Thursday, September 29, 2005

This Old House

June 2003 was a busy month. I had the house stucco'd and the trim painted, using the southwestern colors that blend so well in the beautiful Mojave Desert. My home is full of Native American art and I even found a few beautiful pieces to adorn the front porch. A Circle of Life welcomes visitors, along with a small cascading fountain and of course, the Kokopelli dancers to the right side of the sliding door. The man who originally built the place in the 1960's lovingly gathered the natural stones from the property and built the walls and planters leading up to the house which sits above the property right up against the butte behind the house.

The story that was told to Paul when he bought the property from the heirs was that the original owner/builder was given a year to live. He was told he needed to go to the ocean. I have no idea what his health issues were but I surmise it was a problem with his lungs, but that's just a guess. He didn't like the ocean so he moved up to the Mojave Desert and bought a large piece of land and set out to live out his final days.

He built a cinder block building and lived in it, and then continued to build what is now the downstairs of our home. The downstairs consisted of a cinder block room with a bathroom off the back, actually built into the side of the hill on the back side. The bathroom had a large closet, again underground. His health improved enough that he started building an upstairs. Soon he had a small living room and kitchen and bathroom upstairs and he finished the living room and two of the kitchen walls in a beautiful solid pine wood. In the kitchen, he built pine cabinets and a china cabinet with glass doors and drawers built in under the cabinet. He installed a wood burning stove in the living room to heat the upstairs and built a carport off the side of the downstairs room. He lived for this house.

It might not be a McMansion, but I can still feel the love he put into this house and when people ask why my bedroom is downstairs and my living room is upstairs, I tell them the story of the man who was given a year to live but instead came to the desert and lived many, many years giving his heart to this land and this home. I have sworn to him that I will take care of it as long as I live here and am able.

I know he would love the 2 ponds I have added and the decks and even the colors I have chosen that enhance his hard work. RIP old man.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Grandma's Angel...

Luke had a rough day today. It was his first full day with his new glasses. Sweet dreams, Luke. Grandma loves you!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I Should'a Been A Cowgirl

Our Wedding, August 1993
He came over to our table and asked me what Joe was talking about, so I found the courage to take him in the side room and gave him my Hooterville Holler. When he got to the part about his (ex) girlfriend and the gun incident, he laughed harder and grabbed my hand and led me to the dance floor for our first dance.

A little over a year after my first Hooterville Holler, we were married on a warm August evening. My buckskin wedding ensemble was surprisingly comfortable, and I rode bareback on my paint, Cheyenne, with my sister holding her lead. At the outdoor reception at the house, we had tons of food, a live band, and line danced around the giant boulder in front of the house well into the night.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Lisa Tagged Me!!

Seven Things To Do Before I Die

1) See the USA
2) Visit Ireland
3) Add a 2nd Story to the House
4) Visit All the Hawaiian Islands
5) See the Anastazi Ruins
6) Paint
7) Win The Lottery

Seven Things I Can Do

1) Make Guacamole
2) Laugh
3) Write
4) Ride a Horse
5) Troubleshoot
6) Read Directions
7) Shop, Shop, Shop

Seven Things I Cannot Do

1) Sing
2) Skydive
3) Knit
4) Fly a Plane
5) Cartwheels
6) Speak Another Language
7) Listen to Rap

What Attracts You To A Partner

1) Humor
2) Compassion
3) Confidence
4) Honesty
5) Intelligence
6) Smile
7) Love of Animals

What Do You Say Most Often?

1) Oh Sh*t!
2) Please Turn That Down
3) Have You Seen My Glasses?
4) I’m On The Phone
5) I’m On The Other Line
6) I Faxed That This Morning
7) No, I’m His Wife (I have a deep voice)

Celebrity Crushes

1) Sam Elliott
2) Al Pacino
3) Paul Newman
4) Tom Hanks
5) Tom Berenger
6) William Hurt
7) Erik Estrada (ok, we met in 1968 and … )

Seven People Who I Tag To Do This:

Don’t know 7 Bloggers, so I’ll tag Gwenhwyfar

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

FEMA Goes 2 Thumbs Up!

Due to recent criticism, rumor has it that Beverly Hills shelters will now be featuring the following Top 10 Amenities in case of emergencies:

1) SUV Valet Parking
2) Vegan MREs with Organic Milk
3) Atkins low-carb Tofu
4) Evian water
5) Hemp blankets by Gucci
6) Emu oil facials
7) Personal trainer (or DVD of Sweatin' To The Oldies)
8) Famous Amos Cookie Pillow Snacks with Turn Down Service
9) Choice of Chin Chin Take-Out or Wolfgang Puck Pizza from Spago
10) Individual Counseling with Dr Phil

Sunday, September 11, 2005

We Interrupt Your Regular Blog Reading...

With FEMA News:

Attention FEMA District IX Inhabitants!!

It has come to my attention our acting FEMA director for the IX’s district has a degree in Recreation Administration.

In the event of a disaster, please report to the shelter nearest you and bring your craft supplies!

A complete schedule of activities will be posted, but here are a few examples:

Day One:
0900: Bobbing for water bottles
1000: Sandwich making for the multitudes
1100: How to crochet that sleeping bag
1200: Diaper changing without diapers
1300: Meet 25,000 of your neighbors
1400: Macramé a complete outfit change
1500: Duct tape decoupage
1600: Rubberstamping those FEMA forms
1700: How to spice up those MREs
1800: Candle making with earwax
1900: Making Mosaics with Grandma’s china
2000: Singing H-E-L-P to music (similar to Y-M-C-A)
2100: Jewelry tools as self-defense
2200: Knitting a 6-man tent
2300: Earplugs for dummies
0000: Creative hygiene

Thursday, September 08, 2005

What'cha Gonna Do With a Cowboy (Part Deaux)

By Chris Ledoux
(Garth Brooks)
I can see you got your eye on this old cowboy,
And I can tell you've never had one for your own,
Or you've never been around one,
Now you're thinkin that you've found one,
Well it might be kinda fun to take him home.

You giggle every time that I say yes ma'am
And I get this feelin if I held you tight,
You'd be seein' his and hers,
Buckles boots and spurs,
But that's a feelin' you'll get over overnight.

Cause whatcha gonna do with a cowboy
When that old rooster crows at dawn,
When he's lyin' there instead,
Of getttin out of bed
And puttin on his boots and gettin gone,
What you gonna do when he says honey
I've got half a mind to stay,
What you gonna do with a cowboy,
When he don't saddle up and ride away.

You can see it takes a special kinda woman
To put up with the life a cowboy leads,
Cause his boots are always muddy,
And his beer drinkin' buddies
Will camp out on your couch and never leave,
Don't even start to think you're gonna change him,
You'd be better off to try and rope the wind,
What you see is what he's got,
And he can't be what he's not
And honey you can't hide him from your friends.

That song pretty well sums up my courtship and marriage to my husband. He's a high school mathematics teacher and former Navy Top Gun graduate.
He was an F14 RIO (think "Goose" in Top Gun), Annapolis graduate, who retired after 10 years as a Lieutenant in the Navy to raise his son as a single parent. He hadn't exactly led a sheltered or boring life. Well, neither had I. Heh.

I digress.

My first Hooterville Holler was about Waldo The Wonder Horse. The late Waldo The Wonder Horse ... and a few little remarks about his former girlfriend who allegedly was shooting his .44 at his ranch and some of his friends had to run out there and disarm her before Paul could return home.
Obviously his taste in women ran to the wild side, or at least they did then.

Well, heck! I was a pretty good shot myself and my daddy was a retired Navy Chief (and Lt's KNOW that Chiefs run the Navy), so I was in good shape. Besides, my dad had known Paul for years before I met him and dad liked Paul.
So, armed with my first Hooterville Holler, I headed up to the desert for some dancing and hanging out with my dad, sister and the Outlaws, er, Outriders.

I got there first and showed my writings to my sister and Joe, the bartender. He shook his head and laughed and watched the door for Paul and his side-kick, Lloyd to arrive. Pretty soon, in they came. They stood at the bar and ordered Jack Daniels and Joe pointed to my table and told Paul I wanted to show him something. At that moment, I thought about tearing up my little story and going out the back door, but it was too late. He was walking to my table.

To be continued...

Monday, September 05, 2005

“What’cha Going Do With A Cowboy?”

The guys loped their horses up to the wedding ceremony to that song by Chris LeDoux (RIP, Chris), while my sister led my old paint Cheyenne as I rode bareback to George Strait’s “I Cross My Heart” (from the motion picture “Pure Country”). I was wearing leather and it was August in the Mojave Desert.

I met Paul in a country bar. I had been coming up to Hooterville nearly every weekend since Mom died to see my dad. My sister and I came up for my dad’s lodge installation and we snuck out to go dance at the “Mule Lip Saloon” (I’m not making this up!)

Paul was there that night with another woman. In fact I knew her and went up to say hello. She introduced us. I had no way of knowing they would break up that very night, and it had nothing to do with me. That’s how and where I met him but it was also a few months before we actually started seeing each other, and a little over a year later we were married.

I had no intention of ever marrying again. I’d done it three times already and it wasn’t something I was very good at apparently. Besides, women my age had a better chance of getting hit by lightning than marrying at my age, or so I heard.

I was having a great time dancing. I had learned the 10 Step at the office. I was working on Sunset Boulevard for a media buying service. After work hours we’d put on a tape and learn dance steps out in the shipping department. Other times I would learn a dance that I had video taped the weekend before, taping the footwork, then learning it in my bedroom at night before bedtime.

Soon every weekend I was driving to Hooterville. I got to see my dad and my sister had moved up there and I had joined an equestrian group called the “Outriders”. There was always a ride on the weekend, sometimes an overnight ride, and we even rode in the Hooterville July 4th Parade. I was seeing a cowboy named Wild Bill. Ok. Looking back I can see I was in a midlife crisis but WTF?

Paul was dating his girlfriend du jour. One even had to be disarmed before he could go home. That’s another story for another time. Anyway, WB and I went our separate ways and Paul and Annie Oakley did too. One afternoon my sister called to report that Paul’s horse, Waldo (no I am not making this up either) had died (he ate some Oleander) … oh, and BTW, he was single again. I wrote my first Hooterville Holler that day.

To Be Continued….