Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
....being neighborly for the past 3 days.
And we enjoyed every minute of it despite the heat! Today, it got up to 104*, but plenty of water and lemonade was provided for our work drenched bodies & parched gullets.
One of our closer "neighbors" (several miles away) needed some help with fencing in their 40 acres for their 2 bottle fed/to butcher calves, repairs of water lines & weed control. I can't call them elderly, as I hate that term...mainly, because someday someone will be calling me that & I don't like the sounds of it! They are wonderful people and their grown kids & grandkids don't live very close to help, so we try to help whenever they will let us.
Not that we didn't have things to be done here at home, because that is just a given....but making the time, having the opportunity to help others is such a pleasure for us! And one of the great rewards, according to Hubby, is we always get fed well! Boy .. do the country farmers & ranchers know how to take care of one's appetites! (I've always enjoyed that privilege when it is put on my shoulders. I love to cook for those who love to eat!!)
Noontime is suppertime...always was, and still is for that generation of this culture. Early to work, supper break, back to work for another 7-8 hours..light snack of leftovers, relax a spell & off to bed~ to do it all over the next day. Although the women do help some, they generally spend the mornings preparing the noontime supper.
These past 3 days, the "Mr." was out with us, handing out more fencing nails, gathering the fencing pliers we'd dropped 100' back (which would allow a break for us to dose ourselves with water...since he'd would walk back to the spot, look around a bit & then come back..... I'm not too sure that he walked any faster than we would have! The heat drains ya!) or he was mixing up more weed killer.
Mostly, he sat on the tailgate of the pickup propped against the rolls of barbed wire and the cooler which was filled with water, jugs of lemonade & fruit. He told story upon story...the words would just flow off his tongue, hour after hour! Not only did it help the hours pass quickly, it also filled our hearts with times of the past. He was born & raised on his place. His Mom just passed away this winter at 98 years. We heard stories of his childhood, his & the "Mrs." years as pig farmers on this ground. The raising of their children. Tough times, glorious times, none with regrets or sorrow. There was a constant twinkle in his eyes.......it never clouded over.
The first morning, arriving there at 5 a.m., they were disappointed we didn't come at 4:30 for breakfast! Now I am NOT a breakfast person, and getting up at 3:30-4:00 a.m. is not a real easy task for me, as I am a night person! But, Hubby, on the other hand, LOVES a good country breakfast to start the day. Truly...I USED to make them for him. I used to be up before everyone, and make breakfast time a great start to a new days beginning...but he certainly does not expect it from me now (he's never "expected" it but loves it when it happens!). I will surprise him once in awhile, usually in the winter, getting up before him. I'll make the coffee, get the fires stoked & house warmed, so when he comes out from the depth of dreamland, it is the aromas of a warm house, sizzling bacon & the love of his wife...filtering through the hallway to his nostrils that awakens him.
Needless to say, day 2 & 3...we were there for breakfast! Yesterday was Hubby's fav...biscuits & gravy (ALL food is his fav!). Today's fare was bacon, eggs (ours that we supply them with), & french toast ("Mrs." homemade bread style!) with homemade huckleberry syrup. Yummmm!
Day 1, I helped Hubby with the fencing & soaked up all the wonderful stories told by the "Mr.".
Day 2, I stayed back, while Hubby fixed water lines & got more stories..some I'm sure that shan't be told in mixed company :)
.... I helped the "Mrs." in weeding her flower beds and veggie garden. I even hung out some laundry to dry in the warm breezes. "Mrs." doesn't handle the heat too well, I could tell even though she would not admit it. I had to battle with her to let me work outside & her inside! I did take a lot of breaks to go inside to keep her company and watch her skillful hands preparing supper. She'd eventually, wipe her hands on her apron, bring the coffee pot to the table, shove the plate of fresh snickerdoodles at me (yep, she'd made them that morning!), then sit for a spell and tell me some of her stories! On my..........how I love the stories from that generation...especially the folks who lived on farms & ranches! The love in her words spoke loudly of her contentment & joys of a good life. I had such a wonderful time and I am ever so grateful that I opted to stay behind to spend the day with her! We giggled so much my toes hurt!
Day 3, today, was weed spraying...I'm not totally for it, for the environment and my nostrils...but it is their choice, and rightly so...
as it is their calves out there grazing ... there is Wyeth Lupine, Kochia, Field Horsetail in too large of quantities to feel safe. Their land hasn't been grazed & maintained for the past 10 or so years, to keep these noxious weeds at bay. There is plenty of grasses to last the summer, but...you never know, cattle won't usually eat noxious plants if there is plenty of good feed...but they needed to nipped in the butt now!
I told my Cowboy, he had to slow down today! I worry about him being in the heat so long, as he had a heat stroke while in AZ when he was shoeing horses. He is more susceptible now, we are told, and his tolerance to heat is much less. Sooooooo, being the 'other half' of this helping party...I packed the sprayer on my back for most of the morning. I was never so happy as to see the watch strike 11:00 a.m.! It was suppertime! Not that I was hungry.....but I needed to get cooled off and sit awhile with only my 105# of body weight instead of that pack on my back...which added half again the weight my feet are used to packing! There was only about 2 hours left of work to be done...fixing the automatic water fittings & filling the water troughs, hanging one more gate...one last 'trip around' to make sure all the fencing was secure...the neighboring wheat farmer might get a tad irate to find cows grazing in their fields.
Whew.....glad today was done! We sat in the cool shade of their locust trees with ice water and fresh Rhubarb pie!
(Which by the way, is my absolute most favorite dessert ever! No strawberries, no apples to tone down the tartness...just Rhubarb and a little sugar!)
Once we cooled off & got our bearings back, we came home. One more job had to be done...but luckily my Cowboy didn't need my help for that...gathering up the one Shorthorn which calved so late & her calf....loading them and taking them over to the "Mr. & Mrs." place to turn out with their 2 ~freshly weaned from the bottle~ calves....to keep them company. I climbed in the shower for a long cool one, then sat on the front porch with glass of iced tea...........ignoring the ache in my legs, my hands, my back....
Just savoring....savoring the stories told....savoring the giggles....savoring the memories of the past 3 days!
I will cherish them forever!
PS...one of these days...I'm going to figure out some way to attach my cheap ol' camera to my hip `permanently~so I can take pix like everyone else does!
AREN'T YOU CURIOUS??
I've got to tell you what was on the daily Suppertime menu...prepared lovingly by "Mrs."
1) Fried Chicken (yet another Fav of my Cowboy! His Fav list goes to eternity...really!)
mashed potatoes, milk gravy, home canned peaches, home canned beets, cornbread!
2) Baked ham, scalloped potatoes, spinach salad, homemade rolls, home canned applesause!
3) German Sausage they made themselves, potato salad, cranberry muffins, fresh sliced strawberries!
Hungry yet? Come on over!
Friday, June 27, 2008
This is really a tough one to answer….as we didn’t really “think” about things as we were doing, choosing &… LIVING. It was just life…flowing though our veins.
Let me begin with a question..did you read “Our Life”?
As I've written this, I deleted , added some more, and cut out even more…not knowing how much I should share to the “blogging world”. Then my Hubby said… "it’s from your heart! That is what your blog is about!!”
So, this is my uncut version…take it for what it's worth.
A brief synopsis of us:
Hubby’s Mom died when he was 6 yrs & his brother was 10 months. His Dad worked construction & was gone a lot. As a matter of convenience & necessity, he married a widower with 5 children of her own. She was a tough, tough lady! And for a 6 yr old, it became a battle for him…. Soon, he was ‘farmed’ out to relatives in Ohio on a dairy farm, back to Washington to friends on a cattle ranch. He became a “lost” soul. He struggled to find himself, to find where he ‘belonged’. He found the camaraderie & “love” with the animals surrounding him…they were his companions, his life.
At 14, he was on his own. He worked numerous jobs, riding his bike to & from work & school…to survive.( FFA was the only reason he continued with school!)
I, on the other hand, had a “complete” family unit. Full of love, we didn’t seem to ‘lack’ for anything…but somehow I "felt out of place" (through my own doings, my own heart, no fault of my family). I had different interests, different dreams & goals than my siblings. I struggled to find where I belonged, also. I built “forts” in the heavy woods & spent many long hours alone there. Reading, drawing, thinking & dreaming. It was my "secret" hiding place. I worked as soon as I was able, from babysitting, housecleaning, dishwashing, sign making, car hopping, to have the things that I wanted…different than what was provided for. I was a challenge, I'm sure for my folks. I married right out of high school..into a very "dominating" situation. My babies came along early…and I still was not “ME”…who ever that was! Shortly thereafter, to prove to others, and mostly to myself, that I was an individual with an independent mind & heart, I went to college. THERE is where I began to ‘find myself’. Thanks to a wonderful Advisor who egged me on to find “that person”.
My Cowboy & I met at a cross roads in each of our lives.
My Cowboy hadn’t found who HE was yet…to that point.
By some lucky turn of fate, we met~ and INSTANTLY knew we were “kindred souls”, as we danced our first dance 'for the rest of our lives', together. (remember Anne Murray's song? "Could I have this dance.." )
This is where “Our Life” begins…
The kids were young when we started our lives together. We never had vacations, fancy clothes, or many material things. We had food on the table, a roof over our heads (or a tent at times), we did the best we could with what we were blessed. When gifts were given, they were simple. Baby calves, handmade quilts from old remnants, to name a few.
1) Work ethic. Set by example! You work no matter what!…sick, broken bones, etc. (We’ve done it all!) Work, whether for the relationship, the paycheck or for survival. Work, for your dreams, your life! Give it your all & then 1,000 times more! Take pride in all you do & be your own best and worst critic. Work together for mutual needs & goals, side by side. And yes, the kids worked with us, ... for survival. We worked as a family to live, to play, to respect & to love each other. I cannot emphasize ~work~ enough! Life is about work....
2) Consistency. Say what you mean, do what you say! Don’t allow temptations, peers, frustrations, a weak heart, or a tired mind veer you from your words & actions.
3) Dream! Whether you change them a million times or two times…dreams provide for perseverance. Dreams allow for creativity. Dreams create a path for guidance through the roads of life. You can do anything..if you believe in your dreams strong enough! Believe in yourself!
4) Common Sense. Use your mind, use your heart wisely. Think! Think! and then Listen to it! To survive and to achieve -your inner self is the wisest & it gives you strength & know-how.
5) Love and mean it! Give it! Receive it and Give it some more!!! Be supportive of those you love. Be there for them in times of need, times of fear or sadness; be there to shoulder their burdens. Be there to share their daily joys, their accomplishments. Just ALWAYS BE THERE!
6) Practice the 3 ‘R’s: Respect, Responsibility, Reward!
I cannot resist adding this quote:
"The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life " .. William Morris
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
...out of life! Ooops.....no that was out of Me!
Bein' in a hurry last nite, sharp knife in hand (sharp is a must in my house!), rushing to get yet another late supper made at 10:15 pm...I sliced the tip of my pinkie off...my left one even..so this typing thing is kinda hunt & peck as I go. We don't 'do' Dr.'s, should prob'ly have gotten stitches but driving 40 miles to a clinic & the wait & the $$...No...not worth it. ....as the Grandkids call me "One Tough Bird", that I must be. And heck, what is one more scar to join the company of so many more? Hopefully the "chunk" we quickly bound w/gauze and tape, will reattach it's self...if not? It' will just be 'sensitive' forever like one of my other fingers, that was created by a rope on a raunchy calf!
My Cowboy & I took a drive today, to deliver a 2yr old stud colt he started back to it's owner & pick up another one. (Luckily she pays for the gas! WOW! Cost $160.00 today!) We never go anywhere, never take a day "off" & vacate the premises together...but decided we needed to today. One day without a human here...all would survive. We needed a break...together. We loaded the "girls" (Millie & Tess~teenage Border Collies) and they were chained on their short leads in the back of the pickup as they like to"heel" cars in passing. When we hit the freeway, they freaked out! They tried climbing thru the pass thru window which wasn't opened, tried jumping on the top of the cab! We couldn't figure out what was wrong........so we pulled off the highway, thinking maybe something 'bit' them, maybe a rock from a passing car hit them...we didn't know. They were truly scared! So we brought them inside the cab with us. A mile or so later, we drove under an overpass (& many more to come!) and both of them ducked!! & hit the floorboards FAST!! at the same time!
We then figured it out!
We took these country dogs out of the country! They'd never been on anything but 2 lane county roads with little traffic! They'd never had vehicles come from behind and pass that they didn't see coming (the horse trailer was in their way today & the cars/trucks came FAST!) They certainly had never been anywhere they needed to duck from something....except for the hind feet of a kicking cow or horse!
Us, leaving the country for the bigger cities and traffic is bad enough, yet it never occurred to us that our dogs would feel the same stress! Now we know!
Maybe we shouldn't live such a secluded life! WRONG!
They are working dogs...they don't need the city life exposure anymore than we do!
We spent the whole day with Gay & her family. Hubby showed them what he'd accomplished & how, with the stud. They have a bunch of new colts now, so he showed them some 'tricks' to getting a handle on them, catching, haltering & leading...and even messing with their feet. Keith is a certified farrier too, so he lightly rasped the young feet to help get them in line early. Hubby gets to start her horses & after they are sold, they generally come back to him for another 60-90 days. His mission today, was to get these young ones off to a GOOD start..so when they come to our place, it's makes his job easier & more pleasant for him & horse! Wished I'd have taken my cheap camera & gotten a few shots....those babies are sooooooooo cute!
Hubby doesn't show or compete, he doesn't like that part and doesn't care for the confines of an arena. His passion is with the young ones...the laying of the foundation...from their feet to their mind, instilling good behavior, respect, & safety. He exposes them to anything & everything possible. He loves to take them in the mountains! Or gather & work cattle, whether it's day work for a rancher or feedlot, or just helping friends.
Anyhow, while he "played" with the horses, I enjoyed her "yardscape".
It is so cool! It's done old western style, lots of cowboy paraphernalia strewn in the beds & pathways, along the creeks & bridges. Around the old buildings & barns. (Her Dad was a cowboy, she lived & followed his footsteps....and it's his brand they use...his horse bloodlines are carried on today.) She has FLOWERS everywhere! And luckily, she likes to share! We exchange things everytime we see each other.
Oh my Gosh! I feel like I've stepped back in time...100+ yrs ago when I'm at their home...and that is the era I always felt I should have been born in!!
My folks still talk about that today...how that's all I ever wanted as a kid... wishing I'd been born in the 1800's, to be a cowgirl, have a horse, an old run down Victorian house (there was one we'd drive by on the way to camp every year...I still remember it...& that's what I was going to have when I grew up), no neighbors, lots of critters about, a garden...and I'd be content. They couldn't understand it then...& certainly have never understood my attempts at having that lifestyle in this century!
You know.....I almost have it, as I dreamed so many years ago!
I live in 108 yr old house, no neighbors, there are oodles of animals to feed; I have my gardens for pleasure & purpose....and I have My Cowboy!
It's not the 1800's....but I'll take it!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
...I've sat impatiently all day! (Mentally speaking..)
...Pondering the words from a comment made by LL to last nites post. Hope LL doesn't mind if I quote him....... (of course he doesn't..anyone can read it!)...
..."and I can safely say I rarely have seen someone who "gets it" ...
And I'm still pondering as my fingers are trying to hit the right keys.
"gets it"..."gets it"...
Do I "gets it" ? That depends of one's interpretation of "gets it".
I will however, interpret those words after a longgggggggg days' ponderance...my way. And at the rate my brain is working. This could take me to the wee hrs of the nite to finish...and ya'll will have hit the "next" button before I'm finished.....(Thanks, LL, I haven't felt this mentally challenged about my life, since my college days!) Oh well..........
Been dangling the toes of my right foot, outside that bucket...letting the breezes & even the gnats, whisper by them...ignoring any innuendos. Freedom; carefree; peace; warmth; flippancy.
The toes of my left foot, for all practical purposes as I am left handed, have been draped inside of the bucket...clambering against the cold hard steel, tangled amongst the contents therein
Hardships; rewards; disappointments; fulfillments; resentments; forgiveness; survival. And so many others!
Would I trade the left toes for the right toes? NEVER!
My life with a Cowboy has been challenging to say the least!
We've moved tons; we've lived without running water, power & plumbing; we've worked physically beyond the limits our bodies were created for; we've been sued by "Seattlites" wanting a rural lifestyle...yet not liking their inability to change that rural setting~ into "Seattle in the country". (which we lost & had to sell, for a loss, as we didn't have enough $$ to fight for our rights). We have truthfully lived on a dime, still do...& at times less than! (once, Hubby painted a local gas station in order to buy a dress for the daughter to go to a prom!). Material things have not been a priority for us..birthday & Christmas gifts were a rarity (still are!) ...a happy, loving HOME is all that we have needed. The kids worked summer jobs when old enough, even after school some, for things they wanted yet we could not afford. There were times they bought a few groceries with their earnings. Then came the college years...they both worked as they attended, got student loans....
...we could not afford to help them, financially.
Do I resent the struggles, the strife, the fights we've dealt with over the years? I'd be lying if I said "No". At times, there was resentment. Not at my Cowboy, not at our children, not at our life....it was directed at those who could not accept, or who wanted us to change who we were! We still have friends & acquaintances who tell us how amazed they are that we survived as a couple with all we've been through.
We survived....because of the respect & love for each other & our chosen lifestyle. It's embedded in our souls.
The biggest compliment, the most loving reward comes from our son. He is still single...still in search of that perfect mate.
(We wish he'd lower his ideals somewhat tho...)
1) "She" has to meet or beat his Sister's qualities...educated; compassionate for life, the earth & others; independent yet capable of sharing; a hard worker yet loves pampering & having fun; a good cook (altho he can cook superbly himself!); & the ability to grow, survive & thrive with life's struggles...all the qualities & values he says we instilled in them.
2) He says he'd love for a relationship that equals half of what we have!
"She" must have the desire & be capable of working along side him through life, through love, to cry, to share, to sacrifice, to give to a relationship as I have to my Cowboy! Heart & Soul.
Did we create an impossible dream for him, for teaching him our ways of love & life?
We hope not.
Do we wish they would have followed life in our footsteps?
Did they have resentments for their upbringing, what they missed out on?
Maybe....but we hope they've gotten over it.
And I'll say it again, ....I would not trade my left toes inside that bucket of life & the tangled web of time, for the right toes on the outside! Not a chance!
I may have aged faster, become more weathered & worn, but I've become a stronger, independant woman, a more compassionate wife...because Hubby & I have been a team throughout our lives together! We have survived!
So, do I "gets it" ? I think so...
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
....and what is THAT supposed to mean?
I haven't a clue! Fridays roll right into Saturdays, which tumbles into Sunday, which then becomes Monday, which falls into Tuesday...etc. Get the Pix?
More than I should admit, I don't know what day it is unless I cheat and look in the lower right corner of my computer!
Days of the past, when we lived near a town, Fridays meant Yippee! It's a weekend! We can go dancing & have a good ol' time. We used to go to the Cowboy bars and dance until dawn...Or at least until we got kicked out...like the time we were the only ones on the dance floor, doing the Swing...covering the whole darned floor...I remember the song was Waylon Jenning's "Good Hearted Woman" (which became Our Song...along w/Don Williams "I Believe")
A long time forgotten the dreams that just fell by the way
The good life he promised ain't what she's livin' today
But she never complains of the bad times
Or the bad things he's done, lord
She just talks about the good times they've had
And all the good times to come
(She's a good hearted woman in love with a good timin' man)
She loves him in spite of his ways she don't understand
(With teardrops & laughter they pass through this world hand in hand)
(A good hearted woman, lovin' a good timin' man)
As the tempo sped up...so did our feet...until Hubby lost hold of me & I ended up in the middle of the drummer's lap! Strike one~You're out!
The Owner had no sense of humor!
When in MT on the ranch.........if we had the chance (which were far and few between, mind you) we would drive the 50+ miles of dirt, (slime when wet!) to the closest town just to go dance. We'd get there early (8:30 ish) & the place would be packed. Being the only place around to get out & cut loose...EVERYONE for miles took advantage of Friday Nites On the Town! It usually was a great local band. They knew everyone too! At 9 pm sharp~the music would start with oldies but goodies..Johnny Horton,Mel Tillis, Patsy Cline, Jeannie Pruett etc. The floor was packed! Young and Old alike! About 10:30 p.m...the band would start adding some newer music, and more Swing music vs Waltzes...miraculously, by 11 p.m. , the older generation would be gone, the floor less crowded and us younger one's could get wilder and crazier! Not having to worry about stepping on or knocking the older ones over! Don't get me wrong! Some of those older bow-legged Cowboys & their wives cut truly kick up their heels!
The one night we will never forget, Ol Ed & his wife were there. Never seen them there before. Ed, in his early 70's, would dayride at the ranch. Spend 12-14/hr day horseback, along with the rest of us. Never once getting off to open a gate! "hurts too much...I get on once & off once..a day" he'd say. "Wait til you get my age! You'll see why". This was an 87,000 acre ranch & over the course of Spring/Summer/Fall..there were a lot of gates to be opened & closed! His legs were bowed in a perfect circle which made him a hellovalot shorter than should be. His boots were crumpled & worn down on the outside; he had a hunched back and short limpy steps. Pretty crippled up! But could ride forever! Well, this nite we saw them in town... WOW! He and his wife closed the place down with the rest of us! They danced the Polka, the Swing, the Polka again,theTwo-Step, Some more Polka, and some I don't even know...think they invented as they danced! They were GOOD!
Mind you now, he consumed the Whiskey that night!
Needless to say.......all the Cowboys on the ranch never allowed him to live that nite down!
He had to open at least ONE gate a day!
We aren't Ed's age, long ways to go yet, but doubt even if we liked Whiskey as he did...could we keep up with the pace Ed & his wife set back then!
Sadly, there are no places around like that place!
Dancing for us now, consists of turning on the CD's and dancing across the wooden floors in our home.....but we still have it~we still dance as one!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
...guess what we had for supper!
NO!...silly...we didn't butcher the 'cute hen' ! :)
My Man is a beef man, but does like his fried chicken/mashed taters/milk gravy & blueberry muffins!
But...didn't have that either!
I tried a new "recipe"...(I love trying new things). I love cooking for Keith. He has said from day one when we met..."there's no point in working, if I can't eat the way I want!" And he loves to eat! Since he works outdoors 24/7/365, his body utilizes it properly, thank goodness! He graciously appeases me & eats whatever is put before him. Truthfully, all these years together, millions (or what seems like millions) of experimental recipes later, his dislikes~ I could count on one hand. Sad thing is, I never write down what I did, so I could create it again! So our meals are usually 'unique' !
So...tonight's fare was green salad (greens from the garden~I do plant them early), green beans w/bacon & onions (home canned, of course), my "tonites" version of rice pilaf, and....(drum roll plez....) Oven baked chicken breasts dipped in eggs (no...not from That chicken!) coated with Italian seasoning, corn meal, drippings of vinegar/oil dressing all over & topped with fresh grated parmesean cheese.
Was still moist, slightly crisp & a tad tangy.
Guess what? "Hey Hubby...you'll like it! "
And he did!
So now that I have it 'written' down, when I think of making
"that chicken stuff I did way back in June of '08! " I'll just go to my Archives!
(Measurements don't matter...I never measure anything anyhow!)
I'm sure Little Miss Hen could smell supper cookin' tonite, so bet she's turned the heat up in her feathers for them little "ovalettes" beneath her!
Don't think she even knows! She's been here two yrs and all she wants to do is set! Doesn't really earn her 'keep' with a daily egg! THIS time she's been settin' since March! I keep marking eggs w/ a big X...a month later, I give her a new batch!
or the Rooster will, cuz that probably means HE is not doing his job either!
(Ooops...can't do in the Rooster! His cock-a-doodle-doo's remind me every morning why we live here as we do!)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
...(wonder how many there really are!) and pert-near a full moon!
We ate supper at a decent hour tonite (8:30 instead of 10pm!).
It was cool, calm & just the right 'feel' for a walk!
Hubby doesn't walk much, says that's what horses are for!
But he humored me & agreed to accompany me. Of course, we took our whole brood along too! Millie, Tess, & Mac~the Border Collies; Levi & Wyatt~ the Spoiled Yorkies. They must have been able to pick up on the quiet calmness of the 'mood', because they weren't rambunctious & crazy! Behaved really well! (and that is tough for the one & 1/2 yr old girls!).
Dusk was getting pretty close to becoming twilight by the time we got to the wooden bridge that's part of our drive.
Sure wish I had a good camera ... and then knew how to use it!
(Like The Lady Professor does...she takes beautiful pix!)
40' below us from the bridge, were three does drinking from the creek.
Saw 8, yep eight, wild turkeys too.
An owl lives under the bridge somewhere, and he was hooting to who knows who! Maybe we were too close for comfort...
We stayed there for a time, gulping in the fresh air, listening to Willow Creek as it wound through the willows and beaver dams. The moon was shining like a perfect china plate above the rollling hills of wheat! All white and shimmery! The "kids" sat quietly at our feet!
They seemed to be enjoying this special time too!
On the walk home, we heard several coyotes off in the distance with their young (the young ones always sound like they are playing & having fun!); there was cattle under some cottonwoods nearby and one Mama calling out for her young'un.
Walking in the moonlit darkness now, closer to the house, a few horses nickered, a few munching the last of their supper, while one farther away sighed heavily...as in deep REM sleep.
I love these kinds of evenings...as much as I love today's kind of mornings!
It was a perfect ending to a more than perfect day!
...fills my senses & calms my heart.
I absolutely love the smell! (Yankee Candle used to make one with that name...they seem to drop all the my favs!)
Been sitting on the front porch, drinking my 5 cups of coffee, savoring the moments, languishing in the scents. (that'd be 2 scents essential to my well being...Cut grass & Coffee!). It's warm, wind free (for a change!) & the deer have been out! Hardly ever get to see them. It's fawning time, so they stay hidden well.
Hubby decided to get up early, 4.am....borrow a tractor and mow one of our pastures overgrown with mustard, etc. Fire season will be here before we are ready.
(The Grain Train that passes out front by the State Rd., started 2 fires by our drive 2 wks ago... I always worry because we have a wooden bridge to cross to get to our house! It is a 40' drop from that to the creek below!...no driving thru!)
In the depth of my slumber, I could hear the quiet humming of his labors, and soon the scent began to reach through my open windows & doors~ right to my senses! Oh... such a pleasant way to awaken! (Yes...mustard & other weeds being cut DO smell of fresh green grass. Possibly becasue there is masses of it...or the moisture in the stems..or because it's do to the oxygen all things green emit. dunno, don't care...it's just a fact!)
So my day begins with what I love most...aromas I adore, quiet sunshine, and the one I love most! My Hubby!
What could be more perfect!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
...is more 'comfortable' now that I am home.
Guess, just knowing that I am here, boosted his confidence again so that he could get back on a horse comfortably & do what he does best. He got quite scared when that friend of ours got hurt. Keith, being old enough to be Todd's Dad, and hasn't been too seriously hurt by horse in a long, long time, began worrying about it! Last serious injury, was about 15 yrs ago on the ranch in Montana when he broke his back. He was younger, recouped faster, & mentally, had more acceptance in "it goes with the territory" !
He had a great day today, accomplished a lot with the young horses he has....and I couldn't be happier! I was pretty worried that he might just give up. A 12 week lay up, like Todd, would devastate us finacially...and he is extremely concerned about that...yet today, he was able to put that on the shelf of his brain & not allow it to affect his connectivity with the horse's mind.
He worked for a local rancher today moving cattle to different grazing grounds. The girls, Millie & Tess, love these kind of days! They can go forever...and love trailing the cattle, and yep, even getting in a nip or ten!
Old man, Mac, had to stay home. He's 13 and it would have been too much for him for one day. Oh he was not a happy camper either! He "knows" when certain things are going on and wants to be a part of it!
Mac is like us tho...older, not so quick, wears down faster....no matter how hard we fight against it!
Think I 'caught' something from the confines of those 2 plane rides...not so up to parr today. Fighting a chest cold, I think. Sure wish I had some SMZ's ! (That's sulfamethazine---Vet variety). We've always used animal pharmaceuticals when we can, as they are cheaper. Alot of them are the same drugs as the human variety, just the handling and packaging are different. (I learned that when I worked for a Vet some years back). But...WOW..SMZ's are awesome in stopping a cold IF you start them the moment you notice it coming on!
Anyhew...I just putzed in my veggie garden today with a little weeding (I always keep up on that chore as it's easier than tending it when it's a mess) and I had to replant some corn...like 4 rows worth! While I was gone, the birds had a feast! There are vacant hollows where they pulled the seeds fresh out of the soil, and some 2-3" ones were flopped over & wilted dry, that must have been too hard to pluck! They also helped themselves to my cantaloupe. No sign of carrots yet...and doubt it'd be bunnies!
Truthfully, you know Bugs Bunny and his love for carrots? Well...the past two summers we've lived here with those hundreds (seems like thousands!) of cute cottontails that devour most anything...they don't mess with my carrots! They actually make 'beds' within the leafy tops...probably cuz it's cooler there. Would not have believed it myself had I not disturbed their naps with my approaching footsteps, which would send them racing through the garden & out the fence! Weather has been strange, so will give them 'til this weekend to show theri pretty little green tops. We actually had snow last Tues. while I was gone!
I have never figured out what these pesky, filthy critters purpose is to our ecological system! They drive me crazy! Especially early in the morning when they awake before me & decide I need to awaken. Guess if we'd close our doors before sleeptime so many wouldn't choose our home as their home, but I love cool fresh air! And the old belief that screens keep all unwanted visitors out, is just that...OLD! These things can filter in however they choose!
Living with animals on the grounds around us, tend to add to the numbers in their population within my walls...I know....but what can one do!
Be irritated that's what one can do!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Wow! 9 days away from home is a long time! Especially when you are in love like my hubby & I are! After all these years, we still have that 'spark'! He told me I can't go anywhere again....without him! And if that's the case...then we need to make some changes in our lifestyle! Like having way too many animals to be responsible for...and even more importantly...having more money so we could afford to go places...and possibly hiring a local kid to do chores, which means more $$$ with the price of gas to get someone to come out this far!!
Don't see that happening any time in our near future! (The more money thing!) Hence, not getting away much won't be on the agenda either!
Would love to go to the ocean! I find such peace there! Love walking the beaches at nite and in the rain! In my younger days, while going to college, I'd go to the Oregon coast to spend the day to do my studies. Sit in a coffee shop over looking the surf, eat soup, study (if raining), and take walks periodically. If not raining, would hunker down against a piece of driftwood, wrapped in a blanket and study all day.
Why did I go to college?? ....To "prove" I could, to those who thought I couldn't.
And then marry a Cowboy for an austere way of life? Becuz he stole my heart! :)
Hubby ain't too keen on the ocean...he'd rather be high in the mountains, a horseback, like the days we ran a pack outfit. I enjoy that too, but that's where most of our time has been spent...a horseback. He knows how much I love the beach...so I know he would oblige. We've only gone 3 times in all these years!
Think it's time again!
Hmmmm...just might have to make the plans! I grew up on Whidbey Island, spent my childhood at all the beaches. Barnacles and all! Oh what fun those days were! (wouldn't want to be that young again, but would love to have the freedom and the time!)
Ooops....got lost in Nostalgia~land....
Getting to know my nieces was awesome! One is married with a really cool husband. They are moving to Wisconsin on their next new adventure...a new job for them came up while I was there! A great young couple!
Then the Graduate...Wow! She is sooooo cool! And has her "head on" very straight! I was so impressed! And what a doll!!! She did "keep" me up til the wee hours of a nite....don't think I went to bed before 2: am any nite there! One for sure, was 4 am...a few others after the 3: am mark. I'm a nite owl, but 8 nites like that and then up and at 'em by 9 am?? Zapped me big time!
Will treasure those days & all the memories! It was wonderful!
My sister has had 'issues' with me over the years....mainly 'cuz she felt I didn't care enough about the family to do things different...like get good paying jobs in order to be 'present' at family functions more! But, we had a great time rekindling our Sisterhood! (Hopefully those issues are in the past, and won't crop up again as they have every few years!) I love her dearly...and have hated the times we did not get to share, all the missed long conversations, the hugs, the tears, and the reminiscing as sisters should....
Life can be cruel...Life can be challenging...but Life is what we make it!
And my hubby's and my life together has been the best!
Sunday, June 8, 2008
When his sidekick, his partner, his wife is gone for a week? Gonna be pretty lonely here. Already is! Probably just work dawn to dusk. She told me to be more careful than normal since she won't be here to hear me holler for help! Hell, that's my middle name! "Careful"!
She did make me up a bunch of suppers so I don't really have too much to do, except clean up after myself...probably won't do dishes until the night before she comes home though. She'll never know!
I've been finding her little Love notes. She has always written me notes and tucked them in all kinds of place for me to find. They always bring a smile to me and warms my heart, whereever I find them!
This will be my only time on here, I promised her I'd do this at least once, so here I am! I don't like computers much and we don't have any fast connections, just slowwwwwwwwwww dial up!
Ya'll have a great day!
Friday, June 6, 2008
...first the goats damage, then Hubby's damage, then the hot water tank (luckily we have 2 ! One for the other part of the house) blew out thru the bottom, flooding the closet, bathroom & hence, saturating everything in my suitcase. Then hear the weather for Minneapolis is calling for STRONG severe thunderstorms etc...I'm scared to death of tornados...and truthfully? Flying isn't something I'm thrilled about, let alone in severe stormy weather!
But my day was a cake walk....
Terrible, terrifying day for 2 families...one family we know from Keith doing Day work once in awhile at a feedlot closeby. A bitter divorce, husband couldn't deal with...they are Hispanic & he wanted to but was not allowed to return to Mexico until divorce was over...forced his wife in a car, drove out to some abandoned old school house. Shot his wife, and then himself. She is in the hospital now, 75% chance of making it....He didn't. What possibly saved her, was she texted her daughter on the way out to the boonies,saying where they were headed....she grabbed her Grandfather and they got out there w/911 call made in route. Ohhhhhhhh...I feel for that daughter, what she had to witness. 14 yrs old...too too much! I'm just heartsick!
Just get off the phone, and it rang again!
Two young ranch kids we watched grow up, fall in love and marry....2 yrs ago. They live not too far from us now. Just bought their first home 6 months ago, just getting started! He got in a horse wreck today, laid in wait for Rae to get there from work (he luckily had a cell phone on him)...broken pelvis. He is the 5th person we know, locally, in JUST one short year...to be hurt seriously in a horse wreck!
And now I'm worried even more! We don't have cell phones, no coverage out here, no one will be 'expecting' Hubby each day I'm gone...I DID tell him, after all this horrible news...IF I don't hear from him by 10pm Minnesota time, I'll be calling every rancher & farmer we know! I've got all their #'s with me now.
So torn! Feel like I should stay home...help these 2 families in such tragic situations! I can't get a refund on my plane ticket...and yet my family is counting on me! I know Keith will do all he can for both the families. But is should be BOTH of us! "Neighbors" in this country, ALWAYS help each other! They drop all they are doing~ in times of need!
I am soooooooo ashamed of myself for thinking I was having a bad day!
...they got out in the night...ate ALL of my little Corkscrew Willows (6!) that I had started from branches (12"-24"). Hubby better get a good "control" on them before I get back and see to it that they don't squeeze themselves thru the fence into my veggie garden! I'll be pretty darned ticked off!
Then......upon discovering those poor 'twigs' this a.m., I confronted Hubby about the keeping of the goats....and he proceeded to tell me that he accidentally mowed (yes, MOWED!) my little saplings -Frasier Firs! Now how do you accidentally mow them over...sure they were only about 1 ft tall with the pretty lime green soft new growth....the grass wasn't tall enuff to hide them from his sight!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
...so little time left!
But you know what? I didn't care today! Spent time with Hubby...doing what I haven't done in a long, long time....held horses for him while he shod them! Gave us some time to reflect on our lives together. We don't seem to make the time these days...we both are always in a hurry, and then so tired come evening.
Does it come with age? Thinking one must do as much as possible before 'time' runs out? Heck we aren't that old!
But then maybe, it's because that is the pace we have set for ourselves all these years and don't know how to change it! Hurrying sure doesn't put more time in the day...more days in the year...or more money in the wallets!
Habits are hard to break....
One memory that really sticks out, and we both chuckled over it...only because I was doing today, what used to be Heidi's 'punishment' years ago....go shoeing all day and hold horses! Boy! Did she hate that! Especially those first few years after his going to Farrier School, when he was much slower!
We did take the time today, in between horses, to sit under the shelter of the lean-to out of the rain, together with our heads nestled on each others, sipping our coffee, laughing over sily memories. It felt so good to have that closeness....we truly love each other~
more today than yesterday, yet less than tomorrow!
We've truly had a good life together. We've worked along side each other almost 24/7. Our lives flow smoothly and are intricately entwined together. (MOST of the time!) We complete, and compliment each other's heart & soul.
I need to make, & take, more time...to spend with him! Go riding with him like I used to...or just sit on the fence rail eating dust~taking the pleasures in of watching him do what he's so good at...so enjoys! Not everyone gets to do what they truly want to do, as he does. He becomes one with the horses and it still amazes me after all these years! He can read horses, cattle, and dogs better'n anyone I've seen.
Truthfully, he relates to animals better than people. He does love socializing, (& we used to dance all the time) when there is an opportunity. People love him...but his soul belongs with the animals.....and me of course!
Winter came again today, to lighten my load, I think. Gave us a nice steady rain after our little mini-hurricane....so tomorrow I won't have to water everything so heavy before leaving for MN.
And my veggies? Wow! They are all up except carrots and cantaloupe! I can actually see the little tiny sprouts from my kitchen window...200' away! Going to take a pix tomorrow before leaving so I can compare the growth when I get home!
...hurry, hurry, just so I can come home again?
Tending to the gardens, mowing the grass, laundry, packing, checking my lists twice! Making suppers for Hubby & Honey-do lists for my flowers & veggies! And I can't forget the little "Love Notes" I make for him & leave for his findings...in the coffee can, in a frozen prepared meal, in his boots, tucked in a pair of undies...hundreds of them EVERYWHERE! (I have 'trained' him over these years to always have me on his mind!...notes everyday...mornings before I get up, in his saddlebags when he grabs a snack, even on the roll of TP in his 'library' !)
He is always delighted, as if it were the first time!
I NEVER go anywhere...except in March, I went to see Heidi and her hubby, Chad & our awesome Grandkids in Calif.! Went for 10 days....and WOW! That was an absolute first! 10 days away from MY home in all these years, what a step! (and it was worth every minute, every hour to be with them! 10 days seemed like 10 minutes! Time was gone before I was ready!)
Yet, now, I'm headed to the big city of Minneapolis...another huge step for this hick country woman who never leaves home! Twice in a matter of months?? After all these years? Nope, won't get addicted...I promise. I love my home, my life, and my Hubby too much to let these travelings become a habit. Besides............they cost way-y-y- too much moola!
So today, I was taking a break on the front porch, listening to the birds singing the announcements of their new hatchling (who were chirping also), hearing the wailing of the calves being weaned in the corral, Tess & Millie barking out their frustrations at being tied up so as to not interfere with Keith's first ride on a new colt....
I was thinking....WHY? Why am I hurrying to get everything done, hurrying so this week will be gone, hurrying because that means next week will be here faster and gone faster...so I can come home again!
What a waste of energy! And selfish taboot!
My youngest niece is graduating....and I don't even know her! And I want to! She reminds me of me at her age (from what little I know about her, that is) ....oh the advise I could give her...but won't!
I decided sitting there, that all I ever seem to do these days is HURRY! Hurry! Hurry so I can move on to the next 'project' of life! I have always told my Hubby to "stop and smell the roses"....guess I'm a better preacher than I am at practicing what I preach!
We get one shot at life. Family IS important to me...even the ones I don't know too well. Seems as I've gotten older, and yes, slower....I want to be with family even more! We've always lived remotely (except in AZ, and everyone thought that was remote in the fact they thought they can't visit cuz they'd fry!) and we've always lived a different lifestyle than anyone else in our families. Not too many are willing to even stick their toes in, to test the waters...to see why we live this way. So coming back to Washington 3 years ago, was meant to show them all that if you won't come our way.....we will go your way! Just to be with family!
So no more Hurrying! What I don't get done, what I may have forgotten......
is not the end of the world.
I am going to go and have a wonderful time, savor every moment....cuz who knows, when the chance will arise again to spend some time with my sister and her family!
(I will worry....because that is what I do!...when it comes to my Hubby...I'll worry about another "thud" in the dust...with no one being within shouting distance...no one to miss his presence....I will worry... until each evening he comes in, hangs up his hat & picks up the phone to call me....)
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
...Voles are NOT moles. They don't mound the dirt up and make a mess of your lawn. Voles on the otherhand (a form of field mice, I read) have an endless network of tunnels underground. They undermine the ground to the point it eventually caves in! (Makes mowing tough!) They do pop their heads up and eat the grass, Creeping Phloxes, Dianthus, Pansies, and anything else that appears on the "plate" before their eyes! They can actually devour a whole Creeping Phlox plant...approx 18" diameter and tall, in a matter of 2 days if you don't catch them! Well, I thought they were gone! Hadn't seen the damage for about 2 months now...until today! I saw that little head munching on one of my Rasberry Sorbet Dianthus and I grabbed a shovel and headed towards him! He must have heard my stomping footsteps and slipped back underground though his little hole (about 1-1/2" diam) tucked under the leaves. I've tried before, to no avail, 'flushing' them with the hose, as you can moles...I left the hose running for about 5 hours! NO SIGN of water exiting anywhere! Having given up hope of running him off, I got out my mothballs that seem to work only once in awhile, shoved 3 down the hole & placed dirt back on top. (I have to be careful so our Yorkies don't get themselves in a predicament).
Later in the afternoon, I headed down to the barnyard to gather eggs, when I stopped dead in my tracks to ponder what I'd come upon! What might be about 35o' away from where I had the hose running so long, down below the embankment of my yard, coming up in one of the pastures was a soaking trail of water! Hmmmm.....wonder if that critter ran away?! I doubted it!
I am not a happy camper at this point...and just as I turned to the tack shed, I saw the largest goat was loose and had my pampered new corkscrew willow, that I started from a branch this winter, and had grown to about 7' tall, was between her legs and in her mouth eating all the tender new leaves! It is now only about 5' tall!! I do not care for goats! (Keith thinks he needs them for starting his Border Collies on, and others who want his help.) I am trying to get her to get back to her pen, and she thinks I am someone who actually loves her, because as she did one other time....she come running up from behind me...ducked in between my short legs and decided to give me a ride!! RRRRRRRRRR! Of course I ended up in the dirt!
As per usual, whenever critters are running around where they don't belong....my Cowboy Hubby is nowhere to be seen! Riding off yonder in them thar hills somewhere!
Ok..........I admit, I've done gathering of critters so much of my life, I should be used to it. Should just accept the fact that it is part of my "job"...part of this chosen lifestyle. But you know what?? I hated having to do it years ago....and I hate having to do it today! Today is even tougher cuz I don't move quite like I used to! And my patience isn't what it used to be either, which can create a bigger fiasco!
On to the vole that started my disgust for the day...by sundown this evening...I decided to go check out the initial crime scene. Guess what!!! Laying perfectly innocent on top of the soil, were 3 perfect mothballs.
The rest of my Rasberry Sorbet Dianthus???
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Know what those are??? I've got them! Forgot to mention before that I went nose diving in my veggie garden this afternoon...I've got Peeplets! Spinach is peeping...beets...a few corn and yep, even a few beans! Peeping their tops thru the soil...barely, but promising me more! I am SOOOO excited!!
(There also happens to be a lot of bird droppings...and holes...where they went Beak Diving!)
....LOL...by my Son-in-law Chad! While talking to them on the phone this a.m., Heidi mentions something..."Now HOW in the heck do you know that?" I asked her!
Well, I started this blog, to jot down my thoughts; not thinking I needed to tell my family how I spend some of my free time. Lo and behold...through other channels of mine, Chad landed here! He says now, he can keep up to date with us, since he doesn't get much chance to talk with us.
Should I watch my P's & Q's now? Heck no! He's known us, been a part of our family~well~ forever it seems. He & Heidi met in Jr High; were HS sweethearts, got married and moved to Calif. after college. We have nothing to hide from them! They both know our lifestyle...our lives.
They have shared in the rough times, the smooth times, the chaotic times! They know what hard work is...they have helped voluntarily...and sometimes w/o choice! And they sure as heck know we aren't Saints nor make claims to being perfect! Far from it!
Heck! Why do you think they went to college and moved to Calif?!!! LOL!
We love them and the 2 grandchildren dearly! But there is one of the biggest draw backs...that the Cowboy way of life gives....or rather doesn't give! Not near enough opportunity to spend time with our family, due to distance, due to too many critters to be responsible for, and due to the never ending 'empty wallet' syndrome!
And this SUCKS!!!!!
Love you guys! I know you'll be reading this soon.