Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's One of Those Blue Sundays When...

You realize you have more single socks than you did last week

You bathed your geriatric cat because she isn't always so neat in the litterbox, now she is mad and yowling at you

Texts to friends go unanswered but you see them posting on Facebook

You're out of vodka but there is still bloody mary mix in the frig

The cat pees again on her blanket, and you contemplate whether she would have any quality of life since the rest of it will be spent shut in the bathroom

All the laundry is done but you still don't have a matching pair of socks

The person on Craigslist trying to get rid of something won't email you back

Last night was fun with the girls but now there is the after-the-ball-has-ended feeling

You realize the cat pee wasn't limited to the blanket

Well, I hope at least the fish is happy. He isn't saying much. And my sweetie went grocery shopping before he left. There's always peanut butter toast. And a matching sock that came out of the dryer with the cat blanket. My new fleecy socks haven't been washed yet, so I leave blobs of pink and brown fuzz here and there, but they are so comfy!
Time for home-popped popcorn and a movie.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

All For A Loveseat

Sometimes moving at the speed of grace and kindness can be rather slow. But I chose those words because I have moved fast and gotten nowhere. Not always, but even when things rolled my way, they were too fast to stop and enjoy the cactus flowers. Maybe it's age, experience, or my back injury from my military days, but I have come to a pleasantly-paced amble. Now and again I find myself maybe a bit TOO slow, and need to shake things up. This morning was one of those times.

I haven't been by myself in a while, and truth be told not all my personal choices have been exactly wise, but it's good to be self-reliant, and one must practice this now and again lest one become... well, too dependent on the world. My partner has been out of town for the weekend getting the truck vamped up for all the trailering we plan on doing this spring and summer, thanks to a lot of reading, research, and great websites like TrailMeister, for one example. With all our trials and errors, you'd think we'd invented taking horses cross-country, or horseback riding itself, for that matter! We haven't had riding friends since we began, which is how we learned most things in the first place.

It was two or three years before we'd heard of something called Trailer Brakes. Yikes! You may imagine how our Tundra brakes looked about then... yes, 7000 lbs is our tow limit, and baby, we're right about there. One lightweight Charmac slant - 2 is all we need, and it's been from Minnesota to the Washington coast, down through LA and lots of trips throughout Arizona. Now we've discovered something called Air Pillows or some such thing... perfect for the off-and-on trips to help steady out the tongue weight (which the Equalizer bars do somewhat, but not enough for our taste).

Enough prologue. So out I go for my morning walk, a good mile or so, then on to the finer things like one of my Yoga DVDs and furniture shopping. OK, so the condo is little more than 300 square feet, and I'm STILL trying to get furniture? Yes! Just a little loveseat, and I mean LITTLE, not more than 60 inches or so...

The used furniture store two blocks away has some nice pieces, apartment-sized, and I inquire about one (a bit spendy at $400) but cash talks, right? I offer the vendor $200 to walk out with it (it IS used, after all) and he gives me the owner's number to bargain with. So I leave a message, he calls back, gives the kabash on the deal, but then says he has other furniture in storage I may like to see, and even offers to pick me up to drive me there (uh, no thanks!) I say I will meet him at the garage location, just 6 blocks away or so.

They are also pretty nice pieces, though none would fit, and we end up chatting a bit... he happens to have my mom's birthday, been in and out of real estate, tells me he and his partner have been together 32 years (wow! I couldn't get past 11) and how he keeps his half-dozen cars in the empty--er, non-rented spaces in the garage of the high rise rental he manages (including a Cadillac he is selling, so now we are swapping caddy stories...) After 20 minutes, he offers to drive me to yet another storage location. What, you say? YES, he is INTO furniture.

It took me about two minutes to say yes, including the time it took to text Jeremy the address of the place (you never ever know!) just in case, and yes, I did hop in the truck, and we did go to another garage, and look at yet more furniture. Way in the back sitting on its side was a cream leather, two-butt, perfect loveseat. I told him I was still set on not paying more than $200, and he barely hesitated but agreed.

Now you must understand, and I may have said this a time or two in the last 4 years of blogging, but I am a Goodwill Industries Customer Extraordinaire. For the last several years I have refused to pay over $6-8 for any item of clothing, or over $20 for a piece of furniture, and THEN there are the sales!! I have very nice things, the few that I have kept over the on-and-off working and living situations, so buying something for this much money was: a) extremely empowering, b) kinda frightening, and c) apparently completely impossible for me.

We put the loveseat in the back of his truck, I noted some scuffs and water marks, he said we would take it to the little shop and clean it all up for me and see if I still wanted it. IN THE 8 BLOCKS TO THE STORE, he noticed a couple trying to get a larger couch into the front door of a building, and could not pass up the opportunity to help them. Would I mind waiting for few in the truck while he helped them out? No, of course not. A sunny day in Seattle apparently watered the fertile apartments, and furniture was exploding out of homes and condos everywhere; people were wrangling stuff into and out of trucks throughout town.

Fifteen or twenty minutes later, I'm still sitting in his RUNNING truck, (he even left the heater on for me) parked in a TOW AWAY ZONE with the flashers on! I didn't mind, I had nothing else going on, exactly (except it was nearly noon and I hadn't eaten, but that's normal) and it gave me time to really think about the purchase... and the TRUST!! Who does this? You know the old saying, people who don't trust others can't be trusted, or fill in the blank... surely someone who leaves their vehicle in my care (if someone comes along, you can just move it) can have no ill will or harmful intentions toward me (or so I reason). Yeah, I know it can be a disarming tactic for the very evil.

I surveyed the clean interior, spied one smooth jazz CD, swimming trunks on upside down over the driver's seat headrest (at first I thought they were underwear!!! That would have sent me running) and a towel in the back... and then I saw the fortune from a cookie in the center console. Reading it upside down, it said "It is proper to tell the truth." I knew I was with good people.

No, I didn't end up buying the loveseat. I told him upon seeing the measurements it would not fit as well as the first piece I wanted (which he promptly offered to me at a $100 discount, free of tax and free delivery), but I told him that it had to be the right piece at the right price. But I think I just may have received the most incredible deal of all, which can only BE free (though can be expensive in other ways), and that is to find someone on the path of a true human being.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

More Farm Memories

Thanks to JANIE and her Utah Trails blog (see link on the right) for reminding me of the warmer, lazier days...

Every buddy needs to feel safe enough to get a good snooze in. Glad to see it! I keep laughing every time I look at them! Being around sleeping horses is very special indeed, like being in church somewhere, we creep around quietly so as not to disturb... and they wake up with those sleepy faces, as if to say, "Wha-?"

I got caught sneaking a photo. These guys slept about the same time each day, if the sun was out and it was warm enough. Out in farmland there wasn't too much going on day in and day out.

Only once in the year we were here did I see a mountain lion, and I only knew to look for something because the herd came running in from the back forty all a-huff. Looking across the property, about a quarter-mile away, I saw the large straw-colored cat leaping up the hillside like it was nothing. I grabbed my shovel and walked over the rise along the dirt road that separated the 20 acre pasture from the berry fields, followed along the fence by some very curious and dramatic four-leggeds, as though they were my posse. The cat just ended up sitting and watching all of us for a while, then leaped back over the property fence (seven feet, taller in places) and we never saw it again. Funny how the horses all wanted a powwow afterwards, I hopped the gate and we all stood together, anchoring the moment, feeling strong.

We are the Herd!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cowboy Logic

People who are tough never have to tell you that they are. It’s the same with people who are honest.

Never miss a chance to shut up. Well-timed silence has more eloquence than speech.

A bad-tempered man will never make a good-tempered horse.

The easiest way to eat crow is when it’s still warm. The colder it gets the harder it is to swallow.

Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t botherin’ you none.

If it's broke, fix it.

A man that don't love a horse there is something the matter with him. If he has no sympathy for the man that does love horses then there is something worse the matter with him.

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.

When you give a personal lesson in meanness to a person or a critter don’t be surprised if they learn it.

Generally speakin’, you ain’t learnin’ nothing when you’re the one doin’ the talkin.

It takes a great deal of physical courage to ride a horse. I get it at about forty cents a flask and take it as required.

Don’t squat with your spurs on.

Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.

Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.

When I hear somebody talking about a horse being stupid, I figure it's a sure sign that it has outfoxed them.

If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some considerable influence, try ordering someone else’s dog around.

Nothing on four legs is quicker than a horse heading back to the barn.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Will The Real Prairie Rose Please Stand Up

Day Five of the Big Snowstorm, and this story seemed timely. Discovered it this week, snowed in and running across various and sundry articles about early horsewomen (unfortunately termed "cowgirls," not unlike their male counterparts; I say this only because I think taking care of cattle is not really the same as being a horseperson, but that's my soapbox).

If any of you (and who hasn't) have heard the Michael Martin Murphey song "Wildfire," you know the poignant, haunting story of a woman who died trying to save her pony from a horrible snowstorm. Nothing prepared me for it to be a true story, and from my bit of research I doubt Mr. Murphey knew it either when he wrote it.

You can read about it HERE, where I found these wonderful images, along with other historical and not-so-objective accounts of other early western women, many of whom were apparently named "Prairie Rose," stirring confusion into an already colorful, ever unwinding feminine story.

Stay warm, lovies! But no promises on keeping the eyes dry.

Thursday, January 19, 2012



This is the view from my porch (of course it was taken from inside, hello!) It seems all of Seattle is so BLISSFULLY quiet! The effects the micro-muffler powder has on noise in general compounded with the lack of traffic en masse is underlined by the small town feel of neighbors coming out and talking to each other (and highlighted by the toboggan-hill block-parties on the steepest closed roads).
After days of snow, downtown Seattle is practically closed and some winter storm warnings are in effect. It's been enjoyable just for the crispy crunchiness of it all, and because of condo living, my heater hasn't even been turned on. Socks, slippers, and a wool oversweater keep the ol' metabolism up and immune system healthy! Then I strap on my YakTrax and get to see things like this:

Beautiful bus stop berries! Like Twizzlers for birds... makes beaks happy!

... and on the first day of snow, THIS was happening (now all the buses wear chains, and you can't see any of the road OR sidewalks for all the ice and snow):

But you can't please everybody all the time. I'm snowed in and can't visit my pasture ornaments. I'm just glad they have some old growth trees to hide under and twenty acres to run on to keep warm. Then of course some just want to stay inside and love on Brown Bear. After a couple shots of my favorite whiskey, I think I'll join ye!
(Okay, maybe three shots)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Season's Greetings!! from the four-leggeds

After dreaming of our years in ARIZONA ... I stumbled on a pic of the boys out at my brother's place during our week of vacationing in CALIFORNIA ...

Such a happy time!!

Now there's just this ...

You said it, buddy!!
Springtime, here we come!!!