Friday, April 22, 2016

That time of year...

Spring is a busy time of year in cow country. There is always way more to do than time to do it in. The weather has been kind this year, and everyone I know is going full out to get things done.  
I ran into an old friend at the Round Up rodeo. She said they were very busy getting ready to move their cattle to their ranches in Oregon for the summer. I really miss that part of my life, but it is comforting to know that it still happens, and the families that do it persevere.
What follows is a small taste in photos of a local family's spring marking and branding. I'm happy that they are graciously allowing me to use their photos. 


double fisted vaccinating

the one that tried to get away

tell'n stories

an play'n a little ball

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cow Country Yoga...

I have to admit that I started yoga just to see what all the rah rah was about.  Turns out it's a workout, which I need.
Now, I live in a small town, and we tend to do things a bit western.  Take today for instance, we all came to the studio with a little more bite than usual due to the fact that most of us, including our yoga instructor Nat, had partaken of three days of rodeo. 
Nat's a cow country local, so she managed a track event all three performances and was given an assistant on the last day. An assistant that had never been near a horse or mule, much less on one, an assistant wearing brand spank'n new cowboy boots, an assistant that was try'n way too hard.  He was also wear'n the biggest, shiniest new spurs Nat had ever seen. She asked him why he was wearing spurs, since he wasn't riding. He said, "they came with the boots." Somebody saw him com'n... Anyway the poor guy kept being tripped up by those spurs, which caused him to run into horses, mules, fences, and Nat. She finally parked him, told him to be real sticky like in that spot, and went on to do her part. Don't know where he tripped off to after the last go round.
With all that behind us, my being a little sore, and all of us a little crazy we decided today was best known as Terrible Tuesday Yoga.  Namaste.

Here's a little video to give you some idea of how yoga's done in cow country...  

Sunday, April 17, 2016


As I slowly crawled out of bed this early AM I pondered the wisdom of weed whacking a quarter acre of grass yesterday. Started on that little project Friday and promptly fried the motor on the little ol electric trimmer. Off to HD to get a decent gas one, a new gas can, and extra trimmer line. Kalif oversight nanny state people obviously think I can't dismantle the stupid spout on the new gas cans. Hah! Put the new trimmer together, gassed it up, fired it up, and away I went. Did I mention this is on a fairly steep bank, and there are rocks!  I was wearing a pair of jeans, long sleeve shirt, shooting safety glasses, and a pair of ear plugs. I'm pushing up against seventy and this isn't my first rodeo! The new neighbor across the street came and offered me a pair of safety glasses, I thanked him for his concern, and said I was already wearing safety glasses. He got the funniest look on his face, and I realized I was shouting about shoot'n glasses to the poor man, because of the ear plugs. Then the neighbor next door came over to check on my progress. He said I was doing a great job, and would I whack a path through the field so he could walk his lab without worrying about rattlers. I told him he was going to have to wait til they dozed the fire lines... Geez!
Since he was talk'n rattlers, I asked him how the rattler aversion class went with his two young labs.  Seems there is a young guy in town that will come to your house, with live (mouth taped) rattlers, and teach your dog to be averse to messing with them. He started the business as a way to earn some extra money while in college, having no idea how soon it would develop into a full time business.  He charges $100 an hour, has almost no overhead, and is in high demand.   Good going young man.
My first scotty (Katie) was a rattler kill'n machine. She wouldn't bother any other snakes, but she was certain death to rattlers. She would circle them until she felt the moment was right, grab'm and pop'm til they were well and truly dead. Then she would drop them and walk away.

The Hooey sticker

Thanks to Fredd, the pickup has a name, "Hank". Fredd will be receiving a personally autographed (run over) by "Hank" memento... (just needs a little more cure time).

Range pie
Thanks to all of you who made suggestions, I appreciate your taking the time to do so!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


As you all seem to like to know how Dad is getting on, here's what happened today:

I drove him up to his ENT doc for a post radiation scope on his throat. 
Dad's doc is a handsome young man: tall, black hair, sparky blue eyes, and he talks to you, in English. 
As doc walked in the exam room he asked, "are you two arguing?"  
"No sir, we are having a heated discussion," I said. Dad snorted.
"What has you so fired up," asked doc. 
"Asparagus!" said Dad and I at the same time.
A discussion followed between the three of us on the curative properties or lack there of, in asparagus. Turns out doc's a gardener, too.
Doc finally scoped Dad's throat, and as I watched on the monitor it looked good to me. But I'm not a doctor, so I waited to see what doc would say. He was so into talking me through what we were seeing, that Dad finally asked him about it.
"It looks really good to me, there is one spot that is still healing from the radiation. That should further heal with no problems. There is no sign of any Cancer. Come back and see me in three months."
"We can't, we have plans" Dad said.
"Aah, what are you two up to now?" doc asked.
"We have plans for a road trip to Idaho." I said.
"Ok, we'll make it four months out then," and he walked toward the next exam room shaking his head, and grinning...

Monday, April 11, 2016

What's his name...

 What's his name, is here at last!  I'm beyond excited that he is residing here. We haven't known each other all that long, but he seems to be enjoying our time together. There have been a few dust ups between us, as is to be expected when working the kinks out of a new relationship. Thank goodness, he's all ranch country, with the scars to prove it, I might add.

On another note, the nasturtiums are taking over the patio. Started from a few old seeds I found in one of my seed stashes, I was not at all sure they were still viable. But, we have had perfect weather for them this spring.  Dad doesn't think much of them for taste, but I like'm just fine.

Back to What's his name...  
I got him home the other day!  He was a very good bargain that needed a few repairs, which a mechanic friend did for cost of parts. Thank God for friends
After a good scrubbing, a bottle of 303, some navel jelly, and a new tranny, we are good to go!
I may have gone a little bit loco like when he got home because a friend said, "I have never seen someone so damn happy to have a beater pickup to haul stuff to the damn dump." 

Actually, he's perfect for towing Dad's boat Ol Ugly, hauling my sea kayak, and  taking brush to the recycle. Plus, he can heat things up, or cool them down, and he loves classical and a bit o country music. It's all good! 

All he needs is a name, any suggestions?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Old West Homes...

I live on the edge of a small town. An old ranching river town. You might have gone roaring through it on the freeway. Unless you drive into town, you will never see the beautiful old buildings.
There is a sense of community in a small town. Yes, everyone knows everyone elses business, which can be troublesome, but it is also a sort of protection. 
The Cowman's grandpa used to drive cattle the 15 miles from the home ranch out West to the rail head here.  Sadly the ol' stockyards are gone, as is the railroad station.  Thankfully, there are some of the old homes still around.
A girlfriend said she would ride around with me while I took pics of some of the older homes in town. We had a great time as we shared bits & pieces of the history of  some of the houses.  There are a variety of styles, Craftsman to Italianate and everything in between. They are all very old, lived in, and loved. Here are a few of the many...


The guys weren't home or I would take you inside. It's stunning inside, and has a huge french kitchen to die for.

built in 1910

They are putting in new posts at the bottom of the steps, so the steps are roped off.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Gett'n loopy...

Another big loop day for Dad.  This time we went North East toward the small town of Manton.
A different landscape than the grassy rolling hills on the West side. There are rocks, lots of rocks, for this is volcano country.

The Cowman always said, "if you are going to run cattle in this country you need to ride a horse that was raised here."

oaks, and more rocks...

the occasional ranch house

 and attending barns.

 Further on we were in timber country with apple orchards, and vineyards,

and there is Mt Lassen overseeing it all.