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:)

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!

Hot Rod Cowgirl Nominated For The 2013 Blog Of The Year Award!

Hot Rod Cowgirl Nominated For The 2013 Blog of the Year Award!

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Yip-Yip-Yee-Haw!

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Blog Of The Year 2013…Wowzers! Minnie Mouse Of The House says Meowzers!

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Ellie says Bowzers! Look at her jump for joy!

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Melody, Buck, Annie, Pat, Tucker and Dasher are excited as they have enjoyed entertaining you and keeping me busy blogging:)

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It seems only a few days ago that I accepted this awesome nomination the end of 2012…and where did the last year go?

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And Wowowow! I’m excited to receive a nomination for the 2013 Blog of the Year Award from Sharla at  http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com/

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Sharla opens Catnipoflife with a line of wisdom that is so very true!

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“Observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest.”

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Catnipoflife is about the school of life…the life we live and the lives lived around us…times of hard knocks and times of joy…life is good stuff and full of blessings to be thankful for each day. Sharla shares the lives we lead through her gift of poetry and photography.

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As she shares her poetic words on her blogs and in her books, she encourages other bloggers by sharing their photos with her poetry on her blogs.

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I was thrilled when I heard from her last month in regards to using my photos of wheat harvest with her poetic words on both of her blogs on Nov. 20th called “Amber Waves Of Grain.

Farmers utilize a team of 14 draft animals to harvest wheat.

She honors the American Farmers and our beloved United States of America, with her poetic words full of history and heritage. Read both her posts called Amber Waves Of Grain…click links below:)

http://awakenings2012.blogspot.com/2013/11/amber-waves-of-grain.html

http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/amber-waves-of-grain/

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Take a look and enjoy…

http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com/

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As we hop over to Sharla’s second blog  Awakenings”  

http://awakenings2012.blogspot.com/

She opens her blog with the profound sentence below…

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“Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment its said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.” 

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I love Sharla’s opening words as it echos the life we live in our 100 year old family home on our ranch here in Juniper. Lots of memories and family history that is full of true grit and determination. I am who I am today because of my parents and my grandparents, who I never knew face to face…but I knew them through my parents and their love and respect for the generations that went before them…it gave me a deep faith of God…believing that no matter what we will never give up…we gotta keep on a going.

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Everyday that we live, and every word we speak becomes our history…the days of our lives become our heritage…our story and traditions…and why we are here is a piece of the puzzle of our life, our history and our heritage.

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Okay here are the rules to share with this nomination

1) Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2013’ Award.

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

3) Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them – (please don’t alter the instructions or the badges!)

4) Come over and say hello to the originator of the ‘Blog of the Year 2013’ Award via this link 

http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/blog-awards-2/blog-of-the-year-2013-award/

5) You can also join the ‘Blog of the Year’ Award Facebook

Page – and share your blog posts with an even wider audience.

Click here  https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear/ 

6) And 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 start collecting stars…

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I am humbled and honored that Sharla would nominate Hot Rod Cowgirl…I am excited to now pass on this award to my peers and friends:)

Drum roll please…

http://bellaremyphotography.com/

http://lumensborealis.com/

http://nokotahorse.wordpress.com/

http://savannahspawtracks.com/

http://2me4art.com/

http://witlessdatingafterfifty.wordpress.com/

http://westeastern.me/

http://teepee12.com/

http://michellemarieantellg.wordpress.com/

http://tchistorygal.com/

http://emjayandthem.com/

http://m5son.wordpress.com/

http://onespoiledcat.wordpress.com/

http://throughmylens365.wordpress.com/

http://philosophermouseofthehedge.wordpress.com/

http://nylabluesmum.wordpress.com/

http://michellejoycebond.wordpress.com/

http://lostcreekpublishing.wordpress.com/

http://cindyknoke.com/

http://visitstothepark.wordpress.com/

http://bythemightymumford.wordpress.com/

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!

Blog of The Year 2013 Award

Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

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There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

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Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars! You can either ‘swap’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award – or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award six times!

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Each of you carries your own special talents and words of wisdom. Thank you for your inspiration, which always seems to arrive when needed. And do not pay any attention to the order the names are presented, God bless you all!

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Congratulations, and here is your first star (may be your second, could even be your third) but it is the first from me!  

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I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year! Minnie says it is time to “Boot Scoot Boogie” down here…yippee yeeee-haw! She was practicing her moves while getting a full back itch too!

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Thank you Sharla for presenting me with this nomination!  Be sure to check out Sharla’s blogs at either link below!

http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com/

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http://awakenings2012.blogspot.com/

New Beginnings And Speedy Lickety-Split Endings

New beginnings and speedy lickety-split endings are part of life here as time passes by on planet earth…we have seasons of life much like the earth has weather seasons. There’s a time for everything…a time for hello and a time to say goodbye…a time to seed and plant the crops and a time to harvest in July…a brand new day begins each dawn and the end of day comes as the sun sets each evening. The last few weeks with the end of summer and the beginning of fall, beginnings and endings have been on my mind a lot, as time passes by so quickly…we get busy and forget to focus on the important people in our lives or the important blessings we have, until one day they are gone.

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As I dwell on this simple truth, Ecclesiastes: Chapter 3: Verse:1-8, comes to mind as God spoke of a time for everything. I began to see how every part of our life has seasons or beginnings and endings. It’s how God designed life and yet, a new beginning comes and before we know it the ending sneaks up on us…from loosing those we love, to coming home after a week’s vacation, to giving birth, you blink and the baby is grown up with babies of their own…sometimes the ending comes with great pain and grief, while other times it comes with celebration upon college graduation with your diploma in hand…well deserved with true happiness!

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I believe that life has a rhythm in all parts of it…a constant beat full of heart and passion with the joyful energy of our soul. Maybe because I love music and love to dance, counting double time or half time with ease, it makes sense to me that God would give rhythm to His earth and to our lives…two steps forward, one step back. The dance of life can be one of incredible joys, contrasted by times of great difficulties. Milestone moments in life can take our breath away, as we either accomplished our dreams or we lost someone or something very dear to our heart. It’s up to us how we choose to live our life and how we maneuver the times of highs and lows…as we keep dancing with all we’ve got.

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I try to see the positive in life…the glass is half full and not half empty. I believe anything is possible when we put our mind to it…I laugh as I have said under my breath since I was in grade school “Where there’s a Marcy, there’s a way!” Even when things look their darkest, I hang on to my faith as I know but I know that somehow, someway, things will work out. Going through breast cancer 7 years ago was scary at times, but God told me I would survive and I knew if God said it, He meant it, and I believe it and that is that. We have many areas in our life today that we can not count on…but I know I can count on God with all my soul and all my heart.

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This time of year for me is bittersweet as I lost my Dad in October and lost my Mom a year later in December. It doesn’t seem that long ago and yet it has been 16 years…the painful memories are softer now…but every year beginning in September, I begin to reflect on my life and the life around me, as I ponder the last year of our life here. Being a writer and a deep thinker, I process life circumstances deeply in my heart as I ask the hard questions and seek the truth of life events and how those events have effected me. After I ponder the last year in the innermost part of me, only then after I have come to some conclusion will my thoughts fall onto paper with sincere and sometimes crazy writers abandon. I ask lots of questions in order to wrap my understanding around whatever it is…but yeah…I seek the answers to life’s deepest, greatest and toughest questions. I know I will never know all the answers until I get to heaven someday, but I feel life deeply and think on things a long time…before I can give the answer to those questions.

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As I am writing this afternoon, the light outside my window is full of golden softness as my world is filled with an amber glow, fall has truly fallen on Juniper Canyon. When I write I often look out on the land, watching the shadows of the clouds above, play on the landscape, making new odd shapes…and I remember old times, simple times and good memories. This week as I reflect more on memories of my parents, I can hear Dad’s voice in my head. One of the first times he was deathly ill, we called 911 for help…it was scary for all of us. I was very thankful we were not living in Wyoming, and instead lived next door allowing us to get there in a hurry if we were needed. Once Dad was stable and loaded into the ambulance on that clear blue sky morning, I sat with Dad while Mom and Bill got her jacket etc. for the ride to the hospital.

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I noticed Dad was looking out and up the hill, and then he said “Have you and Bill decided if this ranch is home and is this where you will put down roots and grow old?” I was taken back with his direct question as my thoughts were not on Wild Bill and me…my thoughts were on Dad and Mom. I stuttered and stammered saying something like “Dad, I know this is home and yes we will put down our roots and build our life here.” He kept pondering his life and the landscape and said ” I sure hope I come back home again, as I will surely miss this place.” I hugged his neck and said to him “You will Dad, you will.” And he did many times, from several near death emergencies, over the next four years…his doctor told us “Your Dad is one tough cowboy.”

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The crazy thing about our lives is that often we do not recognize the beginning of something great in our lives until the end of it. Growing up I lived on a vast cattle ranch, I did not understand that living on private land was a gift and a privilege of life. I thought everyone had a cattle ranch in the mountains and that we all owned land somewhere. I also thought everyone had a horse and lived the same life I lived! I had an active imagination growing up as I was taught that everything was possible if we believe…and today I still believe in the impossibilities of life:)

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Learning to look at the glass half full instead of almost empty, was one of the simple truths of life my parents taught me…having a positive attitude instead of a bitter one has carried me through some tough times and still carries me today in my life, as I still have tough issues to deal with in our lives here.

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Our lives are a gift to live with love, joy, hope and faith that tomorrow will come as it will. When one door closes and the season is over…you may feel a pang of sadness, but you know there is always hope for a new beginning and we will find it if we seek it out…as we will never give up! Beginnings and endings…sunrise and sunset…summer began and summer ended, as fall began. I felt a moment of grief for the warm days of harvest and the magical summers we live here and yet as soon as the moment passed, I saw the beauty of fall and I was at peace knowing this was the beginning of a new season that would be filled with wonder and home spun days of gold:)

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I leave you with one of my favorite bible verses…it is so true as it is the heart of life!

A Time for Everything

 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

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May You Have A Fantastic Fall Weekend And A Fabulous Frivolous Friday!

The Pendleton Round Up…Round Two!

The Pendleton Round Up…Round Two…Here We Go!

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As you pass through the gates into the rodeo grounds, you immediately find yourself next to the South Grandstand, and as you look up towards the top of it, about half way down, you will see the Winner’s Plague. These cowboys and cowgirls were the winners in their events at the Round Up in 2012…the large plague proudly displays their names next to their events. Winning Pendleton is an honor as the rodeo is one of the top three rodeos along with Calgary and Cheyenne.

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What sets the Pendleton Round-Up apart from the other great rodeos in America is its aesthetic. That word implies art, but also history and culture.

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The first Pendleton Round-Up was to be “a frontier exhibition of picturesque pastimes, Indian and military spectacles, cowboy racing and bronco busting for the championship of the Northwest.” It turned out to be that and more. For the initial show, all stores closed. “The largest crowd in Pendleton’s history,” 7,000 strong, showed up for the first show on September 29, 1910, a newspaper writer reported. “The words ‘Pendleton’ and Round-Up’ are on the lips of thousands and will continue to be for months and years to come…The Round-Up is a whirlwind success.” Souvenir program from The 1913 Round-Up said the rodeo was growing. And grow it did.

Two decades later, patrons showed up from 36 states and eight foreign countries. The following two years the Round Up was not held, because of World War II, once the war was over, the attendance climbed again, eventually reaching 50,000 or more for the four-day show. “Success bred success and the Round Up stayed in high gear,” says the book “Let ‘er Buck! A brief history of the Pendleton Round Up.”

The key to the success of the rodeo and its many attendant activities is community participation – volunteers. Indian participation has been a strong attraction, too, in the Round-Up arena, at Happy Canyon, in the Indian Village and in the Westward Ho! Parade. Long before women’s lib, the fairer sex got into the act at the Round-Up – cowgirls in the early days of the Round-Up could be as tough as men. In 1914 Bertha Blanchette, wife of cowboy Del Blanchette, came within 12 points of winning the all-around title.

Midway through the Round Up’s colorful history, a Eugene newspaper summed it up with a characterization that remains applicable today: “In good times and bad, Pendleton has gone on with the Round Up. People over on the Umatilla have always been willing to take a chance. Maybe that’s the real cowboy spirit. Maybe it’s a little bit tougher brand of civic spirit. Anyhow, in Pendleton, the show goes on.”

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Having volunteers who want to make a difference, while helping make the rodeo a success, makes Pendleton very unique It has often been said by the directors of both Happy Canyon and The Pendleton Round Up that the volunteers are the glue, as they strive to give their time to make the Round-Up the greatest rodeo on earth. Through the year the volunteers clean up the rodeo grounds and the barns, adding a fresh coat of paint where it is needed, and fix anything and everything that needs to be fixed.

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And so it begins with slack on Monday of Round Up week. This year there did not appear to be as many contestants, as slack often will begin on Saturday or Sunday…by Monday morning it is in full-swing. This year it did not begin until Monday afternoon.

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I enjoy going to slack in some ways more than the actual rodeo as you see true life…the last minute details coming together. Whether you are a contestant or on the Round Up board of directors or working on the arena crew, you work hard…making sure that everything goes off in sync, without a hitch.

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The bucking chute crew is on stand by…but I bet they’re ready to go at the drop of a hat!

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The chutes look a bit different on rodeo day!

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Family and friends watching slack runs in the shade to escape the heat. This year Round Up week was hot, the usual breeze did not stir through the stands, so you watched the rodeo, fanning yourself with the program, while feeling beads of sweat rolling down your back or face!

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Contestants also waiting in the shade, talking to old friends, trying to relax as they wait for their number to be called.

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More cowboys are arriving…saddling up horses…and will soon be ready to go!

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From a rather quiet slack day to a rock and roll rodeo day! Cowboys warming up in the confines of a much smaller space in the arena before their event.

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I will have one more post on The Round Up…so stay tuned!

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In the mean time…Let ‘er Buck!!!

Behind The Scenes Of The Pendleton Round Up…Let’er Buck 2013!

Behind The Scenes Of

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The Pendleton Round Up…..Let ‘er Buck! 2013 Style!

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This is the first of two blog entries on the rodeo this year…you know me…I take lots of pictures so hang tight, there is more to share!

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This year marked the 103rd year of the Pendleton Round Up. We that live here are proud of our heritage and the years of participation in the rodeo, in a quiet little town called Pendleton.

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I love capturing the life of rodeo in Pendleton and slack days a few days before the rodeo begins are perfect. It’s fun to capture the mood of slack, it’s sort of laid back but somewhat tense too as the arena crew and the contestants are getting the squeaks ironed out…the cowboys and cowgirls are more at ease and have the time to socially connect with the cowboy families and friends they see on the road.

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This bronze plaque is below the bronze bucking horse at the main gate and explains the meaning of Let ‘er Buck and the classic image of the cowboy on the bucking horse. Double click on it and it will double in size to read it.

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Often I will say, this year I’m going to take a break from attending the rodeo and go to the beach for the week…and then as August rolls into September…I begin to feel the magnetic pull of the yearly rodeo tradition. Heart felt memories return, flooding my heart with good stuff…stirring the spirit of Pendleton that I carry down deep in my soul, it’s part of what makes me who I am…next thing I know, I find myself at the rodeo once again celebrating with the crowd, the locals, my neighbors and friends.

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The bronze Let ‘er Buck statue at the Round Up gate…a great work of art and incredible to see in person…things you see only in Pendleton!

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As Round Up memories are stirred, the ones I cherish the most are the ones I have of Dad and I, such as taking our horses into the rodeo grounds before the rodeo and then bringing them home early Sunday morning after the rodeo was over. Or how Mom and Dad moved to town for the week to a hotel, with a swimming pool and I got to swim and skip school…oh geez I hope none of my teachers are reading this…I was really sick at home:) The parades that I rode in every year of my life until I was married…the Dress Up Parade which used to be at night and the Westward Ho Parade. As I grew up I was asked to be one of two pendent bearers for the Queen and Court…I loved doing that as we went to many parades out of town too and I had a western cowgirl jacket with matching slacks, hat and boots were dyed to match and had to wear my hair under a hair net in the same style the court had which was a neck length page-boy. Wish I had pictures of that!

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Dad was a Round Up director on the board of directors from the time I was tiny, until he became President of the Round Up when I was 10-12. Here he celebrates his 50th birthday as President…his nick name was Terje, short for our last name Terjeson…his Grandfather was called Torje in Norway.

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Memories of Dad when he was President of the Round Up…I got to meet Michael Landon, Little Joe from Bonanza…and see the Clydesdale horses up close and personal when they came…but the ultimate was seeing  my Dad on his sorrel mare Gypsy in the arena running full blast chasing after the Queen and Court, riding hard and fast around the dirt track!

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Mom and I were so proud of him! As you see I am still in the dorky stage of age…shortly after this I told Mom I would take care of my hair so I could grow it out…and I got a belt too!

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The Presidents today continue the tradition, once the Queen and Court are introduced,

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The court rides full blast around the arena waving…riding hard Let ‘er Buck style!

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Then the President is introduced and he comes running out of one of the gates, chasing the Queen and Court around the arena track full-bore waving…

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They all go out one of the gates…after two full laps of rodeo fun!

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And the rodeo begins right away! It’s very cool to watch!

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And lastly, memories of being a bored round-up kid…rodeo week was very long when you were a kid and you got tired of sitting all day everyday…often I would go over to the horse barn next to the rodeo stadium where our horses were, and get one out to groom, then hop on bareback and ride around the grounds. I loved spending time with my horses and I’m still horse crazy!

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On Saturday of Round Up the jets do a fly over and oh boy is that cool…awesome and so very moving in your heart…I always get tears in my eyes as I am proud of the United States Military!

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This picture is actually from the 100th year of Round Up when they formed a group of 100 flag bearers for the Westward Ho Parade…it made you dang proud of Pendleton and America!

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The Round Up is the 5th season of the year around here, the directors and volunteers plan it all year long…the rodeo and all the celebrations last about a month…three weeks leading up to the rodeo and the actual rodeo the fourth week. As harvest winds down, you begin to feel the draw of the rodeo as memories come back to you…if you close your eyes, you can faintly hear the sounds of cowboys and livestock.

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A time that is full of heritage and tradition…a time of honor and history…a time for old friends and families making new memories…its about life and good times filled with the memories of Round Up…the best rodeo there is in these parts…you won’t be disappointed!

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It’s A Time To Let ‘er Buck!

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Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! Love you both…I’m holding down the fort and proud to be your girl!

HAPPY 4th OF JULY AMERICA!!! HOLY COW!!! WE HAVE HAD RECORD HOT TEMPS!!!

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Happy 4th of July America…and to all of you!!!

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God Bless America!

I use the top photo often as it is by far my favorite flag picture…seeing our flag flying full, proud and free, on a horse that is flying proud and free, always takes my breath away!!! Happy 4th of July America…I hope you are celebrating with your families and with America today as we stop once again to wish our glorious country Happy Birthday! Now where is that cake? I want the frosting….

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Holy Cow!  We have had record hot temps with abnormally hotter than hot summer days and nights the last few weeks, it was 85 degrees outside at 11:30 at night. We climbed into the 108-110 degree range daily, for over a week and the humidity was incredibly stellar…we usually do not get much humidity here as we are in a dry climate area…however, this last week day or night it was humid. It was hard to breathe as the air was so heavy and hot. We have had a dry furnace breeze blowing since last Saturday all day long until sundown hits and then it quits and the hot humid air just hangs…suffocating and nasty hot.

I love saying “Holy Cow” as it reminds me of my Dad, who said it often and taught me the same:)

Last Tuesday and Wednesday night our bedroom was 90 degrees with 90% humidity…no air was moving outside, not even a fresh Juniper Canyon breeze blowing up the canyon drifting over us, cooling off our bedroom so we could sleep…it was dead calm and weirdly quiet outside. The crickets were not crickiting…is that a word? All I would occasionally hear was the annoying bull frog and he was not doing his usual hyped up over himself 8 second ribbits.  Most nights it would finally cool down to 75 degrees about 3:00 am, which is still very hot for us and for the nocturnal coyotes, owls and our deer, and all the various animals outside.

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With the hot temps the wheat is drying out and turning a golden amber color with a touch of burnt red. It is one of my favorite colors and I use it through out my house. Our landscape has turned from green grasses and weeds into dry fuel that would burn easy with a lightning strike. Both our barn cats have moved down from the hay loft to the cement aisle floors as it is cooler down there yet and close to their cold automatic water trough.

Two weeks ago it was 55-60 degrees…cloudy…windy…rainy…chilly! That was kind of weird for here too but we needed the rain so while I complained that I was tired of gray skies and tired of being chilly…the rain was welcome. We try to be tough and sleep in our bedroom every summer but I have an idea that we will be getting that new A/C unit installed this year specifically for our bedroom. We used to not mind the heat up here but the last years we have gotten spoiled by the air on the main floor and our basement floor.

Farmers utilize a team of 14 draft animals to harvest wheat.

As I mentally turn back the clock to the 1920′s through the 1990′s when we did not have air conditioning anywhere in the house….we survived and managed. My great-grandmother Anne Marie would probably tsk tsk me for being too hot and tell me to be a big girl now. It fits with the society we live in now…we feel we have to have all the conveniences to comfort us…but I know we can survive grumpily without them:) However…hmmm…when it is 85 degrees at night and a 110 during the day…we need lots of nice cool air to cool us off to sleep at night!

My hubby is from the southeast corner of the state…so was my Mom. We read in the paper today how the ranchers and farmers are struggling with drought conditions caused by not receiving adequate rain for several years. In turn this has caused the reservoirs to dry up. For the cattle rancher who depends on the water for the health of his livestock, and for their survival out on the high desert, many of the century old ranches have only one choice left and that is to sell off their herd or a large part of it. The price of hay will be prohibitive, if they can find it, and the cattle have to have water. I have ridden horseback out to gather cattle on the high desert between Jordan Valley and the base of the Steens and there is not much feed out there under normal circumstances. Today, I would imagine it looks pretty barren and very dry as far as the eye can see. The BLM is hauling water to the various animals of the high desert, the wild mustangs, the pronghorn antelope and etc.

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The green-gold irrigation that has fed the farmers ever since the irrigation was developed and run by the BLM is running out of water too.  If the farmer runs out of water to irrigate his crops, he can not grow his crops, including the hay crops to sell to the cattle ranchers to feed their cattle. The massive Owyhee Reservoir that we have boated on for years, will drop to a third full by August…the lowest it has been on record since it was created in the early 1930′s. That is incredible as this damn is 55 miles long and 450′ deep at the Glory Hole. Hearing of the Owyhee Reservoir being low, means dire circumstances, as the farmers and ranchers have relied on growing several crops per year to support their families and the world.

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They can not grow their crops without water, and if the ranchers can not water their cattle or feed them, then they have no choice but to sell their livestock, which puts their lifestyle at risk. When the family ranch is passed on to you by the generations before you, and during your watch, a historic drought happens that may cause you to sell off your cattle and your land with all the heritage that was passed on to you, you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. When your blood is flowing in the land down deep and you can touch the very earth that was homesteaded for you, you can feel the heritage that runs through your veins…it never goes away. I saw this first hand on some of the huge ranches we managed for the new owners…it was heartbreaking to watch the previous owners pack up their heritage and history. In my own way, I felt their pain and I understood. When I ride my horse out into the fields around us here, and I sit quietly, closing my eyes, I can hear the distant teams of horses plowing the dirt that I am currently standing on,  I can hear the long ago voices of the past and I know it is my Grandfather and his brothers…the echos of my heritage come to life in my heart for a few moments in a brief time warp……

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This last week there are fires on the Owyhee that have burned 44,000 since a lightning storm moved through the area on July 2. The BLM reports as I write this, the fire is 50% contained and under control.

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Due to the dry conditions during the summer of 2012, a million acres or 1500 square miles, burned in Malheur and Harney Country, from dry fuel and dry lightning. This year 33 square miles have already burned from dry fuel and lightning. And new fires broke out Sunday night in a very remote rugged area. The drought has brought the Treasure Valley to a halt, which is unheard of as the irrigated farms around the valley were prosperous and raised incredible crops. We have miles and miles of dry land wheat acres here to support our farms…learning about irrigation from WB, as he grew up with it and knows it well, shook this dry Eastern Oregon Cowgirl up a bit as I had no idea that a mere farm of a 100 acres could do better than we could with 1000′s of acres! The drought of 2013 has placed both the farmers and ranchers in a precarious place, they need assistance, rain after rain storm and they need grazing land to feed their cattle, such as CRP, while the farmer need water to grow their crops.

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My heart goes out to them…and to the desperation they must feel. The ranching and farming families that work the land depend on God and the weather, are a tough bunch, they have lots of strength and moxie and I am praying that God gives them even more strength and moxie right now to hang on and keep going…remember them in your prayers. It is not an easy life to live, this cowboying, cattle ranching life we have lived…it’s a rough and tough life. It’s not an easy life for the farmers either, who break up the soil, planting a tiny little seed in the dirt, while praying and trusting hard for the right amount of rain and good weather to bring it to fruition. Working long hours from sun up to well after dark, farm families work together to bring in the crop, and often the farm wife is serving up a late harvest meal at 10:00 at night, due to a break down right at quitting time. Tired or not the repair had to be figured out and fixed, so harvest would not be delayed the next morning, before heading home for dinner. I remember doing dishes by hand, drying them and putting them back into the cupboard at midnight, before I went to bed, so I would be organized to cook an early breakfast four hours later for my family.

As I write this, our temp today is 90 degrees and has cooled off some, but the air conditioner is still on. Our cool weather will last over the weekend but not for long as we are to have another high pressure system move in by Sunday and hotter than normal temps will return…and where is the phone number for the air conditioner business who can install air for our room? I am not sure why the weather is changing so much…but it is. The patterns we are in currently, are not what I remember as a kid here and certainly not what WB remembers in Vale where he grew up. It will affect all of us one way or another as our food supply will drop and the price of groceries will rise due to lack of produce…and no the price does not go to the farmer.  The drought will destroy some of the family farms and ranches which to me, is very sad as these agricultural based families have been growing food to feed the nation for over a 100 years and now their land is drying up, their cattle can not survive, the irrigated row crops will begin to dwindle, if they haven’t already. Their lives and livelihood are at stake and times are tough, but if anyone can get through this, it is the American Farmer and the American Livestock Rancher. We do know how to dig deep…and carry on with determination and courage…and I applaud them!

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Tonight as we celebrate our great nation’s birthday, remember our military and their families…and pray for America! Enjoy the fireworks…we do not do that part as we have to be careful of fire here. Eat lots of good food, we do that part:) Enjoy the company of your family and friends! Together we stand one nation under God with liberty and justice for all! God Bless The United States of America!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      “The End Of Innocence”  By Don Henley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless America,
My home sweet home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeeping Evening

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

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

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