The Gudgel Family Advent Calendar, Day Seven — “I Saw Cows!”


Titus at dinner with his grandparents last night.

My colleague, normally boisterous to the point of being a little irritating from time to time, looked dejected. Inquiry revealed the reason to be that for the annual chili cook off, we had only four entries as opposed to our usual dozen plus. Not thinking about all of the other things I had to do last night, I volunteered to make one, prompting the fellow next to me to do similarly. At least we had increased the number. I swung by Wohlner’s on the way home for ingredients, and last night threw together a very spicy bison chili. It went something like this:

After all of that, I added some scorpion pepper and raspberry sauce, and two cans of tomato sauce. It’s a little too spicy for my taste, honestly, but it’s pretty good. I should have gone easier on the heat. Next time.

It was between picking the kids up from daycare and picking Sonja up from the airport before dinner that Zooey and Titus amused me so much last night. Zooey saw cows out at the ranch last month, and since then will interject an emphatic “I saw cows!” into almost any conversation. She blurted it out last night on the ride to the airport, and what ensued amounts, I think, to her first argument with Titus.

Zooey: “I saw cows!”

Me: “I know you did, Peanut. That’s great. Titus, did you see cows?”

Titus: “Yeah! I saw cows and horses!”

Zooey: “No! I saw cows!”

I find exclamation points to be necessary when documenting toddler dialogue. They’re enthused about everything. I was enthused about the milestone I had just witnessed, and pleased to have identified it for what it was. No doubt Zooey will be a brilliant barrister in due course. In all seriousness, however, it was a fun moment to be a part of, and something I was grateful to have been present for. Sonja’s flight landed a little late and we headed to dinner. The kids were very excited to see her.


After dinner (sometimes I genuinely forget that this is a wine blog) we headed home, put the kids to bed, and I began to cook. As I did, Sonja and I shared an incredible bottle of wine. Tom Rees, the winemaker, was over a few weeks ago and left this for us. I know I should have cellared it — his wines age beautifully from my limited experience, but right now this is one of my favorite bottles of wine. I actually already reviewed it this past summer, and you can read my more extensive tasting notes here:  That actually made drinking it even more enjoyable last night, as I was able to simply sip and enjoy and not give it too much thought. It was part of my relaxation, and I think Tom would appreciate that. It was good to have Sonja home.

Well, my friends, we’ve made it to Friday. Perhaps you have a chili cook-off at work today, or perhaps some other plans.  I hope that whatever your weekends hold, they are full of mirth and relaxation, maybe a little bit of wine, and people you love. As for us, tonight I’m going to crash hard, this long week having taken a toll on me physically, it would seem, and tomorrow Sonja and I will spend between family and close friends — for that, for so many other things, I am grateful. Happy holidays to you all, and as ever, thanks for reading.

Cheers to seeing cows, and to milestones in our lives,




2 responses to “The Gudgel Family Advent Calendar, Day Seven — “I Saw Cows!”

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