Mark and I went over to Couch's yesterday for his annual harvest party. I was there last year and it was a kick, so it was sure to be a good time. I brought a pasta salad and some salsa. I was putting the food in the fridge when I noticed there was already a bowl of salsa in there. More on that later.
They had put a a new arena, which I had not seen before. Looking off in the distance, I could see several people on horseback and several just hanging out under the shade tarp. So we made the trek out there. We got there to see Don and Bud on their horses and Phyllis husband, Craig, ... on DOC! Yeah, you heard me! MY Doc. Well, not really "my" Doc, but you know what I mean. So Craig comes over and dismounts and looks at me and says, "Your turn." Didn't have to ask me twice. I handed Reese over to my very cooperative and sweet, loving boyfriend and hopped on Doc. Then I was informed that we are going to go herd llamas. WHAT??? I've never herded a thing on horseback. I was a little nervous, and if I was on any other horse, I probably would have sat the first round up out. So we went up to the corrals, Don switched horses, the llamas were let out, and off we go. It was much easier than I thought and the llamas were really cooperative because we stayed off them and treated them, basically, like sheep. We get them down to the arena, put them in the pen, and I dismounted Doc and went and rescued Mark from Reese, who was being an idiot about the llamas and the horses. (Reese, not Mark!)
And then the fun began.
Bud hopped on Doc, and he and Don started ... roping llamas!
Yes, I'm serious!
Isn't Doc gorgeous? This is the same horse I rode in the spring, but couldn't tell what color he was because of the dirt and winter coat. I still don't know what color you call this. Those spots are red.
Eventually, Bud decided it was just easier to ride the llamas.
Disclaimer: All ropes used were breakaway ropes and the llama didn't even seem to mind unless someone (won't mention any names - BUD!) got in their face and was trying to get them out of the corners. No one got spit on repeatedly (except Bud and his younger horse!) and no llamas were hurt in the making of these cowboys.
And Don's neighbor, Jerry, and his friend, Bob. Bob's an interesting guy. We were all commenting on the bazillion flies that were hanging out near the salsa entries (oh yeah ... forgot to mention the salsa-off), and I said, "There's a bazillion of them." Jerry says, "Well, that's ranch living for ya." Bob says -- as flat as flat, "Yeah, every time they land, they puke." I damn near fell out of my chair laughing.
Here's Don and Phyllis. The audio on this was ... interesting. We'll just leave it at that!
(L to R: Michael's wife, Donna, Dawn Marie in the middle, and Michael on the end.)
Their garden is in the same size space as mine, and isn't nearly as overgrown, or riddled with chickens! Plus theirs has the fancy hotwire on it ... AND ... the cool dude in the middle. I need me one of 'dem!
Here's a closeup.
And the great homemade gate!
So the salsa-off was an accident. I brought mine, which was made with some roasted peppers Jaenne got at the farmer's market, but the heat on those is hard to judge, and I didn't want to make it too hot for mixed company. So I only used one bag of them. Fresh tomatoes, onions, etc. Pretty gringo.
Don challenges me to a salsa-off as soon as he sees mine. He goes and gets his. It's a deeper color red, and his is all hand chopped (mine was done by the food processor in about three seconds). And his has a good bite to it. Come to find out, the bite was due to the SALSA PEPPERS Jaenne grew in her backyard that I have tons of in my fridge! Best of all, those peppers have a much better flavor than the stupid million and one jalapenos I grew this year. Fooey on them, I am changing this up next year. Making it with the roasted peppers and the salsa peppers would have been the way to go. People talked about how Don's salsa was a little too hot, so the consensus was ... it was good to mix the two of them together. My entry for next year is going to rock! I have all kinds of ideas now.
So, a great time had by all. Thanks Don and Dawn Marie for having us all out!