Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Cody's still interred on the ranch in Arizona. He was planning on heading out today, but Bachelor had to take a trip up to Pheonix for a few days, so Cody agreed to ranch-sit. He had only planned on being there a week, but after a shopping expedition Sunday to buy new tubes for the stroller tires, some new jeans to replace his "shredded" one, and some food, he realized he needed a bit more cash, so he stuck on.

I'd been wondering just how desperate the cash situation was before he got this job, so Cody finally told me tonight, from the security of the ranch's double wide, with a full meal in his belly-- he spent his last dollar on a cheeseburger from McDonald's on Thanksgiving Day. It wasn't until Monday, I believe, that he found this ranching job. He'd made his last 12 1/2 dollars last a week and a half up until Thanksgiving, by subsisting on PB&Js and Ramen noodles. After the dollar cheeseburger, he lasted the rest of the time on PB&Js. He was passing the ranch after they were all gone, and he decided he at least had to ask for water. He found a job, along with water, and several good meals.

Bear in mind, worriers, he could have had money from anyone in his family or an extended network of friends with a phone call, but he had to see how he would feel to really be broke.

I'm guessing he felt hungry.

And probably sick of PB&Js.

Anyway, this job has done wonders for his morale and bank account. It sounds like it's beautiful country, too. Cody's been fencing in the BLM portion of the ranch, which is full of mountains and valleys. Since it is BLM land, there are no motorized vehicles allowed. That means hauling in fence posts on foot, over tough terrain. At least his muscles probably haven't atrophied in the last week!

Cody, true to his battle against softness, hasn't been sleeping in a bed on the ranch, even though the rancher offered him one. He has, however, been sleeping inside. An inch of snow fell yesterday-- Cody says it will be tough to leave the warmth at night! He has lots of warm clothes, though, and Mom is shipping him a package with another winter coat. He's also mulling over what book to ask her to send. He's finished Travels with Charley, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

The Stroller Saga continues. Cody spent money on three tire tubes that were guaranteed not to go flat. He spent about twenty minutes carefully picking over the three tires, removing any tiny speck of thorn or gravel that might pop a tire. He then carefully wheeled it about 200 ft. and parked it next to the house. The next day, Bachelor had hired someone to blast some rock for them. After the blaster set the six-minute timer, they were waiting for the explosion, when there was a loud bang from behind them! The tube had chosen this moment to blow up! Cody has no idea why it would have exploded, stationary with hardly any weight on it. It's not like he's overfilling them, since he has a pretty lame hand pump to pump them up with. The tire that had popped was a back tire, so Cody swapped the tube out with the front tire, than filled the front tire with pipe insulation. Since it's not bearing as much weight, he hopes that will work.

Scott Smith left yesterday, heading for Laramie. I'm hoping he took some pictures that he'll post!

Cody continues to be remembered at home in upstate New York. He had pygmy goats when he was a kid, and we all loved them. They were cute and had tons of personality. This summer, he decided to buy another one, so he answered an ad in the Free Trader (lifeblood of the North Country) for a pygmy goat. He was a little skeptical when he showed up, since there wasn't much pygmy about this goat. He hated to call the lady a liar, though, so he took the goat. He quickly decided it was just an ornery billy goat. And it smelled worse than boys' feet after a road trip (and I speak from experience-- I once had a Metro that my brothers borrowed for a road trip-- when my sister crashed it 18 months later, it still smelled wrong!) It was just an exceptionally unappealing animal.

Remember my comment about Cody's relationship with The Law? Well, because of that touchy subject, I'm not gonna say what happened to the goat. Suffice it to know that a really ugly billy goat was discovered in the enclosed court yard of the local high school sometime this fall. The ag teacher took pity on it and adopted it, while the juniors accused the seniors of a prank, and the seniors retaliated with accusations of their own. Not much has happened with the goat lately... until it got in the mood to write Christmas cards.

An 8x10 portrait of the goat was sent to Cody (at Mom and Dad's address). The goat asked if he could please come home again...

The shop teachers at school have had lots of Vaughan kids through their classes, and I think they might be fairly confident that they know what happened that autumn evening.

Anyway, there are no goats on the ranch in AZ!

As Cody says, this little break has done wonders for his morale, but he can't wait to get walking again, and "karate fight the road." Here's hoping he delivers a good blow to the asphalt! Feel free to make your own karate chop for good with a donation to Doctors Without Borders at Cody's fundraising site.