Friday, December 20, 2019

Christmas in cowcamp...2019

 I decided early on that this year was going to be about the reason for the season and how much there is to be thankful for.  One of which is: Not being a horseback in a freezing rain pushing cows to the corrals.

 The presents are wrapped and shipped or waiting to be delivered. Two small trees and a few other decorations are up in the hovel.

With All the hustle and bustle of this time of year most people have been friendly and kind. Then there are the few that seem to be just rude no matter the season.  There was one such woman the other day at the UPS store. She was pacing around the store, I was standing in line.  When another clerk came in, pointed at me, and said "I'll take the next person in line."  Since the pacing lady!? was in the store before me, I wanted to let her know that the clerk could help her now.  I said "Are you in line, Because the..."  When she turned to me and snapped "Are you an idiot, of course I'm in line! Do you think I would be here if I weren't!"  I took a deep breath, and whispered a prayer to myself: "let God & karma take care of her."  As she glared at me, grabbed a box from a side table and stomped up to the counter, I'm pretty sure she had no idea how God's grace saved both of us that day. 

It has been raining, raining, raining here, but darn it doesn't look like we will get snow for Christmas.

All the kids & grandkids are well and good!!! I'm warm and dry, baking cookies, drinking eggnog, and watching movies with Willie. 

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Team that could...

Before Thanksgiving I got to watch from the stands as granddaughter Lauren played college volleyball for FRC in Quincy, Calif.

Lauren mid air

The FRC Golden Eagles made it to the state championship finals in SoCal.

FRC is a hard charging team and they had worked their butts off to get to the state finals.
This last Sunday, Lauren and her teammates won the 2019 CCCAA Women's Volleyball State Championship!

What an amazing team! Congrats Ladies, you earned every bit of this...

Monday, December 2, 2019

Carrie's Tree

As MySean & I headed back up North I saw that Carrie's tree had been decorated between our trip down and back. It caused me to smile as I knew well the history of Carrie's tree. How could one live in NorCal and not know!  Carrie's tree is much more than an ol Osage orange beside I5...

Here is the story by Dottie Smith:

"You've probably driven by this Christmas tree just north of Red Bluff on Interstate 5 and wondered about it. I did, and I set out on a search to find why that Charlie Brown kind of tree was always decorated at Christmas time and who was doing it. It's known as Carrie’s Christmas tree and its located just before the roadside rest area. It stands there all by itself all decked out with bright-colored Christmas tree decorations. The story of that tree is interesting enough to be told. Years ago in the early 1960s when major reconstruction work began to get underway on that section of the highway, Cottonwood resident and lover of trees Carrie Bogue asked the road officials if she could dig up the tree and move it out of harm’s way. It was an Osage orange and pretty rare in Northern California. She was denied her simple request. Work on the highway continued and somehow her tree managed to remain standing through the work. However, a few years later, it died. And then, in 1966, a few years after the tree died, Carrie died. She was 93 years old.
Carrie had many friends. Among them were Ruth and Cary Chadwick of Anderson who had been friends of Carrie’s for at least 40 years. They knew the story of Carrie and her tree, and one day as they were driving by the “dead” tree, they noticed it had miraculously come back to life! And of course they thought it was Carrie, now in the form of a tree. The Chadwick’s had known Carrie well. Carrie had told them, and others, that if she could come back to life after death, she wanted to come back as a tree. And so, according to the Chadwick’s, and to everyone else who knew Carrie well, there she was, alive again, this time as a tree, just as she wished. That Christmas season, in 1967, the Chadwick’s decorated Carrie’s tree. They covered the tree with bright garlands, tinsels and bows for everyone to see as they passed by on the highway that had now become a freeway.
Over the years, the tree grew larger and taller making it more difficult for the Chadwick’s to decorate. They continued decorating her tree for at least twenty more years until their old ages and poor health began getting in the way. In approximately 1990, their friends Dale and Larry McClure, also of Cottonwood, began helping them out. A few years later, the McClure’s became the lone decorators of Carrie’s tree. For two years the tree stood undecorated until the Hoofard and Lopez families decided to take over. For years they decorated it without anyone knowing they were the decorators. Until a family friend drove by and spotted them. They decided it was time to let everyone know who they were. On the same day every year this thoughtful family meets at the tree to bring happiness to everyone that travels I-5. They love hearing people honk and wave from both directions and they love hearing how much joy it brings to people. They said they will continue the tradition until it’s time for the next generation to take over. They have added lights to the tree and have also placed a sign big enough to easily read from the freeway that proclaims it as “Carrie’s Tree”."

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Journal: day 5 & 6

Thursday, day 5 We awoke to a cold and clear Thanksgiving.  

Those of us at the compound had a scrumptious feast at Ali and Ty's.  
Lauren stayed on the mountain, as the team had practice, & another tourney game coming up, "tough" coach. Lauren's dad cooked his infamous turducken and gravy and drove it all the way up to the college so the team would have a Thanksgiving meal.  
Colt came by for a bit before heading to friends.  So it was just six of us to make toasts of thanks for a bountiful harvest and say grace.
We played Exploding Kittens and Cards Against Humanity and laughed so much that we all had sore muscles.  Cody was in especially rare form, dang he was funny.

Of course it wouldn't be "our normal" if everything went off without a hitch.  Colt's dog Duke, was with us and started acting like something was wrong. 


 Colt came by and ended up taking him to UCD vet hospital that evening.  Poor Duke ended up having surgery to repair a huge hole in the back of his mouth that he got from a stick. (He's a Lab!) Colt didn't get back to the house with Duke til 2:30 AM. Then he turned around an headed to the airport to catch his 4 AM flight out to visit friends in Arizona.

Friday, day 6
 Sean and I said our good byes, loaded up and head North.
leaving the snows to their breakfast

 Lake Shasta

near Shasta Caverns

Castle Crags

Shastina, cinder cone to Mt Shasta

Looking east toward Mt Shasta, notice how much more snow since last we were this way.

coming off the summit into Ashland, Oregon
After that it got too dark for photos.  We had dry roads all the way and light traffic til Portlandia, which is always bad. Across the Columbia River and home by 7:30. After a late start, we made it back in 9 hours. 

Had a great trip, Loved getting to see family & friends, can hardly wait for the next one.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Journal: day 4

Of course I tell you I'm going to journal mostly with photos, and promptly forget to take any on Wednesday, day 4. 

Not a lot of excitement around the compound. We all were a bit bushed from the previous day. And the kids all had jobs to go to.
I was up early as I wanted to watch & listen to the hundreds of snows working a rice field. 

photo courtesy grandson Cody  Black Shield Photography

 I took two videos but they didn't do them justice.  Was surprised I didn't hear more firing from the blinds that surround the compound.  Ali said she had expected more too, so it wasn't a case of faulty memory on my part. (thank goodness)
We did manage to roundup a small crew to go out to dinner. Back at the house Tyler and Ali built a pipe and butcher block table for their kitchen.  
All in...  

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Journal: day 3

We loaded up in Granddaughter Ali's pickup around noon Tuesday. After a quick stop at Marymine's house

to pickup her and Cody we headed out up Hwy 70 for Quincy to watch Lauren play volleyball.

 Just the four of us, as the others decided they didn't like snow. And it was snow'n and blow'n not long after Lake Oroville.

creeks were running

cold and snowing

a train chugging up the canyon

there are three deer at the waters edge
ten minutes out from the game that turned into 30
Lauren's team won!

night life in Quincy

After the game we chained up, and went to the grocery store to load up on rations for the trip back down the mountain. 
Love my people! How many other people will come up to you, shake your hand or give you a hug and Thank You for making the trip to watch and support the kids.
Once we got on the road again it really started to snow and blow.  Made it most of the way down the canyon with few problems.  Only to come around a curve and find a boulder the size of a Volkswagen in our lane.  Thankfully, no one coming the other direction, so Ali was able to go around.  We wanted to call it in, but no cell service in most of the canyon.  A little farther down we saw a loader going up to take care of it.  
Long day, Kudos to Granddaughter Ali for getting us safely up there and back! All home and in bed by 12:30 AM.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Journal: days 1 and 2

I'm going to journal the trip mostly in photos...

Sean and I headed out early Sunday AM in Ruby. 

crossing the Columbia River into Oregon in the rain at 0 dark thirty

down the backside of Mt Hood, OR

near Madras, Oregon

the Cowman's headstone over looking the Wood River, Ft Klamath, OR

cowboys on the road, Ft Klamath, OR

Sean and Ruby,  Ft Klamath, OR

heart in the quakies, Ft Klamath, Oregon

backside of Mt Shasta, N CA
We stopped in Redding for the night.  Went to the casino, Sean donated,  I came out couple hundred to the good!  
Next morning down the road to Red Bluff, to see friends, and have breakfast with SIL Patty & BIL Darrell. So good to spend time with them.   Then back on the road down to daughter Marymine's compound near Grimes.   We are staying at the compound with Ali, her husband and Dozer, (their house has more bedrooms than Marymine's).  
Four pickups of us went to dinner last night at "Osaka Sushi" in Woodland.  Great food, much laughter, and telling of tall tales.
Sean is off to Modesto today to see his college roommate.  I'm staying here next to the woodstove at Ali's..

Dozer making sure I stoke the fire

the view from the compound.

Five of us girls are going up hwy 70 to Quincy this afternoon, to watch Lauren play college volleyball.  Supposed to have snow storm tonight, so the trip back down the canyon to here could be interesting...

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Packing out...

Getting packed out for the road trip to NorCal.  I never get it quite right on what to pack. Either too many boots and not enough underwear or vice versa. I've slept in my clothes a time or three, because I forgot to put PJ's in, who does that? Thankfully the little Cabela's bag always has nail polish, makeup, toothbrush, first aide, flashlight, gun, knife, and such already in it, so no worries there.  I roll my clothes so I can fit a lot in a small space but boots are a bit of a problem.  I'll figure something out.

Not sure I will be posting from the road so I'll wish you a "Happy Thanksgiving" now, may it be filled with Love and Laughter...


Friday, November 22, 2019

Happy Birthday L...

Haven't seen my granddaughter, Lauren, since early summer 2018.  That changes next week when I get to NorCal. YeeHaw! 
She has a kind heart, a warrior spirit, a dry sense of humor, and she's rock'n college. 

And still driving her pickup that her dad, her brother, and she rebuilt.

                        Today is her Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Lauren

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Big Eyes...

As I stepped out of my Tahoe in the parking lot at Freddie's today, there was a small boy across the way helping his mother load groceries in her car.  He looked over at me and his Eyes got real Big. 

 I heard him exclaim to his mom, "It's Her!" and then something I didn't hear.

His mom responded, "No, it's not!"

"Yes, it is Mom, It's Her!"

"No, it's not her," she said as she kept unloading her cart.

"Yes Mom, It's Her, look she has white hair'n everything."

"It is not her, yes, she has white hair, but..."

"Mom, It's Her I tell ya!"

"Yes, she has white hair,

But that lady is Not Mrs. Claus."

I didn't quite know what to do...  so I smiled and winked at the little boy, and gave him my best imitation of a  Mrs. Claus wave.
and his Eyes got real Big... 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Looking forward & back...

The twin cousins came over the river yesterday for lunch at the little french restaurant down the street, and some high end goodwill shopping.

It is always a hoot to have those two around.  We got back to the hovel, and admired our purchases. A red leather purse, a plaid scarf, and a very small side table on my part.  
After a few shared tales on the crazy adventures of our childhoods, we somehow got on the topic of smudging. Apparently they often smudge things they get if the spirit moves them to do so.  They were a gasp when they found out I had not smudged the hovel yet. (They did say it always smells really good and feels welcoming when they walk in, lol.) So out came the abalone shell, a feather I got from the beach, and a bundle of white sage.  We lit that up and proceeded to smudge the hovel. We chanted and asked for the welcoming of good things to the hovel. Think I may just double down by having Father Tom come by. 

MySean and I are headed to NorCal on Sunday to spend Thanksgiving week with Marymine, the grandkids, family and friends. (Willie is going to a kennel that he has stayed in before, and liked. He gets too crazy whiny on long road trips.)
When Sean called last night to finalize the agenda, he asked "Mom are you sure you are ok with getting in and out of Ruby?" 

"What the heck, of course, it's good exercise!" 
"Just asking because she's a little taller now", said Sean.
"Aaah, how much is a little taller?" I asked.
"Just a couple of inches..."
"That's fine by me, I'll bring my folding second story escape ladder along..."

We are going the back way down so we can stop by and visit the Cowman on Sun Mountain at Ft Klamath. 

It has been a long time since I last visited with him there. We all miss him. 


Saturday, November 16, 2019


  Seems of late, well actually longer than that, I have an idea for a project, gather up the materials, start, and squirrel... another idea for another project comes to mind.  

I have enough yarn to knit dozens of hats & infinity scarfs, enough material to sew a lot of soup bowl cozies, enough beads & charms to make bunches of jewelry, 

enough grout to fix three tub surrounds, enough paint to finish the down stairs bathroom, enough tulip bulbs to plant the entire yard and a couple of neighbors.
Dang, I need to stay on task or nothing is going to get finished. 

Ohhh squirrel... arrived in the mail today...

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Thank You Veterans...

I want to thank my two veterans and all the other veterans who have served our country.