August Introspection…

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

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

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I will grab on and ride on!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Life is good…Life is beautiful!

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

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

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

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Waiting on dinner…staring intently…a few impatient paws in the snow.

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Melody is like a clock, when its time for food, its time for food…she nickers for us to get our rears in gear!

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Yummy nummy for my tummy…munch munch munching…mmmmm…”Mommm, my hair is a mess so don’t take my picture now!!!”

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I met these guys at the Round Up…they were curious about what I was up to?

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They were doing some serious munching on their lunching:)

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Sharing a fun picture of my Leo mare Lottie with her new filly, Lilly who was only a few days old…Lottie was a special one…I keep looking for another Leo bred horse like her but Leo is not common anymore. I had to watch Lottie as she was an easy keeper and could gain weight by just looking at grass or hay.

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Little Toot was waiting on din-din too…I still have the cookie jar  that you see on the counter, its white with colored cookies on it…I also have the old cupboard painted green as it was the original cupboard when the house was built. I stripped the paint off down to the original wood and it came out beautiful! And I still have my red hair with no gray at all in it…yee-ha:)

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What About Bob?…and why is he in this post? He goes where he wants, he does what he wants and he does not care about you! I tried one time to shoo him away from my two horses who were in the corral next to the barn as they were worrying and wondering what he was…he just looked at me not budging an inch, instead he pawed the ground while making grouchy grumpy bull sounds…fences could not keep him in…he always got out and went visiting the neighbors cattle…great!

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This was across from our house in the mid 1940’s…the pit you see to the right of the picture was where they slow roasted b-q beef all night to feed everyone…they always had a great turn out.

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A picture of history, the way life used to be when we had time to make a connection with others face to face instead of fabricating life on social media sites.

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My Dad and one of his close friends came up with the idea of having a local country rodeo…they called it the Juniper Joust.

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Wishing you all a happy….fun….and relaxing weekend! HRCG and Minnie are over and out for now! And where did Bob go?

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!

Life With Ms. Ellie, Horse Nuggets And Me!

Life with Ms. Ellie has been one of the greatest blessings and events of our life this summer.

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Here she is at six weeks of age…before we brought her home. She is adorable and then some with her sweet eyes and fun disposition.

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She is so smart and attentive to life around her.

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Do you remember Kiah? She is the one in front in this photo from last summer. She is a half-sister to Ellie. They both have the same father. Kiah was super smart…hard to explain but she was smarter than Tucker and Dash…and they are smart. Kiah and Ellie are much more connected to you in relationship and they discern events before they happen…very intuitively smart…good watch dogs…and very protective.

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And here is Ms. Ellie the day we brought her home, meeting Tucker, she was 9 weeks and very cute:) She snuggled in my lap the 6-7 hours it took to get home and never got sick…she immediately fit into our hearts:)

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Sweet Little Ellie Bell!

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And what is she doing but crawling under the fence to snag a horse nugget!

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“Honest Mom…I’m only eating two-horse nuggets!”

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 “Mom I saw Ellie eat three nuggets!”

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“Uh-uh no I only ate two really…look at my eyes, I love you Mom.”

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And she was soooooo excited after the terrible storm we had that appeared to be some kind of funnel cloud that swept up millions of horse nuggets, depositing them in her yard just for her to have for snacking!

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I love the way Ellie lays in the yard…her usual pose as she likes the feel of the cool grass under her…she is so cute:) Can you tell I’m a push over with my girl?

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Ellie and I walk together for exercise and to burn off some of the puppy energy she has. Ellie is 15 weeks old now, you can see the maturity coming in her eyes.

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And yet as we are heading out for our walk, passing by the arena, I feel a tug behind me on the leash…what? “Ellie, what are you doing….oh geez, more horse nugget snacks sidetracked her!” What is it about horse poop that cow dogs are drawn to? By the way notice her copper bottom is in the shape of a steer head…her little steer head bottom makes me smile no matter what! I loves her lots and lots! We are making many good memories together that I will carry in my heart forever.

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Like the first time I took her to our vet for her next vaccination, she was about 11 weeks old. Wild Bill could not go with us that day, darn it! I could not drive and hold her on my lap to comfort her from the intimidating feeling of the Suburban. I had lots of rags just in case she got sick etc. Well about half way to town I smelled it…oh my gosh!!! She had pooped a very smelly one in the back of the Burb! She was so scared that it scared it out of her…I felt so sorry for her. I pulled over to clean it up but I did not have any paper towels or napkins…typical! I figured out a way to hold her in my lap and drove the rest of the way to town one-handed, as I worried for her being scared and was afraid she would walk in it! As soon as we got to the vet’s they had stuff for me to use to clean it up! Ahhhhh yes puppy love! Nothing like picking up smelly gooshy puppy poop with a thin paper napkin….eeeeew!

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Minnie decided Ellie is ok…they give each other respect for being different, which is good. Ellie would love to play with Minnie, but I told her, NO, not until Minnie is ready…Minnie has to know you better. Yet Ellie will protect Minnie if she ever needs it as she looks at her as part of her family. That is the true heart of an Aussie…they love and protect their family.

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Kiah would have loved Ms. Ellie too…she would approve. We miss you and love you forever Ms. Kiah:)

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“Come on Mom, let’s go explore some more!” Ellie loves our walks as do I! And as I bring this post to a close, Minnie is in her chair with her heat pad on, all snuggled down on one side of me and Ellie is asleep on my feet as I type on the other side of me:) I love our animal babies….each and every one of them:) May you be blessed tonight, knowing that your animals love you and need you…have a wonderful tomorrow!

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HRCG, her critters and camera are over and out for now…but not for long!

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“I love those horse nuggets! Mom doesn’t know what she is missing!”

“Blog Of The Year 2012″ Award Times Six!

“Blog Of The Year 2012″ Award Times Six Stars! What a wonderful award gift to be given:) I am very late in posting the news of this award as I received the award between my hubby’s two surgeries with December 26th being the second surgery and then we lost our beloved dog Kiah…who we miss very much.

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I was both the head nurse and doctor at times…when you live 60 miles from the hospital and the Dr., you learn to do both…my friends laugh at our “Hallway Closet” as it is the equivalent of “Rite Aid,”with all kinds of tape, gauze, antibiotic creams, itch creams, bug sprays, thermometers and band-aids. Between taking care of WB and making sure he did exactly as he was instructed to do and did not sneak out of the house to go to the shop, life has been busy…thankfully his doctor gave him the heads up to venture out a few weeks ago, but the first few months I had to watch him like a hawk!!!  I run the office so I am forever busy keeping up with both the ranch books and our custom car business, and I can’t believe how fast the months go!

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We hired three new employees to add to our team, one great apprentice and two gifted, talented and experienced technicians that know how to do the job right. Luckily our winter weather has not been terrible this year so with the help of our new apprentice, I took care of the horses, making sure their water, which is heated during the winter months, was working and heating right. I felt like I was the lady of many hats, as I wore many different hats from Head Nurse to the Mrs. Grrrrr Boss to the Cowgirl Queen of All…hee-haw!

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And then I had the nicest surprise in receiving the nomination for the “Blog Of The Year 2012″ Award with the first of six stars from fellow blogger Candy at http://findingorderincorpusa.wordpress.com/ I was both humbled and in a state of shock in a very happy way:)

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 Thank you Candy for thinking of me:) Be sure to check out Candy’s blog as I promise you will enjoy it! She has a blog full of positive encouragement, which helps as we go through some of those truly yucky-blah days of our lives…and she also shares lots of wisdom to apply to our lives too. Here is the link to Candy’s blog and also the link that has all the rules for this award  http://findingorderincorpusa.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/

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And then I received my second star and another nomination for the “Blog Of The Year 2012″ Award from my friend Marilyn at http://teepee12.com/

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I was now laying on the ground, having fainted with delight, while my horse Melody was staring at me with her big beautiful eyes wondering if I was ok…you can see she is worried, she is the sweetest horse I have ever had. “Ahhh Mel, I love you lots, but I’m ok:)” I was smiling and glowing with excitement as I felt so very honored to receive this award by both these admirable friends and fellow bloggers…go check out Marilyn’s blog at  http://teepee12.com/2013/02/24/daily-prompt-the-glacier-quarter-2011/

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Because it was the holidays and the season was full of holly jolly joy joy! My laptop was singing away with sonar ba-blurps, as my notifications sound like a submarine when they come in…so I checked to see who was ba-blurping me and it was Marilyn at http://teepee12.com/2012/12/15/blog-of-the-year-2012/ she had awarded me with my third star, to add to my nomination for the “Blog Of The Year 2012″ Award!!! If you have not gotten over to Marilyn’s blog by now…get going! She has a worthy blog called “Serendipity” that is filled with words written by Marilyn, who is a gifted writer.

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The picture above is Annie, she is so pretty…and the photo below with the white stuff hanging off the garden stake with the horse on top next to the fake flowers is called “Hoar Frost.” It builds and grows each day until it hangs off of railings, power lines and etc. When we have long periods of freezing temperatures with freezing fog, a heavy hoar frost will grow on everything. Often we lose power as the power lines sag with the weight of the heavy frost eventually breaking the lines, leaving us without power for several hours or days. When you have livestock, they need water to survive. Horses can colic, which means they get a tummy ache and they lay down and roll on the ground trying to get rid of the pain, and often twist their gut. In severe cases they can die or will need surgery…the colic is caused by eating dry feed without water for their gut. so when you lose power and are without water for your livestock, you haul it or bucket it from another water source.

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With Christmas upon us and snow forecast with freezing fog delight, my kitty Minnie was doing her computer time a few days later and said,

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“Meowzers Mom…I just heard your laptop make that funny email noise again…I peeked and now you have four stars, as Marilyn gave me, (Minnie), a star for Christmas cuz I’m the cat who knows where it’s at! Meowohooey! Thank you Ms. Marilyn:)”

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I did a fancy cowgirl two-step with a yee-haw and

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Minnie looked at me and left in a hurry….she was worried it somehow could involve me picking her up for a kitty hug and holding her close to my heart for a kitty dance. She does not like to be held off the ground at all…and since I am 5’9″ tall, I’m a skyscraper in her eyes!

The Rules For This Award Are Simple And Easy:

1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.

2. Write a blog post and name/tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3. Please include a link back to this page  ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!).

4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.

5. You can now also join The Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook Group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.

6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting the six stars.

And Wowee-Wowzers!!!

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And I just got my fifth star!!!

The best part of receiving this special award was being nominated by my peers for the equivalent of the Oscar Award with the “Blog Of The Year 2012″ Award. It feels very good to have recognition from your friends that are on this artistic journey with you. When I began this blog I had no idea that it would feed my heart and soul the way it does. I have always always always loved to write…and photography has been a passion that I knew was there in my heart but in raising our kids, money was tight and buying fancy cameras was not in my budget…basketball shoes alone cost as much as a college education. I did write and I have journal upon journals of my life over the years, filled with emotions, memories and daily life.

And then only a day before Christmas I found I had received my sixth star from Marilyn as she too wanted to pass on the holly jolly joy and share her stars with me for the “Blog Of The Year 2012″Award! Thank you Marilyn and Big Hugs:)

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Thank you Candy at http://findingorderincorpusa.wordpress.com/ for the first nomination for this awesome award and thank you Marilyn at  http://teepee12.com/  for blessing me with this awesome award with several nominations…neither of you had any way of knowing that, on the days you blessed me with another star to this award, it was a day that I had a fire of life dilemma to put out here…so each of your stars gave me hope and a big smile! Thank you both for being my friends and fellow writers on this journey of words and of life:)

Drum roll please for my nominations…I would like to nominate all of the bloggers and writers I know…I enjoy every blog on Word Press:) It is not easy to choose only a few blogs as I have many that I believe are worthy and that is all of them!

1.http://euzicasa.wordpress.com/ George has an outstanding blog that I love to read as I often learn new things about many different areas of life, music, various animal species, historical world events and then today I heard two songs that I had not heard since way back when and they brought back great memories:)

2.  http://thesedaysofmine.com/ I love Dianna’s blog…she has a beautiful kitty angel named Sundae-Girl who also writes occasionally…she is one of my kitty angel Minnie’s best friends! Dianna shares her sunrise and sunset photos with the ocean behind them and the water right out in front of her home…and also her daily life with her family and her historic roots that run deep in Virginia.

3.  http://rumpydog.com/ Be sure to go meet Rumpy dog as his blog is awesome! He keeps us filled in with animal news and all things animal…different new animal friends and also animal health facts as well as animal fun stuff. Rumpy is very cool…how many dogs do you know that have their own blog? Go see Rump’s blog and enjoy:)

4. http://savannahspawtracks.com/  I love Savannah’s blog..she is a very cool kitty angel, she is always up to something fun and she takes good photos. She calls her blog “Autobiography Of A Shelter Cat”…she is very beautiful, as she is a Russian Blue kitty angel with a great personality to match her beauty and lots of white detail like Minnie has on her toes and under her chin:)  Her Mom and Dad are awesome for adopting her and they loves her lots! Minnie loves her too:)

5.  http://catfromhell.wordpress.com/  Minnie and I both love reading about Nellie’s adventures…she is 14 years old and is also a rescue kitty. I think her Mom and Dad are awesome for adopting Nellie and making her part of their home. Nellie writes great daily blog entries that keep us hooked, reading about her explorations and life full of fun with other kitty angels and she loves Rumpy too:) She is a very cool kitty as she paints some beautiful paintings of her friends and she is part of the FBI too….so go say Hi!

6.  http://triciabookerphotography.com/2013/02/21/beautiful/  “Capturing images, words and horses.” I saw the previous sentence by her name and I was hooked:) I truly enjoy Tricia’s blog and her amazingly beautiful photography of horses, various animals, flowers and life through her lens:) She is an amazing photographer…go see as she has incredible images to see and enjoy:)

7. http://tau0.wordpress.com/  I love this site as the amazing scenery in Mike’s photography speaks directly to my “wild at heart spirit!” Both my hubby and I share the wild at heart…I love the sheer beauty of isolated, jaw dropping beautiful places that you can not see unless you are willing to get off the beaten path and seek them out. Mike captures amazing views and waits for the perfect light and his timing is magical:)

8. http://russelrayphotos2.com/  Russel has been a photographer for many years and shoots beautiful shots of San Diego life and history…and incredible shots of scenery and flowers, butterflies and life etc. but my very favorites is “Zoey, the Cool Cat!” He is a character and great at posing for Russel’s camera.

9.  http://marcellarousseau.wordpress.com/ Marcy has a great blog that educates you on healthy eating and living. She is awesome as she seeks to help others to lose weight and get in shape…I know I need more of every fact she teaches and shares so I check her out often to see what is good for me and what I need to get rid of:) And we both share the same name of Marcy:)

10. http://godguidesme.com/ Vivian has a wonderful blog and I so enjoy the pictures she takes of the Nevada Desert…I love the peace and solitude of the desert and have found that the desert has a way of drawing you into its magical light, colors and silence…there is something incredibly beautiful and spiritual about the desert and Nevada has LOTS of mountains too so don’t let the desert fool you. Vivian’s blog is full of inspiration and incredible scenery.

11.  http://emjayandthem.com/   MJ’s blog is awesome as she makes you think deep and I love to think deep! She shares about her life growing up and also her life today…the lessons she has learned and the ones she is yet working on…her writing style hooks you into her words as you can identify with what she is writing about…she is a great writer and also takes great photos. She is an incredible lady to know and I always enjoy her comments when she visits me:) Go check MJ out…kind of funny but I am also called MJ…so from one MJ to another MJ go enjoy another MJ’s blog:)

12.  http://pacificnorthwesttravelerdotcom.wordpress.com/ I so enjoy Bob’s blog as I live about 200 miles from him and many of the various photos he shoots I am aware of or I have been there. Today’s lesson he is giving is on how to frame one of your photos in Photoshop…and I plan to give it a try too:) He shoots incredible scenery shots and then also goes to the Portland Zoo and takes some amazing shots of the various animals there….as well as “Jack” the kitty cat!

13.  http://onespoiledcat.wordpress.com/  This is Pam (Mommy) and Sam’s (Sammy) blog on Sammy’s fun antics and Pam’s wonderful words, she has a wonderful writing ability, she has published a few books and also short stories and she also is an artist as she paints. I always enjoy seeing what Pam is up to and Minnie has a kitty girl crush on Sammy…and I love to see what Sammy is up to as he has gone undercover before as a secret agent and he has taken care of business:) He is one cool dude!

14.   http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com/    I truly enjoy Sharla’s blog, her writing style, the memories she shares, the books she has published, and I love the name of the blog Catnip Of Life…yeah, that is perfect and Minnie agrees:) Sharla gives you deep things to ponder and think deep on which I love as it keeps me thinking all day when I am out and about doing ranch stuff:) I love her poetry too, her positive comments and her laughs as I love to laugh:)

15. http://patinaandcompany.wordpress.com/  Awesome blog! I will be reading each article on gardening, flowers and landscaping that Patina & Co. has posted. I am subscribed to Leslie’s blog, she lives North of Toronto, yesterday she posted pictures of the snow around her home and yard…I will not complain anymore about our weather!!! Go check out this blog as she also has interior decor ideas and ideas for the exterior of your home.

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Marilyn, thank you again for nominating me for this awesome award, Marilyn writes and takes us into whatever it is that she is describing…and that is what I strive to become, as a writer…I hope to write and pull the reader into my story so that they can actually hear, feel and taste or smell what I am describing…and I hope to do the same with my photographs:) Marilyn, I am working on “Tagged”…I wanted to get this award out as it is so special to receive. If you have not been to Marilyn’s blog yet, go to: http://teepee12.com/2013/02/24/daily-prompt-the-glacier-quarter-2011/

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Thank you Candy for nominating me for this honorable award and for blessing me with the first star:) Candy has a fun blog as well as a web site for her professional organizer business…and she can be hired to come into your home or office to organize it so that you can do your work or job with everything in its place instead of a mess. I am pretty organized most of the time but right now with taxes and going through all the office stuff I need you Candy!  On her blog, Candy has fun stuff, encouraging slogans and positive remarks for us to keep on a keeping on:) So be sure to check out her blog at http://findingorderincorpusa.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/blog-chill-day-8-2/  and also her business web site at http://www.orderyoursteps.net/

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Minnie and I have learned so much from all the many bloggers we have met in the last almost two years. The best part has been getting to know you…and to view your artistic abilities from photography to writing words that tell the stories of your life or of the lives you write about. The creative spirit is amazing and ever changing, growing and developing…I love the burning fire of artistic abilities that are God given, that burn deep in my heart. It is always there…sometimes it just smolders and other times it fires up into a roaring campfire…I love it:)

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These roses are for each one of you:) I am going to keep on writing words upon words and shooting a zillion photo images to share with you:) How about you? Have a “Super Sweet Sunday!”

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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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