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.