Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bad Mojo, Good Shooting, and No Quitting

Trooper was sick much of last week with the terrible cough and congestion crud that is going around lately. But with two weeks of firearms instructor classes pending, he knew he had to Ranger Up. And so he has. He has scored 300's daily (one must pass the shooting tests every day or go home) and has recovered pretty well. But...

It has meant that I've been home, working, and dealing with dogs and usual housewifery stuff while suffering from that same crud. And I was so careful to avoid catching it! Sigh...terrible, terrible coughing and exhaustion...I am so fortunate to not have to go into an office to work - and they've all expressed thanks at my remaining ensconced in my own bacterial/viral crap at home.

Short tempered, I've been trying to keep up with the workload and just barely doing so. But the inevitable "this task sucks so I am giving it to YOU" crap turns up and I have to remind myself - I make a lot of money (relatively speaking) and have tremendous freedom...

I look at all that has to be done, all around me, and grow weary with the constant burden. I don't even consider that there is another week yet to come...I look at the puppy sleeping beside me, the tufts of fur between his pads twitching with dreams. I want to smell those dorito paws but not wake him and start the whole "Walk? Time to walk? Can we, huh?" because it means a wheezing, hacking trek that I simply haven't the energy for.

Selfish, selfish...I consider my frustration with these petty irritations, and those frown lines etch deeper. I look at the box of chocolates (Ferrero Roche, thankyouverymuch) Trooper brought home along with the cough medicine after a 14 hour day and I feel a terrible shame at complaining.

My eye falls on the thank you note in a wobbly but deliberate hand from this man and the shame is complete.

No Quit: a film about tod o'donnell from tim o'donnell on Vimeo.


Yes - I think I can manage a dog walk, some cleaning up, and some conference calls. Indeed, I do.


Thanks for kicking that mental crutch out from under me, Sir.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

We Do Things Differently Here

Life has stayed rather busy lately and I'm more tired everyday so my trips around the Favorites have been infrequent. However, this at Tam's did make me smile. See, our good friend is the cattle cop for the county. Actually, he is a special ranger of the Cattle Raisers Association. Whenever the troopers get a call for cows in the road or a runwaway horse, he gets the call - or one of his associates.

Often Trooper would accompany him on the calls, ensuring traffic was kept back or clear of the livestock. The man would pull up in his truck, his horse in a trailer behind. That horse could practically do the job alone. With a sure knowledge acquired through decades of work, the man could get any animal to do what he wanted.

Too, trooper could herd with his patrol car quite well. He had one horse running the wrong way on a major 4 lane road. As he turned around on it, the horse seemed to understand, running ahead a bit only to finally turn and head the other direction - at least with traffic, now - running for all it had. The horse slowed, finally, and Trooper was able to hit the squawk just enough to keep it in the emergency lane. It turned into a driveway and it was home. An old woman came out, greeting him, and asking if he could get it into the pasture. Of course. The uniform includes boots for a reason.

To repeat a tale previously related -
Trooper was a little tuckered out and moving slow, eating his breakfast as a call went out on the radio to the locals - a pony running free in the roadway. Cackling, he grabs his cell and reaches dispatch as the green Deputy accepts the call on the radio.

"I'll pay you $5 to get on the radio and say the pony's name is Wildfire..." It wasn't 5 seconds later..."Complainant advises pony's name is Wildfire." You could almost hear the laughter across the county and the young guy does NOT put it together. On scene, he even confirmed with the owners that the name was, indeed, Wildfire so that he could accurate note it in the report. Word is they just looked at him. It wasn't until he had closed out the call and was in office asking, "What did it matter what its' name was...oh, damn it!"

For those of you not getting the joke because you're too damned young - pardon the earworm:




This is just how things are done in a place where you've as many cows as people. You call in the cow, you report the horse, and someone ensures the creature is returned to its proper place eventually. You do what you can for the people you serve because it is a small town and they know you, they know your family, and they expect you to be a decent person.

Find a small town and get there. My best advice...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Easing Into Monday

A long couple of days alone were followed by a wonderful afternoon with friends and a quiet evening at last as the dogs finally relaxed with Trooper home again. Wonderful peace through much of the night, Kota waking me to spend a few hours outside only to find it was raining - or icing. I lay in bed for a half hour, giving her time to be outside but knowing she couldn't remain there long.

The cat switched from his pillow position to the vacated warmth I'd left, so we adjusted to each other and snuggled together, waiting. Finally, I could get up again and let the dog back in then sleep the rest of the night. Until, of course, the other cat thought I really ought to get up and feed her. A delicate sneeze right in my face was her chosen course of action. A swiping of my hand shoved her smart ass out of the bed. For that, I rolled over and stayed asleep.

Now, just waiting on Trooper to get enough rest so that I can wake him and prep his dinner. Seems he and his partner had a very profitable time at the event but with no one to spell them, were exhausted. And his chivalry extended to coming with me yesterday though he'd had only a few hours sleep. If I'd known, he would have stayed home. And it is back to work for each of us today. I don't think my "vacation" brain wants to step up, though. More coffee will be needed.

Meanwhile, the following were what entertained through the quiet evenings alone...the first - finally found the origin of a tune that I've loved. And the second, a set of tunes selected and posted just perfectly suited to my mood. Lovely...

Hello, Monday. Be gentle.



Selections

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Bloody Damned Busy, Thanks

I've been trying to get a number of things cared for, and the spring cleaning bug is biting a little, so I've had only a few moments to glance around at my good blogger pals and drop notes...I miss you all, really. But I've much to do.

Speaking of hard days to come...these folks came up on the FB and I thought I'd note it - perhaps you've something to donate to the raffle that they could use. About 48 sheriff staff dismissed - likely those at the top of the pay scale and, hell, it's economics. But while it is a numbers game on paper, the actual lives touched are another thing entirely. Most likely didn't plan for it...didn't stock up and such. So if you're willing, you might consider sending some nice swag they can auction, or just toss a few bills their way.

I'll be frank - law enforcement and military members will be the next targets of the ire of the eloi. It will be easy for them to believe what they are told...easier to turn the public into a target. Do what you can for them, for any of them you know that are having a rough go of it. Soldiers Angels do such fine work. And so many others. But you can also go local - find out who is hurting and give them a hand. It is what we have chosen to do...find good people and do good for them.

I've been craving one of these and one of these - the former for dog walking when a holster won't work and the latter for those times when the Big Bag is not needed but something else is. (I can imagine, too, how nice that latter might be if some weighty magnets were molle'd on - it'd be a superb tank bag for motorcycling!) I SO want one of these but it'd likely be much too long on me. Still, I do like the cut of their jib, so to speak. Definitely going to spend some dollars there.

Acquired recently some of these little things - cheap, and handy enough to toss into every vehicle and bag. I like that it is a lighter and also a kind of candle - handy when you need to get flame into something...

And it is nearly Trooper's birthday...a few weeks away, I was thinking of merging Valentines with it and have him hit a Rifles Only course...he is rather squared away but there is nothing like have a dedicated set of days to doing nothing but hitting that 1000 yds, repeatedly. Or shooting from a moving platform - what guy wouldn't like that? Admittedly, it wouldn't be his "first rodeo" in that format but it has been rather a long while and it'd be fun.

Speaking of moving platforms...I had the best compliment recently. I'd knit a hat - just a plain old cap - of this stuff. It is wooly but softened with a hint of silk. A friend notes that it withstood an open door at 10k ft...some squirrel-y doings or another demanded it. One does these things - gifts of your time and thought - and sometimes it isn't really appreciated. And sometimes it is just the right thing in the right place. It pleased me to know he was able to get the job done without being as cold as the other guys.

It will be a lonely few days as Trooper heads to an event to aid a friend at their booth. I am considering some gardening while he is gone - as in heavy duty yard revamping and garden redressing. I will be taking it in pieces, though, because the bluebonnets are poking up their leaves already and I don't want to disturb them so perhaps it will just be the vegetable garden that gets the love...only the brussel sprouts and herbs left, now, anyway...I can work around that. (BTW, homegrown sprouts are amazingly tender and nothing like the store bought version.)

Trooper continues with his shooting - now an officer for the local group - and is loving it. It meets his competitive nature as well as keeps the skills sharp. He's trying to get me to join but I have never been competitive - I do not have that gene. I don't plan, I don't measure against others...I just Am. Admittedly, the lack of goal setting skills isn't helpful but...there is also no pressure. Regardless, I toy with the idea of it but haven't the desire for the work that he does.

And so that is what has had me occupied. Looking over what we have, what we need, and how to get it all organized. Everything feels quite haphazard and I yearn for neatness. Perhaps I can achieve some of it...