Posted by: highmountainmuse | April 25, 2009

The pink hammer

the pink hammer

the pink hammer

Earlier this week I told you the story of the first house I ever built.  As my luck would have it, the next year, I had to build another, just a little bit bigger and better than the first.  I even put a floor in that one.  Sort of. And over the past 15 years, I’ve had many an opportunity to improve my carpentry and construction skills  A few more little houses and hopefully I will have it figured out.


So, as you can figure, I have a great appreciation of tools.  I like them.  I use them.  I want to know where they are when I need them…


Now, working with a family of carpenters, ranch hands, and mechanics means tools are a hot commodity.  And not every one in this household is big on putting tools back where they belong (insert a subtle cough-cough here).


A few years ago while participating in the Race for the Cure in Denver, I purchased a pink hammer.  It was a fundraiser for breast cancer research.  I felt at the time it was money well spent for a good cause, and the purchase of another hammer would never be a waste of money in this household.


But what I didn’t know at the time and have since learned, boys will NOT use a pink hammer.  No way.  Why is that?


The great thing is, that hammer is always where it belongs, in the tool box on my work table.  Always.  Isn’t that funny?


Now I’m wishing all my tools were pink…


I’d start with a pink tape measure.



– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

A couple of end of week notes here:


First: For all you motorsport fans, Forrest is back up and writing again on his blog, High Country Hillbillies, since he’s back up and riding again. Now it’s dirt bike season. The snowmobiles are retired for the season.  Not every mothers dream come true to have your baby out there on the mountain on a motorbike, but I’ll put up with the gears and grease as long as he still keeps up with his chores and schooling and writing…


Second: Dealing with loss… I admit I am not very good at. A week later and the tears are still plentiful. When do we “get over it?” Do we ever?  Will acting tough eventually make us tough?



  1. Oh Gin – please don’t ever “get tough”, it would harden up your beautiful heart.

  2. Thank you, Cyndee – you are so kind. I think “tougher” might help. Such sadness stinks.

  3. Yes, it stinks, and tougher would probably be “easier” but I think it would be at the cost of trading your soul.
    Artemis is at peace, and her time here was beautiful – keep focus on that

  4. I will try.
    Thank you, Cyndee.

  5. As well as being a Rancher. I have served in my rural town. As Police Officer, Fireman, Medical First Responder, and as a Emt-Basic. I have seen many horrors that I cannot explain. And have given up trying. Two years ago. A man shot his three kids and set the house on fire. He blocked the entrance to his place with a car. Took us a while to gain entry. There was nothing we could do. One year ago. A man shot his wife in the head. Then shot himself. Their only son, saw the whole thing. I work at a hospital. 10 miles west in the next town. On the Ems crew. Just this last week. Two Emts who are Cousins. Were messing with a pistol. The older cousin got shot by the younger. In the forehead. He was Doa. The older Emt/Cousin’s girlfriend. Is an Emt on the same crew. She was on call that day. Tears have flowed. Heads hang. Heart’s are heavy. We call this a Critical Incident. There will be a debrief in a few days. But, In the life of a Emt. You have to make a decision. When the Tones go off and the pagers call for you to roll to someone in need. You go or you go home. As in life. You sometimes need to do what I call FIDO. Forget it and drive on. Over the years. I have had to put down five horses. Two I had to shoot. No vet and terrible pain. Lost many cattle. But, just like you I have my family. My friends. The place in the high country. After Critter losses. I took comfort that in few months. Those momma’s would have another calf. The joys have outweighed the sorrows. But, as my grandmother would say to me. When my life was not going well. “Boy, there is someone out there this very minute, that has it worse that you”. So, this may be hard words. From someone you don’t know from Adam. Believe me, I no how you feel. I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me writing it. Many Kind Regards.

  6. Richard – Again, I really appreciate your words, wisdom, experience and stories (in fact, after reading this, I had to go back to read the story of your coming up above Creede and the hippies and all, out loud to my husband and son). First, I am grateful for folks with the drive and strength you have. Since I was a kid, I couldn’t watch the TV news or scary programs without getting too upset. Hypersensitive. I know it’s not a good thing. I would never be able to handle seeing what you have had to. But you know, I was thinking as I’m walking around grouchy and upset all morning long as I go through the motions of taking care of ranch work… it’s selfish. Feeling sorry for myself is a luxury. And not one I want to chose to partake in. Thanks for the reminder. I value every life, but after mourning a loss, we need to help work for the life of others. I can do that. I can’t help as much as you have. I don’t think I would ever be able to do that. But I will try in my own way. And in the meanwhile… I’ll remember about FIDO.
    Thank you again for sharing. Yes, the joys outweigh the sorrows…

  7. Life sure does have its challenges, doesn’t it? Loss and grief seem to take on a life of their own. The grief pops up it’s ugly head when you least expect it. I am so grateful for my support group of friends, family, my two cats and my wonderful little golden retriever, Beecher.

    One thing I’ve noticed as I get older is how cleansing tears are. I always seem better after a good cry. It may take a bunch of good cries. God catches every tear and he is with us through all of our pain. He even cried out to his father at the cross. Somehow that gives me permission to grieve and mourn and to let it be okay. It still hurts but somehow my soul is comforted with this knowledge.

    Time passes slowly when our pain is fresh and intense, but it does pass. I try to look for the little joys that life presents each day. I have to make a concentrated effort to do this sometimes but when I do, I am always surprised at the treasures I am blessed to see/experience.

    We all deal with our pain differently and I’ve found that when I allow myself to grieve in whatever way my heart desires, it is good. After I said good-bye to my first golden retriever, a few days later I found myself on the kitchen floor sobbing my heart out. It’s what I needed to do. I still tear up 5 years later when I think about Emmitt.

    Gin, thank you for your blog. It allows so many of us to open up and let some of the pain out. I think we all feel each other’s pain and somehow it seems to reduce our own. I am so grateful that Ron and Karen found you!

  8. People who feel deeply are gifted, in a way, I believe. Living in a city as “plastic” as Dallas can be, I see so many people who just go through the motions of getting all they can for themselves. I don’t know how to describe it, but I see it. People who don’t seem to feel much of anything – and it makes me sad because I feel like they’re missing the whole point of living. Gin, you feel hurt, joy, sorrow… You feel life! Don’t ever change that – as difficult as it may be at times.

  9. Grief…I really don’t remember everything that happened after my sweet Nikki passed away but Ron tells me that I curled up into a ball for about a month. It is so heartbreaking to lose an innocent four legged family member. But I am thankful that God sends them our way if even for a short time in our lives. I am confident I will see Nikki again someday.

  10. I am always learning here. I see something odd in a difference between how many men and women handle grief. I am probably wrong to make such a generalization But we seem to feel grief more deeply, are less able to get over it. And of course, we cry more. We need to. With my boys strength and resilliance, and their not quite understanding tears, I try to bounce back quickly and move on. But I end up feeling like a rubber ball, dragging along this heavy string of grief behind me. Isn’t that odd? And with all the women who write, I am allowed to flow tears… I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way, but a difference. And of course, not all men, not all women. My best friend is a salty older woman who will say it once and expect to move on. Life is too stort, she reminds me. There are too many other things to do.

  11. I wish that pink would deter my boys from using my tools. Alas, I do not think they are as finicky.

    Thought – if you get “tougher” over the hard things, do you stop feeling the joyful things as deeply? Now that would be the worse loss…

  12. I forgot to mention that I love that hammer!! I could have used it for my title picture. That’s why I had to dress mine up in pearls – so it would look pretty. I imagine no man would use a hammer covered in jewelry, either.

  13. No, Karin! The pink hammer would not be right, too tacky. There’s something about the rough old well used worn wooden hammer draped with jewels that so makes me smile every time I look at your blog title page!

  14. I was really happy with the way that old hammer – and it really is the one I use – looked draped in a necklace that I hardly ever wear.

  15. […] would tack it down, first with the staple gun, then a light tap with the hammer (yes, he used that pink hammer…). Corners are a little more tricky, but we just folded them in nice and neat like a bed sheet […]

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