So…this afternoon, Lee said he’d help me get some hay with the new trailer (I keep calling her Tillie). That gave him a chance to try out pulling it with his Tahoe. He got all the towing settings engaged, and I got to bond with Vlassic. I miss rides with him.
The getting of hay went just fine. It was just in time, as my horses had just finished the last two bales. I wish I’d gotten pictures of Drew when the trailer showed up. He came right up, greeted Lee, then got all interested in Tillie. There’s a horse who isn’t afraid of a trailer, especially one with hay in it.
We went to leave the pasture and that’s when things went awry. Lee could not get between the shipping container and the stuff next to the fence.
Lee was not about to give up. He went and fetched the tractor and started moving stuff. It still wasn’t enough.
He kept inching forward in the car, then moving more stuff. It was pretty funny watching him try to move some heavy poles and awkward lengths of fencing. Here are the stages.
I did help by moving some stuff I could carry. And still, poor Lee had to manually move some fencing. But he did it! Tillie and the Tahoe made it out. We were able to load all the trash from the container so it can go away! That’s a big step towards the tack room getting set up and the container holding hay.
The shipping container behind the horse pens is now at work holding renovation leftover, so everything is in its place.
And finally, there was still time to get in my first ride on Apache since he got home. It went pretty well, and the few times he tested me, I coped fine. We went all over the field and did some trotting around. Whew.
We even got to sit outside this evening and just chat. Sure, there are challenges and concerns, but by gosh we can move those obstacles, too. At least in our little world. Let’s hope those of us facing much larger challenges in the world can move their obstacles, too.
With our housemates at their other house for Thanksgiving and Anita off to house sit for a while, Lee and I have the ranch to ourselves.
But we aren’t alone. I thought I was earlier today, but then I realized I was surrounded by 6 sleeping dogs. I took a panoramic picture.
They take turns keeping us warm in the evenings. I usually have Carlton or Penney. Tonight I was reading and not paying attention when I realized the dog on me was quite heavy. It was Harvey. Aww.
He’s a bit smelly, but sweet. And he growls if Goldie tries to come near.
But, he spent so long watching TV with me that my foot fell asleep. He’s heavy.
Lee usually has Penney laying beside him, sitting up like a person. Since my lap was full, Carlton joined them. Surprisingly, no fighting occurred.
That’s what makes a quiet evening at the Hermits’ Rest. I’ll just share this nice photo out friend Carol took of me and Lee. I declare it our anniversary photo, even though it’s a few days away. Lucky 13 years.
I mentioned a while back that Lee was building a pond for in front of the house. He has worked very hard on it, hand-placing every decorative rock, and constantly rearranging it. We were mighty disappointed when the water started disappearing out of the lower part every night. We’d come in, and there would be just a small amount of water in the bottom.
Lee worked hard to fix it. First he put some foam stuff in to seal the leaky area (or as far as we could tell where the leaky area was. The next day the foam was floating like a black iceberg, and the water was down again.
Next, he tried some paint-on stuff. Nope. Third, he tried different stuff, and it appeared not to work. We left it for a few days with just that little bit of water in it. However, Sunday night he filled it up again, just so we could enjoy the sound as we sat around enjoying the sunset with our friends.
The next day, a miracle occurred. The pool held. It’s still holding. I think the last stuff just needed to cure longer than we were letting it cure. Happy dance! Of course, thanks for sitting still for those few days, the pond was now a mosquito hazard. Something had to be done.
I went and fetched two goldfish out of the horse troughs and put them in there. I am not sure how much good that’s doing, since the fish can only eat so much. Plus, the pond gets a bit hot for them. I’m going to look for some of those mosquito fish. Or, I’ll put the goldfish back where they were and put in mosquito dunks. Sigh. I don’t like using chemicals.
Anyway, there is still a bigger plan for all this pond stuff, so I’m going to sit back and wait to see how Lee does it. I’m proud that he fixed it after all his persistence!
The dogs are very happy with their new outdoor water bowl and are convinced we made it just for them, so they don’t have to walk ALL the way to the pond on the other side of the driveway. Besides, the bullfrogs scare Goldie. And the grasshoppers think I put the pond plants in there just for their snacking, at least the ones who live. I got a net to fish out the dead grasshoppers.
I look forward to sitting on the porch and listening to the water gurgle, which should make things harder for the mosquitoes. Another reason not to wear shorts!
This is exciting! Lee has been thinking of doing something for a long time, and decided that now’s the time to get going on it. He’s working on a series of decorative ponds for the front of the house (these will not be cattle tanks, but nice ponds, with water plants and such).
He got started over the weekend, and spent much of yesterday digging the holes to hold a waterfall and a main pond, next to our new walkway. Since it was a very hot day, this all went in stages! Kathleen and I served as consultants and beverage fetchers. That’s very important!
The idea with the pond is to eventually have the current one flow down a little creek lined with river rocks into a much larger pond, then recirculate back up. Rain overflow will go into another planned diversion.
We will have to see whether we can put anything in there other than native mosquito fish, because we don’t want goldfish washing into Walker’s Creek, which is bad news! And we realize birds will want to snack on fish, dogs will want to mess with the pond, etc. So, this is all to be determined. At this point, Lee is going to get the small pond and waterfall going.
I can’t resist sharing dog stories. Yesterday, before our biweekly Board meeting, Goldie decided I was a chair. I guess anything’s a chair to her.
We’ve also been enjoying watching all the dogs play. Goldie and Carlton have ended their embarrassing love affair, now that Goldie’s heat is over at last, and are now just buddies again. They have a lot of fun together.
Let’s see what further adventures this new week brings!
Even though I had meetings that went until almost 6 pm yesterday, Lee and I vowed to have at least a little fun at the beach. And the late afternoon is a wonderful time to go out and enjoy the water. We even went in! I had on a hat and t-shirt, so I didn’t go deep, but I got soothed by the salt water, anyway.
This is an unusual place to wade, thanks to the weird currents that keep the red flag flying at the lifeguard station. It alternates between being very shallow, then there’s a trench a foot deeper. If you successfully negotiate the trenches, you can get pretty far out and not even be waist high.
We had a wonderful stroll down the beach, where I had a good time looking for little beach fish (the water was crystal clear today, not all churning with stirred up sand and shells like it was earlier). It was fun watching the patterns of water as they flowed from low areas.
As always, the gulls were entertaining. They seem unafraid of people, but not as obnoxious as some of the ones I remember in Fort Lauderdale. They enjoyed the little pools, too.
They flew all around Lee, too, which made him laugh a lot. We’ve been laughing a lot this week. This time alone together without the stresses of day-to-day chores has been really great.
After our nice, long walk we managed to get to the pool bar just before it closed, where I got a hard-earned beverage with dark rum and ginger beer, and Lee got two Cuba Libres. Well, we don’t have any Coke in the room, now that we’re trying to use up everything, and what we had was Coke Zero (my vice). So, to get two drinks, he had to buy them both. He got some funny looks in the elevator.
We enjoyed our final relaxing evening at the condo, and I made the most of the chaise-lounge (however you spell that) part of the couch, and cozily knitted away at the Lines and Lines shawl. I got through my fourth pattern repeat, and now that I see how it works, it’s a very relaxing and satisfying project.
I have a good amount of yarn left on my first skein, so I’m sure I can get at least one more repeat before switching to the border that makes up the second half of the shawl.
We Have a Plan
I was sitting around last night, thinking about going home and not looking forward to the same interstate highway scenery, when I got to wondering how much longer it would take if we went on state and local roads? I plugged it into the Maps app and here’s what I discovered:
We were going to take three days, anyway, so this adds less than two hours to each day of travel. We will get to see Montgomery and Selma in Alabama, which are historically interesting, plus we go through the center of Louisiana, where I’ve never spent much time. I brought the idea up to Lee, and he was sold immediately. We both LOVE looking at small towns.
By taking this alternate route, we will have a fun weekend of driving, and I won’t have to do too much work tomorrow, since I got so much of my writing stuff done already. I’m looking forward to heading back to Texas and seeing new things. Then I’ll be home and get to see both familiar and new things. Hooray for the weary travelers.
Thanks for reading, and for those of you who give it a try, thanks for listening to the podcast version.
Yesterday I hinted that my spouse, Lee, was going to be surprised last night. We were hanging out watching television, when we got a phone call from the folks at our company who were attending the annual Cameron Chamber of Commerce Banquet. We put on speaker, and enjoyed our friend Melanie announce some nice awards. Then, she started in on the Chamber Member of the Year biography. I said, “Wow, that’s well written” and at that point, Lee realized it was him.
It was nice to see him recognized for all the stuff he’s been doing. I know it’s really helped understaffed Melanie! Both Lee and Kathleen have stepped up to serve on committees and do work to improve little old Cameron. I’m glad Melanie has such great other volunteers, too. And somehow, this helps us feel part of a larger community.
It must have been a fun night, because Kathleen won a lot of wine at the raffle. We can use that, if I ever stop pivoting and make it home.
I’m proud of Lee for lots of reasons other than his civic pride. For one thing, we’ve been together practically 24/7 for two weeks and we’re really getting along fine! Now, that’s a sign of a stable marriage!
We’ve each been compromising, dealing with what comes up, and enjoying whatever we do. It’s taken us a while to get vacations down, because neither of us has really done many, but I’m no longer rushing him to get out in the morning, and he’s not been forced to go shopping, so he’s happier.
I get to go on boat rides and nature walks. So I’m happy! Plus the beach view really helps. I’ve had a nice week off.
Time to read and knit and look at waves. I’m lucky in so many ways to be stranded at a lovely place with a fine human.
Lee and I truly needed some time away. As much as we love the ranch, it’s easy to get in a rut. We’ve really been enjoying some down time to relax, while still doing our work. Ahh.
We have enough time to relax now and for the future. A nice retirement plan and the knowledge that we can travel when we want to. Not bad. It’s been a dream of mine, and I hope to share it with the family!
We have really enjoyed relaxing, watching birds, and letting the sea wash our feet. Sea bubbles are endlessly fascinating!
I did finally find some more birds! I found a house finch and a crow, but didn’t get the crow’s photo. I did enjoy some laughing and herring gulls.
We’ve been having the kind of trip we like, relaxed and full of nature.
Now, here’s something that’s pleasing me. I bought a new bathing suit, one of those “modest” ones. I got shorts, a tunic, and a long-sleeve top for sun protection. I did this because I really hate people staring at at me. And I just prefer for my curves and bumps to be for me.
I appreciate that so many people here don’t give a hoot and wear whatever they want to at the beach. I’ve seen people of so many shapes, sizes, colors, and styles on this trip. It’s great! But, for me, covering up feels comfortable. We each get to do what works for us!
I never thought of myself as modest. I think I’m just not interested in being “sexy” or flirty. I want to protect my skin and still have fun in water. This works for me. Right now, though, we are inside watching storms. It’s so pretty.
Take care, everyone, especially those of you dealing with losses and illnesses.
This repetition may be getting tiresome, but I’ll say it again. No matter what stress and strain life presents, there are always bits of happiness that help you get through. Yesterday was one of those times!
My husband, Lee, followed through on a promise he made to me a few years ago, and made me a headboard for our bed out of recycled materials. The headboard was originally a set of double doors that led from the living room to the dining room in one of the houses we owned on Travis Avenue in Cameron. We had taken that wall and another one down to make the living area of the house larger.
Lee held on to those doors all this time, hoping to be able to do something to recycle them. He also knew I’d been asking for a headboard for our bed at the Hermits’ Rest house.
He decided to do it this year, and figured out a plan. It sounds like it was a lot of fun to work on, hiding in the garage room. He and his nephew apparently had a lot of fun asking at the hardware store for a brownish kind of red color to paint it. They ended up with a lovely color called Red Ochre. That reminds me of all my reading on the color red! Ochre is the first paint the people used in caves, other than charcoal!
At last the weather cooperated enough that he could paint the doors. They called me in to take a look, and I was so touched to see it the red doors. Lee was trying to make them look rustic, and did a great job not making it look perfect.
Once he scraped off the paint on the panes of glass, it was quite lovely.
Last night, Lee installed it, all by himself (tiny help from me and the nephew, but mostly him).
There’s a ledge of trim that connects the two doors and turns them into one piece.
There are also many screws, and such, including an invented kind of attachment that holds the bed to the headboard, courtesy of our resident mechanical genius. I’m just amazed!
I don’t have a picture of everything completely set up, but you can get the idea.
I slept well last night, thanks to my new bed. I felt loved and appreciated. I’ll think of Lee every time I walk into the bedroom now (as if I didn’t, anyway).
What treasured objects remind you of someone you love every time you look at them?