Friday, February 25, 2011

Abner Fogwaugh and Other Tales of a Last Resort

Hubby on his Mare "Melody"

I have a secret about Hubby I am about to reveal -- he lied to his children.  He Lied to His Children on a constant, repeated basis.  Whoppers.  Tall Tales, you name it.  He made it up.  No. 1 Son fell for it every single time, and I MEAN every single time until the day he was four and half.  He came around the corner into the kitchen while I was cooking, put his hands on his hips and stated LOUDLY, "MOM! I never WAS A SKUNK was I?"  Nope son, you never were.  The truth has revealed itself.

See, No. #1 Son made the drastic mistake of asking his father about the birds and bees.  Had he asked MOTHER I would have told him the truth -- the stork brought him, but at least he would have known he was always human.  Hubby, however, goes into this long, detailed tale about riding out on the range on Ol' Pepper (a horse we had at that time) and finding a den of skunks.  He scooped one up and brought him home and raised him as a boy, ie #1 Son.
#1 Son while he was Still Gullible and Believed Dad

And then there were the several tense weeks when Hubby told #1 Son that the reason the Blue Heeler didn't have a long tail was because it froze off when Dee Dee (the dog's name, stood for Damn Dog) was ice fishing. (Heelers have their tails bobbed as young puppies.)  Poor #1 Son asked me at least 3 times a day if we couldn't go up to the Lake and look for Dee Dee's tail.  He finally accepted the fact that she seemed pretty happy and was able to swing from a horse's tail quite well without it.

Hey we lived 75 miles North of Nowhere then.  Entertaining each other sometimes was all we had!  We weren't really on the Edge of the Earth but you could darn sure see it from there!  

Which brings me to Abner Fogwaugh.  I always pictured poor Abner as some poor ol' kid that looked like MAD Magazine's Alfred E. Newman.
Alfred E. Newman who was probably not related to our Abner Fogwaugh.

Abner Fogwaugh became a notable member of our family.  Whenever one of the boys would say, "ALL the OTHER KIDS are going, doing, seeing, getting, whatever," they would be informed nope, not true.  Abner Fogwaugh was NOT going, doing, seeing, getting, whatever either.  Usually that ended the discussion although #1 Son tried to make an end run a couple of times by attempting to pin Dear Ol' Dad down to the details like who was Abner, where did he live, etc.  Dear Ol' Dad always had a reply, a cousin, a distant relative, lived in the Ozarks, lived on the Big Horn Mountains, always a different answer.

Both the boys loathed poor ol' Abner.  HE was the reason they couldn't smoke, chew, drink, drive hot cars, spend all day playing video games, and had to work on the place with Dear Ol' Dad.  HE was the reason they both turned out pretty decent in Mom's opinion.  Yep, Abner Fogwaugh and....the best Dad in the World who could tell pretty decent whoppers.

Winter still persists in our neck of the woods with below zero temps but just thinking of good ol' Abner has brightened the day for me.  Ahhh Abner, were be ye now?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Farmer's Almanac is Frozen to the Sidewalk.................

Well last week's Friday 'storm' was more like a Friday Iceberg...little snow and a lot of cold!  Which brings me to this little book......

Hubby claims it predicted that February 2011 in Wyoming would be fairly dry with less snow than usual and very cold.  Now I always thought the Almanac was a lot of unscientific hoo-ey???  But they sure called it right this year.  So maybe I will have to give it the un-hoo-ey award.  How about you? Do you use a Farmer's Almanac and is it accurate?

And what's around the corner for us beginning tomorrow -- a couple of inches of snow AND A Whole Lotta of Minus Zero Weather.

Well they say when the Sun Shines, Make Hay so I guess When the Cold Hits, Make..............................


Absolutely no downward movement on that snow stick this week either --- toooooooooo cold.

Now I gotta find some craft sticks for these popsicles I'm gonna make this week......good thing I put some clear silicone on the holes in my snow boots.  Keep that cold out!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I think the Ground Hog has Committed Hari Kari....

I think maybe the Wyoming Ground Hog just committed hari kari (japanese ritual suicide)

Why?? -- I just got an email weather warning for a Winter Storm beginning Saturday afternoon....well I suppose I should have suspected this would happen.  We NEVER get spring six weeks from February 2nd, Ground Hog's Day.  We are lucky if it's spring 10 weeks later.  I've seen Springs in Wyoming that did not arrive until after the first of May with May First ushering in the snowstorm to end all snowstorms.  My freshman year in high school, none of the ranch kids made it to school for a week after May 2nd, 1965, because they were all helping dig out cows from under the drifted snow.  They would find them by the 'air holes' that came steaming out of the drifts.  Quite a few cows were not so lucky and died.  It was the talk at school for a long time about how they found them and what they found sometimes.

On to more current happenings:
I did reposition my snow stick yesterday on my way to work ---
BEFORE - barely holding up
I think it was 40" here. (from top of 48" stick)
Now it's at 23" from top of stick.
I have the sinking feeling this could all change drastically by Sunday....
My road has MUD!! at least yesterday in the am (well it was ice but it melted to MUD).

And Another One Bites the Dust: First it was the thirty-some year old Crapper Brush; I have been on the brink of having to replace my eons old Bugaboot snowboots.  The foot that has the poly-something making them waterproof is cracking after so many years.  It's been a shock.  Snow boots are now over a $80 - $100 for a good pair!  HOLY SMOKES. I think I paid $29.99 for my Bugaboots on sale about 9 years ago.  I've decided to put off the purchase thinking one or two more storms and winter will be over and I can go back to my 'pig' boots (so named because they are calf-high and mud-proof and what you would wear to feed a ......what for it.....pig!!).  I'll dig out the GOOP tonight and do some patchwork on the Bugaboots.

Lest you think I'm cheap...I do buy things.  You know the ol' patriotic duty to buy us out of this recession.......

I bought.........................
No More Straining Coffee Grounds outa my teeth when the Power is Out!  I won't have much, but by cracky, I'll have ALL the coffee I want!!!

And I bought TWO of these 
 One for each bathroom.

What's that you say???  What is a five gallon gas can doing sitting next to my toilet?  Well look at this...

Another one in the bathtub and an empty kitty litter jug full of WATER.  All three are full of water for when I have NO power.  Toilet Flushing will still be possible (unless the darn sewer line freezes but we won't go there AGAIN hopefully).  So we are set for the on-coming possible snow storm.

Here's our weather forecast.  Doesn't it just sound L-O-V-E-L-Y?

Saturday Night: Snow. Low around 9. Wind chill values as low as -10. Blustery, with a north wind between 23 and 29 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible. 

Sunday: Snow, mainly before 11am. High near 13. Wind chill values as low as -15. Blustery, with a north northeast wind 23 to 26 mph decreasing to between 11 and 14 mph. Winds could gust as high as 37 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. 

So the question is - will our power stay on?  Maybe, Maybe not.

And for those of you who thought it was cruel to Jerry aka Shitmeier when I clipped him, he got even.  He came in from 'helping' feed livestock so stinky it was BEYOND belief.  He had eaten something really poopie or really dead.  UGH.  Instant trip to the Bath!!!  It WAS BAD.  Now he will probably throw up on my carpet.  Ranch dogs....................................................................sigh.

I tell yah, the WOMAN is positively obsessive-compulsive about giving me baths.......

Well, we'll be hunkered in and waiting for this snowstorm....but it takes snow & rain to make grass so I guess I cannot complain.  At least the road has melted enough to be plowable again.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Slip Slidin' Away and Techno Disappointments

Well the Great Snow Stick Experiment continues but since I've been working the past couple of days, no new photos - it was way down past #22 after three days and now only has a few inches left in the snow but the big pile has sorda slipped down the hill so the stick is no longer at the peak anymore.
The beginning - 41" of snow

  In fact when I drove in tonight, there's only about 8" of snow around it's base.  I will have to reposition it.  We have been close to 50 degrees above for a few days so the snow that is left is very icy and very hard.  You have to be careful at our gate or you will slip on it and fall in the muck!  Yeah, rural folk are easily entertained and I intend to milk this for all it's worth on this blog  promise to keep you all updated on this fascinating project.  I have my camera set out for a photo on the way to work tomorrow.  If I am not rushing like a bat out of hell because I'm late not in too big a hurry I will stop and reposition the stick.

And minor tragedy struck over the weekend - my toilet brush broke.  I have been racking my brain to try to remember when I bought the darn thing.  I *Think* it was shortly after I was married in 1974.  So I guess the fact that wire holding it to the plastic handle finally rusted through can be understood.  Thirty-seven years is apparently the life of a 1970's toilet brush.
One thing that certainly improved over the past 37 years has been toilet bowl cleaners.  I know I used to have to get in there and really scrub and now I don't - or maybe I just don't CARE ANYMORE!!!  (I am a lot more relaxed about my housekeeping standards now that I am older--and wiser.  I have read obituaries in my local paper for YEARS and not one single time has one ever said, "She was a Rotten Housekeeper".  My point- maybe it DOESN'T MATTER!)

In high school we were required to read George Orwell's 1984 (remember that book?) which promised us all a life of leisure, luxury, little work, with a computer doing everything for us -- including monitoring our every move and taking over the world.  And that brings me to the techno disappointment.....

According to Wikipedia, the toilet brush was "invented in 1932 by William C. Schopp and later patented in 1933 by The Addis Brush Company."

So here we are - almost 100 years later and all we got was better cleaner?  We are using basically the same darn brush that William Schopp thought up when indoor plumbing was the new rage?  Nobody could come with a better system??  Good Grief, not Einstein, not Hawking???  NO ONE????

For that matter, where are the robots?  You know the really cool ones like the one that was pals with Billy Mum on "Lost in Space".  I want one to do my housework and scrub my darn toilet.

No, all we got was the Roomba that costs you an arm and both legs, and your cat can ride around on till it gets stuck in the clutter;  and the Volt car.  

That was the best technology could do since 1933????  HUH??????  I think I'm sorely wait, I remember when I had NO TOILET just a few short weeks ago.....yeah, okay,  I will quit being cheap and buy a new brush and maybe one of these cute little aprons to clean in....VA VOOM!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Crap!  She Clipped my Hair off today and NOW wants to go outside!
Oh Jerry is a sissy!  I'm game.  Let's go MOM!
I still cannot believe she is making me go on a WALK.  There is no where warm and dry to step!
Cmon, Cmon!  Let's go way OVER there! WAY OVER THERE!

Hey Charlie! Man is there something really cool over there!  Wait for me!
Cmon Mom! Don't stop at that stick!  Cmon!

Cmon Mom!  Cmon, don't stop at that STICK!!!
Darn, she stopped.

Wow - 5" of melt today from 7 to was about 48 today and suppose to be 48 again tomorrow.  The Wind is still howling!  Does that speed up the melt at 48 degrees or slow it down with the wind chill.  Or does it have no effect at all?  Hmmmm, I do not know but I'm glad to see 5" of the snow on the side of the road melt.
And Look!  Mud -- real MUD.  Not deep, still frozen under the top surface.
But I'll take whatever I get.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Global Warming? WELL at least Statewide Warming in Wyoming.........

Hooray!  Its warmed up to almost 40 degrees ABOVE, the wind is blowing like a banshee, really ripping out there.  I saw on a blog where the guy does not believe in WIND CHILL. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at that, he lives in South Texas.  He's never SEEN wind chill.  But I tell yah, if you've ever been outside at ANY temperature below zero even with a slight breeze, you will become an ardent believer inWind Chill and it's effects.  It can be BRUTAL.

Remember I said Hubby had probably been able to plow our road for the LAST time as the plowed piles are now a lot higher than his snow blade?  Well here is an interesting 'experiment'.  Let's see how long it takes for ol' man SOL to decrease those piles.

Please NOTE I have inserted a sun.  I am being optimistic that WINTER will end one day, and the sooner the better for me.

So today I trundled out in the wind (and it was only about 30 degrees when I went out this morning so with the wind, that made the wind chill minuz mega zillion degrees BELOW comfortable).

Here's the road --- it has already melted some from yesterday and has dirt peeking through.

Starting to warm --- dirt peeking through but No Mud yet.  Hints of Possible Mud.

Wow is the snow deep like that all over?  Nooo - we can thank the Wonderful Wyoming Wind for it's work.

There's a hillside under here somewhere...

Where did it all come from?  Probably from here...............

And the 4' pvc pipe marked in 1" increments.  The pile along the road is 41" tall here......

Updates to follow................................

PS I got the idea from Far Side over HERE and her 'snow stick'.  But I do believe her winter in Minny-Soda is colder and rougher than ours because their snow stays alllllllll  damn winter.  At least we get a reprieve from a for a few days at a time, like now.

In fact, a lot of ranchers in Wyoming are seeing these arrive.

None of ours will hit the ground until April when it's a TAD warmer.  You need pens and barns for Momma cows to calve this early and we don't have them for our small herd-let.

I have decided I am tired of trying to haul my lard-ass  butt up on my horse so am starting a low carb diet today.  As of 5 pm, I am SURE I have lost at least 45 pounds because I am hungry enough to eat the south-end of a north-bound skunk--but at least that's low-carb! so I would not be breaking the diet.

 So that's my challenge, lose enough I can Hop Up on the Ol' Pony by Summer.  Now it's a boost, heave HO up.  Not pretty, no not pretty at all.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Came home from work tonight find Hubby trying to plow out our road.  Notice the Trying Part - he did manage one lane but it's drifting so bad with the wind, I do not dare to drive my car in to the house or it will be here till spring.

We probably have six inches of snow on the ground.  This photo is from two years ago and shows the drift our propane tank creates.  We did NOT consider drifting snow when we put our road in ten years ago.  We just went from Point A to Point B.   I guess we get the Bears of Very Little Brain Road Builders Award.

I haven't filled our propane tank this year hoping to get it down to 50% so we CAN MOVE IT.

Hopefully the warm temperatures (40's YEAH) predicted later this weekend and for several days later will reduce the snow enough Hubby can get the lane plowed out.

Don't feel too sorry for me.  The gate is where the two trees are in the distance in this picture with the road leading up to them.  Yeah, I can walk that in the am when the wind chill is -15.  Done it before.   Sigh.

I am SO OVER winter..................................

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Sweet Smell of Success!

I came home from work yesterday to find out through SuperHuman efforts, Hubby formerly known as Grumpy Bear had gotten the sewer line thawed out and was actually cleaning the bathrooms which were an awful smelly mess, especially the bathtubs.  YUCK.  I mean the house 'almost' smelled normal when he was done.  It certainly smelled like a breath fresh mountain air after five days of.......well nevermind.

You have NO idea what a sacrifice that was for Hubby.  He couldn't change diapers on the kids because he gagged so bad, so for him to clean the bathrooms....well that was true Love.   An early Valentine's Day present.

Yeah, he likes his horses :)

Well I'm off to take a shower..............AGAIN!  :)

And I will leave with you some pretty pictures to look at....

What he does every day this time of year....Feed.

Thank YOU Hubby! For all you do around the ol' homestead.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Came home from work to find A) Grumpy Bear aka Hubby had worked his tail end off ALL DAY and was well,  grumpy extremely tired and exhausted.  And his accomplishment - he got the water back on!  Only to have the pressure switch on the well quit..........................................

Now I may be a Bear of Very Little Brain but the ONE THING I've learned living Sixty Miles North of Nowhere is to keep an extra Pressure Switch (and maybe two) on hand!!  (Pat myself on the back here. Note - replace it TOMORROW)

The whole house has....well,,,,, aroma.  Like a still plugged sewer line, like a decaying frozen whale in the bathroom.  You know it smells like shit not exactly like an air freshener.   I need a semi load of Febreeze.

The bathroom commode (along with every other drain in the house) is still non-functioning, nada, zip, zilch, ZERO, FROZEN shut.  So even though we at least have livestock water, we cannot use it in the house............................oh well.

Perhaps tomorrow said Pollyanna.

And on that end I did discover NOW was not the time to say "And how did your day go, Dear?" Nah, I didn't do that.  I KNOW better. Ever notice how we as young brides were prone to do stupid crap like that?  Not anymore....with wisdom comes age. The only damn benefit to getting old.
 I tell him I was a good investment - I grew every year!!!!! I
am twice the woman I was in 1973. Come to think of it, it was 
below zero the day this picture was taken.  
Doesn't it EVER Warm up in Wyoming???

Well I have to go -- outside---quite literally....give me a minute.

Ah back now.  Which brings up a question, what do eskimos do?  Do they have an igloo outhouse?  Is it white inside????   Hmmmm inquiring minds want to know.  And how do they keep from getting butt cheek frostbite?  I would think that could be one situation where 'layering' clothing was NOT your friend.  Think of trying to pull up all those layers in a hurry at 50 below.....I'd get mixed up and walk like a hog-tied penguin for the rest of the day.

But I digress. Eskimos have their own problems and I have mine.

I have noticed how my page visits have SHOT UP since my shitter quit.  Is this the secret to blogging success?  Are you all tuned in to see if I will survive the lack of a commode?

Or slap the crap out of Grumpy Bear and blame him like that dysfunctional chick on Teen Mom? It's your fault Gary. It's your fault Gary.  Gimme a break here Amber.

Maybe I have the material here for a new sitcom.  Two People and A Half Commode.  Well in our case it is still NO Commode.

Seriously, I do find the event of having my own waste come up in my bathtub rather distasteful.  Thank you very much Rotten Miserable Power Company.  You might think you had me fooled with your nice timely phone recorded messages. "Our power crews are working on the problem.  We are aware of the outage in the your area and 320 customers are affected.  We estimate your power will be restored at __________(pick a time because they ALWAYS called back and extended it another two hours)."

And 18 hours later - "Your power should have been restored at 2:47 pm.  If not, please call this number.  This outage was caused by SNOW."  WHAT????  What snow - we had only gotten about an inch at this point.  Your system cannot take an inch of snow? Or 13 below zero which is common at North of Nowhere? 

Oh yeah, I forgot.  As your recorded messages came in on my phone, at first it was 320 households without power, then 120, then finally 27 --- AH HA.  That's the number of users on MY FEEDER LINE - My 60 year old feeder line (I kid you not folks, the power line was built in the early 1950's. I still cannot believe they charged us almost $10,000 for 3 spans 10 years ago to hook into that crap piece of line).  And you guys just told me you traced the entire outage to that line in a 1" SNOWSTORM!!

Here's a clue Rotten Miserable Power Company - maybe you need to REPLACE that line. (I used to work for a power company that built private power lines so I know a thing or two here guys.  You need to get up earlier to pull the wool over my eyes.  I didn't fall off the tomato truck yesterday you know.)

Well the blogging adventure continues....thanks for all your comments guys.  I read every one of them several times and tell myself, ah ha, someone else has gone through this.  They lived through it, and so shall I.

I will do as they say - "TIE A KNOT IN THE ROPE"

(Only I will be on the other end of it - you know who Power Company will be on this end).

Hang On Sloopy, Hang ON!!!! Sloopy HANG ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh Sheez, I must admit my stoic demeanor and patience is worn THIN; and I am about to curse profusely.  Now we find out the sewer was froze up (takes a while to fill up the pipe one horse tank bucket of water at a time).   And beginning Sunday another artic front moves in.

I have @#*$)&@#*)! had it.

At this point, if I winter-kill it WOULD BE A BLESSING!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fill Yer Hands Pilgrims!

You thought John Wayne was tough?  Well take a gander at how I've been LIVING for the past several days.

Bad Weather? -- (see previous post)  HA, no!  It was ten gazillion times WORSE.  First our power went out at 9:30 pm on Sunday.  And wasn't restored until 3 pm on Monday.  Know what happens when your power goes out on a frigid minus 13 below zero night?  EVERY BLOOMIN' THING YOU OWN FREEZES AND STAYS FROZE! Including the darn generator.

So we lost the use of our propane furnace (electronics need electricity to run!), no water as the well pump was down (no dripping/running faucets to keep the house from freezing up), no tank heaters for the livestock so all their water froze too.  The one thing we DID have?  The backup battery for the pellet stove.  The goals the first night? No. 1 -Stretch the battery as long as possible so no one had to recharge it during the middle of night (grumpy bear aka Hubby who KNEW the next day at work was not going to be a 'skate in the park' type of day)  and No. 2 - to retain a reasonable level of warmth in the house aka between 55 and 60 degrees.  Managed 58 the first night and six hours on the battery.

Morning of Day 2 - what to wear?  Layering is your Friend, your BEST Friend, two pairs of socks, long underwear, blue jeans, t-shirt, shirt, sweatshirt.

No water -- all lines are frozen and this will remain the status quo until warmer days.  No bath, limited tooth brushing.  Wet Wipes are your new cosmetic aid - ie Odor Control.

Coffee - you NEED Coffee.  YOU HAVE TO HAVE COFFEE.  With Sinking Feeling you realize stove top coffeemaker is at (gulp) mountain lot.  Exhausted from staying up all previous night cycling pellet stove on and off to preserve battery.  Discover the old touch of sleeping and waking at slight sound of baby (now pellet stove refilling burn pot) still with you.  Chair is NOT comfortable sleeping......YOU HAVE TO HAVE COFFEE.

Make coffee in saucepan.  Drink cup, gulp big mouthful of coffeegrounds.  Darn!! Swear first purchase as soon as you get to town after weather breaks is ANOTHER stove top coffeepot.  Need 2nd cup - try wrapping grounds in coffee filter and clamping shut with binder clip, soaking like tea bag.  WORKS!  Congratulate oneself on resourcefulness.  Make breakfast. 

 Pile dishes in sinks, resort to paper plates to lessen sink load.   Try to find recipes that do not begin take a clean pan......  Limit water intake (we haul our drinking water in 5 gallon bottles so have about 15 gallons on hand) as water = bathroom use.  Bathroom is dysfunctional cousin of outhouse with crapper but no flusher.  No. 2 takes on new (permanent stink) meaning.

Afternoon of Day 2 - Grumpy Bear recharged battery (using pickup) for pellet stove before leaving for work.  Goal for the day, stretch the battery till he gets home.  Twenty minutes on, forty minutes off.  Constant eye on thermometer.  Close off all extra rooms keeping heat in living, kitchen areas.  No TV, No internet, No Radio, NO NOTHING.  Learn to knit with supplies bought Months ago - have two million one hundred and three squares done by end of fingers to make sure they don't freeze to knitting needles, balmy 56 degrees in domicile.  High temp for the day - a balmy 3 degrees below zero.  Dogs do not even want to go outside for duties.  Shitmire MacGuire doesn't, of COURSE! Clean with spray cleaner and paper towels.

Day 3 - Minus 30 degrees at 6 a.m. but blessed tank heater in horse tank is working;  tank is semi-thawed.  Water under thin layer of ice.  Hubby brings in blessed 15 gallons of horse tank water.  Flush both the crappers.

Check weather on internet - dang nothing is going to thaw out for two more days. High for today, seven degrees.  Low tonight? -10.  ENOUGH ALREADY. Crappy Weatherman!!!  Bad Man! Bad Man!  Check out beach vacations and dream of warmer days......Plan heavenly bath in horse tank water.  Hey - that's do-able!!!  See ya guys.  I'm heating water now!

I LOVE country living.........