An old cowboy wandering the west with a batshit crazy dog and a fine Buckskin Mare in a Lakota LQ drug around by a tired ol' Dodge Pickup.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Chasing the Wind and The Road Leads Me On...

Seems like I'm never gonna figure out just what it is I'm gonna be when I grow up... Cowboy, Soldier, Writer, Leather Carver... Drifter...

I keep running at it but when you've a bad case of AADD compounded by a Cowboy's restless feet it's purt near impossible to stay focused on any one thing long enough to say "This... This is what I'll be doin'..." and so I keep on following that "Road" that leads me on, wherever it takes me.

Which in a few days it will be pulling me along again...

*Life seen through a horses ears*

Cochise Camp will be left to bake in the sun for another season... or two...

*Cochise Camp
About the time I started to think about which way I'd wander north again, and all the twists and differences that wandering with a horse aboard would require... another trail forked off that hadn't been figured in.

Family needs draw me back to Missouri... and this time for the summer. Whew. Summer in Southwest Missouri is something I'm not so sure I want to experience! By October, I should be pretty good at finding a cool brew, a chair and some shade!

Thinking of cool Montana High Country will make that Missouri sojourn all the harder. Because, if Arizona is my first Love, (for places) Montana is its twin sister.

Been working on some small projects to take myself in other directions and keep the issue confused as much as I can...

Needed/Wanted some slobber leathers for reins on a snaffle, so I whittled up a set.

Needed to reawaken my old leather carving skills a mite as well.

They're ok... but still need to "wake up" a bit more!

Hoping to do quite a bit more carving in the coming months. It will be a nice brain freshening exercise as I keep Cora working and I keep my own work on the next book going.

"They say there's a place where dreams have all gone__They never said where but I think I know..."

Time will tell if I've any idea where the buggers are hiding...

... got to get to packin' gear away for the 1200 mile run to the Ozarks... It'll be a slow trip. Just 300 miles or so a day. That's long enough for this mare to stand in the back. Hauling don't really shine for her so I want to take it a little easy on her and let her "season" a bit without beating her up too bad.

... and I can roll slower and easier on my poor old truck... maybe this years harvest can go into a bit of "restoration" work on it. Better that than the price they want for "new" these days!

Unless of course my published stories suddenly caught fire and left me with a pile of cash that needed disposal! :) Ha Ha! The last book, "For My Horses" is coming close to release on March 20. It's sold the most on pre-order so far so that's a good thing! I just need to keep up that momentum this time and get the next book coming along and ready to go!

... there I go again... this way, that way... flit flit flit... I'm as fickle as a school girl! ;) So I'll just hustle my fickle butt off toward Missouri and see where I end up.

Anyhoo...This run, I'll be using two or three "Horse Motels" for my night the road stretching out in front leads me right through where wall the awful fires have devastated so many families... pretty much shrinks my lil difficulties into a proper perspective.

- Brian

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Books and Buckskins

In between jogs across the desert I've managed to get my next story published. for my Horses is now available for Pre-order purchase at Amazon and also in the Smashwords network.

The book will be released on the 20th of March 2017. If you pre-order now it will automatically download on the release day. The benefit for me is that all the pre-order sales will be "registered" on that release day which gives the Title a real kick in ranking, helping a lot with visibility.

If you know anyone who enjoys western stories whittled by genuine cantankerous old busters... share my link with 'em. Me and the critters I feed will all be very appreciative.

If you've not read any of my stories you can go to my author page at Amazon and download for FREE the first book of each series; A Matter of Honor and A Pair of Second Chances... see if you like 'em... can't get hurt much considering they're FREE! ;-)

In the mean time, while I wait for the book to be released, I'll get back to Cora. She and I are doin' 'bout five miles a day now. Not lengthening the distance any but little by little picking up the speed. As she catches on to my cues, and as I get sharper again at clean cues she's getting into fairly decent shape.

And now that the work on "for my Horses" is mostly done... I'll start digging into Ben Jensen's next story that's scattered around in my lap top!

- Brian

Thursday, March 2, 2017

This Road That is Leading Me Home

It's been 98% fine, and the 2% not so has actually been good.

Fact is it's required me to reach down for a lot of long unused memories to read this horse....Takes some time to reawaken those things!

A few days into this deal, after Cora came home we made a discovery. 

There's a saying around the Ranches that the only good paint horse is a dead paint horse... For a lot of the older Riders In the Cowboy world....Mares aren't so far from that.

My Cora is pretty much an example of why. Uh Huh... she's juuuuust a mite hormonal. 😎

That's the only downside of a mare... 'cause truth be known, the fillies can out move the boys... right up until their hormones kick in once every 14 days give or take, and get in the way for the next 3 to 8 days depending on the mare.

I've had lots of mares..lucky for me most you never knew when they came in... but this gal? Not so much. Yeah, she's Captain Call's Hell Bitch... just a Buckskin. 😆

Well, I put her on some herbal stuff that's got the rep of working pretty often so we shall see. She's due to come back in now in another few days... and we'll see how it works after her being on it since her last heat.

Otherwise she's been awesome. We're doin 'bout five miles a day now. Been bringing her on real slow. Between her coming 5 in another couple months and me needing to get my own self in shape I'm not risking injury to either if I can avoid it.

Takes a horse 4 to 6 months to come close to best condition... young horses are at far greater risk of injury. Since she's old line breeding she'll tend to be a little longer maturing. The nice side of that is, if you don't get foolish they last well into their twenties. 

That pretty much means this pretty girl will outlive me! :)

She don't much care for the dog... but for the most part she tolerates him. Even at lunch time.

- Brian

Monday, February 13, 2017

Back Where I Always Belonged

*Arizona Winter Camp Sunset*

This has been one of those "Bow your head grit your teeth and ride into the wind" deals for sure. I stepped out to make some big changes more than two years ago. Every time I got close or seemed to make significant progress__WHAP! I'd get smacked.

More than once I came close up to quittin the deal. But I didn't...

Met Cora in the summer of 2015. She was just a long 3 then.

*Thanksgiving 2016*

Things come apart and I figured late last winter that I'd lost her... the gelding, Cody Jack did get lost to me... and that still cuts.

When you keep even the tiniest spark of Hope alive, sometimes things will find a way to work out a little.

Somehow, just in the nick of time Cora found her way back to me just before thanksgiving... or I found my way back to her.

In the intervening year, she got a little tubby...  and she's winter shaggy...

I chose to have a guy I found restart her for me... she had some issues that had developed when she was gone. After all the ordeals...I had decided my head wasn't in the "right" place to do those things my self and be fair to her. I felt like she deserved a good and proper chance without all the fool jiggin' around everyone's been doin' with her.

Well he did what I wanted... and she's back now...

With her on the "diet" I put her on in November and a month under saddle with the fella I found that does things the way I would, she's calm again and willing... and some of that soggy belly is working itself off...

Best of all... For ME...

*First ride in TOO long*

I'm finally, after all the struggle and strife... Right back where I've always belonged.

There's quite a bit of work for me to do. I've got some little effort to make to get my feet, my hands and my head all going the same dang direction!

But if she'll give me a little slack to get my crap in one sack, and I put out the effort... It's looking bright! She's one of the better horses I've ever owned... and them that let her slide away from them, will learn I believe to regret their mistakes.

We've had a couple light rides... the weather isn't co-operating again. Into the second day of rain. It's times like this that I sometimes wish I was rich and had a nice big covered arena! :)

But there's no lack of work to do. I buttoned up the last chapter of my latest book; "For My Horses" a few days ago. The editing and book cover work is proceeding leading me to believe an early to mid March Publishing date is pretty doable.

It's not sunny in the desert but it's feeling pretty fair just now.

- Brian

Thursday, February 2, 2017

They Make a Good Fit

Filled one of the truck bins this morning for the first time. I thought I had it calculated pretty close - and I was right!

Four 80# sacks of Alfalfa pellets fit in a bin. That's 640# of feed on the truck... and another 480 or better in the trailer bins.

Which is pretty awesome. That means while I'm still with only Cora, between the two trailer bins and these two truck bins I'll have something better than two months of groceries for her - anywhere I go. 

Checked up on Cora again this morning... She'll be coming home next week. Friday maybe. Going up to ride myself early in the week. I'll be glad to swing my own leg over the saddle on her...been a long time working to get here.

Makes me kinda nervous actually. Been pretty close before. 

Just pull my hat down, suck in some wind and ride it out I guess.

Long way to go yet and obstacles showing up on the horizon... but one way or t'other... it'll get done.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Horses and Dogs, Batteries and Kaks,

Checked up on Cora the other day. She'd come along well enough to be hauled to work in the Stockyards a bit moving cattle.

She's coming along fine... mostly. Turns out she puffed up a leg there working the cows. She's been standing in a pen for way too long. Since a year ago really... so she's soft.

Didn't go lame but one leg filled a bit. Just showing some puffiness. Exercising a bit of caution, her "training" is pulled back for a few days to make sure it remains no big deal.

Still ten days out or so I suppose. It all just stretches my impatience that much tighter.

Can't just sit around tapping on a keyboard so I got the battery box partially bolted in place.

It still needs some bracing to complete the mounting... I'm planning on a couple of bars that'll reach up and attach to the rack above it. That'll stabilize a tiny bit of  'rock' I can find in the mounting.
Whether here or on the road... It's nice to seldom need to fire up the generator.

I've been running it some this past week. Between the cloudy weather and the cold nights, I've been using more power than is very comfortable for only two batteries.

Once I set two more batteries in that new box I believe I'll have sufficient stored amps to take a lot of stress off that part of the rig.

 While waiting on Cora's education, and my own Physical rehab to get us in the proper place, been working on my gear a little. Decided I needed to make a small modification to my old Wade saddle.

Decided I needed to make a small modification to my old Wade saddle  A nice new set of stirrups. 

I've ridden Oxbow stirrups since forever... and I like 'em. On rougher colts and in rough country, they're great. Hard to lose one when things get western.

Thing is that can make 'em just a lil bit risky at times too.
If you come loose, with that stirrup locked up against your heel, a fella can sometimes get hung up in Oxbows.

So I swapped out to a flashy new set of Stirrups.  4" Brass Monel Bell style.
I expect I'll adapt pretty quick. I'm thinking the increase in comfort won't be too hard to accept...

... and what with my ambitions slowin' up... having little worry about a hangup won't be a bad thing either.

Only been able to put my feet in 'em with my kak settin' on the stitching horse... But honestly, I believe I'll like the change.

Now, If I can just get me, the dog and the horse to quit busting things__ so we can start putting some miles on together...

... and NOT miles with a truck and trailer goin' down the road...

I'll be a lot happier... I think.

Yesterday I guess I felt the need to reinforce the idea that Cora was maybe a little sore from working good after taking it too easy for too long.

Been slacking on my own rehab the past few weeks as I keep trying to push along with the book. The past few days I've been pushing to make up for that...

*My old Wade looks good with Brass Bound Stirrups*
Yeah... good move.

Dug and hauled several barrow loads of dirt from rat hills... to fill in and build up the pedestal for the cistern.

Then had to pack it in and tamp it down in and around that pedestal base.

uhn huh... last night I was chewin' ibuprophen like chicklets...

Gettin' older don't improve a body's ability to heal one damn bit.

Speakin' of healing... Arlo's comin' on fine. Actually better than that. He's healing up from his lil' didoe amazing.

I figured he'd be most lame for a few weeks. He don't think so.

I've had to let him out a bit more than even I thought would be good just to keep him from goin' psychotic on me.

Here it is ten days or so since he got crunched so hard and he's down to pretty much not even a limp. He run around for several days on three legs. That foot never hit the ground. Now, he's only got a once in a while very slight limp... so that's a good thing.

He still likes to try his new found lap dog thing... for about six seconds... and then his squirming returns and I'm done with that!

Rumors of a Missouri return are already percolatin'... changes there have moved the construction schedule up that poverty had hung on a peg... so we'll see what the coming summer holds... Cora and I have GOT to put some miles together under saddle before we go anywhere!

- Brian

Monday, January 23, 2017

Well, What a Week That was...

It got so tumbled up not sure which was first. I think it was the battery box...

Was so windy and stormy had to work in bits and spurts trying to get a battery box built so I can expand the battery bank into a more serviceable setup.

It waits now in the back... for enough good weather to get out and install it. In amongst that lil chore the storms kept rolling through, disrupting my labors.

Then as it happens, 'round about here there's a fella that's a free grazer.

All this land about is private ground in small pieces. 99% of which is un-occupied. Over west a bit is a guy with but a few acres. Only, he pushes more cows than that ground can feed out onto where they poach the grass off these hundreds, thousands maybe, of acres of ground that he dont own, and don't rent...

Thing is, in Arizona it's a "fence out" state. If you don't want the cows, it's the victims duty to fence 'em out... only I lack the $1800 or so to string the wire clean around my lil' five acre patch of dust...

Ok, fine.

Right up until they come stompin' through my camp bustin' things up, and mostly wrecking the stone deck I'd built. It was just fine for a 160# man... but wasn't arranged to support 1200 # cows...

 ...A few rocks chunked off their hides moved 'em off... but they come right back... and more deck busted up.

So then Arlo ran out one afternoon to chouse 'em away__ and got tangled up in a small bunch of 400-500# calves...

Somehow he managed to let one fall on him. Thought he'd busted his shoulder for a long while. No way to get him up in the truck. Little peckerwood bit me two holes worth just trying to check him out.

Now four days later he seems improving a lot. Almost starting to use the leg again. Looks like just a real rough sprain, maybe a small tear of some sort. So now two of us are lame... Been just a week or so over a year since I busted up my own shoulder. It continues to heal. Maybe... but it's damned slow about it.

Then along came another set of storms that had me wonderin' was this aluminum trailer sealed up well enough to float! Had to run the generator a couple days for the first time in several weeks. The solar couldn't keep up through the clouds.

The time clustered up inside served well enough. Have made good progress toward completing the next book. Sitting at maybe 7/8 or so. Never really know till the characters tell me that's it and they're finished with their story!

Yesterday when the sun finally came out I set about a change I'd decided on. It's come to me that I've little likelihood of staying here for long. I'm too restless a rover... so I chose to simplify my "developements".

Rather than building a tower for the cistern I filled in that premature footer and rearranged the block to form a plain old simple and low flat pedestal. Only have to pour on some concrete to make a smooth platform.

And with all that time to sit and cogitate I also chose to extend Cora's time with that young buster to a full month. Better she has a solid and secure restart. Some problems got created by whoever it was where she was sent this past summer, and is taking some slow and careful work to erase.

Time spent in that now will benefit me down the road... I've only got to exercise a mite of patience... which has seldom been my strong suit...

Today is Monday... yesterday late, That old shoulder was achin' from movin' stone and block. I'd come to wonderin' if it was near enough to beer thirty to imbibe a nice bottle of Scottish Ale, especially if I sat outside in the sun listening to Brenn Hill on the stereo. Nigh on to the moment that I nearly decided that it was... BuhWHAM!!!!

The whole friggin trailer shook and rattled. The dog yelped and tried to climb into a drawer and hide__I run outside and looked south to see a big Ol' pillar of grey smoke risin' 50 or 60 feet into the afternoon sky several hundred yards away on the other side of the highway... Not something a guy like me needs of a Sunday afternoon...

Some Yahoo set something off to tickle his need for big bangs and smoke... It's happened twice before. I'm thinkin' that mite could be he should ought to have the same experience... maybe, Oh... 'bout 2 a.m. of a coal dark mornin'.

*Moonset behind the Dragoons*

*Arizona Sunrise*

*Another Chiricahua Sunrise*
 The sun is shinin' and it's back outside for this pair of lame rovers...