Monday, September 28, 2009

A Week Later

Last week was a little off kilter.
We had planned on traveling south last week to get hay from the family farm and meet up with my daughter and mom to go dress shopping for our daughter's wedding that is less than 2 weeks away. Of course the bride's dress is chosen, but my mom and I are still in need.

After the accident we needed a day to just breathe and then the following day we had calves that got sick. Runny nose, cough.

We haven't really had sick calves before, and we don't want to use antibiotics, so we did the old fashioned remedy of, "feed a cold, starve a fever". Since they don't really like chicken soup we fed them copious amounts of alfalfa. It did the trick. They are all looking much better now, a
week later.

Other things happened to friends around us too. Sad things.

So needless to say, we did not head south. Now, I have nightmares of showing up to the wedding wedding with nothing on, or dressed way too sexy, or in some old dowager's dress. Really. I have. Just shows how neurotic I am. So, off to Eureka we went last week in pursuit of a dress. Pretty slim pickings in our neck of the woods. Although I will say that if you are a man, it is easy to get dress clothes.

Mark walked into the western store, got a nice pair of black boots. He put them on and then walked a short distance down the mall to the men's clothing store and said he needed a suit. First suit he tried on fit perfectly, they pinned it up for the tailor and we were done. They even had a buy one get one half off, so Eric the Bold got his suit too.


Why can't it be so for women?

A week later and Geanie, our recent accident sufferer, is managing. I wish I could say she was back home and all better, but broken bones take time to heal. I can tell you she is an amazingly strong lady with a terrific family. I feel claustrophobic and anxious just thinking about her injuries of a broken hip AND pelvis, ankle AND elbow. Everyone is thankful it wasn't worse, but still, that's bad enough. She is as of now in a rehabilitation center, near her home in Redlands, Ca with hopes to be home as soon as she can manage a few things on her own. Speedy Recovery to ya, Geanie.

And we are hoping this week is a little more balanced. And that I find a dress.

(photos taken at Humboldt Bay after an afternoon of shopping)

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Fall at the Falls

I sit here decompressing after an eventful day. Our good friend Melody came out with her sister and her sister's husband and daughter. I took them on a very nice, quiet and uneventful ride.

It always worries me a bit when I take beginners out riding the trails. Our horses are safe, but they aren't saints, and any number of things can happen in the woods that you can't account for. As I lead a trail ride I try to seem relaxed and chatty, but I am constantly assessing the horses, riders and the surroundings. Just in case. Today's ride was great though. No problems. Everyone seemed well mounted and to be enjoying themselves. We rode what we call the creek crossing trail that passes near the water falls. When we got there it was decided that they would all walk down and take a look at the falls before continuing the ride. I tied up the horses, but opted to stay with the horses in case they had any problems. It was peaceful. I scratched ears and then sat down on a rock in the shade to wait.

Soon, I heard the group coming back and I was ramping up and going over how I would proceed to get everyone mounted again without the mounting block and thinking about possible things that could go wrong. All of a sudden I sensed a stillness, a pause, a break in the rythm of the walkers that were returning. Then the "oh, no!", "Jeannie's fallen!", exclamations began pouring out the trail. No word from the fallen. Not even a peep. My heart fell. I stood frozen, transfixed, afraid to look. But I hollered and they hollered back that it appeared she was fine. I hurried down the trail to see her at the bottom of an eight foot cliff that a small section of the trail traverses. She was at the bottom splayed out on the rocks with her family around her. She was in pain, but quiet. I then realized I had no phone. NO PHONE> how did I forget my phone? Luckily, my friend had her phone and it worked. I called Mark who, unfortunately, was no where near. He said he would handle the necessary phone calls. I then realized that mounting the horses was not going to be a problem and that we were going to need a vehicle, so I took off up the hill on Buddy to go back home to get the Land Cruiser.

Buddy tried to run up the steep hill for me, but the boy is out of shape and all he could mostly manage was a brisk trot. Good enough. Eric arrived at the house in his truck about the time I got there and I was so happy to see him. He is calm and capable and, since farrier school, he really knows anatomy. He headed on down to the accident site and I regrouped.

Eventually we had all sorts of people arriving. First on the scene was our own local Salmon Creek volunteer fire fighters. Thanks so much Lisa for hiking over in such a speedy manner. Seeing you coming up the creek took a huge load off . Then came the ambulance, with my hubby Mark in close pursuit. Then the fire crew, then the convict crew of about 15, then the helicopter. Amazing! It all came together and they got Jeannie semi comfortable with a little morphine, strapped to a board and then the convict crew carried her out. Everyone was great and it took a lot longer than I just made it sound, but still, we are out here in the middle of no where, and someone fell and all of these wonderful people came and a helicopter was able to land right nearby, in the middle of no where, on a grassy hill. Amazing. Crazy. And I had no camera either. My friend did though and maybe, later, when I can look at the photos I will post them. Maybe.

Right now Jeanie is in a hospital with a broken elbow, ankle and hip. Pray for her and her family. Thanks.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I Got My Eye On U

Today is someone's 50th Birthday. I won't say who. But I will say he is pretty darn special. And in honor of his birthday I sat down this morning and wrote him a little story about someone else who is pretty special to this ranch. A silly story really and I am not quite sure about it. But hey, the birthday boy is an easy audience, so I will go ahead and post it.



Charlie Horse came to this ranch when he was 24 years old and 6 months. His previous owner was a 14 year old girl who lived along a wide meandering river with sandy beaches along each side. She loved to take Charlie down to stand in the middle of the river and she would lie on his smooth back and look up at the sky overhead watching for big fluffy clouds to float by. She also liked Charlie to run along the river’s edge. The wind blew Charlie’s mane back and he sometimes thought he was a pony express horse delivering important mail, and other times his rider was Paul Revere informing the colonist’s that the redcoats were coming and sometimes he was a famous race horse winning the Kentucky Derby. Charlie’s life along the river was one of imagination and stories.

Before Charlie was a river horse he lived in a stable and was used for lessons for children. This was important work that Charlie did not take lightly. It was important that he did not stumble or fall with the little ones on his back. He had to pay attention to the young rider’s cues about when to go and when to stop and when to turn left and when to turn right. Sometimes he might be asked to race around some barrels or some poles. Other times he might have to do jumps or maybe even chase around some cows. Charlie’s life at the stable was one of doing a job well, or as well as he could! He took this job seriously and when the day was done he rested well knowing that he had done it.

Before Charlie lived in a stable he was a vaquero rodeo horse. His beautiful reddish brown hair was brushed to a high gleam and his hard black hooves were polished. He wore a fancy saddle with shiny metal and dangling strings, and his bridle sparkled too. He pranced and he danced and he made people and horses alike ooh and aah at his high stepping feet, gracefully arched neck and his thick, beautiful black tail held high and blowing in the wind like a flag. Charlie’s life as a vaquero rodeo horse was one of beauty, grace and speed.

Before Charlie lived as a vaquero rodeo horse he lived in a large pasture with his mother. Days were spent grazing on sweet grass and racing his friends and taking a nap in the warm sun. His mother and his friends taught him that it wasn’t nice to crowd, or bite or kick. She taught him to not be afraid, and to always do his best. She was a good mother and he was a good son. Charlie’s life with his mother was one of learning to be a good and useful horse.

Charlie Horse is now 27 years and 8 months old. That is pretty old for a horse. Ancient really. Over the hill. But don’t tell him that because Charlie is a horse with many stories yet to live and old ones to remember.

Most days now you can find Charlie meandering around the ranch. He never goes too far, but he stays pretty busy. Sometimes we find him in his imagination station where it seems like his mind is far from here. He also has some goat, donkey, and horse friends that come by often to say hi and play and swap tales under the apple trees. On the ranch he is sometimes also asked to be a child’s horse and he has to pay attention and do a job well. Occasionally he is still asked to run like the wind and he arches his neck and holds his tail high and moves with beauty and grace. We all ooh and aah. Sometimes he even gets to chase the cows and he likes it. He wrinkles his nose and lays his ears back and he chuckles to himself when the cows run away from him. No, Charlie is not old yet. Call him semi-retired and definitely call him loved.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I just downloaded 133 photos to my computer and while perusing through the last week or two on the ranch I realized there were a lot of things going on that I could do a post on. Like I could have done a whole post on our Sunday school round-up where Charlie was one of the featured events. With the stick horses coming in as a close second. But I'm not.
Or I could do a post on Johanna learning to shoot a bow,
and drive the Land Cruiser under the close tutelage of Eric the Bold. "Snappy"! I seriously contemplated doing a whole post on the beautiful sky we have been having lately. Beautiful! Simply beautiful.
Or perhaps I could post about the fall round up. Again, note that sky. But I didn't. We have also had a lot of day visitors to the ranch. Like this wild and crazy family who took the Cruiser to the falls. And I could have done a whole post on such visitors. But I didn't. No, I did not post about any of these events. This post is about painting. Can't you tell? The title says, "painting", come on get with the post here. This is a worthy post about how our house went from a peeling mess to a beautiful shade of red! Yes RED.
Well, a rustic red, beige and white. We tried to match the red to the color of madrone oak bark. It is one of our favorite trees and very notable on the ranch. Perhaps we shall call our home, "Madrone Cottage", or maybe, "The Christmas Cottage"?
A BIG thank you to our dear friends who spent almost 2 weeks away from their homes, and over 202 man hours, to make our home nicer. .... and the bunkhouse too!