Saturday, February 23, 2008

Days Go By

Sunrise over frozen Boorman Creek pond
Well, I haven't exactly done a daily entry afterall. Most of the week has gone by again since last time. It has been a nice week both in terms of weather and in terms of tasks completed. Except for this morning, each day has been a blue sky clear day. Some snow melting but mostly changed back to ice in the morning.

A major emotional fear was overcome with the taking of a couple of horses to the vet ... And their safe return to the ranch. All of the horses get an annual floating of their teeth. This removes sharp points that might have developed over the year. Yesterday, both Goldstar and Corrie were taken. After the procedure was done, they returned to the ranch upright and healthy! (Goldstar, a 20 year old gelding and actually a retired horse that we keep here for a friend, had some issues with itching that turned out to be horse lice. He will need some treatments to cure the problem. Also, he might have Cushing's Syndrome. In any case, some follow-up will be required for him.) Corrie was fine and weighed in at a healthy 1507 pounds. (Maybe even just a bit TOO HEALTHY ... so, I'll have to start working with her soon to trim her back to riding weight).

Not much else new at the ranch. 'Just Another Day'.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Another Day at the Ranch

It's looking like pretty much just a normal day at 'The Ranch'. So, you might be asking, just what does that mean, anyway?

Some definitions:

The Ranch : Approximately 45 acre horse ranch in NW Montana : ranch house, workshop old arena building (48 x 90 arena area, 48 x 30 workshop/tool room), new barn and indoor arena complex : barn 48 x 60 attached to 80 x 200 indoor arena, old barn, 5 outdoor horse shelters, and various and assorted machinery.

The Animals (for 'Animal Check' purposes): Seven horses, 4 dogs, 4 cats, random wildlife.

My wife and I are the major players at the ranch, so as you read through these paragraphs, you can assume that the tasks are shared as time permits. Sometimes, the tasks are performed solo (during separate vacations, sickness or injury recovery, etc.), but most of the time, we each share equally in "the chores".

Well, since I'm retired now, I get to just be 'a rancher'. I can usually sleep in until it gets light. (Winter, that means 'til about 7:30 AM or so; in summer, that might be as early as between 6:00 and 6:30, depending on my morning energy level). The first step after the morning get up routine is to go out for the first 'Animal Check" of the day. This means doing a walk through the workshop where the 'outdoor' cats are and checking their water and food levels. Right now, there is an extra horse that is staying at the ranch. So, I mix her morning grain bin and get some flakes of hay/alfalfa to feed her. After that, it is a walk out to the 'winter pasture'.

Depending on the season, the horses are rotated through four different pasture areas. From about the middle of November through most of February, they are kept in the winter pasture area. It is a bit further from the ranch house and has some trees and hillside for the horses to enjoy. At the first part of using the pasture, there is some grass for grazing and little feeding is needed. After a bit of snowfall, the pasture grass is not as available (and usually chewed down) so the morning feeding there is about a bale of hay. The feeding time gives an opportunity to check the condition of each of the horses. Currently, there are six (two mares, and four geldings) in the winter pasture. After this morning feeding. Us ranchers and the dogs, come back to the house for our feeding.

After breakfast, the routine for the winter is just to read the newspaper or browse the internet for current events and e-mail checking. Sometimes a morning walk with the dogs will take place before the breakfast period. It depends on how cold it is and the weather conditions.

So ... after the morning rest and relaxation period, a mid-day trip back out to the horses is done. Again, like the morning animal check, the horses are fed and looked over to see if any of them need some kind of special care. Usually not, it just ends up being a time to talk to them and see them all up close again.

Chores around the ranch are somewhat seasonal. Normally, during the summer months, the paddock and corral areas are cleaned up (manure pickup) in the morning. During the winter, this usually takes place after the mid-day feeding. A trailer or sled is used to collect up everything and drop it off at a manure pile. (This is later spread back out into the pastures to act as a fertilizer. Just letting it out in the pastures and paddocks was tried for awhile, but breaking it up required multiple passes with the harrow, so, collecting and having it compost for awhile is the current procedure followed here at the ranch).

Ranch projects are done as required and include fixing fences, adding or changing fence lines, and other various and assorted tasks (fixing and maintaining buildings, machines, and stuff). These projects can take up a good deal of the time and are normally what 'ranching' is all about.

Another major day-to-day activity is staying in condition. When there are major ranch projects going on, the training activity is the actual chore. I'm also a marathon runner (I usually do an annual marathon or two. One in June and usually another in September). So, during the "training" period (three or so months) prior to the marathon, a daily run is done. This section might be a topic for an entire blog entry at a later time. The full road-work training will begin soon, but for right now the training activity is a alternating day treadmill run swapped with an exercise bike workout. Normally I throw in a set of situps and pushups as part of one of the other workouts.

The day continues and will vary depending on whether the horses are also getting a workout or training session for a particular day. This again is a bit seasonal and depending on temperatures, snow or ice conditions, and just time involved for other projects, the horse riding and training can be a big time use factor on some days and not much on other days.

Evening at the ranch sees a return to the ranch house if outdoor activities were done as the primary tasks during the day. This normally involves a pizza baking, and just some evening relaxation. This might be some random TV watching or a DVD movie and just a time to wind-down the day.

Jonah at last animal check feeding
Lastly, a final animal check is done. This is normally done around 10:00 pm. Since it is dark in the winter period, it means 'headlights' or other flashlights for the trip out to the pasture to do the final feeding and check.

That's it! That's Another Day at the Ranch.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kind of a Backward Blog

So, most of the time a blog shows the latest posting, and therefore, the newest information at the top. Since I am just starting this blogging process, I'm going to go back in time once in a while, and post 'historical' events. One of the most difficult things that has happened, just recently for me, is the sudden death of one of the horses at 'The Ranch'. His name was Quinn, and he would have been three on May 7, 2008. After what seemed like some routine vet trips, he died in the trailer on the way back to the ranch on February 1st, 2008. The paragraphs that follow are some of the thoughts I had as a result of his passing.

February 16th, 2008:

So, like I said, since the loss of Quinn, healing is taking place. The fact that I carry a camera strapped to my belt all of the time is probably pretty weird, but it did result in having a good starting point for a 'Tribute to Quinn' video and image summary. So now, a full 2-weeks later, I am still working on a summary DVD. The first 'final' cut (everything from May 7, 2005 through February 1, 2008) resulted in a 2-hour plus summary. (Five seconds for each still image and the additional video clips taking whatever time the actual video was). So, with a couple of more revisions, I'll finally have the tribute done. I'll probably put together just a YouTube version, too. Otherwise ... day to day life goes on ... each one is precious. Do your best!

February 13th, 2008:

Time has passed since the Quinn entry ... healing has taken place. Life goes on.

The weather here has been almost a real winter as opposed to what many call "wimpy winters". Our snow depth has been holding at between 10-14" since late December. This week has seen a change to milder days and some rain. As a result, the snow pack has been reduced to about 1/2 of what it was just a couple of days ago. Walking has become a slippery experience and the stable-icers were added to the daily footware to provide traction. There was a new snowfall of about 1" to 1 1/2" overnight to reduce the slipperyness, but the boot tracks turn to slush as I walk out to the field to feed the horses.

Life is good!

February 5th, 2008: Quinn Healing Update

Thank you to all who have commented ... and to those who may in the future.

Time is passing ... healing is taking place.

February 1st, 2008: Original Quinn entry

(May 7, 2005 - February 1, 2008)

It is a sad day at the ranch today.
Quinn didn't come home.
A short, too short, life.

Just sadness fills my mind now.
I am not even really able to think too much.

I held him the day he was born.
He grew fast, and seemingly strong.
As tall as his mom already and just as calm.
Ready for a brushing anytime, just to be close.
Never mean, often fun.

So quickly gone.
So unexpected.
Too fast.
The sadness hurts deeply.

He was just a horse, after all.
Just a horse.
A horse.
Gone now.

Daniel 02/01/2008


Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed, are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together. But the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body begins to quiver.

Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again.

The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
Author unknown...

Quinn Day One
Quinn Day One

Somewhere Over the Rainbow - By Connie Talbot

Historical LossesMom and Dad : 1938

Since the Quinn entry was related to a personal loss, I decided to go back through some old files I had created and pull together, in one place, my thoughts after some of the other major losses that have impacted me. This is not to say that other events were not important to me, but in some cases, what I might have felt at the time was not recorded on a computer file and I haven't gone back to my diaries yet to see what I may have written. These were readily available since I had posted them to another web-site some time ago.

The three events I will add are what I wrote after my dad, my mom, and another much loved pet passed away. The date at the bottom of each is the date the event happened and the date of the original writing.

DadDad and his car : 1938

...Oh, and Dad, I Love You

What do you think about when you're eighty-three?
"I'm just a worthless old man...
Why don't you just get a gun and shoot me!"
...Yes, these are things you think about when you're eighty-three.

But there was more to be said by those who loved you.
Some didn't get a chance to say good-bye.
Others really wanted to see you again.
But it was hard to see you getting older.
So, some things didn't get said.
And some didn't get to see your eyes one more time.

Because it was hard to see you getting older.

As a man grows older, each day leads to his final goal.
There are stops along the way.
Each one adds to life another day.
There are granite quarries, and motor-cycle stories.
Days add family and friends as you follow life's path.

And it was hard to see you getting older.

I looked at you today and wanted to see your smile again.
I wanted to be able to hear you say,
"Hey, get me another beer!"
Or, "I'm really not very hungry."
Or even, "I'm just a worthless old man."
I wanted to look into your eyes and try to tell you
I understood what you had said.

Not long ago I felt your frustration as
You fought the straps that held your arms and hands.
I tried to explain that it was all to help you...
To make you extend your life with us.
But for you, it was a bound you wanted untied.
And now the ties have been loosened.
You are free forever.

As a man grows older,
each day leads to his final goal.
You have reached your goal.
My last words to you were,
"Take care of yourself Dad!"
You said, "I always do".
Now, I understand too...
Oh, and Dad, I love you!

dml - March 20, 1991


You Are My Mom

My source of strength, my life,
My every breath I owe to you.

You made me see, you made me hear,
You let me speak, you let me learn.
You never said I had to be like you,
And whatever I wanted you let me do.

If I made you happy you let me know,
And when I made you sad, you didn't let it show.
So many memories that I cannot list them.
But I'll have, forever, again and again.

I have no regrets, no words that weren't said.
Oh, maybe just a couple, as I search through my head.

But the life that you gave me will be here tomorrow.
And even though times may seem grim with my sorrow,
I'll remember your laugh, your fine smile, your deep care.
Which will help me with a strength that will always be there.
Then the sorrow will be calmed, the grim times will go.
Instead of darkness and sadness, life will continue and grow.

For you are the strength that I came from.
My reason for being, you are my Mom.

dml - March 3, 1996


April 1979 - August 19, 1995

He was just a dog. And then some. Today we had to put him to sleep. I am very sad. As Patti said, "How could something so small, give so much joy and love."

It was true, he was small. As I lifted him from the tiny cardboard box we carried him home in and placed him into the wooden box that at one time was his biking box, I truly knew that he was dead. His head and legs just drooped, unsupported by life, and I rearranged his body in a typical Gulliver curl into his final resting place.

Patti came out soon afterward, and placed a couple of toys with him. She continued to pet him as I dug a small grave for him among the trees we had many years ago planted and called Patti, Dan, and Gulliver. He now rests there, nearest the Gulliver tree.

I expect memories of him will be with me for all my life. I hope so. Memories of a dog that could keep up with me when I ran six mile runs while getting ready to run a marathon. Memories of his ears flying straight back and him looking over, almost surely smiling, as he ran in the boulevard while I biked in the street. Memories of him curled comfortably, either on someone's lap, or just in a sunbeam. Memories of him lying on the deck at the cabin watching for chipmunks in the woodpile. Memories of Gulliver the wilderness dog. He liked the cabin site the best. I suppose it may have been best to take him to the cabin for a final burial. Maybe we'll move him there some day.

If sadness is any indication of how much love something gave to a person, I think Gulliver must have given love to the maximum. For I can just barely see these words as I write them through tear filled eyes.

dml – August 19, 1995

Friday, February 15, 2008

A start of history.

This is just a first entry to begin posting information. As I begin this, I have no real plan in mind. I have thought about going back through some of my journals (diarys, even) and just doing a summary of what was written there so long ago. Some of those were written back in the middle 1960's, so it would start a history of my life. I'd probably have to edit some, just to protect the innocent (and avoid embarrassing myself). Sometimes, I think I have meaningful thoughts, other times I just snapshot what is going on around me. So, we'll see if I actually follow through and do anything more after this first entry. (I think I started a blog some time ago. Maybe I'll have to check and re-activate that instead of this one). We'll see.

Anyway, until later...bye...dml

This is a quick Life summary, cut from another location:


My first job was at the Cold Spring Brewing Company, where I got paid enough to pay for most of my college expenses to work in the brew-house, making beer and cleaning up afterward. What I remember most about it is swimming in the brewing kettle to cool off after a hot day of working!

During that job...I went to and graduated from St. Cloud State College (after "Tech High School")... I got married and drafted in 1970...returned from the US Army military service in Italy in 1972...took classes at SCSU and worked for Stearns County court system... I moved to MSP area in 1973 and worked for Control Data Corporation... I got divorced in 1982...remarried in 1985...changed work in 1987 when I started work with the National Weather Service... I was a Computer Specialist and then a Hydrologist / Computer Specialist until 2004...At that time, I went west to Montana in March 2004 to work for the Department of Homeland Security as a Transportation Security Officer with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) part-time...worked at the Kalispell, Montana airport ... retired 01/2007 ... Now, most of my time is spent at the Lipinski Boorman Creek Ranch...have animals: dogs, cats, and doing the ranch chores, run a couple of marathons a year, bike, hike, take photographs, and continue to do some computer dabbling with some weather computer software applications ... that's it!

So...if you would like to find out more about what is going on for me -- Try Google. Look for L'Softworks Limited -- that's my computer weather software site. And, heck, while you are at it order a couple of programs! I'll keep in touch that way. Another major blog site where I have information every day at Wunderground. Just look for "bionicdan" there. You'll find me. Leave some comments there, too. I like that! If you really want to get in touch with me, I'm around somewhere.

Otherwise, we'll just have to keep in touch through cards, letters, and normal people contacts.

Going back in history ... I've gone back to find some other writings that I did in "another life" it seems. These were during times where what I sometimes think of as my "inner voice" came out in something I wrote. Some make little sense ... and maybe some say a lot ... anyhow, here they are.
Daniel Playing Guitar ... 1978In Another Life ... I Played Guitar

November 7, 2002

The Tired Mind

The tired mind is interesting to explore.
Much like a mind after a terrible time.
It seems to work at finding a way
To tell what is inside, unknown most times.
Some stresses cause unexpressed
thoughts to show
In ways not usually used for them.
So it would seem with the tired mind.
Though not affected by usual things
Unwinds these thoughts when able to
As it has tonight now done.

dml - November 7, 2002

I'm Not

Another day, another time, it would have been me.
But now, it doesn't seem to be me anymore.
I am here, but I'm not, it seems I'm somewhere else.
I'm thinking, but no thought is here, I'm not.

The thoughts connect to nothing anywhere.
So where am I, if not where I think I should be?
I seem to be out of place, if I am anywhere at all.
It seems I'm not expecting to be where I am.

There are thoughts, as though at times,
I have lived before.
A dream, or just the mind, where it goes alone.
And it seems I am, but I'm not.

dml - November 7, 2002


So where did I go?
And how did I get here?
I was somewhere else,
But now I am here.

I don't seem to recall the path I took.
Maybe it wasn't a path.
Just a way to go.
Not blocked, not marked.

But it went somewhere.
And now I'm looking back,
And see no tracks.
Just places where I was while getting here.

dml - November 7, 2002

Inside, Outside

I don't write anymore, it seems.
I used to think, and write, often.
But now, I don't seem to.

I'm in a loop, that seldom shows.
Because it is closed around me.
So the things I think, and write,
Now don't appear very often, if ever.

The loop protects the inside, from the out.
And the inside stays, unknown to most.
A protection, which sometimes is too strong.
And can keep the inside in, and the outside, out.

When the good is out, and the pain is in
The loop must stop, and open again.

If the loop is protecting, it cannot end.
But if not protecting, it must then.
To let the outside in, and the inside out.

dml - November 7, 2002

October 26, 2002

Life Is Each Day

Life continues to show me it is a surprise.
When you think everything is under control
Something can happen that you would never know.
As it was hidden or disguised from you in some way
That kept you unaware of it, until that day.

When chance, it seems caused something to change.

And from that day on, your life is rearranged.
It might be good, or it might be bad.
And sometimes you'll be happy, other times sad.
But it's these surprises that make life what it is.

And dealing with change is what you do.
Adjusting as needed to see yourself through.
You might turn a path that leads a new way.
For that is how living life is each day.

dml - October 26, 2002


What is the force that makes me want
To be here even when it is only me?
It's not that I'm running or escaping some dread.
No thoughts of hiding enter my head.

But something about it being just me.
(Except for a dog), that's what it would be.
It keeps me returning, trip after trip.
Just wanting to be here...solo.

Mostly saying nothing.
At times thinking, or not even that.
Doing things as they need it or not.
A mind mostly at peace, if without a thought.

dml - October 26, 2002

April 9, 2001


It seems I'm caught in a loop again and cannot easily step out of it.
Yesterday was an above average day in most ways it would seem.
Then the feeling turned suddenly negative.
It is at that time I get the desire to

Sort of a "It's a Good Life" wish.
It wouldn't be fair though to be able to see how things would have been.
Because after all, if I was never there to begin with, I wouldn't know anything.
So it would be just dissolving, never being.

I don't know why I get this feeling.
It seems to come too often.
I get by with small amusements and doing things.
But flip suddenly into another mood.

I have this strong emotion in me.
I want to feel important or useful or satisfied.
Instead, I just let myself think,
And never get the emotion filled.

It seems to be an endless replay.
I'm rehearsing for future conversations with him, or her, or them, or me.
And it ends up consuming all my thought powers, so nothing happens.
The scene never gets presented, the act is not played.
And then my thoughts

dml - April 9, 2001

February 4, 2000

Closed ... That's It!

The talk was talked.
The unsaid was said.
Emotions were stoic, not emotions at all.
Truth, unbelieved, might as well have been not spoken.

But true it was, and out loud this time.
How often rehearsed the script seemed to be,
But when the time went real, the script was lost.
Now, as is said, it's over, it's done.
Feeling no more empty, since empty is gone.
And gone for too long cures all the feeling.

A life that is full in most every way,
But lacking one part that was closed today.
So closed is this life of parts that don't fit.
Time to forget, time to move on, that's it!

dml - February 4, 2000

November 14, 1999

What If?

What If This is the Last Time…

I have the feeling of being in love
I hold someone as we dance
I give a hug
I get a hug
I laugh
I cry
I see a sunset

I go on a walk
I am at the cabin
I sit by the fire-pit
I smoke a stinky cigar
I say I love you to someone.

What if?

dml – November 14, 1999
To mtm ... too close

October 17, 1999


Listen I said.
He didn't listen.
Listen I repeated.
He still talked.
Listen, please, listen.
But talk continued.

I sadly left.

I sat alone.
I continued listening.
I cried alone.
Thinking, wondering, listening.
All became quiet.
While I listened.

A light appeared.
I wasn't alone.
Now two listened.
I felt better.
Words shared listening.
No longer alone.

Later I talked.

Listen was requested.
I didn't listen.
I kept talking.
Not listening then.
I'm listening now.

Hearing only silence.
Nothing being said.
Perhaps too late.
Now alone again.
I wonder silently.
Listen, please, listen.
I sadly wait.

dml - October 17, 1999

October 16, 1999

I Wonder Why

I wonder why I still think about certain things.
I wonder why, I suppose, if you wonder too.
I wonder why it hasn't gone away.
I wonder why, if everything is okay.
I wonder why there seems nothing I can do.

I wonder why, as days pass, do I still have some yearnings?
I wonder why I can't find a feeling of closure.
I wonder why I was never able to forget.
I wonder why I continue to feel this regret.
I wonder why, and search within, still not sure.

I wonder why as the air changes from warm and now stings.
I wonder why and if all of life will become dark and cold.
I wonder why as I look into a fire.
I wonder why I don't feel the warmth.
I wonder why I don't feel anything.
I wonder why, if everything has already been told.

dml - October 16, 1999

September 21, 1999


The process named healing is given the time
It takes to erase the pain you might have
From something experienced, such as a loss, or event,
Which changed a normal time to one unexpected.

But what if the time seems to have stopped?
Does this mean the pain will never be cured?
Is there something to be done to restart the clock?
What should this be, if no clues are heard?

Now, I'd like more than ever to turn back the clock
Or at least somehow wind it, to cause it to run.
But, I'm stopped at each turn, as I search for a key.
Something that could correct, or restart time, for me.

I'm not sure what to expect, but I look for some kind of sign
To show me that now I can count on the time
To begin to pass, again, as it should.
To heal, to cure, to bring a future that's good.
Until the time restarts, and I begin to feel
I fear that what's hurt, around me, never will heal.

dml - September 21, 1999

August 7, 1999

My Mind

My mind continues to think
I'm not sure why it matters.
The words weren't even spoken.
As these days other forms express
The thoughts people used to share
When they would meet face to face.

I know the hopes were just day dreams
And they were only in my mind.
Now that you have read those thoughts
It is though I've forever lost something.
Even if it would always have been impossible
In my mind, they gave me hope, which now is gone.

I should have kept them there.
Never to be exposed.
Never to be known.
They would have hurt no one.
And been there in my mind
To make me feel good when I thought them.

dml - August 7, 1999

August 1, 1999

More Than Friends

So what does it mean, to be more than friends?
Do you give up something you'd rather keep?
Are you forced into doing something you hate?
Does someone else get less, because more is for you?

Strict physics, with numbers, which all must add up
Would lead you to believe this, surely, is true.
But not if the more is generated, from inside of you.
For if you have created the more from within
It means that you've added something all new.
It didn't come from outside, through anyone's loss.

When you're more than friends, if you have a thought
You want to remember it, to share it, with someone, again.
When you're more than friends, if something you see
Is special to you, then it is special to them.
When you're more than friends, you share all these things.
Without even thinking about why or why not.

That's what it means to be more than friends.
So, if being more than friends, is too hard for you,
Then being less, is what you need to do.
Even if it means less happens for someone else too.

dml – August 1, 1999