Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekend with the Grandkids

We're all having a grand time! Grandpa and Nana took naps this afternoon. Kids wear us out.

Daughter and grandson, plus two cats, arrived safe but tired Wednesday afternoon.

Jerry picked up his grandson and granddaughter from Idaho, Friday. I made it back home late Friday night, actually it was early Saturday morning.

I had a super birthday on Saturday. The kids had a delightful time riding horses all morning long. By afternoon all were hot and dusty. I suggested playing in the sprinklers. That was fun for maybe 10 minutes when Tristan suggested we go play in the American River. I said,"sure!" He said that's why grandparents are so 'grand', they spoil the grand kids. :-)

The evening was spent down in the American River. It was perfect. The kids thought it would be great to have rafts or tubes to float down but we don't have. They had so much fun and finally, reluctantly, we headed home.

Today they begged to ride horses from the time breakfast was finished. We saddled up and they rode for hours again today. It is hot out there but the sky is clearing and the air quality isn't as frightful as the past week has been.

The kids are all out back at Amy's place, in the air conditioning, playing a race car video game of some sort. They are all getting along very well. As soon as Grandpa wakes up, we'll put up his tepee tent for the youngsters to sleep in tonight. I am guessing that none of the three make it the entire night sleeping out there.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

How 'Grand' it is!

I'm heading back home tomorrow night. I am not liking this long separation from my 'place' and my cowboy and my 4-legged family. Is the gypsy wander-lusting part of my personality fading away? Or am I merely exhausted by this two week stretch of hectic work and 'bad air'?

We are getting closer and closer to having the house as we want it. For the first time in my adult life, my living space reflects more of my partner's personality than my own. Jerry has definite ideas and decorates while I'm not there. (Maybe because sometimes I'll roll my eyes at his ideas.) I'm not real fond of the cowhide on the couch, but heck, he loves it. I'm more of a country and floral kind of gal, but the western theme is OK by me. I feel like we live in a vacation style western lodge. It's fun and unique.

This picture was taken when we first looked at our log house. Wide open spaces and lots of wood.

The same corner now; cowhide on the couch, western theme area rug decorated with 'brands', rodeo and western throw pillows.

The Cowboy Bar. Decorated with Jerry's cowboy pictures and old horse stuff. I will admit that the saddle is mine. It's a real pretty show saddle that I don't use and have kept in the house for a few years now. (So maybe some of the decorating ideas are mine)

We have this very tall wall in the bedroom over the bed. We found the picture at the horse expo earlier this month. That's a double bed, the guest room has a queen size bed, I want to switch beds, the other one doesn't, so the bed stays as is.

This is how Annie looked when I left two weeks ago. The kitties grow too fast. I was amazed at how much they had changed when I saw them last weekend.

Another reason that I am anxious to get home.... The daughter and grandson arrived in California today. The two of them plus two cats, traveled in a rental truck filled with their belongings, across the USA, to start a new life chapter in the West.

I join Cort in jumping with excitement!

AND! Tomorrow Jerry travels 1/2 way to Idaho to meet his son, to pick up his two grand kids for a stay with us in California at our western vacation log lodge. This picture was taken last year on our horse riding vacation in the mountains of Durango. Friends of Jerry's own this cool log cabin camp.

When I married Jerry, my family had heard of him but hadn't met him yet, didn't even know much about him. There was plenty of time, I had planned on a very long engagement, 5 years sounded about right to me. Somehow, we got married 3 weeks after I accepted my engagement ring..... When I called to tell my daughters, this one said something like, "oh cool, um, so do I, like, have any new step-siblings? Can you send pictures of my new family?" Well now she gets to meet her kind of new, step niece and nephew.

I can hardly wait to get home. It is going to be great spending time with our Grand kids this summer.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Baby Fawn - Baby Kittens

It was quite a stressful day at the hospital. Two more days at this clinic and then I head home. I enjoy this practice because it is busy, with challenging and interesting cases. I've known the staff since I moved to California and I call them friends.

This day was ugly, inside and out. I have never experienced more mean, angry, difficult people in one day, ever. I try to be understanding, I try to be a good listener, I try to help the critters.

Today I have definately decided that I want a new career; a trail guide perhaps, for a select small group, traveling to exotic places. Tom Seleck can be my first client.... *sigh* I am probably not really going to be a trail guide for Tom.

I have thought about it tonight, I don't want to be the one creating the grumpy clients. I don't think I was, but by the end of the day I was fed up and grumpy myself. I have a theory though. My guess is, that it is the weather. It is very hot and still. The fires in the foothills and mountains are still burning (hundreds of them from the freaky lightning strikes) The air is palpable. The setting sun is a dull red orb straining to be seen through the murky grey atmosphere. There is no relief. We have to shut ourselves away inside our homes and work places.

I decided to share some sweetness from a few weeks ago.

Not all that begins badly, ends that wasy.

Did you know that new baby fawns were so tiny? The gentle hands belong to a wildlife rescue fella, his heart is with the injured wild animals.

He brought her in a little dog kennel. The fawns struggle less if kept in a confined area, kind of like swaddling a baby. Her little rump had been shaved for surgery a few days before, to repair dog bite wounds. She was found after dogs got her and her momma didn't come back. Wild life rescue picked her up and the doc at this place fixed her up. I just looked at her for a recheck.

Remembering my severe allergic reactions to handling fawns over the winter, I just 'looked' at this one. No hands-on exam needed. After her injuries heal, she will be placed with other orphans and bottle fed in a manner that restricts any human contact with them. The goal is to release them back to the wild, with the ability to fend for themselves and have a healthy distrust of humans.

This story begins with a country home owner hearing pitiful cries coming from a small wooded area on her land. Deciding that the cries were not birds as she originally thought, she investigated. She found these three kittens...... duct taped to a tree trunk..... the tape binding their little bodies and heads tightly to the tree. Over 100 degrees that day, if she hadn't found them as early as she did, well, things would not have ended well for this trio.
I saw little Moe on Friday, he was the weakest of them, and sent him home with his rescuer with a few medications. Monday all three came in for exams, blood tests, wormings, and vaccinations. They are sweet and in general good health. Kitty rescuer says she will keep them, she is not about to trust them to any one else.
Big hugs to all of you animal lovers.
I'd love to read your favorite rescue story in comments.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Squirrel: The rest of the story

As a follow up on yesterday's dog vs/ little grey squirrel chapter. I am pleased to offer evidence that LGS is alive and well. I question his judgement in his choice of living quarters. He has obviously decided to live in an oak tree, sharing a front yard with my dog.

Most folks have birds living in their trees.

So far, I am sharing my trees with a family of racoons, a bunch of big bats and a mentally challenged, but cute, little grey squirrel.

And for those of you who suggested otherwise, how could I just let the dog snack on this little cutie?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Queensland Heeler or California Springer?

We have been guilty of encouraging Cort to chase the squirrels off our yard. Successfully evicting one big grey squirrel from our attic, we don't want to go through that again. We just tell Cort, "get the squirrel", when we see one and he does a fine job of sending them on their way. He runs them up the trees, then leaps, twists and follows them from tree to tree as they scold him loudly. Lately I have seen a small grey squirrel hanging around the oak trees in front.

I witnessed this inter-action recently, laughing at the silly squirrel and dog comedy act.
Up Cort leaps as little grey squirrel (LGS) scurries just far enough down the post to be out of reach.

As good ol' Cort begins his earth bound descent, LGS scampers back up to his perch on the fence post....

...... retreating just out of reach once again as Cort springs back into the air. My goodness Cort, what big, white teeth you have!

This little game went on and on for several minutes, up and down, down and up, back and forth.

I was starting to wonder when LGS was going to get tired of the barking, jumping, obnoxious dog and head off down the street.

LGS stopped the dog in a most unexpected manner.

He leaped off the fence post.... right into my dog's large open mouth.

Shocking me but pleasing the dog, I am sure. I dropped my camera, so have no photo to document the squirrel's suicide leap. I hollered, "DROP IT CORT!" -and he did!- I swear the dog gave me a look that loudly asked, "are you nuts? "

LGS panting, whimpering and limping, slowly climbed up the tree. Out of view and out of reach.

No more 'sicking' dog on squirrels........

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Eleventh...

Yesterday was our 11th month wedding anniversary... already! In one sense it seems like we've been married for a very brief moment in time, but then recall all that has occurred during that eleven months and it feels more like forever. I decided early on, to celebrate monthly wedding anniversaries because there is a better chance of reaching our Golden Fiftieth Anniversary(months). Not much of a shot at fifty years due to our advanced ages as newly weds.

I've been 5 hours away from home all week, working. Due to the price of fuel and the long distance, I had planned not to go home for the weekend. However, I got home-sick, and the temperature was already over 100 F by 10 a.m. , and it was our anniversary. When I called Jerry to let him know I was headed home, he went out and bought fishing licenses. The plan being to head up to a nearby mountain lake for some fly-fishing.

I got home mid afternoon, we packed sandwiches and drinks and headed for the mountains. But not until I had played with the crazy kittens, played with Cort, patted the horses, and wandered about admiring the flowers and gardens. Well, 'admiring' isn't exactly what I did when viewing our vegetable plants.

It was several degrees cooler at home than it was down in the Central Valley where I've been working. And it cooled more as we drove further into the Sierras. We stopped several times and hiked a bit, never did stop to fish though. The drive was just too nice.

Join us on our drive!

It doesn't take long for the vegetation to change from a mixed forest to a predominant evergreen forest. The clouds were building rapidly and the temperature drop was refreshing.

I love seeing the mountains in the distance.

And the clouds kept building deeper and darker. In some areas the pavement was dark, wet and steamy from recent showers.

This is the forest just west of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Lots of trails, camping, rivers and lakes in this area. There was NO traffic

We drove off on a small logging road and found a nice clearing for our dinner picnic.

We had each eaten half a sandwich when the rains came down. Finishing dinner in the truck seemed a better choice than braving the rain and gobs of mosquitoes. There was plenty of thunder booming all around.

On the drive back home, we pulled over to enjoy this colorful sunset.

I took a lot of sunset pictures, playing around with different settings and effects; this is one of my favorites.

Did you notice this little detail, to the left of the first sunset? Smoke from a forest fire. We noticed two separate fires on our way home. Jerry has a scanner in his truck so we were listening in on some of the firefighters and helicopter pilots discussions. I had no idea he had a scanner radio..... He has a lot of electronic and phone stuff in that truck. I guess 11 months isn't enough time to know everything about Jerry.

This morning there were news reports of over 400 fires started in northern California from that storm and all of the lightning strikes! We could smell smoke in the morning air when we got up today. No fire threats close to us thankfully.

This afternoon I drove south again and here I am for another week of work.

This area suffered 108 degree temperature while I was gone. Man! That is hot.

Sweet dreams everyone.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


My Saturday was spent in bed, all day long. The summer flu, or as you may know, most of those cases of 12-24 hour summer flu are actually food poisoning. I was trying to remember what I could possibly have eaten since I eat mainly fruits and vegetables. Suddenly remembering I had to run errands from work the other day and grabbed a take-out sushi, I was certain it was the sushi. I sure was ill. Then I heard today that tomatoes are causing food poisoning, I am almost sure that I hadn't had a tomato in over a week.

Sunday we spent the day at the Expo Center in Sacramento enjoying the Horse Expo. It is a huge event, a fun-filled 3 days for the horse junkie. Jerry went Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. He bought way too much stuff. He likes to shop much more than I do. He did get good stuff though. Sunday we picked out two large framed prints for walls in the house that needed pictures.

I spent my day off yesterday, organizing the master closet. It is done. It is good. I don't use color coded hangers, but it is still good. Also did laundry, gardening, house cleaning, etc.

Finally had a chance to bath the beast. The dog has been in the 'dog house'. He took off after a skunk on the property Wednesday night, would not come back to me, and got skunked full force directly in the face. He 'then' came running back to me, whining, squinty eyed, and trying to rub his skunk-stinked body on my jeans. He got in a few rubs before I got in the house. He was banned from the house, until last night after his de-scenting.

The kittens are doing fine. They have a large wire crate to be safe in while we are away from home and to be safe from the wild energy of the dog until they are larger. Cort carries his large rubber Kong toy to their crate and drops it there for them, hoping for playmates. I don't let him play with them yet.

Today was a busy day at work. Nothing exciting, a pleasant day.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Welcome a New Blogger

Drum roll please.......

There is a new blogger on the block with an excellent 10 year old boy sense of humor.

He was a guest blogger here last month and he loved getting comments.

Please welcome my very favorite Grandson at Sequoia Canyon.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Contest

Be sure to visit Coffee Bean's blog. She has a contest going on. Plus she's pretty good reading and did I mention funny?

Critters: Domestic and Wild

I hope that the 'cuteness' of the following picture makes up for the 'grossness' of yesterday's pictures.

I brought the two kittens home tonight. The orange and white is "Billy (the kid)" and the calico is "Annie (Oakley)". This picture was the last one with their litter mates. They are settling in well here at home. Billy is an adventurer and quite cuddly. Annie is more shy and skittish. Cort met them briefly. I'll keep him away from the kittens until they are more confident and can put up with his excitement.

Today's main subject concerns this tree. It is an old Oak tree next to our house. It has boughs missing and some interesting knots, holes and bumps. I just love the character of this tree. With the cooler nights, we leave our bedroom door to the outside open. Cort, very clever dog that he is, can open and close the screen doors to let himself in and out. We don't mind, it saves us getting out of bed to let him in or out. Yes.... the dog sleeps in our bedroom, but he has his own bed, on the floor. Recently, nightly, the dog raises a fuss at this tree. Jerry claims to have seen a big raccoon run up the tree.

Last night, Jerry was all excited, he was listening at the tree and heard all kinds of mewing and scratching sounds in the trunk of this old tree. I am not sure what inspired him to put his ear against the trunk to listen in the first place. But hey, he does stuff like that. So of course, I had to listen too. At about 4 feet above the ground, the trunk sounded hollow and you could hear baby critters in there. We're guessing coon babies. Jerry wants to look. Hmmm, maybe not a good idea, momma coons can be cranky. But we get out the ladder.....

Jerry climbs up, I don't really like heights and that was pretty high, plus I don't wanna mess with any wild momma critter. Bats were circling him too, we have some big bats. I was worried that if a critter jumped out at him, he would slip, grab the branch and pop out that danged shoulder again. Someone around here has to worry about stuff like that.

Can you see what is down in that hollow trunk? Click on the picture to enlarge it. A big momma raccoon and 2 - 3 baby raccoons. I love that tree, what a perfect nursery. I hope the coon family moves on when they can, that they get tired of the dog harassing them, and I hope that THE EXTERMINATOR doesn't hurt those masked babies.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Gophers beware!

This is what I stepped on as I walked out the door onto the back porch.

Cort was proud and protective of his 'kill'.

I was showing just a bit too much interest so he took it away.

What a good dog for helping us with the gopher population explosion.

What a mess our property will be as dog exterminates gophers.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday Roping and Gardening

This afternoon we had our second roping practice and lessons. There were 10 horses this time, all in one arena; ropes swirling, horses galloping, the mechanical steer being pulled around by a quad; pure chaotic bedlam. On top of all of the commotion, I wore spurs on my mare for the first time ever. She was in a snit about the spurs and fretting about the constant action. I suffered through several of her bucking tantrums and then we got down to business. It was fun but painful, I twisted my back yesterday carrying boxes and am paying for it today. I am a wimp.

Did I mention that Jerry was worried about not being able to rope when his shoulder dislocated last week? Well he roped. Needing a bit of a break, I reined into the center of the arena to join Jerry chatting with the arena owner. Jerry laughingly says to me, "hey I just had one of those hot flashes like you always have." Huh??? I'm thinking I heard wrong, but then I noticed his cowboy shirt is drenched with sweat. And he LAUGHS as he tells me that while roping, his shoulder just popped out of it's socket and then back again. He says he got really queasy and almost passed out, but just got sweaty instead. I married a freak folks. Because later he takes his turn at chasing and trying to rope wild roping live steers.

Not me, I roped only a tame mechanical steer. We made it home safely. Rinsed off the tired sweaty horses. Jerry cooked dinner. And now we are settling down for the night. The weekend went by way too fast.

I took garden pictures to share. Our vegetable garden is truly pathetic. Very little of the seed we sowed has germinated. I was hoping to avoid pesticides but we have bugs. I hate poisons but we have gophers. Lots of gophers and they have now discovered the garden.
No carrots came up, no beets came up.

We have plenty of cucumber plants now. I'm supposed to thin them to one per spot, but I cannot.

There are three tomato plants and they look better than anything else. I planted romas, better boys, and cherry tomatoes.

This is a very lonely little lettuce. I planted two rows with two types of lettuce. This is it, one...

We have bean plants coming up beautifully, they are feeding the bugs. I can't see any bugs, I don't see any grasshoppers, but those leaves sure looked snacked on to me.

In the past week I have visited friends with marvelous green thriving gardens. I am envious.

One recommended spraying the plants with a mixture of water, dish soap and vinegar. I'll try it tomorrow, if that doesn't work, I am declaring war and will use insecticides.

It sure doesn't look like I'll have to learn how to can excess vegetables this year.


Since I haven't been posting very regularly and often have trouble posting comments. I'll answer a few questions here.

Thanks for all the expressed concern for Jerry's shoulder. He is feeling fine most of the time and hasn't slow down at all (such a surprise) . He has not been able to schedule an earlier appt. with his physician, so won't know when he will get an MRI scheduled.

Amy didn't get the job here in California. She continues the search. I know she will eventually get her ideal position in the ideal place for her and Tristan. But I still hope that that place is not far from here. I plot of awful awful things, such as buying Tristan a horse and telling him it's here waiting for him..........

I have decided to adopt the two kittens. Jerry saw them and also thought that I 'needed' them. I loved the idea of cowboy type names. They are being called 'Annie' (as in Oakley) and 'Billy' (the Kid). They live at a technician's home and will be ready to come home with me next week.

That's all I can think of right now. It is way past my bedtime. Good night and Happy Trails.