30 August 2012

Chadron is Burning, Again

The last two days have brought us dry lightning storms. just what we don’t need at one hundred plus degrees and bone dry.

As I drove home from town Tuesday I watched the lining striking all around me. To the south and west I could see several smoke plums already starting to rise. Two of them seemed alarmingly close so

i continued south on the highway just over the next hill so I could see where they were. I couldn’t see any thing so I kept going. Just over the next hill so I could see where they were. I couldn’t see any thing so I finally decided they were far enough away that it wasn’t an immediate concern.

Wednesday as I headed to town around noon I could see the smoke to the west, as I came home it had become  tower of smoke blotting out sun and sky. Chadron and Crawford were hit hard. By Wednesday evening we received another dry thunder storm.

Shortly after five my father-in-law was called out to a grass fire near the west place in Dawes county. When my husband got home we went to see what we could do to help. With out any way to haul water it seemed unlikely that we could be of any assistance. By then a much larger fire had blown up to the north in the timber and the fire departments were overrun. fortunately a neighbor showed up to the fire with a tractor and disc and was able to get it contained. The lack of grass is a blessing and a curse. Nothing for the cows to eat but easier to put fires out. A pick up with a water tank and pump is always a good thing to have on hand.

Once again I am very happy not to live any where near the trees.

21 August 2012

A Busy Couple of Weeks

It has been a little bit since I posted last. Let me see, I can’t think what have I been up to?

Oh yeah, I had a baby!

She was just over 31 weeks almost 9 weeks early, but she’s doing great. Far, far away from me in the neonatal intensive care unit in Rapid City. She is healthy though, that is the important thing. The poor little girl spent the first week of her life with an IV stuck in her head. After my stint in the hospital, a week of bed rest before they decided it was time for her to come out, and a couple of days recovering from a Cesarian, I developed quite a loathing of IV’s. They hurt! Of course it didn’t help that they had to stick me at least twice for every successful IV.  Three successful, so more than six long, slow, painful jabs with the needle, they kept going bad and needing redone.

But we were speaking of her. Named Ileana, Elly for short, she weighed three pounds eleven ounces and measured sixteen inches long. She is nice and chubby and likes her food. She is fed through a tube down her nose, that and the monitors are the last things stuck on or in her. They took the breathing tube off after just a day or two. She has been breathing fine on her own since then.

I am home now and should be happy about it. There was nothing I wanted more when I felt fine and was forced to stay at the hospital on bed rest. Then I had my baby who has to stay there and a c-section which hurt like heck, and they make me go home. Hospitals just don’t make any sense. Elly will get to come home soon the doctors say just a few more weeks. It seems like forever though.


31 July 2012


All that good garden produce has been making me hungry. I began to have fantasies about pizza. This weekend I decided to live out one of those fantasies.

So I decided to make pizza. I made the crust kneaded it and left it to rise as I raided the garden. I returned with Roma tomatoes, Swiss Chard, purple sweet peppers and a hot pepper. The garlic was already dug and I had onions and mushrooms in the fridge.

Ava came over and helped wash the vegetables while I chopped and spread the crust with Alfredo sauce. She had to go before we began to add  the veggies. It was as good as my fantasies.

I love cooking out of the garden and try for the highest possible percentage of food that we have raised in every meal. We have sweet corn with every thing. Zucchini used in every way possible, usually involving tomatoes garlic and cheese. The cabbage has matured so we are eating cabbage burgers, corned beef and soon hopefully cabbage rolls.

30 July 2012

Riding Lessons

We bought Ava a riding helmet, now I will let her sit on a horse by her self. Sit is all she really wants to do. Ava is happy to sit on Coyote while I pony him around the yard. She talks and talks and talks. I think she repeated her favorite book to me with out missing a word.

I try to get her to kick when we start to walk, or pull on the reins a little for whoa. That sort of thing doesn’t interest her. I noticed that when I tell her to kick only one leg would go. When I told her to use both she said it was to hard.

We have fun though, it gives me a chance to ride Jerry. I’m hesitant to take her out by her self now that I am carrying double, she can be a bit spooky. Ava seems to enjoy it, she keeps coming back for more and wears her helmet happily. She is so timid though. Not very surprising if Pony Boy dumps her as often as she says.

I, mean person that I am, make her go off of the lead line when we get done with our ride. I close up all the gates on a very small corral and try to get her to follow me and Jerry. Ava steers pretty good, but Coyote knows the gate out and stands by it happily. I always go back and get them but one time of that and she is ready to quit. I suppose the only cure will be lots of time ponying. I wish she was here to ride more often, I wish I had a saddle that fit her since she wont go bare back. Oh well, if wishes were horses and all that.

Ava’s little brother wanted a little ride with Ava and I. I told them to throw him up in front of me. Little kids fit so nice on my Wade saddle, they just hook their legs over the bucking rolls. As he settled into place between me and the saddle horn, I realized there wasn’t room any more. It came as quite a shock to me. You would think by now I would remember that big belly sticking out there.


25 July 2012

Pregnant Class

We were required to take a class to learn how to be pregnant or give birth or something. All I really got was that I had to be up from six in the morning till after eleven and up again by six the next day, but I got to eat out and they served a beautiful fruit salad.

In the first class we spent the whole three hours giggling over the breathing. It’s a wonder we don’t get kicked out for talking in class, making dirty jokes and cow references. I lived in dread of having to watch the video in the second class. The video was awful; I’ve seen lots of cows do this why should I be forced to watch a person? It seems to get better with each class. They were smart enough not to warn us about the c-section video. I enjoyed it much more than the birthing video. Blood and gore never has bothered me. They showed us huge needles used for epidurals. I giggled (more) thinking of how I have had to give the horses shots since I was a small child. Mom will pass out at the sight of a needle.

Then we got a tour of the rooms. She showed us a bed that cost fifteen thousand dollars. She asked for volunteers to try on the baby monitor. I said no. I am my husbands favorite, non computer, toy though so he volunteered me.

I think I got a good glimpse of what giving birth will be like. There was an audience as I clambered awkwardly on to the bed. My belly was exposed to the public as they wrapped straps around me. The monitor was cool we could hear the heart beat and lots of gurgling. I swear it was just the baby moving.

Then we got a demonstration of why the bed was so expensive. They began ripping covers off to display its guts. While I was still in it covered in straps, by the way, so I could demonstrate the positions. The innocent looking bed had foot braces and stirrups, a large cut out with  a built in trash bag underneath for catching a baby if it gets dropped. OK she promised that wasn’t what it was for, but who knows it could be handy for that. An exercise bar. All sorts of strange and scary extras.

What happened to the way it’s done in movies where she get to just lay there? I didn’t sign up for doing squats.

24 July 2012

A Horse A Horse My Kingdom For A Quiet Horse.

I managed a ride before it got too hot Friday morning. It was beautiful once we got going.

I decided to ride then headed out to catch a horse. I had halter in hand and even made it to the gate before I looked out to see them in the farthest pen out. I debated for about a minuet then decided I was not walking that far. So I worked in the garden for a while until I looked up to see that they had come closer. When I went to saddle Coyote I thought I would throw my light little dressage saddle up. It looked a little narrow for him and when I went to tighten the cinch it was about a foot short of reaching the other side. I unsaddled got distracted by a bug and finally resaddled in his usual saddle.

Once we get ready though it was nice we rode between fields of corn then down a narrow trail through the corn towering over my  head. I told him he could eat the corn knocked over by the deer but not the standing stalks. He told me he only wanted the standing stalks, they just taste better. All was hunky dory until we reached THE PIVOT! He grazed almost right up to it before looking up and spotting it. Horror of horrors he attempted to flee home but was thwarted. We worked back up to it grazing happily until he looked up again, and saw IT.

My obviously over optimistic hopes of riding under the cooling spray to ease the mornings heat were dashed. I settled for him waiting for me to say we could turn then headed home. Head home we did with all haste.

Unfortunately haste means WALK and I do mean that in capitols. Short fat Coyote has a big walk. It is long strided fast and boingy. Spell check hates me, I feel it does not speak horse. Boingy is to a word. I was afraid that my large well stretched stomach was not going to be able to take it. He had no interest in slowing down, I didn’t want to walk and the narrow trail through the corn left no room to work. I clutched my stomach he boinged and we got home fast. I hope this doesn’t mean that my riding time is nearing an end.

My husband had a dream the other night in which I gave birth and the nurse went to hand me the baby. I had all ready leaped from the bed and left to go riding. The nurse handed him the baby and wanted to know if I was coming back. I got the impression that they all stood around with their mouths agape in horror.

If I have to stop riding now that wont be to far from the truth. How long after giving birth will I have to wait to ride again  anyway?

If only I had a quiet slow horse. Unfortunately my tastes don’t generally run that direction.