August Introspection…

August introspection is slowly settling into my heart once again as summer is winding down…soon it will be going going gone…summer this year disappeared too fast!

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It reminds me how quickly the years fly by…how life passes on faster than we want…which means we either grab on or hang on.

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I will grab on and ride on!

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August is my birthday month…a time of gratitude and a time of thanksgiving for the life that God has given me.

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Each birthday brings me to a place of self examining…how can I improve myself…what do I need to change? We will never know it all and we will never be perfect people…I am not perfect at all, I am more of a klutz with a good heart! I love to learn new things to improve myself…and I love to write and to capture lifetime photos:)

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August weather can be unpredictable…you never know what is brewing…such as today’s forecast for severe thunderstorms and lightning and…

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I will be watching and grabbing images of the storm to share with you all:)

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Usually August will bring summer’s last hurrah…a week of 100 degree days with very warm nights.

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And you’ll find me clicking away as much as I can, trying to grab the remaining summer we have left. Late August brings many enchanted evenings outside…

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Perfect for photos that bring much delight! And as I look up to the heavens, I stare in wonder at the magical colors displayed above me.

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I love living here…never a dull moment…always something that brings life to your heart:)

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I wanted to share this interesting photo with you as I have never seen anything like these clouds…you may need to click on the image to bring it up so you can see the ethereal but enchanting clouds…they look a bit transparent and yet they look like lace in the sky or voile…beautifully odd but very interesting!

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And as I swing through life…I trust Him who holds the ropes to my life…I look up and laugh for He has me in His hands:)

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Minnie Mouse (above), Ellie Belle and I wish you all a great week!

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Life is good…Life is beautiful!

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A year ago today our Ellie girl came to live with us…

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She is so cute, so smart and a great protector!

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And HRCG…Minnie Mouse…and Ellie Belle are over and out for now…but not for long:)

Dawn Comes Early In Farm Country

Dawn comes early in farm country during the summer months…

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Partly due to the busy times before harvest, getting all the equipment ready etc. and then once harvest begins, it is from sun up to sundown.

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I have two reasons for being up in the middle of the night…the first one is due to the “Queen of Birds” as she feels it is her nagging bird duty to wake us all up. She begins about 3:05 every morning in the dark…she chirps and chatters periodically for about 15 minutes and slowly one by one all the other birds finally jump in on the chattering part…by 3:30 it is bird central outside our bedroom windows. I usually get up and shut them hoping we can go back to sleep a few more hours but by 3:30 to 4:00 I am up and wide awake…which is good for my second reason:)

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Which is this view…watching the miracle of a brand new day begin with each beautiful sunrise! It is one of God’s greatest gifts to us as we can watch one of His daily miracles unfold before us…as only God could arrange how the earth maneuvers in relationship to the sun and the moon. I don’t want to miss a second of our summer months while summer is here with my camera…there is so much to photograph and to experience!

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There is something holy about watching the sunrise…maybe it is due to it being a brand new day with renewed hope and a clean slate or maybe it is one of those incredible God moments that you can not explain. For me, watching the sunrise and the sunset in summer gives me beauty filled with miracles that inspires me with a sense of awe and wonderment…and even in the early darkness of dawn, it is usually barefoot nice outside…I love the warm nights as the rest of the year, I am cold.

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And this particular sunrise was well worth being up for!

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The camera caught the rays of light…which I love seeing as it is what I saw…beautiful huh?

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And with each passing second, the light and colors change! I love this time of year here…the magical ever changing light, the colors that knock your socks off and the solitude that brings peace to your soul…it all comes together…feeding your heart with creativity…old memories, good times and new adventures…and the ever presence of heaven on earth for a few short months here in Juniper Canyon.

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Wheat harvest is in full swing this week…and once the sun is barely up, the semi trucks that haul the wheat are back to hauling wheat, while the farmers are headed back out to the fields with their crew, and another day of harvest begins…

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The semi trucks can run around the clock, hauling wheat day and night to keep the elevators empty for each new day of crop to come into their bins.

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The wheat is headed to the Columbia River about 35 miles from here, where it will be loaded onto barges that will make the 200 mile trip down the Columbia River to Portland, Oregon, where it will be shipped overseas.

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One last glorious sunrise photo…this one was on a different day…incredible colors and light!

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In the early morning hours as I rise from slumbers sweet
I search the dark and black horizon
Longing for my eyes to meet,
The morning with its subtle dawning, the colors stretching as they wake
Greeting me with glorious splendor, bidding me my prayers to make

Oh my precious Lord and Master, How I wonder at your plan
Who am I to share this beauty? Who am I, but mortal man?
Such a gift you’ve given freely, colors bursting from the sky
Wonders of your vast creation,
How can man your love deny?

There is hope within each sunrise
Hope to face the brand new day
Gone are yesterday’s demises
Hope replaces my dismay

Like the promise of the rainbow that you hung across the sky,
Sunrise stirs the love within me,
Thinking how you bled and died,
Thinking how you suffered for me,
Passed through hell so I could live,

Live to see each morning’s sunrise
And your hope to others give

(Not sure who wrote this, but I found it this week and thought it fit)

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And just for you…one sunset picture too! The mountain (click on the picture) you see in the picture is Mt. Hood, 200 miles away from us. In the summer months, I ride my horse out into the fields around our house…we climb the steepest hill in the back of the field to watch the sunset…most nights it is clear like this and you often can see three mountains in your view…all of them are over 200 miles away from us!

Wellll, it’s a deep subject:) Hee-hee…one of WB’s silly lines…and because its Marvelous Monday, I had to say it:)  Wishing you a wonderful week wherever you are! HRC over and out for now:)

Surviving Storms Of Winter As Life Flows On.

Life flows on like a river, as winter takes hold of our lives in Juniper Canyon.

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Surviving the storms of winter can be tough if you are caught without warning…

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Life can change in the blink of an eye.

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And yet if we persevere with hope…our faith is strengthened in a deeper, stronger way.

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2012 ended with the physical pain of WB’s surgery and the emotional pain of loosing Kiah. Dealing with pain itself can be a life storm…a war that you fight for healing and the return to your normal life.

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Loosing our animal family members is equally hard, as truly our animals are part of us, part of our hearts and part of our humanity. I grab hold of my camera every second I can to capture the ever changing life around me…now if I can find the words to express my heart.

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I do know that we live life everyday, never knowing what each new day will bring…having “faith” to believe that no matter what it brings we will survive.

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God never planned for us to have a perfect life as He wants us to depend on Him.

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Each day the road is before us as we keep our focus and walk on. Life is full of adventure…hard times…exciting times…sad times…learning times, but mostly good times.

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Where ever you are I hope that tomorrow or today or tonight is blessed with perseverance that develops your hope which will deepen your faith…no matter your circumstances.

A Merry Christmas Morning Dawned And A Happy New Years 2013 Is Coming Up!

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A Merry Christmas Morning Dawned, Full Of Rainbow Colors, Playing Softly In The Early Morning Light,

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 As The Morning Sun Ignited The Blaze Of Radiance On Another Juniper Canyon Day.

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Santa Paws Had Left Minnie Mouse A Kitty Amusement To Scratch On, While Smelling The Catnip!

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I Loved The Reflection Of The Fiery Christmas Sky That Was Captured In My Window, It Made My Heart Smile!

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As My Minnie Girl Twirls Her Coat Of Many Colors, Full Of Catnip, With Minnie Mouse Style!

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And The “Christmas Son” Rose…

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Throwing Creative Shadows Across The Golden Land.

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While Minnie Played…Attacking Her New Toys…Still Munching On Her Yummy Catnip:)

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And Then Snow Began To Fall! Is It Really Snow???

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But, What Happened To The Beautiful Early Morning Blue Skies? Do You Know Ms. Ki?

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“Mom, I Think It Is Snowing…You Know It’s Christmas…It’s The Winter And Snowy Time Of Year. Only Our God Could Change Our Day From Sunny Blue Skies And Incredible Sunrises To A Snowy Christmas Day Just For Us!”

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And With That Said, “We At HRCG All Wish You A Merry Christmas Good Night And A Happy New Years Coming Up! 2013 Style!”

Juniper T Ranch Quietly Changes Scenery As The Seasons Of Life Continue On…

Juniper T Ranch quietly changes scenery as the seasons of life continue on with Autumn’s golden light on the landscape…where did summer go?

Life has been a bit crazy and I have not been able to blog as often as I usually do…I love to write and write and write…I love to photograph tons of various pictures to share with you and I like to yak a lot:)

I have missed reading your blogs…which makes me sad, as I enjoy hearing about your lives and seeing your photography…seeing a glimpse of your world.

A week ago Thursday my hubby Wild Bill had surgery on his neck. He was pulling hard on a wrench under a vehicle on the hoist last July and all of a sudden he heard a snap and loud pop sound in his right shoulder…instant pain…but “Mr. Tough Guy” did not say anything to me until about 5 days later…”Oh, uhhhhh MJ…can you call in and get me a doctor appointment, as I did something to my shoulder a few days ago and it hurts like heck.”

I have NEVER heard those words uttered out of his mouth before in 36 years of marriage…so I knew he was in pain. I was able to get him in right away so on July 25th he had the first MRI and our family Dr. sent him to see a shoulder specialist. At first they thought it was either a rotator cuff tear or that he tore his bicep muscle.

We had to wait until later in August to see the shoulder specialist. He ordered more tests and we saw the MRA’s and the MRI’s and you could see his bicep was still intact but had several frayed tears…and the rotator cuff was ok thank goodness! The Dr. was going to set up bicep surgery and Wild Bill was saying how much the back of his arm hurt too as well as he had two numb fingers on his right hand.

The Dr.’s eye brows went up and he said ok that is indicative of a neck issue. I want to send you to a nerve Dr. to do a nerve study…sure enough we heard his nerves screaming in agony in his neck on the nerve study and the next stop was the spine Dr….we saw him in early September.

Note: The above picture of WB was taken before his injury…and he was having fun!

Bill injured his neck July 20th…that is a very long time to live with the kind of nerve pain he was living with…but he did and we saw the Dr. who did another MRI on his neck and you could see the two vertebrae under the two that were fused 6 years ago, and a very distinct nerve under the bottom vertebrae looking pinched…surgery was scheduled for September 27th.

In the mean time I teased the heck out of him:) Imagine that! I have found that humor always helps:)

It was tough to have to wait as he was suffering intense pain..I have gone through a lot of surgeries but nothing like what WB went through. Nerve and bone pain is the worst pain you can have. I had lots of nerves involved in my surgeries but not bone…and yah nerve pain hurts and once it heals it is annoying…I get an itch and scratch but can not feel it….LOL:)

While we waited WB sat out on the patio with me in the evenings…we have not watched TV since last March…once the  time change happens with Spring Forward, I want to enjoy each hour of daylight. Winter is coming and it will be dark again at 4:00. During this time of the year I want to be in the middle of the glorious light and experience the clouds and feel the warmth. I love the evening light, the beauty all around us…seeing the wildlife, watching my horses, petting the dogs, counting the stars, hearing the crickets and frogs and just taking in all the wonderful country smells of summer and fall:)

 I love the colors of the sky during the magic hour each evening as the sun slowly sinks down to its bed for a good rest while the moon takes its place.

And if we’re lucky it will be a harvest moon that slowly peeks out at you.

And slowly rises over the hill across the road.

A shot of the log fence with our 10-12′ sagebrush that you see across the road in the background along Juniper Creek. We love our sagebrush and it is amazing when you stand in it as it truly is that tall. When I was growing up I spent hours over in the creek catching tadpoles and pretending various scenarios that always revolved around my horse and I…we played Annie Oakley or I was tracking buffalo or elk or cowboys and looking for the Native Americans:)

As September 27th drew closer we both became nervous. WB has only had two surgeries in his adult life…when they took him to surgery in 2006…I cried and could not stop. I took his clothes out to the car in the parking garage and was still trying to stuff my tears and emotions…and then I heard this beautiful music coming from somewhere or someones car. I looked around and did not see anyone…the music was a song I knew from church about God… how He loves us and will always watch over us…I knew then that WB was going to be ok and he was:)

This time when they took him to surgery I began to choke up and tear up trying to not let him see me doing that…it is so hard to see your loved one go to surgery as you feel helpless, worried and scared. Just as they began to take him through the swinging doors I noticed there was someone walking towards us down the hall…it was two of our best forever friends John and Tara…with big smiles. I grabbed the arm of the nurse to stop Bill’s gurney for just a minute so he could see them too. What a blessing it was for us that they came to be with us:) Having Tara spend the day with me was answer to prayer…she is a sister to me. And John, who is our family too, stayed to visit and encourage me before he left to join his wife for the day. John has been with us through lots of life stuff…God is very good:)

The surgery went well…as the Dr. lifted the bone off the nerve that was pinched, he said that even though WB was sleeping he let out a sigh of relief. Later when WB woke up in his room he said “Wow, my shoulder does not hurt anymore.” The Dr. also repaired the vertebrae using new bone and once they were done they attached a steel plate to the vertebrae with steel screws. The surgery was about three hours with almost two in recovery.

It is not an easy surgery or recovery. In 2006 they went in through the back of his neck and this time they went in from the front of his neck which involved moving the esophagus over to be able to get to the vertebrae. WB’s pain has been pretty intense the last week…he has three months to go before he is able to resume all his normal activities.

In the picture above right across from our house…see the joys of country living…dust gently hanging in the night air…drifting closer and feeling welcome enough to come into my house! It does add to the picture but darn it as I just dusted the house!

The first month of recovery is the toughest…the most he can lift is 5 pounds and he can not reach up over his head or reach to the sides or reach towards the floor etc. We have been home a week now…in fact they allowed us to go home that night about 9:00…I was Nervous Nurse Nellie…but it was good for him to be home and to sleep in our bed. And I have gotten into the role of being Nurse Nellie which means I give him his meds every 4-6 hours 24/7…and give him the stink eye when I see him doing something he should not do!

“Don’t worry WB, you will be perfectly fine…it just takes a bit of time to heal”. I love his smile:) Besides the surgical pain the hardest part right now is that he felt he would be further along after a week…this recovery stuff is all new to him yet…so I watch him like a hawk as he wants to do more but NOT now WB. I feel like a nag but he forgets and will start to bend over to reach for something and I say “No…Wild Bill, quit that”…then he looks at me like a little boy who was caught…it is hard for him to just rest and rest and rest and not feel guilty for resting. I remind him that yes I know…I had to be very good for six months after my year of surgeries…and it took me a good year to regain all my strength and energy back but I did and WB will too if I can keep him under house arrest:)

Melody says it will be ok WB…and do you happen to have one of those awesome Apple Berry Treats for me?

And Kiah loves you and says all will be fine Dad…now can I finish getting into your lap?

I have not fallen off the planet or quit blogging…just taking care of my hubby to get him well and healed back up:) Whenever I get the chance I head outside to capture pictures to share with you….which is a vacation for my mind and heart…I love the artistic part of me that gets fired up:) And I want to develop it more and more and more:)

I hope you have a wonderful Fall evening and weekend wherever you are…look around at the beauty that is all around you and smile:)

HRCG over and out for now!

Sky Paintings…Created By God…Captured By Hot Rod Cowgirl

A few nights ago I had the chance to capture one of God’s incredible sunsets that we are blessed with out here in Juniper Canyon.

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We have a very artistic and creative God full of beauty and grace, as He paints the sky with…

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 Ever changing colors of golden orange, rusty reds, majestic purples, shades of blue  and glimmering gold.

And with a stroke of His hand…

He creates a burnished beauty in the luminous evening sky above.

And in the blink of an eye He changes it with magical colors of pinks and blues adding ethereal light.

Enchanted inspiration stirs my creative spirit…

As I stand in awe on a warm summer night.

Beauty that can only come from “Heaven” above:)

As the sky was on fire…

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Moments of wonder and divine creativity….times in our lives when we can’t help but stop and take notice of the beauty around us that God has masterfully brushed into our lives. Watching a gorgeous sunset with magical light and color that fills your soul with wonder…as we create our own moments to remember.

I love summer evenings, when the first stars come out, the warm glow of sunset still stains the rim of the canyon, while yet coloring the western sky.

The moon was visible for this shot, a pale white globe, while the sun slowly sets on another incredible summer night in Juniper Canyon.

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If you look around you…you will see the creative gifts of God…the artistic beauty of His love for us is everywhere:)

Happy Sunday!

Howdy Y’All…Let’s Go For A Walk About On A Beautiful Morning In Juniper Canyon…

Howdy y’all…lets go for a walk about on a beautiful morning in Juniper Canyon…its a bit brisk but the sun is out!

It’s a beautiful morning…doo-doo-doo-doo…

Think I will go outside and just smile :)

Just take in some clean fresh air…ahhhh.

Aint no sense in staying inside…

It’s your chance to wake up and plan another brand new day….either way its a beautiful morning…doo-doo-doo.

Did anyone recognize the above lyrics…a few of the words may not be right but that was the song in my head as I wrote:)

“It’s A Beautiful Morning” by the Little Rascals.

Here is a little rascal herself…Kiah says yeah…come on let’s go feed the horses!

“Did I hear…hay?” Melody is all heart…I love her eyes…so big…soft and pretty.

I’m coming girls…hang on…the hay is coming.

 Fannie My Annie is playing peek a boo…

Remember this is “Fannie Annie”…chick a boom chick a boom…she is all Fannie!

Mel is sending me deep equine thoughts…”Look deep into my eyes…give me some apple treats and a good rub…keep looking deep into my eyes.”

By the time we finished feeding, the sun was fading and a few clouds were rolling into Juniper.

I went looking for interesting shots as the light was good…I love figuring out what to shoot and how as I learn this art of my heart.

Gray reflections of life in the puddles of black and white…all part of my life…in the wintry light.

Today we are faced with stark winter views that stretch into the horizon…yet as time spins by…soon warm spring days and flowers will bloom with vibrance and new life…as once again the cycle repeats itself.

In the mean time…Melody says “Hey the wind of winter is starting to blow again…I need my sweater.”

From a sunny blue sky to a silvered shade of gray…ripples and dapples of time slowly march across this puddle of earthy color.

“I luv ya Ms. Melody…I’m getting your ear muffs and coat:)”

Have a warm sunny day and if it is a dappled gray day outside…then stay nice and toasty warm on the inside…spring is a coming:)

Toodle-ooo and ta-ta for now:)

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