, and had set up a coffee urn for our use in the side room. Also, we'd learned to stagger our orders, with people ordering as they arrived rather than waiting for others to put in a single, much larger order. This meant that food arrived at irregular intervals, with some people finishing their meals as others started theirs. On the other hand, the kitchen staff were able to tackle a steady stream of orders, rather than wait around twiddling their thumbs, only to be overwhelmed by a massive order all at once. I treated myself to the local version of huevos rancheros, served with a refried-bean-filled tortilla, hash browns and green chile. Delicious!
We made our way out to the farmhouse, where the wind had picked up to a fairly brisk breeze - probably a steady 20-25 mph, with gusts over 30. Clearly, shotgun, rimfire and long-range precision shooting weren't going to be much fun in that, so by unspoken concensus we all settled down in and around the barn to carry on the conversations started over the previous few days. Kittens chased each other underfoot, having a wonderful time with all the company and all the cuddles on offer. Miss D. ended up with at least three on her reclining body at one point (there may even have been four - it was hard to tell where one ended and the next began!). Even the more anti-social kittens, who'd been very skittish and cautious when we began to arrive, had by now decided we were good entertainment, and were joining in the fun. Much laughter ensued.
The stories doing the rounds were often blush-worthy, but what else can one expect when so many current and former military, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel are gathered in one place? All those occupations have a somewhat 'raw' sense of humor, as an antidote to the often gut-wrenching reality that their practitioners face on a daily basis. I'll leave it to Lawdog to describe in his own words, in his forthcoming book, what it felt like to be assaulted with an assortment of deep-frozen sex toys by an irate wife who wanted to stop him arresting her husband. He had us in fits of laughter as he described, not only the incident, but his sheriff's reaction to it while he was processing the arrest paperwork. Politically correct, it wasn't! Another EMS tech described being summoned to assist a gay couple who'd had an 'accident' involving a large Kielbasa sausage. I used to love the stuff, but after hearing his account, I'm not so sure about that any more . . . !
The stories, plus audience reactions, were sufficiently funny (as in 'hysterically'!) that someone had the bright idea of setting up a table with a big roll of paper and a few colored felt pens. As individuals found any particular phrase or idea irresistible, they were encouraged to write it down on the paper to edify other readers. I'm not sure what's going to happen to the roll of paper when Blogorado 2016 is finally over . . . it's certainly not fit for publication, but some of the entries are flat-out screamingly funny. Perhaps we should put it away to re-read at next year's gathering, and add to it every year.
Supper was a mixture of new and old. Jennifer had brought along copious quantities (frozen, of course) of her famous home-made lumpia. She proceeded to deep-fry them in boiling oil, taking out each batch as it was cooked and laying it on paper plates to drain before serving. Somehow, she never seemed able to finish one batch before the previous one had been spirited away by hungry Blogoradans! They were as delicious as in previous years. For those wanting more, Farmmom and her helpers put out trays of meat left over from earlier evenings' entertainment; pulled pork, beef brisket, and a (very) few surviving chicken-fried steaks. Everyone helped themselves to repletion. The usual adult beverages were ranged on a table and in a refrigerator in the barn, along with mixers for those who wanted them. Anyone who didn't have more than enough to eat and/or drink had only themselves to blame.
The unsettled weather led to a brief spatter of raindrops, which didn't disturb our evening very much; but to the south and east, spectacular lightning displays were quite a sight, lighting the darkness like gigantic photographic flash units. Several of us wandered outside from time to time to keep an eye on them. While driving back into town later in the evening, we crossed several stretches of road where it had recently rained; but the ground is so dry in this part of the state that all the moisture had been instantly absorbed by the soil, leaving no puddles. The local farmers could probably do with at least two or three days' sustained rain - provided, of course, that it's not so heavy as to cause floods. In this part of Colorado, the weather is often either feast or (far more often) famine as far as rain is concerned.
Sunday was our last full day at Blogorado for Miss D. and myself. We'll be joining the others for breakfast on Monday morning, then heading homeward. One of the farm kittens will be accompanying us - the black and smoky-gray cat I mentioned in the first Blogorado report, two to three months old, very friendly and affectionate. We'd been thinking for some months about getting a second cat as company for our present pet, and having a leisurely opportunity to socialize with this one made up our minds. We'll probably give him an 'official' name like Smoky for polite company, but among ourselves he'll probably be called Ashbutt (both names due to his coloration). He settled into our hotel room very happily, exploring everything, helping us get to bed, and attacking us vigorously beneath the blankets as soon as we'd done so. After introducing him carefully to our present cat, I think they - and we - will get on fine together.