Of such thought are neuroses made

Katie visiting with friends

Katie visiting with friends

I wouldn’t have thought it was possible to be so-called “retired” and stay so darn busy! I have no idea where my time is going these days.

As some of you may know, I am about to undertake my first vacation in about 12 years and actually leave the ranch for the first time since going to my mother’s funeral in 2005, and you can hardly call that a vacation! Time to go someplace, you think?? I thought so too, when I blithely made these plans in spring, but here it is suddenly upon me … and now, to actually leave the place and go visit my sister and niece who live in New York and Vermont respectively, has acquired a different aspect. When I began planning this junket it seemed to be very do-able and safely far away, in the distant mists of 6 months or so. But, suddenly, the departure time is upon me, and I am rushing around at the last minute trying to get all my ducks in a row.

Pups at the roundup

Pups at the roundup

The fall round up is over – we began last Sunday and only completely finished today, when I drove to the cattle auction in Willcox and collected my cattle check personally, rather than waiting for it to be mailed and sit in the mail box for three weeks… I was also pleased this year to sell some of the calves privately before the auction, for a very fair price, so all in all the round up was a success and all that remains now is to go and have a good time.

Finishing up Roundup

Finishing up Roundup

But there are snags – I can’t leave the puppies here, running around being a nuisance to everyone, so they have to go to a dog sitter place. I know that dogs think differently to people, but I am already worrying about … will they be bored, will they miss me, will they…will they…will they… Of such thought are neuroses made…

Dog Tuffy, who just hates the dog sitter place, will stay here at the ranch, being taken care of by the people remaining here, and I am sure she will be fine – but that doesn’t stop me from worrying about her, too !! Such a good thing I never had any children – they would have grown up to be totally neurotic, I‘m sure!

Still on the subject of my doggy family, I decided the other day to take the plunge and take the dogs along on their first horseback ride. I had no idea if the pups would follow the horse, if they would be obedient, or if they would vanish into the wild blue yonder causing me untold headaches. Well, they couldn’t have been better. Like a sledge team of Huskies, they ran ahead of my horse, an exact distance in front, enjoying their time, but always staying in sight. We went to Spooky Tank where they had a good splash in the water, and then went further up the canyon to the foot of the Gap Trail. We returned along the wash, down a trail which has, since the guest ranch closed, almost vanished, so I had to bushwhack my way through brambles and rock slides …. and, to my amazement, the dog who vanished wasn’t one of the young pups, it was Tuffy!! Old reliable Tuffers, who never strays, though I must say that she often runs out of sight. This time, though, no amount of whistling, calling, yelling, screaming produced results and I was prepared to go all the way back to the foot of the mountain, when, back at Spooky Tank, she suddenly surfaced, all innocent and happy looking, from some brush further up the mountain. I could have cheerfully strangled her.

And, talking of surprises, the other night, at around 10 pm, Tuffy began to bark up a storm, rushing at the front door, hackles up. I turned on the outside light, went to the door, opened it and there was cow Ginger, rioting around on the patio, having a right high time. In the ten minutes or so that she spent there, she managed to do an incredible amount of damage. She nipped off all the rose bushes, turned some pots upside down, dumping their contents on the ground, she ate up my cyclamens and day-lilies – the damage was unbelievable. And this from a range cow!! A range cow, who, because she was my pet cow Clementine’s first calf, and who has spent her entire life on the range producing a calf every year for about 13 years, has now been honorably retired, to live out her remaining days in the company of her venerable mother, enjoying the grass along the drive and being fed as well, as befits a family member. After the attack on my patio, though, I am having second thoughts – what a marauder!! Almost as good as donkey Katie, who spends her days plotting how to carry out similar attacks.

And our friend Steve, who cowboys here for several months of the year, had a dubious surprise the other day. He was out checking the water at South Fork Tank, riding, of all horses, Coco, who is not known for his rock steadiness. Steve was peacefully bopping down the trail almost to South Fork when he heard a rustling in the bushes – and suddenly a bear surfaced right under Coco’s nose. Steve said it was difficult to know who got the bigger surprise, he, the horse, or the bear. The bear took one look at the pair, whipped around and hi-tailed it down the trail, his back legs overtaking his front legs in his frantic bid to get away. Just as well – Coco wasn’t going to stay around either!! Of course, we know there are bear out in the mountains – we often used to see bear sign at the cook-out site following Sunday cook-outs, where our furry friends came to see what goodies might have been left behind … but to meet one head on, so to speak, at a distance of about 6 ft., is a different matter.

fence_windmillAnd, for those of you who know the place pretty well, I decided to fence off a part of the Lake Pasture, and make the land below the dam available to horses. To this end, we employed a fence specialist who came, and in two days, and for over a thousand of the best, whacked up a fence along the east side of the dam so that the horses can be let out from the corrals to graze all that grass which has always gone to waste, as the cattle hardly ever venture there.

The same fence specialist has also been employed to replace the hundred year old fence of the Horse Pasture, which, being over 100 acres, is somewhat wasted on the five horses now grazing there, and which is therefore going to be turned back into a Heifer Pasture. But wait for it – to replace the fence is going to cost me a cool thirteen thousand of the best – ouch! As someone once said to me, how is it that there is always so much month left at the end of the money!! A good question.

So – for the time being, adios, vaya con Dios, as our friends south of the border say, and get ready for me to bore you with my travelling tales next time!!

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12 Responses to Of such thought are neuroses made

  1. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Eve,
    Sure am glad that you’re made out of money!!!! WOW, just to cut a pasture down !!! He must have had to blast every one of the post-holes or use extra-hard T-posts and drive’em into hard-rock !!! Joyce & I were talking about new fencing on our ranch, on the hiway side, which is over 75 years old and rotten… A driver stopped today and the ‘baby’ horse colt was standing on the WRONG SIDE of the fence.. He came up to the house, got Joyce and they went back to put him back inside… Joyce called him, the rest o the herd was inside by him and they ALL took off running towards the end of the pasture WHERE THE CATTLEGUARD IS ON THE DRIVEWAY !!! When he came to the cattleguard he just jumped it, into the pasture !!!!! HE IS A BABY MINIATURE HORSE !!!! Of course he’s the 4th one to do it !!!

    vaya con Dios, a tu, tambien, Eve…

    Have a wonderful trip and DON’T WORRY ABOUT THEM HOUNDS, leave’em on the ranch,and let Danny feed’em… They’ll be there when you get back; they ain’t foo-foo dogs !!!

    Joyce & butterbean carpenter
    RunningStar Ranch
    Coleman county

  2. Lovely to hear your news once more Eve. I hope your travels are smooth and enjoyable. I was archiving photos yesterday when i came across some pictures taken on the day of our return from our very first visit to Arizona and Grapevine in 2005 and the joy on my lovely dogs face shone out at me. It won’t be long and you’ll be getting that welcome home look from your pack :-)

  3. Trish and John says:

    Hi Eve

    Have a wonderful time on your vacation. As its been some time since 2005 we imagine you will find a lot of changes everywhere and we hope everything goes smoothly and you have a lovely time with your family. We look forward very much to reading how everything went, and hopefully you will take lots of photos.

    Wishing you the very best. Trish and John from Wales, UK.

  4. Eve says:

    HI guys!! This is being posted from my niece’s lovely home in Vermont, where my friend Debbie and I arrived yesterday. What a lovely state and so much green!! I had no idea so much vegetation even existed.
    Sorry for the short blog, but it was written about 2 hours before departure the other day, so much to do at the last minute.
    Butterbean, the doggies are at the dog sitters – less worry for me, and the guys left at the ranch. Tuffy is still there, but I hear she is staying with Steve at his quarters for the duration, which is better than leaving her in the house.
    And yes, Chris, there is nothing like the look of a doggy friend when you finally get back – I miss them all so much already – to say nothing of Comanche and Tequila, my special horsy buddies.
    But now, for the sightseeing —– up and at ‘em!!

  5. lee says:

    Now I know why my birthday message to you came straight back!! Have a wonderful time ‘up north’ good to hear all is well. It is hard to believe that it is 6 years since we were with you, and 7 years since we were married there at gossiprocks. Have a great vacation, I miss the internet scrabble with you! Lee xx

  6. Claudia says:

    Hey Eve,

    have a fantastic time up north. And I completely get the doggie worry I’m the same:)
    Thanks again for the wonderful blog and also get the fencing costs eek, replaced just a little bit and the bill was huge. So know what will be waiting for me come spring.

    Safe and fun travels!

  7. Marilyn says:

    Hi Eve, you must be making plans now for your return journey home, time flies when you are enjoying yourself. I am sure the pups will be full of beans on your return. I must learn to switch of my e-mail when I go away as I always return to millions of rubbish e-mails and the occasional one I want to read. Like Lee my birthday wishes go returned, so when you get home to Cobra Loma I am sure there will be loads of belated wishes coming your way to read.
    Glad the round up went well. Dai will be sorry to read that he missed the sighting of a bear, but I am sure it made Steve’s day more interesting.
    I am looking forward to reading all about your travels up north of the country, no doubt you will have taken many photos that we can all enjoy.
    Will e-mail you after the 7th with dates for next year.

    Best wishes,

  8. Les Kery says:

    Sent birthday wishes, was told they were discarded and to send them after the 7th. Crestfallen I retreated but sent them again on the 7th and was told to prove I am human. That was a formidable challenge: tried twice but failed. Known you for 57 years and a bunch of months and you still keep introducing me to new things… Whoever it is that’s protecting you should work for the President. This note is the last attempt to get through.

    Hope you had a good one…


    Take care.

  9. Eve says:

    Hi all – back home, all is well and this is just a quick note to let you know. As I sit here, I can hear the doggy door flapping and the pups are invading the house, happy that things are back to normal! More later – had a lovely time, but SO glad to be back home ! As the song says, there is no place like it!!

  10. Eve says:

    Hi Les,

    This is Ben, the webmaster for the old Grapevine sites and Eve’s blog. I went in and added you to the email ‘white list’. Your emails should have no problems reaching Eve now. My apologies for the inconvenience.

    All the best,

  11. Ray and Jackie Oke says:

    Hi Eve, finally got a computer and I thought we would drop you a line to let you know that we were thinking about you, miss you a lot. I finally got my own horse, a “Five Gaited American Saddlebred” which I’m in the process of getting ready to compete with. If possible I would like to visit with you and see how you are doing and just chat, hope this note finds you well. Please respond at your convenience and let us know how you’re doing. In His Service Ray & Jackie

  12. Eve K Searle says:

    Hi Ray and aJackie,

    Good to hear from you – but you didn’t leave me an e-mail address, so I hope you check this and let me have it so I can e-mail you!


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