Sunday, May 21, 2017

Different world...

Early the other morning I headed out to the Sacramento River Discovery Center gardens to check out the Romneya coulteri - Matlalija Poppies they are growing.
Since it was early and I had only had a few cups of coffee I decided to go through the drive thru and get a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit and a large black coffee to take with me. It came to $6.67. I handed the girl at the window a $10 a $1 and .67 cents.  She looked dumb founded, slammed the window shut, fumbled around for a bit, slammed the window open, and handed me a $5, a $1 and .23 cents, and slammed the window shut. Now, I was dumb founded. She was busy taking other orders and rolling her eyes, so I tapped on her window.  Window slams open, "Yes?". 
"Ah, you gave me too much money back, I just should have gotten back a $5."  
"What, no I didn't give you too much!"  
"I realize you are busy and it's early, but I have to live with my conscience, so you take back the $1.23, I'll keep the $5, and I promise to never ever darken this establishment again." 
"What ever!" 
It's a different world out there these day.

Monday, May 15, 2017


Tidbits in honor of the best mom I have ever known.

Never saw her on a horse, she was too busy raising seven kids.  Never saw her shoot a gun, she had other defense mechanisms. Never saw her drive a tractor, bale hay, or feed stock. She was too busy driving kids, feeding kids (her own and a bunch more), visiting the infirm, healing the sick, and patching up kids & grownups alike. 

She was an RN, that could walk up to Doc and say this is the way we are going to do this and get it done right, and she did it all with grace.
She was a character, the good kind. Who else would take a thermos full of vodka on a day hike in the Yolla Bolly Wilderness, and say when asked why she didn't take any water. "There's water everywhere if you know where to look, vodka you have to pack in."
She was a classy lady, and could handle a formal dinner party as easily as a ranch BBQ.
She served her community in many many ways, most that people outside the family will never know about.
She was a good cook. We often laughed that every kid in the neighborhood knew that dinner was at 6 sharp, and if you were there on time all you had to do was get in line. 
She always knew when she was needed, whether it was for advise, an ear to listen, or a shoulder to cry on. 
She was fierce in defense of her own.

She taught me so much about love & life, grace and honor, and I will forever miss her... my mom-in-law.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Basket case...

Time to take up basket making again, or just declare that I'm a basket case...

Dad left so much behind to sort through, his favorite hats are still on the hall tree by the back door.  I haven't the heart to get rid of them, yet.

Been doing repairs around the place, which means a hammer, a tube of caulking, and a touch up paint brush are with me at all times.  There is also a length of weed wacker string, pruners, fencing pliers, and garden gloves dangling out of other pockets. I need to get one of those cool folding wagons to pack all this stuff around.  Cousin Jess had one at the range, and that thing was great for hauling ammo cans, range bags, etc to the stations.  The crimson trace came in for the little Sig. Very cool.  I wasn't going to get one, (not a budget item) but then they put a $50 rebate on it, and the local gunny gave me a deep discount, and I weakened.
Gave Cousin Jess my cowboy hat from Wall Drug in S Dakota, since he has really been saving my butt with the guns and ammo dollars.  I finally got the hat I originally wanted (budgeted for).  

  Now I have some settling cracks to take care of...

and then painting, and then, and then more legal stuff, and then...  my budget is shot to hell, and I haven't gotten my dress for Ali's wedding.  Time to get out the sewing machine.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Round Up Recap...

Another RB Round-Up has come and gone. It was great fun to spend the day with family and friends, with lots of laughter, hugs, and a few tears.  
One of the highlights was the Marine Corps F-18 flyover at the start of each rodeo.  T was in the cockpit of a B-17 when they flew in for the performances and was kind enough to text me a pic and a heads up.

They were something to see and as our house sets up on a hill and looks across to the Sierras, I got to see them again on Sunday as they came over the top of the house.

I have few of my photos to share, as I only have the camera on my phone, but MattCohen has some good ones.

 There was a well done memorial to a dear friend that we lost last fall, a big kind hearted man we all loved. Not a dry eye in the place when his son lead a riderless horse.

A big thanks to my BIL for the tickets, and to cousin Jess for keeping me in line as best he could.

BIL and Jess

I've been working on getting Dad's things sorted, and it always seems like one step forward and two back. So today, Jess (fresh from competition shooting and cyber security in Texas) and I took a mental health day. I got up early baked a batch of cowboy cookies, packed lunches, and checked all my gear. As soon as Jess got here we loaded up all his guns and mine in the Rav and headed out for a day at the range. We pretty much had the place to ourselves, ran a lot of drills, and put a lot of lead down range. My shooting has been off and it was really bothering me. Then with some great coaching by Jess, it finally became apparent what adjustments I needed to make, and the fix was so simple, I could have cried. But Jess was so proud of me for working through it I didn't dare.    It was a very good day.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Rounding Up Memories...

It's that Red Bluff Round-Up time of year. 

 The Round-Up is a big deal in these parts, it brings in a great deal of revenue to the local businesses. 

The Cowman's dad & uncle were directors for many years, back in the day. The Cowman and his brothers worked the ground crew in the timed events chute. A thankless job, as it was either pouring rain or hotter'n hell, and they worked all the slack as well as all the performances. They all volunteered their time and effort to make it happen.  

Most of the old founding families are still active in producing the Round-Up.

Back in the day, at the end of each day's performance, was the Wild Horse Race.  They ran out a bunch of horses with a halter and lead rope on them. The wild horse race started with a shotgun blast, just to make sure they had the audiences attention, and spook the horses.Then each three man team had to hold on to their horse, get a saddle on it, one man had to mount up, and ride around the track back to the finish line to win the prize money.  Sounds rather simple, it's not, these were not gentle horses, they were wild horses. The Cowman, his older brother and a friend miraculously never got stomped into a pulp, bit, kicked, or bucked down like some teams.  The tough thing was hanging on to the horse long enough to get'm saddled and headed down the track in the right direction.  All this happened just feet away from the grandstand and we were lucky enough to have box seats to watch the action. 

Most of the teams were locals that we all knew, so the competition among them was pretty stiff.  I had a vested interest in those days, really didn't need a busted up husband, but we sure could have made good use of that prize money. 

They don't have the Wild Horse Race these days... But the Wild Ride competition at the last performance is great fun to watch.  The riders dress up in costumes and come out of the chute on a bronc for a Wild Ride.

Tonto & the Lone Ranger out of the chute
 My BIL still has the family box, and a ticket with my name on it, so I might just make a performance this year.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter 2017

Went to a dinner last evening at the home of the friend that gave me the flag (iris) rhizomes. Hers are blooming ahead of mine, so I took some photos to show you.

 It's a bearded iris named Presby's Crown Jewel.

Happy Easter!


UPDATE Iris 04-19-2017

Took my early morning coffee out on the patio to watch the sun peek over the Sierras,
and the wait has ended,  
Presby's Crown Jewel is blooming...


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Springtime in cow country...

watercolor by Nelson Boren

out West by an ol friend

Yep, it's spring time in cow country, 
and the sounds of cattle being gathered, marked and branded, echo through the hills...

Yesterday was spent with my attorney among the saddles, bits, and cowman deco of his office, with his Border Collie Pancho at our feet.  This morning was spent pulling and copying documents that he requested.  Got that done and delivered to his office, when a friend texted she would come over for afternoon tea and a chat.  Well I drink coffee and don't really have a nice lady like tea cup to my name. So after I picked up some Earl Grey and cream I went in search of a tea cup. I stopped off at one of the local thrift shops, no nice tea cups. On to another thrift shop, several possibles, but not quite what I was looking for. About ready to say the hell with it, she can drink out of a Fiestaware mug, when I turned around and there stacked up against the counter was a framed print.  Oh My Gosh, it was the framed print I have been keeping on the look out for for nearly 30 years.*

 *A bit of the back story, I bought the same print years ago, it hung in my living room on the home ranch.  A friend always said she liked it (it does look a great deal like her son).  After a while I gave it to my Sean for his house.  With all our moving and his moving it got lost.  Way back then,  the friend mentioned that if I found another she would like one.  

Today I ran right into it!  Took a pic of it, sent it to her, and said, "Look what I found, if you still want it it's yours!"  Her reply was "YES, PLEASE!!"  So the framed print came home with me. I have a few small dings in the frame to fix, and it will be delivered to her, at their ranch.  I'm so tickled to have found it for her.

sorry for the poor quality photo

A flowerdy mug for one friend, and a framed print for another... Much better day today!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Bloom where you're planted...

Solanum laxum

It's springtime, and the sun is playing hide and seek with the thunder boomers. Inspite of fickle lighting, we are going to go for a walk around the garden and see what is blooming.

Grevillea Noellii
 The Grevillea in the front yard is covered in bright pink blossoms.

Erigeron  karvinskianus     Santa Barbara Daises
 SB Daises are acting as ground cover in the side yard. They self sow and my neighbor is cussing, because they have invaded his vinca minor borders.  It's survival of the fittest around here, I tell him.

Lavender, Crape Myrtle, Gazania
 Onward past the Crape Myrtle and Lavender border.
Well dang, we went right past the Dogwoods.  Back tracking, here you go...

White Dogwood
Now for a quick look at the Swiss chard. No blooms but it is colorful and good eating slightly wilted in bacon grease.

Bright Lights Swiss Chard
Opposite the Chard is the Camellia.  She's coming to the end of her blooming cycle, but still putting on a show.

Camellia japonica
Winding our way to the back garden we come to a happy pot of pansies.


Further on the Petunias and Pelargoniums have a new flush of bloom. My favorite old fashioned petunias.

Pelargoniums & Petunias
We will end for now with the pot of flags (Iris), they haven't bloomed yet but are getting there. They got off to a slow start as the Jays kept covering up the rhizomes while trying to plant acorns. I kept uncovering them til the Jays finally decide to plant elsewhere.

pot of flags (Iris)
I'll take a photo when the flags bloom, can't remember which color these are, time will tell.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Day by day...

Today I bought a new face shield for weed whacking, (my old plastic one seems to have disappeared), so I could get the clover and grasses knocked down on the long bank in front of the house.  Only place I could find a mesh one was in RDG.  Which was OK, as it gave me a chance to blow the cobwebs out of Hank, the pickup. Came back, gassed up the weed eater, put on the face shield, and headed out.  My neighbor came over and said, "Geez, you look like Darth Vader with that thing on." 
"Works for me, I'm going full throttle, I have to knock this out before it rains again."  
I had learned my lesson about not using a full face shield, when I did it last time with just my shoot'n glasses on.  Those little pebbles kicked up into your face hurt, and I looked like I had the measles for a week.  The new mesh one works great, much cooler, you can breathe and no fogging up!
After I ran out of daylight to whack weeds, I came in to text a friend that I had managed to get most of it done.  Friend said, now would be the time for you to use that whirlpool tub in the master bath.  I was a little leery of that tub as I had never even turned it on. I have a full bath on my end of the house, and there was never really any reason for me to use the master bathroom.  But, since my arms were still vibrating from the weed eater and my legs were complaining about the circuit training yesterday, I thought what the heck.  Filled that sucker up, turned it on, ran down to my bathroom, grabbed a ball of moisture fizz, threw that in the whirlpool, and stepped in.  Oh my gosh, if I had not wondered if that whizzing sound was my electric meter racing around, I would still be in there.

Dad, bless him, is still effecting things with his dry sense of humor... 
My brother told me on the phone the other day that Dad had told him he could have Dad's wedding ring. Would I ship it to him.  
"Well that's going to be a tough one, because I don't have it!"   
"It's got to be there, Dad said, I could have it!"
"Yes, well he hocked it."
"He wouldn't do that, it must be there!"
"Nope, he hocked it because he wanted to get a bugle!"
"What, why would he do that?"
"Because he wanted a bugle to learn to play taps."
"Why would you let him do that?"
"Let him, it was his ring, he could do with it what he wanted. He decided he wanted a bugle." 
Oh Dad I'm sending the bugle on to my brother... lol


Monday, April 3, 2017

Carrying on...

Spring has sprung in the back of beyond. The rains have gone, and the NORTH wind is howling round the place, drying every little thing out, and causing white caps on the bird bath.

Willie and I miss Dad a lot, there is so much to take care of and do that even if I weren't so inclined I would be constantly reminded.  I'm barely holding firm to not going full berserker on my brother & his wife. But friends, my kids, & the Cowman's family have been awesome in their help & support as I navigate my way through this.

 This last week I was called for jury duty, a small computer glitch at the court house, caused half of the county to be called up!  Four and a half hours to get from the security check in, into a courtroom, then told to come back the next day... 
a quarter of the line waiting to be processed for jury selection
 Back the next day, 2.5 hours later the jury was finally seated.  I wasn't called to be seated, and though I have no problem with doing my civic duty, this was a child molestation case, with no hard evidence.

Saturday, a friend and I went to the big quilt show at the fairgrounds. So much talent in our small community.

Saturday night my SIL, a few friends, and I went to the performance of Cinderella by Mercy High School. We laughed, cheered, clapped, and enjoyed every minute. (Didn't hurt that we had stopped off for a little wine tasting before hand.) The girl that played the fairy godmother, stole the show with her antics. Outstanding performance by the whole cast.

Sunday my niece, SIL, and I went to a bridal shower for my granddaughter, Ali.  Another good day, full of family, friends, and much laughter.

Today I met up with the guys to pickup the map with coordinates for the hunt'n camp where Dad wanted his ashes to be scattered. Their dad was Dad's best friend. 

T should be done with his Rubicon run, and a few other adventures by later this month. He will fly Dad and I up to hunt'n camp. Though I love to fly, I have a feeling that is going to be a hard day. 

An old friend came by the other day on her way taking some of her mares North, she has invited me to come stay with her for a few days when the others are foaling.  It would be nice to get away for a couple of days in the saddle, and shoot'n the breeze... 

Thursday, March 23, 2017


White hair moments are few and far between around here, thank God, but they do happen. When they do it is usually too embarrassing too relate to you, even for me, but what the heck!

A week ago, I was awakened at O dark thirty by an occasional Chirp. Got up and went in search of the offending Chirper. Finally got to the area, which happened to be above the doorway inside Dad's bedroom.  Dad was sleeping, and didn't have his hearing aides in, so it wasn't bothering him. It was bothering me. Got the ladder out of the garage, and  proceeded to climb up to the Chirping smoke alarm. Checked it, it seemed fine, but still Chirping, must need new back up batteries. The smoke alarms in the house are hard wired, so the back up batteries had to be the problem. Easy fix, well not quite. Managed to wrangle the unit open and pull the old batteries, Chirp... what?  Ok, put new batteries in, check the the wiring plug, Ok... Chirp!  What the hell!  It has to be this one, because this is where the Chirping is coming from. Put it all back together, go on line to do a little research, and the advice is: "You need a new smoke alarm."  Well that's just dandy. The hardware store doesn't open for a while yet, and I can't leave til Dad's home health lady gets here, anyway. Crawl back in bed, and try to go back to sleep, nope, Chirp... 
Finally, the home help lady arrives and I climb back up the ladder, unplug the unit, throw it in a bag, and head out to the hardware store.  Did I hear a Chirp as I got in the pickup!?
Arriving at the hardware store, I ask for help in the smoke alarm section. Of course, the employee that finally decides to breakaway from the morning coffee klatch of building contractors,  has only been in this section a few days.  He looks at my smoke alarm, asks how old our house is, 2001.  "Oh, that old, well they have changed the plug in on all the newer smoke alarms, so you will need a whole new unit, and have to have a new plug wired in."  I presume this will require an electrician, Damn. 
Get the new smoke alarm home, and I'm greeted by a Chirp as I walk in the door. What the hell!  Up the ladder, plug the old smoke alarm back in, screw the base back in, push the tester, screaming noise, then silence... then Chirp...  I climb back down the ladder, ask Dad (who is now wide awake thanks to the screaming test alarm) if he knows why/how that damn thing keeps Chirping.  He gives me a smurky smile (which I should have learned to be suspicious of)  and says "nope, you will just have to figure it out." Chirp...
I start to go back up the ladder and decide it would be safer if I close Dad's door and work from inside his bedroom. As I'm closing the door, CHIRP...  What, What is that on the wall, (behind the door that I have never closed from inside the bedroom) but a CHIRPING... carbon monoxide alarm! 
Change out the batteries in that alarm, no more chirping. Put the newly purchased smoke alarm back in the bag, and return it to the hardware store. "What is your reason for returning this item?"
"I'm a white haired berserker!" 
Come home, and ask Dad, "why didn't you tell me there was another alarm behind the door?"   
"You figured it out didn't you?"  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Cleared to climb UNLIMITED...

Dad passed away this afternoon, here at home, very peacefully. He lead a good long life. He was a farmer who hunted and fished and golfed all over the West, but his greatest joy was to kick the tires and light the fires in a fighter jet. 

Love You, Dad.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Cowcamp news...

It has been crazy around here, what with hospice people, friends, and family in and out. Dad is still with us, but weaker.  My brother blew in for a day an a half, and has gone back home to Ideeho.  It was so good for Dad to get to see & talk to him. They went through old photos, and told hunting stories, and loaded my brother up with things that Dad wanted him to have. Now if Dad will just hang in til my Sean gets here to see him. 
I love my kids, they are straight up awesome. When I put the word out to them that Grampa was on Hospice care they went into action.  Marymine rounded up her brood, loaded'm up in her crewcab pickup, and headed up to spend the day with Gramps. 
My Sean texted to say he and Amy would fly down and spend the weekend with Grampa and I.  If I thought he needed to come sooner, he would make that work, too. I didn't think that was necessary... So they are flying in Sat and staying til sometime Monday, Yay!

In the Best News department... 
My Sean has popped the question to his girlfriend Amy and her response was "Oh Hell Yes!"

She is a really nice gal and Sean and his girls love her and her boys. 
I'm pretty excited, she just might fit pretty darn well in this crazy clan.