We’re in for a (comparatively) cool week, and the dogs, Kitty, and I are taking advantage of it. It was still in the seventies when I saddled up and headed out. We didn’t go far — none of the four of us are in working shape — but we did have a good time. Here are some pictures to prove it.
The place is looking good. The haystacks in the background give me a warm feeling. We’re ready for the winter.
Peaches really enjoyed herself. She hasn’t been allowed to go along while the weather was hot.
Here’s the usual shot between Kitty’s ears. I think she’s watching those other horses eat, and thinking, “Where’s mine?”
This is a “Woops!” shot.
I put my finger right in front of the little corn patch I was aiming for.
After wandering around the ranch, we crossed the river to Rancho Rio and cruised around for a while, just visiting. That was enough for one day.
Here are Kitty and Peaches conferring, after the ride. I hope that they are saying they’d like to do it again soon. We need to — Kitty has gotten positively tubby.
And she’s not the only one. I certainly can’t talk.
It’s going to be a perfect week for riding, and every cool day puts us closer to fall and the end of the heat. There’ll be more hot days — but the end is in sight!
Too hot to blog again . . . 104 . . . but here’s a nice cool picture of the river in 2010.
Cooler next week!
. . . and here’s proof.
I usually get up about 6:30. That’s been too soon to see the sun come up, for months now. This morning, it wasn’t! And there were some beautiful clouds to brighten the day even more. It would probably have been even better a half-hour earlier, but, hey, you take what you can get.
The predictions for next week average about 90 degrees; that sounds really good. Before long, I hope to be back in the saddle. Kitty got reshod this morning — just in time.
We hope so, anyway!
The end of summer is close now. We are kind of hunkered down, sweating through these last weeks, waiting for the first signs of fall. I haven’t done much to blog about. So here are, at least, a couple of pictures from summers gone by . . . first, buttonwillow blooming, with a tiger swallowtail . . .
The river flowing, at dusk . . .
Maybe we’ll see it that way again, before too much time goes by.
I recently installed Google Earth — again. I had it on the old computer, but let a couple of years go by before I got it on the new one. It’s a lot of fun. I enjoy going back to look at places that are meaningful to me, and seeing how they’ve changed, or not.
Here’s a view of the ranch from above. It’s not current; there’s actually a little water in the river. It’s not too long ago, though.
I took it into Paint Shop Pro, to outline (rather crudely) our property. It’s a really funny shape . . .
It looks kind of like a giant tadpole, split by the street that wasn’t even there when Billy’s mother bought the property. It was about 1945 when she bought the part west of Manor; Billy bought the part to the east a little before we were married in 1971.
It’s hard to believe, but neither Billy nor I have ever flown. Not because we wouldn’t like to — there has just never been a reason. Well, Google earth is the next best thing!
Yesterday was interesting — in the Chinese proverb sense.
The evening before, we had a broken water line. By the time Billy rounded up the crew and got it fixed, it was late. We didn’t get to bed until one o’clock. Then, about three-thirty, we were awakened by a lack of sound. The cooler was not working, which meant the power had gone off.
This is always a big problem, but even more so in the heat of the summer, because no power means no water. We don’t want the horses to be without water for even an hour in the heat. Luckily, we have a backup well. It was actually the main well, before we drilled the big well on this side of the property. Billy’s always kept it going, because its electricity comes in from a different direction than the main well. When the big well goes down, we just start up the little one. In over forty years, both wells have been down only twice. Still, he had to wake up our long-suffering crew (namely son Scott) and get it going.
Of course, the house was dark and hot, and Billy’s lift chair didn’t work. It’s such a help most of the time, lifting him to his feet now that it’s so hard for him to get up otherwise. Still, when the power’s off, there he is; trapped in his chair. It has a backup battery, which just barely got him halfway up, where he stuck. He could get up and down, if I hauled on his hand, but not lie back. Since he sleeps in his chair, he spent the rest of the night awake and uncomfortable — and so did I.
We called PG&E at dawn, but they already had a crew on the way. I drove up to the road, where it turned out that there had been a wreck that took out the power pole up at our neighbors, Teen Challenge. They had some power, but the lights were dimming and brightening erratically. And, as the lady I talked to said mournfully, no coffee. PG&E showed up and started working on the problem, but the pole had been snapped right off and had to be replaced. The power poles in Oildale seem to have an irresistible attraction for impaired drivers.
The power was back on by noon, so I was off to the bank to move some money. There were some problems, and I wound up stuck there for two hours. I was ready for the day to be over.
There has been another problem — an alarming smell in the air; burning, with an odd plasticky or metallic edge. I sniffed around in the house and garage when I noticed it, then went outside. The smell was general out there, but there was no hint of flame anywhere, and no sirens. It turned out that we were getting smoke from the Cuesta fire a hundred miles away, strong enough for everyone in Bakersfield to have stinging eyes and scratchy throats. Combined with the heat wave — oh, my.
The smoke was more visible as the sun went down. It can be seen as a murky band on the western horizon.
Notice the dogs, who were waiting for me to throw the Ball. Xena and Gena (not visible) were waiting at my feet. Peaches is smart enough to know that she can never beat the fleet Border collies to it, so she plays outfielder; hanging back where she thinks the ball might land. I call that pretty bright!
It’s supposed to be 107 today. It’s still too hot to blog much, but here’s a picture that reminds me of chilly days to come.