Monday, September 26, 2022

Horse Training 101

 It was a morning filled with anticipation as I sipped my coffee and scratched two new bites.  True, I was gone longer this time, so the bugs may have set up permanent homes.  I took two baby Benadryl yesterday, hoping to stop the agony.  

As soon as my coffee was gone, I attacked the bedroom with a vengeance.  I took both mattresses off the bed and sprayed everything, including the drapes.  It supposedly lasts 12 months, so hopefully I'll be good for awhile.  Then I sprayed around the edges and everywhere I was sure Cooper would not walk.  

I probably could have slept in the second bedroom, but instead Cooper and I spent the night on the couch. Oh my aching back.  Sometimes my ideas are really bad.  This morning however ... the light bulb went on.   I have some OFF spray in the cupboard.  I'm taking a shower in it tonight and hoping for a good nights sleep.

And then it was time.  I imagine no one has done any colt training, so I'll give you a little 101.  Catch the colt any way you can and start by finding his "oh I love that scratch" spot.  Do a lot of rubbing all over before teaching him to give to the halter.  You pull, he comes.  Next up get them used to the blanket and saddle, running them around in a round pen to sort of get the buck out. 

This process may take a week or more.  These guys did it in 90 minutes and were riding the colts after 30.  The second day they spent most of their 90 minutes getting the colts to go over tarps on the ground and over poles.  On this day they had 20 minutes to saddle and ride in the round pen before heading out.  Every horse is different and every trainer does it differently.


The best thing is to get the horse OUT of the small pen and give him a job.  Go around barrels, open a gate, anything to get him moving off and not thinking about what's on his back.  After that first 20 minutes, they had to go through an obstacle course.  

The first guy had lots of point deductions (his helper touched the horse, which is not allowed) and he had no chance to win.  He also had a very scared horse.  In true cowboy fashion, he chose not to fry the horses brain by taking him out on the obstacle course.    

The second trainer also had a difficult horse.  I think she was from New Zealand and rode English.  She had the gift of knowing when to back off with this horse, and was one of only 3 to go over the tarp.


As you can see, there is a low red jump, followed by a white jump (which got knocked over), followed by walking through these pool noodles.  I can't even imagine what the poor horse is thinking.  If I remember right, only one horse went through this.  You have to have made a good connection with the horse, so he trusts you and will do whatever you ask.  


I mean really, it took me a week to get my horse to step over low jumps.  These horses have never seen anything like this, and yet they walked around this obstacles, BOTH WAYS!


I did note the difference between the men and women trainers.  The women were much more methodical and low key.  Patient is the word.  The guys were almost frantic trying to get the horses to do what they wanted.  I know this is a competition, but that doesn't work well in horse training.  They tried to go way too fast.


As you can tell here, this horse is done.  He is overwhelmed and just shuts down.  You can also tell he's covered in sweat, another sure sign of nervous exhaustion.


On the other hand, this is the colt I picked ... Bama Crown.  This trainer from Oregon was cool and calm the entire morning.  He worked slowly through everything.  It helped that he actually had the best horse in the lot.  It's the luck of the draw (and not the horse he wanted), but had another trainer picked this horse, that may not have been true.


He slowly and carefully went through 10 of the eleven obstacles.


He didn't mind having a rope swung over his head, nor pulling this heavy object.


He went over the jumps with no problem, but only put his head through the noodles.  


He wasn't exactly happy about the swinging dice (always watch their ears), but he finally went through with a little help from the rider.  


The last few minutes, they all got to do a "freestyle" section, where this guy stood on the saddle to play his guitar.  It lasted less than one second.  Thankfully the colts were only subjected to the obstacles for 35 minutes.  


You can guess who won.  The buckskin and J. R. Robles from Oregon.  He will be entered into the World Championship in Kentucky ... AND he gets to buy the buckskin from the 6666 Ranch in Texas.  I hope he has deep pockets!!

Just for kicks, I asked the ranch for the pedigree on that buckskin, now named Stitch because he cut his face up on the trip in and had to have stitches.  Surprisingly, they sent it to me in record time.  No wonder I liked that colt the best.  He has the same bloodlines as all of the colts I owned and trained.  I'm sure they are out of my league with probably a $ XX,XXX.00 price.  

At any rate, it was great watching them work the horses.  I would definitely love to get back in the training business, but alas, I'm too old and would spend all my time scratching the bug bites.  

It's a new week and time to chop down that tree!!



Sunday, September 25, 2022

BUG BITE!!

The mornings are getting cooler and cooler, a big plus in the desert.  It's probably what helps drive the bugs inside.  When you've got a parrot and a small dog, there's no way you can spray inside the house.  It's troublesome.  The bugs are getting to me in more ways than one.  Last night I got bit on the butt by something BIG.  Not that my butt isn't big enough already, but it's bigger now!!!   Perfect for that tight mini skirt I used to wear when I worked in Colorado.  I digress.

So first thing this morning I took a Benadryl, hoping I don't fall asleep, and watched Cooper play his morning games.  I got bit ... he gets a new ball.  He's crazy about the squeakers!!  First he buries the ball, then .....


he digs it back up.  He's my opening act every morning while I'm on the computer.  Sadly, he too has been bitten and I have a hard time getting him not to bite his bites.


In no time flat, my Road to the Horse competition was on the boob tube.  Today is the final day, which includes taking the horses through an obstacle course.  These images are from last year's final.   I can tell you that getting a two-day ridden, green broke horse to do this is amazing.  You have to have made a good connection with the horse so he trusts you.  

It probably took me four months to get my colt to ride over a tarp laying on the ground.  This year's contestants did it in less than 90 minutes yesterday, their second day of training.  


Again, last year's pictures.  I was not expecting THIS.  Whoever gets the highest point score over the three days wins the championship and a chance to go to the World Competition in Kentucky in March 2023.  I can already tell you who will and who won't win this competition.  The two women have made great connections ... the men, not so much.  Out of four men, maybe two will do good.


The show is coming from Fort Worth Texas, which means it will begin at 7:00 am here.  As you can imagine, I'll be on the edge of my seat.  It will be about a five hour show, which is why I'm hoping I can stay awake.  Me thinks it's going to be a coffee-coffee kind of day.

For your viewing pleasure today .... take a quick count, and then wait for it ..... an entire TRIBE showed up for a drink at the water trough.  I don't think I've ever seen this many javelina at one place before.  Aunts and uncles all seem to have come to the party, although most of them do look pretty young.  If you look closely at their snouts, you can tell which one is Dad.  His tusks give his face a definite clue.


I spent the rest of the day working on this latest quilt.  Looking at it now, I see some squares that need to be moved around.  So far this has only cost me the price of a $7 square to "square" up the blocks and fix my sloppy sewing because I'm in too much of a hurry.  I WILL NOT BUY ANY MORE FABRIC!!!  I say it every day, but you know, things happen.  OH LOOK ... THAT'S GORGEOUS!!!!


Just to harass me even more, every time I look at the back sliding glass door, I find something new.  They are crawling up the walls and windows like in a horror movie.  At least these guys don't bite ..... that I know of anyway.  By the way, yes I DO have a pest service that sprays the outside once a month.  In fact, there are so many critters that come inside and die, that I actually had to drag out the vacuum yesterday to dispose of them.  They are EVERYWHERE!!!  


Oh geez!!!  I just looked up.  Obviously I missed one.  Getting the vacuum out two days in a row?  Now THAT'S a record!!


My mantra to live by here ... never enter a room until you have scanned the walls.  I'm a magnet I tell you.  Maybe I'm just so SWEET to munch on!!  Does anyone know what to eat that will replace the blood lost last night?  VAMPIRES ... that's what they are ... VAMPIRES in my bedroom!!!

Okay, it's not that bad, but please excuse me while I scratch the big itchy bite on my butt!!!!!

I'll take a few pictures of the competition today, just to show you what is asked of these young three old horses.  

So ..... I'll be on the couch ... with my coffee, Benadryl and fly swatter in case I see any more bugs.


Saturday, September 24, 2022

Road To The Horse ... What's THAT?

 It's early in sunny Arizona ... except for those big rain clouds.  After my morning coffee, I can muster up enough gumption to do one job that lasts for about an hour.  After that, it's just too hot for this girl.  I cleaned out the entrance to the downspouts the day before ... now to use the hose with a fire hose nozzle to see if water would go down the spout.  

Like the spider that was going UP the spout, I sent the water DOWN, washing out as best I could.  The problem lies in the fact that I'm on a steep hill covered with rocks.  There's no way to get TO the gutter from the outside.  Forethought ... I had no forethought when the cover was built.  

At last I had water coming out the bottom of all three.  They are still half full of sand.  Now soaking wet and covered with dirt, I quit for the day.  I'm pretty sure those two trees that caused all the problem (except for the sand of course) will magically disappear to the purring of a chainsaw on a stick.


It was then time to check the game camera.  Finally ... proof there still are bunnies around, if only one.  Sadly, there have only been one or two coyote drive bys ... and no drinking.  No surprise since there's water everywhere.


I had plans ... but I apologize ... they went right out the window when I turned on the TV while getting ready to go out.  Road to the Horse ... what the heck is that?  Freestyle Challenge?  Never heard of it in my life.  

I instantly stopped in my tracks when I figured it out.  They brought in six of the best known colt starters in the country to compete for a spot in the World Competition.  I never knew there was one.  These people (including two women by the way) start horses from scratch, breaking them to ride, turn and stop.


Six people ... eight horses.  They drew numbers and got to pick the horse they wanted to start.  The horses came from the famous 6666 Ranch (because Samuel Burnett won the ranch in a game of poker with four sixes back in about 1870) and all have fabulous bloodlines.  

I chose the buckskin, then the gray.  Why?  Because as they ran around the arena, they acted like they wanted a friend to hang out with.  They were getting close to the other horses, but being chased away.  A good trainer can provide that support they are looking for.  It makes it easy to make a connection with the horse.  You need that connection to make it easier on you and them.


Three round pens ... three trainers ... all having only 90 minutes to get the horse saddled and ridden while being judged on their way of doing it.  Next session, three new trainers and horses.   On the second day they will have to ride them over and around obstacles.  Best score from four judges wins ... because they throw out the lowest score from the fifth judge.

I was instantly hooked.  There's no way I was going anywhere.  Way back when I was MUCH younger and working with Tom Dorrance, he was the first to use a flag on a stick to get the horse to move.  Every one of these guys used a flag.  I guess it's a technique that finally caught on.  

So here's my first choice ... saddled up and ridden in the first 30 minutes.  You want to get the horse "hooked" to you ... that he follows you and looks to you for support.  This is J.R. Robles from Oregon. 

I have to say one gal only rode English and she picked the most skittish horse there.  She had a very hard time getting him caught and to a point she could get on.  By the time the bell rang, she was riding him around.  The second gal did a little better, but her horse bucked pretty good ... not hard, but enough to land her in the dirt.  


I never left the couch.  For four solid hours I watched every second.  This is my thing ... what I wanted to do all my life, but never got the chance.  Back in the day, the thought of a girl training horses was a big joke to everyone.  It just wasn't going to happen.  

So ... I'm apologizing again because today is the second day when they have to get the horses used to things like a wooden bridge, tarps, a cowboy curtain (strings of cloth hung up they have to walk through) and there's no way I'm not going to be on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Just a note ... J.R. Robles with the buckskin no one wanted, scored highest because his horse did the best.  The guy who picked the gray horse above came in second.  In 90 minutes every horse was saddled and being ridden.   I won't bore you with a minute by minute description.

That made me late ... everyone was out of food in this house and a fast trip to the store was in order.  I even picked up some bird seed ... guaranteed to bring everyone to the dinner table.  This was interesting ... the finch on the left was feeding the one on the right.  By evening, it was all gone.  Yes this will bring in mice and rats most likely, which brings in snakes, but hopefully they won't be able to climb the wall.  


And so ended an exciting day for me, but probably rather boring for anyone not having a passion for training horses.  I have to admit, we didn't exactly do it that way on the ranch.  We did take a long time saddling them and sacking them out before climbing on.  

Yes I got bucked off a few times ... once badly thrown into a fence ... but since there were no broken bones, I got right back on.  That's probably where my stubbornness comes from!!  

Day two is scheduled for this morning, so once again, there will be no adventures.  I'll be on the couch watching the action.  It's on the Dish Network Cowboy Channel if you want to take a look.


Friday, September 23, 2022

How Times Change

Can you believe it?  Even more rain is in the forecast as I soak up the cool 75 degrees on the patio.  There have been some strange noises in the night, something akin to those kitties that howl like a banshee.  The rains seems to have brought more than one "tribe" to the area, which means war over just WHO gets to live here.

The javelinas seem to be the only ones who don't care who goes where or does what.  They can live off the land ANYWHERE.

As I was wandering through the far reaches of my computer, I came across this image.  I can't tell you the  year, nor do I really want to remember.  I was skinny then ... and I'm trying to block the current situation from my mind.  

This was when Cowgirls were COWGIRLS ... when cowboy shirts were awesome.  You could buy this in the local western store and wear it to a competition or just down the street for Thanksgiving.  It was one of several I had to save up to buy ... and I lived in them 24/7.

I had a penchant for old clothes back then.  Some of my collection of vintage wear came from my Grandmother.  She kept a couple of old dresses, and more importantly, old undergarments.  Why, I have no idea, but they are extremely hard to find.  One day while scrounging around in the hope chest she left me, I found a purple velvet wedding dress.  White was not a thing back in the day.

That began the hunt for 1800's clothing.  Back then, you could find many items in antique stores.  I spent HOURS looking for anything I could wear.  That was the deal I made ... if I could wear it, I could buy it.  If you've ever been to Tombstone, you know there are always some people walking around in the garb of the time.  I did that several times in Sonora California.  Roll playing can be fun!!

This particular image is interesting in that I can't for the life of me remember WHERE it was taken.  The stockings are red ones from my Grandmother's closet.  In fact, I still have all of these items, though the only thing that still fits is the umbrella ... maybe the hat.


Nowadays, if you're looking for western clothing, THIS is what you find.  The days of REAL western clothing is far behind us.  I wouldn't be caught DEAD in this!!


I have been on the search for shirts like the first one above, but have found nothing.  Yes there are a few you can order on-line, but what a hassle.  They never seem to fit.  You would think that in a western town like Tucson .. or even Tombstone .. you would find SOMETHING.  All I have come across so far is stuff so thin and cheap you can see through it.  No self-respecting cowgirl would wear this thing from Boot Barn, most likely made in China.


When I saw this, I almost spit out my coffee.  Yup ... this says I'm going to go catch up my horse, throw on a saddle and go for a ride in the mountains.  I'm pretty sure any horse wouldn't even let you get close.


Since I was going to Green Valley to pick up a couple small pieces of fabric, I decided to look up clothing stores to see if I could find something to wear.  I have a closet full of long sleeve stuff, which doesn't exactly work with 90 degree weather.  

Dazees popped up .. let's check it out.  Of course you never know until you arrive if it's actually a REAL store or a Thrift Store.  This turned out to be the latter.  I admit, I rarely (if ever) purchase used clothing, but when I saw the 50% off everything sign, I decided to at least look.

Surprisingly, I found four shirts that actually fit.  Not exactly cowboy-ish, but at this point, I can't be choosy.  They are REAL shirts, made of REAL fabric and they fit.  I paid $12.00 for the entire lot.  When I found out why Dazees is there, I decided I just might go back.

This store is run by volunteers.  All the proceeds go to Hands of a Friend, that supports women and children who have been subject to domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and elder abuse.  Yup I can do that ... even if they aren't WESTERN clothes.


I guess if I want to find anything comparable to the "old" days, I'll have to go to Texas.  I can't even find a western clothing store around here.

The game camera only picked up a few coyotes doing a drive by.  It seems a new pack has taken over the territory, since I never see the dark-backed ones any more.  I'll post that tomorrow.


There was a nice but low key sunset to end the day.  I'll be back on the ladder gutter cleaning this morning.  SO much fun.  It appears it is half full of sand and gravel.  Apparently those big winds we have deposit stuff on the roof which gets washed down by the rain.  Gutter covers won't help ... the sand goes right through them.  Maybe I should have looked at this sooner!!


Thursday, September 22, 2022

Water ... No Fire

It surprises me every morning when I realize it rained most of the night.  This is the desert, right?  I guess I never read about monsoons, although I remember seeing something about that on the old Disney channel we got to watch for one hour each Sunday night when I was a kid on the ranch.  

Television was not a thing back in the day.  It was a small black and white set on a metal stand.  Rabbit ears with aluminum foil didn't work all that well for reception.  If you wanted color, you placed a piece of plastic on the front that had strips of color imbedded in it.  Not kidding ... it was a little weird to see pink animals.  

If we were lucky, we got to have half a soda.  On very special nights, we were allowed to make popcorn in the pot on the stove while standing on a chair.  If you fell off, you learned a lesson.  It was the highlight of the month.  No seconds were allowed, which means my parents ate all the leftovers.  

Back to Arizona, you can look at the weather radar and see it coming.  It's no joke about don't drive if you can help it and those signs you see everywhere about don't enter if water is present.  I've even heard the road from Parker to Quartzsite has several flooded sections.  In the past few years we haven't had that much rain, so Mother Nature is catching up.

So ... I've spent more time keeping Cooper entertained than I normally do.  This is why I can't have nice shoes.  There's a ball in there somewhere.  He very gently puts it IN my slippers or boots, then tears them up trying to get it back out.  He's such a funny kid, he keeps me laughing.


I did some on-line banking, paying seven or so bills, all the while knowing that TODAY would be THE day the bank changes over to a completely different system.  Yes, that's going to be fun.  You can no longer sign in and must jump threw many hoops to get it going, which includes setting up from scratch.  

I called the office for some expert help.  I think I knew more than the girl did.  I did find out that none of those bills I paid will go through, in spite of it saying so.  Today will be an epic day on the computer trying to straighten it all out.  I just love it when that happens.

And then the rains came.  You can't even see the mountains or the gully below.  My game camera from the night before didn't capture a single image.  The critters are smart enough to stay home when it rains.  I can't believe I haven't seen another spider or frog.


This is an interesting one I took awhile back.  The colors always fascinate me.


SO ... tired and bored with sewing, I took my sore knees (on the floor with Cooper you know) to the kitchen to whip up the latest version of ribs.  Sadly my Pig Powder order has not arrived, and these MUST be smoked before they spoil.  I mixed up my own version of a rub the night before and stuck them in the fridge to soak it up.  I took them out early in the morning to warm up a tad before going in the smoker.


I had a terrible time getting the smoker to smoke this time.  I don't know what I'm doing wrong.  The vent was open, the chips on the fire, but it seems they refused to burn.  These ribs were so thick ... unheard of nowadays ... that I left them in an extra hour.

They are edible, but not up to par.  I'm telling you, that Trim Tabbs Pig Powder makes all the difference in the world.  Yes it is expensive, but worth every penny.  Barbecue sauce helped out a bit ... I mean really, you can't go wrong with smoked ribs.  


This morning will be a treat ... I'm going to grab my ladder and see if I can clean out the gutters on the front of the house.  It appears two of them are completely plugged up.  The old adage ... a homeowners work is never done ... is completely true.  


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Are You Lost???

It's a not so early morning in the desert outside of Tucson.  The monsoon storms are still rolling over the hills, dumping an impressive amount of water.  You can actually walk from my front yard where there is NO rain, to the back yard where you are drenched.  I love it!!  The best part is there are no puddles and no mud to track in the house.   

While checking to see if my paint had washed away (it did not) I was again confronted by a javelina.  It's  a baby, maybe 15 inches tall.  This one didn't snort like the last because I now look up and check the area before heading down to the water station.  Hi there little guy!


I stood in the open gate for a few seconds, when to my surprise .... he came up the hill right to me.  YIKES!!  I'm guessing he's used to being fed by the two legged critters.  I backed up and closed the gate, running for my camera.  When I returned, he was very happily grunting as he ate those brown seed pods.


Such a noisy eater!!  He's within eight feet of me here, not paying too much attention in spite of my requests to SMILE!!


Are you lost little buddy?  There was no movement in the surrounding area, no noisy pushing and shoving, and no one down by the water trough.  Just this little guy all alone.  Pretty soon he went around my yard and wandered on off up the hill.


I sure hope he finds his troop before he runs into these guys.  There are now apparently not one, but TWO packs of coyotes in this area.  These guys do not have the black half circle of hair on their backs like the other troop has.  Overlapping territories doesn't happen very often.  It's interesting to note there are LOTS of coyotes this year, and NO bunnies.  It's just the ebb and flow of nature I suppose.


More rain came in the afternoon, as is predicted for the next couple days.  Last night there was a downpour or two that kept me awake most of the night.  By morning, it was gone, leaving high humidity in its path.  What better way to combat that than peanut butter cookies!!!  Just for kicks (because it's all I had) I added white chocolate chips to the recipe.  WOW ... talk about a sweet addition!!


I spent the rest of the day mapping out my adventures ... if the rain ever quits.  I don't think we have had this much rain since I came down here.  I'm not complaining at all ... it's much cooler because of it.  In between internet searches, I started a new quilt with another pile of scrap fabric that's been hanging around for years.  


Just another fascinating day in the desert.  I've got two days to gear up for a little hike ... yes, Mother Nature is still watering the garden for two more days ... according to the weather guessers that is.  I'll be sure to pack a garbage bag for a poncho and take along a dozen cookies .... you know, in case I get lost.


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Thunder And Lightning

It's been an interesting year for monsoon.  Mother Nature seems to be hanging on for dear life.  We've got four days of thunderstorms lined up.  Of course you never know if the weather guessers are right, but in Arizona, you can have beautiful sunny blue skies one minute, and lightning in your lap, along with a waterfall, two seconds later.

Lucky for me, it didn't happen while I was out painting.  Here's my tip of the day.  Once you have completed your painting, you don't have to clean that brush if you think you will use it again with the same color paint.  I wrapped the brush very tightly in aluminum foil and placed it in the freezer.  That was two years ago.  

I took the brush out and let it thaw, just to see if this would actually work.  Sure enough, it thawed out nicely, I wiped it clean and went right back to painting.  I probably wouldn't try this on your living room paint, but you never know.  

I would also like to mention that this can of paint has been in the searingly hot garage for at least five years.  I just stirred it up and VOILA!!  Paint!!  Here's the thing  ... apparently the previous owners decided to paint the wall AFTER the plants had grown tall, so they never painted BEHIND them.  

Yes I did take the chain saw on a stick to this oleander, and it's a mess.  I'll clean it up and try to make it look better.  


My plan was to paint badly.  I know you should try to do a nice neat job, but I was determined to make it look as good, or as bad really, as the rest of the fence and not have to buy another can of paint.  Apparently I did a pretty good job of messing it up because you almost cannot tell where I painted.  Yes, cleanup is in order .... maybe today.


The second wall didn't go quite as well (it's not dry yet), but it's a lot better than it was.  Those stumps are the oleanders I demolished because they were mucking up my septic tank.  Let me tell you, they mean NOTHING when you have to pay $2,000 for a repair.  I was done just as the heat began to rise.


Suddenly there were storm clouds overhead.  I was hoping the paint dried before the rain came.  After retrieving a package of baby back ribs from the Chance house (Dan braved the Costco crowds and picked them up for me), it was less than 15 minutes before the downpour hit.  I don't think you can hear the crack of lightning and thunder very well from my phone, but here's what it looked like.  

I ran outside to video that first crack of lightning.  WOW ... I was back inside in two seconds.  That lightning was right overhead.  The crack even hurt my ears.  Me thinks I should stay inside where it's safe.  I took this video standing in the doorway.  It was so bad that even Cooper began barking at the thunder.



Thirty minutes later and look here!!!  The storm passed over and this beautiful rainbow appeared.  You can tell it's still raining over there, but not here. 


The best part ... the sweet clean air of the desert to breathe, usually followed up by Mother Nature's best sunset.  It's always breathtaking ... every single time.


I spent an hour cutting up that nice roasted Costco chicken that came with the ribs.  Cooper can smell that stuff a mile away.  It's his all-time favorite.  No he doesn't get the whole thing, just pieces chopped up with his dog food.  Dinner put him right to sleep.  His favorite toy of the day is never far.


Everything needs to be done in the mornings while it's cool, so I'll be back at it shortly.  But first ... lets check the game camera!!  Last time there was a coyote drive by ... nothing to write home about.  Maybe today Mr. Bobcat will return.



Monday, September 19, 2022

I'm Not Driving On Sundays

 It was a lovely cool Sunday morning as I listened to the ringing in my ears.  Not even the birds were chirping on this morning.  Too many clay pigeons killed with a shotgun at the pheasant hunting facility where I worked for a few years.  

You could shoot five stand (you stand in one place while clay targets are thrown and rolled from all directions) or you could wander down the creek and shoot targets thrown into the air.  Then there was always pheasant hunting.  You buy five or six birds which were released on the property.  If you got them, we cleaned and gutted them for you.  There's nothing like sticking your hand inside a  ... well I won't go into that part.  I've had a lot of "different" jobs in my short life.

This is pretty much my every morning view ... Cooper puts the ball on the coffee table so I will toss it across the room.  He fetches, you throw, etc. etc.  


Since I required batteries for the camera, I made a quick trip to Walmart not too many miles away.  I was actually driving the speed limit, minding my own business, when I saw a car about to pull out in front of me.  I was really close.  He pulled up ... waited ... and purposely pulled right out in front of me.  I had to slam on the brakes to keep from hitting him.

He then proceeded along in the 45 mph zone at a slow 30 mph pace.  What the heck?  This was no old guy, this was a smart a$$ young guy who then slammed on his brakes right in front of me as he flipped me off.  I locked them up, as did the guy following me.  Good thing I had a witness.  Apparently this dude thinks this is a funny game!!

Too bad, so sad, he got stopped at the only stop light on the road.  I made a big show of getting out a piece of paper and writing down his license number.  I guess he forgot about that.  As soon as the light changed, he shot off like a bullet ... going well over the speed limit.  

Not wanting a confrontation, when he turned the way I was going, I went the other direction.  What a jerk!!  And that's not the first time it's happened to me.  He came from one of the new subdivisions around here.  Me thinks the trash are moving into our nice little town.  Guess I won't be going out on Sundays any more.

My camera did work with regular batteries, but it's not a good idea to use them.  Having found some on my trek to town, I switched them out in time to capture my shy friend.  For some reason it seems he or she has been kicked out of the group.  He stayed for quite some time.


Then this gorgeous buck stopped by again.  I'm pretty sure I've heard him wandering around the house at night, checking out the quail block and banging around a bucket.  This time it's actually close to 6:00 am, so I was up and didn't even see him.


Once back at the house, it was time for a little more maintenance.  The yellow light may not attract as many bugs, but there's at least a cup of them in this light fixture.  Every year it must be cleaned out.


Roasted toasty bugs ... yuck!!  


And then it was back to quilting while my watchdog kept a close eye on the door.  He saw the bug spray guy walk by the window once, and then the Amazon guy knocked on the door.  If there's the slightest sound now, he barks up a storm.  GOOD DOG!!!


This was a quickly thrown together scrap quilt using all materials I already had.  I love it when that happens.  I'm sure you already know, this is my favorite pattern.


I still have binding to sew on all these quilts ... I think there are now six ... which means hauling them all back to the house where the binding is.  I definitely need to learn how to do binding on the quilting machine instead of by hand.  


And so another day is in the books here in the desert of Arizona.  

I did have one nice occurrence.  I got my PG&E bill and for the second time ever, didn't have a screaming fit.  My $15 bill suits my accounting brain perfectly.  Add in the true up and I will be paying about $300 a year for electricity instead of close to $4,000.  My system will be paid for in four years.  Not bad ... not bad at all!!