Why Nate and I need Clydesdales

This post could also be titled ‘Why I No Longer Run’ and it would work just the same.

There is so much talk about the Budweiser Super Bowl Commercial that I’m sure you’ve seen it, but if not, watch it now.  Watch it before you read any further.

Now, I’ve talked about my workouts already and in that post I mentioned that I now carry a side arm during my workout.  I didn’t explain the story.

One of my favorite places to walk is up the old ski area close to our house.  Nate and my brother both used to live up there so I had been even before I moved here but I hadn’t done much exploring.

One of the views from the ski area.

One of the views from the ski area.

Nate will shoe horses up there from time to time and if I’m free I always go with him.  While he is shoeing, Yancy and I will walk, it’s very mountainous and its so quiet.   One of the first walks I went on up there, I forgot my gun.  No big deal, I thought, what is the likelihood I’ll need it.

I’ll never make that mistake again.

Yancy and I wandered all over the mountain.  We walked past the old warming hut [where both guys had lived before], I found a cute little stream and a walking path but soon went back to the main road.  We were walking straight up the mountain on the road when we heard a bark.  I thought nothing of it for a second.  Yancy got so excited he wanted to check it out.

Then it dawned on me, it has to be a coyote.

I started screaming at Yancy, who was almost half way between the coyote and myself.  Luckily, Yancy listened to me [even though he thought the idea thru in his head first] and came back to my side.

I started cursing my thoughts and wished I had went back to the car to get the gun because now the coyote was heading towards us.   I didn’t know what to do so I started screaming, as loud as I could, for Nate.  I knew better than to run so I started walking down the mountain.  It was so steep that it was hard to walk backwards, but I wanted to walk backwards so I could keep an eye on the coyote.

As we walked, the coyote followed us.  When I would scream, the coyote would stop, so I screamed a lot.  I had nothing in my hands to throw at him if he got to close and if he decided to charge us I had nothing to defend us with.  So, I reached down and grabbed a rock.  And then I prayed that if I had to use it I would be like David.

We continued to walk down the mountain, on the road, and the coyote continue to follow us.  I continued screaming until we got to the warming hut.

I didn’t really know what to do.  The coyote was about 20 yards from us and we were in the open.  He was looking at us, we were looking at him, but I had a decision to make.  Do we go into the warming hut or do we take the turn in the road and go into the wooded area of the walk.  Up until now we were in a huge opening.  I was nervous that the coyote would want to make his attack under the cover of the trees.   But, even though I knew the warming hut was open but I didn’t think it was a good idea to go in there.  At least, that is what I thought at the time.  Now I wonder why I thought that, but hindsight is 20/20, right?

Then he did the coyote howl.  Which made the hair on the back of my head stand up. Then I heard the sound of coyotes in the background howl.  Which made my heart drop.

But, next the coyote turned 90 degrees and started walking away from us.  I continued screaming and decided to take the road.  I wanted to get back to Nate. As soon as we got into the bend with the trees I started running and didn’t quit until we were out of the trees and back into an opening.

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Walking down the road.

 

Now I could see the barn.  I knew we were close to safety but I was certain that the coyote was still on our trail.  As I continued screaming and walking towards the barn, Nate finally heard me [when he is shoeing he has music playing and a forge going… its hard to hear almost anything] but instead of thinking it was me he thought it was a goat in the distance.  So, he had just come out to see if he could find the goat on one of the rock cliffs.

As soon as I got close to Nate, I broke down and fell into him.  Nate was thinking I saw a bear.   The only thing I could say was coyote thru my hysterical crying and when Nate looked up he saw the coyote.  Less than 20 yards away.

He yelled at Yancy to get into the truck and yelled at the other guy who was there [the guy who’s horses Nate was shoeing] to get the gun from the truck and go after the coyote.  Nate would have done so but I wouldn’t let go of him.

Up here you better be carrying.

Up here you better be carrying.

We never did get that coyote but I did learn a valuable lesson that day, always carry my gun.  After the commercial, I know Nate and I need some Clydesdales.

Cowboy Poetry Gathering Recap

I mentioned in the Come Ride With Me post about going to the Cowboy Poetry Gathering.  But, up until now I haven’t told you anything else.  Until now.

One thing I failed to mention was that it was my first year attending.  Last year was technically my first year living at 8,000 feet however last January Nate and I went to Cambodia so we missed out on the event.  I’m very glad that we were able to go this year!  I have heard nothing but amazing things regarding this event and it did not disappoint.

What happens when you get a bunch of cowboys together!

What happens when you get a bunch of cowboys together?  A lot of leather, guns and whisky!!

So, leading up to the weekend we had our schedule all planned out, my clothes all laid out, and a car full of gas.  One thing I know is that when you have eight people evolved with a plan, everything is subject to change.  Schedule, out the window.  Clothes that were packed were pushed aside for brand new clothes [oh how I miss living next to a mall].  But luckily, the car worked beautifully.

First change of plans… I was planning to take Monday off and leave on Friday.  Instead, I took Friday off so Nate and I could leave on Thursday. Second change of plans, Nate and I figured we would relax Thursday night to prep for the weekend.

Yancy, apparently, is not a big fan of changed plans...

Yancy, apparently, is not a big fan of changed plans…

On the drive over to Denver, our friend [nicknamed] Gassy gave us a call to let us know he got us entrance to a VIP event.  So, instead of resting up for the weekend, Nate and I found ourselves at an extra concert.  I’m so glad we were able to go too… all the artists performing that weekend were there and each either did two songs or two poems!  There were a lot of artists so it was a long concert but it was wonderful.  And, when the artists were not performing they were mingling in the lobby so I got to meet a few of them.  Two artist I got introduced to on Thursday night were Mikki Daniels and Eli Barsi.  Both are wonderful artists and I was completely amazed at how friendly they were.  And, I’m glad we were introduced to Mikki since that was the ONLY time we actually got to hear her sing on stage.  We somehow missed out on her other concerts.

Quick side note:  I am very amazed at the artist over the weekend.  Every one of them were so inclusive to our group and genuinely as thankful that were were there as we were that they were.  I guess I’m just so used to other music genres giving music artists a bad name.  Most of the artist at this event are winners of the western music’s and poetry’s version of the grammys.

Dave Stamey singing on Thursday Night

Dave Stamey singing on Thursday Night

During intermission, Gassy was cleaver enough to get an opportunity to say hi to Dave Stamey and we were all lucky enough to find out that he didn’t have dinner plans on Saturday.  So, we got to have another change of plans.

After a late night on Thursday, I got up early Friday to do some shopping [I am a city girl at heart, after all].  Dan and Alyse came over to join us on Friday so Alyse got to get some big city shopping in too!  It was great to have everyone all together.

Jam Session

Jam Session

Friday night was food, friends, and concerts.  We went to one amazing concert followed by an equally amazing jam session.

If your like me before this weekend, you don’t know that jam session means that the artists get together after the concert.  They sing, say poetry, and have a very good time.

Generally the jam session is only for the artists.  But, somehow, our group was invited!!!  Even though I had nothing to contribute, I was so happy to be a part of it.  And it was fun watching everyone else participate!

There were a few from our group who did participate in the jam sessions.  Gassy’s daughter can play the violin so she got in the mix [she’s got her back to the picture in the Jam Session photo].  Randy also did two of his poems.  His Buckaroo in Baghdad poem is published here.  Even though I’ve read the published version it was brought to a different level when hearing it read.

A little 'Gassy' in the backseat on the way to the rodeo.

A little ‘Gassy’ in the backseat on the way to the rodeo.

Saturday I got to have another first.  I went to my first real rodeo!  I say real because I’ve been to our local rodeo but there is no comparison between the two.  Nate was a proud husband taking me there!  He is an ex-bull rider and has done a few other events in the rodeo. He had a great time introducing me to ‘his world’ and teaching me a thing or two about the rodeo.  After the rodeo was the stock show.  I learned that people actually blow dry a cow.  Did you know this??? If you don’t believe me Google ‘Blow Dry Cow’ and your world will be changed.  It was a lot of fun walking around the stock show and seeing all the different animals… unfortunately they wouldn’t let us touch them… not even the bow dried cows!!

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Dinner with Dave Stamey and his wife and Bob Bovee

 

We didn’t have tickets to the concert on Saturday night but we did have our dinner with Dave and his wife.  We were lucky enough to be joined by another artist, Bob Bovee too.  It was great to get to know them all a little bit more.  We have a pretty fun group to begin with but they all added a bit of something to our mix!  Saturday night we went to another jam session.  Alyse and I were so tired we had to bail early but Gassy and Randy had a great time staying out until sunrise.

Eli Barsi & Her Husband

Eli Barsi & Her Husband

Sunday afternoon we went to our final concert for the weekend and it was bittersweet.  We were all exhausted and ready to go home to sleep but we also wanted the fun to continue.  I think the highlight for the group was having Liz Masterson call out “Gassy, Randy and the crew” right before announcing Dave Stamey.  Nate’s highlight was probably Dave singing ‘Mariah’ to start his show.  Randy’s highlight was probably Dave calling him out from the stage to be the train whistle for Dave’s new song.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend spent with some amazing friends!  Glad I was able to meet a few new people and learn a little bit more about Nate’s past in rodeo and getting to understand more his love for western music the lifestyle.  I may still like to get my clothes from the city but I’m becoming more and more western every day!

 

Come Ride With Me

This past weekend a group of us headed to Denver for the Cowboy Poetry Gathering [as I just mentioned in my last post] and we had a blast!  I’ll have to write up more of a summary soon but for right now I want to mention the first song Dave Stamey sang on Friday night, Come Ride With Me.

I have always really enjoyed this song but when he sang it Friday night it went to a different level or, you could say, I heard it differently. As he was singing all I could hear was Nate’s and my courtship written out in song form.

Since we spent our whole dating relationship apart [me in Cambodia and Nate here in the mountains] we couldn’t do much but we could talk about a ton.  And Nate would talk about how much he couldn’t wait for me to be here so he could show me around and do all the things that, basically, Dave talks about in this song.

You could just listen to the song, but written out its so beautiful too…

Come ride with me
Time to saddle up n’ ride away
Is so much to see
Don’t worry I know the trails I know the way

I can’t tell you the number of time Nate talked about all the different trails that he loves out here and where he wanted to take me.  And, he always assured me he knows the way.  In the past year I really got to see this and feel the security of riding a horse with someone who knows the way, even if I feel lost.

I caught a gentle horse
His eyes are big and brown
He’s ready to carry you the whole world round
Come ride with me, let’s ride away

Come take a chance
I’ll show you where the mountains touch the sky
It’s a horse back dance
And we can ride forever if we try

There are a few points on my favorite horseback ride that you can see where the mountains really do touch the sky.  Its so beautiful to look at the mountains seemingly dance with the clouds or the sun peak thru the mountains.  Or to watch the sun rise and set.  Its absolutely amazing.

That dream in the distance
There for you to chase
Out in the sunrise with the wind on your face
Come ride with me, let’s ride away

The smell of the leather, the sunlight on your skin
They’ve got us achin’ to begin
The rumble of hoof beats much stronger than wine
The dust in your hair, the light in your eyes

I’m not going to say we haven’t had a little cocktail or two when we get to a lunch spot in our ride.  And it is funny how the smell of leather while horseback [even though I smell it every day in the house — a ‘perk’ of having Nate’s shop in the house] is pretty amazing.  And having the sun shine and wind on your face isn’t shabby either.

Come ride with me
We’ll run the hills and watch the eagles soar
It’s where you want to be
So tell me just what you’re waitin’ for

When I was in Cambodia, Nate asked me more than once what I was waiting for.  I had obligations there I had to finish up and I had a group of pretty amazing kids I didn’t want to just leave. But I’m so happy where God has taken me in my journey.  Right now, we can see the eagles soar around our house almost daily.  Its such a majestic sight.

We’ll camp near the meadow and we’ll love the night away
And saddle up again when the dawn is turnin’ gray
Come ride with me, let’s ride away

I can’t believe the ride I have been on in my life.  I have been taken all over the world and met some pretty amazing people and have been blessed enough to do some pretty amazing things.  And, its pretty amazing to look at my life and feel so content and know this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. And I’m riding with exactly who I’m supposed to be riding with.

My First Elk

The entire family hiked to get the elk.

The entire family hiked to get the elk.

This is something that no one in my family thought would ever happen.  Like never in 1,000 years would this ever happen.  Kristie hunting.  Say, what?!?!?!?  I’ve always been a city girl.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been happy to eat venison or elk or fresh caught fish, but I’ve always been very happy to let someone else get it.

As we are learning, things change at 8,000 feet.

My sister-in-law started hunting a few years ago [she too had never hunted before, or even thought about hunting]. And she would talk about how fun it was.  And, Nate – who also never wanted to take a woman hunting in the woods – started to see that hunting could be fun even when a woman was involved.

So, when Nate and I got married one thing he wanted me to do was to come along on the hunts.  I, only somewhat reluctantly, agreed.  But, I didn’t want to go empty handed so last winter I went thru hunters safety courses.  And, thought, well it can’t hurt to get a tag.

This fall Nate and I walked all over the woods and barely saw an elk.  Everyone kept saying it was a crazy fall, unlike any other hunting season they have ever experienced.  It was very warm with very few elk.

But, when my parents came to town for Christmas the warm left, the cold entered, and the snow dropped… by the feet.  Which brought the elk down to the private land we can hunt on.  There were so many!!!

Nate was pretty proud of me.

Nate was pretty proud of me.

On Christmas eve we walked the few hundred yards across the street and I took my very first shot at a cow elk.  450 yard shot with a 308.  She took a couple of very wobbly steps and within 5 seconds she dropped.  I was very thankful that I was able to help provide meat this year, it was an interesting feeling to know that I could help in this way.

Just copying my brother when he gets his animals!

Just copying my brother’s hunting stance.

 

Now, I know there are people out there who are against hunting but still go to the grocery store to get their meat.  That is all fine and dandy, I’ve gone to the grocery for years.  But, now that I have been able to go out hunting there is a lot more to hunting than non-hunters think.  I was shocked actually, since I’ve spent most of my life as a non-hunter.  Basically, the next hunting season starts as soon as the previous one began.

Dad was pretty proud of me too.  And glad to have a picture with his huntresses!

Dad was pretty proud of me too. And glad to have a picture with his huntresses!

Nate and my brother are constantly on the lookout for elk.

In the summer we walk to game cameras that they put up to see if the elk are frequenting the area.  They clean their guns, fix any issues, and re-site their guns.  I repair any problems with hunting clothes.

As fall approaches, camp is gone thru to make sure we have everything we need.

Fall we are spending hours on the mountain.  I get up earlier to hunt than to work… and that’s saying something!  But its great going up the mountains with my husband.  The beauty of the mountains are unbelievable.  And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Luckily, I still had a private land tag [which goes until January 15].  And Christmas eve seemed like as good of a day as any to get my first elk.

Me helping my brother and sister-in-law carry an elk off the mountain.

Me helping my brother and sister-in-law carry an elk off the mountain.

In the end, its amazing to think that the meat we eat every day lived a free life [can’t get more free range than that], was never given hormones or antibiotics [can’t get more organic than that] and, as in a few cases this winter, we carried out 40+ pounds of elk meat on our backs [can get much better of a workout than that].  I know exactly where my meat came from, can you say the same thing?  If so, I raise my whiskey knock bottle to you too!

Ninja Yancy

Nate throwing the snowball for Ninja Yancy

Nate throwing the snowball for Ninja Yancy

Our dog loves winter.  He looks forward to this time all year long.  He loves snow and he loves catching snowballs.  Last year I was able to catch a few fun photos of him mid-catch.

Ninja Yancy earlier this year.

Ninja Yancy earlier this year.

Ninja Yancy has some ups, doesn’t he?!?!?

And this past weekend winter finally hit.  We got a few good feet of snow. But you know us, we can’t just sit still, so we went for a walk to the lake.  And, instead of just a picture, this time I got a video.

Actually, I got two videos… this second one is Yancy and Preston playing.  Preston is so tiny he can barley see with all the snow in his eyes.

Preston full of snow.

Preston full of snow.

 

Customer Service| Call or Not To Call?

Its no secret I love to shop, I love to travel, and I love to eat out.  And with each one a retail establishment has an opportunity for customer service.  Also, right or wrong, I have an expectation of what the customer service will be like.

I love it when an establishment exceeds my expectation and I tend to go there more.  I hate it when an establishment falls short and I tend to not want to go there at at.  But, I also tend to go above just changing my shopping trends, I also like to contact the establishment after I left and let them know what I thought of their service.  If its to let them know their employees did an amazing job and just want to say thank you.  If I thought that the service wasn’t up to par, I want to give them an opportunity to make it right.

And, I’ll do this for everything.

When we first got married, my husband thought I was hilarious because I’m quite religious at following up on an opportunity to tell about my experience somewhere.  After I’ve made a purchase on Amazon I’m quick to give feedback, not only on what I purchased but the shipping too.  After we go on a trip, I love to jump on TripAdvisor.com and share the experiences.  If a shopping establishment give you an opportunity on a receipt to go online to rate their service I’ll do it fairly often.

And, with it being near Christmas, my husband and I have been out and about quite a bit.  After a year of marriage, Nate has started encouraging me to follow up on the customer service.  To give a few examples, lets take Nate’s and my recent trip to Denver:

Cabela's Customer Service Rocked Thanks To Kathy

Cabela’s Customer Service Rocked Thanks To Kathy

One of the first stops we made was to Cabela’s in Thorton. It was early on a Saturday and they were having a pretty major sale so the place was a zoo.  We were there to not only put a new scope on my gun [my anniversary present and a pretty crazy thing to do on its own] we had to make a return and purchase a few other things.  Luckily, a lady named Kathy was working behind the customer service desk and she made our shopping experience a joy. She took care of us.  So, on the way out Nate eagerly state, ‘we have to make sure to fill out the customer service survey.’ And by we he meant me.  And I did, of course.

Arvada Tavern did Nate & I right on our Anniversary!

Arvada Tavern did Nate & I right on our Anniversary!

That night we celebrated our anniversary.  We went to the Arvada Tavern for dinner.  Originally we were going to go somewhere downtown but with it being so close to Christmas everything was booked.  Luckily, we had been to the Arvada Tavern before and I knew I love it. They have an amazing whiskey selection [for Nate], they play amazing Frank Sinatra style music [for me] and they have amazing food.  We had a great waitress who did a great job making sure Nate had a whiskey he would love and the manager, Mike, was awesome.  As always, the food was delicious.  On the way out, we were able to pass by Mike and let him know how well they treated us for our anniversary dinner.

Target was a Customer Service Fail

Target was a Customer Service Fail

After dinner, we had to go to Target because I forgot nylons and we wanted to go walking around downtown Denver.  I was wearing a dress and having exposed legs was a little too chilly.  So, I grabbed two pairs of fleece lined tights because they were having a sale [buy 1 get one 1/2 off].  We then proceeded to go thru three different lines to try to check out [the 1st line the checkout woman didn’t know what she was doing and the 2nd line the lady turned off her light and wouldn’t help us].  And once we were finally able to check out they didn’t give me the discount.  And, the 3rd checkout lady wouldn’t help us… she sent us to the store’s customer service… to wait in another line.  Luckily the customer service guy did give us a discount and coupons for the next visit.  Of course, when we got home I filled out the customer survey and this time it was less than stellar.

So, this begs the question…  Am I one of the crazy one who fill out surveys, post to Amazon, or update TripAdvisor or is this something a lot of people do.  Please let me know!

The Voice Finale

Please tell me you watched The Voice last night!!!???!!!  Oh my, was it spectacular!  Since I did a recap of the season yesterday, I figured I would show you what my favorite performances were last night…

For the guest performances, I love the Bruno Mars / Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk.’  I knew I loved the song already and was excited to see them perform… they didn’t disappoint me at all! But, what was up with the rollers in his hair??  Anyone know??

Both Nate and I were like “are you kidding me” when Craig Wayne Boyd sang ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ with Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Wow, was it amazing!!!

Fall Out Boy with Matt McAndrew did an amazing job with ‘Centuries,’ didn’t they!??!!

Nate and I really loved the performance that Craig Wayne Boyd did with the girls.  I also loved the performance the ladies of the Voice did.  I couldn’t find either performance on YouTube though… so sad, I wanted to watch them again!!  But, if you want to watch the whole episode, you can go to The Voice on NBC to see all of it.

But they did have Blake Shelton’s ‘Can’t Touch This’ — too funny!!!!

Congratulations to Craig Wayne Boyde on a very deserving win last night!!! Can’t wait to hear more of you on the radio!!