Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sir Loin and the Shabby Santa

Saturday night was the Christmas party for the graduate school where Herb is working on a counseling degree.  Saturday morning Herb informed me that, oh by the way, we're supposed to dress as "Shabby Santa" for the party.  I was not happy!  He had his costume all figured out . . .

His overalls and a red shirt with a TSC cap and work boots.  No sweat, he told me, I could wear my overalls, too.  (Except mine are down at the farm in Alabama.)

I spent most of the day preparing the dish I was supposed to take to the party.  (At least I knew about that in advance!)  The rest of the day was spent getting the house ready for company after church on Sunday.

With no time to go out looking for a "shabby Santa" costume, I turned to the internet for help and googled "what is shabby santa costume?"  Even the internet had never heard of "shabby Santa!"  (I knew it was the stupidest costume idea I'd ever heard!)

Failing all else, I looked in my closet for inspiration and found an idea . . . but before I could get dressed, Herb looked out the front door and hollered, "Susan!  What do you think I see?  Come here quick!"

I figured if it was deer or wild turkeys, they were already gone, but I took a look to oblige him.

A cow in the front yard is never good!

A mostly wild little steer that runs away when he sees you is especially not good!

It was time for a plan.  I haltered Siobhan and tied her up out of the way, then I tied Macree in the barnyard.  Then Herb opened the Home Pasture gate and the barnyard gate and fastened them together to block the road.  (Too bad we couldn't tie the chickens!  That's Temple Grayhen, one of the most adventurous hens, figuring out that the gate is open.)  The plan was that if we could herd Sir Loin this way, he would go either into the Home Pasture or into the barnyard, both of which were acceptably escape-proof destinations, and we would shut the gate on him.

We went back to the front yard, Herb carrying a pan of feed and me leading Siobhan.  Our plan depended on Sir Loin seeing Siobhan, wanting company and food, and following both back towards the barnyard.

Unfortunately, Sir Loin was nowhere to be seen.  Now a cow in the front yard is never good, but a cow that was in the front yard and is no longer in sight is even worse!  I tied Siobhan to the telephone pole and went to look on the side of the house while Herb headed down the hill to check in the trees.

A sight like this is never a good thing, either!  I have no idea how on earth Siobhan wrapped herself up in the cable in sixty seconds, but she did!

While I was detangling her, Herb returned with the good news that Sir Loin was down below the house right by Kara's Pasture gate.

It was time for Plan B.  I took Siobhan back to the barnyard, shooed the chickens back in, and closed both the gates.  Herb went down with the feed to see if he could lure Sir Loin back into Kara's Pasture (from which he had escaped) and on through the nearby lower gate into the Home Pasture.

As you can see from this photo, Plan B was a success!  Sir Loin is safely ensconced right inside the lower gate of the Home Pasture.

Let me take a moment to say that this whole escapade made us pat ourselves on the back for the way we arranged our gates.  The open white gate, leading into the Lower Pasture, was already here when we bought the property.  When Herb built the Home Pasture, we purposely put its lower gate directly across from the Lower Pasture gate to facilitate moving animals back and forth.  And when we had Kara's Pasture fenced (the strip where Herb is standing is part of it), we put one of its gates close to the other two gates; you can see it through the pine trees.  Saturday night we were thanking our lucky stars that we did!

Operation "Saving Sir Loin" took only half an hour, leaving me just enough time to get dressed so we could get to the party on time.  (I know only a very few of Herb's fellow students and professors, so I was particularly anxious to be on time.)  Here I am in my "shabby Santa" costume:  a red Indian salwar kameez to pass for pajamas (so I could take off the bathrobe and still be presentable), a red fleece bathrobe missing its belt, a green belt from another robe, a Merry Christmas needlepoint pillow tied into the belt, two doorknob jingle bell decorations as bangles, and fuzzy peach slippers with pompoms (well, except one pompom that the puppies had eaten).  Mrs. Claus was ready for bed!

I'd given my best shot at "shabby Santa," so off to the party we went.  However, as Paul Harvey would say, "in a moment you're going to hear the rest of the story!"

We walked into a beautifully decorated room full of people wearing slacks, skirts, shirts and colorful sweaters--even a silk blouse or two.  It took about 10 seconds for me to realize that something was very wrong!  There was not a single "shabby Santa" in sight--nor a single shabby anything!

A woman I didn't know introduced herself to me and commented on my costume.  "I think there's something wrong," I said.  "Where are the shabby Santas?"

"Shabby Santas?" she asked.

"Herb told me the theme was 'shabby Santa,'" I explained.

"Uh, no," she corrected me, "it was 'Tacky Christmas.'"

As I looked around I realized that many of the colorful sweaters were indeed your typical tacky Christmas sweaters, but believe me--they looked like designer outfits compared to mine!  Luckily, I was able to quickly shed the robe and spend the evening walking around in a red salwar kameez, which at least looked slightly less odd--if you could overlook the fuzzy peach pompom slippers!

Since Herb couldn't very well take off his overalls, he had to spend the evening looking like he had just rounded up a stray steer.  I think it served him right!


  1. Hahaha! Typical dad! Love to both. Kara

    1. Yep! Aunt Karen wanted to know where his body was buried!

  2. HAHA! That's just too awesome! Mom was laughing so hard when she told the story that I couldn't understand it the first time. lol

    1. You made me laugh right out loud, Carrie--I could just see and hear your mom trying to tell the story while she was laughing so hard! Glad we could oblige you all with a hearty laugh!

  3. Oh, Susan, thanks to you and Herb, I will be very healthy this month! Y'know, laughter is good medicine! I laughed so hard that my ribs hurt for the rest of the day! You are both such good sports! Love ya!

    1. Hey, Barbara, maybe we should make home visits to get people laughing and make them so healthy they can skip the doctors' visits! :) I'm sorry about your ribs; I guess we need to make you laugh again so they'll get well? :D We love you, too!


I LOVE comments so please take a minute and let me know you were here! Sorry I have to use Captcha, but I hope you'll comment anyway! Comments make my day! :)