Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A mountain cabin and hairy legged chickens

We've always been mavericks to some degree. If our kids ever told us they were about to do some of the things we did when we were their age, I'd be mortified! We took risks we weren't even smart enough to know were risks and just forged ahead. Whether elated with triumph or miserable in failure, we always felt alive and if we ever got in a rut, we just climbed out and took off.

We moved from state to state, experienced different cultures, met new people, bought, remodeled or restored some very interesting pieces of property. Some worked out great - others not so great. Either way, we moved on to the next dream.

One of my personal dreams was to move to a cabin in the mountains, raise hairy legged chickens (feather footed bantams), tend to a small garden and write whatever my heart told me to write. Mike would continue to do the artwork he's so genius at and life would be quiet and good.

Well, times have changed and our dreams have too. I've shoveled all the snow I care to in our thirty years together and having to drive more than 20 miles to get groceries or go to Wal*Mart is out of the question, especially with gas prices where they are. As long as someone is bringing organic veggies to the local farmer's market, neither of us feels compelled to bend over to weed a garden, fight the insects or run up our water bill.

I have the hairy legged chickens and love watching them take off in that hysterical chicken dance, legs splaying out from side to side as their fat little bodies run across the yard trying to catch a bug out of mid-air. And the grandkids love collecting the eggs, at least one of which always ends up on the driveway on its way to the fridge.

We're both dedicated and loyal to our artform because without it, we would shrivel, but we're finding there's so much more we want to do. Our new line of products, featuring the Y-ME Ranch Hands are being released this month and we have two small gift books and two calendars to finish in the next few months. All of which is very exciting - but we're ready to expand the dream.

So, we've been looking for just the right place to open a storefront - an actual physical Y-ME Ranch Company Store. The store would have all the Y-ME products along with some very cool western and cowboy decor PLUS a funky cowboy wine and gourmet coffee bar. It may take us a few months to find the right place and another month or so to get it ready - but that's okay - it will all come together.

Perhaps it's because we're both in our 50's and we want to make this second half of life full of everything meaningful. We're anxious to learn, eager to experiment and willing to listen. We're much more aware of what we love, what we loathe and what we can and can't live without. We ask more questions now, run the numbers and determine how it will impact our quality of life.

But when it comes right down to it, we still get a rush out of standing on the edge of a dream, holding hands and jumping in.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Everything's a buzzzzz....

Oh yeah, I was right about change being on the horizon. We're discussing a couple of different adventures - but we have to do our homework and decide which direction to go.

We've never been very good at just standin' still and even though we have lots of "stuff" going on, it just feels like we need more to keep our blood pumping.

We've got several little "field trips" planned over the next couple of weeks to do the necessary research and when we have a better idea about what this next adventure will be, I'll let you know.

The Cowboy Cartoonists are having a show and sale at Southwest Galleries in Dallas on September 27th through October 1st. The reception is the evening of the 27th and you're all invited. We'll be there as will our favorite funny man, Ted Foulkes (a.k.a. ToJo O'Malley) and friend, Madge Reid, Ace's widow from Kerrville. There will be lots of great art to see and from the sounds of it, some great entertainment so if you're in the area, do plan to come by!

Mike's sculpture for Pro-Logic is coming along nicely. I do believe it's one of the best pieces he's ever done. The detail is amazing! It's taking longer to complete than he expected but it's going to be well worth the wait. We'll leave the 28th of September headed to Pennsylvania to deliver it on October 2nd.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Could it be the rain?

It finally rained today! Okay, it was only for about 7 and 1/2 minutes but we'll take every ounce we can get! It smelled glorious and the coolness afterwards was delightful. We so need about a week's worth of good rain!

It feels very much like change around here - which is particularly wierd since we were going to move, then we decided to wait a while - so everything that was changing is slowly shifting back to normal again.

I can't exactly put my finger on it but something is in the air. . . something different.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Happy Birthday to ME!

Isn't it wierd how things work out? The couple who had the offer in on our house ran into a snag with their lender and couldn't get the necessary financing to go through with the purchase so (dangit!) they had to go with their second choice!

I can hardly stand the joy I feel in replacing the kitchen decor and putting my dining room back together. Even Mike is relieved at not having to tackle physically moving from this place. We had two back-up offers waiting but we decided against calling either potential buyer. It just feels like God isn't ready for us to move yet. And boy, am I glad. I got just as excited about "moving" back in today as I did when we first moved in almost three years ago. For now, at least, this is just home to me and I'm damn glad to be here.

Tomorrow, I turn 56. They say you're only as old as you feel and to be honest, I feel about 40. I've managed to take off about 11 lbs. through diligent dieting and exercise but will take a break tomorrow since my grandchildren will be here to help me celebrate another wonderful year of life. We just must have cake! And maybe chicken enchiladas and chips and salsa and maybe even a margarita. Yep, it's a day for celebrating!

I'm havin' a party and everyone is invited to my new old home!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

. . . and another chapter begins

Whew! I can finally say we've found a house and I'm genuinely excited about it. It's about 5 miles outside of Wimberley and sits on a little over 4 acres. The front yard is full of live oaks and the views from the long front porch are awesome! We have a lovely pasture that will make a great home to something - not sure yet what.

The house needs some work but that's what makes it so enticing. When we first started looking around, we hoped to find a place with a big open great room, a nice fireplace, good work space for both of us and of course, a nice porch. This place has all of that.

We've got all our painting, remodeling, kitchen/bath design books together and we're ready to get this place whipped into a showplace. There are some minor repairs that will need to be done immediately but after that, it's mostly all cosmetic and updating stuff. A new kitchen - new floors - removing a few walls and lots of painting. The bathrooms need updating and the big old porch will get a quick fix-up - all projects we just love to do.

So now, the serious packing has started. Mike will focus all his attention on finishing the sculpture for Pro-Logic while I pack our lives up around him. Everything goes into storage for a few weeks while we get the preliminary stuff done at the new place in early September with plans to move in around the second or third week.

Oddly, several family members are moving or thinking about moving. Daughter Staci and her family are moving to Fort Sumner, NM, from Gardner, KS - Christi and her partner, Tina, just moved into their new house a few weeks ago - daughter Hillary is preparing to move back to Northwest Arkansas from Missouri and both my sisters are contemplating a move as their husbands switch careers.

I'm glad these new beginnings are still fun and adventurous to me. It would be plain awful if it wasn't!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


The clock is really counting down now. Our closing on this house is set for August 30th and we still don't have a definite place to go. I'm sure we should be more concerned than we are but for some reason, I'm not, though Mike has his moments. . I just have a feeling the right deal is going to happen and everything will work out fine.

We made an offer on another Wimberley house - the one we both liked despite all the repairs it needs. The owner lives out of state and hasn't responded to our offer yet. Maybe tomorrow.

In the meantime, Mike is applying the clay to the sculpture for Pro-Logic and it's looking really good. I've got one client project to finish this week along with coordinating with licensors to get the t-shirt line going and two other product lines to complete.

Packing for the upcoming move is going painfully slow. It sure is tempting to sell the house with all the stuff in it. We've got some BIG stuff.

Funny thing - as much as we like this house and Wimberley and hope the deal works out, we still think about the Brownwood place and wonder if we made the right choice not to go ahead with it. hmmmmm.....