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November 21, 2005, 4:43 pmThank You All
Just wanted to thank y'all for the input and responses to my blogs here.
This was my first "Blogging" experience, horning in on your Lottery doings, and there are some interesting people here, for sure!
Now that I have my feet wet, it's time to move on and find a site to call my own.
Once again, thanks.
November 18, 2005, 12:59 pmLean on me
My boys, their families and I all live on the same ranch. When one isn't able to pick up the slack, there's always another who can.
Lately, it's been me who's on the "helping" end of things.
One boy raises fine horses, beautiful creatures that cost and arm and a leg to maintain --- but there's an old saying "It doesn't cost any more to feed a $10,000 horse than it does to feed a $1,000 one". He's been courting a little gal who lives about 700 miles away, taking "extended trips" and leaving Mama to take care of the horses and his dogs. I've only had one emergency, when the well driller left the gates open and the horses escaped onto the wash and the cattle got in and ate the horse feed. I can wrangle and herd, though, ... it's not rocket science, so things could have been worse.
The other boy is recently married, and his pretty little wife normally cares for the dogie calf, his horses and dogs as well as all of the cattle because this boy works out of town. But she needs to spend plenty of time with her new hubby. Mama to the rescue.
It kind of ties you down.
The dogie calf has to be bottle fed before I get ready for work, because she'll slobber all over that fancy dress if I let her. This calls for me feeding her in my bathrobe and boots -- hoping at 6 a.m. that the meter reader or someone else doesn't show up. Then the evening calls for not only the calf, but the horses which have to be separated because the thorobred has to have plenty of extra sweet feed to keep her through the winter. The other two horses are good old cow ponies, and are what we call "easy keepers", all they need is a little hay and a taste of oats. The cattle are all coming into the headquarters to get water now, so the water trough has to be filled morning and night, and the cattle need a little extra feed during the winter, too.
Last night, I drove the little toy pickup (Ford Ranger) up to feed, and got the wheels in a crimp when I backed up to let the cattle into the corral. Consequently, the key wouldn't turn in the ignition and it was headed up hill so I couldn't push it to turn the wheel. I had to call for help. Sometimes these cell phones come in handy.
Sometimes, I have lunch with friends who think they are really accomplishing something when they paint a room or clean a closet. That's when I realize how much I have going on. I can paint a room in two hours with one hand tied behind my back and then go out and haul feed, break ice on the water tanks and still have company for dinner. I don't tell them about it, though, sometimes it feels nice just to be "one of the girls".
November 17, 2005, 5:46 pmBad Ju Ju
My boy was down on the wash the other day, pushing cattle from one pasture to another, when he came across a human skull that had washed up during the recent rains.
There were some other things too .... medicine bag, pottery shards. All were older that dirt, the skull was red as the clay it was washed up from, no bullet holes, a natural death for all he knew.
At one time, the Anasazi lived along this wash. Petroglyphs are drawn high on the canyon walls and are often smoke stained from ancient cooking fires below. Later, the Navajo would travel through. We have a time keeping people from coming out to dig for artifacts. Seems lots of people nowadays have what they like to call a "private museum" and they're all looking for places to loot.
My boy's response to finding this skull was to rebury it along with the medicine bag and pottery shards. We'll keep it "low profile", no talk around town. Let this old fellow rest in peace.
As they'd say in Lousiana, "keep away the bad juju".
November 17, 2005, 12:49 pmWolves in Arizona
Not far from here, the U.S.Government, in their infinite wisdom, has unleased several packs of Mexican Grey Wolves. These wolves are preying on the rancher's cattle, stalking their children, taking pets for snacks and are on the verge of destroying the local economy. "How romantic", the city slickers cheer "We have wolves in the wild again".
Whether or not a person in sympathetic to cattle and sheep ranching in the American West, there is an element of compassion that may come into play. Wolves, not unlike coyotes, are extreme opportunists. They will eagerly devour a calf , lamb, or elk as it's being born and the mother is helpless. Even when a wolf isn't hungry, it will run a cow or sheep to death. Wolves have been photographed stalking human children and adults. They regularly prey on the cats and dogs of ranchers and kill the pets of campers and hikers.
In the wolve's defense, they are, after all, wolves. Their nature is to kill. They are unleased on a public that neither appreciates nor wants them, and there's the "shoot, shovel and shut-up" element at play. They don't stand a chance of living the life they were intended for.
Some ranches have been put out of business in the areas of wolf releases. It hasn't been unusal for a rancher to lose 50% or more of his calf crop to a wolf pack, and the Government requires three "documented" kills before they will relocate or destroy a wolf due to livestock predation.
My great-grandparents were among those who rid this country of wolves, much the same as anyone now would get rid of rats, mice, killer dogs. My Grandmother was trapped in a sod house, with wolves circling the place, when she was a child. To pioneer families and ranchers, wolves are not "romantic".
November 16, 2005, 12:48 pmMaybe you'll listen to your Mama NOW
Rip Snorter's lightning blog is so cool, that I had to add one of my own.
I hae a little cowgirl friend, who is a wild woman, herself. She never would listen to her Mama and did exactly as she damned well pleased all of her life. We'll call her Sally.
Her Mama died shortly before this incident happened.
Sally was messing in muddy waters, dating a cowboy who was married. (Her Mama would have had a conniption fit!)
She and this boyfriend packed up a picnic lunch, saddled their horses, took off for the back and beyond for a little tete a tete.
They tied their horses to a barbed wire fence and set out the picnic preparations when it began to thunder and lightning along with a light rain.
We all love a good rain in this arid part of the world, it just seemed to make the picnic more romantaic and perfect.
After a few minutes, lightning hit the barbed wire fence and raced down it until it hit one of the horses, the shod hooves creating a "ground", and killed the horse.
Sally and her married "beau" had to ride double all the way back to her Dad's place, where she saw Dad standing on the front porch. Dad wasn't too pleased with this little arrangement Sally had cooked up, and knew all about the married boyfriend.
After Sally told her Dad what had happened, he said "Well, you wouldn't listen to your Mother when she was alive, maybe you'll listen to her NOW!"
That was the end of the boyfriend.
November 15, 2005, 6:06 pmI just fell off the turnip truck and landed in a wedding cake
Earlier this year, I agreed to host my youngest son's wedding at my house. I thought it would be a simple affair, maybe 100 people, lots of fun. My own imperfect knots have been tied in Las Vegas, which I thought was a dandy idea, but they woludn't go for it.
Little did I know what I was in for.
The preparations began 6 months ahead of time. The guest list. It seemed that every cowboy and outfitter from Nogales to Cheyenne was included, plus all of the future wife's kinfolk and friends, a couple of my ex-husbands and all the in-laws and out-laws from both families.
The invitations had to be special made. Cowboy theme, custom artwork. Can you say "vellum"? That sweet little girl and I worked for weeks on them -- they were doozy's, I must admit.
As the big day approached, I had to arrange for food. Tamales, chili beans, steak, veggie tamales for the odd-balls (I told them that all our cows were vegetarian, but it didn't make a difference), salads, wedding cake, beer, beer, beer, champagne, snacks. I finally found an old cowboy camp cook to take care of the whole meal thing, it turned out great!
The wedding dress -- only Double D Ranchwear crochet would do, thank you very much. Of course these fashions cost an arm and a leg, but you're only supposed to go around once, so what the heck.
The dance was to be held in the barn. Thousands of electric christmas tree lights were hung, tulle at the doorway, so "Santa Fe", you know. That old barn had never had it so good. The barn cats hung out in the tack room and din't show their faces for a week.
Meanwhile, the company began to trickle in. Cowboy teepes dotted the horse pasture, a shooting range was set up, it was turning into a regular rendevouz.
The bride's family, more refined, took up half the motel space in town.
On the morning of the wedding, the bride and her womenfolk took over my master bedroom and giggles erupted through out the day. One head or another would peek out of the door, asking "Do you have any more hair spray?" or "Where's the ironing board?"
The groom and his buddies were all out at the shooting range, or drinking beer. It crossed my mind that the groom might not be in the best shape for the wedding.
Finally, the event. Outside, under the big spreading locust tree, they said their vows. She was beautiful, he was sober, and tears were shed all around by the females of the families.
Dinner and dancing went on until 3:00 a.m, with little breaks for cowboys to show off their story telling or poetry reciting skills. Little kids teased the dogs and each other until they got tired enough to fall asleep. The bride and groom where "shivareed" with banging pots and pans until daylight.
The old ways die hard around here --- what a day -- it was worth it, after all.
And, I always did want a daughter.
November 15, 2005, 11:38 amFall Like A Lady
A few months ago, I got up in the middle of the night, tripped over my dog, went sprawling onto the saltillo tile floor -- broke my arm -- and ended up wearing one of those restraining casts for 2 months, writing with my left hand, feeling sorry for myself.
I had written this poem for some classes I was taking months before I fell-- it was prophetic -- I should have taken my own advice:
Fall Like A Lady
Falling is caused when you're tripped
Beginning to fall is called slipped
If you're going to fall
Curl into a ball
Or gracefully glide to a sit.
November 14, 2005, 12:52 pmCome on down and talk to me
Wait until you're right in the middle of a project, and someone will want to visit.
There's this old building on Maqin Street that I own, and on Saturday, I had some exterior painting to do. Scaffolding had to be set up, ropes tied to buckets of paint and supplies so I could hoist them up, and then up the scaffolding I went with the ropes-- 20 feet -- to the storefront of upper windows which needed to be re-glazed, primed, and painted. After the paint and supplies were hoisted up, I thought I was set.
I was in the middle of scraping old paint when I heard "Hey, what you doin?" I turned and looked down to see an old Navajo friend standing on the sidewalk below me. Most Navajos love to talk, so the timing wasn't the greatest. Today, he had a rug that he wanted to pawn. I scrambled down the scaffolding, which wasn't the most graceful sight, we did the pawn thing, and I stashed the rug into my toolbox until I could get to the office and put it in the safe.
Back on top, I finished scraping and sanding the section I was working on, opened the can of primer -- -- and just got to the middle of that section, when I heard "Wow, I'd get dizzy if I was up that high". "I was born dizzy", I replied, hoping whoever it was would just keep on going. No luck. It was the insurance adjuster, wanting to talk about a client's house that had burst pipes and damaged flooring. He had made an appointment with me for today (Monday), but this was just the perfect opportunity...... for him. I covered the primer, wrapped the paint brush in a plastic bag and climbed down once again.
That over with, I really threw myself into the project. Working too fast, trying to make up for lost time, I was careless with the trim brush and realized I was going to have to go back over the windows with a razor blade to get rid of the paint I'd slopped around. Never mind that, I was on a roll. I threw the primer brush into a can of water and was just getting ready to go back to the beginning with the first coat of paint, when a squeaky little voice yelled "Yoohoo, Yoohoo" . I was my dear friend, the little old artist lady, and she was wanting to give me painting advice. "You've got paint on the glass, dear", she said "You should take your time and be more careful". I noticed a small crowd beginning to form below me. Patrons had spilled out of the coffee shop down the street and were standing around my friend as they waved their arms and hollered advice up at me. Some were intrigued with the black plastic bag I had on over my clothes, and offered their opinions. "Oh, My God!! There's the reporter for the local newspaper. And he has his camera"!
To make a long story short, there will be a picture in the next newspaper. It will be of me making a public spectacle of myself, wearing a black plastic bag and with paint in my hair.
And to think, Friday night I was lookin' GOOD. Where was the reporter then?
I may just hire the rest of the job done.
November 11, 2005, 6:57 pmHonky Tonkin'
The lemon Caddy's sold - cash on the barrelhead, and I'm in a honky tonkin' mood!
This calls for a flirty new dress, fishnet stockings and red 3" heels to kick off when the dancin' gets good.
There's a good old boy who'll be knockin' on the door to take me out for mexican food -- got to get that "green chili fix" for serious fun, you know! Then to the local watering hole. Watch out, -- I'm on a roll!!!
Hope y'all have a great weekend.
November 11, 2005, 12:13 pmCadillac Cowgirl
I've got two Caddys -- an old '91. The other a 2004.
The old one is dear to my heart. When I was without a pickup, I've loaded cattle feed in the trunk and braved the snow-packed pastures to feed the hungry herd. Taken injured dogs to the vet on the leather-covered seats, pulled a trailer full of calves to the sale barn, then cleaned her up and squired the clients around with no one the wiser. She's tough and beautiful. What a comination!
The 2004 is a wus. Will run only on the most expensive premium gasoline. Temperamental to the point of being silly, she must be housed in the garage in order to start on cold days. Ongoing problems with the computer system. She's a car that should never be taken off the pavement......I feel ripped. She's now sitting in the driveway of the office with a "For Sale" sign in the window, and she's so pretty that I'm sure she can sell herself within a few days.
These two cars remind me of women. There are those of us who think we can do anything and those who are "high maintenance".
I have woman friends who think I'm on the wrong track by tackling jobs such as plumbing or working cattle. Some men are intimidated, some fascinated.
These same woman friends prefer to be "helpless females", although they could do anything they put their minds to, if they tried. They wouldn't mow the lawn if their lives depended upon it, and a stopped-up drain puts them innto a tizzy. Some men are fascinated, some incredulous.
It takes all kinds.
The funny thing is, when smart women are polished up and "puttin' on the dog", you can't tell one of these kinds of female from another.
November 10, 2005, 4:29 pmLiar, liar, pants on fire
Today, I've been showing commercial property. Interesting. The customers are from California, looking for a spot to open a Harley shop. It has to be on Rt 66, and close to the interstate. They're "suits", indistinguishable from each other and their ilk.
The first question they ask me is "You're not from here, are you"? This is because I'm a "suit", myself, today. Dressed to impress. Power Broker. The appearance of money and success. They can't imagine I'm a "local", because they've lumped us all together as "hicks".
I've spent 5 hours with these guys, looking at this property, that property, weighing the pro's and con's. Lunch, viability discussions, and finally down to the crunch.
They want financing. Can put up their California property as collateral. Cool!
I take down the essentials and call my Mortgage Broker while the "suits"have gone out to their car to get a check for earnest money.
They ome back in. They've misplaced the company credit card, can I loan them $100 to run down to the gas station? Baaaaaaaad vibes!
The phone rings and the Mortgage Broker tells me "These people couldn't finance a used car. They're in foreclosure on the California property. Bankruptcy looms just 6 months ago".
"Sorry", I tell the "suits", "I don't have $100 cash on me. Oh, and I have an appointment scheduled. I've got to go. Give me a call if you get your financing in place."
November 9, 2005, 5:53 pmNew dresses and old jewels
Winter being upon us, it's time to get with the program and go shopping for new dresses --- warm ones!
This is where eBay comes in. Years ago, I found that the more expensive the dress, the smaller the size. A JC Penney size 10 is a Betsey Johnson size 6. EBay to the rescue with their runway closeouts and discontinued fashions.
Ah, it's a woman's dream --- you can shop 'til you drop without leaving the house. Choose from thousands of styles and save big bucks. This year, I an get by with two or three things, because .........
This year, it's all in the accessories. Necklaces in twos or threes, humungous rings, bling, bling bling..
Lucky for me, my Grandma never threw anything away.
I've got her Mama's golden shoe buckles from the 20's ...... glass beads from the 40's ..... old, old turquoise and petrified wood Navajo jewelry ...... pearls and rhinestones from the 50's.
The same old jewelry that I played "dress up" with as a child is now causing comment in all the right circles. Shoe buckles turned brooch, glass beads by the handsful, pearls with gold chains. Turquoise necklaces and brooches with the "little black dress".
"Where on earth did you get that??" the women ask. "Oh, it's just something I threw together,", I answer casually, (we women being creatures who don't give up our secrets easily).
But I imagine my Guardian Angel Grandma knows, and she's enjoying it all as much as I am.
November 8, 2005, 1:24 pmI feel a sin coming on
Us girls all know this feeling -- whether or not we succumb is another matter.
I Feel A Sin Coming On
Uh Oh, there's a sure 'nough heartbreak
Flaunting cowboy custom like a charm
Tipping his hat in invitation
As I haplessly glance toward him.
Fight it! Who needs the bother
I tweak hair around my face
Like a blinder to my wayfaring eyes.
My pulse pounds to the jingle of his spurs.
Stay cool! He's walking toward me
With that gait of coyote grace
I feign disinterest as my talisman,
Twitchy in my armor of Wranglers and boots.
Uh Oh! The padlock's not clasped yet
On my strongbox of emotion
As he bends like tall grass toward me,
And holds out his hand in a plea.
Too late! He sees fascination
These eyes! They're my undoing!
Sensation buzzes like a powerline,
As I take his arm and rise to greet him.
I feel a sin coming on.
November 8, 2005, 11:24 amLet's all be "Honest" (you go first)
Rip Snorter, as he has a way of doing, will creep up on you with humor so subtle that it may take a little time to "get it". God, I hate when that happens! Makes me feel "slow".
I refer to my last blog, the internet romance thing, and his advice to my girlfriend that she just ask her internet beau's to "be honest".
Which brings me to the "profiles" posted on internet dating.
If a woman is 57, some will post a picture of herself at 40. "My God, she looks good for 57", you might think.
She might also lie about her age, and then if you get srious and meet her family, she has kids that are 8 years younger than she is.
A man might represent himself as being financially successful, when he's actually on SSI.
A man might say he's 6' tall (but that's only when he has 5" his elevator shoes on)
I'll bet you could come up with hundreds of these examples.
There's a legend here in Arizona, of this infamous lover boy who married 23 women. Sometimes he was married to 5 or 6 at a time. Bilked them all for everything they had, too. Oh, what a charmer!!
The internet dating scene would be a good place to start for this type of guy. And I'll bet if some lonely woman asked him to be "honest", he could lead them right down the garden path.
November 7, 2005, 1:24 pmInternet Romance
So I decided it would be lots of fun to join the internet dating scene. put a little "mystery" into the mix .... small towns being such as they are. A girlfriend had done this, but she ended up with a bridge playing antique buff who I thought was a little over the top as some "sensitive new age guy", but then she may have lowered her standards.
I signed up for something called e-harmony.
They had this questionaire to decide if I was touchy-feely, intelligent, funny, sour, judgemental, etc.
Okay, so here I am in the "internet dating scene", only I don't put my picture out there because it's embarrasing ----- what if somebody I know sees it ------ "My God, she must be DESPERATE!", I imagine they'll say.
I'm going about it half way, I know.
Okay, so here come the "matches".
Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief.
Golfer, bowler, preacher, thief.
"Wait, wait", I tell e-harmony. "I'm not going to move to the city, I don't play golf, ditto bowling. Just come up with a good old country boy, one that can read and write would be nice. No religious fanatics, thanks just the same."
Here come more of the same. Generic.
Meanwhile, I'm having a good old time, always meeting people, or seeing old friends at the livestock sale, the real estate office, even the local coffee hang-out.
My girlfriend, on the other hand is doing her best to learn bridge. Pretending to enjoy those antiques that she never gave a darn about before. Making every effort for this "love of her life" (that's the e-harmony catch phrase, by the way).
I continuie to shuffle through the deck of "prospects", boring, boring, too religious, boring, not simpatico, boring, boring, too young, boring and on and on and on.
After a month, e-harmony and I part ways. I don't fit the mold. Neither do they. I don't need 'em, thanks very much.
After a couple of months, my girlfriend is back at it again. The "love of her life" wasn't.
Doesn't it sort of remind you of "mail order brides"?