Saddle Up Saloon; Back in the Saddle?

Written by D. Avery @shiftnshake

       Read my writing and see my books at

August 8, 2021

“Well, Kid, yer puglet cleaned out the pantry an’ now we’ve finally cleaned up after her. Phew! So now the Saloon’s cleaned up what d’ya got planned fer this week?”

“Planned? Thought ya knew I was on vacation, Pal. Thought you was gonna take the reins.”

“Ah jeez, Kid, not agin! An’ thet writer a ours done dropped the ball week afore last too, also off gallivantin’ aroun’. Well, mebbe I’m on vacation too!”

“It’s a funny word, ain’t it Pal? Vacation. ‘Specially fer our writer, ‘cause near as I kin tell she don’t really do anythin’ anyways, so what’s she gittin’ away from?”

“Reckon folks jist need ta git away from their reg’lar places an’ people so’s they kin ‘preciate ‘em more mebbe when they git back.”

“Reckon. An’ it’s good ta git out an’ see dif’rent people an’ places. Kin be right thought provokin’. Where do you vacation Pal?”

“Ain’t so much where as what Kid. Cain’t ever’one git ta go too far, an’ anyways, why would I wanna vacate this here Ranch? But they’s ways ta git all relaxed without too much trouble. Fact thet’s an important thing fer folks ta be able ta do.”

“Take a break fer themselves?”

“Yep. Kin be somethin’ simple like makin’ a space an’ a time fer yersef, ya know like when Shorty does yoga an’ listens ta calmin’ music in her unicorn room. An’ thet kayakin’ sounds like a good way ta take a break, git all calm out on the water.”

“Sure, or takin’ a hike, mebbe fixin’ a picnic, anythin’ where yer takin’ time fer yersef. Jist doin’ somethin’ outta the ordinary kin be a break thet refuels ya fer the stuff thet was drainin’ ya.”

“Yep. But I bet ya used ta take big family trips when you were a kid, Kid.”

“Sure did Pal. Lotsa campin’ an’ fishin’. Always liked seein’ historical places too.”

“Well, since we ain’t got nuthin’ planned fer the Saloon stage this week, ain’t got no one featured er anythin’, mebbe folks’ll hep us out an’ share their vacation stories in the comments.”

“I jist hope if folks are gittin’ out an’ about that they’re bein’ real careful. But the Saloon is a safe space ta share yer campfire yarns or yer vacation memories. An’ if folks email our writer with their favorite summer recipes we kin have another Recipe Rustlin’ next time. I always injoy learnin’ what other folks like ta fix.”

“Thet’s a good plan.

Folks, use the comment section ta tell us ‘bout yer vacationin’ er ways thet ya manage ta git a break. An’ also, email our writer at an’ git yer favorite summertime/barbecue recipes featured in our next Recipe Rustlin’ episode. Heck, git yerself featured. Jist contact our writer. Unless yer on vacation a course.”

If asked, Pal & Kid will deny that they spill from the pen of D. Avery. They claim to be free ranging characters who live and work at Carrot Ranch and now serve up something more or less fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up to take the stage as a saloon guest, contact them via

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  1. Charli Mills

    Hey Kid and Pal! Just gittin’ back from a vacay with your writer and boy was it ever divine! She even camped out in the Unicorn Room a few nights. The campfire stories went on morning and night. She got me introduced to slumming the sloughs of the Keweenaw. Even figured out how to put my kayak in the trunk of my car. She’s a bit competitive at Scrabble but I did best her a couple of times. She’s right about being on the water — a mini vacation to ease the stress. You send her back to Headquarters any time! Thanks for minded the Saloon and remembering to take a break!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Good thing she come back all refreshed an’ relaxed, Shorty, ‘cause her computer seems ta be implodin’. So far she’s stayin’ calm, figgerin’ out other means ta the ends. We cain’t thank ya enough fer puttin’ her up an’ puttin’ up with thet one. It was like a vacation fer us her bein’ gone.

  2. Jules

    The last couple of years there haven’t been much in the way of vacationing. And now with us all having to be additionally careful (again) – might have more stay-cations.

    I’ve seen a blown up floater in the creek by my home – but honestly there’s too many rocks and some parts aren’t deep enough unless there’s been a good rain. Not really a place for swimming as it gets the whole neighborhood run off – and some folks don’t pay attention on what not to put in the water. The grates aren’t for a city sewer and you aren’t even supposed to put your chemically sprayed grass clippings in either – but folks do. It’s a wonder the fishes are still swimming.

    Anyways… since my hub is retiring towards the end of the year we are going on a mini vacation (if we still can by that time) with some in-laws. A fancy ship for a few days to the Florida Keys. But we might make some other escapes to sandy shores. I really do enjoy a good walk on an ocean beach.

    Might even see if we can rent us something and paddle in the Susquehanna River! Or maybe find some small local lakes? We’ll see.

    I’ve been a tad busy working with Colleen and family obligations and reading. I’m looking forward to just chillin’. Though I do take thinks at a slower pace since I retired a few years ago.

    Hope all is well with everyone. Thanks Kid and Pal and Charli for keeping up things at the ranch even when you all weren’t here.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Gotta thank Chel an’ Colleen fer not missin’ a beat an’ keepin’ things runnin’ aroun’ here. Our dang writer jist dropped us last time!
      Yep,reckon travelin’s still skeery. Good thing our writer was all self contained with a camper. Hope ya kin git out on the water, Poet Lariat, it’ll soothe yer soul. By the way, d’ya pernounce creek like squeak er like quick. Wunnerin’.

      • Jules

        ‘spose crick is another alternative? Jist depends on the mood 😉 Mostly though jist creek to me ;D

  3. SueSpitulnik

    Slumming the sloughs. I could get involved in that one with no trouble. Your vaca sounded divine. Refreshed and relaxed is good for everyone.
    My husband suddenly switched jobs over the last two months with seven weeks off in between offices so we went to Virginia Beach to visit with friends. They kept us hopping, exploring, and playing Bingo so getting back to our own chairs and beds was also a treat.
    This week my daughter and grandson are accompanying me on an overnight in the 1000 Islands of northern New York state. We have two castles to visit and an 800 sq. ft. B&B room waiting for us.
    It’s great convertible weather at the moment so afternoon drives to restaurants on one lake or another is a regular Sunday occurrence.
    Let’s hope the variant doesn’t control us for the next year and a half.
    Happy writing everyone and special thanks to Kid, Pal, D., and Shorty for a safe place to play.

    • Michael B. Fishman

      Just googled it and it looks beautiful up there, and the castles and the homes on tiny islands: very cool. When I think of New York I think of New York City and when I think of Canada I think of… well, I never really think of Canada. I don’t think of this kind of scenery. And I also learned that this is the region where Thousand Island dressing originated!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Slumming the sloughs? I hope that’s one of Ms. Mills’ errors. There was nothing slummy at all about being out there slipping on the slight current, our paddles wings to give us flight, just another pair of birds out among the marsh plants.
      Safe travels, Sue! I am glad for you that you get to have time with friends and family.

  4. Michael B. Fishman

    “‘Specially fer our writer, ‘cause near as I kin tell she don’t really do anythin’ anyways, so what’s she gittin’ away from?”

    I don’t know, Kid, but I sure done thought that was funny 🙂

    I don’t like vacations too much because of strange beds and all that, so until they can invent one of those transport doorway things so I can go somewhere and then come back and sleep in my own bed and then go back through the doorway in the morning I’ll likely stay put. I like long weekends that allow me to go see (or re-see) the local places I like and that I don’t have time for regularly.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      That’d be a cool thingy alright, that transportin’ doorway thingy, but the next best thing is a camper and even a tent And sleeping bag. Totally agree about jist makin’ time ta see what’s near ta hand, old haunts an’ such.
      Regardin’ the writer; two big mysteries, where does her money go an’ where does her time go?

  5. Norah

    It’s good to pull up a stool again and listen to you two discussing vacations. I haven’t had much of one for a while and have been a tad busy of late, so I’m looking forward to a few days off real soon!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Take time fer yersef! Even a bit Here an’ there, make yersef an artist’S date, Julia Cameron style.
      Either way we’re sure glad ta have ya make time ta pull up a stroll here at the Saloon. An’ I reckon yer summer recipe could be a winter recipe, ‘cause a you bein’ in a whole other hemisphere an’ all.

      • Norah

        There’s not that much difference between our summer and winter recipes as there’s not that much difference between our summer and winter, ‘ceptin’ our summers are way hotter!

  6. T. Marie Bertineau

    Welcome Back, ya’ll! Glad you enjoyed your time away! (And it was great meeting you!!)

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Oh my! It was very cool meeting you.Seeing another Rancher and Rebecca at the Calumet Storytelling Center where Charli was again a guest for a reading at The Red Jacket Jamboree was so awesome, a perfect intro to HQ and the Keweenaw. Ms Mills and I traversed through Mason a time or two, camped out nearby. Thought of you and yours. That area reverberates with stories!

  7. robertawrites235681907

    Everyone in the USA and Europe seems to be on holiday right now. It is quiet, even at work. What kind of recipes are you wanting, Miss D? Would a corn bread recipe work? I always make that when we braai.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      That’d be lovely! Thank you. Send a bit of background to go with it if yo wish.

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