Ranch House Remodeling…Hang On!

Before we began the remodel…before the siding was off…we had a yellow house.

Today our house looks like this…a rather naked tongue and groove house, almost a 100 years old. When I was little, I vaguely remember it being white…my parents put the first siding on it when I was 6…and then the yellow siding when I was 19. Today the insulation guys came and blew the walls full of insulation to help with being energy-efficient and to lower the electric bills next winter.

I think Minnie is ready to start her own blog about how “NOT” to remodel your house!

Between the pounding on the roof and the various people who come each day….”Geez Mom can you please stop it!”

I know Minnie I know but we have to finish it. It looks sort of old and pretty bad except for the new roof:)

The last time we remodeled we started here in the kitchen…

And found out we had a chimney that was hidden. Mom did not tell me about hiding the chimney when she remodeled the original kitchen. I always wondered why she had a funny shaped closet over there and we found out:) The wall that you see beside Bill we opened up…

To the living area so that when I was cooking I could still visit with WB or guests…this is looking back from the living area.

Yes we saved Mom’s GE steel kitchen…I will show you in a minute.

But first I want to show you one of the original 1920 red fir cupboards with the breadboard still intact. When Mom remodeled the kitchen in 1960 taking out the original kitchen she saved this cupboard and also the pass through cupboard for storage down in the basement…they were painted a mint green with pink trim….along with several other paint colors that I found when I refinished them. I remember my Mom making pie shells and cut out cookies on the breadboard…I would stand on a chair next to her and help:) I do have the original red fir top but switched it out with this awesome piece of pine from one of the old mills around here.

Both cupboards are back in the kitchen where they began…when our cabinet maker came to our home the first time he immediately noticed the old growth red fir floors…he said 30 years before he bought a bunch of antique red fir wood at a lumber auction and the wood was old then…would I be interested in having him make the kitchen cabinets out of it? Yes…Yes…Yes! I strive to return the house to the original build and era of 1920 and the kitchen turned out beautiful…classic and simple as he modeled the cabinets after the original kitchen cabinet.

Minnie was really “NOT” impressed with totally re-arranging her kitchen either…the carpenters left for the day and she came out of hiding to see what was going on…see how amazed she looks:)

Here is Mom’s steel GE kitchen in the shop now…and in this picture, T and I are making Norwegian Lefse…also known as potato cakes. Yummy and very good:)

We have a ways to go but before we know it, the house will be done:) I can plant my flowers…Wild Bill can sleep better again…and Minnie will be happy having her house back in order:)

Until then…she is staying on the coffee table keeping an eye on me:)


Blue skies smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies do I see
Bluebirds singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds all day long…Nothing but blue skies from now on:)

Moody Spring Clouds On A Taupe Tuesday…

Good Taupe Tuesday Evening to you!

The last month we have been remodeling and updating various things on the house, the shop and around the ranch.

All of a sudden the roof was 22 years old and not so great…the heat pump is the same age and needs a bit of help…the siding on the house needs to be changed out and while we do that we plan to insulate the walls and the roof to help out with the electric bill to be energy-efficient. The patio concrete has died and we are trying to figure out if we re-do the concrete or do some kind of natural stone look…decisions decisions and decisions.

Whatever I choose will be a last forever decision…so I better be absolutely sure:)

We did something that has never been done here before…not ever. Do you want to guess what it is?

We dug a well for our water…at 200′ deep we found good water at almost 300 gallons a minute….wow!

My hubby took the pictures saying “Honey this is our trip to Hawaii so I wanted to get pictures.” “What…wait minute…does that mean we are not going?”

My ancestors dug a 25′ well by hand a hundred years ago and lined it with bricks. I grew up on it and our kids were raised on it as it was the well we had. It is across the road from the house in a well house…when you shine a flashlight on it, you can see the water and the bricks. The water pressure we have now is about 25 gallons a minute…my showers have always been a trickle so it will be nice to have better pressure and water!

We will use the old well to water the pastures for the horses. The new well is next to the house, so we are moving the horse stalls across the road from the house where I can still keep an eye on them:)

Minnie says “What are you looking at?” “This house remodeling is very disruptive for napping!”

This evening we are to have thunderstorms…I have my camera ready to go if we get any interesting weather. Last night we had one of the most intense lightning storms I have seen here. Reminded me of the Wyoming storms we used to get when we lived there. The storm lasted for well over an hour…heavy winds and heavy rain came with it…along with rotating thunderstorms!

It is almost time for me to figure out dinner so I will head for the kitchen. Have a safe night tonight wherever you are!

Hot Rod Cowgirl’s Horse Power and Horsepower!

Often I am asked, how did I come up with the name Hot Rod Cowgirl? Am I really a cowgirl? What does Hot Rod mean in your name? How can you be both a Cowgirl and Hot Rod Girl?

 The pictures will help to explain the how and the why:)

Horsepower and horse power represent my life. I love my horses and I love horsepower! This shot is perfect…I can see both at once in my view:)

I grew up like this…horses and cows…on a large cattle and wheat ranch…in the middle of nowhere!

Horses have been a large part of my life and my heart…from the time I was 2 years old:)


Then I met WB…and my heart became his…this country cowgirl turned into his Hot Rod Cowgirl!

Horsepower…My Classic Hot Rod!

Horse Power…My Classy AQHA “Fanny Annie!”

 “Hot Rod Cowgirl.”

Happy Horses…Happy Heart!

 Cadillac Truck…Cowgirl Style!

Hot Rods…Horsepower!

Hot Rod Cowgirl, Hobby Horse And Dog Maggie May.

 Original Cowgirl Cadillac…Miles Of Memories.

Go Fast GTO Horsepower!

Hot Rod Cowgirl Cutting Loose With Horse Power!

Hot Rod Cowgirl’s Cadillac 4-Horse Hauler Deluxe!

Cowgirl’s Hot Rod Husband…

And Her Cowboy Husband…He Has A Dual Look For Me!

Hot Rod…


I hope that helps to explain it…we live on the ranch and operate our successful hot rod business here…we live the western life  with our horses, Aussie dogs and…Hot Rods!

Hot Rod Cowgirl Is Headed Down The Trail…Ta-Tah For Now!

Celebrating The Days Of My Life…April 11th 2006…An Amazing Day In A Country Girl’s Life!

We celebrate April 11th as it is “one of the blessing days of my life”…a new day and a new birthday!  I had been diagnosed with wide-spread non-invasive breast cancer a few weeks before…we could still do something proactive as it was contained and had not become invasive or spread. It was the size of a small orange, so we chose to do the most proactive treatment we could do…a double mastectomy with immediate tram flap reconstruction with a 99.7% survival rate for a healthy life.

We explored the other options…but it was recommended by both the radiologists and my oncologist that we do a mastectomy due to the large wide-spread area. I was young and healthy…with lots of life yet to live with WB. Having been high risk for many years, in many ways, to us it seemed like a gift as we could choose the best option for us.

When they took me to surgery it was 7:15 in the morning and when I opened my eyes again and I saw my hubby “WB” it was 2:15 the next morning, April 12th. I was okay after 18 hours…16 hours surgery and 2 hours recovery…to me that is yet a miracle. I actually had 4 more hours of surgery after 48 hours…so in total between April 11th and April 14th I had a total of 20 hours surgery without complications. Through the months of recovery I healed quickly and was back working out at the athletic club by October.

 “Wild Bill” shared with me how scary it was for him as it was hard to watch other families wait…then leave to greet their loved ones who made it out of surgery and were in recovery. OHSU was a huge teaching hospital and he only heard a few updates in that long 18 hours a part.  He was the last one in the waiting room that early dark morning, when my Dr. came out with a smile letting him know that I was fine…all was well.

I am healthy today…my usual silly ding-dong self… living a happy life!

Today we wear pink to fight cancer…to bring awareness to the disease and to give hope that there is life beyond cancer:)

Instead of making lemonade out of a bunch of sour lemons…since we are out here in the farm country…let’s make bread out of kernel’s of wheat the same way. “Grind It and Just Do It!!!!”

I thank God for sparing my life…for giving me a future, a hope and a life!

Where ever you are…please support raising money for the cure of cancer! It is striking more and more people each and everyday…it is an insidious disease that needs a cure!

We can find the cure!!! “Let’s Just Do It!”

“LIFE”….We Can Fight…Yes We Can!

 “Save a Life”…Make a difference America!

Crazy Wild West Weather Captures Hot Rod Cowgirl’s Eye!

April blew in with fury and might arriving in Juniper Canyon with wild whacky weather…take a look:)

We woke to snow on two mornings…yikes and what???

I know I complained back in December for Ms. Madame Cold Winter to come visit us but…it is time sweetheart, for you to go away as Spectacular Suzi Spring is waiting patiently to do her thing. However, you keep rearing your cold winter head and it is a nasty head cold you are dealing with…ok here is my box of kleenex…you need NyQuil and rest Ms. Madame! Seriously GF it is time to let it go and hibernate for a few months and get rested up again for next winter! I will be asking once again for snow on Christmas Day…and no I will not forget you!

Sammy Sunshine heard me and answered my plea…he came out to warm the earth enough to melt the snow:)

While heating up the floor for Minnie who was into the groove of her super sunny sun bath:)

Yet each day the seasons have continued to fight back and forth for either winter or spring…thankfully with the skies putting on a show for camera nuts like me.

Brisk rain drops falling on my window instead of my head:)…making for a cool view. Real horsepower with a hood scoop and real horse power in my view! Am I in heaven?

Gentle drops of rain wash the grime and dirt of winter off the land that is filled with the beauty of new life with the buds of April.

Clouds that threaten with ominous darkness one minute…

And turn into perfect blue skies with circles of blue and white sky the next!

Melody has her ears up…hmmm…something is going on as I can never get her ears up when I take a picture!

Now I see why her ears are perked up…here we go again with astonishing weather and cloud formations.

Wild weather was all around us the first week of April 2012! Yee-Haw!

UH-OH…Hey Toto…can you hear me?

Grab my hand…’er paw and

 “Hang on tight…here we go again!”

“Happy Glorious Easter!”

“Celebrate His Life”

“For He Has Risen!”

“Wild Bill…HR Cowgirl…Minnie…And All Our Horses and Doggies…Barn Cats…And HSL…Wish You All A Happy Easter Sunday!”

Learning My ABC’s With The Awesome Blog Content Award!

 I was blessed last week to receive the ABC (Awesome Blog Content) Award from Diana and Sundae at http://thesedaysofmine.com/

I am honored and humbled Diana that you chose my blog as one of the recipients of this award. Thank you for believing my ramblings are filled with awesome content:)

To accept the ABC Award you are to list 26 things about yourself in alphabetical order….this will be a long one so pull up a chair!

Ok here we go…26 things in alphabetical order:)

I Am:

A: Authentic…Artistic & Creative.

B: Believe Deeply In God & The Faith He Gives Me. I Believe In Family Traditions, Heritage & Honoring Those Who Went Before You.

C: Country Cowgirl…Loved My “64” Corvette Coupe…American Born & American Made!

E: Empathetic & Encouraging…Empowering Others To Believe In Themselves.

F: Faithful Friend

G: Genuine & Grateful Heart

H: Honesty Is My Motto…Happy In Life…Horse Lover:)

I: Interesting & Interested In Others. Intelligent But A Ding-Dong At Times Too:)

J: Jeans…Wranglers 29 x 36 inseam…More Jeans…BKE Jeans…I Live In My Jeans:)

K: Klutzy…Legs Are Long…I Get Tangled Up With Them & I Have Weak Ankles.

L: Loved…Very Much By WB:)

M: Minnie Mouse…My Beautiful Kitty….My Initials Are MJ.

N: Naturally Authentic In Who I Am & My Life.

O: Organized…Optimistic.

P: Passionate About Life….Positive Outlook…Photographer.

Q: Quiet…Intuitive & Steady.

R: Reliable…Real…Red Boots…My Horse’s Name Was Red Too!

S: Sincere…Supportive…Silly As I Love To Laugh:)

T: Trustworthy….Thoughtful….Thankful

U: Understanding

V: Very In Tune With Others…

W: WB…My Soul Mate & The Love Of My Life.

X: Xtra Xtra…HRCG Loves To Write:)

Y: Young At Heart…

Z: Zippy Zoo Our Black Manx Kitten Kalamazoo.

I am to pass this award on to ten bloggers….here we go:)

1: http://throughmylens365.wordpress.com/

2: http://awindowintothewoods.com/


4: http://nickexposed.com/

5: http://lakesidelane.wordpress.com/

6: http://blissfuladventurer.wordpress.com/

6: http://skedazzles.com/

7: http://tbnranch.com/

8: http://taniajessicasmith.wordpress.com/

9: http://phototalkdaily.wordpress.com/

10: http://mynewfavoriteday.com/

Thank you Diana and Sundae…go check out her blog at  http://thesedaysofmine.com/

Round Pen Training…Developing The Foundation Of Trust

Today we finally have a bit of a break from the rain and blustery wind…make that a deluge of rain and dreary gray weather…I know I know…blah and blah…grumble and complain.  The rain has kept me indoors the last week cleaning of all silly things, so I took a break one day and sorted through some old pictures on my back up drive…it was fun to look back on lots of good memories…good people…good times and good horses of course:)

March’s last week of blahsay (is that a word?) weather was much like the day in this photo…wet…cold…gray…and dreary. This picture was taken a few years ago in the round corral…Cowboy son had come home to visit for the weekend and while he was here, he wanted to work with Fanny Annie. He was working on desensitization with Annie, which is important as it begins to lay the foundation of trust. She is learning to trust in her human no matter if the plastic sack is scary or not…

This teaches her inner trust in us so that when anything unexpected happens on the trail or anywhere we go when we ride her, she will not freak out being triggered into the fear or flight instinct. As he asks her to move about, he is watching her body language…looking for the try in her to trust him…waiting for her to turn towards him with two eyes…instead of her hindquarters, which is a lack of respect.

He had a ways to go yet with her as she is yet turning away from him. As we waited and watched you could feel the rain coming as the air was heavy with mist and a feeling of ominous blahsay…it has to be a word, as it fits the dreary day!

He continues to move her feet about…it is not mean if it is done right…she is learning that her world is safe with her human leader…just as it would be in the wild with her herd…ultimately she is learning to trust. Horses are born with the biological fear or flight mechanism…it is what kept them alive for centuries. In the wild when a predator approaches, the lead horse in the pack will alert the herd to move out if danger invades their world.

We humans want to ride our horses like no big deal…but unless we first develop trust with them or a very good trainer does it before we purchase the horse…we likely will deal with a spooky jumpy horse and be upset or worse, either the horse gets hurt or we do or we both do. A good foundation is a must when you raise horses and if you purchase one then you need to be sure that the horse has been given a good foundation of trust and consistency. And remember if for some reason you end up with a horse that is not so great…it is not the horses fault…they are doing what their natural instinct says, “fear for your life horse”…and that would be due to lack of foundational training…with daily training and relationship. We would not expect to buy a lion and bring it home for a house kitty…and expect it to be fine to play or cuddle with us…horses are the same way…they are much more vulnerable to pain caused by humans as the human did not know or understand the horse.

All horses want to get along but if they have been abused and if they have not been handled correctly or right…then they are spooky and fighting for their lives…they do not know if we are safe or not until we begin with them from the beginning. By the way I refresh my well-trained older horses in the round corral if needed…often both of us need it:)

Here Cowboy is touching Annie softly on her shoulder area asking her if she will settle in with him but she is still tight and tense…not quite ready to listen…

He continued by moving her off again…in the direction he asks…always when you work your horses, if you ask them to go to the right and they go to the left…you stop them and turn them back to the right…they must go the way you ask…again this is good communication and respect.

Annie is beginning to settle…she is facing him and you can see in her eyes that she is thinking…she wants to hook on to Cowboy…the first step that all is well and  she is safe. “Annie will you hook on to me now and follow me?”

For the sake of your eyes and boredom, unless you have horses, I fast forwarded the process and the pictures a bit 🙂

Ry is in the corral now as he listens how to connect to Annie, as she is looking for that sign of trust that Ry is safe too.

Touching Annie on her forehead is reassuring to her that all is well.

I have found that horses have a bond with children that is hard to explain…they are very soft with kids.

Dropping down to her level…we are showing her we are not over her but we are partners in this relationship and as partners you will be the safe leader…submission and trust are critical in your relationship with your horse.

Still working on trust here but making good progress.

Incredibly beautiful…as this is the moment when trust is being given between horse and human…see how Annie is looking at Cowboy…when your horse gives you their trust it is a sacred relationship.

One of my favorite pictures of Annie and Ry…she is such a sweet girl…and he is becoming such a cowboy too:)

That rainy gray morning…Annie gave her heart with her trust…she relaxed…joined in and  became soft.

The lesson ended with Annie introducing herself to Bo-Bo…he is the best dog…and father to our dog Dasher.

From here on we continued to develop Annie’s trust. The most important part of the relationship with your horse whether young or old is consistency…that is the key to the whole deal of your horses knowing that they are safe in this life with you:)

No more blahsay…hoping for a sunshiny today…is that the right spelling for sunshiny??? It is a word right?


“Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be”.

A bit of help from the Mama’s and Papa’s.

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