Thursday, July 30, 2009

We're Baaaaack!!!!!

I know, I know, you didn't even know we were going to be gone! I really, really meant to tell you, but ran plumb out of time. (And forgot. But I remembered... after we'd already hit the road.)

But we're back now! Back from an indescribably wonderful 5 1/2 days backpacking in the back country of ...

I'll provide plently of images and anecdotes from the trip, once I edit the 700 photos I took down to something more reasonable, like say, 650.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Diary of a Bathroom Remodel: Part III

We're getting to the final stages in this bathroom remodel. Man, I waited so long to post about this that in re-cap time it seems as if it only took a few days, maybe a week, to finish it. But if I had posted in real time, you would have seen incremental changes each day. As in I would have had four tile posts, one for each day Cowboy H put tile up. "Look! Another piece of tile set today! Stay tuned for the next one in three days!"

Its not as if Cowboy H is a slacker. If you lived with him you would know he is anything BUT a slacker. Let me tell you, he likes to get things done. Its just between him working full time (plus overtime) and going to school and taking care of me (NOT easy) he didn't have much time to spare on the bathroom. But he managed.

See, here he is before the sun is even all the way up working away on the...

BEADBOARD!! (Yes, that is dog poop. Please ignore it. Thank you very much.)

We put a few layers of paint on the boards before putting them into the bathroom. Usually I use the term we pretty loosely, meaning Cowboy H is doing the work and I'm taking pictures. However, in this case, I actually helped. Yep, I helped paint.

Then I made a huge mess and was told to stay behind the camera. Its much better that way anyway.

The beadboard and its accompanying trim were installed on the bottom third (roughly) of the bathroom walls. No paint, tile or wallpaper here!

Now, it just needed a final layer of paint to touch it up. Of all the steps in this remodel process, I have to say that this made the most difference. The white really opened up the tiny space and the beadboard itself added a whole new dimension.

Next up: the finished product!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Story of a (Second) Hand-Me-Down Horse: Bella-Ella

This scraggly thing came to us on Halloween of last year. I'm sure most of you who read this blog know her story better than I do so I won't talk much about her past. All I will say is she was underweight, whooly as a mammoth, and full of anxiety and angst. She looked nothing like the horse Cowboy H had described we were getting.

(Note: Please don't judge Mama H and please forgive Cowboy H for cutting of Bella's legs)

She also behaved completely different than I expected. She hated being caught and was a wreck to lead and tie; a nervous nelly. Overall, an extremely unhappy horse. We turned her out in the "mare pasture" at our little ranch; the same area that my Maria lived in (we knew that box stalls were out of the question). She was accepted into the herd quickly, but it was soon discovered that she was a cribber, which impeded her gaining weight.

The picture above is from the first time one of us rode her, after spending 15 minutes just trying to catch her. Fortunately, she was very pleasant under saddle and seemed to really enjoy going out on the trails. The arena was a whole different story though...

Both Cowboy H and I decided that Bella needed some time to decompress. We stopped riding her for the most part and focused a lot of energy on just spending time with her. I would catch her just to brush her, or give her a carrot (no apples, she doesn't like apples), or simply walk her around the ranch on foot while i yakked it up with other people. She was also tied to the patience pole a few times since tying quietly was not one of her best qualities.

Then, we had to go catch about 100 cows that had gotten out of our grazing land when fires burned the fences last November. Without hesitating Cowboy H strapped his rope to his saddle and threw it over Bella's back. She was a real working cow horse for a day and loved it.

Once all the cows had been herded back to the ranch (I will post pictures of this ride someday soon) we had to sort and count them in the pens. Now I didn't get any pictures of it because I was busy dodging the bull that Maria was trying to take on, but Bella sure impressed Cowboy H that afternoon. Cowboy H and Bella took on the role of cutting out the desired cows and sending them our way. Man alive did that horse ever cut. She worked her butt of. It was amazing. Cowboy H even roped and dragged cows with her. At one point, he had to jump off Bella suddenly to catch the end of his rope and she slid to a stop and froze in place till he remounted. It was pretty cool.

After that day it was pretty much decided she was a keeper, but she still wasn't gaining weight as well as we wanted. So we turned her out in the BIG pasture which was knee high with green grass after the fires. We didn't touch her (or even look at her) for over a month, and then, wow. Wow. I went out to check on her (finally) and she came running (running!) up to greet me. And she was so fat and shiny and happy I seriously thought I got the wrong horse!

Here she is getting new shoes after over a month on the BIG pasture.

Dragging oak logs from out of the creek gully (but she's not dragging one in this pic)

Working the gate on a evening ride (notice that BUTT)

Look who's coming to see us!

Happy Girl

All in all, we have a happy ending (and twinsie horses!). Bella has taken up permanent residency in the big pasture and has since been joined by Maria. Next up, I make a driving pair out of these two!

I kid!

(Or not...)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Diary of a Bathroom Remodel: Part II

Next step: paint!

Cowboy H painted the walls one morning while I was at work. He's such a hard worker.

After the walls were painted, Cowboy H laid the floor tile.

Mama H picked the most expensive floor tile there was. Made in Spain. Oops.

It sure was pretty though.

(Notice how the bottom of the walls is not painted yellow? Just wait and see what's in store. Or, can you guess??)

Cowboy H's grout job was awfully pretty too.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another One Bites The Dust

In light of Desert Rose's Dear Friend's accident, my wreck seems trivial. But the Desert Rose asked, and I will not be the one to deny her.

See, there is a hill. It is a very steep hill and it has a dirt road that goes up it. I do not have any pictures of this hill because, well, we never take pictures of this hill. We always run up this hill. We run up this hill on our horses. And we do it all the time.

So two Mondays ago, on a very pleasant evening a friend and I went out for a ride. We were very excited because it had been a long time since we'd ridden together. The warm air made our ponies rather lazy so we just cruised along and yakked it up. It was very nice.

We had already ridden about half an hour when we came to the Hill. Now, I could blame the 5 motorcycles that were roaring around the base of the Hill for spooking Maria, but that would be a cop-out. They didn't bother her one bit. Since it was the Hill, we had to run up it, so we took off. Slowly at first but we gained speed. Let me tell you, we were booking it.

Then, Maria ate it. Bit the dust. Took a digger. Really, simply, she tripped and fell. That was it. Only, we were going so dang fast. So we hit the ground hard. And the first (and I swear only) part of us that hit the ground was my left elbow.

In Maria's defense there was a BIG pothole in the road and between the two of us (Maria and I) we just didn't maneuver it well. Also, Maria is convinced that my friend's horse "threw an elbow and pushed her down" as she passed us right before we fell. Yes, she told me that. She said, "Bailey did it; she pushed me."

Fortunately, Maria only suffered a couple scrapes and bruises (seriously she was fine the next day). And thank goodness I only broke my left arm (I'm right handed). It could have been so much worse. Like 10 hours in surgery worse.

Well, I take that back. The docs still haven't decided whether it needs surgery or not.

I'll keep you posted (literally, ha ha!) ...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Broken Wing

Self Portrait, 2009

So you can all feel sorry for me.

(And yes, I was wielding my camera the day after I broke my arm.)

Portait of my Wife, Cowboy H

And so you can see that Cowboy H can actually use a camera.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Diary of a Bathroom Remodel: Part I

You may remember this bathroom from our Homestead walk-thru a while back. This is the "guest bathroom". It sits right at the end of the hallway and was hideous.

This is the first major project we started at the Homestead. The first step was to completely gut it. We tore all its innards out (sorry no pics) and then let it sit like that for a few weeks. (Hey, we got busy!). It was like a big black hole.

After all the supplies came in and Cowboy H was able to clear a few days in his schedule, he started on the shower/tub area. We decided to tile the shower walls so he put new backing up and patched up the drywall on the surrounding walls. Then we got to put the new tub in!

The next step Cowboy H had planned (he's a master planner in case you were wondering) was to tile the shower. I was soooo excited to have a real tile shower! Cowboy H set up a work bench outside our back door where he laid out all the pieces for each wall one at a time. Then he carefully measured and cut so that each "wall" would fit perfectly onto the wall it was going on.

Ta-da! Pretty pretty tile. This was only the beginning, but it had already completely transformed the bathroom. It was so nice to be making progress toward the end result, finally!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


This face showed up at The Homestead the other day.

Hank thought she was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

After a proper introduction they played for hours.

Hank even showed her the ins and outs of rolling in the front grass.

Cowboy H and I liked her so much we even let her stay the night. Or two. Outside.

But I let her do this.

And then this.

Oh man, that face just kills me.

Its a good thing my friend was looking for a dog like her or I'd a been sleeping in the doghouse with her!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


"Hello? Hello? One... two... three... Testing. Testing.

Oh, ok, hello. Please excuse me, but I interrupt the regular broadcasting schedule for this very important announcement.



It may be a while before the normally scheduled programming continues. She is still figuring out how to type with one hand.

Thank you very much and I apologize for the interruption."