Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas 2017

Wishing you and yours A Blessed Christmas and A Bright New Year...

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Starting to look like Christmas in Cowcamp...

Christmas is right around the corner, and I've managed to get the packages to far away places on the stage. My homemade wreaths and swags of cedar, redwood, and xylosma are hung, they are far from perfect but they were free for the making.

Dad's tree is up and twinkling, his girlfriend has been visited and given a present and hugs.  I try to call her weekly but I've been slacking in actually getting down to see her. 

Last week the retired couple wanted to see the house again.  Afterwards, they put in an offer on the house, and I countered, and they countered back. It was not quite as much as I had hoped for, but there were no other offers. I talked it through with my Sean and decided to accept the counter and signed the escrow papers. Now we are waiting on my brother to return them with his signature as he is 1/4 owner. There will be a 45 day escrow, giving me time to put the furniture and things in an online estate auction.

Snagged one of my granddaughter Lauren's senior pics. 

After HS graduation she is going to play volleyball for a small college in the Sierras. She's majoring in psychology and law enforcement. 
 On Saturday I went down to watch her play in a basketball tourney.  Afterwards Marymine and the granddaughters took me to a late lunch at Farwood. Food was good, visiting with my girls was better.

With all the hustle and bustle of this time of year don't forget to... 
take a moment to sit back, close your eyes, take a soft breath and listen...

Perfect Symphony


Friday, December 8, 2017

Day work...

Friends say it's cold and wet up at the Fort.  Ah, I remember cold mornings on a snorty horse gathering cattle.  Those shipping home for the winter are back in RB now where the weather has been pretty darn nice.  We have lots of grass due to the early rains, and it has some strength to it from mild sunny days.

Here's a photo of two of my friends, ranch wives, after their last load out of the Fort.  You couldn't ask for more than to have them on your crew.

Showed the house again today. An older couple, lol... my age,  they loved it.  I baked cookies just before they came so the house smelled good.  Didn't have time to make bread, but the cookies were a hit.

I miscalculated when I thought I wouldn't be here for Christmas.  Late this summer I cleaned out all the boxes and boxes of Christmas stuff that mother had, loaded it up in Hank and took it to the Hope Chest. Thankfully, I did hold on to the tree that I got for Dad.  Now I've had to scramble to find Christmas decorations to put up.  Gotter done, though it's more than a bit minimal.

Got the gutters cleaned today, yay!  New window goes in garage entry door on Sat. Next big project is cleaning up and arranging all the stuff in the garage.

just because...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thankful in Cowcamp...

My little pine is doing well though it lives between a rock and a hard place. 

Willie and I went to my granddaughter (Ali) and her husband's, they have a big ol farm house in Marymine's compound, for Thanksgiving.  Tyler deep fried the turkey, and Ali made all the rest of the food goodness, with a little help from me.  Marymine flew back home from a short vacation trip to New Or-lins just in time to sit down with Ali, Tyler, Cody, Lauren, Colt, and I.  It was a good day full of good food, great love, hugs, dogs, pistol shoot'n, & much laughter.   

Ali disking rice stubble

My arm is mostly healed up, with all the appropriate ugly scars from the Angel debacle. Strength & range of motion are daily getting better.  The horrible side effects of the high powered antibiotics have been treated and are mostly gone. I still get tired easily, and naps have been more frequent than I would wish.

looking East from the deck

A young local couple toured the house the other day, and they liked it, so their current house goes on the market today.  They have an old Victorian the husband did a beautiful complete remodel on.  While he was here he kept saying, "I love your house, it's open, airy, has big rooms, big skylights, lots of storage & a shop!" His wife, little girl, and (possibly more importantly) his mother-in-law loved it, too. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Pioneer of South Dakota part five

We bought our food supply in Ft. Pierre.  During early fall we would buy groceries and vegetables to last all winter in case we became snowbound; in  spring we would buy food to last through summer and haying. People would put up what native grass they could for the calves and horses they used.  We kept a milk cow so had milk and butter and had our own beef during the winter;  for summer meat we bought cured meat such as bacon and ham.

There was quite a variety of wild fruit, some very nice plums, wild grapes, chokeberries, buffalo berries and a scarce amount of others.  When our apple trees began to bear we had a very nice summer apple that I mixed with this wild fruit that made delicious jams, butter and jells.  Sometimes a late frost would kill this fruit supply.

During the period between the opening of the territory and about 1904-05 the country was very sparsely settled.  There were more single men and fewer married men and families who had small herds of cattle or horses and sheep.  They did no farming, sometimes a little gardening.  Hogs were a curiosity as they did not raise feed for them.  One neighbor about eight miles from us was given a pig.  Mrs. Haxby fed it with scraps from the table and milk and bought a little grain to fatten it for good meat.  At the right age for good meat they butchered it;  Mrs. Haxby cooked it for other people but she could not eat the flesh of her pet, Johnny.

The big cattle companies of free range days were coming to a close.  

In the first week of May, 1905, came a very unusual blizzard for that time of year and caught cattle, horses and sheep that were put out on the open prairie.  This caused a very heavy loss.  My husband lost nearly all of his cattle and horses.  This left us heavily in debt with only the homestead and a few head of stock.  But when my husband first came there he leased a very good school section and fenced it and when the additional homestead act was passed he added two more homesteads that joined the original.  He could not get the third because the land was taken up that joined his land.  With this additional land we were pretty well established and with hard work and close living after a good many years, we were able to pay out in spite of the dry years, grasshoppers and depression.

Our house with the dirt roof began to leak pretty badly so we thought by putting boards over the dirt it would keep the rain from washing the dirt away.  One day there came a very hard wind that lifted this part of the roof right off the house.  We were needing more room so we put on another addition of logs and put on a shingle roof.  Now we had five rooms of cedar logs and a dry roof.

About this time, all the worthwhile land was taken up.  People came from cities, towns and country from other states;  people from all occupations.  Some came with intentions of making homes, some came for speculation and adventure.  It was learned that with the uncertainty of rainfall, one could not make a living on 160 acres of land and the greatest number of homesteaders left.  Some did not make final proof, some sold their land after final proof, some relinquished their right and some just left and the land went for taxes.

Free range days were gone.  People, mostly farmers with a little money to buy or rent land and keep a few cows, could tide over a dry year and make a go of it and eventually make a success.

I was glad to have people stay so we could have schools, Sunday schools for our children and eventually churches.

This development has been going on for the past 50 years through wars, dry years and depressions.

During the 30 years Lum and I lived at the ranch in northern Haakon County, nine children were born, 5 girls and 4 boys.  Of these nine children, one son Clifford, who was born in 1900, passed away in 1943; one son, Paul still lives on the old ranch; a daughter, Helen Parsons, still lives in Haakon County; one daughter lives in St. Louis and the others live in California.  I now have 31 grandchildren and 50 great grandchildren.

Lum and I moved to central California with the three youngest daughters in 1929 where I continue to make my home.

Numerous visits have been made back to the  South Dakota ranch and while we were there in the spring of 1942, Lum passed away in Phillip at the age of 83.

I think it is of interest that Lum came to South Dakota in 1885 by driving an ox team from Chadron to Buffalo Gap and the next spring, rode the first train into Rapid City.  Then, for contrast, when he returned for the last time in 1942, he flew in by plane.


My great grandmother Jessie Elshere, passed away in Jan 1969, one month shy of her 93rd birthday.

The legacy lives on... 

Elshere's South Dakota 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

A Pioneer of South Dakota part four

 Cheyenne River breaks

In 1898 my Father became discouraged and thought he would move and find a better place to live.  He sold what he had and we were gone for a year.  That was when I taught in Nebraska.  But they were used to the ways of South Dakota and were happy to come back;  I was married that same year, 1899, to Lemuel Elshere.

At the time we returned from Niobrara, Nebraska, Theron, who was 14 years old, and I drove a herd of cows that my Father and Lox Singleton had bought from Niobrara to old Manila, which is on the east fork of Plum Creek.  My Father and Lox Singleton then filed on the homesteads which are part of the Singleton Ranch today.

I do not remember the exact time of year, but it was in May or June and took about one month.  It was a fairly pleasant trip and good weather except for one rain storm with high winds.

We had to cross the Missouri River at Niobrara and at Chamberlain and the crossings were on ferries.

Now to go back to the year 1890.  Lemuel Elshere is the man I mentioned earlier who came to Rapid City on the first train from Chadron.  He worked for some time on the range of South Dakota and hauled freight from Ft. Pierre to Smithville, which was a general store and post office run by Frank Cottle.  This was in the region where the Messiah war and ghost dance trouble took place in 1889-90.  He was in close contact with the Indians and the soldiers sent there to keep order.  He could talk to the Indians in their own language.  He sympathized with the Indians because they did not know or understand what was going on.  One young Indian even asked him when the soldiers were going to kill the Indians!  This was about two days before the Wounded Knee Massacre.

While hauling freight for Frank Cottle he crossed the Cheyenne River Reservation which had been part of the Big Sioux  Reservation and where most of the Indian trouble was occurring.  He saw articles the band of Indians lost while trying to escape from the army.  They were so scared they were going to be killed and thought if they made it to the Pine Ridge Agency they would be safe.   The soldiers overtook them at Wounded Knee Creek where that terrible massacre took place, caused by fright, misunderstanding and blundering.

While this Indian trouble was occurring my Father moved out of the hills on Box Elder Valley.  We were not close enough to be uneasy about the Indian trouble but some white people nearer to them were afraid that they might get into a frenzy and do harm.  At this time (1889) the territory was divided into two states and in 1891 that part of the Cheyenne River Reservation south of the Big Cheyenne River to White River on the south was opened to white settlement and the boundary of the Cheyenne River Reservation was fixed.  This region was under the administration of Ft. Bennet until 1897.

 Lemuel Elshere, when riding over this prairie, discovered an ideal location for a homestead about four miles from the river, where there were springs of unlimited good water and open all winter and in good shelter of the brakes.  In 1895 he filed a homestead and moved there with a herd of cattle.  This homestead is still in the family.

This homestead was in the southern part of Sterling County south of the Cheyenne River as this county was called at that time and is in the northern part of Haakon County now.  In 1897 this territory, opened to whites, was made a part of Stanley County and remained that way until 1914 when Haakon and Jackson Counties were formed from it.

Before we were married Mr. Elshere built a cabin of all cedar logs on his homestead.  Ft. Pierre, eighty miles away, was the nearest place where he could buy lumber.  He bought 1"x12" boards, I don't know the length, for the roof and floor.  He soaked the boards for the roof in water and then bent them over a big ridge log through the center of the cabin, in this way forming a slightly arched ceiling.  He covered this with dirt which made it warm in winter and cool in summer.  The floor was of 12" boards also.  There was a window at each end and a door on one side and another on the other side against the hill where he dug a cave for storage.  This made a comfortable, convenient cabin with little expense besides the labor.

At this time he had another man, Charlie Birch, living with him that had a herd of cattle.  They were not partners but it was convenient to live together.  After another year in 1896, they decided they wanted a housekeeper and got a man and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Mattice; they also had a few cows.  Mrs. Mattice was a sister to my step-mother and this is how I became acquainted with Lum Elshere.

This made it necessary to have more room, so he built another cedar room about the size of the first one and they partitioned a bedroom off of each one.  He now had four rooms and a storage cellar in the bank.

There was still free range and during the summer many of the watering places dried up and the cattle would gather around where there was a water supply and the feed for grazing and hay became scarce.  Charlie Birch and Mattices moved to a location about 18 miles from there where the range was better but water supply not so good, only in holes.

Soon after I returned to South Dakota with my Father and step-mother, Lum Elshere, as everyone called him, and I were married.  We went to live in this house I described.  Lum put in a hydraulic-ram so we had running water in the house which at that time was a very marvelous thing.  The same system was still in use in 1961; however, it wasn't the hydraulic-ram that wore out--but the storage tank that sprung a leak!  Lum also planted some apple trees and in a few years we had an abundance of large summer apples and crab apples.

to be continued...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Pioneer of South Dakota part three

Box Elder trail

In 1886 the first railroad train came to Rapid City and everyone went to town to celebrate.  My future husband came in on the train but I didn't know that until several years later.  He had come to the Black Hills from Nebraska in 1885 with a man from Chadron, Nebr., who was hauling freight by ox team into the Hills and needed a helper.  He had never driven oxen but gave what help he could for his transportation to Buffalo Gap.  He spent his first winter at Hot Springs.

With the arrival of the railroad some entertainment was imported which we had never seen before.  I went with my stepmother to see "Uncle Tom's Cabin" played.  This was a wonderful treat for me which I have never forgotten.

Since the boom days at Rapid City were over the lumber business began to slacken so my Father sold his interest in the saw mill to his partner.  He then ran a boarding house at a mining camp near old Greenwood which at that time was running a stamp mill; the company was also putting down a shaft, but I guess it didn't pay as it was soon abandoned and Greenwood was forgotten.  This was the only contact we had with the mining industry of the Hills.

On one of his regular trips to Greenwood one day, Father ran across some big bear tracks which made him uneasy because of the supply of fresh meat he was carrying.  The miners, when off shift, went bear hunting, but they didn't find him.

Father went back to the saw mill and bought some cattle and moved to his pre-emption on the prairie, northeast of Rapid City on Box Elder Valley in 1889.  My sister Emma McGee died in 1889.

After moving here I was a long distance from school.  During the school term I lived with my sister Ida Singleton and went with her daughter who was too young to go so far alone to school.  It was quite a distance and during the short winter day it would be dark when we got home.  We had to come along a ridge between the heads of two canyons where there was heavy timber.  We had heard the cry of the wild cats in that vicinity and we were afraid.  In bad weather we would miss school.

Later on my brother-in-law, Lox Singleton, rented a room in a home near the school house where we could keep house.  He would take us down Monday morning and come for us Friday evening.  My sister would bake bread, cookies and cake for us to eat during the week.

When their little boy, John Theron Singleton, was old enough to start to school, they rented rooms in Rapid City where we could keep house and go to school.  One day my nephew warned me he was going home.  He got out of school a little earlier than his sister and myself and that evening when we got home from school he was gone.  I found a place for my niece to stay and borrowed a horse and buggy and started after him, for it was about six miles.  I caught up with him just as he went in the door at home.  It was the last month of school so they kept him home the rest of the term.

My sister Ida died in 1893.  Her husband, Lox Singleton, and the two children, age 12 and 8 years, moved to my father's home on Box Elder.  They lived and worked together part of the time trying to farm and care for a little herd of cattle.  Most of the years of the 1890's were very dry causing poor crops which made it difficult to have pasture and feed.

When we lived on Box Elder there was not much entertainment or social life but sometimes we would gather at the home of a neighbor who had an organ.  There was a girl who could play, and we would gather around the organ and sing -- probably not very good singing but we did enjoy it.

Once I was telling a neighbor about some nice gooseberries we had and he said jokingly he would come down and get them some night.  Theron, who was about 10 years old said he had better not because we had a gun.  When the neighbor asked to see it, Theron brought it out and just as he entered the room it went off and shot about a 3" hole in the floor.  Theron's father, Lox, heard the shot and when he came in and found what had happened, he took the gun out and threw it in the creek.

I liked school very much and tried to make the most of the opportunities I had.  I passed the written examination for teacher's certificate in 1893. 

I taught four terms in South Dakota and one short term in Nebraska; one term in Mead County, three terms in Pennington County and one in Nebraska.  My brother-in-law, Lox Singleton, rented a place to farm near these schools where I taught so his children could go to school.

In 1896 Hallie was old enough to keep house alone.  I wanted to go to school for more education and training to teach.  I started to school at Spearfish Normal.  Spearfish had an epidemic of typhoid fever.  I took the fever which brought an end to my schooling and my savings, so I went back to teaching the next year.

to be continued...

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Pioneer of South Dakota part two

We lived in this lovely valley about five years.  When we arrived there was only a cook-house, a bunk-house, and a big barn.  we lived in our tents until our little company could build houses to live in.  This meant three small houses.  Later on three more were built by private families who worked at the mill.  Most of these families were temporary until they pre-empted or homesteaded. This made a little village.  We did not have a post office but we had a telephone.  People who owned this saw mill in an earlier time had a post office called "Bluevale" but it was discontinued.

In February 1885, my sister Ida gave birth to a baby boy, John Theron.  Later in the spring the Singletons moved to their pre-emption located on a park.  A park, in those days, was an open place on a ridge between two streams.

In the fall of 1885 my father married Mary Chilcote, who came from Bedford, Iowa to Chadron, Nebraska by railroad and then to Rapid City by stage coach, where my father met her.  She had known our family for sometime and knew my mother.  We had some good times together going fishing up the canyon on the creek where there were deep holes.  Trout were not planted at that time but we caught bullheads. My father often made trips to Rapid City selling lumber and buying supplies for the cook-house and for the families living there and working at the mill.  We would sometimes go with him as far as South Canyon and stay there and pick wild raspberries, gooseberries, chokecherries and sometimes plums, when each was in season, until he came from town; we took our lunch and we knew the location of a spring where we could get water.

We made a trip to Sturgis and Fort Mead that took a whole day's travel by wagon and horse.  We knew people from Iowa that lived in Sturgis.

There was not much for amusement and entertainment for anyone.  On Sundays the young fellows would get out on an open place and practice cracking the big bull whip to see who could crack it the loudest and handle it the best.

There were some girls my age at the mill camp and we played in the creek and explored the scenery around the mill site.  We were not allowed near the mill or lumber yard when they were running but when closed on Sundays we would go through the mill sight-seeing and slide down the skids where they slid the lumber down to the ground level to the lumber yard.  One time they let us ride on the carrier that run the logs to the big saw.  This was not a safe place for us.

They had two or three yoke of oxen at the mill to haul logs and skid logs in the timber to the platform where they loaded the logs on the wagons.  They claimed a yoke of oxen was better for this than horses; they used them also to haul logs to the log yard.  A middle-aged man handled the oxen, everyone could not do it.  I remember the names of some the oxen: Dodge, Logan, Bill, Red, and Lep.

I did not go to school the first year we were in the Hills.  The next year, 1885, my father made arrangements for me to go to school in Rapid City.  I was curious about a large new lonesome looking building set off by itself about one mile east of Rapid City, and learned it was the first building of the S.D. School of Mines.  Two sons of mine were to graduate from this school; Donald, in 1930, and Dean, in 1934.

The boom days of Rapid City were over by this time.

That fall a log school house was built about one-half mile from the mill on a ranch, at that time called the Julia Heath Ranch.  The desks, tables and benches were made by some carpenters that worked at the saw mill.  The blackboard was made of surfaced boards and painted black.

My father was married now and we had a school near the saw mill, so I went back to the mill to school.  I went to school here the next three years.  At that time we had only six months of school during the year.  My last term there was taught by Orpha (Le Graw) Haxby who is still living in Rapid City and is in her nineties.  She was one of the first settlers there.

to be continued...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Pioneer of South Dakota part one

Box Elder Creek

My dad's maternal grandmother, my great grandmother, wrote her history as a pioneer woman of South Dakota. (I have fond memories of her at family gatherings, especially as a small child at the cabin in the high Sierras. She had been wheelchair bound by crippling arthritis for some years by the time I was born, yet I never heard her complain. She was always cheerful and interesting to be around.) 

I'm copying her story here just as it was written.

A Pioneer of South Dakota
 Jessie McCracken Elshere

 At the request of the South Dakota Federation of Womens' Clubs asking for histories of the pioneer women of South Dakota, I am writing of my experiences of those early days as I remember them.

I was born in Taylor County, Iowa, February 23, 1876, to James McCracken and Sara Ann (Fleming) McCracken.

James McCracken's ancestors as far back as he knew, were born in America and were probably Scottish or Irish descent. His grandfather and brothers fought in the War of 1812. 

Sara Ann (Fleming) McCracken was descendant of Sir Thomas Fleming, a Scott, who in England married a Miss Tarleton before sailing for America. They were one of the first permanent settlers of Jamestown, VA in 1616, about nine years after it's founding.

In 1883 when I was seven, my Mother died, and the following year in June 1884, my Father with three other men left for the Black Hills, Dakota Territory.  September of that same year I followed my Father to the Black Hills in the company of Lox Singleton, his wife, who was my sister, their little girl, Hallie, and another sister, Emma, aged 18.

We traveled in a covered wagon drawn by a big team of mules.  Two other couples and a small child came in another wagon drawn by a team of horses.  We carried nothing but our bedding, clothing and camping equipment.  When camping, one couple slept in each of the wagons, and the other couple and my sister Emma and I slept on the ground in a tent.  It took us about three weeks to make the trip from Bedford, Iowa to Pierre, South Dakota.  Pierre at that time was the end of the railroad.

We shipped our household goods by railroad to Pierre. My father met us there to haul the goods the rest of the way to the Black Hills.  He took us to see a big elk someone had captured and kept in a pen.

After loading on our wagons as many supplies as we could haul, we crossed the Missouri River by ferry to Ft Pierre.  After arriving in Ft Pierre we began to see Indians.  What interested me very much was the travois the Indians used when traveling.  They took two long poles and fastened one end of each pole to the sides of a pony or dog, and the other end rested on the ground; they connected the poles with wood or leather and piled their belongings on this slanting platform and the the pony or dog drug the pack.  Later years the government issued lightweight wagons to the Indians.

Another interesting sight was the long ox trains that pulled the huge wagons of freight to the Black Hills.  This road to the Hills was called the Deadwood Trail.  Most of the supplies to the Black Hills were carried in this manner until a railroad was built up from the south.  Some freight was hauled by horses. The horses were faster but grain had to be hauled for feed for the horses and this added to the load, while with oxen they could be turned loose to feed on the native grass to keep up their strength.

We then took the trail to Rapid City passing through a part of the Great Sioux Reservation until we crossed the south fork of the Cheyenne River which formed part of the boundary between the Black Hills region and the reservation.  The Belle Fourche River or the north fork of the Cheyenne formed the north boundary of this region including the Black Hills that was opened to white settlers in 1876.

We did not see many Indians as they built their huts and villages along the streams where there was a supply of wood and water.  These streams ran into either Bad River or the Big Cheyenne.  This old Deadwood Trail crossed rather than followed them.

It was a mystery to me, and still is, how the drivers of the oxen could manage those cattle.  There would be a number of yokes of cattle.  I don't remember how many, pulling two huge big wagons hooked together.  The front yoke or the front pair of oxen were called the "leaders" that led the way and the others followed; the yoke or pair fastened to the tongue of the front wagon were called the "wheelers".  these two yokes were very important.  By the use of a big long whip and language the drivers used, which was not a very beautiful language, they were able to understand "gee" and "haw".  The drivers were expert with their whips, it was an art with them.  If a steer began to shirk that whip would be cracked over his back and he would dig his hooves into the dirt, throw his weight against the yoke and with his nose almost to the ground pull with all his might.

Along the trail it was a sad sight to see the bones of the cattle that perished during the terrible winter of 1880-81. This was a heavy loss to the big cattlemen of the range days.

On September 28, 1884, we reached Rapid City.  We passed through the town and on into the Hills through South Canyon and over a ridge into a little valley on Box Elder Creek, about nine miles northwest of Rapid City.  This is a very pretty little valley.  Here was situated the saw mill that my father and John McGee bought when they first arrived in the Hills. The following Christmas, my sister Emma was married to John McGee. 
 to be continued...

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day 2017...

A sincere and heartfelt Thank You for your service to all our Veterans. 

that corpsman on the far L is my grandson

and a Special Thank You for your service to my favorite veteran, my grandson, Cody. 
You know I could do the usual grandma with forty thousand photos but will just show you a few.

break from corpsman school Pensacola

mtn warfare training with the 3/7 Marines

first deployment Afghanistan

end of second deployment down range


He's now a civilian college student studying to be a PA.

Monday, November 6, 2017


Some days are better than others, been sicker than a wormy ol cow for the past week. A side effect of the high powered antibiotics that where making sure I didn't get an infection from the Angel debacle's deep cuts.  
When Doc put me on the antibiotics, his nurse kept asking me what meds I was on. I told Doc's nurse I don't take any medications, and seldom even aspirin.  "Oh wait, I do take vitamins, does that count"... got me a heavy sigh. I guess when you reach this age you are supposed to be on a bunch of stuff for assorted age related maladies. No thanks.
Early this morning, via phone Doc sent me to the lab to pickup a test kit. His nurse said, "what lab do you want the orders sent to?" 
"I don't have a lab, can you suggest one?" 
"Aah, When was the last time you had any labs done?"  
"Can you look on my chart, because I'm not sure?"  Which earned me a "OMG, it's been four years and that was just a wellness checkup". "You should be having yearly labs."
"Why, if I'm not sick!"  earned me another heavy sigh.

Usually I try to be presentable when going into town, wasn't happening early this morning. Decided to throw on what ever came to hand and get down to the lab and back home as quick as possible. Who was going to see me at that early hour on a Monday morning anyway.
Out the door I headed in a black & white stripped Tee shirt under a red & black buffalo plaid flannel shirt, leggings and tall black Uggs. Hair was combed, sorta, and a dash of lipstick added to blend with the rosey glow of a low grade fever. Picked up the test kit, and decide since I was in town to pickup another case of Pedialyte and more yogurt. Feeling crapper by the minute, but who was going to see me.  
No sooner got in the door of the grocery store and I ran into one of my neighbors. She usually hugs me, not today, can't say as I blame her.  Escaped after the report on her family's doings, and got some of the stuff I wanted.  Ok, one sighting by one neighbor isn't too bad!
 Turned down an isle and saw a friend at the other end of the isle, but before she could spot me I about faced and headed in another direction. Hah, close but no cigar! 
Wheeled around another corner and ran smack dab into my next door neighbor, well hell! She looked me up and down and I know she was about to say "You look like hell, " but thought better of it.  She said it had been so quiet at my house, she had thought I was gone somewhere. "Nope just trying to survive a little sickness from the antibiotics", I said. She noticed the survival rations in my cart and said she was making home made chicken soup and would bring me some. Bless her heart. Then, told me I needed to be home in bed sucking on a bottle of fluids because I looked a sight.   

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Through it all...

Geez, I seriously don't know how you right handed people do it.
This learning to be slightly ambidextrous is a challenge. I do shoot right handed, thank goodness, but can't figure out how to rack the slide on the Sig. I can surely use this as a valid excuse for getting a wheel gun.

There are things that need to be done/fixed around here before it starts in to storming later this week. The gutters need cleaned out, the leaves from the oaks need to be blown out of the borders, and the BB shot? window in the side door to the garage needs to be replaced. 

The fellow I had come to look at the window, said I would most likely have to replace the whole window unit as they are put together in such a manner that you can't just replace the glass. I could do this if it weren't for this dang bum arm/wrist.

No interest being shown in the house, and I don't know what I can do to change that given the market in this price range. The neighbor's house has had no interest shown in it, either.

 My brother is asking the estate attorney for detailed accounting's of every little expenditure, and a host of other things. I have tried to provide it all (via the attorney) in a timely fashion, apparently that is not good enough. It will be nice when this is behind me.

All that said, I'm doing good, and...

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Fall is slow in coming here this year. Most of the garden is confused with all the weather swings. The neighborhood trees are just starting to turn color.

My confused tomato, that had one tomato all summer, has recently put on a bunch of tomatoes. That's fine, I can make chow-chow with them.

The fig tree is producing a bumper crop.

The only things on schedule are the pomegranates.

One of the joys of living in a small town, my neighbors all know about the Angel debacle. They seem to think that my recovery will be sped up by bringing me home cooking. I may not know much but I know they are all way better cooks than I, so I'm accepting their tasty offerings with humble gratitude.  

Monday, October 23, 2017

In threes...

My girlfriend said, "They come in threes, was this the second or the third?" 

"Oh ah third, yep it's the third."

"That's good." she said.


 Such was our conversation as she and her boyfriend were driving me home from the ER Saturday evening. 

While up town, looking for a base to put my MIL's angel on, the angel and I took an unintended & darn poorly executed hard landing.

I seem to be a slow learner, but I got the hint this time. There will be no more angels placed on my mother-in-law's grave.

Five stitches, four steri strips, assorted colorful markings.  Pain meds are on board. Going to take a bit to heal up.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Two sided affair...

There was a time when the Cowman went to back of beyond Nevada to process some cows that the ranch had bought.  I helped jump his ponies in the gooseneck, packed his foul weather gear, tucked a few surprises in his duffle, made sure he had plenty of preg sleeves, and a big thermos of hot coffee, and waved him off.

He got over there and found a mixed bunch of wild high desert cows.  Mean as hell every last one of them. The Cowman had decided to preg the cows, so only the bred ones would be shipped to the home ranch here in Cali. The open cows and toothless wonders were going to the auction yard. 

The Cowman was to do the preg testing.  If you haven't stuck you're arm all the way up the tight ass of a wild cow in a snow storm with a cold wind nipping at your nose, you don't know what your miss'n. 

The Cowman was bundled up pretty good against the cold, well except for that one arm. Anyway, one ol gal took offense to his method and charged him as soon as she was released from the squeeze chute. Under normal circumstances it wouldn't have been hard to step out of her path, but he was so bundled up and the ground so slippery with snow, lube, and shit that he went down.  Knowing he didn't have time to get back up, he decided it would be in his best interest to roll under the corral fence before she could mash him into oblivion. He made it to the fence, he made it directly under the fence, he got stuck there. Now he was getting mashed on one side, and frozen on the other. Finally, the cow decided he wasn't worth the trouble and wandered off to tell the rest of the gals "she" was headed to better pastures in Calif.

The Cowman came home with frost bite on one side and bruises on the other, 

and the crazy cow,  she was re-marked as open...


Friday, October 13, 2017

Metal testing...

Feel'n like this ol piece of tin. Got a few rusty spots, got a few holes in the armor, got a few wrinkles, got a few gray days but...  

This Ain't Nothin'