Friday, May 30, 2008

happiness is

Friday, May 23, 2008

and then the weather does this

...and I feel bad for ever snapping at it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

talk about an awkward pre-adolescence

Today's post is brought to you by Ivan the Terrible:

And by Elizabeth Swan:

And by daughter's "little baby hen" Maribella (who, I am suspecting more and more every day, is going to need to have his name changed):

And, finally, by Tiny:

Have I mentioned before that life gets considerably more complicated when you have four chickens living in the bathtub?

Their first day outside is going to happen soon. It was supposed to have happened already, but, unfortunately, it hasn't. Wanna know why?

Because today's post is also brought to you by the letter 'S.' As in Snow on the windows. On May FLIPPIN' twenty-second:

Saturday, May 17, 2008

okay, here's the thing

Be forewarned.

You should never give me something cool, random and free, like, say, an old hunting trailer:

Because something inside me will inevitably take over, until the original thing you gave me will start to become an Even More Original! thing.

Why is this? What is it about me that always wants to take something perfectly fine and scre- um, pretty it up?

Don't rightly know, but it's a streak I've always had. And I'm okay with that now.

As the "prettying up" process unfolded (and, really, the process is still just getting started), I kept hearing John Cougar Mellancamp's southern drawl saying, "...and we're gonna paint the mother PANK."

Does anyone remember that line from his Little Pink Houses/MTV album promotion back in the 80's, when JCM (or was he still just John Cougar at that point?) was supposed to actually show up at the contest winner's house and help a bunch of the lucky winner's friends paint it pink?

There's no telling how things might degenerate - er, how much MORE original things might get from this point forward (i.e. just wait 'til I get murals painted and epoxy some big ol' rhinestones on there).

You think I'm joking, don't you.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Okay, so it is the merry month of May, right?

I mean, it's not like I've slipped through a random crack in the space/time continuum, and it's really February again, right?

Because, when I woke up this morning and looked out the back door, this is what I saw:

The animals, all of whom have lost their winter coats by now, were looking at us humans like this was somehow our fault (when we all know it's really Bush's fault). Daughter built a snowman:
(which, uh, had a rather embarrassing skin condition apparently). Then she came inside to drink some hot apple cider and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas (I kid you not), which somehow managed to get left out months ago after I packed away all the other Christmas videos and DVDs. Listening to Linus plinking out "Jingle Bells" on his piano and hearing Lucy say, "Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest" was extremely jarring somehow, with summer only weeks away. I told the husband it was like eating liver pate' for dessert - just plain wrong.

Fortunately, yesterday, we were able to visit the Grand Canyon Deer Farm with our 4-H Clover Kids group before the snowstorm moved in.

No, shy, timid wallflowers, these ungulates. Especially when the nearest human has a handful of deer treats.

Yeah, so I got a hump. What's it to you?

Okay, okay. I get the picture. No donkey treats. Sheesh.

Maybe I should have taken the reindeer as a sign that all would soon turn funky in the world of Northern Arizona weather.

Course, I got me some goat love, which means that even a spring blizzard can't bring me down.

Monday, May 12, 2008

attention Wal-Mart shoppers

So, I'm in Wal-Mart on Saturday, returning a $6 toaster which (shock!) stopped working after the fourth toast, when an announcement comes over the speaker system:

"We have a misplaced little boy back here in the layaway department. He appears to be about four-years-old and Native American, wearing a red shirt and blue jeans."

A Navajo lady nearby turned to one of her teenaged children, sighed and said, "Sounds like your father's lost again."

Thursday, May 08, 2008

you tell me

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

hell yeah

How cool is it that Gretchen Wilson went back and got her GED at the age of 34? As someone who used to teach GED classes in an uber-rural part of Arizona, I know firsthand what a challenge it can be for working adults struggling to just put food on the table to carve out the time for something like that. It's such an important step, though, and I've seen how finally holding that little piece of paper can make a person look at him/herself in a whole new light.

Gretchen is out there giving interviews, talking about how it was a mistake not to graduate from high school and how, now that her daughter is in school, she realized it was important to set the right example, to be able to help with homework, etc. How many of her fans who chose to (or had to) leave high school for whatever reason are now thinking to themselves, "If Gretchen can do it, so can I"?

I think it's awesome.

Monday, May 05, 2008

cowgirl bling

I spent Saturday at a rodeo queen contest with a bunch of 4-H girls. For as much time as I've spent in the horse world (about 25 years now), I've had pretty limited experience with the rodeo. I mean, aside from watching a few local events, admiring the scenery

and noticing that bull riders at the National Finals have started wearing crash helmets (It's about time, says I, the old riding marm), Rodeo and I haven't crossed paths much. Of course, every time I hear Garth singing about it I wish I'd spent my life on the circuit. But I digress.
I have to remind myself occasionally that I chose "Try it" as my motto for 2008. Besides, it's not like the whole rodeo queen thing was for my benefit. As the great Bob the Tomato once said, "It's for the kids." And what the 4-H girls want, the 4-H girls get. I'll admit it. I'm a total pushover (I've even managed to wheedle them in as my ring stewards for a show I'm judging later this month, so they can get a center-ring view of the classes).
So, anyway. Rodeo queens (like cheerleaders and beauty pageant contestants) = Extremely visible, flashy targets for all sorts of ridicule. But, you know what? Some of those girls were really impressive. Not only did they have to memorize and perform a reining pattern on the spot, but they had to dismount in front of a panel of judges and stand there looking pretty while answering a bunch of random, off-the-cuff questions like, "Can you name a famous bronc rider?" and "Can you point to your horse's gaskin?" and "Who is the stock contractor for the 2008 Pine Country Pro Rodeo?"
A couple of the girls were clearly flustered by some of the questions, and I heard a few of them tell the judges, "I'll look into that and get back to you" (with those dazzling smiles glued firmly in place, of course). After the Q&A each girl had to mount up, ride over to the announcer's booth, take the mic and deliver a speech to the crowd about why she should be chosen as this year's queen. Then she had to demonstrate a victory lap around the arena - at a gallop - while holding up a huge American flag. Heck, I'd do that and more for the chance to wear the flashy chinks that get passed down from queen to queen every year. And don't even get me started on the tiara.
Anyway, the winner was a completely adorable Navajo cowgirl with a smile that could melt steel, a personality that could re-carbonate a keg of flat sarsaparilla and a thorough knowledge of all things rodeo. She was a solid hand, too, on her big, borrowed paint. Total crowd favorite, and I think everyone but the runner up's mom was thrilled that she won.
When I got home I saddled up Zzari and headed out for a long ride all over the prairie. I rode up to a big ridge I'd never visited before, and from where I could see a little lake/cattle tank below. Then I discovered an old homesteader's cabin, long abandoned, before heading to my favorite spot on Earth, which is basically a big pile of boulders that sits on a hill overlooking the prairie below with pine-covered hills and mountains all around it.
I love bling as much as any cowgirl, but I guess I love the simple stuff just as much. It was pretty fun to enjoy both in one day.