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.

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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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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!!!”

Blessings That Fill Your Heart With Gratitude

Blessings that fill your heart with gratitude are little miracles in themselves, bringing sunlight and glory to our days here on earth.

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Sometimes you have to look around to see the blessings in your life and other times they can be right in front of you!

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I thank God daily for my life as I watch the sunrise on a brand new day, full of God’s plans for my day and His breath of love on each one of us, for we are all His kids:)

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And at the end of each day I am always blessed with each beautiful sunset, filled with God’s golden glory…with a renewed hope for tomorrow.

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Growing up Mom had a newspaper clipping on our refrigerator for many years held by a magnet. The clipping stood on the truth of its words.

“Oh Lord, You have given me so much,

Give me one more thing, a grateful heart.”

Gratitude…remembering the incredible things we have been given. I still have the clipping in my bible…and had it on my refrigerator for several years until we bought a stainless steel refrigerator…then my magnet would not work, so it is tucked away in a safe place.

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I am thankful and more than grateful for the many blessings in my life. When things get bumpy on the road of my life, I try to focus on the good and positive blessings that God has given to me…so I often make a gratitude list to add to as life is ever changing…below is my current gratitude list…if I were to write them all…I would have a book to share with you:)

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1. I am thankful that I have the freedom to worship God.

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After traveling to the Middle East in the mid-90’s, I experienced many different ways of life and many diverse cultures. I loved seeing where Jesus walked..it was profoundly holy and spiritual to walk in His footsteps. I loved the Old City and seeing the diversity of people. Israel was beautiful to see…I was blessed to have had three weeks to travel, as there were so many historical sites to visit and experience. However, when my plane touched down at JFK, I made a beeline to a Burger King for an all American hamburger with the works! The next morning was surreal to wake up here in Juniper Canyon…the farmers were in full swing of wheat harvest. I remember thanking God that He decided I was to live here in America, it was so peaceful and quiet. We do not know how blessed we are to live in the USA!

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Jordan was ancient in the scenery and beautiful. I loved seeing the desert and Petra was my favorite.

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 Petra was incredible in how they carved it and designed it…it was one of those places that all you can do is take pictures and stand in awe. I also enjoyed having dinner with the Bedouins one evening in their tents. Kind and wonderful people to meet. Everyone I met on the tour was very nice. We began our tour in Damascus, Syria and I loved seeing Palmyra too….we did a day trip into Turkey and then on to Jordan and finally Israel…loved the Sea of Galilee, so peaceful and yes you do float on the Dead Sea and Masada was incredible too. I did ride a camel which was both fun and funny:)

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2. Thank you God for my hubby Wild Bill…my soul mate and my forever. We actually do fit together like a jigsaw puzzle made by God. He is the most thankful part of my life on earth and the best part is that we will be with each other forever into eternity and beyond:)

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3. I am grateful everyday that I am alive and living with good health! Having gone through a serious diagnosis puts a new spin on your life and you truly do see life in a different way….with a thankful heart:)

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4. I am grateful for my parents….who loved me and kept me forever. I know I will see them again. Both WB and I were lucky that we lived next door to them for 20 years, as we were able to help them and do things for them before they became ill….and when they did become ill, we were there 24/7  for them. We were able to support them, finding things to laugh about, long talks into the night, helping them through medical tests and the pain, taking them places and helping them maintain their dignity. I loved my Mom and Dad more than I can say.

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5. I know I am one of the most blessed women to live with always owning a horse….growing up on a large cattle ranch helped…so did having a Dad who was as horse crazy as I was! We always had horses….and we still do. I love the smell of horses, the sound of horses and the relationship one can have with horses and everything about them…they represent a part of life that is my history and heritage. God loves horses too!

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6. Minnie Mouse our kitty girl…almost 18 years old and so much a part of my heart and my life….our life. She has been with through losing three of our parents, cancer and various tough times, and she always gave us her love and lots of funny antics to make us laugh…she has been with us longer than any of our kids and she loves us…we love her and she is our kitty angel:) Blessed by God:)

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7. Living in the very house that I grew up in with my Mom and Dad….that my Grandpa who I never got to meet, built for his mother, my great-grandmother who I never got to meet.

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Living here in a 100 year old family house though, I feel that I do know them and carry the same beliefs and family heritage they passed on to us. A house full of memories, honor and gratitude.

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8. I am grateful that I have always lived in the country, away from the hustle and bustle. I love the quiet and peaceful life of country living here, but I miss the solitude that I grew up in when we summered at the mountain cattle ranch without telephones, electricity, water and no TV let alone radio signal. It was pure bliss to live in such a beautiful place in the Blue Mountains, riding my horse everyday moving cattle or checking cows with my Dad. Life was simpler and the world was different then. I am grateful for all the memories I have of that period in my life growing up.

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9. I am more than blessed to own my “Little Red Car”…WB surprised me as he said “For my redhead and my love, this is your car”. And we do belong to the “Little Red Car Club”.

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10. And for my forever horses, that I will never forget…as they are forever with you:)

Mostly what I want to give to you is this…

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Sometimes when we look out the window of life…we see life that is gray and stormy. It can be depressing, discouraging and tough to see the storms of life we are facing…that is when we plug into our gratitude list, that is filled with determined faith, full of both small and large blessings and the tough times we survived before…as we can’t give up or in, we gotta keep on a going.

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And as we “stand strong on our faith and hope”, life will get better again. The good in life, continues to battle it out, with the evil during our lives…as life will never be perfect until we get to heaven.

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And God has already won for us! No matter how dark it can look in our lives, never ever give up:)

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Wild Bill and I are celebrating the day we met 37 years ago on Valentines Day…February 14, 1976! The picture above was taken two years ago when WB and I were interviewed here in our shop Holton Secret Lab on TV. Notice who is cracking a joke at the end…I am sure we were all nervous and making a funny joke was all I could think of doing…I love to laugh:)

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Happy Valentines Day! My hubby surprised me with the beautiful red roses this morning:)  I wish you all a very special day or night where ever you are!

As a footnote: I am working on the many awards I have been given the last few months. I am terribly slow this time and I hope that all the award givers will not give up on me:) I so appreciate you thinking of me and this blog. Wild Bill had a second surgery December 26th on his shoulder that has taken a longer recovery…he is getting better and still has to take things slow for a few more weeks but he is doing well…he began PT this week:) That is part of the reason for being slow to post new awards and blog the last few months…but I am here and working on getting those awards passed on soon:) Hugs and Blessings:)

Ranch Lessons 102…Mud…Cows…Pooey!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Barn Cat” by Mary Ann Kennedy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surviving Storms Of Winter As Life Flows On.

Life flows on like a river, as winter takes hold of our lives in Juniper Canyon.

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Surviving the storms of winter can be tough if you are caught without warning…

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Life can change in the blink of an eye.

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And yet if we persevere with hope…our faith is strengthened in a deeper, stronger way.

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2012 ended with the physical pain of WB’s surgery and the emotional pain of loosing Kiah. Dealing with pain itself can be a life storm…a war that you fight for healing and the return to your normal life.

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Loosing our animal family members is equally hard, as truly our animals are part of us, part of our hearts and part of our humanity. I grab hold of my camera every second I can to capture the ever changing life around me…now if I can find the words to express my heart.

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I do know that we live life everyday, never knowing what each new day will bring…having “faith” to believe that no matter what it brings we will survive.

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God never planned for us to have a perfect life as He wants us to depend on Him.

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Each day the road is before us as we keep our focus and walk on. Life is full of adventure…hard times…exciting times…sad times…learning times, but mostly good times.

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Where ever you are I hope that tomorrow or today or tonight is blessed with perseverance that develops your hope which will deepen your faith…no matter your circumstances.

Morning Chores On The Juniper T With Fresh Snow And Artic Cold!

Last Sunday, on a typical Juniper Canyon morning the end of  December, we had fresh snow, loverly foggy views and crispy, cold, frigid temps!

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I was out and about doing the usual feeding chores for our dogs, cats and horse’s morning breakfast buffet, while loving on each one of them:) It’s really not a chore, more of a love fest for all my animal kids:)

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As I went out the garage door first, feeding our doggies was top on my list….Ms. Kiah got to eat her breakfast in the garage as she has so much energy she has no fat so she needs lots of calories to keep her weight on. Ms. Tuck and Mr. Dasher Masher both have to watch their figures…so they eat outside.

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Ok guys I’m a coming…hang tight…love you Ms. Mel and Mr. Buck:)

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But first I have to go through the hubbies massive shop and into the century old barn that I love…

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Then upstairs to check on Pat and Jack, our monster orange Lion Cats….and to get Annie’s hay for her breakfast…

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“Did someone say hay?”

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Annie’s horse condo…auto water set up….and hay feeder….cushy rubber mats….nice lights to see and safe…I need more sawdust on the next trip to town….she likes her stall and so does Pat the cat sitting behind the trough…and often Melody stays in the stall across from Annie. You can’t see it but we have a hay chute that feeds her hay from upstairs into her feeder….nice and clean.

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My winter round corral….resting and waiting.

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Annie is waiting too:)

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And, I’m sure she can hardly wait!

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Coming back through “Wild Bill’s” shop…this is one of our latest projects…very cool huh? Every time I see this pick up I hear “ZZ Top” playing “Sharp Dressed Man.”

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Tuck is waiting patiently for me to come out of the shop…

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So is Ms. Melody. She really likes her food…she enjoys every morsel:)

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And Buckaroo Buck looks rather dapper this morning…I’m hurrying guys…trying to not fall on my hind end as it is super slippery today!

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“Ahhhhh…finally…munch munch munch…I love my yummy nummies”. “Life is good again!”  “Wait, Mom, put that camera down…don’t take my picture when I am eating….geez…Buck will think I am being a piggy or something!!!”

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It is dang cold and dang foggy too…the fog can get on your nerves if it hangs for several days and every once in a while that happens as the fog drifts up Juniper Canyon from The Columbia River which is about 20 miles or less from us.

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“Wild Bill I hope you have the coffee on and ready….Good Morning Sunshine:)”

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Last Sunday in a freak accident, we lost our beloved Kiah. She ran to greet me when I was across the road yet feeding horses and she did not see the slow-moving vehicle in the fog. I will share more of her wonderful photos and life in a post soon…right now I have too many tears. She was so gallant, so brave and so loved.

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“I miss you Ms. Kiah…I will carry you forever in my heart. I will like you forever and love you for always. God Bless You My Kiah…My Yippee Ki Yi Yay.”

A Merry Christmas Morning Dawned And A Happy New Years 2013 Is Coming Up!

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A Merry Christmas Morning Dawned, Full Of Rainbow Colors, Playing Softly In The Early Morning Light,

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 As The Morning Sun Ignited The Blaze Of Radiance On Another Juniper Canyon Day.

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Santa Paws Had Left Minnie Mouse A Kitty Amusement To Scratch On, While Smelling The Catnip!

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I Loved The Reflection Of The Fiery Christmas Sky That Was Captured In My Window, It Made My Heart Smile!

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As My Minnie Girl Twirls Her Coat Of Many Colors, Full Of Catnip, With Minnie Mouse Style!

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And The “Christmas Son” Rose…

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Throwing Creative Shadows Across The Golden Land.

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While Minnie Played…Attacking Her New Toys…Still Munching On Her Yummy Catnip:)

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And Then Snow Began To Fall! Is It Really Snow???

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But, What Happened To The Beautiful Early Morning Blue Skies? Do You Know Ms. Ki?

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“Mom, I Think It Is Snowing…You Know It’s Christmas…It’s The Winter And Snowy Time Of Year. Only Our God Could Change Our Day From Sunny Blue Skies And Incredible Sunrises To A Snowy Christmas Day Just For Us!”

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And With That Said, “We At HRCG All Wish You A Merry Christmas Good Night And A Happy New Years Coming Up! 2013 Style!”

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