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Cowboy Gear: BOOTS

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018

Cowboy boots, high-heeled boots, custom-mades, short tops were pee-wees. The early version of boots seen in the West did not always have high-heels, which has become synonymous with the American cowboy style. Early over-the-counter boots were plain with a lower heel and cost around $15.00. Cowboys began to wear higher heels which provided leverage, pointed toes could slip in and out of stirrups easier, 17-inch high tops protected legs and had pull-straps called “mule-ears”. It wasn’t until 1885 that designs and leather inlays were being noticed. Today’s boots are not just for the working cowboys and cowgirls. Boots are popular foot wear for everybody, with scalloped tops, custom-ordered inlayed leather designs featuring ranch brands, school mascots or crosses. They come with pointed, square-boxed, or rounded toes. Calf skin is still an option, along with various other exotic animal hides....

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Gamers & Their Parents

Posted by on Mar 2, 2018

Gamers & Their Parents: Are We Raising Violent Youth? Is our youth more violent today because of video games?  Every time we experience a horrific incident involving America’s youth, the group of computer geeks labeled “gamers” are usually mentioned in the backlash. As a mom of one precious heavenly boy and two earthly young men, my heart aches for those parents who have lost children in these senseless acts done by mentally unstable people. These murderers are not representative of the young people I know. I believe that today’s youth are wicked smart and capable of achieving amazing things. I would like to share information with you about the gamers I personally know. I posed the violence question to our kids. My oldest pointed out that there are definitely certain content that can be dangerous if players aren’t mature...

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Windmills on the High Plains

Posted by on Feb 23, 2018

Oldtimers say it’s a place where you can watch your dog run away for two days. A vast, arid plain of un-watered hearty mixture of grasses. Charles Goodnight set his ranch in Palo Duro Canyon and watered his livestock from the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River, the flowing channel that had cut the deep canyon. In the northern Texas Panhandle, the early sheepherders settled along the banks of the Canadian River. In between were millions of acres of land without water. The thing that drove early pioneer women mad, coating clean laundry with dust and turning vegetable gardens into wilted choas, was the thing that opened the Texas Panhandle for settlement. The wind.   It wasn’t unheard of to combine the power of wind with the movement of water. The Europeans had utilized windmills in ancient...

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Great-Grandmother’s Oak Table

Posted by on Feb 16, 2018

Is it possible to feel emotional towards a piece of furniture? We own an antique oak table which came from Mullins, Texas, my great-grandmother’s house. It must have been over 75 years old when Mom and Dad brought it home. I was in Junior High. My parents passed it to me when I married eleven years later. My husband rebuilt part of the base, which had rotted from being stored in a barn. The top has worm trails and puncture holes, which he meticulously filled with wood putty. I stopped him and dug out most of the putty before it dried, telling him I wanted every crack and hole to remain as they were. He visualized a smooth and shiny honey-colored oak top, with a new finish. My vision was completely different. “It has character,” I said. He added...

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January Reads

Posted by on Jan 28, 2018

Recommended reads and reviews for a few of the treasures I discovered in January.   For Fans of Westerns THE MEDICINE KNIFE by Don Coldsmith I’m working my way through The Spanish Bit Saga by Don Coldsmith, after finding a few of his works at the local library sale. He is known for putting a new twist on the Western novel genre by writing in the Native American point of view. In Book 12, “The Medicine Knife” (Random House, 1989), the Elk-dog people travel to Santa Fe to trade pelts along with two new members of their tribe, former soldiers in the French army. A few twists and turns, a strong female character, an enjoyable read. At the Western Writers of American conference, I was lucky enough to find myself sitting at a table with Mr. Coldsmith’s daughters. The...

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Master Storyteller, Dusty Richards

Posted by on Jan 19, 2018

The Western Genre lost a legend, mentor, and award-winning author. DUSTY RICHARDS passed this week from injuries following a car wreck in December, just one week after his wife, Pat, died. DUSTY RICHARDS wore a wide variety of hats including renowned rodeo announcer, auctioneer, teacher, author, tremendous storyteller, cattle farmer, and cowboy. His Byrnes Family Ranch Series (Pinnacle Publishing) is one of my favorites and highly entertaining. His first novel, NOBLE’S WAY, was published in 1992, and has since penned 150 novels and won numerous awards including several prestigious SPUR Awards from the Western Writers of America. Dusty and Pat lived on Beaver Lake in the Ozarks of northwestern Arkansas. First introduced to Dusty as a newbie author by a mutual friend, I was a bit starstruck. Dusty and Pat were always at events and conferences for writers. Dusty would...

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