Thursday, December 11, 2014

2014 Christmas Letter

2014 Xmas Letter for Ronnie and Mernie
So we have been in Smith Valley, Wellington Nevada for a year now! Andrea Lewis and Gerri Brown now have On A String Ranch in Laramie and, true to Murphy ’s Law, everything broke when we left. They are very capable people and we are confident they will work things out. I have heard the place is still going strong and is still ‘The Best Little Horse House in the West'.

We are really enjoying it here and have made super new friends although we miss and think often of all those we left in Laramie. We plan to visit….in the Summer!
We started 2014 with the bare minimum of home comforts, washing dishes in a tub and cooking on a camp stove. We have now completed the guest house with its big beautiful deck over looking the valley, the dome’s bedroom and ensuite, hallway, studio and kitchen. We have a washer and dryer and have got the wood heater going. The horses have shelters and a big water trough. We have four now as we sold Flambeau to our friend Jim who lives not too far away and boy has he got it good!
 I attempted a garden this year and the rabbits and squirrels thought it was a marvelous idea! I did manage to fence out the deer that wander through and loiter here daily. It is peaceful here.

We have been graced with the presence of many visitors of international character this year. Cousin Coral came from Australia in May. She is the genealogist of the family. Hand it to Coral to find several relatives living out here in the high desert of ‘Vada. So now I have Netti, Mike, Tanner, Michaela, and Jacob (who are something like 3rd Cousins twice removed) living just down the road! The good news is, they are super nice people so …thanks Cousin Coral!

Then came the Germans! The peace took a vacation and fun and laughter took its place. My friend Eleanora, her husband Guido and their five children: Katie, Lisa, Noah, Lois and Emma travelled around the West for about 6 weeks in a big bus. We are so glad they dropped by to our little dome home in the middle of nowhere.And of course, there was our Chinese friend Weiwen from Nebraska who came to visit the Germans and also came here for Thanks Giving. We had a really nice Thanks Giving.

 Next my Sister Julie and her hubby Steve arrived and spent a fabulous two weeks with us. No time to breathe between the coffee, wine and chin waggin’! We did spend lots of peaceful moments out of the partially finished deck.

In 2013 I met Robert Weldin at I Know You Rider Endurance Ride. He and his beautiful wife Sharron live in Pilot Hill, CA near the Tevis Trail. He convinced me I should train with them and do the Tevis. His help was really appreciated and I’m pleased to say Kipling rocked. We started at 5.15 am on July 9th and completed the famous Tevis Cup on July 10, 2014 at 4.08 am the next morning. Mernie and my new friend and neighbor Tracey- Jean Wolfe crewed brilliantly with some help from Mernie’s son Corky and a lovely lady called Heather. Chris, Kip’s former owner came all the way from Laramie to be there at the finish line with Kip’s favorite treat, black Aussie licorice. That really made this special event extra, extra special! Robert and our Israeli friends also completed with happy and healthy horses.

Our last and cherished visitor this year was Amnon a young man from Israel. We met him through Robert and the Israeli Tevis group. We decided we should take Amnon home with us for a while. Amnon helped Mernie finish the deck and many other projects, exercised and cared for our horses, prepared delicious Mediterranean food, and even taught us a few Hebrew words. He was a pleasure to have around and really kept us on task!
It was a good year. We both have our health and our horses and along with our wonderful friends and family. What more could anyone want?
Next year I plan to focus on Abstract art, pick up the guitar and the doo again and enjoy life with Mernie in the high desert of Nevada.
 Amnon our Israeli cowboy.Click on images to enlarge.
 Julie and I in Genoa, NV's first settlement.
 Kip and I at the Virginia City 100. See my buddy Robert on Sundance behind.
 The big achievement for the year. The Tevis cup. Looks exhausted doesn't he? LOLPhoto by Kumba.
 The gorgeous Weiwen at Thanks Giving.
 My studio where i spend a lot of time. That's if the weather is too bad for riding. LOL
The dome kitchen make over.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Deck off the Loft

 The master himself at work.
 Scroll down for commentary.

 There are a few more pics between images these two but i just have to find them. Story of my life! Here is the deck off of the loft guest house. Mernie has been working on this for a couple of months with the help (and hinderance) of yours truly. Brother in Law Steve lent a very good hand while he was here as did Eleanor from Germany! But all in all its Mern's baby.And a lovely baby at that!Click on image to enlarge.
 Look at those railings. Redwood and rebar. Sounds like a good name for a song!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A bench to sit and drink beer on!

 Today Mern and I made a bench mainly from scrap wood.Tomorrow I'll paint it.Click to enlarge. R

Friday, June 27, 2014

Loft Deck

Starting work on the deck outside the loft. Mernie Jimmy and Corky.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Everything including the kitchen sink.

My little kitchen in the Dome!
 We now have a kitchen with hot and cold running water in the Dome. M fixed all the leaks and now just need to spruce up the cupboards.Now we are living in the kitchen and working on the loft which will become a guest house.
Dang! Blurry picture.Cupboards next!

 Everything including the kitchen sink! Click to enlarge.
Also have a garden in the kitchen.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tevis training, American River

 Click to enlarge photos
I met Robert Weldin (who took these photos) at I Know You Rider in Evanston last year. He offered to take me riding on the Tevis trail which is pretty well in his back yard. He and his gracious wife Sharron hosted us this week end and we rode the last portion of the Tevis; the part that will, on the day, be done in the dark with lots of drop-offs to avoid. Wish i had taken my camera as the views are spectacular, mostly right above this, the American River hundreds of feet below.Gotta have a good horse and I've got one! Poor Ice, Mernie's horse, was a trooper. She struggled but kept up. She got to the middle of the river and stopped. Kip had to go feach her so we took the opportunity for a photo while she rested and cooled off. Robert and Sharron supplied lunch of wine cheese, cherries and chocolate making the whole day extremely civilized.They have good endurance horses and know the trail inside out and back to front.Kip rocked! He LOVES this trail and says bring on some more! Next training ride 31st May then the real thing on 9th August. Yeehah! R

Monday, May 05, 2014

April Full Moon Ride out in the desert behind Smith Valley

 We have the best neighbors!Ron and Janiss up front. Jim driving Moonie and J riding Concho. In the rear, Rick driving is mules. Somewhere behind him is our direct neighbor Cub driving his red mules surrounded by a bunch of riders including me. I was riding Subha and she was 'hot to trot!' This was early on at our April full moon ride. Lots of fun! Photos by Cathy Eckart
 Jim and Moonie. Behind ( no, that's not Kipling) Bob and Sandy on their Arabs with Janiss on he haflinger (Concho) in the middle. Click to enlarge all photos.
 Moonie, Poised and ready for action.Feisty little Fjord!
 See Mern's white hat in the b/g. He was going for a ride with Cub in the wagon.
 What a life!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Making things with scrap wood

 Planter box from old siding. Click pics to enlarge.
 His and hers stool boxes.Having way too much fun.
Bench to put the camp oven on in the dome. We bought a planer so we can make even pallet wood look like new.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring at the Dome

 According to the locals it has been cold and windy but for us, coming from Laramie, this is like the Bahamas! 
Click on pics to enlarge.
 Blossom and leaves.Yes, we have trees here!
 The horses love it. Below, look at the old girl lookin' spunky! She really is LUCKY!
 They even have horse challets now!!
We still love Wyoming with its 'character building extremes' but we figure we have plenty of character now thank you very much!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

From our pile of old wood....

 Look what Mern and I made in a matter of hours from the old wwod pile we inhereted with the property. Commentary to come.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Frogs and horsey mat

 I wish i had used a lighter blue for the lines to make it more subtle. It's not subtle! I threw a few frogs and painted a door mat in and other than a touch up and another coat of gloss, I'M DONE!
 Clcik images to enlarge.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Crazy pattern

 Holy cow! Clear coat next and we're done!
 Click on pics to enlarge if you are game!