Hello wonderful readers. I am transferring my writings to a different blog name. I will now be blogging on:
Please replace your bookmark with the above address.
Morley’s Acres Farm and Bed & Breakfast captures our new life here in Victor, Idaho where we are building our small farm and opening our place as a destination from which to explore the Teton Mountains.
Thank so much for reading my stories and I hope you follow me to my new site as I am back in the saddle and ready to write!
I’ve been riding Two Feathers and Sonata as much as possible before the winter cuts me off. The myriad of fall color, a visual siren calling me out to the forest, delivered in its splendor. Bright reds, deep oranges, warm yellows… Both the horses have arrived to a place where I trust to ride out alone, although my daughter, Genavieve, has been my regular weekly companion. Riding out into the Teton and Big Hole Mountains is a new level of being out there. There is a sense of wild that filters into your pours and changes the taste in your mouth.
Now the leaves are calling it a year, giving up in floating waves, falling to the earth and carpeting the trails. Yesterday I headed up to Teton Canyon on Two Feathers. I had my dogs and I picked up Genavieve’s two dogs since they were house bound. We were a big loud pack against the threat of foraging bears. We trotted up Mill Creek Trail until the going got slippery. Pockets of snow, stubborn in cold draws despite the warm day of 50+ degrees forced me to slow down. Two Feathers loves to go, but after a small slip, even she understood our peril as we navigated narrow sections where a slip would not be pretty. We wound through forest, stands of naked aspens, their white trunks shining in great numbers until we rounded a treeless bend and were graced with a view of the Tetons face on.
We have settled in and even had some guests, including a short visit from my son with some of his buddies that were visiting from California. After they scarfed a breakfast of pancakes and such, they wanted to ride the horses. You gotta love young people. Whereas, I am always trying to get the horses to slow down and walk, they wanted to giddy-up and move out. Well, they bounce way better than I do at this point.
Here is the big news, after brainstorming for weeks, we have come up with a name for our place here and can now launch our home business. Ta Da!! We are officially:
Visit my website to see the new pages and pictures that tell all. http://www.julieannemorley.com
We are far from ready. We are a work in progress. So out I go yesterday once the storm has mostly passed to make some of said progress. It was cool and crisp above Morley’s Acres, yet the storm was still with me, just over yonder in the mountains. I was crooned by thunder and invigorated by wild winds as I added fallen leaves to the new garden under construction, planted a fledgling golden willow and scraped out chicken crap. If anyone wants to know what I do, I can tell you it has a lot to do with animal excrement, digging holes and moving rocks. With a blazer going in the fireplace, I knew I’d soon be warm, so it wasn’t until just about dark that I came in from my beloved outdoors with 2 lovely eggs in hand.
Next Blog: all about our venture….
Here is a little slide show, my new thing.
What have I been doing this past many months of no blogging. Reinventing ourselves. We sold our beloved house in the Big Lost River Valley and moved to Victor, ID which is about 20 miles or so from Jackson Hole, WY. As much as we loved out house, we wanted more snow, plain and simple, as well as the opportunity to work if we need or want, so we left is to the great mystery of fate to determine if we would make the move. In other words, would our house sell? Well it did, to the only person who looked at it! We looked at 30 houses in the Teton Valley and we ended up choosing a place that has several of the things we were missing at the old place. We have a giant green pasture with water rights, a guest house, lots of room in the main house, a huge garage, a barn that fits many tons of hay…. We are now fully prepared to take the next step toward self-sufficiency, grow our own, eat our own, have a farmer’s market stand? Yes, I left behind my three vegetable gardens, multiple flower gardens, the place I worked myself silly over, but what is life, but work? I’ll do it here, there or anywhere. It’s a good thing too, because…
It was a short sale, so what does this means? Much work required. After 6 full dump loads, 5o gallons of toxic waste taken to the station, and weeks and weeks of toil, I am posting pictures of our new paradise as a slide show.
Spring comes late at 6500 feet, but not this year. I already have my garden in thanks to a frost blanket. The free grazing cattle are getting driven into the backcountry and our grass is green. The other day we had a bull tooling down our driveway heading directly for house and home. Our cattle guard is anything but. He simply skip over it like it’s the yellow brick road. Tim jumped on the 4-wheeler, called the dogs and got the big sucker out of our fence in no time. We had no idea that a couple of small calves would prove to be more difficult to extricate. The little buggers weave into the sage brush and disappear. One particular calf wouldn’t budge. Tim got him on a lasso and managed to get him out of the brush and onto the road. Our neighbor Sally tossed me a camera so I could capture the moment. Perhaps board shorts and sneakers aren’t the typical cowboy attire, but Tim got the job done. We had a tense moment freeing the little guy from the rope. They are stronger than they look. That same evening, Tim went back to Jackson for work. I went upstairs around 9 PM to close the windows and in the still bright daylight, I saw that the calf had already returned. He was standing not too far from our house, still wondering what happened to Mommy. This morning, the rancher arrived and said his mother quit on him. They picked up the calf and took him on home to be bottle fed. I kind of miss the white-faced baby, but I don’t miss the bull. Today, I rode Two Feathers with a friend out on the BLM. The herds haven’t dispersed yet, so when we crossed the creek, we had company. Three bulls and a bunch of cows didn’t take warmly to our intrusion of the waterway. Two Feathers had to mention her unease as well. Throw in some gusting wind and I had a wild west moment. Just another day on range here in Idaho.
Here is a synopsis of my coming novel. What do you think?
Synopsis of Pacheco Falls
by Julie Anne Morley
Samantha feels broken inside and everything she’s tries to do to fix it backfires. At seventeen, she wishes for a different life, but even when she gets it, she still finds a way to screw it up. Now her mother is married to Aaron, and the drifting family of two grabs the promise of stability in his aging house in the small town of San Martin south of San Jose, California. When Samantha meets Sergeant, the horse belonging to Aaron’s late wife, she finally feels as though she’s found something that truly belongs to her. She gets her driver’s license, strikes up a friendship with Angie, a seasoned horsewoman at Coe Road Stables, and meets Jasper, a young local rancher. As Aaron builds a room for her and her confidence in her new family grows, the life she always hoped for seems within reach. She grows stronger, finds herself smiling, quits smoking weed, and lets the sun sink into her skin. For the first time, she allows herself to feel the love of her new family and friends. It doesn’t last long enough.
Jayne knows what it feels like to be an unwanted stepchild and she promised herself that her daughter will never suffer the same fate. So even though Aaron is loving and fair to Samantha, her past colors her ability to enjoy the present. Still, as she and Samantha settle into their new life with Aaron and his children, she begins to heal and as she feels more confident, her dormant intellect blooms. Accustomed to keeping important things secret, she applies to graduate school without telling anyone and his inadvertent discovery of her intent erodes the tenuous trust between them. As the family fragments into dysfunction, Jayne fails to act even though she suspects that Aaron is involved with his childhood sweetheart, Angie, and Samantha is falling into old her self-destructive habits.
It’s too late for Aaron to prove his love for Tamara, his late wife, but now he has a second chance. Marrying Jayne is a package deal, but after a few weeks of living with teenage Samantha, he wonders if he’s made a mistake. Yet his children are happier with their new mother and when he lets Samantha take over his horse, Sergeant, the family bubbles with optimism. But when he finds out about Jayne’s secret plans, the way he betrayed his first wife rises to the surface and he turns toward his childhood sweetheart, Angie.
Angie had the perfect childhood. It wasn’t until after high school graduation that her heart was irreversibly broken. When her lifetime best friend and sweetheart, Aaron, married another woman, Angie turned to the companionship of her horse and withdrew from the disappointed world of human interaction. When Aaron’s wife was killed, Angie hoped he would turn to her. Instead he married someone else, again. Angie vows to excise Aaron from her thoughts forever, but when he brings Samantha to meet Sergeant, she finds she can’t keep the promise she made to herself.
Jasper Olson was raised by a bully and his survival depended on keeping a close watch. Now his mechanism for coping has become a twisted past time. He fixes on Samantha as the solution to his loneliness and believes that if he can win her affection, it will prove that he is a good man. After watching her from afar for a month, he finally meets her face to face. Her vulnerable youth stirs his desire to become the man he always wanted to be. They begin an innocent relationship that blooms into intimacy. When Samantha sees him for what he really is, an ex-addict, loner, bottom-line loser, he pulls out his shotgun and orders her off his ranch.
At sixteen, Jonathan Olson couldn’t take the despotism of his father and decided to flee to the remote hills and live a life of seclusion in the backcountry. The hermit thrived and never looked back until he caught a glimpse of a familiar looking young man four decades later. He watches and tracks Jasper Olson, and the discord he witnesses within him awakens feelings, both bitter and sweet. Sensing trouble, the hermit trespasses into Jasper’s house, removes his booze bottles, paraphernalia and shotgun. When Jasper tracks him down, he reveals his identity, and offers to tell Jasper the story of his life. The two men retreat to the hillside cave he calls home. The smell of smoke draws them from their conversation and they hike out of the ravine to get a better look. An approaching wildfire is coming directly toward the old man’s lair. As they scramble down the hillside, Jonathan breaks his leg and hit his head. No longer able to flee the oncoming fire, Jasper carries him to the cave to wait it out. As the hermit floats in and out of consciousness, he now knows that he wants to stay alive in this world, if only to be a part of his newfound nephew’s life.
As a heat wave grips the region and the characters’ psyches unravel, each finds a point of strength to carry them into change. Against the backdrop of a raging wildfire that threatens the land they all love, Samantha comes to understand what a father’s love means, Jayne forgives herself for failing to protect Samantha, Aaron finds the sense of community and commitment that he longs for, Jasper unites with only living relative and Angie takes a chance at love.
Lately I can’t remember how old I am. Now that April is just before me, I have paused to think about it. April has always been a special month. It’s my birthday month. Hey, I’m an Aries. Need I say more? Spring is by nature married to renewal, joined by definition. April is also the month of my wedding anniversary to my husband, Tim. As I reflect on the past year, it is with bittersweet tenderness. I think of life in chapters and this new chapter we’ve been in hasn’t followed any script. It has been as wonderful as I imagined and as different. Tim and I are navigating our new life, turning the pages as they present. Some feel worn, read a thousand times, the paper soft, familiar. Others are starched, coated with a foreign sheen, unintelligible, necessitating multiple reads. We are together 24/7, a condition many wives groan over, yet as we have done with each new chapter, we have fine tuned and found the sweet spot. It lies somewhere beyond the layers of self. To constantly be with one’s love is an art worth exploring. How will it be experienced? A continuous dance of gnawing on one’s nerves, a quarrelsome fest of getting what each of needs, or a simple offering, a step back from ego, a declination of an invisible invitation to tangle, a gentle nudging of the self from the center? We have fallen into an exquisite routine that seems more like a dance, one that requires anticipation, openness and full participation. I think about our month’s journey of late, our opportunity to have this uninterrupted time that we both guard as the jewel that it is, because life is change and we are not immune. Tim will take a job, perhaps be away five days a week. It is temporary. It is necessary. It’s okay. I will write my next novel, he will be amongst the bison and the bears. This chapter we are living, the fairy tale section in a book as tumultuous as any other marriage will sustain us though the next. We will always have these months of long walks in the mountains, working side by side on our little ranch, watching open-mouthed as the moon has risen and the sun has set. I don’t know how the next pages will read, but I do know we’ll read them together if not in body, then in spirit and love. I want to grow old with this man and I know that I will.