On Tuesdays

Author Archives: Dallas

Why Wear Custom Boots

With boots, it is all about the fit. Comfort is key to me. I didn’t start out thinking about these factors. Before, it was all about the look! Now, I am older and wiser, and I say to you young wipper snappers,’Take care of your feet’. Years ago when I first went shopping for a new pair of boots at a large western store in Oklahoma City, I couldn’t help but notice, as only a young budget conscious rancher’s wife would notice, that the shop had many average-priced boots. The problem was the boots that fit me best were from a much more expensive boot line. My husband, Jim, was with me. He taught me some common sense that day. Pointing out that for the money I was about to spend, I could have a pair of custom, handmade boots made in Amarillo, Texas by Harry Beck. Jim had been considering custom boots for himself due to his many previous boots that fit him poorly. I was [ ]

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Heart In Hand

Being guarded and reserved does not embody an artist’s make up. Art is emotional, because an artist lays their inner-self wide open for professional critiques and reviews, as well as the opinions of art lovers alike. Attitude and art is not only oil on canvas, but it’s the unique talent that each one of us possess. This is everyone of us whether we are fence menders, authors, cleaning ladies, stonemasons, athletes, welders, teachers, shooters, leather crafters, woodcarvers or the windmill repair man. Keeping a positive outlook when I paint helps my artwork become a success in my mind’s eye. Happiness is imperative for me to be able to paint. Being an artist tends to be a emotional roller coaster; a ride I feel I am becoming more comfortable with. I have to keep myself enthused while I paint. That is key to me. My bold brush strokes help relax me as I paint allowing me free motion in using my brush as a conductor uses a baton. [ ]

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Viejos Amigas Excelentes Vacaciones (Part Three)

I was one happy girl as I crawled in between the sheets that night, thinking… I must be dreaming… I must be dreaming… The next thing I knew it was 7:00 A.M.. I opened my eyes and realized that I was really in Mexico.  Jumped out of bed, I ran to the balcony to see the sunrise over the ocean! The horizon was still dark, but my eyes were captivated by the many yachts headed out for a day of fishing. The Bisbee Fishing Tournament was in full swing on this beautiful calm October morning. What a sight to see! I counted to 35 quickly with more boats coming into sight. Some were all lit up, while others had no lights at all. The boats traveled very fast as they headed out to The Sea of Cortes, leaving a trail of white water in their wake.
I could feel it, the day was going to be a perfect day with [ ]

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Viejos Amigas Excelentes Vacaciones (part two)

My heart was still pounding and my head dizzy from that exciting ride through Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, when all of a sudden a peace came over me as we drove up a cobblestone paved drive. The electronic crossing gated entry was flanked with palm trees. The cobblestone drive was lined with large rock pillars. The pillars were connected with long poles in between. On top of each pillar was a shallow round pot filled with the most beautiful, draping, pink flowering plant with a perfectly manicured miniature canopy tree coming up through the center. Aw, can you hear it? Can you hear the ocean with its sounds of crashing waves? Once again I was experiencing the sounds of battle between the elements of water and land, and the smells… the smells that I had forgotten… the smells of the ocean breezes as they came racing through my car window. I couldn’t believe I was once again here! Sy is a most gracious hostess to have invited us to enjoy [ ]

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Viejos Amigas Excelentes Vacaciones (part one)

I along with my tres viejos amigas (three old friends) were headed to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, the fall of 2008. It was a pleasant flight with no turbulence and a perfect three point landing. The captain entertained us with his funny nonsense all the way to the terminal. The hot 98 degree day greeted us as we walked down the ramp stairs to the Tarmac along with the 70 other people that had been on board. On our walk to the terminal, we were welcomed by a receiving line of uniforms. In retrospect, I believe they were making sure everyone went inside instead of allowing them to wander off. I noticed right off that the airport had changed from my previous visit of three years before. When we arrived in 2005, it had been after dark with very little exterior light to guide our way to the terminal. Our baggage had been unloaded directly on the Tarmac, where we walked over to the haphazard pile with our 20 fellow [ ]

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The Day The Pickup Outran Dallas

God put us ranch ladies in different roles than our rancher husbands for a reason. I figured that out many years ago. To this day I seem to need to relearn this obvious lesson in life more times than I care to admit.
The day was planned ahead for me to do Jim’s work in order for him to take our son, Tyler, to his speech contest. Jim had spent time with me laying out the day’s plan of feeding the cattle. After feeding, I was to take a different rig to drive through and check the baby calves for scours which are signs of illness. He told me when I found one, I was to put the pickup in granny low,  pull along side the animal, place the medicine bag on my arm, slip the pickup in neutral,  just before leaping out onto the calf. He assured me that as [ ]

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Confessions Of A Ranch Lady

I have been debating whether it is too soon to relate a most recent experience of my life here on the ranch? The “I will” won. Here goes…Ok, I admit that I am a curious sort, responsible and yes, a glutton for punishment! Now having said all of that, I literally do not have one single solitary excuse as to why I get myself in the darndest predicaments. Incidentally, I might add, I always have a reason for doing what I do. I think so, anyway.  Now that we have all of my defense laid out, let’s get on to the most recent source of excitement in my life. Here, in black and white, is how it happened.
The sun was cresting the top of the horizon as I started down the mile long drive leading away from the ranch house. I was ready for a fun filled day of painting in Palo Duro Canyon along with Anna, my mother-in-law. As I looked back [ ]

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Ranch Life Suits Us

Aww, the smell of fresh coffee brewing can bring this girl right out of a deep sleep any day on the ranch. My husband, Jim, and I have made a deal, that whoever is the first one up makes coffee and brings the other his or her coffee in bed. Well, I guess I gave it away that Jim gets up before me. More times than not, that is the case. Our deal works out well. We usually meet up every morning in the winter by our dear fireside and in the summer on the front porch. We always enjoy the beginning of our day together. Our days are not run on a schedule, and we are not slave to a time clock. We go to work happily, always ready to face the tasks that the day may bring.
The idea of being ‘your own boss’ is a romantic notion to most, but being self [ ]

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The Roar of Silence

I am convinced that the roar of silence is the sound of winds aloft. Hearing the roar of silence is a part of ranch life. Today, I began to think about it in a philosophical way. As the silence surrounds me, my mind recalls a favorite of mine. T.S. Eliot, an American poet, wrote a poem titled, ‘Silence’. Eliot alluded to the fact that he was terrified of the peace of silence. Silence does not scare me, nor does it bother me in the least. I embrace the cessation of sounds around me. When one is alone, you’re all you have, and you can get a real sense of your inner self. As long as you have your faith and a sense of wellbeing, you have a moment in time where you can reflect on what is really important in your own life. The silence and aloneness brings this into sharp focus. 
I was not always comfortable with being alone. [ ]

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Palo Duro Canyon

No prettier place have I seen than that of Palo Duro Canyon near Canyon, Texas. My few days here this week have been marvelous!
When I was twelve years old, I set eyes on the canyon for the first time. I went with my family to the melodrama TEXAS. Oh, how I have always loved seeing this melodrama over and over again throughout the years.
My trip to Palo Duro Canyon this time was to paint and just enjoy the solitude of the canyon. To be able to start my day in the canyon and end my day in the canyon was an exciting adventure! On my  first evening, I arrived after dark so I missed the sunset. Dang it! I was so looking forward to my first morning, as I jumped out of bed at 7:30 A.M., had a quick cup of coffee and grabbed my protein drink. Quickly, I pulled on my long-johns, jeans, boots and a sweat shirt, [ ]

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