Tuesday, July 28, 2009

You're what?

Alright you guys, let me have your attention. Raider, that means you too!

I'm headed to New Mexico to the ranch for a few days. I want all of you to behave and not pick on Pete...or let him pick on you. I know it's really, really hot so you lucked out. Instead of staying on the dry lot with hay you get to be out on the pasture where there's plenty of shade from the big trees. Drink plenty of water now since the temperature is supposed to get up in the high 90s for the next few days. Geesh, it's 93 now and only 1:00 in the afternoon. Oh, and salt. Use the salt block.

While I'm there I'll be scoping out where the pastures are going to go and the runs off of each cute little mini stall. Aren't you lucky to have me as a person? If your answer is not "affirmative" then don't answer at all.

I'll finally meet Penni from Albuquerque and the famous Chase and Inca. They're Cardigan Welsh Corgis and some day you'll have your own Cardigan to play with....or run from! They're a herding breed don't ya know?

I also get to meet Linda at the 7MSN Ranch, just down the road from our place, near Mountainair. There I'll meet all Linda's critters...horses, donkeys, kitties, a pig, a goat...and the list goes on!

So, be good, OK? I'll miss you --- but all the time I'll be thinking of all of us, someday, being together in the Land of Enchantment.

Raider, did you hear any of this?

Friday, July 24, 2009

I growed somethin'!

OK, OK. I'm not your typical desperate housewife who sits on the sofa popping bon-bons and ordering stuff from the shopping channel, or the gardening channel or whatever. I don't even know what the channels are, I just know there's a heck of a lotta things that are "As Advertised on TV".

My Topsy Turvy Planter is one of them. $14 bucks at a local discount chain. $10 worth of tomato plants and some soil. (Soil is the stuff you plant tomatoes in. Dirt, on the other hand, or either hand --- is the soil you get under your nails. Makes perfect sense, heh?)

So, you plant the plants in the holes in the Topsy Turvy, layering soil as you work your way to the top. Water away, add tons of sunshine and warm temperatures and magic happens. First there's a little yellow flower. It sits and sits and sits and practically laughs at you, "You're expecting something else?"

You hold out though, knowing Mother Nature is on your side, you think. For heaven's sake, you've read and re-read the instructions. You bought honest to goodness Miracle Grow for Tomatoes fertilizer and have used it religiously.

One day you find the little flower all shriveled. Your heart sinks, "It's dead." But no, under the papery thin remnants of the little yellow flower you see a nodule. It's green and more than just a bump. It has an air about it, like IT knows what it's doing there on the vine. You hope, you cross all your fingers and toes. You finally stick your neck out and tell someone.

I growed somethin' --- and I think it's goin' to be a tomato someday!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Very Special Reader

My blog has a very special reader. She was born 31 years ago today...to me and her Dad. Her name's Jennifer. She never was a Jenny and now she's quite often just Jenn. She's beautiful, smart and opinionated (in a good way!). She means the world to me.

I was thinking, "What's a blog entry without a picture? Boooooring." So here goes.

Granted, this picture is probably at least 3 years old and NO, we didn't give the poor girl a measly 2 bucks for her birthday. We're thrifty, but...

Anyway, this year I was wondering what to get Jennifer for her birthday. It needed to be something as special as she. I finally gave up and asked her and (whew) she said a gift card would be great. Went to the mall, got the gift card. That was easy.

On the way home from the mall a thought crossed my mind. Isn't it nice when your child has their birthday --- and you remember "they" were the original gift --- to you?

Happy Birthday Jennifer!

Love ya, Mom

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Beauty or the Beast?

"Beauty is as beauty does." Well, not necessarily in the case of the gorgeous foxglove. Around our place from early June through August or so, the common foxglove (digitalis purpurea) spikes her dark pink head out of our pasture grasses.

Foxglove are biennials so the first year they shoot up a spike covered with tight green leaves. The next year is the showstopper. Flowers pop on the spike and range from the darkest rose to pale pink to even white. The first couple years we lived here on the farm I used to walk the pastures with the horses and think, "Gosh, if I was a flower I'd want to be a foxglove."

Ahhh, NOT a good thing to wish for...being a foxglove, that is. Foxglove leaves from the two year old plant contain pharmacological compounds used to treat cardiac patients. That's a good thing. On the other hand, consumption of even the smallest part of the foxglove plant can bring on deadly consequences to livestock and pets. Go figure. Fortunately the plant isn't very palatable (i.e. tasty) so usually only starving animals will take that fateful bite.

So, if you see this enchantress stalking your pastures, run, don't walk to her side and enjoy her beauty for only a moment. Then yank her skinny little body out of the ground and banish her from your property. The best way to do this is with a ritual burning at the stake! Don't pitch the plant into a pile at the back corner of your property because before you know it, the beast will re-appear. And because of her velvet beauty, it's so, so easy to just let her be.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Boys of Summer

Last Sunday was the 7th anniversary of Bryan and Bekah's wedding. We decided to celebrate with a BBQ --- in the summer --- with the boys! We sprinkled in a few girls just to make it sane. Me grabbing the camera and forgetting to change the lens (sorry about the distant shots). Bekah because she's the feminine half of "Bryan and Bekah" and the party was about her. Elena, Bekah's good friend. Bree because she was cute and had four legs and had her tongue hanging out most of the time, and oh, 'cause she's a dog. And Elke because she has a special place at the end of this little story.

Our evening started with homemade pico de gallo. I have a new food processor so I chopped everything up to smithereens. Yum! Then some Chili Con Queso Revved Up from my good friend (but she doesn't know it) The Pioneer Woman. Oh, double yum!

Dinner was prepared by Chef Hubby AND his new, awesome (assembled here at home in less than 2 hours) Weber Grill. The chef prepared the most delicious, humongous BBQ-ed pork steaks in the world. Well, at least since the last time he did pork steaks. I made a great Asian slaw with the help of my Kitchen Aid food processor. Oh the labor and hard work of stuffing cabbage in a little slot and pushing a button. My kind of kitchen slavery. Corn-on-the-cob, cake and ice cream rounded out the evening.

After their guts were weighed down with 5 pounds of queso and pico, the boys decided a badminton match was in order. As I saw the teams developing I realized, "Oh my gosh....this is an Army/Navy game!" Well, kinda.

Representing the Navy were Scott (R) and Rienzo (L). I have just recently met Scott, but if he hangs with Rienzo he's OK with me. Just outta of the Navy, he managed to not call me "Ma'am" the entire night, although I do appreciate a slip of "Ma'am" every now and then. Makes me feel important.

Rienzo is just Rienzo. Even though I wrote a letter of recommendation to the President or someone having to do with the Navy (maybe an admiral?), I cannot for the life of me remember Rienzo's first name. Is it John? That would be a nice match if it is. Anyway, Rienzo is, just like I said, Rienzo. Quick to smile, even faster on his crotch rocket...he's a good guy.

The Army was represented by Michael (L), Elke's hubby, and Zack (R). I know Michael was in the Army because he's like my second son (besides Bryan who is my first and only son). Confused? So are Michael and I most of the time. But I say 'second son' because he's that close to me. I just didn't carry him for 9 months. Only through Tiger Cubs, bucking hay during the summer and having to keep up with his address changes while he was in Europe in the Army...that's all. Throw in Zack for good measure, because Michael wouldn't take on the Navy team single-handed (NOT!), and we have the makings of two formidable badminton teams.

The match was on! Rienzo spent a lot of time watching for 'incoming'...

When the birdie hit the ground Zack tried to explain to Rienzo he was not permitted to pick up the bludgeoned bird --- Rienzo was to tap it lightly to send it over the net. Geesh. Elke soon came into the house to find a needle and thread. Why? Apparently in their battle weariness, the boys had beaten the 'birdie' so severely, Elke was having to sew it back together. Oh my goodness...it's a plastic birdie.

Often Bree and Blue (the Labs) would step in and show both branches of the service how the game was played. They are bird dogs, ya know, and were totally disgusted with the lack of skill on the part of the two-leggeds.

When Michael wasn't striking a stunning pose he was getting a cold one for the dogs.

Bryan, my first son, my only son (except for Michael, remember) was content to coach from the sidelines, watch the foolishness and keep score. After playing for about 15 minutes I recall someone shouting, "How do you score this @#$%*+! game?" No one had a clue.

Meanwhile, the girls watched from the gallery. Elena (R) didn't know she had a chance to become infamous and get her face on my blog. Bekah (L) smiled and sighed and tried not to encourage the silliness on the court. Elke (C) relaxed. Can you see the little round tummy? Yup, you guessed it --- another team member, due in October. Which team will draft little Jacob?

It was a wonderful evening! We all ate too much and laughed a lot.

Oh, and the winners of the badminton game? No one was quite sure. Personally, I think it was the Labrador Retrievers with some help from Captain Morgan.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hair Care from the Noble and Naughty

Quaker, having always been the "wild child" is trying to find a new "do". He asked Raider today if he wanted to, too. "Nah," Raider said. "I kinda like the natural wind blown look."

"But, if you really wanna know how to style those unruly locks of yours, good buddy, you should ask His Lordship, Otis!"

"Way cool, dude. I'll do just that."

"Sir Otis, oh suave and macho one, " Quaker said with a reverent quiver in his voice. "May I bother Your Highness with a little hair care question?"

Otis felt particularly cordial today, graciously lowering himself to his subject's level in the fiefdom. "My servant Quaker...but of course I can pass on my tress magic to you. Here, come closer so not all shall hear the secret."

Quaker whispers in awe, "Dude, you're kidding? Really?"

"Yes, little portly one, you simply...."

"And then you...," Otis says in hushed tones.

Quaker exclaims, "Oh my goodness, oh radically radiant one! I look amazing and it's all because you were kind enough to share your secret. So let me get this straight. First, roll in the dirt and get yourself filthy -- check. Then ask another four-legged to chew on my forelock and mane and slobber hither and yon, basically plastering spit all over the dust, making mud."

Otis nods, grins widely and stifles a snicker.

Quaker, with humble thanks in his voice, says, "I feel so honored to have learned from you, oh princely polished one. The mysteries of hair care have been unlocked for me. I am forever your servant."

Otis sighs and mutters to himself, "But of course."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oh Deer!

"Mama, what's this?"

"It's a boat hitch, deerest. People attach them to their trucks and drive around and around. When they're tired of driving they bring them home and put them back in the carport."

"Yikes, what's that, Mama?"

"Oh, darling, that's a people. She comes out with that thing stuck to her face all the time when your older brothers and I hang out in the yard. She stands very still so I guess we don't frighten her much."

"One more mouthful of this luscious grass and we need to move on, kids."

"I think she's getting too close now. We don't want to panic her...we're outta here."

Mama trots to the fence, a 4 foot high field fence, and the twins follow. She boinks over the fence. They're separated.

The twins are only 6-8 weeks old so they certainly can't jump a fence. What is Mama thinking?

Hubby has circled around and opened the front gate. Mama comes back into the front yard and the twins see her. "Hey, there's Mama!!!"

It's a happy reunion. Mama promises she won't jump fences 'til she's taught the little ones how to follow.

That makes the peoples happy too.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hot Saws 'N Carhartts

The finale....the final day of the Buckley Log Show! What's it all about? Power, sheer power. Whether it's horse power measured in, well, horse power or man power, measured in sweat and tendon popping strength...that's the log show finale. It's the day everyone gathers at the arena to cheer on the competitors and their machines.

Good family names like Clinkingbeard and McBride and Frick take the center stage and show their mettle. Here Ty Hanson is finishing his first place climb in 3:14.93, only 7 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Ty had to climb a 75-foot spar tree (no branches) and saw through the top notch in a 7 inch log. The time stops when Ty's chip hits the ground.

One thing's for darn sure, there isn't a pair of Levis or Wranglers within five miles of this log show. Standard issue "Made-for-the-Woods" jeans are Carhartts. A good 6-7 inches are usually cut off the bottom so a chainsaw doesn't do it for you and eat your leg in the process! Add a heavy duty pair of suspenders, a hickory striped shirt or a t-shirt with attitude and you kinda look like a logger. A ball cap with a greasy stained sweat band, advertising your logging company, adds to the look. Lastly, a can of chew accessorizes the ensemble. Yes, this is fashion, in it's roughest, burly-man sense!

I love this guy's t-shirt. There's no need to explain how he feels about things. It says, "If it thinks, don't eat it!" Sweet.

Dueling Hot Saws are the reason many come to the log show. In Hot Saw Limited, guys use their own stock power saws to cut through the log. Admirable, but so hoo-hum.

Modified Hot Saws --- now we're talking a little out of the ordinary. Two men teams cut through a log using double-ended chainsaws. The trophy goes to the fastest time, which was just 18.45 seconds for Bud and Ty Hanson (again).

Check out the group of serious timers behind the contestants, crouching to get at eye level with the action. No one wants to say, "Uh, guys, I didn't get my watch started. Could you do that again?"

The end of the day comes 'round. The crowd starts to press toward the ropes that separate the boys (and ladies) from the men. It's Hot Saw UN-limited time. Get ready folks 'cause if you blink you'll miss the whole thing.

The defending champion is the Binford. Not your basic Stihl or McCullough, the Binford is a hand-crafted Hot Saw on steroids. Built from a Buick V-8 engine it makes mincemeat of big logs, in seconds.

It takes 4 men to carry the Binford to the starting line but only 2 men are allowed to hold onto the beast as it devours the log.

NASCAR has nothing on this. The roar of the engines, the sweat and money and training of the contestants. Where else can a crowd be covered with wood chips and be ecstatic about it?

Just like butter, the Binford cuts through the log in a record setting 3.03 seconds! The crowd cheers. High-fives all around.

What do you bet more than one spectator stopped by their garage later that day to glance at their ole Buick, minus the wood chips --- shook their head, and grinned?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

From Historical to Hysterical (Log Show Part 2)

Back to the Buckley Log Show...

This part of the country (despite the spotted owl) is rich in logging history. A cute little museum at the log show grounds gives you an idea how hard loggin' life was before the chain saw, the huge trucks and the powerful machinery.

Serious logging depends on macho machinery. I wonder whose job it'll be to change this tire? Bring on the muscle, boys.

This little number is the one Hollywood has it's eyes on for it's next horror blockbuster! (Just kidding, but it makes for a great "visual"!) There's a big strap holding the wheels together because the nubby bumps on them are made for de-barking the tree. Not something you want to back into when it's going full tilt. Yikes!

An important part of logging history is the memories of those who've passed. I think as long as this International is part of the crew, "Big Joe" will be there too.

I gotta kick out of some of the "individual expression" on the logging trucks. No problem finding these rigs parked in the woods.

Oh crap...I hope that last one doesn't change the viewer's rating of my blog. Sorry, couldn't resist. Remember --- in the woods --- it's a man's world.

Part 3? Ahh, that's where we'll kick up the testosterone level a notch!

Folks following my blog...


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