Skywatch Friday – It’s Cold Being a Cow

These photos are from a family member of my wife who has a ranch in western Oklahoma on land owned by my MIL and her sister. I’m always after the family member to send me more cow pictures. Problem is that her husband retired and now does all the chores so she rarely gets out there but she did and sent me a few.

I’ve never ranched but I have been around it a little bit, enough to know that I don’t want any part of it. It doesn’t matter how cold or hot it is, how thick the mud is or how deep the snow you have to make sure that your cattle are fed, watered, and taken care of and if you got some mama cows about to give birth, well they are not going to wait on you either.

But most of those who do it, seem to love it. The whole things, they love animals, the land, the work involved, and being outside in all kinds of weather. The few times I go out with them my help is limited to opening and closing the gates and trying to stay out of the way and not step in cow patty. Plus I take photos when I go. So, I am pretty much useless. I’ll admit it.

But I love the photos other people take as well.

On another front. My brother who has been battling off the aftereffects of viral encephalitis is about to move out of long term care and into an assisted living facility next week. He has battled back from a number of setbacks and is ready to get a little independence and get a lock on his door and a refrigerator with some beer in it. This former marathon runner has worked hard and is an inspiration to me. He says he is going to race again and I bet he will. He has basically been hospitalized for about 14 months.

So this week Heather and I are shopping for beds, mattresses, sheets, blankets and other items to get him set up. He is going to living within walking distance of our house and has a ground floor unit next to the sidewalk. So despite the Covid precautions I can go and knock on his window. I just hope he doesn’t call security. Of course, I hope I pick out the right window to knock on.

Anyway that’s about it for now. I got a new computer. It’s pretty nice except I am trying Microsoft’s Edge browser instead of chrome so not all my passwords are going through. I had to set up the Skywatch Friday page on my ipad. The other thing is that Lightroom and Photoshop won’t install so that is kind of a pain in the butt. I could live without the laptop apps but I use the iphone apps all the time. So, I’ll figure all this out. Why do computers have to be so expensive, fragile, and pains in the posterior??

Enough whining come join me and others at Skywatch Friday

Donkeys and and the Dirty Dozen plus One

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I don’t know about you but this political situation we have where a President who was defeated in a free and fair election is refusing to stand down and is getting lots of help from some of our elected leaders has really got me down. Throw in this pandemic which is raging again and the slow stuttering pace of vaccinations and it is enough to drive me to the edge.

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So what does all this have to about donkeys? Nothing really except I was going to have a post about the dirty dozen and one senators who are contesting the election and I was going to post photos of 13 donkeys. Problem is that donkeys are a democratic party symbol. Elephants are a GOP symbol but you know I think elephants are a symbol of wisdom to me, and besides I don’t have 13 photos of elephants but 95 of donkeys.

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And besides donkeys are useful. Most of the ones here are guard donkeys that ranchers use to protect their livestock against coyotes and other predators. The dirty dozen plus one are not protecting anybody against anything. They are just scared of our sitting president.

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And before you get too upset about this I need to let you know that I have been a Republican for 47 years.

Our World – Tractor in the Woods

Out looking for a geocache the other day in the woods and come across this long abandoned tractor out in the middle of nowhere. How does this happen? Does it matter? I love coming across stuff like this.

Check out Our World Tuesday for more things to ponder.

My computer decided to crater on me so I am posting via my IPad which is a wonderful matchine but not quite what I am used to so my posts are going to be a little brief until I get up and going with a new machine. I love what computers can do but hate the machines themselves. Don’t listen to me, I’m just being grumpy.

Weekend Reflections – 2021

I went hiking and geocaching the other day towards dusk. I started here where the freeway passes over a street. I love all sorts of infrastructure. I’ve never built a bridge but I built all sorts of pipelines, compressor stations, natural gas processing plants, and other stuff all over Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

A pond on a hike the family the other day. I love reflections in the water.

I found this highly polished car at a Panera near where we live. I love modern cars but they all look like Toyotas. The older cars have lots more style and I admire them but give me a newer car with electronic ignition and heated seats. My facebook friends tell me the car above is a Hudson.

And here is my new office. I love my old desk. I got it on my 16th birthday, 49 years ago. It was painted with brown house paint and had been sitting in a barn for decades before my parents bought it. We stripped the paint off and it was walnut!! So I stained and varnished it. I love it and I guess I’ll have to give it up when Heather and Logan cart me off to the nursing home or wherever. Note the chrome phone on the desk. I love it as well. I mean I love my cell phone but something about holding a phone up just seems better. You can tell I am getting old can’t you.

This is my first post of 2021. Lots of optimism this year, new national leadership, the vaccines are getting rolled out. Dr. Fauci says life may be returning to normal by the Fall. Sign me up!!

Join the party at Weekend Reflections!

Skywatch Friday – New Year’s Eve

2020 is about over. It has been a miserable year in many respects with the pandemic and here in the USA, and so much discord over the election, and race strife. The economy tanked and lots of people are suffering.

At work, we started working from home in March. I went ahead and retired at the end of May. It was strange. I went to the office and retrieved my personal things and there was nobody there besides the security guards on the first floor. So I said my goodbyes by phone and email and left my computer in my cubicle.

So our little family of three hunkered down together and you know what. I like staying home. I mean I get out every day but I can come and go as I please. I can take time to do stuff since I got my 40 hours a week back. I highly recommend retiring if you have the means.

We can go on weekday hikes if we wish!! Anyways, the pandemic will be tamed. I think our political situation will be volatile for the foreseeable future. Nothing I can do about that except to make sure that I am accepting of others. I am very thankful that I was able to retire. I am mindful that that is not available to many people.

Anyway, from our little crew of three, we wish you a Happy New Year!!

Come join the fun at Skywatch Friday!

Our World – Pandemic Hiking

The weather has been mild and warm lately so we have been getting outside. Saturday, Heather and I went hiking on Turkey Mountain. We took a back country route so the trails were not as busy as other places. When we got back to the parking lot, it was full!! I had to do some maneuvering just to get out of our parking space.

So, yes, glad to see people enjoying the park. I hate to take more of it away for bigger parking lots though especially when needed only one or two days a year.

Sunday, the kid joined us and just for something new and different we ventured up to the Rogers State University Preserve in the nearby town of Claremore.

Very nice hiking trails and not very many people. We only went a couple miles but it was enough.

I saw this and my Dad joke that came to mind was, “Somebody has lost their hope.” Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Here’s the kid. A good time was had by all!

So we had a good weekend. This morning though I wake up and find out my laptop screen is not working. So I am putting this together using my office television set as a monitor. I love what computers can do but hate the machines. After all these years they are still very fragile devices. Wish me luck trying to figure out what is wrong.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday, come get in on the action!

Shadow Shot Sunday – Out and About Edition

I thought this shadow of garland strung on a bridge looked like an EKG or maybe a stock market graph or something like that.

I love the pure geometry of this.

A bright sun makes for sharp shadows.

Not strictly a shadow shot, or maybe not a shadow shot at all. I love these dried blooms.

I am linking with Shadow Shot Sunday 2, come link up!!

Christmas 2020

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Christmas this year was a quiet affair. Just us and my mother-in-law. We talked several times with my brother who is in long term care here in Tulsa. (We are all excited, he has recovered enough to where he will be going to an assisted living facility sometime early next month.)

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We grilled steaks for dinner along with mashed potatoes, green beans, asparagus, and crusty bread.

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Here’s son working away at his video games. That is what he does.

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I hate photos of myself. The force was not with me photography wise. I couldn’t get the white balance or anything else right. That is what makes me a picture taker and not a photographer.

This was desert. There is a bunch less of these now than there was 24 hours ago.

Lizzie and LJ looked on with detachment. They got toys though which they promptly push underneath furniture. The dogs didn’t get new toys. They only like them a little bit and then ignore so we brought out last year’s toys and that made them happy.

At this age our gift giving is kind of simple. We buy whatever Logan wants which really isn’t too much. A few days Heather and I went to Best Buy and got an Apple Watch for her and this fancy Garmin sports watch for me. Both watches have pulse oximeters so they tell us what our blood oxygen levels are. It’s got a bunch of other gizmos on it.

So after a bit, we took my mother-in-law home and we sat down and watched Christmas Story. Logan’s favorite movie on this day.

So we were blessed. We have our health, my brother is getting better, we enjoyed each others company.

If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a great Christmas as well.

Merry Christmas Skywatch 2020

We are closing out 2020. I am not going to miss it. What an ordeal the world has been through.

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There is still plenty to be thankful for. We have our health, my brother is slowly recovering from his illness.

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Christmas will always be special to me. A time of hope and healing and remembering.

December 2019

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Heather’s gingerbread men.

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We miss our sweet doxie, Ginger.

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I was born in northern New Mexico. Christmas has always been more of a quiet contemplative occasion than a raucous party. Oklahoma artist and journalist Terry Clark captures a New Mexican Christmas perfectly in his series of post cards he does every year. We treasure the ones he sends us. Check the link to his blog.

Merry Christmas to you and your family from our crew!!

Check out the gang at Skywatch Friday, link up if you can!