Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Cuck took me arrowhead hunting up Tourist Creek, out of Three Forks Park. He said he knew a place up there where there were lots of chips and some arrowheads. I think it was a "snipe hunt." We never even got to the place where the arrowheads were supposed to be. If he had left me here, I would probably still be up there. Really rough country.

Tracy and Seaweed on one of the pack trips into the mountains. Seaweed was a one-in-a-million horse. She was nicknamed "Charmin" because she was so soft. She would break into a sweat within the first mile. She was totally kid safe. Kelly, Tracy, Barrie and the Hittle girls all learned to ride on her.

Kelly and Tracy warming up by the fire at Lost Lake. This was a wet trip.

Last night the song "Delta Dawn" played on my iPod. And I thought of Kelly and Tracy. They rode miles through the mountains singing that song, over and over again!


This is Barrie's friend Chris, at the Iditarod finish line in Nome. That's his lead dog, Vidalia with him.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Maddy Portrait Finished

Maddy, the Burmese Mountain Dog

I am finally finished with the drawing of Maddy. I can see a few spots that need more work, but it's pretty much complete.

Barrie saw a poster looking for a home for this dog, and guess what? Barrie and Kasey brought her home. She is a sweetie.

Cool, cloudy day today. But no wind.

Barrie has cleaned up the yard and the big flower bed. Looks really good. There are not many flowers left in there, but there is a beautiful pink peony bush. And a clump of a tall sedum that gets pink flower clusters on the top. I think there are also some white daisies.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


More Closet Pictures

This is another picture I took the day Tracy was baptised. She was not impressed with Father Zumach. The couple was Tracy's Godparents. If I hadn't written their name on the back, I wouldn't know who they were.

This picture shows the living room of our cabin at Ragged Mountain. Notice the bookshelf in front of the window. I had forgotten all about it until I saw it in this picture. I actually made that! I used some pieces of quakie branches with beaver teeth markings and some old barn wood. It was pretty wobbly.

There is a blue balloon by the telephone. Tracy kept wanting to call "Toby" on the phone, and we kept a balloon by the phone so she would leave it alone. She was terrified of balloons.

"Toby" was the old bachelor hired man who lived in a cabin down at the main ranch house.

Kind of jumping around in time here. I found an envelope in the box of old pictures, and this ticket to the bull fight in Juarez. I was in the University Marching Band, and we were at the Sun Bowl in El Paso. The bull fight was lots of fun. It was "amateur day," I think, and lots of scared would-be bullfighters turned and ran. I"m sure they didn't kill the bull.

A friend of mine read an article long ago about a famous bull fighter. He had grown up in poverty, and almost lived on oranges they picked off the trees around his house. As a result, his stomach was messed up, and he ended up with a permanent case of diarrhea. I'm not sure I believe this story. Think about it - a bull fighter with diarrha?

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Matted and Framed

I finally bit the bullet and had this painting matted and framed. Then I took two more to Ruth to have done. Yikes! ($$$$$). I don't have any of my own stuff hanging in my house except for an old pencil drawing. Maybe having these up will give me incentive to keep my brush wet!

A terrible picture of our art group on Wednesday. How I ever caught eveyone looking so serious, I'll never know. We are not a serious group. And Lenore isn't in this picture.

The cookies Vicky brings unfailingly are in a container on the table.

Good grief! Girly hands! Kasey loves finger nail polish, and her Mom fixed her up the other day.


I really don't like spring in Pinedale. It is brown and ugly, it is still cold, and the wind blows. The trees are beginning to get their annual decoration of white plastic bags hanging from the branches.


Doing nothing is very hard to do... You never know when you're finished.

How beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterwards." --Spanish proverb

Friday, March 26, 2010


Just look at this crew! Father Zumach is dressed in his robe, Tracy is wearing a dress and a bonnet, and I am wearing a dress and even have something over my head. This was in the days when you were supposed to cover your head in the Catholic Church.
And this picture was taken that night at the Rocky Mountain Hall at Fort Washakie. Tracy's cousin, Ben Lee, was dancing. Tracy was a cowgirl.

When I moved back to Wyoming from Arizona, I stopped at the Grand Canyon and rode a mule down to the river. This is Curly, a wrangler. Will someone tell me why I never took any pictures down in the canyon?

Coming back up from the river, a rattlesnake crawled across the trail, and Curly's mule spooked and ran off up the trail. The two kids behind me just hung on, and their mules turned around and went back down the trail. There were two riders in front of me, and their mules turned around and tried to go back down the trail too. I managed to hold my mule sideways in the trail, and we stayed there and blocked the two mules in front of us.

The other two mules then got worried, and came back. When Curly got back, he was sure glad to see us. We all had a beer together that night at the Bright Angel Lodge.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Fr. Zumach
Tracy was baptised a Catholic, but has not been raised as one. The man in the buckskins and headdress in the picture above is Father Zumach. He baptised her in the Catholic church in Fort Washakie. I took this picture of him a day or two before at the Powwow at Ethete.

When I stopped and walked through the Catholic cemetery at St. Stevens a couple of years ago, I found his grave.

This is Buck, an old kindergarten student of mine. What a kid! His father was a broken up old bronc rider, who limped around town carrying a ladder quite a bit. He shoveled snow off roofs in the winter. One time he shovelled the snow off the wrong roof. Once he lost his ladder and put an ad in the paper, trying to find it. I guess it was returned to him. He left it leaning up against someone's house and forget where he left it.

Did I mention he drank?

Buck had some speech problems, and was going to Chris M. for speech therapy. Chris brought him to me one day. He had been practicing a sentence, and he wanted to say it for me.

As serious as could be, he said "My name is Buck, and I'm five years old." Then he got a big smile on his face and blurted out "I tamn near tits!"

If you need me to interpret this for you, let me know.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Another sign of spring in Pinedale - the street sweeper is out.

Tracy thought I had taken a picture of her handprint in the concrete floor of the lodge at Ragged Mountain, but I cant't find one. So I took one of both their handprints in our carport.

And this brings up a funny story about Barrie. I even asked her permission before telling it.

When she was in middle school, I got a letter from the school telling me she had been put on detention for destruction of school property. And I was supposed to go to school to meet with them about it.

When I asked Barrie what she had done, here is the story: She and her friend "Charley" put on their gym clothes and headed out to the track for P.E.. On the way they noticed a fresh piece of concrete, I think it was for a pole vault, or something. Anyway, they stopped, put their handprints in the concrete, and even put their initials under them!

When she told me this, I just laughed. I never went to school to meet with them about it, either. Both my girls had grown up putting their handprints in every piece of fresh concrete that was poured. They had been trained to do that! They never thought about it being destructive.

Anyway, I guess having handprints in that particular piece of concrete was not acceptable. and it had to be done all over again.

Monday, March 22, 2010

If there's one thing that excites the people of Pinedale more than the first good snowfall of winter, it's the return of our summer birds in the spring. It's like a miracle!

Overheard at the post office the other day, "I saw a robin today!" and "I saw a bluebird!"

This little Cassin's Finch was at my feeder yesterday with his wife.

Another old picture from the ranch at Ragged Mountain, Colorado. We had been gathering, and the boss's wife was watching Tracy for me. When we got back to the cabin, I took Tracy up on the horse with me for a picture.


I ordered three tubes of watercolors yesterday - new colors. I haven't painted in over two weeks now. Maybe new paint will get me back in the mood.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Custer, Idaho
Several years ago, My sister-in-law and I took my Mom to The Dalles Oregon for a family reunion. My rabble-rousing sister-in law-argued with an aunt that we could get there without going through Boise. And we did! It tooks real adventuresome traveling to win the argument, and we saw so much beautiful country off the beaten path. This was Custer, Idaho, a little ghost town we found on a dirt road from Challis, Idaho to somewhere.

This past winter I found Custer on the internet and did some reasearch on it. I Ifelt sad. It has been taken over by the government as a National Historical Site, which means they have "restored" it to a point that it looks more like a Cape Cod Village. Lots of white paint on everything, handicapped ramps, and a museum. Reminds me of what has been done to South Pass City. I'm glad I saw it when I did.

This is the best way to keep kids' hands clean and slow down the spread of colds and flu in the middle of the winter! We set up a "bubble table" with lots of soapy water. Our kids had the cleanest hands in the school. And we had the wettest carpet.

Setting up the bubble table caused a mysterious phenomenom. A lot of fathers started bringing their kids to school, and stayed to blow bubbles for a while every day. Curious!

Rites of spring

Cris Paravacini would bring us a setting hen from the ranch every year. We set her up with a nest box with a fence around it. The fence appeared to be keeping the hen it, but it was really to keep the kids out.

This is Sassy, a Banty Hen. She was one of our most successful. One year we had a big white hen, forgot her name, I think of her as "the hen from hell." About two days before hatching, she just snapped and broke up her nest. She broke all the eggs, and threw dead baby chicks out on the floor.

One little kindergarten girl, said in a very small voice, "Are we going to have a funeral?"

Friday, March 19, 2010

More old Arizona

More Pictures from Sil Nakya
These two kids belonged to the man who came out to visit with us. They were so cute!

This was the corral at Sil Nakya. There were two horses in it. I don't remember seeing a wagon, but there must have been one, because there were no cars. The main material they used to build the corrals was the ribs of dead cactus. Ocatilla was popular. They used it a lot for the shade they built over their outdoor kitchen. I have seen corrals made with ocatilla that were cut live and stuck in the ground. Many of them grew and turned green. Made a unique corral.

This windmill was at a village called "Queen's Well."Dave is looking up at the windmill, and Janet climbed the side of the tank to see how much water was stored. The women in this village brought us out a slice of heavy bread with jelly. I think it was the jelly they made out of the saguaro fruit.
Hank will recognize these mountains, but maybe not the country around it. From his photos, it looks like solid houses in front of the Superstitions now. We used to go water skiing every weekend at Apache Lake. Apache Junction was just that - just a junction with one service station. From there on, we went on a dirt road to Tortilla Flat, crossed a creek, and then on a two track road to the lake.

Apache Lake from the top of the hill going down into it. There was no room to meet anybody on the road, and whoever was pulling a boat had the right of way. Our brakes always got hot driving down to the lake. There were five adults and four dogs, every weekend, water skiing, eating lots of food and drinking beer. It was about a four hour drive from Silver Bell. Only for the young!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Papago Reservation in Arizona

Silver Bell was right on the edge of the Papago Reservation, and my friends and I loved to explore out there. Miles and miles of nothing! Any little village like this had a well, and only about eight families lived there. This is Sil Nayka.

This is the Catholic church at Sil Nakya. The man visiting with Dave in front of the church lived there. I read somewhere that the Papago now call themselves "Tahono O'odam." I never knew how these families made a living. Maybe I just missed it, but I don't remember seeing any cattle or sheep, and of course there was no farming there. I remember the women wove beautiful baskets.

The cemetary at Sil Nakya.

My "palace" on wheels in the company mining camp. I think it was 8' x 35' and I thought it was great. The dog is Chiquita, and I got her at the animal shelter in Tucson. She was terrified of thunder, and once went through the window in the trailer while I was at work. She somehow found the office, waiting at the door until someone opened it, and came in and lay on my feet under the desk. She had never been there before, so I don't know how she found me.

The company sent some men to the trailer court to fix the window for me. How nice was that?

I never left Chiquita in the trailer again. If it thundered, she went through the trailer court until she found someone who would let her in.

She had lots of friends!

Ah, my "chariot!" This is what we used to get around on the reservation. The dry river beds were deep sand, and we needed the four wheel drive. It also had air conditioning, which I hadn't had before! Pure luxury.

Quite a story about me buying this Jeep. My friends Dave and Janet went to Tucson with me. We took the jeep for a test drive, and I was driving. The salesman, who I think was about 16, saw a place where concrete chunks had been dumped, and told me to drive out in there. When we got out in the middle, he said "OK, now put her in four wheel drive and see how she pulls herself out of here."

About 45 minutes later, we all stood and watched a wrecker pull the Jeep back onto the road. I'm sure the poor little salesman cried himself to sleep that night. Well, the next day Janet and I went back, and I bought the Jeep. I just never drove it out in the middle of a pile of concrete chunks.


Thirty teams have finished the Iditarod race so far. There are still 27 teams on the trail

The first rookie got into Nome yesterday. They're not really rookies to sled dog racing. That just means it is their first time for the Iditarod.

Barrie's friend, Chris, is in Koyuk. He still has about 170 miles to go. The GPS tracking system is pretty neat. You can find a musher's location on the trail, see how fast they are traveling, and even see the temperature. I'm not sure how accurate it is, though. Several times it has showed that Chris is traveling in 415 degrees below zero weather!

Fifteen teams have scratched this year.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ragged Mountain

I had such good intentions this morning. I got on the desktop computer downstairs and started up TurboTax to get my income tax done. By the time the program finished downloading updates, I got interested in the old photo album, and started scanning old pictures. Oh well, I can always work on the taxes tomorrow! This is NOT Attention Deficit Disorder. It as called "An Attitude." I can do what I want when I want to do it.

This was the kitchen in the cabin at Ragged Mounatin, Colorado. The cook stove was an old gas restaurant stove. It had a griddle with space to make at least a dozen hot cakes at one time, and two ovens. Notice the freshly baked pie on the stove. Damn, I was good then! The windows looked out to the beaver pond in the front yard. The light fixture on the ceiling was never used. There was a generator, but we never used it. We had a gas refrigerator and hot water heater, and the water came from a spring up on the hill behind the cabin. We had both kerosene and Coleman lanterns.

Tracy, on the porch of the cabin. That is the old original barn door, with brands burned into it.

This is the cabin from across the beaver pond. The beaver house was on the bank of the pond right beside me. The entrance was under water, but the house itself was built on the bank. When I was beside it, I was glad they chose that location rather than our side of the pond. They stink!

The beaver used to terrorize our dogs. They would slowly swim back and forth, getting closer and closer to the dogs who were on the bank watching them. When they got close enough, they would slap their tails on the water, scaring the dogs and spashing water on them. It was pretty funny.

The cabin, with the Ragged Mountains behind. The beaver pond is on the right. I once shot a porcupine out of the upstairs window. It was the first and only thing I ever shot in my life.

Tracy, standing beside the cabin when we returned for a visit years later.


Just read that the dog who got lost on the Iditarod Trail was found, and is now back in Anchorage with his owner and the rest of the team.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Long time ago - Willie and Tracy and I lived on a ranch in Colorado, pretty country. They built this new gate down at the road, and someone took our picture in front of it.

Years later, when Tracy lived in Aspen, we drove up to Ragged Mountain and found the ranch. So I took Tracy's picture in front of the gate. It is now padlocked. The Volks still live on the lower part of the ranch, but we lived up on the mountain, and the Mormon Church had bought it for a retreat. We called Volks, got the combination for the gate, and went up to visit with them. George called the Mormons and got permission for us to come up to look around. Had to go through two more gates with padlocks.

Loved seeing the old place again. The house we lived in had someone in it, so we didn't go in. We went down to the lodge, which they used as a kitchen and meeting hall, and found Tracy's handprint in the concrete floor, where she had put it when the floor was poured.

Maybe I'll post more pictures tomorrow of the house and the mountains and the beaver pond. The house was a barn that had been converted into a house. I loved it.

The Iditarod is into its exciting phase. Until the mushers take their mandatory 24 hour layover, it's anyone's guess how they will finish. The front of the pack is now on the Yukon River. Jeff King is currently in the lead, but there are at least four other teams close enough that they could take it. Pretty exciting.

One musher lost a dog from his team near McGrath. He is still there, flying every day looking for him, and a bunch of volunteers from McGrath are out on snow machines. Sure hope they find him.

Barrie's friend is running in 54th place right now. He has had to drop 7 dogs, so don't know how it will all work out for him.

Friday, March 12, 2010

happy Birthday Bro

Yesterday was my big brother's birthday, and I called him last night. We always argue about how old we are. It used to be easier to remember how old I am! Alice, my sister in law, is two weeks younger than I am, so she is able to give me a bad time every year for a while, about how old I am!

I'm not even sure where they are right now. Arizona, maybe? They have a large motor home and pull a small pickup and are snowbirds. They love it.

Bill and Alice. This was taken at the time she was voted Agriculture Woman of the Year in Fremont County.
Bill, dancing with his oldest grandchild at her wedding.

Reading to the two youngest grandchildren. Bill won't wear shorts or short sleeved shirts, but as you can see, he loves wild colored and patterned western shirts.


Barrie has been busy organizing the Pinedale Classic Sled Dog Race for this weekend. The race has had to be postoned twice, first for lack of snow, and the second time because of a conflict with some other activity on the trail. The woman who was in charge of putting it on has more or less just quit, and has left everything up to Barrie.
She has been working on the trail for quite a while, and it is in good shape. She had to find volunteers to be out on the trail, and to help with the start, and time the race. She says she has everything organized.
Should be a good race.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


No pictures today.

Went to art group this morning, and started a colored pencil drawing of Maddy, the new Burmese Mountain Dog. Yes, I know. I have about five other dog drawings started, I need to finish something.

I am almost finished with the book I am reading, and really, really plan to not start another book for a while. Draw, draw, draw.

There were only four of us at art group today, Conley, Helen, Pam, and me. Conley and Betty made blueberry muffins. They were sure good.

Betty who? Oh, Betty Crocker. She helps Conley bake a lot.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Part Indian

I'm sure not making much progress on the colored pencil drawing I started a long time ago. As it's only part done, I call it "part Indian."

This is Tracy's dad. The photo may have been taken at her wedding, but the background doesn't look familiar.

When Tracy was a little girl, she would say "I'm part Indian, and when I grow up, I'll be all Indian."

I got an e-mail from Createspace, the place where I had my book printed. Someone bought a copy on Amazon! Good grief! I didn't even know it was on Amazon. I get a whopping 18 cents royalty!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

dog lot mud

I have sure neglected my blog lately. Nothing much happening here, and I have been into watching movies and reading. Why is it when you have a pile of new books that you think you have to get them all read as soon as possible?

Barrie came through for me today with pictures from her dog lot, which is really muddy right now.

Click on images for a larger view

Some dogs don't mind the mud, like Skip.

Some get into it, reluctantly. Koda tried to keep one foot up out of it.

And Nellie stays completely out of it.

Obviously, Kasey likes the mud.

Kasey and her buddy, Maddy


We watched live coverage of the Iditarod start in Anchorage on our computers. How neat is that? That is just the ceremonial start. This afternoon we will watch the restart in Willow. After they are out of Willow, they are truly on the trail, and will be out there for about ten days, most of them, anyway.

Chris visited with Barrie last night and was enthused about his dog team and ready to really be on his way. Go Chris!