Monday, May 11, 2009


Growing up, Mother's Day was one where my sisters would make home-made cards for Mom, and we would make her breakfast to bring up to her in bed. At night, we would turn down her bed and lay out a new nightgown. Dad usually bought a corsage for her to wear to church when we marched in....5 girls wearing hats, gloves, and carrying St. Joseph missals.

I think Mom misses those chaotic Mother's Day mornings. Yesterday I drove her and a friend to church, then we all went to the church hall for rolls, coffee and conversation. I offered to take her to one of the many brunches being offered around town, but she preferred to have a meal at home. I grilled some chicken, and she make a salad and we had blueberry pie for dessert. We let the food settle as we watched a movie on the Hallmark channel, then off to the pool to cool down and work off that good pie.

Mom seemed a bit down in the morning, with missing sharing the day with Dad and her girls, but she had lots of calls and flowers to brighten the day. All her girls called, Chris and Kelly also rang and she talked to CJ and invited him to come join her in the pool (" I can't now, Gramma Ann....we are going for lunch for Mommy's Day").

So it was a day of reminicing about Mother's Day's past, and new beginnings as Jen celebrates her first special day, and Kaila's awaits the birth of her first baby, Mom's 12th great-grandchild, which is due any minute!

So here is to the generations and the circle of life. Happy Mother's Day all!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Pulling my horse trailer over the Rockies last fall convinced me that my 150 truck was just not up to the job. She was fine for my smaller Circle J trailer and over the flat lands, but with my living quarter and mountains to travel, I knew it was time to upgrade. I only had 34,000 miles on my '05 truck, and it was a nice truck, but have been looking for a Ford 250 extended cab for awhile....without much luck. I happened to be at the Ford dealership when a local contractor was trading in his personal truck....and I decided to give up on a gold/brown 250 extended cab, and bought his trade. It just happened that the Doherty's were arriving in town at the time, so I had them check it out for me, and got their approval. Cindy and I test drove it out to the ranch, and decided it would look good with the trailer, too. So I am now driving an '06 Ford diesel 350 Lariat crew cab 4x4 short bed. I "girlied" it up a bit by adding chrome side protectors, handles and wheel well protectors, and will be adding a soft cover on the bed tomorrow. The gray leather interior should do a much better job of hiding Wylee's hairs...they really were a pain getting out of the old black carpet!! I really appreciated the extra power when I hauled Bart over the mountains in Yarnell on the way to the Las Damas ride. No need to downshift....we just drove right up! It feels big, and that diesel is the usual noisier motor, but I do feel much more confident when I am hauling now. And I discovered at the Las Damas ride that a white diesel 350 is pretty much the norm for hauling trailers....LOTS of rattling diesels running as we were all pulling out on Friday! And to top it off, I got 15 mpg driving it on short pulls and over the mountains. I would have been lucky to get 9 with the 150 gas truck, so that helps offset the higher cost of diesel fuel. And my old truck? The dealer sold it to his son-in-law an hour after I brought it in!

So now I am ready for that long haul to Minnesota, but this summer the new truck will stay home. I have decided to fly up with Mom and visit family and friends, and will drive the Camry back....if the ol' gal will make it. She now has 180.000 miles on her! But for now we are talking about a camping trip to Groom's Creek Park at Prescott next month.......WOOHOO!

And what is a good name for a big white truck??????
Larry the Lariat?
Fred the Ford?

Saturday, May 2, 2009


It isn't often that the expectation of an event surpasses the actual occurrence, but it happened this past week as I experienced my first Las Damas 5-day Ride. This was the 61st anniversary of the all-women ride. I was a "Pigeon" or first year invited guest. If I ride on 4 monthly rides this year, and attend the 5-day ride next year (and ride on 4 of the 5 rides during the week), I COULD be invited to join the Las Damas organization. It would be an honor to be included with the wonderful women who plan, organize, and carry out these rides.

This year the ride took place at Coopers Ranch, a 28,000 acre private property near Peeples Valley, about 30 miles south of Prescott. It is near the source springs of the Hassayampa River, which eventually flows down to Wickenburg. About a hundred years ago, a dam built broke, and a 40' high flood of water wiped out many of the ranches and much of Wickenburg. The remains of some of those ranch buildings can still be seen today, and we observed them on our trails.

I had a shady campsite under a huge cottonwood tree that overlooked the riverbed and surrounding mountains. The meals were catered, and we were treated to BBQ ribs and chicken, prime rib and lobster tail, roast pork loin, individually made get the was all first class. The week was planned with skits around the evening bonfires, songs song by local songwriters and poets, much fun conversations and laughter, beautiful well-trained horses, and a daily fashion show as the riders and horses were decked out in beautiful attire for the rides and evening meals. One night was designated "Bling Night" for dinner, and one almost needed sunglasses as we had our Happy Hour adult beverages and observed all the decked out cowgirls!

The trails took us through desert cactus and blossoms, up rocky hills, and across the Hassayampa River many times, which was a treat for thirsty horses. My palomino, Bartles and Jaymes proved to be the trailhorse that I appreciate, and carried me safely over the 5 trails we chose. There was an official photographer for the week, and she thought Bart was a pretty boy, and took many pictures of him....including one that she had enlarged, framed in a wood and barb wire frame, and had displayed on an easel with all the proofs!

So I have safely "new" 2006 Ford diesel 4x4 crew cab was awesome...towing my trailer easily over the mountain passes though Yarnell. I was a dusty, pooped cowgirl when I got home last night, and Bart seemed happy to be home in his pen....about 70 pounds lighter and up a notch on his backcinch. I left him snoozing and brought the trailer home. I now have the sheets washed and bed remade, trailer emptied and cleaned, and will now get the propane tanks filled and bring the trailer back to the ranch to drop off.....until the next time! We are already discussing a trip to Grooms Creek next month....and I can't wait. LOVE this horse-camping and the great friends that share the rides!