Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

On this very busy first weekend of the summer, I hope each and every one of you can take a quick minute to thank a veteran.  If you do not know one, pop by any local gas station or grocery store and they are out in full force handing out their beautiful poppy's and asking for donations.  I know this must be the case just about everywhere, because they are even at my local Loaf N Jug here in Bailey, thankfully.  By the way, I have always had this question myself, so I thought I'd clear it up.  Anyone who has served in our military services for more than 180 days (outside of basic training) is considered a veteran; there are also combat, or war time  veterans.
In honor of this Memorial Day, we got our sign up again!  Well, kind of.  To me, we got the most important part up in time for this all American holiday.  This sign is a very historical piece of this ranch and was blown down this last winter in one of the extreme wind storms that we had.  Over a decade ago when we bought this ranch, we were told that this sign is even used as an aerial survey land marker, it is that historical.  With the ground frozen, and the winds having continued to roar down the valley, we have not had an opportunity to fix it.

As you can see, we still have the cross members to replace, but we will use the same interior signs that Charlie Royal made all those years ago.  We have made minor changes to them, like painting them, and turning one around so that it does not advertise cabin sites for sale, but it still is the same sign he hand crafted.  Keeping the historical value of our ranch is very important to both of us.
I have missed my flag terribly.  Not only do we fly it on holidays, but just about everyday, which I have found since it has been gone, that I use it as a weather vane somewhat as well; my neighbors have commented about the very same thing.  I also would have flown the flag at half staff when we lost my cousin Joe recently.  I have only lowered my flag on very rare occasions, but that would have been one of them.

So, while you are hopefully spending a wondrous day barbecuing with family and friends today, don't forget to fly your flag proudly.  And by all means, thank a veteran, because if it weren't for them, you'd be having a much different kind of day.  Remember, America is "The home of the free, because of the brave."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Gulf Oil Spill

You know, my Mom always told me that if I didn't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.  As a matter of fact this is something I firmly believe in and pass along to my own children, but there really isn't anything nice to say about this mess in the Gulf and how it is being handled.  I am not one to watch much news anyway, but lately the blips of news coverage that I have caught about this story disturb me to the point that I must get a few words is about this environmental disaster of historic proportion.
I heard at the beginning of this mess that BP could have had an automatic shut off installed on this line but it was not cost effective, so therefore was not put on the line.  What?  I'm thinking that this multi-billion dollar clean-up effort is going to be much more than the cost of any auto-shut off valve.
Obviously as an animal lover, the thoughts and images of the animals that normally live and thrive in this region send shivers through my spine.  The effect that this spill will have on the people and businesses in that area make me literally heartsick. 
Okay, it also makes me mad.  What the hell happened here?  Why aren't they doing anything?  Why did it   take so damn long?  Well, I thought maybe I was the only one thinking that, so I was a little surprised to read this article from the Washington Post today when I was doing research for this post.  What surprised me about this article was how hard it was on the President.  It was refreshing to see actual journalism and reporting of the news at hand instead of "politics as usual".
I also found a good website that looks quite informative that I will be able to keep up on without having to watch the news. But this clip is what really struck home with me:

So the question from here, is what can we do to help?  Sitting at home in Bailey complaining does nothing.  Any ideas?  What are you all doing?  Aside from avoiding BP, I am at a loss here.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm here, sorta...

I am feeling a tad bit neglectful of you, my dear readers.  Life seems to be going in a crazy circle.  I was hoping that the kids being out of school would calm things down, but not quite yet.  I am off to pick up the last of the recycling at all three schools, visit a sick llama who's owner needs an encouraging hand, and run back home to get to work on those campgrounds!  But, just know, that you have been on my mind, and I thought I'd leave you with a picture and a question.  Is my love of trees contagious or genetic?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A day late and a dollar short

 The Lone Dead Tree

I think that just may be my new motto, a day late and a dollar short.  No, I'm just kidding, but it is definitely true for the past couple of days and this post, sorry GSO readers!  As it is for many of you, it is the last few days of school around here, which means all sorts of picnics and graduations and field days and all kinds of fun stuff when you have three kids in three schools.  It is also the week we are preparing to open our campgrounds for the big Memorial weekend.  So, it was not a good thing when I went out to start my beloved truck yesterday on the way to three of these fun events and it would not start.
Let's say I am very thankful that I know a lot of people in this community and was comfortable just hopping in the truck with the Dad of one of Nate's friends and hoping I could find rides from there on out.  Which I did.  My friend Amanda took me from the middle school up to the elementary, a neighbor took me from there to the food pantry where I was needed to put some extra hours in, and my wonderful seventeen year old sons came and picked me up from there and delivered me back home last evening-WHEW!!!
Now, the trouble of the day really started when we headed off to work at the campgrounds (that's pretty bad after a day like that-ha!).  I have mentioned the forest mitigation project going on around our area before, and I have said that I am pretty much on the fence about it.  Mother Nature is unable to take care of things because we as humans have gotten in her way, so I was hoping that we as humans had gone in and fixed the problem.  Well, I'm pretty much off the fence now.  My campground, er, the campground that the company that I represent that represents the National Forest I mean, looks like s@%t.  Yup, I said it (sorta).

You know, I can get past the loss of the trees, as a matter of fact many of the stumps that we investigated were diseased in the middle.  I am actually surprised by the number of trees that were already dying in that forest, but had shown no outward sign.  A few of the odd things were the fact that they left some really dead trees standing, one that looked as if we could just knock it right over, hence the picture.  They are riddled with beetle holes and both were struck by lightning and have a ring from top to bottom.  We looked for nests or any other obvious reason for them to have been left, but could find none; odd.  Tom joked that it was because they had not been tagged so the workers hadn't taken them, and I'm afraid he's not too far off the mark. 

I must say that my biggest concern is wildfire.  Ironic isn't it?  They come in for fire mitigation and I think Tom and I have one hell of a campground season ahead of us to make sure our campers don't burn down our home.  I am now thinking our new motor-home may come in awful handy as we may have to move into that campground to keep the campers from dragging all of the mess that the fire crew has left just on the outskirts of the grounds, into the grounds to have their fires.  Campers tend to get their fires as big as they can, and as you can see from the pics, the wood crew has left a "tinder box" of  wood debris about a foot thick just to the west of my, I mean your, campgrounds waiting for a spark to escape into.  Directly in the direction of my ranch I might add.

Okay, okay, in about twenty to fifty years, after this mess is all cleaned up by campers and decomposed back into the soil, it will be beautiful.  Nicely thinned, and some wonderful green grassy meadow areas, hopefully the deer and elk will love it.  As we stood there debating this whole mess, and I do mean mess literally, we must have been quite engrossed in our conversation because this moose must have walked right past us.  As we were leaving we saw some cars at the entrance; when we stopped to see what they were doing they pointed her out to us!  Look closely, that is her back side in the trees there, laughing at us as she walks away...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Royal Ranch Royalty

Wow!  It seems like it has been a long time since I have done a Royal Ranch Royalty post.  I apologize, I know that many of you look forward to them, it has been a little bit of a crazy month or so around here.  If you have read my blog more than once or twice, you have probably figured out by now that if I don't get my post written by the time that the family and the critters start rising, it doesn't get written for the day.  So, today for Royalty I thought I would do things a little differently, I wanted to share my favorite time of day with you.
First, let me give you a snapshot of how my posts get written.  As I have mentioned many times, The Royal Ranch was built as a summer home in 1955, so it is a rather large, uninsulated (slowly, but surely working on this problem) house, so  even in late May I still sit in front of the fire in the wee morning hours to write to all of you.  I patiently wait to hear the birds start chirping and the dawning rays of the morning sun.  That is when I take my first set of dogs to potty and to check from a distance on all of the outdoor critters.
I have told my Dad that this is something that I would like to include with my book and the visits with the special needs kids somehow, a recording of the morning.  I know that may sound strange, but the sounds of the ranch in the morning can be simply intoxicating, I think.  With the sheep Baahing, and the rooster crowing, and all of the wild birds chirping and the geese honking away, all the while my favorite hummers are zipping overhead to get an early morning drink from my feeder... FANTASTIC!

The llamas are funny too, in their own quiet way.  Once they see me, especially Marcel, they are up and pacing the fence for their breakfast.  If I am too much later, they too will join in on the symphony and start to hum.  Many moons ago, Daisy asked me if llamas all hum in one chord, and I have not researched that, but I do know that they get higher pitched as they get more concerned.  Which means the later I am, the higher pitch the noise is from the peanut gallery on the hill.  I mean this crew really has me trained!
So, I have done my duty, and written this post, now I am off to take Gigi and Rosie potty and hopefully gather you all some videos and pics to go along with these words.  Let's see who is the loudest at 6:13 am, shall we?  So far I only hear my hummers...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Campground Training 501

I say "Campground Training 501" because this will be our fifth year to do the campgrounds, and the campground training.  The bummer this year, is that I have to go without Tom!  I'm sure I have mentioned our summer jobs of hosting two local National Forest Campgrounds before, (sorry, no time to look for links!), and we do appreciate the jobs and enjoy the campers, but I am not really looking forward to the hour and a half drive and the somewhat boring training session with no one to joke around with!
One of our campgrounds will have seen quite a change this year as it has been the epicenter of the logging efforts that are going on in our area.  Thankfully for me, these logging efforts are not in my view, but they will have affected our campers and I will imagine Tom and I will spend a good portion of our summer "splainin" to our campers what happened to their beloved forests.  It's a very tricky thing, keeping our forests healthy now that humans have gotten so involved and Mother Nature can't take care of them the way she should, like by burning them every now and then.  Now, to protect homes and to keep the forests healthy humans have to go and and clean them out.  Do I agree and enjoy seeing the huge logging trucks leaving my area with thousands of huge live trees on them?  No, not necessarily, but I do understand why they are doing it.
So, not only do I have three hours of drive time ahead of me, but I will be asking for extra hours to prepare our beautiful campground for the influx of campers we will see on opening weekend.  That is when the real fun will begin.  People have camped at these campgrounds for generations and have favorite spots, etc.  The really funny part is to see them interact with my husband, the main dude.  They all absolutely love him, and when they see his truck coming, you can see them start coming out to ask questions or to give him nuggets of information on the other campers-cracks me up every time!  Well, here is to the start of a successful camping season!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Big News from HGTV

Good morning all!  Well we have made it half way through our week, we should all congratulate ourselves!  This is a very busy few weeks for me, and I'm sure many of my regular readers, as it is the last few weeks of school.  Which means it is Field Day, Exit Outcomes for the eighth graders, picnics, etc.  It has also been Career Day for the sixth grade, and I was asked to go and do an Author talk, which was really fun.  Still has me thinking on a post about that subject...
But anyway, the exciting news from HGTV;  I got an email from a producer from the show that was taped here at the ranch many moons ago (okay, November).  Although it is rather short notice, set your recorders and get ready to hopefully catch a couple of glimpses of The Royal Ranch on Thursday (yes, tomorrow) at 6:30 p.m. MST!  The show is titled My First Sale and of course will be showing on  the HGTV network.  Hope the camera was kind!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Double Agent Judy

 Happy Spring!
Although my favorite birds are back, happily humming their way around the ranch,
these beautiful flowers have a ways to go!
Photo taken summer "09

This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for weeks, I have thought of it often, but just never finished it.  Well, today is the day because this may be my last day to be a double agent due to such a huge increase in demand, just read on, you'll catch up.  This has become so near and dear to my heart that I haven't even been sure how to put it to words, so I will go with what I already had started:

You know, I went into blogging to advertise my business, help promote my book and to try and help people.  Really, that was my highest intention.  And I think I have written a couple of posts that have affected peoples lives, or at least opened up their minds.  Like when I posted about my epilepsy, that has the power to help a person to stay positive in their own "lemon" situation.  As far as opening minds, well hopefully I do that quite often-ha!  One time my Dad and I were talking about nothing in particular and he said that he had really gotten to know who I was better, through reading my blog.
As you all know I have been cross posting on Tuesdays for a few weeks now.  It seems that this is sort of a metaphor for my life, it is like I am a double agent these last weeks because I lead a double life on Tuesdays.  It's not really that I have kept it a big secret, it's just not something I want to brag about, I volunteer at the food pantry on Tuesday, which came about because I had to start going to the food pantry.
Let me start at the beginning, shall I?  It all starts with this post, really.  At least the trips to the food pantry do, because that is when I "woke up".  We really had no choice, at that time we had gotten so far behind in our bills due to my back injury that it was either pay the bills or nothing.  So, I had talked to many of my friends who had already had the "food bank" experience, and bawled my way there one Thursday afternoon.  Do you know what I cried for?  I cried for our country.
See, a year ago, we would have been considered a lower middle class family.  My husband made $20,000 less last year than he did the year before, due to a loss of all overtime.  I made zippo, because I lost my job taking care of the neighbors horses.  We accrued huge medical bills due to all of the broken bones, head and back injuries and the fact that my husbands boss can't afford good health insurance. (Who can? At least we have it.)  But that was what felt kind of funny to me, yes, I was a little embarrassed, especially if I thought of running into certain people or something, but mostly just sad for our country.
I'll never forget walking in that first time after crying my way there, this gruff hillbilly looking guy says "What, you need some food?"  I, of course in Judy fashion had come in the back door, but when I came around the corner, I swear I could hear the angels singing!  You can't believe the amount of bread and produce that was on the tables, it really was unbelievable; enough for the entire town of Bailey to each have a loaf of bread and then some leftover, I bet.  So, anyway, I got some food and got the heck out of there, I was so nervous!  But, that's just not the way I do business, and I knew there was more that needed to be done.
You see, one of the few good things about recovering from the back injury is that I found myself with a little time on my hands.  To be honest, I couldn't even really remember what it was I did before the back injury that had kept me so busy.  So, I signed up to volunteer at the food pantry.  Not only did it make me feel better about taking the food, but it introduced me to some really great people.  It also really opened my eyes to what is going on around me.  Believe me, lower middle class is not the only one that has been hit.  We are talking all the way up to upper class, folks.
For us, it was a matter of choice in a way, the only one that made sense anyway.  We had already taken advantage of all of the assistance through our mortgage companies, we make too much to qualify for public assistance (which I'm not sure I'm comfortable with anyway), so to get caught up on our bills, something had to give and that was the grocery money. We may not have any money, but I do have time, so that is what I gave.  And now I know the reason all of this has happened, I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Remember that odd sadness for our country that I told you about?  Well, that is called empathy, and yeah, it has taken me a long way in my new job.  The first timers are easy to pick out, because they usually either are crying, or have just wiped the tears away as I had done when I walked in the first time.  Then you have the regulars, like the little old man that was so concerned when I was sick one week, that he practically ran back to the kitchen with a grin when I returned to tell me how much he had missed my smile!
The other volunteers have become great friends of mine as well.  I feel as if a couple of them are people that were put in my path for a reason and are on the same wavelength as I am, so to speak.  To hear the stories of how people ended up in the positions we have all ended up in, is simply amazing.  From freaks of nature, like repetitive strikes of lightning last year on one guys ranch to traumatic health issues like Agent Orange that have tainted an entire household, people have arrived on the food bank doorstep for many reasons.  But many, many of us are there wanting to give back all that we take plus much more, and that is a common and strong bond.
I purposely chose to write this post on a day that I write on both GSO and here at home at the Royal Ranch, because I know how many people this might affect.  And do you know how I know that?  Because ever since people have found out that I work/go to the food bank, each week I have sent someone new in there.  That is also why I will no longer be a double agent, demand is so high, we need to move some volunteers to Thursday, so today will probably be my last Tuesday.  That's right, demand for our little food bank is so high we are growing each and every day we are open.  Most days there is a line waiting for us to open.
A couple more things I would like to add.  To me this is "green living" at it's fullest.  Our biggest suppliers are Whole Foods, Target, Kings and Safeway.  So we are taking the day olds from stores that would be throwing them away and passing them along to people who really need them.  Now this to me is the kicker, it is all really healthy food.  Food that I could not afford, even in the best of times, to feed my family.  Lots of organic foods and soy and tofu and a variety of produce that you literally would find at Whole Foods.  I mean really nice stuff, and then anything that we don't use, gets taken back down the mountain to the homeless shelters.  Again, to me this all seems like a very environmentally responsible way of dealing with the stores' castoffs.
Now, a word of caution, or possibly defense, I don't know.  There are different types of food banks out there.  If it is a food pantry that relies entirely on donations from the community, that is a little different in my opinion, and should only be used for those with the utmost need (and by all means use it if you need!).  But if there is a pantry like ours, that receives donations from stores, it is well worth checking out, who knows you may make the difference in another persons day, or even  life.  Now go make a double agent miracle today, I plan to.

Friday, May 14, 2010

So, this is the second morning in a row that we have woken up to this:
And this is what our regular trio of geese thinks of it:

They were not too happy about their ponds being covered in a thick sludge of snow and ice and their feilds of green grass nowhere in sight!  There raucous complaints were so loud they had the cats hiding in the shadows!  Poor Fat Gary!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Spare Son

I have written about my boy Austin many times.  You just didn't know it.  Up until now I have always called him one of my "spare sons"; well, he really is much more than that to me.  Austin is one of my oldest son Thomas' best friends and has been for as long as I can remember.  Before his Mother passed away last year she was not too involved in his life (maybe an okay thing) and although his Dad has done a great job in raising him, he is a rough and tumble old school biker type (and also a dear friend of ours).  Not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm married to one myself!  So, needless to say, I find myself working very hard to fill in the "maternal love" gaps with him.
On this blog I am very careful about protecting the identity of those around me, especially of those I love dearly, like Austin.  But, this last weekend my boy came home with two, yes two gold medals!!!  And I have been wanting to shout about it from the rooftops!  I mean this kid can run.  The gold medals were in two relay races so he helped bring home eight gold medals to Platte Canyon High School.  This also means that we are going to Regionals this coming weekend and probably headed to State the following weekend.
At the ripe old age of seventeen (just turned on Monday) he came through the door holding his medals and I attacked the poor kid!  The tiny smile of pride I saw pass across his face before I hugged him tighter than the kid had been hugged in years was something I will never forget.  Don't worry, the crimson color faded almost as fast as it had arrived!
When Thomas asked for his permission for me to blog about him, his response was "Cool".  He knows how much he means to me, because I make that clear to him each and every time he comes here, which is often, blessedly.  I also know that when he chose to spend Mother's Day with me, that was my gift.  He had asked Thomas earlier in the week, so I knew it was going to be a weird day for him.  He had said that I acted like I was his Mom, so yeah cool, he could probably spend the day with us.  Yeah, that is pretty cool.  My son the gold medalist, I like it!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Mother's Day of Recycling

I have found that sometimes the best way of dealing with the crap that life throws your way is to get grounded.  And I mean that literally.  Get reconnected with  the earth in some way or another.  So, when my family asked me what I wanted to do for Mother's Day, the answer was an easy one.  I wanted to get down and dirty and do some physical labor around this ranch and start the healing process.  For those GSO readers, please check out the last couple of posts at my regular home, and you'll see why I need some healin' time.

I must say that I am really proud of our accomplishments.  We only had two trash cans and all of this will go to the recycling yards.  Another great thing about it was the wood that we took off of stuff like the futon was used for a family bonfire and marshmallows...YUM!!!!
The funny part was that we had been having a long debate about the bicycles.  Tom said they had to be torn down, no plastic or rubber.  I thought they would recycle them the way they were.  Well, I had Thomas and my spare sons working on them for about five minutes before I heard grumbles that they should have gotten me a gift instead.  I tried not to bust out laughing before I let them go.  Anyway, after a bit of research, I, of course am right, they will be accepted rubber, plastic and all!

So, I will add about six or seven overly jumped and drug and abused bicycles to these piles, and completely fill my truck!!!  I will take them to Western Metals Recycling and have a very clean ranch to show for a great Mother's Day.  Fantastic.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ode to Joe

Lord, I don't even know how to start a post like this.  "Just the facts Ma'am".  Somehow I get the impression Joe would appreciate this Dragnet reference.  Last week Joe Holbrook had a straightforward muscle tear repair surgery on his hip.  On Thursday evening when his wife came home from work she found him dead from a blood clot.  
My keyboard has been silent since I got the news, well that's not entirely true, when I couldn't sleep I went to his Facebook page.  Joe was not only my cousin, but I was blessed to call him a friend; and I doubt there was one person who had ever met Joe who didn't feel the same way.
I am proud to say for those of you that are regular readers of this blog, you are friends of Joes as well.  I always felt quite honored that such a manly truck driver/Marine followed and commented and really seemed to enjoy my blog.  Joe didn't read because he had to out of family obligation, Joe read because he damn well chose to and liked my writing and the things that Tom and I do, I could really respect that.
When we were back in Iowa for Thanksgiving, Joe took it upon himself to make sure my men were entertained so that I could spend time with my Great Aunt Jaris.  The priceless memories that my boys and Tom have of that time now are even more important, but they are ones that they had spoken of often.  He had taken the entire day to take the men shooting and to teach them about the local wildlife and show them the area.  I specifically remember coming around the corner after a long day in town with "the girls", feeling a little guilty, and there was Joe and Tom just happily chatting away sitting on the tailgate of the truck.  I had had nothing to worry about, Joe of course had everything covered.  My men were happy and entertained, and of course well fed.
Another thing that always impressed me about Joe was that he wrote his and Cheryl's Christmas letter.  And it was a good one too, I really looked forward to it every year.  He always took the time to thank the folks that came in from out of town to visit his Mom (Aunt Jaris) or Cheryl's Mom.  He also always kept us all up on his latest wood working projects.  The tear jerker for me, is that this year his project was a spectacular rocker/cradle for his beautiful niece that was named after him, Bailey Joe.  We all have been teasing about the baby being named after my town while I named my puppy after their state!  Obviously this is just a coincidence, well the baby name is anyway.
So, I thought I would share a few of his comments with all of you here, spread a little of Joe's love, so to speak.  I know that he did a lot of that on his own.  Thank you Joe for being such a wonderful friend and cousin, and thanks for the memories.  I love and miss you with all of my heart.

I want to comment on this young lady who is my cousin so as a follower I first disqualify myself from any prizes. I follow the blog because wether you agree all the time with her views I will say she is always sincere in her beliefs and very real with what she has to say to you. I have learned a lot about her beautiful mountains. The pictures she posts are breathtaking so I hope Santa brings her that new camera. Thanks for joining her blog I know you will enjoy it. Cousin Joe
It rains now and then so it does get washed kiddo. I guess my thing is most of time it is various t shirts ,but with USMC on it some where. See you in November 

 This is in response to my post about epilepsy:
 Who knows why we have certain challenges in life. Some people fail from them some become stronger. Some like you share that strength with others Good job kiddo. If I look at you funny it is not your illness but your sense of humor and I look at you funny because you just put a smile on my face. :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Being a big girl sucks

You know, sometimes being a big girl and making big girl decisions really sucks eggs.  You know my rule, stay positive on the blog, but you people might not think I was a real person if I didn't talk about the rough times in life on the farm as well and it seems like the shit pile has gotten rather large this week.  Yup, I usually keep it G rated too, but there's no other way to put it either.
The worst news of all was that Lucy Rabbit passed away while we were gone.  I had called multiple times to check on her and it sounded as if she was almost doing a tad bit better.  Our wonderful neighbor was taking as good of care of her as I had been and was even giving her cuddle time, but Sunday morning when he came she was gone.  When we arrived home that afternoon he had a tree sapling all ready to be planted wherever we chose to bury her; he knew how close she was to our hearts!!!!
So, this left us with a very hard decision to make, what to do with poor, broken-hearted Rusty.  Rabbits do not do well living alone and are meant to live in pairs or family units.  He was grieving terribly and would not even come out of his cage.  My family dynamics have changed drastically since we got into the rabbit business, and my children no longer pay much attention to them.  As a matter of fact, I have found it quite interesting that the kids have consoled me over this whole rabbit situation.  I knew the neighbor that gave me my original rabbit, also named Lucy, over a decade ago, had a single rabbit and had little kids that are learning to "homestead".  One e-mail later and I learned that they would be ecstatic to take Rusty; it was a perfect solution for two lonely rabbits and one young family, just not the crying old lady at the bottom of the hill!
Yesterday we lost our first hen.  I have no idea why.  She was just lying on the ground dead as a doornail, I couldn't believe my eyes.  Now, I know we have been blessed, living where we do and letting them free range that we haven't lost any up until now, but it was still kind of upsetting.  No signs of predator attack or anything, and another odd thing is that her eyes were closed, kind of morbid, but weird.  I mean what the hell? Oops I did it again, I think I have some anger pent up!
So, this is how the week has gone, I have some sort of the flu, and I do mean BAD!  Cold symptoms with puking at night (I know TMI, but just so you know how miserable I am...), the school district late Friday afternoon-right before we were leaving town ordered 100 breakfast burritos for Wednesday, and Tom's truck has broken down twice this week.  Yes, I know that is one heck of a run on sentence, but that is just the way my life seems to be these days.
As I have mentioned many times on this blog, one of my favorite things about the crazy mix of animals that I have on this ranch is the inter-species relationships that develop over the years.  Today when Rusty left Rosie the dog seemed very concerned and almost jumped in the van with him, but since she has been known to jump on the bus with my daughter, I didn't think too much about it.  But when we came inside and she stood in the spot where the rabbit cage has been since last summer and continuously barked for over fifteen minutes until I finally made her go outside it was almost more than I could handle.  I looked back over the pics of the rabbits and sure enough, Rosie is in every single one of them!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring Travel in Colorado

Well, we made it home safely, thanks to our Captain Tom!  
Traveling in May in Colorado can be a bit risky and our weekend adventure was no exception.  We, in regular Jeute fashion, chose one of Colorado's highest mountain passes (Monarch Pass) to cross both Saturday and Sunday on our way to and from the Black Canyon area.  Because the road conditions were so bad and I could not speak, I tried to keep myself busy snapping a few pictures for you all because I could not wait to share the story!  Needless to say, we were the only RV on the road.
We even went over the Continental Divide!

Check out this cool old mine, this was on the way down, so I could breathe again by now!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison

 Blue Mesa Reservoir

Wow! What a beautiful weekend this has been!  Although it got off to a weird start with leaving the sick bunny and being rather unprepared as far as groceries go, my family and I hopped into our new motorhome and headed out with no specific destination in mind on Friday night.  We didn't get too far and had a rather chilly night, but we were together and having a wonderful time!  Ordered pizza for dinner that was delivered, which to us is a huge novelty and had a nice breakfast out before stopping at the grocery store for supplies, and then of course propane.  And then, we saw this:
And we are really having a great time in the new RV, even the dogs!  Gigi has chosen a rather odd place to ride though, on the table!
You can tell she thinks she's in trouble!