Saturday, May 31, 2008

Last of May

A month ago, Coffee Bean at Righteous Buzz, issued a challenged. I jumped in with my goals. And it worked! Thanks Kelly Jean!

My Goal #1 was to get up early and work in the gardens daily. Jerry and I are sharing that one and have gotten a lot done. Our veggie garden is becoming quite a challenge (or disappointment) but we're not giving up yet

Goal # 2 involves weight loss. 50# in a year.... ugh I am on the right track with eating better. I need to increase my physical activity though. This month I lost 7 pounds. I am pleased.

And finally Goal#3. "Drum Roll please"

I was ashamed to share this mess. I am sure you remember the horrifying garage pictures I shared at the end of April. My life was shoved into boxes and hidden away in a storage unit for a year. Some of the boxes had not been opened since the year 2000 when I started out on my 'Quest', which landed me here in California. But that's another story for another day.
I announced that I would have this mess cleaned up, sorted out and put away by the end of May.

Today is the LAST DAY of MAY. This is my last pile of empty boxes to be broken down and recycled. A N D ........

This is my side of the garage this afternoon! (Jerry's side has been clean all along because he had no boxes in storage to clutter up his side)

and more of my clean, organized, lovely garage.

I am so glad to have that job done!

Next goal; see a few of the boxes on the shelves? There are about 5 boxes containing about 30 years of photographs. If I sort out and organize a year per month, I'll be done in about 3 years. I may change my mind but I'll aim for a year's worth of pictures gone through by July.

And #2 : how about 8 pounds lost in June. And #3: at least 30 minutes of planned exercise 5 days per week in June.

How about up dates from those 'playing' along?

Friday, May 23, 2008


This has certainly been one crazy day.
It started bright and early in the dark chill of 4 a.m. when Jerry abruptly woke me from a sound sleep with agonizing moans and groans. He sleeps on his back with his arms above his head, and early this morning, while just laying there sleeping, his right shoulder dislocated. This shoulder dislocated about 2 years ago when he fell while high in the air on a tower crane and grabbed and hung on a steel support to keep from splatting on the ground. He has had no problems with it since, until this morning.
With the original dislocation, he had asked the Dr to explain how he could reduce it himself if it ever happened again. Yes, he is kind of a do-it-yourself guy. So the Doc explains that he should lay on his front, with arms hanging down while trying to lift a heavy weight, and that would slip the bone right back into it's socket. Alrighty then...... I went out to the garage and brought in a nice and heavy 20# dumb-bell.
He was in agony and here we are trying to figure out how he could roll over onto his tummy. He just couldn't do it. He made me palpate his shoulder and egads, I had to sit down to keep from passing out or throwing up. All I could say, was, "it doesn't bother me in animals, but this is really bothering me happening to you." He refused to let me call an ambulance. And I was thinking we would just be here all morning at the rate we were progressing.
I decided to call the Emergency Room and spoke to the Advice Nurse, a nice, sympathetic fella. He keep saying, "oh man, the poor guy." I kept asking for him just to help me with ideas to get him up. He said he was thinking..... He suggested having him swing his legs off the bed and then I could lift him up to a sitting position from behind, instead of him trying to roll over. So Jerry swung his legs off the bed and I pushed him up and POP, that shoulder slid back home and Jerry was instantly pain free.
He drove himself to the hospital, I went about my morning as usual, just a bit earlier. At the hospital they took radiographs. He has to see his regular physician to order an MRI. I am guessing that surgery will be in order. He can't get into his Dr for 3 weeks. For tonight, I have ace bandaged his arm to his side. No repeating this morning!
So that was our crazy morning.
The rest of my day was crazy at work too. The Friday before a long weekend usually brings in folks who have just been hoping Spot or Fido will get better during the week, they don't so then need to be seen before the weekend. We were squeezing in sick pet appts. all day. I worked with a great crew today and they kept things moving right along. We finally finished up at 7pm.
Now I am exhausted and ready for bed.
Heaven only knows what tomorrow will be like. I am thankful that it will be a short day.
I hope that everyone has a pleasant weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Look what was in the clinic today. Momma Cat and four three week old kittens.

This little boy and girl keep snuggled together. Caught her in a big yawn.

Aren't they adorable?

I think I need two kittens.

These two will need a home in about three weeks.....

I've e-mailed their pictures to the cowboy.. how could he resist?????

They need clever names. The calico is a girl and the cream and white is a boy.

'Girl kitty' and 'boy kitty' are not clever names.

I really need two kittens.

More Oroville Trails

The campsites at Oroville are some of the nicest we visit. Corrals for the horses and even hot showers for the humans. That's a bedroll next to the horse, it was so hot we slept out on the ground. I love the sound of horses munching hay during the night.

Everyone gathered at our campsite Saturday evening for a pot luck dinner.

Dusty trails through the woods.

The only green grass was in the shady wooded areas.

Only three of us stayed through Monday. We trailered past the reservoir to the Feather River trails. The river and shade provided some welcome relief from the heat.

A very long unused railroad tunnel gave the horses something new to experience.

There were a few places we could ride into the river to cool off and let the horses drink. Koko loves to play and splash whenever she gets in water.

It was a nice weekend, even with the heat.

But I am glad to be home, there's no place like home.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

100 degree Camping Trip

Camping was hot and dry. The lake (reservoir) is 100 feet below last year's level. It was over 100 degrees every day. This entire area is usually filled with water until very late in the summer. You can barely see the water in the background.

The moon was almost full and the nights were bright. We decided on a moonlight ride the first night. We took a nice wooded trail, very enjoyable and cool. Most of our group had never ridden horseback in the dark. I have and I love it. It is amazing how horses can follow a narrow trail in the dark that we can't even see. My mare led the way and did a super job. There were ten of us riding, and ten made it back to camp safely after the 3 hour ride.

The second morning we rode out bright and early, stopping for a break around 10 a.m. It was getting pretty danged hot by then. C decided to take the plunge and refresh himself.

A couple of our fellas cleaning out the water tank.... hhmmmm was that thick brown water before or after C's little sponge bath????

The pictures aren't wanting to load well, so this is it for the night. I wasn't able to get a decent internet connection at the campground, but I did try. he early mornings and evenings were not so bad but the afternoons were sweltering, miserable, stifling, horribly hot.

We had a good time but were glad to get home. Cort was glad to see us. Our gardens survived the four days of 100+ temperatures without watering. And we slept with the doors open and fans on last night. Back to work today. This evening, dark storm clouds and a cold wind teased us, we enjoyed about two minutes of rain.

I'm off to bed.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Heat Is On

It was hot here today. Really hot. I dragged. The dust blew. "Golden" is here.

We are all set to pull out in the morning and head North. It is going to be a Killer Heat weekend. "They" are saying 90s-100s. But we have our reservations, and our plans, so off we'll go. It is a really nice campground but is in the foothills, and can get hot. Really hot.

One of the fellas going on the trip is a pilot. He called to let me know he had just flown over a wildfire in the area we plan to camp in. After a bunch of 'go no where' phone calls I reached a real live person (fireman) who assured me the blaze is well away from the campgrounds. He gave me a number to call that updates on wildfires and the recording sounded confident the fire was 50% contained and no evacuations or threats to residential areas.

We deposited our dog with a couple of Jerry's friends down in the city. I already miss the old cur. They seem thrilled to be dog sitting him. They lost their dog C.C. last summer. We had a very touching euthanasia at home for her when her cancer became uncomfortable. It teared T. up a bit to have Cort running around playing in their yard tonight. Cort will have a good vacation with them. We couldn't bring him along on this trip. Dogs are restricted to being on leash at all times and cannot be left behind in camp.

I plan to bring along my camera and lap top so you can all be on a 'virtual horse camp trip'. I warn you though, things get hot, sweaty, and dirty. Have I mentioned 'really hot'?

And just for David, a big YEEHAW!
Good night all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Jerry left at 5 a.m. to work down in the bay area putting some big cement structures under a bridge. He has a crew of 'riggers' that do the work but on the tough ones he goes to make sure things go well. He said that this one was a b*tch, he got home late this evening. He has a knack for figuring out how to move gargantuan stuff in seemingly inaccessible places. He's the one 'they' call when no one else can figure out a move. Every now and then I'll go out on a job with him and I find it amazing, but it does bother me when they are doing stuff high in the sky, and of course he has to go up too. No keeping Jerry down on the job.

So while he was down in the big city, I stayed home all day and worked around here. It was a hot day with a bit of a breeze. We have more brush to burn but I didn't risk it with the wind. I accomplished bunches but none of it very exciting.

I spent time watering the vegetable garden and the rock gardens. The flowers we planted this week are looking really nice. But we need more plants, three of the rock gardens still look a bit empty. I'm worried about the veggie garden, I don't think the majority of the seeds are coming up as they should. AND it looks like bugs must be eating at the little seedlings that have sprouted.

I got out all of our camp stuff and sorted through everything. I have been camping for a number of years and so has Jerry. We don't just do your basic set up a tent and camp, we haul along our horses too. So our camp gear is human and horse stuff. And we have a lot of duplicates that we don't need to be hauling around every time we go on a camp out. I have everything sorted, packed and ready to load into the trailer.

I mentioned yesterday that Jerry, like the good cowboy he is, always has farrier supplies in the trailer. Well good vet that I am, I always have medical supplies along. I updated and repacked my traveling horse-doctor gear. Our riding club's first camp out of the year is this weekend. I always hope I don't have to do any doctoring, but accidents do happen. As they say, horses are just an accident waiting to happen! I repacked and resupplied my human first aid kit too, sometimes the accidents involve horse AND rider. I know this from first hand experience.

Daily I remove boxes from the garage. I am more than 1/2 way done with clearing the garage now. Sometimes the job goes slowly as I rediscover items that I haven't unpacked in a few years. Last night I opened a box of old picture albums and high school year books. Took a little time to flip through the pages of memories. Wondering, how did I get so old so FAST? Today I opened boxes of decorating items so I also did a bit more decorating. Just a little at a time but the job is getting done. I have a pile of more things to put up in the rafters; my ski equipment, my golf bag and clubs, winter coats in a tote, mud and snow boots in another tote.

To end the day of chores I washed my truck and my car. And, I had room to put the car in the garage.

Jerry made it home safely through the gross California big city rush hour traffic, we had a nice dinner and now it's time for bed.

Oops, I forgot to update the last goal: weight lost this week Zero. But none gained back either.
I am curious about other's goals. How are you doing?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Team Roping

continuing from previous post:
I wasn't able to spend Mother's Day with my Mom or my daughters. So I did the next best thing, spent the day with the cowboy and our horses. I had a wonderful day. First we went to Church. Then we went Trail Riding. Finally we went and practised roping! Yeehaw!

I have always wanted to learn to rope. I rode Hunt seat style for most of my life. You know, the cool way to ride; to jump, 'ride to the hounds', ride cross country. Well there are not many English riding ropers, something about not having a saddle horn to dally to.

Since moving to California and riding in the mountains, my main saddle is a Western saddle. I expressed an interest in roping and Jerry started me on the basics of roping when we started riding together. I can carry a rope, throw it while on my horse, she can get whacked with the rope, caught up in it, and she doesn't mind at all. We have talked about team roping together since we started hanging around together. It is just not easy to find someone to teach it without going to very expensive roping clinics.

Sunday noon I got a call from an old riding buddy I hadn't seen in about a year. He called to invite Jerry and I to join him at his friend's arena later that day. His friend is a team roper with his son and they wanted a few interested people to join them in roping practice. Yeehaw.

So we went.

I've borrowed these pictures from the web site ad. This is the 'steer-o-matic'. I hope I am not breaking any copyright laws! This is what we roped. There were 5 of us and it was a blast. I have to get a new lariat. Mine is a 3-ply and he wants me to get a 4-ply. See how much I've learned! My horse did OK, she wasn't too sure about loping along next to the funny calf. I was able to rope the calf several times. I do need to practice... lots....
We have been invited to join them weekly. Most likely Sunday afternoons.

This one is 'smart steer', it is motorized and doesn't have to be pulled along by a quad. I copied this picture too. I hope they don't mind. When Jerry gets our roping arena built, this is the calf that I want. I am still not quite sure that I want a live bovine at the end of my rope while I am on a horse. The big warning is to keep thumbs up! Dallying is tying the rope around the horn when you rope a calf, I guess folks lose thumbs while roping by not keeping thumbs up. *gulp* I am kind of attached to both of my thumbs, and I want them to stay attached to me.

So we worked and played and roped for about three hours. We were beat, happy and filthy. So, one day if we work hard enough and I get over my fear of thumb detachment, maybe we'll make it to a rodeo as Team Ropers.

Golden California

The Toms are out and about, displaying and searching for the Hens. Their tail feathers fan in splendid display, eager to win over the girls in the courtship rituals or perhaps to intimidate the rival, less endowed males. I continue my attempts to capture a Tom in his full glory, but my presence seems to dampen the mood and they wilt away....

Ah, California, the Golden State. I once believed that the 'golden' referred to the rich history of the Gold Rush Days, or maybe the golden opportunities presented, but..... as the scenery above sadly illustrates, 'gold' is merely a fancy Californian term for 'dead brown'. The gold creeps from the valley floor, climbs the rocky foot hills, taints the forested hills and canyons, finally to reach the high Sierra. It is a gradual but profound change. We will see no rain from May until October. Sometimes just a sprinkle to tease us into giddiness, but not enough to quench the earth's thirst.

Sunday after Church we trailered the horses down the grade to a wonderful old cattle ranch which had been purchased as a park for equestrians, hikers and bicyclists. It is beautiful, already turning California golden. We don't ride this park much in the summer due to the scorching heat. The trails meander along the American River, mostly high on the hills overlooking the river. In a few areas, the trail meets the river's edge where one can refresh and splash in the water. This particular trail ride was a short one hour ride....

And you thought only cars could get flat tires???? Cheyenne had a very loose, twisted shoe. Jerry, cowboy that he is, carries his farrier supplies in the horse trailer. He pulled the shoe, pounded it back into shape on his anvil, trimmed Cheyenne's hoof and replaced the shoe.

Four nails into each side of the shoe, through the hoof, tightened down and good as new.

The 'flat' shortened our trail ride, but we made it to our next adventure on horseback in plenty of time

to be continued...........

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Aother week gone by ????

Another entire week has gone by, again. Sheesh, how does it happen? I spent a couple of days out of town last week and again this week. The long, busy days and then the late night drive home really wipe me out. Here's a recap of the week.

This is my little buddy, out of town. She lives in the city but is a ranch-girl at heart. She raised 4-H pigs for several years. This year she is raising an FFA lamb for the first time. A neighboring High School has stables available for the city kids to house their livestock projects. I enjoyed watching her 'work' the lamb while I was there. His name is Fabian... he has a very strange feminine baaaa.

Note her jammie bottoms, when I met her at her house to drive out to the lamb, I , um, mentioned that maybe she had forgotten to get dressed. She was intentionally wearing pj bottoms to the farm! At the farm, other teen girls were attired in pajama bottoms. What gives?

Sunday we had a visitors after Church. Jerry barbecued a mess of his awesome ribs and we had a bunch of traditional picnic foods. A very nice afternoon. We had 2 extra horses here, not ours, that a woman is trying to sell quickly. We knew right away that this old fat Morgan gelding would be a perfect match for our friends' 6 year old daughter. Another little buddy of mine. It was love at first sight and he went home with them. Now we only have 1 extra horse here.

Same little cutie as above, the dog was at her side the entire afternoon. When it was time to go home, she hid my dog in their truck. When she was 'caught', she tried to hide with him in the barn. I explained to her that he was my dog, and I am very attached, that she could not take him home, but she can come visit. She seriously suggested a deal, we take the horse out of the trailer and she would trade her new horse for my dog! No deal, I kept the dog.

Awake at 6 this morning, out at 7 am checking gardens. We have sprouting radishes!

Found a red rose bud this morning. The rose bushes, many of them, were growing wildly all around the house in untended rock gardens. The roses were sending branches between the logs of the house. Jerry went crazy with the chain saw. He tends to do that. He chopped the roses down to nubbins and transplanted them to the garden. I accused him of rose murder. The transplanted roses are thriving. In case you wonder... I admitted that I was wrong and he was right, again. He likes when I admit that. So I admit it as needed. (even when I know I was really right)

It was good to be home and not working this morning. This little rock garden is in the back of the house and doing nicely.

Another rock garden that we are working on. Planted this one last week, still deciding what to put there. If my Mom comes to visit, she'll have good ideas.

This is what I did to the side of the garage. Jerry had the idea to turn it into a horse wash rack. You know, put hitching posts there, a place to tie up horses and give them baths. The other horse stuff and barn are on the other side of the garage. This is what you see from our back deck.

I am learning this marriage stuff, do not argue, do not protest, do not give other options... just do.

I did up this western theme picnic area and the cowboy likes it and forgot all about the wash rack.

Now if I can just think of what to do about his 'prized' wood shed. That's a whole 'nother post.

Goal update; 3 # lost, 5 garage boxes emptied, 6 hours gardening on Saturday, 1 hour gardening this morning.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Weight loss: zero

# of boxes unpacked: zero

Days 2 & 3 in garden: not

Working butt off out of town for 2 days.........
Missing home and husband and dog and horses and wildlife and trees and goals....