Saturday, April 25, 2009


The Irish have a saying "Be careful what you say...if you brag the leprechauns will hear you and change your luck". And it is often all too true.

As we were reaching the ranch after a wonderful scenic ride on a fresh, sunny morning with a fresh breeze, I remarked to Betts "Someday I will tell you that we had a lousy ride. But again, it won't be today!" Not 5 minutes later, Betts horse froze and I heard a rattling. Looking down I saw an angry Mohave rattler about 5 feet to our side. Both horses looked...then walked on. So much for our history of snake-less rides this spring! Maybe the gila monster we saw along the trail was our first hint of the things to come.

Then as we were unsaddling, I heard a roar behind me, and looking around, saw a huge tornado of brown sand whipping up to the sky and heading our way. I yelled at Betts "Sand Devil coming", untied Bart, and we both hunkered down as the brown sand tornado spun by us. Both horses jumped, then tucked in and were full of sand and brush in their mains and tails after it passed.
I hosed Bart off, and was about ready to leave...then decided to give him a light flake of hay. When I was breaking it apart, I felt a sharp stick, and thought I had picked up a sticker or thorn. But I didn't see anything, yet my hand hurt...then started to swell...and felt like the pins and needles of an awaking leg that had fallen asleep. Betts suggested I go to the ER, and that sounded like a smart idea. I thought about aphylactic shock as I waited for the light to turn in town, and then for the front desk to get me signed in.

The nurse assured me that there are no Brown Recluse in this area, and if it had been a Black Widow spider, I would be in intense pain. His diagnosis was a scorpion sting. So I took an Alavert, put some ice on it, and now have pins and needles in my hand and running up my arm.

Before the ride, I dropped off a box with a new extended mirror in the unopened box for my old truck, and a matching used mirror at my neighbor, who was having a garage sale. When I got home, I noticed they were closing up, so I stopped in to see how they did. She angrily told me that someone had asked if he could take the mirror over to his truck to see if it fit (the box clearly said "For 2005 Ford 150 truck"). Apparently, the potential buyer took both the new and used mirrors....and left! So I lost out on the $40 I almost had in hand. And it is only 3:00! Maybe I should hole up and not do anything more today! But I plan to go for a swim, then to the clubhouse for the monthly pot luck. Sure hope I don't get food poisoning!!!!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


My sister, Terri, is expecting her first grandchild next month. I just wrote her on how much more fun being a gramma is rather than the tough parenting. I am looking forward to seeing both my grandson's together this summer when Niels and Jen bring Danny to Minnesota this summer. Lots of photo ops!

Speaking of, here is a picture of my older grandson experiencing the fun of ice fishing with his dad. He is growing up so quickly...and I miss seeing his new discoveries. He sent me a picture of two cowboy saguaros with a note "I miss you, Gramma Chi"...that he made on the computer! And my new grandson is now cooing, smiling and rolling over....and I am missing seeing it all. But thanks to the Internet and Skype, I can see him, even though I can't cuddle him right now.

The snowbirds are packing up and heading north, and the weather is warming up, with 90's predicted this week. In about two months I plan to head north again ...maybe with Bart...maybe with Mom....maybe with both...and am looking forward to cooler weather in the pines, fishing, golfing and seeing friends and family again. I will miss my house and friends here, but I am sure it will be nice to escape the Arizona summer temps for awhile.

But in the meantime, I am enjoying wonderful trail rides on Bart with Betts in the hills, seeing all the cactus putting out their colorful spring blooms, and relaxing in the warm pool and Jacuzzi. This week I will be cleaning up my trailer to get ready for the 5 day Las Damas ride in Prescott next week. Will be nice to ride in the pines again, and to be out camping. I will raise a glass of wine at the campfire for those wonderful horse-camping friends in Minnesota, and am looking forward to joining them in a few months.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

HAPPY EASTER!!! have to admit I have been very good in my restraint in publishing pictures of my darling grandsons. But Jen just posted this on her blog and I just couldn't resist passing it along. My little Danny Boy is doing well...still tiny but now up to 13 pounds at 4 months. Appears he has luckily passed on the Manthei chubby gene and chosen his fathers ectomorphic metabolism.
As another holiday approaches, I again feel sad in missing spending it with my grandsons. I love living in the warm, sunny Southwest, but it is just too far from the family in the Midwest for frequent visits (my son and daughter in laws must be relieved!!!). Again this year I won't be able to help dye eggs, watch their glee in finding their Easter baskets and stuffing their faces with found jelly beans. Probably the boys are starting new Easter traditions passed down from the other side of their families.
I think back to my early Easters. We usually got up early every morning during lent and attended Mass before school (often with a trench coat over our jammies and a scarf covering the rollers in our hair!). We walked the 4 blocks on the crunchy ground as the thawed yards of the day before had frozen again at night. Then Holy Week were days of fast and abstinence, Stations of the Cross, Washing of the Feet, and then finally Easter Sunday! We wore our new Easter dresses, patent leather shoes (unless there was yet another blizzard and we had to wear our boots one more time!), white gloves and a new hat with bright, artificial flowers. But first, we woke early to search the house for the hidden baskets of candy that the Easter Bunny had hidden, and to see who could find the most hidden jelly beans that might be on window sills, in a shoe, on the bookcase or on the picture frames. After Mass (and family pictures), we would come home for hard boiled eggs for breakfast made from our colored eggs (and were often the color of the shell inside, too), then later had a big ham dinner in the dining room, complete with Mom's best china, silver and goblets. Then it was over....the morning treks to Mass, spring vacation (which was called "Mud Vacation" if the thaw made the dirt rural roads impassable for the school buses to city cousins were amazed that we were released from school for a week for something called "MUD VACATION"! The jelly beans lasted a little longer, but not too much. Weeks later a jelly bean or two was usually found in a well-hidden spot and devoured.
I still love jelly beans (especially the cinnamon ones that Brach's makes) and malted speckled eggs. And I still get a bite of a chocolate bunny as I nibble the ears off the ones I send my daughter...TRADITION! And now another generation is ready to celebrate Easter. I'm sure they will continue some, change some, and forget some. There are new traditions and memories to be made. HAPPY EASTER!