Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cowgirls Haulin' the Highways

Why grandmothers have gray hair... but joy-filled hearts!

Over Labor Day weekend, I visited my Colorado kids/grandkids. And on Labor Day, GD1 started off for her Freshman year at college in Wyoming in her pick-up pulling a 3-horse bumper hitch trailer full of horses. Within 10 miles of home on a busy 2-lane highway, something happened (blew a tire I think) and she had a close call. Praise God, neither girl nor horses were seriously hurt and beyond blown tires and bent rim, equipment was ok, but 3 generations of females decided right then and there, she should be pulling a gooseneck. Dad was on the road and missed out on the discussion but I'm assuming he agreed with us.

I just happened to know where there was a very nice, always shedded, lightly used 3-horse with tack and dressing area that was just the ticket..... right where I lived.  My land lord and land lady graciously sold it to us and all was good. I felt this was God's way of using me, when I helped negotiate this step toward safe hauling.

Skip to last week. GD1 and GD2 took the rig and three horses to work at the Sale Barn in Brush CO, about 100 miles hence. When they left and headed home Friday, they encountered some patches of black ice. Still GD1, who is an experienced driver at age 18, was slowly making her way without difficulty when a car tried to pass them and lost control. They said the first they knew there was a problem was when the headlights pointed directly into the side of the cab.

Praise God, once more He laid His hand on GDs hands and feet and helped her avoid hitting the brakes and turnin her wheels the wrong way, thus once again avoiding rolling a rig. When all was over, the car was overturned and their rig was jack-knifed in the ditch but no one was hurt and only a few scratches on 2 of the 3 horses one of which was cut in the Labor Day mishap. You'd think she wouldn't want to get in another trailer but she still hops right in.

I haven't heard for sure but chances are both pickup and trailer are totaled and we're back to finding safe and affordable equipment for these cowgirls. 

I am slightly sick about loosing that nice trailer but so thankful they had it for I'm sure if they had been pulling a bumper hitch, things would have turned out a lot worse. Thank you, Lord for looking after them and for using me in that process. Continue to make use of what I can offer! And continue to bless and care for my beloved ones!  May the route you wish us to take be one we find and travel willingly, happily, purposefully! 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christian Sister

This recently came thru on an e-mail chain from a friend and it is so good, I couldn't believe I hadn't read it earlier. I suppose our use of it without permission is questionable but it is so wonderful, I hope Ms. Angelou is willing to share. It certainly covers my own meaning when I say I'm a Christian.
by Maya Angelou
'A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ
That a man should have to seek Him first to find her.'
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean livin''
I am whispering 'I was lost, now I'm found and forgiven.'
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong,
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain,
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I was just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow!
Pretty is as Pretty does..... But beautiful is just plain beautiful!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Report

Whew! Back at work! Lots to do but the normalcy of a daily routine is a tradeoff for missing the family!

The fullness of Thanksgiving included a wonderful meal (actually several) and having the family all together. 

One of the highlights of the week was having all my five grandkids together. Due to circumstances, GD1 drove 8 hours or so from college by herself but boy, it was good to see her. And luckily, she went back west Saturday ahead of the white-out that occurred on the high plains.

Saturday night my other four grandkids all rode in the lighted horse parade in Barnes KS. They were decked out with portable strings of lights (DD1 uses them for wedding and party decorations so had them on hand) and Santa hats. Actually, youngest GD (8) had a hat of pink that said Angel on the band; her mother said that might be a misnomer but I thought it fit.  Oldest GS (8) had an elf's hat. I thought their mounts were really classy and behaved quite well. Youngest GS (5) rode his 16+ hand horse so caught a lot of eyes. Littlest kid way up there. Middle GD (15) rode her aunt's good grey mare. She'd worked on her tail, braiding in a long tinsel tassel that was very pretty when it caught the light. Youngest GD rode the boys' paint horse so she had some flash too.  

Wish I had a photo to post but 1) I didn't have a camera and b) the light conditions did not favor photography. In fact they announced for people to not flash their cameras or honk their horns so as to not spook any animals but they did it anyway! I didn't see any spooky animals though. At least not where I was. It always amazes me how well the horses all handle it.

The Barnes horse parade is always the Saturday after Thanksgiving and has become a sort of tradition for the Kansas part of my family but this was the first time the Colorado section was here to take part. The kids loved it even thought the wind was cold and cutting. I was perfectly happy to wait in the car until the parade started. For a little town, its an event that has caught on and seems to be there to stay.

After the dust settled, I finally came home to sleep in my own bed after 12 days in other beds. 

My good friend and land lady had double knee replacement surgery yesterday. She is extremely active (has biked across Kansas and Nebraska, parts of Missouri and Iowa several times) and really needs those knees. God has granted her the courage to take this on, now I ask God to grant her strength to get through the healing!  Amen!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Things have been really up-in-the-air, what with being gone to convention last week, getting ready before that, now trying to clean up what we brought back. Convention with 5,000 journalism high school students and their teachers in St Louis went well. We drove and that went well as well. Had lunch at a neat place overlooking the Missouri River west of Columbia MO on the way down on Wednesday. Wow! Ambiance and food both were out of this world, at least for mid-day mid-week mid-West. Name of the place is Les Bourgeois - a winery and vineyard with the eating establishment called the Bistro. 

And then there is my personal life. I've not been in such turmoil for years and years and years. Can't go into it here but if anyone reads this and feels inclined, please pray for God to place His grace and guidance on me and my life right now. I know it is questioning God's divine plan to worry but right now it is a struggle not to. I'm trusting it will all work out (doesn't He always allow that?) but I'm really concerned about what I'm to do in the meantime and how I am to find and complete my part of it. While I believe in God's input, I don't believe we should just sit and wait in the meantime. 

My favorite story is of the man who refused to leave his home even though the water was rising. The police car came, the boat came, the helicoptor came and he always said no, God will take care of me. When he drowned and went to Heaven, he asked God, why didn't you take care of me? Why did you allow me to drown? God's answer? Well, I sent a police car. I sent a boat. I sent a helicopter. What more could I do?

Just hope I recognize the rescue when it comes by.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Political Record

Over my lifetime I have tended toward a record of voting for the loser ----- either my candidate loses the election.... or it turns out later they should have. 

I'm sure hoping that doesn't hold true this time. We really do need something good to happen in our government right now!

One thing that really really irks me is the electoral college system. I understand why it was necessary when our nation was young. Just imagine holding an election when it took weeks, maybe months to get information from one side of the nation to the other.

But I've never understood in this day and age when we can know who took a breath on the coast almost before he actually took it. And because of having all of the state's votes go to the winner in the state, there have been many many times my vote did not count. In historically Republican Kansas, considering the value of the Democratic candidate turns out to be a waste of time. A vote for them most likely will not make it past the state borders.

But I heard someone comment yesterday that if we changed to popular vote, we in the rural areas would never see a candidate campaign because they would spend all their time (and money) in the biggest urban centers. And I suppose the extension of that would be they would loose sight of the needs of the rural constituents, just from not being exposed to them. Or having to do lip service to them.

I found it ironic that Ranch Wife was lamenting that her Republican vote would not be counted in New Mexico if their state went Democratic (which it did). Meanwhile my Independent-turned-Democrat vote didn't get counted in Republican Kansas either.

I think in a perfect world both our votes would have been counted. But as we all know, life is not fair! 

I just hope that the results of those votes that did get counted turn out to help improve the situation! Isn't politics interesting! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Tribute to Lady

(I started this back in 2007 on the day we had to put Lady down but couldn't bring myself to finish it. Perhaps now I'm ready to finish and share it. We'll see!) 

Probably my favorite photo of Lady is this one of her standing at the fence. 

This picture is grand-daughter Annie turning the end pole on Lady probably 6-7 years ago?

Lady is pictured with grand-daughter Laramie Jo to the right. That one was probably taken about 2004 or 2005 I think!

I know it’s a bit odd, but I feel I should do this eulogy for a good friend of mine… a horse.

Her name was Lady…. which was a misnomer. She was a lot of things but not really a Lady. She wasn’t a sweetie, or a pet…none of the personality traits of a Lady. But she was special…. really, really special.

She was a pretty little mare. We called her buckskin but it wasn’t the mouse tan of many buckskins. She was gold… the color of a new coin. And in the spring when she shed-off, she had dapples that looked like coins had been sprinkled over her hide. Her mane and tail were black. Some white socks, some black. And a pretty blaze of white down a pretty dished face with dark points.

Many years ago (1972?) my husband went to the Benkleman horse sale with his drinking buddies in the midst of winter and brought her home. It was cold. The story was that they almost hit a train at Bird City coming home in the middle of the night in heavy fog, the driver and passengers well oiled, the horse in an open trailer.

They said she’d been brought down from Wyoming by a horse trader. She’d been clipped and/or blanketed because she was slick and shiny, too much so for that time of year. She came home without protection and developed a bad case of distemper next day. We put her in the old brooder house with an old blanket or quilt draped over her. My daughters can still remember the horrible gobs of snot coming from her nostrils. She pulled through, a testament to her toughness.

That was some 34 or 35 years ago, if I’m figuring right. No papers but she must have been a two-year-old, or possible three.

Today, at age 36+/-, she went home to God’s pastures.

How did she live so long? In recent years a lot of it had to do with tons of loving care given her by my son-in-law. Not love so much for the horse as for his wife and children who loved the horse. Lady was not much of a man’s horse. Any man who ever trimmed her hooves or even her bridle path had huge respect…. and a ton of special names for her. One that comes to mind was “Sow,” after she bit an experienced horseman’s thumb, never mind that she was twitched at the time. Others I won't mention; you all know what they probably were!

But let me get back to her special qualities. Let’s see. She was never known to buck or rear, although she wasn’t above showing teeth or hooves on occasion. She had some cow, was quick and agile. My daughters and granddaughters all learned to ride on Lady. My niece took her turn with her in the horse-less horse project. Both my grandsons rode her at least once. My oldest grand child Kaylee put the youngest, Coy, on her when we visited this August, turning him loose to ride the old mare alone. I’m not sure Coy was that impressed but it meant a lot to grandma and his mom.

Racing events were her bailiwick with pole bending her specialty. Not too many years back she took a grand daughter to top place at a county fair over some really fancy horses. For many years she would stand outside an arena with eyes closed, obviously napping, but once she was through the gate she was ready to rip.

Any horse person worth their salt would understand why we are all a little teary eyed over her passing. But to get the full picture, you need the rest of the story.

You see, Lady was, more than anything else, a survivor. Something to hang on to when the going got rough. You see, my husband was an alcoholic who ended up making both his own life and that of his family a real hell. When we struggled with him, Lady was there. The girls started to ride..... on Lady and another mare named Franny!

Then when my husband ended his life and put the girls and I into rebuilding our own, Lady was there. We moved to a different location in the same community, and Lady went with us. Other horses came and went, but Lady was the constant.

When the girls moved on to college and marriages, I moved 250 miles east to my old home territory and Lady went with me. She stayed at my Mom's place with free run of the pasture for a few years. I quite frankly thought she had retired forever at that time. Then when my oldest grand children started learning to ride, Lady went to Colorado to live with them. And I got to see her every time I visited. One by one she taught them all to stay balanced and hang on. She became the mount for grandson Brody when he visited his cousins. And for just one time, for Coy! 

Her duties didn't stop with grand children. Their Colorado ranch is home base for a Christian youth ministry based on horses and rodeo. http://www.livingspringsranch.org Lady became a mainstay for teaching kids to ride. I'd like to have a dollar for every child who ever sat her saddle.

The grand-daughters all moved on to bigger and faster horses. And they all tried to save the grandma-horse from abuse. Campers had to be told she was too old to ride everyday. But every one still loved her. Her legs stiffened but she survived. The final year her eyes went. Once the boss horse, she now struggled to stay out of the way of the rest of the herd! At the end, she only trusted one other horse to lead her through the gates and around the pastures. If they got separated she was frantic. In the end it became obvious that while she was surviving, it was with fear and misgivings.  As a senior citizen, I was once more learning from her example, accepting a painful but realistic message!

And so it is we came to the end of a long and meaningful life! One that stayed over 30 years to show us how to persevere and survive through just about anything! 

We will miss her! And none of us will ever forget her!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Horse Induced Scars All Over My Body

Well, maybe not ALL over my body! But I do carry two that I can think of.

The first I've carried for over 45 years! A friend had a horse but no place to keep it so I talked Dad into letting me keep it over the summer. I loved to ride and only had a small pony. Having daily use of a bigger horse was like heaven to me! 

He was a pretty fair little animal but a little green! I thought I could ride but in honesty, I was a little green, too! We were out riding in the fields one evening and had started toward home. But I decided to turn him around and lope in the opposite direction one more time! 

No, that wasn't his idea. As I leaned forward in the "go" position, he threw up his head in a "no way" action. His neck hit my mouth. Ouch! I had a prominent eye tooth (we didn't have money for such things as orphodontics) which basically impaled my upper lip, left side.  Showed it to a small town doctor (ex-missionary) who told me to put Bactine on it. That was my first experience with Bactine. It healed fine but to this day I have a slightly skewed lip line there. Gives my smile character!

The second scar was a mite scarier. When my girls were just getting into horses (ages 7 & 9 maybe) we had a young buckskin gelding we had raised from our all-time favorite mare, Lady! We called him Butterscotch! We'd had him green-broke by a trainer and had brought him home, but not kept up the riding on a regular basis. One day my husband insisted I should ride him out around the field with our daughters, they on their good old reliables, me on Butterscotch! I didn't want to do it because I didn't think the horse was ready for my level of riding skills. I think hubby was just trying to prove to me that I wasn't a horseman at all! Turned out hubby was right but it nearly cost me my life to prove it! Maybe that's what he had in mind all the time!

After having successfully made it around about 80 acres of stalks, we were nearing the yard, when Butterscotch decided to rear. Now, a buck I might have handled, but not a rear. At times like this I have this way of splitting into two beings - one that can see, analyze, reason and know just what should be done, and the other that pays absolutely no attention to the first, but just does what its natural reaction says to do. As the horse was rearing, my mind said I should let go, get thrown clear and be rid of this beast. The other part of me would not have any part of that but insisted on holding tight to the saddle horn, pulling leather as they say. Like my natural being liked the security of hanging onto something solid, never mind where it might take you!

As we were going over, I was pulling horn and saddle and horse that was attached, all 800 pounds or so, directly toward my body which was headed for terra firma, and I do mean firma.
I distinctly remember saying to myself, You dumb idiot! You're going to kill yourself by hanging on! But do you think I could let go? Not on your life.... or mine! 

I think if the horse had come directly onto my chest dead center (pun intended) I might not be writing this today. But I took the horn to one side on my right boob, then felt it slip into my armpit area. I wasn't knocked out though maybe a mite short of good air. Seems I got up in a fairly timely manner. You can bet I did not adhere to the code of the West. I did NOT get back on. Not did I ever get on that horse again. I think he went to the sale barn. If I remember right, he bucked off daughter #1 on a cool 4th of July! I remember he kicked me lightly on the thigh once when he was but a foal. Needless to say, he was not one of my favorites!

This actual train wreck did not really leave a scar so much as a fatty deposit on my upper right boob. Several years later a doctor decided to aspirate it, then do a little outpatient surgery and remove the fatty tissue part. Left a scar at that time! I forget about it until I go for a mammogram when they always ask about it and I say, oh that! That's where a horse fell on me! Sounds adventursome! But it was just plain stupid!

Yes, I love those horses but they are bigger than we are! 

Friday, October 17, 2008

JR and the Grain Bucket

Ever notice how when certain groups gather they share stories around common themes? Women in general will get together and trade stories about the birthing of their children.

Country women will do that, too. But they also like to trade stories about their country experiences..... with animals, ..... machinery, ....... storms, ..... and combinations there-of.

Ranch Wife's recent story about saddling a horse reminded me of my many horse-induced scars..... some visible, some only left in my vivid memory!

One invisible one (at least I hope its invisible) occurred when I covered for daughter #2 at feeding time one evening. At that time, she had the sweetest, most easy-going horse she probably ever owned..... JR.  Of blue blood ancestry (grandson of the great Secretariat), JR was supposed to become a fast prize-winning barrel horse.  Not! He inherited his grand-sire's beautiful red color but not his speed. From somewhere he also picked up a big white spot on his belly, making him a registered Paint. But as I said, his best quality was his lovable disposition. Never ever offered any bad habits, ever!

Daughter's other horse at that time was her mare, Cindy, also pretty easy to get along with. The two horses were usually kept in separate runs but for some reason, Cindy was in the pen with JR that day. No problems there. They got along great!

So I go to feed. Its mid-winter, fairly dark of evening. The pen has a small barn where-in is the feed bunk, JR's normal dinner table. Of course there's no light inside the barn but I figure there's enough to find the bunk, dump in part of the grain, then head outside to find Cindy's tub on the ground. 

So I enter the stall, bucket in hand. JR hears the bucket, comes to supper and starts eating as soon as the grain hits the wood. Cindy, being the well-mannered (and smart) lady she is, waits outside the door some 12-15 feet away. I turn to move around JR to the door when there is a sudden burst of fire (well, it felt like fire!) on my hind side. My instant thought is that I've backed into a protruding nail in the dark. This thought is followed with logic. No, that could not be since I'm moving away from anything with that part of my body, not backing into anything. I was moving forward and this pain was most definitely on my back side. On my Burcham butt, to be precise! (We in this family tend to have inherited a well padded portion from those particular ancestors!)

It takes a few moments for me to realize JR is shuffling about, tossing his head, staking his claim on his grain lest Cindy try to come steal it. Later inspections under lamp light confirm that this dear sweet horse has indeed planted his chompers not on Cindy, but on yours truly! On my butt no less!

Sweet Cindy did finally get her share that night but if I could have, I would have taken JR's back. No, maybe I'd best not try that! I've always wondered if JR even realized what he'd bitten into.

After nearly 20 years, I don't think there's a scar but I haven't really looked lately!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

God Bless the Western

Good brother mine sent me a link ref this morning that provided a nice trip to the past. I don't know how to establish a link here, but this is the address:

Oh, my, how I miss those folks! All of them! I look at them today and realize the plots were a bit skewed, violent, cheesy and un-real. But they kept me entertained. I'd sure put them up against the urban based stuff we see so much of today.  And all those horses! Wow!

But that's just my opinion! 

Hope yo enjoy as well! 

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dog-Gone Great Music Shows

My life has been a whirlwind recently!  Almost a blur! Fortunately, I did get to recharge Sunday afternoon and evening or I'd most likely be passing out on the job! So far.. not!

It stated with a bluegrass concert Thursday night - Cherryholmes! A family group - parents and 4 kids. I hadn't heard of them but when the university puts a bluegrass group on their concert series, I figure they may be worth having a look! Well, they were! Fantastic! Mom is so-o-o-o-o talented! And energetic! Beautiful voice! Great looker and her with four kids! Dan is a character! Two daughters and two sons. All musically talented. Ages 15-25 I think. And only have been playing instruments for 9 years. Makes me ashamed of myself for not doing more with what little talent I have. 

Friday, sister and I headed for Wichita and Michael BublĂ© concert. Oh my, oh my! He is great! Wonderful singer! Fantastic big band! And great entertainment! Really knows how to play to an audience! 

We stayed at my niece's ranch. I've decided to call it the Box 4 Zs. Maybe it should be JT Box 4 Zs. Zues, Zeta, Zeb and Zena. Those are the four dogs. They have a lovely place in the country. One of those best of two world's kinds of places - not town but not a full farm either. Anyway, they are a lovely set of canines..... beautiful and full of life! And mom and dad aren't bad either!

One of my responsiblities for the week-end was to dog-sit for Bow. I live in an apartment that is part of Bow's house. Anyway, everyone - me, the folks upstairs, everyone - left Friday morning, leaving Bow in charge. Bow is an outdoors dog, king of the farmstead, and quite capable of tending things in our absence. But I knew he was going to be both lonely and a little hungry when I got home Saturday night. So when I arrived, I stepped out of the car and opened my arms to welcome his expected show of affection. Picture Bo Derek and Dudley Moore running toward each other across the beach - that was Bow and me. Well, he was running, I was stepping forward with my hand extended. That's as close as I got to the image I'm trying to portray.  My intention was to offer a reassuring pat, but Bow was into more personal responses. Now, you have to realize that Bow is not a small dog. He is more like a small horse. He lovingly, with a heart full of joy and mirth, grabbed the extended hand in his open mouth, slobbered the kiss of affection there and moved on to dance around the object of his affection.... me. One little problem! His upper canine - dagger that it is - touched the top of my hand in a love pat that was more than just a little tap. Ouch! I now sport a band-aid to contain the wound until it heals. You know, love can be like that...... painful, and leaving a wound! Like, he meant well..........  And I love him......  We just both need a little more time in education or therapy, I'm not sure which!

Anyway, it was an extended week-end full of great music, beautiful dogs and some neat football games on the tube. Oh, and Braum's ice cream! What more could a person ask!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bucket List, you say?

So bj has crossed one off his list with the use of "astute." I thought I'd look it up just to be sure it was a good thing. Shows shrewdness (does that make me a shrew?) and perspicacity. Now, that's a new one - perspicacity. Perceptive, keen vision. Wow! Like that one!

Speaking of bucket lists! If you haven't seen the movie, get it and do a viewing. Very thought provoking. Humor, yes, as one would expect with Nicholson, but also touching. I saw it in a theater and was not prepared with a hankie. But its a good hankie film.

So I think I should pay more attention to a bucket list. I tend to just get through the day or week or whatever. Take whatever happens. And there's nothing wrong with that. Some very interesting things just happen.

But I really should put a little thought into what might be good on a bucket list. Places I'd like to visit mostly.  But should also include things I'd like to do. Like sing more. And get back to quilting.

I've been reaching for a few bucket list items this fall. Bought some concert tickets, in pairs. It's no fun going alone. So far, I've heard Garrison Keillor and went to a production of Sweeney Todd. Loved Sweeney. Thought it might be gruesome (was once in an amateur production so knew what to expect) but they really handled it all quite well.  Fascinating theatrics! 

Tonight it's blue grass music, a favorite of mine. And tomorrow night my sister and I are going to a concert by Michael Bublé. And I'd never even thought to put him on my bucket list. Heck, I don't even have time to MAKE a bucket list!

See you at the theatre!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Guidelines for Getting Thru Presidential Elections

Just one month to go! Can we get there and still love one another? Can we get through it and still love ourselves?

I've been contemplating some premises and guidelines:

1. When receiving e-mail and snail-mail pieces, remember you will be offended by the ones that disagree with you....... and lo-o-o-ove the ones who get it right.... as you see it! 

2. Try not to consider the candidates statements of faith or demonstrations of patriotism. Some mighty despicable characters in history have professed to be this religion or that. And anyone with one arm can wave a flag! Only God really knows what is in their hearts!

3. Consider the candidates' promises with a grain of salt! No one at Point A knows what's going to work when he gets to point B. And if he or she is that sure, they may miss out on making a change that will make a real difference.

4. Don't look at the pictures; they may lie! Haircuts, fashion selections and natural beauty do not necessarily a smart mind make! 

5. Try to listen to words said for content.... though it be hard! 

6. Look for the good in every candidate! If your choice loses, you will be stuck with this one so it might be nice to have something to look forward to.

7. Try to analyze past record in context, not in the words of the opposing side only! Remember that things are seldom the way they appear!

8. Note: Balancing all the issues will probably mean not getting what you want on each and every one. But making a one-issue decision can be dangerous.

9. When hearing the stories of having survived tragic events, consider how that prepared the person to make decisions in office. That's the real question here. Perhaps the only real tragedy for a candidate is not having any tragic history to pull from!

10. Strive to be God-like.... practice unconditional love.... regardless of the other's person's choices. 

See anything here you can use? Probably not. Oh, well! We can have a get together after the election and celebrate..... or not!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Modesty in the country

Today Pioneer Woman wrote about getting caught by a cattle truck with nothing on by a curtain toga and sandals while photographing a particularly beautiful sunrise from the pond dock. Seems she noticed the moment between pjs and the day's clothes and grabbed the closest thing available, a curtain in the laundry room. I'm sure she was quite decent, and probably even stunningly gorgeous, but she apparently felt a bit "got." 

Reminds me of the time I got caught shaking the dust out of my bra. Hubby and I were working summer fallow in a field near a pasture road that went no-where except to pastures and was consequently rarely used. I had finished my terrace and was waiting for hubby to finish his before we moved to another field.

As a way to pass the time, and yes, I'll admit it, to entertain hubby, I decided to shake the dust out of my bra.  After all, there was no-one else around, right?

Wrong! Who should pass down the road, coming over the top of the hill behind me so I no idea he was even there until too late, but a local rancher. I don't know if he got an eye full or not but my husband about fell off his tractor laughing. I was oblivious of what was going on until later so I didn't even know to be embarrassed at the time. Of course when I found out, I was mortified!

Who says country living is quiet and uneventful!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Busy, busy

Whew! My life lately is so busy, I hardly have time to consider blogging. So here I am, over my lunch hour, or part of it. 
My week-end included a football game (very warm), the Keats Fall Festival (also very warm), church  and doing a huge laundry. But perhaps the most exciting part of the week-end (sorry, Wildcats!) was having a snake in my kitchen Friday evening.
Having smelled something burning, I was headed to the stairs to see if there was a problem or was it simply, as it turned out, my landlady or landlord having a bit of cooking overage! Oops! What should I spy but there making his way from under the door to my pantry cupboard was a nice friendly little snake. Shades of denial, then floods of goosebumps!
I immediately stepped to my phone and called Joyce upstairs who promised to be right down. She knows how unreasonably freaked out I get at snakes. Hey, I know how unreasonably freaked out I get, but can't help myself. My mind knows its unreasonable but my body doesn't listen to my mind.
So here comes Joyce carrying a clear glass serving dish and a cute calendar with pastel flowers on it. I'm thinking - what the heck! This isn't a ladies luncheon here. But her choices proved wise a little later, well, except for maybe the pastel flower part. I think that was a coincidence.
Meanwhile, cute little snake has gone behind the cupboard. Joyce says - how big is he? Well, he looked to be as big around as your finger and about 2 feet long. Or at least he was that big in my imagination. (Turned out, he was more like a pencil and maybe 14-18 inches.)
Now behind this cupboard is where I tuck my grocery bags, something I don't think I'll be doing from now on. We preceded to clean them out, one by one, top to bottom.
Joyce pulled out a paper bag at the bottom and what should drop out of the fold of the bag but Mr. Snake. After we jumped and shrieked appropriately, Joyce took her clear glass bowl and maneuvered it over top of Mr. Snake. (I meanwhile am standing by with my tongs. Salad tongs. If I'd been at my sister's house, we would of had fireplace tongs, her weapon of choice.)
Joyce takes her calendar with pastel flowers and slides it carefully under Mr. Snake, picks it up oh-so-carefully and takes him outside. The logic of using a clear glass bowl became obvious when it became possible to see just where Mr. Snake is and what he is doing. I must find a good clear glass bowl and keep it handy from now one. Right next to my salad tongs.
All in all, it wasn't too bad an experience. I haven't experienced any unreasonable chills just walking around the apartment as a result. The last time I experienced extracting a reptile from my abode, I had chills for months. I must be getting better. 
I'll have to share more snake stories sometime. Its the closest I get to Stephen King episodes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Trial and error?

So this is what it's like to have a blog!  I can see this could end up becoming my life! Oh, oh! What have I gotten myself into?