Hot Time Summer In The City…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOLY COWZ! HOT N CRAZY DAZE!

Holy Cowz!

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Hot N Crazy Daze Have Descended Upon Juniper Canyon!

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Along with dust storms without wind. Its eyrie when the dust begins to rise without the wind!

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Creepy unusual clouds above my head…

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Almost makes you feel like you are in the Outer Limits or the Twilight Zone!

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Kaaaa-Boom the thunder and lightning began. I was over feeding Melody and saw the strike hit…

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The first fire of the season was born with winds blowing in our direction…we live about 10 miles from here if we drive the road but across country it is only 5-6 miles with lots of wheat fields in between.

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Our neighbors and community jumped into action and thankfully no one was hurt, no homes were lost and the fire was out! Sadly they lost several hundred acres of wheat.

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Scary times here as we have been declared a drought county…

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Last night it was 73 degrees at 11:30…that is hot for us this time of year…

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We have hit above 100 degrees most of the month of June…with a week straight of 110 plus degrees!

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Stay tuned with Ellie and I on the dusty trail of life:)

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Tonight as I close we are under another fire weather warning…

Fire Weather Warning
Statement as of 1:55 PM PDT on July 09, 2015
... Red flag warning remains in effect this evening
for thunderstorms producing abundant lightning and gusty outflow
winds for Oregon fire weather zone 641... 

* affected area... fire weather zone or 641... lower Columbia Basin 
  of Oregon. 

* Timing... most of the lightning activity will occur between 3 PM
  and 8 PM.

* Lightning activity... 3... possibly 4.

* Precipitation... some storms will bring heavy rain with 
  amounts up to one half of an inch possible. 

* Impacts... any fires that develop will have the potential to 
  spread rapidly.

Precautionary/preparedness actions... 

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions
are either occurring now... or will shortly. A combination of
strong winds... low relative humidity... and warm temperatures can
contribute to extreme fire behavior.

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I came across this a long time ago and it hits the nail on the head for people who blame their problems and mistakes on their family or on their parents or on the man in the moon. They blame every problem they have on someone else, unfortunately until they quit telling lies and using manipulations, until they admit their wrongs and look only to themselves, they are a lost cause. I know people that are very good at lying, really good and they roll along sucking people into their lies. They believe their lies so much they create a false truth and will defend their lies at any cost to you or anyone else.  I agree with this poster…Hallelujah and Amen!

Matching Clouds Of Weirdness….

Alerted me to grab my camera and click click click!

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Ominous clouds of doom…hmmm?

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Very unusual clouds for us here in Eastern Oregon.

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I noted the right cloud was getting larger at the top…while the left one was sort of morphing into something else?

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I zoomed in on the right cloud, it was huge…we did not have a storm here but something unusual was going on in the heavens above! This odd cloud formation, reminded me of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind!

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Its 90 degrees here right now…crazy hot for this time of year!

HRCG and Ellie are over and out for now…but we’ll be back:)

Happy Weekend!!!

Surprise…Fire In The Skies!

Surprise Surprise…Fire In The Skies…Yee Haw!

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As the afternoon sun was setting…I noticed it seemed it was setting in the East instead of the West…what? I grabbed my camera and ran outside in my slippers…snap snap snap!

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Looking back over my shoulder, I saw incredible skies filled with fiery orange colors…Holy Cow! That is the roof of the house to the right that you see and God’s glory above!

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I ran off the patio in my slippers towards the big hill behind the house…it was cold but, as a photographer I’m gonna get that shot no matter what!

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I was so pumped! It was incredible to see, as the light and colors kept changing by the seconds!

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Whoop Whoop Whoopee Cool!

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I would have loved to get my boots on to climb the hill but time was short!

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I grabbed one last shot behind the house….

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Already the light was fading across the road…the sun was down except on top of the hill.

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The lights of home welcomed me back, it was time, as my slippers were soaked!

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Our snow has been slowly melting the last few days! But we are under another winter storm advisory for a combo of snow, sleet and freezing rain tonight through Monday…I hope this storm misses us!

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“Munch…Yumm…Munch…Yummmmmmy:)”

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Have a great weekend where ever you are…stay warm and safe! HRCG is over and out for now but not for long!

Calling Hot Rod Cowgirl…Come In Please…

Calling Hot Rod Cowgirl…Come In Please…Can You Copy Good Buddy? Where Are you?

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I’m here…I’m here! Life has me sidetracked and time is stuck in warp drive…propelling me into some alternative universe…a universe that I have never seen before….a universe like no other…its been a month since I blah blah blogged you…Holy Cow!

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I must be in “Another dimension…a dimension of sound…a dimension of sight…a dimension of mind.

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A journey into a wondrous land of imagination called the Twilight Zone” to not be blah blah-ing you about something!!!

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My hubby WB, had surgery mid-September that was not planned…it was another dimension called medical surgery which was over 5 hours long…a long time to wait for Ms. Worry Wart here! I hoped and prayed all would go well and it did:)

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I’m still a bit tangled up from worry but WB is already making a full recovery and will be good as new:) Having our loved ones go through medical issues is one of the hardest and scariest parts of this life we all lead.

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And summer flew by faster this year…I could not believe how fast time flew! The only way to show you our summer is to invite you to hop in and fasten your seat belts…you can hang on tight to the OS handle…and we’ll do a quick recap via pictures that I captured of the summer of 2014!

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Getting ready for the cameras…three professional videos were filmed at HSL this summer of several vehicles that we built.

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Lots of special beauties in this line up!

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WB was giving me the stink-eye as I told him he missed a spot…on my car:)

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And here comes Camera #1…

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Are we good to go Nathan?

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Stay tuned as the videos are currently in production with Chris and Corbin at CAPPS Broadcasting with the hope to have the first one done in the next few weeks! I’ll keep you posted!

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And before we move on…Thank You Chris and Corbin for believing in us and taking the time to see for yourself what Holton Secret Lab is about! CAPPS Broadcasting ROCKS!

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And then July blew in with hot hot hot temperatures! As I captured this shot, a flock of birds took off…they look like dots in the photo as it was taken a long distance away. I need to shop for a telephoto zoom lens as I often have many of our native birds show up in my photos…it’s always cool to see them take flight.

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Two weather fronts moved into the NW from different abnormal directions just as we were getting into July…they collided, creating some crazy weather leading us into record-breaking heat in July and August, triple digit temperatures lasting for weeks. Not only did we have the heat, we had nightly lightning shows and clouds that were unusual…which was great for obsessive camera girl!

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A few minutes after the first shot above, only from a different direction…you can see the layers of clouds and the two different fronts…it was all very odd to see the fronts, the massive clouds and the weather!

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We had fire in the skies from wildfires all over the West, as summer went into hyper-drive with record-breaking heat and seriously dry conditions with low humidity, which is fire weather conditions. Having lived here forever, I have never felt heat like we had this summer. It was like a hot blow torch each time you stepped out the door.

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Just as summer was heating up, good friends Kevin and Pat with their huge fifth wheel, came to help us with our patio…it was a large project to take on and was not easy to complete! The “Best” part was having old friends here to share the laughs while making new memories together…38 years of friendship is very cool! BTW Kev and Pat know how to do retirement right…they left here the end of August headed for parts unknown and a memorable adventure!

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Weird weather continued with skies gone crazy, bringing many great photo ops…

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Fire in the sky…this small cloud in the midst of the mega gray clouds was odd as the sundown colors hit it just right and was a fun capture!

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With crazy clouds, weird weather and spectacular storms my summer was busy with my camera! I would head outside to relax for the evening…only to be muttering “dang” under my breath as I tried to ignore the odd clouds, lasting only seconds before I had my camera back in my hand again, shooting wild sky pictures overhead…it was an incredible summer!

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Always with breathtaking beauty…and as I end this post…remember,

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I’m riding hard for the Cure! Saddle up and ride with me declaring war on breast cancer! Lets ride and declare war on all cancers!

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Yip-Yip-Yee-Haw And Hallelujah!!!

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Have a peaceful evening wherever you are! I am over and out for now…but not for this long!

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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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!

Days Of Summer…Old Time Memories And Country Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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