Sunday, August 26, 2012

Danger Ranch's New Title "Crazyland"

This past month has been more than the usual busy. I've been tending kiddos, puppies, washing horses, preparing all the necessary medications and vaccinations that go with the weather. As soon as that happens and 2 weeks pass, it's shearing and chipping feet. We have hot Autumns here with the East Winds. There's a lot of work ahead.

I have "Fix-up Fever" so bad. I've taken all the books out of our bookcases in the hall and I don't want to put them back. I want the books because they are collectable hardbound children's books and old church books, but the bookcases... I'm over it. Maybe I can make them something else...nah! They're going down.

I want to plant more flowers, and maybe the puppies are through digging in my flowers and removing all my wet potting soil this past summer. I want to start my vegetable garden, that became a too big of project to finish this season, and I still want to sweep and clean all the sidewalks and driveways. The garden we've started is made of huge IRON bins and fruit boxes that we have already filled with straw bales to take-up some bottom room and topped with a big load of just the right compost. We're going to have a great garden that doesn't hurt our backs, keeps the varmints out, including deer ... because it's going to be fenced-in, and the garden will have the exactly the right PH. The soil will never be walked-on and I'm really looking forward to our fresh fruits and vegetables. The big plus is that we're going completely organic.

16 Chest-sized Bins and Big Fruit Boxes
 I would love to wash all my driveway down but in my mind I'm thinking I'll be raking a lot this Fall so it would be a waste of water. The leaves are through and already dry. I can now smell Fall, not like Utah and Colorado or even the East.  I smell black sage, iron weed, Cottonwood Trees, and Sycamore Trees. It would be better for me to finish painting my outdoor furniture so it will last through the winter rains. Steve won't let me mow the lawns ever, and sabotaged the lawn mower and edger so that they won't start for me. Actually, I didn't promise him that I wouldn't try and mow a little bit.

What I've always wanted to do would be to put all the horses out in the pasture. They would love it. Banner, "the beaver horse" couldn't go because she eats all the big wooden posts and Sonny is a stallion. Our black cutie, would be be anxiously courting our mares.

Southern California Bashkir Curly Stallion Out of Copper Sun
I always hoped since we've had Sally-Horse, I could have this mare be bred to Sonny. Actually, I would love our beautifully wide and sorrel Quarter Horse to be bred to Sonny just to prove him and I'd have a foal to play with. I'd even be up to sell Sally-horse after I had her bred and a foal on the ground. It's too late in the season, but Fall would be a perfect time for a newborn.

The most interesting activity that's jumped right-out of "Pinterest" to inspire Steve and I, is to use some of Steve's metal junk that he's kept from his recycling center into repurposed and useful planters and interesting sculptures sooo it's junky, I know. I'm really tired of yard-art that is made in China. There's fun stuff that I've loved forever and all we need is just a few tools and my Steve to help me. Our grandchildren couldn't believe we made our motor oil can into the cutest bird house. And that's exactly where the "CRAZY" started.

Oil Can Birdhouse

Tipsy Buckets Planters Holey Containers = Great Pots

More Planters with Holes In the Bottom
First, my grandson Dallin, found a half of a big, plastic planter and placed it in the center of the arena while I was feeding the horses. Dallin was rocking back and forth and just announced to me that this piece of trash could be a rocking chair. I silently thought of trying to squeeze myself in a broken pot and rocking as an old lady on our porch singing, "♫♪♫ "We Are the American Pickers" ♫♪♫. The image of me standing-up with that pot stuck on my rear-end, made me turn around and grab the broken pot and toss it in the trash bin. Dallin continued to sit in it while I was dragging it out of the arena, make my impulsive dumping idea a little more difficult.

I told marnie that I believe she shouldn't buy toys for her children because it's a complete waste of money. "Marnie, just go to the lumber yard and by new wood." "The kids could stay away from the trash wood pile and then go outside and figure-out a fun project to build." Wood scraps, nails, and good hammers would fill their entire day.

My Grandchildren In Laramie Are Playing with Wood, Too

I stepped-it-up out of the "penguin-walk" that's my usual sore-knees indicator. I'm trying a re-teaching effort to walk normally and thinking sometimes out-loud, "Walk like a mountain-man!" I even have to tell myself to breathe only because when my knees really hurt ...I hold my breath. I don't hold it for too long, hahahaha... but I know it's not good to breathe irregularly. I had just climbed up the stairs and the grandchildren all ran up on to the porch and to the door to get me to see their new creation that they had created out of the trash. Uht, oh! I could see this large structure from my porch and it was amazing. They had built a Tee Pee out of the old boards of my porch. Super heavy boards all pulled-out of the wood pile, nails still sticking out all over the place. The kids were playing in the trash pile and making creations, reusing what they felt was great building material.

Really Rotten Boards-Great Playhouse?

The timing was perfect, it was a really warm day and I had seen a dead snake on the side of the road on my way home from Ventura. I'm thinking the kids are now playing in the snakes and Black Widow Spiders are everywhere. The scariest part of all of this is that the wood could collapse on them. Grand children making homes from discarded wood, not too safe at all. My firefighter husband was right-out there and said just for pictures and it's coming down. I heard him say, "You haven't gotten a building permit and I've checked it for safety-code violations and your structure has failed to pass." Tear it down carefully. I'll watch.

Adree, one of my older grand daughters, is asking me about the "American Pickers" and I'm not sure I've ever seen it, but I know about the show. She was trying to walk me around the back of the place and saying that I could make a fish pond out of all the claw-footed bath tubs (horse troughs) I have four of them upside down in the back. I'm a little afraid of turning them over. She also told me I could make a chair out of the pallets and I couldn't help but laugh-at-loud. Our first couch Steve and I had when we were first married, was made from pallet wood that Steve made into a wonderful couch. He  sanded-down all the wood and then designed a slight slant with a couple pieces of plywood for the seating area. He made it perfect. I made really thick, leather, patchwork cushions with pipping all around the edges. We stained the wood a dard barn-red and the best part was that the bottom plywood piece lifted-up so I could store my extra blankets and sheets under the couch. I loved it!

I'm getting some pretty unusual tinted paint this year for my metal furniture. They are through being rusty and I'm ready for some nice painted furniture. The painting looks clean and then I'm going to make my own cushions again, but without all the piping. I need them fast and in case the puppy decides to tear-in to them, at least a huge amount of time won't be lost. Now I'm going to have to revisit this post and put my projects up so I can remember my "Pinterest" inspirations. Hope that I don't cringe. Pinterest is a networking place on the Internet like Facebook, and all the others. It puts your bookmarks in categories and saves a picture. It's a lot better than just a plain bookmark with your browser. I don't have to remember which one of my three browsers have bookmarked my interests. I'm instantly reminded why I was so interested in that particular blog, website, or forum from Pinterest boards. The networking part is nice because we can see what our friends like that have similar tastes in crafts, sewing, or gardening. But, men "Pin" also. Junk like tools and "men stuff".

I have a bunch of flowers and potting soil in the back of my FJ so I KNOW what's happening tomorrow. It'll be fun. I might even get brave and grab some sheep feet and get on to the vaccinations and since I've renamed the ranch, to "Crazyland" just for our Fall season, instead of Danger Ranch, maybe this time I won't break my finger, like last year.

I love the book Adree made for me She said it's just doodling , but it was so cute. 

Here's where the Butt-Rock Lives On Our Driveway Island
We enjoyed the kids company and giggling and
watching them tease and play with each other.

My Daughter's Family Mansion

Sometimes I walk-out past their house that is on the side of our big roping arena. I swing around the corner out to Sally-Horse and I can hear all of them inside. They're all squealing, running, and giggling. I can see their yellow mansion shaking with happiness. Yep, I take a deep breath (I don't hold it) and I sigh. I honestly have developed a skip in my "Mountain Man" stride.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer Refections Visable and Invisable Catching-Up

My Epiphyllums Are Blooming!

Ketchup or it should be "catch-up"  Ketchup? I do have it,'s in the barn! Why didn't we think of the OTHER refrigerator yesterday? I had numerous children crying over an empty Ketchup bottle and it was a much needed condiment for the stinky hotdogs. Ketchup is, for me at least, one of those words I can never, ever spell. I was alone with all the kids and everyone of them were unhappy with the prospect of no ketchup, especially me.

Summer was a huge "catch-up" time. We lived probably our most active summer ever, ever. Steve used all his vacation time and that's a first and the benefits will be memories that we will treasure the rest of our lives. I need to get my journal out and fill in all the blanks because so looks like I just frittered the summertime away. Not this year!

These are a few things that haven't been written in my journal. I usually mention the crazy stuff in my individual posts but have left-out these gems. I have these are little bits of just plain unusual occurrences and words from "the mouths of babes" that happened and I wrote a few down. All happening in-between and during all our vacations.

I really wanted sparkly toe-nail polish at the beach house this year, but had a huge case of Athlete's Foot, foot-rot. I wore tennis shoes all the time, with socks at the beach. Cute! What an old lady! I even soaked my socks and shoes while wading in the ocean water. That's a first. Once, just as I was putting on my socks I saw my daughter looking at my feet and really studying them. I didn't ask her, but I think she saw they were swollen and UGLY. My toenails are beautiful, toes...not. I like to think I was on it with my problem when I found I was using the spray medicine for deodorant and my "Sure Deodorant" spray on my feet and vice-verse(a). If you're my family reading this..I used disinfectant-type Clorox from Smart and Final and all over the showers that I have used, every time. Honest. I'm not posting a picture. My feet still hurt.

The Barn Refrigerator
I was hosting two and three families at our house and our refrigerator went completely-out. (then the newer one in our kitchen, reverted to sometimes out so we still have it in the house) We started using the refrigerator in the barn that's a throw-away because it's too heavy to bring up our stairs to our kitchen and it sucks electricity. Now  we need it and it's saving us until my Capt. Steve starts his classes in CERT. It's sparkling clean. Ahhhh... I love it!

But that wasn't all and not the worse. Our sewer flowed-out through the cap. I don't know when it started, but the raw stuff was quite a puddle. The kids found it and thankfully didn't go there. We called the plumber about a minute past the day-rate and he said someone cut the line and what he needed for us a power engine. "Ca-ching" "Ca-ching" ran through my head. I asked all the men. Does the sewer run on gravity or a power pump? No one knew in our family, even the "techie machinist" husband and the construction/sheriff husband. One answer was, "I don't think any of us know what's needed, in the OLD DAYS it may have needed a pump." Oh crap!

We find out the truth and the plumber dude cut the line accidentally and it was his power engine that he needed to replace. Total loss: $84.00. We had a party. So we even got new pipes, caps and clean-up. I suppose a picture should be appropriate but it looks like normal, I think. It's too hot outside to go exploring-besides I have a history of falling into septic tanks. The old one at my mom and dad's house. Our trash truck also went through one in Piru. (We owned a trash business and that could be whole journal and fill volumes of blog)  Now, stepping over there, on the side of the house might be risky in the most ugly way, and my foot may never heal.

I had a couple of very neat outdoor activities I wanted to do, my husband nixed them all. I just wanted to take out the horses. The big ram would have been fun to ride. No mutton bustin' because he's my baby. My Steve could only see disaster and asked me not to even attempt them. I followed his advice because of recent accidents, with no one hurt. I didn't want to go against the "feelings" that he had about the most simple of projects. Maybe I just needed more adult supervision.

I did take a picture of a pillow. Exciting, huh? 

I love These Colors
I don't want the pillow or anything that exactly goes with it like the huge sofa. I have this "Pinning Compulsion" and all summer I've been able to only look at the Pinterest site here and there. I love the colors of this pillow. The photo doesn't bring-out the turquoise nearly as vivid as it really is and the salmon or peachy pink was right there. Fun to look at a color wheel and then set colors with my pictures and see what pops. Maybe I'm too easily entertained when I'm alone.

I "bought" a video and didn't rent it. I was supposed to rent it, it went in as a purchase. For 45 crazy minutes I fought with the "HELP-LINE" with IPhone. I gave-up because she didn't even understand me. Of course she didn't... she's in India. All the kids were after me to take them to the movie. Looking around at the crowd I saw possibly $100 going down the drain when you add treats and all. I couldn't even find a movie that one hadn't seen. Someone was going to be unhappy. So, I goofed that up and purchased the lamest, oldest video that MY children used to watch all the time. I thought since it was surely one that all the kids hadn't seen and made in 1987, not one of them could tell me it was good, bad, or that they'd seen it. The movie was Adventures in Babysitting.

Oh, my children's kids saw the whole thing, and the language was terrible. Why wasn't it rated worse! 1987,  perhaps. It was one my kids saw on TV after the movie was in the theater and the bad words were changed. Why didn't I remember that? Same with the movie Tremors, too!

 It was really quiet in our house for the two hours while the grandchildren
 were GLUED to the TV watching the babysitting movie.
 I watched the clock start moving backward. Head slap!

Our living room clock is running backward. I know it must be a low-battery situation, but that's so spooky and I can't find the emergency batteries to fix it. I would love to turn back this summer and do it all over again. Maybe I could go down and get new batteries or wait to see if I'm going to be a "time traveler." This not an emergency, but I look-up and it's messing with my head. Summer again? I could do it and fix a lot of things I did wrong.

This is eventful and I need to put this in my blog. Have you met someone on Pinterest? I mean after you "pinned" from them and then you meet-up with them later? I follow persons I already know, but I never thought I would meet someone that I constantly "pinned" from her "finds" on The Internet.

She is an amazing, talented watercolor painter that does portraits, even. Sandy was camping at our favorite camping site just up the beach from our beach house. We got together for a short visit, and I know she had lots of company there and I felt very blessed she took her time to see me. The incredible part about this is that her family is related to my husband's family. She has an Aunt and Uncle Lazenby right where all the Lazenbys homesteaded, near the Manti Temple. Sandy is precious and her "boards" are located here:  Sandy's Boards

We had three awesome earthquakes on the same day! Don't even tell me there's not weather conditions that are present when these occur. We've had a few since also. Here's the deal... puffy, small clouds covered the sky and there was no wind. I saw it, I did. And the other days, same thing! Not scary because the jolt wasn't so bad, but good because it reminds me where to go in an emergency. See? I'm getting training. The ones that were in the middle of the night-I went outside and looked at the sky. It made me smile.

Note That The Arrow Points To Our Dog
Our dog decided to climb trees this summer. It was a boredom thing and he couldn't help himself. He hung himself in front of my husband and didn't make a peep. The harness was around his girth. Steve released him and off he went up in the tree, again!

Hanging Dog

Yep, His Feet didn't Touch The Ground
Me, "Go over there Finlee and make friends with Prissy Kitty." Prissy Kitty bit Finlee and scratched her a second time because I told her the first time, the bite was an accident." Great.

Finlee & The Cat: She wasn't Smiling

Grand children's Little Lovely Saying and Presents:

I learned that Gerry, the kids older cousin, caught a radioactive fish off Santa Cruz Island. It was a florescent Link Cod. I know that the fish come in other colors depending on what the fish eats. It did look scary. My nephew's face was beat red from radioactive poisoning, according to my grand children's sources.

Fish Head is Their New Pet
I learned that when cutting onions that the stinging hot poison will get in your eyes will make you blind.

"I like peppers, too." "Want some Talkies, Grandma?" After coughing violently at the Ward Dinner and then I looked like I'm crying, I had to go home. I couldn't talk and lost my voice. I'm wondering why does a corn-looking Cheetos call their product "Talkies?' Shouldn't it be "No Talkies?"

Later, while I was explaining to the other cousins about the red Cheetos. My grandson told me he can't eat them either because it makes his tongue explode. I believe him.

Overheard at the "Pee-cuzzi, "I bet my dad can beat everyone up here except Uncle Buttkicker." "Did you see his arms?"

Cuppy-cakes is the best smell in Grandma Susie's house
Me, "Don't eat that pepper." "Why did you eat it, it fell on the floor?" "Germs can't run that fast." I think that explains the 5 second rule.

"Why did God invent Flys?"

 "Why do those doves stay together, can't they get more friends like pigeons?"

"Grandma! Duelly is making more puppies over at our house, again!" "Why does he take Darby and go over to our house to do that?"

"You don't LOOK LIKE A GRANDMA, you look like an aunt. Are you sure you're you?" (Thank you very, very much!)

"Your trees grow spiders, we don't have spiders in Wyoming, or snakes."

"Pickles make your breath smell WONDERFUL! Grandma, you should try it."

I even had some of my grandchildren in the TV show, "Shark Week" early this summer and wouldn't ya' know? It was playing on one of the nights we were at the beach house. No one was even bothered by it at all. When we came home we found out that four Great Whites were caught in a neighboring bay, in Oxnard. They were tagged and released. Nice thought.

Some of The Beach House Kids
I used to carry Peacock feathers (years ago) while I was walking at Steckel Park and instead of taking them out of the park, I mounted three feathers in an empty pipe in the picnic area. I decided it was a peace offering for the park ranger. I put Styrofoam at the top, but not down in it, just in case it was really used for something other than the pole for the posted sign.

So now, all the children have been collecting bird feathers for me from everywhere and making a pile on my living room floor. One child found a dead (long time dead) cat and brought me some cat hair and stiff-parts from the carcass. I'm also known as "Grandma Feather." I made everyone wash and didn't tell their mothers or dad.
About a Dozen Peacocks Came For A Visit To The Ranch *Missed Me?*
 I was blessed with bouquets from my flower garden and my daughter's roses. I had flowers set by my bed. Little notes tucked in my pockets and sandy seashells and pieces of pink crabs handed to me with, "Here's a present for you, Grandma."

The house is quiet again. I've had some munch-kins visiting in and out this afternoon. How blessed I am that some of my grandchildren live next door, in Fillmore, and a little way west in Ventura. I managed some cleaning-up. I know one of my grand children are toilet paper twisters, as in bow ties on the bathroom floor. All of the outside trash was picked-up by the kids, their mothers, and Dustin, my son. I'm watering trodden grass. The best kind. And there's one lone little diaper in our bathroom trash. I was sad that that was my only reminder left by far-away grandchildren. Oh, and a little plastic white robot, a spare flip-flop, little pink underwear, pink leggings, lots of water in bottles (my birds like that) And, Okay...I've got stuff everywhere.


How do I stalk them if they all don't leave?

 I have fun with that, and there's no entertaining a house full of all ages of grandchildren that are hungry beyond reason and NEED grandma to entertain them. My "hula dance" just doesn't work anymore. Summer is over and let the "Open Houses" "Science Fairs" "Football Games" "Cheerleading" and being on time, begin! It's 12:30am by my backward clock, can we just revert to Summer again?

***Update Aug.23, 2012 (does anyone GET the *willies* like I do when I see 2012 written-out?)
Wonderful! I guess I needed to clean-out my "barn refrigerator." It quit today. I hauled a lot back up to our "broken-half-the-time refrigerator" still in our kitchen. It's okay, not only did I glean a few foods, but got a huge work-out in the heat. The extra hot days probably contributed to our barn fridge's death.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ventura County Fair 2012 - I Never Thought?

Hannah At The Ventura County Fair
    What an absolutely wonderful day! We went to the Ventura County Fair.

Most of my family was there and most of Hannah's cousins, even from as far away as Oklahoma City! And ... even the ones that live next door to me. We all did the ol' trip to the County Fair that has been a tradition in, at least my life, for over 50 years. I've been actively involved until just 3 years ago. and I worked as a project advisor for 32 years. I can't believe it when I add even Tressa's days over at the Fair. And in just a "little hop" in time, here's her daughter, my grand daughter, Hannah, showing her pig. He's a barrow, named Spunky.

Receiving Advice From Her Project Leader
Tressa and her family ... Mike and Jake, along with Hannah, are active participants working at the fair. They've been using the pig-boards, helping others, and generally trying to give their time to help our super Livestock Chairman, Chris Garmon and the Pig Chairman, Patrick Maynard have an easier job.

How is it at the campground for the Large Livestock participants? Heaven! They are camping right on the beach with campfires, front row seats for the fireworks, and when the work is done a great dip in the ocean is the stress-reliever and a now even a new shower for the campers. It was just installed with the new, huge barn. The temperatures here have been really hot, but in the gigantic barn that was made for comfort. The temperature was incredible, at only 75 degrees. There's computers all over the show-ring and the layout in the barn to the showing area has super, easy access for all breeds was designed so well. It seems all so perfect, really wonderful that my grand daughter is able to experience this newness and with such less stress for all involved the 4Hers, FFA, and Grange.

We had pigs when we were young. I can remember the horse's panic when the piglets ran through the pasture and the horses reacted by killing most of them. We did raise them on and off. Mostly off. My nephews had them downwind on the ranch and we had some rescue pigs and also raised pigs for Hannah's parents wedding. Hannah's Tongan family did a deep-pit B-B-Q and "Oh yeah" pigs where meant to eat. If you've read my blog before on animals, you know pigs bite me. I hate to be the one who administers the shots, they always remember me and bite my ankles. We don't get along, but Spunky likes love pats, even from me.

Hannah did great and I mean really great at showing her pig in the judging class. Her placing was either 3rd or 4th and the judge said her pig needed more finish. Twenty more pounds to the 266 and that she weighed-in at the first day would have done it and the other was that Spunky's feet weren't tracking well. Spunky had been laying down and completely relaxed and asleep before class, but his feet were asleep when Hannah took him to the Pavilion for judging. Out of the chute, he was just slightly dragging his back feet.

I can see that Hannah had a good eye for what the judge wanted. She picked a great pig and I'm so proud of her for seeing the qualities that can produce a champion. There were 332 pigs, so I'm so amazed at her achievement. Fair is "fair" when all we want for our children and grandchildren to accomplish in a year that was better than the last. So, this was a great success. Our family was a super rooting section. Wait...cheering section. Rooting/pigs lol. Pigs are great project animals and I know that Spunky will very much bless a family. So much of our fair animals go to "Food Share." 

My grand daughter didn't practice much with her pig and showing, but calmly talked to him throughout the time she raised him, I think she washed him everyday and applied make-up. The make-up is fabricated, but he was loved so much. She talked and encouraged Spunky just same as he walked-up for judging and told him what a wonderful pig he was, like a "pig whisperer" will do. The pig hit the sawdust and instead of taking-off running, he stood and posed right in front of the judge with his head high and his legs set-up. Hannah didn't have a bit of trouble keeping in close proximity to the judge and did "figure-eights" with ease, she even smiled and kept showing, even when she was penned. Yay! Hannah was penned with her pig.

In The Right Showing Spot
Hannah and Spunky Were Penned, Yay!
This is a fair I won't forget. Spunky was a VERY GOOD pig, just like "Wilbur" in the book, Charlotte's Web and he knows it.
The Judge Will Remember Her
We will all remember her, but we need to get home.

It's hotter than ever, just 20 miles inland from the ocean.

My Granddaughter, Susan, Age 1... Eating Her first Pickle at Grandma's House

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