Monday, January 26, 2009

Weekend Update

It's been awhile since we posted. Usually I wait for something cool to happen to post but the longer I wait the cooler it has to be to make up for the lull. Originally I was just going to do a lame post to get the ball rolling but this weekend provided just the example.
We went to Tamara's brother Rob's ranch this weekend. You can see a picture of Rob to the right. He's been described a lot of ways but probably never as cuddly or soft. I had a lot of stuff to do so the first time they went out I stayed back and read. When they came back, Rob made some comment that it was too bad we had to leave the next day because they were branding some cows. We decided to stay a bit to see the branding since we never had.
The next morning we drive out to where the cows were "waiting" for us. They did the big group over christmas and there were only twelve for that day. They split off the steers from the to be branded and their moms into a different pen so they didn't cause problems. It sill confuses me an animal who outweighs you 10:1 will run scared like a little girl because you yell and run at it. I'm sure it has something to do with what we were about to do to the calves because saw the wrath of the bulls in Pamplona (that's right, 4/6 of the Hall men have run with the bulls.) I mean, when I play ball and see a guy who I outweigh (doesn't happen too often) by even 10 pounds I think about how I'll dominate him in the low post. I can't imagine if I outweighed him by 1800 pounds. Even the calfs we were going to brand were ~300 pounds.
They roped the first cow and as I walked over I overheard something about "not dropping yet" and saw some blood on Ottavio's hands. I thought to myself, I'm no doctor, but it sure looks like they're castrating that cow. Turns out I, without medical training, was correct. I didn't know this was part of the process. Then I saw Ottavio put them into the pocket of his chaps. I mean, I know cowboys do thing their own way but let's not get carried away.
On the second one they let me help hold the calf down and on the third one they let me flip it onto it's back and hold it down. Over the course of twelve calves I learned some of the finer nuances of how to make a calf submit (they don't tap out but you can see it in their eyes), flip it over, tie its legs, and some of the other joys of the process. A lot of the cows didn't even flinch when you emasculated or branded them which thoroughly surprised me. I guess they saw struggling didn't do anything for their brother so why fight it. I don't know.
After we were done Ottavio emptied the contents of his pocket into the fire. I said, "You're going to burn those and not give them to the dog?" "No, I'm cooking them" he responded. Typically, you cook stuff you're going to eat. "They taste somewhere between shrimp and lobster" he continued. "So they're a delicacy?" I inquired. He laughed. I'm not sure why I ate one. He just held out his hand full of them and I took one. It wasn't bad, but I'm not counting down until I get to eat another one. It didn't really have a lot of flavor but I think with some tabasco it could be all right. They should also probably be grilled and not just tossed into a fire because I don't think the ash helped. In case you skimmed some of the above, I did in fact eat a cooked bull testicle this weekend. What?
After all this I shook hands with a couple of the guys, forgetting what they had been doing with their hands mere minutes before. I told Rob it thanks and that I had a good time, which I did. I said, don't misunderstand-I don't want to be a cowboy or anything but it was cool. Twelve is one thing-200 might not do it for me. I'm not looking for a career change or anything. But if riding around on horses while roping, castrating, branding cows and eating rocky mountain oysters is wrong I don't want to be right.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Adoption Profile

Dear Friends and Family,

As many of you know, Doug and I are in the process of trying to adopt a child. We have tried many ways to have a family on our own but it seems that it was not meant to be that way.

We are currently working with LDS Services and we hope that something works out with them. We are also trying to do this on our own. We are asking our close friends and family to help get our information out there to a mother that is looking to give up her baby for adoption. We have put together a website with some of our information. If you could please have a look and forward it on to anyone that may be able to help.

We appreciate your help so much and we are so very excited to be parents sometime in the near future.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Gone Shootin'

For the New Year Papa Hall took us shooting. I really thought that I would do better but I am very proud of the 9 clay pigeons that I did shoot. Who went home a winner was Lisa, she made all of us look bad!!! Just goes to show that I have a lot of practicing to do but it was still a great great that I even got a full body massage after.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I wished!!

Doug's mom has been wanting us to do a character picture of ourselves sense we were married. Everyone else in the family has one and they are all framed it the main room of her house. Well, we got one done and gave it to her for Christmas. I must say that this does NOT look like us at all, I am kind of embarrassed that is it up in Katie's home, but hey...I wished that I look this good!!!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Scary Stuff

My nephew Colton gave us quiet the scare a couple weeks ago. We first heard that he had a tooth ache and was going to Arizona to take care of it. Next we heard he was rushed to the hospital and staying there for a couple days. I never really heard what was wrong but now that we know that he is okay we can laugh about this picture taken of him at the hospital. I am told that this was taken three days after the swelling was really bad. Poor kid, we are so happy that all is well with you!! The best part was when I asked him how hard it was to be in the hospital he answered, "It was the best week ever. I played video games, ate a lot of desserts, and I didn't have to do any chores." Oh to be a kid again.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

2008 was a tough one for us so we are only hoping for the best in 2009. We rang in the new year with our friends here in LA. A little get together at the Fishers, then we headed out the The Marina Del Ray for the Fireworks. Well, we were able to hear the fireworks because the fog was so bad we could not see anything. We found ways to amuse ourselves!!! The pictures below are not taken by a dirty lens, that is just how foggy it was outside. Doug was not pleased that he got to bed so late (or early) but I believe that he still had a great time.