Monday, June 27, 2016


Today there were a few things I needed from town, one was ice cream for Dad's daily coffee milkshake. I dislike going to wally world on the best of days. But since it was 108 degrees out and possible to get the other things and the ice cream in one place, I went. I was cruising through hardware, auto, & paint looking for one item and not finding it, when a Clean Cut older gentleman (actually probably younger than me by a few years) in an associates shirt asked if he could help me.
 With a sweet grin I said, "Gosh I hope so, I'm looking for the naval jelly."
Mr. Clean Cut looked startled, backed up a step or two, pointed to another region of the store and stammered, "I I think you need to look in the pharmacy section for that." 
"Nope, don't think it will be there," said I, with a grin.
"Do you mind if I ask what it's used for." said Mr. CC.
"It's used to remove rust from metal, among other things," I said grinning.
"um, it might help if I knew what you're using it on?" he asked.
"My hitch."
"Your what?" he stammered.
"My trailer hitch,"  I answered with a grin.
Mr. Clean Cut cautiously backed down the isle and said, "IF we have something like that, it it might be in this section. Well, look at that, there is a jar of it, says naval jelly right on it!" he said with a big grin.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Simple is good...

We started on the Simple trip with Dad saying, "I really enjoy these trips. You're so relaxing to travel with Sis".  This as he is hanging on for dear life to the OS handle above his door.
First day, we made it to Bend, OR in good time to meet up with brother & SIL and a cousin from Portlandia. Next day, while brother took Dad to Ideeho, I was off to Sisters, OR to take part in the Cowman's family's reunion.

Cold Springs Resort, Camp Sherman, OR

Had an awesome time at the reunion, we were only missing a SIL, a nephew, a niece, and the corpsman. Fifty three of us out in the open & under canopies as it rained off and on.   On arrival there was a moment of shear terror for the kids, when they found out...there was no cell service in the area.  They soon adjusted, and only occasionally checked their phones to see if the Gods might have provided service while they weren't looking.  
 A little rain didn't dampen the spirits of our crew at all. 

half of my crew:  ccwme, Lauren, Ali, Tyler, Marymine, Colt

We went on expeditions, played washers, fly fished, cooked, ate, drank, cuddled the littles, told stories, and had huge bonfires!
After the reunion, I drove to Ontario, OR to meet up with brother and pickup Dad. Then I drove us on to Riggins, Ideeho. We spent a night there on the Salmon River, and the next morn on to Kamiah ID to visit an old friend of Dad's. 

Camas Prairie, Idaho     sunlight on rapeseed field
Here is where I told Dad that if we looped West instead of East, one of my brother-in-laws (Don) had said he would gladly meet us at their river house on the Columbia and take us fishing, if Dad would like that. It took Dad about a 1/2 second to say, "What are you waiting for, call & tell him we are on our way to the river house!" I drove another 5 hours to make that date. We spent the night with my BIL and were on the water fishing early the next morning. 
Dad fishing on the Columbia River
After a morning of fishing, we caught a bunch of bass, no salmon, we headed to my Sean's in Vancouver, WA. Spent the night in his new house, and the next morning I drove the eight hours home. Wouldn't have taken me that long but, I stopped to see Jolee at Del Rio Vineyards in Gold Hill, OR and Dad wanted to stop and see friends in Mt Shasta.

Mt Shasta, Calif.  close to home

A Simple 2,200 mile loop under our belts, and we are home.  Most importantly Dad had a great time, and says his hand is getting better after the cramping from holding on to the OS handle above his door.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016


It started out as a very basic plan, a simple plan. 

 Simply a rock from the home ranch, a glass disk, and a leather thong

 Eight months ago I made plans to go to a reunion of the Cowman's family in Oregon this month. My brother was coming to stay with Dad for the few days I would be gone.  Simple.
A week ago, my brother said he couldn't possibly leave his place in Ideeho for that long as they had just put in expensive landscaping and had to water it.  Less simple. 
"Just put Dad on a flight out of SMF and I'll pick him up, then you can drive over and get him after the reunion." Less and less simple. 
"No, I won't put him on a flight, he's 92, and doesn't get around that well. It's too much for him." I simply stated.

Dad said he didn't want to fly anyway, he wanted me to drive him on a little loop to see some ol friends and ol hunting grounds in Idaho, oh... and Nevada. Less simple.

So, I'm taking Dad to Oregon with me, where my brother will pick him up and take him to his place in Idaho, while I'm at the reunion.  Then I will drive over and pickup Dad to take him on his little loop.
I've had the Rav4 serviced and it's ready to go. I prefer traveling simply incognito.

who ever thought it was a good idea to have no spare tire on Rav4's was more than simple

Dad decided on the route for his little loop.
"Just a few friends to visit, and a few ol hunt'n camps to show you, Sis. Well and maybe a little fish'n too." Simple.
Here's the route:

LOL, what's a couple thousand simple miles, more or less. 
Load up Dad, we're burn'n daylight.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Some day I will..

It has been a busy week. Thursday a girlfriend and I headed two counties down to watch granddaughter, Lauren show her FFA project steer at their county fair.

Loved getting to see at least a few of my grandkids, talk to old friends, kick the dirt, step over cow pies, get sprayed by the kids washing their animals in the wash rack. Sneaking in the main building to see how my corpsman grandson's photos placed.

While we were down there and close to the old bunkhouse I picked up a few things that had gotten left behind. A tea pot, some old crocks, and a banged up enamelware pitcher I had found in the dump at the home ranch long ago, treasures all.
I asked Marymine if I could pickup some meat. Didn't need much, as there is just Dad and I, but it's real beef.  
"Take all you want, mom!"  
Did you hear the angels sing, "Glory hallelujah!" I did, cause you are never going to get this type of beef or sausage in a store.
The girlfriend and I loaded up on roasts, steaks, ground beef, pepper & jalapeno beef sticks, and packs of homemade pork sausage.  I split the bounty with my friend, as she and her guy have been good to help me when I needed it.
We were good to go, except for the last piece of the load.  It came with the big house when Marymine & her husband bought that ranch. A very big, very heavy garden statue of the Virgin Mary. Since no one else seemed to want it, including the previous owners, I asked Marymine if I could have it. I wanted to take it up to her grandmother Mary's grave site in RB. It seemed a fitting place.  Well, it languished there in a corner of the yard hidden behind a lilac for years, as there never seemed to be help available to move it, or someone going my way, or... This time I had help with me, and was bound and determined to get it where I thought it should be. 
I worked it out of the flower bed, took one end, and put my girlfriend on the other, and with much huffing & puffing, we packed it a few feet, stopped to rest, packed it a few feet more, stopped to rest, and finally were almost to the open back door of my suv.  Then my girlfriend tripped over her own feet and dropped her end of the statue and was going head first into the side of the suv. Nothing for it but to drop my end and grab her and keep her from caving in her noggin. The GF saved, the large statue of the Virgin Mary, not so much. It had busted in big chunks on the concrete. My girlfriend said, "I am so sorry, I think we can glue it back together." Ah, don't think so...  "Just let it go, wasn't meant to be."  "Load up, let's get this meat home before it thaws."
Dang, my hardheaded determination to put that statue on the headstone of the mother-in-law, I dearly loved, brought about it's demise.
Some day I will find the perfect one to put there, the one that was meant to be there.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


The other evening as I was out working in the yard, I noticed that it had become very quiet, almost too quiet. The air just a whisper of a breeze, wafting the aroma of gardenias and redwoods around me. Gently, ever so gently, a thought drifted in to look up from the task at hand,

and behold a glorious sunset...

Sunday, June 5, 2016

carry on...

Just so you know... I'm working on cranky, I am tired, fed up, not getting enough sleep, and not getting the stuff done that needs to get done around here... So as soon as this gets posted I'm off to inflict the berserker on friends at breakfast. True friends, that will call me on it when the berserker gets out of hand.

This yard is a pain, it is a nightmare of over grown shrubs.  Now there is trouble in the trees, which are the backbone of any landscape.  I called The landscape Guru and asked him to go over the problems with me.
The sprinkler system is not functioning properly, way too many small heads, I can fix that.  Broken lines, also fixable. The best solution would be to rip out all the sprinkler lines and start over. I can't afford to do that, and seem to have misplaced my wand...
The garden Guru said he would remove the same shrubs I have been wanting to take out. Hard prune the others.  It got funny when we both pointed to a shrub and said take it out, or hard prune in unison. If nothing else it was good to know that I wasn't making too many mistakes.
We circled the yard three times, with him taking pictures to send to the arborist, as neither of us felt qualified to make the final call on some of the trees.
Three of the leyland cypress are dying, two big junipers have bit the dust (which does not break my heart), and there is die back in a cedar, and some of the redwoods, as well as stunted growth in one of the old oaks. 

 He suspects the big ol oak might have SOD. The Guru said that it could have been stopped years ago, but the Cali enviros wouldn't spray when it was fixable, now it's not fixable, and California very well could lose a huge amount of its oaks. There will be repercussions on so many levels if this comes to pass.

This cedar has declined just in the last couple of months. We both think this is a residual effect of water rationing and the drought. 

The redwoods are not well either. These I would really hate to lose as they are my favorites.  They are on the north and west sides of the house providing much needed shade and shelter.

 The Guru thinks this is also the effects of drought and water rationing. We will see what the arborist says.

I knew that the Guru had given mom advice on the yard design early on. I also suspected that mom went way beyond his recommendations, and kept stuffing plants in...sigh

When we got to the end of the overview he said, "you have done a good job on a yard that is too much for one person, you know what your doing, keep at it."

I've returned from a good breakfast with friends. They were warned at the beginning that I was working on cranky and had already done a cranky blog post.  They LOL, they fed me, told me I badly needed a vacation, and that if I started to cry they would really become concerned, otherwise carry on...