Friday, August 31, 2007

Orange Crush

Last week this little kitty was found laying by the side of a street, almost lifeless. Animal Control brought her in. She had been hit by a car, the trauma had created a large hernia, allowing abdominal contents to slip where they didn't belong, between her skin layer and ribs. The plan was to allow her a few days to stabilize before attempting surgery. By Tuesday, her condition had deteriorated as more intestinal loops, and portions of liver and kidney slipped further out of the abdomen, were entrapped and were being squished. So it was surgery Tuesday or probable death. It was my surgery day, oh hurray..... This kitty was tiny, the incision was long, the hernia was deep and out of sight, with very little opposing tissue to repair it. I wish now that I had pictures of her tiny little body open to the world, her intestines all in a neat little pile outside the gaping hole in her 'tummy', while I struggled to repair her injuries.
She has been recovering well, improving each day; we finally stopped calling her 'the orange kitty' and gave her a name today. The unanimous favorite is 'Orange Crush'. (My suggestion of 'Road Kill', wasn't even in the running!)

So... here is 'Orange Crush' tonight, relaxing in my recliner, surveying the new surroundings. She is very sweet and friendly. We have been pampering her for the past 3 days at the hospital. I will be seeing her for the last time tomorrow, soooo I brought her home with me just for tonight. Gets her out of the cage for a while and gives me some warm cozy kitty cuddle time.

She was not so willing to show her naked tummy and incision. It is healing quite well and I am thrilled with her progress! Please forgive me for patting my own back, but I am just tickled she's even alive, and I really like this little 'Crush' a lot!

'Orange Crush' has been a delightful house guest. She is very generous with her hugs and purrs. She'll soon go back to Animal Control and they will make sure that she is adopted by someone perfect for her.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

Hot, sultry August days, cranky clients, grumpy dogs; I am glad to be working in air conditioning all day.

Someone forwarded me an e-mail claiming that Mars would be as large as the full moon on Monday night. I got up at 1:30 a.m. just to disprove that silly claim. Of course Mars wasn't huge, even difficult to see, due to the brilliance of the full moon. The bonus = I was awake to watch the total eclipse of the moon . Anyone else see it? Very cool stuff.

I sure enjoy the comments made to my blog. I try to reply but for some reason my blog does not accept my own comments. Thanks to you all for reading and for the remarks. I will keep trying to figure out how to answer.

I sure enjoy my digital camera. Sometimes I just experiment. The following photos are for fun. They are all nature shots. I've always enjoyed games, no one here will play Scrabble with me so here's a new game, no rules, just identify the pictures.

Picture #1

Picture # 2 (sorry)

Picture #3

Page #4

Picture #5

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Wilderness camping..... #1. How to sleep comfortably in the back country.
After playing outside in the mountains all day, I love to snuggle down in my 'bedroll', listen to the wind in the pines, fall asleep watching the stars, and not worry about getting cold or feeling the stray stones and pine cones dig into my back on the ground beneath me.
At one time I thought a 'bedroll' was just a cowboy term for a rolled up sleeping bag tied onto a horse, behind the saddle. I was wrong, a sleeping bag is NOT a bedroll. But wait! Don't throw away those sleeping bags, they are an important ingredient in building your own warm comfy bedroll.
To begin, you will need one large canvas mantee, a foam pad (or two), a sleeping bag, and a pillow. The cowboy is optional, I prefer one.

To build your bedroll; start with your large rectangular mantee spread out on the ground. Next center your foam pads. I prefer and use 2 of the waffled foams for single beds. On top of these place your zipped sleeping bag and your favorite pillow.
Pull the bottom of the mantee up and over the sleeping bed ensemble. There should be a few feet of extra mantee above the head. Next, the sides of the mantee are folded over and meet in the center of the sleeping bag, use the little hooks to secure all in place. Smooth and straighten the extra canvas above the bag, this extra bit is used to tent over your head if the weather warrants extra protection from wind, freezing temps, snow, rain. (Won't be much protection against bears.)

Start at the bottom and roll your roll. Tight and compact. Brush off that dirt.

Looking good!

Rolled tight and strapped. Ready for the next luxury night in the woods.

Attaching your bedroll securely to your pack mule is another lesson, for another time.

Happy trails!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Loon Lake

Saturday was a busy work day for me. We had plans to head up the mountains to one of my favorite places, Loon Lake, for a day of fly fishing on Sunday. After supper Sauturday, Jerry suggested heading for Loon Lake right then and spending the night. Sounded good to me! We packed my truck with food and drink, our fishing gear, bedrolls, and we were off.
In the dark, aided by an almost full moon, we found a narrow dirt road and a nice flat place to settle down for the night in our bedrolls. Up early in the morning for a tail-gate breakfast, a day full of fishing, peace, and good company!

We had a wonderful day.

Did I mention we didn't catch any fish? But we didn't care!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


It has been so hot here and will be so all week. I've had two days off work and spent most of my time indoors catching up on indoor 'stuff', taking advantage of air conditioning.
Jerry is headed home tonight after spending two days working 'up north' in the mountains at a power house. I finished up all the left overs in the fridge so had to venture out this afternoon to buy food. I'll cook a couple of burgers out on the grill tonight. I have also sliced up a melon and my taste test proves it is an excellent one. The grocery store had a cut flower sale that I couldn't pass up. A big bunch of white roses and baby's breath for the dining table and a luscious bunch of deep pink roses for the bedroom. How the fresh flowers seem to cool the rooms!
The news is on briefly, more wild fires, but the one up in Truckee/Donner is controlled. This winter and spring were so dry, I am afraid we'll be seeing fires until the rains come. Time to turn off the news, I've seen enough.
Looking forward to snow skiing!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wolf Creek, California

I took over 150 pictures this past weekend. I hope I haven't posted too many. The joys of digital photography! This first one is a shot of the 'golden' foothills, along the western slope of the Sierras.

Along Carson Pass, crossing from the west to the east, there are a cluster of brilliant lakes. I think this was Caples Lake.

Setting up our camp in the woods bordering a grassy valley meadow. Jerry takes great pride in his camp cook skills. Our friend Gene looks on.

The meadow; cattle spend summers here, fattening on the lush green grass. We had to drive over the Carson Pass, South along the base of the eastern slope for an hour, and finally quite a distance up and deep into the eastern side of the Sierras to reach this uninhabited area.

Viewing the meadow as our horses climb higher along the trail into the mountain wilderness.

Higher still! We are just starting on our Saturday ride. On the lower right you can see "Rock's" ear and the narrow trail.

The trail climbed to a summit and followed it for several miles. Looks like Jerry was trying to point something out down in the canyon.

Granite surfaces are common in the mountains. These were fairly steep and slick on our trail Sunday morning. We were all a bit more cautious today as one horse in our party had fallen Saturday and was wedged in a tight crevasse. The rider was a bit bruised, the horse OK, after Jerry and I used lariats to roll her over so she could get back to her feet. Sorry no pictures of that!

Another breath-taking view as we reach another little meadow after climbing trails for over an hour. Jerry, Sharon, Julie, Larry and Gene.

A not-so-clear picture of riding in the mountain forest. The trails were dusty, especially for the photographer riding 'drag'.

You probably can't appreciate how high we are above Wolf Creek along this narrow rocky trail. There were trout in this river. Larry caught quite a few Saturday night. Wouldn't you know, I neglected to pack my fishing gear this trip!

Rugged beauty! The eastern slope of the Sierra is much more harsh and dry than the western side.

I wish you all, who enjoy the wilderness and outdoors, could share these wonderful trips and places with us. I hope in some small way, through my pictures I can share this land that we are so blessed with.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Meet Jerry

One month Anniversary!
This one is about Jerry, you don't know him very well yet, since we live on the other side of the country.
So here's Jerry........

He is quite a 'horseman'. Here he rides 'Remington'.

He enjoys rodeo, and I like his wranglers.

He sets up a fancy camp and cooks wonderful camp vittles. And I like his chaps.

We share a love of the wilderness and the mountains.

Jerry and his son J.J. smiling, despite the freezing temperatures in Colorado.

Kind to all animals, horses and whatever that is ... a)odd canine b)sheep c)goat???

Handyman, always willing to tackle chores.

Taking time to 'smell the roses'' or nap in the lupine.

A fun grandpa!

Took me to Colorado skiing, soon after dislocating his shoulder and couldn't ski himself.

Un'BEAR'ably Adorable

This was a perfect weekend. Awesome country to explore. Compatible riding buddies. Good horses. Blue skies and comfortable weather. I'll share all that later. This post, I want to focus on the cutest experience of this trip.

All weekend there were 'reports' from fellow campers of glimpses of a small bear scurrying about the area we set up in. Saturday night we were star gazing and enjoying the shooting stars when one horse out in the meadow acted up a bit, the owner checked the horse and claimed to have seen 'the bear'. We organized an impromptu bear hunt (recall those snipe hunts), laughing and stumbling about in the dark, we weren't too surprised not to find 'the bear'.

Sunday morning a small group of us headed out on a ride before breaking down our camps. My cowboy, the mighty 'tracker', was ahead scouting out the area as we headed out. He knows of my great desire to see bears/ cougars/wolves/big foot..... while out in the wilderness.

He soon hollered back to us, "HURRY, run this way! BEAR!" All hesitated to dash forward, I am sure that all were thinking the same as I, "CRAP, do I really want to see 'the bear' up close and personal while on a horse...." Jerry yelled again, "KATHY, get up here!" So, thinking we haven't been married long enough for him to wish me harm, I urged "Rock" into a trot (note-not a gallop) and passed the others to join my craz-- I mean 'cowboy'.

Following are a few photos of the tons I snapped of 'the bear' .

Our bear turned out to be just a CUB. She was thin and no momma bear around. As we rode closer to her, she started up a tree.

She started climbing down again so Jerry 'woofed' at her a few times and she climbed back up.

We were on the far side of the tree and encouraged the others to come closer for a look at 'the bear'. All were relieved the cornered beast was merely a CUB. No sign of a momma bear anywhere.

She made it up to the nearest branch and settled down, I think she was trying to be invisible.

We all rode closer for a better look. She was very cute! Our horses were a bit jumpy at the scent of bear. 'Rock' had seen her scramble up the tree and she kept prancing about trying to look behind the tree.

She shifted about so we could admire her lovely markings (or possibly scouting out an escape route).

We admired her for a few more minutes, snapped a bunch of pictures, marveled at our luck to get so close, and worried about how such a tiny lone cub will survive the harsh mountain winter.

As we rode away, we saw her climb down the tree and rush off into the woods.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My New Stuff

OK, I 'really' did not marry my cowboy for the truck, trailer and horses, but heck; they sure are pretty, aren't they?

While Jerry is on the road today, I'll be getting everything together for a weekend in the mountains. We're going with the riding club, to an area we haven't camped or ridden before, "Wolf Creek", on the eastern side of the Sierra, south of Markleville. It is a wilderness area, no water so we have to haul in our own and drinking water for the horses. There is a 50 gallon water tank in a corner of the horse trailer. Supposedly there is a creek nearby, if it hasn't dried up yet, we can water horses there too. Also a large meadow nearby and we can hobble the horses for grazing. This is a protected area and regulations say you can only bring in certified 'weed free hay'. The idea is to keep all vegetation out except which is naturally found, good idea but I think someone forgot that bird droppings disperse all kinds of weed seeds! Shoot the birds? I'll get to the feed store today and pick up hay cubes or alfalfa pellets, since we have no local certified weed free hay.

My list of 'things to do' to get ready for horse camping will keep me busy for much of the day. It's a good time to get started, temps are in the 60s, skies are clear blue and there is a nice hint of the 'delta breeze'.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


The previous post will require you to practice your scrolling skills. Sorry about that but I cannot figure out how to eliminate the vast emptiness between pictures. Any help appreciated.

Revisiting Michigan


It sure takes longer for me to recover from trips than it used to. I thought my post-Michigan 15 hour sleep fest had me all refreshed, but the 10 hour work day yesterday was brutally exhausting. I saw the typical cases of itchy skin, a few diarrheas, and an assortment of tumors. The worst case was a small kitty that had been snake bit, not just once, but twice. One bite on her face and the other on a back leg. The owner insisted it absolutely could NOT be snake bite, but it was, and poor little kitty sure was in pain and doing poorly. We referred her down to Sacramento for evening care.

Today I'm planning to run errands and get everything ready for the weekend trip to the mountains; camping and trail riding. Somewhere I have a list of supplies that I started when I camped for a week last month.

Now I will attempt to post pictures taken in Michigan. This may take me a while... please forgive my mistakes, it may take me some time to learn.

Enjoying refreshment at the local watering hole.

Donde es mi cervesa?

The younger set learn some important life skills.

Lake St. Clair 'rocks'! Thanks Dave

I had a tough time chosing pictures to post.

There are some priceless family portraits.

WHICH do you prefer... THIS ONE?


I love this 3 generation photo BUT.........

This one is much more entertaining.

I'll close with the lovely guest of honor!