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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Good To Be Home

Airline travel used to be fun—in 1997 when I went to work for Kimberly-Clark, travel was fun.  I quickly built up airline miles and hotel points, usually sat in first class and was greeted by name at the Delta counter—“good morning Ms. Clark, here are your boarding passes.”  Then, as we all know, September 11 happened and air travel was no longer fun. 

In this day and age airline travel is really no fun—the seats and aisles are so small it’s easy to become extremely claustrophobic!  In the good ole days on any flight three hours or longer, food was served and in first class that food was good!  Today you have to pay for icky food!

So—it’s very good to be home.  The cowboy and Emmi were quite happy to see me!  We went into Wickenburg for dinner last night then called it a night—two hour time changes kick my butt and I was exhausted!

Today was “woe is Emmi” day—bath and a really good haircut.  Michael spent the day puttering in the garage and that’s the extent of our Saturday!  Another new recipe in the crockpot—honey lime chicken—will let you know how it turns out!

DSCN3698Sunrise one morning last week before I left for North Carolina.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Charlotte, North Carolina

About two and a half years ago I went back to work as a nurse consultant for an up and coming company, the TIDI Corporation.  The job was touted as a consultant/independent contractor position—work when I wanted kind of job and the pay was very good.  It all sounded great—it’s exactly what I did for the much bigger corporate giant Kimberly-Clark for twelve years—except TIDI didn’t offer the nurse consultants many assignments.  My last assignment was in March, 2016, almost a year ago.

Fast forward to TIDI acquiring some niche market healthcare companies and there is more potential work.  I am in Charlotte, NC attending a strategy meeting with these young, baby faced gung ho folks who make me feel ancient yet energized!  It’s been a long, long time since I sat in a meeting for an entire day but I survived!  Tonight we were rewarded with an excellent dinner at a downtown Charlotte restaurant—300 East—sweet potato ravoli, potato cakes, onion/horseradish sauce on hanger steak—not your average cowboy fare for sure but oh, so good! 

And I experienced Uber for the first time—trip to the restaurant was frightening—I had to tell the guy to “STOP”—emergency vehicles were coming through the stop light and he was just going to go.  Once the emergency vehicles were through, he then proceeded to run the red light and we were almost hit.  He stopped ON the train tracks and our boss in the back seat said, “we need to MOVE, there is a train coming!!!”  The trip back to the hotel was much less exciting—thank goodness!!

One more day here then I fly home Friday morning to the cowboy and Emmi. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Do You Feed Your Dogs

The cowboy was reading something on the internet this morning—something political and said, “you should post that on your blog.”  I said, “nope, my blog is not political!”  When I told him what the topic of tonight’s blog would be he laughed and said, “and you said your blog was not political!”

Of course you feed your dogs—your furkids, your babies.  But how people feed differs greatly!  Some veterinarians will tell you dogs should be fed on a schedule and others will tell you, “just put the food out, they will eat when hungry.”  And all dog owners have an opinion—there is no right or wrong way as long as your dog maintains a healthy weight as far as I’m concerned—this is just how I do it.

Our JazzJazzy girl. 

In my adult life I’ve had five dogs—an obnoxious, mean little dachshund, two 70 pound each Airedales, one male, one female and litter mates, another little schnauzer and then Emmi.  I have always free fed—put the prescribed daily amount of a high quality dog food in their bowls in the morning—and walked off and left them. 

None of my dogs including the dachshund were ever overweight, the two Airedales had separate bowls and they worked out who ate when.  All the dogs including Emmi might eat some in the morning, leave the rest and go back at some point in the day to finish their food.  Emmi is the funniest dog we’ve ever had—she eats when she feels like it which is usually when Michael and I decide to go to bed.  Emmi rarely eats everything in her bowl and she has always weighed the same—a perfect 11 pounds.

Emmi doesn’t wake us in the morning wanting fed—she sleeps late, we usually have to wake her up about 8:30—9:00 to go for a walk.  She doesn’t beg for food unless she hears the word “cheese” as that’s what I wrap her three times a week medication in.  We give her no people food other than the cheese.  My Airedales and the other schnauzer were given people food and it made horrible beggars of them.  After Jazz, our schnauzer died I swore the next pooch would only get dog food. 

So—that’s how I do it—and I’m sure our dog owning friends have an opinion!  In our North Ranch circle of friends, our feeding method is in the minority it seems—most feed on a schedule.

7 weeks old first day homeEmmi at seven weeks.

A little over 5 monthsFive month old Emmi—she had the wildest fur!

Beating up on EmmiJasmine and BoJangles beating up on Emmi in the Bouse desert—they weren’t really beating up on her—just playing.

Finishing up for Jazz2 12weeksJazz started destroying this basket as a puppy and Emmi finished it off!

OK—that was fun—for me—looking back through old photos of our pooches!  All the photos of the dachshund and Airedales are pre-digital and back at home in Montana—I need to get some of those scanned into the computer.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Double UGH

Nothing much going on around here—just a whole lot of coughing/hacking/sneezing/kleenex use!  It’s been seven days since this crud attacked me and I can honestly say I’m only marginally better.  The cough is nasty—keeps me awake at night—I have no appetite, a good thing if you are trying to lose weight but it’s one nasty diet!  Michael woke in the middle of the night with what is probably strep throat—don’t know if he finally got one particular germ from my crud or from someone else but he always seems to get the major sore throat. 

Our dear friends Larry and Geri brought lunch today and took little Emmi off for a play date—she went quite happily—these two sick people she is living with haven’t been doing much playing!  A quick walk in the desert is about all we are managing!


We were so sorry to read of the death of blogger Rod Ivers—even though we never met we read each others’ blogs and left frequent comments.  I will never forget Rod’s “Roomba/Biscuit” post.  May he rest in peace with his dear wife Loyce.

Stay healthy friends and family!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Whitewater Draw

We finally made it to Whitewater Draw—a marshy area located near Elfrida, AZ managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.  In Montana during spring and summer we will have one or two pairs of nesting Sandhill Cranes in our fields.  We enjoy seeing these huge birds and hearing their haunting calls.

Whitewater Draw is the winter home for 20,000—30,0000 Sandhill Cranes and we had been told it was quite the sight and sound—well it was an amazing experience!  In late afternoon just before dusk the birds started arriving chattering with each other and finding just the right spot to rest for the night.  We sat out there in the damp chill until almost dark watching large bands fly in.  They were also joined by other smaller birds—yellow headed black birds by the hundreds.




DSC_4371The yellow headed black bird flock



During the night I was up and heard a strange noise—opened the kitchen window and could hear the voices of thousands of cranes—amazing.  Michael said during the night he thought the coyotes were after the birds—he would hear the coyotes howling then a mighty squawking—the brochure states the birds stand in the shallow waters to avoid predators but they might have met up with a coyote who didn’t mind getting his feet wet in order to have supper!

We walked out to the viewing area just before dawn on Saturday morning and it was even more amazing—thousands and thousands of those huge birds—all talking to each other.DSCN3686DSCN3690

New Year’s Eve was very exciting around here—I went to bed at 4:30pm—not am and slept until 2017!  It’s been more of the same all day today—up for a while, back to bed.  Lousy bug!!

Happy New Year to all our readers, friends and family!!


Friday, December 30, 2016

Nasty Bug

All the flights I took over the Christmas holidays were miserably full—packed to the gills.  From Little Rock to Phoenix Monday afternoon on a Southwest flight, I chose an aisle seat beside a skinny man and what appeared to be his grandson—about 5-6 years old—who was sitting in the window seat.  The plane kept filling with people/bags and about the time the flight attendant stated the forward door was closed—the kid coughed—and coughed without covering his mouth.  Great!!!—now I’m stuck sitting beside this little germ factory—I tried not breathing—that didn’t work well. Smile About halfway through the flight the grandfather told the child to cough into his sleeve—you are a little late buster!!

Well, Wednesday morning I made the mistake of saying to the cowboy—“I think I got lucky and didn’t catch that kid’s bug.”  Should not, should not have said that!!  Wednesday evening I started to cough—no other symptoms—just this cough deep in my chest which reminded me of the little kid’s cough.  Thursday morning I woke feeling awful and the day went downhill from there.  I puttered around all day but about 4pm gave up the battle and went to bed where I stayed off and on until Friday morning.  I feel slightly better today—strangest illness—no really bad symptoms except the cough and head congestion.  Now if I can just keep the cowboy from catching it!

I promised you photos from our ATV ride—we rode down to the Hassayampa River to check the water level after our 2 1/2 inches of rain.  We were rewarded with seeing way more water than normal--IMG_5757IMG_5761


 IMG_5767And these photos are from an earlier ride we took back before Christmas—to Anderson Mill.

IMG_5740IMG_5749The cowboy and Tom trying to figure out the workings.


The cowboy and I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and wish you good health and happiness in the coming New Year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Back In Arizona

The cowboy and I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  In Arkansas I certainly enjoyed my time with family—we ate, shopped, visited, ate, shopped, visited and repeated.  Christmas Eve we traveled from house to house—a tradition for us—appetizers at Mom’s, salads at Niki and Eric’s, main course at Danny and Ann’s with dessert and a Chinese gift exchange at Ross and Vicky’s.  There are no really young children in our family any longer—Niki and Eric sometimes have foster children but their “little bird” as Niki calls the foster children flew off to his family recently.  This little guy had spent over a year in their home and he is sorely missed! 

Niki and Eric have one teenager, Elizabeth and Leah who is almost a teen.  Christmas morning we all trucked over to their house to watch Elizabeth and Leah open presents.  Leah had a really, really big box to open only to find a bunch of weird wrapped gifts (think old glass vase) before she found “the” present at the bottom of the box—an iPhone—that was one excited little girl!


DSCN3660After all that excitement we enjoyed breakfast—Ann made cinnamon rolls, Niki made biscuits and gravy—we then all waddled off to church!

DSCN3680Sunset in Arkansas.

I flew into Phoenix Monday afternoon at 4:30 and cruised home with no traffic slow downs—not a normal occurrence!  Michael had pizza waiting—he and Emmi were sure glad to see me! 

Today we took an ATV ride down to the river to see how much water was running—we had 2.5 inches of rain while I was gone!  I’ll share those photos on the next blog.