Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A Very Happy Heathen

 



Heath had a very epic day today. TheMan woke me up early to get dressed, so Heath knew right away we were going to go on a road trip. He bounced through the house, picking up his toys and bucking and hopping. He gets terribly excited over little things. I wish I was more like him.


He had to have his vest put on so he would ride in the back seat, because he really, really likes to sit on my lap, but I really, really don’t like him there when we are on the highway, just in case. There is no way to turn off the air bag and it would be very dangerous for him if it were to go off. He doesn’t believe me and has much more faith in TheMan’s driving than I do, having not been born yet when we’ve been in a few pickles.





We went to Burns for meds and breakfast. That’s a two hour drive one way. I got a Denver omelette because Heath always enjoyed the ham. He decided yesterday he no longer likes ham. He did enjoy half of the biscuit though, so he was happy enough. We ran a couple more errands, then headed for Nampa, ID where we do most of our shopping. That was an additional 3 hours one way.


Mostly we stayed in the ‘burb while TheMan ran ranch errands. Then Heath and I made a quick trip to a bush for Heath and a bathroom for me. He peeked under the door and kept an eye on my wheelchair while I used the facilities. He’s very helpful that way. It also tickled him that his doing so tickled a couple of kids that were also in the restroom. Heath adores kids of all kinds. When he sees any of the grands, he actually squeals. 

On the way back to the burb, he received several “He’s beautiful’s” and “what a gud boi” 's which of course, made his head swell. I took his vest off and let him just wear his new scarf that identifies him as an SD. He seems to like it much better as his vest shifts and makes him itchy and shake off a lot.


He slept under the desk while we had our taxes done then went to his favorite restaurant, Texas Roadhouse where he and I shared a rib steak. (No wonder he likes road trips!) After guilting TheMan out of his croutons and a few bites of his meat as well ( by setting his chin on the seat next to him and giving him sad, hungry eyes ) we headed to Costco which happens to be his favorite store, because lots of strange people give him “gud boi”s. He got an earful of them, and I know that HE knows they are talking about HIM because his tail always wags when they say it, although he looks straight ahead when they do. Sneaky little guy, pretending to be humble.


We were accosted just once, for not wearing a mask. I will refrain from sharing my thoughts on the subject which haven't changed since the beginning of the China virus to this day.




After leaving there, Heath snuffled in my ear to get snackies then he and I napped while TheMan ran a couple more errands for ranch stuff. We then we went to a car wash, for the first time ever, with the ‘burb. Heath was fascinated by the process and handled it so well, we went through twice. We then went to the dollar store and found a hedgehog for Heath. He takes very good care of his toys. He picks one out each time I get off the couch and carries it to the table or to the bedroom, and once a day he gets paid to pick them all up and put them back in his toy basket. It’s usually the highlight of our day. Yeah. That should tell you a lot about our normal day. *snort*.


Heath had been a gud boi all day, staying in the back seat without his vest, but at one point, we got our lines crossed and he sailed over the seat and up front onto my lap while we were on the highway. I told him to get in the back seat again. Instead of doing so, he turned to face me, put a paw on each side of my neck and burrowed his head in my shoulder. Dang. Not even a kid could work it this well. I ignored him for a few minutes, then again told him I wanted him in the back seat, so he begrudgingly crawled to the back and pouted.


Once we got to the ranch road home (which is 35 miles ) He nuzzled and asked permission to come up front. I conceded and he happily snuggled in and we slept together the rest of the trip home…and lived happily ever after.




contentment


God bless all and have a great day, week, month, whatever!


Petey and the Heathen








Edited out:

We went through the aisles one by one, got stopped by a worker who asked if the people at the entrance had given us masks. I told him they offered and to not  be angry with them as I had one.

 

I refuse to wear one, particularly one made in China. 

I did not tell him that, but I had taken mine off for multiple reasons. 

1) It makes me very claustrophobic to have something on, or close to my face

2) It makes it hard for me to breath 

3) breathing your own co2 isn’t healthy 

4) it’s untrue that it does anything to prevent spread of a virus 

5) I’ve had multiple surgeries with 70-80% chances of recovery so a virus with a 99+% chance of recovery doesn’t particularly concern me, even though I am in a high risk category having a suppressed immune system and 

6) My doctors are in a state that allows the actual CURES unlike Dem states like Nevada and California and others which made it ILLEGAL for Drs to provide HCQ which is part of the regimen which has had a 100% cure for those with early symptoms. I will leave you to ponder why the hell they would do that. Our President told us early in the outbreak about the efficacy of HCQ, when suddenly the MSM and Dem states began vilifying it as a dangerous drug (which many people have taken daily for decades without any issues, including our military) After Jan 20, 2021, that opinion was suddenly and rather quietly reversed. How many died because of the earlier fiction touted daily?

7)I trust God is in control and meant what He said when He told me everyday of my life was already written. 

8) The people in my family who got the virus were mask wearers.

9) 
















I digress.


I showed the man my mask, and Heath and I rolled on.


Another lady in a wheelchair rolled up and stopped me to ask what the man said. I told her and she was incensed. She ranted awhile about how they had no right to tell people to wear them, particularly the disabled who often have problems which are exacerbated by them. I looked around at the warehouse full of healthy people wearing them, most likely thinking they were doing us a favor. It made me very sad. What else will they do unquestioningly because someone who is supposed to be a public SERVANT tells them to?


Again, I digress. Please forgive me. If you have a different opinion than myself, know you are welcome to it. You are free to wear a mask, a nylon stocking, a plastic bag or whatever else over your head that makes you feel safe. We are all free to make our own decisions. I believe those decisions should be based on personal research and common sense but there is nothing that says that's a requirement 


Some of you may be cheering while others may be choking over what I just said. Please, before going further, allow me to mention, I am isolated from all human companionship so my time is spent doing online research searching for answers as well as entertainment. I have NO outlet to vent my ideas or feelings, save here, on MY blog. As a Conservative (horrors to some of you, I’m sure) I don’t demand any of you agree with me, but I also won’t be bullied. 

There. God bless y’all. 

Again I digress. I think this might be an issue for me.





Tuesday, April 6, 2021

MEANDERINGS







 

It’s Easter. I watched a segment of Watter’s World and it was so disturbing, I have no words. The people he talked to had no idea what Easter was about, or anything about Jesus himself. We are living in a post Christian era. That’s not a scary thing for Christians, it’s a horrifying thing for those who aren’t. He will come for us, whether we believe in Him and accept His sacrifice or not. It just made me very sad. I know the difference He made in my own life, after living 46 years without Him. And this life is not the big deal. It’s the next one that lasts forever that matters most. My greatest wish is that my children and grandchildren follow Him, and my friends as well. I pray for them. That’s the best I can do. I complain about many things but I know I have more than I deserve, only by His grace.

I’ve much to be grateful for, not the least of which is my young granddaughter didn’t step on this beast yesterday when she was squirrel hunting.



TheMan vacuumed the house for me which is a HUGE deal as I can’t usually do it and the big dogs don’t just bring in big chunks of hair and mud, but leaves, large pieces of sticker bushes, tumbleweeds etc. and it remains on the carpets. It’s frustrating because they really don’t belong in the house, they belong outside with the stock, but since we have no stock, TheMan lets them inside. The Heathen sheds something awful on his own, so running the vacuum was a real blessing. I dusted what I was able while he did so, and worked on cleaning the kitchen and getting dinner for tonite made. That part took me most of the day but was easy.


We’re having a leg of lamb which is super simple to make. I make about 7 slits and put a clove of garlic in each. I rub a little mix of salt, pepper, thyme and garlic powder. Mixed with oil on the outside, then put it on a rack in a pan, in the oven at 375 to sear the meat. After 15 min, turn the. Heat down to 350, pour in a 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of pan, cover it and bake for 25 min per pound. The drippings I use to make gravy.

I got applesauce made this morning in the Instapot. It was the first time I made it that way, but it won’t be the last. I just peeled 6  Granny Smith’s with my much loved apple/potato peeler, tossed them in the pan with 3/4 c water and tsp of cinnamon, 3/4 Tbl of lemon juice, turned it on for 8 min. Did a pressure release and Tah dah!! Applesauce!

Lastly we made loaded cauliflower which is our new favorite. We do Keto on and off and this was our favorite recipe.


I got this awesome new tumbler. The first on we got, the motor burned out and it costs almost as much to replace it as to buy a new one. A wonderful friend gifted me a nice used Lortone which is one of the most popular you can buy, but it takes a month to do 3# of stones which isn’t many. We saved up and got this monster that I am absolutely in love with! He’s made in America, (as is Lortone) and is heavy duty and well put together. The best part? He holds 5x as many stones as the other one. It still takes a month but it makes me feel so happy to know a big batch of rocks is getting done. This thing is not going to break down like the cheap one we got at Harbor Freight that was most likely made in China. 




I had a very large Creeping Charley that hadn't been doing well. It was dropping a lot of leaves this year and the leaves were getting smaller and were not glossy. I decided to repot him so had TheMan carefully take him down and we painstakingly worked him out of the macrame hanger. He definitely needed a larger pot with better drainage so I put him in one and watered him in good to take care of any air pockets. We left him on the porch to drain while we both rested our sore backs and i found a pot saucer. 

When I got back out to get him, I found the Maremmas had been doing cat imitations and had knocked him off the porch.

Here's the before 


and after pics...



pitiful, I know. But if he doesn't grow back thriving, I will start another from cuttings as the plants keep outgrowing their spots and I have to keep pruning them...and being a waste not person I don't have the heart to throw out the cuttings so I keep starting more plants...

Now it's Tuesday. Monday was a wash because weather and exertion resulted in a ton of pain, so I never moved all day. Just laid here and moaned like a sick cow.

Today is better so I took Heath for another cruise with the wheelchair and we found 

A GEODE!!

Right there on the ranch road heading to the corrals. Never know what you might run across out here. Sadly the picture doesn't do it justice at all. You can't see all the sparkly inside. But its there, and it made me happy to find it.




Hope y'all have a great week/month or whatever until I get back to you!


Petey & the Heathen 









Monday, March 29, 2021

We're Back!



I had promised to do a blog on sourdough a very long time ago. My bad. Life got in the way.

As most of you know, it has been a struggle.

I don't like to write unless I am in a good mood which I haven't been much until recently. 

Plus, I found it nice to write stuff on FB because I had a more intimate relationship with followers there and much more interaction.

But now I have been banned for life because *gasp* I am Conservative. So here I am. Back, like a bad cold...or do we have those anymore?


Though I have hit some mighty low lows, I keep fighting and here I am.

I’ve been pretty much confined to a wheelchair past 2 years due to pain. It has made it all the harder because it has completely confined me to the inside of this small, not very pleasant, house. But we did buy a new wheelchair I was hoping would allow me to travel around a bit outside.


It arrived late in the day so once TheMan got it in working order, Heath and I took a little test drive in the dark. It got us up past the barn so I was pretty excited to see what it could do.

That was all it took for Heath to figure it all out and the next morning he was so excited when I got dressed, as he just KNEW we were going outside!! He kept jumping on and off my lap while TheMan was trying to help me get a brace on my ankle.

Then he spent the rest of the morning parked in front of the wheelchair, begging.



Dubbed “Traveller” the new chair managed to get us down the dirt road toward the corrals. Heath was thrilled as we had to go slowly enough for him to sniff to his heart’s content.



We went past the ranch dump and the haystacks, and up and down a large hill. Heath got pretty hot and tired so we headed back. He rode with me on my lap, which I taught him to do when we cross hot pavement or salted sidewalks, to protect his feet as he really is unhappy wearing his boots. After he caught his breath and we ran into a couple of deer hunters who promised to bring us the legs, hearts and livers of anything they harvested. The dogs love them. I followed Heath while he sniffed and ran. his way back to the house.





He was very worn out.





Winter set in so there were no more trips outside. We went to see family for Christmas. It was great and did a lot for my outlook. Then we drove home in the BlueRoo, which I loved the 6 months that I was in the city but a Forester is not the best choice for living on a ranch, 50 miles down gravel road. In one year, the windshield had to be replaced twice because of rocks thrown by someone who passed us, and I had countless flat tires because I couldn't buy anything heavy enough to survive the conditions on a car that size. Heath had to be strapped in the back seat because the road noise on the gravel unsettled him and he was always trying to climb up in my lap, which doesn't work well in bucket seats as well as the bench seat of the truck. 

On the trip home, we had 13 hours of heavy winds and snow without a break. I was such a wreck by the time we got home I swore I would never take that car to California again. A week later we traded it for a 2007 Suburban and I couldn't be happier. Heath even loves it and stays in his back seat. He helps navigate from there. 




Hopefully, before my next blog, I'll be able to work out why there is a horse and a cow growing in the backyard that I am certain I did not plant there.

Until then, God bless you!

WWG1WGA

Petey and the Heathen










 

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Rolling in Dough












As a follow up to prior blog, the rock tumbling was successful. A few of the rocks I gathered here at the ranch proved worthy, and many of my granddaughter's rocks, mostly quartz, from the ranch her Daddy works on were very pretty. Unfortunately the pictures don't do them justice and a few of them could have stood to be tumbled longer to get all the scratches off of them, but it was a great learning experience and I hope to do better. Meanwhile, I learned how to drill holes in the smaller ones to use them up.


As everyone has been home bound lately, I assume many are getting to the point they might decide this is the time to be a tad more self sufficient. Having lived 4 hours from town for the past 13 years, I’ve got that nailed down pretty well.

 So today, we will talk about making bread.




There are so many choices and recipes to choose from, all equally delicious.

Let’s start with a basic white bread.

There are different kinds of flour. All purpose flour is fine, but bread flour is nice for loaves as it has a bit more gluten and rises better, making for a lighter loaf. If you have a grain mill, you can also make your own flour out of various things, wheat, almond, rice, etc. I prefer wheat. I usually buy #25-#50 of wheat berries at a time. I have soft white, (for cakes, pastry, etc) hard white (for white bread) and hard red (for stronger flavored wheat breads, great in waffles) on hand. However, if you are milling your own flour you are probably already an expert and don't need to read this blog. So lets stick with all purpose, bread flour, or commercial wheat flour which is nothing like the flour that is ground at home as both the hull and the wheat germ have been removed, along with much of their nutrition.

Yeast comes in different forms as well. You can buy it in packets, jars or bricks. It can be kept indefinitely in a freezer and for a good long time in the fridge. You will find Active Dry, Instant Dry and Rapid Rise Yeast. I use the Active dry as I buy it in big bricks so I always proof it. The only difference is that Active Dry requires activation by proofing in warm water while Instant Dry does not. The Rapid Rise is usually used in bread machines, which I don't really care for myself.

Keep your yeast tightly sealed. Mine is kept in a little crock with a rubber seal.
Yeast is a living organism. Baker's yeast began to be made and used in 1857 or so, making leavening bread faster and more reliable, but at some cost to both the. nutrition and flavor of the bread itself. But, I digress. We are talking first about bread made with commercial yeast, so...
let’s assume your yeast is good.

Most bread recipes have sugar or honey in them. Primarily, sugar is food for the yeast and speeds up the yeast breaking down the starch in the flour. Honey does the same but also adds a nice flavor to wheat bread.

Salt regulates the yeast activity, helping the yeast to ferment more evenly. It also assists in shelf life and gives the dough body as well as enhancing flavor.

Oil/Lard/Crisco also helps keep the bread from drying out and going stale as quickly as it would without.

You will need something to cook your bread in. Bread pans are the most popular, but different recipes can be cooked in a dutch oven, in baguette pan or even free form. Some require a brotform which is a type of basket the bread rises in then is quickly dumped onto parchment paper on a hot stone.

You will need a serrated bread knife or slicer. I use both.


 The first two recipes will only need a pair of bread pans as they make 2 loaves.

The first thing I do, is to “proof my yeast” in a bit of warm water. You don't want the water too hot or it will kill the yeast. If the recipe uses milk and egg, like most white bread and other recipes, you will use less water to proof the yeast and usually scald the milk on the stove before adding the fat, sugar and salt to it. Let those cool before adding to the proofed yeast.

It will look sort of poofy-ish on the top of the water if it is still good.
If it doesn’t, you need fresher yeast.

Yeast is a living organism. Baker's yeast began to be made and used in 1857 or so, making leavening bread faster and more reliable, but at some cost to both the. nutrition and flavor of the bread itself. We are talking first about bread made with commercial yeast, so...
let’s assume your yeast is good.

Add your salt and about 2-3 cups of your flour to start making your dough. I use a stand mixer, but used to do it all by hand.

I have both a KitchenAid and a Bosch Mixer. The KA can make 2 loaves nicely, but my Bosch makes 4 and is easier both to use and to clean up. Trust me, if you are looking to purchase a mixer, go for the Bosch. It can do SO much more! It also has an 850 watt motor as opposed to KA's 250watt. I made bread for decades without a mixer, so it's not a deal breaker. But with RA and PsA, my hands can no longer do the work without great cost. I can make 4 loaves at a time in the Bosch, then I slice, wrap and freeze it and have a month's worth of homemade bread done in an afternoon, for pennies.

The Bosch isn't pretty but its worth its weight in gold

 By hand, use a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Slowly add the rest of the flour until the dough is rather stiff and not too sticky.

If using a mixer, do the same on low power using the dough hook and after adding all but the last cup of the remainder of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, start adding the last cup of flour a couple of TBL at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Too much flour will make the bread heavy. Too little and it will be too sticky to work with. The weather can affect your bread making, so that's why I recommend adding the flour in this way. It may take a little more or a little less than the recipe calls for.  I made many brick loaves in the beginning before I figured this out.

Once the dough is not too sticky (a little bit sticky is good) flour your hands and dump it on a lightly floured surface and begin kneading. The more you knead the bread, the less sticky it will be. Flour your hands rather than adding flour to the dough as the latter will make for a dry, heavy bread.
Using the heels of your hands push down on the dough, fold it over on itself, turn it 1/4 turn and repeat over, and over until it “pushes back”. Kneading not only mixes the ingredients well, but develops the gluten which allows the dough to become elastic and rise without the strands breaking. Without the gluten strands developed, your bread will be hard and flat. You cannot over develop it kneading by hand, but you can by machine, so be careful not to overmix once the dough pulls away from the sides of your mixer bowl. I like to dump it out like when I hand knead and see if the dough is, indeed springing back to my hand. The kneading is a crucial step of breadmaking. If the gluten strands are not developed enough, your bread won't be very good.

Once the dough is elastic and springy, silky (it will feel both smooth an HAPPY) grease a bowl, dump it in, turning it once, and cover, setting it in a warm place to rise. I like to use a cotton cloth, like an old fashioned diaper, that has been soaked in warm water and well squeezed out, to cover my bread. You can also put a bowl of hot water in your oven and set the dough inside to rise. When yeast acts on flour, it converts natural grain sugars and starches into carbon dioxide, which creates air pockets that make the dough rise.

Let it rise til double. You can push a finger into the dough and if it leaves an indent it's ready to dump it out again on your pastry cloth or floured counter top. Punch down, cover and let rest for about 10 minutes.
finger print after second rise


I then fold it all up and cut it down the middle with a dough scraper.

Using my hands, I flatten out the dough into a rectangle, making sure there are no big gas pockets. I then roll it up, pinching the bottom together and folding the ends and pinching under before setting in well greased pan to be covered and rise again until double. Using the finger print method again, I check to see if it’s ready.

Then into the oven it goes.

so let's condense this...

WHITE BREAD

Ingredients:

2  1/4 tsp or 1 package yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups milk, scalded
2 Tbl sugar
2 tsp salt
1 Tbl fat (butter, crisco or lard)
5 3/4 to 6 1/4 cups flour

Directions:

Proof yeast in water in large bowl or mixer bowl
Combine hot milk, sugar, fat, and salt, cool to lukewarm
Stir in 2 cups of flour, beat well, then add to yeast mixture
Add flour to make moderately stiff dough.
On lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and springy, 8-10 minutes
Set in greased bowl, turning once, cover and let rise (about 1 hr)
Punch dough down, dump out on counter and cover. Let rest 10 minutes.
Divide dough in half, press down into rectangle with hands, popping any
gas bubbles.
Roll into loaf, pinching bottom together and tucking ends underneath.
Put in greased loaf pans, cover and let rise second time (about 40 min)
Bake @400 for 35 min. Loaf should sound hollow when tapped.
Take loaf out of pan on rack or wooden cutting board. Immediately
rub a cube of butter over tops of loaves and let cool before cutting.



RANDY'S FAVORITE HONEY WHEAT BREAD

Ingredients:

3 cups WW flour
3 cups Bread flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup buttermilk

next day:
4 1/2 tsp yeast
1/4-1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup butter (or oil, lard)
1 TBL salt

Directions:
Mix flours and liquids and let soak overnight or up to 24 hours
Next day proof yeast in water, add remaining ingredients, then mix with flour mix

As with White Bread recipe above, knead, rise, shape into loaves rise, bake 45 min @ 375

Let me know how it goes. The Honey Wheat bread recipe uses what is known as a "levain" which is a bit like a sourdough starter as it captures wild yeast out of the air, adding to both the rising and flavor of the bread.

Let me know what you think, and how it goes!! And any of you experts, if you have something to add or a super special commercial yeast recipe, please chirp in, to help out my readers who are here trying to learn a new skill!

Next blog will be no-knead bread and sourdough.

Happy baking, from our range to yours!

Me & Heath





  1.  








Flights of Fancy







Yesterday a young relative on FB posted about almost being asleep when suddenly remembering the Tooth Fairy was supposed to visit. It reminded me of our own debacle many years ago.

I had put in a 14 hour day at the barn, cleaning stalls, working colts, teaching and foaling out a mare. It was just one of those days, and as always, followed by fixing dinner and doing dishes for the family. I had a couple of glasses of wine and fell fast asleep.

My oldest son woke me in the morning, distraught because his tooth remained under his pillow. Still groggy, I did my best to assure him that while rare, it was not an unheard of occurrence and he need only leave the tooth under his pillow and surely all would be made right.

Low and behold, that very afternoon, he got home from school and came running out of his room with an envelope in one hand and a note in the other. With incredulity he told me “There was a UNICORN!! IN. THIS. HOUSE!!!!”

The envelope had tiny little unicorn hoof prints and the note, written in very tiny script, explained that while heading to our house in the wee hours of the morning, a gust of wind blew the dollar out of her hand and underneath the troll’s bridge. It required the services of the mouse king and his army to get the dollar back. The skirmish took such a long time that the sun was high and it was very dangerous for her to travel. A unicorn kindly offered to fly her to his room, as the crows out back were surely planning to do her physical harm.

He was so excited and happy. Things had turned out so much better than if she had simply slipped in like usual and traded his tooth for a little money…or so I thought.

The following day I got a call from the Principal’s office. Apparently Matt had gotten in a fist fight in class with another student.
Unbeknownst to me, he had taken the note for show and tell, excited to share this knowledge and experience with the rest of the kids. (a trait he was known for. He once lugged a mare's afterbirth to school in a feed bucket) One of the kids challenged Matt and said there was no Tooth Fairy. To which he replied “Yes there is, isn’t there Mr ________?” His teacher hemmed and hawed and the fight began.

Remember well, the old saying, “oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”

One more reason I hate public education. Stupid peers.

A bread blog will be forthcoming.



Saturday, March 14, 2020

Rockin' and Rollin'






As things would have it, yet another interest has invaded my feeble ADHD brain.  My  jewelry making, lends itself to an interest in gemstones, which lends itself to an interest in rocks in general. 
The next thing I know, I am the proud owner of :

1) a rock tumbler 

2) various grits to go through the 4 phases
3)a flex drill 
4) a set of diamond tipped bits
5) a tile saw (which we already owned)

Not really a big investment at all. Far less than the tools for making jewelry, not to mention purchasing all the beads, findings, etc.
...all because my husband showed up one day with an interesting looking greenish rock he found on the road.

A family emergency had us heading back to California, with prayers on our lips and terror in our hearts. Both of those are still in residence. We stayed at my younger son’s, even though for the most part, he was not home, as he can typically be gone for days while working. He is a hunting guide on an enormous historical land grant ranch (The Tejon). So we stayed in his immaculately clean and organized, employee-housing abode upstairs (really long steep ones, IMO), filled with his treasures and houseplants. He has both an amazing green thumb and an artistic eye. He cooks. He's witty. In fact, now that I think about it, he's a helluva catch. If any of you happen to be a sweet, kind, beautiful lady who enjoys the outdoors and wants to meet a really good man, he's the One. No vegans or activists need inquire. Seriously, he is one of the last really good guys. I am completely objective in this.

Also, if he reads this, he is probably completely mortified right about now. 
Sorry, Bear.



 While taking Heath out for a potty break, we discovered the rocks on his road looked much different than the ones from our road in Oregon.

When the day came to make the 13 hour trek back to the Oregon ranch, which we have always driven straight through, only stopping for fuel, and Carl’s Jr in Bishop, we left at 5 am, made it to Tehachapi to meet up with half of our friend’s family for breakfast, so we weren’t the least bit hungry when we hit Bishop…well, not speaking for Heath of course, who was really looking forward to the stop, where he always enjoys a “puppy patty”.

With a rapturous expression, full of hope, he stuck his head between the seats as we approached his beloved fast food diner. His face dropped as we passed the driveway, and fell further as he saw it disappearing behind us. Poor sheppie.



 


...but...wait!


The morning’s cup of tea forced us to the side of the road, shortly after passing a wild donkey herd in Nevada, which I failed to get pictures of because TheMan was driving at 80 mph and they were on his side. I tried though. I really did. But mostly it was a shot of TheMan’s ear hair so I opted out. While off the road, I found a few glorious rocks in a ditch. I began to feel that tingle of excitement one gets, when a really cool, and intriguing new hobby starts worming it’s way into your heart.



Bypassing Carl’s also had the effect of being ravenous  by the time we hit Hawthorne. I found a small pizza place there on Maps, so we stopped. It was WELL worth the wait. What a shame that a great place like Old Nevada Pizza is sequestered away from the world in tiny Hawthorne. We decided to drive on a wee bit and pull off on Walker Lake to eat.



We were unavoidably delayed for over an hour, collecting the bitchenest rocks I have collected so far. I even pulled my shoes and socks off, to step into the lake and seek treasures there. If you’ve ever been to Nevada, you would understand that it is full of all sizes of sharp rocks...right on into the lake. Two steps in, I was trapped. The pain radiating from my soles to my brain was foreign to me, as I spent the majority of my life barefooted, even riding barefoot, unless spurs were required. I have been known to jump over a wall and land on broken glass without injury, because my feet were so tough. Living on the ranch for over a decade, where what isn’t sharp rocks, is goat-heads, I developed the bad habit of only going barefoot in the house. My feet are no longer the feet I used to know. TheMan was forced to rescue me by helping me limp painfully from shard to shard and spike to spike until I could lay down and let him use my socks to wipe the "not-quite-sand-sized" rocks off of my feet and then put my boots back on over them, while I laid on my back with my feet in the air, so he didn’t have to bend over. 

(He was already stiff from driving. Getting old sucks and don’t let anyone tell you differently) 
After this little activity, he had to help me sit up, roll to a hip and pull me to my feet, which I didn’t do very quietly. I am pretty sure the young couple strolling the water’s edge didn’t mean to snort so loudly, and I didn’t let it offend me. I no longer have any pride.

The rest of the drive home was uneventful, as Heath enjoyed some jerky we stopped and got for him and I alternated snoring with imagining what my rocks might look like after we experiment with the tumbler, should Fed Ex ever decide to deliver it to us.

Meantime, stop by the store and see what's new! Like these. I love these!
Etsy Shop 
in silver



That is about all I have to report.
As an aside, I want to mention, please don’t panic about this pandemic. Humanity has survived far worse and although we must be vigilant, don’t give up living in fear of dying.

Til next time!

Me & The Heathen

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

#GoodBoyHeath !!!



I’ve been keeping busy trying to get jewelry made for the store and soap and stuff to fill orders. Heath is used to me either being strong enough to go out and do stuff or debilitated enough to remain on the couch for a week at a time, while he remains on constant watch and has my undivided attention. This is something quite new to him and he’s just not sure he likes it much at all.

While I sequester myself in my little work corner, he goes out and patrols the back yard, making sure the cats and raccoons stay out of it. I appreciate it more than you might imagine as I am deathly allergic to cats and until I got Heath, I couldn’t even sit outside as they got dander all over my outdoor furniture where they constantly slept. They also sat in the windowsills and it would blow in the house. But he does his job well and there’s been no more wheezing or itchy eyes.

I hear the back door slam, which means he just came inside. He sighs audibly and settles into one of his sleeping areas (he has several. The N end of the couch, the papasan chair, and the giant dog bed that the Maremmas don’t like.





I continue at my task until he says something. Heath doesn’t bark much, but he does vocalize a LOT. In his talky voice, he complains and lets me know he isn’t happy. He gets up and takes it out on the giant exercise ball and sends it smashing into me. Then he roots his nose into my leg a couple of times until he is satisfied has my attention. Then he smiles. Yes, he really does smile. I take a break and spend some time with him. I can count on him to keep my priorities straight.

Last night Heath was running through the house, collecting all his toys and putting them in the toy basket. He thought he was done and looked at me for confirmation. There was still a disc behind him. I asked him to back up, which he did, still looking at me. Then I thought for a minute, checked my hands and turned to the side, then told him to look left. He immediately did, and saw the disc. He picked it right up and put it away. TheMan was laughing at me, because it took me so long to figure out which was right and which was left. Heath had no such problem. Sometimes it’s tough having a dog smarter than me.

I've got Lemongrass, This Suds' for You (beer soap), Honeysuckle and HoneyMoo soaps currently curing, waiting to go in the store. A few jewelry pieces are done and this week I plan to work on some new jewelry techniques as well as some liquid soaps.



 Lemongrass colored with turmeric which has anti-inflammatory properties.

Beer soap with cocoa butter is a super good cleaning soap, that also conditions your skin.

The Honeysuckle has added turmeric and paprika.



 Heath continues to aid and entertain me each day, with his antics. He daily brings me his empty bowl to let me know he is likely to starve if I don't give him a snackie... and has also brought me his bowl FULL of dogfood that he didn't particularly like!

"halp me..."

"dis stuff is yuk"

"Need snackie plez"


Here's hoping you all have a good February. It's leap year, so there's no excuse not to get everything done, cuz we get an extra day :)

'Til next time,

Me N Heath

Monday, January 13, 2020

A Gem of an Idea



It’s been awhile. That’s because I don’t blog unless I am in a pretty good mood and have good things to share. That was the case frequently when I was riding, had my milk cow and sheep, and was getting out and about each day, living life to the fullest. Multiple autoimmune conditions and a state of constant pain has made that a much more rare set of circumstances, but here I am!

As people in my predicament always do, I am making adjustments. Things are constantly changing and my health is fluid. One day I am able to go out and ride, the next may be in a wheelchair. But I am picking up new ways to busy my mind and do something with my life. I want most to share things of value with my grandchildren, so any skills I can give them, I do.

I was unable to do any gardening the past couple of years as it was just too much and too painful, so I turned to houseplants.

 They make me happy and I can root cuttings to make new plants to gift friends. That led to my needing a plant hanger, so I bought some jute and with a u-tube session and a book, I refreshed my skills and put them together. I was in California in August and two of my granddaughters were there. The boredom monster raised its head so I decided to teach her a couple of macrame knots to make herself some bracelets. She was quickly addicted to it and I left her with plenty of string and some letter beads. Next thing I knew, she was telling me how much money she had made selling friendship “faith” bracelets and plant hangers.


Living so far away from family and seeing them as seldom as I do, makes birthdays and Christmas difficult as I never know what they have, what they like, what they want. She was having so much fun with the bracelets I decided to teach myself to make some jewelry so I could teach her, and get her the tools for Christmas as it seemed like a great hobby for a girl about to launch into her teen years and one that would last a lifetime if she enjoyed it. It’s a pastime that she can continue to learn and gain more sophisticated skills as she matures, so I dove in. It wasn't long until I found myself really enjoying it, and thrilled that there are so many techniques that can be learned. I've been making some wire wrap jewelry and look forward to doing some wire weaving, as well as learning to work with seed beads. It has completely taken me by surprise, as I never wore much jewelry myself. Working in a barn all my life didn't lend itself to fashion, but like so much in my life, except for riding, I turned out to really like doing it.  I always knew I loved riding and training, but cooking, baking, gardening, raising sheep, milking cows, making soap, etc. were all things I started doing with no idea how much fun it would be.

I posted a few pics on my FB page and folks started asking if I was going to sell, so I have re opened the Etsy shop and will be selling handmade jewelry along with soaps. It's taking some times to get inventory made, but at least it keeps me off the...couch!





I think 2020 is going to be a much better year, and I plan to be around here more, so hope to hear from you all!


 Love,
Petey & The Happy Heathen