Thursday, March 22, 2012

100 years old...almost!

My grandmother died this month. Very sad.  She was 99 years and 7 months old. We were planning to attend a 100th birthday bash in August for her. I believe she lived a life full of adventure and her standards anyway, and really, that's what counts!

A few years back, Her and I were talking about her life and how she felt about getting old. She had told me she was pleased that she had never had any serious issues or been hospitalized in her 95 plus years. I asked her what she would credit that to and she replied, "every day I take 1 baby aspirin , and eat 2 pieces of chocolate...and, I haven't had a man since 1947!" I looked at her with a smile, but she was straight faced! It cracked me up! She seriously loved cats and hated men!!

I was hoping she would live to be at least a full hundred years old...for selfish reasons...I have always used her age against my son! I tell him I'm going to live forever, like grama Vivian!! Well, I have a actually make it to 100!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I got myslef a Chihuahua!

Oh ya! 2lbs 14oz of "Purse Piranha"!! He is so cute! 13 months old, a tiny little head and the smallest nose I’ve ever seen! He sits like a big dog and plays with the Standard Poodle like he’s the man! He isn’t a yapper or a biter, but a great hugger! Oh my goodness, I think everyone needs one of these guys! I’m sure I will have great stories about him to share with the follies!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


What a gift we have this morning!! The gift of life!!
The tag says: To You, From Jesus!

Remember the reason for this season!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Remembering Richard

Richard Raisor…at first sight you would think he might be a biker. He was a little rough around the edges and fit right in with the biker crowd and he did have a lot of biker friends. But in real life, Richard Raisor was a full on Montana Cowboy. Everyday he would get up and put his boots on…Richard liked his boots, in fact, he would often say “if I die, I wanna die with my boots on!” Then he would put on his old hat and saddle his big bay mustang, Bubba. The two of them were ranch hands. They road the fence and fixed what needed fixing, they herded cattle, branded, banded and de-horned the calves. They set irrigation sprinklers, you name it, what ever needed done on a ranch, Richard and Bubba did it!

On the off season or if no ranches were in need of a hand, Richard and Bubba would just ride, I believe they rode most every day. On a sub-zero winter morning or a hot dusty day you might see a horse and rider up on the ridge or riding through the drive in at KFC for a cone or tied up at the local saloon for a cold beer and conversation with the barkeep. From Butte to Whitehall, Bozeman, Belgrade or any other little town near the Continental Divide, you might see Richard and Bubba on their ride. Everyday a new adventure, a new friend!

Richard had a big family, 7 kids plus countless numbers that claimed him as a dad, a bunch of siblings and in-laws and the list went on! He made friends along the way that I’m sure he never knew he had made any kind of an impact on. But he did. He was friends to many and had some really close friendships, but to Karl he was more than a friend, he was a good friend, a best friend, they were buds. All the times he stayed with Karl, he never took without giving. Richard was quiet and respectful with a gentle crooked smile. The kind of man you could trust your horse with…and your daughter.

Well, life happened and Richard took sick. He was in bad shape, coughing, congested, fatigued, just plain miserable and sick. My brother Karl and his wife April moved Richard from the house he was living in on the ranch to their house and into the bedroom that Richard had stayed in off and on for the last 14 years or so. Richard went from bad to worse and landed in the hospital. Said he had pneumonia. When he came home to Karl’s he was still on oxygen and medication, in general still pretty darn sick. Karl and April did what they could to make him comfortable, all the while, sure he would get better, praying he would get better.

On Sunday morning June 20th, 2010, Father’s Day, I got a call from Karl, Richard had died. My husband Joe and I immediately packed and headed out on that 6 hour drive to Montana to pay our respects to Richard and be their for emotional support to Karl, April and the family. . We sure were wishing we just lived down the road at that moment, 6 hours is a long time to get to someone in need of a hug. We got in late and Karl, April, Joe and myself stayed up till the wee hours remembering Richard. At some point during the night, I had asked Karl if Richard was a Christian. He wasn’t sure. On Sunday mornings while Karl and April went to church, Richard went on a ride, but he was known to watch a Christian movie here and there and to sit in on some religious conversations at times. At this point we just weren’t sure.

Early Monday morning, 2 of Richard’s boys drove in from Tacoma. They drove straight to Karl’s before going to the family, knowing that Karl would give them the emotional support to face the rest of the day. That’s the kind of friend Karl is. Later Monday afternoon a few of Richard’s kids stopped by Karl’s to pick up their dad’s belongings and ask Karl if they could have the service at his place. Karl went into Richard’s room to get his things together. He and Joe packed his stuff out and loaded it into a pick-up. There was 2 milk crates with some old stuff in them, a small white microwave oven, a toaster and a small old boom box stereo. Along with an old pick-up truck and a beat up old horse trailer, Bubba and some tack, that was all Richard possessed in this world. He was a cowboy, he didn’t need much and never wanted for anything but a good ride on a good horse with good friends.

His service was to be held on Saturday at the little place they call the Rocker-K ranch. Karl was asked to do the eulogy and say a few words at some time during the gathering. About one o’clock Saturday afternoon the horses and riders started flowing in from Sheep Camp Road to Dinsmore Lane down Karl’s driveway. Then came the bikers, and by the dozens, cars and trucks, people were coming and coming! People put their horses in what ever corral was available and found a place for their tack, the bikers parked their bikes where they could and the cars and trucks were lined up from Karl’s’ house clear out to Sheep Camp Road, on both sides! Every possible place to park sit our stand on the ranch was full!

When it came time for Karl to speak to the crowd, he stood, with a tear in his eye and a lump in his throat and not a dry eye in the crowd, GOD gave Karl the courage, strength and the words to witness and share the Gospel with a crowd large enough to embarrass Richard had he been there, for causing them all to come out. Who knows how many, no one was counting. It is amazing that GOD could use Richard to bring together so many people to hear his word as Karl let the Lord guide him and give GOD the glory! If just one person gets saved by God’s grace as a result of being Richard Raisor’s friend, I’d say he lived a perfect life! Through the power of God, I do believe that Richard was a Christian!

On that Sunday morning, GOD gave Richard, as sick as he was, the strength to get dressed. Richard Raisor died with his boots on!!

His kids took him and Bubba on one last ride, to his favorite place. They set Richard free to ride the wind and hung his hat on a tree.

We can keep Richard alive by sharing his story over and over!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A prayer answered!

Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?"

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man inthe seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat  as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle. "I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving." My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt. Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back.

At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him? Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess. The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He  became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance
sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and
oxygen flowing. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was
lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone.
He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone. 

My husband, Dick,and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We
hoped the fresh airand rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue. Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind. But the months wore on and God was silent.

Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it. The next day I sat down
with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics
listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic
voices that answered. In vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of the
voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me
go get the article." I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable
study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for
chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they
were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire,
a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my
nostrils as I moved down the rowof pens. Each contained five to seven dogs.
Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs,black dogs, spotted dogs, all jumped up,
trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons...too big, too small, too much hair.

As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly. I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." Hegestured helplessly. As the words  sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?" "Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog." I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said.

I drove home withthe dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly. Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house. Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples."You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!" Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed.

At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw. Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at theuplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal. It was the beginning of a warm and beautiful friendship.

Dad named the pointer Cheyenne. Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet. Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends.

Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night. Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.

The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day
looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews
reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne
had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to
both Dad and the dog who had changed his life. And then the pastor turned to
Hebrews 13:2. "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers." "I've often thanked
God for sending that angel," he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article... Cheyenne's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter. . .his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father. . and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Awe, Best Friends...

Last spring a chicken hatched out her eggs, she had 9 chicks. Around here it is survival of the roam and free-for-all. Including the hawks, owls, magpies, raccoons, and many other hazards, it's always a surprise when any of them survive. Well, this little girl made it! She never got very big and she always walked a bit funny, but she got by!

She was about the ugliest chick I've ever seen! Took forever for her to grow feathers around her neck, head and face, and her body was like a ball...really round. She was about half the size of a full grown Banty. She would hop up to me every time I was out by the barn, seriously, she would hop up in my hands! I would pack her around while I did chores...sometimes I would set her inside the scratch bag until I was done, just so she could eat without getting hassled by the others.

My horse, Dali, fell on the ice, was a little limpy, so we put him in a 12 by 32 run. I think he got a bit lonely cuz he and that chick were pretty good friends! Dali would lay on the chips and that little chick would be nesting beside him. Dali would eat and that chick would be by his feet. Iwould carry the chick around and Dali would nuzzle her. It was very sweet.

The chick wouldn't stay in the chicken house so the cold weather took it's toll on her. A few days ago I went to feed the horses and the little chick was dead...and standing over the top of her was Dali, his head hanging low and his nose almost touching her. It truly broke my heart. I think they were best friends. Who knew an ugly chick could keep a horse such good company?

I don't know about you, but I got a tear in my eye...again.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Road to the Horse 2011...a horse in the race...

RTTH...Road to the Horse 2011. Wow, Super Bowl for the horse person! And if you have a horse in the race, so to speak, it is all that much more exciting!

We live out of the way, in the woods, no high speed internet here, so webcast?...ya, right! Tried to buy tickets to RTTH in December for my hubby for Christmas and then we could do a little vacation in February...Murfreesboro, TN...that could be fun! Not! Sold out...oh no! OK, reception. Plan C...let's hotel camp, buy the webcast and watch the RTTH there!! Oh baby, let's make this happen!!

On Friday February 25th we check into the hotel...settle in and load the magic webcast numbers on the computer. I thought ahead enough to make sure we got a room with a big flat screen TV and took the necessary cords to make the connection between computer and TV happen! Oh, man, the best seats in the house!! We kick back on the bed and watch it on the big screen! Couldn't have got this view if we had front row seats at the actual event!!

Road to the Horse 2011...starring Clinton Anderson, Chris Cox and Pat Parelli. These guys are considered legends in the horse world. It doesn't get much better than this...ok, maybe, John Lyons or Craig Cameron or Richard Winters or Ken McNabb or Tommy Garland...oh goodness, there are so many great horse trainers!! But these 3 are right at the top of the heap...really, it depends on the day with any one of them! That being said, we all have one that draws us a bit more than the rest, that would be your horse in the race!

The remuda of horses are herded into the arena and the horsemen draw a number to see who gets to pick first from that remuda. This year the 3 year old geldings are from the famed 6666 ranch! The horse they pick may well seal the deal as to who wins, but really, who knows until the fat lady sings! The 3 horses picked seemed to be pretty tough. Not the same brain power as horses used in previous RTTH events. Seemed Clinton Anderson's horse was hot...oooh, sizzle! I would not want to ride that one!! Parelli's, a bit more on the quiet side but totally pie eyed! Cox's, about in the middle of the other 2 horses. (Remember, I'm not a professional, I'm just a lowly commentator giving a blow by blow as "I" saw it!)

This was a 3 day was exciting to watch and nerve wracking at the same time. You want the trainers to do well and the horses to catch on fast! I’ve watched all the RTTH videos since "In a Whisper" was released and I don't remember any of the trainers getting bucked off, but you know, there is always a first! When Parelli got tossed to the dirt, I'll admit, I laughed! Oh, some will say he fell, others will say he bailed...but he flat out got bucked off. Sorry guys! Parelli is a great trainer and he most certainly has put his mark on the horse world...but..he's a mouth. I can't count the times I've heard the 90 plus percent of the rodeo stock he has "not" been bucked off, so the horse owed him this one!

Now, I can hear some of you yelling at me "Anderson's a mouth too!" Ya, Mate, he's cocky, nobody is going argue that point. But for me, he's the lesser of the 2 evils and I like his method best...for me! It's a personal choice, nothin against anyone who disagrees! And Cox seems pretty quiet and passive...boring...great trainer, just doesn't keep my attention. I do plan to pay more attention to him and give him an honest shot though. He has a nice family...adorable kids!-- Oh, back to RTTH!

So, by now you know who my horse in the race was! Truth is, no matter who your horse was, the whole event was awesome! I liked that they had Susie Dobbs, Stacy Westfall and Richard Winters doing some commentating. I think it helped fill in some space for Rick Lamb. Richard Winters did a great job, he is knowledgeable and fair, and a great trainer himself...I think he brought allot to the table! And the more I hear from Westfall, the more I like her! I think the one element missing was Craig Cameron. He has an outstanding personality, easy going, easy to like and creates a great report with the crowds. He won RTTH 2010, it would have been very fitting for him to have taken part in this RTTH! As a competitor or commentator. Maybe next year!!

I like the "Freestyle" at the end of each clinician's presentation the most. And really, Anderson does the best freestyle performance of any of them, ever. Even if you think he is a one man circus act, you gotta give him credit for being gutsy and at a minimum ...entertaining!! Of course, I may be alone on this one!

So, Cox won. I'm not terribly disappointed with that choice and I'm not sure any one of them did any worse or better than the next, it's a tough job, I don't care who you are! But, I do have to wonder if Parelli's dislike for Anderson influenced the judges to go with Cox on this one and leave the other 2 to learn a lesson on sportsman like conduct.

Bottom line...this is a great event and it gets better every year! All the horse trainers/clinicians should be applauded...they have done wonderful things for the horse world and the horse lovers. I know I have learned something from everyone of them...even If I have my favorites, they all deserve credit for bringing it to us, sharing it with us and stirring our enthusiasm for the horse! Looking forwad to Road to the Horse 2012 !!!

Thank you Tootie Bland!