Red Egg Jewelry

Red Egg prayer beads and jewelry

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The Wild West - part 2

As you may remember, we left off after a full day of mud and broncs at the Bucking Horse Sale. The next morning we joined the locals for a pancake breakfast at the Memorial Hall of the Range Riders Museum. 

And yes, we had pancakes.

Biscuits and gravy. 

And of course, Tang. I’m moving to Miles City to relive my childhood.

This napkin is loaded with local brands. SuzAnne and the Longs added their brands. East meets West.

We heard a little local history. 800 pioneer plaques and biographies are displayed on these walls. About 788 of those plaques are men—sheriffs, wranglers, ranch hands, homesteaders. 

For example here's a close up of Louie Pelissier, Cowboy-Rancher. If you ever find yourself at the museum, you can open any of the black tubes below the plaque and read about a particular life in the scroll inside. 

Off to the parade. It rained on the Miles City’s parade. 

One truck,  

two truck, 

red truck, 

blue truck.  

Old truck, 

new truck.

Shower caps for your cowboy hats is a great idea for the rain.

It hadn't rained at the Bucking Horse Sale since 1977.

But everyone came prepared.


We dropped into a coffee house and had a brief respite from the storm.

Coffee, like beer, bridges all cultural divides.

We dropped in Murdoch's Ranch & Home Supply...

thinking they would likely have muck boots. 

Juliette got new muck boots and cut the label off with her new buck knife. 

Time for a little lunch at the Hole in the Wall Cafe.

In Miles City you don’t need a cast or a jr. high graduation to get people to write on your body.

The 7th Calgary Drum & Bugle Corps from Sheridan, Wyoming, went from bar to bar... 

and played for their Bud. 

In Miles City Budweiser is considered the finest brewery in America. "For all you do, this Bud's for you." This would not be a suitable place for my designer beer husband.

Back to the fairgrounds for more mud and broncs.

The rain and mud didn’t make it easy on the horses...


or the riders. 

A few managed to stay on for the 8 seconds.

Amazing as that was at times. 

Here are a few rides that were photo worthy.


It was hard watching the horses snort mud like this.

But this rider still scored big points for... 

keeping his toes pointed out and...

for his smooth...

and controlled ride.

And there were some equally impressive falls.

The horses weren't the only ones eating mud.

Belly flop!!

Even she is probably wondering why anyone would want to do this.

For the few riders that managed to stay on, the pickup riders...

 pulled up and gave them a hand.

We thought that the pickup riders were the most impressive of all!

Check out the boot in the stirrup.

This rider didn’t fare so well. This is the real “true grit”!

I'd hate to have his chiropractic bills. 

 Chris DeLoux can tell you why the The Cowboy's Hat is important.

The cowboy's hat won't stay on the ground for long.

Everything is OK in the world if a rider walks off with his hat on.

In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss, "From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere."


The Wild West—part 1

My friend SuzAnne invited me to photograph a horseback trip in eastern Montana, complete with a cattle herding clinic and a side trip to the world famous Bucking Horse Sale in Miles City. How could I resist? Here was my chance to redeem myself after falling off my horse twice the last trip I photographed for her. Time to get back in the saddle. I dusted off my boots and got my camera holster ready.

 When I arrived at Dunrovin Ranch in Lolo, Montana, the weather was ideal. A few puffy white clouds in the big sapphire blue sky.

 Despite skies like these, weather forecasts were predicting nearly a 100% likelihood of heavy rains in coming days.

Adjacent to the ranch the riparian corridor of the Bitterroot River looked like the Louisiana Bayou.

The day after I arrived, SuzAnne took me on a beautiful trail ride. Of course, I thought the weather gods were on our side. Looking at a sky like this who could imagine what was ahead of us?

Later that afternoon kids had come for the Pony Club. The three year olds in the club have much better balance on their horses than I do.

And much cooler boots.

Early the next morning I met the women going on the trip, and we loaded the horses and gear in the trailer. SuzAnne revved up Ms. Dixie and turned her wheels east.

 With a six foot horse trailer in tow you hang with the big boys at the truck stops. But that doesn't mean you have to eat there. I'm sure this glove would have some great big rig stories to tell if it could.

Our first “rest” stop was a walk at Arrow Stone Park,

adjacent to one of the five largest Montana timber mills still in operation.

That evening we stopped  in Roundup and took our first ride. Annette rode side saddle.


I didn't even fall off of this horse.

SuzAnne just couldn't wait to get her pony going.

The horses were fed...

and the humans. Nice homemade pies at the Busy Bee Cafe.

Just to give you a peek at what’s to come, here’s the Busy Bee Cafe five days later.

It was about 8pm that evening when we arrived at our final destination that day, Runamuk Ranch. 

By now the rain had arrived and mucky it was.

We were scheduled to ride the next morning, but by then it was a downpour and we decided not to take the horses on a slip and slide. So instead we headed out early for the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale.

And when we arrived it was WET.

And just a little WILD.

Even the young mutton busters riding the sheep

came face to face with the mud.

Some of the viewers grabbed front row seats.

And if you're a boy, six years old, and live in Miles City, you better wear a cowboy hat.

Ditto, if you're a girl!!

Some were clownin' around—but all the mud was no joke.

And some are seriously cool—mud and all.

 The last event of the evening was the wild horse race where teams of three have to capture... 

and saddle their designated horse...


and then attempt to ride it around the track once.


Miles City nearly doubles its population the weekend of the Bucking Horse Sale. This year, due to the rain, there were only a few dancing in the street at this typically packed event. After a very wet day we hung our dusters up to dry and hit the hay. I'll meet you in the mornin' at the Range Rider’s Museum for a pancake breakfast!



Debi's Birthday Wish

My birthday is today, March 26, and I have a birthday wish. I am asking all of my friends to donate $10 to
 Architecture for Humanity to support reconstruction efforts in Japan. Once communities move beyond crisis mode,
 Architecture for Humanity will bring their professional services to ravaged areas by:

• Supporting local professionals to perform damage assessments and provide technical expertise on the ground to
 local agencies to expedite the reconstruction of safe, sustainable housing.

• Providing financial assistance for community groups to engage local professionals in rebuilding the cultural
 and historic fabric of their communities.

• Supporting community groups and local professionals in planning and rebuilding civic infrastructure for those that
 could not otherwise afford services such as healthcare centers, daycare facilities, senior centers, art centers, etc.

With heartfelt thanks!



"Of Gods and Men"

Of Gods and Men is based on the true story of the kidnapping and killing of seven French Trappist monks in 1991 in Algeria "during a gruesome, protracted civil war between the government — which declared martial law after annulling elections it appeared to have lost — and a ruthless Islamist insurgency." (New York Times)

According to John Kiser's The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love and Terror,

"The monks eventually became victims in a struggle among Muslims for a more just society, a struggle that had gone horribly wrong and had cost between 60,000 and 100,000 lives by 1996. Yet the monks were not martyrs to their faith. They did not die because they were Christians. They died because they wouldn't leave their Muslim friends, who depended on them and lived in equal danger."

A.O. Scott of the New York Times writes:

"Though it takes place in the recent past, Of Gods and Men has an unmistakably timely resonance, evoking as it does both the messy wars on terror and the rebellions currently convulsing North Africa and the Middle East. And yet while it takes pains to be historically authentic, the film, closely based on the true story of a group of French Cistercian Trappist monks caught up (and ultimately killed) in the violence, also keeps an eye on less worldly, temporal concerns."

For all its beauty, it is not an easy film to see. Gregorian chant and the monks' work with Muslim friends in their village steadies their lives — but at any moment that rhythm can be broken into by the violence outside.

The film becomes a meditation upon the approach to death. We follow journies that remain both individual and in another sense become one journey. And as we gaze for so long into each monk's face, amid the fear and turmoil, we also come upon moments of grace. But the resolution is never absolute. Nor do we imagine it could ever be in the face of a brutal death.

But what makes the film sometimes not-easy is also what makes it so beautiful and important to see.

Currently, Of Gods and Men is playing at a number of Bay Area and other locations.


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