Waiting On Dinner

Waiting on dinner…staring intently…a few impatient paws in the snow.

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Melody is like a clock, when its time for food, its time for food…she nickers for us to get our rears in gear!

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Yummy nummy for my tummy…munch munch munching…mmmmm…”Mommm, my hair is a mess so don’t take my picture now!!!”

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I met these guys at the Round Up…they were curious about what I was up to?

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They were doing some serious munching on their lunching:)

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Sharing a fun picture of my Leo mare Lottie with her new filly, Lilly who was only a few days old…Lottie was a special one…I keep looking for another Leo bred horse like her but Leo is not common anymore. I had to watch Lottie as she was an easy keeper and could gain weight by just looking at grass or hay.

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Little Toot was waiting on din-din too…I still have the cookie jar  that you see on the counter, its white with colored cookies on it…I also have the old cupboard painted green as it was the original cupboard when the house was built. I stripped the paint off down to the original wood and it came out beautiful! And I still have my red hair with no gray at all in it…yee-ha:)

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What About Bob?…and why is he in this post? He goes where he wants, he does what he wants and he does not care about you! I tried one time to shoo him away from my two horses who were in the corral next to the barn as they were worrying and wondering what he was…he just looked at me not budging an inch, instead he pawed the ground while making grouchy grumpy bull sounds…fences could not keep him in…he always got out and went visiting the neighbors cattle…great!

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This was across from our house in the mid 1940′s…the pit you see to the right of the picture was where they slow roasted b-q beef all night to feed everyone…they always had a great turn out.

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A picture of history, the way life used to be when we had time to make a connection with others face to face instead of fabricating life on social media sites.

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My Dad and one of his close friends came up with the idea of having a local country rodeo…they called it the Juniper Joust.

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Wishing you all a happy….fun….and relaxing weekend! HRCG and Minnie are over and out for now! And where did Bob go?

Camera Times With HRCG!

Camera times with  HRCG can be both a bit country girl crazy, rather adventurous and never a dull moment fun!

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I looked out my window on a winter’s day to see incredible light and the sky a blaze in varied colors…I grabbed my camera and out the door I went.

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 Capturing the sky colors with the surreal light above…with a happy smile of delight on my face.

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As I caught the reflection from above in the puddle at my feet:)

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Rainbow colors pursued me above…click click click…the light and the colors were etherial as they pulled me into a photo shoot…

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Ending with one more of life’s beautiful reflections…in a mud puddle no doubt at my feet:) There is a lesson in that!

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And here we go..hang on!

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A beauty in a field of dreams…

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Doing what I know…

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Cowboy son Curt knows too…he’s talking to Annie!

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As we learn to communicate with our horses, we can join them in the dance of respect and grace.

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Horses have two basic forms of communication–vocal and body language. The more sophisticated of the two by far is body language. With a mere look, a flick of the ears, or a turn of the head, horses can communicate to each other and to us, if we learn to understand their body language.

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Annie began to trust her human…she took the first step of the dance. Annie looks at Curt with trust…she submits as she now knows he will not hurt her or harm her…he is now her leader:)

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Did I say hang on…I’m shifting gears through the corner and getting it on!

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Wild weather and clouds are a daily occurrence here anymore…kind of weird but kinda cool for my camera!

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A beautiful field of yellow Canola! When you use Canola Oil next time…think of the close up and personal shot you saw of Canola growing.

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Minnie!

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Ellie!

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A sort of annoyed Minnie:)

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Cone Doggie and not too happy! I don’t blame her..my poor Ellie! She was spayed on Wednesday and she has to wear this cone thing to protect her incision from her licking it to death…and she is not happy!

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Lola:) My Lola!

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Have A Happy Happy Happening Wild Weekend! HRCG Over And Out For Now…But Never For Long:)

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:)

Happily Ever After Fairy Tales In A Cowgirls Life…

Happily ever after fairy tales and innocence…a time when life was full of story book dreams, that could become a true realty in my imagination, as Mom read to me almost every night before I went to sleep…I would lay my head back on my pillow, closing my eyes as she read, describing the creative visual images of make believe.

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Mom had a beautiful set of fairy tale books she often read out of, the books had been given to her as a child so she grew up with them…all the pages had golden edges and the books were bound in real leather, with beautiful illustrations…

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Knowing she grew up reading them and then reading them to me, made the books a special blessing to my heart. Mom read the stories like she knew them all by heart; stories of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Cinderella, which stirred my imagination, as I hung on every magical word she read.

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With Mom’s encouragement, she taught me to read from a young age and to believe in my dreams…she knew about survival in the country and how to live without others and in the silence. We read the Bobbsey Twins books before school and eventually the Nancy Drew books together…and we read the classics together as I grew older, everything from Wuthering Heights to Jane Eyre to Emma and David Copperfield. Though years have passed and life grew into realities…I still remember that special time of innocence in my life growing up.

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My world was full of magical nights. Prince, my horse, was my fearless white steed when we were fighting against the evil in Camelot and I was Sleeping Beauty. He was my mighty warrior horse and protector when the Indians were after us and I was Annie Oakley. I have always had an active and very vivid imagination…good for story writing too:) And did I tell you that I can multitask…so hang on, we are switching gears! You never know with me!

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Moving on to today’s world out here on the ranch, we had a drop in visitor a few weeks ago…and I mean drop in from the sky visitor…Sky King! Well sort of, as we call him Sky King Bob…he was Wild Bill’s High School football coach. Bob, (not Sky King), is retired now, so he flies friends and people where they need to go and he flew in the head honcho supervisor for the Helix School remodel. We live 8 miles from the little country school and we are the only ones who have an actual air strip out here.

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Buck was leisurely eating his breakfast when he heard something above! “What the heck was that…Superhorse or maybe Sky Horse???”

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It’s Sky King Buck, taking off from our dirt runway in our field behind us…he has now cleared the power lines and is banking hard to the right to get turned around to head to Southern Oregon…the building you see is our barn.

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Here is a better picture…this is directly across from my front porch…where I was standing to take the photos. And yes I fly with WB and I actually prefer landing and taking off on our dirt strip, it is way better than flying into the big air space and ports…they made me very nervous. “Hello, stupid little plane, get out of the way of Airforce One or Boeing 747.” The very first plane we bought, was from Sky King, WB remembered riding in the plane while growing up in Vale.

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And there they go over the canyon wall and hill beside us heading South.

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Our plane Charlie, at the end of our dirt strip in the field…I have an oh sh** handle in there for when we take off as I used to drive wheat truck down the same hill…and when we take off you lift over the power lines above the main road. I got used to it eventually, because my hubby is an excellent pilot…he is a born natural. I struggle with heights and looking down…do not care for that part but the rest is not so bad and it is cool to see where you live from the air and to fly over it…you can see how the land lays…and that is lots of fun and I enjoy seeing how much WB loves flying:)

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So where am I going with this? “Hmmmm”…”Minnie, what do you think? What? You think I am a ding-dong? Well I am sorta but I’m your Mama too…and you are such a sweet kitty girl…now quit giving me the cat look that equates ding-dong:)”

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Now where was I before Sky King landed? Dreams and fairy tales right? I wish sometimes we could turn the clock back to the good ol’ days as life has changed and the world we now live in is much different from when WB and I grew up. Dreams and fairy tales it seems, take longer to come true today. Sometimes our timing is not God’s timing, so we have to believe even when life looks impossible, that God will prevail on our behalf, as we stand firm in our faith. Life may have changed over the last 20 to 30 years…but life is still good and God is a God of Faith and Hope!

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And yet, I know that life can stink sometimes, but we can get through it! The road of life can be interesting with a few major curves, lots of bumps and a few detours here and there, but it keeps it interesting. Good or bad, we can choose how we will deal with life in a positive way…and enjoy the ride. I may have to dig deeper than ever before but I can do this thing whatever it is and God is with me every step of the way. And dang it, no we do not have a bed of roses to sleep on, maybe a Tempurpedic, but not a magical bed of roses.

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I learned to hold on to my dreams even when life looks dismal, and that I can do anything I put my mind to if I want to. I was taught to have a good work ethic and to work hard to get what I wanted, a summer job was a must. My parents could have given me the money and anything I wanted but, it was more important for me to learn to work hard to earn my money, to save some and also buy what I wanted. Growing up we worked 24/7 as cows do not take the day off and there was always ranch work to do. I’m glad that they set that in motion as even today all these years later both WB and I work hard for our income and I understand working long hard hours.

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Mom was also an only child and she told me that her Dad would not pay for her wedding pictures…he told her that she could do that. He could afford them, but he wanted her to learn the value of working hard for what you want. This photo is the only one Mom could afford as she had gone to summer school at the U of O that summer to graduate. She lost her mother in the spring and had taken a leave of absence from college to be with her Mom so she had to make her classes up that summer. They had originally planned to marry in the spring but had postponed their wedding until fall.

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My parents did not do the rescue the kid scenario either and that was important for me to learn, that my choices or decisions affected me, and it was my own fault if I chose the wrong one, and to not blame my misfortune on others, my mistake was my mistake.  Mom used to always say “You made your bed, now you can lie in it.” I learned to always hold on to my faith and hope in life circumstances, while never ever giving up!

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And when things look their darkest, morning comes!

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My classic Mom, who was always so poised looking sophisticated…she taught me this too but she had to work on me as when I was herding cows with Dad or doing ranch work, I was a tom boy. Often I had to walk around the house balancing books on my head and to stand up straight and tall, shoulders back, tummy in and smile. I was in between 4th and 5th grade in this photo and not looking too together yet…it took a few more years for that to sink in:) We were on our way to California to visit relatives and we stopped in Boise at my Aunt’s house for the night…notice the big white bandage on my knee? I was a klutz then and still am today! I was learning to ride my bike off the paved road into the gravel up to our front walk…the gravel won most of the time! Mom was a nurse and a saint as she always doctored Dad and I up really good with bandages! I think she enjoyed practicing all that she had learned:)

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And we are off for another adventure! “Now where did I leave that fairy tale book? ” “Hi Ho Silver!!!”

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Minnie says “Meow-zers this is the last week of June…can you believe it? Summer is disappearing fast and quit snickering over my tummy…it’s cute:)”

Have a Wild & Whacky Wonderful Wednesday!!!!!

Ranch Lessons 102…Mud…Cows…Pooey!

Ranch Lessons 102…”Muddy Muck & Yuck” is now in session:) Today for fun I am sharing a secret cattle ranch factoid called when “The Ground Quivers With Mud & Cow-A-Pooey…Watch Your Step!”

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 Having grown up on a large cattle ranch, I learned early on about cow’s pooping in all the mud puddles creating…”Cow-A-Pooey Muddy Muck”. I have accidentally stepped into the quagmire of “Cow-A-Pooey” before and the sludge would literally suck my boot off my foot! I would hop on my other foot that was still in my other boot, trying not to fall down, as I grabbed hold of my yucky boot…which had sank deeper into the boggy mire of muddy poop and give it a hard yank…while trying to not put my foot with only the sock on, into the mud for balance but…as you can imagine, that was just about impossible!

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This muddy mix is with horse poop, so even though it is still not fun to walk into, it is different as it has a horse poop smell and since it has something to do with a horse, it’s not so bad:)

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Right Annie? Cow manure mixed into mud is worse! It never fails the night before, after you have gathered up your herd, you get an inch of rain in the corrals where you plan to work the cattle…at least it settles the dust, but now you get to deal with slippery, muddy cow pooey/sludge, as they have pooped all day and night

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I have heard them “snicker-snort-moo-snort snicker” as we walk by…they smirk with gurgles and rather interesting noises to let you know that they have more to conjure up…and I promise, you will slip and slide or get your boot stuck into their mixture of “Cow-A-Pooey Muddy Muck.” It is at that moment, the “cowgirl life” loses a bit of the glamour and glory, when you have to work the cows and the gates on foot instead of horseback in the mud…in the sludge and in the poop!

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Both WB and I remember working gates in muddy puddles, when the cow ran by you at warp speed giving you the gift of “Cow-A-Pooey Splatter Shower”, covering you from top to bottom!!! You learned early on to keep your mouth shut as they ran by! I liked having my hat on, hair tucked into it, wildrag covering my mouth and nose if needed, with my sunglasses on even if it was cloudy! Ahhh the good old days:)

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Looking out one of the barn doors down on the arena presently…hey WB, look at how nice my round corral stays with the sand, compared to the arena where the water stands on top of the dirt and takes forever to drain off…hint-hint, more sand…more sand:)

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Barn Lion Jack, did not like my camera flash…he looks kind of grumpy huh?

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Brother Pat is not quite as grumpy and he was sort of interested in the camera…but just a little bit.

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Back to “Muck Pooey”…this particular mud is clay dirt with older cow poop and fresher horse poop mixed into it and it is slowly draining the standing water into the ground. Note: It is always good to tuck your jeans into your boots…preferably higher top boots with galoshes over your boots.

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Nummie nummie munch munch…I love the sound of horses eating their hay:) Annie is so patient with my camera…she lets me take pictures anytime.

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And back to that round corral with the sand…a beautiful design in the sand in an interesting odd way. My round corral always makes me think of the song called “Barn Cat” by Mary Ann Kennedy. It is great, in fact all of her songs are great…Barn Cat was on her first album called “The Trail Less Traveled.”

“Barn Cat” by Mary Ann Kennedy

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I’m a barn cat, not an alley cat or a house cat, I don’t sit on laps

I got a real job…I catch mice…It’s a tough life…I’m a barn cat

Meow, this is my territory…Bow wows…look out…I got sharp claws

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And a king size bed made out of straw…I’m so glad I’m a barn cat

I got a feed room, and a tack room…And 4 stalls…I stalk em all

Don’t need a litter box, I got a round pen…60 foot of sand…I’m a barn cat!

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Meow, this is my territory…Bow wows…look out…I got sharp claws

And a king size bed made out of straw…I’m so glad I’m a barn cat!

Be sure to check out Mary Ann Kennedy as I love her music:)

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Tucker waiting patiently for me…thinking something like this “Mom, can we go yet…all this talk about muddy poopy corrals makes me very glad that we do not have a zillion cows anymore…I would not like getting all my fur muddy and stinking like a cow patty either….ewwwww!” I love how her colors blend in with the rocks…didn’t have it planned but Tuck is very photogenic with her color and sweet eyes.

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Okay Tucker let’s get out of this “not so bad mud” and head for the house…we’ll go see what Minnie Mouse is up to.

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Ms. Minnie says “Meowsy Hi All!” She looks pretty with her markings as they blend into the Navajo rug in this image. She loves her Navajos and prefers sleeping on wool blankets…she has sensitive fur and the wool must have an interesting tactile feel to it that she likes.

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She told me that the “Barn Cat” song is fine but she would like to have a song called “House Cat”, as she prefers her house and is a very lady like kitty angel:)

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And this concludes Ranch Lessons 102…”Cow-A-Pooey Muddy Muck” from the Juniper T, for now…wishing you a super-duper weekend where ever you may be! HRCG and crew over and out:)

Morning Chores On The Juniper T With Fresh Snow And Artic Cold!

Last Sunday, on a typical Juniper Canyon morning the end of  December, we had fresh snow, loverly foggy views and crispy, cold, frigid temps!

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I was out and about doing the usual feeding chores for our dogs, cats and horse’s morning breakfast buffet, while loving on each one of them:) It’s really not a chore, more of a love fest for all my animal kids:)

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As I went out the garage door first, feeding our doggies was top on my list….Ms. Kiah got to eat her breakfast in the garage as she has so much energy she has no fat so she needs lots of calories to keep her weight on. Ms. Tuck and Mr. Dasher Masher both have to watch their figures…so they eat outside.

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Ok guys I’m a coming…hang tight…love you Ms. Mel and Mr. Buck:)

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But first I have to go through the hubbies massive shop and into the century old barn that I love…

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Then upstairs to check on Pat and Jack, our monster orange Lion Cats….and to get Annie’s hay for her breakfast…

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“Did someone say hay?”

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Annie’s horse condo…auto water set up….and hay feeder….cushy rubber mats….nice lights to see and safe…I need more sawdust on the next trip to town….she likes her stall and so does Pat the cat sitting behind the trough…and often Melody stays in the stall across from Annie. You can’t see it but we have a hay chute that feeds her hay from upstairs into her feeder….nice and clean.

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My winter round corral….resting and waiting.

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Annie is waiting too:)

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And, I’m sure she can hardly wait!

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Coming back through “Wild Bill’s” shop…this is one of our latest projects…very cool huh? Every time I see this pick up I hear “ZZ Top” playing “Sharp Dressed Man.”

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Tuck is waiting patiently for me to come out of the shop…

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So is Ms. Melody. She really likes her food…she enjoys every morsel:)

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And Buckaroo Buck looks rather dapper this morning…I’m hurrying guys…trying to not fall on my hind end as it is super slippery today!

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“Ahhhhh…finally…munch munch munch…I love my yummy nummies”. “Life is good again!”  “Wait, Mom, put that camera down…don’t take my picture when I am eating….geez…Buck will think I am being a piggy or something!!!”

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It is dang cold and dang foggy too…the fog can get on your nerves if it hangs for several days and every once in a while that happens as the fog drifts up Juniper Canyon from The Columbia River which is about 20 miles or less from us.

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“Wild Bill I hope you have the coffee on and ready….Good Morning Sunshine:)”

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Last Sunday in a freak accident, we lost our beloved Kiah. She ran to greet me when I was across the road yet feeding horses and she did not see the slow-moving vehicle in the fog. I will share more of her wonderful photos and life in a post soon…right now I have too many tears. She was so gallant, so brave and so loved.

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“I miss you Ms. Kiah…I will carry you forever in my heart. I will like you forever and love you for always. God Bless You My Kiah…My Yippee Ki Yi Yay.”

The Mighty Columbia River Gorge Of Oregon…Round Two!

As  side note…if you click on my photos they will enlarge so you can see them better if you choose.

Last weekend we attended our niece’s wedding in the small town of Carson, WA.

This was our view out the window in our very classy hotel room…we loved seeing the green trees and the mountains cloaked with weather…and hey…there is the Columbia River!

We stayed at Skamania Lodge…in Stevenson, WA. I highly recommend it…they have spa services and excellent restaurants for small snacks, as well as nice dinners or maybe just a relaxing sandwich at noon…we missed out on their Sunday Brunch which is famous for the food and atmosphere…next time WB. They offer a golf course, swimming and lots of great trails to hike that are mapped out from easy to difficult.

When we walked into our suite and saw the view…we instantly relaxed:)

Looking back across the Columbia River towards Cascade Locks, OR. The bridge you see is called “The Bridge Of The Gods”…it is one of the many bridges that crosses the Columbia River into either Oregon or Washington.

Looking East towards home for us…the Columbia River is a river that you respect as it is wide, deep and fast-moving. We have boated on it lots as our ranch is only about 30 miles from it…being able to make a quick drive to the river during the hot summers always appeals to you…I love boating, as long as the boat is big enough to ride out the waves with a V-Hull!

It was truly beautiful to see our niece look so very happy…you know without a doubt they are soul mates…like WB and me:)

Before we knew it, time passed quickly and it was time to head home. We decided to travel home on the Washington side of the river until The Dalles, where we crossed another bridge to reach the I-84 freeway…seeing the river from both sides is worth it, as the views on each side are vastly different.

We had quite a bit of wind on the way home and look who is out on the river…the windsurfers…they pray for windy days like this!

They fly across the river with the wind…they are true athletes and fun to watch…often we see 100′s of them on our trips down the Gorge to Portland.

I am enjoying the view but, I would not care to be on the water with the white caps…as you can see the wind is blowing pretty good…and about perfect for the windsurfers!

I was standing down there on the concrete deck when WB took my picture.

Looking West…pretty view huh?

One more view of the Gorge Wind and my flaming red hair!!! What a great hair styling job…ala natural…which I love anyway:)

Another stop for photos…we are getting closer to The Dalles and home…

The closer we travel to our neck of the woods…the Columbia Basin of Eastern Oregon…Cowboy Country…Let Er’ Buck…Yee-Haw…the less trees and green. Western Oregon receives several inches of rain a year, where we usually have around 9-10″ a year…we are on the dry side of Oregon.

Crossing back over the Columbia at The Dalles Damn…tried to grab a quick shot of the spillway…could not talk WB into stopping in the middle of the bridge so I could take pictures…geesh…he said something about cops and mumble mumble…hmmm?

And then we drove on another 100 miles into Eastern Oregon…to our home…to the North Country of Juniper Canyon…into wheat country:)

As far as you can see wheat fields…that are almost ready for the harvest of 2012!

Once we were home we had lots of petting and loves for all our animals, as they missed us…our dogs are so protective of us but so sweet to us too:)

And our horses came over to see us as soon as we pulled in the driveway…it is funny that they know the car…

And the real “Boss!” I know she missed us….right?

“Minnie….I missed you!”

Minnie said back to me “Oh sure…what am I chopped liver? Going to see the dogs first…hurumph!”

And then she took pity on me as I love her very much…”Well ok…just this once I will forgive you about the dang dogs!”

“But do not let it happen again Mom…”

“Ok already Mom….I am so glad you are home:)”  Me too Kitty Girl…my Min-Min Kitty Angel:)

We had only been home for a short time when the incredible clouds rolled in for a rock and roll thunder storm…

The summer of 2012 has gone down in history with different weather and clouds such as these…

Reminds me of Wyoming weather and not Eastern Oregon where for the most part we have mild weather…with four seasons.

It keeps it interesting and keeps me grabbing my camera trying to capture the strange weather…how about you…is your weather odd this year too or is it just here that it is a bit crazy?

Hope you have a great week! Enjoy your summer with warm days and magical nights! Find time to relax and take it all in as summer will be gone before we know it!

Happy Father’s Day Dad!

I am a bit late with posting this but seems life right now is a bit fast and crazier than I want…today is a very special day of honoring our Dad’s.

This is my Dad…he was an amazing man…he lived with a left stiff leg from a football injury during his senior year in high school. Yet not once did he ever complain or make excuses for his life. Instead he fought to live a normal life and he did. I saw it and was witness to it…Dad was the real deal when it came to being a cowboy and a great Dad!

Dad with his horse Jingle across the road from the house in the 1940′s.

Dad roping in the 1950′s…

Dad in the 1970′s running one of the biggest cattle ranches in the state of Oregon. One of the very last cattle ranches in the state to drive their cattle down from the mountains in the late fall to the winter pasture. It was a 90 mile cattle drive with 800 head of mamma cows.

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Yearly Fall Cattle Drive

Cows headed home…we drove the cattle every fall for almost 30 years and by the time we did it the last year…it was a piece of cake. They knew where they were going…home.

Dad looking weary on the drive about half way through. This is my Dad…his horse Bucky…his dog Blue. He was pretty much John Wayne to me and Mom and kinda scary to Wild Bill:)

Oh come on WB Dad does not look scary here!!!

 “WB are you gonna marry my daughter?”

“Yes sir….I am!”

“She is our little girl…and our only child…so I am watching you!”

“Don’t worry Dad…I am good with WB.”

I have so many good memories of growing up riding with Dad and working cows…but some of the best ones are when Dad took me fishing or when he taught me how to drive a four speed Scout up in the mountains…he was the solid comfort in Mom’s and my life…and he always kept a going.

Dad, you gave me the gift of life and horses:)

Happy Father’s Day…I learned everything I could from you about life and living and I miss you and Mom so very much.

I thank God for giving me a cowboy Dad like you!

Hotrod Cowgirl headed on down the road with horse power and horsepower:) Over and out…see ya on down the dusty trail!

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!!!

Round Pen Training…Developing The Foundation Of Trust

Today we finally have a bit of a break from the rain and blustery wind…make that a deluge of rain and dreary gray weather…I know I know…blah and blah…grumble and complain.  The rain has kept me indoors the last week cleaning of all silly things, so I took a break one day and sorted through some old pictures on my back up drive…it was fun to look back on lots of good memories…good people…good times and good horses of course:)

March’s last week of blahsay (is that a word?) weather was much like the day in this photo…wet…cold…gray…and dreary. This picture was taken a few years ago in the round corral…Cowboy son had come home to visit for the weekend and while he was here, he wanted to work with Fanny Annie. He was working on desensitization with Annie, which is important as it begins to lay the foundation of trust. She is learning to trust in her human no matter if the plastic sack is scary or not…

This teaches her inner trust in us so that when anything unexpected happens on the trail or anywhere we go when we ride her, she will not freak out being triggered into the fear or flight instinct. As he asks her to move about, he is watching her body language…looking for the try in her to trust him…waiting for her to turn towards him with two eyes…instead of her hindquarters, which is a lack of respect.

He had a ways to go yet with her as she is yet turning away from him. As we waited and watched you could feel the rain coming as the air was heavy with mist and a feeling of ominous blahsay…it has to be a word, as it fits the dreary day!

He continues to move her feet about…it is not mean if it is done right…she is learning that her world is safe with her human leader…just as it would be in the wild with her herd…ultimately she is learning to trust. Horses are born with the biological fear or flight mechanism…it is what kept them alive for centuries. In the wild when a predator approaches, the lead horse in the pack will alert the herd to move out if danger invades their world.

We humans want to ride our horses like no big deal…but unless we first develop trust with them or a very good trainer does it before we purchase the horse…we likely will deal with a spooky jumpy horse and be upset or worse, either the horse gets hurt or we do or we both do. A good foundation is a must when you raise horses and if you purchase one then you need to be sure that the horse has been given a good foundation of trust and consistency. And remember if for some reason you end up with a horse that is not so great…it is not the horses fault…they are doing what their natural instinct says, “fear for your life horse”…and that would be due to lack of foundational training…with daily training and relationship. We would not expect to buy a lion and bring it home for a house kitty…and expect it to be fine to play or cuddle with us…horses are the same way…they are much more vulnerable to pain caused by humans as the human did not know or understand the horse.

All horses want to get along but if they have been abused and if they have not been handled correctly or right…then they are spooky and fighting for their lives…they do not know if we are safe or not until we begin with them from the beginning. By the way I refresh my well-trained older horses in the round corral if needed…often both of us need it:)

Here Cowboy is touching Annie softly on her shoulder area asking her if she will settle in with him but she is still tight and tense…not quite ready to listen…

He continued by moving her off again…in the direction he asks…always when you work your horses, if you ask them to go to the right and they go to the left…you stop them and turn them back to the right…they must go the way you ask…again this is good communication and respect.

Annie is beginning to settle…she is facing him and you can see in her eyes that she is thinking…she wants to hook on to Cowboy…the first step that all is well and  she is safe. “Annie will you hook on to me now and follow me?”

For the sake of your eyes and boredom, unless you have horses, I fast forwarded the process and the pictures a bit :)

Ry is in the corral now as he listens how to connect to Annie, as she is looking for that sign of trust that Ry is safe too.

Touching Annie on her forehead is reassuring to her that all is well.

I have found that horses have a bond with children that is hard to explain…they are very soft with kids.

Dropping down to her level…we are showing her we are not over her but we are partners in this relationship and as partners you will be the safe leader…submission and trust are critical in your relationship with your horse.

Still working on trust here but making good progress.

Incredibly beautiful…as this is the moment when trust is being given between horse and human…see how Annie is looking at Cowboy…when your horse gives you their trust it is a sacred relationship.

One of my favorite pictures of Annie and Ry…she is such a sweet girl…and he is becoming such a cowboy too:)

That rainy gray morning…Annie gave her heart with her trust…she relaxed…joined in and  became soft.

The lesson ended with Annie introducing herself to Bo-Bo…he is the best dog…and father to our dog Dasher.

From here on we continued to develop Annie’s trust. The most important part of the relationship with your horse whether young or old is consistency…that is the key to the whole deal of your horses knowing that they are safe in this life with you:)

No more blahsay…hoping for a sunshiny today…is that the right spelling for sunshiny??? It is a word right?

Smile….click!

“Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be”.

A bit of help from the Mama’s and Papa’s.




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