Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ain't buyin' it

Going to the Pendleton Round-Up is an experience like NO OTHER. I do not know of another rodeo arena that is mostly grass. Usually there is an arena that is fully dirt. A whole lot of dirt. Even indoor arenas full of dirt. Dirt.



Dirty old dirt. But, dirt is good because the tractors come through and fluff up the dirt making all the contact on the ground not quite as hard. When a cowboy falls off a bronc, bull or jumps off their horse to tie down a calf there is some serious potential for injury. And we're not talking injury from an animal. There have been cowboys who have blown their knees, knocked out cold, oh, heavens... I suppose this happens on the dirt arena, too. BUT, it is fairly common on the turf.

Back to Pendleton. The arena is a football field and dirt track around. The high school plays their football games their. I wonder about the first game after the Round Up... Wouldn't want to get tackled in a pile of... Back the the story. Sorry.

Because this arena is used also for football, the rough-stock events (especially) are quite interesting.

The bucking broncs (both bare-back and saddle) have full range of the ENTIRE arena. Remember the arena is the size of a football field with a track. A normal rodeo arena is approximately 43.3 yards wide by 66.6 yards long. Compare that to a football field 120 yards long and 53.3 yards wide PLUS the addition of the wide dirt track surrounding it! Let's just say it looks really big! The photographers and cowboys who are watching and not getting ready to compete in the event settle themselves on the grass and watch. Every now and then... they get on their feet in a big hurry and scramble!!


For the bull riding event, a temporary fence is installed and it keeps the bucking area down to a more manageable size. The cowboys and photographers watch from the side of the fence. Some cowboys don't feel the need to get so close to the action and recline FAR off from the rest. (They're"Tough Enough to Wear Pink" but not to be that close to the bulls, I guess!)


The announcer informs us that this is a super duper fancy titanium bull-proof fence that the set up for the event.


Interesting idea... Titanium fence. Expensive I imagine, eh? Many the people on the ground help to set it up and take it down.


The fence is held up by another post that only props up the fence parts. Hmmm... this is sounding like a problem.


Well, next round of bulls arrived after some other events, the fence went up again and they bucked and cowboys rode, were tossed and even "dismounted." If only this cowboy would have landed, and raised his hands in the sky... he would have gotten an Olympic gymnastic 10!


This guy was just happy to to get bucked off on the dirt instead of the grass!


This bull ain't buying the titanium fence, either. They propped that fence right back up in a big hurry before the bull saw the gaping hole he left with his left hip! So, the cat's out of the bag, now... that is a PVC pipe fence propped up with more PVC Pipe. Nice. It works most of the time.


Yikes... I'm running off with these cowboys just to be safe.

More pictures later... Bulls. Bulls. Bulls. And some horses and calves.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How Old Are You!???

At the rodeo arena, we had a lot of fun playing around... Each kid went to a chute gate and happened to choose the one with the number of their age on it...

Bud was thrilled to get to "move up" to the 9 now!


Branch hopped right up and grabbed her 7.


Blossom ran over to the 5 and stopped short. We had to convince her that there were no bulls or broncs in the chutes!


Pops brought Bump over to the 1 gate and put him appropriately to the left on the number line! Only 2 more months until he hits the 1 year mark. (Boy, how time has flown!)


I think I'd like to live at the rodeo...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Daybook, Entry #43

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Tuesday, Sept 28, 2010...

Outside my window... 65, cloudy, foggy, misty. Sounds just fine to me! (Although I planned to use solargraphic paper for a school project today... hope some sun comes out this afternoon!)

I am thinking... that I need to schedule this blog into my day! If it is on the schedule it just might get some attention instead of... "Oh, I really should..."

I am thankful for... my Dyson. 'nuff said, eh?

From the learning rooms... Bud & Branch are doing a Unit Study on The Chronicles of Narnia - "The Magician's Nephew." Blossom is working on her 3 R's (Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic!)

From the kitchen...

Tues: Ground Beef something or other...
Wed: Roast
Thurs: Steaks
Fri: Blossom's favorites... Mac and cheese and Chicken
Sat: More Blossom's favorites... Party bites
Sun: Even More Blossom Favorites... Noodles and peas
Mon: Chili, cornbread & maybe cinnamon rolls

I am wearing... A brown knit skirt, a coral v-neck t-shirt, hair down long and getting in my face.

I am creating... or at least helping to create responsible children... I HOPE!

I am going... to be challenged with patience this weekend. My BIG helper, Branch is leaving for the weekend with Pops and Bud and I will have Blossom and Bump... eeee gads!

I am reading... for Book Club - The Thirteenth Tale by... Diane Setterfield (STILL!!)

I am hoping... that Pops, Bud and Branch have a fun safe trip this weekend!

I am hearing... neighborhood dogs barking. We used to have a quiet neighborhood... now there are dogs barking all day and night it seems. And our dog is basically silent these days.

Around the house... we have a new reward/sticker chart system going. It has been three whole days and so far so good. I chose to be lenient with my expectations as we get into the groove and each week will become more and more strict with the interpretation of the chart until it is "just right."

One of my favorite things... banana bread (I'll be making some later this week with some bananas that are getting a little ripe!)

A few plans for the rest of the week... we will be working hard at completing all of our school work by Thursday afternoon for the big kids. Pops is taking Bud and Branch on a deer hunting trip. So, they will have a fun weekend and learn some gun safety and other hunting things! Blossom, Bump and I will be home together. I need to plan somethings that are fun for her so that she doesn't feel too left out! I need suggestions for fun stuff to either do at home or out and about... easy stuff that a baby can easily tag along with!

A picture thought I am sharing...


To read more daybooks or to join in the fun, head over to Peggy's.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Pendleton's 100th Round-Up was this past week. We attended. We had a great time.


The announcer did a great job keeping us all in the know of what was going on in the arena.


We enjoyed looking at all of the western art and assorted paraphernalia. (I am still working on convincing Pops that we "need" a new headboard/footboard for our bed. It was soooo awesome and they deliver all over Oregon!! Cross your fingers with me, eh?!?!!)


Two years at Pendleton, now, and I have not made it into the "World Famous 'Let 'Er Buck' Room." I guess I just have to go again, next year!


More pictures later... I am still trying to get back to "normal" (what is that, really?!) here after being gone too long! Lot's of great rodeo pics to share... and I have to find that box of thunder eggs....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

GO BIG RED!!!!!!!

Pops took Bud and Blossom to the Husker game today in Seattle! Here they are waiting for the game to begin. I see that they couldn't wait for popcorn. Typical. Predictable. Popcorn eaters!


Branch, Bump and I are hanging with our friends outside of Seattle. Bump is kissin' on their little 5 1/2 months old. We're trying to get a picture... Cross your fingers!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Couldn't Resist...







P.S. - The Thunder Eggs are in the "Stow n Go" of the van... pictures of the rock collection will have to wait until we get home and unpack. Look for those next week!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thunder Eggs

Bud has wanted to dig for Thunder Eggs since... I don't know. Seems like FOREVER. So, for his birthday, we gave him a pair of gloves, a small shovel and a piece of paper that talked about digging for Thunder Eggs.


I think that he got the idea that we were going digging!

Thunder Eggs are the "state rock" of Oregon.

You have to work to get them chipped out of the ground with a pick axe (one should wear protective eyewear, but mom's sunglasses will work in a pinch!)

We went to a "fee site" where there were dig areas that were regularly excavated and turned so that you didn't have to dig so long to locate a precious "gem." (I could NOT resist the pun. Sorry for that.)

Bud gets his rockhound blood honestly... he didn't fall too far from the tree!

Some people just like the "ting ting ting ting" the pick ax makes on agate.

EVERYONE. I repeat - EVERYONE wanted in on the action!!!

It was time to head out and Pops dealt the ultimate blow... ONLY 3 Thunder Eggs per person to take home (we had filled 2 large blue buckets FULL).

This story will continue with some pictures of what the haul turned out in the end. Stay Tuned! (I have to take everyone's pictures with their precious items!!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shared Secrets

I am so glad to report that I located my memory card reader for my camera!! How smart I was to slip it in my camera bag... I do NOT remember doing that, especially since it was in the wrong place. Someone must have "helped" me out - and it worked!! On to the story...

When my folks drove home this past month, they took a "short-cut" that turned out to be longer than expected (Atlases do not always show all the twists and turns that abound on mountain roads like the turns might be shown in a flat-lander state!) But, their effort to try a scenic short route was rewarded with an unexpected scene that they recommended we see, too!

And what a scene it was!

This is as we got closet to the "rock pile" in the above photo...

The girls insisted it was a castle!!

A storm was brewing and the girls were nervous nellies about the lightening in the distance, so we had to hurry... and I didn't take NEAR as many pictures as I would have liked to.

There were large viewing windows and many small holes to look through that showed mountain peaks with their names... SO COOL! I would love to go back through on a beautiful clear blue sky kind of day to really look them over.

Two of the Three Sisters Peaks "North Sister" and "Middle Sister"... Blossom thinks the third sister died.

At the top of the observation tower is this dial of sorts that points to and names the peaks in the distance.

Later, as we continued on our journey, we were treated with this spectacular sunset!! As we drove out of a fire singed forest, the sky gave the illusion that the fire was still raging in the distance. Breathtaking.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Daybook, Entry #42 - Happy Birthday, Bud, edition!

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Tuesday, Sept 14, 2010...

Outside my window... noisy college aged golf tournament kids.

I am thinking... my "baby" turns 9 today. That isn't really possible, is it?? I don't have all my old pictures, so I can't do a review of how he has grown over the year. NEXT year, he will be in teh double digits. YIKES.

I am thankful for... Bud's amazing mind and how it challenges me!

From the learning rooms... oh, boy! oh, boy! We are on a wonderful great cool field trip this week!! Homeschooling is so fun and rewarding when you want to go away to do something and you can add in things along the way that are amazingly educational and fun and you chalk it up to a field trip ... week!!

From the kitchen... not much of anything since we won't be home! But, plans must be made none-the-less!
Tues: need a birthday cake/cheesecake/cupcake/pie... something!
Wed: there is a steakhouse in eastern Oregon that serves Nebraska Beef. I want THAT!
Thurs: We'll be finding rodeo food.
Fri: on the road ...
Sat: dinner with friends - hoping that Anthony's fish place is in the cards for us while in the Seattle area!
Sun: Brunch with Pops' aunt and uncle from Nebraska
Mon: Uh, maybe I'll remember how to thaw ground beef!!
I am wearing... Hatley pajama pants. They are pink with brown horses running. They are well loved. I need a new pair, but they don't seem to make this print any longer. Boo Hoo.

I am creating... fun memories with my family (we had a late night DQ treat last night at 8:50 pm as they were about to close.... got in just under the wire!)

I am going... to be a GREAT sport for all this travel about business!

I am reading... for Book Club - The Thirteenth Tale by... Diane Setterfield.

I am hoping... to have a successful dig tomorrow.

I am hearing... hotel noise.

Around the house... laundry done. Girls' room is clean and has fall clothes. I need to put some away so there are fewer choices, though. I tried to stick to the plan, but allowed too much. Need to pare down, more.

One of my favorite things... baby scent.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Thunder Egg (Geode) Hunting, John Day Fossil Bed exploring, attend the 100th year of the Pendleton Round-Up, visit friends near Seattle, Pops' and one or two treekids attend the Husker game vs. the Washington Huskies, Meet up with family for a quick visit... I think that is plenty!

To read more daybooks or to join in the fun, head over to Peggy's.


Well, we are on the go, again...

This time headed for a week of fun jaunting about Oregon and Washington.

Here's the trouble. We rushed about getting ready to go. I thought I had "everything." I don't have everything. I forgot my "card reader" for my SD Card. I took some pretty cool pictures today of part of our fun. They are stuck on the camera until I can get them downloaded.

So, I will just be wordy this time. Although, not really too wordy as I am tired and want to catch some zzzzzzzzs before all of our fun that we have planned for this week. I neeeeed my beauty rest. And I need regular rest to help me keep up with my family.

I will be back soon... but, I gotta get some sleep, first!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A quick run-down...

I know... It's been a while since I made the time to sit here and say hello. Lots of stuff going on, but none of it terribly exciting.

-Pops and I are doing a Couch to 5K run/jog program and we go nearly every night to a local track where the treekids can play on playground equipment.

-Schooling is in "full swing" although now that we are going at it every day and have been working the plan for a while now, I am not sure that everything is just right for this year. So, I have been contemplating a few changes - which involves reading some homeschool books.

-I laid down the hammer and we got the school stools (which are hollow cubes that each kid can store papers, stickers, notebooks, etc...) cleaned out, tidied up and organized. There was a LARGE black garbage bag available for throwing away. It was filled half-way!!

-We went camping for a couple of days for Pops' birthday! Did I mention that here, yet? Hmmm.

-The enormous amount of book shelves were organized back to normal (Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony books do not go on a shelf with more learning style oriented books with dinosaurs and Thomas Jefferson, right?!?!) so that books can be found more quickly these days. (Read: Mom organized the books that the treekids brought to her.)

-Brats on Saturday morning for breakfast has resumed. College Game Day is back on ESPN at 6 AM Pacific Time. And the weather is getting cooler... it is looking like fall is on its way and it has rained off and on for the last three days!!!

-Branch had her lemonade stand open for business downtown in our little town. She did pretty well. One lady who bought a cup of lemonade told me that she was really impressed by my little girl's business. She said it was very clean an and she appreciated that. I must have had a questioning look on my face because she clarified that she kept the cups clean in the plastic bag, her table was clean, the pitcher was clean, she used a scoop for the ice and didn't touch it, her hands were clean even though she didn't use them. WOW! She must've been with the health department!! The gal told me that this was the first cup of lemonade that she has ever drank from a lemonade stand and that she usually supports the little kids in their entrepreneurial adventures, she usually walks away and dumps the cup without the littlest sip! So, she could also say that the lemonade was tasty! You Go Girl!! Maybe one more set up of the "treat stand" before the cool weather sets in.

-It has been discovered that Blossom will need to pare down... in a VERY BIG way. Yesterday morning, she traded out some toys (I keep all the toys in a storage closet and they have to give to me the tote of, say - Polly Pockets to get a new grouping of toys.) and had me put her kitchen in her room. Her room was nearly perfectly clean. Pops was up in her room to see if her statement of "I hung up that other shirt I had on for a few minutes" was true and he would owe her $25 for not believing her (the bet I suggested!). He nearly blew a gasket when he saw that there was no carpet in her room. Well, there was carpet, but it was covered in clothes of all sorts and some stuffed animals and other assorted stuff that was with the baby doll toy box. Apparently during the last clean the room session... all the things she didn't want to deal with, she stuffed in with the dolls?? All this to say that TODAY is not going to be too fun. We are getting out the black garbage bags and filling them for charity. Pops suggests five tops and five bottoms. I think she needs a couple additional items of church attire: two nice dresses, a skirt and top AND more like seven of each top and bottom (she wears shorts, capris and skirts) plus two pairs of jeans. IF that was all she had in her closet (with plenty of socks and underclothes) I think that she would be set. She just cannot seem to deal with TOO much. (So, sidebar to the grandparents... Little Miss Blossom does NOT need any clothes. NO CLOTHES!! OK? Kiss. Kiss. Thanks!) This is going to be hard for me. She is going to want to keep some tops that are... mmmm, well used shall we say?! Those are the favorites and with only seven tops? They need to be ones that are good for all things and can be more versatile and such. Breathe... Breathe... Breathe... this is gonna be a tough day.

-Ok, now I am so overwhelmed by this task, that I can't even remember what all else has been going on around here. But, I do remember one more detail about that little Miss Blossom. Do you remember way back a year and a half ago or so?? If you haven't been reading regularly, you might go check THIS out. Well, Blossom has been talking about her hair being in her eyes and how it is bothering her. She told me that she wanted her hair to be cut. SO, I didn't want a repeat of that other experience, so we looked at some pictures of hair on the computer and set to cutting her hair!! Here's a peek at the the new Blossom haircut!!




What a BIG girl she has become!!!

-OH! How could I forget?!? Bump has just cut his fifth tooth and a snotty nose and neediness came with these last ones all coming in at once. One more is really working on popping through any day, now. Oh, teething crabbiness be gone!!!!

I do have a few more pictures of some of these other "events" and I will update this post as I have time in the next day or so with those pictures! So, I'll just delete this notice when all my pictures are added here!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lotsa Laughing!!!

So, today... Branch and I ran downtown to the bank. We noticed a sign by the local elementary school that said that school was back in session. So, I asked her what she thought about kids having to go back to school. She said that she thought it was sad that kids have to return to school (her little playmate who's grandma lives nearby won't be over most days, now). I asked if she thought she had a better "deal" just having to have school at home with mom and all that jazz. She told me that she did have the better option. She is happy to not be in public school, she said. Then, I asked her why she gives me trouble, now and then, about getting all of her school work accomplished. Her very serious "Winnie the Pooh logic" response:
"Well, I guess I would rather like it if I didn't do any school at all."

Later, Blossom and I were whispering to each other while Bump was nursing and falling asleep. She was telling me how babies are great (sidebar: they ARE great, aren't they!??) and how maybe one day she would have ONE baby.

I told her, "Hold your horses! You have to grow up and get married first!"

Blossom replied, "Oh, yes. I know. I have to find my prince. Then ONE baby. A boy. And I will name him {bump}" she giggled. "Just like our {bump}!"

I responded, "Uh, mmm... you know that's your brother's name, right?"

She giggled again, "Yes, but that is the only baby boy name I know!"

So, we talked a little about baby names. Then she looked at the cluster of portraits I have on the wall... each of my four treekids as an infant. Blossom said, "I don't want to have my tummy cut open to have a baby, though."

"Well, babies don't always come out of a cut in a mommy's tummy."

"Oh, ok. I will have a baby the other way. Not out of a cut in my tummy. So, {Branch} and I came out of your tummy the same time, right?"

WHAT?!? "Um, no. You were in my tummy at very different times all by yourselves. Why would you think that you were there together?"

"Well, it HAD to be that way. 'Cuz people should get babies boy, girl, boy, girl you know - pattern. So, it works that {Branch} and I came out together."
Interesting... very very very interesting logic. Glad it didn't HAVE to work that way, though!

Evening arrived and after some baking this afternoon, everything seemed to be smelling good and taste buds were drooling around here. One of the things that was baked today was some good ol' quick bread. While Branch and I were reading the recipe together, I briefly explained the concept of quick bread versus yeast bread. At that time, Bud was out on the deck waiting and watching and wishing that his yeast dough (soft pretzel dough) would grow FASTER. Then the quick bread went into the oven and began its hour of baking and smelling up the house with its spicey goodness! Bud kept asking me to test the bread and getting out the toothpicks. I continued to tell him how much longer and he finally protested:
"I thought you said that this was FAST bread."
Laughing is a GREAT thing and makes the day feel sooooo much nicer!