A Writers Life…

 

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A writers life is about those who write words from their heart….

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Words that tell our story…

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words that share our emotions and our drama…

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We can write words to the moon and back…

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And this writer loves to capture interesting shots of life with her camera…

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I strive for those pictures that tell the story without words…

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it’s my way of sharing…

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and describing what I hear…

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and what I see or experience…

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it’s a writer’s heart filled…

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with the life I see…

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Stay tuned….

 

 

 

 

Welcome To The Juniper Joust….

 

Welcome To The Juniper Joust In Juniper Canyon!

The Juniper Joust Rodeo was formed in the 1940’s by two like-minded neighbors and friends, my Dad and Fred Hill…who invited their friends to come out to Juniper Canyon to the ranch for a fun rodeo play day….you can click on the photos and they will enlarge!


Horseback games, like the boot race and musical ropes, figure eight race, pole bending and barrel racing, along with lots of visiting, lots of good eating and lots of good times!  Not only were they making memories out here in Juniper Canyon…they were making history and heritage to pass on.

And they did, as the Juniper Joust was born before I was born, and here I am all these years later, sharing the stories and memories of two great friends living the cowboy life in the mid 1940’s.

Can you believe a local rodeo began across from our house…in the middle of my horse pasture?

Yet, here is the proof, it’s rodeo day and people were showing up…some of them rode their horses out from Pendleton to the rodeo…about 20 miles away…while some trailered their horses to the ranch. Our house is on the very far right of the photo, you can see just a small corner of it…note the dirt/gravel road…no paved road in those days!

The Juniper Joust program above dated April 28, 1946, included the Mustanger’s (Saddle Club) as joint sponsors with the Joust…I’m not sure how many years the Juniper Joust continued…

I would love to go back in time to see the rodeo across from our house…right there where Buck is munching away…

The day before the rodeo, the cooking crew dug a b-q pit in the ground to cook a whole beef…they had 200-300 people show up for the rodeo and lunch…its amazing no one from the cooking crew fell into the pit, with the beef, from some stories I was told!

Old days and good times were had by all, eating mouth-watering b-q beef on a bun with barbecue sauce for lunch and visiting…the old way of relationship and connection that we have lost today, which makes me sad…I miss those old days!

My beautiful classy Mom, with her long hair up in braids, wearing her well known smile!

And my Dad roping on “Jingo” at the rodeo…

I’m not sure if they are doing the stake race or the bending race…

Old-time stories are still here, with the good times of community and family coming together. Above photo was taken in the early 60’s in Dad’s roping arena, my Dad is on the far left, my uncles and his brothers Tom, Jens, Ralph in the back row and brother Ron far left on the bottom, cousins Gerald and Steve, with Ron’s twin brother Rich. My two younger cousins, Steve and Gunder were with their Dad, Uncle Ralph.


The old roping arena is still here today…its gone through many stages from roping to barrel racing to working cattle to training young horses and adding a round corral a few years back…

Between cowboy stories…

Hot Rods with cool horsepower…

History and heritage with horses and cows…

 How can you ever be bored out here in the North Country or as we call it Juniper Canyon!

Happy Thanksgiving From…

Hot Rod Cowgirl and Her Gang!

Our “1859” Magazine Interview…Yee-Haw!

HRCG along with my hubby, Wild Bill, and our business Holton Secret Lab are featured in the current issue of the Oregon magazine “1859” which is a national magazine I might add!

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You can click on the photo and the article to enlarge them:)

Do you recall my July 28th blog this summer when I mentioned doing a photo shoot here with harvest trucks running back and forth in front of our house…and the county doing a chip seal?

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Ok good, I’m glad you are following me..as here we are:) I love the article and the photo rocks too.

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http://gwenshoemaker.com/

Thank you to Gwen Shoemaker and your right hand man Brent, for the incredible photo shoot.

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http://www.vanessasalvia.com/

Thank you to Vanessa Salvia  for your amazing words that fit our life and who we are!

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https://www.1859oregonmagazine.com/

Thank you “1859” for the interview…we hope you all enjoyed visiting our “Secret Lab!”

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 And speaking of that “1970 SS Chevelle”…ya know the one that I mean…if not then read the article above!

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The “1970 SS Chevelle” With A Stock 454/360 Horsepower Engine…

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The finished “1970 SS Chevelle” With A Ramped Up 454/570 Horsepower Engine…Built By HSL.

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HSL performed a full frame off rotisserie restoration on this incredible SS Chevelle…I love this car!

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Zooomm Zoom!

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www.holtonsecretlab.com

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Wherever you may be I’m wishing you a Marvelous Magical Monday followed by a Totally Terrific Tuesday!

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Ellie and HRCG over and out for now but not for long:)

Hot Time Summer In The City…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Hot Rod Part Of Hot Rod Cowgirl!

The Hot Rod Part Of Hot Rod Cowgirl Is Still Rocking On!!!!!!

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I know I know…as usual I have been running like a crazy country girl here…

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Don’t give up on me, as yeah I’m here…me and Ellie have been reading all your blogs:)

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I have had a huge writers cramp this last year since we lost our sweet Minnie…it has been tough guys…she was our sweet kitty girl and she loved this time of year! My heart misses her so much…and my writers stuckness comes and goes with many tears…

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Do you remember last summer I posted about shooting three different videos out here at the ranch?

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 Each video showcases one of our customer vehicles, that my hubby “Wild Bill” restored and built.

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The videos took blood, sweat and tears with a few cuss words…and now they are live on YouTube!

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Each one is pretty cool…and yes the red 1955 T-Bird is mine!

Click on the link below…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&list=PLgWC_O0X97CJKQjdi9eoZ0lYUhnRZqkb3&v=jujdBm5Z0AI#t=0

Turn up the sound…enjoy!

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The first video is of this incredible 1933 Ford Roadster…

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The second video is this sweet black 1930 Ford Tudor….

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And lastly, the video of the 1935 Dodge Pick Up, with the before video and the after video. I love this truck, it is incredible!

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So now ya know…when you do not see me consistently…

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It is due to life at the “Secret Lab”….

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HRCG and Ellie over and out for now but never for long…

Time Has Come Today

“Time Has Come Today” drifts in and out of my mind as I fall into a time warp…I’m listening to music that wrapped itself around my life and my heart during my high school years…Gloria…The Rapper…Wild Thing…Time Has Come Today…tunes that take me back to old times…and old memories.

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I’m not sure why I am writing about the 1960’s and 1970’s…the words tumble out as I write and the memories come back fresh as new. I was an impressionable cowgirl at heart, who loved her parents, loved her horses, loved her family and loved her country, during a time in life when our world was in turmoil.

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America was at war in a foreign land called Vietnam and yet also with itself in many ways. It was a time of fear, rage, war, confusion and changes that had never occurred on American soil in our lifetime…it was a crazy time in American History to grow up in, as the world was upside down…life was precarious and America was changed forever.

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American youth did not know what to make of going to war, let alone a draft number. If your draft number was chosen, it was ultimately scary as you had no choice but to go…we could not vote but we were sent to fight a war in a foreign land that we did not understand. We could shoot and kill the enemy…only to be shot down ourselves with enemy fire…coming home…dead in a box…none of us understood what war hell was and we did not know what to do.

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Many of us, like myself, supported my parents generation and World War II, I had heard the stories and seen the reels of American war history play out in US history classes. I had uncles who fought in Normandy as well as D Day and Pearl Harbor…and I knew friends and cousins who either enlisted to go to Vietnam or had their number called in the draft to go to war.

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Growing up in a very small community…I went to a small school that included all 12 grades with the same 8-12 kids in my class…we were close as our small classes felt more like family, and some were as I had cousins in every grade when I was in school, all the way through! My class it seemed had the luck of the draw, as we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the 1960’s.

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We began High School in 1967…we had hopes, dreams and plans for our future. Our biggest fear was Freshman Initiation…and that was a very scary deal! Our initiation lasted for a week…my Junior initiator, (eventually became my boyfriend, he was lucky as we did not have many boys to choose from), chose for me to be King Kong (did I say real lucky) on the first day which entailed having brown grease paint smeared on my face and on every part of my skin that showed…I had to wear a dark brown sweatshirt with dark brown tights…and they put gunk in my long red hair! It was a crazy week as each day was different…one of the days we had to roll a jelly bean across the floor during noon hour blind folded so the entire high school could watch us! The last night, which was Friday night, we were blind folded and one at a time we had a dozen eggs cracked over our heads in front of the entire student body and faculty…as the night wore on after the eggs, we had to crawl around outside on the grass and be blasted with cold water…it was part of tradition…it was part of the deal!

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Life was intense back then, but we stood together as a nation, one nation under God, indivisible with justice and liberty for all. We had Vietnam and rebelling against society…I was a rebel without a clue, and I was not very good at that thing called rebelling. I did not know anything, except that life was changing. I knew there was a horrible war overseas that we had never heard of called “Vietnam”…and we could not vote in an American election until we were 21 years old. Many young men and women went to “Nam”and did not come home…and I wondered, “Why can’t we vote?”

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As I walked in the door after school each day, I heard David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite reporting how many casualties we had in Vietnam today…how many young American men and women died…showing graphic images of war that was very real…and terrorizing! Our American youth were dying in a foreign country and we could not vote in America until we were 21 years old…yet we could be drafted to fight in a war we had never heard of. It scared me as I knew some of those who enlisted or were drafted…it was incomprehensible in my mind that so many young Americans were being killed. As the daily TV news reported and played the photo journalists video with their daily shots of the life and war…we saw deeply traumatizing photos of people, children and old people fleeing the war while being shot down…nightly news was war hell and it gripped your heart deeply.

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I was safely locked up on a cattle ranch….(thankfully) for my own good! I listened to Wolfman Jack if I could pick him up at night…we did not have electricity or running water…we had one portable AM  transistor radio that could pick up stuff at night sometimes…(we did not have FM back then or satellite)…I can still hear it crackling, fading in and out. And if I couldn’t get Wolfman that night, then Dad had Ira Blue coming in and out all night…and Mom lived between her 16-year-old daughter who now fashioned herself as a cowgirl hippie and her husband who was John Wayne and keeping an eye on his only daughter with a grrrrrr!

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I did not turn against my country and I never turned against my parents or my family. Mom and Dad and I could always talk even if we were all a bit perturbed…we did not yell at each other…we would not talk until we cooled down and then we would talk and seek to resolve the problem. I am sure that the late 1960’s and 1970’s put my parents to the test at times with all my questions. I am a seeker as I want to know everything, the facts and the why, what, when and where or explore the hows and whys in order to find a solution…and ultimately understand the reasons.

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America had subtle signs back in the 1960’s and early 1970’s…but no one thought America would turn on itself

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We lived through President John Fitzgerald Kennedy being assassinated, I was in grade school and his public death was the first time I saw death. I worried why this happened…as America is safe right? But our President was shot in cold blood so how could America be safe? Our nation grieved deeply…we were a nation in deep mourning and shock.

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We cried when we saw a young first lady with her young children mourn the loss of their husband and father…we as a nation could not make much sense of how it all happened…but we as a nation stood tightly together…we knew we were now on a new road.

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Vice President Lyndon Johnson took President Kennedy’s place, as our nation was thrown into turmoil…he became our President during one of the most confusing times in history…riots, war hell, American lives taken and America itself was at war with it itself…nothing was sacred anymore!

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Five years later, the shocking assassination of Martin Luther King on April 4th, 1968…I was with my boyfriend at the time and we both heard it at school as we walked to the library after school…I was working on a historical debate! We were shocked…another assassination…and why? During my debate the next week, I spoke out as we grieved another loss of life…and two months later Robert Francis Kennedy was shot dead June 6th, 1968…he had visited our small town a month earlier and enjoyed breakfast with locals that I knew. I had followed him in my government class  and I was supporting him.

On June 6th I was spending the night with girl friends, school was out and we were celebrating…my freshman year was behind me, and I was about to ditch my glasses as I was getting contact lens…whoo-hoo!

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It was close to midnight when we heard their Mom let out a sound that was not right…we ran to see what was wrong and stood speechless as we watched RFK being shot down and the life and hope go out of him. He was a family man with kids…this cannot be happening again…no way…is nothing sacred anymore? And Vietnam raged on as now America was at war with itself!

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President Johnson tried to do right, but gave up after 5 years in office in 1968…and we elected a new president.

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President Richard Nixon took office as Johnson headed home to Texas. Nixon was a family man who was respectful…he wanted to end the Vietnam war, bringing home our troops…and from the get go, he sought to do just that.

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Nixon began withdrawing troops out of North and South Vietnam. America had a glimmer of hope and then…Kent State riots and shootings happened on May 4th, 1970…it was the end of my Junior year in high school. Mr. Keller who taught our government class, found a small black and white television for us to watch the riots and history, live, unfolding before our eyes. Four students lost their lives that day at Kent State, two of which were not involved in the riots…when the shooting stopped, many more students lay injured.

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 In 1973 Nixon signed the Paris Peace Accords, which basically ended US involvement in the Vietnam war and the protests in America came to a formal end. However, the memories of Vietnam and Kent State echo in American culture and U.S. society…and they yet echo in my mind and my heart.

As peace was slowly restored to our nation, something called Watergate was in the news for months…wire tapping and spying…what is that and what is happening…it sounds like a Mission Impossible episode! “What did you say? Nixon is in on it too, as well as his cabinet and top aides? Water what?” Sounds bad…and yes it was.

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President Richard Nixon resigned August 8th, 1974…I was nine months pregnant at cow camp in the mountains, with Dad’s black and white TV hooked up to antennas on top of trees and up on top of mountains so we could watch the world news.

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I remember holding my bulging belly watching as Nixon resigned and I thought “WHAT?!” A month later on September 8th, 1974, President Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon…and I delivered a son.

Life was not rosy in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but America still had dignity and respect…morals and values…with civility…honor and regard for our fellow-man. We grew up being taught to value and respect our parents and elders…even if you had to go scream in a pillow! And, yes I did that too, all of us did back then! We were taught to honor the lives of our elders and parents with value and respect for the sacrifices they made for us…and that is why young people who “could not vote” went to Vietnam to fight for our country…to fight with dignity and honor for America…to fight for us!

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America as I knew it, evolved into our present America…which is nothing like it was when I grew up in the 1950’s – 1970’s. It saddens my heart as I know we can never go back to the good old days. Life has changed and the world we once knew is now American History…and those of us who are still here…well, we try to remember the good times and the bad times…with dignity and respect for the price our fellow Americans paid for us to live…and to be free…and we move on.

I hope that the United States brings back American History and American Government to our schools…we have had several young employees who have never heard of Pearl Harbor. It makes me ill and sickened that our youth today are not being taught the old ways…the ways that bring gratitude, respect and appreciation for those who went before us…those that paid the price for our lives, giving us freedom and respect. My parents taught me, if you choose it, it is your choice and you will suffer the good or the bad…you made your choice, go lie in your bed. Yep…that was how I was taught and learned from my parents and from my aunts and uncles…that is an honorable life…and we honor our history and our heritage with respect, honor, love, civility and love….

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Do I support our troops….you bet….Amen! I respect those who fight for our freedom and stand firmly for America!

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I will forever stand with our troops and with God for America. I am a 100% born in America American and I will fight for our lives…I will stand firmly!

Springing Into Springummer With A Wide Angle View!

Springing into springummer with a wide-angle view of life…

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We must be in a time warp as it feels like early May here! Today it was 67 degrees in Juniper Canyon…my trees have budded out and our grass is green!

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Crazy weather has changed so much from when I was growing up here.

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I’m not complaining as I like the warmer days with my new WIDE angle perception and view of life…hmmmm?

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WB wanted me to have a wider perception on life so he bought a new lens for my camera!!! I am so excited to go out and play with it! It will be perfect for landscapes…the skies are clearing, green grass is a growing like crazy each weird warm day…stay tuned!

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Better watch out I may show up clicking a few of You!

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“Smile Ellie Belle…Gotcha!”

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