I Was Awarded The Illuminating Blogger Award

I have been blessed with a new award from Food Stories at http://foodstoriesblog.com/

I was awarded the Illuminating Blogger Award!

Food Stories is pleased to present the Illuminating Blogger Award, a fabulous award that anyone can bestow on their fellow bloggers for illuminating, informative blog content. I was surprised and humbled that my blog was chosen for this awesome award.

Thank you so much Food Stories, CJ:) http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/

I am to share one random interesting thing about myself…hmmmm…I am 5’9″ tall…and was always in the taller group at school growing up…now I am in the normal group as we all have kids that are taller in this day and age.

Now I get to pass on the award to five other super talented illuminating bloggers that I enjoy reading…this is the fun part!

1. Ann Novek  @ http://havehest.wordpress.com/  She has such an informative and illuminating blog. I have learned many things about life and animals from all over that Ann posts, which educate and inform me about the awful cruelty abuse of animals. She also writes about her life and the awesome birds she sees as well as about Stockholm. And her photography is awesome!

2. Sam and Pam @ http://onespoiledcat.wordpress.com/ Sam is a very talented kitty who keeps me smiling with his daily life and his thoughts about life. Pam is his Mom and she runs the blog for Sam and also keeps him happy with lots of kitty loves and hugs. Sam has become friends with my kitty girl Minnie and Minnie thinks he is very smart and uh well cute too:)

3.  http://throughmylens365.wordpress.com/  I love the photography of  Tuxedo Sophisticated Cat…she is doing a year long project of shooting a picture per day. She also has a website of her photography when she travels. I always look forward to what she posts and shares with us.

4. Lissa @ http://wheniride.wordpress.com/ She blogs about life and shares her thoughts on various topics with deep meaning. I love reading her perspectives as it broadens my thinking too:)

She spends her days training trail horses, observing her natural surroundings and appreciating how those two loves come together in her life. While she rides, she contemplates the people in her life and her relationship with the Creator. She writes about her travels and steps taken toward the goals she has set for herself. Go check her illuminating blog out!

5. Jeffrey @ http://photonatureblog.com/ is a new blog I just discovered and already enjoy seeing the various photos of nature that he takes.

It is always hard for me to just pick a few when there are so many bloggers and blogs that are all wonderful. I feel very blessed to be part of the blogging world as I have met some amazing incredible people:) Thank you again Food Stories @ http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/  and also to all my subscribers and supporters!

Incredible Storms Rolling Over Juniper Canyon

Our weather the last year has been odd for this neck of the woods….but perfect for me to capture images to share with you all:)

It all began like this….dark couds overhead with threatening skies…I knew it was camera time.

Within minutes the first rainbow appeared…as the sun was dipping lower and lower so the incredible colors are natural.

Looking back towards the barn….beautiful skies!

We had several short cloud bursts of rain….

Incredible…God’s colors…in person they are intense and beautiful and awesome!

Another rainbow…and this time it was reaching over the entire ranch….we have land on each side of the road and this blessing rainbow was reaching from side to side of our land…wow!

And Mr. Buck was on the move…he was feeling good and stretching his muscle!

And a classic Quarter Horse stop…Buck is right on…head down…butt tucked under and haunches set…slide a bit and stop…love Quater Horse butts:)

“Did yah see that Mom?”

Ok this is the third set of rainbows…totally weird…I do not ever remember seeing so many in one storm here.

Neither does Buck….

Another incredible sunset in Juniper…

Melody and Annie were right with Bucky…weird weather makes them feel frisky…they love to play and run and buck too!

A beautiful end to an unusual storm for us…I know many of you have scary storms…so far ours have been unusual and great photo ops for me…by the way I shot over 350 pictures in a few hours with this storm and it was hard to pick the ones I did for the blog:)

Buck says whew that was fun! Now I need sleep…it is the time to say God Night:)

With that said…have a great night!

Magical Country Nights With My Car Guy

As spring slowly slides into Juniper Canyon, the evening light has become softer with golden highlights…perfect light to capture pictures of the various customer vehicles we have built. This “1951 Chevrolet Pick Up” came to us from Calgary, Alberta and it was time for pictures as the owner was on the road headed to our shop to take his truck home, as the job was complete:)

The late day light makes the colors pop…which I love!

The chrome grill and rounded nose of this vintage truck rock with artistic design!

This is one very classy Chevrolet, completely restored to stock. The owner bought this truck at the Barrett Jackson Car Auction in Scottsdale, AZ. and once he got it home decided that it needed some TLC. He did some searching and  found “Holton Secret Lab”…that is our business here…he loved that we were the “Secret Lab”.

We restored a “1948 Chevrolet Pick Up” a few years ago and took it to the Portland Roadster Show several times winning Best of Class. Both pick ups are almost the same color etc. and they are both restored to stock. You can take a look at the “1948” on our website under portfolio and also awards on http://www.holtonsecretlab.com. It is on the second page of the Portfolio.

I do love taking pictures of the work my hubby does as when the vehicle is finished it is amazing as I know how it looked when it came into the shop. WB has incredible vision and can see through the rust and nasty looking vehicles that our customers often bring to us to make them new again. Kind of like me with salvaging some of the antique furniture we have…when I begin to restore an ugly piece of old dilapidated furniture I can see the end result even if no one else can:) WB puts his whole heart into the customers dream vehicle…doing what he said he would do…and he does it with perfection:)

Very cool shot…check out the headlights…and all the amazing chrome:)

When I first married WB I had allot to learn with Hot Rods and Customs. Thankfully on my own accord in High School I fell in love with the love of automobiles and cool cars….of course my parents did not allow me to have anything cool…geesh. I wanted a “1966 “396” Chevelle” for my car on my 16th birthday…I heavily hinted this to Mom and Dad as their very good friend owned a Chevy garage and on his used car lot he had this exact car…a dark black cherry color with black interior…I even test drove it…hoping beyond hope…instead they bought me a three speed on the column “1966 Dodge Coronet” or I could drive my Dad’s Chevy Pick Up or his Chevrolet Blazer…which was pretty cool in “1968-1969″ as they were unique.

Simple times…simpler days…no iPod or iPhone or high-tech stuff installed on this dash…just get in and enjoy the drive:)

I love that the wood is oak with chrome strips…what a flash!

Ahhh…the good ol’ days!

Had to throw this in so you would not get too bored with car stuff…this was last night between storms…we now seem to get mid-west weather…wild clouds and wild weather…hoping we do not get tornadoes next or something crazy…weird clouds and storms are enough…perfect for a country cowgirl camera addict:)

Ok time to put her away…

Hmmmm? I wonder what he is seeing or thinking?

My car guy…love you WB:)

After 35 years you still make my heart pitter patter:)

It’s Fabulous Fantastic Freaky Friday!!! I am wishing you an incredible day filled with lots of good belly laughs with plenty of sunny sunshine!!! No matter where you are…there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if you look for it! It may not be actual money that you find but something very special and meaningful:)

Look deep into my eyes…the force is with you…Happy Freaky Friday!!!!!!

Sunsets…Horses…Moon Rising…Spring Evenings

Spring evenings are magical here as the earth begins to turn green everywhere and sunset time brings soft light and incredible skies.

I never grow tired of looking at this view…

The CRP is getting greener and is full of life.

Hey Mr. Buck Buck…love his Buckskin color…and he is such a good boy!

The sun is beginning to slowly slide behind the canyon hill….

While I fill water troughs and check horses…

My Sweet Melody…such a pretty girl:)

Heaven above is painting the sky colors and hues that we can not make ourselves…as it is God’s way of blessing us with His nightly creation…

O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!

God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

And as the sun-kissed the earth one more time with golden colors…I was blessed with this view out the window…the incredible moon sitting on top of the hill.

What we call a “Harvest Moon” as typically we often have beautiful moons like this during the heat of harvest and summer…

And lift off…the end to a perfect spring day in Juniper Canyon….

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday…and a great start to a new week on Monday!

I will be updating some new pictures of the house remodel as it is beginning to change quite a bit!

My New Love Affair

I have a new love affair living here and “Wild Bill” knows about it…in fact he is the one who gave me this new love for Mom’s Day! I bet you are wondering what it is…

Let me introduce you to” Lola”…a completely stock “1955 T-Bird” that WB surprised me with for Mother’s Day:) Yes we name our vehicles around here…always have as we feel they each have a distinct personality!

We are the third owner and interesting enough…all three owners have been women. I fell in love with this car the first time I drove it with “Wild Bill”. A customer had asked us to check all the running gear out on it as he had bought it for his wife in 1992 and they were ready to sell it.

When I first met “Wild Bill” this was my car…a silver “1964 Corvette Coupe”…which I loved so much! I have looked for another one the last 35 years and have not found one yet. After I drove “Lola” I was taken back to driving my “64”…Lola drives the same and feels the same and is very much like my Corvette! I know there are some Corvette addicts out there that are rolling their eyes that Lola can not possibly be like Lucretia (my “64’s” name)…and I admit this is the first Ford I have owned.

Lola is all class…leather dash and all original interior…6 volt…both tops…three speed overdrive…enough room for two people…and that beautiful Torch Red. She is also the first year of Thunderbird…and honestly if she was newer than a 1957 Bird I would not like her. I personally thought the 1955-1957 T-Birds were incredible.

When you drive her you have to actually drive her:) In other words in my Suburban I just lightly steer and off we go…with Lola you have to steer and watch the tach and shift up and down:):):) So that is why she reminded me of my “64 Vette”. This is a classic sports car back when America knew how to build cars…the golden age of real steel and real parts with attention to detail on horsepower and the ride:)

Here is a very cool touch…the exhaust exits through the two chrome ports above the bumper. They were designed to look like a WWII machine gun ports on a fighter plane…really!

And the hood scoop…love it with the cool grill in it:) Love the flags with the Ford logo.

Smile “Wild Bill”..I love you…so does Tucker and Dasher…he hates me taking his picture…can you tell?

I can’t stop taking pictures of Lola to share with you how amazing she is in person and I love taking pictures! Have you noticed?

My “Baby Bird” has a 292 CID overhead valve V-8. It was the second year of these motors for Ford…a big improvement over Ford’s old flathead engines. Lola’s really peppy even as a senior citizen:)

As I often say…see ya on down the trail driving Lola…L..O..L..A Lola…La-La-La Lola:) Ok here is a test for…who sang the “Lola” song I am humming along to?

Another beautiful country sunset that gifted us on a perfect weekend!

It’s Tawanda Day! Tawannnnda!!!!!!

Do you remember the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes”? I loved that movie…and Tawanda! So every once in a while it is Tawanda Day here…why…because it represents a sense of freedom and complete silliness!!! Which I personally need and love…we all do. In our busy crazy lives, wherever we live, we need to remind ourselves to take time out of each day and dance…laugh…let your hair down…be you…and just do it:) Tawaaannnnndaaaa!!! Yee-Haw!!!

We had rain this morning…with this amazing ground rainbow….I have never seen a ground rainbow…it was quite curious to me.

At noon we had a small break and now the clouds are definitely building…looking a bit ominous too.

 A FEW THUNDERSTORMS WILL MOVE ACROSS THE FOOTHILLS OF THE BLUE MOUNTAINS. SOME OF THE STRONGER STORMS WILL

PRODUCE WIND GUSTS TO 50 MPH…HAIL…AND HEAVY RAIN.

Well that does not sound fun!

I need to go check on my girls…Melody and Annie…they have been at the real barn since we began moving their portable stalls across the road…I miss seeing them out my window…the barn actually is very nice with quality stalls etc. for them but they miss me too…that is why we bought the portable stalls so they could be closer to the house.

So because it is a Tawanda Day…I had Wild Bill take me for a drive last evening to grab some shots of our landscape…I wanted to shoot the Canola now while it is yet blooming as in a few days it will drop the blooms…right now it is a vibrant yellow…this is for you:)

I loved taking these shots…could not stop as it was beautiful with the colors, the clouds, the light…it was magic time!

This is above our house…yes we can see into forever here…we live in a beautiful pristine land…most of the families that live here are like us…our ancestors came to America over 100 years ago to settle the land…to farm and begin a new life to pass on to their families and they did. Now we are the caretakers of the land and we all seek to do it right.

The view behind me….

And to my right…back towards the Blue Mountains…the carpet of green is this years wheat crop growing.

Incredible huh…golden clouds above a golden-yellow field of Canola.

This particular field has lots of memories for me…it is up the road from our house and joins our land…my cousins farm it. I ride my horses on it when there is stubble or no crop for the year…I love it as it has lots of hills and draws to explore. When I drove wheat truck in it…well it was never boring…very steep hills and draws to climb with one long 45 degree hill that lifts the back wheels on a self leveling hillside combine off the ground!

One year when Wild Bill was driving combine, I rode with him for a day sitting on a bean bag pillow on the floor, my back was against the glass and my view was either looking at WB or looking at the back wheels of the combine. As we came down the steep hill, I saw the back wheels lift off the ground…the only thing that kept us from rolling was the header! Of course my cousins and WB thought it was so dang funny as I was pretty wide eyed…no make that hysterical…oh wow what a ride…yeah!

Back to the Canola…this is how your Canola Oil becomes oil…next time when you look at your oil…think of this incredible yellow field…the seeds are there in the head of the flower. After the blooms fall off, the stem dries out, then the farmer pushes it over and harvests the seeds.

And this is what makes “Hot Rod Cowgirl” get excited with her camera!

The ever changing light, the colors, the landscape…beautiful and incredible:)

Country clouds and….

Wide open spaces…perfecto!!!!

Annnd…HRCG is on the move!!!!

Have a great weekend!!!! Taawwwaannndaaa!!!

Weekend Warriors!

A few weekends ago we began to move the portable horse stalls we set up here at the house to the new set up across the road from the house…last weekend we decided to move the hay/feed room.

With running a small business during the week and currently remodeling the exterior part of the house etc…often our weekends are when we do ranch chores.

In the spring especially, the ranch requires lots of TLC…we spray weeds and burn weeds…clean up around the buildings and along the roads…drag pastures as well as drag the gravel driveways around the ranch complex…fix fences, gates and sprinklers if needed…clean the barn, saddles and corrals…work up the dirt in the arena into nice soft un-clumpy dirt…lots of this and that type things.

There are not enough hours in a day for either Wild Bill or me from about February until maybe December and then we have the holiday rush!

“Wait…Hey Mr. Sun…you can’t leave me now…come back I need more daylight please!!!”

We began the process of dismantling stuff and I had gone to the house to grab some water for us to drink and my camera…I glanced out my kitchen window as I walked by and I saw this! We had moved the two stalls by taking them apart the weekend before…and Wild Bill…now you can see why he is known as “Wild Bill”…decided there were too many screws in the hay/feed room to take it apart sooooo…he was Wild Billing it!

“Uh honey, we are blocking off the road and it looks like you are beginning to slide down the embankment…which means you are likely going to roll the tractor and the feed room is chained to it so it will follow you!!! What are you #### doing!!!”

Yikes the tractor is sliding…ok I can’t watch this…no I have to watch this…”WB…there has to be a way to do this different #### !!!”

“Wild Bill get off the tractor!” The gravel and ground is sliding terribly!

Somehow WB, “Wild Billed it”…saving himself, the tractor and the feed room! Maybe it was me falling to the pavement kicking…screaming with a few swear words and praying hard!

Ta-da! Almost to the right spot! Aussie dog Dasher is supervising!

And then WB tries one more time to tip it over! I think he likes to give me a heart attack or something just to see if I am watching!

The new stalls are across the road from where they were before…this was a distraction picture as I was trying to not look at WB and the feed room that was trying to tip over!

Buck is munching away on the nice green pasture grass…soon the big irrigation guns will be watering the pastures again with having the new well:) “Psssst Buck…look at WB…the feed room is tipping!”

“Uh you mean the hay room…the feed room with the treats in it?” Buck was worried too!!! He loves that room!

Well we got it all moved without tipping something over and without yelling too much…just a few rather loud cuss words:) The feed room looks good…next we will re-assemble the stalls with a pen in front for a run and dry lot. I think they will like it better…more to do and not as boring.

Yes….we had more rain on Monday. Sunday had been beautiful…today it is semi cloudy and cold. I want warm days with sunny sunshine:) If you look close you can see the field down the road with the yellow hue to it. That is Canola…when you use Canola Oil this is how the farmers grow the seeds. I will get a better picture of it this week to show you.

Have a peaceful evening and a great week!!!

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