My mom and dad …

16 08 2014

… celebrate 45 years of wedded bliss today. 🙂

Kestrel and Comanche

My mom dragged my dad away from the ranch for a well-deserved getaway. They’ll hike, ride someone else’s horses, visit museums, eat great food that my mom doesn’t have to prepare (it’s worth saying she’s our favorite “top chef”), take in a great outdoor musical and have nothing to worry about (the ranch’s critters being in good hands back home).

Forty-five years have taken them from Ohio to Texas, with a lot of stops – stateside and overseas – along the way during my dad’s 20-year Army career.

They met as teenagers, showing horses in 4-H and open shows – different counties, different high schools. They both shared a love of speed events. 🙂 When I came along, a story about a champion barrel racer in the pages of Western Horseman caught their eyes. I was almost another Jennifer. Thank goodness for Tracey Jo Somebody, whose prowess at the barrels made her the subject of a story in a magazine for horsey folks!

My brother and I grew up as Army brats, but I wouldn’t change that upbringing for anything. We still had horses almost everywhere we lived – Mom and Dad made sure of it. Where we couldn’t have horses of our own (and that wasn’t very often, and only in the beginning years), they made sure we had access to horses. They were and are encouraging and supportive, and we’re still close. We like to joke that *our* family is dysfunctional – we all like each other!

My mom and dad still share a love of horses and wide-open spaces. They still make the trip “home” to Ohio to see friends and family, but Texas is home; they’ve lived there now longer than they spent following the Army’s orders. They’re Quarter Horse people, but they think enough of my mustangs that they traveled to Fort Worth last year to see the big Mustang Million competition.

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad! I love you both!

High on the hill

14 08 2014


Mustang as mountain goat. Seven nails the color, but he needs a better beard. 🙂


Rain, rain, rain is all the rage on the Western Slope of Colorado. Spring Creek is flowing again through Spring Creek Basin.

It has been dark with roiling clouds and curtains of rain. It has been humid. It has been puddle-licious.

It has been divine.

My dad …

10 08 2014

… is 66 years old today. 🙂

Tenaz playing with Hayden. 3851

He’s feisty and fussy, and he likes things just so (thanks for passing that on to me, Dad). And without knowing much about you, he’d give more than his shirt to take care of you if you’re in trouble.

He wasn’t born in Texas, but he’s about as Texan as a non-native can get. He and my mom run a small ranch, and they’re the hardest working people I know – still. If my dad cusses a bit when the tractor blows a tire or the rake breaks a tine, he can be forgiven.

He was an Army officer, and he’s a patriot and my hero. Every man, I compare to him, and most fall short.

I love you, Dad. Happy birthday. 🙂

Paradise for wild things

9 08 2014

Spring Creek Basin, mustangs, McKenna Peak, unnamed promontory.

Only Spring Creek Basin, Disappointment Valley, Western Slope, Colorado, United States of America, planet EARTH.

We are blessed to know our wild things, to have some places yet for them to live, wild. How can we do anything but protect those places and those that live there?


6 08 2014

Hayden drinks from the east-pocket pond.

So much better than drinking out of muddy hoofprints. 🙂 Hayden drinks his fill from one of the ponds filled from recent rains in Spring Creek Basin.

(After this photo was taken and Hayden wandered off to graze, the musk thistle at back left met its demise at the point of my shovel.)

80 = 8

2 08 2014


Today carried an 80 percent chance of rain. It looked promising. Most afternoons now bring promising clouds.

I think about eight drops hit the ground. Not really the kind of numbers I was hoping to see or feel!

In good news, at least five ponds filled from the recent big rain event up the valley and on the eastern side of the basin.