Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Making a loop...

 I needed to check on an ol friend and her family. So this morning, with a caregiver to stay with mom, I loaded up Dad and took him with me on a little ol 200 mi loop.
When we pulled into LG's place she was just finishing feeding the horses.

 She has been feeding hay all summer, as irrigation water is too expensive.  It is very dry there, they didn't get nearly as much rain as we did from this last storm.  The permanent pastures have all dried up, and their well is barely keeping the houses and horses in water.  They are trying to get through the environmental permits to put in a new stock well. What a damn nightmare that has been.
The critters, LG, T, & Pops where all glad to see us, and visit for a spell.
the girls working the back door

LG carries a pretty darn big load and does it well. (her hubby T is a quad due to a horseback fall some years back.)  For all the problems, or possibly because of them, she and her faith are strong.

the back bathroom

I like going there, simply because it all reminds me of a life I once lived...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Boots, Dogs, & Cake...

I got a pic from my granddaughters in WA. The girls had just come in from cleaning barn stalls...

Here are pics of the muck boots (one with Scotty puppy, Fergus) after I finished painting them and just before I shipped them North.

I'm amazed they are still using them after all this time.

and just because...
a pic of Gus (Fergus) after his ears came up...

What a character Gus was. He traveled a lot of miles with me, never got car sick, always good company, and never once complained about my driving sorta fast.  Gus and I had such a great time making life "interesting" for Max and the Cowman.

All righty, "The Cake" recipe from Donna: http://emailfromtheembassy.blogspot.com/
She didn't give the name of it (that's my doing) but did say I could share the recipe:

"Donna's World Renown Yummy Chocolate Cake Recipe with Love from Russia"

"It's the easiest recipe in the world -
grease/flour a bundt pan and heat the oven to 350.  Mix together: 1 box devils food cake mix, 1 small instant pudding, 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 cup oil and 4 eggs.  Mix on high in the blender for 3 minutes.  Toss in a bag of chocolate chips. Pour in the bundt and cook for an hour. Top w powdered sugar once it's cool - and it really is best served cold."
Go try it, hope you love it as much as I do!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bits n Pieces...

My daughter, Marymine's birthday is today.  She is an amazing woman in so many ways! 
I miss living close enough to see her everyday, there is always lots going on at her place. Between kids, dogs, critters, family, and friends there is never a dull moment. And she is a fantastic cook! (I know...that gene skipped a generation.)

Marymine and her crew

We had two inches of rain a couple days ago, which started the feed. Yep, shoots are up...in the field, and there is sign that the fawn is back.

Ideal weather for planting the Aptos Blues I bought earlier in the summer.  They are going to fill some holes in the wind breaks.  
Been trying to prune back the landscape jungle that the folks had planted when they built.  It was way over planted, and the gardener has just been shearing it back in places. Consequently it has entirely lost it's design form, if there was one.  Getting it back to a more esthetically pleasing design is a challenge. If it were up to me alone, the sound of a chain saw would fill the air. Reducing the multitude of garden figure chachkies is helping.  But it has to be done slowly, as not to upset the elders...sigh.

Willie has finally gotten his new doggles...and is ready to hit the road to new adventures.

"Punch it Granny!"


Friday, September 26, 2014

Pray'n... update

Dad is 91 today... and is now on the river with C fish'n for salmon.  (I didn't get to go this time due to a repairman coming to the house, damn it.)  C and I loaded up Ol Ugly and away they went. Thank goodness C got back from DC in time to take Dad. 

Happy Birthday, Catch a big one Dad!


Dad and his fav Twinkie snack

They got back in one piece, but no fish.  Dad enjoys C so much that he seemed okay with that.  After dad had headed inside for his chair, C and I put the cover back on ol Ugly and had a little pow wow about Dad's fishing.  Result, I've gotten Dad a guided fishing boat trip for next week, and hopefully that will end his dry spell. 
Thank you all for the great birthday wishes for Dad, I will be sure to pass them on to him!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Well Spit...

 I seem to collect rocks and feathers... does that mean I'm flighty but grounded?

Spent yesterday on the river chasing salmon with Dad and (his friend) D. I get very leery about the chances of a successful outing when the only trailers at the ramp are gov guys. I won't get into the prelaunch: dead battery, the travel to D's house to get another, the fact that D's place needs to be dozed...
  Drove ol Ugly up and down all the hot spots. The river is really low, which means you have to go really really fast to plane over the gravel bars. Yee Haw!

recent catch on SacRiverGuide.com boat
Dad was frustrated that he was not even getting a bump, with salmon jumping all around us, D didn't seem to care.  Though D wasn't real happy to have to get in the river with me, to help lift the motor out of the water to unplug the weeds from the intake, twice. 
Dad is really pushing it lately! Dad, D, and I were talking about shotguns and bird hunting while waiting for a damn salmon to jump into ol Ugly, when Dad says to D, "If you'll take Brig pheasant hunting down at the range, I'll pay for all the birds."  Which embarrassed the heck out of me, and I think D as well...
D stuttered... "aaah sure, I aaah can take her, I guess!"   Really, what could the poor man say, he's in Dad's boat, in the middle of the river, with me at the helm.  Dad is getting way too into his scheming, I have no interest in D, and I suspect D feels the same about meHe knows Trouble when he sees it.
My granddaughter, Lauren, played HS volleyball up here yesterday evening. So I got to see her and Marymine. Yeah!  Lauren, calls'm as she sees'm, is a really good player, and a hoot to boot.

part of the WINNING team, Lauren on the R

Monday, September 22, 2014

Trail notes...

The ol doe is back. She has been missing from the trail that Willie and I run, since the fire.  No signs of the buck or the fawn...

Rocky raccoon has moved back into his condo.

 Willie thinks he would like a piece of Rocky, not a wise idea.

The lone wild turkey has left sign that he is back as well.  He has a predilection for a certain shrub in a neighbor's yard. The neighbor that is very anal about his landscaping, and not an especially friendly fellow. I have seen the gobbler gobbling away on his shrub, laughed quietly and walked on... 

The Crow by Rudi Hurzlmeier

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Buzz'n Idaho...

Happy 64th Birthday to my little brother, Buzz! Who is now older than dirt, too...

 From the expressions on our faces and if I remember rightly... he had just peed on me...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Head Up...

Took Dad up to the Veterans clinic today to get him checked out by the ENT doc.  He has been having trouble with his voice. Practically shouting to get words out. His NP had suspected he had reflux so put him on meds for that til he could be seen by the ENT docI always go in with Dad.  So there we are, with Doc and his nurse getting ready to scope Dad's vocal cords.  With the camera down Dad's throat, the nurse turns to me and says,  "you want to see don't you!"   "Oh Heck Yes, it's interesting!"  She laughs and says "I thought so just by the look in your eyes!" She sets it up so I can see it on the monitor and Doc walks me thru what we are seeing.  It was very interesting. Dad will be staying on the meds as they are helping, and was cautioned to not force his voice, but there are no other problems.  
I told them I had worked for a large and small animal veterinarian and was always getting in trouble... Doc, bless his heart, would ask me if I wanted to scrub in. "Yes Sir!"  And away surgery would go, until Doc would lean over to me and say, "I can't see to close with your damn head in the way!" 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The range is Hot...

A friend, Tim, let me know he was going to the range Friday afternoon. Did I want to go?  Oh Heck Yes!  Bring plenty of ammo, he said.
I made an emergency trip to see the guys and get more ammo from the gunny place.  Something tells me I might be spending too much time/money at the gunny shop. The owner calls me by my first name, and his guard dog comes up and smooches my hand.
 It was hotter than a two dollar pistol Friday afternoon, which is not unusual for here.  The range was vacant when we got there. Too hot out for others, I guess.

Put a little over 150 rounds thru the little Sig and then shot Tim's AR-15.  The little Sig was great, her owner not so much.  I'm working on a group of drills that should help.
The AR was a dream to shoot.   I like that ping, ping sound a bunch.
As much pruning and sawing that I do in the yard I never thought my hands would not be up to an afternoon of shooting.  It appears I was wrong, as my ol scarred up hands are sore...

on the way home from the range

Friday, September 12, 2014


Max's puppy pic

Gone four years now but never forgotten, Maxwell, the Wonder Cowdog, a Border McNabX. Always a gentleman around people, hellaciously good on "eat your lunch" cows & bulls, gentle and guarding of babies & ol folks... 

Max waiting for the next go...

His ashes are on Sun Mountain in Oregon, along with the Cowman's. I'm sure they are together doing what they loved best, working cattle...

The view from Max and the Cowman's

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Salmon fishing part 5...

I went to the local go to guys last week and said "Please teach me what I need to know about fishing for salmon. My Dad is 90 and really needs to catch one."  A large chunk of change later I had all the tools and some of the knowledge.  

Dad and I went out in old Ugly again Monday. She is home from the boat hospital, finally. They didn't hookup the fish/depth finder, but Dad said we didn't need it cause he didn't think it worked right anyway.  Well when the river is this low it's sorta nice to know when you are going to hit a gravel bar.  Thankfully the river is clear so you can see the bottom and sorta gauge depth from that.

Jim, a girlfriend's guy went with us.  He was practically raised on the river, so was a lot of help.  Taught me a bunch of tactics for boondoggling, and drifting, and handling ol Ugly.
Jim perfecting the art of the birds nest...

We didn't catch anything, but Dad got some good bumps.  He was fishing with roe and Jim was using a sardine wrapped flat fish. We had salmon jumping around us, and could see them swimming, so it wasn't like there were no fish.
Dad fishing....

Dad went again today and took a friend of his, D. I couldn't go as I had a conference call coming from the doctors. 
They didn't catch anything, but had a good time according to Dad. 
Later in the evening Dad was raving about what nice a guy D is and how D kept saying he wished I could have come with them.  I swear alarms went off in my head.  Next thing I know Dad says, "Oh, by the way he wants to date you."  "He said he would see you tomorrow night at the poker game here."  Date! I haven't been on a date in years, well except for the short kilted guy in the shiny shirt...sigh... 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hot Spot...

We have had nine fires set within 1/2 a mile of the house recently, the latest a few day ago. All in the field that abuts our neighbor...hood.

 That field is where the retired parole officer and his wife run, and where Willie and I run/jog.  I tried running on the subdivision's streets, but that was not a good fit.  There are no quail, turkey, raccoon, does or fawns there to track, there are no sounds of doves or meadow larks, or raucous scrub jays, or bell cows, and the air doesn't smell like Mother Nature's garden.
I had been concerned that there were no fire breaks put in around the field, as the fuel load was high. One neighbor didn't seem to realize that he had a perfect fire ladder to his house.  Finally, a couple of weeks ago the owners of the field bladed in a bunch of fire breaks, and a large berm at the end of our street to keep people from driving into the field. The berm was effective in keeping the water tinders, and tractor/trailer with the dozer from getting into the fire. A neighbor showed them where access would be possible.

There are a lot of vagrants/druggies around town, and the consensus is that the fire bug is in that group.  The neighbors tell me that since the large releases of prisoners from prison to small county seats, nothing is safe, especially if left on the street.  This in a neighborhood full of retired military, and many resident retired/active LEOs of one branch or another. 
Haven't been packing my little Sig because the darn field is within the city limits, and my CCW permit is still in processing.  I do take my cell phone and assorted other devices.

 When I lived on the home ranch, my brother's wife came out to visit and said she could never live out like that, she would be afraid all the time. Which seemed so strange to me, as we were armed to the teeth, had a couple of dogs that wouldn't let anyone near us, and you could hear someone drive over the third cattle guard. Thieves had to want your stuff pretty bad to come out to the middle of 12,000 acres to try and take it.  The same was true for fire bugs. They seldom made it out of the area before being caught. 
  Much easier pick'ns and fire bugging in town. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Saturday Night Special...

Here it is another cowgirl Saturday night, and I was writing a post. All about a cowboy and a thiev'n no good rustler. 
Not wanting to use any of the pics of cowboys I know, I went in search of one, but... 

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Preppers be prepping, 
for Winter is coming, 
any good Viking berserker
 would tell you to be prepared,
so...  skål

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Went out for the dawn run with wee Willie. As is my compulsion I made my bed before leaving. Wore a loud orange tee, it's dove season in the back of beyond.  It was still fairly early when we got back.  I had made coffee in my trusty French press before I left the house, so off to the kitchen to get a cuppa, and do some admiring on my kitchen cabinets remodel from the day before. 
It had been a battle to keep Dad from doing it. I had erred by telling him I was going to reverse the way a couple of the cabinets opened. (Who ever the carpenter was that put in the cabinets when mom & dad built this house never had to function in a kitchen.) Turned my back and there Dad was (with my drill mind you) getting ready to climb on a step ladder. "Oh Heck No!  You can supervise to your heart's content, but I'm doing it."  Worked out well, and this morning Dad had positioned himself so that when the home helper came he had a ring side seat to watch her practically rip off the doors trying to open them from the now wrong side...
Got back to my room, which is a work in progress for sure. (Seriously, who the hell puts white carpet throughout a house in RED Bluff) Looked around for Willie, no dog. Searched through the house, no dog. Checked outside, no dog. Damn, I know I'm a bit cranky from lack of sleep but to have my dog desert me...