Monday, August 31

now that's relaxing

link and i are both quite fond of sunday afternoon naps. this cat knows how to do it up right:

doesn't it make you sleepy just lookin at him?

Friday, August 28

brought to you by hamley

there are many places and events on my 'must attend' list. the pendleton roundup in pendleton, oreg. is one of those. it's always the second full week in sept, so i'm obviously not going to make it this year, but perhaps next?

hamley is a distinguished saddlery there in pendleton, and these are a few of their pretty things:

a scarf slide featuring the pendleton bucking horse.

pretty yellow boots.....

and custom pendleton roundup boots. :-)

Thursday, August 27

summer, where did you go?

i'm sad summer is ending. where did august go? anyone?

if i ever do find a house, a first project for next spring will be to make an outdoor space for me and my dinner company to enjoy. something along these lines, but please replace tall meadow grass with sagebrush. i do live in wyoming, after all.

Wednesday, August 26

off my feet

the him: 'my dear brother gave me a grown up talk that night before pathfinder.'

me: 'oh yeah?'

the him: 'he called me dumb and wondered why i wasn't tryin 2 woo you and, as he put it, sweep u off ur feet.'

me: 'did it make a difference?'

the him: 'what do you think?'

a simple thing

i have a new red silk scarf. not a big thing, but it makes me happy.

friend mexican martinez gave it to me, and taught me how to tie the pretty knot, even.

the pendleton tag came off the bottle of whiskey i bought iowa friend A when i was in laramie.

Tuesday, August 25

the bitter end

another offering from amy dalley, with which i identify:

We both know what’s happening
But we’re frightened of the truth
We both know letting go
Is the hardest thing to do
We could hang onto the past
Or we could set each other free
There’s nothing but wounded pride and tears
At the dark end of the street

Let’s not go there
Let’s remember
Something good about the way we were
We need some mercy
From all this hurting
Don’t you think that’s what a broken heart deserves
There’s a place I don’t want to get to
I don’t want to go to the bitter end with you

We both know the answer
We’ve avoided it so long
We’re not meant to be together
We’re just fools to linger on
When we only cause each other pain
And the fight is all we know
Disappointment surely waiting down that old familiar road

Let’s be kind while we have the chance to
I don’t want to go to the bitter end with you

so i told the him that if he's not married by 40 we'll get married - that leaves seven years. we made a deal that i'd get him a custom bit and he'd get me a pretty bay roan gelding for wedding gifts. doesn't sound like too bad of a deal to me. :-)

this is what my wedding gift gelding would look like:

isn't he perfect?

Monday, August 24

my new favorite thing

after several years of watching and enjoying wyoming sunsets and sunrises, i've started to try to photograph them, and i like the results. this was last friday night as i was driving from bridger valley to boulder where i spent the night.

my new header was taken saturday morning when sister and i, along with other ranch staff, went out to run in the nols horses for the day. the gelding i'm in love with and want to buy is third from the left, the red roan. hard to see him, but believe me he's gorgeous. and big. and pretty. and gorgeous.

Sunday, August 23


yesterday i was back from sister's at pinedale for nary an hour, enough time to shower and haul stuff in, before heading out the door to meet friend k for steak at the beacon. (yep, more steak. my diet is not lacking in red meat and i'm doing my part to increase beef markets.) k had a crisis and wanted to meet and talk over dinner.

then, of course, i didn't leave the beacon until after 2 a.m. several good friends were there, and roommate a showed up (very stressed from meeting bf's parents). last night was the night of clingers. seriously. one latched on when i was even still eating my dinner. i went over to some friends who were playing pool and told them i might have to leave cause this guy was following me around. one of them, nice guy that he is, rescued me continually for the rest of the night along with another guy friend and they helped me out whenever creepy/strange/awkward guys would come and try to ask me to dance. it's nice to have guys to look after things like that.

anyway, the night didn't end until after 4 a.m. because of an 'after party' at a restaurant here in town, fireside. the owner invited me and four friends to come over. he opened the bar and let us have whatever we wanted and we played pool and burned another several hours there. by the time i'd dropped two of them off i could see the beginnings of a sunrise.....

so today i slept. a long time. then i went out to check on my horses, whom i hadn't seen in a week. i caught jazz and gave her another lameness test, and she's sound! that means this friday's farrier appt will include resetting april's shoes and putting them on jazz (i was going to put them on robert's mare scooter). i'm going to drylot and exercise her this week to take some weight off and get her in shape for some trips coming up in the wind rivers.

when i was heading back to town from the pasture friend c got a hold of me and i ended up going over to his place, chillin for a few then heading to cowboys, where we bs-ed for a while. my willpower is intact this week, and that's why it's 9:53 and i'm back at my apt and ready to head to bed.

Friday, August 21

Thursday, August 20

bridger valley

today is day two of three in uinta county, the southwestern-most county in wyoming. i'm here working on interviews for our fall cattlemen's edition, and this is the country i got to enjoy this morning as i found my first ranch - the crowfoot.

the crowfoot is operated by the vearl bird family. i talked with them for an hour and a half. good people. if i'd had time they woulda saddled a horse and let me come to their forest allotment with them. sad day, i had to work.

(click to enlarge)

have i mentioned that i love wyoming? and wyoming people? and my job because it's what gets me out into the countryside and among the people?

Wednesday, August 19

4th or 5th

the him: 'i was gonna tell ya b4 i fell asleep that if u ever do decide 2 date again i better be at least the 4th or 5th one 2 know.'

oh dear.

i'm in evanston now, in my hotel room, and i'm going to rip off the mirror because it makes me look really thin.

Tuesday, August 18

i found a theme song

i randomly downloaded an album by a country artist named amy dalley. i like her voice and her style - she reminds me of miranda lambert. the first track on the album is called 'i built this wall,' and i like it.

I’m an independent, stuff my wallet
Multi-taskin’ workaholic
I built this wall, I can tear it down

I’m a double-shot of keep it comin’
Gotta keep my motor runnin’
I built this wall, I can tear it down

Brick by brick
Stone by stone
Built it high
Built it strong
It’s every man I’ve ever known
Until right now

And there you are with those eyes
Wantin’ on the other side
Well, I built this wall, I can tear it down

Commitment makes me run for cover
Obligation makes me smother
I built this wall, I can tear it down

I've got a lot on my plate
Like my freedom like my space
I built this wall, I can tear it down

Alright, okay, I’ll let you in
But don’t go getting crazy
No diamonds
No wedding
No babies…no babies

I built this wall, I can tear it down

well, it's my theme song as far as the wall, freedom, independent, space, obligation part of it. not tearing it down anytime soon.

Monday, August 17

i like this

this is what happens when a group of cowboys are the groomsmen. they all know how to rope and you get a pretty cool wedding photo. one that's def not repeated 39485729487 times across the country.

if i end up with a cowboy i'm totally ripping off the idea.

Saturday, August 15

dinner time

getting ready to head out for steak with mexican martinez - he should be here to pick me up at any moment.

last night i napped, then went to the mutton marshal's for dinner, which was steak, cucumber salad and cheesy broccoli. we eat a lot of steak in wyoming. i ended up staying there until midnight - scott was there too - playing cards with them and betting with quarters. the mutton marshal kept loaning me quarters, which was ok because he kept winning them all back. :-)

after that i went to the beacon for the remaining two open hours. ended up chilling with friends and met a new kid named rowdy (yes, that's really his name. he's a rough stock rider. what do you expect.) and yes, i now have another random number in my phone.

this morning i slept until 11:30 - i needed it - then went to try to ride, but just about the time we walked out to catch the horses it downpoured. i was soaked. clear through my heavy carhartt canvas vest.

gotta go.

Friday, August 14

phone numbers

every once in a while i take the time to scroll through my phone and delete all the random phone numbers. how do they get in there? i don't really know, a variety of ways. some of them i keep, even though i'll never talk to the people again, just for the memory when i see the name. some of them get put in there by me, some by other people.

sometimes i delete people and then they end up texting me and i have no idea who they are, like that 804 number that texted last saturday. i texted back and forth several times and couldn't figure out who it was, save that it was someone who was in wisc at the time for some two-week army training and they were getting ready to go back to school. i have no idea. i even googled the area code and it was from virginia, so that was no help. maybe they had the wrong number.

last night i introduced iowa friend a and company to my drink of choice - pendleton and water on ice with a dash of lemon. they couldn't deny its fabulousity. i bought them a fifth of pendleton for a host gift. (is that what you call it when they're male? usually it's hostess gift....)

anyway. we stayed up way too late to have to get up and go back to meeting today, but it was a good time and good to visit with iowa friend a again. i had left my camera in the truck, so no photos, but maybe that's for the best.

Thursday, August 13

lots of work

while i did have to roll out of bed at 4 again this morning to make it to laramie by 7:30, i was rewarded with another sunrise, this one in the shirley basin as the sun rose behind laramie peak:

i think sunrises were created to reward those people who are early risers, whether voluntary or otherwise. i enjoy taking off from town at 5 when it's still pitch black and seeing the sky gradually lighten before the sun breaks over the distant horizon, which is generally lined by mountains in wyoming. i did, however, enlist mexican martinez to give me a wakeup call. for some reason he always gets up at 4. he's crazy but it works out well for me.

yesterday was a full day, spent at the state fair in two different meetings and then at the roundup's ag hall of fame picnic that we host each year. this year i actually had friends come. :-) bout time, after three years. friend b who works for the bureau of reclamation in casper came over from the roping with his roommate and friend j was also there, of frozen goose fame. friend k was also there - she works for senator barrasso's office in casper and we often to run into each other when we're out on the town. aside from them, there were also many people who are acquaintances through my job with the roundup.

(i find that many ranch boys in wyoming think farming is awful, but that's because they've had to irrigate and bale hay throughout the night. that's what they list as the worst parts of it, so if you take those away, like in iowa, it's really not so bad.)

this is j and the frozen goose. i found out last night that after i posted it on facebook her coworkers found it and printed it out. sorry, j. :-D

i left from the picnic pretty quick to get back to casper and clean the office and write two articles for this week's paper.

two days ago i worked up an offer on a house with my realtor, but i found out this morning that i wasn't taken up on it. so i keep looking.

i came to laramie this morning for governor freudenthal's wind energy symposium. friend k is also here today, as well as many other people who were at the picnic last night. this meeting goes through 12:30 tomorrow, and tonight i plan on meeting up with iowa friend a for dinner.

on my way down i called a two people i know are early risers - my dad and friend G. of course, they were both already up and working when i called and it's nice to kill some time driving with a phone conversation. i had already had a way too cheery phone conversation with scott at 4 a.m. :-P

Tuesday, August 11

state fair ranch rodeo

here area a few of the photos i took sunday afternoon when i was in douglas for the ranch rodeo at the state fair. this is what ranch people in wyoming do for fun, and it's not all games. it's a chance to test your horsemanship against other riders, prove your horse is the fastest and practice everyday ranch skills in a different setting.

classic team roping set-up in the team tying event, where the steer is team-roped and the header dismounts and runs to the steer while the heeler keeps him down. the header ties the steer's hind legs together and throws his hands up, which stops the clock.

team sorting, where the riders sort a cow, steer and calf from the herd of cattle that's collected in the arena from the other events. each animal has a number painted on its back, and when the team crosses the start line they're given a number and must go find all those animals.

american flags are key to any rodeo event.

ribbon roping. the guys are the muggers. one team member ropes the calf, several of them mug it and the last one (usually the girl, when there is one) grabs the ribbon off the tail and runs for the finish line, but they can't cross the finish until the muggers have taken the rope off the calf.

running in arena dirt in chinks and spurs is not the easiest thing to do.

ready, set, go.

larry bentley lives at thermopolis and works for wyo dept of ag and judges a lot of rodeos around the state.

getting ready to start the hide race.

Monday, August 10

a full and fun wyoming weekend

this was my weekend, beginning thursday evening:

1) meet up with roommate a after some shopping on cody's main street for a while and purchasing a few things
2) roommate a, me and her coworker meet up with random facebook friend k for dinner at japanese restaurant in cody
3) we spend some time at cody's silver dollar saloon
4) attend the rest of the game and fish commission meeting friday morning
5) drive back to casper, stopping for a bite to eat in thermop
6) work more at roundup office
7) meet up with friend mexican martinez and others for happy hour
8) go to work at church; load my horses in mexican martinez' trailer, hook onto my trailer on a short break from church when he was headed out of town
9) finish at church at 10:30, go to the beacon
10) have a few beers, one of which was bought by roommate a's bf's business partner, which we found out in the conversation that followed. random.
11) hit the gravel road for the association about 11, arrive at assoc about 45 min later
12) commence to drink whiskey and b.s. in the bunkhouse until who knows when.....
13) woke up way too early by a too enthusiastic 'good morning' and saddled and loaded horses
14) arrived at pathfinder ranch for breakfast before 8
15) rest of the day sat around on horses, competed on horses, raced horses till 4 p.m.
16) enjoyed prime rib dinner, live band and dance
17) 8:30 went back to assoc, loaded horses in my own trailer and headed back to casper
18) kick horses out to pasture, drive to apt, go straight to bed
19) wake up at 6 to go to work at church at 7, until 1 p.m.
20) an hour off to eat lunch, then head to douglas to the state fair ranch rodeo at 3
21) take photos at ranch rodeo till 5:30, head back to casper
22) shower, head to friend c's for steak at 7
23) head over to cowboy's to celebrate my third year in wyoming and give bartender g a hard time
24) midnight, head back to my place

it was one of those weekends where i did so much that it seemed really long. i should be more tired than i am. now i have two days in the office, then wed spent at state fair, from which i'll head to laramie after the roundup's picnic that evening for a meeting on wind energy thurs/fri.

these are the people with whom i went to pathfinder, from far horse: eddy, mexican martinez, bob, dorothy and mutton marshal.

mexican martinez and i have an arrangement for dinner saturday evening (i don't think it's a date, but i haven't clarified that one yet.....he says it's on him to celebrate my three years in the state). oh, and old iowa friend a and i are going to hang out thurs evening when i'm in laramie. we all know what happened last time i spent a night in laramie............. :-P

Friday, August 7

sunrise on the rangelands

so even though rising at 4 a.m. is not so much fun, getting up and going in time for sunrise at 6 a.m. does have its rewards. this was yesterday morning, taken from the road between shoshoni and the wind river canyon after i'd been on the road an hour and a half.

i remember the very first time i drove on this road. i was trying and trying to figure out how it went over the mountain, only to discover the delightful surprise that is the wind river canyon cutting through the mountains, which are the owl creeks on the west side and the bridgers on the right. the wind river indian reservation controls the owl creeks.

this pretty little rainbow showed up when i was between casper and shoshoni. just a little bit of rain, enough to provide the clouds that created the gorgeous sunrise about 45 minutes later.