Saturday, February 28, 2009


There is a sweet little old lady where I work. She is quite old. Her
husband passed away last year. Every day she asked where he is and
after much stalling she is gently reminded that he passed away. Then
she bursts into tears as if she has just learned the news of his death. That
is how I feel. I am busy working and I pick up the phone to call Glen and
then I realize he is not home anymore. I nearly faint with grief and then
I go on again and then I forget again.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

boot top mud

Came home from work after dark. Took the flashlight and the dog(the cat
declined) and went slogging up the hill. I could hear the mules walking
in the mud with sucking and splashing sounds. They nickered softly to
me as I filled their little buckets with oats and senior feed. I can't feed
them too much grain as mules don't really need it unless they are working
12 hours a day(like the old days) Put out their hay and just listened to them crunching away.

When I was a little girl my dad kept his working team and saddle horse in the
barn in stalls. They were never left out to get muddy. He kept them
all brushed up and used the team every day. Once each day he would
ride his saddle horse to town to get the mail and whatever else and catch
up on the local gossip This was the only time my poor hard working
mother had a chance to read the romance novels she enjoyed so much

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Meanwhile back at the ranch

There were pickup trucks and men crowding around a covered arena about
the size of a corral. This was a COCK FIGHT. Totally illegal in Florida.
Only legal in Louisiana at that time. The authorities haCheck Spellingd been trying to
catch them at it. They informed us that everyone there would be considered guilty by association and it was a Federal Crime in Florida.

Nice folks gone bad. The chosen pair of men would pick up these huge roosters.
They looked like colorful bantams with huge spurs on there feet or ankles.
If chickens have ankles. They would hold the roosters to their face
and blow on their bottoms. Totally disgusting. Then the roosters
would fight to the death. The men were yelling and holding fists full
of money . The point was to bet on these fights.

The men were lined up for their turn to fight the winners. It was a bloody
mess. Glen and I took off down the highway . We were finally picked up
by a old guy in an old car. Later, much later we laughed and decided
it was just another adventure.

Monday, February 23, 2009

the rest of the florida story

Dad and I completed our hike and we were at the ranch. We were greeted
with the best kool aid I have ever tasted. I do not drink kool aid, but this
was wonderful. We were so dry. We went into the beautiful log house
that was spectacular. The owner was there, his care giver, and his 14
year old son. The owner had been caught in an auger and lost his arms and
his shoulders. He thought Glen had it made.

There were pickups and people all over the place. Their were men(no women) at the big gates with walki talkies talking with others posted
around the place. I was beginning to get a bit nervous. I asked if anyone
could take us back to Lack Marian. This would have taken one hour
round trip. The person in charge(?) said"after the fight".

I am sorry, but I will have to finish this in the morning. I have been
working all day. love you

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What crazy mule lady said

If I have to use one word to describe Glen Visser it would be courageous although many other words come to mind such as funny, loyal, loving, caring and compassionate. I lost my own father almost 25 years ago and this man was the closest father figure I've had in my life in that time span.

Many of us here today have spent hours on the trail with Glen. When I first started riding with him I was scared to death of falling off or getting hurt. Even though he and Jeanie were the true "ditch diving mule riders", Glen promised me he would never take me into areas that I was afraid to go into. And he held to that promise until I became a more confident rider. THANKS GLEN.

I distinctly remember a particular ride where my crazy mule bounced up and down on the end of the lead rope-rope burning both my hands-then she flipped over backward onto the saddle. We hadn't even left Glen's yard yet. I guess I should have re tacked the mule but I was so anxious to ride it didn't even cross my mind. We had a good long ride and towards the end of the ride as I was trying to light a cigarette my mule shot to the right so quickly she nearly unseated me. I caught my balance just in time for her to run off blindly with me still in the saddle. Well---I was trying every

maneuver I knew to stop her--along with some very colorful language. When I finally got her stopped I felt terrible about the language. I had used and apologized to all that were present. Glen turned Jenny around and faced me and said,"Girl I would have used much worse language than that." Then I proceeded to tell all who were there, I held on to the reins. I held on to the saddle, but I'm not sure I was able to hang on to my bladder so no fair making fun of the fat, gray headed girl when she dismounts and her pants are wet.' I thought for sure Glen would fall off his mule laughing, but he never left my side the rest of the ride and Jeanie patched my rope burned hands when we returned to their home.

Glen I hope you are listening because I am expecting you to check out the trails up there and have a good place for us to ride when it is our time to be with you again. January 15, 1935-February 10,2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Florida Trail

Glen and I were in
Florida by Lake Marian South of
Kissemee. It was 35 miles to the
nearest town. We were camped
near the Florida Trail which is
across the whole state. It is very
primitive with volunteers putting
a bit of red paint on tree now and then. There is no facilities or water
source. It is just an easement on
property for people to walk the trail. There are lots of wild pigs, alligators
and who knows what. We left at day break. I carried the food and water
and Glen had a pack as well. we had on warm clothes. As my pack got
lighter his got heavier. We had one gallon of water, but that was not near
enough. We walked 28 miles. For some reason Glen got blisters all over
his feet. It must have been that I go barefoot all the time. Anyway, I did
not have any problems at all.

The area is so primitive just like it used to be. Very beautiful experience
and I will never forget it. My first real hiking experience and I loved every
minute of it except I got so thirsty as we ran out of water right away.

our friend who picked us up was something hard to believe. He had lost
his arms in an elevator accident and he did not even have shoulders. He
admired dad so much as he could do a lot of things. This fellow could not
do much. He had a ranch and a great big house and a caregiver. There is a lot more to this story some of which is shocking. More later.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Last evening some friends came over and brought pizza. Cactus sent
me a wonderful photo and a bag of oats for my girls. Another good
friend brought a drink concoction of brandy and baileys cream.
He brought just enough for one drink. I was proud of him for that.
It was so good that afterward we just sat there. Someone mentioned
that Glen always had cold beer and neat glasses to drink out of.
Well, I had been to Costco that very day and I aways brought home
a case of some fancy or expensive beer that was special for a few
weeks(maybe 1). Well I don't drink beer so now I was selfish.
We settled for S.Pellecrino sparkling natual mineral water from Italy.
My friends did a lot for me they gave me hope. I decided I wanted to continue my
life of riding and camping.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Afraid to Fall

In 2003 I had a mule called Mandy. She was easy to catch, easy to tack up
and easy to ride. However, if you asked her to gallop she would start
to hump up. I put up with that for several months.

She was a good little mule. We went to Eminence, Mo. with the club. She
even swam the Jackson Fork River.
We were in Iowa Falls for a ride. A bunch of us were out "horsing
around" excuse my French. I asked her to gallop like the rest and
she started to hump up. I said I was so tired of this so I kicked her up
and she pitched me off. I sustained a few fractured bones.

The interesting thing about this is I was never afraid of falling again.
It was really a good learning experince. What is a little discomfort
compared to fear.

Mandy resides somewhere in Missouri now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tami's thoughts on paper

Glen Visser

A man with the plan to help others and treat each person as a friend. You may have only met him once, but you will always hold a place in his heart. With a joke you never knew what to expect next because he always had something interesting to say and a smile on his face.

A year ago was my first experience with Glen and his wife Jeanie, we were riding the banks of the Des Moines River, and the stories Glen told us about his childhood, you know when you walked to school uphill both ways in snow up to your belly kind of stories.

Riding mules with glen was a pleasure, but at the same time, it was a challenge. Never a dull moment, and never a path traveled the same way twice.

Thinking back on one ride I was waiting for an important phone call and noticed my phone was gone. Glen stopped dead in his tracks and we turned to retrace our steps back. With all of us looking the old man found the phone.

I wish I could have more memories with this giant of a man. My father died of cancer and the saying that got ME through it was, heroes are remembered, but legends never die. So when you go out on the banks of the Des Moines river maybe you will hear this legend in the wind, laughting and telling jokes with A big smile on his face.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Abraham Lincoln's 200th Birthday

(A letter from Carrie's work friend Mike Farley)

February 12 2009

Dear Carrie,

Three score and fourteen years ago your father was born to live a rich and full life in the heartland of America.

Though not born to riches, he was rich in talent.

He stretched his adventurous spirit with travel and art and animal husbandry, gracing all who know him with that spirit, without fame or fanfare.

His family leaves an enduring legacy for the community and state where he set his roots.

The suffering and toil and trouble he endured will redeem him of his sins.

I choose to remember him thus. you do the same, filling in with richness of memory my scant ouline of his life.

Peace be with you


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Snow and Mud

In the early l940's I was thrilled when we had a big snow or thaw. This
meant my school bus driver Calvin Van Loon would come after me on
horse back and take me to the next Western mile road so we could get
to school. We had a team and enclosed coach for the kids with a bench
on each side.
This bus is just like the one from Attica. Our team were big black mules.

Believe me school was never cancelled.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I am ready for some fun

Friday, February 13, 2009

Glen's celebration of Life

Today is the first day of the rest of
my life. Glen would want me to
rejoice in it.
Thanks for all your support and prayers.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Searching for Toads

Great Granddaughter with Grandpa

searching for toads by the pond.

Her Cousins were here visiting. Three

toads were found. Catch and Release.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Glen's Day

Yesterday (February 10,2009) Glen
figured out his own diagnosis and
took the matter into his own hands
and ended his life. As brave in death
as he was in life.
I accepted his decision and was saddened that I had no clue what
was happening.
We love him and will cherish his memory forever. Grandma Jeanie

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

mountain climbing naked

My nephew in Switzerland enjoys mountain climbing. I read in the internet

that naked mountain climbers had been fined. My nephew is quite

a prankster, it might have been him and some friends.

I wonder if there is mule riding in Switzerland.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Our granddaughter, lives in Fair Banks Alaska, On the edge of the
wilderness. She was sending us an e-mail and a Moose passed her
window with two young ones. She said she lives in an apartment
complex and the moose were trotting past her window and on
to a parking lot. It is still 30 degrees below freezing and rather
dark. We have deer in our back yard including a buck with huge
antlers. I guess that is about the same thing.

Gotta dash today is a working day.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Riding Rosey

My friend "Crazy Mule Lady and Rosey" at the state show. This is what
I want to do with my mule County
Fair. When Crazy Mule Lady rode
my mule the mule did some amazing
thing. Side Pass. Move her hindquarters on que. Walk trot
canter on que. Just amazing.
Now if I could do that. WOW


Everyone that has mules has a barn

or a shelter. Back in the 1990s I decided I wanted to raise milk goats.

At the time a lumber yard was being auctioned off and hubby bought

one of the buildings for salvage lumber. Then he built the barn.

In the meantime I visited some goats,, not the Nubian or other breeds

but just plain goats. They smelled so bad I scraped the goat business

plan. I even had been practing milking goats with friend.

In 2002 we started buying mules and we have been happy ever


Our black mule is called County Fair(she was born there) 14 years old

and Jenny the dun she is 22. Both of them are great ditch diving mules.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Texans are coming

Our dear friend Roger is coming from San Antonia, Texas today.
We are preparing a feast of scallops, salmon, New York Strip Steak
and shrimp all on the Barbie. I have a smokeless grill that was a
Christmas gift and it works wonders on a freezing day.

I walked the fence today and the sun felt warm on my back (on my parka)
Could Spring be around the corner.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tempers and Taxes

We were going through all the papers for filing our taxes. We were having
a heated discussion when we remembered that today is our anniversary.
So instead of temper we started remembering all the good times and
fun we have had.

Today I paid our dues to the Iowa Donkey and Mule Assoc. I really
look forward to Spring and riding my mule in the various classes and
games. Winter is dragging and it is the season for dreaming of all
the things to do in the Spring.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

fish fry and flash backs

Kirk brought fresh carppie fish for a fry. Big fish fries are a part of our
history. We used to have skillet that was 36 inches wide and 4 inches
deep that we put on the campfire. We had a camp on the Des Moines
river and we had a school bus camper there. This was in the 70's.
We could fry tons of catfish and everyone we knew would come
and eat with us.

Today all of the family was here except Cathy. We had wonderful
fish french fries and cole slaw that Mia and Carrie brought. They
came to see their dad who has been having psychological problems
of guilt and paranoia. It is hard to see the beloved leader of our family
being dependent on the others. He was fine when they were here
but lapsed into worry the minuete they lefted.

I needed to calm down and I went to the barn and to the mules. They
are so calm in their need to eat. I gave them grain and hay. Nana was
there and she is so sure there is a varmint living the the barn. She just
goes bonkers looking for the little rascal. I told County fair, my new
mule, that we are doing shows and games next year. She is already
trained by her previous owner and knows how to do almost everything
needed for shows and games. The only problem I have I parking the
truck and trailer. I already can drive it is just so hard to back up etc.
This is my challenge for 2009. Pray for me.

Love Grandma Jeanie