Rude behavior

“I hate rude behavior in a man. I won’t tolerate it.” Woodrow F. Call in Lonesome Dove

If you are a friend of mine on Facebook its likely you heard about my encounter of the rude kind yesterday at the grocery store. But if not, here’s a recap.

I was in a foul mood anyway but had managed to make it to the checkout line without any mishaps. Heck I even made an effort to smile at a few strangers that looked Shaun and I’s way. Also apologized for getting my cart in someone’s way. I was at the “speedy” checkout line gathering my checkbook and the coupons I had in my wallet when this blond chick proceeded to come around me and cut in front of me and Shaun in line. I looked at her and said, “I was here first.” Sure, my tone might have been a bit strong, but I was not in the mood for her self-righteous crap at that point in my day. She looked at me and said, “You don’t have to be rude.” I shot back, “I wasn’t being rude, I was here first.” Good thing she didn’t know what was scrolling through my mind or hear the profanity that I wanted to say. Sure wasn’t the PG version I tried to keep it on the outside! And then she had the nerve to say how cute Shaun was!

Shaun at the grocery store in November 2011.

I was raised to be respectable of people around you. Treat them the same way you would like to be treated. I have a feeling if you would have caught me a couple years ago, it may not have been a good outcome. Sure, I talk big and the thought of pulling her down to the ground by her nasty blond hair and stepping on her throat crossed my mind, but it wouldn’t have done me any good – well except made me feel better at the moment.

You can bet your sweet cookies my kid will be taught respect. There’s plenty of rude people in this world and I refuse to have one of them.


This week

I’m usually not a crier, a hugger or a sayer of “I Love You,” but this week I have been. I try my darndest to hold my emotions in and put up a tough front. But this week I am weak and my heart hurts.

There are times I really don’t care to be around other people, but this week I need the support of family and friends. No matter how uncomfortable I was, there was hugging, crying and telling others my real feelings, and I survived.

This week I lost an important person in my life, my father-in-law Steve Scott. When I heard Saturday night that he was no where to be found, my heart sank. I hoped and prayed for the best. My husband was fixing to head south to help look when he called the neighbor and got the terrible news that his dad was gone. I about threw up. Then he had to call his mom. Little sleep was had Saturday night.

Sunday we were with family, and it was amazing to see how many people streamed through the house. The parade of hung heads, full hands and not so dry eyes opened mine to how many lives had been touched by one man and one family.

People ask how we are doing – best as we can be in this situation. Life as we know it will never be the same. I will continue to look for him to come through the door whenever we gather at their house or the farm. I will listen for his diesel pickup to pull in the yard or wait for that call where I hear “hey there!” or “What’s up?” And his laugh and the hug I always got when we met or were fixing to leave.

The thing that bothered me the most this week was realizing Shaun won’t get to grow up with his Grandpa Scott. I lost my Grandpa Roy and Grandmother Orebaugh to a car accident when I was 10, so I know a kid can survive without grandparents, but I think they missed out on so much and so did I. Hopefully his aunts, uncles, cousins, great grandma and grandma can remind him how important his Grandpa Scott was. I’m pretty certain his dad will teach him all the things his dad taught him.

I kick myself for not getting more photos of Shaun with Steve (I have two) and for not insisting on them spending more time together, but at least they did get acquainted with one another.

I don’t have any idea how to end this post, as I could go on and on, but I will spare you with my rambling thoughts and leave you with a photo from August when Steve did stop by the house and feed Shaun.

Grandpa Steve Scott feeding Shaun, Aug. 6, 2011.

Not that kind of girl

For entertainment or a break in the work day I either read a couple of blogs I have discovered through Twitter or a barrel racing forum. Last week on the forum there was a post from a gal that was living in Canada. The temperature where she lived was well below zero and she was having to take care of cattle on their ranch while her husband was on a hunting trip. Reading her posts about frozen tanks, frozen vehicles and numerous other escapades involving electricity, snow, livestock and frozen water I laughed and laughed. I would guess that’s her way of venting and handling the situation the best way she could without losing her sanity in the process (or killing her husband when he returns home).

After only having to care for one horse for the majority of the last 14 years, it’s hard for me to fathom caring for a couple hundred cattle or a dozen horses when the weather is bad. As I sit at my desk reading, I think, “there would be no way I could handle taking care of the things by myself.” Sure, I can handle three horses in the frozen tundra of western Kansas when it happens, but there’s no way I could take doing their work day after day. Heck my sister takes care of their cattle – moving bales, feeding and even gathering a sick one or loose one into the pens every day. I have it easy, and honestly, I like it that way. If she can do it, so can I. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

However, if my husband decides to leave me home to care for horses and cattle on my own some day (while he’s off doing something fun), I would like to think he has the confidence in me to not return home to dead or sick livestock.

Eight things

In the eight months that I have been a mother I have learned eight things. Well, maybe more, but the eight for eight things seemed kind of creative. Anyway, here’s what I have learned thus far.

1. Changing diapers is not that big of a deal. I still don’t know why my mother insisted that I practice before Shaun arrived. (I never did. Spence changed all the diapers until we made it home from the hospital). Up until he was born I hadn’t changed a single real diaper in my entire life. Sure I had changed Cabbage Patch doll diapers, but they were always dry, never stunk and were washable.

2. Puke, spitup and burps all stink. Least Shaun’s do. They reek of formula. I don’t know what’s in that (expensive) tub of Similac, but it sure doesn’t smell very appetizing to me. I can handle poop, but puke makes me want to puke myself.

3. Who ever sizes kids clothes doesn’t have any kids. When Shaun was three months old he had clothes that ranged from 0-3 months size to 6 or 9 months. Now at 8 months old he’s still wearing some 9 monthers and mostly 12 months. My sister says don’t go by the size on the tag, but how the clothes fit the kid. She’s right, but you would think manufacturers would be consistent in their madness.

4. Know-it-alls. They are everywhere. And just because you had a kid 5, 10 or 30 years ago, doesn’t make you an expert with MY kid. I know him better than anybody. Sure I will take your advice when offered and think it over, but if it doesn’t make any sense to me or couldn’t be found via google, it’s likely to go in one ear and out the other. I don’t want to sound like a know-it-all myself, but I have figured out some things along this journey so far.

5. Kids are humbling. Especially when they are sick. I’m college educated, but that doesn’t come in very handy when you are trying to figure out why your child is screaming at 2 in the morning. (FYI, has it been fed? Is its butt wet?)

6. Fun. I never thought in a million years, that I could sit with an 8 month old for hours on end watching him play or getting him to play with me. Nor did I think sitting home on a Friday night being entertained by said 8 month old either would be much fun. However, a night out once and a while is entertaining too.

7. Change. Kids change your life. Period. End of story. Never again can you make a quick trip to town or go for a quick ride on your horse. However, you can do those things and much more with a little advanced planning.

8. Cleaning house with kids around is like shoveling snow while it’s still snowing. I ran across this quote a while back, and laughed then, but it is SO true now. Granted Spence can still make a mess in record time, Shaun is not far behind.  He must have a good teacher..

Shaun “organizing” his books for mom.

On the go

We are headed to Nashville in a couple of weeks for work and one of my duties is to work on our blog covering the convention. Found the wordpress app on my BlackBerry and wanted to test its capabilities out.

Looks as though it works. Be watching for fun pics from Nashville Feb. 1 to 4.

Impending doom

In one month my mare will reach her 20th birthday. It’s hard for me to believe that she’s that old. She was 6 when I bought her on April Fool’s day in 1998 while I was going to school at Hutchinson Community College. The purchase may have never happened if it wasn’t for my mom and sister.

My mare, Sweet Heart Slew

I had the cash left over from a sale of another horse and it was burning a hole in my pocket. My sister and I heard of the consignment sale at the sale barn in South Hutchinson, organized by a local rodeo company. The sale was about over when the “granddaughter of Seattle Slew” came through the ring. We looked at each other and said, lets go for it. She did the bidding and we ended up with the brown mare, however I had to borrow $250 more than I had from my sister and my mother. My mom still claims she owns the tail..

The first week I worked with my new mare was eye opening. After one afternoon ride, she had made me so mad that when I got back to the barn with her I handed my sister the reins and said, “here, take her. I don’t want her. She’s nuts!” However, through a little more digging we found she was passed through several sales after running on the track and was just not broke. But I didn’t give up.

We won our first award in 1999 in the Southwest Barrel Racing Association. I believe it was in the rookie class or another class since they weren’t 4D races yet. We later went to win our first jackpot, another SBRA race in Holly, Colo., that next year. That was a great feeling, one I will never forget. Then came college rodeos, and although we never made a short go at one, I believe she became the horse she is because of some of the experiences we had at those college rodeos. More jackpots, and bigger 4D barrel races and eventually Kansas Professional Rodeo Association rodeos. We made the KPRA Finals in 2004 and 2005. She had colic surgery in 2006 and was out for 8 months. We qualified (by default) for the 2008 KPRA finals and ended up 3rd in the average.

Through the years the brown mare and I have traveled to many barrel races and rodeos and accomplished numerous goals. There’s been times when she was hurt and it felt like the end of the world when I had to sit at home, but I still had her. She’s got a lot of heart and is one heck of a mare. I keep saying one more year and I will retire her.

Well, I believe that this year, 2012, should be her year to retire. After having my son in May 2011 I worked at getting her back into shape, and me back to where I wouldn’t disgrace her by flopping all over her back. My goal for 2011 was to get her qualified for the BBR World Finals in Oklahoma City. That we did. I got my last race to qualify at the Christmas Cash race in Amarillo, Texas during early December. Heck, I even crawled on my sisters gray horse Okie to make sure I had another race I needed the Wednesday before we went to Amarillo. Hopefully we get to go to Oklahoma City in April.

BBR World Finals 2009. Made the short go this year.

Running at the Syracuse, Kan., KPRA rodeo in 2009.

Running at the 2010 Sunflower open race at Scott City, Kan.

Running at the 2009 Peg Birney and Jennifer McDonald Memorial Race, Meade, Kan.

2011 Christmas Cash race, Amarillo, Texas


I am not perfect, but I try to be in my writing.

When I was attending Kansas State, I had a professor for my editing and design class that pounded into our heads appropriate grammar and usage. On one of the first days of the class we took a quiz to see how much we knew (or in my case) didn’t know. I was horrified to only have gotten a few correct on the quiz. Thanks Dodge City Public Schools. I think I learned more in that editing and design class than I had learned in all of my elementary, middle and high school English classes.

From then on, I was completely corrupted. I can’t read a magazine without copy editing it or looking for a mistake. Even now, 12 years since that class, I have a hard time getting through an email from someone who has poor grammar or even a text message. Yes, I’m one of those people who spells out words in texts. I have a hard time not doing it and succumbing to the abbreviations of texting.

My first real job out of college was at a daily newspaper in Northwest Oklahoma, and there I again was shown what I didn’t know. My editor harped on “over and under/more than and less than” and one of my least favorite terms, first annual. I despise that term. There’s no such thing as first annual! You have to have an event more than once for it to be an annual event. My husband rolls his eyes every time I rant and rave about that term. I even drug out my old AP stylebook to prove to him that I was right one day last year.

Grammar is often humbling. I can get a kick out of someone’s lack of proper grammar, and eventually I will make a mistake and use incorrect grammar. So watch out! I’m on to you..

Annual event entry.

My AP stylebook from college.

Howling wind

Yesterday I worked at home and by mid morning the tin flapping on the shed outside the back door was about to drive me nuts. Thankfully, the volume on the TV and my little boy’s babbling partially drown out the sound. Remind me to help my husband when he’s tacking the tin back on the half-falling down shed..The old shed

The old shed

The bad side of the shed. Taken before the house was built.

Wind is nothing new where I live. Most of Western Kansas was under a wind advisory yesterday and it was extended to today. I despise listening to the wind blow outside our house and as I tried to open the back door to go feed the horses it only solidified that hate. And I don’t hate very many things.

I worry about the wind even more since my husband started trucking two years ago. When he was hauling grain, it wasn’t as worrisome, but now that he’s hauling hay – large oversize loads that are much taller than the grain buggy – I picture the truck getting pushed by the 40 to 50 mph gusts. Today, he was smart and opted to stay home. But some days he has to push through, literally.

But there’s got to be something good from having the wind blow occasionally, right? Surely there is. When I find it I will let you know.

Bear with me

As the first post in a new blog I thought long and hard about what to write about, but then I gave up because nothing was perfect.

I chose the name, An Eye on the Western Sky as the name of my blog because I love watching the skies. From storms developing to clouds passing by, my eyes are always peeled above me. It doesn’t hurt that my husband and I live in a spot where we have a 360 degree view of the skies basically unobstructed.

Our humble little home’s front door also watches the western sky. In the summer you can see storms build up and go by. Some times they dump a little moisture and other times it just makes for good watching.

I hope you enjoy my posts, contact me any time at