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The Dream of Rodeo

~GARTH BROOKS~
‘Rodeo’

His eyes are cold and restless
His wounds have almost healed
And she’d give half of Texas
Just to change the way he feels
She knows his love’s in Tulsa
And she knows he’s gonna go
Well it ain’t no woman flesh and blood
It’s that damned old rodeo

Well it’s bulls and blood
It’s dust and mud
It’s the roar of a Sunday crowd
It’s the white in his knuckles
The gold in the buckle
He’ll win the next go ’round
It’s boots and chaps
It’s cowboy hats
It’s spurs and latigo
It’s the ropes and the reins
And the joy and the pain
And they call the thing rodeo

She does her best to hold him
When his love comes to call
But his need for it controls him
And her back’s against the wall
And it’s So long girl I’ll see you
When it’s time for him to go
You know the woman wants her cowboy
Like he wants his rodeo

Well it’s bulls and blood
It’s dust and mud
It’s the roar of a Sunday crowd
It’s the white in his knuckles
The gold in the buckle
He’ll win the next go ’round
It’s boots and chaps
It’s cowboy hats
It’s spurs and latigo
It’s the ropes and the reins
And the joy and the pain
And they call the thing rodeo
It’ll drive a cowboy crazy
It’ll drive the man insane
And he’ll sell off everything he owns
Just to pay to play the game
And a broken home and some broken bones
Is all he’ll have to show
For all the years that he spent chasin’
This dream they call rodeo

Well it’s bulls and blood
It’s dust and mud
It’s the roar of a Sunday crowd
It’s the white in his knuckles
The gold in the buckle
He’ll win the next go ’round
It’s boots and chaps
It’s cowboy hats
It’s spurs and latigo
It’s the ropes and the reins
And the joy and the pain
And they call the thing rodeo

It’s the broncs and the blood
It’s the steers and the mud
And they call the thing rodeo

 


 

   I’ve known some rodeo athletes before, and yes, there are a number who can become addicted to the sport… but is it all that different from other sports? And what is it about the addition to performance that can take one by the heart and pulls the body along to endure the suffering and pain inherent in some activities?

   What a strange, amazing species we humans are. I can do nothing but marvel… and wonder.

   We had a few cowboys come by our place today (they even wore spurs), they are searching for a half dozen steers lost in these canyons. While I walked with them and their horses a ways, we talked of injuries. One blew out his knee in the rodeo last summer, he hasn’t run since. One of the others spoke of displacing his shoulder last year with a bull that pushed him up against the fence in such a way that it tore some ligaments or tendons. He was tying down a truck recently and the rope snapped and when he fell, he re-injured the damaged shoulder. But these fellows love the sport of rodeo, and I understand some of the feeling. You can get accustomed to things, and then before long, you’ll let yourself tear yourself up for the crowd, the acclaim, the adrenaline… it doesn’t matter, it just happens, and you’ll go on as long as you can, and then one day you’ll realize that you can’t do it any more.  Hopefully you’ll be riding high at that time, but so often you’re  a busted pile on the arena floor, with thirty thousand eyes watching as you fall.

And the impact on family cannot be underestimated, these performers often forgo other careers so they can chase the thrill, rodeo after rodeo, living in their trucks when necessary, spending nights on couches when possible, and sometimes dwelling in motels when they win. The men and women who live the rodeo dream are romantics and hardboiled pragmatists wrapped into one leather tanned package ready to tie to a saddle and ride for the sport, for the thrill, for the rush of it all.

 

~Chris LeDeux~
‘Hooked on an Eight Second Ride’
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Eight Second Ride

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~George Strait~
‘I can still make Cheyenne’

Her telephone rang ’bout a quarter to nine
She heard his voice on the other end of the line
She wondered what was wrong this time
She never knew what his calls might bring
With a cowboy like him it could be anything
And she always expected the worst in the back of her mind
He said “it’s cold out here and I’m all alone
didn’t make the short go again, and I’m coming home
I know I’ve been away too long
I never got a chance to write or call
And I know this rodeo’s been hard on us all
But I’ll be home soon and honey is there something wrong?”
She said “don’t bother comin’ home
By the time you get here I’ll be long gone
There’s somebody new and he sure ain’t no rodeo man”
He said “I’m sorry it’s come down to this
There’s so much about you that I’m gonna miss
But It’s alright baby, if I hurry I can still make Cheyenne
Gotta go now baby, if I hurry I can still make Cheyenne”
He left that phone danglin’ off the hook
Then slowly turned around and gave it one last look
Then he just walked away
He aimed his truck t’ward that Wyoming line
With a little luck he could get there in time
And in that Cheyenne wind he could still hear her say
She said “don’t bother comin’ home
By the time you get here I’ll be long gone
There’s somebody new and he sure ain’t no rodeo man”
He said “I’m sorry it’s come down to this
There’s so much about you that I’m gonna miss
But It’s alright baby, if I hurry I can still make Cheyenne
Gotta go now baby, if I hurry I can still make Cheyenne”

She never knew what his calls might bring
With a cowboy like him it could be anything
And she always expected the worst in the back of her mind

 

 

 

 

A Day In The Life Of A Tick

   How often have you ever heard people asking “Why did God create ticks”?  Now a daring and bold writer has gone out into the world asking this retorical question to some of the country’s leading scientists. And she put it into an article, go to ‘The Life Story of a Tick’ by Constance Casey for the inside scoop. You will likely find out a lot of little tidbits of tick info.

  

Nopal Plant Normalizes Blood Sugar

  I came upon a nice article extolling the beenfits of eating cactus. As always, I wish to pass on the great news of cactus eating.

Rivenrock Cactus is now in some Aveda beauty products.

  New products development can take a great deal of time, and this product was no different,
but we are happy, and proud to be able to say that our cactus is now an ingredient in the
new Aveda product line called ‘Green Science Skin Care’.

  Yes, four different products in that line,
and each one has our Opuntia robusta organically grown cactus.

   Wow, cool!

   This line of products started selling a couple of months ago in parts of Asia,
and now is selling at your own Aveda Salon near you.

   It is a fun thing to be knowing that people the world over will be using and enjoying products that have our cactus as an ingredient.

Jake’s Eulogy

James and Gene Dicus,circa 1943

James (Jake) and Eugene Dicus circa 1943… in Missouri

My uncle Jake passed on this month. He was a pretty funny fellow, I think that might be because he was a shorter fellow in a family that tends to run a bit tall. Maybe that’s what made him such a talent at one-liners and a truly inspired poet who could see a story and make a humorous poem about it in minutes.  It also made him a bit of a fighter when he was a younger man…. the stories I’ve heard.

   I suppose with the hard life his family had in the Ozarks made for someone who tried to see the humor in everyday things…. while they also worked and fought hard to get out of any scrapes they were in.

   He wrote his own eulogy….. I enclose most of it here… but some is a bit too ribald for publication on a family site.   The part I cannot include was the last paragraph… the minister would not read that portion aloud at the ceremony either. Trust me, it’s funny, but if the Pastor will not read it aloud, I’d best not print it.

 Jake’s Eulogy
By James Dicus

In-state lies ol’ Jake
dressed fancy for Elain’s sake
as he lived, so should he die
laugh with him, do not cry.

No fancy duds, no jewelry fine,
short in stature, also mind.
Now he lies, he’ll lie no more.
Ends the life of this insensitive bore.

Of his deeds, some good some bad,
made some happy, others mad.
A humble man, short and fat,
If it could be done, he’d try that.

He’d read, paint and write a poem,
Strange, this fellow: content at home.
If he was here, this he’d say…
“Bingo Elaine, go right away!”

Of his friends, and this is true,
wasn’t much he wouldn’t do.
What else to say? it’s all been said.
kick his body, make sure it’s dead
.

   Yeah, I always enjoyed seeing uncle Jake.

 

  So just today, on the radio I heard a song that made me think of him…

~Jamey Johnson~
‘In Color’

I said “grandpa whats this picture here
its all black and white it aint real clear is that you there?”
He said “yeah i was 11, times were tough back in ’35
thats me and uncle Joe just tryin to survive a cotton farm in the great depression.

“If it looks like we were scared to death like a couple of kids just trying to save each other
you should’ve seen it in color.

“Ohh and this one here was taken over seas in the middle of hell in 1943
in the winter time you can almost see my breath that was my tail gunner ole Johnny Magee
he was a high school teacher from new Orleans and he had my back right through the day we left.

“If it looks like we were scared to death like a couple of kids just trying to save each other
you should’ve seen it in color.

A picture’s worth a thousand words
but you cant see what those shades of gray keep covered
you should’ve seen it in color

“This one is my favorite one.
This is me and grandma in the summer sun
all dressed up the day we said our vows.
You can’t tell it here but it was hot that June
and that rose was red and her eyes were blue
and just look at that smile I was so proud.
Thats the story of my life right there in black and white

And if it looks like we were scared to death like a couple of kids just trying to save each other
you should’ve seen it in color.”

A pictures worth a thousand words
but you cant see what those shades of gray keep covered
you should have seen it in color.

  You can see the video of this song at ‘In Color’.

Spotted Cucumber Beetle. Diabrotica undecimpunctata

 is one of the pests that causes us some problems in our cactus plantings. The adults eat the tops of the leaves, leaving holes here and there. I suspect that they also lay eggs in the plants and this causes the entire plant to die.

 

   I looked at a number of websites that describe this insect pest, here are some of the best….

 

Bug facts site has a great article on this pest.

OK State University has a short articlethat also shows the insect in its larval stage where it would be described as a white worm or grub. This is the stage where they enter into plants near the ground, and tunneling through cause damage and rot to follow usually killing the entire plant.

 

   The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service has among the best articles on this little critter.

 

   Yeah, they are a pest alright. And since we are organic, about the only thing we can do is put out sticky traps of yellow. But that would only be a small percentage gain. So we’ve just suffered through it, they are a constant headache, but cause only a small percentage of damage, still, you want all the leaves to be beautiful, but such is never to be. We live in a world in which nearly half the harvest is lost to insects, diseases, animals, mismanagement, theft and confiscation.  I guess I’m lucky that all we get is the occasional deer, gopher, ant, scale and cucumber beetle.

 

 

The Lions Scream on in the hills.

The Lions scream on the hills

  

Originally written in April 2006

  The Lion, the witch, and the wardrobe is a marvelous book series for children. Written by C.S. Lewis it shows the majesty of righteousness and has a Christian type character which I think all Christians would recognize.

   It has recently been released as a movie version which I think fully captured the books intent and meaning. I am well pleased with how Disney Pictures did the movie. The stunning computer work which created the full scope and ‘other worldliness’ of the books was so well done as to be mesmerizing.

   While watching the movie, and the beauty of the ‘King of Narnia’, the Messianic Lion Aslan, Vickie and I had to discuss our own Mountain Lion. He comes through our area on occasion, eating deer and goats, scaring people, and giving us all a good reason to walk about armed to the teeth.

   People sometimes report seeing a Mountain Lion here, but more often we just hear it screaming near the house. There have been times when I was in the orchard on the hillside, some ways from the house, and I hear it screaming near the house as I am walking home. It is unnerving to walk toward a scream like that, knowing you are walking toward something your entire being is screaming at you to walk away from. It is at times such as this that I will pick up a few stones to throw at it if I see it, to keep it from charging or stalking me. If I am still in the orchard I might pick up a pitchfork and ax from the shed and walk home with those in my hands. I feel like a peasant from a Frankenstein movie, marching on the castle toward the monster to do battle with archaic weapons.

   There was another time that I had to walk to the well in the dark and cycle the pump on. The lion was screaming outside near the house. So I went out with a shotgun and flashlight. As I was waiting for the pump to fill the tank I walked along the road so I was away from the brush. A neighbor came driving by, parked some ways from me with his lights on me, and hollered cautiously out the window “are you OK John?” It was a touching moment, and I could hear the worry in his voice evaporate when he heard me explain the reason I was standing along the road with a shotgun.

   But this all began with a talk of the Chronicles of Narnia, did it not? Well, Vickie and I had to remark during the showing of the Lion Aslan that our own Mountain Lion has been unheard by us for half a year now. Perhaps it is dead… and then the silence was deafening. You see we have a pond next to the house, it is full of frogs that chirrup all the night long on their orgy of excessive tadpole making. And when the frogs stop making noise it is like an alarm ringing because something is out there and scared them. Then, through the partially open window I heard it, the scream of the mountain lion, and it was close. We walked out onto the dark porch, proceeding cautiously, making sure the skunk was not out there. We stood on the dim porch, under the overhanging roof, deep in the shadows and listened to the close scream, then farther away we hard another scream, that was repeated twice. Then our own closer lion screamed again, and the other one repeated the scream twice. Over the next ten minutes we heard these two lions call to each other across the vastness of the open canyon. And our own lion which was behind our house, perhaps a few hundred yards and to the Northwest crossed the hillside behind us to the North, it then went along the spine of the hill to our East, and then followed that to the Southeast, and eventually the two screams became too faint to hear. In the span of ten minutes we’d heard this local cat cross two miles of densely wooded land without us ever hearing anything other than it’s screams.

   I know that having a local Mountain Lion is a luxury most Americans will never know, and I relish the thought that I live in this wild area, that so befits my own philosophy and nature. I wish this area to remain remote and wild like this, and I understand the feelings of the people who were born in this canyon and regret the opening up of the land that has happened in the last thirty years. The telephone was the first to come in during the seventies. Then people started coming into the canyon settling on their widely spaced houses, mostly out of sight of one another. And we encroach on the Lions territory, causing it havoc in its normal course of business. But the lions and the other animals seem to have come to terms with the new inhabitants of this canyon, we provide food of sorts to these animals with our imported meals-on-the-hoof. Many are the chicken coops that have been broken into by bears here, or tunneled into by foxes. Few goats remain; the rest have been eaten by the lions. Owls take the occasional cat. And mice are attracted to some barns where large amounts of feedstuffs accumulate and give them food, they are seized upon by rattlesnakes as a nice food source.

   Nature is full of bounty when there are not too many of any particular species, but the ‘balance of nature’ is not a balance at all. It is indeed a see-saw with the individual species rising and falling depending upon the vagaries of weather and disease. The fox population reached a saturation point here a few years ago, we had foxes coming up nightly to search for food near our house, and Whitey made sport of chasing them away from the house, while they in their cunning minds made sport of Whitey by running around bushes and coming up behind Whitey until he was the chased. The foxes got to a certain level, and then an epidemic of distemper caused their numbers to fall quickly. Now we do not see too many foxes. And now I have only a memory of standing at night in the canyon watching as the glowing eyes of foxes search left and right, criss crossing like soldiers on a search and destroy mission as they make their way toward me, not knowing I am standing there like a stature on a rock.

   Yes, the foxes are gone, and a few months ago with the lions gone for some time I heard a pack of coyotes yipping near the house. This was a sure sign to me the lion was gone, and while I have no fear of coyotes, I’d rather have that dangerous lion around ‘cause he kept the deer population down, and they eat my cactus. The coyotes will eat our cats. When you have lions around the coyotes stay away (they are pretty smart critters).

   Seasons come and go, the tides rise and fall, and populations and empires wax and wane. There is a time for everything, and we can only guess at and apply our learning to predict the future. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worse. As for me, I put a lot of trust in Mossburg, and Smith and Wesson.

Q. Can you freeze cactus to eat later? A. You can’t bottle sunshine.

From an inquiry I got from a customer… I sent this reply:

   Well, when you freeze them, they reconstitute kinda mushy. It’s pretty repelling to me, and I cannot recommend it on the site, although if you put the cactus pieces into a mash or soup or burritos it’s not a real big issue.

 

  Prepare them, pat dry, and then dice, then lay out on a cookie sheet not touching each other and freeze. Once fully frozen shake them into a freezer bag, and thaw as needed.

 

   I’m so used to fresh leaves, and they store well lightly wrapped in the fridge. So we get plenty of folks who order monthly, and eat just a bit of a leaf every day… or feed just a bit to a tortoise. They say that after three weeks, it is still in good shape.

 

   As the season progresses and the leaves we pick are more mature, they last longer also, because they have a thicker skin and waxy coating. The fine tender ones are more perishable. Also the older thicker ones give you more food value per amount of cleaning, because they have more internal mass compared to the relatively large external surface of the thin ones. Same amount of cleaning per leaf, just the thick ones might be three times as weighty.

  Yeah, it’s for sure I prefer fresh foods over frozen or otherwise prepared foods in general.

   There’s a time and an item for freezing or preserving here and there… I for instance love freeing fresh corn from the garden whole in the husk and unblanched. When you take it out and thaw, you can then pop the whole thing untouched in the microwave and heat through, and you can have some corn that tastes like and has texture like it was just harvested the day before.

   Corn is a great example of  food that is worthwhile to freeze, peas, beans and some other seasonal foods also come to mind.  Tomatoes are great made into pastes, or diced and canned for great salsas through the winter.

  But our cactus is so good and crunchy when fresh, and usually we have good production except for a few months in the winter…. so I just can’t bear to bring myself to can or freeze cactus when we can have it fresh through most of the year…. you know, you just can’t bottle sunshine.

 

Ann Coulter speaks

Yep, one of my favorite looking columnists Ann Coulter has a really nice article, that I think in the next thirty years will be held up as right and true….

 

An excerpt…

“But no one notices when 9/11 doesn’t happen. Indeed, if we had somehow stopped the 9/11 attack, we’d all be watching Mohammed Atta being interviewed on MSNBC, explaining his lawsuit against the Bush administration. Maureen Dowd would be writing columns describing Khalid Sheik Mohammed as a “wannabe” terrorist being treated like Genghis Khan by an excitable Bush administration.”

 

   Write on Babe!

A former prisoner of the Gulag discusses the future, which he has already live in…

 From the YouTube info page…

Vladimir Bukovsky spent many years in Russian labour camps and psychiatric prisons for defending human rights. He came to Britain in 1976. He lectures and writes on the old Soviet system and the EU.