It’s been awhile since I wrote anything.  I’ve been busy as hell.  But I find myself with some time this evening to tell you a short (ish) story about the rattlesnake situation out here in the prairie lands. 🙂  (Keep on reading this one John… it’s a good one) 😉
    I hadn’t given much thought to the fact that the prairie is loaded with rattlesnakes.  Well… it is. Bwahahaha. XD So my buddy and I are in the barn one day when we hear the distinct rattling from somewhere in between us.  There isn’t a lot of room to move around in the barn, and it’s pretty messy after years of not being touched.  So we carefully moved away and tried to look for the snake without endangering ourselves too much.  We had already relocated a few young snakes this season, but sometimes, they are in places where it’s unsafe to let them live.  Well, we found him in the middle of the pipes too far away for us to grab him with the snake grabber.  Well… we couldn’t leave him in the barn because of the danger.  Don’t get me wrong, all rattlers are dangerous, but the two types we have out here are no joke.  Western Diamondback and Prairie Rattlers.  They have both Neurotoxic and Hemotoxic venom.  You have about 2 hours to get treatment if you get bit… otherwise you’re pretty screwed.
    Being the awesome farm boys we are, we fashioned a long hook so we could scoop him out of the pipe and dispatch him.  Well, you know how farms have a lot of old equipment on them?  There just so happens to be an old broken tractor in the way so we could get him with the hook, but when pulling it out, it would get hung up… putting us in pretty decent danger.  Add to the fact that I’m holding the flashlight and can’t see the damn thing so I keep moving a bit when my buddy needs the light.  The snake was pissed!!  I would love to claim I’m so awesome that I wasn’t scared at all… but I was shaking pretty bad.  This was the first grown rattler that I had ever dealt with.  The babies aren’t so bad.  A rattler can strike up to 2/3 of it’s body length, so a one footer isn’t too scary… but when dealing with a three or four footer… it’s a little different. LOL
    So here we are, trying to figure out what to do when my inner redneck shines through.  “Hey… you got bird shot for your shotgun?” I ask.
    “Yep.  Guess I’m gonna go grab it.” replies my buddy.  And oh how the fun started.  I’m sure you all know how strong steel is right?  Well imagine shooting a shotgun into a steel pipe that’s six inches wide, and about 20 feet long.  My buddy comes back out and shines the flashlight into the pipe.  “There he is.”  Then he turns to me and says,”You might want to plug your ears.”  They were already plugged.  He raised the muzzle, took aim, and BLAM!!!  The sound was deafening even with my ears plugged.  “Son of a bitch!!”  he screamed when he looked again.  “The bastard is still alive!!”
    I’m not sure how much you know about the physics of birdshot, but ponder this for a moment.  Have you ever skipped a stone on water?  What about 30 or 40 stones at once?  Well, bird shot isn’t enough to damage the steel, so if the angle of the shot drives it into the steel, it bounces… at about 427 meters per second. So here we now had a very pissed off snake, who was probably reeling from the concussion… but he didn’t take one hit from the shot.  What a lucky snake.  If I got shot at, I can say with certainty that I would get hit with almost every piece of shot in the damn bullet. LOL So he shot again… and again… and again.  If he wasn’t so pissed off, I would have been rolling on the floor laughing.  My buddy is one of the best shots I have ever seen, so to see him miss so bad, and get so pissed was frigging hilarious!!
    After five shots, he finally took of it’s head… and 3/4 of it’s body.  It was a scary ordeal, but of course, as we leave the barn, and walk a short way out into the field… we find another snake.  This was much easier to get rid of.  I grabbed it with the grabber, and he lopped off it’s head. It turns out that it’s much easier dealing with a snake when you’re out in the open and not in some super close quarters. Now… being that we live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, we don’t like to waste things.  I had done some studying on how to cure snake skin, and I had always wanted to try eating snake.  The grilled snake was amazing, but the skin curing is a story for another time.  I might write a post on that shortly, as I’m at the end of my day and I’m not too tired yet.
    I hope you have enjoyed the story.  There should be plenty more of them as I find the time to write more often.  I’ve had a few cool adventures out here, and I’m sure there will be many more.  🙂  I’ll leave you with a shot of the snake on the grill we made, and a shot of Ranch hand Grinning Bear. 🙂
Image
 
   Nothing quite like some fresh grilled snake. 😉
Image
I think the straw hat suits me. 🙂

Advertisements
     Image
The Ranch House
 
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to live on a ranch or farm.  I remember going to visit my Grandfather as a child.  He was a “Man’s man” as they say.  He knew how to do everything.  Cook, hunt, build things (everything from supplies such as wood, metal, stone, etc)  He knew everything I’ve always wanted to know.  Well, I grew up, graduated high school, met a wonderful woman, and had kids.  One day everything went to shit.  I have gone on this rant before so I won’t bore you with it again.  But needless to say, I ended up moving in with my father’s brother, who married my mom after she left my dad.  We was messed up from years of drugs and drink.  

     Well, some time ago, my ex wife (whom I have a good relationship with) asked if I would be okay with her and my youngest son moving overseas for awhile.  After a long decision making process, I decided that I couldn’t let him miss the opportunity to see another country.  Well, time went on, I kept working, chasing my tail, trying to keep up with my bills and the like.  My uncle got an abscess in his tooth, and even after seeing the dentist and getting antibiotics, it kept getting worse.  He wouldn’t go to the doctor.  He ended up 
dying a horrible death.  The tale of his death is another story; which I plan to write at some point.  Shortly after, I was informed that my youngest son wouldn’t be moving overseas, but he would be moving about 2100 miles away.  He was moving to the other coast.  I was, and am, glad for his opportunity, but I miss him dearly.
     I was given an opportunity from a lifelong friend to move to his ranch, and be a ranchhand.  What kind of moron would deny himself the opportunity when it finally presented itself?! LOL  I have been on the ranch now for about a week, and every day has brought me new lessons, skills, and a sense of accomplishment that I haven’t had in a long time.  This ranch was left to it’s own for about 50 years before my friend came here.  There are no animals yet, except for the cattle that someone pays to use our land to let them graze. There are very few fruit trees left.  My days so far have been spent doing everything from fixing barb wire fences, building foundations for structures, and learning construction and finishing techniques while helping to remodel the living room.  The old phrase, “You learn something new every day” really applies out here on the ranch.
     I don’t know what will become of my blog.  I haven’t had the inspiration to write lately, and when I try and force it, nothing comes of it.  I have a lot of work to do here, and while I have tons of time, I don’t usually feel like writing after 12 or 14 hours of work in a day.  I have awakened early this morning to write this quick piece and let you all know that I’m alive and well… and living the dream. 🙂
 
Image
The Lake on the Property

Image

 

Well, the last month has been hectic indeed.  My youngest son is now living in Georgia with his mother.  I do get to talk to him all the time though, and we text back and forth.  My uncle that I’ve helped take care of for the last few years has died, and my brother and sister have sold his house.  I have moved about 130 miles North near our state capitol.  This is the first morning I have awaken here.

I’m looking forward to a new start out here, where the only people I know are a few family friends, and my siblings.  There was nothing left in my area for me to stay for, so it made leaving a bit easier than I thought it would be.  Don’t get me wrong… that place had been home in some form or another for the last 20 years, and I’ll admit I cried a bit as we drove off.  But I am old enough to know exactly how correct the statement is, “Home is where the heart is.”  My home is no longer in the Silicon Valley. 

I’ll need to find a new job, but I’m covered until I can find one.  I have plans to keep up on my posts more often, as I now have internet so I can use my laptop and not just my phone.  I have a couple other things in the works, but I am keeping silent about them for the moment.  And I will be seeing my kids in May when my oldest graduates high school. (Holy crap I feel a bit old after that statement. LOL)

Anyway, enjoy the pic of the siblings and me.  I’ll post again soon. 🙂

image

Shackles of the world,
Hold you by the ankles.
You started so strong,
Until those skeletal fingers,
Wrapped themselves around you.
Tripped up,
Like laces tied.
You fall upon your face.
The claws of the creature start to attack.
Alone, broken, pain.
No one to help.
You decide to give up.
Look at you now,
Struggling, hurting,
in the hospital.
Can you see that you aren’t alone?
You never were.
Tried to be,
but some people won’t be pushed away.
You need change.
Need to fly right.
Get right with your God,
Because you might not make it out.
But until that happens,
I am here.

I wrote this on the morning of the fourth, as I sat next to the hospital bed of my father’s brother whom I’ve been taking care of for the last few years. He died shortly before 7 pm on January 4 2014.
I’ll spare you the details. We’ll just say that it was a rough death. I don’t have it in me to go over the whole story at the moment, (perhaps later) but I will say this; No other family was there. My ex wife came so I didn’t have to deal with this all alone. And I am very thankful for that.
He’s no longer in pain, and that’s good… but he’s left a hole in my life. Its never easy to lose someone, but we have to remember that life does go on… and time helps heal.
Have a good day everyone, and don’t forget to tell your loved ones how much you care… You might not get another chance.

image

In early morning hours

Covered in smoky mist
And small bits of frost
No one sees it lying alone
The cold hardens

But there is still hope
Reality is a different ballgame
Eastern breezes carry me away
Another day goes by
The sun sets again
Help me to live
Everything stays the same

Do you believe in the metaphysical properties of things like gemstones, wood, herbs, and stuff like that?  Personally I do.  My father taught me about these things from a very young age, and although some people find it silly… I’m a firm believer in them.
There is a great web store owned by a woman who creates beautiful jewelry and oils to help you in your day to day life.  Her name is Tiffany, and she runs a store on Etsy that she created when she decided that she loved helping people, and had the ability to do so.  So she got the needed supplies and started building a place where she could sell her crafts.  Things like rings imbued with spirits to help guide you along your journey through life, pendants to help protect you from bad energy, oils that do many different things.

image

image

image

I have known Tiffany for many years, and she is one of the most intelligent, kind, and caring individuals I have ever met.  She’s not selling these things just to make a buck.  She wants to help everyone she can.  I have a pendant that has helped me immensely, and I would recommend her shop to anyone that has a belief in these things.
Visit her shop, take a look, and if you see something you like… buy it.  You can also contact her and ask questions about the item you want to buy.  She is a walking encyclopedia about these things, and is always ready and willing to answer any questions you might have.  Here is the link to her site. 
http://www.etsy.com/people/alive4me0310
Take a look.  You never know… you might find something that you fancy. 🙂

   I heard this song and found that it describes depression better than anything I’ve heard.
    Here are the lyrics in case you can’t understand them. I just hope that maybe this song helps you understand a bit what it’s like… but even this can’t fully describe it.

“Migraine”

Am I the only one I know
Waging my wars behind my face and above my throat
Shadows will scream that I’m alone

I’ve got a migraine
and my pain will range from up down and sideways
thank God it’s Friday
cause Fridays will always be better than Sundays
cause Sundays are my suicide days
I don’t know why they always seem so dismal
Thunderstorms, clouds, snow, and a slight drizzle
Whether it’s the weather or the letters by my bed
sometimes death seems better than the migraine in my head

Let it be said what the headache represents
It’s me defending in suspense
It’s me suspended in a defenseless
test being tested by a ruthless examinant
that’s represented best by my depress…ing thoughts
I do not have writer’s block
my writer just hates the clock
it will not let me sleep, I’ll get some sleep when I’m dead
and sometimes death seems better than the migraine in my head

Am I the only one I know
Waging my wars behind my face and above my throat
Shadows will scream that I’m alone
But I know we’ve made it this far, kid
yeah, yeah, yeah

I am not as fine as I seem pardon
Me for yelling I’m telling you green gardens
are not what’s growing in my psyche
it’s a different me
a difficult to be, stop feasting lumber down trees
freeze frame
please let me paint a mental picture portrait
something you won’t forget, it’s all about my forehead
and now it is a door that holds back contents
that make Pandora’s box’s contents look non-violent

Behind my eyelids are islands of violence
my mind shipwrecked, this is the only land my mind could find
I did not know it was such a violent island
Full of tidal waves, suicidal crazed lions
They’re trying to eat me, blood running down their chin
and I know that I can fight or I can let the lion win
I begin to assemble what weapons I can find
Cause sometimes to stay alive you got to kill your mind

Am I the only one I know
Waging my wars behind my face and above my throat
Shadows will scream that I’m alone
But I know we’ve made it this far, kid
yeah, yeah, yeah

And I will say that we should take a day to break away
from all the pain our brain has made
the game is not played alone
And I will say that we should take a moment and hold it
and keep it frozen and know that life has a hopeful undertone
[Repeat]

Am I the only one I know
Waging my wars behind my face and above my throat
Shadows will scream that I’m alone
But I know we’ve made it this far, kid
We’ve made it this far, we’ve made it this far, kid
Yeah, yeah, yeah