Archive for the ‘bull riding’ Category

Do you have a bucket list? A list of things you’d love to do some day? Places you’d love to visit? I don’t really have an actual list per se, but I do have daydreams of places I wouldn’t mind seeing or things I think would be fun to try. So, I guess I have a bucket list. Sort of. It’s my “some day” list.

some day


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imaginary friendAs writers we spend a lot of time with our fictional characters. They become our invisible friends. We talk to them and we talk about them. We imagine what their life was like before our story begins. Sometimes, like in my case, we imagine what they do after the book ends. It’s just something we do.


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woman-riding-bikeHow often have you heard the expression: It’s just like riding a bike? Something you used to do – and overall, do well – then you stop doing it, then you do it again. The concept is that you can just pick up right where you left off and still know how to do it. Like riding a bike. Right? Wrong. (more…)

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Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

A lot of people have been asking, especially the locals and our guests: “Why Mississippi?”

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Well, here’s how it happened. My husband and I have always wanted to expand our stock contracting business. We raised bucking bulls for the PBR and the rodeo circuit. In California we didn’t have enough land to raise even one bull and even if we could afford more land, which we couldn’t, we couldn’t afford the feed or the water. That meant that in order to broaden our business, we had to look elsewhere.

For several years, we’ve wanted to move to North Carolina, where one of our partners in the bull business lives. After we decided it was time to “try again,” we went to North Carolina and looked for ranches. But, nothing met our fancy and on the way there my husband told me that I needed to think about what I wanted to do for work so we could check out the job market at the same time.

You see, I’d already decided that 30 years in the legal profession, slaving as a paralegal, most of the time for a family law attorney, was enough. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, was ever happy, including the boss. And in family law, nobody ever wins. It’s a lose, lose, especially for the kids. I had had it.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

So, as I sat there on the plane wracking my brain for possible new careers, I decided that I wanted to do something where people were happy and not expecting miracles from me. I did not want to be chained to a desk. I had worked one summer at a B & B in California and I rather enjoyed it. I’ve always loved entertaining and setting a pretty table with sparkling dishes; crystal, silver, china. I mentioned that to my husband and that’s when we decided that maybe we could do both in North Carolina; buy a ranch, raise cattle, and take in overnight guests.

Well, one thing led to another and we came to the conclusion that running a bed and breakfast was probably going to be the best solution for us since we both needed a place to live and we both needed a job. We’d kill two birds with one stone so to speak.

However, North Carolina didn’t have any inventory that was affordable, so we ditched the idea of North Carolina and explored other venues. Mississippi had the most inventory in our price range and because my husband is a history major and a huge fanatic about the Civil War, we decided that Vicksburg might be a good place for us.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Turns out, it was. We’ve not had any regrets about our decision and while we miss our horses and bulls and ranching lifestyle, we’ve adapted very well to being innkeepers. We’ve met some amazing people, made some incredible new friends and opened up a whole new world of possibilities.

So folks, there you have it. That’s why Mississippi. We wanted to expand our ranch and be stock contractors so we bought a bed and breakfast in Vicksburg. Go figure.

Never limit yourself people. Think outside the box. Be open to possibilities and possibilities will fall into your lap. I promise.

The change is exactly what I needed. Watch this short funny video and you’ll know exactly why I had to get out of the legal profession. Enjoy.

Can you relate to this video? Have you ever turned your life completely upside down and loved it? Ever started out down one road, ended up on an unexpected road and found a pot of gold? Does change scare you? I’m dying to know so let me have it.

Word of the Day: Tramontane

Fun fact about me: I’ve never been a big fan of being politically correct.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, December 2015. Video courtesy YouTube. Images courtesy Google Images.

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I know it’s not politically correct in this day and age to refer to anything as being gender-specific. I mean, if a guy wants to run around wearing a push-up bra all day because he likes women’s clothing, more power to him. And if little girls want to play with hot wheels and little boys want to play with dolls, who’s stopping them. No one’s going to laugh or poke fun. It’s all okay nowadays.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

But me, I’ll about the “girl sports.” I like figure skating, ice dancing and gymnastics. I can really get into a good game of beach volleyball. My husband – not so much. He’s into the manly man sports, you know, football, Nascar, golf, although I’d argue that last one is a little foo foo. Watching golf is like watching grass grow if you ask me. I do like me some good old-fashioned rodeo, though and thankfully, the hubs and I both enjoy a good round of team roping, steer wrestling, and bull riding. Yee haw!!!

Kristina Mathews.  Photo courtesy Amazon.com

Kristina Mathews.
Photo courtesy Amazon.com

Now my friend Kristi Mathews, she’s all about baseball. Baseball is one of those “guy” sports in my mind, but Kristi is no guy and she’s one of the biggest fans around. What’s super cool about Kristi is that she’s found a very clever way to combine her two passions and get one fantastic result – a romance book about baseball.

Let me tell you a little bit about Kristi. She doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn’t until she turned forty that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing. While she resigned from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she’s remained an educator in some form. As a volunteer, parent club member or para educator, she finds the most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster confidence and a lifelong love of books.

Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of more than twenty years, two sons and a black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors and serve as a “Ball Dudette” for the San Francisco Giants.

Yes folks, she’s a Giants fan, but don’t hold that against her. She’s about as nice as they come.

Her debut novel, Better Than Perfect, is available everywhere today (there’s a link at the end of this post). Well, maybe not everywhere, but I’m sure if there’s a place that sells e-books, you’ll be able to find her. And today, I’m giving away a few copies to some very lucky followers. Just leave a comment below and you’ll automatically be in “the drawing.”

Kristi's debut novel Better Than Perfect. Photo courtesy Amazon.com

Kristi’s debut novel Better Than Perfect.
Photo courtesy Amazon.com

I’ve asked Kristi some questions. Her answers are in blue. My interview with Kristi starts now:

Me: Tell us about your experience with “the call.”
Kristi: I’d participated in a Savvy Authors pitch party, where they had several agents and editors post their submission requests and I pitched to a couple who were looking for my kind of book. I had also sent a cold submission to a big eBook publisher and I was literally on my way to a funeral when I got their form rejection after 12 weeks on submission. Then I got a pretty thorough and harsh (think dental hygienist harsh) critique on my manuscript. But I got a request from the editor at Lyrical Press. I was feeling pretty discouraged, but I knew if I didn’t send it out one more time, I’d always wonder. So I hit send. A few days later (not three months) I got an e-mail from the editor. She liked my story, liked the conflict, connected with the characters…I kept reading, waiting for the “but…” There was no but. She wanted to add me to their roster. I ran out to the driveway to catch my husband before he left for work. I made him read it, just to be sure I wasn’t reading it wrong.
Me: After you received “the call,” you received another “call.” Tell us about that call.
Kristi: On January 2, I got the news that my small eBook publisher was being acquired by Kensington Books. A big New York Publisher. Exciting, yes, but also a little scary. I’ve never worked for a big company. Not unless you count the three months I worked at McDonalds in college. I worried about getting lost in the shuffle. And despite having to mail my contract a second time I think it’s going to be great.
Me: So far, besides that second “call,” what has been the most surprising thing that you’ve experienced working with a big publishing house?
Kristi: After a slow start, things seem to be moving very fast. Or maybe it’s just that the timing of my book’s release and the completion of the merger are making it seem that way. They updated my cover. Twice. And they put the book up for preorder. I’m on Amazon. And Kobo. And Nook. And iTunes, although I couldn’t figure out how to provide a link. I have reviews from them putting my book up on NetGalley. I even have an author page on their website. So I’m hoping to find an audience that goes beyond my friends and family, many of whom have already bought my book.
Me: I’m assuming that’s how you came to have 2 covers for this book. Which cover do you prefer and why?
Kristi: It’s hard to pick a favorite. One of the things I liked about the original cover was that it was very different. But then the newest version is pretty hot. And I honestly have no clue as to what makes a good cover, and since I couldn’t use real life baseball players (or Kevin Costner) I was glad to pass that job off to my publisher. They changed the cover when they were working on the second book in the series, and the two covers work well together. 
Me: What are you hoping readers will remember most about your debut novel?
Kristi: I hope they will enjoy the book and see that an athlete doesn’t have to be a player off the field to be sexy and strong.
Me: Anything else you want to share about your book that’s not already covered in your book blurb below?
Kristi: I came up with the name for my hero from a nickname my husband’s cousin gave him when they were kids. They were on a long road trip, I think to Yellowstone, and my husband’s older cousin tormented him by telling him he wasn’t really a Mathews. His real name was “Johnny Scottsdale.” He was traumatized to think he didn’t belong. And believe me, having been a part of the Mathews family for over twenty years, I could understand how sad that would be. So I thought it would be a good name for a baseball player and a great way to honor the man who has helped me realize my dreams. And now whenever his cousin calls him “Johnny Scottsdale,” he’ll have to pay me royaltiesSmile
Me: When does the sequel come out and how can folks get their hands on a copy?
Kristi: The second book in the series, Worth The Trade, was originally scheduled for a September release, but it will come out in July instead. I’m very excited about that. Both books will be available on all eBook retailers, and I’m expecting a print option through Amazon, but I’m not sure of the details, yet.

Here’s the blurb:  More Than A Game, #1

Better Than Perfect new cover

Better Than Perfect, the second cover

The woman he left behind and the son he never knew are tougher opponents than any he’s met on the field.

Pitcher Johnny “The Monk” Scottsdale has won awards, been named an All-star and has a perfect game to his credit. Known for his legendary control both on and off the field, his pristine public image makes him the ideal person to work with youth players in a preseason minicamp. Except the camp is run by the one woman he can’t forget…the woman who made him a “monk.”

Alice Harrison’s three strikes include an unexpected pregnancy, a marriage of convenience and young widowhood. She once traded her dreams so Johnny could have a chance at making it to the Majors. Johnny comes back into her life just as she’s ready to resign as foundation director and pursue her own dreams of finally earning her teaching credential. Her plans may go on hold, though, depending on the reaction when she confesses she may have kept a major league secret from Johnny and her son.

With the minutes ticking by until Johnny will leave for spring training, they’ll need to let go of the past and work together in order to win the game of love.

If you have a question for Kristi, her book, or baseball, leave it in the comments section below. She’ll be stopping by periodically to answer.

If you have a question for me, the answer is no. Just kidding. You can ask questions any time in the comments portions of any blogs I’ve posted. Thanks for visiting, sharing your thoughts and being a good and faithful follower. For more information about Kristi and her books click here: http://kristinamathews.com/2013/11/03/whats-new/

Are you a baseball fan? Any sport in particular you like / hate? Which cover do you like better?

Word of the Day: Gigot

Fun fact about me: I played second base on my little league team a very long time ago. We took second place. I still have the trophy.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, March 2014. Photos courtesy Google Images and Amazon.com. Kristi’s book, Better Than Perfect is available by clicking here: www.amazon.com/Better-Than-Perfect-More-Game-ebook/dp/B00IT6IC0W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394751847&sr=1-1&keywords=better+than+perfect

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Take It or Leave It Image courtesy Google Images

Take It or Leave It
Image courtesy Google Images

New year – new game. Last year you enjoyed learning a little more about me through a game called What Haven’t I. This year I’m going to ask you to determine whether or not I would accept or decline the totally random selection of things I list in a game I’m calling Take It or Leave It. That’s right, all you have to do is guess whether I would, well, take it, or leave it.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

My amazing powers of deductive reasoning led me to that awesome title and description.

The rules are simple, just post your guesses in the comments section below. I will post the choices on Monday and my responses on Thursday. The person with the most guesses is my winner, but you must re-post in the comments section in order to claim your prize. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited after one week from posting the answers.

Good luck and have fun.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

Here we go with the very first installment of Take It or Leave It.

1 – Sing karaoke at a biker bar
2 – Skydiving
3 – Deep sea diving
4 – Bungee jumping
5 – Spelunking
6 – Parasailing
7 – Ride a bucking bull (a live one, not a mechanical one)
8 – Surfing
9 – Ride the Tower of Terror at Disneyland
10 – Eat a bug

Word of the day: Wittol
Fun fact about me: I used to change my own oil in my car.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, January 2014. Images courtesy Google Images

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For the past couple of weeks (I’ve been shamelessly keeping him to myself for far too long), Thor has been a distinguished guest in my home up here in the Sierra Nevada foothills. I had such high expectations, but things quickly went awry.

To my dismay, he arrived completely worn out from his escapades in South Carolina, but he wasn’t too weary to notice Superman keeping watch over the abode.

Superman keeping watch. Original photo by P. Rickrode

Superman keeping watch.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

Yes, that is my McDonald’s happy meal toy, don’t judge me.

At first, Thor was a little upset that another superhero would be dwelling under the same roof. Until . . . he saw the bull riders. His fascination was immediate.

Thor meets the bulls. Original photo by P. Rickrode

Thor meets the bulls.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

“I wish to conquer these great bronze beasts,” exclaimed Thor.

Naturally, Thor being Thor, decided that he would ride the biggest, baddest bull in the pen – Bodacious, the PRCA bucking bull of the year two years running (1994 & 1995).

“Thor,” I said, “you cannot ride a bull without there being a bull fighter present. They may look like rodeo clowns, but they serve a very valuable purpose.”

Intent on his mission, but aware of the danger, Thor decided to rouse the resident bull fighter, Juan Eduardo Jose Frederico Miguel Bernardo Jesus Pablo Rafeal Jones from his afternoon siesta.

Juan Eduardo Jose Frederico Miguel Bernardo Jesus Pablo Rafael Jones. Original photo by P. Rickrode

Juan Eduardo Jose Frederico Miguel Bernardo Jesus Pablo Rafael Jones.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

When Mr. Jones was ready, Thor mounted the snorting beast and called for the chute to be opened.

Thor rides Bodacious Original photo by P. Rickrode

Thor rides Bodacious
Original photo by P. Rickrode

Thor completed the 8 second ride, however, because he failed to have the bull rope in his hand, he was disqualified. The judges declined to pay the prize money, but did allow him to keep the buckle.

The winning buckle Original photo by P. Rickrode

The winning buckle
Original photo by P. Rickrode

Disheartened by his bull riding experience, Thor decided that perhaps instead of riding the bucking bulls, he’d fight them like Juan Eduardo Jose Frederico Miguel Bernardo Jesus Pablo Rafael Jones.

“How hard can that be?” Thor questioned. “They look a lot bigger when you’re on their back.”

"This bull fighting - how hard can it be?" Original photo by P. Rickrode

“This bull fighting – how hard can it be?”
Original photo by P. Rickrode

I explained to Thor that bulls come in many shapes and sizes, but he remained firm in his resolve to be a bull fighter. Until he saw the entire bull pen bearing down on him.

The bull pen Original photo by P. Rickrode

The bull pen
Original photo by P. Rickrode

Exhausted from his hasty retreat over the arena fence, Thor proclaimed that it he now understood why Juan Eduardo Jose Frederico Miguel Bernardo Jesus Pablo Rafael Jones needed a siesta. I suggested that he climb to the top of the Great Tide Basin waterfall and do a bit of yoga or meditation to relax a bit.

“Yes,” said Thor, “I shall climb and meditate.”

The great Tide Basin Falls. Original photo by P. Rickrode

The great Tide Basin Falls.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

After his siesta, meditation, I thought Thor might enjoy a bit of our natural surroundings. We ventured deep into bear country.

“I’ve wrestled many a bear in my life,” said Thor with great gusto as we roamed through the woods.

But, when he saw the bears, he seemed eager to turn tail and run.

Welcome to bear country. Original photo by P. Rickrode

Welcome to bear country.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

“You could have warned me that the bears were so huge!”

Thor was not having a good day at all, so I suggested that for the rest of his stay, he stick close to Sherlock for protection.

Sherlock - the mighty proetctor. Original photo by P. Rickrode

Sherlock – the mighty protector.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

When I was finally able to coax him away from his mighty protector, I told him that often when I’m feeling a bit fluxumed I sit and play the piano for a while. It usually calms me.

“Yes,” agreed Thor, “I will play this piano you are so fond of.”

Thor the one-note wonder. Original post by P. Rickrode

Thor the one-note wonder.
Original post by P. Rickrode

Unfortunately, Thor’s attempt at the Moonlight Sonata sounded more like the one-note sonata so I begged him to stop. He only agreed to cease the madness when I offered alcohol as an incentive. I gave him a glass of local wine, but when Thor spotted the Bushmils on the top shelf of the liquor cabinet, he demanded whiskey or threatened to entertain me again by tickling the ivories.

Needless to say, I let him have his fill, which he did, but he slept for a week afterward. Seems Thor can’t handle his whiskey. Or perhaps it was the alcohol coupled with the altitude that wiped him out. Either way, he’s really quite a wimp when it comes to drinking games. Not that I minded. Seems Thor was quite taken with the piano and I feared if he awakened he might bang on it play it again.

I had many other exciting things planned for Thor, but his liquor-induced coma kept him away from the gold panning in Coloma, the very spot where James Marshall discovered gold in 1848, picking out pumpkins from the local pumpkin patch, and a round of wine tasting here in the foothills. I thought I might even take him to Tahoe in my husband’s new car, but I was afraid he might puke on the way so didn’t even suggest it.

My advice to anyone who hosts Thor in their home – hide the booze.

If you want to read more about Thor’s journeys and adventures, check it out here: http://www.debrakristi.com/thors-world-tour/

Thanks Debra Kristi for sending Thor my way and sorry I kept him so long (really it was his own fault for drinking all that whiskey).

Word of the day: Meliorism

Fun fact about me: I am hopelessly lost when it comes to technology.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt 2013. Original photos by P. Rickrode.

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Question markHere it is the middle of June already. Can you believe the year is half gone? In honor of the summer solstice, I’m offering ya’ll a chance to win a fabulous prize by simply offering your best guesses to this very special redneck edition of What Haven’t I?

broadwayIf you’re a follower of my blog, you already know that earlier this year I decided to show my readers a little bit more about who Jansen Schmidt really is. We kicked the year off with a glimpse of my show business experiences and followed that up with a sprinkling of past wickedness.

This month, I’m going to let you take a peek at my redneck side. I look forward to your guesses. I will be awarding prizes and you don’t even have to know a single thing about me to play. All you have to do is record your guesses in the comments section below.

By way of reminder, three of the answers, I’m somewhat ashamed to say, are things that I have actually done. Only one is something I have not done. You can’t win if you don’t play. Have fun and good luck!

mechanical bullMy responses will be posted on June 18th. The person with the most correct guesses will win a prize (if they check back and acknowledge that they have won by leaving another comment) AND the first person who responds back, regardless of how many responses they got right, will also receive a prize if they leave a second comment.

So let’s get going with the guessing:

#1 – What haven’t I ridden:  a) a Harley Davidson; b) in the pace car at the harness races; c) a corvette; or d) a mechanical bull.

#2 – What haven’t I attempted to sell: a) a car; b) a horse; c) Princess House crystal; or d) make-up.

#3 – What ticket haven’t I received: a) parking; b) speeding; c) jay walking; or d) running a stop sign.

monster truck#4 – What haven’t I eaten: a) elk; b) moose; c) bear; or d) bison.

#5 – What haven’t I witnessed in person: a) a Nascar race b) a bull riding event; c) an ultimate cage fight; or d) a monster truck pull.

Word of the Day:  Zinnwaldite

Fun fact about me: In detest coffee; smell, taste, everything.

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