Happy New Years…2016 Has Arrived!

Happy New Years!

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I hope your brand new year takes you on glorious adventures, full of fun and joy with many blessings on you and your family…and on your life!

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This morning as I looked out on a brand new year, I thought of my Great Grandmother Anne Marie looking out the same kitchen window at the same view wondering how she felt on a brand new year here in the 1920’s.

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Was she like me…did she wonder a bit with a tad bit of worry…but with a hopeful heart…did she embrace life here?

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I thought of my Mom looking out the same kitchen window and wondering what the brand new year would mean to her and to her hubby and of course her ding-dong daughter as she became a teenager…did she smile or did she feel like time was speeding by too fast.

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With every year that I live here, I appreciate my heritage, the memories…both sad and happy and I know but I know God has me in His hand.

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We are not to spend time looking back on what was or what could have been…we are to move forward and onward, living each day one at a time…its hard to do, but when we let go of the past, life flows forward with good stuff…if we trust that it will…it does!

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A new year brings a fair amount of creative wonderment of what we could do and what we will do…

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I pray this year will be fruitful, with great blessings on our lives filled with joy.

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If I begin to worry about whats ahead this new year I hear my favorite scripture…and God speaking to me saying, now remember cowgirl, you are to trust Me!

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“For I know the plans I have for you “declares the Lord” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future, then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

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Amen! I can attest that this is very very true!

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May 2016 be a year of great blessings in your life…may it be filled with joy, laughter, hope always and love…may it be a year you will see your dreams come true!

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HRCG and her gang are over and out for now but never for long:)

Foggy Winter Days Descend On Juniper Canyon!

Foggy winter days descend on Juniper Canyon…ranging between gloomy gray days and more gloomy gray days!

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Between freezing fog, icy roads…cold temps and snow…winter has arrived in the North Country!

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This year I decided to fight the gloom instead of succumbing to the dreariness at hand. Thanksgiving week reminded me to make my yearly list of gratitude and blessings to share at dinner on turkey day.  The day after Thanksgiving, I thought why not keep my gratitude list going…remembering good stuff and good times while adding them to my “Christmas Cheer and Twinkle List.”

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 “And I’m making my list to see who was naughty or nice..and I’m checking it twice!” Ok I’m snickering and I hope you are too. It’s more fun to remember the silly times, the good times…and the heart of your memories that only you can share…I love it! Makes me laugh and cry at the same time while keeping a heart full of country cowgirl gratitude.

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I’m thankful for my life and the many blessings in my life…ten years on 2-9-2016…get your mammogram!

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My first blessing of gratitude is my hubby….I love “Wild Bill” and appreciate him everyday. I am blessed to be his and to call him my soul mate, husband and best friend:) He always makes me smile:)

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“I’m coming Melody…hang on”…as I am slip sliding down the hill to feed her breakfast. I love each of my horses forever, once they come to live with me, they are my forever horse…and I love my Melody. I am thankful for all my horses and having the privilege of riding horses all my life while growing up on a cattle ranch.

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I thought everyone had a cattle ranch as a kid…eventually, I came to realize how lucky and blessed I was to experience life on a remote cattle ranch. Without radio, television or any kind of civilization, ranch life taught me a lot of life skills of survival. You learn to think outside the box…when its you and often you alone…you learn how to problem solve as you have to figure it out.

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During the summer and fall months, I grabbed on to each day to ride for cows with my Dad…and almost everyday we did just that…25,000 mountainous acres and 800 head mama cows with babies and several head of bulls…kept us busy all summer and fall.

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Each day that I look out our windows, I love our log fence…yup it’s a keeper…its great for capturing interesting views year round! I love the look and it fits this old ranch house!

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I love my 60′ round corral with nice sand footing…and our barn cats give it a four paws up on their 60′ litter box!

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And then there is our “Tucker Watch Girl”…she can be very serious! She is such a blessing to us as she is always waiting for us and follows us where ever we go!

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Tucker is in the back of the Aussie pack and bashful…then Kiah as she is in front of Tucker…then Dasher who is in front of Kiah…and in the lead is Mr. Auzzie….all four of our dogs in this photo are rescue Aussies…we love them each individually and as a pack…they are amazing dogs, super smart and so loved:) By the way, Kiah is half-sister to Ellie, our sweet two year old girl!

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And then, there are horse’s soft noses:) Nothing like their breath mingling with yours…and their smell is truly heavenly…sounds silly unless you know this horse owner fact too that, cleaning a horse stall does not smell bad at all! Horses are blessings to the heart and soul…and they give me peace with lots of happy smiles. When I get on my horse, WB says I get this little girl smile on my face of pure joy:)

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And my Minnie Mouse…she was beautiful in heart and spirit…she knew when you were sad and she knew when it was time to celebrate…she was with me for almost 20 years. She crossed the rainbow bridge a bit over a year ago…it was incredibly hard. I am thankful for every year of her sweet life and for everyday that she was with me, she was my kitty girl and wherever I went she was with me. She was an incredible kitty girl…I was blessed beyond imagination:)

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Back to my round corral…I seriously love it! I appreciate the hard work WB and our cowboy son Curt put into building it for me. I will do a post on that someday soon!

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I am thankful for the blessing of Ellie…she makes me laugh every day and is full of love with lots of heart. She walked with me through sad times and grief when I lost Minnie…she was gentle and loving during our hard days. I’m sure Minnie asked God for a helper knowing how hard it would be for us when she crossed the rainbow bridge and Ellie Belle is my helper and so much more…she is my buddy, my joy and my heart:)

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The gloomy gray days of fog can only be gloomy, if we choose them to be. Instead I smile, bundle up in my Carhart’s grab my camera and head out to find something to photograph. Whether I am inside the house or outside, I seek to do things that make my heart sing! Inside the house I often crank up my tunes and dance…wood floors make it super fun too:)

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Smile…click click click…gotcha!

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We are blessed to call this spec of earth our home…especially with shots like this:)

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Being grateful is one of the best gifts we can give to ourselves…loving what we have instead of what we don’t have…if we can focus on the positive instead of the bad…the good more than the bad…we’ll find peace and smiles…

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Wishing you all a warm week and weekend ahead…we have snow, freezing rain, winds are blowing and its cold! I need some tea or eggnog to warm up:)

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It’s time to decorate the Christmas tree…Ho Ho Ho…HRCG Over And Out For Now…But Never For Long:)

A Quiet Reverence Of Snow…

A quiet reverence of snow falls softly on the land…as life holds its breath.

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There is something about snow falling out here in the middle of nowhere that brings a silence of holiness…as time seems to stands still.

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Silence fills your heart with purity as the small white flakes fall quietly around you.

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The silence brings sad memories too of loosing my sweet kitty girl, Minnie Mouse a year ago yesterday…

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While I know she is safe and someday I will see her again,

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I miss her presence and her sweet spirit…

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Her beautiful green eyes and her kind kitty girl heart.

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Tonight as I write it is super cold, with icy roads and fog that drifts in and out of our canyon.

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Old memories come back each holiday season as I miss the loss of relationship with family and miss those who are no longer with us. I miss the old days…and the old ways.

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I hope that you all have a wonderful turkey day tomorrow, with lots of good stuff…new memories, good food and always lots of laughter. The second turkey we cooked on our Traeger….oh my, it is darn good! Whoo-Hoo and so easy too! If you don’t have a Traeger yet, get one as they are worth it!!! Everything you cook on them is absolutely delicious!!!

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“Happy Thanksgiving” From “Wild Bill and HRCG”…

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“And Our Gang!”

Golden Carmel Colors Of Fall…

Golden Carmel Colors Of Fall…Fall Softly On The Land…

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As the early dawn light slowly creeps through my window,

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Waking me with a soft amber glow…

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God is painting the day for me:) Incredibly beautiful!

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The surreal light lasts throughout my day…as do the colors of fall.

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With the days being shorter…time passes blink fast!

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Night moves begins…full of swoopy clouds with golden colors fading into blues, pinks, oranges…and a beautiful sunset!

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And as the world turns…

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The sun yawns and goes to bed…

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And as we follow the sun…we too yawn and decide Mr. Sun has a good idea:)

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With that said…HRCG along with Wild Bill, Ellie and Tucker in the background are over and out!

Have a blessed weekend wherever you are!

Remembering My Dad…

Remembering my Dad!

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I’m a bit late in posting this, as I was nursing WB last September with his recovery from surgery a few days before the article below was in our local paper…read the 50 Years Ago in the Days Gone By below.

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50 years ago may seem like a long time ago but, vivid memories rush back to me of Round Up and my Dad!

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Dad was the President of the Round Up when he turned 50 on September 17, 1964 during the second day of the rodeo…and he was pleasantly surprised with a birthday cake in the picture above.

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He loved Round Up week as it was the one week a year he took for his vacation from the cattle ranch…

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Dad was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 1990…he was known by the cowboys as the “Cowboy President”…

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Dad lived with a fused knee or stiff leg from a football injury during his senior year of high school…they didn’t have penicillin back then. Instead he was in a body/leg cast for a year in a hospital in Portland, OR. Without penicillin, they operated on his leg several times that year to literally scrape the infection off his leg bone.

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He lived his entire life with sepsis knowing it could flare up unexpectedly anytime. Mom gave him penicillin shots to stop the infection…but often he ended up in the hospital, where he fought it like a pro football player that was MAD! Dad wanted to live his life fully with Mom and I, he fought hard for that!

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Dad on my mare Lottie in 1986, he was Grand Marshall of the Westward Ho parade. I spent the summer riding Lottie every night out into the hills around the ranch with the serape you see on Lottie’s hind end. We ran and loped with that serape flapping on her flanks for months…didn’t want any spooks on parade day!

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Dad never ever complained to me about his life…I never realized he was handicapped with his leg until I was in my 30’s…he did everything in life…riding for cows in mountainous country…roping calves, swinging down off his horse and moving as fast as he could in local rodeos…he was my hero…Mom was my second hero!

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I grew up riding behind Dad in the mountains…I can still see his right elbow on his hip riding along with me behind him…

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He was focused on the cows but he always kept an eye on me to be sure I was safe. In time I was trusted with going off and gathering on my own. But Dad knew where and what and how long it should take me. Our summer cattle range was 25,000 mountainous acres.

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Dad, in his element…on his mare Gypsy in the Pendleton Round Up arena.

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And me in my element with the life I grew up in and still love today!

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Dad was the real deal…I thought of him as John Wayne, he did things with honor and with truth…he worked hard in his life, not allowing his leg to get in the way…he taught me to be tough, by never giving up!

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Family honor and family respect…being honest, no lies was the only way to live life in Dad’s book…and forever seeking the best for others and not yourself.

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When Dad stepped into heaven on October 9, 1997…I saddled up in “Dad’s” saddle a few days later…

And rode out into Dad’s homeland…

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I am thankful for all that my Dad taught me…

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With life and wisdom…

 I miss you forever and love you for always Dad…and I will always be your cowgirl daughter:)

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Let ‘er Buck Pendleton!

In The Golden Light Of Life…I Fall Forward Into Fall!

In the golden light of life,

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I fall forward into fall!

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Each year I go through a time of transition between the glorious long days of summer…

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Into the golden surreal days of autumn.

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Memories wash over me…as time passes on…

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We do what we ought of instead of doing what we want…

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Time passes by and people pass on at the drop of a tear…

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And as a warm fall breeze washes over me, it stirs,

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My heart with sentimental memories…tears flow easily as I ponder the whys, whats and woulds…

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Quietly my wind chimes call me back to the present…

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As I fall forward into the season of fall…with a heart full of both grief and gratitude.

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Wishing You A Beautiful Fall, Full Of Autumn Colors Wherever You May Be!

Hot Time Summer In The City…

Hot time summer in the city…back of my neck, getting dirty and gritty…

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Hot time summer in the country…back of my neck, getting dirty, gritty and sweaty!

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Come on, Come on, dance all night, despite the heat it will be alright…right?

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Last spring, our county was declared a drought disaster due to the dry winters with little snow pack in the mountains…the lack of fall and spring rains…and the hot temperatures we have had. In other words we have been in a drought situation for the last three years…this year the lack of moisture has become critical.

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Several Oregon rivers have been closed to fishing by the Fish and Game, due to the heat and high water temps…the Columbia River waters are a record breaking 71 degrees…causing salmon and large 5′ to 8′ sturgeon to die…threatening our native fish.

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We hit a 100 to 110 degrees most of June and July with almost daily fire weather watches due to low humidity, high temps with dry winds and heavy dry fuel that would ignite quickly between the wheat fields and the dry weeds…its a world I have not seen here in my lifetime. We have had dry times and crop failures before but this summer is different…worldwide I might add.

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My cousin and I were driving wheat truck one summer…waiting on combines by sight and sound (back in the days before CB radios or cell phones) we were half asleep, reading our books, when all of a sudden we heard our uncle yell and jump off the combine! Smoke was billowing out from under it…my uncle got the fire out under the machine but the fire took off quickly and in a split second we were learning to fight fire. Luckily we got it out before we lost our field!

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Tonight as I write it is 74 degrees on my outside thermometer…our humidity is currently 18% with wind speeds of 18 mph with 31 mph gusts…at 10:00pm.

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Melody’s pasture looks green as we water it with the big irrigation guns to keep her cooler, plus she has a great shade tree in her paddock area that helps too.

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And no she does not get to go out on the lush green stuff as she would bloat and get too fat…as you see she is NOT impressed!

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100 degree weather is normal each summer but this year it feels much hotter due to the dry soil lacking any moisture down deep…instead it feels like hot hot desert heat!

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For reasons unknown to me, our county road department decided it was time to resurface our roads two weeks ago…with a chip seal effect leaving loose rock…the above picture looks like a gravel road but that is our paved road in front of the house covered in gravel….

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Several farmers were heavy into wheat harvest in Juniper Canyon, with semi wheat trucks hauling wheat directly from the harvested fields to the grain terminal on the Columbia River, about 80 miles round trip.

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We had 10 to 20 double trailer semis per hour driving by our house…throwing loose gravel with major dust for that gravel road effect:)

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And we had a photo shoot schedule here for “Oregon 1859.” Not sure when our article will come out but here is the link… https://www.1859oregonmagazine.com/

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Last Friday morning, I was scrambling trying to figure out how we could do the shoot with the dust and gravel…emails were zipping and zapping back and forth with the photographer and the editor! Saturday evening we decided to go for it and give it a try Sunday evening:)

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God smiled giving us a quiet no traffic day…no semis trucks and only one car during the shoot…it was awesome!

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Mom used to always say “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”…so we made lemonade, the shoot went off perfectly…we had silly fun and made new friends with a bq dinner in the middle of it!

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Wherever you may be in your life…dusty roads or hot hot temps or lush jungles with beautiful waterfalls or rocky craggy peaks that are steep and tough to climb. Always keep a going with smiles and laugh out loud moments that tickle your funny bone, while making lemonade…the memories will carry you through the ups and downs we all experience at times in life.

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HRCG, Wild Bill, Ellie and of course Melody wish you all a cool night or a moderate day where ever you may be…

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