Friday, July 31

i loaned out my trailer...

...and had to borrow another one. at the time i agreed to loan mine out, i didn't think i'd be takin my horses anywhere, but i should know better than that. so now i'm borrowing robert's livestock trailer, and his hitch, since new coworker marcy and her husband didn't have one for their pickup. i had to run around picking up that stuff, and going to the courthouse to get a new plate for the livestock trailer since robert hadn't renewed it yet.

and now amanda's going to come chase cows with us, so i'm going to take scooter, too. it crossed my mind, but at the time i didn't think i'd need it, to get the extra tack out of the nose of my trailer before marcy left...oh well. i'll have to get robert's saddle from him, too. i feel like a mooch. i shouldn't loan my own stuff out. :-P i've got a lot of work in putting it all together so i can be independent. at least i didn't loan my truck out.

so in another hour tops i'll be headed out of the office to get the livestock trailer, which is on the west end of town, and load the horses. i'm just going to have them stand in the trailer while i work at church. i better stop and throw a bunch of hay in there so they keep happy. (last night link had to sit in the pickup and wait for me to leave the beacon, but there was a blanket in there and i brought him out a chip so he was happy.)

straightaway after finishing at church i'm going to head west out of town for the 40-mile drive (on dirt road and across nine cattle guards, according to friend scott's directions) to the association. i suppose i'll be leavin town about 9:30, but for me that's better than getting up at 3 tomorrow morning to get things loaded and to the ranch by 5.

somewhere in there, if i have time, i need to iron my jeans and shirt and shower. i bought a new shirt at lou taubert's yesterday that i think i'll wear if i have time to starch it.

and today church boss don called and asked if i'd have time to clean the church offices sometime tonight or when i'm workin tomorrow.....i told him i'd get it done.....not sure when that's going to be yet. maybe i can do it sunday afternoon. yes, i'm getting back into town mid-afternoon tomorrow to work at church again, then as soon as i'm done there i'm headed to glenrock to celebrate it up at deer creek days the rest of the night.

it's a full weekend, but i like it that way. feels like i'm not wasting any opportunities, and when i have just me to worry about, i can schedule things however i want and whenever and wherever i want. for now i am perfectly content to not have anybody else to work around.

Thursday, July 30

third anniversary in wyoming

aug. 9 marks the close of year three in wyoming for me. as the date approaches i find myself reflecting on all that's changed in my life since i first drove west across nebraska. all the people and places i've come to know here and all the experiences and adventures i've had that i wouldn't miss for the world. if i had it to do over again, i definitely would. who would have thought i'd end up making a home for myself in casper, wyoming - a town i didn't even know existed until a couple months before i moved here. and yes, it has become a home. i'm comfortable. it suits me. i'm happy. but nuff said, i won't ramble too much about all that here.

on the house front, nothing's worked out yet. starting to feel impatient, but trying to be patient. i don't want to spend another winter in my apartment, but if i must, i must. i emailed my realtor about a couple more properties today, so we'll see.

so this third anniversary i will spend at pathfinder ranch about 40 miles southwest of casper, and i'm looking forward to it. the actual shindig is on aug. 8, and i've heard we're leaving to head down there at 7 a.m. so it really must be an all day affair. there are horse/cowboy competitions, food, band, dance and 300 people invited. sounds like a great time to me! i'm looking to get in on some of the contests and maybe take a horse down, esp since friend scotty tells me their ranch geldings won't ride double and won't get close to barrels. i better take one of my trusty mares. :-)

this is pathfinder, not the best photo, but it's a beautiful ranch with miles of flat sage country broken up by rocky outcroppings. one of those outcroppings (nearby, not on ranch land) is independence rock, of oregon trail fame.

it pays to get to know the locals, because this new owner of the pathfinder is throwing this deal to get to know the neighbors, and it's by invitation only, so i got in on the list of the rattlesnake grazing association. :-) but aside from that, i love getting out and meeting more people and hearing about where they live and getting to do things with them. ranching wyomingites are very social and there's always something going on, and even if it's work it's not really work, because it entails riding a horse around in big country following cows. granted, i've never done this in inclement weather - yet - but i imagine i still wouldn't mind so much. it's iconic. it's the stuff the west was built upon and it's just a part of being here.

this is gorgeous

i find lately i've developed a taste for expensive, high quality using tack for my horses and the same for western clothing, boots and accessories for myself. it's a very bad thing, because cowboys have exceptional taste and there are so many nice things out there to catch one's eye, like this gorgeously simple headstall from national roper supply:

i just keep adding to my collection a little at a time, as i can afford it. nothing beats outfitting your horse with quality tack. i'm still in search of a roping saddle.....wouldn't that be exciting. new saddles are monumental.

Tuesday, July 28

CFD 2009 Short Go

photos from saturday's short go at the cheyenne rodeo...

dodge pickup men are a fixture at all prca rodeos...

prca rodeo judge being very professional

tuf cooper is 18 and doing very well for himself in the pro rankings already. he made a good showing at last year's nfr, forget what he placed.

scotty and i were both intrigued by this headstall.

next year i want a press pass so that i can go down here with the photographers.

the priefert horses were pretty cool.

harry vold is the stock contractor at a lot of major rodeos.

fred whitfield has been around pro rodeo for a long time.

pickup men and clown watching bull riding.

the view from our seats wasn't the best, but these are the frontier days chutes.

Monday, July 27

random goings-on

here are some random photos from my everyday life...

this is the black mark friend jd's side mirror left on my pickup'll rub off, and i've worked on it a little bit since this photo was taken.

this is my pickup loaded with four-wheeler and cooler and everything else, just before i left to hook up my trailer and load the horses for camping.

this is the new horse shed my horses will live in now. it's a double run, and the hay/tack space is right there in the same shed, which will be wonderful. before i've had to walk around the corner quite a ways to get to where my hay was stored. it's a pain in the snow and mud. i moved this stuff over yesterday afternoon because i finally had a large chunk of free time. i like sunday afternoons. i usually have nothing planned and am free to nap and dink around the rest of the day.

my horse feeding stuff loaded up in the truck.

this is one of link's favorite places to (try to) hang out. i don't know why. he always ends up bracing himself so he doesn't fall off.

after finishing moving all my horse stuff and spending a significant amount of time bs-ing with two other horse people at the barn it was almost dark so i stopped by the pasture on my way back into town just to check on the horses and give them some treats. wonder of wonders, i think roan mare scooter's my friend now because she lets me walk up to her no problem. it sure is a lot nicer than it used to be - chasing her around for at least an hour. jazz sure is fat. i haven't ridden her much at all for about a month now because of her lameness, but i think i'm going to try to get her on a program. i can't even feel her ribs. april's in great shape. in the photo, all the horses always mug my truck when i park it in the pasture. they're almost as bad as pigs.

Sunday, July 26


lately there's been so much going on in which i want to participate that i have not been getting near the amount of sleep i generally prefer. i guess as long as it's worth it to be drowsy and exhausted at times in exchange for fun events, i'll just keep on as i am. there's only so much summer left, and i'm determined not to waste a single warm sunny day.

yesterday was fun, at cheyenne frontier days with friend scott. he picked me up at 7 a.m., we had breakfast here in casper and made our way southeast. we got to the grounds in plenty of time before the rodeo so we investigated the trade show, which didn't really have much except a lot of paraphernalia for tourists. there was one thing, however, that i really fell in love with and i went back to buy a set of beautiful silver scrolled spurs with red inlay after the rodeo, and they were gone. i'm still mourning their loss. they were so pretty, and i don't even know who made them to ask for a similar pair. at the same vendor was also about 50 pairs of the prettiest chinks in all colors and combinations, and i really wanted some of those too. scotty almost bought a really nice silver bit, or a new felt hat. but both of us walked out without any major purchases.

roommate amanda and her mom (visiting from new york) joined us for the rodeo, so that was fun.

i bought that new red camera! had fun using it yesterday. i would have bought some of those chinks if i hadn't just dropped a lot of dollars on the camera. i'll upload some photos later.

it was nice - being escorted around. although we weren't on a 'date,' friend scott looked after me and paid for everything and bought breakfast and took us to texas roadhouse for dinner before we left cheyenne. he's a good guy, and the day turned out just fine. he's very fun-loving and easy going and just is who he is, and we got along just fine.

and friend casey, while we're on the subject of being pleasantly surprised by males, the other night we were out socializing and hanging out and it surfaced how protective he is of me. before he's come over and asked me to dance, because 'you're my girl, and i'm not going to leave you out.' the other night acquaintance john was beginning to be a little obnoxious, and casey had me come sit by him and he chewed john out for bothering me. 'this is christy, and we're good friends, and nobody here's going to touch her.' :-)

here's a photo of me and him chilling at the beacon:

yeah, there's been so much going on i haven't even had time to write about most. friday night was also andrea's going away party with all the roundup, and i brought sundried tomato pasta salad and picked up a bouquet of fresh flowers and separated it and arranged them in some of my collected glassware and i brought my cloth tablecloths for the picnic table and serving tables. it was a lovely evening. later on andrea and her new boyfriend kellin (i'm sure i'm not spelling that right) came around to the beacon.

this is the salad i made for the picnic. i should have brought my camera and taken pictures of my flower arrangements.

all fresh ingredients, complete with basil from my herb garden.

i had never cooked with sundried tomatoes in oil before, but the dressing used them, along with olive oil and other such ingredients.

the finished product. i used whole-wheat pasta for extra grains. the flavor was a hit with the roundup staff.

Friday, July 24


is this not the prettiest thing you've ever seen? ok, maybe the prettiest thing you've seen yet today? well, i'm smitten, anyway. i've been smitten. ever since i first held one in best buy about two weeks ago. at that point i was still holding out for finding my old canon powershot. which i did. in my horse trailer, if you recall. and now it's inoperable. which gives me (mostly) justification to purchase a new one. this one is pricey, but considering how long i had my last one (since sophomore year of college - that's getting longer ago all the time....) i think it's justifiable. esp given how much i take photos. and this one has in an updated point-and-shoot some features and upgrades i don't have on my rebel xti dslr that i use for the roundup. it even has higher resolution.

soo....they're still on sale at best buy and i'd like to be able to take a small camera to frontier days tomorrow. although maybe i'll hold off, because i would also like to take my rebel with the zoom lens and get some good prca rodeo shots. but maybe i won't be able to wait. :-) maybe i'll just take two! don't worry, friend scotty already knows i like photography, although i don't think i've fully prepared him.

i was looking online today at the frontier days results to date, and there are a lot of good cowboys there, like calf roper fred whitfield and wyoming rough stock riders bobby welsh and chet johnson (our layout girl's brother). check out the rodeo hand blog over in my list of blogs to see what's been going on in cheyenne all week. i've never seen any of those top cowboys compete, so looking forward to that. i talked to friend D last night (he called me again from camping in yellowstone. he'll return to town sunday) and told him i was going with scott, and he laughed, but said scott's harmless and it should turn out just fine. not that i had my doubts about scott, but good to know friend D approves because he can be pretty protective and looks out for people that way. i've missed friend D on his two-week camping trip. it'll be good to have him back around town.

tuesday night was the night everybody came out of the woodwork. i heard from roommate amanda, friend jake (who's been mia since sheepherders. in the big horn basin fencing, i guess), friend D and i even talked to friend G. friend casey and friend jake and i ended up attending the beacon together that night. casey and i had planned on going once i was done working, and jake called when i was heading to pick casey up so he joined us there. both of them and bartender gavin were giving me a lot of (as in more than normal) grief, so i about got up and left but then they bought me a beer and both jake (twice) and casey took me out to dance so i forgave them. cause i'm nice that way. :-) thing is, they'd been giving me grief for like a week, or more, about a certain thing (that casey had unwisely shared with gavin, and that will remain undetailed here) and it wasn't letting up at all and i was getting sick of it.

and tonight is coworker andrea's going away party with the people from the roundup office. not all of us, but a lot of us will be there. we're having it in a city park and i'm making a tomato pasta salad and bringing all the niceties it takes to make a park picnic look festive. i'd like to pick up some fresh flowers from somewhere, even if it's only at walmart. i'll post photos if i end up with my new camera. :-)

Tuesday, July 21

i love living in the west

here are a few select images from the mid-july branding of billy keith's herd, held at boss dennis's corrals about 40 miles west of casper in the midst of open range. nothing around but hills, sage brush and antelope. it's a perfect place to spend a relaxing evening enjoying beef brisket, sleep under the stars and wake up at sunrise to saddle horses and begin the day's task of branding, vaccinating, notching and cutting 240 calves, after which everyone gathers around a travel trailer for a laid-back lunch of burgers, brats and beer.

trav wittman is a local brand inspector. his daughter got married the day before this branding, so he was in pretty rough shape first thing in the morning...

two of my buddies - scott martinez and robert keith.

scott dragging a calf up to the irons.

scott's brother bob martinez. he manages the rattlesnake grazing association.

this roper is from meeteetse.

this is friend G's dad lee martinez.

katie keith is my favorite kid of all time. her grandfather billy, who has raised her along with her grandmother jo, spoils her rotten, but she totally deserves it. she's the most down to earth and sweet 11-year-old i've ever met, and some ranch boy better snap her up quick as soon as she's old enough and decides she wants to settle down. she was an ear-notcher at this branding.

the keith brand, freshly applied to calf hide.

i think the branding started around 8 and we were done and heading for lunch by 11:30. i love how first thing in the early morning light all the pickups and livestock trailers full of saddle horses come pulling in over the hill and park around the corrals. you can hear the trailers rattling and the diesel pickups before you can see them.

Monday, July 20

in town again

i arrived back in casper mid-afternoon yesterday after leaving last wednesday afternoon for camping in the medicine bow forest in southern wyoming and then branding at boss dennis's ranch 40 miles west of casper on the open range on sat/sun.

i love wyoming life. i like mountains and lakes in mountains. pine trees. baby moose. trails through mountain meadows covered with wildflowers. campfires. campfire coffee. the squeak of saddle leather. cast iron pots. the smell of a pine forest. chaps. sunshine. bright white clouds and deep blue sky. ranch people. horses. mother cows. a job well done. the wyoming sky so full of stars it seems there's more white than black. sleeping under the stars. green range pastures. odd formations left from years of erosion. seeing for miles from horizon to horizon. empty highways. dirty cowboy hats. trucks and livestock trailers. dust. cool breezes. hamburgers and brats. picnic tables full of ranchers telling stories. ranch boys. dirty boots and jeans. bud light in cold cans. eating several gooey brownies just cause i want to. riding bareback. country music. spurs. pendleton whiskey.

i don't like having to drive back to town and the reality i still live in town.

here are just a few photos from our camping trip... (click to enlarge)

i bought emily a sheep hooker shirt when i was out at powder river and she was absolutely thrilled with it. of course we had to have a photo with both of us in our sheep shirts.

doesn't get much better than this.....

oh, for the life of a dog out on the trail. other dogs have no idea how good their life could be.

wide-open wyoming skies and wide-open wyoming country.

Monday, July 13

last week's paper

here it is, last week's paper in live and living color. it turned out really well, i think. the main cover article was jen's, and the rest i wrote and dropped in there. (if you click on the image it'll come up in high resolution)

found it

my little camera, that is. and i was just in best buy on saturday contemplating the $200 for a new one, (and how i just spend $300 for my window tint and $120 on my horses' feet) and i just knew that once i bought one i'd find my old one. turns out it was in my saddlebags, in my horse trailer. robert and i went riding with blue roan horse scooter and bay horse april on casper mountain yesterday afternoon, and that's when i found it. (you can tell how often i actually use my saddle) however, it is broken, and i don't know if it was the heat or being knocked around, but the lcd screen now has issues. it seems to still take photos just fine, so i spose i'll hold off on the new one. although there was the prettiest solid red 10 mp canon powershot for $250. it's kinda on my wish list now...

i didn't do a whole lot all weekend, mostly stay out late friday and saturday nights and then putz/nap the next days. the county fair was in town, you know, and there was a prca rodeo for several of the nights. although i never made it to the rodeo, i did meet friend stuart's friend wasey friday night, who was in town to ride broncs and headed to the sheridan wyo rodeo the next day, then saturday night the beacon was pretty crowded with pro rodeo cowboys cause it was the last night of the rodeo and they weren't competing anymore. that night i ended up dancing a lot with friend casey's friend jd, who lives on a ranch north of casper between midwest and kaycee. he's a good dancer, and i have to admit i was a little worn out by the end of the night. a couple times i found myself wondering if i could keep it up through the fast songs. :-) i danced with a texan cowboy for one dance, too, and that was pretty fun, after i forgave him the fact he was from texas. it was hot in there, though. all of us who were dancing were quite damp. :-P

before going out saturday night i went over to casey's because he'd asked if i wanted to come over to share grilled elk steak. 'if there's hair in it, it's my fault for not cleaning it well enough before we packaged it,' he says. ah, the wyoming way of doing things....

i decided i don't really like pro rodeo cowboys, though. they're not very friendly and they don't dance and they all just stand there and talk to each other. except the one texan. he danced. but give me local ranch kids any day, i much prefer them.

friend natasha was also out at the beacon saturday night, and it was good to see her again cause it'd been a couple months. we had fun playing pool and catching up. with a little more practice i think i might actually be competitive at that game. my pool lessons from pipeliner dave last winter have really paid off.

and now it's monday morning and my last possible day to finish up work on state fair edition editorial, and today is new coworker marcy's first day, the woman who's replacing coworker andrea. she's very nice, and we all like her a lot. and she has two horses that she's going to get from colorado, where she moved from, and board out at galles's where mine are, so that will be fun to ride with her/convenient cause she can feed for me when i travel. ;-)

but, i better get to work on state fair. tracy called me yesterday wondering where the rest of the stuff was. oops.

Thursday, July 9

county fair

there's something about county fair that epitomizes the essence of a rural american summer. this morning i rolled out of bed at 6 and, since my farrier appointment was at 9, i decided to go to the fairgrounds before that to find my article for this week. i got there about 7:30 and the beef fitting pens were in full swing, with members of 4-h and ffa bathing, drying, clipping, blowing and brushing their steers and heifers to perfection. it was bright and sunny and rather cool, and it was just perfect.

the article i found to write was amy andreen, a high school senior who's involved with the natrona county cattlewomen's royal court. the royal court consists of all the younger members of cattlewomen, and they do things like greet people at cnfr and hand out beef show awards. this is amy:

adorable, no? she's showing two hogs at the fair this year and is every bit as genuine and unassuming as she looks.

so following the fair i stopped by metro (yes - another day to treat myself to a hazelnut latte) and went out to the horse barns, where april and jazz were waiting in their runs. rick was already there when i got there, so i got the horses up and we went to work. he assessed jazz's lameness and we did find a tight knot in the ligaments of her right shoulder, so after work today i went to murdoch's and got a bottle of liniment and he suggested trying some physical therapy on her.

following jazz he started on april, and we put shoes on her front. looks pretty sharp, no?

i told them they better be grateful because they sure get better pedicures than i ever do. this is me and april tonight when i went out to rub jazz down, and i took april out for a trot. i tried to get her to look a little more excited, but all i got was the typical bored april expression:

and this. this is me and cat link earlier this week, after waking up from a two-hour nap after work. he likes naps. and he doesn't believe that i have a personal bubble:

Wednesday, July 8

editor for the week

this week jen has taken off camping with her family for vacation, so i've been pulling the paper together, which is kind of fun. it's fun to bring all the bits and pieces together and edit and arrange them just how i want and put them in the appropriate folders on the share drive to send off to tracy, who lives on a ranch (where her husband works) at kaycee and lays out the paper in indesign.

it's a very accomplished feeling when it's all neatly named and filed after coming in from all different directions, from the internet, email, correspondents, readers, etc. i've got all of it done for this week save two cover articles that i'm going to get tomorrow - one on the central wyoming fair, here in town this week, and one from an interview i'm doing with boss dennis with the president of rocky mountain power at noon. (we've ordered lunch in from the excellent shop in town called 'the market and more.' if i owned a cooking/catering business, that's what it'd look and taste like. you should have heard co-worker andrea and boss dennis trying to pronounce the name of the sandwiches we're getting tomorrow. i don't know what the actual name was, because i never saw it in print, but it sounded like they were trying to pronounce french. boss dennis finally gave up and said 'well, they're ham and cheese.')

(let me just interject here that i love my kitties. i'm sitting here on my loveseat with link on my legs and lexus is across the way on a blanket on the couch. we're watching sahara. they're so loveable and personable, and they always at least act glad to see me when i come home. except one thing i object to: this morning link was trying to wake me up, as usual, which is fine because he makes a great snooze alarm, but this morning he sneezed in my face. cat snot. nuff said.)

here's a photo we're running in the paper this week:

i only have this one saved to my laptop. this photo is by wyoming photographer charles belden, whose work i love. it's classic western, and he had a great eye. i have one of his prints hanging in my living room now. this photo is running with a little piece about how the guardians of the range group will recognize historic family ranches in a couple weeks, in conjunction with the hyattville, wyo. celebration of the national day of the american cowboy. (that's right - july 25, folks. mark your calendar.)

so today was a pretty full day for me, getting that stuff pulled together and i sat in on one of the interviews for the job left open by co-worker andrea's leaving for south carolina asap. (i didn't even go out for lunch, but co-worker andrea brought in soup and salads - complements boss dennis - and we all ate together in the office. pepper cheese soup from mountain view subs, can't beat it.)

i worked on finishing the paper up until 6:30, then cleaned the office, came to the apt for a bite to eat (egg, spinach, mushroom, tomato and parmesan all sauteed together) and headed out to the horse pasture. (let me just add in here, since i was talkin bout the cats, that i love my horses, too. they're so pretty, and we all know each other so well. it just works.) i brought the mares up to the barns tonight because farrier friend rick told me last night that he'd have time to look at jazz's lameness, after all, and that's scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9. i think i'm going to bite the bullet and put shoes on her. depending. we'll see what he says. i'd rather not spend the $100.......

Monday, July 6

i've lost it

my little camera, that is. i've looked high. looked low. in my big camera bag. underneath all the seats in my pickup. the last time i had it was when my dad and i went to visit my sister at three peaks near boulder, wyo. it's a sad thing, because i really like the convenience of sticking it in my carhartt vest pocket. and it's also sad because i'd like to add more photos to the blog, but carrying a dslr around isn't really all that practical. possible, but not practical. and my cell phone camera works, but it's not ideal. well, ebay, here i come. we'll see what you have to offer. and if nothing there, the brand-spankin-new best buy opens here in casper this week. bout time, i say. and i def need to get it before the upcoming atv camping trip. and before the upcoming branding at billy keith's. and before many fun wyoming summer events that are yet to come. i wished i had it on the 4th at casey's place.

our atv trip is scheduled for july 15-18, so shorter than last year, but hopefully just as fun. speaking of which, i need to call the forest service for a waterproof map.....ok done. i've been planning out the menu and making the ingredients list, shopping list, prepare-ahead list, etc. it's a big job feeding 10 people (six hungry boys) in the woods over a fire for four days! i enjoy it though, and everything was (mostly) successful last year. the key to being a good cook is to improvise and not let people know when things don't turn out how they should have. ;-) one thing i learned from last year: bring plenty of powdered milk. somehow i ended up really short on milk through some miscalculation.

i'll leave you with a few photos of atv camping in the big horns last year:

emily and april, me and jazz and melissa and dixie, with miles her dog at a place called bear park on our way to visit a couple of the mountain lakes on the southwest slope of the big horns.

cookin blueberry pancakes for breakfast over the fire the first morning after setting up camp on the east slope of the big horns, about 40 miles up from buffalo. (this year i think i'll buy one of those lightweight plastic fold-up tables so i don't have to use the ground as my counter. either that or i'll be more careful about parking my truck so i can use the tailgate.)

and here's the whole motley crew of us. what fun we had. i think most of the same guys are coming back this year, and sister melissa's coming over from pinedale, roommate amanda's going to come down from casper for a bit, and last-summer-roommate emily will be in the state with friend aaron. (yes, they're still dating. and yes, this camping trip is where it all began)

Sunday, July 5

i finally got it done :-)

my truck now has tinted windows all the way around. :-) it's pretty awesome, and hard to tell in the photos, but i love how it turned out. i took these photos friday morning when i took jazz to the vet in douglas because of her mysterious lameness, which remains a mystery.

after my vet appointment i stopped by jen's house to visit with her family a bit, then when i got back to casper i had to load up some bales of hay for ross, the horse packer from sheepherder's. i met casey over in the beacon parking lot, and he took them out to ross. poor casey. we've discovered ross is a career mooch and he's gotten stuck looking after him while he's in casper. he called me again today because ross was wanting a farrier and casey was wondering if i knew of anyone whose name we could give him.

and then this is my mudball horse april this afternoon. we had a monsoon here in casper friday night, with over two inches of rain in some sections of town in about 30 minutes and 65 mph winds. talk about flash floods. the other two horses standing near her are freckles and roper, two geldings that have been at the stable as long as i've been there.

ummm....a random black cat just ran by my loveseat and out my screen door that's cracked open....i don't recall seeing him come in, but i have seen him around before because he is very loud and i think he's trying to make friends with my cats.

i spent july 4th mostly working, having met friend kelly at 9:30 to go clean this monstrous attorney's house here in town, which took us until 1 to finish. we had lunch at the beacon (really good steak melt sandwiches. i love eating there because john is a good cook. not your typical bar food. but yes, i shouldn't have eaten that much :-P) then since i was on that side of town and didn't have to work till 3 i stopped by casey's to say hello to him and stuart, who were just chillin. (the previous day they'd set themselves up with casey's 'keg-erator' and a couple racks of ribs) i went to work at the church from 3-7, then went back over to casey's, where they'd been joined by another friend and his wife and son. (and a horse and a mule, in casey's yard. yes, that was once again because of ross) we proceeded to sit around and b.s. and try to watch the fireworks from casey's roof, which didn't work, so we settled for going back inside to sit around some more.

and that was pretty much it. not a very happening 4th, like if we'd gone to laramie or belle fourche, but at least i didn't spend a whole lot of money and i made a fair bit instead, having worked fri/sat/sun at church and then that house cleaning deal.