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:)

An Ethereal Mist Of Snow Falls Gently

An ethereal mist of snow falls gently to the ground with a muffled hush…

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As the landscape becomes a unity of white.

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That brings me delight!

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As I tuck myself in…and God Night:)

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!!!!!

Spaghetti Sauce And Life!

Spaghetti sauce and life!

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What a weird combination for a blog entry…but it is so me!

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I was adding a dab of this and a dab of that as I made our families secret spaghetti sauce…and I had one of those flash bulb epiphanies about life.

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How we choose to live our individual life with a few dabs of this and a few dabs of that, makes us unique individuals…that is how my spaghetti sauce is made…full of dabs of this and dabs of that!

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How we live our life…and we do what works best. And in my case…horses…cats…dogs…cooking…our business….my photography and writing etc. as it will work with our love and our forever commitment.

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I learned to cook from my Mom who was a ranchers wife and always lived out in the middle of nowhere…and me too…I have never had the experience of living in a city…my grocery store has always been 20 miles away and a few times 40 to a 100 miles away…all of them one way…so you make do and you add a bit of this and a bit of that…and pray hard that it turns out ok:)

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Isn’t that life? We do life and we fail and we try harder and we stumble, we get back up and shake off the dust…and focus and on we go.

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Is there a set pattern we can give to others? I hope so as I have been very open with my “not perfect life”

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Each of us has been designed and made by God and here is another epiphany…God does not make mistakes.

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If we live our life differently, in our own unique way, like my spaghetti sauce, we will learn what works and what doesn’t.

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My life is in the country making do with what I have on hand as town is too far away…and my spaghetti sauce turns out perfecta!

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May you be blessed this new week in February…as a month from now we will be closer to Spring:)

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Yee-Haw, Spring is coming! Over and Out from HRCG

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!

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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Winters Lock…Writers Block…Winter Mocks…Writers Rock!

I am late posting my post, which was written Thursday, the 21st, in middle of the night…well actually early early morning:)

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Winter winds are ripping…blowing up the canyon with a 15 degree windchill…ugh!

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I worry about loosing power…I can NOT believe it is so cold tonight on the second night or morning of spring! Our house sleeps snuggled down in the wild west winter storm, except for me and why I am up in the middle of the dang night? Lately I have had a case of writers block, so I am doing a writing exercise right now, except I should be doing it with pen and three blank pages of paper…but my feet are cold and I am snuggled down under a pile of plush, cuddly warm quilts and it is cold and the paper I need is in another room…sometime today I am going to put pen to paper and finger to pen…hopefully with my brain fully engaged in fancy creative thoughts to write words of wonder!

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I read tonight that we begin to lose our ability to write and create our written communication at school age…I agree. We are born to write and we are born with very active imaginations, however,  life crowds in with perfection…then judgement…and no, you must stick to the point…you are wandering all over the subject…no no no, your punctuation is terrible and quite embarrassing…pretty soon we lose our style…our flair…our ability to create interesting stories full of life and possibilities. Our ability to believe in the IMPOSSIBLE is nowhere to be found!

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 Well to that I say, “Why not…THE IMPOSSIBLE IS POSSIBLE…believe it and it will happen…visualize it and dream it…live it and breathe it in and out…yes it is possible to have all that we hope for! Never ever give up your imaginations and your ideas…when it comes to writing, no idea is stupid…and every thought of make believe is believable in our writing…it’s like playing dress up when we dressed in Mommy’s dresses and make up to pretend we were a glamorous movie star…or we played make believe as The Lone Ranger…Hi-Ho Silver and Flicka!”

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Ooops, I was drifting off the subject of Mr. Winter! Hey, Mr. Winter Winds…go back to the North Pole please…Antarctica…yep…sorry but somehow you have a bit of forgetfulness…I know we all do anymore as the course of the seasons whiz by us so fast, who can keep up but…seriously though…it is Lady Spring’s turn to play…you had your chance Mr. Big Chill and instead of doing your winter thing like you could have, you missed the boat…and I know you are stuck in the ice of regret but lets not use excuses about ourselves…if you are stuck Mr. Winter then, what can you do about it…what? No, it’s your problem and issue to solve…I am busy planning Ms. Spring’s Season so go away.

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How am I doing? “Who me?”

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“No, ding dong…Mom is talking about her…oh what I have to put up with since I am the cat who knows where it is at…plus Mom woke me up too!”

Mr. Winter Winds, between your winter winds howling with Winters Block? I have the solution for you…grab an icicle and three sheets of ice and begin to write…now go get busy so we can break this Winters Writers Block and have a Block Party! We can have Jack Frost come over to slide some music around so we can slip, slide and boogie down…with Margaritas on ice…I mean rocks…ah, no blocks…or how about a Mojito anyone? You are so icy anyway….

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Ok, back to my writing exercise…what else do I hear…the wind…my email blurping…”Calling HRCG this is Ms. Spring…I want to introduce myself but Mr. Winter has his icy rear end in my way…I am trying my hardest to shatter and break up his fun so that we can welcome you and all your readers to a nice block party.”

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Cool idea to end Winter’s Follies for this year:) HRCG over and out…headed to the Block Party…see ya there!

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As a footnote…”Mr. Winter” has settled back down some…we still have the heat on but the icy grip of winter has now melted and we have green hope showing in the fields and life!

Seasons Of Weather On The Land And Spring Fun!

Seasons of weather on the land and the hints of spring fun are coming! I love this time of year, as over the years of living my life on the land, I have gained the understanding of faith, hard work and the importance of being a good steward of the land.

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I notice the seasons more vividly as you depend on them for the health of the land and often you are outside in the elements of weather everyday. Maybe it’s driving to your job 30 miles away in town or maybe you are blessed instead to be out on top of the hills gathering cattle…or farming round and round on a tractor.

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Being in the middle of nature’s elements, you feel the weather on your face with each passing storm, while watching the seasons slowly change.

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From long winter days cloaked in gray fog as you wait and hope for a good wheat crop, growing under the obscure ashen gloom that covers the land from your sight.

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Finally the first breath of spring air comes, blowing off winter’s gray coat, revealing your hard work…your faith has been rewarded, with a beautiful green wheat crop underneath…

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The miracle of life, with that one tiny seed of grain the farmer plants in faith, months before…has grown into a harvest bushel full of wheat.

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Which also means with the changing seasons I will be doing the part that makes me Hot Rod

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Cowgirl…and yes I love the cool cars my hubby WB builds:)

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But, I will always be a cowgirl through and through that loves my horses and the life of a cowgirl…I do admit it is fun to drive the ba-bump-a-boom sounding cars WB builds, with the deep throaty sound of horsepower and a healthy cam:)

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Seasons are a changing…March can be crazy and wild!

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Minnie will be putting away her “Cat Operas” for the year as she will instead be watching out the windows and smelling smells through the screens of spring and then summer…already we have the nightly serenade sounds of crickets in the creek close to the house and lots of robins, doves, quail and various colored birds are flying about to her enjoyment:)

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Hang on…as soon…

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Faster than a speeding bullet…

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Blasting off like a rocket! No silly…not the jet above…

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“Its Lola!” She’s out of winter hibernation and on the road again:):):)

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Lola’s my speeding bullet…”Lola’s my baby:)”

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“Classic…Fast…Built From Days Of Old…” When they still knew how to build real cars…out of steel and real leather interiors and actual horsepower:)

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Beautiful skies above and our little red car below…

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Lola! La La La Lola…Love you Lola!

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Springs a coming….sooooon:)

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Hang on here we go!

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As reported from “The Life Of Hot Rod Cowgirl living in the Wild West!!!”

Ranch Lessons 102…Mud…Cows…Pooey!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Barn Cat” by Mary Ann Kennedy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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