Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

The Abbey

Shootin' the Breeze

Last weekend, from Friday night until Sunday afternoon, Miss Sugar taught a water color art class at a women’s retreat hosted by the sisters at The Abbey of St. Walburga, which is just ten miles up the road from  our place.

The sisters have crossed paths with us before.  Sugar and I immigrated to Larimer County from Boulder County, Colorado.  So did the convent of St. Walburga.  I never visited the Boulder County location except to drive by.  They had a farm on a busy road east of Boulder.  Surrounded by subdivisions, they no longer felt so cloistered, I presume.  They sold what had become valuable real estate there and purchased or were given a beautiful valley in northern Colorado, just a few miles from the Wyoming border.  They made the move in 1997.  The distance between the locations is approximately 100 miles.

The sisters started out living in modular buildings. …

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Beau’s Hot Tub Etiquette

Shootin' the Breeze

bunkhouse

We have a log bunkhouse on our ranch.  It was the original homestead cabin, but has been refurbished except for the logs themselves.  The roof, electrical, plumbing, and storm windows are all new.  It has a bathroom.  It has a sauna.  We advertise it on Air B&B.  Our guests seem to like it.  My wife, Sugar, goes overboard in the hospitality department.  She is a wonderful cook.  It is more than “bed and breakfast.”

This past weekend we had guests from another state.  They were recently married.  Both husband and wife are engineers.  Smart couple.  Supposedly.

For engineers, they failed to foresee obvious dangers.  They failed to account for our dog, Beau.  Big mistake!

Beau is, as loyal readers recall, a Yellow Labrador Retriever.  He retrieves items whether or not he has been requested to do so.  Hence the problem.

The young couple took advantage of the opportunity to relax…

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The Enabler

Shootin' the Breeze

They were friends and classmates, each girl 18 years old and two weeks from high school graduation when they went for a ride after school.  The driver inexplicitly pulled out from a stop sign on a county road and started to cross a busy U.S. highway into the path of a semi-tractor trailer, which crashed into the passenger side of the car, instantly killing the passenger.  The driver survived.  Her injuries were not serious.

The parents of the girl who died belonged to our church.  They came to me to represent them in the wrongful death case.

Understandably, they were grief-stricken.  Their Christian faith and community of friends comforted them.  Still, they struggled to come to grips with the tragedy. They wisely went to grief counseling.  Their out-of-pocket charges amounted to something around $400.00.  Money well spent.

We recovered all the liability insurance available.  That is my job.  They generously used…

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Broken Hearts

Shootin' the Breeze

Broken hearts don’t work the same

As they did before the break.

The trusting parts will never heal.

The wounds will always ache.

Stabs of betrayal leave holes

Through which joy flows out.

It’s more than one can bear

When loyalty’s in doubt.

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Unchained Heart

Shootin' the Breeze

Readers familiar with this blog know that our dog, Beau, is a free spirit.  Yesterday he was more free than we desired.

We do not have a fenced in yard.  Past dogs have stayed home without containment.  Sadie is a current resident who follows that protocol.  Beau has normally done the same except recently he ventured away and was ultimately located at a neighboring ranch where Beau found their chickens.  We had been searching for him fearfully until our neighbor tattled.  Sadie, who did not leave, being a goody-goody, kept her mouth shut about Beau’s whereabouts.

Consequently, Beau is either: inside the house, in a stall in the barn, outside with us, or outside without us.  He is unchained except for that final option.  His “chain” is a rubber-coated wire leash with a metal snap thingy to connect to his collar.  The chain is about thirty feet long, allowing him…

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Loyalty To Your Pards

Shootin' the Breeze

3amigos />

I did not write this, but I like it.  A friend forwarded it by email.

An old cowboy was riding his trusty horse followed by his faithful dog along an unfamiliar road. The cowboy was enjoying the new scenery, when he suddenly remembered dying, and realized the dog beside him had been dead for years, as had his horse. Confused, he wondered what was happening, and where the trail was leading them.

 After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden letter “H” that glowed in the sunlight.

 Standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like gold.

 He rode toward the gate, and as he got closer…

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Water Dogs

Shootin' the Breeze

Max, about whom you read in Deadly Dangers at Cross Creek Ranch, is a Yellow Labrador Retriever.  He has been an enthusiastic swimmer his entire life … until we enrolled him in a class. 

Max enters fast flowing rivers without hesitation, especially to fetch a ball or stick.  But when asked to jump into a pool to fetch a toy, well, that’s where he draws the line. 

Advanced Animal Care in Fort Collins has the nicest doggy daycare that I have ever seen.  Miss Sugar discovered their new building and brought home a brochure with photos of the aquatic venue.  Owners can enroll their dogs in classes after first passing an orientation.

So we signed up both of our dogs.  Sadie is also a Yellow Lab; however, she has not shown a natural affinity for the sport of swimming.  Rather, one of her tricks is to let Max jump into…

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Beau and Cujo Go Camping

Shootin' the Breeze

Some loyal readers have asked how Beau, our Yellow Labrador Retriever, is doing. I have some news to report.
Beau, who has extraordinary self-esteem, and consequently expects that everyone, all creatures great and small, will like him, discovered, sadly, that is not true. It was not true when he met a Mastiff at a campground last week.
As Miss Sugar told the story to me, the Mastiff, apparently irritated by Beau’s exuberant attitude, barked at him. Beau, delighted to have his presence acknowledged by another dog, pulled on the cable to which he was tied so hard that it broke. Beau happily ran to the campsite across the road, dragging the cable, expecting to play.

When Beau arrived, the Mastiff, whom we shall call Cujo, knocked Beau onto his back and went for Beau’s jugular.
Miss Sugar and Cujo’s owner watched in horror. Beau realized that Cujo was not playing…

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Reluctant Saviour

Shootin' the Breeze

Those who have read many of my posts are well aware that my trophy bride, Miss Sugar, has a very soft heart, much softer than mine.  She  is a good influence on me and often makes me behave better than I otherwise would.

So today we were driving home, where I intended to watch the Broncos’ game against the Raiders, scheduled to commence at 2:00 p. m. Mountain Time, and it was 1:55 p.m., but I knew we could make it if we stayed the course.  We did not stay the course.

Instead, I spent some time in my church clothes wrestling a goat in distress.  Why would I do that?  The answer is simple.  Miss Sugar has a soft heart.

A few minutes before I was in the goat pen of a stranger, my trophy wife and I were driving past a ranch about five miles from our place.  These…

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Sin of Materialism

Everybody likes my lovely wife, Sugar.  Or should.  I myself am quite fond of her.  She is kind, generous, smart, talented, and, like the beauty queen she was, easy to look at.  So far so good.

We have some guests at our bed & breakfast.  Sugar helps in her own way.  She makes wonderful breakfasts.  Now let’s talk about me for a minute.  I am the person who makes the coffee and, get this, pours it.

Miss Sugar tries to assist me in the many important tasks required of “the coffee guy.”  Today she handed me a crystal thing from which to pour cream.  When she entrusted me with it, she sternly warned me, “Don’t break this.  I have had it for 30 years.”

I know what you are thinking.  You are expecting me to say that I broke it.  I most certainly did not break it.

All I did was use it to feed the dogs.  It serves well, with the pouring part, to measure and pour dog food.  (That’s right.  I do more than serve coffee.  I also feed the dogs.}

So, Miss Sugar noticed the multiple uses to which I employed her precious crystal pourer thing and, nice as she might seem to the rest of the world, she put this object ahead of my personal emotional feelings.  She criticized my judgement.  She accused me of endangering that object.

How materialistic.

I thought that she loved our dogs.  And me.

I will pray for her immortal soul.

I guess that goes to show you — nobody’s perfect.

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