Summertime…Oh Sweet Summertime…..

Summertime…oh sweet summertime! How I love thee, let me count the ways.

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My number one love of summer is being outside and enjoying the season. Every evening we are on the patio watching the colors change…drinking in the beautiful summer nights…breathing in the country air while making new memories to add to the days of old.

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I love summertime and all that comes with it, hot temps, harvest, dust, lemonade, flowers, and always horses…mix it all together and you have a perfect summer!

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Ms. Melody is enjoying the evening out on her pasture for a few hours…I love seeing our horses free and grazing the pasture in their natural state. My Dad had over 25 horses on the cattle ranch that I grew up on…they were working horses as by the week’s end we had each ridden several of them gathering cattle, traveling over 20 to 30 miles in mountainous country so we did not have to worry so much about grass…I worry about my horses today as they do not get the same use and exercise…with horses you always have to be thinking about their health and keeping them safe. We check them everyday making sure all is well…

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There is so much natural beauty outside during summertime…but honestly, each season has its own beauty and I enjoy them all!

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Beginning with spring, we often have puffy clouds drifting lazily overhead casting shadows on the landscape, while a sapphire blue sky peaks out…click goes my camera!

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A summer blessing appeared this year as Dad’s trees are blooming once again:) A few years ago during a record drought, they were dying from lack of rain, while this year they bloomed, bringing back the wonderful sweet smell of the blossoms…they smell absolutely heavenly!

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They have become a part of the ranch and have been a constant in my life since I was small…Dad planted them on top of the hill gradually bringing them down to the end of the arena where I practiced barrels and pole bending…and where my Dad would stand patiently timing me and saying “Come on go, hurry, go go go…yah you did it!”

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Dad used to team rope and calf rope when I was smaller and I would run the 12 and under barrel races at whatever small rodeo we went to. Mom was long suffering as she was our cheerleader and support! When Dad built the arena, he built it for roping, it was set up and ready to go for calf roping and team roping with friends. Dad’s trees have stood silently by through years of both good and bad times, having weathered life well…while passing the test of time this year, with a re-birthing of new life in their branches:)

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 Ellie girl is loving summer too as this is her first grown up summer and she is ready for new adventures “Come on Mom, lets go”…she loves exploring on our walks as I look for new photos to capture…she looks for new places to dig holes and explore.

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She gave me a perfect Ellie shot…she is so cute how she always has her head down and bottom up when exploring…I love my Ellie girl:)

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The last few years we have had odd weather…it has been great for me to capture pictures as I love the ever changing weather for photo ops. In this shot, can you see the eyes or the Zorro mask?

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Ominous storm clouds rolling into the canyon, drifting over us…

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No make that scary clouds! Hang on Toto as we must be in Kansas!

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After the storms, we usually have an awesome rainbow…I love trying to capture the colors as they are full of natural beauty. Our God is an amazing God…He gives us a beautiful world to live in filled with miraculous scenes if we look for them!

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And then there is Minnie…our 19 year-old kitty who is exploring summertime green grass…she loves summer too and will sit in the window day and night sleeping against the screen so she can smell the smells, hear the sounds and feel the cool air. This summer I have taken her outside each evening that we are outside so that she can taste the grass, taste the air and breathe deeply all the smells that kitties love.

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After 19 years as an inside kitty, she has earned the time to explore the yard…smell the smells and feel the grass under her paws:) I stay close to her and watch over her…once we go back into the house, she sleeps like a very happy and contented kitty girl:) She is precious and all heart, as she lost her vision and hearing a few months ago…yet she is determined to live her life as fully as she always has!

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“Mom…what is Minnie doing outside and she’s eating the grass!”

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“Mom, tell Tucker to mind her own business…this grass is darn good!”

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“Grass…where?”

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As the day slowly fades and sunshine turns into twilight, intense colors appear painting the sky above with a jaw dropping sundown as the

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Surreal light of “magic time” transforms the sky and the landscape with an array of softer, yet vivid, ethereal colors, creating a feel good afterglow…and a peaceful night.

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“Mom…seriously, where is the grass? “

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To be continued…with a grass-eating kitty and a few horses who wonder where that grass is!

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“Did she say grass?”

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I’m back after taking some time off…I have missed you all! Thank you for your support and encouragement on this road called photography, writing the story and blogging!

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Have A Happy Brand New Week!

Word Of God Speak

Word Of God Speak” By Mercy Me

(If you have this song, be sure to play it with the photos)

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I’m finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it’s okay
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The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say
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Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
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Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty
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To be still and know
That You’re in this place
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Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
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Word of God speak
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I’m finding myself in the midst of You
Beyond the music, beyond the noise
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All that I need is to be with You
And in the quiet hear Your voice
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Word of God speak
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Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
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Your majesty
To be still and know
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That You’re in this place
Please let me stay and rest
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In Your holiness
Word of God speak
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I’m finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it’s okay
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I hope you have enjoyed this post…I was capturing new photos today and listening to music…and Word Of God Speak by Mercy Me began playing…whoa…I love their music and this particular song has played in my life often…and the music fit the photos of where I live:)
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May you have a peaceful and restful Sunday evening and a Stellar new week a head:)

Camera Times With HRCG!

Camera times with  HRCG can be both a bit country girl crazy, rather adventurous and never a dull moment fun!

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I looked out my window on a winter’s day to see incredible light and the sky a blaze in varied colors…I grabbed my camera and out the door I went.

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 Capturing the sky colors with the surreal light above…with a happy smile of delight on my face.

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As I caught the reflection from above in the puddle at my feet:)

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Rainbow colors pursued me above…click click click…the light and the colors were etherial as they pulled me into a photo shoot…

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Ending with one more of life’s beautiful reflections…in a mud puddle no doubt at my feet:) There is a lesson in that!

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And here we go..hang on!

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A beauty in a field of dreams…

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Doing what I know…

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Cowboy son Curt knows too…he’s talking to Annie!

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As we learn to communicate with our horses, we can join them in the dance of respect and grace.

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Horses have two basic forms of communication–vocal and body language. The more sophisticated of the two by far is body language. With a mere look, a flick of the ears, or a turn of the head, horses can communicate to each other and to us, if we learn to understand their body language.

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Annie began to trust her human…she took the first step of the dance. Annie looks at Curt with trust…she submits as she now knows he will not hurt her or harm her…he is now her leader:)

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Did I say hang on…I’m shifting gears through the corner and getting it on!

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Wild weather and clouds are a daily occurrence here anymore…kind of weird but kinda cool for my camera!

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A beautiful field of yellow Canola! When you use Canola Oil next time…think of the close up and personal shot you saw of Canola growing.

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Minnie!

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Ellie!

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A sort of annoyed Minnie:)

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Cone Doggie and not too happy! I don’t blame her..my poor Ellie! She was spayed on Wednesday and she has to wear this cone thing to protect her incision from her licking it to death…and she is not happy!

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Lola:) My Lola!

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Have A Happy Happy Happening Wild Weekend! HRCG Over And Out For Now…But Never For Long:)

Misty Memories Of Mom

Misty memories of my Mom came to me this late afternoon.

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I had been in the office all day and as I walked into the kitchen, the view outside my window was full of magic time and late afternoon fog drifting, eddying around the sagebrush across the road towards the creek…and it hit me…all of a sudden I was a young girl getting home from school on the school bus…climbing down the stairs of the bus, I turned and said “Have a good evening Red”…yes my bus driver had red hair and he was called Red by all the locals.

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As I looked towards the house, I could see a golden glow of warmth emanating from within. I knew Mom was cooking something special for dinner and she probably had something good for an after school treat!

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Mom loved to cook and always had snacks, and good stuff…I hurried up the steps as Mom opened the front door saying “Oh Honey, let me help you with that school bag”…she often had a dress on with her apron and a welcoming hug and smile.

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I could smell something sweet and divine…homemade chocolate cake for dinner desert and warm chocolate chip cookies for my snack…all made with Mom’s love:)  She usually had our beef in the oven…my favorite was her roast beef with potatoes, gravy and fruit salad! Mom was a loving wife and always a very classy lady. This photo was taken in town at my Grandma’s house on Easter…we had to do photo ops and I wanted to go hunt Easter eggs with my cousins by the dang dozen! I was being a stinker too…and I remember a swift swat on the patoot!

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Mom’s life was Dad and me…along with a few cattle dogs, lots of cows and several horses…she taught me so much about marriage by example and living life in a small community. In this photo we had been busy with the photographer all day taking photos of us as my Dad was President of the Pendleton Round Up…he was very deserving and truly the “Cowboy’s President” and we were excited for him and his recognition…but we were all tired!

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Once I had explained all the details of my day at school including the bus trip home, I settled in front of the TV and ate my cookies while watching Flicka or Fury or Sky King…now it is my camera that settles me…I love grabbing shots to share:)

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And all was well in a simple country girl’s life growing up:)

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Have a Wonderfully Wild Weird Wednesday! HRCG Over And Out But…I’m On A Roll With My Camera…I Might Catch Ya! Click Click Click!

Photos Of This And That On HRCG!

Photos of this and that on HRCG is me sorting through over 3000 photos.

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Minnie Mouse telling me….”Ahhhh Mom, don’t worry I am with you…I will be your nurse and your heart…I will make you smile as you recover from BC.” And she did:)

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Remember you can click on all my pictures and they will enlarge:)

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Annie’s time…hooking on with son Curt!

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Pat and Jack…

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Dasher and Kiah!

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My sweet Melody:)

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Solitude…

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Incredibly quiet and beautiful!

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Wishing you a fun-filled week wherever you may be!

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Stay tuned as I did not make a dent in the 3000 photos:)

The Sounds Of Country Silence

The sounds of country silence are…profoundly silent…incredibly quiet…and filled with a very still solitude.

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Living in country silence is my daily world. Sometimes it is more than hard to take as I love being around people while going, doing, and seeing life but my life has always been country quiet.

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Silence so still that some nights you can hear a train 10 miles away…silence so still you can hear your neighbor’s telephone ring on a summer night and they live a mile away over a hill!

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You learn to value the tick-tock of the clock for company and if you listen closer you can hear the hands move a bit with each tick…and if Minnie is close to me and she always is, I can hear her snore ever so softly or her stretching from her nap making a squeaky sound…I often listen to the refrigerator running and the ice maker filling…I recognize my neighbors pick ups as they drive by and always know the cattle trucks hauling cattle out of Juniper to the mountains…I know who it is before I see them.

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These are only a few of the sounds of my days…the old house creaking last night and today in the windstorm…the owls at night…hawks overhead…coyotes howling…the sounds and presence of our outside dogs…and the same with Ellie who is my inside dog…the sounds of nothing…the sounds of silence…the sounds of my life.

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My day begins with Minnie Mouse waking me with her wake up call “Yeowly Meow and Good Morning:)” Then WB gets up, I try to snuggle back down but one of the dogs outside barks and I wonder if it is a neighbor? I can hear the horses and the sound of their hooves running back and forth, waiting for their breakfast and I’m up.

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Making my way to the kitchen, I can smell the coffee brewing…WB is already out the door headed to feed horses and check water…then off to the shop…now it’s me and Minnie and Ellie. I get out my cup while looking out the same kitchen window I have looked out of forever, as I listen to the morning sounds…the tick-tock of the wall clock, the howling winds outside and the coffee pot hissing a bit.

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Today the wind is blowing out of a different direction as it howls and moans against the house, giving me different house creaks and groans to listen to. I love the sound of rain on the roof which is soothing to my soul…when it rains at night, it lulls me to sleep with rain drops falling ever so softly on our lives here, bathing the house and watering the crops, it’s always a beautiful sound to my ears.

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Some days I talk to myself just to hear a voice…and I write, talking the words on to a sheet of paper or to my blog which helps me feel connected to the world.

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It is the quiet life I know and love…and I will never take for granted. I know how blessed I am to experience life as I know it!

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The song, Sounds Of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel, was going through my head as I was writing….go to iTunes if you don’t have it as it was a great song.

“Hello darkness my old friend…I’ve come to talk with you again,

Because a vision softly creeping…Left its seeds while I was sleeping,

And the vision that was planted in my brain,

Still remains…Within the sound of silence.”

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Wishing you a Fabulous Fantastic Fun Friday and a wonderful weekend wherever you may be!  Spring is coming…my camera is ready and waiting to go:) HRCG over and out for now but not for long!

The First Breathe Of Spring

The first breath of Spring is elusive here in Juniper and yet, can it be?

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 Is it Spring? I felt her brush my cheek tonight as I stood outside taking pictures without a coat or shoes…I saw magic time colors…grabbed my camera and out the door I went…lucky we have a nice patio that accommodates feet with or without socks!

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When we went to bed Saturday night, the snow was beginning to drift and blow…

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And when we woke up Sunday morning,

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We had drifts blocking various roads and doors…and fun photography shots!

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However, some of us were getting a bit perturbed…ok darn right cranky!

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Bitchy, Grumpy and Sweet Melody…aw my Mel, you are so sweet!

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By the time we went to bed Sunday night…the great thaw had begun!

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Spring is coming…hang on…tell Groundhog Phil he needs a new gig!

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Over and out from HRCG and Minnie, the cat who knows where it’s at!

God Of Wonder…God Of Light…God’s World Is My Delight!

God of wonder…God of light…God’s world is my delight.

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I love capturing weather shots…and the last few years we have had interesting weird weather to photograph!

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Last night as I looked up to the heavens, I saw a million stars above my head with no end in sight…it takes my breath away, no matter how many times I have looked up. I wish I could have captured what I saw with my camera…instead I captured this moon shot a few months ago and I thought you would enjoy it. I love the power lines as they frame the moon…giving Mr. Harvest Moon an interesting look.

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We have a few more inches of snow today and now we are under a Winter Storm Alert for more snow with below zero temperatures. It is seriously cold out…it is 17 degrees this afternoon with a minus 2 due to windchill.

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Mr. Buck says “Where are my Apple Asses…and I need more hay too”…hang on Buckaroo…here it comes…just for you!

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Winter is finally making her appearance and she’s on a roll…hang on!!!!!

Yee-Haw! Blah Blah Days!

Yee-Haw! Blah blah days of gray have descended once again on us in Juniper Canyon.

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Almost every winter we have a couple of weeks of blahsay gray skies with fog that drifts in and drifts out.

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“Oh Mr. Sun where are you…Hello Blue Sky? Where have the two of you gone?” I bet they hooked up and went to Hawaii…I don’t blame them but “Hey…come back puhlease!”

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And with dingy gray skies devoid of character or shadows, what do you take pictures of?

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Maybe God made foggy gray days for us to know that we will go through gray times in life but blue skies are coming…hang on and trust…as the gray will disappear!

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And then…the sun shines for a few hours…Halleluaia! I LOVE seeing blue instead of gray!

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WB heard me whimpering about no blue skies, so he gave me something to do that I enjoy:)

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WB restores customer vehicles and he just finished this 1949 Chevrolet one ton pick up…the customer’s father purchased the pick up in 1949. Note: It is very rare as it is a one ton!

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A photo shoot was just what I needed, as on gray days, photos pop and photo shoots are awesome as the camera captures the shadows, the depth, the funky fun shots, with no glare, and no fade out of color etc.

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We need rain in the Pacific Northwest…we need it bad. We are way below what is the normal crop year moisture…the mountains do not have their usual snow pack and next summer will be very dry…I’m praying for good rains, nice gentle rains and some occasional snow here with a good snow pack in the mountains!

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Summer is coming sooner than we think with beautiful skies and flowers galore that are pretty in pink…hopefully with gentle spring rains and epic summer storms! Hang on tight as soon it will be a warm summer night full of country delight!

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Life Is Good! In Fact It Rocks! 8 Years Strong!!!

How often do you capture a photo of a yellow striped kitty named Morris walking across the back of our “Cat” and he is right above Caterpillar? Perfecto! Morris is a very cool cat!!!

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Have a warm comfy night wherever you are and a Totally Terrific Thursday!

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!

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