Saturday, November 30, 2013

Scraps on paper

There are lots of ol West cowboy sayings.  I like a fair number of them for one reason or another.

Often, there is one copied on a small piece of paper, tucked in the pocket of an old barn coat, in a hatband, in the pocket of a pair of wranglers, behind the grand kids pics in my wallet, and ever in books. I spent one rough summer in the Outback of Oregon tying them to tumbleweeds and sage.

Had not realized the extent of this little habit til I found one in the box of rocks...
It was one I have especially liked:  "Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to see other than itself." - Khalil Gibran

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

old bird news...

 Sometimes I forget to be thankful, and there is Much to be thankful for, even in tough times.

Recently we lost our Uncle Sam.  An amazing man, and the last of the elders in the Cowman's family to pass.  He was often traveling the world in search of, or pouring a stiff one at the house on Pawley's Island, or at the opera in the Big A.  Whenever he and Rosetta came West to get a little ranch country, we were all spell bound.  He just had that kind of presence.

Samuel Miller, longtime director of the Newark Museum, has died at 83
 Happy Trails Uncle Sam!

On another happier note, just got word from The corpsman that he has made HM2.  YeeHaw Bean, Nanner is so proud of you.

Though you are half a world away, you are held close in my heart. 
Granddaughter Ali has flown in from Kansas and Marymine is beyond busy with kids and turkeylurkey. 

 My Sean called, he and the girls will come down soon, and his best lady will be home from harvesting at the villa in Italy in time for Thanksgiving, so all is well with me and mine. 

May You be surrounded by the loves of Your life.  Happy Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Well, I might have...

Might have had a touch too much french press coffee this morning... but as I was finishing up a pep talk PM with the corpsman far away, there flashed across the screen:
Which is an ad for mens "naked brand" boxer briefs...  Don't bother going to their site unless your bored or flush with extra cash.  I get that they are just selling overpriced stuff.  How they market things is of more interest to me than what, usually...

The naked ad brought gales of laughter from me, and a "she has finally totally lost it" look from Willie, the Jack Russell.

There was a time I bought the Cowman some silk boxer briefs, for to keep him warm in the cold wintertime.  Only I forgot to tell him.  They were tucked in the back of his underwear drawer, and in the dark one very cold morning at O dark thirty, he put them on along with long johns, wranglers and coveralls.  
 When the Cowman sat down for breakfast he had an odd look on his face, but I was busy, and knew the rest of the crew would be riding up shortly, as they had a long day a horseback ahead of them.
Hours later as the sun is topping the far ridge, I see a lone horse and rider coming toward the house full out.  The Cowman rode up, slid his horse to a stop, and with groans of misery, strode thru the house to our bedroom, trying to shed clothes as he went.
By this time I had figured out what had happened, and was having a hard time not rolling on the floor with laughter.   OMG, if you could have seen the look he gave me.  "Did you by chance forget to tell me these damn silk shorts were in my drawer?"  he asked, still pealing off clothes. 
"Well... I might have."  I said.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I Swear.

Don't bother to tell me my life is not exciting... Since moving back to RB, I have become a golf caddie/cart driver for a 90 year old guy.
One hasn't really lived til one is out on the fairways with a bunch of duffers. Wading thru the rattlesnake rough, the shark ponds, or being chased by the mean geese is all part of this caddie's day.  Course, I guess if I were to wear the proper attire it might help or drive the cart with a little more decorum..  But hey, I'm not giving up my jeans, boots, gun, and wild rags, and the ability to popwheelie the cart without spilling my coffee-toddy, for a bunch of oldsters.  
Actually they are a really nice group of guys, and it's kinda cute to see them trying so hard not to cuss in front of me.    

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Oh Brother...

I have often said, I have moved a lot.  Mostly by myself, sometimes with the help of family or friends.  This time my brother said he was coming from Ideeho to help.

"Seriously, your driving out from Ideeho to help me move to RB!"  I said.
"Yes, we are!  I will rent a trailer there and we can get it done in one go!" Buzz said. 
"Well dang,  it's only going to happen if you take my oak table and chairs back with you for your cabin, and all my tack for your mules.  Otherwise, you can't help!"

"Fine with us, see you in a couple days!"
So he and my sister by marriage, drove 650 miles to move me 85.  They were awesome help, and have called to see how I'm settling in, and tell me how much they are enjoying the table & chairs.
There is a bit of history in that table & chairs: the old oak table, came out of a barn somewhere in the back of beyond and took lots of hours with 0000 steel wool to give it life again. The pressback chairs were given to my mother by a rancher's wife while the folks were on an elk hunting trip.  The seats were gone, spindles and legs loose.  I re-caned the seats and re-dowled the spindles. They have held up pretty well for cowcamp furniture that has moved in more stock trailers than some horses...  
I'm blessed to have a great brother, who I know will always have my six. Same here, Brother O Mine.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Keeping the Faith

The friend and I were talking, and we both said we loved to mow lawns.  Something about the never mowing in the same direction, walking in aeration golf boots, getting the right height for the type of grass... all that stuff.  It was a good thing too, since her husband would scalp they're lawn within an inch of it's life, and the Cowman's idea of lawn mowing was to open the gate, run some horses in and close the gate.

My friend had a neighbor with a husband who needed a swather to mow their lawn, if he ever got motivated enough.  So his wife decided she would do the lawn mowing.  She was good at it, but not too up on equipment maintenance. One normal summer day in RB, with the temp around 110, my friend and her hubby were passing the neighbor's yard.  There she stood trying to pull start her old mower.   Yank...Yank...Yank... Nothing, followed by more Yanking and more Nothing.  My friend's husband offered to go home and get their mower.  "No thanks" she said, while staring at her old mower.  Suddenly she bent over, slapped the top of the mower with both hands and shouted at the top of her lungs... "In The Name of Jesus!" The whole neighborhood fell silent.   She calmly yanked the starter rope, the engine fired and off she went to mow...

There are still miracles out there, we just have to keep the faith.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Rock Solid

A friend called today and asked me to come and redesign her office.  She is very kind hearted but a bit of a packrat, I on the other hand, tend toward ranch minimalist.  A member of the "be packed, loaded, and ready to head out by the time the last stock truck is loaded" group.  So why she chose me to do this redesign was a mystery.  Until we walked the space, and I turned to her and asked, "How do You see this space functioning?"  She said, "See, that right there is why I asked you, of all the people I asked for help with this, you are the only one that wants to know what "I" need this space to do."  Oh great, no pressure there.  After four hours of moving heavy furniture, bagging the stuff that needed to go away, and putting a few things in storage, we had a clean neat workable space for her.  I have a few things to place to make it function even better and we will call it good.  She's happy, her man friend is happy, and so I'm happy.

Even a ranch minimalist can have a soft spot. So I told her of the time when moving cowcamp, the Cowman saw a lone box by the door, grabbed it and proceeded to load it in the nose of the stock trailer.  "Jeez, what the hell is in this box?"  The box was plainly marked, but he hadn't seen the label.  I asked him to put it in my truck and I would take care of it. As he loaded it in my pickup he saw the label...  "Box of Rocks".  "So what's really in this box?" he asked.  
"Rocks" I said, "there are three grind stones: two I found on the home ranch, and one I found up on the Sprague.  The others are the heart shaped rocks the grandkids and I have found over the years. They remind me of special people and places."  The Cowman just shook his head and said, "You know, most women collect china, or silver, or jewelry, or shoes, but not you!"  "A Box of Rocks!"  He whistled up the dogs and headed out with a shake of his head...     

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The No Show stripper...

 Marymine and I went up to Red Bluff for Dad's 90th Birthday, the end of September. Quite a group showed up, a few relatives, neighbors, and friends, and all of his Thursday Golfing Group.  I do believe he told his golfing buddies there was going to be a stripper. (Wonder where he got that idea?)  They showed up in mass, with big grins of anticipation.  Wasn't happening, but it got them off the course and into Dad's party.

Marymine had not been up to see Dad in a while so he was thrilled to see his oldest grandchild.  He has always called her Indian, as she had long braids and was fearless as a little girl. She in turn calls him Chief.  He introduced her as The Indian, as is his way, to all who had not met her before.  They have a special bond those two.
Gave him his present tucked in a big wrapped box.  While he was glaring over his glasses at me, he had requested no presents, I told him if he didn't want it I could find someone who did...     When he saw that it was the gift certificate for a bi-plane ride, there were tears in that fierce look. He was beyond excited, and thought to go that day.  Whoa, we have to call ahead, and check the weather to make this happen...

Happen it did, a few weeks later the weather was perfect for a morning flight.  Harold flew his bi-plane up to RB and met Dad and I at the airport.  After Dad and Harold talked flying, did an inspection, we put on our leather helmets, wedged the two of us in the front, and took off.  
That's the way to fly: the wind in your face, the smell, the noise, the sense of this is where you were meant to be at this moment.
We flew over a lot of places that meant something to one or the other of us. The first big landscape design job I did up in the Bend, Dad's house, a cousin's place, China rapids, the canyon, the river, and the Cowman's family's old home ranch.

After we landed Harold and Dad were still talking flying, when Dad mentioned that he had flown a Travel-Air to SoCal to deliver it for a friend, long ago.  They moved on to talking jets. I think Harold was amazed at the various type of aircraft Dad had piloted.  
Dad was Happy, and that was all I asked for.
We've decided next year it will be flying in a glider... 


Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day

Thank You Veterans for your service. 
Very proud of my crew who have and are serving our country:

Dad:  AAF pilot

brother Buzz: USN jet driver

 daughter Mary: USN VP-47

grandson Cody: USN Corpsman (active duty)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sooner or Later...

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a while, still working on getting moved back to Red Bluff. 

Have a few more trips to make, and the final clean of the old bunkhouse before I can call it good.  This is move #31 for me since I married the Cowman.  I'm talking everything you own moves. My getup and go is lagging... it can't be age related, I'm sure.  
Have always said that Home is carried inside me, this move is testing that to the max.

A few tales of flying, moving, an awesome brother, grandkids, golfing, hunting mules, friends, and the arts are waiting for me to get past the move.  Later...