Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winter Wanderings

Eric the Bold went on a whirl wind trip up near Portland, Oregon this week. He has a customer who wants him to cut some custom beams, and other lumber and our sawmill needed some fine tuning. He took the business end of the sawmill to the manufacturer and got it put back to specs and also learned a lot more about making lumber with our particular Mobile Dimension Saw.

Mark and I have been entertaining our oldest son and his friend Ryan. Of course by entertaining we mean we have been giving them jobs to do. Like fixing fence, cleaning the shop, rerouting water run off and of course, cutting firewood! Always the guys are cutting firewood. It pays the bills.

Today though, Mark and I decided to go for a horse ride before the rains set in again tonight. No photos though, I forgot my camera. We chose to ride Buddy and Stormy. We haven't ridden them in almost 2 months and I expected a little fireworks, but they were both lazy bones. The funny thing about riding this time of the year is that it takes almost all of your riding time to get the mud off before you can saddle them. They just love to roll in the mud after, during and before the rain and their coats get quite caked with the stuff. Their manes and tails too hadn't been touched for at least a month and some detangler was needed to get all the knots out. But finally I got them all groomed and saddled and Mark showed up to enjoy the excursion.

Today was sunny and then cloudy. Probably in the 50's. Everything quite green. We spotted some strange orange fluorescent fungus growing on fallen logs and the earth had that rich decaying smell that I so love. Saw deer in the prairies and coveys of quail.

We decided to make a loop ride connecting our Smith Orchard Road with the Big Redwood Road. This meant we needed to take a logging skid trail to connect the two. I had actually never ridden this skid trail before so it was new terrain for me. Quite a few trees were down and the ground very slippery. Stormy's arthritic knee was bothering her on the downhill so we opted to lead them down the steepest sections. Folks, it can get pretty steep here. Stormy led great and Mark had a 14 foot lead rope so he could get out of her way and let her slide down to him. Buddy is such a dork though that between me slipping and him trying to stay in my back pocket I often opted to just let him go and then catch up to him later. He was one big sliding and slipping awkward brute. I will say it got my heart to pumping and I realize I need to teach him not to follow so close. When we finally made it to the Big Redwood Road we were relieved and climbed back on board only to soon discover that a dead tree was down across the road and due to the steep bank hovering over the road on the left and the steep bank falling away from the road on the right, we were blocked. It looked like we were going to have to turn around and retrace our steps. I really did not want to retrace our steps. I had left my coat at home and it was beginning to get cold.

Mark then realized that if we got off and unsaddled the horses they could probably squeeze under the tree. It worked! I have to tell you that was a first for me. Many times I have gotten stuck on a ride due to all of the dead trees we have falling because of the fire in 2003. Numerous times I have had to turn around. Now I have a new tool to use. I'm excited. What we probably need to start riding with though is a chainsaw! Now a chainsaw could blaze a trail. But Mark has made me take a vow against ever using a chainsaw because I, like Buddy, am a clumsy brute, and he says that someday we will learn to dance western and we will both need both our arms and legs.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Kate Is Back!

Today, driving out to the highway under a relentless rain, I saw Kate in the back of a pick up truck that we were passing on an especially tight spot on the road. "There is our dog", I yelled to Mark as I jumped out of our slowly moving vehicle. I then ran down the road after the truck waving my arms and yelling. They stopped real quick. I have no idea what they thought was happening. The young man jumped out with a puzzled look and I exlaimed tearfully, "Oh, you've got our dog. Our dog Kate." Kate wriggled. He released her from the tether and explained that he had posted her being found on the local radio and had been asking around everywhere and hauling her as well. Such nice people. I think it was our neighbors Russ and Rusty, but I was in such an emotional state I had only eyes for Kate. I forgot to thank them or offer to pay for their time and her food as well. I just grabbed her and ran back to our truck and away we went. Our crazy Katydiddle is home.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


The rain is steadily falling outside, and I haven't yet recovered from this nasty flu, so I thought I would do a little follow up on our travel to Mexico. We enjoyed the sun, surfing (sort of), snorkeling, swimming, walking and general ambiance of Mexico. My nails grew really long which means I did absolutely no work. No work. It is hard work doing no work!

We spent the bulk of our time in Sayulita, which is about an hour on the bus north of Puerto Vallarta. It is a charming surf town with a lot of gringos. A lot. Too many really, but it does make someone like me a little more comfortable. The last few days were slotted to be spent in Puerto Vallarta, but when we arrived I was completely overwhelmed by the people, noise and busyness of the place, so the first morning there Mark and I took a water taxi to Yelapa.
We had heard of Yelapa but had never visited. It is a very small village on the south side of the Bay of Banderas that is really only accessible by boat. And the 45 minute boat ride is half of the fun-the jungle zipping by, the waves, the dolphins and whales, with a crazy eclectic soundtrack blasting just about every type of music. Amazing. As was Yelapa. I loved Yelapa. I left a little piece of my heart in Yelapa I think. It was very peaceful. We felt at home in Yelapa.
Yelapa is beautiful and very peaceful.

We hiked through the little cobblestone trails to a lovely waterfall.

There are no vehicles so the equine is used to haul supplies from the beach into the village above it. So beautiful is Yelapa!

A little video of a moment on the boat ride.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Found The Horse

And she is alive! She has lost weight and is drawn up, but overall in good shape. It looks like ehrlichia strikes again. She will be our third horse to get this nasty tick borne disease. It hits them hard and fast. She is in the barn with Charlie now and we will see how she does in the next couple of days and take her to the vet if needed on Monday.

Jo and Eric went out on horseback today looking and followed Lilly's tracks right to Hersha. Lily and Hersha are best friends and apparently Lilly has been going back and forth between the herd and her hurting pal. Way to go Lilly! If you recall Lilly had ehrlichia this summer so I bet she had horsey compassion for her compadre.

Now if we could only find Kate.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Missing Horse!?

This is crazy, first our dog Kate went missing and now a horse? Eric was given Hersha around Christmas by the same man who gave us Sweet William. Hersha is a quarter horse/shire cross and 4 years old. Eric was planning on training her to pull a cart (she is already trained to ride) and then possibly selling her this summer. Yesterday she did not show up with the horse herd at feeding time. Which does not bode well. Horses do not wander off by themselves unless something is seriously wrong. They are herd animals. Eric has been out looking all day, but it is a fairly big ranch and she could be anywhere. I have been hovering over the toilet or crashed in my bed as I have succumbed to some sort of nasty bug. I wish I could be out looking, maybe tommorrow. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Missing Dog

Have you seen this dog? Although she probably is not wearing her pearls. Kate just wears her pearls for nights out on the town.

Call 707-599-0518

Friday, January 15, 2010

Horse Ride in Mexico

Johanna and I went riding. We couldn't resist. We commissioned a two hour ride through the jungle and to a more deserted beach to go for a gallop. The horses were in very good shape and well trained. We were impressed. They did not just follow along in a line, but followed our direction and moved off the leg. My horse was a gelding named Indio and Jo's was Reboso the black stallion. I kid you not. He was as gentle as a lamb. I was told mine was a butt, but he turned out excellent after a few reminders.

Monday, January 4, 2010

All Packed

and ready to go off on our second annual Mexico beach vacation. Last year we had a wonderful time and found it to be a very economical trip. Eric the Bold, soon to be Eric the Tamed, is holding down the fort here while his fiance and her family are traveling with us. Priorities people!

It is really hard to leave. Look at this beauty. This peace. You won't find that everywhere. We will probably stay unplugged for the duration of our vacation. Have a great couple of weeks.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Two-Shot Dinner

First step involved a hunter (Eric the engaged) his faithful bird dog/sidekick (Jo the beloved), a Benelli shotgun, two shells (low base sixes), a covey of quail on the wing and a beautiful day. Next step involved 2 chefs, some stuffing, vegetables, a dutch oven and six quail. Pretty darn good.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Big Pig

This is the big pig mentioned in previous post. Photo compliments of Eric the Bold, hunting guide extraordinaire. According to said guide, this particular pig, along with her compatriot, charged them. That is a first folks. Charging pigs are not common up here. Usually they run. As did Eric. He wasn't carrying a gun.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Images of New Year's Day

The woodland creatures came out to play. (Three out of four were obviously still celebrating!)
"I'm not so sure about this." The residents were nervous. With good reason.
Amazing light after the rain. Yodelling in the new year. A new tradition.
Is this Humboldt or Patagonia? It really was a beautiful day.
Bull slapping by our good friend and candidate for Humboldt County sheriff. While I didn't actually capture the image, he did slap the bull. No bull.
As did his son. Excellent follow-through. Technique is critical.
Of course, it isn't so hard when you can feed the cattle out of your hand. Yet, Mark and I didn't do it, if that says anything. Don't say anything. Thanks. The recently engaged. Eric the Bold had a pig hunter on the ranch today and a really, really big pig was shot. Johanna was wrangled into being the wrangler and riding Sweet William up to pull the pig out. And off he goes to drag the pig out. I am not sure why but we didn't stick around to see the pig. It would be really nice to post a photo of the pig. But I can't. Even Jo and Eric the Bold's puppy Spice got into the festivities.

We all intend to approach the new year with lip-smacking enthusiasm. Seeking God as little children, and spreading joy like a puppy.

Happy New Year

Glad we made it to another year. Crazy to think it is now 2010. Wow. 2010. Wow! We remember the 80's like they were yesterday and that was 30 years ago. We think we might be getting old.

The following excerpt from "Streams in the Desert", is our inspiration for the year:

"We would be better Christians if we spent more time alone, and we would actually accomplish more if we attempted less and spent more time in isolation and quiet waiting upon God. "

We have decided to focus on living more intentional instead of always bouncing down every rabbit hole that comes along. Sometimes this might even mean saying the 2 letter word. You know, no. We have such a hard time saying no and often find ourselves doing lots of wonderful things that we really had no intention of doing. And doing all these things takes the place often of other pursuits that we feel lead to do.

As for this blog... we plan on continuing; more photos, more little snippets on the restorative powers of God's little piece of creation we are so blessed to live on. We will post as often as possible and as little as needed. We hope you can drop by here from time to time and we always love to hear your comments.

Just for fun:

Black Eyed Peas to bring you luck in 2010:

1 lb dry black eyed peas (don't use precooked, the luck is already swelled out of them!)
2 cups cooked ham (don't use chicken because they eat backwards and don't use beef because they eat backwards, forwards and sideways, EAT pig because they always push forward !)
pinch of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 onions diced
1- 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes
Soak beans overnight or cover with water in pan and bring to a boil. When boiling turn off, keep covered for 1 hour for a quick soak.
Drain beans, place in pot with all other incredients, cover with water and cook until tender making sure to keep enough liquid in pot. Enjoy over cornbread.