Wyo Why Wyoming Oh My Wyoming!

Wyo Why Wyoming Oh My Wyoming…became our song as we prepared to move to Wyoming to manage a vast cattle ranch of 100,000 acres. As I progress along with different Wyoming stories, I’ll show you my first look at where we were to live on the ranch…thankfully the Continental Divide was right behind the house and that is what I looked at…WB knew the mountains out my door would capture me…and it did for several months as we waited to move into our home.

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The photos above and below were taken of my mare Shez Alotta Leo, “Lottie” with “my daily take my breath away view”. Behind her are the Wind River mountains, or the Continental Divide, and Gannett Peak. I could also see the Wyoming Range in front of Lottie and the Sawtooth Range behind the ranch as well…mountains surrounded us with the stunning raw beauty of the landscape wherever we went.

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I loved Wyoming…it was a cowgirl’s dream. I never grew tired or bored with watching the mountains and the ever changing scenery of the awe-inspiring Continental Divide. We chased flood irrigation on the meadow that first summer, and could not stop staring at this view…it was incredibly surreal to be so close to such rugged beauty that you often wondered if it was a giant painting…guess now that I think of it, it was a giant painting, designed and painted by God above! Gannett was the highest peak in Wyoming and depending on the light of day it was both majestic and mysterious…what a view we had to look at!

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Whether I was washing the dishes looking out my window at the Rockies or on horseback moving cows in various Wyoming weather, the views always took my breath away…I lived with a permanent jaw dropping, breathless “Wow” look on my face.

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We lived at 7500′ elevation with beautiful clear skies that were a different color and depth of blue during the daytime, while the nighttime sky was filled with stars and different galaxies and more stars, it was spectacular. Due to the higher elevation of where we lived, we did not have air and dust pollution so the skies day and night were clean, clear and pristine. And Lottie is still coming to see me…her white blaze gives her away!

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The small community we lived close to was like going back to the good old days where a man could trust in a handshake as truth and a man’s word was a man’s word. From day one we were welcomed into the community and felt like we had lived there a long time…it was a good fit. The closest movie theatre was 40 miles from us in a huge quonset hut building called “The Flick”…the movies you wanted to see usually arrived about a year after they were hits at the box office.

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If Lottie could talk, she would be saying “Where the heck are we and why?” The year before we managed a ranch in Central Oregon and Lottie and I had to worry about rattlesnakes…and from rattlesnake hell we arrived in Wyoming skunk country! We had a crabby black Manx named Kalamazoo who was around 14 years old and he got out one evening at dusk…I was outside for an hour with a flashlight calling for him…and then I saw him under the house they were remodeling and went closer and all of a sudden I realized it was black like Kalamazoo but…it had a bit of white on him too with a big bushy tail! I took faster than a speeding bullet steps…running back to the house where Zoo had showed up anyway…he did pretty good for being an older kitty and moving all over with us.

Storms in Wyoming, were incredible as they moved in quickly to storm and then they moved out as quickly…there were no cloudy, overcast, gray days. Yes we had wind chills of -40 degrees and wind that usually began around noon with plenty of snow and lots of snow drifts.

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This is walking out of our house onto the front porch…typical winter morning…blowing snow, making drifts…and -30 degrees or more.

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WB’s heading out to blow the snow off the road in the early morning. I often rode with him on the tractor to see what type of drifts the night or day had conjured up. I wish I had the digital camera that I have now…this was back before digital but close…these photos would likely be our old Cannon…I still have it:)

Our driveway into the ranch was about a mile long with barrow pit ditches on either side of it…often we had white outs from the wind and blowing snow…you could not tell where the road was! After getting stuck a few times trying to find it, we put up stakes painted with orange paint on top.

Our WY. Driveway

I took this photo when we were caught half way down our driveway home by a sudden winter storm, it came in fast with wind as well as a blizzard…typical Wyoming weather. WB had blown the driveway out earlier that morning and by 10:30am it had blown shut.

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And here we ended up…WB was driving this time and once you get a tiny bit into a rut or in this case, snow that was drifting, its impossible to pull out of it…luckily we were almost home, but with the wind and wind chill factor and the white out conditions you had to be very careful…WB bundled up with everything we had with us, and I was a Nervous Nellie until I saw him coming back in the tractor blowing a trail to pull out our pick up “Red”…remember we name ALL our vehicles:)

Wild Bill WY. Blowing Road

Every morning during the winter snow months, WB had to blow open our road coming into the ranch as we had serious overnight snowdrifts that were deep and once again in the late afternoon so our son could get home from school in his Willy’s Jeep. Everyday the son would try to plow through the drifts in 4 wheel drive and get stuck so WB would blow the road open to where he was stuck, chain the Jeep to his tractor, pull the son out of the drift and continue to blow the road open, getting both son and Jeep home while blowing a trail home.

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No matter what we had to deal with in Wyoming, it was all good to both WB and me…everyday was an amazing adventure:)

A Day In The Life Of Hot Rod Cowgirl For Oregon Dayshoot 2013!

A day in the life of Hot Rod Cowgirl begins in the dark dawn of July 15th for the Oregon Dayshoot 2013! The Dayshoot first began 30 years ago in 1983 to depict life in Oregon on any given day of everyday life. It’s a way to record Oregon history and what our lives were like in 2013 compared to the first Oregon Dayshoot in 1983.

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It’s 4:30 in the morning on July 15th and I am excited to be a part of Dayshoot 2013! I’m ready with my camera…a nice clean card, along with a spare one and extra batteries too. And its time to begin as I step out to capture the sunrise…it was well worth it but I wish the stars had shown up in the photo too!

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Yard sprinklers were doing their thing…I lightened this photo up so you can see the drops of water! A fun time of day to be up and taking pictures of life in Juniper Canyon!

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Here comes the sun…I do truly love this time of day anymore…used to not be crazy about it but then I got into photography and I love the sunrise and the sunset…the two enchanted times of light and capturing images with hues of color that knock your socks off!

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Yard Bath or Showers! We have had the sprinklers only 1 year and I love them. It is so much easier to water the yard with a switch instead of dragging around hoses all over. WB said too he thinks all our gophers have left due to the water!!! Yeah!!!

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Finally daybreak…I am the only one up and I need coffee soon…it is now 5:30 in the morning! And its going to be a beautiful day! I love it as it is so quiet and speaks deep to my heart of God’s beauty all around us if we will look and observe.

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 Annie was up and wanting her hay breakfast…”Morning Mom, dayshoot or is it dayhoot-cares…I’m hungry and yeah yeah about taking pictures…just gimme my hay and I will pose for you later ok.”

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And here’s Pat and Jack putting in their two cents since Annie got to. “Well really Mom, you need to sit down here and pet us, rub and love us and feed us treats!” I miss Jack so much as he was beautiful inside and out!”

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“No way Mom….what are you doing outside at this time of day….get in here and I need treats too and lots of pets and kitty loves!” “And who cares about this dayhottenany or whatever it is called!” “Humph!”

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As the day slowly wore on, it was over a 100 degrees and too darn hot to be out very long. After lunch I figured I would go check out the shop…WB said to come down and grab some photos of the guys working for fun! So here I am in Wild Bill’s shop wondering if I can catch some sneaky action photos of the guys working on cool cars:) And I LOVE Corvette’s!

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Here’s Bryan working away but I think he is hiding…Hey Bryan…quit hiding and smile!

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Come on Clay, look up and smile at the camera…geez! Clay is working on a very cool 1935 Ford Pick Up…it is going to be very classy when it rolls out of the “Lab!”

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“Ahhh HA! I caught you Wild Bill! Smile for me and what are you doing now? Hmmm, well I am having trouble getting the guys to smile like they are having fun with all these super cool cars to work on!!! At least you will smile at me if I try to capture you working on one of the cars right?”

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Apparently not…and hmmmph…hey WB come on and look up!!!! He gets all obsessed over Corvettes too like I do! This is a 1976 Corvette…hey WB LOOK UP Dang It!

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I know maybe Nathan will look up and smile….by the way this is a 1958 Metro…cute huh? Nathan likes to draw and he drew the smiley face on the Metro and at least it is smiling, and looking at the camera!

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I know what they are saying….”Here she comes again, so look like we are discussing something very serious” “Ok Terry and WB come on and look at me you ding-dong guys!!!”

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And one last picture of Bryan working on a 1949 Chev. Pick Up…

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Guess I will head back outside to see what is going on….Hey heres Jagged, our 1928 Dodge Coupe! WB likes louvers can you tell?

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The landscape view in bright light of day! This is the view of the sunrise photos I was taking at dawn…looks way different huh?

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Typical scene outside the shop…lots of kooool custom cars in front of our old-fashioned service station!

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And the day is winding down…horses doing the nuzzle after their dinner

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Hey Dash what do you think? Hmmm…he not looking at my camera either….geesh!!!

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Enjoy the summer as soon…it will be gone…and big fat WAH! I LOVE nice warm 80 degree days and the sunshine! Have a wonderful weekend and peaceful night wherever you are and a Simply Sunshiny Sunday! Smile and…click click click!

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!

Sunrise

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:)

Warm Summer Nights Are Truly Heaven’s Delight…

Warm summer nights are truly heaven’s delight…

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Basking in the soft glow of harvest colors reflected on the land, we remember the memories of old…tough years that taught us to dig deep…and the good years full of family times and grace. We remember…and we give thanks for our heritage and the traditions passed on to us that we hold close to our heart.

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 Wheat fields immersed in golden amber light, surround us with vivid hues of auburn red delight…that makes this cowgirl farm girl stop and stare…as I marvel at the beauty of the coming crop…that began with one small kernel of faith.

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Magical times of twilight and early morning light…always brings summer delight to your heart and a smile to your face. And in the reverence of a quiet country night…wait? What was that???

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With the earth-shaking…”Jagged”, rolled up the driveway with the beat of a heavy-duty cam and a healthy ba-boom-ba-boom sound.  “Jagged” is our 1928 Dodge Coupe that WB is building by hand, as he has to build the modifications and literally make the parts due to the limited availability of parts for a 1928 Coupe. Can you believe that he put a V-12 Jag motor in it with nitrous??? Stay tuned as there will be more on that in a later post. And this is a good picture of why I am called “Hot Rod Cowgirl?” Horses in the background and a Hot Rod in the foreground:)

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Tuck Girl is in agreement, taking it all in…looking relaxed and happy…wondering where she left her ear plugs?

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As the night air shifts, a cool canyon breeze whispers softly that soon, life in the canyon will pick up the tempo from a slow country waltz, to a do-si-do down home harvest swing!

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Slowly the day ends, with the last ray of magical light setting softly behind the hill, while overhead the sky is a blaze with glory…and another golden day rolls into a warm summer night…truly heaven’s delight.

Happily Ever After Fairy Tales In A Cowgirls Life…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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And when things look their darkest, morning comes!

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

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

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

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

Song Of Summer

Song of summer where have you been? Song of summer please come again…I remember you, I do and I hope that you will return to my soul and heart soon as “Song of Summer” I miss you…

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Time is moving faster…whoa slow down clock…take a breath and breathe…tick-tock shut up clock!

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Loosing a very good friend and neighbor the end of May, took my breath away… it was a shock for all of us who live in the area as it was not expected. With grief comes that sort of void in your spirit, where you just exist. My song of summer has been silenced the last few weeks…I am looking for it again as I know my friend would say “now get your buns in gear, go on and live your life to the fullest”…so here I am.

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Like all losses, it takes time to sort through your emotions, feelings and figuring out how to live without the one that you grieve for. My friend was an incredible lady to know, as she had that infectious positive can do attitude and loved living life with gusto…all the way to the very top of her bucket list! She was a beautiful person with a good heart…a true gift to know and I miss seeing her big smile, the almost daily silly funny emails she sent to me for laughs and the times we giggled over absolutely nothing…we loved finding the funny in various life situations we participated in!

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With a heavy heart, I know that life can change quickly…in a nano second. Each day is a precious gift and we need to be aware of that. I remember a song from years ago called “The End Of Innocence” by Don Henley…it was true to me then and it is again today as I write. When I first heard this song I thought of myself as that little girl growing up here where I live today…we have a hill behind our house where my Dad planted trees when I was maybe 3-4 years old…I would take him ice water on my trusty steed Prince…growing up I would climb the hill to look down on our ranch or look off down the canyon or towards the mountains…taking in the incredible, always changing view, while dreaming and thinking.

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And I still do, as it is peaceful and so beautiful up there…one of many beautiful views of the moon rising last fall from the hill. Growing up here, life in America was filled with a simple innocence…lots of happy endings to fairy tales in America then…I would climb the hill and lay my head back down on the ground, watching clouds drift by all day long…it was summer in my soul all year long. Looking back, America has changed so much since I was in High School in the late 60’s and early 70’s…in hearing Don Henley’s song in the late 1980’s, a chord was hit in my heart as I knew…life was changing quickly and our innocence would be lost if society did not reverse itself back to days of old…when life was good and a word of honor with a handshake was all you needed for a man’s word.

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Song of summers past…memories of different times…the innocence of true heart…song of summers past, come back again…song of summer we all need you…bring back your innocence to the land of the brave.

_MG_5796God Bless America…For Which It Stands…One Nation Under God With Freedom, Liberty And Justice For All.

As I hop off this post…I leave you with “The End Of Innocence” and also my version of “God Bless America.”

      “The End Of Innocence”  By Don Henley

Remember when the days were long
And rolled beneath a deep blue sky
Didn’t have a care in the world
With mommy and daddy standing by
But “happily ever after” fails
And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers dwell on small details
Since daddy had to fly

But I know a place where we can go
That’s still untouched by men
We’ll sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind
You can lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence

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O’ beautiful, for spacious skies
But now those skies are threatening
They’re beating plowshares into swords
For this tired old man that we elected king
Armchair warriors often fail
And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers clean up all details
Since daddy had to lie

But I know a place where we can go
And wash away this sin
We’ll sit and watch the clouds toll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind
Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair spill all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence

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Who knows how long this will last
Now we’ve come so far, so fast
But, somewhere back there in the dust
That same small town in each of us
I need to remember this
So baby give me just one kiss
And let me take a long last look
Before we say goodbye

Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence

Flag-and-horseGod Bless America!  (Edited by HRCG)

While the storm clouds gather
Far across the land of America
Let us swear allegiance
To a land that’s free
Let us all be grateful
For a land so fair
Let us raise our voices
In a solemn prayer

God bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her,
Through the night with the light from above.

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From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam,
God bless America,
My home sweet home.
God bless America,
My home sweet home.

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam,
God bless America,
My home sweet home.

God bless America,
My home sweet home.

Country Life…Silence Of Time…It’s Time To Write!

Country life brings times of a silent hush across the land…I call it a Godly hush…a revered silence that softly fills your heart with the solitude of peace. It fills the air around you with the sounds of nothingness…memories drift back into my thoughts and I pick up my pen and write, hearing the old times and the memories playing in my head as the golden words begin to fall onto my paper from my pen.

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Tonight as I lay my head down on my pillow and close my eyes, quietly reflecting my day…I hear the sound of nothing but stillness and a peace of holy silence fills my heart with peaceful rest…memories of life past and memories of life to come. And then the ultimate gift…rain drops began softly falling…on this century old farm house…falling on the same roof that has covered me all my life…a serene serenade of silence begins to play…as I close my eyes and let my ears hear…the words in my heart begin to paint a picture in my mind as my vision flows freely. Nothing can take the place of silence and the stillness of life…only silence…if the rain was not falling tonight, my windows would be open and I would hear a different sound of silence filled with the crescendos of crickets and the soft ribbet croaking of the occasional frog….or I would hear the soft knicker/sigh of my horses as they shift their weight on a quiet country night.

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With all the crazy noise we have today…radios blaring satellite stations from all over 24/7, news, sports, music, church, talk shows…smart phones and dumb phones…trucks and cars with airplanes overhead and TV’s hooked to satellite stations with anything and everything…noise pollution has gotten out of hand. I love going to the big city to shop for clothes and fun stuff…to experience culture and the life of the city spinning fast…seeing a musical or a play but after a week or so let me come home to solitude…silence…rest.

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The silence and the quiet glory of my world through the seasons begins with the first snow falling in a hushed silence, falling on all creation, both man and animal, with a holy pristine beauty full of God’s grace on the landscape. The sounds of life are muffled as the white flakes fall silently, beautiful with glistening sparkles as they cleanse the landscape with purity, peace and holiness…silence becomes a very different silence when it snows here…I do not know how to describe it for sure…but life stops…the world stops…no cars drive by…it is a holy silence filled with incredible quietness.

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Spring months Spring upon us…we often have soft gentle showers to water the crops, my horse pastures and our yard etc. Everything turns from dried up dead weeds and landscape to a beautiful carpet of green…with all the different hues of colors! I love sitting up on the hill behind our house gazing out at the vast emptiness of the land and the ever so quiet gentle kiss of a breeze stirs the grasses and the trees…I am the only one who can hear it as I am alone up there…and it truly is beautiful to hear. New life is everywhere…the birds come back…I hear my turtle-doves every day and night…the robins are hopping around my yard looking for worms and bugs…quail families are nesting and raising their babies and we see deer out and about too and the sage brush begins to bloom along with everything else…all in the silence of miracles and holiness.

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I love early summer evenings as you begin to smell the heads of wheat drying and it smells wonderful! Knowing that we planted a tiny seed last fall to grow wheat and now the first of June it has quietly grown, filling out the heads with kernels of wheat…slowly the colors begin to change from green to a soft golden-yellow. Harvest begins and once again the sounds of silence change somewhat as all the farmers now use big semi’s to haul their wheat from the field to either the elevator or down to the Columbia River loading it on a barge to feed the world. Still if you go out in the field and listen quietly you can hear the history of your family harvesting from the days of old.

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And then by mid August or so the sounds of silence begin to change…the crickets sound different and the air feels caught between summer heat and cooler fall days. There is always a grief in my heart as the seasons go so quickly. I love each season and each year. Life brings good stuff if you look for it…and yeah I know it also can bring horrible stuff…bad stuff…hard stuff…but we take steps of faith and strength from God above…and we keep on a going.

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I have weathered
Colder winters; Longer summers
Without a drop of rain
Push me in a corner
And I’ll come out fighting
I may lose but I ‘ll always keep my faith

Cause I’m country strong
Hard to break
Like the ground I grew up on
You may fool me
And I’ll fall
But I won’t stay down long
Cause I’m country strong

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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!!!”

Blessings That Fill Your Heart With Gratitude

Blessings that fill your heart with gratitude are little miracles in themselves, bringing sunlight and glory to our days here on earth.

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Sometimes you have to look around to see the blessings in your life and other times they can be right in front of you!

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I thank God daily for my life as I watch the sunrise on a brand new day, full of God’s plans for my day and His breath of love on each one of us, for we are all His kids:)

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And at the end of each day I am always blessed with each beautiful sunset, filled with God’s golden glory…with a renewed hope for tomorrow.

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Growing up Mom had a newspaper clipping on our refrigerator for many years held by a magnet. The clipping stood on the truth of its words.

“Oh Lord, You have given me so much,

Give me one more thing, a grateful heart.”

Gratitude…remembering the incredible things we have been given. I still have the clipping in my bible…and had it on my refrigerator for several years until we bought a stainless steel refrigerator…then my magnet would not work, so it is tucked away in a safe place.

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I am thankful and more than grateful for the many blessings in my life. When things get bumpy on the road of my life, I try to focus on the good and positive blessings that God has given to me…so I often make a gratitude list to add to as life is ever changing…below is my current gratitude list…if I were to write them all…I would have a book to share with you:)

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1. I am thankful that I have the freedom to worship God.

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After traveling to the Middle East in the mid-90’s, I experienced many different ways of life and many diverse cultures. I loved seeing where Jesus walked..it was profoundly holy and spiritual to walk in His footsteps. I loved the Old City and seeing the diversity of people. Israel was beautiful to see…I was blessed to have had three weeks to travel, as there were so many historical sites to visit and experience. However, when my plane touched down at JFK, I made a beeline to a Burger King for an all American hamburger with the works! The next morning was surreal to wake up here in Juniper Canyon…the farmers were in full swing of wheat harvest. I remember thanking God that He decided I was to live here in America, it was so peaceful and quiet. We do not know how blessed we are to live in the USA!

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Jordan was ancient in the scenery and beautiful. I loved seeing the desert and Petra was my favorite.

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 Petra was incredible in how they carved it and designed it…it was one of those places that all you can do is take pictures and stand in awe. I also enjoyed having dinner with the Bedouins one evening in their tents. Kind and wonderful people to meet. Everyone I met on the tour was very nice. We began our tour in Damascus, Syria and I loved seeing Palmyra too….we did a day trip into Turkey and then on to Jordan and finally Israel…loved the Sea of Galilee, so peaceful and yes you do float on the Dead Sea and Masada was incredible too. I did ride a camel which was both fun and funny:)

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2. Thank you God for my hubby Wild Bill…my soul mate and my forever. We actually do fit together like a jigsaw puzzle made by God. He is the most thankful part of my life on earth and the best part is that we will be with each other forever into eternity and beyond:)

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3. I am grateful everyday that I am alive and living with good health! Having gone through a serious diagnosis puts a new spin on your life and you truly do see life in a different way….with a thankful heart:)

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4. I am grateful for my parents….who loved me and kept me forever. I know I will see them again. Both WB and I were lucky that we lived next door to them for 20 years, as we were able to help them and do things for them before they became ill….and when they did become ill, we were there 24/7  for them. We were able to support them, finding things to laugh about, long talks into the night, helping them through medical tests and the pain, taking them places and helping them maintain their dignity. I loved my Mom and Dad more than I can say.

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5. I know I am one of the most blessed women to live with always owning a horse….growing up on a large cattle ranch helped…so did having a Dad who was as horse crazy as I was! We always had horses….and we still do. I love the smell of horses, the sound of horses and the relationship one can have with horses and everything about them…they represent a part of life that is my history and heritage. God loves horses too!

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6. Minnie Mouse our kitty girl…almost 18 years old and so much a part of my heart and my life….our life. She has been with through losing three of our parents, cancer and various tough times, and she always gave us her love and lots of funny antics to make us laugh…she has been with us longer than any of our kids and she loves us…we love her and she is our kitty angel:) Blessed by God:)

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7. Living in the very house that I grew up in with my Mom and Dad….that my Grandpa who I never got to meet, built for his mother, my great-grandmother who I never got to meet.

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Living here in a 100 year old family house though, I feel that I do know them and carry the same beliefs and family heritage they passed on to us. A house full of memories, honor and gratitude.

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8. I am grateful that I have always lived in the country, away from the hustle and bustle. I love the quiet and peaceful life of country living here, but I miss the solitude that I grew up in when we summered at the mountain cattle ranch without telephones, electricity, water and no TV let alone radio signal. It was pure bliss to live in such a beautiful place in the Blue Mountains, riding my horse everyday moving cattle or checking cows with my Dad. Life was simpler and the world was different then. I am grateful for all the memories I have of that period in my life growing up.

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9. I am more than blessed to own my “Little Red Car”…WB surprised me as he said “For my redhead and my love, this is your car”. And we do belong to the “Little Red Car Club”.

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10. And for my forever horses, that I will never forget…as they are forever with you:)

Mostly what I want to give to you is this…

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Sometimes when we look out the window of life…we see life that is gray and stormy. It can be depressing, discouraging and tough to see the storms of life we are facing…that is when we plug into our gratitude list, that is filled with determined faith, full of both small and large blessings and the tough times we survived before…as we can’t give up or in, we gotta keep on a going.

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And as we “stand strong on our faith and hope”, life will get better again. The good in life, continues to battle it out, with the evil during our lives…as life will never be perfect until we get to heaven.

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And God has already won for us! No matter how dark it can look in our lives, never ever give up:)

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Wild Bill and I are celebrating the day we met 37 years ago on Valentines Day…February 14, 1976! The picture above was taken two years ago when WB and I were interviewed here in our shop Holton Secret Lab on TV. Notice who is cracking a joke at the end…I am sure we were all nervous and making a funny joke was all I could think of doing…I love to laugh:)

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Happy Valentines Day! My hubby surprised me with the beautiful red roses this morning:)  I wish you all a very special day or night where ever you are!

As a footnote: I am working on the many awards I have been given the last few months. I am terribly slow this time and I hope that all the award givers will not give up on me:) I so appreciate you thinking of me and this blog. Wild Bill had a second surgery December 26th on his shoulder that has taken a longer recovery…he is getting better and still has to take things slow for a few more weeks but he is doing well…he began PT this week:) That is part of the reason for being slow to post new awards and blog the last few months…but I am here and working on getting those awards passed on soon:) Hugs and Blessings:)

Ranch Lessons 102…Mud…Cows…Pooey!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Barn Cat” by Mary Ann Kennedy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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