Remembering Our Loved Ones….

As the golden river of life gently flows on…

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Family history is a living breathing life that is passed on one generation to another…often filled with colorful memories and traditions of family heritage.

America The Beautiful!

Memorial Weekend is a time of gratitude for those who fought to protect our freedom and to protect our American life.

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It’s a time of reflection…a time to honor those who went before us, who made our life better with hard work and sacrifice.

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The last few years I began sorting boxes and memories of almost a hundred years stored in our home…each box took me back, like a historical time machine.

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When I was 34, Mom gave me a big box of letters written by her parents when they were courting in the late 1890’s. Writing was the only way they had to stay in touch and that is what they did. Their letters and love notes are full of young love, sweet tender words that speak to your heart…priceless. I hope to put them into a book someday, as they tell of a time in America we could not imagine…and they share a sweet story of love.

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Our house was built by my Norwegian Grandfather for his mother, my Great Grandmother Anne Marie, who was still living in Norway. The house is what I call a typical craftsman farm house built in 1920 and a mansion then,  as it has about 3800′.

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I have always loved living here…the old house to me is a peaceful sanctuary…it speaks deeply to my heart of family honor and love. I have been asked many times what is it like to live in the house you grew up in?

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For one thing, after WB and I were married and living here, I knew exactly where to put things:) I can predict the weather and tell you what the sky means…I know the neighbors by their exhaust…and I cherish every memory that I carry from growing up here with my parents…and moving here with my husband WB…and we are yet making “our” memories:)

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When we pulled the carpet up off the old wood floors, there was worn stenciling on the floors…the foot paths were very evident and I could see and feel where my ancestors walked!

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 I spent a few weeks on my hind end scooting along the floors, pulling the carpet nails out before we refinished it, with a box of kleenex and lots of tears. It was profound to know that your family, walked right there!

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This is home to me…a small place on this vast earth where I walk in the footprints of those who went before me…this is home.

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I give thanks to God for my family and especially my Great Grandmother, my Grandparents and my parents…my family and my heritage.

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May you be blessed with good memories and good stuff this Memorial Day!

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HRCG is over and out with Ellie and WB!

Days Of Summer…Old Time Memories And Country Life

Days of summer…old time memories and country life…summertime is one of my favorite seasons here in Juniper Canyon. In early June the fields of wheat are lush green…we hope for a few June showers to water the crops and before we know it July takes over…usually with hot temps, today it’s 95 degrees, with a hot breeze blowing that dries the crops out as they go from green to an amber golden color. This is exactly where we are right now with harvest coming up soon.

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Tonight, as the golden twilight falls, long ago memories drift gently through my heart…I can hear the sounds of little girl giggles and make believe imagination as I rode my white horse Prince around the ranch…or ran through the sprinklers…and if I was lucky a couple of cousins would be visiting!

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The air is warm and ever so still…our canyon breeze seems to have settled for the night and in its place…country silence. I can hear a hawk occasionally making his twilight hunting sounds along with the owls up on the hill behind us…as coyotes howl across the horse pasture while in the near distance their relatives answer back…setting off our dogs. A typical warm summer night in Juniper Canyon…and life as I know it.

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Harvest is in the air and on everyone’s mind…old memories of growing up here, takes me back to the sounds of harvest and also the sounds of the cattle ranch in the mountains. My cousins experienced more of harvest than I did, as my uncles did the farming here while my Dad managed the cattle in the mountains…however Dad kept me busy riding for cows and helping him on the cattle ranch through the summers…

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Until I was old enough to join my cousins in harvest and drive wheat truck. Harvest was a family effort…one that made you proud and glad that you were a part of bringing the crops in. We made lots of great family memories along with many hysterically funny stories to tell on each other at lunch!

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Harvest will always be about the common bond of family that stretches over a 100 years…in my heart I can see and feel the sacrifices my Norwegian Grandparents made to give us a future and a hope. They worked hard for every kernel of wheat to support their families well into the future with a legacy of hard work and family honor. Family heritage is who we are today and where we came from.

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It is fitting that old memories are flooding my heart as this weekend we had a large family wedding to attend. It was a beautiful ceremony full of love, friendship and a forever and ever love. My cousin’s daughter was the beautiful bride…she married into a family full of heritage and family honor, much like our large family. They will have a lifetime of happiness!

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The thing about good family memories, family history and family heritage, is that those heartfelt memories are the foundation, we as a large family have built our lives on…both in good times and bad times. Our Norwegian grandparents built the good stuff into their children who became our parents and in turn they built the family honor and heritage into us.

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I was blessed to grow up with my cousins by the dozens, and my aunts and uncles who always welcomed me into their homes if my parents were going to be out of town etc.

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Family meant the world to all of us…as we were old-fashioned close…celebrating family birthdays and holidays together…both young and old enjoyed the connection and the relationship.

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I’m not sure how my uncles and my Dad put up with us, but when we worked for them in harvest or on the cattle ranch, we knew it was serious business and we better pay attention! We would try hard to do that but we were kids…and we would laugh out loud about how so and so got their truck stuck or how so and so got in trouble for spilling a bit of wheat but the uncles were not laughing…nor was my Dad when I managed to loose my herd of cows some where up Chimney Creek! Oh the good old days…we still believed in fairy tales and happy endings.

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And this last weekend…we were part of a beautiful love story filled with fairy tales and a beautiful happy ending. Dreams do come true!

Code Of The West

Code Of The West

By James P. Owen

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Cowboys are known for being a symbol of American culture and values. They live by the Code of the West.

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The West is a place where the fence is always tight but the gate is always open to friends and neighbors.

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A cowboy gets his strength from knowing what is right and what is wrong. A cowboy is true to his beliefs. The Code of the West is not carved in stone, in fact, it is not even written down on paper. Yet, while not every cowboy abided by the Code, every cowboy knew what it was.

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Today’s cowboy may not use this specific term, but it remains his inner integrity for making daily decisions.

What follows are several principles that capture the Code of the West.

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Sit tall in your saddle

Take pride in your work.

I Corinthians 14:40 / I Corinthians 9:24 / Psalm 37: 23-24

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Put in a good days work

Always finish what you start

Romans 8:28 / Jeremiah 29:11 / II Theologians 3:10

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Tend to your herd

Take good care of your animals

Proverbs 27:23 / Proverbs 12:10 / Mathew 12:11-12

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Be a top hand

Live everyday with courage

Joshua 1:9 / Psalm 27:14 / Psalm 121:2

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Mean what you say and do what you mean

When you make a promise, keep it

Mathew 5:37 / Luke 16:12 / Proverbs 10:9

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Cowboy UP!

Do what has to be done

Proverbs 16:3 / Proverbs 10:4 /  Proverbs 6:10-11

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Draw a line in the sand

Know where to draw the line

Ephesians 6:13 / Proverbs 12:9 / Proverbs 12:11

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Be a straight shooter

Be tough, but fair

Psalm 112:5 / Proverbs 11:3 / Proverbs 16:11

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Ride for the brand

Be a good steward of your land and your ranch

James 1:22 / Psalm 37: 3-4 / Mathew 6:33

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Careful or you’ll have to eat your words

Talk less and say more

Ephesians 4:29 / Proverbs 18:21 / Proverbs 15:2

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Remember that some things aren’t for sale

Don’t compromise

Proverbs 22:1 / Acts 8:17-20 / Proverbs 4:7-9

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Lord willing and the creek don’t rise

Don’t worry, Be happy

I Peter 5:7 / Philippians 4:6 / Mathew 6:25-34

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Be neighborly

Give a helping hand

Mathew 7:12 / Mathew 5:16 / Mathew 5:41-42

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Be thankful every day as you praise God for your life

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Praise the LORD! Give thanks to the LORD!

Psalm 150:6 / Psalm 118:24 / Colossians 3:17

This Memorial Day weekend we will remember those who went before us…

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God Bless You Mom and Dad…I miss you and I love you!

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We will remember those who went to war for the United States of America…to protect our lives and our country.

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Wherever you are, let the sunshine warm your heart, your face and your words…as summer is almost here!

HRCG is over and out but not for long…..

Life Decades…Life Dreams…Life Goes On.

Life decades…life dreams…life…life goes on.

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I suppose wisdom is good with age…I like the wisdom but not thrilled about the age.

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I miss the old days of life…sitting a saddle everyday on a horse, looking and gathering cattle…doing what I know, that is as natural as breathing to me.

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Feeling mother nature on my face as she bathes me with her skies, and the beauty all around me…full of God’s glory.

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And the smell of a horse under you…together we are a team…hearts are joined.

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A quick summer shower that was enough to cool you off and the warmth of the sun above on my face…

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And the cattle…mooing…snapping brush and twigs as they try to out maneuver you…softly mooing for their babies as the dogs nip a few heels…the herd bellows a bit while moving out with you and your horse.

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I miss cowgirling… I miss the long days in the saddle and the short nights before you got up and did it all over again.

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I miss the mountain smells of pines, different grasses that drifts in the breeze…the smell of horses and cows…the sound of the creek gurgling on a hot afternoon…and the smell of mud as mountain mud is different…I loved the mountains…I loved the smells and the sounds of living on a cattle ranch.

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I loved the isolation…the hard work we did together…the incredible scenery…and cowboying with my hubby…we were hauling water to cows on a warm summer night in this photo.

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Never a dull moment as each day brought new adventures…

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You never knew from day-to-day what you would see and experience!

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At day’s end, once you tucked yourself into bed snug as a bug, drifting off to sleep,

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Snapshots of life would roam through your head as you dreamed of tomorrow’s life on a cattle ranch.

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Wishing You A Fun Funny Friday Full Of Fantastically Fabulous Follies!

Days Of Old Drift Back To Me

Days of old drift back to me on wings of golden memories, taking me back to old times, happy times and family times, as the love of family runs deep in my veins and deeper in my heart…

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Treasured memories of childhood hold fast and true, as the sounds of innocence play softly in my mind…sounds of silly giggling and little legs running to hide on a warm country night, as we played hide and go seek…”Olly Olly Oxen Free.”

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Growing up I had cousins by the dozens and lots of Aunts and Uncles….the above photo was taken on my 3rd birthday here at the house. My Grandma is sitting on the red sofa next to my Uncle Ron and Uncle Rich is sitting in the red chair that was my Dad’s…and to the right of the photo you can see the skirts of my aunts…you can’t see me as I’m surrounded by cousins…I have the short hair with the striped dress sitting on the floor.

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Dad had six brothers counting him and three sisters making Dad’s immediate family a family of 11 and they all lived in this area. As a family tradition, we got together for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas Eve, it was always a very large gathering of around 60 plus family members, with Aunts, Uncles and their spouses and lots of cousins. It was an incredible gift to be part of a huge family as I grew up…as family was very important. Being an only child I was on cloud nine each time we got together for the holidays or for my cousins birthdays…those were the best years of our lives!

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My Dad is standing on the left side with the cowboy hat on and his five brothers…two nephews sitting in the middle in front and two young nephews standing with their Dad on the right side of the photo taken here about 1960.

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When I began grade school in our very small town, 8 miles from our house, there was one of my cousins in each grade from 1-12.  I loved it as my older cousins were plowing the path for us to follow along! It was incredible to experience that…if one of us got hurt or upset we could run to find one of our cousins for childhood support!  Our school was lucky to have a 100 kids enrolled in 12 grades. Most classes were under 10 kids. FYI, I was thrilled when Mom finally told me I could grow my hair out if I took care of it and I did and still do:)

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As we cousins grew up, went to college and got married, we began a new chapter that was very foreign to us. In the last few years, we have buried our parents together. It’s hard at times to fathom that we are now the older family members and yet…we still feel like that same group of cousins, laughing and calling out “Olly Olly Oxen Free”…young at heart…life was good…we had each other and we had our parents and we had lots of Uncles and Aunts to tease us and keep us in line. The picture above is only half of my cousins!

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The last week has been bittersweet as we lost a family member who was very much loved. He was my oldest cousin, but because of the age difference, we called him our Uncle Gerald. He was always in a good mood and had a smile for everyone…if you showed up in his shop he would offer you a meal and something to drink…he loved his family and he worked hard his entire life. He was always there with a smile and a wave as he drove by…I will miss him.

The picture above is at cow camp in the old log cabin. My Mom always cooked up a storm…using a wood cook stove, with no running water and no electricity…she was amazing!  Gerald is sitting with his back to the picture, my Dad is pouring us lemonade and Gerald’s son Jerry is sitting next to my Dad and cousin Matt is sitting next to me and yes…that is me with the dorky glasses and pixie haircut!.

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In remembrance of my Uncle Gerald…the picture above says it all…he was a good husband, a good father and a super grandfather and friend to many…and the best Uncle/Cousin you could have. He will be remembered for the caring love he had for his family and for others…and the great sense of fun he had in life…he lived his life fully with honor and with the simple love of family.

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Time passes by and before you know it those whom you love are gone. Wherever you are…reach out to your family and to those that you love…as time gets shorter each year and before you know it, time passes by…Kathy Mattea sang the song below…it is one of my favorites and so very true.

Dreams drift away like leaves on the water
They roll down the river and slip out of sight
Too many times we do what we ought
Put off ’til tomorrow what we’d really rather do tonight
And later realize

Time passes by, people pass on
At the drop of a tear, they’re gone
Let’s do what we dare, do what we like
And love while we’re here before time passes by

Thoughts are like pennies we keep in our pockets
They’re never worth nothing ’til we give them away
But love’s like a promise in an un-opened letter
Where nights full of pleasure seldom see the light of day
When life gets in the way

Time passes by, people pass on
At the drop of a tear, they’re gone
Let’s do what we dare, do what we like
And love while we’re here before time passes by

Time passes by, people pass on
At the drop of a tear, they’re gone
Let’s do what we dare, do what we like
And love while we’re here before time passes by

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Have a wonderful week with a bit of whacky….as the whacky will keep life interesting! HRCG over and out for now but not for long!

A Throw Away Nation Verses A Cowgirl Heritage Keeper!

A throw away nation verses a cowgirl heritage keeper…Me!

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In today’s modern world if I want it…I can find it. And if I break something, I can run to Wal-Mart and replace it…and if I get tired of something, well I can throw it out and get a new one…furniture, computers, phones, cars…marriages are easy come easy go if it does not work out…and the American Family that God created, is gone. I remember reading long ago in the bible that in the end of days brother would be against brother and children would be against their parents…at the time I could not fathom that…but today I can. We have it in our own family and we see it in families around us.

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But…what about heritage and family history? Easy come…easy go you say…what? No that is not the way it is to be…family honor and people are important. Heritage sometimes takes hard work and sometimes it is not easy but in the end it is so very worth it!

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I took this photo of Minnie on New Years morning while she was waiting for her bacon…

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And Miss Ellie was waiting for her bacon too…she is my shadow now and Minnie is my master…I’m in good hands, I mean paws:)

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After breakfast…I downloaded my photos and noticed how interesting this photo turned out with the intense colors in the morning light. I love the varied deep red colors full of artistic patterns that pulls the design together with the old wood floor and the old dry sink. I began to hear the stories of life and the history in each piece…which made my heart smile.

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The red leather sofa you see is full of family history, young love, lots of heritage with a great story to tell. In the early 1940’s, my Mom and Dad were preparing for family to come visit the ranch. Mom was cleaning house so she sent my Dad to town by himself to purchase a bedroom set for the guest room…why I don’t know? The road to town was 20 miles of dirt and gravel, with ruts and various other things to drive over and through…maybe that’s why she sent him? Dad was gone all day and when he came home, he had gotten a good deal on the bedroom set, so he bought a red leather sofa and chair set to surprise Mom, for their living room.

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Mom was surprised and more than a little! Mom did not like the color red or leather furniture! She told me she instantly saw red when Dad got home with it!

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Dad was shocked as he thought she would “Love the rich brown leather sofa and chair“…but Dad was color blind and red looked like brown!

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Mom was a trooper as they used the red sofa for many years…and she kept it, she did not throw it away. In their 60 years of marriage, they only purchased 3 sofa’s…you see the world was different then…you appreciated things given to you or things that you bought. Society had a better value on the things we saved our money for…and hardly anyone used a credit card. Mom always told me to “Spend wisely and be sure you will be happy with what you choose, as you will have it a long time…you don’t need top of the line but medium is about right as you want it to last.” And “If you choose wrongly and are not happy with it, you have to live with it and make the best of it.” I had good parents…if I made wrong choices, they made me learn from my mistakes. In today’s world, we see kids make wrong choices and their parents either rescue them or do not make them pay the price to learn from their mistake…its sad to see as part of learning about life and being responsible for yourself, is learned through our mistakes.

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Dad loved his sofa and so do I as it’s long and we are tall. I will keep it forever…it has never been recovered, they made things to last in the 1940’s! I love the wear of life that shows on the old leather! Mostly though, I love the story.

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The Navajo blanket has a chapter to share too. Dad took a trip with a buddy to Texas to buy a young horse named Red that had good bloodlines etc. It was not a quick trip on freeways like we have today.

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Dad was on a mission to find the perfect gift for Mom, hoping to win a few brownie points for his being gone and buying another horse. He found a beautiful Navajo Blanket and proudly brought it home thinking Mom would love it. Notice the red again…whoops…darn color blindness! It was not fun to be with Dad in a large city either…red lights, HA!

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Mom kept the Navajo with the red sofa and chair for a few years in the living room, after all they matched. When Mom told me the story, she he told me “its the thought that counts and not the gift”…so very true. Eventually, the Navajo hung with honor on the wall of the den with the red sofa under it when I grew up…I love it and so does Minnie Mouse!

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Red turned out to be a great horse that Dad had for many years, and he eventually became my second horse, that’s Red with me above.

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In closing I wanted to share this photo of Mr. Rooster. He was showing off for me on the log fence…he hung around the pasture close to the house when I went through breast cancer a few years ago…each morning he appeared promptly about 8:00 to visit me out my window, as if he was checking on me. I’m coming up on my 8th Anniversary and was thinking about him…truly he was a gift of Majesty!

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As I sit with my feet up enjoying the view of family history…I realize we grew up in a different world than today’s world. Oh sure sometimes I love technology, or going to the big city to shop for clothes and I appreciate a good running vehicle…but nothing can replace family heritage, family honor, cherished memories, truth, dignity and respect…my parents saw to it that I learned these valuable lessons for living life…as our traditions tell the story of family history and that is the basis and foundation of our lives.

Life is too short and precious to throw it away.

Wishing you a peaceful night…and a wonderful Happy New Week!

Amber Waves of Grain By Sharla Shults…

Hot Rod Cowgirl:

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

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

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

Originally posted on catnipoflife:

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

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

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GO to Awakeningsand join Marcy…

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