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:)

Sounds Of Silence On A Moonlit Night In South Juniper Canyon…

Sounds of silence on a moonlit night in South Juniper Canyon changes throughout the year…my favorite season of sounds is from now through summer into fall. During the day time hours I listen to the turtle doves, which I love…the occasional hawk flying overhead…early mornings and late evenings we hear our owls…and the coyotes.

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My favorite sound happens each night; it is incredible to hear the return of the crickets each spring across the road in our little creek.

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Tonight as I opened our window a rush of spring air came in along with our country symphony. I LOVE falling to sleep with our country crickets serenading me into sweet country girl dreams. Dreams of playing in the creek when I was little, catching tadpoles and bringing them in a jar with some creek water and moss to my Mom….

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I was so proud of myself as I caught these cute little fish things that we could add to my fish bowl…and Mom said “Now wait a minute honey, these are very special fish and they deserve their own container. She dumped them into a large glass jar she had gotten from the Dairy Queen in town, she usually used it to make ice tea, but it was all she had…she wanted to make her little girl happy and keep the tadpoles alive.

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As I write…the symphony stops…silence…the crickets who are the watchman must have heard something and they signaled danger…

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When they do that, silence falls on a dark country night until they feel safe again…once they feel safe, they begin to sing…knowing there is danger but for now all is well…lets party and sing!

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 I begin to fall to sleep with good memories…never figured out that tadpoles were baby frogs until I was a young adult…Mom did not want to tell me…and when I found out I said…really? Yuk…Gross!

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I made a pact with the crickets and frogs to leave them alone from then on.

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Instead we try to protect them with safe waters in trade for their nightly symphonies for us to enjoy…on a quiet moonlit night in South Juniper Canyon.

Seasons Of Weather On The Land And Spring Fun!

Seasons of weather on the land and the hints of spring fun are coming! I love this time of year, as over the years of living my life on the land, I have gained the understanding of faith, hard work and the importance of being a good steward of the land.

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I notice the seasons more vividly as you depend on them for the health of the land and often you are outside in the elements of weather everyday. Maybe it’s driving to your job 30 miles away in town or maybe you are blessed instead to be out on top of the hills gathering cattle…or farming round and round on a tractor.

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Being in the middle of nature’s elements, you feel the weather on your face with each passing storm, while watching the seasons slowly change.

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From long winter days cloaked in gray fog as you wait and hope for a good wheat crop, growing under the obscure ashen gloom that covers the land from your sight.

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Finally the first breath of spring air comes, blowing off winter’s gray coat, revealing your hard work…your faith has been rewarded, with a beautiful green wheat crop underneath…

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The miracle of life, with that one tiny seed of grain the farmer plants in faith, months before…has grown into a harvest bushel full of wheat.

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Which also means with the changing seasons I will be doing the part that makes me Hot Rod

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Cowgirl…and yes I love the cool cars my hubby WB builds:)

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But, I will always be a cowgirl through and through that loves my horses and the life of a cowgirl…I do admit it is fun to drive the ba-bump-a-boom sounding cars WB builds, with the deep throaty sound of horsepower and a healthy cam:)

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Seasons are a changing…March can be crazy and wild!

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Minnie will be putting away her “Cat Operas” for the year as she will instead be watching out the windows and smelling smells through the screens of spring and then summer…already we have the nightly serenade sounds of crickets in the creek close to the house and lots of robins, doves, quail and various colored birds are flying about to her enjoyment:)

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Hang on…as soon…

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Faster than a speeding bullet…

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Blasting off like a rocket! No silly…not the jet above…

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“Its Lola!” She’s out of winter hibernation and on the road again:):):)

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Lola’s my speeding bullet…”Lola’s my baby:)”

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“Classic…Fast…Built From Days Of Old…” When they still knew how to build real cars…out of steel and real leather interiors and actual horsepower:)

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Beautiful skies above and our little red car below…

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Lola! La La La Lola…Love you Lola!

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Springs a coming….sooooon:)

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Hang on here we go!

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As reported from “The Life Of Hot Rod Cowgirl living in the Wild West!!!”

Autumn Colors And Light On A Captivating Night!

A few nights ago, the magic hour of color and light paid me a surprise visit.

Golden light and magical beauty in the skies above…the first evening in several weeks that we had actual clouds.

Clouds add interest and amazing detail…soft enchanting light and colors that deepen with views that you usually do not see.

I did not have time to put on my mucky yucky chore shoes…when the light is right, you hurry quickly as the light changes so fast and you do not want to miss out on one second of the golden hour.

I grabbed the closest shoes I could grab next to my camera…my Danskos…my one pair of nice black town shoes…and off I went carefully as the shoes have a slight boot heel and I am known to be a total klutz!

Fanny Annie was shocked that I did not have my boots on!

As I climbed through the fence and headed up the muddy hill behind the house wearing my nice Danskos…

I wondered if this means that I am truly becoming a real photographer?

I was caught off guard as the day had been sunny without clouds…I greedily took shot after glorious shot:)

Amazing views full of various hues and ever changing light with the clouds above.

I have missed the dramatic ways you can capture and photograph the landscape…for about a month we have had nothing but bright sunshine without clouds and a blue sky faded out to a blahsay color.

My Sony a77 Camera, shoots 12 frames per second. It is fast with no lag time, which I love! One of these days I will be up here filming WB going through the gears of his current Hot Rod! I am always thinking drama and creatively…I can see him coming through fog or smoke…going through the gears…not sure if I can pull that off but it would be a fun day of great shots and videos! Also, notice you can see my arena and round corral…maybe we could get some cows to work too:)

Hey WB, I’m up here…in the mucky mud with my Danskos on…I think I am obsessed with my camera and photography.

Artistic shadows on the landscape bring depth and intense colors that knock my socks off! I find that my eye constantly scans my horizon looking for something creative and unusual to capture.

I have lived on the land forever in isolated areas…

And I never grow tired of scenes like this…

Or of my horses…I love Annie’s cute ears outlined in black…she took a mud bath, see the dried mud on her neck:)

Skies of gold filled with beauty that we will miss if we are watching TV or on the computer…I love the colors of gold and blues in this shot.

God’s creative, ever changing scenery…beautiful!

Never boring at all!

A fun reflection in the puddle in front of the house.

A gift to capture the reflection of the clouds, the colors and the light in it.

This one is my favorite with the log fence and the almost surreal colors that give a muddy ranch puddle an unusual perspective of beauty!

Sometimes it is hard to find the words to describe what you see…incredible and beautiful:)

No matter where you live you will find beauty all around you in different ways. I have been in huge cities before and seen incredible beauty that I never see here…and I love the desert…most think it is just a flat boring place…uh-no.

 “Seriously Mom, I can not believe you wore your Danskos in the mud and went up on the hill to take pictures…geez!”

“Well, I know Annie…and you rolled in the mud right after I had brushed you so pretty and nice:)” “And I love you Annie Fanny…you are so sweet and cute:)”

Annie Fanny and HRCG are wishing you a wonderful peaceful evening and a great week!

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!

Hot Rod Cowgirl Nominated For Three Awards! The Kreativ…Sunshiny and Lovely Awards!!!

Hot Rod Cowgirl has been nominated for…Three Blog Awards!!!!

By three fellow bloggers that have outstanding blogs that I admire and enjoy reading! I am humbled and hugely honored:)

Ann Novek nominated me for The Lovely Blogger Award…she has a fantastic blog filled with information on animals, her travels and incredible photos. You will enjoy the educational articles she posts and her photography with heart…go to her blog at http://havehest.wordpress.com/

Renee nominated me for The Sunshine Blogger Award. She lives in New Zealand and so does our son…I enjoy seeing her photos and hearing about life in NZ. She has lots of wonderful images and incredible scenery that she shares…I love her blog at  http://randpphotoalbums.wordpress.com/

Vivian nominated me for The Kreativ Blogger Award….she has an incredible blog and amazing pictures of the America West and the Nevada Desert.  You will enjoy her thoughts and views of life and the amazing photography of truly beautiful landscapes that she captures…I too love the desert…go take a look at http://godguidesme.com/

Minnie wanted to say “Hi”…she is sunning herself on one of her favorite Navajo rugs:)

I will try to combine the rules for these three awards below:)

Oooppps a picture from my barn snuck in there…snaffle bits…lots of them:)

The rules in accepting these three wonderful awards:

1.Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.

2.List seven random things about yourself.

3.Nominate 10 other blogs that you admire and enjoy.

4.Notify the nominees.

5.Display the award logo on your blog.

Thank you Vivian for nominating me for The Kreativ Blogger Award…

I love unique awards…you made my day full of kreativness and fun:)

Renee, thank you for choosing my blog for The Sunshine Blog Award…

It is such a bright award…you brought me sunshine and bright smiles:)

Ann thank you for choosing my blog for The Lovely Blog Award…

A beautiful award…my day was filled with beauty all around me:)

Seven Random Things About Hot Rod Cowgirl:

1. I try hard to be organized most of the time…other times I look organized but I stuffed all the clutter in the closet…and it is waiting for me…ugh!

2. I love Western Art…Karmel Timmons, Shoefly and several western artists…antique western art…and landscapes. I am drawn to black and white prints as well as good color that depicts reality…you can tell if they have been there and done that…that is why I fell in love with Karmel Timmons…I have several of her prints:)

3. I look to the positive in life instead of the negative…the glass is half full…instead of half empty!

4. I enjoy planting flowers in various containers…barrels and pots and anything that I can find around the ranch that is interesting…I love perennials and interesting color schemes. My favorite color combo is red, purple, yellow and white.

5. I prefer jeans all year long except for capris in the summer…if it is hot…and if it is super hot and I am in the house I will wear shorts…but still prefer jeans!

6. I enjoy camping in the mountains and at the beach…I love packing into the high country as it is truly a different world at 9500’…the sky is a different color and the air is clear…the flowers and vegetation are different as well…it is beautiful to capture images in crystal clear air and light with incredible shots of a different world!

7. I love cowgirl jewelery such as silver…conchos…turquiose…I like to get gussied up with my Old Gringos boots…concho belts…lots of silver and cowgirl class.

Questions About Me: From The Sunshine Blogger Award

Favorite Number: 7

Favorite Non-Alchoholic Drink: Diet Coke with Fresh Lemon

Facebook or Twitter: Facebook but do not update it enough

My Passion: My husband Wild Bill…God Above…Horses…My Animals…Photography…Writing…Heritage

Favorite Pattern: Western Patterns…Native Designs

Favorite Day Of The Week: Sunday

Favorite Flower: Gardenias…Roses…All Of Them!!!

Kreativ Blogger Award Nominees Are:

1. http://theblondecoyote.com/

2. http://catfromhell.wordpress.com/

3. http://bentehaarstad.wordpress.com/

4. http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/

5. http://westeastern.me/

6. http://donkeywhispererfarm2010.wordpress.com/

7. http://timetobeinspired.wordpress.com/

8. http://thebeefjar.com/

9. http://throughmylens365.wordpress.com/

10. http://tracielouisephotography.net/

Moving on to the next category of nominees…I LOVE my car:)

For The Lovely Bloggers Award:

1.http://wheniride.wordpress.com/

2.http://ske-daddle.com/

3.http://lifeintheblueridges.wordpress.com/

4.http://visitstothepark.wordpress.com/

5.http://happycatgirl.wordpress.com/

6.http://lookingatthewest.com/

7.http://nokotahorse.wordpress.com/

8. http://equineclarity.wordpress.com/

9.http://seeingspotsphoto.wordpress.com/

10.http://passionforcats.wordpress.com/

And another beautiful shot of Lola:)

The nominees for The Sunshine Blogger Award Are:

1. http://clayzmama.com/

2. http://50yearproject.wordpress.com/

3. http://sugardishme.com/

4. http://myhmmmcollection.wordpress.com/

5. http://appropriatelyfrayed.wordpress.com/

6. http://awindowintothewoods.com/

7. http://brettlerickson.wordpress.com/

8. http://postcardsfromcolorado.wordpress.com/

9. http://farmerstrophywife.com/

10. http://lookingatthewest.com/

Go take a look at all of these blogs as they are truly wonderful…I admire them very much! Congratulations to all the nominees!!!

Minnie say “Congratulations to all of you:) It is now high time that my Mom gets off the blankety blank computer…I’m getting slightly annoyed and cranky…it is my turn and that means lap time and nap time…meowsie till next time:)”

Lets keep going forward with our cameras and our words, as we explore our lives with the images  we capture and the thoughts we ponder on this journey of life:)

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.

Sky Painting By God

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…

Ever Changing…

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!

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