Monday, June 30, 2008

Vacation Part 2 - The Wild West

Welcome to the wild west.

Where the cows outnumber the people 100 to 1.
Everywhere you look are cows.

Big cows and little cows. Black, brown and polkadot cows.

But this little guy was my favorite, all alone, poor little guy doesn't know what he's in for.
It's too sad to even think about it. Makes me not want to eat burgers. But then I remember steak, yummmmm how I love a good steak. Sorry little guy.

Grandma Rosie loves going for long walks in the evening. Not sure how Bug would be able to keep up I said we would go with her until he got too tired.

I love that picture with his feet off the ground, he was so excited and happy.

That first walk, he made it almost the whole way, up steep hills, over brush and across irrigation ditches. The next day we tried it again and he made it the whole distance that time.

We followed a gravel road up a steep hill and then a path along an irrigation ditch.

From up on the hill you can see for miles into the valley below.

The weather looked menacing at times but it only sprinkled on us a little. In between rain clouds the sun would come out and it would get so hot we would strip off our sweatshirts and jackets, only having to put them back on again when the next cloud came overhead.

Bug persuaded me and grandma to play follow the leader. He would yell and we would yell. He would skip and we would skip.

Always turning to check and make sure we were playing along.

He also had fun throwing sticks in the irrigation ditches. We played a game at grandma's, putting a stick in the water on one side of the culvert and racing it across the road to watch it come out the other side.

Despite being surrounded by hills that seem dry and barren except for sage brush. There is a lot of water in the valley. Marshes teeming with wildlife, dozens of birds singing in unison.

Do you think I could actually get a good bird picture? Nope, not one good one. They were all around me, I could hear them. But when I went to get their picture they disappeared into the grasses and brush.

Friday, June 27, 2008


When we moved in five years ago, we knew we would need to put on a new roof soon.
You can't tell in this picture but the shingles were getting brittle and it looked very tired.

Then the last two winters have brought storms that ended with shingles in the yard. It needed to be fixed this year! So this last week a crew has been causing a racket above me.

But the wait was so worth it. The pictures don't do the new roof justice.

It makes my boring house look so much better!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

To Grandma's house we go.... Part one

A couple of weeks ago my two dogs, Bug and I took a trip to see my mom. She turned sixty this month and we hadn't gone to visit her in two years so I felt compelled to make the long trip. It's an eight hour drive to get there. Sometimes longer when you are traveling with two of these:

And one of these:

We live in the same state but at opposite ends of it. Our landscapes are quite different and we saw so much as we wound our way over three separate mountain passes to get to grandma's. Snow in the mountains and hot sun in the high desert. We passed through forests, crossed wild rivers, wound through deep crevasses that rushing waters cut into the mountains trying to make their way to the ocean. I seem to remember some of those things, but what I remember the most is... Dog breath.

And a whining child demanding that a new movie be put into the DVD player every hour and a half. When we finally crested the hill and could see the beautiful valley that is home to grandma Rosie we all cried out "Hooray" in excitement, or possibly exhaustion and exasperation.

My mom and her partner own eighty acres in a beautiful little valley that is surrounded by mountains on one side and rolling hills on the other.

The mountains have forests and the hills have sage brush and wild flowers.
It's so pretty in the spring and early summer, if only the winter wasn't hellish with snow for months and months at a time.
It's those hellish winter months that make my mom want to run far, far away from this place. That and the fifty mile drive to go grocery shopping in a town that doesn't even have a Target. It's at least two or more hours to Target, I'm really not sure how she survives.
We had a lovely time, in spite of the colder than normal temperatures.
On the first full day there she took us to the river that separates our state from the next.
The gravel road that runs along our states side has a very old and small tunnel that you have to go through in order to get to the best picnic spots.

After we found a good spot and got out, we quickly realized it was too windy and too cold to hang out for very long.
Bug wanted to stay and pretend fish with a big stick he found on the shore.
But we left pretty quickly after getting some pictures and rounding up four unruly dogs and a five year old.
If only it had been warmer, on our last visit we were able to go swimming in this river.
On the second full day we took a trip to the big town. My mom has been taking some college courses at the local community college and had to take her final. While we waited for her to finish, I took Bug to a local park. Just as we were getting ready to leave we spotted two squirrels by our car. Bug got out the rest of his morning muffin and threw them a piece as I took pictures.
One of them ran away while the other picked up as much muffin as he could. Then he ran it up a tree to share with the other one!

Stay tuned for part two when we walk the irrigation ditches.