Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch.

My mum used to say that all the time when we were kids. “Meanwhile, back at the ranch.” She said it ruefully sometimes, with a sigh, like when the old wringer washer packed it in, or some other disaster occurred. Sometimes she said it to steer the conversation back in the direction she’d intended.

Sometimes she said it literally when something funny happened. Like when one of the cows, who regularly escaped from the pasture a half-mile up the road and trotted home down the side of the highway, was waiting patiently at the barnyard gate to get back in. Seriously, this happened a lot. This regular escapee was Earl, named by my step-brother, David, who gave all the animals boys’ names. If Lloyd bought a calf, David promptly named it after the farmer who had sold it. Thus Earl the cow, bought from Earl the farmer, gave birth to a calf each spring. And Mum would laugh and say, “Meanwhile back at the ranch.”

I understand from my brief research that the phrase originated from silent cowboy movies. The title card would flash, “Meanwhile back at the ranch”, when the scene literally switched to the ranch. I used that phrase in a post a few years ago. All about our very own “annus horribilis”, or more precisely “autumnus horribilis.” You can read my post about our painful adventures that fall here, if you’re interested. Maybe I should say adventures in pain. Ha.

This November has nothing on that November. Even though we have had a couple of near disasters. A few painful episodes. Most of which I relate in my November vlog below. So without further palaver, here’s my vlog. Pour a second cup of tea and enjoy.

So, meanwhile back at the ranch, the guys came today to check the chimney and flue and all is well. Hubby can’t wait to have a fire. This week, we’ve been having raw, dark, drizzly, and down-right rainy days and he’s been a bit grumpy. A fire will cheer him up.

I finished filming and editing the vlog just before my back really packed it in. Sigh. At the moment, I’m a bit creaky, quite wobbly, and I list to one side. Just like Mum’s old wringer washer only with less water on the floor. Ha. But pain meds, heat packs, and physio should have me up and about in no time. This morning I am walking almost upright and I even put on my own socks. Let’s hear it for small victories.

Back pain will not stop me from taking our fictional trip to Paris, though. I am so looking forward to everyone’s photos. I have a few in already. Don’t be shy, about sending your picture. Really. We’re all friends here. And as I said in my last post, I’d just love to see your smiling face in the Paris post. Send me your shots here.

That’s it for me today, friends. A short post because that darned vlog is pretty long. I have to learn to be more succinct in my blithering. Ha.


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30 thoughts on “Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch.”

  1. Did it mean nothing to David that cows are female? What did he name the bulls? Mary? Jane?
    When I was in back school (seriously, such a thing exists; it’s Swiss and there’s one here), the teacher/therapist insisted that the most important thing was to build up back and core muscles, which would protect one from most of the trouble from arthritis or diminished disks. She also was a big believer in walking as a gentle method of moving the spine. Of course, during a crisis, rest is best, but back school and later Pilates have improved my life immensely.

    1. David was just little and he liked boys names better, I guess. Walking is part of what I do when my back pain kicks in. Not the brisk pace I usually do, but just gentle. Stretches and core work are part of my usual routine, have been for years. Also strengthening when everything is moving well. Part of my problem is that lower disk issues from a bad car accident when I was 18, always trigger my upper back issues which can’t be dealt with until the lower stuff is better. Like Hubby says, I know what to do, and physio helps with loosening up the tight muscles that are in spasm.

  2. So glad your back is feeling a bit better, that is NOT fun. This was a great chat this morning, and I enjoyed your trip down memory lane with the picture board. That cartoon is great, and I have had those from time to time also, with a special meaning for just us. The weather here in Ontario has been crazy and you are right, very unusual. Today we have almost a foot of snow since the rain yesterday, and I have to keep making trips to the bird feeders to dust them off despite the heavy traffic out there. I have started to put up the Christmas items and will keep at that now that it feels like winter. Also, I will not be posting a picture for the trip to Paris, as I had MOHS surgery on my face and shall I say, I am glad we are wearing masks and staying away from others through this. Of course in Paris this will not show and no one will know. It has been great chattting this morning and will see you on the plane.

  3. That was a nice surprise . You are so natural on film . It’s as if we’re sat chatting again . I’d like to see Mergansers from my windows . They’re very handsome . Your old pics were great & your mum looked like a sister on that screen pic . Our neighbours had their chimney swept this week with a new ‘swirly’ thing . It ripped up the liner & it cost them nearly £1000 to replace . So stay away from swirly things . Glad Stu’s tests were OK & I hope your back settles again very soon .

    1. Thanks, Wendy. One day we will do that again… have a long chat in person. I so enjoyed our afternoon in Bakewell. I’m told that when I was still teaching, I folded my arms and gave that same look when exasperated with my students. I told Mum that one day and she didn’t know what I was talking about,,.”What look?” Ha. I fell over laughing. Her look was famous with my friends.

  4. Earl? Really?

    Funny, I think my mom used to use that expression “ back at the Ranch“ as well. I never knew its origin, so thank you for that!

    Now, about the back pain, you know I can empathize. And, let’s just say it – it sucks. I was thinking about it just yesterday, the fact of it as I was trying to break down some boxes to drag to a recycling area before taking out the trash. I had to accept that the pain was too much for me if I was going to be able to get the bags of trash out through a courtyard and down an alleyway. I found myself fighting off irritation that the one neighbor I’ll know who hasn’t ever dealt with back pain doesn’t seem to understand how much it impacts. In other words, you have all my good wishes and encouragement to tough it out and hopefully with Physio and meds feel better.

    By the way, the Vlog is such a great idea! It’s so nice to be able to see and hear you in your home. It’s a bit like a visit, which is lovely these days especially. And here it is – December – can you believe it? I absolutely cannot. But I am determined to try to fight off the dragging effect of life in the era of coronavirus by trying to re-institute some daily discipline. (Posting, walking, etc.)

    Feel better!


    1. I know you know what back pain feels like… far more than I do. Mine is chronic but not constant, if that makes sense. Usually if I do something to myself and I feel the disc slip a bit, I can do my exercises to stop it getting worse. But not all the time. I have been pretty good since this time last year when I screwed up my hip and back at my mum’s when she almost fell and I had to hold her up and we kind of waltzed around with my knee keeping her from tilting over. Ha. Looked funny… but wasn’t. I was back on my exercise bike yesterday which felt so good. I couldn’t do that for a few days… the side to side movement of pedalling was too painful. As Stu says, pain grinds you down. I know you know that too.
      I’m currently trying to think of a drawn out schedule for Christmas… decorating, baking, etc etc. One that will make me feel seasonal for weeks. We’ll see. xo

  5. Aw,back pain,I commiserate wizh you.
    Hopefully it will go away soon.
    Vlog is lovely,so natural,I’ve seen the first half-still waiting for delivery of my tangerines and lemons in silence (for two days)….

  6. Enjoyed your Vlog , Sue. I am wondering how strange it feels to talk to us via camera without hearing our voices chiming in with a comment. 🙂
    Hope the rest of your home avoided any smoke damage. Not the kind of excitement that one would wish for – vehicles leaking oil or basements filled with smoke.
    Looking forward to hearing about the Paris trip as I have never been.

  7. You are such good company! Got my laundry started and groceries put away as I heard/watched your news! I enjoy the sights and sounds of your locale. I’ve only been in falling snow a couple of times in my 71 years. I am a native-born Southern Californian, recently moved to a small coastal town near our son, DIL, and grandkids. So, I do hear seagulls and smell the ocean if the wind is blowing in the right direction. Though we don’t live along the water, the waves and beaches are just a few minutes away.
    November was event-FULL in this country. It is absolutely horrible what a beating our democracy is receiving by the current administration. Thankful for the decency, vision, hard work, connections, and grace of the President-Elect and VP-Elect.
    Though Thanksgiving was last week, we are holding Thanksgiving 2.0 this coming Friday as we give great praise for a negative result on a CoVid test for our DIL.
    As always, thank you for your words. I have learned fashion tidbits, reading recommendations, and what a real winter can be like!

    1. Ha. That’s how I listen to/watch vlogs and podcasts. Company while I get stuff done that I don’t particularly want to do. Hopefully things will continue to look up down where you are… and everywhere. If we just keep safe until then. 🙂

  8. Loved our vlog visit! Being stuck at home, it is like a friend coming by for a cup of tea and a chat! ❤️🫖☕️

  9. I’m envious every time I see your burgundy vest. It’s Uniqlo, isn’t it? I have the same one in navy and I love it so much that I’m thinking about a second one in a different colour. Unfortunately, burgundy doesn’t seem to be available anymore. 🙁

    Can’t wait to see the Paris post. I sent my photos today.

  10. Just love your vlogs. Looking forward to December’s. Thank you for continuing to blog during this difficult time we are all going through. You really keep my spirits up, and here in the UK we are badly in need of that!
    Wishing you and all your followers a happy Xmas and new year.
    Susan D

  11. Loved your vlog Sue … I especially want to say how fascinating I found Stu’s “smoker”
    Wow! How wonderful to have your own freshly smoked fish … the smoked trout with your salad looked so delicious. Good that he keeps separate clothes for doing this! I imagine the smoke permeates deep into the fabric!
    Rosie xx

  12. Loved you vlog visit. It is like a visit with a friend. Shared the smoker segment with my husband. Loved your photos, little books, desk etc. Also loved your eye shadow and I also love that vest.

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