Tuesday, December 13, 2011

christmas props

Some of you will remember MY BLOG POST about the Christmas Party at Mom's retirement home last Christmas. It was my 3rd or 4th year to help lead the festivities for the residents. They are nice to ask and I'm normally happy to do it, but when the invitation came to please do it again this year...I was hesitant.

I didn't wanna.

How could I go back out there where Mom lived and where we spent so much time?

How could I be a cheery Christmas elf when the very act of being in the retirement home would fill me with sadness?

That's it....I'd say I couldn't do it! They would understand my grief. I didn't want to face the way being there would make me feel. Nope. Nada. No thank you.

But then I heard her voice.....dammit...."Kath....some of those people don't have anybody. Nobody. It would mean the world to them for you to come lead the party" 

Really, Mom....speaking to me beyond the grave? What's up with that? O---K, I'll do it. Now, be quiet!

I stewed. I delayed. I hemmed and hawed. I tried to come to a certain peace about being out there and how all of this was gonna work.

Then....I came up with the perfect solution. The shiniest, most perfectest, most baby Jesus-y Christmas prop EV-ER!! I'm totally, absolutely without shame!

You guessed it precious Chicken Wing reader......Baby G!!

People in retirement/nursing homes rarely get to see a baby.

One of my favorite residents. She's always beautiful, happy and slightly ornery. Love her!

They NEVER get to see a cute baby wearing reindeer antlers!

The Christmas party for the residents today was a slam dunk. They loved seeing baby G.

Santa made a special appearance

Of course, I closed the party with retirement home bichon FREE-SAY extraordinaire....the fabulous waving Sophie. She wished everyone a Merry Christmas with her furiously waving paws.
Sophie and Santa in 2010

I'd say it went pretty well. It's a milestone, for sure. Many of the residents spoke to me of their love for my mother, of her fabulous bridge playing and of her black humor. At times, I teared up....but it was OK, cuz usually the friend telling me the story was teary as well. I needed to hear the stories....needed to give and receive lots of hugs.

Overflowing gratitude to the Sprout for going to all the trouble of dressing up a newborn, a bichon and a golden doodle in Christmas outfits for their moment in the sun at the 'home' Christmas party. You are an outstanding daughter. Hopefully, you will not hear my voice beyond the grave. Love you, Sprout.
The Texan and I have not lost the necessary skill of eating while a baby sleeps on one shoulder. The Texan said G's pajamas might contain a stray pinto bean

The Texan says he hopes Baby G doesn't catch a bad case of the gout from being at the home today.

Hope your Christmas is filled with joy!

Shameless Christmas prop love to all.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

baby rogaine

Got to spend some time with the grandson today. I was shocked to find he had grown a thick, lustrous mane of dark hair. He's only 6 weeks old! He'll have a full beard at 4 months at this rate!
Is Mom slipping you some Rogaine??
Naw....I'm pullin' your leg.....that's the Sprout's lovely long hair cascading down his forehead as she holds baby G. He looks handsome with dark hair....yes?

I got to hold him and talk to him and 'mobilize him' (got him a musical mobile) and kiss him and change him. It was loads of fun. I had forgotten how quirky the infant 'mood' can be.
uh-oh...somethin' doesn't feel right
                                Baby G can go from happy to sad to happy again in a snap

                      Are you wet/dirty or do you just depise cowhide?? This is TEXAS, baby!

Does this mean you're going to be a vegan? Allright, sweetie....I'll save you from the awful cowhide pillow.
I love spending time with baby G. He's 'seeing' things now and he likes to babble at me.

Baby G smiling at his GrandBob
Babies are amazing and exhausting. The Sprout is doing great and she has the energy of a million women!  God knew what he was doing when he gave babies to the young.

I'm relearning some skills, but one thing I know for certain. I'd jump through flaming hoops for one of those baby smiles.

I'm grateful.

Hope this week leaves you grinning.

Lustrous locks love to all.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Discovered these photos and thought I'd share.

A big success this weekend:  made an apple pie with a homemade crust!

OK...maybe it doesn't look THAT beautiful. Those are decorative leaves on the pie, people!
I was possessed. Had. to. make. apple. pie. I've never been a very successful pie maker....my crusts taste like salty boot leather. This time out, I utilized the nifty food processor to mix (not too much!) the fat and flour. I used mostly butter (with just a dab of the wonder-ingredient Crisco) for this pie crust. I rolled it out between 2 sheets of parchment paper. The crust was flaky, delicate and delicious. How could it not be wonderful with 8 gallons of butter? I waded through puddles of flour and toiled for hours wiping the embedded white stuff off the deco-molding on my 1960's kitchen cabinets. Probably won't be making pie again any time real soon.

Now for failure. I wanted to bring you...my valued chicken-wing reader...an adorable Halloween post. Something to tickle your funny bone and get you into the spirit of the wicked holiday. Yes....I was going to bring you the fearsome-ness of...........
SA-TAN! (bwah-ha-ha-ha-haaaaa)
I know...it was midday and the harsh light was unflattering. I know better.

Something is making me uncomfortable.
But I found this devil mask at the local walmarts and just HAD to show it to Roxy Doxy.

Hello?! Notice the slanted right eye! No good.....
 Have you ever noticed doxies have rather long, narrow faces?
I'll pry the stupid thing off with my very own paws!
The satanical mask was grossly too wide for Doxy's petite face....so I worked on it.
There's a reason it's called floral wire....it's for FLOWERS.
Using available floral wire, I simple poked a couple holes in the bottom portion of the mask and twist-tied the wire around her snout.

Why couldn't I have the Kim Kardashian custume??
Perhaps I turned the twisty-tie thingy a smidge too tight??

No amount of treats is worth this humiliation.

 I never got the perfect devil photo:
I hate you.
Big, mega FAIL. If it's not Kim Kardashian or Lady GaGa, Roxy Doxy wants no part of it. Don't feel too sorry for her. After the unsuccessful Satan photo shoot, I let Doxy engage in one of her FAVORITE activities.

Where's the beef?
You guessed it! Sniffin' out the walmarts bags for a special doggie treat!

Of course, she found one.

Enjoy your successes and learn from your perceived 'failures'.

Oh...and it never hurts to add PLENTY of butter.

Autumnal love to all.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

my life in spurs

Finally got around to organizing the tackroom at my humble barn. The 'best old lady horse in the world' aka Rodney is home with me for a while. Rod's not exactly a ranch horse...he's a show horse, so when he moves, he come with lots of diva horse show equipment. I needed to clean house and make room for his supplies.

I found these handy racks and thought they were perfect for the abundance of English and Western bits I've accumulated over the years.
As I sorted and sneezed through the dusty boxes and trunks in the tack room, I kept discovering spurs amid the 20+ years of horse show remnants. Lifting the treasures onto the rack, my mind's eye pictured the best moments spent with the Sprout, the favorite horses, and the wonderful horse-show friends.

Here is my spur journey.

The Sprout's first pair of youth spurs. We had a mature gelding named Arizona. We did everything with that horse...he was fast as greased lightening!
Wasn't long until our horizons expanded and we started riding English. Living in West Texas, riding a ranch gelding....WHY did we want to do that? Lands...we didn't have a lick of sense, but we thought we should. We even jumped a little. The Sprout broke her arm in an easy fall off the gelding. I splinted her arm with a paint stirrer and some torn fabric strips for the drive to the hospital. We were unfazed. The Sprout wanted me to ride with her, so I got a horse too.
We improved our horses and our horsemanship skills bit by bit. We got some help from a trainer named 'Polly'. She gave us these spurs to use with our little gray western pleasure mare. I haven't seen Polly in years. She moved to Missouri....I even visited there after her move. We lost track of each other.
The Sprout graduated to her very own pair of ball-spurs with her initials. Probably was a birthday or Christmas present. These were great spurs to use in horsemanship classes. The long shank enables the rider to keep his feet in the proper position in the stirrups.
These spurs kinda puzzled me.....they look like a hybrid between an English and a Western spur. Don't think they'd do too much to get a horse to move, but they are lovely and feminine. I rode with these for a while.
Ready to call the SPCA now, are you? These are called 'rock-grinders'. Although these look very beat up, I don't remember using them but a handful of times. I don't recommend these spurs 'cause they can get a rider in trouble in a hurry, but if you ride a very dead-sided horse who will not move off of your leg, you can remind the horse to move in these. Just one ride with these amazingly restores the horse's memory.
These are the spurs I ride Rod in much of the time today. They're just a nothin'-special clover leaf spur. Sometimes he moves OK off of these....sometimes he needs a stiffer reminder. Most riders like to have different types of spurs available to meet the changing requirements of getting a horse to move correctly. If a rider uses the same spur every day, the horse gets a little dull to them and it's time to change things up.
These are the latest spurs to enter my life. They were given to the grandson by a family friend. Who knows if he will want to ride, but I've been working on an arena and finding the perfect pony....just in case. It's best to plan ahead.

Why would I rather clean the tack room at the barn than clean my house? The Texan wants to know.

Now move along, or I'll have to use the rock-grinders on you!

Spurry love to all.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

he's here

The grandson entered the world last Friday night and here are the promised pictures.

Baby G....8lbs 13oz

Sprout #2 did an outstanding job under nail-biting circumstances. She's a total champ. I probably annoyed her, but she was understanding of my concern. I think describing her labor as loooooooooooong wouldn't be an overstatement. Thanks to all who prayed us through this process. We are beyond grateful. Thank you, thank you.....mmmmmm-wah (big kiss)...can't thank you enough!!
baby G and KK
Thought I was gonna have to break a few arms to get my chance to hold the baby. Such a big, sturdy boy! Do you see gratitude oozing from my every pore? Oh, and I NEED a haircut!
Holding a newborn just makes one happy, doesn't it? Is there any better feeling?
Sprout #1....now he's Uncle W. Looks like he swallowed a canary!
Took the opportunity yesterday to bombard the recovering Sprout and Son-in-law's house with much of my photo paraphernalia. I was hankering for some nifty newborn photos. Never mind I know NADA about taking photos of infants....just jump right in...do it...get the feet wet.

After some unfortunate attempts to take baby's picture in a stupid basket (with a handle that obscured his face), and trying to balance Grandson in the seat of my western saddle (he's not fond of tooled leather and an abundance of silver)....I took his photo with a huge, scary-looking bear!
Cute feet
Doesn't matter that said bear looks ready to devour him...Grandson looks peaceful enough. It's an honest and solid first attempt. Photographed with love.
Scary bear really looks ravenous in the above photo, but baby G is so brave, he's smiling. Take that, scary bear!

Oh lands!....There's lots to learn, isn't there?

The little smile captivated me...so I had to do a close up...even though it shows my limits as a newborn photog.
The Sprout wanted to keep Baby G awake some during the day yesterday hoping he might sleep a little better during the night. I think we accomplished that, Sprout.

He was jostled, bounced, maneuvered, balanced, and we might have bumped his head into the handle of the stupid wicker basket. Hopefully, he'll hold no memories of the trauma.

Promise me.......you won't ask the Sprout about the Boy Scout axe photo prop. It's better left alone for now.

Smiling love to all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I enjoyed capturing the reflections in the lake
Thought we'd made our last trip to the beloved mountains of Colorado. Happily, I was wrong! We had a short trip last weekend to see the changing leaves and to spend a little quality time with friends.
The brilliant aspens were heralds trumpeting the changing season. Blue sky, cool lake, warm sunshine=ahhhhh.

Perfecto walking weather.

Roxy Doxy's bff, Nellie the Westie

It's always a hoot watching the canines enjoying themselves. They took a thousand steps to our one step and wore themselves out!

Roxy Doxy contemplating the changing seasons and the meaning of life

The leaves made me ponder how our lives have changed over the years. Many of these folks are grandparents...unbelievable, you say? Believe it....they are!

Our cast of mountain characters

Well, my friends....our grandson comes into the world TOMORROW! It's got me all thoughtful, gooey and introspective. Has me wondering what makes this milestone so special, aside from the fact a new life is entering the world, and the miracle of birth, and how this life might affect the world for good.....and on and on. Those are the obviously wonderful things.

I think what has me pumped up is something more on a personal level. It's the possibility of change in me. I'm going to strap on an entirely new persona. Yes, I'll still be me....but I'll be different. I will be KK...the grandmother. A grandmother living with GrandBob, the grandfather. Maybe I'll have the opportunity to be a better grandparent than I was a parent. Can I show more patience and be more loving to this grandson than I was the first time around with my own children? I think so....I'm older and a little wiser. Oh, how grateful I am for second chances!! Thankfully, I have friends who will help me out.
I'm ready for the change and the challenge.

Don't worry...I'll post the news and photos as soon as I can.

Wish us luck!

Seasonal love to all.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

new dog, old dog

I think I have shown some of you a couple of photos of the new puppy at the horse barn.

If you haven't yet gazed upon this cuteness....steel yourself for a major cute overload!

Boo...the new border collie/heeler mix pup
This pup is love incarnate....pure fun, kisses, nips and rip-roarin' energy!

This face transforms me into a gooey, baby-talking idiot.  Boo....ah-Boo...ah wuv ewe!
Those eyes...absolutely guileless
Boo is now at the horse barn involving herself in her puppy affairs.  Those affairs include biting the reins on your headstall, grabbing the lunge line (while a horse is lunging on the other end) and hanging by her teeth with legs dangling, and searching for an acceptable rhythm to her day.

Let's ask the resident barn dog, red-heeler Perry how she feels about the new arrival.

Hey Perry.....howgoesit with the new puppy? You guys getting along?
C'mon Perry! It can't be THAT bad!! Turn over and let's play some ball!
You don't feel like getting up to greet me today? That's OK, Perry....you tell me all about how rough it's been with the addition of the new puppy?
That bad, huh?!

Old dog love to all. ***scratch, scratch***