Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Not a fine moment...

I have a place inside me that is not at peace.  Yesterday I was approached by a woman setting in a car, with out of state plates.  She had been there when I smilingly went by her to go in a store.  She stepped out of her car as I was going back to my ol suv.  Seems she was on her way to a distant town and needed money for gas.  I said "I'm sorry but I live on a small fixed income".  After getting directions to the nearest church that might be willing to help, she went on her way.  As I started out of town, I couldn't stand it and went in search of her. It's a small town, but she was no where to be found.  You see, I had remembered that I had the Christmas money that my parents had given me tucked in my wallet. It would have bought enough gas to get her where she was going. If I had just passed it forward there would not be this unhappy place inside me. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Thanksgiving

I have so much to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving.  All the parents, kids, and grands have roofs over their heads, food in their pantries, and good health. Love and laughter abound.  I wish the same for you and yours.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's all in how you look at it...

 One of the ranch houses we lived in had a sewage problem a-rise.  Himself was friends with one of the local boys who had a honeypot truck.  There were stories that he had cut a hole in his dinning room floor so that the table scraps could be fed to the hogs that lived under his house.  His life was pretty much the shits, what with running sheep and hogs and driving a honeypot truck for a living.
Anyway, here he comes with his truck to pump out the septic tank.  After getting the front yard dug up, and the tank pumped, he jumps down in the tank.  The happiest look comes over his face, and he tells me that we really need a new tank, as the old one is falling apart.  Falling apart?  Yep, the old one is made of redwood, oh, and can he have the ol boards. "Uh, yeah, you can have the ol redwood boards."  He carefully dismantles the tank, and lovingly places the boards on the side of his truck.  I can't stand it anymore, and ask what he is going to do with the boards.  "Well, I'm thinking of making a bar out of them for my family room.  You just don't find redwood like this anymore."  No, I guess you don't.  
A while later the guys mentioned that he had built a redwood bar in his family room.  I never said anything to the guys, his life is his own.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Update from the Awesome One


Brighid has gone on vacation in her mind. She has accomplished diddly squat in the past few months, other than to put on 10 lbs. Her friends are telling her that this is normal after all the D trauma. Oh, and they are also saying that this rite of passage can easily take a year. Well isn't that just special! 

Brighid's friend sent her a chain recipe e-mail. First off, she assumed a lot by thinking she has a recipe in her head, then she thinks she has 20 friends! Neither of these assumptions are true.
 
Gus the Awesome

Sunday, October 17, 2010

No harm intended, yet

I finally got all the corrected correct paper work done, signed, and notarized for both of us in the D.  What a hassle.  Then to the courthouse to file the last of the papers.  I'm not fond of going to the courthouse, though they are very nice in the family law division, as I set off the metal detectors every time.  Time before last it was because of the hemostats in my purse and the staples in my Dansko's.  This time it was my Swiss Army knife and the Dansko's again.  Just ask'n, don't other grannys pack hemostats and Swiss Army knives, along with butterfly bandages, etc in their purses?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mom is blessed

Gus and I had a whirlwind trip and we loved it.  It's about 9 hours driving, which would have been somewhat shorter without all the gas, water, walk Gus stops.  But not nearly as interesting.
We stopped at Del Rio Winery on the way North to stock up on the fruit of the vine.  Blessed be. 
It had been a while since I had driven thru Portland, timing was great, we were going in when the rest of the world was coming out. Another blessing. 
Met up with my son in Vancouver and then went house hunting.  He found one not far from his work that evening. Another blessing.
Spent as much time as possible with my two youngest grand girls over the weekend.  What smart little whippersnappers they are.  Sean is a great dad, and they are well loved. A great blessing.
Spent Monday at Ikea in Portland, picking out furniture for the house.  He gave me a set amount and I got most all he needed way under budget.  Another blessing. 
We spent the evening moving stuff, and building the furniture. Not so much of a blessing, but we all got thru it, thanks be no one forgot the blessed wine.
I love the green of Washington state, and the beautiful weather.  Hey, it was 83 three of the four days I was there! Another blessing.
Gus and I hit the road for home on Tuesday.  This time we were going out as everyone else was going in. Another blessing.
We made the usual stops, plus a quick stop at my parents to check on them, another hour and we were home to our little bunkhouse.  Another blessing.
Next time, soon hopefully, I will take my books on tape, Gus is a good traveler but he isn't much of a talker...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mom Likes

Like this mom wants to be on the road to Vancouver WA to see her son and his girls.  Like this weekend.  Like with Gus, as co-pilot.  Like she has washed, waxed, changed the oil, and rotated the tires on the ol SUV in readiness, like she can have her new Cabela's bag (thanks my brother) packed in a flash, like she really wants to be on her way. 
Oh, is  "Barn House" 
 http://www.barnhousebh.com/2010/09/barn-house-tarte-presents.html  in Battle Ground, WA (a short hop from Vancouver) having their big Fall todo this very weekend?
Like how auspicious is that!

Monday, August 23, 2010

House Sitting

My sister-in-law P asked me to house sit her and her hubby's place.  Being temporarily unencumbered (unemployed) I'm more than willing to spend some time looking after things for them. They left early Saturday morning, pulling their travel trailer, for a long week's vacation at the coast. The cell phone reception is spotty at best from the winery, err campground they are at, so she left me a short message this morning on the recorder, hoping all was well here...     My response... 


Hi P, Everything is fine, no worries.  I don't think my mother is going to sue because she tripped over the curb and fell in your driveway.  Went by and checked on her this evening and she is really doing well with the walker.
Don't have to worry about feeding the donkey or hens anymore.  A goat from down the road seems to have turned loose your chickens, trying to get at their grain.  Chickens can be so flighty. The rooster landed on the donkey and spooked  him into the goat, last I saw them they were headed toward the Yolla Bolly wilderness area.
We had a  little wind storm this morning and it blew a ton of oak leaves into your nice clean garage.  After sweeping it out twice I decided enough already and pushed the button on the automatic garage door.  How was I to know that your new car was not pulled all the way in. I'm sure D can pound out that little crease.
The garden is doing well, except for the bear who has decided that your strawberry bed is a fine place to feast.  His growling has upset Annie, who's barking is upsetting the honkers that have chosen to over winter in your swimming pool.  They sure are messy.  Not knowing how much more the pool filter could take, I put all the chlorine tabs I could find in there. 
Your rose garden that I was to prune doesn't need it anymore.  A couple of does' came thru last night and now you won't have to worry about pruning anything for quite a while.
Hope your just kicking back with a glass of wine and having a relaxing time at the beach. No Worries.
 Love, B

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Here and Now

Having totally nothing of value to say is very frustrating and so I have been avoiding posting.  As I see it now my blogging is about "as useful as tits on a boar". 
I started blogging as a way to put down the odd moments of my life for my family, until I realized that they were all busy living their own lives.  So having lost that audience, I thought to just entertain myself and the few who stopped by. 
My pleasure has been getting reacquainted with several friends from the old days, and making a few new ones around this whirling ball.  One can never have too many friends, but one shouldn't neglect the people that are right here, right now.  It's kind've like people that text while you are right in front of them.
I have been paring down the blogs that I read, and trying to only go online, for a limited amount of time, once a day.  Having no TV, and limiting my computer time, has encouraged me to get back out and Live my life here and now.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Yard Sale

The home ranch at one time was leased to a couple of yea whos from the Lone Star state.  They were unbelievable wheeler-dealers from the get go.  One of them moved into the main house with part of his family; the part that was a wife, a (still nursing) 3 year old son, and a couple of older kids from one or the other's other marriages. 
We were raised to be good stewards of the land and the animals in our care. Not these guys, they were just look'n for the next buck. They were running bred dairy heifers some sorry sucker had bought for them to calve out. I have a feeling that several sorry suckers had bought the same cattle, but that's only hearsay. Keeping one's mouth shut about the way they ran their outfit was difficult at the best of times. But, we were leased to them with the ranch, so lip biting about the cattle became the norm.
We always seemed to get shipments of cattle late at night, something we tried hard to never do with our own cattle.  If they come in late at night they don't have a chance to walk the fence to see where the boundaries are, or locate water and food.  Himself and I spent many nights riding thru the new cattle to show them where the feed bunks and water troughs were, and doctoring sick ones.
How did I get so far afield of what I started out to say?  I was laughing when I started as I had been over at K8's reading about her bra buying experience and remembered The yard sale. So now that I've got the ugly out of my system I'll get to it.
The Texas boys decided that the wheelly deally wasn't working out too well in this part of the country, so they started pack'n up to move to greener pastures.  The wife said she wasn't moving some things again and would have a yard sale.  Hello, we lived 15 miles from a small town, the last three miles of which was rough gravel road.  I just couldn't see people beating a path to her door, but what did I know. Not much it seems. The day of her yard sale arrived.  I had to go into town to get a part for Himself that morning, so missed the setting up for the event.  As I headed back to the ranch there did seem to be a lot of traffic, but it couldn't be for a yard sale, could it?  When I crossed the last cattle guard the whole area was full of trucks, cars, and people.  She had set up the big BBQ, a bar, and had country music blaring from a stereo.  The front lawn was full of tables of yard sale wares, a junker's paradise.  The piece d' resistance was a large tree in front with bras hanging from every branch, not just any ol bras either, they were Huge bras. (She'd had a home business in Texas selling bras for really large women and this was the overstock.)  We were all laughing so hard, you just had to buy one.  Her yard sale was a Huge success and she made a killing on that bra tree.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Maxwell The Wonder Cow Dog

The best cow dog around passed away recently, after being our sidekick for many years.  Maxwell The Wonder Cow Dog was a Border Collie, McNab cross that came to us as a yearling. Cute as could be with his black and white coat, one blue eye and one blue/brown eye.  He was given to me with no training on working cattle, but was well schooled on basic commands. 
Everyone he met loved him, as he was ever the gentleman.  After he got the hang of working cattle he was fun to watch.  He could handle just about anything.  One time moving cattle from one large pasture to another, with the gate on top of a knoll, the Cowman sent Max to gather the pasture, push the cattle up the hill, thru the gate, and turn them in the right direction.  Not an easy task for anyone, let alone one dog. As the Cowman was watching Max, and giving hand commands, it was too far for whistle commands, up drives a fellow. 
"I've been watching your dog work for a while, would you be interested in selling him?"
The Cowman had been down this road before with people, "Well I couldn't take less than $5,000 for him" thinking this would end it.  The guy never batted an eye, and asked what form, cash or check, the Cowman wanted the payment in. 
The Cowman replied, "You know by watching him that dog is worth any three cowboys, so I don't think I will be interested in ever selling him."
The guy said, "Here's my name and number, if you ever change your mind give me a call, he's a Great Dog."
He was a Great Dog, he greeted you with gentleness and a wagging tail, he loved to work cattle in the pastures or the corrals, he could fetch and roll in the grass with the grand babies, he was a constant companion, he could make you laugh with his cow skiing trick, and a thousand other things. 
Gentle kind Max, I miss you dearly.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Roll On

Spring, the wild flowers blooming, thunder boomers coming by to visit. A breeze off the water flows over you and if you close your eyes feels like water skiing at Tahoe.  Fresh cut clover and timothy hay smells drift across the meadow. Saddle leather creaks and groans, or maybe that's me.  Horses and dogs are sweaty from working cattle.  Warm days, cool nights. One spring I tied notes to tumbleweeds rolling by, never heard back.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Best Part

The annual Roundup rodeo has come and gone for another year.  Thanks to one of my brother in laws, my Dad and I had great seats in the family box.
As I hadn't been in many years it was great fun, and a bit of a trip getting to see friends from long ago.  
The younger generation is continuing this annual family tradition, which is a good thing.  What a great bunch of kids and grandkids.
I have some terrific memories of the old Roundups.  It has changed a lot over the years, Dad and I both liked the old version better, possibly because we were more involved.  Spending time with family and friends was and is the best part.   

Friday, April 2, 2010

Not Go'n Anywhere

This wet spring brings to mind the year we decide Himself would go back to college to finish his degree.  We saved for a year, sold some cows, bought a good pickup, packed up our meager belongings, one horse, and the baby and headed out to the university.  
Surely we looked like a slightly modern version of folks from the Grapes of Wrath.  What with the borrowed wood slates on the back of the pickup, everything we owned piled in, a mattress tied on top, and a ratty old horse trailer behind.  Geez, Himself loved that horse of his, there was no way he was leaving him behind. 
A good pickup was a necessary purchase, as we did need dependable transportation for the long journey south.  Besides we got a heck of a deal on it as it was two shades brighter than school bus yellow and the dealer realized that no one else in three counties was going to be interested. 
We lived in an apartment in town for a short time, but it was too pricey, so we moved over the hill from campus to a small ranch.  The ranch was owned by an elderly couple who needed someone to care-take the place.  In exchange we got pasture for Himself's horse and a small house.  Actually a very small house, only three rooms, the main room with kitchen on one end and living area, with the only source of heat a tiny Franklin stove, on the other. Oh how I hated that tiny Franklin stove, it smoked, and was a bear to cook on when the electricity went out, which seemed to happen frequently. Have you ever tried to heat a baby bottle in the middle of the night by putting it in your armpit.
The little house sat with the front door facing a small river and the back door smackdab against a steep hillside.  You had to travel about a mile on an old road beside the river to get to the "main" road. 
Things were going along ok until it started to rain, and rain, and rain.  It was one of the wettest winters on record there that year.  The river was running high and fast, just like the little creek running in the back door and across the not so great room and out the front door of the house.  There was no stopping it, so I just put sand bags on either side of it.  It's funny now to remember stepping over the little creek running thru the middle of the house, to put wood in the stove, not so much at the time.
Himself decided it was getting a little too dangerous to stay, so he loaded up his horse and moved him to a horse ranch on higher ground. After more rain he thought it might even be too dicey for us to stay, but by this time the old road was under water.  A friend got concerned, and walked in to check on us.  We packed up what we could carry, put the baby in a sling on my back, and started the long walk out to the main road.  We hadn't gotten far when Himself called a halt, he had to go back for something.  After he got back to us we finished that long walk on the steep hillsides, in the rain, to the main road.
It was wonderful to be taken in by another college couple. It was heaven, especially since they had central heat and electricity.
After hot showers, a hot meal, and a few glasses of wine.  I asked Himself what he had gone back for at the house.
 "After all our hard work to buy that pickup, I'll be damned if I'll let the river take it.  So I got the biggest chain I could find, wrapped it around the biggest oak tree, then around the axle on the pickup and padlocked them all together. That pickup's not go'n anywhere." 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm supposed to be...

I'm supposed to be weed eating the back 40, too wet.  I'm supposed to be painting the inside of the kitchen cupboards, too damp.  I'm supposed to be changing the oil in the ol SUV, too nasty.  I'm supposed to be putting up the drapery rods, too boring.  I'm supposed to be studying, too busy.  I'm supposed to be finding an electrician, too costly.  I'm supposed to be mowing the lawn, too rainy.  I'm supposed to be doing taxes, too confusing.  I'm supposed to be looking for work, too old.  I'm supposed to be gathering eggs,  too many.  I'm supposed to be cleaning out the garage, too tired.  I'm supposed to be planting in the garden, too cold.  I'm supposed to be planning dinner, too unorganized. I'm supposed to be sewing, too uninspired. I'm supposed to be ironing, too hot.  I'm supposed to be a lot of things.  I want to be hugging and loving my kids and grandkids, that I DO.   

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Horse called Elvis

We had a cranky ol gelding on the home ranch named Elvis.  How he came by his name I have no idea.  He certainly didn't remind me of The Elvis, as he was not the handsomest piece of horseflesh around. His claim to fame on the ranch was that he could open any gate, and I do mean any.  It was not entirely uncommon to get that feeling that something is watching you and look out the window, to see him standing in the flower bed staring back at you.  He had a well honed method to his gate antics, he must have spent hours figuring out how different gates closures worked.  Being sneaky about his talent was also part of his way.  He never did it while you were in his sight.  The way we confirmed it was observation from a distant knoll, and the fact that he had kind of overthought the process by closing the gate behind himself.
His favorite  was to wait until we had gathered the horses into the barn corral, closed the gate, fed in the big horsebarn, and  then driven off to other chores.   Before the dust had settled he would saunter over open the gate, go back in the barn and tell the rest of the horse herd about the open gate. After they had made a mad dash out the gate, he would saunter over, shut the gate, mosey back into the barn and proceeded to eat all the feed. 
I thought for sure he would be sent down the road, after he did the same with the gate into the grandmother's beautifully tended yard.  That time he let the other horses IN, closed the gate, and galloped off to a good vantage point to watch the fireworks.  Grandfather stuckup for him in the battle that followed, and he stayed with us until an ol' fellow that needed a gentle horse bought him.  He was going to a good home and it really never came up about his special ways.  We did hear from the ol fellow that Elvis was doing well, was well loved, and the most talented horse he'd ever had.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

ROUNDUP READY

We used to go to the big local roundup every year, we were a lot younger, and knew pretty much everyone there.  Himself & the other local ranch kids worked in the background, clearing the arena, pushing up calves for the roping & dogging events. Moving bulls, horses, calves, and equipment to keep the show going under the watchful eye of their dads, or uncles. It took a special group of men to put on such a big event, even in the early years.
 At the end of each day's rodeo the boys would be up themselves in the wild horse race. Each three man team lead their horse onto the track, a shot gun was fired to start the race. More often than not the cowboys came away bloodied from the horse that had just kicked, bit, and stomped them as they tried to get a saddle on him.  If they got him saddled, one cowboy was thrown up on him and handed the halter rope, and expected to hang on for one trip around the large oval track.  All amind the other horses and cowboys running a muck. It was great fun, and a fair amount of money changed hands as we all bet on our home ranch teams. 
Seems it was often raining during roundup in those days.  So the arena was more mud bog than anything.  I sat on the hood of the ol scout and watched the events, right beside all the action.  It was the best seat in the house as far as I was concerned. 
Work schedules have kept us from going for quite a few years, but this year I'm going! Some new memories are sure to be there.  

Friday, January 29, 2010

Scotties Rock

Fergus, my scottie pup, has found his idol:  Go Flash! 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Goat Roper Recipe

Mix together: one small girl, one large horse, one rope, one pig'n string, and one nanny goat, gently blend, fold in a tree for the goat to hide in, careful with the horse, twirl the rope and bring to a simmer.  When finished you have a small girl with a broken wrist, a gloating goat, and a spooked horse all wrapped in string.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

FUR FLYING

While in the process of cleaning out closets in the big house at my MIL's many years ago we happened on the fur coats.  She hadn't worn them in years, and she was putting them in the thrift store box.  Oh, I fell in love with one, it was a beautiful three quarter length mink, and fit me perfectly.  "Take that ol thing if you want it," says she.  Trying to act like it was no big deal, I quickly put it back in it's special bag and hussled it out to my pickup.
Now I lived on the family cattle ranch in the middle of nowhere.  Most of my time was spent with kids, cowboys, cows, horses, dogs, and barbwire.  What would I be doing with a fur coat?
 A call to a friend was the hatching of my Plan. I so wanted a reason to wear that coat. You see the friend had an ol fur coat she loved, lived in the middle of nowhere, & had small children. Her kids and mine went to the same private Catholic school in town. 
Getting kids to school entailed a lot of mad dashes to town in what ever vehicle was available at o-dark-thirty in the morning. Me wearing ratty jammies, old leather slippers and trying to keep from spilling my mug of coffee. I often pulled into the parking lot with screeching tires, dogs barking, balingwire, curlers, and hay flying.  My friend arrived a bit nicer but not by much.  There we were met by the Other Mothers.  The Other Mothers lived in town, drove polished cars, had their makeup on, and were dressed fit for a brunch at the Cliff House.  They weren't very friendly to us, even though we never turned the kids or dogs loose on them. 
After another morning of the Treatment by the Other Mothers, I decided that the school parking lot was to be the place I would implement the Plan.  My friend was game.  We would wear our fur coats to take our kids to school.   We still screeched into the parking lot, with cowdogs barking, hay flying, messy hair, and ratty jammies, but also wearing our glorious fur coats. We kept it up til the weather got too warm to wear our furs.  The Other Mothers never did take a liking to us, but we had a great time, and our kids thought we were the classiest moms ever.