Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Another B&B

Now that we are in the Bed & Breakfast business, we went last weekend to stay at another couple’s B&B in a neighboring state. We went from being hosts to being guests.

Many B&Bs are in town. Sometimes in large houses, even mansions. We have been to some like that.

Ours is outside of town, on a ranch, so it is more of a destination than merely lodging. We also serve more than breakfast. Also, the guests stay in a separate building known as the bunkhouse rather than in our house with us.

The one we went to is similar in some of those ways. It is outside of town. It is not in the home of the hosts, but in a separate building. It was a full apartment, very nice, in a metal farm building, the rest of which is a shop. The hosts were not present. They were hunting. They had left instructions on how to find the place, and the key.

We got a late start because Miss Sugar had been asked to be in a TV commercial filmed in Denver. So we did that on Saturday morning and into the afternoon. I say “we” in the sense that I was present. For some mysterious reason, I was not invited to be in the commercial. Sugar has been in front of the camera many times in the past, both as a model and actress. I have been deemed to be a person who looks better out of the view of the camera, such as in my own mind. I am very photogenic inside my head.

Anyway, Sugar caused us to arrive at our destination after dark. The directions were hard to follow because there were no street lights. There were no streets either, just confusing country roads. The directions actually said to pass a large tan building on the left, then keep going to a green shed on the right, then continue to a house with lots of trees, then turn right on an unmarked road, bearing left at the fork.

Unfortunately, we got mixed up during our first attempt. We found a place that would have made a nice bed and breakfast because there was a separate entrance. We had been told the key would be hanging on the brace for the satellite dish. There it was — a satellite dish but when I got out and felt around, I could find no key. I did see the sign that said, “We don’t call 911.” (We have one like it at our place.) As I was searching for the key and admiring the sign, two dogs came around the corner, barking at me. Fortunately, they were poodles, not pit bulls or mastiffs. Sugar decided we were at the wrong house. We were indeed.

After another try, we found the correct place. We even found the key on a bracket for the satellite dish. No dogs attacked me. Home Sweet Home! And we got to bed before midnight.

I Heard The Owl Call My Name

owl
When I was in college, I read a book entitled, “I Heard The Owl Call My Name” for a course on cross-cultural communication. How 70s! It was about a young Anglican vicar assigned as a missionary to indigenous people in Canada. He learned about the culture of his parishioners, including a belief that hearing the owl call one’s name was a warning of imminent death.

So we have been hearing an owl every night. I told my wife about the book. She says it is not calling either of our names. It is just hooting.

Today, Sugar invited me to go on a walk with her for the purpose of finding the owl so she could take its photograph. As you are aware, owls are nocturnal creatures. I was not optimistic. I kept that to myself since Sugar had a destination. She thought she knew where it hangs out during the day. So we set off across the bridge to the woods beyond.
Beaurunning
Sadie
When I say “we” set off, I should explain that Sugar and I were accompanied by two dogs and even two cats. Our cats, who live outside and in the barn and never ever have been in the house, are not exactly “feral.” They follow us around whenever we are outside. They go far with us. Miles. Some people put their cats on leashes. Ours go off leash. They “heel.”
cats on hike
Within twenty minutes, we all went under a tree and the owl launched itself off a branch and flew to another cluster of trees. Sugar had been correct about where to find it. Still, she needed me, “old eagle eye” (pardon the expression) as you will soon “see” (pardon the pun). I spied where it landed. The owl and I stared at each other as I held my position and quietly instructed Sugar to point her camera to where I was looking. She did, so thanks to me, me, me, you folks reading this illustrated post can see what we saw and save yourselves the hike.
Beau and me watching owl

My Station in Life

Originally posted on Shootin' the Breeze:

To those of you who know me only as Big Bronc, the successor King of the Wild Frontier, I hope it does not disappoint you to learn that I also make the world a better place in my role as The Lawman, Advocate for Western Justice.  I work at the World Headquarters for Western Justice, which is located right here in Northern Colorado.

My trophy wife, Miss Sugar, holds the position of Office Manager, awarded to her through a system of nepotism.  Consequently, she is present at The World Headquarters when Big City Lawyers from Denver are obliged to travel to Fort Collins to deal with me in my persona as Just a Country Lawyer.

Miss Sugar, still a handsome woman for her advanced age, was, back in the day, a finalist in the Miss Texas USA pageant, winning the swimsuit competition, leading to a professional modeling career and appearances on an obscure television series…

View original 455 more words

Beau’s Stubborn New Friend

burro head
burro
Beau, our Yellow Lab who has been the subject of many posts, does not like change. He likes routine. He tells us when we are not following his preferred routine. He barks when it is time for (his) breakfast and supper. He barks when we wait too long to let him in at night. He does not tolerate fools gladly. He encourages living a disciplined life, such as his own. He looks down at us from a position of superiority.

He notices change. The cows have been moved to winter pasture and in their place, two new horses and a burro are in the meadow below our house, across the river. He has seen both the horses and burro before. They belong to the adjoining ranch. Beau does not approve. He wants them to stay away from our boundary fence. Cows are okay with Beau, but horses and a burro are too much for him. That is where he draws the line. Or tries to.

The burro, unlike more skittish creatures, such as antelope (pronghorns), does not react the way Beau wants it to react. He wants it to leave. Instead, it just looks at him and even smells him. It will not be bullied. I know a trainer who halter breaks colts by tying them to a burro because it does not give into the colt. It drags the colt around. The colt has to learn to give in to the burro, who is more stubborn than any horse. Apparently, this burro is not impressed with Beau, which is very hard on Beau’s self-esteem. Still, like the colts, he must learn that if you can’t beat ‘em, join em. So he did.
beau and burro by bridge
Beau and burro

The Horse Whisperer

horsewhisperer

Horses blow in each other’s nostrils to get acquainted. I do that too — with horses, not people.
horse coach

I have loved horses my entire life. When I say that, I mean from my earliest memories from age two. In this blog, I have written about some of my favorite horses. I have also taught many people how to ride. I like bringing the two species together.pointing the way
Here I am pointing the way.

LUCKY 13

It’s not a lucky number
Or so some people say
But 13 means a lot to me
It means our wedding day

The 13th of October
A few years in the past
Is when my life got better
With a marriage meant to last

On the 13th of October
I married my sweet wife
It was my lucky day
The best day of my life

Of course what really matters
Is not the date or time
What matters is the person
The woman who is mine

On the 13th of October
We exchanged our vows
The promises we live
From that day until now

The vows we keep on living
And will until we die
The ceremony happened then
When I became the luckiest guy

bridedress001

UsSantaFe

The New Apprentice

Yesterday, an electrician came out to the ranch to hook up a generator we just bought for those times when the electricity supplied by REA goes out. Thankfully, that is not often, but my cautious wife likes the refrigerator and freezer to keep running. The biggest problem in such times is that we run out of water because our water comes from a well which needs an electric pump. Consequently, we rely on electricity even more than folks in town who at least still have water when their power goes out. And another thing, our TV doe not work without electricity. So, for different reasons, we got a big generator as an emergency back-up system in anticipation of the arrival of winter.

Like most mobile tradesmen, this electrician, named John, has a well-organized truck in which he keeps his tools and electrical parts and supplies. It is well-organized so that he can find whatever he needs immediately.

Beau is a Yellow Labrador RETRIEVER. He can also be called a Re-Thiever. Theft is his speciality.

Beau was very interested in John’s work as an electrician. As far as I know, Beau has little education as an electrician, but is apparently self-taught. In his opinion, John did not correctly organize his tools. So, Beau took it upon himself to assist.

Beau has similarly helped other tradesmen. Beau has a lot of experience with plumbing and carpentry. I have written in other posts about those experiences. He has also assisted a FedEx driver and a UPS driver by delivering items from those trucks with his mouth. If only he could read better, he would have seen that the packages he removed were addressed to others. When I was three years old, I could not read either.

After John worked on the generator installation, he came to the house to go back to the fusebox. His route required him to come in through the kitchen. The door from the kitchen to the outside opens onto a deck. I accompanied John. On the deck, I noticed a very nice set of pliers with rubber handles. I assume that Beau anticipated that John might need them in the house rather than inconveniently leaving them in the truck parked 100 feet away. I asked John whether those were his pliers. (I did not recognize them and do not usually keep my own tools outside on the deck.) By golly, those were indeed John’s pliers.

Given the help provided by Beau, I am thinking about paying less than the entire bill because John did not do all the work. We deserve credit for supplying an apprentice to help him.

Bed and Breakfast and more

“It’s always somethun.” Roseanne Rosannadana (SNL)

My wife is a multi-tasker. I, on the other hand, am satisfied to do one thing at a time, and that one thing is often a non-productive waste of time. For instance, I can watch TV in the same room as Sugar while she is making jewelry and planning a craft show and creating a website for the event.

For Labor Day weekend, Sugar recruited artists to submit their work for an art auction that benefited a local volunteer fire department. She contacted dozens of artists through her connections in the northern Colorado art community, but also got submissions from all over the country, including New York, Oregon, Texas, and Wyoming. She had images of the paintings on a website she created for the event. I helped too — I hung up pictures before the auction — one at a time. I think I hung over 100 framed art pieces. I was really something. You should have been there.

Now that the art auction is over, Sugar is organizing an Octobercraft event at the community center for later this month. She did it successfully last year. I helped too — checking in vendors, which was a very important task and suits me as I could only check in one at a time. You should have been there to witness my reading skills. I had a list and I not only had to read the vendors names, but also had to verbally communicate in order to tell them their respective booth numbers. Not just anybody could pull that off, but I did. There was even a lady whose name was not on the list but wanted into the show. That is where I drew the line. No last minute entries. I called the Sheriff when she wouldn’t move her car. She looked like a terrorist to me. One can’t be too careful. We don’t want strangers infiltrating our country craft shows.

So, you are wondering about the title of this post. I am getting to it. I entitled it B&B because in her spare time Sugar advertised our bunk house as a “bed and breakfast.” Actually, she is misrepresenting the situation. She is making dinner too, not merely breakfast. And, she will pack a lunch if guests want to go for a hike. We have a couple coming this weekend from Georgia for their first wedding anniversary. I hope they won’t mind having all meals included. You have likely noticed that Miss Sugar has a tendency to go overboard.

And, like at all bed and breakfast facilities, they can go on a horse ride, which is my department. Aren’t you impressed? What would Sugar do without me? For one thing, she would be hanging pictures by her lonesome.
bunkhouse
sidebunk
B&B ride

First Date Disaster

It is lucky for me that my wife was ever born.  Allow me to explain.

Her parents, Ginger and Bob, recently celebrated their anniversary.  They reminisced about their first date.  It was a blind date.  It was a disaster.  Nevertheless, Ginger gave Bob another chance — and the rest is history, including the birth of three children, one of whom I married.

Are you wondering why that might not have happened?  If you were in Ginger’s shoes, one date like her first with Bob   might have been enough.

I don’t blame Bob for being nervous.  He was only 19 years old at the time, hardly a man of the world.  He was out with the prettiest girl he had ever seen.  It was a double date.  His friend had fixed him up with Ginger, who, like his own date, was a nursing student.  Bob had been skeptical about being fixed up with a girl he had never seen, but when he saw his date, he was well pleased.

He was well pleased, but not what one might think of as cool, in the sense of suave, as he was trying so mightily to be.  He wanted to impress his lovely date.  He did impress her, but not in the way he intended.

At some point in the evening, Bob got up from the table to go to the restroom.  As he returned, his friend signaled Bob that his fly was unzipped.  Bob got the hint.  Subtly, after he sat down, Bob zipped his fly.

Later, he asked Ginger to dance.  He stood up to pull out her chair.  In the process, he pulled the tablecloth off the table, knocking over glasses, spilling drinks, and breaking plates — for Bob had zipped the tablecloth into his pants.  What a sophisticate!

They are still laughing about it five decades plus later.

Fixin’ To Travel

For some reason, Sugar, my wife and supervisor, believes that our travel trailer needed new fold-down steps, just because I drove away with them down and bent them by striking a post. And not only that, she was insistent that we replace the jack that some  folks say is preferable to using sheer might.   I don’t mind lifting up the trailer to put it on the hitch, but Sugar is just a girl and wants modern conveniences.  You probably think that I was somehow responsible for bending the previous jack.  You are correct.  Well, technically, I did not bend it, the concrete bump I drove over when leaving a gas station is what bent it.  You see where this is going — Sugar made me replace it.  So I did.

Sugar did not like our tires on the truck merely because of wear from a couple or maybe seven or maybe eight years.  So we got new tires.  Because I married a sissy girl.  Safety is a big concern for her so it is for me too.

Now let’s talk about glow plugs for the diesel engine in that truck with the new tires.  Sugar likes the truck to start on cold days.  I don’t mind spending a half hour getting it started.  Those old glow plugs and I understood each other.  But no, Sugar wanted new glow plugs.  So we got us some.

Get the picture?  You won’t be surprised that we got new stabilizer bars for the trailer.

So we are ready for our next trip.  I sure hope I don’t break anything.

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