Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On the way to...

Gus and I drove up that nine hour long ribbon of highway to spend the holidays with Sean and his girls in the great Pacific Northwest.  
Sean is busy working to provide for his girls. I'm here to take care of the homefront, as the youngest recovers from surgeries on both her hips and legs.  This means full leg casts, this means granny is doing a bit of lifting. An eight year old can test your mettle any day, add in full leg casts and you know what I'm up against.  Last night as I was lifting the girl with the hot pink casts into bed...her sister said, with awe in her voice..."Granny you are going to be sooo buff when this is all over"...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Time and again

What a year...
fraught with sadness over the passing of Himself, worry at the deployment of my Navy medic grandson to Afghanistan, and concern for the youngest granddaughter, during her recent surgeries to help with her mobility.
And Gus has been black listed by the groomer for unbecoming behavior. What? he's a Scottie, he has attitude bred into him...
There have been many good times as well: The grand kids sports games, I try to go often, and not cheer overly loud...sometimes I succeed. I've been up to see my mom & dad more often this year. Dad at 88, is still taking their money on the golf course...
Visits with my dear brother, here at the bunkhouse and on the Oregon coast. Gus and I driving up to Vancouver as often as possible to spend time with Sean and his girls. Always a good thing.  Marymine and the kids just across the way from the bunkhouse, to hug on & enjoy.
There is a long To Do, To Learn list...so if you see a Scottie driving an ol SUV with a white haired, wild eyed granny, best get outta the way...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cowgirl on the Road

When advertising was interesting:

photo from the arizonaracinghistory.com 

I wouldn't mind having a Playboy....car that is...what fun!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


**NEWS ON STOLEN HORSES** Four of the five horses were found late last night deep in the woods outside of Idabell, OK. All received immediate veterinarian attention. They were found tied to trees with no food or water and had been there for an unknown # of days. The 5th horse, sorrel gelding, calf roping horse w/ JK brand on right hip is still missing. Please keep spreading the word to look out for the last horse. This 5th horse could have been sold, or let loose somewhere. Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word and find these horses!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stolen Alert

Having had this happen to me in the past, I want as many eyes on the lookout as possible. Please call the number at the bottom if you see anything.  The more people aware & looking the better, Thanks!

ALERT: This morning (11/3) between 12:00am and 7:00am someone stole five roping horses, a featherlite gooseneck stock/combo trailer, many saddles, and many bits from the college rodeo barn in Magnolia, Arkansas. The trailer has Georgia plates. The five horses include, Ashley Mills good black horse with a rockin M brand... on left hip. A sorrel blaze face horse with a rockin V on his left shoulder, right hip has a backward L with a K. There was also a grey mare with no markings, a buckskin mare with a star on her head, and a black mare with a circle M brand on left hip. Please help us find these horses. If you have any information please call 870.904.3067

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

what we need

The Wild Geese
by Wendell Berry

Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer's end. In time's maze
over the fall fields, we name names
that went West from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed's marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sparkle Plenty

I'm sure I will go down in the family annuals as Sparkle Plenty's mom.  Marymine has always, always been the glitter queen.  She can burn thru a couple hundred jars of that Martha's glitter like nobodies business. 
So, it's that time of year....Homecoming.  Marymine, has two in high school, so it's a pretty big deal around here. Yesterday I pruned (hacked) down the shrubs (jungle) around her  house...so you could see all the tactfully gaudy decorations she has put up.  As I was hacking...err...pruning my way across the wilderness...a glimmer came over me.  I thought this might be due to my extreme bravery in  even attempting to make the decorations visible from the freeway a mile away...  Nope, it was Sparkle Plenty at work...dusting the shrubs (and me) with glitter... See, she is set on winning the best decorated homecoming home contest.  There will be a perpetual trophy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Alrighty then...since two of you have asked who the cowgirls in the header picture are... 

 From left to right they are: Reine Hafley, Fox Hastings, Rose Smith, Ruth Roach, Mabel Strickland, Prairie Rose Henderson and Dorothy Morrell.
(side note: I don't think the date on the photo is correct, more likely in the late 1920's)

An outstanding trick rider and bronc rider and daughter of California Frank Hafley, Reine Hafley Shelton (1902-1979) born Elba Reine Skepper at Janesville, Wisconsin, was called the World’s Greatest Lady Trick Rider. For a time she performed a highly successful act with an Arabian horse named Lurline in which they would jump 50 feet into a tank of water. With California Frank’s show, Shelton performed trick and bronc riding, as an elephant rider and an oriental and flamenco dancer. In 1918 she began her competitive career placing second in the trick riding at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Shelton earned over $125 by winning the bronc riding event at Madison Square Garden in 1924. In 1925 she eloped with Dick Shelton while he was performing with Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show. Shelton was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1983 and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame’s Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1991.
Eloise Fox Hastings (1882-1948), born Eloise Fox, ran away from a convent school at the age of 16 to marry rodeo cowboy Mike Hastings. Bulldogging was her favorite event. She dropped the name Eloise and remained Fox Hastings her entire career. Fox Hastings performed trick and bronc riding in her early years with the Irwin Brothers’ Wild West Show. Fox first exhibited her bulldogging skills in 1924 at the Fort Worth, Texas Rodeo and established a record time of 17 seconds. She continued to bulldog at more than a dozen rodeos, including the revived 101 Ranch Wild West, in that year. She excelled in this exhibition event and became the foremost cowgirl contract performer in this field. In the 1940s she developed tuberculosis. Shortly after her second husband died in 1948, she died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Hastings was inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1987.
Rose Smith, wife of legendary cowboy Oklahoma Curley Roberts. Hailed as one of the famous cowgirl bronc riders of the 1920s, Rose Smith was also an accomplished trick rider. In 1923 at Ringling’s Madison Square Garden contest, she won $960, including the $600 first prize in bronc riding, $185 day money (daily prizes), and $175 in the costume event.
Ruth Roach (1896-1986) born Ruth Scantlin, grew up in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. Running away from her Missouri home in 1912, Ruth Roach joined the 101 Ranch Wild West Show and later performed with the show in London, England. Her competitive debut came in 1917 at the Fort Worth Roundup, the first indoor rodeo. There she rode the bronc, Memphis Blue, and claimed the $100 first-place prize. In 1919 she captured first-place finishes in the Fort Worth and Cheyenne bronc riding contests and in 1920 was named champion lady bronc rider of Chicago’s 1920 Roundup. She performed before President Warren Harding in 1923 at Washington, DC. The following year she performed in Tex Austin’s rodeo in London, where at Wembley Stadium as many as 92,000 fans attended the first performance. In 1932 she was the cowgirl champion in the bronc riding at Madison Square Garden winning $526. While she continued to rodeo through 1938, this was her last major title. Roach was inducted into both the Rodeo Hall of Fame and National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1989.

 Mabel De Long Strickland (1897-1976) was born in Washington State. She began her rodeo career in 1912. A winning relay racer, Mabel, won the 1913 through 1915 trick riding competitions at Walla Walla, Washington riding with the Drumhellers, horsemen and rodeo producers. Married to Hugh Strickland, Mabel won her first steer roping contest at the Dewey Roundup with a record time of 21.2 seconds. Winner of the McAlpin trophy for all-around cowgirl at the Cheyenne Frontier Days in 1922, Strickland won the trick riding competition at Madison Square Garden in 1922, 1923, and 1924. In 1927 she set a steer roping record at the Pendleton Roundup and was named the Roundup Queen. Perhaps the most photographed cowgirl of her era, Strickland played a bit part in a Bing Crosby movie entitled “Rhythm on the Range” in 1936. Later she did “replacement riding” (stunt riding) for actresses in the movies. Strickland was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame’s Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1981 and the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1992
Prairie Rose Henderson, was declared one of the all-time great winners excelling as a bronc rider. For the details of this twisted tale see:
Dorothy Morrell (1888-?), born Dolla Eichorn in Canada, was judged World’s Champion Cowgirl Bronc Rider in 1914 at the Pendelton Roundup. She was married to “Skeeter” Bill Robbins. For more information see:

Monday, August 1, 2011


The Cowman and his dog's view...
Their ashes were scattered on this hillside over looking the river and the valley. He so loved this valley.  Most of the family was able to come for this special day. Words of hope and goodbye were spoken, tags of remembrance and a picture of he & Max were tied to the pine tree, and wildflower seed balls were scattered on the hillside. And there this story comes full circle.  Looking back I realized that for the most part it was he I wrote about. His stories told thru me. There are still stories to tell, and they are being passed on to his children and grandchildren. The family circle remains unbroken.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Climb on

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." -- John Muir

Friday, June 10, 2011


In the beginning there was a young rancher.  He married a country girl. They raised two great children, a lot of cattle, a bunch of dogs, a cat or two, a little hell, and assorted other things.  Life was an adventure with much to learn along the way. Years passed, the kids had kids, the rancher and the country girl grew older. Life was still an adventure but not in ways the country girl could understand. After a time she left the rancher.  It was difficult, they had grown up together the rancher and the country girl, over forty three years of marriage.  They parted as friends she wanted to think, but who really knows.
The rancher passed away last Sunday. He left a brief note about the disposition of his ashes, and chaos behind him.  There remains a daughter shaking with sorrow, a son taking charge of a thousand things, bewildered grandkids, and a country girl caught between madness and sadness.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


B J Hampton Miller

I keep calling myself an old lady, but I just figured out that I am not old. I am experienced beyond belief.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Real life

A fellow blogger (AR Patti) posted a link to Doris's post of Dr Kikta's first hand account of the tornado's impact on St John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin MO.  Tornado damage, but more importantly human grace is in this story:  
Please give as much help, in what ever form you can to those in need. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New eyes

Went to an antiques market show last weekend. What beautiful things, I drooled a lot.  Way beyond my limited budget, but the looking was free. It was held in the garden and barn of a couple who live in my old home town. 

In one outdoor stall, the one with the vintage clothing, a little gopher popped his head up.  He continued to eat from the edges of the grass as if there wasn't a multitude of ol ladies wandering about. Out came the camera phones, big cameras, little cameras, for a gopher. 

Interesting to see things that would have been tossed in days gone bye displayed in such clever ways.  The boneyard here on the farm is full of these rusty, dusty, bent, and twisted pieces of art.  It's a treasure trove out there. I go scouting often to redo my displays. I'm not above putting a small roll of barbwire up as a wreath, using disk blades as planters, bird feeders, or table centerpieces. A seed bag pillow case.  Bed spring candle holders, vases, and plant hangers. Spindles and cogs, horseshoes & deer horns are displayed around the ol bunkhouse.  Years ago my dad cut and slag welded three disk blades together as a vase for my mom, it is the one thing I hope to inherit. I've been doing this type of decorating for years,  simply because I like the repurposing, the seeing things with new eyes.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Traveling Light

Since The divorce I've been winnowing thru my stuff.   Files that I've no idea why I kept. Pictures have been sorted, and the twelve million duplicates and the picture of a rock are now residing in a landfill.  I brought with me a few pieces of furniture that have a long and sorted past. The press back chairs are from a ranch wife in the wilds of Nevada via my mother and father's hunting trips.  The round oak table wandered into my care from a neighbor's barn sale, as did the pie safe. The old white chippy cabinet with the blue interior was left on the curb when a store closed, down the street from where I worked. Stuffed that sucker in the back of the ol SUV and away I went. And yes I did find a free sign on it.  A painting or two, a pot, a fry pan and a box of rocks, pretty much covers it.

 In days gone by himself would back the gooseneck up to the house, and tell me to have it packed and ready to go by the time the cattle where finished being loaded.  I got pretty good at packing and traveling light.  We moved so much that I guess it stuck. 
I like this lightness of being. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger Down

The world as we know it ended for a few days.  What a wake up call that was as Blogger's maintenance fix flamed out and crashed into the Internet ocean.  It seemed to revive for a moment then down again, up-down, up-down, up which made me a little crazy.  I have to have my lurking time with the many and varied blogs I enjoy reading.  I seldom comment, because I want to make that truly original intelligent comment that someone else has already made.  But tell me the system is down, and boy do I have a lot to say.  Now it's been down too long  and I've misplaced all those gloriously intellectual comments in my post menopausal mind. 
There was lots to share, like the show steers got out, everyone gone but me.  It was going well til they decided to see what  was with all those pickups whizzing by.  There I am trying to run threw knee deep pasture, to cut them off, when to my utter amazement I learned that I can levitate. Not able to stay up there very long yet but I'm working on it. No bunnies where hurt in this process.
Gus has decided that he's a big dog now, and part of his early doghood shall be to lift his leg in the house.  This is not going over well with me, he's a tad jumpy from my corrections. He'd be even jumpier if he knew what lay in store for him if he does it again.
The baby owls are getting big.  I can't upload my pictures, (we won't go there at this time) so you will need to go to Cindee's Garden and look at her pictures.  Ours look just like hers.  Aren't they just cute?
In closing, if you see a white haired, wild eyed granny, driving an ancient SUV, loaded with grand kids, steer feed, baseball equipment, and a live Scottie hood ornament, my advise would be to get the heck out of her way.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fine Feathered Friends

There is a large lawn area with old trees between Marymine's house and the bunkhouse where I live. 
In the crouch of a huge elm is a stick nest with three of these little cuties...  Yesterday we watched they're antics for the longest time. Mom must have been off getting dinner from the take out in the alfalfa.   

Monday, April 18, 2011

aaah Spring

All is in Spring hyper drive around the farmstead. Sunday before last, Marymine sent me across the valley to get "some color" for her yard. I hate shopping, really, except for plants. Came home with the ol SUV loaded to the roof with Lots of Color.  The youngest granddaughter and I planted 25 pots and three borders full to the brim... aaah Spring!
The son-in-law has his many & varied crops in, and just finished baling the first cutting of alfalfa. Grand kids are busy with ballgames, 4-H, FFA, and projects.
Marymine and her oldest girl were off to another state for a game last weekend. Which left the youngest girl & boy in my care, watch out world. Ran the boy to the dentist (30 miles away) Thursday morning.  Then away to the feed mill, to swap out a whole pallet of feed...which the girls had picked up the day before. The loader had put Alpaca feed on, instead of the show steer mix. I have a feeling that the young man driving the forklift might have been paying more attention to my granddaughter than which pallet he was loading.
Thursday night Lizzy had a ballgame and Friday night they all had a dinner to go to.  Saturday was full of 4-H for Lizzy, and grandson plowing.


Sunday, Lizzy and I took great grandpa to the Big rodeo.  We got to see a lot of family & friends, gossip, swap tales, oh and watch the rodeo.
Now why does it all come at once?  This granny needs a bit of a break once in a while so she can catch her breath and enjoy... aaah Spring


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

All's well that ends well...

When we sold our house last fall, I did a final clean and walk-thru. In a way, saying goodbye to the only house we ever owned.  All the other 29 moves had been to rentals or ranch housing. 
I had moved out months before, and himself had stayed on til a buyer was found. He did a good job of keeping it up, but didn't see that it wasn't as clean as it could be.  So I spent a last day with the house, cleaning, and polishing.  I made sure the bathrooms had full rolls of TP, new bars of soap, a few fresh towels, new batteries in the alarms, a basket of trash bags, new lightbulbs, cleansers, and watered the garden.  Locking the door behind me the last time, I wasn't sad, there was no need.  When I went by the realtor's to leave my keys, I also left a binder for the new owners.  The binder had a note wishing them nothing but happiness in their new home, all the warranties and manuals for the heating/ac unit, appliances, and fixtures.  The names and info of all the utilities, and services that we had used. Also included were the color codes and brands of paint & stain used. At the end I listed the close neighbors and slipped in a few pictures of the landscape in full bloom. 
I never met the buyers, but my ex said they were nice, all's well. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Yeah Right Bucko...

A girlfriend called to say she was driving up to Washington state to spend a week with her sons, and would I like to ride along so I could spend some time with my Sean.  Took me about a minute to throw some clothes in my bag, make arrangements for Gus to stay with Marymine, and away I went. 
Spent a great week with my Sean and his girls. The girls and I did Fort Vancouver twice, and made hand puppets for their impromptu puppet show for Sean.  Those girls are inventive, we laughed and had a great time.
 Sean needed to find a home for his Queensland heeler, Jack.  After a call to Marymine to see if she was interested in adding to her pack, and an OK from my girlfriend, it was a go for Jack to ride home with us. 
Jack looks a lot like the Queensland heeler pictured above.  He is a dear sweet dog with very good manners, So I figured it would be smooth sailing getting him to Marymine's. 
Sean said he's a good traveler, except here I am driving a friend's car on a very busy 205 when he farts.  Now her car is nothing like my ol SUV, so I'm trying to drive, and roll down the window at the same time.  After we had nearly passed out from the fumes, I found the right button to push and aired us out.  We laughed, and said "Oh Jack you must have eaten something you shouldn't have".  On we went with me driving the Vancouver to Roseburg leg.  The next time he let one go we were in a driving rain storm and could only crack the windows, still able to laugh somewhat.  
Told my girlfriend of the time my cousins had sent a book to Sean's girls entitled "Walter the Farting Dog".  We had all gotten a kick out of that book, I must have read it to the girls a dozen times. 
Now it was starting to look like we had another five hours of driving with "Jack the Farting Dog".  We ran into snow on my next leg of driving, with no chains or 4 wheel drive it got a bit dicey. Jack the Farting Dog continued apace. Just about the time we would think he wasn't going to gas us again, he would let loose. Truckers would signal to us that our windows were down and it was snowing out, we pointed to Jack The Farting Dog, and kept on. We were starting to think it might be wise to stop at a WallyWorld and get gas masks. Tears were coming to our eyes, but it wasn't from laughter. We finally reached her place, switched my bags and Jack to my ol SUV for the last hour and a half  to my bunkhouse.  Pulled in, let Jack stretch his legs, retrieved Gus from Marymine's, and made Jack promise that he would Not fart in the bunkhouse.  He didn't, and now is happily living with the crew at Marymine's.  
When I called Sean to ask about Jack's fumigating specialty,  Sean said he probably was just plain scared to death riding with two ol ladies in that little car going thru rain and snow storms. Yeah right Bucko... 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Standing Tall

Vintage photo collage print, A Girl Needs a Gun, FREE SHIPPING

Jingleworms the ol cowboys called them. We had plenty of them on one of the ranches. I killed 27 in my yard, the last summer we lived there. They were big & nasty, would stand up in the grass and hunt your dog, who promptly jumped in the back of the pickup, only to have the jingleworm strike the truck tires.
One day moving cows with the Cowman up ahead, my horse stopped and he didn't seem willing to go forward. I was paying attention to the Cowman & the cows in front of me and not my horse. I gigged him and still no response. We were in a shallow wash, and when I looked down I saw we were surrounded by rattlesnakes. Being very calm, I gently told my horse to just quietly step between them and carry on with the job at hand. He did so and got us out of harms way. And I learned that you can wear a cowboy hat, plaid shirt, wranglers, chinks, boots, and spurs and still stand tall on top of a saddle horn.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Dinner at the drive thru

This happened to me today on the way home from the city. 
I pulled into the drive up and asked the girl in the speaker box for a hamburger wrap. "Sorry, we don't have a hamburger wrap." "Ok, do you have a steak wrap?" "No, we only have a chicken wrap or an Angus wrap." "aaaah, ok, I'll have an Angus wrap."

Monday, January 17, 2011

I loved camping and still do

I was always the kid that loved to go camping at the lake. Water skiing til our arms were ready to fall off. Swimming, skipping rocks, packing fire wood, finding treasures. Eating fresh peaches from home, trout from the lake.  The smell of the forest, the smell of wood smoke from the fire.  The sounds of the loons calling in the evening. Up early to watch the sun come up, the lake was like glass. I loved camping and still do.
Mom and dad had an ol army tent to sleep in.  My brother, the three boys that came with us, and I slept out under a blanket of stars.  We had ancient camp cots to put our bedrolls on.  The only flat ground was taken up by the tent, camp table, and fire pit, so we dug holes for our cot legs.  If you moved around too much on your cot you would find yourself rolling down hill into the lake.  Not real great, as you would invariably bounce off a few boulders on the way down and as you were usually snugged into an old mummy bag, the air hole having become fixed at the back of your head, you couldn't see, and you sure couldn't stop. You just knew you better hope that one of those thick headed boys would wake up and keep you from turning into the girl of the lake.
One night after more smores than any kid should eat, we slipped off to dreamland. Then the screaming began, up popped five heads, again the scream. Now there are five heads up,and five flashlight beams whipping around amid a chorus of frightened voices.  Dad called from the tent to "pipe down out there and go to sleep".  "But, but, what was that, who had screamed, and it seems to be getting closer?"  Dad said, "it's just a mountain lion, across the lake, go to sleep, now."   "OK, if you say so, but, it sounded like a woman screaming." "It's not, it's just a big mountain lion, they sound like that."  We finally settled down, and went back to sleep. 
I was woken by the sound of something moving around in camp, oh God, it's a bear or the mountain lion come to get us.  Having scrunched down to the bottom of my bag, I could only see a small area in front of my cot, but I could hear what ever it was getting into stuff in camp.  I could hear it eating what sounded like Fritos, and getting closer to my cot.  Then an ol doe stuck her nose in the end of my bag,  and that's how come I screamed, rolled off the cot, rolled down the hill, bounced off a bunch of boulders, and nearly drowned in the lake.  I loved camping and still do.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


She's bright, funny, pretty, athletic, smart, involved in her community and school and blonde.  She struggled with her high school Spanish classes last year, more due to the lack of skill by her teacher than anything. An honor roll student, she wants to go to vet school.
As she is working toward getting a college athletic scholarship, she's on several traveling ball teams.Her mom, her best friend, and her are coming home from a practice in the city.  She's setting in the front seat, kick'n back, as her mom pulls up to a stop sign.  She looks off to the side of the road, see's a sign among the multitude of political signs, and says "HeSus SuaVes".  Her mom who is watching traffic, said, "what did you say?".  She repeats it.  Her mom looks around her, and starts to laugh, the friend is rolling on the seat, Her mom tells her: the sign says Jesus Saves. 
It's one of those tales that you just know is going to be passed around the family forever.
Don't worry A we've all had our blonde moments.