Posts Tagged With: dogs


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Summer solstice, the observance of the longest day of summer, or the beginning of summer, is cause for celebration in many cultures. Five thousand-year old Stonehenge is mobbed on June 20th with people hoping to see the sun, at its highest point, shine through the altar stone. I skipped the evening program, but I enjoyed the afternoon  music, Bryce Station Wine and food at Quyles. Bear and Summer Moon Dyken played one slot of three in a beautiful setting, under the trees on a  beautiful Saturday afternoon.

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Bear and Summer Moon are multitalented and well-known in the Mother lode for their music and instrumentation.

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But the real star of the venue was Jill Warren, a newcomer to our area. WOW!  She can make her guitar talk. And, her rendition of old favs, like Summertime?  Amazing. I couldn’t get enough. I tried to buy a CD?  She hasn’t got one. If you are looking for an entertaining, very talented musician, Jill Warren is a great choice. I don’t often do this, but here is her phone number (599) 280-9123. And, She is also on facebook. Jill Warren rocks. I’m hoping the Arts Council will pick her up, but their schedule for this summer is already filled. Hey, Mary Jane, take note for next year.

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So, between events, I poked around Quyle’s to see what’s new or interesting. The blacksmith forge was up and running.

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They have lessons the first Saturday of the month. And then meet and play the third Saturday of the month.  These two boys are the youngest practitioners I’ve ever seen at the forge. They were surrounded by people watching them.  I’m guessing 9 years old and 13?

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Marlene Bradford teaches at the pottery. Her signature style.  An unfired bust is drying before firing and glazing. Don’t know who made her. Jim Bass was giving lessons on the patio, but he was gone when I returned to take pictures. Always something going on.

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People travel so much with their dogs, these days. This well-behaved pooch was, I’m sure, glad to be out and about, and not in a backyard. Quyle’s has several old dogs that found  rescue here.

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I stopped this woman because her boyfriend was hassling her a bit. I told him she was cuter than he is.

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This bug isn’t real, but I found  two horn worms on an anise plant in the garden. Dolores Quyle, who planned the women only singers for this venue, since the sun-god was a female, told me everything is organic. They even buy organic compost put together from Diestel Turkey Ranch droppings with organic mulch. I once got straight turkey poop for my orchard and it stunk so bad the neighbors held their noses when they walked by my place. Voila!  Now I know where to get good stuff that doesn’t stink. Of course, I’ve neglected my orchard these last five years, one can hardly call it an orchard. Maybe someday it will be again.  It was a fun day. Night time revelers were invited to bring a tent and stay the night if they don’t mind sleeping on the grass. Too cool!



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When Main St. Murphys sports a shamrock and the yellow line turns green, (magically, doncha know), it is nearing St. Patrick’s Day.

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Leprechauns dancing in the street with fairies, mind you. You’ve never seen anything like it.

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In a heavy Irish brogue this tall fellow told me my picture wouldn’t turn out because you cannot photograph leprechauns. I think that was the old photo development style. He doesn’t know about digital. Aha! The joke is on him.

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They come in all shapes and sizes and it is the only time of year you can catch a glimpse of the wiley creatures.

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The street was jammed with thousands of people. Judging from the cars parked and the loaded shuttle buses that ferried people from Kautz Winery, where there is ample parking.  I’d guesstimate 15,000 people came to visit.

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The bagpiper band marched and played their special kind of music.

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I know of The Daughters of The American Revolution. I didn’t know there was a Sons Of the American Revolution. In each case, they are people who are direct descendants of men and women who served in the American Revolutionary War. They have to be able to give proof to join.

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Kids love a parade.

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And what would a parade be without them.

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I’m not sure how dogs feel about a parade. But there were plenty of them and they don’t seem to mind. Many people bring their dogs with them when they travel. Years ago, dogs would snap and tangle and challenge. Now, they are so socialized, I didn’t hear a-one bark or snap or seem uncomfortable. The Humane Society has done a marvelous job of training people how to handle animals, and temporizing their more aggressive behaviors.

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A group of skaters surprised me by executing dance steps and interesting moves in a community where sidewalks are not all that common.

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Here you are more likely to see horses and they are nice to see close up for people who don’t often get the chance. The kids love them. This young lady won Rodeo queen, a position she holds for a year.

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Of course, you don’t have to be queen of anything to enter yourself and your horse in the parade.

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Miss Calaveras and her princesses hung out the windows of a fire truck, which was unique.

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The food choices on the street grab you with their smells. Kettlecorn, and sausages get the juices rumbling but we ended up having corned beef sandwiches at the Native Sons of the Golden West, another great organization in town. It was so crowded I couldn’t get near the Irish Soda Bread from St. Patricks Catholic Church Ladies Guild. It is wonderful.

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I always meet people I know at the Hall and I like to support them. The sandwiches were delicious, along with potato salad, a pickle and real horseradish to clear the sinuses.

I took a lot of pictures if you are interested, double click on the picture and you can view a slideshow. (And please ignore that I misspelled Irish and Murphys when I uploaded my file.)

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It’s moving day. We will park for one night close to Ontario in reach of the airport. Jim’s reaction is expressed in the sign above.  He complains because we haven’t had much time together this year and it is getting shorter.

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I’m going home to become a  famous artist like this lady, well, hey…all I did yesterday is take pictures of more palm trees to paint. Well,  we know that isn’t going to happen, but I can dream a little and choose to play. The truth is, I did the laundry, a zumba workout and read. About 3:00, Jan and Larry came by to share some snacks and a drink and say goodbye.

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When I fly home, I pick up my car which is parked near the airport at my daughters. I’ve always wanted to paint a car in some artsy way. Maybe I’ll do that someday?

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But, this one was probably a bit hard to sell. Maybe I better leave well enough alone.

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This sign reminded me of my friend Guerry. He has a weird cat. More people I know have weird cats. Dogs seem more stable. I no longer have a cat but I had one that drank the leftover spiked eggnog after a new year party and stayed drunk under my couch for two weeks. He was terrified of my vacuum cleaner, but while he was drunk, he let me vacuum him of all of his loose hair. I can hear the pet lovers out there castigating me as I write. But, this was in the early sixties, the very first cat I ever had, and who knew that I probably almost killed him? He came out of it without a single symptom of any harm, still hated the vacuum cleaner, and lived a long life.



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Another painting lesson with my friend Pam left me energized and excited. Now, let us see if I can do this at home on my own? Maybe I can find another friend to paint with. Would we have done this if we weren’t in one place on the road where I could visit her two days in a row? No. Pam lived in Mountain Ranch, and I live in Murphys.

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Around 2:00 in the afternoon, our friends, Pat and Bruce Borad drove up from Jamul to spend a couple of days. They were having their driveway re-surfaced and brought Diego with them, a sweet dog. He had never ridden past the Vets and was very well behaved in the car.

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Bruce is an attorney, but quit practicing for his first love, teaching. He teaches a computer class, but is retired as of yesterday. Hey, just in time to fix my computer glitches and give me legal advice. Everyone should have a friend like Bruce. We had a nice dinner at Coco’s, close by.  We talked so much catching up I nearly forgot to take any pictures at all.  I guess that is a good sign that I’m enjoying the company of very dear friends. The years since I’ve seen them slip away like we had just seen each other yesterday. I love it.

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I love museums and enjoy looking back at how people once lived, the tools they used, the buildings they built the things they cherished. As we move around the countryside, we take pictures of what surrounds us that tells it’s own tale of how we live, for we are of our time.  An old rye harvester was in yesterday’s blog, but look at this modern jack hammer. The job of breaking up cement was once handled by a man wresting with a machine that shook his muscles and bones to extremes.

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The fine china of yesterday’s blog put me in mind of this toilet from the Nugget Hotel in Reno. IMG_2883 (Copy)

It is as ostentatious and beautiful as the Burnie china.

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People lived in mansions, shanty boats, falling down shacks and plain houses. Now, it isn’t unusual to find someone living in their car and trailer as this full-time friend of ours does. Full time RVers living on the road, Address Unknown,  are estimated to be a million.  The homeless live in tents, shacks, or as squatters all over the U.S. and we’ve met some of them, too, especially through Randy Vinings Blog, a former preacher who seeks them out to tell their stories.


Remember those black leather button up shoes of yesteryear?  Obviously more practical then this extreme example of our time. They had extremes in their own way. Extremely restrictive and repressive, especially of women.

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Swimwear for men is different, and sports are more varied and adventurous.

Pam, Hawiian nurse age 65

We live in a time where long hair is less common than days of old when no woman cut her hair. But, this is of our time, we are accepted both ways.

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We express very publicly our sorrows, by nailing teddy bears to a pole near where a child was killed by a car; or place crosses and atificial flowers on the roadside where a friend was killed. We express our joy similarly, with yellow ribbons around a tree, or support causes with bumper stickers or ribbons on the windows of our cars.

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We miniature everything, not only furnishings in doll houses, but real scientific instruments, like this robotic mosquito that can inject poison or medicine at a directed target.

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At one time pets were domesticated for their usefulness; they herded cattle, helped hunt, sounded an alarm. Today they have even more useful functions as police dogs, in medicine and leading the blind. They’ve also become essential companions and much loved members of the family and are dressed and coddled as children are. My neighbor, Kristi, refers to them as “fur children”.

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We are environmentalists. We attempt to keep our world clean, our rivers healthy, our air unpolluted, our resources renewable.  Not that we always succeed, everywhere. Years ago, conservation was the by word; it only referred to conserving resources. We of our time have come a long way.

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Sculpture was once limited to cement, plaster, bronze or steel. Today, anything goes. A yarn cab represents what creative creatures we are. Inventive, adventurous, creative, joyful, imaginative. We live our lives fully. We are of our time.

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Western Arizona, like Texas, retains a bit of its wildness. The characters of the past, reveal true grit, and occasionally in some of those we meet along the way. Belle Starr has true grit. She has multiple sclerosis, and is confined to a wheel chair. Her Silverado Ranch is where we camped  the last three nights while visiting Douglas, the Slaughter Ranch and Bizbee.

She has donkeys, horses, dogs, cats, a parrot, chickens and one helper. She takes in campers. Dry campers are free for the first seven days, after that she asks a $10 donation. For using hook-ups, she has two, she asks for $10 a night and a bit of help around the place.

I gave the animals some food, and tried to trim one little dog’s toenails. Jim did most of the helping by working three afternoons on her computer. Aaron, here helper knows nothing about computer. The truth is, we were mightily entertained for our efforts. The stories flowed. The one that sticks is her encounter with the Border Patrol.

Her ranch is near the Mexican border and the border patrol would routinely come in and search her little outbuildings, two of them “camping” cabins. One time they broke her gate, another time they practically dismantled one of the cabins and then wanted to “invade” her house. She drew a gun on them and told them No.  Both agents drew guns on her and ordered her to put the gun down. She did. Two weeks later she got a visit from the CIA and the FBI. She told them, keep those “bas—–” off my place. They told her they would take care of it and she hasn’t been bothered since.

This is Belle at 52 with a $1700 fighting cock. Her third husband was a member of the mafia and she escaped him and changed her name from Bell Santos, to Belle Starr, legally. She is remotely related to the famous female bandit.

A fountain for the birds.

In this corral she has four horses. Another holds three. In another eight miniature donkeys and two full-sized donkeys in yet another. We counted six dogs and one cat.

Plus chickens.

This little dog, Margarita, was so loveable I wanted to take her home with me. I do miss my animals now that I travel half the year. I feel lucky to be able to enjoy other people’s pets as we go.

Jim, too!  We are now at Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, New Mexico hunkered in for a few days of cold windy weather. I’ll tell you all about an amazing historical event that happened in Bizbee,  tomorrow.

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