Where's the song ~~ "Don't let your daughters grow up to marry a Cowboy" ?

​​​​​​​Life is tough! Requires hard physical work, long, long days of pain, dirt, and broken fingernails.​
​Days of frigid cold & scorching heat; through the dust & mud; daybreak into the darkness of nite~~​
​the heart & body becomes toughened & weathered replicating leather!​
​A forever constant factor for a real Cowboy's Wife is tons of sweat, oceans of tears and a constant 'drought' in the wallet!​
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​​​​​​​​​IF​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ she wants to spend anytime at all with her Cowboy, she must do as he does, you become partners!​
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​​​​​​Kick off your boots, grab a cup of coffee, sit back and envision yourself in my life!​
​... It really isn't that bad! There are many rewards to be had to make it a great lifestyle! ...​ ​​​​​​​

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Big Freeze...

...Brings Big Melts!

In more ways than one!
Melting the old records and setting new ones.
Melting of the mind and wishing to see summer blooms;
Melting the energy of your body just to survive and help others to survive.
Yet there is that melting in your heart when you see a smile from an elderly
person happy to see you, or thankful for your help;
or when clutching a new calf which was frozen to the ground
upon birth, adding warmth and life to it snuggled in your arms.
There is that melting of the heart when you see the gleam in a
grandchilds eye as you sled down a snowcovered hill together!
It's all worth it when your heart melts!
Records were broke around here...and I must admit,
I was not thrilled about being a part of this history process!

First a big 'deep freeze', then deep snow...all uncommon to this part.
Actually, the locals up to 75 years old can't remember anything like what we've had!

Minus 18 degrees were our lows and highs reached up to 5 degrees for an eight day stretch.
We won't calculate in the wind chill.
28 inches of snow fell, not counting the drifts.

This kind of weather calls for too much energy to be spent, daily!
No, not the dollar energy....but the inner energy that one must muster
from the depth of your sluggish brain, your arguing muscles!
Fighting off the screams of your heart begging to curl up
in front of the fire and hibernate until it all passes!

But Oh no…in this weather, that is not possible!
  • Tons of energy is spent just trying to add clothing for the onslaught of what is beyond the warmth of your doors! It can take 10-15 minutes just to get dressed for the elements! It's no wonder I love summer!
  • Fires must be kept dancing to ward off the bone chilling winds that will creep in every chance it gets!
  • Engines need a long warm up time before heading out the drive...IF the battery is still willing to hold a charge! Make sure you have plenty of fuel! (It's a good thing prices have gone down)

This is a time when neighbors help neighbors! Whether it is helping with chopping drinking holes in the creeks for the horses and/or cattle with axes; checking in on the elderly widower living alone along the Snake River and helping with his sick or brand new calves that need to go inside; time for hauling in firewood for someone who can’t safely get outdoors;
or to break the ice dams formed in someones roof because they can't;
and it's a time to sit with someone who is lonely during the holidays,
whether they are stranded by the weather or not.

The Big Freeze that hit with sudden urgency… stymied life, shocked everyone.

  • Travel came to halt.
  • Footings were lost (and my bum is proof!)
  • Electricity came and went without notice or care (luckily, I timed my baking just right!)
  • My camera held with good intentions of ‘capturing’ this history in the making, got left on a bale of hay somewhere when yet another urgent matter showed it’s face (yes…that would be my cheap but still useful trusty camera! Maybe some cow will become computer literate one of these days and post the photos for me!)

Then Snow Fell! Then more Snow! And even more Snow! Falling like there was no end!

  • Thankfully(?), the temperature now warmed up to 13 degrees by day!
  • Roads were closed
  • Mail was delivered or not...depending
  • Driveways impassable
  • Roof lines blended into the hillside
  • Shoveling & plowing seemed like a waste of time and energy

Two solid days were spent on the phone with the kids coming home,
one from the Fargo, ND line, the other from So. Calif!
Approximately 1400 miles for each and one worried Mom!
Thank goodness THEY had cell phones so I could keep up with their scary travels!

Two days ago…the temperatures rose! They climbed to a balmy 48 degrees!
Most of the snow is gone today! Mountains of 'pushed' snow remain!
*


Did I mention... the melt down also meant we would have leaking roofs caused by
the huge ice dams from all the valleys of our roof, running into gutters?
(who ever invented gutters should be shot! They are of no benefit in this kind of weather)

Did I mention...the daily drippings from the roof created by the chimney's heat,
would cause frozen huge ice icicles and large blocks...
disabling and then 'Breaking’ my satellites....Dish TV and Wild Blue Internet!!
(It could be that they are only meant to take so many beatings from humans!!!)

Did I mention... a broken drain pipe under the house?
This old house has ‘tunnels’ for crawl spaces, barely fit for a human body.
This broken pipe will have to wait....


I am now washing dishes in the deep sink in the laundry room that
almost became non-existant because the weight of ice and thawing of snow
tried it's darnest to cave in this part of the house!

Did I mention...I HATE WINTER???
*


But Life is good...Wonderful Memories were made...

Since I've been out of touch here I want to wish you all a belated Merry Christmas!
My old blogging friends and my many new ones!
I hope your Holiday was filled with love, fun, and memories!

Now...Come on Spring!! I'm ready for you!
No more Carharts, scarves & mittens!
Just barefeet, shorts & tank tops!



Monday, December 8, 2008

O Christmas Tree...

...O Christmas Tree..


Christmastime has always been a hard season for me…but this year?
Our greatest joys will be here to share it with us! Our kids and families!
Our Christmases have never been about gifts for us (they are rarities around here).
..it's a time meant to be shared with family~ full of gags, giggles and games.

THIS year, I am counting the days to the kids arrival!
13 days...and counting until Dec. 20th
O Christmas Tree!

Where oh where can the Christmas tree be?
Papa (Cowboy) says "We have to have a Christmas Tree...just for you!"




Is it at some Christmas tree farm?
Should I weave in and out between the Noble firs
or the Douglas firs?
Should it be a Blue Spruce or Cedar?
Those perfectly manicured trees tended by
man and machine are so perfect!
Too perfect!
They are not for me.
(Besides..they cost money!)





I wish I could meander through the beautiful forest, checking each tree for texture and cohesion.
Find the perfect one all twisted and lopsided. I know I'm strange, but I love the ones no others do!
Forests are peaceful; enchantingly beautiful. THAT would be my ideal scenario.
It was one of my favorite times during the holidays as a child. Today, in our state, permits are issued for Christmas Tree hunting in some of our forests, but we are not close to any.



Sometimes, the best Christmas Tree is found in your own front yard!
It can provide a beautiful Holiday display~ year after year.


Ahhh...If only we had one...
That would be magnificent, but the only evergreens
in my close proximity are 40 foot pines out back.

O Christmas Tree! Where for art thou?


The countdown is on for the grandkids arrival! I have so much to do!

Please Please, come out whereever you are!

Ahhhhhhhh.......Haaaaaaaa..

There you are!



Right where you got put the last time we used you!
Whenever that was! Imagine that!

And it's a FAKE!
(remnants of our AZ days..what can I say)


You are hiding behind our more
frequently used items...
like snow boots we have not needed
to bring upstairs...yet. Yea!
Of course we have no need for the picnic basket! Darn!
I dislike FAKE trees but I do have the aroma's filtering throughout
of a warm fire.
I will light some candles of
Christmas scents.
Hopefully, that will do the trick.
*

I've got so much to do because it has been 15 years since we've had
Christmas at Our house~with the kids! And now it's more than just two!
I'm not even sure where to begin!
I've made my list, and checked it twice.
I've remade it and added to it so many times, I'm so lost!
Since there are no gifts for wrapping, I should do some decorating.
There's always that cleaning to be done, menu's to plan.
And we cannot forget about some goodies!
Candies need to be made along with cookies, cinnamon rolls and other sweet breads.
The Grandkids will want to help some too, especially with the Santa treats!
I will wait on making those.
*
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Well, not yet, but soon!

I'll be away a lot, not Away as in a Manger, Away...just Away in a major way!
Trying to accomplish all that needs done around here before the family arrives.


Maybe I will even catch a few Zzzz's...

I will try to stop in and see what you're up to once in awhile.
I know you all are in the Holiday spirit and buzy as bees too.


Maybe this blogland will slow down a wee bit so I don't get
so far behind trying to stay caught up!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Days...

...are here again!

(I will take them as they come…with pure delight!)

Is it not what I see others doin'?
"Skywatch Friday"
This would fit the profile, right?


...Fooled you!...


This was Thursday's beautiful morning!
It is what I discovered upon waking crumpled on the sofa after falling asleep on my night owl vigil!
A perpetual occurrence, sometimes annoying, where my brain refuses to quit.
In the wee hours, thy body had other plans...
"Oh, just sit for a moment and let your brain shut down".....it winced.
Ok..you get no argument from me.

Hours or minutes passed, I will never know.
But morning came with a boorish jolt, laughing with wickedness as I fiercely tried to unlock the kinks, crammed with grumbles and groans. I rolled like a twisted ball of yarn onto the floor!
Untangling the web that bound my feet, wondering if I had tumbled from a dream I was in,
I found myself squinting through the window panes....

My smile quickly replaced my frown.
Is it not the most magnificent sight?
Bright Brilliant Blue Skies!
See the nests in the Hawthorne tree? (there’s actually 5 )
Rest assured, there are no chirpers sleeping in them. Brrrr!
They were wiser than I and took to the skies awhile ago,
soaring to warmer parts of the world...
…why they didn't invite me, I’ll never know!
(see gel...I wasn't kidding)
(and
No, it is not 'Peyton Place' today Janice….(smiling...)


C'mon...sing along..!
Be Happy....
1...
2...
3...here we go…
*
*
"Sunday, Monday, Happy Days.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days.
Thursday, Friday, Happy Days.
Happy times and Happy nights.
Happy days Are here again! "

"Happy days are here again!
The skies are clear and blue, again.
So, lets sing a song of cheer again
Happy days.. Are.. here.. again!"

Go enjoy your day!
Go on!





Thursday, December 4, 2008

Micotil...

...can kill!



Micotil is an antibiotic, purchased only through a licensed Veterinarian, used to control respiratory disease in cattle (BRD). (read more here)
Cattlemen like the drug because of its lower per dose volume, cost per treatment and quick reaction time. Because it is quite expensive, most cattlemen use Micotil after other attempts have failed, or the animal’s condition is quite critical.
For humans, this a drug that may have no treatment depending on the amount and route injected or ingested. The minimum amount of this medication needed to cause a fatality when injected into a human is not known.

So why the heck am I posting about this Micotil drug?
I’m sure it is of little or no concern of yours,
but this is my blog and I feel like posting about it!

My Cowboy’s entire life has been spent in the Ag world.
He has been kicked and bit; knocked down and dumped; dragged and tossed;
landed on his ass and even his head; broke his back and most other bones;
you name it, it’s happened…more than once!
Needle pricks are ignored when doctoring stock so we won't even try to count these either!
I’m sure if I did some research, I’d find that the quantity of his ‘encounters’
would surely be deemed illegal!
Heck, he’s first to admit that he is more than lucky to walking, riding, let alone living!

But, a Cowboy is who my Cowboy is!

That is how he hopes to take his last breath...
…doing exactly what he enjoys most in life!

Yes, I worry more and more the older we get as the healing and recuperating process is not quite as easy or as quick as it once was!
Today, he came home from working cattle down the road about 2pm.
He walks in the door gimping (which really is his natural gait nowadays),
covered in blood and holding his hand.
I know the workings of his brain, and pain, as well as I know my own!

“What happened?” I asked.

“Nothing much, I just had to doctor around 18 head” he says.

“Was anyone there helping you?”

“No, just Me, Myself and I ... that’s enough” he declared.

“So why is there blood all over you?” I ask with more concern.

“Oh, I got these three fingers smashed in a gate…by a heifer..
…after getting stabbed with a needle” he replies matter-of-factly.

“Not with Micotil, I hope!” stating a bit louder and with silent concern.

Cowboy barely lifting his eyes to look at me...
“Yep…no big deal though! It was over an hour ago and I’m still alive aren’t I?” he says.

“Shit!” (sorry! Readers) I muttered, quickly traversing through my brain for all the knowledge I have on the drug.

“NO BIG DEAL…Barb! I’ll be fine! I’m hungry and I’m going to take a nap. If I wake up dead…then you can worry!”


Well, now that is a relief! Wake up dead!

I hurriedly fed him, stoked the fire and instantly he fell asleep (he can do that so easily!).
I know him so well, that had I called a Dr., he would have been somewhat upset with me!
We’ve probably been to the Dr. 20 times between the two of us in all our years together.
That is just S.O.P. in our household. (Cowboy has continued working many times with broken arms, ankles etc…until the job is complete, those would be posts within themselves! )

So, I only had to wait a moment for the Zzzz’s to overtake him.
I ran to the computer and typed in Micotil !
When I came to this sentence:
“The minimum amount of this medication needed to cause a fatality
when injected into a human is not known.”
I grabbed a phone and called the Dr.
Not knowing an exact amount that could have penetrated, the Dr. told me to watch for any signs of dizziness, rapid heart rate, chest pain, anxiety or lightheadedness.
....Oh! Isn't that normal when he loves his W.O.W.?.....
I told him that Cowboy said it bled quite profusely~ which turns out to be a good thing!

Cowboy and I have both, worked with Micotil since it arrived on the US market in 1992.
(Canada was 1990). We’ve witnessed the wonderful benefits of its use when necessary.
We know the implications of mishandling.
But no matter how much respect you have for Micotil,
no matter how prepared you are and how safe you try to be when doctoring cattle...
…Shit Happens!

Obviously, Cowboy woke from his nap…ALIVE! Or I wouldn’t be here now!
Yes, there is quite a bit of swelling and still some inflammation and pain, but he is fine.
Phewwwww!


Monday, December 1, 2008

I Have Been...



...this past week.


In more ways than one!


We had the return of the hunters (the ‘good’ ones)
for their last attempt of filling bird bags;
Complete with muddy floors, boisterous male chatter,
and my merciless time spent cooking.
Five days worth!

I have never been so glad to see a Sunday evening end with only the two of us...
...peace, quiet and alone at last!

No more guns, ammo, camo's or tons of testosterone!
This hunting "lodge" is
CLOSED FOR THE SEASON!
(Maybe, even permanently...I like that thought!)
~
There has been an incessant bout of the "hiccups" with my
old dilapidated computer- which irritates me to no end!
~
I was attacked with a flu-like bug, invading my whole being.
I never get sick! Not enough to make me slow down or give in.
~
Could it be from all the stress the Cabela's Men created in my life?
Five weeks worth?
~
Then there is Cowboy.
He has been day working for that fellow down the road; more.... than not.
That fellow got bucked off his horse so badly, he can do very little on his own.
It is a blessing in disguise for us, as a little extra income helps to lower our stress.
..But..
I worry every day Cowboy is gone as the lands that he is riding herd on,
are part of the Palouse River cliffs…..


..the likes of this...which is only a few miles away from us.

It has been so foggy around here, literally!
One can barely see 50 feet in front of you!


Look at these cliffs, picture them all swathed in fog!
Perch yourself on the back a young inexperienced horse,
winding along the narrow trails and ledges in search for cattle,
gather them and move them down to the corrals below...
...a long these same paths!

Can you see why I worry?

Of course, Cowboy had to add to my worries by admitting there are places and moments
...that gives him the feeling of having a few butterflies
fluttering around inside his belly!

He rides alone.
No cell phones, no people in this nowhere land..
just him and his horse in God's country!
And he's content.
~

Yet today…December 1, the fog lifted, the skies opened up & the sun shined upon me!



I grasped at the warm winter hands, to be guided around my once thriving
and colorful beds that I tend to and nurture all summer.

Lo and behold!
There are still a few things able to bring joy to my heart!

Here, a few Mums still cling to life with their last breath,
as the Asters in back sag sadly in solemn grace.


Violas continue their blooms in yellows, whites and blues, nestled with baby lavenders.
They are so prolific; they have dotted themselves in every bed!


To my euphoric delight, I find Sweet Williams,
adding a splendid array due to the warmth of this Winter!
These being my favorite, these special flowers whispered to me...

..."the foggy times are passing, and three short months from now,
we shall begin our rebirth splaying our beauty for your eyes to enjoy!"
"We will add warmth to your heart and rekindle your spirit!"
"Patience, my dear, Cowboy's Wife! Patience.."


With tranquility and benevolence; with nurturing and devotion,
I know from the depth of my soul, that life will once again shimmer & flourish,
thrusting the foggiest days of this past month to the backyard of my memory..
This knowledge, this 'tour' today...renewed my hopes!

Today’s display of soft blue overhead~ was a gift!
I desperately needed the sun to cleanse my mind of the gloomy
~and even foggy~ November days.
As I discovered the treasures of life, wrapping their hues around me..
…I began making room in my life for a wondrous December!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It Has Been a Whole Year...

...Since I had one of these...


NO! Not this....
You Turkey!

Yes, it has been a year since Thanksgiving,
but this in NOT what I've missed stuffing myself with!

..actually, my favorite part of Thanksgiving is cold turkey sandwiches..
just before bed! ...and again for breakfast!
So you all have a great Thanksgiving,
enjoy stuffing yourselves with all those wonderful goodies..


BUT.....
I'm already stuffed!
And delightfully so!
On a favorite of mine that I haven't had for a whole year!


THIS NOW...


IS TO DIE FOR!








...and I ate the WHOLE thing!!

Actually...

TWO!


Beats a Turkey feast anyday!
(and this is the truth...sort of, it's actually been 13 months!)



Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the U.S.

For those who aren't? Have a wonderful Thursday!

Me? Oh... I'll cook the whole shebang as I find humor in watching
everyone make themselves miserably full...and sleepy~
while I nibble on the olives & veggies!
I never said I was normal!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"I Can Be Anyone…

….I Want To Be!"

That is what I was told when I was 18 years old...by my parents!


I was the gypsy of the family, with the desire to be different, to experience new places, new things the world had to offer! Every time Dad came home telling us about some foreign place he could take a job…..mentally, my bags were packed and I was ready to go come nightfall.
My dreams would carry me into the unknown places I would get to discover.

I would be as energized about the possibilities, as I was as a young child on Christmas eve!
I always made plans! Envisioned the adventure in grandiose ways!
Dad would always turn the jobs down.
My gypsy days were only to remain in my visions, my heart.

It was the spring of my senior year and Mom and Dad were making hasty preparations to move to Italy with my younger sister.

My Dad had finally accepted a job transfer, overseas! They would leave in July!
Upon receiving birth certificates for everyone in the family, as there was no point in getting only the three necessary ones for those who were moving, Mom felt that we should all have ours, for our own files.
Mine came, with a shock to my parents, with a strange excitement for me!
On the line where the given birth name is supposed to be printed, this line said:
“Baby Girl" Strong

They had forgotten to name me!

For 18 years, I was known as (what y’all know me as..)“WOW”.
My school records, doctor records and my Baptism certificate all claimed me as “WOW”.
My family, my friends, and heck, even myself…knew me as “WOW”.

Could it be that in my parents excitement to get me home from the hospital, it was an oversight?
Or…
Was it a subconscious knowledge they had, that I was going to be different than the other siblings, and that with a certain passage of time, the opportunity would be presented to them with a proper name for me?
(I am,after all, the only one of us four with dark brown hair, the shortest, the smallest feet, and the only lefty…..JUST like my Mom!)
Or…
Did they know somehow, that with my arrival...in such an untimely manner, I would bring to them~ the most obstinate, most independent child of all? I would present them with a behavior pattern that would try their hearts, keep them on their toes? Maybe they thought, they would let the clocks tick by…until the day came for them to set me ‘free’ and tell me…

“I can be anyone…
….I want to be!”


You see, so many years ago…on what I call my official Thanksgiving Day…
I blessed my parents, and the world, with my presence! (or maybe that should say 'cursed"..??)
I rudely & abruptly interrupted their traditional Thanksgiving gathering…
Mom did not get to enjoy all of her labor intense, delicate and artful preparations for the Turkey feast of the day! (And they even ran out of gas on their way to the hospital!)
Around 4:47 pm, that Thanksgiving Day (way back when)…I introduced myself ~in a defiant way…
A trait I’ve carried around proudly throughout my travels in life!

Leave it to me to begin what was to become years of stubborn, autonomous chaos!

I have been Thankful everyday of my life...that on that Thanksgiving Day so many years ago, I was blessed with my given life!

My folks? Blessed that day?.....I know they love me!

Yes...I kept the same name that I had bestowed on me for 18 years...I couldn't come up with anything better! Besides..."WOW" was Me!

Because today is my Thanksgiving Day...and I noticed, my 100th post (wow!) ...to all my new friends, my wonderful new family, whether by name, by lurker, by anonymous…
I hear by send you the warmest hug and thank you for sharing in my life!

One Step Forward...

...Two Steps backward.

I've succeeded in reaching my goal!
I reached "40" again...
and here is where I choose to remain!
Don't I look like it?


Thursday, November 20, 2008

"C" is For COLD...

...and I am NOT fond of that!
COLD is blowing in with a vengeance and
I'm desperately missing summer today!
"C" also is for Christmas. I love the reason for Christmastime,
but it has never been a favorite holiday of mine.
Money and family seems to always be beyond our reaches.
(quite possibly...our fault, for our chosen lifestyle, do you think?)

...BUT...

Over at Wise Herbs, I participated in a sort of voluntary meme.
So I asked for a letter and she gave me the letter "C".
I am supposed to list 10 things I LOVE that begin with the letter assigned.
Guess what my first LOVE is??

*
*
*
*

If You got this wrong...shame on you!


1) Cowboy-the love of my life! He completes my life, my heart, my soul! We have been to hell and back, many times...but our love is deeper and stronger than with each passing day!
2) Coffee-Black! Real Black! The heavenly scent of it brewing makes me welcome each morning with a renewed thankfulness for my life, a new zest to carry on with whatever comes my way!
3) Chocolate- (Sage, you cheated here!) Rich smooth melting chocolate, languishing on my palette…divine!
4) Chrysanthemums- these beauties carry with them, the last reminders & pleasures of summer into the chill of Autumn; they are my “birth” flower
5) Compost- the enrichment of this gives off a scent of the healthiest soil and Ohhh…I love picking it up by the handfuls, my nose catching the aroma as it filters through my fingers. Mmm
6) Candles-I love the flickering, the ambiance, the scents wafting through my house...they calm my soul.
7) Campfire-in the night mountain air, the crackling sounds, the aroma of pine, fir, tamarack;the whispering of creatures in the dark; the warmth of flames, friends, tales & songs!
8) Crashing Waves- at the ocean. Their strength, their sounds, their retreating…brings an inner peace to me. I can walk in or sit on the cliffs watching & listening to for hours upon hours.
9) Calves- baby calves!! Witnessing or even helping with their birth; Whether I get to bottle feed or watch them nursing on their mommas; their cozy napping or their frolicking antics…precious beyond words!
10)C...”- Last but NOT least...both our Son & Son-in-law have the same first name…and I love them dearly! These two “C” s bring the warmth and joys of sunshine to my heart everyday!


So if anyone else wants to play, leave me a comment and and I'll assign you a letter
but it is purely for fun this meme.
Then you list 10 things you love that start with that letter.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We Can Choose Our Friends...

…yet we cannot choose our family!
A bittersweet reality...in our life.


****WARNING****
If you are looking for a smile or to enjoy that cup of coffee in hand,
you may want to leave and visit someone else's blog.
This is MY rant, from MY heart.

Before I explain, let me explain!


A brief history:
Cowboy’s mom died when he was 6. His Real Brother, (RealB) was 10 months old.
FIL married a widower almost right away. She had 5 children.

One of which, I will call StepB (Step-brother).
FIL passed away 2 years ago last month. We were very close and he lived not too far from us.
Cowboy was not ‘close’ to either of the brothers.
RealB, we had not seen in about 9 years until FIL’s passing.
StepB, we had not seen in over 20 years until FIL’s passing.

(we had never met his now 14 year old son “K”.)
*
StepB called out of the blue while Cowboy was gone.
It had been 2 years since last hearing from him.
He and his son were drawn for the late White Tail deer hunt in our area.
“Could they come over and hunt and thus his son “K” could meet us?”.
RealB would be coming too, with one son “C", because StepB needed a driver as he lost his driver’s license due to a DUI.
I told him my ‘rules’…and he agreed to them.

Both brothers are “injured” and drawing off of the ‘system’…labor and industries which goes against our beliefs~knowing their cases.
(This is one HUGE issue I will NOT go into!).

*
The brothers and sons arrived here the 8th, before Cowboy

returned from his school.
It was a nice reunion after 2 years!

We were pleased to finally meet “K”; to see “C” again, now 17.
Cowboy and I were hoping that these 2 brothers had done a lot of ‘growing’ up over the years and we were thrilled to have this time with them.
I had high hopes that maybe, just maybe, Cowboy could fill the vacancy in his heart, build a relationship with these two, as he only has a few cousins left to call family.
*
They told me they brought food and that they don’t expect me to do all of the cooking. “Great!”...I thought.
*
..WELL…
*
Saturday, these brothers and their boys were asked told to leave Sunday.
(Terri... No these “family hunters” were NOT appreciative! The other hunters Yes!)
*
This “family” of hunters brought one casserole that would feed 2 people

...and nothing else!!
Each night after hunting, they would plow through my doors, never shutting them , traipse around in their muddy feet, and call out “What’s for dinner?”
Each night, I’d kick them back out to the mud room to take off their muddy clothes, boots and to wash up! They never “got it”!
“K” did…but he was different than the other 3. “K” was very respectful.

Yes, the 14 year old!
In those horrific 8 days…I never received one thank you, not one!

(except from “K”).

I was seething! Each day I was getting closer and closer to grabbing one of their guns to shoot every bloody insolent bone in their torsos…and then some!!

I don’t have high blood pressure…but I might now!
*
Tuesday and Wednesday, the other seven hunters had left.

Luckily for everyone here, they had brought enough food to feed an army.
They had cleaned up after themselves, and never showed an ounce of disrespect for me or our home. I received a huge thank you after each meal and many hugs of gratitude when they left.
A magnificent bunch of guys! They are welcome in my home anytime!!
* * *
Now~ what do I cook? Four extra guys who brought nothing!
Two guys who’s wives work, two guys who draw more than several grand a piece, from the state each month with ‘play time & free money’ galore.


(I am going to be blunt here…)
We have food enough to last US…for awhile…until the economy turns around or something changes in our world.

We have a three (3) digit income each month right now.
There is NO room for recklessness, waste, or frivolous wants in the food department. It is the disposables such as produce, butter, milk, eggs, coffee, etc (not to forget the electricity bill) that we must ration with excruciating caution.
EVERY. Single. Shiny. Copper. Penny. Is scrutinized!

I am a light sleeper, so their nightly rampages through my frig and pantry,

eating anything they found, caused my hackles to rise.
Any other time, I may not have thought too much about it, and just let it pass. But we cannot afford this now and I’ve been very vigilant in my management of our food, to get us through these hard times.
The brothers were told. Yet, they could not or would not, respect our situation.

*
Friday night after supper, StepB asked RealB if he would take him to an 'AA' meeting 45 miles away.

“Would it be Ok if the boys stayed with us?”.
I was glad to have the brothers leave!
“K” sat and chatted with me and I helped him with his homework.

I love that youngster! He is the gem of the bunch!
“C”, on the other hand, ignored his homework, went upstairs and goofed around with the TV and literally blew it up!
YES! Smoke and all!

I don't know what would cause that...but he did whatever it took!
That was after, we heard him up there horsing around, hence popping one of the airbeds we had! He is 17 years old, remember!

I am at my blistering point! And I didn’t know I had one!


I went to bed. Frustrated and livid, I tossed and I turned.

Four a.m. rolls around and I hear the 2 brothers pull in. They are in the kitchen going through who knows what, making all kinds of racket.
Cowboy is such a sound sleeper, he heard none of it.
No, they didn’t go to an 'AA' meeting anywhere!

They went and got themselves drunk!
Six a.m. comes around, “K” and “C” are ready to be out to hunting again.

They convince their dads to head out by eight a.m.
I’m lying in bed listening and ... fuming!
I haven’t slept much this week, not a good sleep anyhow.
(I am still not sure why I didn’t have a heart attack, or go on that shooting spree!)
When I heard them leave, I got up to find my kitchen a mess ~again!
All of the eggs and milk are gone, and the last cube of my butter must have been smothered on their toast made from the last half of a loaf of bread!
$$$ Remember, my closest small store is 35 miles away! $$$

I don’t get mad easily. I usually hold it inside not allowing it to surface.

(I can’t hurt anyone’s feelings that way.)
This morning, the dogs ran and hid from me!
No one else was around and I blew up! I had had all I could take! (I thought..)


Luckily, those brothers stayed out, gone, away in their truck, ALL day.

They did not come back to our property showing their faces around me.
Just before dark, I saw their lights coming across the bridge.

A few minutes later, I saw them backing up to the pine tree. It meant one thing. Someone had got their deer, maybe both tags were filled.
They stayed outside until Cowboy got home.
"Something" was in the air.

"Were they feeling guilty for having lied to me the night before about an 'AA' meeting? "
I just sensed a difference. I didn’t know what.


I had made a pot of vegetable beef & barley soup and homemade rolls for supper.
Cowboy was hungry, as were “K” & “C”.
StepB and RealB didn’t readily come to table.
"Do you think they know by now how thoroughly disgusted and angry I am?

I hope so! I don’t care if they don’t eat! I’d just as soon not even see their faces in my house at that point, or even sitting at our table!"

After a solemn supper, without any conversation whatsoever, the brothers sent the two sons upstairs for their showers while they were next in line, they needed to go take care of the hanging deer. (yes, there were two).

Cowboy stayed in and helped me clean up. He was pretty ‘on edge’ I could tell, as we quietly worked together putting our house in order, as much as we could.
Finally, he took my hand and led me back to our room.
He had something to tell me.

Cowboy had been dayworking for a local rancher the previous 3 days, leaving at 5 a.m. and returning around 6 p.m. Each night, he was seeing my face laden with more stress, my tone shrouded with anxiety.
(I was holding everything in...I thought! After all, these are his brothers! I hoped, beyond hope, that they could build a relationship after all the years of never having had one. Maybe it was my dream…)

Cowboy had been biting his tongue all week too,

but he could not tolerate things any longer either.
The lack of respect for me, for us, for our home was beyond ~out of control!

This day, Saturday, the straw to the camel's back..was broken!
Earlier, standing outside with them when he'd returned from his daywork,

...he learned....

These two brothers had broken too many rules!
LL... Yes, some rules can be broken (fun blogging award rules..*wink )…but not the ones I’m about state.
Cowboy and I firmly believe that the most important word

in the vocabulary of this earth… is RESPECT!

In MY world, hunting dictates:


There must be the exemplary regard for safety! (“C” was not shown or taught this being his first time handling a gun, let alone hunting! I'm still surprised someone was not hurt...or...)

*
Then there is:
Respect for the laws
Respect for the earth you are treading upon
Respect for the owners of those properties you are treading upon
And ultimately ...Respect for the animals you are hunting!




ALL four of these rules were repulsively broken!

There was no asking for permission to hunt on properties and they admitted to Cowboy, of trespassing on those that were posted! This is a small community with vast open lands. These two brothers did not respect the fact that we are a part of this community…and their behavior could come back to haunt US!

That does not sit well with us.

Then, instead of hunting on foot, they drove everywhere! Their excuse was that it was too cold, too wet! They drove on the muddy steep slopes of our countryside, damaging the terrain and the owner’s properties.

UNACCEPTABLE!

Disregard for the laws?

I will not tell you how many of them or which ones they broke.
FAR, FAR too many!

Disrespect for the animals (pheasant & deer)?

I will not disclose because no one needs to feel the same repulsion I feel!

Cowboy, RealB and StepB were all raised by FIL. They were taught the precise rules of safety, the ultimate respect of hunting. They were enforced explicitly.
I have an unrelenting ache in my heart for my dear FIL. I pray that he does not ‘know’ that 2 of the sons he raised, with love and diligence-have tossed his teachings into the wind with total disregard and disrespect!

And what “K” and “C” were taught by their fathers those 8 days?

Abhorrent! Appalling!

After Cowboy finished telling me what he had learned about those past 8 days,
I was a shattered. Worse than I’d been that morning.
My stomach wrenched, the tears would not end.
He went upstairs to tell StepB and RealB they must leave
the next day before I wake up. They agreed.

And guess what?

When I awoke, they were still here!
Not in the house, but they had walked out back to hunt one last time!!
They returned about 2 pm. Empty handed thankfully, because I know at that point,
I would have gone on a shooting spree!!
(I'd be in jail right now, unable to tell you all where I had disappeared to!)

Cowboy told them to get their sh*t together and get out!

Never... Never… again!

Unfortunately, Cowboy’s immediate family unit did not strengthen and rebuild


~it disintegrated ..beyond repair.

It is with bittersweet admission, those other 7 hunters, those wonderful friends whom we’ve shared our lives and our home with, for years….may not be our blood family…but we treasure, respect and embrace them as “our REAL Family”.


I am slowly...putting those 8 days of hell, behind the locked doors of my heart.






Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tuckered out...

...Thursday!

The washing machine is drained, the dishwasher is crabby,
and the hot water heater is irritable.

The stove is screaming with fatigue,
the floors are annoyed from all of the scuffling,
and the doors are creaking in agony.

The mop is wringing in agony, the toilets are gurgling in misery,
and my computer feels rejected!
(It hasn't even been turned on until now...almost a week!)
~

"How is the Chief Bottle Washer N' Chef", you ask?
"Not worth a darned!" she says.
She's feelin' a wee bit quite distressed herself!
*

Where are the CabaƱa Boys?
*
I need a break!
*
And I need to go Blog visting!

*
The Cabela’s Men have only bagged one deer, 7 went home over the past 2 days.
Yet 4 still remain…for 5 more days!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I think I'm going to run away!


Friday, November 7, 2008

The Cabela's Men...

...have invaded my home!

Every Fall, our doors swing to and fro for family and friends that live for love to hunt.

The weekends bring bird hunters as this area is known for Pheasants; yet Mother Nature affects their bounty. Heavy moisture in the spring can drown the chicklets as the nests are tucked into the ground. Coyotes are a predator that impacts their lives also.
Recently, there have been 3 reported sightings of wolves not far from here.
I'm sure with time they, too, will play a role in the numbers within the hunters bags.
The hunters come, nonetheless, to let their dogs prove their skills.


On any given hunting weekend, you can find at a minimum of 15 bird dogs tucked into their kennels come nightfall here, while their owners are huddled around our fireplace warming their aching muscles and discussing their dogs attributes or faults of the day.
*

The deer hunters love to trek the miles of rolling hills, too,
only they are in search of “the Big One”.


They seem to be more ‘durable’ than the bird hunters (don't repeat that to the Bird guys ) as they like to spend their evenings outside surrounding a campfire telling their tall tales of missing a perfect shot; or of the "Big One" they bagged back in 1995!

*
All of these "Cabela's Men" have known me for years. They know and respect my rules.
I have one, well two, rules all of them must follow if they want to stay here.

1) They cannot hunt on our ground

2) I do not want to see their "catches of the day"

Oh..I guess I have a third one...

3) I will cook their meals but it has to be "Beef...it's what's for dinner!"

*

Tonight, tucked away in our large, unused upstairs, sleeps 6 “Cabela's Men”.
I know they are sleeping because the ceiling above me is shaking with all the snoring!
(Yes, they have their own separte bath complete with a shower, thank goodness)
I am sure they are each dreaming about that "big 5 point I saw the other day"
…which is NOT allowed within their sights I warned them,
unless he has wandered on to someone else’s property!
There is some sort of late deer hunt going on here that one had to be drawn for.
Two of these friends were drawn, the other 4 are just Tag-a-longs to help keep the evening fire crackling with tales.
They are all here for that ever so necessary Guy Time!
Tomorrow, 5 more “Cabela's Men” will arrive, these being from Cowboy’s family.
Two of them were drawn also.

(I would like to know just how many names were actually drawn in total for this area
enabling my house to be blessed with 4 of them! What are the odds here?)


Tomorrow night, the upstairs will be filled with testosterone levels that is probably
(or should be) illegal to have contained within one room.
It will be wall to wall with guns, boots, sleeping bags, and gear. And the "Cabela's Men"!
I’m sure the roof will be raised with even taller tales being told, as they remember yet another that someone overlooked around the evening campfire! When you get that many guys in one space, the tales just seem to grow bigger than the pine trees outside!

*
I absolutely LOVE to cook for big hungry guys with healthy hearty appetites!
Lucky for me (and our budget) these “Cabela's Men” bring all the food for me to prepare.
They have strict orders to bring only beef if they want to eat my cooking.
(pork or chicken is fine too!)

I don't need this!

I've cooked for 70+ people before in Dutch Ovens over an open campfire,
high in the mountains...this is a piece of cake!
All one needs is a group with a ferocious appetite!

What makes this such a pleasant task, is these groups of "Cabela's Men" are gracious and appreciative of my cooking for them.
They all jump in to help with clean up and the dishes before heading outside to their campfire.
It does get a little "deep" in my kitchen with their good humor, their teasing, and their boisterous ways, so I scurry them along quickly, thank them and adjourn them to their fire.
*
Ahhh....Quiet! That always feels good, yet I will welcome their banter all over again, tomorrow!

*
Cowboy doesn’t know about the invasion yet. I wonder what he will think when he arrives home late tomorrow night to find me sharing his home with all these “Cabela's Men"!

*
Either he will be looking for this to run to and hide in, after spending "the past week bombarded" with noise and confusion....at which I will be a holler'n..
"...wait...you aren't moving to my dream house without me!

Or he may suggest we start a Hunting Retreat! At which time I will be telling him...
"..yea right, I can see you now... charging all our friends and family to bed down here while hunting!"

*


Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, and we will have another houseful!
A different group of "Cabela's Men"! The bird hunters will be returning!
No, the wild turkeys running around here will NOT be what is served!
*
Off to bed...mornings' hunger will soon be upon me!
(I may be needing a Chef of my own after 6 days of the "Cabela's Men"! )

Have a great weekend and stop in if you're in the neighborhood.

Directons?? Just follow the essences of food, laughter & good company!




This is Extremely Important......

... please read carefully!


I have some valuable information
that I need to share with everyone
out in the invisible world
of Blogland!
*
We ALL age,
and this is
about growing old!
*

*

*
*
Well, CRAP!
Now I forgot what I was gonna tell ya!

*


*

Hope ya'll have a 'memorable' day!
*
...Smile now, you know you want to!...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Time and Circumstances…

…can changes dreams and perspectives.

After "that incident in July", I quickly sent out an “APB” email across our vast array of family and friends without Cowboy’s knowledge. Soon afterwards, a suggestion came in. I did some careful research before approaching him about the possibility of him pursuing this suggestion. We spent many hours discussing this. We did a thorough assessment of our finances and the decision was made to give it a try.
For 3 ½ months now, my Cowboy has been studying faithfully, taking his exams on line.
To his amazement, as he does not touch the computer if he can help it,
he passed the “book learning” phase with a 96%.
The toughest part was yet to come.
*
The first week of November would consist of an arduous test of his will.
The immense challenge to leave the comforts and sanctuary of his home boundaries
for the west side of the state would have to be achieved.
Another, would be the application of his book learning,
to the hands-on experiences that will be taught.
The most difficult part of this phase, will require Cowboy to interweave with others that do not come from the same walks of life, the simple isolation that he’s accustomed to.
Don't misunderstand me, he is very much a people person and everybody loves him.
He can meld with all types of people easily, when he chooses the circumstances and environment.
At the control of others, his shy side takes over.
If he isn’t made to feel inferior, his personality will blossom profusely.
This, is my concern.
Knowing where he is and who will share in this learning environment
may not allow that process to happen easily. My fingers are crossed for him.
*
This being the first week of November, my sweet Cowboy left several days ago for a weeks worth of hands on application in a “step” towards our future….. we hope!
He had to enter a world in which he feels completely out of his element, his comfort zone.
The metropolis of Seattle and it's suberbs!!
*
Cowboy is comfortable driving dusty country roads while encountering only a
minute number of cars, each containing waving hands and smiling faces.
The bumper to bumper cluster of vehicles without the same slow courtesy,
will add stress to his days. Luckily, Our Son has a friend that lives about 5 miles from Cowboy’s daily destination and he is staying there (which to Cowboy will feel like 500 miles!).
Thankfully, he has a friendly place amongst the "wilds" of the populous surroundings,
enabling him to seek quiet solitude each evening.
I cannot forget to mention there will also be a delicious meal
prepared for him by this friends' lovely lady each evening!
Of course, Cowboy was concerned about that too!
As much as he loves to eat, he is not comfortable eating what he calls “Foo Foo” food.
Meat, vegetables, potatoes, milk is what sits the best on his palette.
It will be interesting when he returns late Saturday,
to hear about the menu set before him for the week.
(Hopefully, there was NO seafood!
Cowboy claims that if it does not come from the solid surface of the earth, it is not edible!)
*
We have no cell phones, not only because they aren’t in our budget, but more importantly, because they don’t work where we live. We don’t have Caller ID available so our outgoing calls on the receiving end show as “Unknown Caller”. I am sure that is why this “friend” has not picked up my calls. (Our families know this fact, they are the only ones who will answer!)
Cowboy would not ask to make long distance calls, out of respect.
For several days now, and several more to come, I must sit here in my own little world wondering how Cowboy is surviving the “Jungles”.
Wondering how he is surviving his daily undertakings.
My time passes quietly as I keep the home fires burning.
Thankfully, there is a woodpile alongside the garage.
Regrettably, despite my rants in the previous months,
there are literally "no chores for me to do"!
More than this allowing for boredom fester…it is Sad.
*
With the economy the way it is, this chance for a change in our life and finances,
may not come to fruition for some time.
It was already paid for, so there was no turning back.
*
When My Cowboy returns, he can add another accomplishment to his repertoire of abilities. Cowboy has spent his life in the quest of acquiring a continuous stream of knowledge and improving his skills in every phase of his “Cowboy Way”.
He has maintained a bottomless pit for his unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
Whether it be within his applications as a certified Farrier,
his passion for starting colts and training working stock dogs;
or the in-depth understanding of cattle, the ranchers and the markets.
Cowboy has always professed “The more I learn, the less I know”.
The same will apply in his becoming a certified Equine Massage Therapist.
*
I pray the economy makes some positive changes in the Ag world..soon!
(We must not tell him I told all of this you, as he is too reticent to admit his knowledge and skills.
His sentiment here is: "Don't tell me, show me.")
When he asks about my newest posts?
I will skip over this one.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...

...2008 Elections...

All Zipped Up

..Done..


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I've Never Been Good with Rules...

...so I'm warning you, I'm not about to start!


Let me tell you ahead of time that I am so sorry!
Regrettably, I am so despicably delinquent on posting some things here,
so please don't judge me to be thoughtless or unappreciative.
I'm really not either of those!
I have met so many wonderful people through this medium, and truthfully?
You all know more about me than my own family does, except maybe Hydro,
as I know she and her hubby sometimes catch up on things here.
I'm not really sure why or how it came to be that I've,
so willingly, opened my heart to expose it to the world,
because I am usually an extremely discreet person,
keeping so much of my life buried in the privacy of my own mind.
Quite possibly.......could it be your fault?? hmmm???
So many of you have made me feel at ease, enabling me to speak from my heart.
Regardless, I am so glad that I started this blog back in May!
Being trapped isolated out here, due totally to our chosen lifestyle,
I have very little contact with other humans.
Blogging has been an amazing adventure for me!
Each day I am amazed at the number of talented, loving,
witty people I've come to know!
*
However, I must divulge, I DO NOT like rules!
(That...my folks will attest to for sure!)
I have a tendenacy to do just the opposite of what is expected of me.
Yes, it has put me in deep water at times. Hey! That is why I learned to swim!
I cannot change my ways now…....not here.

This is my excuse..

and I'm sticking to it!


The reason for this post:
THREE Reasons, actually---

REASON #1:AWARDS


I have received some awards that I need to acknowledge and I want to thank everyone who thought of me. I am very beholden to you!
They all come with rules for presenting and passing them though, see?

There is that "Rules" word again!
I cannot, in my heart & in good conscience, pick only a few Blogging Friends to pass these along to! Each and everyone of you are deserving!
(Actually, I think everyone should just go to the site where ever you can find all sorts of awards, pick the ones you want, and give them to yourselves!)
So please, please…believe me when I say I’m giving them to each and everyone of you!!
Whether you have them or not, take them! With my blessings!!
Please!

I got this from Tracy at "Is it a Full Moon, or What?"
I just recently met this Lady who just happens to be a fellow Washingtonian, so that makes her a fantastic person in MY Washington eyes! Go vistit her! She's talented (could have/would have had a career in ballet if some scout wouldn't have burst her bubble! Jerk!), loves,loves, loves- to have fun!... maybe that's why she has the number of kids she does, you gotta go count them yourself!...*wink*
~



This Award was given to me by three great gals. (Third times the charm.. right?)
First
...by one of my longest blogging friends! The Professor
at "Babble From a Babbler". (do you like the orange Prof? You know why I used it! ) This Lady, I've admired since I met her! Her job, in my eyes, is the most valued in the world! A teacher! (Without them? Scarry!)

She too, is isolated. Only for a short time now though, as she has "Gypsy" running through her veins as I do! At Christmas, she's moving on to hopefully bigger & brighter things! She even needs to change the Image of her blog when she does!
I love this gal & I wish her good times, good fortune & all that's good in the world! She deserves it! And Prof...I will continue to follow your life! Through your words and your photos...even though they won't be of Montana any longer.
Second & Third...to give this to me, also gave me this one!


Now I'm not too sure that this was legal in Blogland!
These two Ladies have been lifelong friends and they double whammyied me!
Within a day of each other!(I think they had a vendetta for me, ya think?)
See why I don't like "Rules" ?

Let me present to you Ms Desert Hen of "gravelroadsanddaiquirisinthedirt" and Ms Oregontribal1! of "allthingsoldandnew" (You can find their real names when you visit them!) Desert Hen's life has been a lot like mine. Living with and moving with a Cowboy. I wish she lived closer! Oh the stories we could tell! She does have some catching up to do though...maybe when they've been married this long, they will have moved enough to equal ours. Don't even think about unpacking Lady! This gal even gives chickens baths! Did you realize that was even possible? And then "Styles" their feathers with a blow dryer! (She's really not any weirder than I, so give her a chance!). Oregontribal1 is a gal who gets to live in a part of Oregon that is gorgeous! Her photos and her words express the beauty~ well, beautifully! And she gets to share her life with her folks at the their farm as much as she wants...and she shares the dusty road all the way! For that, she is lucky! She's funny and gorgeous! Both these gals...even though they blog with each other (I haven't a clue if they ever use their phones these days, do you Ladies?) they welcome you like they've known you a lifetime too!
~

This award came from the beautiful and extremely talented young lady at "A Duck in Her Pond". Her favorite color is pink! Why? Because she is a Girly Girl!!...but don't worry, she loves her beef, does that Paint ball stuff, ouch! Not only that, she is witty, loves her dogs, family and Ohhh she loves to share her recipes! This young lady is the most creative, ambitious thing! (it has to be her youth!) I'm not sure how she fits everything into her days! She writes stories like you wouldn't believe! Numerous ones "in progress" at the same time! (Shhh-h-h ...She doesn't know it yet, but my favorite one she's writing, I have first dibs on when it's done...signed by her very own little pink fingers!)

Ok...that is off my shoulders now! Phewwww!
Thank you Ladies, I am glad to have you in my life!
Oh....and "The Rules"that go with these awards?
They were eaten by my delete key! I told you I don't like "Rules".

REASON #2:ANSWERS

I have received many, many emails from my invisible blogging friend and the 'doubly invisible' ones (those who don't like to leave their words in my "Give Me Some Guff" section).
All related to my posts "
Surviving Life", and "I Feel I Should Clarify" last month.

I haven't forgotten you, nor am I ignoring you. Life does take precedence and I am working on getting them answered. I am a procrastinator, and if answering them means there are rules about a timely manner, then that is my excuse...

REASON#3:ANGELS

An Angel

From an Angel

Thank you for being here! You don't realize how much your friendship & words mean to me!