Spring Photography With HRCG!

Spring photography with HRCG is fun! No I have not run away from blogging…just slowed down a bit…running the office for our business keeps my nose to the grindstone except when I run out the door with my camera and happily snap away:)

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Ok Ellie…lets go!

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Climbing the hill behind the house, we climb into a different world…a peaceful world full of beauty.

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Ellie is smiling at me trudging behind her…Ms. Smart Alec with the puppy energy:)

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We often have crazy spring weather as…

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Dark clouds roll in with a bit of wind and rain and

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Two hours later a beautiful sunset appears!

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Tucker relaxing, while wondering where that little black tornado Ellie is?

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Melody doesn’t care…she is happy to be loosing her winter coat…she loves seeing green stuff:) She truly has a coat of many colors…during winter she is a dark brown bay…in early spring she begins to turn white while her legs, head and tail remain dark…she is striking and so pretty…as she eventually sheds the white and becomes a lighter bay roan with a bit of grulia…and she is all heart:)

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Rainbows above, incredible skies, full of beautiful views and vistas!

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Beautiful kitty girl…love you Minnie…she is very fastidious about keeping her stripes in order:)

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One of my favorite photos…

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Melody and Buck sharing a horsey moment…

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Skies and clouds dancing for my camera…

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As crops full of color grow beneath them…

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And rainbows above bring delight and another mad dash for my camera:)

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Wherever you are in the world, may you be blessed by the season of Spring…may you find joy and laughter as warmer days come once again…filled with new life and full of amazing beauty.

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HRCG over and out for now but stay tuned…Part Two of Living in the Middle of Nowhere is next!

Age Is An Issue Of Mind Over Matter…

Age is an issue of mind over matter…if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!

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Age does not blow me away too much…even so I have begun a new decade of my life on planet earth.

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I was 59 years of age last year in this photo.

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And this year I turned 60…WHAT? Oh come on…no way I am still in my early 40′s!

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While age has never bothered me…this particular year has me facing the fact that time is passing by…even though I still feel young, time is of the essence.

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Each decade of my life has been an adventure of learning significant life lessons…and lessons are one of the very best parts of life…we can glean the wisdom and grow in a positive way or not grow… I choose grow!


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Turning 60 has given me a clear view of life…which has helped me let go of old hopes and dreams, as I realize that they will never come true.  Instead of grief, I have found a great peace and freedom as I let them go. I’m making good changes in my life while getting rid of old baggage and old things I do not need anymore…it has set me free emotionally and mentally while increasing my energy in a positive way.

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My new decade is one of reinventing myself, while learning new things, as I explore life in an open and creative way.

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WB and I are writing a new chapter together, while embarking on new adventures a head!

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Being older gives you the ability to not sweat the small stuff…Life Is Good!

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 Older Gals and Older Guys Rule!

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Now let me see, I forgot where I put my horse:)

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Have A Wonderful Week!

Word Of God Speak

Word Of God Speak” By Mercy Me

(If you have this song, be sure to play it with the photos)

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I’m finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it’s okay
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The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say
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Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
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Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty
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To be still and know
That You’re in this place
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Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
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Word of God speak
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I’m finding myself in the midst of You
Beyond the music, beyond the noise
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All that I need is to be with You
And in the quiet hear Your voice
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Word of God speak
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Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
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Your majesty
To be still and know
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That You’re in this place
Please let me stay and rest
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In Your holiness
Word of God speak
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I’m finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it’s okay
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I hope you have enjoyed this post…I was capturing new photos today and listening to music…and Word Of God Speak by Mercy Me began playing…whoa…I love their music and this particular song has played in my life often…and the music fit the photos of where I live:)
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May you have a peaceful and restful Sunday evening and a Stellar new week a head:)

Happy Thanksgiving From Hot Rod Cowgirl!

Happy Thanksgiving to all who read my blog…I hope you had a wonderful day with your family and friends! Thanksgiving is a time to stop and look at the many blessings in our life the last year or even years…it’s a time of gratitude, a time to be thankful for the life we have and the life we live, a memorable time for family and happy times with friends.

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I’m going to try something different with this post. My part of the post will be the photography. I will insert photos that fit well with the words from one of my favorite songs. When I was going through breast cancer, this song is the one I sang in my head whenever I went to surgery or saw my oncologist. It has always touched my heart deeply and I hope it does yours too.

Blessed Be Your Name

By Matt Redman

Blessed Be Your Name

In the land that is plentiful

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Where your streams of abundance flow

Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name

When I’m found in the desert place

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Though I walk through the wilderness

Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out

I will turn back to praise

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When the darkness closes in, Lord

Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord

Blessed be Your glorious name

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When the sun’s shining down on me

When the world’s ‘all it should be’

Blessed be Your name

On the road marked with suffering

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Though there’s pain in the offering

Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out

I’ll turn back to praise

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When the darkness closes in, Lord

Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord

Blessed by Your glorious name

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Blessed be Your name!

You give and take away

My heart will choose to say

Lord, blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your glorious name!

By now you should be full of turkey and all the trimmings…trying to make room for desert and more desert! Wishing you a fun weekend shopping, decorating or just hanging out! We are to get snow beginning Sunday…with super cold temps as in 6 degrees at night with a ripping hot daytime temp of 15 degrees!

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I have to comment on the flowers. Petunias are not perennials…and as soon as we get winter here they are gone. However the last two summers they have all come back into 6 of my patio barrels…and they came back beautiful! The summer of 2012, we were busy remodeling and the summer of 2013 the weather was colder in June so I was late in planting. By the time I was able to plant new flowers, I had petunias growing back by the bushel in my barrels!

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May you be blessed by the joys of the season…HRCG over and out for now but never for long! I am yet working on the awards I was given…hoping to post them soon:)

And I’m off…stay warm and gobble gobble!

Amber Waves of Grain By Sharla Shults…

Hot Rod Cowgirl:

http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/amber-waves-of-grain/

http://awakenings2012.blogspot.com/2013/11/amber-waves-of-grain.html

For some odd reason this posted below Sharla’s blog…this is my second re-blog, and I hope I am doing this right! Sorry for the edits! I want to introduce you to Sharla Shults who is a gifted writer and published author of poetry that comes from her heart with beautiful words and thoughts. She writes to tell the story of American History…which is our story, our history and our heritage. We each have a story to tell and share of our families history of coming to a new land called America. It was their strength and gritty determination that brought us the life we live today…giving us heritage that runs deep and history that makes America truly America. I am honored that Sharla chose to showcase my photography with her beautiful poetry, on both her blogs, go take a look…at both Awakenings and Catnipoflife. Thank you Sharla!

Originally posted on catnipoflife:

MarcyAwakenings featured Marcy @Hot Rod Cowgirl who is Riding Through Life One Horse At A Time…Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling Up Anyway! Marcy is a true American who captures America the beautiful not only with her poignant words but also her awesome photography.

You are encouraged to visit Hot Rod Cowgirl where Marcy and Wild Bill are both riding through life one horse at a time! Giddy-up! AND Whoa! only when there is no other place to go! 

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GO to Awakeningsand join Marcy…

Somewhere Along the Highway

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Solitude On The Land Is My Solace Of Fall

Solitude on the land is my solace of fall….

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Every year this time I find myself reflecting on the harvest of summer as the seasons change and once again, silence falls like a veil of dignity on the land as it rests..

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I love it as I love the quiet…the solitude of silence. I love walking out into God’s beautiful world. The land sleeps and yet when I walk it I can hear the stories of summer…stories of harvest and the history of family.

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I grew up in a world of silence a third of the year, living on a remote cattle ranch in the mountains, without electricity, telephone, TV or even radio…the hectic life of the world disappeared and a new world of solitude became my life on the ranch. My world and daily life was my parents, our horses, the cattle and our cow dogs.

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Life was simple. Get up. Go catch the horses, saddle up horses with Dad while Mom packed lunches into the saddle bags for us…follow Dad out of cow camp into the frosty meadow and head up Coleman Ridge…which was a mountain with a mountainous trail that we rode up…about half way up Coleman the trail disappeared. We had to pick a way to get to the top so we just zigzagged up the ridge breaking over into either the direction of Bear Creek or head off in the direction of Young Camp depending on which pastures we planned to gather and check.

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If Dad chose for us to go towards Young Camp and on towards Jordan Creek,  we rode a few more miles to get to Young Camp and then we rode over another ridge from Young Camp that dropped us into the Upper Jordan area. Riding down the ridge of Upper Jordan Creek, you got off your horse leading the way down the ridge to the bottom as it was steep with heavy under brush, loose rocks, rock walls and logs…you took it slow and easy zigzagging your way over logs and brush. If you ran into cattle, you shooed the cows out of the brush and pushed them along in front of you trying to get to the bottom. Once you hit the bottom, you stopped for them to get a drink, while keeping an eye on them in case one decided to make a mad dash, as usually there was always one that did. As soon as you could you drove them on up another ridge into Whiskey Creek or if you steered them a bit different into Brown Miller and Elk Mountain country.

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After we got them settled for the night, we turned back towards home, cow camp, where Mom kept the home fires burning…we would get in just about dark and in time for dinner. Dad would say “We rode about 35 miles today Marcy, you did a good job with the cows, taking it slow.” After dinner and a couple of card games of double solitaire with Mom, I usually hit the hay as I knew we would be up early, saddling horses and heading out once again to check on more cattle to be sure they had plenty of water and good feed. Never a dull moment on a cattle ranch as each day was a new adventure filled with good memories:)

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Life was simple. It was quiet and peaceful…solitude…I learned to survive being alone…doing without worldly stuff and things…one depended more on God and the incredible beauty of His sky…His land…His weather…His animals…and you expected less. Life was good. I miss it….I miss it a lot.

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Stay tuned as I am working on my next Pendleton Round Up post:)

Country Life…Silence Of Time…It’s Time To Write!

Country life brings times of a silent hush across the land…I call it a Godly hush…a revered silence that softly fills your heart with the solitude of peace. It fills the air around you with the sounds of nothingness…memories drift back into my thoughts and I pick up my pen and write, hearing the old times and the memories playing in my head as the golden words begin to fall onto my paper from my pen.

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Tonight as I lay my head down on my pillow and close my eyes, quietly reflecting my day…I hear the sound of nothing but stillness and a peace of holy silence fills my heart with peaceful rest…memories of life past and memories of life to come. And then the ultimate gift…rain drops began softly falling…on this century old farm house…falling on the same roof that has covered me all my life…a serene serenade of silence begins to play…as I close my eyes and let my ears hear…the words in my heart begin to paint a picture in my mind as my vision flows freely. Nothing can take the place of silence and the stillness of life…only silence…if the rain was not falling tonight, my windows would be open and I would hear a different sound of silence filled with the crescendos of crickets and the soft ribbet croaking of the occasional frog….or I would hear the soft knicker/sigh of my horses as they shift their weight on a quiet country night.

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With all the crazy noise we have today…radios blaring satellite stations from all over 24/7, news, sports, music, church, talk shows…smart phones and dumb phones…trucks and cars with airplanes overhead and TV’s hooked to satellite stations with anything and everything…noise pollution has gotten out of hand. I love going to the big city to shop for clothes and fun stuff…to experience culture and the life of the city spinning fast…seeing a musical or a play but after a week or so let me come home to solitude…silence…rest.

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The silence and the quiet glory of my world through the seasons begins with the first snow falling in a hushed silence, falling on all creation, both man and animal, with a holy pristine beauty full of God’s grace on the landscape. The sounds of life are muffled as the white flakes fall silently, beautiful with glistening sparkles as they cleanse the landscape with purity, peace and holiness…silence becomes a very different silence when it snows here…I do not know how to describe it for sure…but life stops…the world stops…no cars drive by…it is a holy silence filled with incredible quietness.

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Spring months Spring upon us…we often have soft gentle showers to water the crops, my horse pastures and our yard etc. Everything turns from dried up dead weeds and landscape to a beautiful carpet of green…with all the different hues of colors! I love sitting up on the hill behind our house gazing out at the vast emptiness of the land and the ever so quiet gentle kiss of a breeze stirs the grasses and the trees…I am the only one who can hear it as I am alone up there…and it truly is beautiful to hear. New life is everywhere…the birds come back…I hear my turtle-doves every day and night…the robins are hopping around my yard looking for worms and bugs…quail families are nesting and raising their babies and we see deer out and about too and the sage brush begins to bloom along with everything else…all in the silence of miracles and holiness.

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I love early summer evenings as you begin to smell the heads of wheat drying and it smells wonderful! Knowing that we planted a tiny seed last fall to grow wheat and now the first of June it has quietly grown, filling out the heads with kernels of wheat…slowly the colors begin to change from green to a soft golden-yellow. Harvest begins and once again the sounds of silence change somewhat as all the farmers now use big semi’s to haul their wheat from the field to either the elevator or down to the Columbia River loading it on a barge to feed the world. Still if you go out in the field and listen quietly you can hear the history of your family harvesting from the days of old.

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And then by mid August or so the sounds of silence begin to change…the crickets sound different and the air feels caught between summer heat and cooler fall days. There is always a grief in my heart as the seasons go so quickly. I love each season and each year. Life brings good stuff if you look for it…and yeah I know it also can bring horrible stuff…bad stuff…hard stuff…but we take steps of faith and strength from God above…and we keep on a going.

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I have weathered
Colder winters; Longer summers
Without a drop of rain
Push me in a corner
And I’ll come out fighting
I may lose but I ‘ll always keep my faith

Cause I’m country strong
Hard to break
Like the ground I grew up on
You may fool me
And I’ll fall
But I won’t stay down long
Cause I’m country strong

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Blessings That Fill Your Heart With Gratitude

Blessings that fill your heart with gratitude are little miracles in themselves, bringing sunlight and glory to our days here on earth.

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Sometimes you have to look around to see the blessings in your life and other times they can be right in front of you!

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I thank God daily for my life as I watch the sunrise on a brand new day, full of God’s plans for my day and His breath of love on each one of us, for we are all His kids:)

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And at the end of each day I am always blessed with each beautiful sunset, filled with God’s golden glory…with a renewed hope for tomorrow.

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Growing up Mom had a newspaper clipping on our refrigerator for many years held by a magnet. The clipping stood on the truth of its words.

“Oh Lord, You have given me so much,

Give me one more thing, a grateful heart.”

Gratitude…remembering the incredible things we have been given. I still have the clipping in my bible…and had it on my refrigerator for several years until we bought a stainless steel refrigerator…then my magnet would not work, so it is tucked away in a safe place.

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I am thankful and more than grateful for the many blessings in my life. When things get bumpy on the road of my life, I try to focus on the good and positive blessings that God has given to me…so I often make a gratitude list to add to as life is ever changing…below is my current gratitude list…if I were to write them all…I would have a book to share with you:)

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1. I am thankful that I have the freedom to worship God.

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After traveling to the Middle East in the mid-90′s, I experienced many different ways of life and many diverse cultures. I loved seeing where Jesus walked..it was profoundly holy and spiritual to walk in His footsteps. I loved the Old City and seeing the diversity of people. Israel was beautiful to see…I was blessed to have had three weeks to travel, as there were so many historical sites to visit and experience. However, when my plane touched down at JFK, I made a beeline to a Burger King for an all American hamburger with the works! The next morning was surreal to wake up here in Juniper Canyon…the farmers were in full swing of wheat harvest. I remember thanking God that He decided I was to live here in America, it was so peaceful and quiet. We do not know how blessed we are to live in the USA!

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Jordan was ancient in the scenery and beautiful. I loved seeing the desert and Petra was my favorite.

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 Petra was incredible in how they carved it and designed it…it was one of those places that all you can do is take pictures and stand in awe. I also enjoyed having dinner with the Bedouins one evening in their tents. Kind and wonderful people to meet. Everyone I met on the tour was very nice. We began our tour in Damascus, Syria and I loved seeing Palmyra too….we did a day trip into Turkey and then on to Jordan and finally Israel…loved the Sea of Galilee, so peaceful and yes you do float on the Dead Sea and Masada was incredible too. I did ride a camel which was both fun and funny:)

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2. Thank you God for my hubby Wild Bill…my soul mate and my forever. We actually do fit together like a jigsaw puzzle made by God. He is the most thankful part of my life on earth and the best part is that we will be with each other forever into eternity and beyond:)

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3. I am grateful everyday that I am alive and living with good health! Having gone through a serious diagnosis puts a new spin on your life and you truly do see life in a different way….with a thankful heart:)

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4. I am grateful for my parents….who loved me and kept me forever. I know I will see them again. Both WB and I were lucky that we lived next door to them for 20 years, as we were able to help them and do things for them before they became ill….and when they did become ill, we were there 24/7  for them. We were able to support them, finding things to laugh about, long talks into the night, helping them through medical tests and the pain, taking them places and helping them maintain their dignity. I loved my Mom and Dad more than I can say.

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5. I know I am one of the most blessed women to live with always owning a horse….growing up on a large cattle ranch helped…so did having a Dad who was as horse crazy as I was! We always had horses….and we still do. I love the smell of horses, the sound of horses and the relationship one can have with horses and everything about them…they represent a part of life that is my history and heritage. God loves horses too!

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6. Minnie Mouse our kitty girl…almost 18 years old and so much a part of my heart and my life….our life. She has been with through losing three of our parents, cancer and various tough times, and she always gave us her love and lots of funny antics to make us laugh…she has been with us longer than any of our kids and she loves us…we love her and she is our kitty angel:) Blessed by God:)

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7. Living in the very house that I grew up in with my Mom and Dad….that my Grandpa who I never got to meet, built for his mother, my great-grandmother who I never got to meet.

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Living here in a 100 year old family house though, I feel that I do know them and carry the same beliefs and family heritage they passed on to us. A house full of memories, honor and gratitude.

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8. I am grateful that I have always lived in the country, away from the hustle and bustle. I love the quiet and peaceful life of country living here, but I miss the solitude that I grew up in when we summered at the mountain cattle ranch without telephones, electricity, water and no TV let alone radio signal. It was pure bliss to live in such a beautiful place in the Blue Mountains, riding my horse everyday moving cattle or checking cows with my Dad. Life was simpler and the world was different then. I am grateful for all the memories I have of that period in my life growing up.

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9. I am more than blessed to own my “Little Red Car”…WB surprised me as he said “For my redhead and my love, this is your car”. And we do belong to the “Little Red Car Club”.

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10. And for my forever horses, that I will never forget…as they are forever with you:)

Mostly what I want to give to you is this…

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Sometimes when we look out the window of life…we see life that is gray and stormy. It can be depressing, discouraging and tough to see the storms of life we are facing…that is when we plug into our gratitude list, that is filled with determined faith, full of both small and large blessings and the tough times we survived before…as we can’t give up or in, we gotta keep on a going.

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And as we “stand strong on our faith and hope”, life will get better again. The good in life, continues to battle it out, with the evil during our lives…as life will never be perfect until we get to heaven.

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And God has already won for us! No matter how dark it can look in our lives, never ever give up:)

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Wild Bill and I are celebrating the day we met 37 years ago on Valentines Day…February 14, 1976! The picture above was taken two years ago when WB and I were interviewed here in our shop Holton Secret Lab on TV. Notice who is cracking a joke at the end…I am sure we were all nervous and making a funny joke was all I could think of doing…I love to laugh:)

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Happy Valentines Day! My hubby surprised me with the beautiful red roses this morning:)  I wish you all a very special day or night where ever you are!

As a footnote: I am working on the many awards I have been given the last few months. I am terribly slow this time and I hope that all the award givers will not give up on me:) I so appreciate you thinking of me and this blog. Wild Bill had a second surgery December 26th on his shoulder that has taken a longer recovery…he is getting better and still has to take things slow for a few more weeks but he is doing well…he began PT this week:) That is part of the reason for being slow to post new awards and blog the last few months…but I am here and working on getting those awards passed on soon:) Hugs and Blessings:)

The Miracles Of Christmas…The Miracles Of Each Season And The Miracles Of Life!

The miracles of Christmas, the miracles of each season and the miracles of life…meaning our lives! We have so much to be grateful for in our lives and a lifetime to celebrate that we are alive!

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I love Christmas; the wonders of the season, the glory of God, the magical smiles in the hearts of children, the gatherings of family and friends, the amazing food with sugar and spice smells coming from the kitchen. And for me of course, Lefse or Norwegian Potato Cakes…warm or cold-rolled up with butter….oh my gosh…yum!

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Meaningful memories, both joyous and sad, run deep in your heart and spirit as we look back, remembering our loved ones…wishing they were still here and in many ways they are…through our memories, the old stories and family traditions that they passed on to us.

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My Mom in her later years celebrating Wild Bill’s birthday with us…every year of my life, she always without fail would order me a birthday cake. She loved doing things for others and took great joy in going all out!

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The other day I ran across a quote by Lemony Snicket, from The Lump Of Coal…and it hit my heart, as it fit exactly what the Christmas season and our lives are all about.

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“It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season…like all the other seasons…is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them.”

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Loosing my Mom a few days before Christmas was surreal and hard for my mind to comprehend. We think our parents will live forever, even when we know, due to illness that we could lose them and even with that, you are never prepared. Mom was so brave and she had done so well that in my heart I held on to hope that she would be okay. On a December Sunday, Mom stepped from this world into heaven on a beautiful, clear, crisp, winter dawn, just as the sun was breaking over the hills of Juniper Canyon, spilling eternal golden light at the break of day, with both WB and I at her side. As my heart broke, as difficult as it was, I knew without a doubt that I would see my Mom and Dad again someday, as they were together again and with God in heaven. They had been married 59 years when Dad had slipped into heaven the year before and I know it was incredibly difficult for Mom to be without him, even though she tried to not show it to me as she did not want me to worry…but I did…as I knew my Mom.

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A few days before, Mom told me she was going to take a nap and instead she fell into a sleep type coma for about 12 hours, I could not wake her, which was scary so I called her home health nurse, who came out to check on her and as she checked her vitals, Mom suddenly opened her eyes and was a bit confused and asked “Well why am I back here?” and then her beautiful brown eyes filled with love and she looked at me deeply and she began to pray aloud “The Lord’s Prayer” and I joined in with her, praying in unison together as we had many times before, only this time it was on eternal time. She shared with me that she knew where she was going as she had seen both my Dad and Jesus…and her dog Rhett Butler…she was so at peace having seen a glimpse of heaven.

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The day after Mom stepped into heaven, we had to go to town as I needed black shoes to wear with my dress for Mom’s funeral…somehow my black cowgirl boots did not look quite right with my dress. We went to the little mall we had at the time and everyone was Christmas shopping and running all around town…I was in a daze of shock and could NOT believe that life was going on, as my life had stopped! I wanted to scream and say “NO wait, my Mom’s life is over and so is my Dad’s and I don’t care about Christmas right now!”

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It took me a few years to recover from the grief of loosing both parents in a year of one another…the week we lost my Dad, we found out Mom was in kidney failure. I knew I could not take the time yet to grieve for my Dad as I needed to be strong for my Mom as she was so worried about me. “Mom, no not me….I am worried about you”…but she was my Mom and she always worried about me…no matter that I was now in my early 40′s and she was 80. No matter how old you are, your Mom will worry forever!

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Christmas was an out-of-body experience for WB and I that year…we had not done any of our usual shopping. WB had decorated the tree and cooked for the many friends and family who came to see Mom as we had moved her to our home to be with us…she slept in her old bedroom that she shared with my Dad and the bed I had in the bedroom then was the antique bedroom set that used to be Mom’s when she was a little girl…how God like is that? I loved having her here with me even though at times it was sad…but many times we laughed together and watched old movies and talked all day and half the night and to me, that was a “gift from God.” I was a blessed daughter to spend that quality time with Mom as I was able to take care of her as she had taken care of me when I was a baby and as I grew up…and now I could support her with lots of love and lots of faith.

BTW the above picture was on Easter in front of Grandma’s house in town and all my cousins by the dozens along with me were trying to have an Easter egg hunt and Mom wanted pictures. All the Mom’s wanted pictures so there were some grouchy looking cousins…we wanted to find all the Easter eggs and candy that Grandma’s Easter Bunny had brought…and all our Mom’s could think of was pictures!!!

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Mom’s funeral was December 23rd, and the church was beautifully decorated and filled with her life, as it was packed with her family and many friends. Our pastor began by saying “I have never been present at such a “Godly” death, as Casey’s, the peaceful presence of God was there”…the service was filled with love, just like my Mom, sweet and Godly with a personal touch of the classy lady she was.

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I was deeply touched by the many tribute stories of how she cooked and took care of the world when they came to her house…she even tried to cook and take care of the care giver I hired to help us both with my Dad! She always had good food cooking, with a warm hospitable heart for people…and she always had a smile:) She loved to laugh and share funny stories…Mom and I could start giggling for no other reason than by just looking at each other, after all we spent many years with no one but us and Dad…poor Dad:) And we learned to survive on life…filling in the blanks with swimming when I could with her at the hot springs that was about 30 miles from the mountain ranch or we would look for rocks and do the rock hound thing…or she would go with Dad and I to salt cows on the rainy days in the Jeep…and it was always interesting as often Dad would make us both get out as he was not sure if he could make it and if he slid or rolled, he did not want us in the cab…oh great Dad! Mom was always a trooper and she loved Dad and I…and then WB…finally she had a son…when she was mad at me she would tell me she would trade me off and keep WB:) She was the best Mom ever and I miss her.

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The day after Mom’s funeral, I wanted to cover my head up with the covers and dig a large hole to hibernate in, but I had to get out of bed early, at the break of dawn, as it was Christmas Eve Day. And because we had grandkids and kids to shop for, we did our last minute Christmas shopping in town. It was mind-boggling and exhausting…BUT…the best part of that day was waking up to a few inches of snow. I had complained for weeks that we had not had any snow yet for Christmas and when we woke up on the morning of the 24th, we had snow! As we drove to town that day, we found that less than a couple of miles away, there was no snow…it was only at our house…it felt like my Mom was saying to me “Now, honey, I know you are sad, but I am safe and with your Dad, and here is your snow from heaven.” It was beautiful to see as the sunlight sparkled on the fresh white blanket of snow with heavenly brilliance.

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Shopping was difficult as I felt like a zombie and neither of us could think or make decisions…it was a long hard day. My sister-in-law and her family lived in town, and after shopping, we had dinner that night together, feeling surreal in the twilight zone…we ate and then took a power nap so that we could go to church. I was determined to go to the 11:00 o’clock Christmas Eve Service at the Episcopal Church…and we did. It was beautiful with the red poinsettia’s, boughs of fir, with all the candles lite. Having been there the day before for Mom’s funeral, I felt I was on “Holy Ground” as I knelt at the altar that Christmas Eve Night. I knew that at that moment, all of heaven was celebrating the birthday of Jesus and welcoming my Mom to the celebration table…and Dad was with her again, as were her parents and all the family that had gone before her. Christmas Eve that year and the moments in my life that night, felt like a glimpse of heaven with God’s glory. A true miracle for a daughter who was deeply grieved, yet knew that God was there and my parents were safely with Him. For a month after we lost Mom, her bedroom smelled with the scent of roses…both WB and I were drawn to spend lots of time in her room in the morning, during our quiet waking up time with God and our cup of coffee.

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  On Christmas morning, we got up early to wrap gifts and prepare for our son and his family to come visit us…they came and opened their gifts, sharing a few hours with us. And then, WB and I fell asleep on the sofa, we didn’t mean to, but we were exhausted emotionally and physically…we missed the dinner we had planned to fix for them as they left us to rest…and we did all day long and all night long. The next day we escaped to my in laws house in the mountains and stayed a few nights without a telephone or hectic reminders of life, just quiet rest with lots of snow. It was very peaceful to watch the snowflakes fall softly into the pine trees and fir trees in the forest around their house, with the fireplace crackling away, as the healing warmth of peace permeated deeply into our hearts. I love the stillness and the beauty of the fresh snow that falls quietly, untouched to the ground, as a pure white blanket…it seems that life itself stops, silently holding its breath, taking in the beauty of the glistening white snow as it sparkles in the moonlight or the porch light or when the first rays of dawn hit the snow, as it looks like a bed of white diamonds.

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Coming home after a few days was hard as it was back to the reality that life had forever changed. At that time my parent’s house was right next door to our house…my kitchen window looked out at their house with a driveway between us…I could walk just a few feet for a cup of coffee to visit or if needed a Mom talk or a Dad talk. It was hard to see their house dark…so we decided to set a timer for the lights to come on at dark…but the first night I came home from work and saw the lights on I was stunned. Maybe I had imagined all of this and maybe Mom and Dad were there like usual…watching some old John Wayne movie on TV…much to Mom’s chagrin…and asleep on the sofa or recliner…waiting for me to get home. Mom always watched for my headlights to turn into the driveway as I would see her peek out the window to be sure I was home…safe and sound.

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I was blessed as a daughter to take care of both of my parents at home, and the time I spent with each of them individually, was truly a gift from God…a true miracle of time and memories that will carry me forever, one of my Christmas miracles…feeling the presence of God and knowing that Mom was with Dad and with God. It will be 14 years ago this year that we lost Mom and 15 years ago that we lost Dad, and yet it seems like yesterday in many ways. I miss them both very much and often, I wish I could go next door to see them again for a hug and a cup of coffee. We have had many miracles to celebrate since then…my survival of breast cancer, Wild Bill’s two neck fusion surgeries and this year on Christmas Eve, WB will be having bicep surgery to repair three tears in his bicep muscle in his shoulder…it has been very painful for him and December 24th was the only day they could do the surgery. I know I will be attending another Christmas Eve Service in the hospital to give thanks to God, as our Christmas gift this year will be Wild Bill’s healing…and when I bring him home we will celebrate Christmas and life!

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I hope and pray that as you look around your life or your circumstances during this Christmas Season, that you will see the miracles of your life. They can be small or they can be large…they can be minor or they can be major; either way, a miracle is a miracle of God…look deeply as we all have them. As I write this I see my Minnie Mouse snuggled up on top of the sofa on her blanket next to me…all curled up in her 18th year of a healthy life…and my hubby in his recliner…and I am here, alive and filled with God’s wonder and full of life. As I end this post, I will share with you one of the quotes that spoke to my heart that describes my Mom.

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“Who is that lady, small and spry, who never lets a day go by…without a thought of you and me and nature’s sweet simplicity? Whose hands can quickly touch and bring a work of art from a simple thing. Whose youthful spirit wanders free into the woods or up a tree…”

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“She never lets life get her down, she’s not too proud to play the clown. In every melody she plays she marks the zest of all her days.”

“She’s a lady like no other…she’s God’s own child, my friend, my mother.”

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The miracles of life…the miracles of the season and the miracles of Christmas.

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We wish you a very Merry Christmas from…WB…Minnie…HRCG…and our horses, Fanny Annie, Melody and Buck…dogs Tuck, Dash, Ki…and barn cats Jack and Pat.

Blessings Of Grace And Unwavering Faith…Full Of Heartfelt Gratitude And Thankfulness.

Blessings of grace and unwavering faith, full of heartfelt gratitude and thankfulness.

Some of these photos are older and have been used before….my main computer and back up drive are at the doctor’s office right now…my back up drive has all my newer photography:( I will be taking new images this next week to share with all of you…in mean the time…I hope your turkey day was perfect:)

The Thanksgiving holiday is when we stop our busy lives to enjoy our families, our heritage and our traditions…food prepared with love and old family recipes by the many hands who made it special, the way that Grandma did. I love traditional holidays with all the wonderful trimmings.

Having gone through various hard things in life I began to understand that everyday we have is a day of gratitude and thankfulness…my life is full of many blessings that I do not take for granted. I thank God each day for seeing the sunrise and the sunset…for living here in America…for our heritage and history…for our business and for our ranch…for my husband and for my adopted sister, her family and also our families on both sides as well as our neighbors, and all our forever life friends.

I am thankful for Minnie Mouse, who is the Queenie of My House:)

And for our horses Melody, Annie and Buck:)

And for our protective dogs…we have three wonderful, loving Aussie’s.

I thank God for my parents and for the incredible life we lived together…for our relationship and memories.

To be the little girl who grew up into the daughter and woman they raised me to be.

I am thankful for our long talks in the middle of the night and the silly fun times we had with goofing off…those are the tender memories that hold me now when I wish I could go next door for a good cup of coffee and visit with Mom…or riding out of cow camp with Dad, just as the sunlight barely broke over the mountains on early summer mornings, heading out for the day to move and check cattle…cherished memories of the soul and nourishment for the heart…I will carry them forever.

Wild Bill and I have so much to be thankful for…36 years of marriage and our health…most of all our faith and depth of relationship with each other…we have lived through lots of life…floods, cancer, the death of my parents and of WB’s Dad…sad times, mad times and good times..and we keep on a going and love each other more today that when we married.

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”    By W.T. Purkiser

That is the truth of our lives…being real with our life and being an example of God’s blessings in our life, as an act of our faith and gratitude. It seems that every good thing or our tough times can help others with encouragement that they too will make it through life.

Caring about our fellow-man, ready to help with our presence, as that is what life is about…as they are on the path of their lives that brought them into your life…and being loved with a big hug is the very best that we can give to others as we have much to be thankful for:)

Happy Thanksgiving from Hot Rod Cowgirl and Wild Bill!

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