Friday, April 27, 2012

Good Times, Good Times!

I'll never, ever forget when Michelle West asked if I wanted to go on a rodeo run with her and offered to take my mare with us so she could get some miles and exposure. I took her up on it right away! 

First stop was Lufkin, TX - where Michelle of course placed. We camped over night. Although we were in a real nice living quarters trailer, out of habit - early in the morning, I went out and fed and headed out to the nearest hydrant. Michelle hollered out the screen, "Where ya goin'?" To which I replied, "Going to go wash my face and clean up." Michelle laughed, "Well hell, Eileen we have hot water! I am not going to rough it like THAT! I ain't Rex!" 

Then, we went on to Corpus Christi. When we got down close to the city, the air smelled good, and you just knew you were close to the ocean! We ooo'd and awe'd at everything! Michelle drove the trailer like a pro and we got into real tight parking quarters and went over to the secretary's office. Michelle was a little nervous about not having much area to warm up in. Hell! Everything was under concrete! The fair was going on with a big, lit up ferris wheel, heavy traffic, etc. I didn't know what else to say except "Well, now even the ride down made him work a little!" and "You'll be able to trot around up by the arena!". Didn't help her out much - but we both saddled up and led Irish and my horse Nae Nae over a real busy 4-lane and started our back-and-forth walk on the little bits of grass along that 4-lane. Talk about a zoo! Cars full of teens hollering and laughing; families with all kinds of little ones walking back and forth with strollers, etc. The fair and carnival sounds and music were so loud you couldn't hear yourself think - but we kept walking. Then, time came to get closer to the arena. Michelle led the way. Real tight quarters up there - so I backed my mare up between the Dodge pickup and the wall so everyone else had room. All Michelle could do was get Irish into a trot. For those who don't know Michelle's horse, he is known for really getting revved up - and really prefers to have more room to warm up, etc. Anyhoo - long story short, we were both worried - but Irish really came through - and we left with Michelle in first place! She ended up winning! 

We went right out, loaded up, and headed for Guymon, OK. Michelle drove, using my directions, which took us up through the country on a 2-lane highway - which I prefer. Michelle cussed me - and called me ole' green ears! (She likes to stay on the freeway - yuck!) We stopped about 3 am in Mason, TX at their fairgrounds and ended up staying there for another night. There was an arena for me to work on my mare, we enjoyed just resting, and the weather was soooo nice! I brought my own food - hotdogs and buns - my favorite - and she just shook her head. Irish threw a shoe, and Michelle got on the phone to find a good shoer somewhere between Mason and Guymon.

When we headed out for Guymon, Michelle said over and over how she just knew this wasn't a good decision to go up there. However, I kept encouraging her; and we swung into Guymon in the middle of the night. We unloaded at some kind of feed lot or something, wind howling, sleet coming down. We went from beautiful, sunny 85 degree weather to 29 degree, blowing, raining, and sleet! When we got the horses situated, we went back to the trailer and into bed. We laid there, with the wind blowing the trailer back and forth - and busted up laughing! "I told you!", Michelle said while tears streamed down her face. "What a bunch of shit!" We didn't sleep much - just laughed at every thunder clap, every gust of wind!

Guymon wasn't too bad for Michelle - she found a shoer - Dan Etbauer. Not only did he get up at 5 am in horrible weather, but he fixed up Irish and put a new shoe on. Then wouldn't take any money, because, and I quote "You're rodeo family". So awesome! Irish ended up making some good runs - so Michelle was pretty happy.

Another trip that we took was to some little town in Louisiana. I'll never forget it cuz Michelle's bridle broke on the second barrel, and Irish finished the pattern and came out with the headstall dangling between his legs. They came barreling out, past me and on out through open gates (which I thought had been closed) and into the dark night and parking lot! Irish went 9-0 to the horse trailer. Michelle won 3rd! We decided we were in no hurry to go home and stayed to celebrate her winnings - and being alive! We sat in her lawn chairs outside the trailer, watching the horses and visiting and laughing. 

Now - in order for you to understand the rest of this story, I have to tell you about Rex's dog, Chip. Chip has always been a good brush and bull herding dog. These attributes, however, have been the cause of being kicked numerous times - resulting in missing teeth, one missing eye, and a broke jaw - which Rex and I set as good as we could for him. Chip is quite the sight! He loves to follow behind me wherever I go, whining and talking to me - with a silly grin on his face - exposing his gums. His face is a little crooked, and where his right eye should be, all puckered up.

So Michelle and I were celebrating a little - visiting outside the trailer in her lawn chairs. Michelle had developed a stye in her, yes, right eye - and was a little stoved up. The out-of-control run through the dark parking lot, narrowly missing a little tyke in a stroller, had also taken its toll on her. However, we had been telling re-ride stories and laughing til our cheeks hurt! When we decided to hit the hay, we got up and Michelle led the way into the trailer. She stopped at the top of the stairs suddenly, and turned to face me, with her eye all squinted and a silly grin on her face. Between giggles, she asked, "Guess who I am?" I looked at her weird I guess, cuz she repeated herself, "Guess who I am?" "Who?", I finally asked.  "I'm Chip! I'm Chip!" We laughed our asses off! Yep! Michelle did resemble Chip - in the moonlight, while under the influence!

Good times, good times! :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Re-Ride Home Decor

Here is a project that I have been working on for friends Add and Lori Waddell. They just moved into their new home, and Lori wanted this skull finished for one of their rooms.

We went to Hobby Lobby, and picked up a few things:
We chose what looked like red and brown-tinged mother of pearl pieces; that is until I poured them out and started to place them on the skull. They really were more pink than red! I used E-6000 craft glue. With a clean surface to start with and a drop cloth under the project, I began to piece things together!
I used a cake pan to hold the pieces and isolated unusually shaped pieces around the area, separating rectangular shapes and triangles and bone-shaped pieces for special places. I followed the seams in the skull, and surrounded the eyes and nose first.
The sides were a little tough, and I propped the skull on its side to keep gravity on my side! I also covered any area that would be seen while the skull is hanging. Notice that I left the forehead clear and concentrated on filling up the sides and jawline first.
Then, I started to fill in the forehead.  Notice that I separated the very small pieces, and kept them in a pile, for filling in small spaces and cracks.
Here is a shot of the skull, nearly finished:

Here is a side-shot: is the skull hanging on the wall!
It's a little hard to tell, but the brown in the shell really matches the horns quite perfectly. I believe that this skull is where Femme Fatale and Western Chic collide!