Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Trouble...

Trying to make the daily trips to the oncologists for Dad's radiation treatments an adventure.

The Christmas tree, which I'm leaving there, is enjoyed by all, except it appears the cleaning staff who unplug it on the nights they clean. I plug it back in, and the tastefully decorated tree with flashing strobe lights brightens the place right up.

There are several patients that are scheduled close enough together that we all spend time together in the waiting room.
The cast:
Henry (patient) is wheel chair bound, and lives at the vets home out by the airport. His medical transport ride is often late picking him up. We all have medical transport on speed dial now.  Henry is quite a cheerful talker, and as it turns out a very good harmonica player.  I asked him to bring it and play for us. The others in the waiting room tried to give me the stink eye, but as I smiled and nodded to each of them in turn they consented to go along.  "I would love too," said Henry! Next visit he brought it, and oh the sweet, sweet music that came from that harmonica.  We got a bit loud with calling out tunes for him to play, everything from hymns to beer hall polkas. A standing ovation followed. Henry got a squeezebox for Christmas! The music will play on...

Charlie brings his nice wife (patient) each day. Charlie never takes off his ball cap, has a ponytail, a long Fu Manchu mustache, and a perpetual look of being startled. Can't quite figure him out, he never looks you in the eye. Dad always yells at him, "Hi Charlie!" and the man nearly levitates. I've asked Dad to go easy on him, as not everyone wants to be his friend. Dad's response is better not repeated.
Lucy (patient) is an elderly little sprite of a woman, always wears red, and always has a tam o' shanter on her bald head. She is up beat and loves to set by me and tell me stories.  She walked out with us today and I heard Dad say, "I don't want to appear rude Lucy, but how old are you?" Her perfect reply, "old enough!"

Maude (patient) and her husband sort of wander in each day. She can't talk much, but those eyes spark up when she finds something we've said funny. Her husband is a tall drink of water, and packs Maude's huge purse for her with all the aplomb of a well pecked rooster.
 
Today I brought a bag full of Christmas Crackers for all of them. I had mentioned that the grandkids & I had a tradition of having them at Christmas, and how much fun they were. None of them had ever even heard of Christmas Crackers. So today they got to have fun. I handed them out to those in the waiting room, and the office.  One of the office girls said she hadn't had one since leaving England, where they had really loud ones. Next year, I'm ordering from England, more bang for my buck! After popping them open there were quite a few people wearing crowns and playing with the games and toys.  They might have looked like dysfunctional chuck cheese kids, but they were all laughing...

 I don't think of myself as Trouble, but the office staff seems to have a different opinion. They let that slip today, when secretary Barbie slid open the window and said, "I'll sign in Dad for you, Trouble!" aaah, thanks.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas wishes...





Wishing you all a very Blessed Christmas. May you hold dear the reason for the season, and be surrounded with the love of family and friends.  May there be Peace in your brave heart, a sparkle in your eyes, and laughter to warm you. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Oh Capt...*






I've got the decorating done, a few more packages to send, and a couple of cards to mail.  Finally found Christmas crackers for my kids and the grandkids. They are a "necessary" after all these years and are the instigation for some great shenanigans.

Remember,
On the range, in the bunkhouse, the local saloon, or life in general...


 * I just got back from taking Dad to radiation and find that you all love the Christmas tree as much as I do, But I didn't make it!  I'm humbled that you would think me talented enough to have designed it.
I wish I knew who did make it, as I would love to give them credit.  Brig

Friday, December 11, 2015

Abundance...

Dad has had a full week. Besides the daily trip to the oncology treatment center, we went to a Christmas luncheon on Monday.  Great fun and the RB high school choir, dressed in period costumes, sang Christmas carols. Such talented young people.


Dad got to visit with his cronies, always a plus for him.



Thursday I sneaked a lighted Christmas tree into the waiting room at the oncologist's.  Dad asked why I was doing that, I told him I had promised some of the other patients I would, if they didn't rat me out to the office staff. He laughed and said "ok, let's do it".  I got the tree in and setup without any of the staff noticing.  Then one of the patients came in that I had promised. She is in her seventies, not any bigger than a minute, and always wears a bright red plaid tam o' shanter to cover her bald head. Jeez, she started to cry, patted my head and said, "bless you, you did it, it's beautiful!"  When you think you have it rough, you need to go set in the waiting room at the oncologists... everyone there is fighting a battle or caring for someone who is... yet there is an abundance of kindness, and caring, and hope.

PS: Thanks to LL, The man at Virtual Mirage for reminding me... 

Dad's bi-weekly Poker game was held here Thursday night. Dad had notified his buddies at the luncheon, so they showed up in force.  I left them all the snacks and cold beer I could muster as I went off to the RB Readers Christmas gathering.


Got home to find the guys still playing... they pointed to a beautiful Christmas flower arrangement they had brought for me. Such a sweet thing for a bunch of grumpy ol' guys to do. I almost felt bad about Dad cleaning them out, almost...

Saturday, December 5, 2015

tis time...









Since I'm into country minimalist and it's that Christmas time of year,





decorating Dad seemed like the thing to do...

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mak'n plans...



So many daily trips ahead for Dad and I as he starts radiation treatments.  We have made the 70 mile trip to the docs many times just to get to this point. He has both a scan and radiation today. 
Dad's spirits are good, and as ever he is more worried about me (or more likely my haul ass driving) than he is about himself. 

We are planning future adventures for when this bump in the road is behind us... 
which may include a hot spring, a boomstick, a cabin, a wet line, and a teepee...




Sunday, November 29, 2015

Oh Babe...

During the time Marymine was here with my grandkids for Thanksgiving,  her grandpa pulled her off to the den to show her some ancient movies.  Mostly hunting trips of he and his brother and family friends.

But there was one section on the end of one that was of the young college student Cowman.  He was dancing with my roommates and horsing around with the puppies from my Queensland Heeler.  I didn't realize that Marymine hadn't seen it before now. Maybe, her grandpa thought she had.  Marymine kept saying, "Oh Mom, It's Dad, It's Dad!"

The Cowman loved to dance, it is how we met, at a dance in a country barn.  No line dancing stuff, just good old country dancing, fast or slow.  He was a good dancer, not so much the blonde with two left feet, but he never seemed to mind.  More than once I heard these words whispered in my ear, "It's my place to lead, and your place to follow, babe."



We danced at a lot of honky tonks, at rodeo dances, the little Red Bank school house,  and so many dance halls out in the back of beyond.

He danced until it just became too painful with a badly placed staple in one shoulder from a wreck with a bronc.  It was a good long run anyway. 

I know that where he is, he's rid'n a good horse, has Max the Wonder Cowdog by his side, and on Saturday nights he's swinging the ladies around a spring board dance floor with his cockeyed grin full out. 

Oh Babe.

"I have danced with your Memory a thousand times..."  -zZz-






Monday, November 23, 2015

Giving Thanks...



Dad & I are having at least part of my kids and grandkids here for Thanksgiving. YeeHaw!

I'm making most of the dinner, but Marymine is bringing the pies.  I missed out on the cooking gene, as you know, but she sure didn't. That girl can cook! 

The report came back on Dad's biopsy, it is cancer, but I am prayerfully positive.  He has another scope with the radiologist tomorrow and we will know more treatment wise after that. He has been pretty quiet of late, but WWW (wealth winder woman) calls him nightly and they talk for hours.  I happened to over hear them the other night as I was going in to say, "Good Night, I Love You", and they were busy plotting to find me a boyfriend.  If nothing else it keeps them entertained, and who the heck knows what miracles await...   




I have been blessed with much, and am truly thankful for those wonderful blessings.





Wishing you a Thanksgiving full of Family, Faith, Hope & Love.   

Brig

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Burn't biscuits...


Ike and I have a lot in common at the moment, neither one of us seem to know which end is up.

I have slowed up on the biscuit trials for a while, giving Dad's stomach a chance to recover from my past endeavors.

Opened the dishwasher to have the door slam into my leg. Well hell, that smarted! The door spring had busted. No one within 50 miles had replacement parts.  Ordered the parts online and they have arrived. Now to remove the kick plate and install the new spring and door linkage. Should be a snap...

Got an estimate from the gardener that used to do Mom's pruning. Say what, you want how much just to do the front! I would have had to severely deplete one of my emergency funds in order to afford that guy.  If I take it one section at a time and stay on task I should have most of it done by the time I'm 70.  

Some people get to go on ride-about on tropical islands, some people get to stay home and McGyver and wack brush, and burn biscuits... (grins) 



Ike, who is quite the character, is my nephew's pup


Friday, November 13, 2015

Hurry up & wait...

Normally, if there is a normal here, Dad hosts the Old Farts poker game, every other Thursday. Usually there are 5 to 9 players... depending on what the weather is like and how bad their golf game was that day.

Since he was having a vocal cord biopsy done on Thursday this week he switched the game to Wed night.  While I was paying bills, and cleaning out the garage, Dad was busy sharing the wealth with his compadres... They drink a little beer, and being well mannered gentlemen never touch my bottles of Kilt Lifter, or Guinness.  They eat most of the snacks put out... which range from warm Brie with craft bread to little smokies in grape jelly/BBQ sauce. I like them, so no biscuits are served.  They all love Jill's Pepper Jelly over cream cheese with crackers... thanks to Jill's mom Jody!  "Hi Jody!"



Thursday, was a long day for Dad. I got him checked into the hospital at noon, with the biopsy scheduled for 2.  With the comedy of errors that followed... he didn't have the procedure til 6:30PM.  After they released him, I drove him home, fed him his milkshake, and put him to bed at 9:45PM.

Dad's surgeon, says we have to wait for the path report, but he is pretty certain it's cancer. Good news is that it is small, and should respond very well to radiation, with a 95% cure rate.

Dad is up this morning causing trouble, doing well, and in no pain.  I'll take that.



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thanks...


Veterans Day...

For me to thank him for his service seems so trite, but to have the guys he served with thank him is Huge. 



I pray that he finds honor in all that he has done to save lives.  

He is still active duty.  He is a Veteran of multiple deployments in harms way. 

He's a young man, who has seen the worst of war and the best of men.
   
I pray that the Father watches over him. Doc O is my grandson.




Doc O on the far left, "he did more for us than most people will ever know. Thanks"
- J Lloyd

Monday, November 9, 2015

Top Ten...





If you are going to be The woman on the ranch, here are the top 10 "facts" you need to know!  by Julie Carter


1. Always load your horse last in the trailer so it is the first one unloaded. By the time he's got his horse unloaded, you will have your cinch pulled and be mounted up ready to go - lessening the chance of him riding off without you with your horse trying to follow while you are still trying to get your foot in the stirrup.

2. Never - and I repeat never - ever believe the phrase "We'll be right back," when he has asked you to help him do something out on the ranch. The echoing words, "this will only take a little while" have filtered through generations of ranch wives and still today should invoke sincere distrust in the woman who hears them.

3. Always know there is NO romantic intention when he pleadingly asks you to take a ride in the pickup with him around the ranch while he checks water and looks at cattle. What that sweet request really means is he wants someone to open and close the gates.

4. He will always expect you to quickly be able to find one stray in a four-section brush-covered pasture, but he will never be able to find the mayonnaise jar in four-square feet of refrigerator.

5. Count every head of everything you see - cattle especially, but sometimes horses, deer, quail or whatever moves. Count it in the gate, out the gate or on the horizon. The first time you don't count is when he will have expected that you did. That blank eyelash-batting look you give him when he asks "How many?" will not be acceptable.

6. Know that you will never be able to ride a horse or drive a pickup to suit him. Given the choice of jobs, choose throwing the feed off the back of the pickup. If he is on the back and you are driving, the opportunity for constant criticism of speed, ability and your eyesight will be utilized to the full extent. "How in the *@*# could you NOT see that hole?"

7. Never let yourself be on foot in the alley when he is sorting cattle horseback. When he has shoved 20 head of running, bucking, kicking yearlings at you and then hollers "Hold 'em, hold 'em" at the top of his lungs, don't think that you really can do it without injury. Contrary to what he will lead you to believe, walking back to the house is always an option that has been used throughout time.

8. Don't expect him to correctly close the snap-on tops on the plastic refrigerator containers, but know he will expect you to always close every gate. His reasoning, the cows will get out; the food will not.

9. Always praise him when he helps in the kitchen - the very same way he does when you help with the ranch work - or not.

10. Know that when you step out of the house you move from the "wife" department to "hired hand" status. Although the word "hired" indicates there will be a paycheck that you will never see, rest assured you will have job security. The price is just right. And most of the time you will be "the best help he has" even if it is because you are the ONLY help he has.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hunt'n biscuits...

Still hunt'n success with the biscuit mak'n, but dang if I'm not gett'n closer.  The batch I made today, are taller, fluffier, and just a tad over baked.



Dad said they are great, but then he's not the best judge as he's been eat'n biscuit pucks for a while now...

***
My Oregon family have filled all their tags this hunting season.  They've done well at making sure their families have meat for the winter. I offered them some of my biscuits, but they wisely said they already had all the ammo they needed...






***
Meanwhile, back here we can now see SNOW on Mt. Lassen...




 and our usual small town normal...



Sunday, November 1, 2015

Biscuits...

In honor of All Saints Day I got out the biscuit recipes and told Dad he was in for a real surprise. "I'm mak'n biscuits for breakfast," I said with all the bravado of someone that knows there be dragons, biscuit dragons to be exact. Dad must have forgotten my last attempt, or his love of biscuits overshadowed his memory.
I've been working at making decent biscuits for quite some time, and failing for quite some time.  Undaunted, I proceeded to put together Brigid's  (Home on the Range blog) Buttermilk Biscuit recipe. I know this makes awesome biscuits as she is a fantastic cook!  I did sub Kefir for buttermilk cause that's what I had and her recipe for Kefir pancakes is Dad and my favorite.  
Put it together and baked it according to the recipe.  And Presto Change O... we had pip'n hot pucks fresh out of the oven...


Dad said, they were sure interesting look'n, and after one bite slipped the rest to Willie, who promptly ran off to cough'm up in private.
Still undaunted, or just plain hard headed, I threw that batch over the back fence and started another batch. Dad said not to bother on his account as he was full!

Different recipe for this batch, from the Norse Nook and no subbing...


I made these just as the recipe said, put'm in the oven and Presto Change O... we had pip'n hot square wagon wheels...




 Dad, bless his heart, gave it one more try.  He said these were a little better, Willie just ran off kiyaying. I asked Dad what he really thought. He thought it was a good thing that he already had his will done...
 
 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

When...

When they close the range for deer season and you have to pack up the long gun...




When the rains haven't come...





When you are trying for incognito at the parish picnic and your neighbors shout Hello and call your name, just as Padre is shaking your hand...

 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Happy Birthday Bean!

On the occasion of my oldest grandchild's 25th birthday...





His mom sent this awesome card to him and it speaks for all of us.


Love you beyond words Bean, Happy Birthday, Nanny

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Stink Bait & Gun Powder...

Dad has been calling in all his markers to get back on the river fish'n. 



 He talked Flash (pilotman) into pre-flighting Ol Ugly, so bright'n early Monday morning we put'er in the river.  I had rigged my new Pink pole just the way my SIL (fishing goddess of the Columbia River) told me. 

 Dad wore his hat backwards for luck, Flash took the helm and away we went. It was cold on the water at o'dark thirty, but beautiful.  We only saw one salmon jump and didn't even get a bump on the stink bait coated flatfish. A trolling motor on Ol Ugly, and having Father Sherman bless the poles might be the answer. We saw lots of turkeys, hawks, and deer. None of which I managed to get a picture of...sigh.

headed up river


Iron Canyon
 Dad has been having vocal cord problems so his ENT had him scheduled for an Echo and a stress test (pre-biopsy) this morning. They were cancelled due to equipment problems at the doc's, and rescheduled for later in the week. I'm worried about the ol guy, though the ENT surgeon says that if it is the big C there is a 97% cure rate. 
With the cancel on Dad's tests, and a call to arms from the gals, I headed to the range for a few hours of therapy...

 The pistola gals gett'n ready to put some down range.




With the new front sight on the Walther (thanks to Flash) I managed to put a couple hundred rounds were they were supposed to go.  Still having low left problems with the little Sig. Still a good morning.



I have no idea who would shoot the balls off that cowpoke, range master sir.




Monday, October 5, 2015

Learning to fly...

A great weekend, even though the North wind blustered on Friday night and Saturday. 



Pilotman flew up Friday evening ahead of the weather, while I brined Dad's catch in preparation for smoking it.
Saturday am, while we were waiting for the smoker to heat up we made a run to the airport to check the tie downs on the plane, all good & secure. 
 We smoked the salmon, which took constant refilling of the Alder chips due to the wind conditions on the patio.  10 hours later we pulled it out, sampled a couple of big strips, and declared it done.
Sunday was sunny and calmer weather, a little turbulence aloft but nothing worrying. We spent the morning scrounging through the old tools, farm implements, and camping stuff at the local antiques fair. It was fun to see if we knew what all the items were used for back in the day. We only got stumped a few times, and usually the owner of the booth could tell us the ones we didn't know.  Pilotman said it was different taking me. "What, how so?"  "You go racing by all the girly girl stuff, and make a beeline for a plane, or a draw knife or an unusual caliper or a bridle."  Sensing the possibility of trouble ahead, I kept my mouth shut. (Yes I know you find that hard to believe, but if I try very hard and concentrate, it is possible... for short periods of time.)  Pilotman laughed, and said he was having a good time.
In the afternoon we took Dad up flying to air him out... and scout the river for future fishing and kayak trips.  I got some time in pre-flighting, and assorted in-flight processes.  When we got back to the airport, as I put the steps in place, and took hold of Dad's arm to help him out, I said... "Thank You for flying Flash & Co Air, the pilot can't be bought... but the help can." 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fish On...

YeeHaw, Dad scored this morning with the Salmon.  He has been beam'n all day.  Shared the bounty with our neighbors and we be smok'n Salmon this weekend.

A very big THANK YOU to my SIL Sass and family friend Kris.  You went the extra mile to make it a special day for the ol guy. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

cut'n bait...

Dad has not been happy with me, as I have refused to take him salmon fishing in Ol Ugly without one of the guys going along to help. 


There is adventurous and then there is foolhardy. I don't mind being the first, but prefer not to be the second.
As most of the guys are busy with other endeavors, I told Dad I would get him on a guided boat here. Nope, he insisted on a guided boat two hours travel time away.  He set it up for Thursday morning. When I spoke with the guide to get directions and time, he said, "have him here ready to go at 5 AM". I told Dad I was taking him to the guide as that was too far afield for him to drive by himself.  He was good with that, and up and ready to hit the road at 3 AM in order to meet the guide on time.  Half way there Dad said under his breath... "this was not a wise idea, I should have let you get a local guide". I cupped an ear and asked him to repeat that, as I wasn't sure I had heard him correctly the first time.
He had a good time fishing, but only got two bumps and no salmon were boated. Such is the nature of fishing and life.
Saturday is Dad's 92nd birthday. The WWW (wealth widder woman) has invited him to lunch to celebrate.





 Since  WWW doesn't drive anymore, after that crazy fellow on a bicycle somehow ended up as a hood ornament on her Lincoln, I will be ferrying them around in my SUV, again...
     

Monday, September 21, 2015

Holding Your Breath...

So what has been happening here, you asked with baited breath:
One of my SIL's gave me a fresh caught salmon.  Her late husband had the best smoked salmon recipe, so I got that recipe as well.  Nothing to smoke it in, requiring a trip to SA Thrift store. Found a like new Weber for $5.  Brined the salmon in the BIL's recipe.  Smoked that sucker with the help of the flying man. It turned out very well.  Sent some home with the pilotman, served some to Dad's poker night cronies, ate some, and stashed the rest for the return of the pilot.

Spent a day on the river in our kayaks with the pilotman.  My Kayak is too small for much touring, so he found me another, and I will get it this week. He tried it out at Tahoe and says that it "maybe" faster than his... Yes!  Not competitive at all here...
    
Willie recently got away from Dad on a return trip from the mailbox. He took out after the neighbors cat. Both went down a drain pipe, and the battle began.  Neighbor girls boyfriend bravely rescued Willie from the pipe.  From the looks of Willie he lost the skirmish big time.  Cleaned him up and took him to the vet as there was a tear in his third eyelid that I wasn't equipped to repair.  He is well now, following surgery. The girls next door (their mauler cat) brought this cute get well basket for Willie. 



 He is love'n the extra attention from Dad & the girls. He still hasn't learned his lesson about cats, especially ones twice his size.

I'm still going to Yoga... so there I was in Yoga class practicing my CCW draw from warrior two pose, wear'n my favorite tee when I was told to breathe. What!




Was having trouble with the Walther. The pilotman had me practice til I could field strip that thing in near darkness. It has been cleaned, and I have learned that it doesn't function well if it is the slightest bit dirty.  I have been spoiled by the little Sig that will keep on going no matter how dirty it is.  Have also learned that even the oldest & best shooters at the range don't know everything. The Walther wasn't firing and I had no idea why, walked it over to a couple of the regulars. They tried every thing they could think of, no go.  Took it on down the line to a couple more guys that work with many guns.  They looked at it, tried it, fiddled with it, no go. Took it further down the line to the guy that works in the gunny store, he fiddled with it, no go. Then he walks to the line and puts three down range, dead on.  We all looked around in amazement. "What did you do to it?" we asked. "I switched it off Safe," he answered.

Monday, September 7, 2015

cow cow boogie

Some songs just tug at your heart strings and make long forgotten memories come to mind...

 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Yoga in cowboy boots...

Having decided that I needed to work at getting in better shape, and improve my shooting breathing, I signed up for a yoga class.  I chose the late morning, week day class, figuring it wouldn't have a bunch of svelte young things.  Not that I mind much, but knowing diddly squat about yoga I figured it would be less of a strain to keep up with those my own age.  
First class, I didn't have a mat, so had to borrow one from the instructor.  How in the heck can they call that a mat, it was so thin, either a very large heavy woman had used it before me, or torture is part of the program.  After class, having crawled back to my SUV, I sped down to the thrift store. "Do you have any yoga mats?"  "I have one in back, follow me."  She pulled out this purple (not my favorite color) cushy mat with an Empowered logo, looked at it and looked at me in my yoga shorts, aviator sunglasses, and cowboy boots...sighed and said, "how does $1.50 sound". Sold.

Next class was the same older group. It was comforting to know that being left handed has nothing to do with being right/left challenged.  We were told to put our legs out straight and put the yoga block on top of our legs, while holding our feet just barely off the floor... and hold... and hold... and then the queen of torture laughs and tells us to breathe.  Holy Mother of God.
After a short rest/nap, she has us do a bunch of warrior poses. I can do this, easy peasy, while I was at it I figured I could practice a few ccw draws.  Torture queen just sighed, obviously not her first rodeo. 
Next class was full of younger women who should have been in school or working.  Hardcore, and did not appreciate our ability to bust out laughing when someone fell over, got a yoga block thrown at them, or  got stuck in a pose. Namaste chicas!  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Shotguns, Snakes, & Bull...


When I took the Elders on their lunch date, the restaurant manager waited on them. He kept looking at me like he knew me, and I kept staring back... thinking I knew who he was.  My dad said to him, "She lived on the SV ranch for a time." 
 


His face lit up, and he gave me a big hug. "Mrs M, I thought that was you!"  
He turned to the Elders and proceeded to tell them that he had come out to the ranch, as a kid, to hunt with my son, Sean. He said he would never forget it.  It was the only ranch house he had ever been in that was spotlessly clean and had a shovel, and a shotgun beside every door. I don't know about the spotlessly clean, but yes, there was a shovel and a shotgun beside every exterior door.
"They killed 30 rattlesnakes, in their yard the last summer they lived there!" he told the Elders.  Which is a bit of an exaggeration, it was closer to 27. We did have a bit of a snake problem, and a wild hog problem, and an elk problem, and a bunch of Brahma bull problems.

the bull in  No Bull
  


the bull on the lefts favorite trick was to run at a powder river gate, jump on the center of it, effectively Ving it and keep on going..






There were bits of heaven along with the problems. The ranch didn't have electricity, or a house for us to live in, so the absentee owner let me design the house. He never batted an eye when I spec'd exposed aggregate floors in the kitchen and living room, or the wood stove and gas refrigerator from Sweden, or the cantilevered den. I got the chance to build a house, it doesn't matter that I never owned it.

  
We had some good times on that ranch. So what if you had to bathe in the spring fed horse trough when the generator quit you.