Why Yes, We Can Have Fun in Cameron!

I just got home from a genuinely fun and satisfying evening out in our little town. It’s so great to have options for hanging out with your friends and neighbors in downtown!

Our beautiful new coffee shop

I don’t get into town much, but Anita invited me to join her for coffee, so I headed over to the Farmers to Market Coffee Shop for some of their delicious coffee and cozy decor (plus friendly staff and friends to chat with). I’m thrilled we have TWO coffee shops to choose from. It’s getting better here!

Lighting in the ceiling

Then we took the opportunity to see how the work Railfan is doing on downtown buildings is coming along. The Venue is getting even more beautiful. The mezzanine now has a beautiful wood wall and the floor is so shiny. What great work!

Next we wandered across the street to the old JC Penney building and its neighbors, where my son was painting walls and sealing bricks. It fascinates me to see the bones that were hiding in the former bland county offices.

Next we checked out the Penney building, which I’d seen before, but not cleaned out. Wow. I’d love to live in a loft on the third floor! Being able to look out the windows was a fun surprise. And the old elevator is something that needs to somehow be preserved. Being able to watch these renovations gives me a real sense of the hard work and creativity it takes to achieve a downtown revitalization.

Enough with the old buildings! Anita and I next went over to another building that was vacated when the county offices moved, the former tax office. Now it’s the Cameron Beer Market, with pizza, beer, pool, and so many fun people.

They’re not posing.

There were opening night glitches, like the credit card machine not working, so we had to pay cash. I never have cash. Still, we had fun conversation with so many folks we know, plus I got to enjoy Lee, Anita, and Declan talking about music. That’s always interesting.

This was before it got crowded. I like the grass on the wall.

Dang! Another fun night here, and soon we can do stuff like this all the time. And hey, some of the people were planning to go to another downtown spot, our beloved Central Avenue Bistro, after their beer, so wow, options!

Lots of pool tables, too.

Thanks to everyone who supports local businesses here, including the established ones, so I’m not forgetting Ginno’s Italian and the great Mexican restaurants here. Or further out, Bob’s! There’s stuff to do in our little town.

Plus we have a scenic old jail and cabin. Rural fun, yep.

Humid Winter Days and Hairy Horses Don’t Mix

This was the second day in a row that I mostly did horse stuff. That sure is a fun way to spend a day. But there was a lot of sweat involved. It was extra humid and quite warm today, which was hard on us all, especially Apache.

Horses sweat so much between their butt cheeks that it lathers up. Thanks to Tarrin for this priceless memory.

I do enjoy just hanging out with these guys, even when shoveling poop. But the lessons are even more fun. It’s so educational to work with two such different animals.

This is his beauty before all the sweat.

Drew is making so much progress. The body work seems to have helped, though we think he pulled a muscle something. Probably from all that literal horseplay with Dusty or slipping in mud. He cantered well for Tarrin, though! And I’m really feeling better riding him. We even did a great job walking to the trailer!

I’m different but also pretty. I do like my hay wagon!

Apache then worked and worked. He’s gonna canter under saddle some day, but he has lots of ground work to do. Here’s Tarrin working with him on transitions.

I’m trying!

I have riding exercises to do, too, with both horses. Drew needs to walk while Apache trots the double slalom. This means Drew and I get to leave the round pen! Graduation! Here’s me and Apache doing the exercise.

Concentrating.

I’m impressed that you can’t see all his sweat here, but these are screenshots from video as, which may blur the sweat.

Stopping. We look pretty good.

I was impressed that, even though he was tired and getting cranky, Apache kept trying and working. He seemed to enjoy himself.

This is us trotting happily because we were done!

He even did his very best walking around all the scary spots. I’m so proud of us! As a reward Apache got a bath, which he liked. He liked rolling in the dirt when we got home even more!

Before rolling. My beauties.

I hope you got to do something fun today! My fun continues tomorrow, too. We’re breaking in the mobile office!

Turn That Calendar Page

I did so. I don’t even have a good calendar this year. That’s what happens when you only have free ones. So, Whee.

Apache and I are looking into the future.

Actually it was about as perfect of a day as a person could want. If retirement could be this pleasant I’d be more ready than I think I am now. The weather was beautiful and I just enjoyed working on projects and hanging out with the horses.

I’m practicing my hill work. I also found grass.

Drew was making me laugh, but not making Dusty too happy. I watched Drew poke and prod his buddy endlessly. It was mostly playful, judging from how horses typically play and show affection, but I wish Drew would stop chomping Dusty’s tail.

Kid, leave me alone!

I tried to use up some teen horse energy by riding Drew for a while and exercising him. He was in a great mood, so it was a lot of fun.

I like doing stuff with you!

I also rode Apache more than on most days. Why? Because I had time. That’s so wonderful. I’d love to be able to spend this much time every day. When I just have an hour, I’m lucky to do groundwork on one horse, since feeding takes so long. Anyway, we had a blast doing all our schooling and riding around the property.

I had fun. Now to nap.

See how he looks in that picture? He ended up so relaxed and calm. He even went on the road briefly and showed no concern. Only Lee’s new mobile office gave him pause, but we got through it. Drew was the same. Walking with calm horses is nice.

We’re calm, too. Maybe if you retired, you could ride us.

Of course I also cooked traditional Southern food. Even Anita the Northerner liked the collard greens! Yep.

So far 2023 is fine, peaceful, and hermit-like. The only issue was that our water went out. Then it got fixed. It doesn’t make for exciting blogging, but I’m fine with that.

Now enjoy happy horses.

All Dressed Up

It feels weird to do normal fun stuff like go to a Christmas party (that’s what they call them here, since it’s pretty mono-cultural).

It appears I remember fun

I’m tired, though. I now have energy again, so I want do DO things, but I still don’t have stamina. Just running Drew through a couple of practice obstacles and setting up the trailer for a horse show tomorrow had my heart pounding. Oops.

I may have to walk all my events tomorrow. But I’ll give it a try. I’ll think positive.

Or I could just crawl into my hole and rest, like Goldie.

Today was crazy at work because so many people asked me questions. They keep finding me on the intranet and contacting me. I even answered a question from a woman on another part of Dell on software I had never seen. Dang I’m a good trainer!

But it makes me want to hide, like Carlton.

The evening was nice, and it featured our Master Naturalist party, as mentioned above. It warmed my heart to see two women I admire get volunteer hour achievement awards, and some other hard-working volunteers receive recognition from the group. Our chapter president has had some great ideas, including these recognitions.

My friends Don, Lisa, Donna, and Linda Jo. Super volunteers.

I’m a bit of an outsider, but that did not stop me from enjoying the warm community of these nature lovers. Watching them interact was so much fun. I’m glad I have this connection to my rural county and that I’ve made kind friends there. Here are many of them making gestures.

And yeah. I enjoyed wearing clothing that wasn’t horse stuff. I’ll put those on tomorrow!

Phyllis and I put on headgear to complement our ensembles

Work Can Be Fun?

Sure! Why not? This week I’ve really been enjoying my job. Probably kicking the adenovirus out the door helped me concentrate. The lack of headache was also good.

And this buddy hasn’t sprayed in a day or two. That’s good, because he or she lives under the shipping container, right next to the horses.

But I’m positive that a couple of factors made the week good, even though it’s been a long one.

I’ve learned stuff. I did a workshop by my old company that was on a new topic to me. I had a blast! And today I helped some folks figure out how to support their scrum teams. We were all impressed with ourselves.

I’ve also felt useful. That makes work fun! I helped train people in various software scenarios. It felt good to help. Laughing and supportive comments added to my good feelings.

I had good breaks. Calves make good break buddies.

I was challenged. I was asked to figure some new things out, plus I was asked to contribute ideas for new software features. I’ve missed this from my previous job, so I was probably too excited to make my contributions. On the other hand, I’ve led discussions where I wished people had contributed more. I hope I and the others who had great ideas made the people looking for ideas happy!

I don’t know what makes other people happy at work, but that’s what works for me. Fulfilling work makes life so much better. I’m lucky. Now I’ll try make someone else’s job fun and try to pass it on to others!

Now it’s time to relax, right, Harvey?

Barrel of Fun

My day has already been made! Playing with my little Droodles has lifted my spirits as my nasal passages flow (I feel better, though!).

Was it just the sight of a donkey in the sunshine that cheered me up?

I don’t want to push myself again and slow down my recovery, but it’s a pretty day and I need to work with the horses despite the fact that it’s still sopping wet here. So, I walked out into the soggy pasture to do some bonding.

Drew came up to me, of course, so I practiced asking him to back up at liberty (no halter or lead rope). It’s something Apache does well, so why not try? He needs to do his backing exercises…and he did great! I was so proud.

There’s that barrel

Then I spotted the rogue barrel that had blown into the pond. It was finally in a spot where I could get to it, so I brought it up to high ground. It occurred to me that I could leave it there as a toy. Drew read my mind.

Hmmm.

I was charmed and entertained as Drew checked out that barrel. He sniffed it, licked it, then pushed it around for a while.

Whee.

Then he picked it up and stood it upright. We both enjoyed watching it roll around until it settled.

I tried to make it a video but it didn’t work.

He must have spent five minutes chewing on the holes in the barrel and seeing what it would do. I love how curious that guy is!

I ended up filming him pushing it around, and had to laugh when Apache joined us and had no interest in the barrel. I happen to know he does like barrels, so I bet he plays later!

I do wish I’d remembered to turn the phone sideways. Sigh.

Once Drew went back to eating, Apache got to practice backing up and walking with me. He was not at all into it. He is so incredibly dirty, too. I will be doing a lot of grooming next week. I’m almost up to it, but need to be able to breathe better.

I hope you enjoy watching my boy have fun. Happy Sunday.

I Can’t Breathe, but I’m Happy

Finally, the strep symptoms are fading away, but I think I also have a common cold or something causing me to be rather stuffy nosed. That, I can deal with. I took some decongestant and felt all right the rest of the day (and I got nice soft tissues, so I’ll survive). And not only that, I’m in much better spirits. Hooray!

My feathers are no longer so ruffled.

The day started out pretty fun, as I tried to help out Declan as he figured out how to move round hay bales. There’s a first time for everything, and the two of us managed to figure it out (me with ideas, principles, and horse moving, and him with actually wrangling the tractor and hay).

I think I can, I think I can, says Declan

There was a lot of horse moving involved. They were fascinated when we moved the hay ring and had to try to see if they could knock it over. Then they were extra fascinated when the new bale came in (after Declan heroically figured out how to stab the rather unstable bale with the hay forks so it could move).

Let’s see if this thing rolls.

Once the bale went down, we realized it needed to be set upright, but the horses were having none of that and began eating as if they had never seen hay before. Mabel was especially excited, but at least she moved out of the way. Droodles stood in front of the bale like a statue, but once I asked him to move, he was a good boy. That impressed Declan.

Mabel demonstrates why you have to remove the hay net. She made it into a hat.

We were very proud of our ranching selves once everything was set up and the intense munching began. Maybe now Drew won’t keep eating in the bur field (he had a solid bur tail when I went to groom him). And next time we’ll be like professionals.

This afternoon was Tarrin’s monthly visit to the ranch. We were disappointed that the promised sunny day didn’t appear, but when we had a few sprinkles, we were rewarded with a rainbow that ended in Sara’s horses. I always knew there were attractive horses at the end of the rainbow.

Worth the rain!

Let me tell you what, there are two reasons I am so happy today, and their names are Drew and Apache. My horses lifted me up today, and I lived up to their encouragement and did pretty well, myself. Tarrin and I were both pretty darned pleased by the end of our lessons. We are having success!

Drew showed no signs of backsliding after getting back here and having two days off due to my sickness and the rain. He was lovely to watch when Tarrin rode him, and when we moved into the round pen, he and I made a lot of progress. We are figuring each other out and enjoying it at the same time, I think. I petted him and praised him so much! Plus, the new saddle felt great. I forgot all about it, which I figure is a good sign.

By the way, I’m majestic.

Apache, though, oh my goodness. The bodywork he got last week seems to have made a huge difference in how he feels. He was so calm, relaxed, and cheerful for his whole lesson…seemed like a new guy. Tarrin says his rear end really looked better, with no dragging of his hooves, etc. He could move sideways way better, even side passing adequately. I was right that it was hurting him, I guess.

Who’s this? Why is this in my Apache section? Well, it’s Apache’s mother, Nytengale! Sara found this picture today. You can see how he got his bay good looks.

Riding him was so much fun. He was so responsive to everything I asked him to do! That’s what I’ve been trying to get to with the horses. It takes me learning how to ride, the horses learning what they need to do, and getting everyone healthy and in shape. Tarrin’s so right that a pain-free horse can learn better and definitely in the case of Apache, they can listen better.

I’m not kidding, though, Apache seemed to be enjoying himself as much as I was. We are turning into a team. I think that’s good for both of us.

Learning Overload

I didn’t get a chance to blog yesterday and I’m pretty wiped out tonight. It’s been a great Master Naturalist conference and I’ve also enjoyed hanging out with friends.

Also the Omni Houston is an extra nice hotel. Best hotel bathrooms ever, plus views from meeting rooms (shown).

I plan to share some of my learning later. Tonight I’ll hit the highlights. Like yesterday, during dinner, when they surprised us with a great talk from the first Master Naturalist in space, Kjell Lindgren. Wow, he’s a real renaissance man and nice, too!

He also shared amazing images from space.

The food has been great, too. And conversation with nine fellow Milam County folks and new friends has been so great. I even got a COVID test, and it was negative! Fun times.

Meal time!

We got goofy a lot, which kept me laughing and nicely broke up intense learning about feral hogs, coyotes, wrens, dragonflies, insect photography and much more.

There, now you learned something.
And we settled down long enough to take a picture.

I get renewed by taking a break like this, even when I get worn out. I’m inspired to do more at the ranch and more outreach as well. I learned so many ways to help the planet.

I learned ranch stuff, too.

But mostly. I’ve had fun. And I’m proud of our little chapter.

Yep, we had fun. I’ve missed fun with the Master Naturalist folks.

Fun Times in Cameron, Texas

I forgot to blog about the fun I had last Saturday at the Steak Stein and Wine event in downtown Cameron. I got to hang out with so many friends. In the morning my friends Martha and Mike wandered around, having coffee from the extra cute new coffee trailer two friends of mine are opening and enjoying the vendors. The nice thing about being in a small town is you know lots of the folks.

We’re so happy for Cloud 9 Coffee!

I got a couple of Mexican outfits from a nice family who have tons of cool stuff, like lóteria shirts and Virgen de Guadalupe stuff for Anita, who came by later. We enjoyed chatting in our second languages to each other.

Our company had the cutest fishing game for kids. Kathleen is so creative in making stuff like this! She also made gorgeous wreaths for silent auctions. The caregivers and I dressed up as fish or something but I gave my tutu away to one of the husbands. They really didn’t need me cramping their style!

Friends I met at Master Naturalist stuff have opened a new hot dog stand that serves local 44 Farms all beef hot dogs. They were so busy, because it was so good. I’m happy for them and look forward to more Yoe Dawgs!

Michelle smiled through the whole hot dog thing

I must admit the highlight of the event was the Rotary Club pie throwing for charity. There were many officials there, but I zeroed in on the poor mayor. Bill was a good sport and I hammed it up to encourage others to grab a pie. I’m not a violent woman, but that was fun. And yes, I got a tie dye shirt.

I enjoyed the Art Walk in the beautifully renovated building where the last one had been. Wow has the Railfan on Main team done a great job! Anita came and enjoyed it with us. And she enjoyed trying to kill Kathleen.

The bathrooms are also lovely. I’ll share more pictures when all is done. In the meantime we drank delicious drinks and eventually had a fancy ribeye dinner. The steaks were huge! Tarrin joined us for dinner and it was so fun. Plus we got to see her in non-horsey clothes.

There was a sun dog in the sky while we waited for food.

I’ve left off half the wonderful booths and vendors. It was a great group. I was impressed by the work of Lee and the rest of the Chamber of Commerce team. Everyone worked so hard to make it fun for all.

Look, a cornhole tournament with a professional player!

Thanks for reading my ode to the fun of our little town. Things are getting better!

Droodles Making Progress

While it’s been rather rainy and my work has been eating into my horse time (work funds the horses), I’ve had time to make progress with my beautiful, dapple gray teenager, Drew (or Andrew or Droodles).

She thinks I’m pretty! Aww.

While there hasn’t been any cantering and jumping (blame mud), there has been a lot of other stuff to work on, and I’m proud of his progress and mine.

I’m proud of me, too, though I didn’t like standing under this hackberry tree full of giant bees.

I’m working on keeping his trot and my jog both slow and steady when we are in hand. It’s improved! We are also practicing side passing and other walk-level activities.

But first, Suna had to groom me. I do like mud. I even had it on my face.

But mostly I’ve been spending time with him and the others, just enjoying the day. It’s paid off!

I like to walk together.

Yesterday it dried out enough to go to Sara’s and practice obstacles for the next couple of shows. We skipped a clinic this weekend because they are hard to do in the ground and I had no driver. Rainy times are not ideal for trailer pulling practice!

See, I ain’t scared of the “bridge!”

The highlight was actually the walk between our place and hers. He was much calmer than in previous trips, and we practiced stopping, starting, transitioning to trot, and staying in synch. We had fun!

I like to walk right behind Sully and her pretty rear.

He got distracted by long grass and other horses once we arrived, but did pretty well practicing. Since I’m just out to enjoy the shows and just trying to improve our skills, I think he will be fine.

Oh, I’ll side pass if I must.

We are trotting much calmer if I just concentrate on it. There’s just so much to remember! What obstacle is next, how to do it right, what side of him I need to be on, whether he’s trotting or not, blah blah. More than my ancient mind can do all at once. So I’ll just have fun!

Sully can do it, too!

That was a pep talk for me. In any case, it’s great to see Sully and her improvement, and to enjoy her and Sara working together.

Sully and I both are working on this new obstacle.

I also took pictures of Sara and her new mat for standing horses on while working with their feet. It’s just the right size! I enjoy doing horse stuff together like we used to.

Droodles gets a break today, as the plan is to ride Apache with Sara on either of her grays. Sully is still working on going forward. Aragorn’s feet are looking well enough he may not need his shoes for a while! Good job to all who worked on his feet!

Note that wet ground after mowing means lots of grass in your tack room.

Now, enjoy bonus photos while I vacuum.

Joys Of Creating

crafts, hobbies, gardening & nonsense

sara annon

seeking the middle path

Tonya's Tall Tales

My life with horses, bunnies, chickens, ducks, and cows.

rfljenksy - Practicing Simplicity

Legendary Whining and Dining World Tour.

The Backyard Horse Blog

All about keeping horses at home

Hazel's Animal Adventures

My life on the ranch.

Katie Zapfel

Children's book author. Mom blogger.

365 Knit Socks

I knit a lot of socks

recoveringpornaddictcom.wordpress.com/

Coach, author and educator

The daily addict

The daily life of an addict in recovery

Happy Heidi's Happenings

My life in the country.

BrownesPups

A family of dog lovers, owners & breeders since 2015

The Adventures of a Mountain Coward

panic-stricken mountain adventuring!

Something Over Tea

Scribbles from my notebook

The Renegade Press

Tales from the mouth of a wolf

Heccateisis's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

The Upstate Gardener

The Upstate Gardening blog with Gardening Information, Recipies, Home Improvement Ideas, and Crafts Projects to make your life more beautiful and healthy.

Nature And Photography

Bring Nature Into Life

AT PATHO

no streetlights, just star light

Words and Stitches

woolgathering at its best

The Grief Reality

Normalising the conversation about Grief.

iRoseStudios.com

Art Studio Dumfriesshire

The Creative Pixie

eat up some crafty goodness with this creative mama

Writings of a Furious Woman

My thoughts, sentiments, and scribbles on womanhood

Paws Bark

Dogs Leave Paw Print in your Heart

Yeshua's Child Art

Art that Expresses the Heart

Chicken Coop Plans

Build Your Chicken a Home

Writing about...Writing

Some coffee, a keyboard and my soul! My first true friends!

Leaf And Twig

Where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry.

Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Cathartic Tendencies

motivational posts, rants, and stories!

TotallyTexasGifts.com

Featuring Fine Arts & Crafts created and sold by Texans

Seasons As My Teacher

Truth Written In The Wind

claudiajustsaying

Aging & Attitude

The Tragedy Kween

A boisterous introvert illustrating her way through life.

Zoewiezoe

Where a little insanity goes a long way