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ZEN COWBOY

Saturday 31
Our neighbor came in the morning and said, "We have your cat trapped in my boy's room." Ruth and I rushed over and for more than 5 minutes we couldn't find the cat in the small room. I was beginning to think my neighbor might have eaten a purple belly lizard and she was hallucinating  cats. Then I heard Turn-Ups distinctive meow. There she was in the back corner behind a box, under the boys bed.

We brought Turn-Up home and she was still kind of coming down off what ever Purple Belly Lizards do to felines, but by the afternoon, she was back to being the annoying pet she has always been, but we were happy she was home. I couldn't help but laugh about the irony of her name foe she once again simply turned up...

I wish Eight Ball would show up but it doesn't look hopeful. At least we have one of them back and I have dropped the idea of murdering our resident coyotes. All I can do is build a prison camp the cats can't get out of and the coyotes can't get into.

Turn-Up home and YOWLING for food as usual.

Thursday 29
Something very weird happened last night and it is not yet resolved...

Our neighbor knocked on our door about 8:30 PM and said she thought our missing cat was in her house...we went to see and no one could find the cat that inexplicably was in here house. A window was open so we assumed it had escaped...but if it had been Turn-Up as they said it was a calico cat, I am sure she would have come home.

So it seems for a moment we we overjoyed to only fall back into the reality that is...two missing cats...CRAP!


Wednesday 28
I made the mistake of asking for anybody out there in Face Book if they had a gun and wanted to murder coyotes, telling them of course that the little varmints had eaten two of our cats etc etc...I was not too surprised that a few people came back on me saying how could I be such a cold-hearted  killer, etc etc...well I wonder how they would react if a shark ate their baby or a python swallowed their mother? Just because coyotes might look and sound like a dog, their survival instinct is not too different from a shark or a python.

For 22 years they have circulated my property eating several of my pets and I let it go, but this time I did indeed TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Revenge of course will not bring my little buddies back but you know  it sure is a step in just plain GETTIN  EVEN.

Believe me, if I have the opportunity to blow a hole in one of those little S.O.B.s I will also skin them and hang their fur on my shack and drag their damn carcass around enough to let their brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts my turf is not a good place to go dining. Whether I am a senstive nature freak or not I quite simply don't give a damn!

Monday 26
This has been a very up and down week but mostly down, being two of our cats disappeared and most likely taken by our local coyote den only a hundred yards from the house...and that has finally really pissed me off.

I know they have to eat, but this time they picked the wrong customer...so I'm not sure what to do about it except wait in camouflage with my rifle ready and put an end to this predator patrol around our parameter...either that or see if there is an official State Bounty Hunter and requests his service, which probably would be more successful although I don't know if I would approve of the methods used...which could be anywhere from poison to traps and I would rather put these varmints away with lead to the head...

Anyway these coyotes have been here for the last 22 years and I don't know how many of my cats they have taken, but as I said this time they went too far. Probably I am just fuming at the mouth and won't do anything , but I am not sure. I really loved our little black cat Eight Ball and Turn-Up has been here for over 5 years and was my number one fan...Damn! I feel bad.

Friday 23
In a riotous mood I announced the first meeting of THEGALESTEO BASIN  SPIT AND WHITTLE CLUB for 2012...as usual I was the only one whittling... 



...then later in the evening...



Thursday 22
It is wonderful to have little creatures who become such good buddies, friends and lovers of the soul that no human ever seems to be able to do, and it is devastating when those little buddies die, and even worse when they simply disappear...just way too much of that around here having had my best dog ever vanish (Flat Tire) several of Ruth's Cats (who admittedly I was not that fond of)  but now a little cat I truly fell in love with---Eight Ball---he has been gone for three days now, so it does not look good...but we are keeping our hopes open. Just this morn Ruth thought she saw Eight Ball, only to discover our neighbor has a a solid black cat too. It was a second of thrill followed by being heart-broken all over again.

Please come home my little friend. We miss you more than we want to admit.




Finishing the \"TOTEMS" I made for a family near Albuquerque...



Sunday 18

&:23 Pm We went looking for petro-glyphs yesterday'''



My little grandaughter came put to visit me yesterday...oh yeah, she brought her mother Rowan  along...

I let her play with a cholla root I had been carving during a "SPIT AND WHITTLE " club meeting at the Hollar and she seemed to take inordinate interest in it... a future SPIT AND WHITTLE member I bet.


...anyway I am always amazed about stuff on FaceBook that happens, like when me or anybody else ever posts a baby picture of ANYTHING from cute little girls to baby gorillas and bunny rabbits, there is an immediate response from all kinds of people. Maybe I should give up art and start a baby picture booth at WalMart...

Friday 16
Working on finishing the signs for "SHUGARMAN'S LITTLE CHOCOLATE SHOP of which I did a panel display for inside of shop...

...so I am out in the studio, doing something that will look a little like...


I got carried away with the border so this is just the proto-type so I don't know yet the outcome if it works or not...
Sunday12
This is why I love New Mexico, and it is supposed to get over 60 degrees today and warmer the rest of the week.



Saturday 10
...only ten days from Spring...
...
...yup,  our dog Gina Lola Brigida has the right idea...

Friday 9
8:16 PM it is snowing, but the fireplace is roaring, the house is warm, and life is good.

10:00 AM...and the weatherman missed the mark again...no snow, but it was cold and blustery yesterday so I hustled like mad and got firewood for at least ten days of being snowbound...which now seems to have passed. But, it is New Mexico and we are at 6,500 feet here so almost anything is still possible.

It was in 1958 that there had been a heavy snow fall all winter, that was followed by a blizzard in the middle of May that dumped 4 feet of snow in 24 hours, then a warm wind came and melted almost everything in another 24 hours. The result was a flood that swept away the 300 foot wooden bridge that used to go across our property. The bridge was on pillars that were 22 feet high, which means the river was running at around 30 to 40 feet deep when normally it is only 3 or 4 inches deep...

Most likely that will never happen again, as the Army Corps of engineers completely altered the river systems, and diverted the channels of the old Galesteo into what is the Pecos River...

Whatever...winter is coming to a close again and that is good by me.

Thursday 8
The wind blows in from the east and the weather man says another spate of winter will arrive sometime tomorrow. That reminds me we have only a small pile of firewood on the deck, enough for a day or two. Somewhere in my history of being a ranch boy, alarm bells are going off.

So...down to the river front and gather another small bundle wood. Winter is not over yet.

Another small item. It is about the full moon. I wonder how many people are affected by its wobbling illumination beside me? For the last day or two, I have been in a semi-nutty phase (which over the years I have become accustomed to) but never the less, it is an annoying mental swamp I do not enjoy...then last night I realized a full moon is approximate, and the AHA moment came...

Going to the Bosque, cutting firewood seems one of the last outpost of sanity I have in life. Most interaction with the rest of the world (excluding Ruth) for the most part leave me either physically or mentally exhausted, or worse, BORED.  So the river is my refuge and a place that everything fits together the way it is supposed to, even the dead and dying trees have their purpose and usefulness.

I was the only child my mother had in a hospital (of the 11 she passed through her tubes). That happened because she fell in the bath tub and broke her leg, otherwise I would have been born in our house which was only 100 feet from the Arkansas River. I spent my first four years there, so perhaps that is why my little Galesteo River brings a kind of peace into my day.

Wednesday 7
For many years my ritual was to get up in the morning, roll a cigarette and drink several cups of strong black coffee as I scribbled in a journal the ups and downs of the day before. In fact I have consistently kept a journal since I was 18 so that makes it almost 50 years, and behind my desk now is a shelf full of journals that somehow I have not lost.

Considering how much I have bumped around the world, (usually leaving piles of personal objects behind me) it is amazing that as far as I can remember I have only lost a couple of those books.

Here is the thing that started me doing it...

I was the last of 11 babies my mother ran through her body (apparently I am the only sibling my mother ever told she had lost two babies at birth) and my father was over 50 when I was born. He was a WWI army motorcycle courier and spent 2 years after the war in Marseilles, France. My mother went through the depression, several farms, losing her first boy in WWII, had me at the age of 44 and got divorced from my father after 30 years of marriage. She died in a nursing home at the age of 69. Neither of them ever kept a journal, and because I was the last kid, I really never got to know what was deeply in their minds or history. I swore to myself that if I ever had a child, I wanted them to know who I had been.

But now, I am 67, and the prospect of the end is not imaginary, but the most likely next big event in my life...in other words most of my life is behind me, as are all the words scribbled in those journals over years.

 I am relatively a NOBODY in the world so most likely NO ONE will ever have much cause or curiosity to look at what my befuddled brain babbled over the years, including even my own grown child...

So what is the purpose of doing a BLOG or writng in a book I constantly ask myself?

 I am not much different from one of the chirping birds in a tree, who all they seem to be saying is, "I AM HERE, I AM HERE."

Oh, of course there is another reason I keep this BLOG...so like any proud grandpa, I can show pictures of my pretty little granddaughter

.

Tuesday 6


I finally decided to use what extra bucks I have at the moment and buy the camera I have been using (for ten years)  again, which is a Sony F-717 Super Cyber Shot 5...and that sounds like some kind of Air Force Bomber, but it is just a Tank of a image catcher. I have had three of them now. The first one was in perfect working order when some a nasty little local creep stole it out of my studio.

The second one I bought on EBay from a dishonest seller, who in fact sold me a piece of metal that did not work...over several months I got my money back, and then paid attention the next time to the ratings of the next seller on EBay, which was a good idea.

The third camera worked just fine but after dropping it off the top of my truck many times, getting it wet with water, paint, and beer, leaving it on the floorboard of my bouncing dusty old truck, it slowly started to have health issues...meaning I could not see anything out the view-finder, it stopped recording sound, and at one point I twisted off the power button...but still the old baby kept plugging along until one day it gave up the ghost.

It was only after it died completely that I realized what a great camera it was (having tried a couple of other digital clunkers, surfing the web for newer versions and looking at everything I could in the BIG BOX shops) I knew I wanted it back.

One day several months after it died, I tried one more time to see if it would work again (it had actually stopped working a couple of times, then magically resurrected itself) and to my total surprise it came out of its death sleep, but only in parts.

So after looking on EBay one more time, I found used and refurbished cameras of the same model. Originally I paid $800 for the first one and now I could get used ones for under $50 or a factory total refurbish job for $269. Having had the dud experience once before I chose a seller that had 100% sales satisfaction over several thousand sales and made the leap for the refurbished machine. (In perfect working order is the claim)

So it should arrive in a couple of days and I will have my little baby again, but this time I will try to remember to not leave it on the top of my truck, or on the floor-boards or not drop it in the river etc. etc etc...


Monday 4
Everything is relative...like one day last week I thought not only was I going to earn $7,500 for doing artwork for the movies (a TV series) but there was a chance  (most likely very remote, but a chance) that as an artist I might finally rise to lofty heights of recognition...well, in truth the only thing that concerned me was the lovely thought of not only paying bills, but getting the clutch fixed in my beat-up old truck, buying a camera and doing something nice for Ruth...fame is something I am not sure does anyone any good, but money makes the world go-around.

Hmmm, so just like a tornado that comes into your town and destroys everything around you by surprise, the opportunity to make some spedullahs from Hollywood disappeared like it was never there...in short greed and jealousy from other sources upset the proverbial applecart and I was left in exactly the same position as before this little golden moment ever surfaced, which is to say, broke but not so bad off. At least no TORNADO knocked down my world and I still have a roof over my head and every creature and loved object I have are  still intact...and that of course is a whole lot more than a lot of people in the world have.

Even so, I have to admit initially I was very disappointed about my sudden bank evaporation, and pretty annoyed with the people who put me in such a sudden experience, of to HAVE then HAVE NOT. But the truth is there was nothing I could do about it even though I had no part of the result that came about...indeed I was as white as snow in regards to the consequence.

On the evening of this horse wreck, I went to bed early feeling depressed and pissed off, wanting only to bury my head in the pillow and weep for what ever it was worth. Instead I turned on the television and just by chance tuned into LINK TV that was doing a current documentary on Somalia and the people who are trying to survive in Mogadishu. It was a vision of HELL ON EARTH. All I could think was how lucky I am to be alive and safe in my nice warm bed in a peaceful country and went to sleep feeling bad for someone else other than me.

In the morning I put the news on to see the utter devastation that happened to all those Americans in TORNADO ALLEY and once again saw how fortunate Ruth and I are just to still have world that is intact.

Yup, everything is relative and from where I sit this moment, my world is not perfect but it is pretty damn close.

MARCH 2
...and the wind is roaring...