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….

 

 

 

 

Every Once In A While….

You hear a song or a sound that takes you back in time…maybe its a visual image that takes you back to the memories you hold dear in your heart…

Not long ago, I was looking out my kitchen window…

doing lunch dishes and I saw a pick up and stock trailer go by…

Wondered who it was and if they were moving cows…

And then I saw something big come around what we call the big corner, about a half of mile from our house, and another something big followed it around the corner and another and another and another…five semi cattle trucks!

Oh be still my heart…

I was immediately transported back in time…old memories of cattle trucks on their way here, either delivering cows or picking them up…and I so miss it!

I have not seen five cattle trucks come rumbling around that corner since the old Juniper T days when my dad and his brothers ran 800 head of Black Angus mama cows…and it took my mind back to old sounds and good memories…

When I lived on the winter cattle ranch…as June 1st dawned, the first truck came over the first hill with full lights on and dip down into the next hill while the second truck bobbed into sight on the first hill and so on until they all lined up in front of my house.

Lined up and ready to load in the early morning dawn, as one by one they left loaded full of cows, heading for the summer range in the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon…

I grew up in those mountains gathering cattle with my dad and also on the winter ranch. We had around 25,000 acres on each ranch…the last summer we were on the big ranch was 1979. In 1980 we began raising 200 head of steers on mountain pasture that we kept until 1992.

That’s when Wild Bill and I hired out to manage cattle ranches with many an adventure on the two large cattle ranches we managed…going from Central Oregon, 35 miles out of Prineville, on the Crooked River. close to Post, Oregon. Draw an X through Oregon and the middle of it is Post, Oregon….post office, store and bar.

And then on to Pinedale, Wyoming where we ran cattle on the high desert close to South Pass during spring months and then moved them to the summer range up behind Yellowstone.

I was one lucky cowgirl that I was an only child as Dad took me everywhere with him to work cows, gather cows, salt cows, fence and develop mountain springs…we often traveled 20 to 30 miles horseback gathering cattle and moving them to new pastures all summer long…we would leave at first light, with frosty dew still on the ground, riding out a few crow hops to wake us up and return home at dusk…horses were tired and we were tired…mom was waiting with a hot meal and a hug…it was a life not many know.

We lived on the outside of civilization…no electricity, no telephone, no people, no TV or radio, no newspapers or mail delivered, no running water…our life was simple. During the busy times, we had lots of help with dad’s family, my uncles and cousins would come to help gather cows or in the early years help fence those 25,000 acres as it was not fenced…the first ten years dad had a fencing crew busy fencing, while we rode for cows…I think we had the better deal:)

I miss riding and gathering cows with my dad and our dogs, the one in the picture is Blue…Dad’s on Bucky, she was one of my high school horses and she loved to crow hop first thing…then she settled and all was fine. Every day we had a new adventure riding out early to check cows and babies, making sure the springs were all working and moving cattle to new areas with better grass…we both loved the cattle and the horses…our hearts beat the same with the cowboy life, loving what we were doing!

Seeing those cattle trucks brought tears to my heart as I remembered the old days…where time stands still.

I watched each truck drive by the ranch…disappearing down the canyon…as those old memories flashed in my mind.

I wanted to walk down to the barn and see the brand inspector, the cattle buyer, if we were selling and most importantly my dad…waiting on me to grab my horse, to help him sort cows.

By the time we had kids, the big cattle ranch I grew up on was gone…unfortunately, our kids did not learn to ride horseback or to gather cattle on the mountain or winter ranch.

Funny how those trucks took me back to old times…back to good memories…how I remember and how I miss it…be still my heart!

Now where is my kleenex! Darn It!

In A Nano Second, A Blink Of Life Evaporates…

In a nano second, a blink of life evaporates…

as it trickles through the hourglass of time.

Sunday dawned a typical day for us..

Wild Bill and I had a list of stuff we wanted to do around the ranch…weekends are our only time to catch up on ranch stuff since we run the shop Monday through Friday…

Summers here are my time to shine outdoors….I love working in the yard, watering, spraying weeds and planting more and more flowers…as well as messing with my horses and of course my camera:)

I love being outdoors every chance I get, carrying my camera along to grab photos during magic time light…

Early Sunday afternoon we were formulating our plan of attack, when I noted I felt light headed…and I noticed life around me was spinning out of control…

I told WB that something was wrong and I needed to sit down…aa I sat, I grabbed pictures of our very loved dogs:) From the far left Dasher, the only boy…then Dottie, Fly Bear and Ellie Belle. Fly and Ellie are full sisters…a year a part. We love our dogs, they are protective, ferocious and loyal…and lots of fun…so full of love for us, as we are their family..and they are ours too!

As much as I tried to shrug it off, I felt sick to my stomach…breaking into a clammy sweat, WB called for help as he thought I was having a heart attack or a stroke.

The paramedics arrived shortly and each one of them took extremely good care of me and also took good care of WB. Once Life Flight landed down at the end of our horse arena, I was loaded into the helicopter, WB was already on the road to the hospital to meet us when we landed. My biggest grief was that the dogs did not know what happened and were scared…I tried to get them in the helicopter with me but…that was not gonna fly so to speak!

The rest is history…lots of tests and luckily for me it was not a heart attack or stroke…instead I was diagnosed with severe vertigo. I saw my Dr. Monday morning, she noted how severe the vertigo was and again she thought I was having a cerebral stroke. She sent me back to the ER for another MRI and more tests, it was vertigo but an intense vertigo…it began Sunday afternoon and as of today it is still going…life continues to spin and I am hanging on tight.

I am very thankful it was not a heart attack or stroke…and very thankful for my Dr., our paramedics, the doctors and nurses who took care of us. And all of our sweet dogs are fine too…just glad to have us home. Ellie is glued to my side:)

As life slowly trickles through the hands of time…

it trickles with prayers of thanksgiving for my life!

“Gwen Shoemaker captured the professional photos of us and Ellie…

 With Lola, our red 1955 Ford T-Bird for our article in the Oregon magazine “1859.”

May you be blessed with a wonderful weekend! As always…Ellie and I will be back…so hang on!

 

 

God Bless Small Town America…God Bless Their Native Son!

Last weekend, we traveled to a small community to attend the funeral of a young man who died too young.

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The graveside service was packed with all ages of the community where he was born and raised…

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They came to pay their respects and to remember this bright young man, who touched their lives with his can do spirit, his fight and determination to live and his heart of gold.

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He was an intense part of their lives, as he belonged to the community and they claimed him as theirs, with open hearts of love and compassion for his family and for those of us who knew him.

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In a time when America is struggling with civility, honor and respect for their fellow-man, we stood together as a community, remembering and sharing our thoughts while we celebrated his young life.

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America whispered hope to me that somber day…there’s still places in America where people are united with honor, truth, civility and respect with Almighty God involved in their lives!

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We are one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

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I saw it first hand in the heart of a small community burying its young and I saw it in the eyes of my fellow Americans, as we struggled to understand why his young life was cut short.

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As we came together that day, no one said anything about republicans or democrats or Obama or Trump or war or retaliation. Instead we stood together, like Americans do, when we’re faced with something we do not understand.

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I pray and hope this young man’s family knows how much they’re loved and their son, grandson, brother, uncle, brother in-law, best friend and friend was very much loved…as we grieve with them.

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God Bless Small Town America…God Bless Their Native Son!

Moments Of Sometimes…

Moments of sometimes…moments of life slipping by…moments where time stands still…moments of life…(written almost four weeks ago)

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The last few days my mother in law has been fighting for her life…

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We wait and hope….pray and know that God is watching over her.

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We don’t know what tomorrow may bring…but we know that today, life is precious and Mom’s life means the world to our family…

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Mom Holton not only became my mom in-law, she became my friend. She taught me how to make spaghetti sauce and how to cook calf fries! She was a special lady with a heart of gold…she was a walking life-book to me and I loved that!

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We celebrated our 25th anniversary in Hawaii with my sister in law’s family and my in-laws. The last time Dad Holton was in Hawaii was a few days after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

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We made special memories with Dad (he is on the right) on that trip, seeing Pearl Harbor through his eyes was bittersweet, as we listened to his recollections of what he saw and what he experienced…

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Mom joined Dad Holton in heaven October 23, 2016 with a big celebration to welcome her home. God gave me an image of Dad reaching for Mom’s hand as she stepped into heaven and they began to dance to 40’s music! They loved to dance and I was told they knew how to cut a rug!

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I have learned that time is fleeting…life is in the moment and if you miss that moment…I am sorry for you.

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Time is much shorter than any of us realize whether you are young or old.

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Death knows no age limits…life is precious as every second of time and every memory is eternal…don’t miss it!

To Everything…Turn Turn Turn!

There is a season, turn, turn, turn…

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And a time to every purpose under heaven!

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A time to be born,

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A time to die…

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A time to plant,

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A time to reap…

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A time to kill,

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A time to heal…

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A time to laugh,

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A time to weep…

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To everything, turn, turn, turn…

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Stay tuned…much more to come…

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Three more verses with photos synced to “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by “The Byrd’s.”

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 “Pat the cat also likes the Byrd’s…I mean the Bird’s!”

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HRCG is over and out with a swish of a very well known tail…my sweet Melody:)

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Along with my Aussie’s sweet picture! I love my girl!

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Have a wonderful “Fall” wherever you may be!

Fragile Seconds Between Life And Death….

A few weeks ago we were on the way home from Seattle, WA. on a fast and furious Sunday. We delivered a customer vehicle to its owner that morning…

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WB, Ellie and I got up super early in the wee morning hours and hit the trail to Seattle, WA. which for us is I-82 to I-90…about 200 miles, one way.

We were excited to deliver the outrageous, flashy red “69” Barracuda back to her owner, he was so excited to see his girl and drive her again! It was a joy to me to meet the owner and his lovely wife…and also their friends who had seen them through the Barracuda frame off restoration.

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After unloading the Barracuda we went in search of a gas station that sold diesel…when we tow our triple axle 30′ car trailer with our crew cab dually, we are the same length as a semi truck and trailer…it’s hard to maneuver in tight places, which would be gas stations with lots of small cars running in and out, cutting you off.

All the delays we experienced on that Sunday morning, were a blessing, as the delays kept us safe.

We got back on I-90 about 11:50am….traffic was heavy but we were getting through it and closer to Ellensburg, WA. where we hoped the heavier traffic would disappear as we turned towards Yakima.

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It was about 12:45 pm and I turned to check Ellie to make sure she was doing ok and then I heard WB say “HANG ON!!!”

I turned and saw several cars and pick ups crashing and one going backwards in front of us…no warning or time to react, it all happened so fast!

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By God’s grace, WB was able to get us stopped, our empty car trailer has a weight of 6000 pounds. That’s a heavy load on the hitch and that weight pushes against us in stopping quickly…the trailer tires were ruined but we were stopped and alive! If we had a car in the trailer, adding more hitch weight on us, we may not have been able to get stopped.

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Directly in front of us was a small white SUV…and then the massive wreck. You can see our pick up and trailer with our name on it and the small white SUV right behind the Washington Department Of Transportation truck. As soon as WB got us stopped…we both watched our side mirrors wondering if we would also get hit from behind or the sides. We had lots of smaller cars behind us that got stopped but were sitting  kittywampus or crooked, as well as RV’s and pick ups with boats…all miracles in that they were able to stop without warning like us.

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Once we saw it was safe to get out, and no one was going to crash into us…WB grabbed our first aid kit and told me to sit tight with Ellie and pray…and I prayed and prayed hard.

The driver of the small white SUV that separated us from the wreck, told us later that he, his wife and two daughters were on vacation from Georgia, he told us”by God’s intervention, we got stopped behind him, as all he could see in his mirror was our big rig and he knew if we hit them it would not be good.” WB was ready to drive us off into the median to avoid hitting him or anyone and we agreed, God was there that day in all our lives!

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As  a grateful cancer survivor, I know life is lived right now and in the moment…I truly appreciate it! We never know what today will bring to our lives…life is sacred with each breath we take!

My heart goes out to all the injured and their families…one passenger was gravely hurt, they did cpr for over an hour, unfortunately they did not survive. Those who had serious injuries went to the hospital once the medics arrived.

Traffic was backed up behind us 22 miles on I-90, as the freeway was closed for several hours. After three hours of waiting, they opened a single lane of freeway up so that we all could head for home.

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I took the photos above and below when we got home that Sunday evening. No storm or rain and yet, the double rainbow lasted for several minutes. I felt it was God letting me know He was protecting us and He also had those who stepped into His arms in heaven.

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We continue to pray for all of those who were involved in the wreck, the families of those who did not make it and also to those who did. I give thanks for those who helped, performing first aid until the paramedics arrived and to the nurse who stopped her vehicle in the opposite lanes and came to help. God bless all of you…I pray healing on all your lives.

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And to my husband who was in control of our truck and trailer, he got us stopped safely, and then he went to help those directly involved. He has always been my White Knight and yup he still is!

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I love you WB:)

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Praying that you will be blessed wherever you are…wishing you a peaceful weekend! Your lives are precious…HRCG is over and out for now but hang on, I will be back!

Fire In The Skies!

Fire in the skies…smoke in my eyes here in Juniper Canyon as

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Wildfires are burning thousands of acres in the Blue Mountains, making the last week  intense and incredibly scary…

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A week ago we had the perfect storm conditions in the Blues…after three years of drought, we had lots of dry fuel waiting for that perfect strike of lightning and we had a dry lightning storm hit the Blues last Thursday night into Friday with intense winds that fueled the fires…while last Friday…

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We had an epic dust storm here all day with winds over 50 mph…

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And those same winds blew into the mountain fires fueling them with run away flames…residents of Canyon City lost 39 homes to the fire over the weekend due to the winds causing the fires to triple in size. In Oregon alone as of this morning, 300,000 acres have burned with 12 wildfires yet burning.

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The weather forecast for Thursday and Friday this week is calling for more wind…I pray the winds stay down here and not hammer the mountains again. We live several miles from the actual fires but we know the mountain country well…I grew up in those mountains on the family cattle ranch…and we love our mountains.

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My heart is heavy for the residents who lost their homes in Canyon City and for all the people evacuated from their homes as the fires rage on…my prayers are also with the men and women who are fighting these fires, their job is not easy and I pray that God will protect each one of them.

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Our local paper this morning ran a large article on the fires, I have grabbed bits and pieces of it below for you.

The Pacific Northwest is one of three regions nationwide under a wildfire Preparedness Level 5, which means there are more than 14 un-contained large fires exhausting local agencies, northern California and the northern Rocky Mountains are also at Preparedness Level 5, while the Great Basin region — made up of portions of southern Idaho, Nevada, Utah and northern Arizona — is at Level 4.

All together, there are approximately 95 large wildfires burning 1.1 million acres of land in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada and Colorado. The situation is so dire that, for the first time since 2006, the Department of Defense has agreed to send 200 active duty personnel to assist firefighters.

In Oregon alone, there are 12 un-contained large fires burning nearly 300,000 acres, according to the Northwest Inter-agency Coordination Center in Portland. The majority of acres on fire — more than 225,000 — are also on fires that are less than 30 percent contained, which means they have a long way to go.

Jim Whittington, spokesman with the state Bureau of Land Management and regional Forest Service fire staff, said crews prepared well in advance for a difficult fire season based on a third consecutive year of drought and record-low snow pack last winter.

What’s made this year unusual, he said, is the intensity of the season in such a short period of time, with the region hammered by a perfect storm of lightning and wind over the past two weeks.

“There’s an intensity here that probably has not been matched in a number of years, or ever,” Whittington said.

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Currently, we are under an air quality alert due to the heavy smoke in the air…out here it is not as bad as Pendleton which lays at the base of the Blue Mountains…however the smoke was noted here all day as once you step outside your eyes burn and you can smell it.

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We are heavy in heart and prayerful that God will intervene in this massive fire event…the western states seem to be burning up with terrible fires. We need rain without wind…

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May you be blessed where ever you live…and if you are close to any of the fires, I’m praying for your protection and that the fires will soon be over!

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HRCG…Ellie and Melody are over and out for now…but never for long:)

HOLY COWZ! HOT N CRAZY DAZE!

Holy Cowz!

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Hot N Crazy Daze Have Descended Upon Juniper Canyon!

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

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Creepy unusual clouds above my head…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Precautionary/preparedness actions... 

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

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

The Views Of Life Off My Patio……

The views of life off my patio,

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Are ever changing year round…and never boring!

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“Hello Houston, we have a problem!!!”

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Memorial Day weekend…the fields were green and beautiful!

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Ten days later, we were cooking on a 108 degree afternoon…the wheat turned golden in a few days, looks like harvest on June 8th…and whoa!

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Normally you would see the wheat turn slowly through the month of June…with harvest beginning sometime in July.

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I have never seen the wheat head out in mid May or my flowers bloom in early March…nor did I have to mow the yard for the first time the beginning of March!

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Crazy if you ask me…is it global warming or a season of drought?

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In the local paper today, and I quote “Wheat yields are projected to take such a hit this summer that some Eastern Oregon growers may not even harvest their crop. Sparse rainfall and diminished snow pack have impacted producers all across the West, but an unseasonable heat wave in late May and early June hit developing wheat plants at exactly the wrong time. The heat wave came as wheat plants were in the stage of filing out their grain kernels. Foreign countries, Japan and Korea, that buy the soft white wheat from the Pacific Northwest will not want what we offer this year….as the protein levels will be too high for what they require to bake their breads, crackers and etc.”

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It has been an odd year…from the crazy weather to the incredible love of my animals! I love my girl above…Melody is the melody of my heart:)

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Oh my Minnie Girl…I miss you so…sometimes I think I see you out of the corner of my eye…and when I am sitting on the sofa, I’m sure you are on the back of the sofa, where you observed the world and me…I miss your sweetness and those big green eyes, always filled with mischievous love…this time of year was your favorite time.

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How you loved the smells, the sounds of crickets and the sounds of birds tweeting to you all day long! Its ok sweet kitty girl, someday I will see you again and we will snuggle with lots of nose kisses, head bumps, tummy rubs and lots of purring….my sweet Min Mouse…my forever kitty girl.

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And then there is Ellie, she loves me…she loves when I brush her each day from top to bottom, she loves the sense of being rubbed…I think it is due to a sense of being licked by her mama…and I am her mama…it brings us both comfort.

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She is incredibly smart and intuitive…a very protective girl. She is a blessing from God and my Minnie, in her beautiful Australian fur.

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Droughts, life lived and life lost, being loved and the pain that comes from loving too much…I would rather have the pain from loving too much as to me that is a life well lived. We love naturally and we live courageously….loving our loved ones and the life we have…is a very simple life.

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HRCG over and out for now…but never for long:)

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Have a simply wonderful week wherever you are!

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