Sunday, December 27, 2009


Was a long Christmas season this year. It started a week before Thanksgiving with Jen, Niels and Daniels visit, and our early celebrations of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Daniel's first birthday. Then we celebrated early again with Lori and Nick's visit. The weather prevented Ann and Mick coming for the actual date, but it was a festive time, anyway with Christmas Eve spent with my cousin Linda, her husband and daughter with a dinner and intense game of Michigan Rummy (kind of like Tripoli). Christmas morning we attended Mass, then had a holiday brunch at Cindy's with her husband and mother. The mimosas and Baileys led to a nap in the afternoon after bringing Bart his carrots and apples. Then the Westpark dinner was at 5, and was fun filling the table with Mom, me, Linda, Larry and their daughter. And yesterday I received a box from Chris, Kelly and CJ with gifts CJ bought with his own money at the dollar store...which made them that much more precious.

My last gift came from Bart. I was invited to join Bets on her new mare, Lena, and a friend, Kathy, with her 4 year old warmblood mare. As I saddled, I reminded Bart that he was the senior member of the ride now, so I expeccted him to set a good example. And for my Christmas present from him, I just wanted a nice ride with no bucking, spooking or bolting. It was a chilly 50 degrees as we left the ranch, but the sun was warm and the sky was clear, so our jackets were soon opened and gloves pulled off. We rode up the trails to Turtle Mountain. It has been a couple of months since I have ridden them, due to Sweet Peas passing and Bets searching for a new horse, the rainy weather, my bout with the flu, company, Christmas, and all the distractions. Bart came through with his present, and we had a wonderful ride with three well-behaved horses and lots of laughs along the way as we observed the gorgeous views once again.

Now to try to get the house organized and picked up again, and maybe go out for a ride again this afternoon. The weather remains about 10 degrees below normal, but 50's and sunny sure beats the freezing temperatures and snow up north! Then to Laughlin on Friday to meet Pam for a few days. We always share lots of laughter and conversation....a great way to start a new year.

Monday, December 21, 2009


There comes a time when one looks around at STUFF and decides it is time to clear it out. Mom and I have talked of a garage sale for 6 months since she wanted to sell a table and chair set that was taking up room in her storage shed. We had to wait until summer was over and it would cool down and bring the snowbirds. We had to wait until after Jen, Niels and Daniel's visit and Thanksgiving, then had to wait two weeks for me to get over the flu/cold/crud. Then we had to wait a week while having fun with Lori and Nick's visit. Then there was no more waiting. It had to be last weekend or wait until next year....this weekend is Christmas, the next is New Years, then my birthday and visit with HAD TO DO IT!!!! It took a couple of days to drag stuff out and to Mom's and set up tables and clothes racks. Then, since I was an hour late in getting the ad in the newspaper, I had to make flyers and put them all over town. Then the road signs made up of purchased bright paper and placed statically. A stop at the bank to get change, and we were ready. Westparkers started poking in as we set up, and we were happy to let them buy to make more room for more STUFF! The sale ran 3 days, and each day we brought out more STUFF from the house and sheds to replace that which had left. And during the sale Mom sat busily making her scrubbies and selling them as fast as she would finish one. Finally 3pm arrived on Saturday and we were DONE! As we packed the remaining items for a trip to Goodwill, a fellow who looked young, married and down on his luck stopped in. We gave him some clothing, toys and a lamp and he was tickled pink as he packed up his battered car. Then driving around to pick up the signs and flyers, and sweep up the carport. DONE!!!!!! So it was a week of setting up, selling, and cleaning up. Today I delivered the boxes to Habitat, and put away the STUFF that I returned home. DONE!!!!!! Figuring a week of 10 hour days....I think it came down to about forty cents and hour and a tax deduction. BUT.....a lot of STUFF is gone from my shed, closets and cupboards, and Mom sold her table and chair set and about 100 scrubbies. And she is talking about "when we have our next sale.....". ARRRRGGHHHHHHH!!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Some say always get the bad news out of the way first, and that would be that my trail riding buddy, Bets, is taking Tango back to her previous owner today. The four year old mare just had too much energy for the 80+ Bets. And sadder yet, she may decide not to replace her. I have enjoyed sharing the trails with Bets, and her sharp mind would tell me the stories of the areas we road, and point out the wildlife, cactus and birds. She knew the trails so well, and introduced me to the Las Damas rides. The time comes when every cowgirl has to hang up her spurs, and it made me think about how much longer Bart and I will share the trails

Now on a happier note....I received the fantastic news that the wonderful Carole Ampe has completed her chemo and received a clean bill of health! After John's broken leg and her cancer scare, they sold their living quarter trailer and their horse, JP. They figured their riding and camping days were past, and bought a boat to spend time with family. Carole was so good to help John the past few years since his leg injury, and he has been a rock for her during her chemo. They are an inspiration as a couple. They still have their mare, Oneder, so maybe their trail riding days aren't over, yet!

And another happy sister Lori from Minnesota, and her son, Nick, who is stationed in Washington DC in the Marines, are visiting this week. Nick has been surprised by all the handshakes he has received when people learn of his service, and the round of applause he received when he was introduced at the Westpark luncheon. Times have changed. Unfortunately, the warm Arizona sunshine they anticipated has given way to unusual cool 50's and even a rainy day. That hasn't stopped them from enjoying the hot tub, however.

And a second grandson, Daniel Joel, is celebrating his first birthday today. We had an early birthday party for him when they were here two weeks ago, but I am thinking of him today, and what joy he has brought into his parent's life......and mine!

And then there was the Viking-Cardinals game. After 50 years of defending the Vikings efforts, I can't quite switch my allegiance to the Cardinals. We had a ball going to the Cardinal's stadium before the game and checking out all the tailgaters. Most of the crowd seemed to be wearing purple! And then that game......where WERE the Vikes??????

And I am finally almost over the crud...although Mom is now coming down with a stuffy nose. Life consists of the ups and downs. We celebrate the joys and endure the bad with the support of friends and family. And I have some of the best of both!