Tuesday, February 28, 2023


Sometimes when you don't sleep so well, it takes awhile to get your brain moving.  That would be today.  I think it was all that hitch lifting I did yesterday, but I'll get into that later.  

THIS is my favorite sport.  I'm terrible at it, in case you didn't know.  As a kid, I got bucked off a lot.  There was no coddling back in the day, you just got back on and got after it again.  As kids, we were pretty flexible and rubbery, easily able to recover from hitting the ground after getting bucked off those newly saddled colts.  Except for that one time I was thrown into the fence.  THAT was NOT fun!

I did get better at it as I got older, but the jarring crunch on that first jump got old really quickly.  That's why I have so much respect for these guys that get on over and over again, rodeo after rodeo.

This guy had a good ride.  It's the "get off" that hurts.  If you're lucky and the pick-up man riding that horse on the right gets to you, you grab hold for all you are worth and slide to the ground as he stops his horse.  That doesn't always work out so well.  Sometimes his horse doesn't stop, or even slow down.  Sometimes you end up UNDER his horse.

These were an excellent bunch of bucking horses, this one being a youngster.  You can tell because of the crazy bucking postures.  They just go wild.  

That usually means YOU end up like this.  The older experienced broncs will buck really good, but not expend NEAR the energy these young-uns do.  They have learned how to do their job without being exhausted.  Horses are pretty smart critters.

Okay ... here he is.  Rocker Steiner.  He's got so much hair you can't tell it from the horses tail.  As much as he likes to show off in the arena ... I think it's the girls screaming ... he is actually pretty shy when it comes to the media.  They say he's a "good" kid and he can definitely ride these broncs.

He needs to try my hairspray trick ... his hat always falls off in the first two jumps out of the chute.  See the guy in the back on the left?  That's Benny Beutler, the stock contractor.  He's the chute boss, making sure the horses are treated right and that they perform well.  He is in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, so you know his horses and bulls are the best.

I mean really ... look at that hair!!  If you didn't know, you might think this was a girl!  Really, I didn't take this many pictures because of him, I took them because of the horse.  This one gave him a run for his money.  

He didn't get bucked off, which always means there's a celebration.  

And that's it for the bareback bronc riding.  It rained and snowed on Sunday, but apparently they were able to finish up the rodeo.  

It was rather weird though ... it rained hard in the morning, then this beauty showed up.  A full ground to ground rainbow ... I think the first I've ever seen ... actually a double rainbow to the right ... and when it went away, down came the snow.  

It's the last day of February, so hopefully March brings in some nice sunny weather.  Looks like we are good until Thursday when rain and 27 degrees are heading our way.  Oh BOY!!  More SNOW!!

Monday, February 27, 2023


Your regular programming has been postponed due to SNOW!!!  IT'S A SNOW DAY yet again!!  Early morning sun tried to fool us yesterday as the clouds began to crowd in over the horizon.  Rodeo pictures have been suspended until regular programming resumes.

It was different ... at 50 degrees the rain started to come down.  I did a little snow dance.  Remind me not to do that again!!  In no time, at only 41 degrees, the snow came fluttering down from the sky.  

And it just kept coming for a couple of hours.  Cooper was not the least bit impressed, especially when I finally made him go outside.  It always looks so fantasy-like when the snow sticks to the cactus.

I figured it wouldn't last long, so I ran outside in my slippers to get a picture of the snow covered driveway.  It had already begun to disappear.  I can't say as much for the snow on the slippery concrete next to my garage.  It's a good thing there's some nice sturdy RV cover poles to hang on to.  A lifesaver, so to speak.

My big beautiful tree looks rather majestic ... made possible by some crazy photoshop sliders just for fun.  I see images like this all the time and wondered how they photographed it.  Surprise!!  It's done after it comes out of the camera.

The view was fabulous.  I couldn't believe two hours later, it was still snowing some of the biggest snowflakes I've seen.

These are individual flakes that just hit the bricks.  I don't think I have ever seen flakes this big in my lifetime.  They were 1/2 to one inch across!

Those aren't specks on the wall ... that's the snow coming down.  Sadly, it was too wet to make another snowman, and to be honest, I wasn't looking forward to having my hands frozen off.

Look who came to visit?  I hear him every morning about 5:30 (when it's still dark) as he sings his song.  He's rather smallish, so I'm guessing he's a young one.  He was flinging his beak back and forth to remove the snow and get the seed below.  The little finch was taking advantage of the hole being dug.  A little fuzzy, it was taken through a window from a long ways away.  This guy is pretty flighty.

 Mother Nature put on her best dress for a few hours, then went back to sunshine with a veil of clouds.  On THIS morning, it's down to 31 degrees ... feels like 24.  I've never seen the temperatures fluctuate so wildly before.  Today should be sunny with a high of 62.  Lucky for my neighbors, it's too cold to lay outside and get a winter tan.

For the ladies ... here's the bad boy of rodeo.  Nineteen years old and man can he ride those broncs.  Of course he comes from a rodeo family.  He has said in the past if his granddad and father can win a championship, so can he ... and he's been doing just that, gathering up lots of that green stuff called money along the way.

More rodeo coming up .......

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Rodeo For Kids!!!

 The only thing better than going to a rodeo is the food.  Just like at any fair, there's lots to choose from.  Surprisingly, there is a lot of Mexican food that looks delicious.  Every vendor makes up their dishes and displays them out front so you can see exactly what you are getting.  It's like walking the gauntlet ... which  8,000 calorie, artery clogging grease and heart attack on a plate do I want to inhale?  

These sausages really looked good,  but the kid cooking the onions didn't exactly look like he knew what he was doing.  I think these were about twelve inches long ... definitely a meal for two, which is why Patty and Dan went for this one.

Thinking smaller portions, I went with the basic cheese burger.  Last year it was delicious!!  This year, not so much.  There was hardly any lettuce, NO tomato and the burger barely browned.  Never mind the carmel corn ... just the burger and the lemonade came to a whopping $21.00.  NOT kidding!!

The food vendors have learned that if they do not post prices, you will order anything and pay any amount.  I'm pretty sure that Costco burger didn't come to anywhere near $21.00.  Next time I'll go for the artery clogging Mexican food.

It's hard to believe there was snow one day and beautiful sun the next.  Here's what was left of the mountaintop white stuff.  By the end of this day, most of that was gone also.

On with the rodeo .... right after the mutton busting was the steer riding for young bull riders in training.  This steer bucked pretty good and this kid stayed on like a champ!!  He was the only entrant on this day.  

Next up for the girls (and sometimes the boys too) was goat tying.  Race down the arena on your horse, jump off and run up to the goat on a string.  He's tied up to make it a little easier.  She flopped the goat on his side and tied up three legs.  She was a little distracted because her hat kept falling off.  

Here's a little tip ... hairspray!!  Yessiree ... any time I was in a rodeo or a horse show, I sprayed the inside hatband with hairspray, then put it on.  That thing was glued to my head for the rest of the day.  I'm just full of rodeo tips!!!

Barrel racing for the kids was up next.  I can tell you that your heart is pounding as you get to that first barrel.  As soon as you are almost around, you look for the next one.  Where your head  goes, your body goes, which actually signals the horse to go the same way.  See where she is looking?

Sort of anyway ... I know this little gal felt like she was screaming around the barrels at breakneck speed.  Actually, she was barely loping at a very slow pace.  See her head?  and the horses head?  She was a little wide on all of the turns, but raced to the end and didn't knock down a single barrel.  That's what counts ... and she has a pretty little appy horse.

Team roping ... what could go wrong here?  One of the pair is usually a parent.  In this case, Dad was the header and his daughter was the heeler.  See that huge loop?  You do want kinda big ... but maybe not quite THAT big.  It SHOULD fly around in front of the calfs hind legs.  When pulled forward by Dad, the calf steps into the loop and the heeler pulls back hard and fast.

Well ... the loop was SO big and didn't quite go UNDER the calf, though she did catch one leg ... along with one front leg of her horse.  That didn't work out so well and they got no time.  Luckily her horse didn't freak out.

This was the best one of the night.  I think this kid was 8 years old and he was the header.  He caught that steer right out of the gate just like a pro ... but sadly, Dad missed the heels and they also got a no time.  This kid is going to be a star someday.

And that ended the Junior Rodeo!  All the winners got lots of screams from the crowd and will come back for the finals.  I have to say one thing, Tucson loves to yell for their kids whether they do good or not.

And we haven't even gotten to the REAL rodeo yet!!  It's coming up with a visit from Rocker Steiner, one of the best bareback riders in the world.  He's 19 years old, has hair down to his shoulders, is a heart breaker and comes from a many generation cowboy family.  Too bad I'm not 19 again!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2023

La Fiesta de los Vaqueros

 Tucson has been celebrating their cowboys for 98 years.  It's one of the most popular winter rodeos for obvious reasons ... sunshine!!  Although we have been rained out in the past, this year the weather (at least on this day) could not have been better.  70 degrees of gorgeous sunshine with barely a breath of wind.

Here's Mr. Chance and his granddaughter ... all grown up.  Every year we take this picture of the two of them.

Just before we went in, we were greeted by these guys ... three of them screaming overhead.  It's the sound of freedom, and we LOVE it!

Once inside, we make the rounds of stuff for sale.  Most of this is touristy stuff, but it's still fun to look at

Round back of the chutes they have the bucking horses snoozing and soaking up all the warm they can.

Someone asked why they are all lined up like that.  Just like people, horses have buddies they group up with, other horses they like to hang out with, so they stand together.  There is also a definite pecking order among horses.  If the top dog (or horse in this case) is facing one way, there must be a good reason ... so they will ALL face that way.  

You've heard turn tail to the wind?  If it's windy or raining, they will all turn their tails to the wind.  They don't like it any better than WE do.

Looky here ... freeze dried candy!!  We didn't try any, but every time we went by, they had people in the booth.

Here you can buy a hat in any color you like.  It's for the kids of course, or as Patty mentioned ... the rodeo Queen from 1959 (we think we saw her here).  There were no pink hats on the ranch growing up ... we wouldn't be caught dead with anything other than a regular tan straw hat.  No felts hats were seen either ... they were too expensive.

After a quick lunch (we'll talk about that later), we went up into the stands to watch the Junior Rodeo.  Sadly, granddaughter Laila's horse has a swollen leg problem and she had to leave to take him to the vet.  As with puppies, horses come first.

There was no grand entry for this rodeo, just get on with the mutton busting!  The two kids in the black hats are the sons of the rodeo barrel man, J J Harrison.  He's one of the few "clowns" I love to watch at the rodeo.  Even with two hip replacement surgeries (he's not that old either), he's still working the rodeos and lets his kids be the pickup men for the mutton busting.  They love it!!

These are all four and five year old kids.  Most got back up waving and happy.  Some, not so much.

Do you see a pattern here??  The scores were great ... 80 and 11/14ths,  91 and 32/8ths ... the announcer was having just as much fun as the kids were.

That's JJ on the left and his two kids running to the rescue.  Of course JJ helps the kids get back up, usually telling them what a great job they did.  He's wearing a microphone, so you can laugh at his comments.  The crowd went wild for every ride.  

There's way too much to put it all in one blog, so I'll continue over the next couple of days.  If you haven't been to a rodeo in Tucson, it's in February every year.  You'll have a blast stomping your feet and screaming while us girls watch the tall good looking cowboys in their Wrangler jeans!!

See you tomorrow!!

Friday, February 24, 2023

A Hitch In My GiddyUp

 Good Morning Arizona!!  It's a chilly 37 degrees out this morning, but the sun is supposed to come out and warm us up to 66 degrees.  That's pretty nice considering we'll be sitting outside most of the afternoon at the Tucson Rodeo!!  Woohoo!!  How lucky are you?  Soon you will be inundated with COWBOY pictures.

In the meantime, I'm not sure I posted this video.  This mama is not at all shy.  I was hoping to get pictures of the entire pack that was howling like crazy about 9:00 just down on the railroad tracks.  No such luck however.  

The entire boring sit-around windy day was taken up by a dermatologist appointment.  Again, I'm healthy as a horse.  Thank the Lord for good genes.  I was a little taken aback at the boisterous Doc who had a great personality and an even better laugh, along with a handshake like a cowboy!  I like that.

So like any good parent, here's a couple more "kid" pictures.  He follows me everywhere.  If I move, he moves, then he just lays down in the room and waits.  

My little guard dog .... making sure no one attacks me in the bathroom.  If I'm sewing in the room to the right, he's still parked at this doorway.  Such a funny kid.

The only other thing on the list today was a check of my hitch.  I loaned it out for a year when I had the big rig, to a great guy who has been pulling fifth wheels all his life.  In other words, I trust him.  BUT ... he was unlucky enough to have a lady come around a corner too fast and sideswipe his truck AND trailer hard enough to total both.  That's a pretty hard hit.  

When I got this fifth wheel trailer, I called and asked if he still had the hitch ... just kidding actually ... and the next day, he brought it back.  It appears to be in great shape and I have had no problems, but it makes me VERY nervous.  Everyone says never use a hitch that has been in a wreck.

So I began exploring a new hitch.  $1300 woohoo!  Of course when I called the manufacturer B & W, they said to replace it immediately.  If not the entire thing, then definitely the receiver portion.  I didn't know you could buy just the receiver.  $499 plus tax, free shipping.  That's a bunch cheaper than $1300.  

I called Lazy Days to see what their price might be.  Wow ... $660!!  And so the debate in my head continues ... buy it or not.  I still have lots of time ... they said it would arrive in 4 days if ordered.  Not sure I believe that.  Decisions decisions!!!  The interesting part is this hitch works so well that in 20 years they have made no changes to the design ... it's exactly like the one I have.
Late in the afternoon, I heard lots of grinding and clanking from out back on the tracks.  It amazes me just how much work these guys put into this railroad line.  I'm guessing it's because it is the original railway from when the trains first arrived in Tucson.

The line was to be built from Marshal Texas to San Diego California, passing through this area, which is why Tucson came into existence.  There was a great celebration with a parade and cannon fire on March 20, 1880 as the first train rolled into town.

Coincidentally on March 20, 1882, Wyatt Earp shot and killed Frank Stilwell for the death of his brother Morgan, at the same station, for which they erected a statue.  It's fun to think they all traveled along this section of track.  

It's old like me ... so I imagine it requires lots of upkeep and maintenance.

And so ended another day in paradise, even if it is cold and windy.  It's time to get my camera ready for some wild and wooly cowboy shots at the rodeo!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2023

I Should Write A Book

 There are fails in life, and then there are EPIC fails.  Mine seem to fall into the latter category.  I should write a book entitled What NOT To Do.

It was another lovely day in the desert, just like we all expect when we come down to get a suntan in the winter.  Okay, we NEVER expected this!

It didn't start out too bad, but in no time it was so black and oppressive, you felt like it was sitting on your shoulders.  It's all good ... the desert always needs the rain.  Boy did it rain ... buckets!!!  The flowers will be amazing to see this spring (if it ever gets here) and so will the weeds.  I can look forward to hours of cleanup work when I return in the summer, but the desert will be a gorgeous shade of green.

With no bread on the horizon ... and I do LOVE bread ... I drug out my old bread making machine.  You can't go wrong with this baby.  You just throw all the ingredients in there and it does all the mixing, kneading, rising and baking for you.  Oh the smell of fresh baking bread!!

Here's where the epic fail comes in.  After four hours, I opened the lid and saw all this white ... WHAT THE HECK?  This doesn't look good .... but I took it out and plopped it on the rack ... like a rock!!  I'm pretty sure something went wrong here, but I don't know what yet.

It's French Bread that I've never made before ... maybe it's supposed to look like this.  I sliced off a small piece and put a little butter on top.  Fresh bread and butter ... it doesn't get any better than that.

OMG I spit it out.  It tasted like something I left on the porch for three weeks.  Even the coyotes won't eat THIS!  The investigation was on to determine what happened.

Big sigh ... it didn't take long to find the answer.  I just bought this yeast last week at Safeway.  Doesn't anyone know they are supposed to check the pull dates?  Does ANYONE pull their products based on those dates any more?  I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I was.  My mouth was SO looking forward to fresh bread.  What a waste of 4 cups of flour!!

So much for that bright idea.  I'm adding that to the list of items for my "epic fail" book.  I guess the universe just doesn't want me to have ANY bread.

I went back to the sewing room and finished up this quilt top.  It's number one in my to-be-quilted pile.  All the pieces really are straight and square ... it just looks wonky in the picture.

With the rain still coming down, I switched into overdrive and finished up THIS quilt top.  It's going in the I-don't-know-what-to-do-wth-it pile.  It needs backing, but I don't want to spend a fortune since it is a queen size.  Regular fabric will cost around $80 so I'm looking for an alternative.

Just as I was finishing up that quilt, the Chance house called to invite me to dinner.  Never EVER turn down those invitations.  This time it was to have some of the best fish EVER.  Culvers serves up fried Walleye every so often, and only for a short time.  We partake every chance we get.  This stuff is DELICIOUS!!  I brought home half of it for dinner tonight.  

Today I'll be out with my clippers trimming up bushes that are rubbing up against the house.  It's the perfect time ... wet soil means the small ones can be easily pulled out.  

The excitement just never ends in the desert!!!