Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cowboys + Horses + Montana + Small Town = Horse Drive

Last year around this time I wrote about the annual Horse Roundup and Horse Drive that can only be experienced in small town Montana.  You can read my post here.   Last weekend it was that time again and I was bound and determined not to miss it this year.  So we arrived way early and enjoyed the day basking in the sun and warm temps (the first nice temps of the year so far).

This roundup and drive attracts cowboys from all over the world who participate in this 4-day event where they roundup the horses from their wintering pasture and drive them back to the Mantle Ranch where they will be sent out to other areas around Montana where they are used for horseback trail rides.

While waiting for the horses to arrive we walked around town and visited the many vendors.  We enjoyed listening to the live band, eating good food and people watched (my favorite past-time).  I took many photos which pretty much speak for themselves.

We are hanging out in front of the historical Sacajawea Hotel

This looks like fun!

Dear Hubby 

The horses finally arrive being led by these cowboys

There were about 300 horses that are being driven through town.  

These horses are beautiful!

They were taken to a pasture on the other side of town where they would be staying the night before moving on the next day

I just LOVE Horses!

And here we are together


After the horse drive we went on a short drive to a nearby river area.  It really was a gorgeous day.  

I loved this bridge

Lots of Bees and this Pheasant

Some people might think gophers are a pest but I think they are cute!
This little guy was posing for me

And then we stopped by the Three Forks ponds and got to see these Pelicans
I have never seen pelicans in real life before
So Awesome!

Last weekend was the perfect weekend.  Not only was the weather perfect, but it was Easter, and it was so very nice to get out and enjoy the outdoors!  My next post will cover what we did on Easter Sunday, so look for that coming up soon.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My trip to Utah

A few weeks ago I drove to Utah to spend a couple days with my kids.  They both have birthdays in April and it was a good time to get away and spend some much needed time with them.  We had some good times and I brought back many wonderful memories.  I took many pictures and put together this slide show.

It is an 11 to 12 hour drive from my home in Montana to Cedar City, Utah.  I did stop briefly in Salt Lake to see my parents and take a little break before continuing on.  The weather was fantastic! I left Montana in 40 degree weather and wearing long sleeves and a jacket. By the time I reached Salt Lake it was a HOT 70 degrees and I was dying in the long sleeved shirt.

I had reserved a hotel in Cedar for me and for the kids to hang out there with me too.  Shellise had a last minute out of town water polo tournament on Saturday, so while she was away I got to have one on one time with Jessie.  We had so much fun!  He let me talk him into getting his hair cut trimmed a little and then he took me to a few of his favorite stores in town, where he wanted to spend his birthday money.  Eventually we drove to St. George  and enjoyed 85 to 90 degree temperatures and where I was basking in and soaking up all the sun I could get. I had to buy me some sandals to wear because regular shoes were so uncomfortably hot.

St. George was so beautiful and green with flowers in full bloom everywhere (you will notice in some of the pictures).  It was like entering a different world.  Where I live, even now, we still have snow and there are no leaves on the trees and no flowers in bloom.  So this was quit the treat for me even if it was short lived, I still LOVED it!

When Shellise returned we went to dinner and to a movie and then went back to the hotel.  Shellise was way exhausted after having to be up at 3 a.m. to go to the out of town tournament.  So we all fell into bed around 12:30.  

This is where things got really interesting....

At about 1:30 in the morning we were woken by several people outside our hotel door screaming, laughing, talking LOUDLY and carrying on throwing beer bottles etc.... They were so LOUD!  After some time a LONG TIME I finally called the front desk to complain.  He came over and I could hear him try to get these obviously over intoxicated people into their rooms and quieted down.  After he left it started back up.  Some of these people were in the room to the left of us and some were in the room to the right (WE WERE IN THE MIDDLE) and they were still just as loud... only now they were throwing things against the walls and still outside carrying on outside my door.  So I called the front desk again and told him that if he doesn't get it taken care of I would be calling the police.  He came back over a second time and tried to get these folks to calm down. But at this point I think it was pointless.  I called the Police and I think the front desk clerk did too.

By this time it was 2:30 or so in the morning.  Shellise and I are peaking out of our window watching what was going on when the Police and Sheriff's Dept. arrived.  To make a long story short, the people in the room to the right of us must have been smoking pot or something when the police came because they were all put in handcuffs, several women and men, and they were searched finding marijuana in the pockets of a couple of the guys.  Then I guess the police got a search warrant and brought a police dog in to search for drugs, which they eventually found but not before one of the woman went ballistic and freaked out on the cops for searching her purse.

This whole thing was taking place right outside my door.  They were VERY LOUD, the language was very FOUL, there were 10 or more police and Sheriff deputies there dealing with this.  We could hear EVERYTHING so there was no sleeping for us... except Jessie.  He didn't hear a thing!  He had been sick and had taken NyQuil which knocked him out.

Finally, they began hauling people away and it finally got quiet at around 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning.  I was so beyond tired at this point.   We slept for a couple hours and then got up to start our day.  We checked the Iron County bookings for the night and saw that every person that we had seen during the night outside our window had been arrested for things like disorderly conduct, drug possession, resisting arrest, assault on police officer, public intoxication etc.  

This is Cedar City, Utah.  Small town Cedar City where it us usually very quiet especially at night.  I couldn't believe it!  It was an eventful and memorable night for me and Shellise anyway.  Shellise kind of got a kick out of it because she had just been through the Jr. Police Academy last summer and she knew most of the arresting officers that were there.   And she got to witness (even if it was sneakily peaking out the window) these people being arrested.

After check out we went to breakfast and just enjoyed being together and talking.  We went to the park and took pictures.  Oh... and I almost forgot to tell you... we woke up to about 3 inches of snow.  So it went from 70 + degrees the day before to snow over night.  Crazy weather!  The snow did melt pretty fast though once the sun came out.

I wish I had more time to spend and I wish there were more things to do in Cedar City, but I had to get heading back home.  I dropped the kids off at their home and left with a heavy feeling on my heart and exhausted from a night of no sleep.  I drove to Salt Lake where I spent the night in my parents home and then left early the next day to return home.  It was a really quick trip, but a much needed one, and I loved every single moment!  Wonderful memories were made that will carry me through until I get to see them again... hopefully very soon!  

I mentioned birthdays..... my baby girl turned 17 yrs old this month... so hard to believe my little girl is not a little girl anymore.

And my sweet little boy turned 15 years old this month...... I wish they would stop growing!

Happy Birthday to my cute kiddos
I Love You!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Goliath is back

A little over a year ago I wrote about my personal Goliath. You can read it HERE.  Well it seems to be haunting me again.  Or maybe it is more like I am allowing it to haunt me again just because someone chose to be cruel to me in such a way that is devastating to my already vulnerable psyche.  I don't know how much I should share about this situation because it has to do with my children.  Many of you already know the real truth and why things are the way they are with my children.  Others who don't know all the details tend to be very judgmental and cruel and place blame where there should be none.  

Yes, my teenage children live with their dad in Utah.  They chose to live with him after our divorce against my wishes and with my belief that it was not in their best interest to do so.  The law says they are old enough to make those choices, and they did.  Yes, I did move away from Utah with my husband's job.  Am I happy about being so far away from my kids?  No!  My heart aches for them every single day!  But there is not one single thing I can do about it.

If you read my previous post, you know why I divorced my ex-husband.  I got out of a bad situation, after 22 years, to save myself, and yet I have been punished and persecuted over and over for making that choice, by my kids and many others around me.  Yes, divorce is very hard on kids. It.Is.Terrible! I hate what it has done to my children and how it has changed our relationship with each other.  I was not the adulterer in my marriage or the one who chose a different path to walk down than the one we vowed to each other, but yet I am the bad guy, the one to blame for everything, simply because I stopped the abuse by getting out.   I have had to let a lot of things that I cannot control go or drive myself crazy (which I did for a long while).

My living where I do does not mean that I stopped being their mother and that I do not have any rights to see them regularly.  I am indeed their mother and I do have the same legal rights their father has.  Some people around me have made me feel that because I live so far away, that I don't have a say in what my children do or not do.  My 15 year old son has gotten himself into some serious trouble recently and I am very worried.  I am doing whatever I can to get him the help I need.  I have a pretty good idea what that help needs to be and I am trying really hard to work together with my ex-husband to make these decisions, although we don't always see eye to eye.  However, there are some people close to the situation that feel I don't really have a say in what happens because (as they say) I chose to abandon my children and move to another state.   These words are much more milder than what was actually said, but the meaning is still kind of the same.

So ya, I pretty much feel like a complete failure.  I am trying really hard to not let this bother me so much.  But it does.  It just brings back all the inadequacies and low self esteem issues I have been working on overcoming all my life, not to mention the guilt I feel.

To those that want to persecute me for what you believe to be the truth - "until you walk a thousand miles in my shoes, you have no right to judge me".  

For now, all I am wanting to focus on is getting the right help for my son.  I am worried sick about him.  He is such a great kid who is making some really bad choices right now.  I love him unconditionally, forever, for always and no matter what and will do whatever it takes to get him back on the right path.

So if you are one of those that are going to block that path by your negative thoughts, actions and deeds...... look out!  And if you feel the need to leave a negative comment on this blog, DON'T!  This is MY BLOG and I can write what I want, even if you don't like it!

To everyone else... I promise I am okay.... frustrated, angry, worried, heart sick.... but okay.  Thanks for all your love and support and for all your kind and loving comments.  You, my friends, are what gets me through the tough times.