Gentle Days Filled With Golden Beauty

Gentle days…filled with the golden beauty of Fall have arrived quietly and softly…light and vivid colors. Summer came and went quickly this year…a late hot summer almost fooled us into thinking summer was young yet…that time would prevail and stall the summer we had all waited for.

My parents chose to marry September 23, 1939…when the colors of fall were warm, vibrant and full of rich reds, golds, maroons, yellows and rust…they were in love and so alive with life. They honeymooned in Banff, Alberta staying on Lake Louise…visiting Jasper National Park and the surrounding area…can you imagine driving from here on gravel roads to Banff…seeing 1939 America and Canada…how different it all looked before tourism took over. Mom always said it was stunning…”The Rockies were stunning as was our drive up and back.”

Mom and Dad at the University Of Oregon Spring of 1939…they made a perfect couple! I think of them often and I celebrate the life they have given me with a humble heart filled with thankfulness. They taught me life lessons that I now apply and rely on in my own life…God Bless you Mom and Dad…WB and I love you both:)

Each night and day out here in Juniper Canyon I do not take for granted…even though I have lived here forever…the pictures I see and the life I experience…the memoreis…I want to bring to you as I know that I am blessed with how I live and what I have lived…and you will be also.

Tucker says well now be careful up on that table…”Don’t worry Tuck I am being ever careful gf..and I love you too.” I got Tucker after loosing my Blue Heeler “Maggie May” the summer of 2004. I was lost without Maggie…she went everywhere with us…traveled with us when we went camping and on road trips to see friends in Montana or Wyoming…everywhere we went she went with us.

We had located two Australian Shepherd rescue dogs that needed a good home, Tucker was one of them and a year old when we brought her home in October 2004. Interestingly enough see that red blotch on her side…Maggie had the same reddish blotch on the same side….even the same shape….and see how her right ear stands up and the left ear doesn’t quite make it…Maggie had the very same ears…in some ways I do think that Maggie May told God that I needed Tucker as she would heal my heart and remind me of Maggie as I do believe there is a large part of Maggie in Tucker. Truly funny how things work out for us in this big world that often is not that big at times.

Looking across the road last night you can see that our neighbor has started preparing the ground for his 2012 crop…all of us out here in the heartland are hoping for a good rain to water the ground for the fall seed…rain is good and if we get it seeded right it is perfect!

Our son and his family came out this last weekend for a family B-Q…Jigs is his Blue Heeler on the back of the four wheeler…and Jigs goes everywhere with him. Our ranch raised son is tall…6’5″…yep kind of a big cowboy kid of ours…he is the youngest…and we are rather proud of him…my down home ranch cooking was good judging by his size…meat and potatoes…with more meat and potatoes

“Hang on Jiggers…Cow dog rough and tough style!”

Constantly changing light and colors…keeps me busy shooting pictures every day and night.

“Wild Bill is thinking…oh heaven help me…when he does this…this happens.”

“Hello…Hot Rodder! ” This is Wild Bill’s touch!

And then he does this…”Jagged…with nitrous…WHAT…between the seats…NO WAY Wild Bill! Uh-uh…nope…where is that handle you promised to build me…you know the OSH…known as the Oh Sh*t Handle around here for me whenever I ride down the road with him!

Can you say “Zoom Zoom…Go Fast.”

Grandsons Cody and Robby…I love seeing their red and blond heads…”Wild Grandpa Bill” is training the next generation…hang on it will be a ride for sure with these two!

“Grandpa has them hooked already”….look at the seriousness here…I better put on my seat belt.

Magic time…Magic Skies.

Okay now for a few pictures of horse stuff…of course.

My tack room full of training snaffles and short shanked bits…I believe in preserving a horses mouth…no pulling or yanking or ruining mouths.

I am lucky to have a safe round corral with nice sand behind the barn…I will have to write a post on this round corral as my hubby built it for me with “Cowboy Son Curt”…I thought it would be rather easy to build…no it was  NOT…it took “Cowboy Blood, Sweat and Tears!” It works perfectly and I appreciate it a lot!

“Cowboy Son Curt” on Hobby with Buck following on a summer night in the arena.

Half of my hay is in the barn…yee-haw!

Fanny Annie says “Yeah…Hay Hay Hay Haw.”

A perfect fall day fading into a peaceful night in Juniper Canyon.

Another view of my bits…with just a tweak of color. I am learning about all the fun things you can do with photoshop…and my iMac.

Wherever you are….enjoy the gift of fall…life like the seasons is ever changing…each day in your life there are miracles around you in the people you love and the animals you adore…when the sun comes up….look at the beauty around you, breathe deep and feel the heartbeat of life with your heart…let the gentle days of  fall filled with gentle beauty find you.

Till next time….I will post the last Pendleton Round Up post for the year soon.

Fall Days On The Juniper T…Getting Hay In The Barn

Fall days on the Juniper T finds us hauling horse hay home for the coming winter months.

I always feel better once we have the hay bought and loaded into the barn.

The colors of Fall are more intense…softer light…with amber hues. I have loved my flowers this year…with the cooler weather they bloomed incredibly…they will continue until the first freeze.

This planter of mine is interesting…do you know what it is? It is the iron wheel off an old combine used to farm the land here…my Grandpa would have used it way back when…sometime in the 40’s my Dad had the idea of making it into the barn water trough in the large corral beside the barn…it was perfect for watering our horses.

When I was little my Uncle caught me drinking in it with my horse Prince…of course he gave me a swat and said “You do not need to drink out of that Marcia Jean”. The water trough continued on at the barn through raising our three kids…we even had goldfish in it for a while…and in 2004 Wild Bill remodeled down at the barn…installed a new trough and I said ok I want that…lots of history in that old wheel.

“Hay…did I hear someone mention hay?”

“What? Who said hay…new hay….fresh hay…my prayers have been answered!”

Melody loves her hay…and I love her and Annie:)

Pat and Jack are excited as they will get a whole new house for this winter.

Kiah is the cutest girl we have had….”What is hay?”

“Horse food?…No bones or chewy stuff then huh? Can I go with you to get it?”

“Oh geezo…she is rather simple-minded huh…why did you bring her home anyway?”

“Oh for the love of Pete…I am 16 years old and I still wonder why any of those dogs are outside my window…they are very much complete ding dongs…even I know what hay is…mice hide in it and I can burrow in it and use it for my bed if need be…although I sleep here in the house on Mom’s bed…”

“Seriously…what is hay? I am only a year old…and I don’t know…but I am cute.”

“Ok so let’s go get the dang hay so Kiah will know what hay is already…”

Annie is ready to go…such a pretty girl!

I am pulling into the hay-field with my Burb…

Wild Bill’s trailer is almost loaded…he loves it when the hay farmer has a tractor to load the hay on the trailer!

“I expected him to break into song and dance”…”It’s a beautiful morning…ooooaaahhhh.” It is embarrassing but he has been known to do that at certain times.

One trailer loaded and ready to go…WB tying it down.

And then he did this…you want to know what they are talking about…cars…old cars…how you could fix one up…hot rod or antique…hmmmm.

So I took pictures while they discussed life and cars.

I found someone to talk to…look deep into my eyes…and say “Mooooo.”

A fun shot…we actually live just over the hill…but we have to drive about 2 hours to get there as the gravel road over the hill is not good right now.

Ok my turn…”Saddie Suburban”…yes we name our rigs…on another post I will tell you more!

We are loaded and headed for home!

Fanny Annie is waiting…hay hay hay!

So is Melody…did you say hay hay hay?

“I just want to be loved”….Dasher is very cute too…waiting on Wild Bill to get home.

“Zoom Zoom…1928 Dodge Coupe with a V-12 Jag Motor”…”Wild Bill is still building “Jagged” and we do intend to take it to the Grand National Roadster Show”…I know kind of odd for me to put this in but remember I am a “Hot Rod Cowgirl”…be sure to check out our web page too if you like cars and artistic ability…

“We build cars…restore cars….frame off restorations…whatever our customer wants from classics to muscle cars to hot rods to antiques. Go to our website and there is a link for YouTube…we have several videos up of the restorations we have done.”

“Yeah well I was here first….well they love me as I am cute….whatever I am older and wiser….well I am cute and playful…well…shut up…no you shut up…no you.”

And with that said…all was quiet in Juniper Canyon on the Juniper T…everyone was happy…Hot Rod Cowgirl got her hay…Wild Bill got to dance a bit and was happy to get the hay too…all the animals were happy too…”Night Wild Bill…Night MJ” and all was quiet on the Juniper T Ranch.

The Grand Entry Run In…Cowgirls and Cowboys…Welcome To Pendleton and The Wild West!

Welcome to Pendleton and the Wild West!. I am glad that you are back…we will continue our story of the honored traditions of the Pendleton Round Up. A rodeo week filled with people, events, rodeo, parades, pageants and history. Pendleton and the surrounding small towns were founded on heritage…families that have been here for over a hundred years…my Norwegian family has been here since the 1890’s. Cowboys, Indians, farmers, horses, cattle, sheep, wheat, wool…in Umatilla County we are what one would call a rather independent people…most of us have seen both good and hard times in life..we are rough and tough..we stand with our fellow-man here and we volunteer each year for the Pendleton Round Up…this rodeo is part of who we were yesterday and who we are today.

Once the parade is over…

2010 Dress Up Parade

 Happy Canyon Indian Princess’s in 2010 Dress Up Parade.

Indian Princess’s in the 1948 parade.

You hustle down to the rodeo grounds to grab your seats…eat lunch…shop a bit with all the vendors…run into people you have not seen forever.

This is what Pendleton is all about one historic week a year…old friends and good times!

Before we get started with the rodeo though I want to take you on a history lesson to show you how much the Round Up has grown over 101 years.

This photo shows the new stadium remodel that was finished in time for last year’s 100th Rodeo Anniversary in 2010. The old West End Grandstand was demolished and was rebuilt with a cover.

This is the South Grandstand today.

This was the South Grandstand in the early years.

I am not sure what year this was but you can see that a much larger stadium was built before it was coverd….Pendleton was much smaller too.

This is the new West End that was built and covered and the North Grandstand where the bucking shoots are…the track and infield of grass.

Grand Entry Serpentine with 100 riders with 100 flags for the 100th Anniversary of The Pendleton Round Up Rodeo in 2010.

Grand Entry Serpentine  1912.

Pendleton has progressed into a town of about 16,000 residents and the Round Up has grown with it each year into one of the top three rodeos in the US. Enough on the history for now…lets imagine we are sitting in our seats waiting for the rodeo to begin.

You can feel the excitement as we wait for the cannon to go off…the flags to come out for the national anthem followed by the Queen and Court…and the rodeo officially begins!

Boom….the cannon went off and the flags came out….first from the West Gate.

Then from the East Gate comes another flag.

First Round Up Princess comes in on a run jumping the fence from the East Gate.

Another Princess runs in from the West Gate.

The court comes to a stop in front of the South Grandstand…luckily I was sitting in the South Grandstand where this lovely Princess came to a stop.  These gals know how to ride their horses and they ride hard….giving it their all to come into the arena on a full gallop…jumping the fence…coming across the grass….jumping another fence….coming to a sliding stop in front of the South Grandstand…with beautiful smiles and waving to the rodeo crowd!

Queen Mackenzie making her run in across the grass.

The next photos sequence I will show you is the Queen and her Court…Riding Cowgirl Tough…Pendleton Style!

The Queen leads off and boy does she go Round Up fast!

Riding hard for Pendleton…you go girl!

Riding after the Queen are her four Round Up Princess’s.

This is why they are selected..these young ladies are “True Grit!”

It is exciting to see the court each day ride in like this…makes me proud…this is Pendleton…this is the Round Up!

The track has corners with slope so it takes true horsemanship to ride hard and make those corners.

Next comes the President of the Round Up…chasing the court around the track and out the gate.

She is flying…fast and furious…cowgirl style!

There goes the flag carriers chasing the court and the president.

The United States of America Rocks!

Cool saddle blankets girls!

Red, White And Blue!

Ready…Set…Go…Ride Them Broncs Pendleton Style!

Let ‘Er Buck!

Ride ‘Em Cowboy!

Pick up men headed to do their job for the cowboys of Pendleton.

With that I will leave you until the next post…an epic rodeo takes time to tell…at least we got the rodeo started…next time “Hang On”…lots more to share.

Day Three Of The Pendleton Round Up 2011

Day three of the Pendleton Round Up 2011…I can not tell you in one post what “The Pendleton Round Up” is like to experience so I will do several posts over the next few days.

I took my camera and shot over 262 pictures so that I can share with you what the rodeo is like…hang on tight…there is only one Pendleton Round Up!

Once the heat of August comes to an end and harvest is over for the year…it is time to celebrate…time to catch up with your neighbors and friends…time to celebrate harvest and our blessings…time for a rodeo…send the word out to all the small communities around Pendleton that we will whoop it up cowboy style!

That is how the Round Up came to be in 1910…a celebration that harvest was over…lets invite our neighbors…neighboring communities and the Indians to come celebrate with us as a community…have a little rodeo and good food…with lots of fun!

I quote “In the fall of 1910, a group of ranchers and cowboys decided to celebrate the harvest and show off their skills. All the town’s stores closed, and the largest crowd in Pendleton’s history then showed up to enjoy the first Pendleton “Round-Up,” a rip-roaring Western rodeo. The Round-Up has since become a week-long celebration of the cowboy way of life. Fueled by the unbridled energy of hundreds of volunteers, the Round-Up is a true case of how community pride and spirit can be funneled into an outstanding international event.”

No matter how tired at times I get of Round Up…I will forever go to it…I am drawn to it like a moth is to a flame.

It is part of who I am…the people…the crowds…the smells and sounds…the horses and livestock…the memories.

Round Up is in the air…you can feel it and see it.

The rodeo is a large part of Round Up week…the yearly history though of each rodeo is more about the people…the cowboys and the cowgirls…the volunteers and the out of towners…and the events of that one historic week become a part of the fabric of our lives here.

We come together to be part of Round Up…such as “The Westward Ho Parade” on Friday morning of Round Up. Yes that is the back of my head, I am in the middle with the hair clip shooting pictures for you:)

This is the beginning of the 2011 parade…what you see is 101 American Flags being carried on horseback. Last year the Round Up volunteers carried 100 flags as the rodeo celebrated it’s 100 Year Anniversary.

This picture was taken a 100 years ago of the Westward Ho parade in 1911.

The Round Up is rich with History and Heritage…Cowboys and Indians…a Rodeo with Tradition and American dignity.

I wish you could see it in person with me…it is incredible to see the entire parade.

There is Melody…my horse…she is with my friend carrying a flag…it was Mel’s first parade ever.

She did good…I am so proud of her…thank you Lana:)

This is the “Round Up Spirit”…”Ordinary People” who volunteer to give their time freely to support “The Round Up” each year…it is part of their life…their traditions…their celebration!

The “Westward Ho Parade” is non motorized…it is all people and livestock…I love seeing the costumes…the wagons…the horses…the people…the “Wild West” comes to life in this parade.

“The Round Up Mounted Band 2011.”

“The Round Up Mounted Band 1910.”

I am not sure who these guys were but I loved their horses…colors…silver tack…flags.

The “Round Up Oxen”…”Wild Bill” used to do this…it may look like they have control of the “Oxen”…but really the “Oxen have control!”

I love her chaps!

This was fun to see…the US Forestry Department with their pack mules.

Their pack mules were very well-trained to do this. Parades are great but for the animal…horses or mules…parades can be very intimidating with the noises and people lurching out into the street to take pictures of them etc.

For a horse or mule to get through a parade in good form they need to trust their human…as in ok this is scary but I can trust you to keep me safe so I will be ok…they submitt to us in a humble way…we owe it back to them to keep them safe.

Miniature horses pulling a miniature wagon.

Miss Rodeo Oregon.

Happy Canyon directors who put on the night pageant each night after the rodeo…be sure and go as Happy Canyon is the story of the “Wild West” and how it was settled…the story is told with live actors and animals…it is worth going to.

Round Up directors who direct the epic rodeo and all that goes into a rodeo that is 101 years old.

Oregon Mounted Patrol.

The “Westward Ho” parade is long but well worth you time to see…it is a historic parade as many of the wagons are restored…the costumes are a traditional heritage…often passed on in a family…being worn every year for Round Up.

The history of Pendleton..the area was founded by pioneers who came to this land to settle it and grow crops to support themselves…my Dad grew up sewing sacks of grain for his Dad…he remembered hauling the wheat in sacks by wagon like this to the elevator.

Once the parade is over you head down to the rodeo grounds to get your seat in time to see the start of the rodeo with the Queen and Court grand entry. My next blog will be about the rodeo…stay tuned!

The Pendleton Round Up Starts Today…Let ‘Er Buck!

The Pendleton Round Up starts today…Let ‘Er Buck! Round Up Fever is in the air…it is rodeo time…come on get your boots and hats on! The rodeo begins today at 1:15…running every day through Saturday the 17th.

In the late summer of 1910, a group of area ranchers and farmers gathered in Pendleton to celebrate the end of harvest. This was the beginning of the World Famous Pendleton Round-Up. Last year we celebrated a 100 years of  Round Up and today the 101st Pendleton Round-Up is gearing up for another year of the cowboy. Hang on to your hats…be prepared to see incredible cowboy and cowgirl events…life in the real west…the excitement…the heritage…the history…the tradition…a rodeo like no other…welcome to Pendleton…Let ‘er Buck!

I grew up with the Round Up as my Dad was very involved his entire life with the rodeo. He was the Grand Marshal for the Westward Ho parade in 1986…on my mare Shez Alotta Leo….”Lottie.”

I love Round Up for the heritage and the history…part of that history is your life as it involves your family. The worst part of the rodeo is the traffic as Pendleton is a small town of 15,000 population all year long except for the week of Round Up…it then swells to over 50,000 population…so if you are in a hurry to reach the other side of town…forget it.

This is my cowgirl outfit…if you go to Pendleton this week my trailer is not that long compared to some of the trailers you will see….horsetrailers so dang long you wonder if the end of the trailer is in CA. There are huge trailers and semi trucks all over town as well as cool pick ups and motorhomes and campers and cars and people…did I say people…Round Up for locals like me is like Portland coming to visit us for a week…sort of fun but by the last day we are ready to go back to a sleepy cow town…quiet…boring…the Pendleton we know.

I love looking at all the horses and trailers that do come to the Round Up….you see some amazing horses that the cowboys own and compete on. Our trailer is a four-horse trailer with living quarters and tack room…I will show you in another blog….did you note the bug shield with ghost flames….and the inserts on the pick up have flames too.

Lets head back in history a bit to the 1963-1964 Pendleton Round Up

The Round Up President and his family on the cattle ranch…and me in my dorky glasses…and short hair…with horses Snip and Gypsy.

My Dad moving cows on the summer ranch on Bucky with his dog Blue.

And in the Round Up arena on Gypsy the week before Round Up.

Ok now let’s go back in history to the 1940’s for some rodeo trivia.

While Dad was involved in the Round Up and Happy Canyon he also was involved out here in the 1940’s with a rodeo right here….yeah…where we live now…it was called the Juniper Joust. I blogged about this before on our Holton Secret Lab Blog…sorry to bore those of you who saw it a few months ago but…I need to mention this on this post.

This picture was taken right across from my house…when they had the rodeo they fed the spectators and contestants with a bq beef that was cooked in the ground for several hours over night…Mom made up gallons of potato salad…I am sure that Jean also made up gallons of macaroni salad too.

I need to do a reunion of the Juniper Joust…seriously I do…if you are reading this and had family involved or were involved with this let me know. I will update this on a different blog…rodeo has been a big part of my life and heritage.

Dad and Jingle….1940’s roping here in the arena across the road. The Juniper Joust eventually became the Mustangers.

Dad roped all over the NW…he was one of the founding members for the AQHA for this area of Eastern Oregon and Washington.

Me doing my thing on Red at the Mustangers….pole bending race.

Running the barrel race too!

Back to The World Famous Pendleton Round Up

The beginning of each day of the rodeo…riders come into the arena presenting the flags.

Racing around the track.

Finally entering the middle of the arena as the national anthem is sung.

Then the Round Up Court comes out….first the Princesses jump the fence and do the run in across the arena.

Another Princess makes her entry jumping the fence.

Then the Queen follows her court jumping the fence!

Another shot of the Queen racing around the track waving to the crowd as she goes by them.

The President of the Round Up follows chasing the five gals around the track and out the gate.

I love seeing the run in each day at exactly 1:15 for the kick off of the rodeo. It is thrilling to watch!

The grand stands are full with a cowboy-cowgirl crowd ready to see some rodeo.

Pendleton is ready to boogie!

And this lights your fire…the United States of America flyover at the beginning of the rodeo on Saturday.

Round Up is blessed each year to have the fly over…it brings tears to my eyes and makes me proud of who I am here…and of the heritage of where I live…and my personal family history. There are many of us who grew up here…left to go to college and experience life away from here…only to come back home following in our families footsteps…we are the lucky ones. Many left and can not come home again or come back…so if you are reading this and you live here….grew up here…and your life is here now…you are blessed.

Slack started Monday at the rodeo grounds with steer roping and barrel racing.

Look at her go….she is turning and burning!

Slack continued Tuesday with steer wrestling.

And calf roping for the 2011 Round Up.

This picture was taken last year at the rodeo for one of the Indian Relay races.

The winners making their victory lap!

Tough Enough To Wear Pink Day is Thursday of Round Up….the cowboys and the crowd all wear pink shirts that day to honor breast cancer survivors and raise money for TETWP.

Wild Bill and I with our pink shirts on and the pink beads that are given away on Tough Enough Day.

Another picture of my Dad on my mare Lottie in 1986. Dad was inducted into the Round Up Hall Of Fame in 1990….his plaque names him as “The Cowboy President”….the cowboys who came to compete liked him as Dad was able to make changes that helped them out as well as talk to them as a cowboy himself.

Wild Bill when he used to help with the Round Up’s Oxen…this picture was taken during the Westward Ho Parade…he also helped take a team of oxen through Happy Canyon each night…Happy Canyon is a night pageant that runs nightly during the rodeo week.

That’s me riding my mare Lottie escorting one of the wagons through the Westward Ho Parade. This parade is awesome to see as there are no motor vehicles….just people, horses and livestock.

So now on to how I get ready for Round Up each year…hmmm.

Ok this is a hair clip my hubby gave me…I tried to take a picture of it in the mirror…not sure if you can see the bucking horse on my hair clip…but it is there.

These are my shoes…pretty much boots and outside shoes here…cowgirl stuff as in daily grind…for Round Up I will shine up my Boulet boots in the back corner.

These are my favorite ones to dress up in…Old Gringo…love these boots!

Look how awesome they are….it is like wearing a work of art!

Uh….hmm…these are Wild Bills shoes…ok…where did you put your boots WB….come on…no I mean your Justins…ok fine your lace ups….no what about your Buckaroo boots…come on…give it a cowboy try…please:)

Wild Bill looks good with his cowboy stuff on… he is my cowboy hubby.

I had to shop a bit before the crowds devoured everything! Skyhawk Rugs are my pick….I have had them now for many years and they last….great pile…and amazing durability…and I am PICKY.

Minnie was named one of their best models this year…her stripes blend and match their Navaho Cross rug…my very cool girl…you are beautiful…”Diva Minnie”.

And I had to go to HAMLEY’S Western Store! Where you find incredible jewlery….incredible clothes.

Wild Bill gave me this for Christmas…it matches my hair clip…I love the Pendleton bucking horse on them.

I am ready to head to the rodeo!

As Kiah is trying to say….Let ‘Er Buck!!!

Ranch 101…AV Ranch…Post, Oregon

Today is Ranch 101 on the AV Ranch in Post, Oregon…I mentioned we would travel around through my life to different places and different times…so off we go on this post…some pictures are not as good as it was not the digital age yet…but they still show life as we experienced it…remember you can click the pictures to make them bigger…no not your heels…come on let’s go through the arch…hang on tight we are not in Kansas anymore Toto!

“Wild Bill” and I moved to a very isolated cattle ranch in Central Oregon located  on the Crooked River where he was hired to manage Aspen Valley Ranch in Post, Oregon

We lived 35 miles from the closet town which was Prineville, Oregon…Post was about a mile from us and consisted of a small store with a post office for the local ranching families out in our area. The ranch encompassed 36,000 privately owned acres and 15,000 leased from the BLM.

Part of the isolation was that we were not able to receive radio or TV due to iron in the mountains around us. Though we missed the news this was my view out my kitchen and dining room windows…ever changing scenery…which for this cowgirl was more incredible than the news. Can you see the bridge in the lower left of the picture? The main ranch complex sits about 1/2 mile back from the bridge…there was a hay-field in front of the house. The Crooked River is flowing under the bridge…if you cross the bridge and turn left you will go to the Post store and eventually Prineville…if you go right you will travel to Paulina.

Living secluded from civilization we often did not have access to newspapers either…nothing from the outside world…it was like growing up again for me on the Juniper T in the mountains every summer…our own world.

Home sweet home…Aspen Valley headquarters house where the manager lives and eventually we did. The previous manager and his family had been there for many years…it took them time to pack and move…we were thankful for their knowledge and wisdom that they so graciously shared with us.

In the mean time we lived in our camp trailer at the “River House” beginning March 1…once I had the house cleaned up we semi moved into the house and lived there until the end of May when we moved to the headquarters on Memorial Day weekend…this was my first big move and I had a lifetime of stuff crammed into several horsetrailers.

 Son Travis was a senior here at home and was graduating in June…as you see he was not impressed with living in “Cowboy Hell Land!” “Grrrrrr…how could you guys move to a more remote place than where we lived in Juniper Canyon?” It was almost 70 miles one way folks to drive to see a movie…not fun when you are 18! As a footnote: Travis married a woman who loves horses and the western way of life! I have an idea that she will get him on a horse one of these days!

I had to smile a bit as I grew up in a more remote place with no phone…no water…no power…just Mom, Dad and I…and Dad’s dogs and our horses…with 800 head cows and 800 babies to herd around through the summer. I am blessed to have memories that not many people have…that is why I am writing this blog!

Our other son Greg was a Sophmore…he was thrilled and excited to live the “Cowboy” life…he grew up to be 100% cowboy like his Dad and both grandpa’s. Since the boys were yet in school…they stayed here to finish up the school year so I traveled back and forth…a few days helping “Wild Bill” and then

I commuted home to Juniper Canyon to check in with Mom and Dad…herd our two boys around and plan Travis’s graduation party…then I hopped back into “Della Dually” and drove off to “Wild Bill”…600 miles round trip…I had lots of time to plan our new life and solve world problems! I even stopped and danced a bit along the way if I got tired…my stereo in “Della” was rock on sister!

Yeah I know…we moved from our  yellow house above to this…I am a cowgirl who loves her hubby…long suffering at times…but the adventure was where it was at…I loved every second of our adventures together…and I was with my soul mate!

“Wild Bill” mowing our yard…nothing like a cowboy with a mower to get my heart racing!

Of course we both had pick ups…the bright red pick up was “Wild Bill’s” and the pick up on the right was mine…we still have her here at the ranch…her name is “Della Dually”. We name all our vehicles…I know kind of odd…but that is what you do when you live in the middle of no where…you get creative! The F-100 Ford pick up on the far left was one that we built of course…we sold it and heard it went to Nevada…”Wild Bill” finished the frame off resto on it the winter before we moved…yes he converted it to a four-wheel drive…awesome and that is my husband. Oh yeah..his red pick up was named “Red”…good one huh? It took us many hours of thought!

My cowboys…my hubby and my Dad. The river house looked a bit rough but it was not that bad…or so I thought from first glance. Dad helped get us moved and was excited to see us back on a cattle ranch…Mom thought I was nuts but was supportive too…she did the same with my Dad for 52 years…that is another post to talk about as I do not know how mom survived it at times…she was one tough lady!

My folks knew the ranch owners as they had been personal friends for many years. They told my Dad when they hired us that they wanted us to put their cattle ranch in order and design it after my families ranch the Juniper T. It was a compliment to Dad as he worked hard to run a top-notch herd…we had quite a job a head of us to do. Another one of my daily views…easy to see why we lived there in the middle of no where…no news or people but we had scenery, weather and wildlife!

Apparently Dad had his own adventure driving to Post from Juniper Canyon…must of been a bit muddy by the looks of the trailer…he had a trailer load of ground squirrel poison as they were out of control in the hay fields. As you can see the Crooked River flowed peacefully by in front of the “River House.”  I liked living there as you could hear the water if you listened and we could view the river from our living room window….it was relaxing and cozy.

However  “Dad and Wild Bill”  had much discussing to do and commiserating on how to NOT tell me that rattle snakes lived under the “River House”…and bats lived upstairs!  They were worried I would freak out which I did!

“WHAT!!!”   (this is “The Look” ) “NO way snakes”…ok fine bats…we have bats in Juniper too…BUT RATTLE SNAKES…both low land rattlers and timber rattlers…low landers are long…timber rattlers are not as long but they are fat and they coil and hang in the trees up in the higher elevations above the headquarters where we have cows to herd or gather…no matter where we went there were rattle snakes. Hay fields…mountain tops…hay stacks…under houses…corrals…rocks…trees…everywhere!

“Now honey I promise all will be ok and I will watch out for you with the dang snakes!”

“Yeah but…I have never seen or heard a rattle snake…it is kind of scary WB.”

Life can not always be choreographed the way we hoped for and best laid plans can change. “Wild Bill’s” heart was to protect me  however the  first time Lottie and I gathered cattle my hubby could not go with me…”But WB you promised me”…ranch duty had called him in a different direction that day…part of being the boss. After several of us got the cows settled into the new pastures we were headed for home moseying along the trail…we had spent a long day of gathering and moving cows…it was a beautiful summer evening and we had accomplished our job…we were heading home for dinner…little did we know.

Steve who also worked for the ranch…stopped directly in front of me on the trail that we were on to talk about something…when he stopped…we stopped too but Lottie and I had stopped right on top of a rattle snake that was coiling in the grass and ready to strike my horse. Lottie did not know about snakes either…Steve turned to talk to me and just about had a heart attack…Lottie and I knew something was wrong and we moved with warp speed as fast as we could…it was eye-opening for this cowgirl and her horse…we had our first lesson.

Heading back to the headquarters…AV cattle truck on the left…machinery shed on the right…what was called the milk barn in front of us…to the far left was a large red barn that you can not see.

Aspen Valley is a 100-year-old ranch…the house was built in early 1900 and was a stage stop at one time eventually becoming part of the main complex for the ranch. It had tremendous character and if I had the chance I would have restored the house. I fell in love with the interesting floors and the way the counters sloped in the kitchen…actually it was a charming house…once I got all my stuff moved in it was not bad at all…it was home…I like rustic decor and my things fit well in this house.

It was interesting to live there…each day was several adventures in one…and yes we had rattle snakes…the first summer we were there we killed 35 rattle snakes within a 2.5 mile radius around the main ranch complex. Our 6’5″  16-year-old son Greg, shot the head off of one…it was longer than him with 14 buttons…he had to bring it to the house to show us. He was turning on water for the flood irrigation when his four-wheeler came to a stop on top of the snkae…we all carried guns for this reason.

We had plenty of  bats and weird bugs too…century flash floods…more on that in another post…dull moments did not exist on the AV!

But there was this…incredible views would take my breath away.

Wild weather…ever changing skies and light.

We had fun times and made memories that still take me back. My Dad and “Wild Bill” in one of the barns…the ranch was large enough to have six houses and barns spread out…you never knew what you would find.

Like these old saddle trees…my man is cute huh? I love his hat!

Spring branding AV style

See the red hair…that is me “Hotrod Cowgirl”…filling syringes with vaccines and seeing what I could do to help…while Steve gets the branding iron hot.

My Dad enjoying the moment…and no he was not hitting the cows with the bat…he was hitting me (not really) telling me to not be a cry baby… rattle snakes were not that bad…”But Dad”…he once named a spring up on our cattle ranch in my honor…he called it “Cry Baby Springs”…I had trouble moving my herd of cattle by the spring up on top of this canyon when I was 11 and he found me crying under a tree…another story for another time…lets head back to the AV.

The buckaroo crew at break time…I am clocking you boys…no overtime…and I am watching for any screwing around stuff… I have control!

“Wild Bill” catching cows…and by the way…he did not know this at the time…but he twisted his ankle that morning when feeding…by the time night fell he was in a cast…it was broken! Rough and tough and hard to bluff….”Seriously hon…are cowboys smart or just rough and tough?”

Ooops…Dad Holton heard that…”I’m sorry I will never ask that question again”…”Of course cowboys are very smart…they are rough and tough and hard to bluff…cowboys rule!” I love my man who is a cowboy hot rodder…yep…he is a multi task man and did I mention a genius too! Ok you can smile Dad Holton…you win ok:)

The moment of truth and grimacing at the end of the day…WB had to cut off his boot due to extensive swelling and pain…he was willing at this point to get in my truck and off we went to the Dr. which was  35 miles away in Prineville. I remember the Dr. shaking his head saying something like “Cowboys…they never learn.”

We are not happy at all…not the way to end the darn day…but honey we are in the “River House” now…you can stretch out more…I will make you steak…potatos…garlic bread…carrot cake…and will wait on you 24/7…smile WB!

Meanwhile “Big Bob”…was plotting and planning how he was going to give these newbies heck…it was only the beginning…stay tuned!

Happy Tuesday…Memories and More!

Happy Tuesday with memories and more…You can click on the pictures that I upload to the blog and they will enlarge with one click…then if you click them again they will blow up double. There are a few that do not blow up but most of them do.

This is a picture of Annie’s eye…I love how the picture shows her spirit…and heart.

She has changed a bit huh?

She has become a beauty and a classic quarter horse…and I love her blood-red bay color!  Time for a cowgirl lesson. Annie is built like the horses we used to have in the 50’s and 60’s…which I grew up with and I LOVE…I love the big hip and deep girth and good shoulder as that is a built horse that will ride nice. Annie has a nice trot and lope as she is balanced…I have three old-fashioned quarter horses and you know what…I love their big hind ends as they carry themselves well.

Lottie was my main horse for almost 20 years…she was put together with balance and she carried herself right. She knew how to cut a cow if needed…she knew how to chase after cows in the mountains…over logs…through streams…up and down mountains…she covered many miles with me.

When we moved to Central Oregon to run our first ranch in 1991…we lived in this 100-year-old house at Post, OR…Lottie and I had another adjustment to handle…rattle snakes…we had low land rattlers and timber rattlers…no matter where she and I went to move cows we had to watch for them.

Yes I am the red-head on the sorrel horse with the long ponytail.

“Wild Bill where are we?”

Then we went to Wyoming…we lived in the log house on the left…incredible views huh? That is the reason I said OK to WB when he said we are moving to Wyoming!

We lived at 7500′ elevation…Lottie had to deal with buffalo…moose…antelope…elk…-60 degree wind chills…and she did it with the class of an American Quarter Horse.

I loved Wyoming…it was incredible to experience the scenery and the weather…yes we had wind…everyday at noon on…it blew…and there is still a part of my heart there.

Ok now that we have had our horse lesson for this post…lets get on to some late August pictures…

We are enjoying our summer nights as much as we can…already it is feeling like fall…I have to put my jacket on as the sun sets…oh my gosh did we have a summer this year?

We have not hit 100 degrees yet…that is abnormal…we usually have a few weeks of HOT 100 degree temperatures and some very warm nights…that usually results in moans and groans around here.

Our dogs like us hanging out on the patio…good rubs and lots of treats…and of course some good games of fetch. Go Texas A and M!!!

And did I say lots of good loving…our youngest and she is a joy to have!

As I was shooting pictures last night Annie kept nickering for a scratch…I rubbed her neck and found all her itchy places…she wanted attention like the dogs were getting:)

And then there was Minnie who also wanted some attention too….she is a sweet girl and truly is the heart of our house. She is now 16 years old and in great health…she plays with her toys tossing them up in the air so she can jump and roll around with them…she is fun to watch and I do think she understands what we say. She fetches her toys bringing them back to me to throw again!

However Minnie is not too sure on our grandson Tucker….Watch the sequence below of Minnie and Tucker.

Minnie spots Tucker….hmmmm…what is he doing?

Uh oh…he sees me and is coming after me…oh cr**…run for her life…Minnie is gone…she does not want anything to do with that noisy funny looking small person!

Tucker is learning to walk and sort of does this part crawl…walk thing on his feet and hands… I call it the “Tuck-A-Tude”.

Yes we have two Tuckers…Tucker our Australian Shepherd and Tucker our grandson..I need to get a picture of the two together as they both have red hair!

Tucker with his Grandpa and Dad…Grandpa is 6′ tall and not a midget…son Greg is 6’5″ tall.  Notice who is not sucking their thumb!

Once again the colors last night were incredible…

Words escape me at times…there is beauty all around us…we often forget to look up or out and take in the view.

Stop and smell the roses…I know corny but so true.

Life is constantly changing…take time out to enjoy it…breathe deeply of this life we have…and even though we run as fast as we can…I challenge you to find beauty every day this new week.

Another beautiful end to another peaceful night in Juniper Canyon.

Night Annie….sleep well.

I am still waiting on a “Harvest Moon”…golden yellow…orange with a bit of red.

Horses and Hot Rods

Horses…Hot Rods and Howdy from Juniper Canyon…..where Juniper T Ranch and Holton Secret Lab are located.

How many Street Rod Shops are located in the middle of a wheat field on a century old family ranch?

Remember the movie Field of Dreams?

Build it and they will come…and our customers have.

Two Graduates From “The Lab”

A beautiful Chevelle With “Wild Bill” ghost flames….”Wild Bill” or WB is my husband and he is a wild artist and inventer…and a cowboy too in his heart but these days he is riding the shop and herding all those pretty cars around and building outrageous customs and doing complete frame off restorations.

This is our Hot Rod, “Jagged” that Wild Bill is building. It is a 1928 Dodge Coupe with a V-12 Jag motor in it….WB had to invent the intake manifold…then he had to reconfigure the carb to work with an American Edelbrock Carb…he made the headers and fabricated the vehicle to fit the engine…totally “Wild Bill”

More HSL Graduates

Moving on to cowgirl stuff….do you know what “Hooking On” is with a horse? I am going to show you a sequence with my horse Hobby and I in the round corral.

As you see I am in the middle of the round corral and I am sending Hobby to go the direction that I chose.

Here I have asked Hobby to reverse directions…you want your horse to reverse direction by turning  towards you. If they turn away from you then send them on and do not let them reverse until they stop and turn in towards you. This is a matter of respect as you want them to look at you.

I asked Hobby to stop and she did….she turned towards me and is standing still waiting to see what I will ask next.

Hobby is hooked on…which begins the foundation of trust…she wants to stay close to me  as she feels safe  with me as her leader.

No matter what direction I turn and go…Hobby is with me…this is what you want to see…she has no halter or lead rope and she is choosing to stay with me.

Smile Hobby…I love Ya!

We are both getting loves! Since these pictures were taken we have added sand to the round corral, which helps with the (cough cough) dust!

Fanny Annie is enjoying the cool evening after a hot summer day…what a view we have here….it is truly incredible to watch the colors change throughout the day and into the night.

You never know where I will be taking pictures…..see you on down the dusty trail and remember to smile!

Hello World…MJ Here!

Hello world…MJ here…my name is MJ for the most part….although my husband calls me Lucy and my actual name is Marcy….I live where my Norwegian Grandfather homesteaded back in the late 1890’s. The house we live in today was built by my Grandpa Gunder in 1920 for his mother, my Great Grandmother Anne-Marie , my Dad remembered hauling lumber for the house with his Dad when he was 10 years old by horse and wagon from the small town of Helix 8 miles from the house.

Of course Minnie thinks it is her house…and it is….the floors are old and original…pretty huh? We exposed them in 2006, the entire main floor was this beautiful red fir tongue and groove. It is funny that when my Mom moved into the house with Dad in 1939 she spent her time here making the old house modern…I grew up here and did not know that the floors were wood and beautiful…thank goodness Mom had them so well covered to protect them!

Because of the old red fir floors…when we remodeled the kitchen…we had a local cabinet-maker come give us a bid. The first thing he noticed was the old red fir floors…he said “Would you be interested in antique wood red fir cabinets for your kitchen? He told me he bid on a stack of old red fir wood about 30 years ago and it has just sat in his studio….I said YES YES YES…that will restore the kitchen to the original cupboards! I have refinished the pass through cabinet to the original dining room and also have refinished the bar in the middle of my kitchen…it used to be by the sink as I remember my Mom and I rolling cookie dough on the wood bread board that is still intact. That is the bar you see by Minnie!

Isn’t the kitchen incredible…it turned out beautiful! My neighbor painted and fired all my tile for the back splash. I had purchased the tile behind the range several years ago.

Juniper T Ranch Brand

I lost my Dad in 1997 and my Mom in 1998…they were married almost 60 years… they had me late in life… was very hard loosing them as I am an only child. I miss them everyday.

Bill and I looked at moving our shop to Portland or Seattle or Bend or Boise or Spokane or Bozeman or Billings but we finally saw that this is where we are to live….most Americans do not have the family history or heritage anymore due to the world we live in and that we have the heritage here and family is huge…so we decided in spite of great odds we would stay right here and market our shop as “The Secret Lab”. Notice that I am making a joke…we were being interviewed for TV.

I do all the marketing and ads for us as well as run our office and I am the Quick Book expert and do all our financial bookkeeping etc. I knew if we got out and showed who we are…that Wild BIll who is an artist and a one of a kind professional car restoration builder that the business would work here….and it has.

We still do get the deer in the headlight look when potential customers at shows ask us where we are located….as the marketing person I have had to fight that misconception about us….that yes we are located in an isolated area that means you will have to drive a few miles to get here BUT Holton Secret Lab is worth it as we are a destination that you want to reach….that is if you want quality and perfection with attention to detail….your call…just do it…you know you want it right? We are worth it…you will not be disappointed!!! We are a one stop shop as we do it all right here in our state of art 8000′ shop with three full-time employees.

I am a cowgirl by heart and spirit. My Dad ran over 800 head of Black Angus cows…each year at the end of school my parents and I moved to the Blue Mountains to take care of the cows for the summer…I was my dad’s right hand man so to speak…he had me riding a horse before I was 2 years old.

To this day I am still riding my horses…running cows and riding hard was my life before I meant and married Wild Bill…and some of his early life was that way too…he buckarooed out in the Owyhee Desert on several large ranches….his Dad had a body shop in Vale and Bill learned how to paint cars by the time he was 16…he worked on  old cars back in the 60’s and 70’s so he knows exactly how to restore them.

This blog will be more about my life as a cowgirl and as a hot rodders wild and crazy wife too…..I hope you will enjoy the memories and way of life I grew up in….I hope you will also enjoy my blogs about Holton Secret Lab too….we have fun out here in Juniper Canyon…so come on in and sit a spell! Welcome to our home and our life!

My parents and I…and our horses up at the cattle ranch in the mountains on Beaver Creek.

Wild Bill and I at the Wyoming Cattleman’s Ball In Pinedale, Wyoming

Riding With Friends Is The Best Medicine For The Soul…Thank You Lana!

Summer Nights Feels So Good…Love You Melody!

Cowboy Son with Hobby and Bo

Cowboy Son Rubbing On Buck…3 Years Old

Cowboy Son On Buck’s Back For The First Time!

Buck is coming to live with us in a month or so…we are very excited to have him come home…and our Cowboy Son will always know where he is at and can come ride anytime…Yep!

So Hey Ya All…Hang On Tight…We Will Travel to Wyoming and To Post Oregon…and To Beaver Creek And To The White House…And To Juniper T Ranch!

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