Monday, May 28, 2012

More Memorial Snow

Well, I promised that I would repost if our Memorial Snowfall became more epic. And it did.

Saturday morning we woke to eight more inches of snow. Since the ground is no longer frozen, it melted gradually from the bottom all day, turning the entire ranch into mud city. We all were off after lunch on Saturday. Everyone left the ranch except Jason and I. As the snow started all over again, falling in big fluffy flakes, Jason and I made pizza for dinner and then had a big fire in the lodge fireplace, and played cards while we watched the snow fall outside. It was awesome.

Sunday we woke to another six inches of snow, and decided that we were going to town to do some shopping and go the movies. Another date day. We saw MIB3 (which was great, and makes me want to watch the first one again) and then headed back up to the Ranch, where all of the snow had melted off during the day.

Today, we woke up to no snow, but a gloomy, cold, rainy day, so we stayed in bed until 3:30 this afternoon watching movies!

Not the sunniest or warmest Memorial Day weekend, but certainly a restful and beautiful one.

Enjoy the photos!

Saturday morning outside our cabin.

Jason took a TON of photos. Hopefully they'll be up on his blog soon.

This is Allen's dog, Toby. Check out his snow beard. Awesome!

The construction equipment covered in snow with a spectacular backdrop.

We live here. Seriously.

I shot this first thing in the morning from our cabin porch. Pretty, ain't it?

On the left you see Indy prints. On the right? Grizzly prints. BIG grizzly. Indy was trying to track him.

Stopped for a photo op on the way into town on Sunday. This was about where the snow stopped, and you can see the whole valley where we live in the background. It was CRAAAAAZY windy.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Snow 2012

Last year, we had a bunch of snow on Memorial Day weekend. Here's what it looks like THIS year!

Yes. In Wyoming, we're not even clear of frost until the middle of June, so another year of Memorial Weekend snow is really just normal. And you know the best part of late May snow on the ranch? It kills ALL the ticks that have hatched. Three cheers for another season free of ticks!

So here are some photos from the Hawkeye of our 2012 Memorial Weekend snow. And you know? It's supposed to snow ALL WEEKEND. So, because of the weather and the holiday crowds, we're planning to hang tight - here at the ranch and a visit to Cody. We're off half the day tomorrow, and all day Sunday and Monday. After all, Jason wants to play in the snow, and Indy does too. :)

If the snow becomes truly epic, I'll update with photos. If it keeps snowing the way it is right now (and it's supposed to until Sunday night), we may not be able to get out our door in the morning! After all, there are several more inches of snow on the ground right now than there were when I took these photos. And honestly, nothing would make Jason happier, because like a true Floridian, he loves the snow. In fact there's a story about him and snow. I'll have to make sure he's okay with it, and share it with you one of these days.

By the way, happy Memorial Day Weekend! Don't forget to celebrate the day - and thank a vet while you're at it. Because of their sacrifices, we live in the best country on Earth.

Now? Back to one of my absolute favorite movies, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!

(For those of you with a love for Indy - check out this video of Jason and Indy playing in the snow!)

Monday, May 21, 2012


After two days of rain to end last week, the weather has again been just spectacular here in Wyoming. Sunny, warm, dry and in the 70s. Just perfect.

Now, you may or may not have picked up on this, but I am down to ONE job title here on the ranch this season. Last year, as you remember, I had two +. I was a little nutty, always zipping around the ranch with an endless list of to-do's in my head, and with nothing ever getting finished "perfectly" simply because there was no time.

This year, my one job is not as the gardener. I made the mistake of making the cabins too nice for guests last year, and making the boss super duper happy with the cleanliness of her ranch.

And you know? It's okay. I had a rough day early on, missing my greenhouse and garden, and the joy of watching things grow. But I had to remind myself - if I was in charge of the greenhouse, I'd also STILL be the housekeeper, and I'd be running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Again. So the sadness is gone, and in it's place? Relief.

My days are still full, but I'm able to really finish my projects, making sure that things are beautiful and clean and lovely. I don't feel frantic. I don't feel stressed.

And on nice days? I get to go out and work in the flower beds. As they say in Jason's family, "It's a get to, not a got to." It rocks.

As I was pulling weeds last week - lots and lots of spring weeds - I got to thinking about the nature of them. Weeding is a pretty good time for some reflection and meditation, by the by. An activity that you don't have to think too hard about, so you can mentally do some heavy lifting. The only way to really weed is to take the time and get them by their roots. Dig deep and wide, and work out every last root. If you don't the weeds just come back. Fast. Prolific. Invasive. Choking out the good. And sometimes, you think you've successfully gotten all of the roots, only to turn around a week later and BOOM. Weed fiesta.

So, in my reflective weed digging state last week, I started thinking about the handful of poisonous friendships I've had in the past - ones that finally got so diseased that I had no choice but to dig them out - and if I didn't get all the roots, they just kept coming back. Making me sicker.

I believe that people come into our lives for a reason. Sometimes it's just for a season. And when that season is over, if the relationship is forced, it can atrophy.

So, yes, there have been a handful of "friendships" in my life that turned the corner from being positive (all with people who, at one time, brought wonderful things into my life) that suddenly went rancid. Where I felt abused, taken advantage of, afraid... Helpful hint - if you're terrified of picking up the phone when a "friend" calls, then their message leaves you feeling sick, empty and used, it's time to tear out that relationship. Dig out the roots, and burn the friendship.

That may seem selfish, but how can we have space and trust in our healthy relationships, when so much of our energy is being choked out by negativity?

Anyhow, food for thought from my days in the flower beds.

Have you ever had to end a dying friendship, and tear it out by the roots?

Image source:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Back to Jackson

On Monday, we had an extra day off (well-earned!), so Jason and I took advantage of the earliness of the season and the fact that it was a Monday so there would be less traffic in the parks. We headed into Yellowstone, drove through to Grand Teton National Park, and stopped in Jackson Hole for lunch before slowly working our way back.

It was a great date day, and we were so happy to be out, especially in weather as beautiful as we've been experiencing. Last year we had record Spring snows. This year we have record heat. Surely the snow is better for the local environment, but it's nice not to be bundled up and waddling around like the Michelin man. :)

Here are a few photos from our day!

At Yellowstone Lake.

There's still ice on Yellowstone Lake!

Jackson Hole's famous Elk Antler Arches!

Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yeah, It's Personal

Wow. Was yesterday ever one of those days. High highs, lowest of lows. Not much in between. I feel like I was dragged kicking and screaming through the emotional ringer!

Now, I'm not going to rehash all of it, but just one particular part.

The part that gets the most personal.

I don't talk about being gluten free very often on this blog anymore, as I feel there are plenty of other bloggers out there who do it so well, and as their main focus. And really, we have so much going on in our lives that I generally have more important (and interesting) things to talk about here than my gluten intolerance.

That said - it's a big part of my daily life, and key to my personal/physical well-being. Of the many problems I had that can be contributed to gluten - the worst and most difficult to deal with was the emotional rollercoaster - high highs (borderline mania) to the low lows (depression) and the constant swing back and forth. And that is the thing that I missed least of all since giving up gluten. So let me be clear - I am not gluten free because it's a fad. I am gluten free because I was sick. So sick.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll remember that last season on the ranch we had a chef here who was super accomodating to my gluten free diet. I was very supportive of him, always friendly, helped him in any way that I could, and always willing to feed myself if accomodating my needs became an issue with a particular meal.

I found out last night that he'd been deliberately slipping gluten into my meals all of last summer.

It's devastating. And so personal. So very personal. Deliberately messing with a person's health is awful. I can't imagine what I ever said or did to him that made him feel like he needed to be so cruel.

And, of course, because I don't report my bowel movements to the chef, he thought I was just fine, so he kept lying to me and feeding me gluten.

But what he didn't know is that I had some serious digestive issues last summer, which I entirely attributed to the food being too rich, or maybe my body didn't like the dairy.

And, while I try to keep it positive on the blog (after all - it's important to be positive!), I was on a serious, borderline BiPolar emotional rollercoaster last season. It was scary - I had manic highs and then would be severely depressed and sobbing uncontrollably several times a week. Many times I experienced both extremes in one day.

No one knew. Except Jason, who was worried sick about me. My degree is in acting, after all, so I just put on my best face most of the time. Sometimes you've just gotta fake it till you make it. But Jason thought I was miserable, and couldn't understand why I got so overwhelmed and upset all the time.

As soon as I told Jason last night - the light dawned in his eyes. It all suddenly made so much sense - my emotional rollercoaster, my terrible stomach problems, all things that changed when we left the ranch in the fall. Suddenly my emotions leveled out and I stopped having extremes.


So that's where we're at. Jason wishes he could beat the pulp out of that chef. I feel violated.

But we're a team. And we're going to keep working at keeping me healthy.

Still, though... Wow.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Indy's Big Day

We've been crazy busy on the ranch. And when I say crazy busy, I really do mean exactly that. Anyhow, in the midst of the madness, our pup Indy had a VERY big day today!

Indy's been a little depressed since we took him away from my parents' lab (and Indy's girlfriend), Sierra. He got to spend two idyllic months with her, and was seriously happy as a clam. It seems that not even the ranch could cheer him up, since all he really wants to do here is chase horses and steer, both of which are big no-no's and have resulted in him being on a lead or leash any time he's outside.

So, Indy's Grandma and G-G-Ma (great grandma) sent him a cheer up package today. Yes - It was actually addressed to our dog, care of the ranch. Heidi and JW's kids were SOOOOOOOO excited that a package had been delivered for Indy, that they insisted on bringing it to him right away. Then they were so excited to open it for him!

Indy's a smart dog - scary smart, actually - and he could smell who the box was from. He got all excited. When Tucker got the box opened, inside were two boxes of dog treats, four tennis balls, a squeaky duck, and a floppy raccoon (just like his floppy bunnies). THEN, Tucker proceeded to throw ALL of the tennis balls for Indy (insane delight!) while his sister squealed about how exciting this all was.

Indy was in heaven.

Indy's box of swag from Grandma and GGma.

About an hour later, our 40 pound Indy snapped his 25 foot lead that was rated for a 60 pound dog. He really is all muscle, and I shouldn't have been surprised. Still - next time we'll go for 80 pounds.

Snapped lead line. Wow.

Then it all took a turn for the worst - we've been threatening to saddle him with the cone of shame for a week if he didn't stop licking the wound on his leg. Well - it's cone time. Poor Indy.

At least he has his new Raccoon to keep him company tonight!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Let it Snow

Happy May!

To welcome the month, we woke up on this second day of May to snow. Big, fat, fluffy flakes. It was beautiful, as snow on the ranch always is. This is probably not the last day of snow we'll have (it snowed on Memorial Day last year, after all), but just in case it is, I was glad to see it. :) Anyhow, the sun came out by 11am, and the snow all melted into a beautiful (but still cold) day.

In other news, we're both exhausted. Last year, I was exhausted throughout the first two weeks of work, and that has held true this season. You would think that ten hours of sleep would be enough, but it's not. By the end of next week, though, we should be adjusted to the work schedule and the altitude and ready to roll for the rest of the season!

Yesterday we found a single puncture wound on Indy's leg. It's kind of deep, and when we can get him to stop licking it, it will heal over nicely with the help of some neosporin. The problem is that he keeps licking the wound back open every time we get it to scab over. Tomorrow we'll put some horse wrap tape on it (won't stick to his fur), and if that doesn't deter him, we'll get him the cone of shame on a trip into town. Poor Indy.

And last, the Chef for this season arrived today. Let me just say - I adore him already. AND the man can seriously cook. Dinner tonight was amazing! Welcome to the Hawkeye, Chef Andrew!!!!!

Now? Time for some movie watching (RED is the choice for tonight) and sleep!