Thursday, October 29


careful. these are bridesmaids in boots and what look like really comfortable dresses. i like it.

and i also love this cozy outdoor reception.

Wednesday, October 28

autumnal days

too bad wyoming had a week of fall, then dove straight into winter this year. we really only had one month of summer - july. it rained and was chilly all june, warmed up a bit in july, then went right back to chilly in august, although we did have some warm weather in september. chances for that are gone now, though. 28 degrees today. and much snow forecast. it makes me want to purchase new sweaters.

a choice

so, last week my boss d said that i could either go to a meeting in jackson for three days, or go out and help rancher billy wean his calves yesterday.

i chose to stick around casper and help wean the calves.

so that's where i was all day yesterday. i met up with rancher billy's son r at 6:30 and rode out with him and two other men to the ranch, where the cows had been gathered into a smaller pasture the day before. we sorted cows from calves, loaded the calves and headed back to the farm near town, where we at lunch and took a break and then went out to vaccinate and pour-on the 280 calves. we finished shortly after 4, and by then it was snowing.

yes, we're under yet another winter storm warning. and it's not even november yet. at least today isn't weaning/vaccinating day. i had gone prepared with my muck boots and coveralls, but didn't wear them. just a hooded sweatshirt, silk scarf, carhartt vest and coat with my wonderful black felt hat.

(rancher billy's daughter l, when we went in the house for lunch, said 'that hat looks really good on you.' i had to share that with the him, who gave me the hat in the first place.)

speaking of the him, he brought me two sets of silver earrings from cody, where he'd been guiding deer hunters for several days. one set is round with a texas star in the middle, and the others are small hearts. unfortunately for him, he doesn't know hearts aren't really my thing, but it was such a sweet thought i will wear them. when i'm out with him. :-) i really like the star ones.

today i'm back in the office, finishing up two articles and moving on. soon i will start scheduling my winter cattlemen's articles in goshen county.

another ongoing project this week is three flapper dresses for myself, roommate a and her friend n. they're going pretty well, i have my dress and a's put together. need to cut out and put together n's tonight. and then figure out how i'm going to go about placing and attaching all the rows of fringe. roommate a tried hers on last night and it looked really good on her. i don't know if it's that i'm an excellent seamstress or she just has an easy body to dress. probably the latter. :-)

Sunday, October 25

the many faces of beacon

yesterday morning i loaded up the sidekick beacon and we went out to look after the three horses and then went to the fabric store. he's a dog that takes life very seriously.

Saturday, October 24


you know, it's a delight to associate with people who are well-liked in the country.

that goes for my boss, dennis. it's easy to go out on roundup business and talk to people, because many people know him and they respect him.

and that goes for the him. word is getting around now that i'm seeing someone - even bartender g made a comment, and i think that's why he doesn't wait on me as much anymore (that's ok, i'll let crystal get my whiskey any day).

last night there were a lot of people i knew out at the beacon. it's fun that way. making the rounds, bs-ing and catching up and having a few whiskeys and making casey dance. (but hey, i requested a dance the first time, and the second he volunteered. i never did get to dance with rowdy but we bs-ed for a while.)

anyway, i was sitting there for a little while with friend stuart, who i met through casey. he says 'i hear you're goin out with scotty. i always liked him. i really like him. you be good to him.'

that's what i'm getting from anybody that finds out i'm with the him. it's easy to be around people like him. instead of people thinking to themselves 'what's she doing with that gomer' they tell me how glad they are we're together. and the him and i have agreed that if we split ways everybody's going to hate us, because they're all so happy we're dating.

oh! and my arch-nemesis-don't-like-her-at-all was there last night. i shudder every time i see her.


i tell people who i'm with: i was passed up for that! can you believe that! (i really think they all detect my agitation and anger and politely agree with me. because they always agree. which helps me feel a little bit better. it's not like me to straight-up not be friends with people, but i'm allowed one person to dislike in this town, aren't i?)


have you ever abruptly encountered someone you didn't think you'd ever see again on this earth?

happened. last night.

so over the last couple weeks i've seen a united truck - twice - driving around casper. united is a company that works with pipelines. last winter - i believe it was just before christmas, i met this kid aaron that was in town working with united. he had a friend dave. we'll skip over all the middle stuff, and just say that the whole scenario didn't end well and aaron wouldn't even talk to me when they finished their job and headed out of town the beginning of march.

so i've been seeing that united truck in town, and told roommate a - wouldn't that be somethin if aaron was back in town.

so i saw him. last night.

after i finished working at church at 10 p.m. i headed back over to the beacon where friend j had been sitting around with her cousins. almost immediately an older gentleman from cody asked me to dance, and over the course of our two dances i was able to scan the bar, seeing who was there and who wasn't. that's when i spotted bronc rider rowdy, and made note to go say hello to him, and then that's when i saw aaron, at the pool tables.

enter a frantic phone call to roommate a to share the siting.

so i avoided him all evening, walking by and not making eye contact and pretending that i'd missed seeing him.

but then about 12:30 or 1 a.m. he was just standin there leaning against the pool table by himself, so i went for it.

'hey, aaron. are we friends or otherwise?'

'it really doesn't matter to me'


'hi, aaron, i'm christy...'

and it was like getting an old friend back. he really is a good kid, and most of the rest of the night i sat around with him to catch up with his life. being on the pipeline crew, he travels the country. he's been to texas, mississippi, tennessee, colorado and other states i can't remember since i last saw him. he's been promoted, and he has his own truck now, so that was cool.

and he learned to dance! he said when he was in mississippi. he's really not that bad. but i think i created a monster by complimenting him.

it was a good night, and i'm happy to be friends with him again. he's in town about another month, he says. he says he requested to come back to casper on this job. i think he sees what i see in this town.

Friday, October 23


do you ever wake up early and feel inspired to bake? it happens to me occasionally, and it did this morning at 5:30 a.m., and this is what happened:

beacon said he could get into early morning baking. i need to get him a chef's hat.

of course a small red mug of coffee to sip whilst baking is necessary.

roommate a gets out of the shower and comes into the kitchen - "what are you baking? oh those look great." and i proceeded to give her a first one straight out of the oven and i think she ate three before she left. :-)

and when you start packaging mini pumpkin spice muffins with piped cream cheese frosting in a pretty tin with tissue paper at 6:30 in the morning, your roommate just might call you martha. don't know why. just sayin.

but this is is the note i woke up to the morning before, written by roommate a. click on the photo to magnify it and you can read it.

and just for s and g's, here's a photo of my new saddle and the saddle pad i bought to go with it.

isn't it a pretty pair? i love it.

so these are my two outfits now. i'm pretty happy with both of them. investing in good equipment is very satisfactory and rewarding, and i imagine that goes for whatever one is interested in.

and here's the recipe for the muffins. it came from pioneer woman's website. i decided to go with the mini muffins because then people in my office are more likely to eat them.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (With Cream Cheese Frosting)


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 heaping cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional!) ******** i skipped the raisins altogether, thinking that chopped pecans made a lot more sense in pumpkin muffins*******
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease 12 muffin tins.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender until all incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Add raisins. Fold gently until mixture is just combined. Pour into greased muffin pan—batter hardly ever fills all twelve unless you keep it down to 1/2 full. Sprinkle generous amounts of cinnamon-sugar over the top of each unbaked muffin. *****whoops i didn't even notice that step. they're good even without cinnamon sugar, fyi*********
Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. Ice with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup softened butter
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 pound powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients on high until soft and whipped. Spread onto completely cooled muffins, or place into a large pastry bag with a large star tip and go crazy!

Thursday, October 22

out last night

last night i was minding my own business, cleaning the roundup office, when roommate a texted and said she was goin to happy hour, so of course i agreed to join her at the beacon. it ended up being more than an hour, more like a happy evening, or happy night. i guess i didn't leave too late - around 10. but it ended up being roommate a, cowboy friends j and c, and friend k, and steer wrestling friend z...anyway, a good group of us, and it was fun to sit around and b.s. bartender crystal was working, and she's well-liked by everybody.

the him was coming back into town late with his hunters that he's guiding while deer and antelope hunting, so i went out to my truck to check my phone, which was plugged in. while i was standing there looking at it some idiot backed his truck right into mine! couldn't believe it. but, thanks to the heavy-duty grill guard, there wasn't a bit of damage.

and i woke up this morning to a bottle of knob creek kentucky bourbon on my kitchen was the one jake swiped off the bar cause crystal set it there and forgot about it....great, we're now storing contraband, and contraband that i don't even like to drink!

but it was a good evening. one of those normal, commonplace ones that all combine together and add up to a lifetime. it's the kind of evening i like best.

Wednesday, October 21

irish goodbye

Irish goodbye is a slang term with its origins in the Irish-American neighborhoods of New York City and Boston. The term refers to the practice of inconspicuously leaving a place where one has gathered with friends (usually for quite some time) without ever formally announcing that one is leaving.

Note that an Irish goodbye requires a conscious decision by the person to leave without bidding au revoir. It is a decision undertaken not for any emotional reasons, but solely as a matter of convenience. The Irish goodbye allows a person to disappear from a function with the utmost expediency without spending extra time on "thank-yous" etc.

i've tried such strategies but then people are always texting or asking the next day - hey where'd you go? you still here?

Monday, October 19

amen to that

friend D just called me. he says, "so, i see an ad in the paper the roundup's looking for an editor. i bet you're pretty upset about that."

amen, brother.

unfortunately i couldn't vent to the extent i wanted, because i'm here in the office. i shall have to call him once i depart.

cow butts

i spent last saturday chasing cows all day long and it was a gorgeous day, save for the wind. not a cloud in the sky. it was big country, and we probably rode 20 miles by the time we had the cows gathered and bunched and lined out, heading west and southwest through two other pastures to their final destination.

here's mexican martinez talking our ear off as we rode. gesturing about something. his horse is fiddler.

they strung out in a long line and moved pretty easily.

this is up top, after we'd pushed them up a pretty steep draw and had about five miles to go, all on the flat and it was pretty easy.

Friday, October 16

not a lot

well there hasn't really been a lot going on around casper, except for working and snowing and the usual.

this was my truck the morning the snow was just beginning. we ended up with quite a bit over several days. plenty of packed ice on the roads, and cold. very cold.

but then it started to warm up again, and a passing cloud one evening as i was driving home from the office gave casper a wonderful rainbow.

and the him, one day in the midst of the *fiasco* brought me beer and roses after work. both served to cheer me very much. :-)

and this is what my computer looks like when i'm editing photos in my downtime at the office. that's parker, when he and holly were here visiting.

other than that, last night the him and i went to red lobster for all you can eat shrimp, i'm leaving the office shortly to meet my farrier rick - wondering if i'll end up making another lemon meringue pie - and then head out to the association with jazz. tomorrow will be the first time i've ridden my new saddle since it became mine! and the first time it's been on one of my horses.

i have three horses here right now - my sister m's mare dixie is still with me. i was supposed to take her home to iowa this weekend, but that trip got called off because the purpose of the trip was to harvest and it's been raining. so now i may have dixie with me until christmas, we'll see. jazz is still scheduled to go to winter range oct. 30, as far as i know. what i do know is i need more hay, because bales have been going random places right and left - mutton marshall, horse friend r, dixie.... maybe next week if the ground dries out i can get that done.

Tuesday, October 13

golden aspens

a couple of my favorite aspen photos from our wind river pack trip mid-september. i was delighted that our trail went right through this golden grove.

Monday, October 12

change of plans

this last weekend i was supposed to go with the him and company to sheridan to a wedding, but because of fall snowstorm and "winter-like weather," as the forecasters called it, we decided to stay around casper, and it was actually quite lovely.

saturday morning i met up with the him and the mutton marshall and his wife d for breakfast at eggington's downtown, then all four of us went to the western store lou taubert's and to war surplus. i bought a birthday gift for sister m at lou tauberts - it's a scotch cap in a feminine cut and kind of an ivory felt fabric and quite cute. i want one. :-) at war surplus i bought a red carhartt long sleeve work shirt for myself, and a pair of wool knit gloves.

then i spent the next four hours at the roundup office with the computer guy getting the new server set up and running. it works! the website is fully functional again - check it out at

then, following a shower, i met up with scott again, this time at the mutton marshall's and dorothy's, for dinner. the marshall made really good cornbread, bean/vegetable soup and a rhubarb/pineapple popover that was really good. we stayed there and played blitz with them for several hours following dinner. a perfect way to spend an evening, a small group of good people, a low-key card game and whiskey.

and then, and then, sunday i was dragged out of bed when the him showed up to get me at 5:30 to go antelope hunting out at the association. oh, did little kitty lexus look so comfortable still curled up there on the bed.....but alas, i dressed myself, put on my long underwear and my layers, and bailed out my apt door and into the pickup. it was dark, cold, windy and snowy.

but then we stopped and got coffee when the him topped off his diesel (the convenience store boy gave me the two travel mugs full of coffee for free) and picked up friend j from her house and headed west. by then i was feeling a little more alert.

(the him gave me a pair of insulated boots to wear for the weekend, and then he told me i could keep them. i think he's hoping if he gives me enough warm clothes i'll be more likely to go do things with him this winter, like calling coyotes. apparently it's a three-person job: one person to call, one person with a rifle and one with a shotgun. apparently i'm the shotgun because it's hard to miss with one.....)

we arrived out at the association headquarters and met up with the him's brother b and three hunters visiting from texas. ranch wife b had made a breakfast of biscuits and gravy and homefries, so after gathering everything together we loaded into two pickups and spent the rest of the day driving around the 90,000 acre association in search of antelope. two of the texas hunters and brother b each got their goat. the him and friend j also had tags, but they didn't see any they wanted.

after we got back to headquarters and hung the game in the shed (along with the bull elk texan g had shot - which was huge - it looked like a horse skinned and hanging from the rafters) we relaxed a bit more with several ranchers who'd arrived at the association to wean and ship cattle today and tomorrow. after several beers and a whiskey the him, friend j and i got back in the truck and headed back to town.

(in falling snow, again. it had snowed off and on all day long. the range was really pretty, though. there was about eight inches out there.)

the him and i enjoyed some leftover chili when he dropped me at my place, and that was pretty much my weekend. it was a good one.

Thursday, October 8

pretty (and random) things

some random photos i've found on the blogs i've visited recently. plus one of my own.

most bouquets are run-of-the-mill and status quo, but every once in a while somebody puts together something like this that's uniquely stunning and unexpected. check out the oak leaves.

and i love these centerpieces - just a variety of green vegetation grouped in clear class containers - my specialty.

and this is a steer belonging to vold rodeo company, which pastures some of their longhorns - i think they're roping cattle breeding stock - out at the association. check out the spread on his horns.

and this is an old advertisement that i came across. too bad the product isn't still in production, otherwise i think my mom should try it on my 90-year-old grandma who lives with my parents in iowa.

Wednesday, October 7


autumn turns to winter on muddy mountain in southern natrona county, wyoming.

so i haven't posted for a while because my one of my most faithful readers has been here visiting me! iowa friend h and her kid p have been with me since last thursday evening, and they just boarded a plane early this afternoon to return to iowa. sad day! it was completely feasible that she stay here another week and ride to iowa with me next thursday, but i was turned down.... :-( something about wanting a new rotation of clothing or something.

in other news, i'm unhappy with a certain situation in my life right now. and that doesn't make me want to write much.

so instead i will post a lovely photo of me and iowa friend h and kid p.

and a photo of the him driving my truck as our chauffeur:

me and the him gathering some red dirt for iowa friend h's souvenir bottles:

Thursday, October 1


september 30 marked the first snowfall of the season for casper. i had gone over to the beacon for happy hour to meet up with friend k - it was her birthday - and i had the best intentions of ordering up two rounds - four beers - and then taking off to finish up my to-do list before iowa friend h gets here.


friend z showed up. then brothers gerrard showed up. then good dancer l showed up. and before i knew i had was sittin there with a steak sandwich (the beacon serves the best steak sandwiches) and about 10 good people and then it was midnight. but it was the epitome of why i love the beacon on weeknights, because no one else was in there, the band was good and the men were in a dancing mood. perfect ingredients for sitting around relaxing.

so anyway. while we were sitting there it began to snow. and snow. and by the time i had dropped friend k off and was driving back across town the hills were white and the flakes still flying. it's cold today. i think it's hit 38 so far.

on another note

i'm worried about my little horses

they're in dubois

on a hunting trip. i sent them off without me. i bet they're cold. maybe i should have sent their blankets. do i sound like a worried mother? because i am. they're supposed to get home saturday sometime. i'll be glad to have them home safe.