When the bay colt with the morning hump in his back stopped bucking Danny off in the mornings, he named him P. J.
He slid his eyes around to the boss when he announced the colt's name at the breakfast table and the other hands knew his tongue in cheek humor enough to wait until they were at the barn, saddling up in the chill dawn, before they asked what the letters stood for.
Danny made a big show of keeping it quiet, saying he didn't want to be sacreligeous or nothin',… Continue
Added by Cita on April 24, 2009 at 8:00pm —
She should have recognized the morning dove's death as a portend of the day's events.
The dove, looking like a round little matron on her way to church on a shawl-only spring morning, simply flew up into what looked like the sky, smacked the window hard enough to break her neck, fluttered over beneath the juniper, looked back up at the traitorous sky, and died.
It was a simple death, an undramatic death, and really, only Lia and the dove noticed it at all.
Added by Cita on April 24, 2009 at 4:16pm —
He fell in love the summer he spent as an intern for the manager's job, fell in love with someone entirely inappropriate, too strong for him, too wild for him, and possibly someone who would have made him very happy.
They spent the whole summer sweating and swimming, it seemed, but he also remembered the crisp taste of Heinekein out of a can and how her legs were never tan.
He went back to college thinking she would make him happy, but she was wiser than he and dumped him… Continue
Added by Cita on April 24, 2009 at 2:33pm —
My right thigh has a series of bruises on it, and I am not sure where they came from.
My hands have several cuts and scrapes, but the pinkie finger on my left hand hurts the worst where I tore it on some net wire, and my horseshoeing injury isn't healing very well because it keeps getting broken open.
My lips are windburnt and peeling, and my feet are sore and tired.
My hair is a big tangled mass, smells like woodsmoke, and I think I am going to need a curry… Continue
Added by Cita on April 21, 2009 at 1:00am —
Cowboys in the brush and cactus country protect their legs with long leather chaps or leggings, but because it is a challenge for me to get on my horse, I wear shorter, knee-length chaps called "chinks" with long fringe.
I grew up in the mountains and the desert and thought my middle name was Watch-For-Snakes, because that is what my mom always said after my name when I was walking out the door to play outside.
I have formed an opinion about why more girls don't cowboy for… Continue
Added by Cita on April 20, 2009 at 10:56pm —
There are very few couples who would agree that working together is a good idea, very few couples who would even want to work together, sleep together, eat together, make every daily decision together, depend on each other for conversation and company day in and day out with little relief.
I never carried a rope on my saddle growing up or when riding with my ex-husband, but I carry one now and Friday found myself in the branding pen, swinging it over my head, my left hand too full of… Continue
Added by Cita on April 20, 2009 at 10:30pm —
I love sleeping out of doors, under the night sky or in a tent, wrapped up in sleeping bag and wool blankets, the stars, the creek tumbling over rocks made louder by the dark, the frogs hoping for love, the horses huffing softly, the smell of the dying fire scenting the air until I wake up in the wee hours to just the elemental cold and the distant moon.
I am used to sleeping alone when I sleep out of doors so we almost bumped heads when we sat upright too fast in the hour just… Continue
Added by Cita on April 20, 2009 at 10:27pm —
I have the camera tucked in the pocket of my denim shirt for easy access, and she has her's tucked in her coat pocket for the same reason, but her's is pink.
So far we've taken pictures of the sunrise, the horses, a bear track in the sand, each other.
The boss rides off on a bigger circle and we stay in the trail, my mare snorting with each breath and dancing sideways down the trail until we figure out that it isn't a bear… Continue
Added by Cita on April 20, 2009 at 8:30pm —
My hands and feet are so cold that I can't feel my toes anymore and can't think of anything but getting in my warm bedroll later.
We've ridden all day and only seen one old cow, and she was going from one loco weed to the next, hunting the purple blossom that will make her impossible to handle.
He is intent on the first fresh sign we have seen all day, when the blackhawk rises from the creekbottom and begins to scream above our heads.
It stops my… Continue
Added by Cita on April 20, 2009 at 8:00pm —
I guess I could be content to just follow him around, his girlfriend, his shadow, but I want to be more than that.
I carry a compass in my pocket so that I can check it every now and then, make sure that the buttes stay put, make sure the mesas keep running the way they were this morning, make sure that when I come up out of a canyon the sun hasn't moved around on me.
When he says the track we are following might be an elk instead of a cow and then says it is for sure an… Continue
Added by Cita on April 20, 2009 at 7:43pm —
The hummingbird nests kept falling apart, the jelly-bean eggs and fragile babies falling to the ground.
The puzzled scientists and distressed volunteers stood under the netted enclosure discussing nutrition, territorial behaviors, vegetation, and experience/inexperienced nesters.
There were no successful nests that first year, only frantic hummers building inefficient nests.
She was just a volunteer, but in her own backyard she watched an Anna's winding… Continue
Added by Cita on April 8, 2009 at 1:29pm —
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, a snake is just a snake, and, well, a date is just a date.
She left her shoes at the car... not in
the car, beside
the car, just stepped out of them as she walked away from the parking lot and down the boardwalk and onto the sand.
She'll never know why it is that women and men date when you can tell within 5 minutes if you want to spend more time with that person and within… Continue
Added by Cita on April 6, 2009 at 4:21pm —
That last winter we had one blizzard right after the other, overlapping sometimes, always layering new snow over the top of frozen mud.
The mud never left, and neither did the cold wind.
When spring came, it brought more change and less change than we had expected.
We were told we had to leave the ranch, and were given thirty days to do so, but the wind didn't leave, just blew and blew and seemed to both drive us indoors and drive us away.
I stood at… Continue
Added by Cita on April 5, 2009 at 1:58pm —
My cell phone rang tonight, and it was an old friend, an old flirt really.
He was driving a truck up around Canadian, Texas, won't get home tonight until almost midnight, hasn't seen his kids since Monday night
Right there along the highway he saw three horses grazing at a windmill down in a creekbed.
All around those three horses was a huge flock of wild turkeys.
He picked up his phone to call me and tell me about it because of all the people in his… Continue
Added by Cita on April 2, 2009 at 9:50pm —
My ex-husband likes to push my buttons and he knows where all of them are except the right ones.
Well, he should... we raised each other, and he's such a nice boy, such a good ol' boy, such a really great father and kind soul... yawn.
It would only be fair to say that I (sorta, kinda, not really but really) like to push his buttons, too, and you have to give me credit for knowing where all of the RIGHT ones are.
After all, how hard is it when they are all… Continue
Added by Cita on April 1, 2009 at 6:27pm —
She woke up every morning to the same thought, or rather, the same series of thoughts all starting with an awareness that she wasn't her dreams, a nostalgia for her dreams even if it had been one where she was wearing only an orange feather boa, standing in the surf, singing "Old Rugged Cross," and segued right into dread, inertia, and a big old feeling of I-don't-wanna-be-me.
She always ended up swinging her feet over the edge of the bed, chanting her morning mantra: I will not… Continue
Added by Cita on April 1, 2009 at 1:07pm —