Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What the ... ?

Hey, who's the new kid?



Geesh, you'd think with us gracing her pastures Mom wouldn't need another four-legged on the place.



Hey buddy --- wazzup? What's yer name?



Your name is WHAT?

"Creel"? What a weird name, dude.

It's a what?

What a fly fisherman uses?

For what?

OH, I get it....the gnarly basket the fly fisherman puts his catch in...a creel. Got it, my man --- perfectly kewl.



Well, welcome to the place.

Turn it on. Follow us. Let's see what you can do!



Sure, no problem, my kind, new-found friends...a little warm-up first, if you don't mind.















(Ever so lightly puffing...) So, will that do?

Uh, yeah Creel. That will do, for now.

(Geesh what a show-off! Wait! I think if we smear some mud on this guy's shiny white coat, maybe add a manure stain or two --- it might just "country-fy" him enough he'll fit right in. We gotta do something about his speed though. Mom is gonna expect something like that outta us, and, well...it ain't gonna happen!)

Friday, October 23, 2009

TGIF!!!

Fridays are busy 'round here. That is until I get my butt retired someday. Then I'll wait for the day when I scratch my head and ask hubby, "What day is this?" OMG! --- I can't wait until that day. Wait for it, wait for it...

Anyway, I must share something with you, something really clever. You might remember we're adding a new, four-legged member to our family tomorrow. "Creel" is arriving sometime tomorrow morning and we're really excited ("we" being the people). Dog bed is bought, dog crate is assembled, toys and chew bones are piled high, baby gates are at ready. In the process of becoming members of the
Greyhound Pets of America, Greater Northwest family, I joined their chat list. This is what greeted me this morning when I opened my email:

Draw the Dog

Pretty appropriate, huh? Pretty cute, huh? Pretty accurate? Furr sure!

Have a Greyt weekend everyone. I'll be lovin' on a new Greyhound!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Story of My Life...

Have you ever had one of "those" days? One that was supposed to be nice and calm, without any high seas, rough waters or capsizings?

Our little corner of the world, near Seattle, Washington, is getting ready for one such day. Except it's supposed to last throughout the winter. And, not just this winter, but maybe the next 3 to 5 winters. Oh, goody.

The Howard Hanson Dam was built at the headwaters of the Green River in Washington State by the Army Corps of Engineers in the mid-1960's. It was a stunning success and alleviated the devastating flooding that happened every year in the Green River Valley. The flooding wiped out farmsteads and inconvenienced the day to day existence of that sleepy little part of the countryside. Farmers planted wet weather crops. Homeowners knew not to buy acreage in the valley for their dream home.

Then the dam came and life became normal. Life expected some rain but the rain was curbed up high in the mountains at the dam. Life grew in the valley, businesses moved in, mega farms erupted in the rich soil, huge subdivisions sprouted up everywhere, filled with families with their normal lives.

Last winter we had record breaking rain in January and a small breach occurred in the right abutment of the Howard Hanson Dam. "Hmmm," said the Army Corps. "What should we do about that?" Dye packets were placed above the breach and hydrologists watched as the dye showed up downstream, having made it's way through the dam. "Hmmm," again.

So the valley prepares for the flood. The valley includes some of the largest cities in western Washington, extensive government buildings and miles and miles of warehouses. Businesses and tens of thousands of people will have their lives turned un-normal. New Orleans will be a model of what NOT to do, Fargo, North Dakota will be a model of what TO do. Hopefully the folks in the Green River Valley will care more about their neighbors than themselves...and join together against the flood.

Time will tell.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A "Lovely" Time Was Had By All!

This weekend a short, but "lovely", time was had with our good friends Ron and Dorothy Whiteman. ("Lovely" wasn't in my vocabulary before I met Dorothy. Now I see things differently in my world and "lovely" is the only way to describe a lot of them.)



The Whitemans moved to a (you got it) "lovely" old farm last year. They've done wonderful things with the renovation of the house and barn, keeping the place looking traditional, but updated at the same time.



While the men worked on the bathtub project, Dorothy and I strolled around the farm. The place is full of signs of their love of the land, with a little humor thrown in. A peaceful rest under the trees is not without someone keeping an eye on you!



This gorgeous bird feeder was made for Dorothy by a talented friend who's an artist too, as a retirement present. Lucky Dorothy, lucky birds!



Newman Creek meanders through their property, when it's behaving. When it's not, it's flowing over their property. There's a big difference between those two words, "through" and "over". Yesterday the creek was behaving itself, except for it's destruction of a beaver dam. If you look closely you may be able to see the break in the dam, now underwater, from the heavy rains the day before. If you can't see it...well, you'll just have to trust me on this one.



The center of most life on a farm is the barn and the Whiteman's place is no different. They've put their hearts and souls into the re-birth of their classic barn.







It was hard to say good-bye to such a peaceful place and such good people.

Next time: Meet the Four-Leggeds!

Friday, October 16, 2009

You know what they say about good fences...

With Creel, our new Greyhound, moving in October 24th, there was some serious, serious fencing that needed to be done last weekend. I think Mother Nature knows when you're dog-less. She decides if any winds are going to blow down any trees, it's going to happen at your place and they're going to fall on your fences. We must've spent 48 out of 36 hours last weekend doing something I detest -- fencing. Grrrr...

Let's get started. 330 feet of 4 foot, light duty fence -- check. A bundle of 6 foot long medium duty steel T-posts -- check. New Holland tractor and hubby -- check and double check.

And then there's the supervisory crew.



Raider, did you forget you pulled duty this weekend? Look sharp! (Ugh, "management"!)



The work begins. Hubby man-handles the fencing into the tractor bucket, the bundle writhing like a silver snake who won't be contained.



Holy crap! That silver monster in the bucket is purdy scary looking!





Leave it to Pete to put them all in their places, "Hey ya girly-men, don't you know a roll of fence when you see it? Geesh!"



So much for good neighbors, huh?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Livin' In The Fast Lane...

Once upon a time there was a nice gal from Washington State who (with nice hubby) bought a small ranch in central New Mexico. This was to be the retirement home so she built a pretty pueblo style house on the land and added a spiffy barn for the miniature horses and donkey. Then she waited for retirement to come so she and hubby could get on with their lives and do all the things they dreamed of doing.

The economy tanked.

So, the nice couple had to put life on hold, kinda, until they could sell in Washington and move to the Land of Enchantment. Lots of things were put on the back burner. Getting a new dog was one of those things. Beloved dogs "Bandit" (Australian Cattle Dog) and "Bones" (retired racing Greyhound) crossed The Rainbow Bridge in 2007, just 6 weeks apart. For the first time in 34 years the nice couple was dog-less...and it hurt.

Three weeks ago we went camping with friends and family. Everyone brought the essential camping equipment: RVs, fishing poles, boats with big outboards...and a dog. Except us.

That put a "burr under my saddle", as they say. I decided I needed a dog, now. Not a tiny pup who would prefer to be raised by retired people, full time, 24 hours a day. Not a tiny pup who might, just might, use the new to-sell-the-house-taupe-carpet for a potty spot. Hmmm, think, think.

It didn't take long and I had an idea. Research the heck out of the idea, break it subtly to hubby and hold your breath. Hubby said, "yes". Well, at least I don't remember him saying "no".

It was time to move my life into the Fast Lane, again. It was time to give a forever home to another deserving, oh so deserving, retired Greyhound.

First I went to The Greyhound Project website, the all knowing folks who wrote the website on Greyhound knowledge and acquisition. There I located the agencies in Washington who had Greyhounds for adoption. Greyhound Pets of America (Greater Northwest) had a lovely boy. I hoped he would want to live with me.



"Creel" came to visit last Sunday. His foster "mom" Lori arrived in her new Subaru with it's first dog passenger. He was eager to leave the car and roam, on lead, around our property. We have 5 acres and dogs have always had 1 1/2 acres to call their own. After checking out the perimeter of the property, Lori said, "Let him loose."

A few long, floating strides to test his freedom and Creel was OFF!

There's nothing as beautiful as a free Greyhound in flight. "Poetry in Motion" the bumper sticker says on many a Greyhound admirer's car. It couldn't be said better.

Creel raced in Phoenix and Tucson and not setting any land speed records, he was retired. He was one of the lucky ones. He wasn't euthanized for his lack of get up 'n go. He was chosen by Greyhound Pets of America, given a clean bill of health and sent north. To me.



This is the beginning of a wonderful chapter in our lives. Thank you Greyhound Pets of America, Greater Northwest. I am forever "greytful" for your kindness to me ... and to Creel.




(Pictures of "Creel", courtesy of and with permission from Greyhound Pets of America, Greater Northwest Chapter)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cruzin' Coolers ~ Master's Division

Last weekend TVs were silent. No one sat mesmerized in front of the tube or flat screen to watch racing....NASCAR racing. Why? 'Cause this country's common man, the one without a Swiss bank account, off-shore holdings or deep pockets in his sponsor's pin-striped suit pants --- has "down-sized". Down sized such that a relatively cheap and more practical rig is used for the weekend's contention of speed, agility and levels of testosterone.

And better yet, this year the Cruzin' Coolers Invitational has a Master's Division!

"C'mon Dad, drive that beast like you own the road, er, track!"



Familiarizing yourself with the controls take, um, 'bout 10 seconds. Stop, go, go faster. When you're done with your training laps you climb off, open the cooler and down a cold one.



Track surfaces can change and present hazardous racing conditions. It's important to whisper the mantra used by experienced Cruizin' Cooler riders --- "Be One with the Cooler, Be One with the Cooler". Repeat as necessary as you slide around the sharp turns.



So Masters, dust off those tennies, don your favorite baseball cap and mount up! Fill your tanks with lots of ice and your favorite canned or bottled pastime. Never mind training much. You can polish your skills between the pits and the starting line.



Next race starts in 10 minutes!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Eat Your Heart Out Kasey Kahne

It's only a matter of time before another champion NASCAR driver comes out of Enumclaw, Washington.

Training on a shoestring, it's important to find a vehicle that will simulate the grueling demands of NASCAR racing and, at the same time, is "refreshing". The Cruzin' Cooler fits the bill!



I stopped by last weekend to watch Bryan take the Cooler through it's paces.



He'd thought about becoming a professional bass tournament fisherman, but after coming across the Cooler, he realized his calling.



He likes the way the Cooler jumps out from under him and takes advantage of the custom wheelie-bar to control fast starts off the line.








Sometimes the Cruzin' Cooler has a mind of it's own and the machine takes over.



Accidents can happen. That's not glass...it's ice, of course!



Every driver knows the thrill of the checkered flag doesn't come without mishap. But before long they're back on the track, sights set on Victory Lane --- enjoying a cold one.





Yup, definitely Champion material.

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