Friday, January 13, 2017

Hey, we are havin' a WINTER

and it is just beautiful...

"The valley where our village of Duns rests is surrounded by forested hills. The…:

Wow, we've had I think it's four different snow storms so far this winter - actually the first one hit before winter technically started.  Very rare for us.  I mean, we do occasionally get some snow, a little usually, but it's commonly wet and doesn't stick around long.  People get all whacked out, cars get abandoned and so forth.  Our weathermen get all excited for a while.  It's entertaining if you're not actually in it.

This is puffy, dry and crystally-pretty snow.  The kind that doesn't even get you wet when you're in it.  Real snow.

But for a couple of weeks now, we've also been cold.  The mud is gloriously frozen and we've even had a few days of brilliant sunshine.  I've dug out my snow boots, gloves and my puffy, down coat to keep me warm and active.  That's what I really enjoy about the lack of rain is how much easier it is to get outside and go for walks and such.  The dogs and I really benefit from the extra exercise.

Speaking of that, while on a walk through the orchard and down by the creek, I noticed that the farmers have really been busy.  I had no idea.  They've cleaned up both sides of the creek, removed all the huge piles of dead trees and brush from years of accumulation, have smoothed the soil and even planted baby fir trees along one side.  They even built a new dike with a huge culvert so we can cross in a different spot!!  This really opens up our places to ride and choose from a few patterns and just more distance too.  I am so excited!!  Doin' a little happy dance here...  :)

Just have to remember to do all my riding out there before the end of summer when he won't want hoof prints or horse poop in his orchard close to harvest.  Fair enough.

My hubby told me this morning that a very dear friend of ours is in the hospital, after having experienced a stroke yesterday.  She is a much beloved little lady who is very important to us, and we'd like to extend the request that if you're of the praying kind, maybe you'd include Claudia in your prayers.  We want her to get all better and back to her sassy little self right away!!  Love & prayers coming your way.

Even though I don't like resolutions, even kind of think you're more doomed if you do call them that, especially just because it's a new year, I have a couple of goals for myself.  :)  Don't you think that's better?

I want to lose 20 pounds.  That's not even close to all the weight I should lose.  Nope, unfortunately not.  But, I'd feel so much better, and feel more comfortable and likely, more confident and physically stronger when riding.  I know my horses would all appreciate it, so why not?  And, of course I'd feel so much better about myself and could probably go down a size or two as well.  All great reasons and I know that.  Trouble is, it's so much easier said than done.  I have this certain appreciation for food. I love to eat and I love food.  *sigh*  and it's such a social thing to do...but try I will!  Wish me luck?
Anyway, just within a year, that should be very do-able.  That's no pressure even.  Eat less, eat well, move more.  That's all there is to it.  Right?

I really, really, really want to go white water rafting again!  So much fun!!!  This time hoping my hubby can go with me, last time I went by myself, but was put with a fun group of people.  Had a blast.  Maybe the Deschutes this time, but I'd still be thrilled with the McKenzie again.  They are both beautiful rivers.

Lots of horse camping and trail riding.  Definitely hoping to go riding with my longtime friend Alicia more often.  We are such close friends, but rarely ever actually see each other in person.  She' a drug rep for our veterinary clinic and we just talk on the phone all the time.  We've shared some very important, life-altering, big milestone kind of events for the last 17 years all over the telephone.  She's truly one of my closest friends and it's always a little surprising to me when we really do get together. We have so much fun.  And I absolutely, totally trust her when we're riding, and that's important.  We ride because it's the best thing to do in the world, and just because we love being with our horses and out in the beautiful mountains.  Camera in hand...lunch in saddlebag.  You knew I was gonna say that, right?  :)

Be fearless, ride that horse.  Miles to go before we sleep...

And who knows, maybe we really will finish that brick patio this year, and hey, we might even build that front porch over the front entrance that we've been talking about for such a long time. Blackberries are getting seriously out of control in a few places and there's that burn pile that we never did get to last many projects, so little time.

Life sure is funny that way, isn't it?

There is never an end to the things that we'd love to do, things that we should do, or sometimes just plain have to do.  But, the key is finding the balance.

That sweet spot, right where we need to be.

Where we're comfortable and content, but tired at the end of the day.  Happy to be able to smile when you look up at the sky and take all the time that you need to just be.  Do you know what I'm talking about?  These are the important things.  These precious moments that we need to nurture and savor.  I think that just might be the key to the slowing of time...even just a tiny bit.

The sun's shining again today, and the beautiful, white snow glistens on the trees when I look out the window.  My wonderful dogs are napping beside me, and I'll go home at lunch time to stoke the fire and let the horses out for the afternoon.  We finished up all the food I prepared in my cooking frenzy of last Sunday.  So, I'm thinking we deserve a treat for dinner this evening.  Maybe Chinese, whatever sounds good - but no cooking tonight.  I am ready for Sabbath, and I'm thankful for a couple of days to do whatever comes to mind.  Such a gift!

Hope you all make the most of the days you are given, and stay warm out there!  Brrrrrrr

Lorie and Annie and Ruby

Oh my gosh, I just read through this and saw what I wrote...Annie.  oh man
I mean,

Lorie and Ruby and Charlotte...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New year, new paths and new choices

I've been feeling thoughtful and introspective about so many things.  I've been unusually quiet and spent many hours pondering what I want to strive for, what my desires are and just what I'd like to accomplish in this new year, and for the rest of my life.  I know, that sounds pretty dramatic doesn't it?  But for some reason, I find it very difficult to actually determine what is really important to me sometimes.   I'm not really a goal-oriented person. I never have been.  I usually prefer to accept life on life's terms, take one day at a time and always find myself striving for living in the moment.  

The problem with that is, I'm a day dreamer.  

I spend way too much time in my head visualizing how I'd like my life to play out, fantasizing  about ideas that I've got and romanticizing everything.  In most cases, things don't usually work out like they do in my head.  So...the last few years or so, I've tried very hard at making the best at what I've been dealt.  Truly living with acceptance at how my life really is, making the best of what is, instead of always wishing for more, better, different.  I've had many a heartache because of my constant longing.  And I truly believe that I've missed out on many a blessing because I was too busy wishing for something else, instead of really enjoying and appreciating what I already have.  I want that to change.  

I want to savor all the moments of my life.  I want to appreciate all the many blessings that I have and love the people in my life.  Love them for who they are, not wish they were somehow different.  Isn't that the real definition of the word?  To love someone, and to value them, we have to accept them as they truly are; warts and all.  Because, newsflash - not a single one of us is anywhere near perfect.  We are all so beautifully flawed.  

My horses and dogs are the same way.  I was looking through some of the pictures on my camera that I've taken over the last several years.  Oh my gosh, the bittersweet memories!  I have loved and lost so much that my heart just breaks...and then I realize just how very, very blessed I have been to have loved them.  They are each and every one so very beautifully unique.  But I loved each so completely and so truly.  I realized just how wonderful my life really is.  That old saying that goes something like, we don't realize how much someone really means to us until after they're gone?  It sucks.  I hate that saying and I don't want to look back years from now and see how many wonderful people and animals and opportunities I've had in my life and not fully have loved and lived those cherished gifts.

I'm not depressed, really I'm not and I don't want to sound melodramatic or even sad.  But, looking back I can see where I really need to work at living more fully in the moment.  I need to stop wasting so much of my precious time dreaming about the possibilities in life and instead, do more now, stop trying to do the "right thing" and take those chances, make some mistakes - where's the harm?  I want to spend more time with my family members, my friends, my husband and our wonderful horses.  I want to accept that life is full of risks and I won't grow and fully live my life, unless I'm willing to screw up sometimes.  I have simply grown weary of trying to always do what's right, doing what I think others might expect of me, striving for other people's approval.  What do I think that I have to prove anyway?  I want to relax and have fun.  Learn from my mistakes, laugh at myself more and definitely stop taking everything so seriously.  I'm not even sure where I'm going with all of this - it kind of feels like a confession of sorts - and I guess that's alright too.  

My point is this:  I feel like I'm evolving, and I've already done a fair amount of changing over the last few years and I can see that I'm on the right path.  So, getting around to this new year that's just begun; a couple of years ago I started choosing a word that I felt pretty well described how I wanted to live, something to aspire to, develop more fully and just a direction to head.  Something to live up to.  

2015 was Faith...oh how I love that word.  For me, it really did (still does) feel like the perfect starting point.  With faith, I can move mountains, do anything that I set my mind to. Anything! My faith has grown exponentially and I keep that word near and dear to my heart.  

2016 was Courage...and boy, wasn't that the perfect word to set the tone for that year! Without faith I couldn't have shown courage.  But because I kept faith and felt it grow within my heart and mind, my courage blossomed and I really did step up and push myself beyond where I'd felt comfortable for so very long.  Only I knew how hard I had to struggle at times. I had some days where it was pretty easy, I felt good, and then there were some days where my fears paralyzed me, and I felt like a failure and all I could do was cry, hang on and take that next step, even if it felt like a baby step.  Just breathe and look ahead.  I kept those words of Ray's in my mind, that "I had to go through it, to get past it".  So even if it didn't feel like much of an accomplishment at the time, I forced myself to keep at it, one tiny little step at a time.  I remember that enormous sense of relief when I made it through the fear and thought, oh well that wasn't so bad.  Those tiny successes started to build upon one another and before I realized it, I could look back and see just how far I'd come.  I was becoming more confident in my abilities and was actually starting to believe in myself again.  Fear is a powerful emotion, but it really can be overcome with faith, perseverance and just putting one foot in front of the other, or in my case, one ride after another.  My faith and trust in my horse has grown by leaps and bounds, and the more I trust him, the more he trusts me and my courage builds.  It feels really good.  My heart just swells at the thought.  And, reality check - this doesn't mean that I won't have a serious case of the jitters and fears when I saddle up again after having this winter off.  *sigh*

And so here we are at another new year, another new beginning, another chapter in this life. And I've not been in a hurry to choose my word, I just wanted to keep my heart and my mind open to the possibilities.  Give myself the time that it takes, to decide how I should proceed from here.  I knew one thing for sure.  I did not want to push myself as hard as I did last year.  I want this year to be more about getting comfortable, about acceptance and learning to roll with the changes that life offers.  About enjoying everything that comes my way and just learning to relax and have more fun.  I don't have anything to prove to anyone, but myself.  Realizing that has opened up the possibility that I'm already good enough.  That doesn't mean that I don't want to continue to learn and become better.  It just means that I'm alright just as I am.  My blessings and my life are good enough, nothing needs to be better or more, or different.  They just are, and that's how I want to look at myself.  I'm beautifully flawed, absolutely imperfect, totally human and so very thankful to be able to live my life surrounded by so many wonderful blessings.  

2017 is Serenity - It feels so good and so right to me.  I knew what it meant to me, but I looked up the definition to see what it said, and that made it seem just about perfect for me. 
**  se~ren~i~ty  **  the state of being calm, peaceful and untroubled.  a state of freedom                                     from storm or disturbance.  
Related words are composure, patience, peace of mind, tranquility, cool...  all those words just leave me feeling relaxed and breathe a little sigh when I think about them.  That's what I will aspire to this year, and I will take that just a step further.  

The serenity prayer.  

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed.
Courage to change the things
which should be changed, 
and the wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace. 
Taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it.
Trusting that You will make all things right,
if I surrender to Your will.
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.


Reinhold Niebuhr, American Theologian 

I'd never actually read this prayer in its' entirety.  I love it, and the complete version just seems to feel good and right for me going into this new year.  


 I'll take it.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Christmas

Another year almost to its' completion.  December these days, seems like such a melancholy month for me.  Too much loss.  Short days, long nights and cold, usually wet weather.  This year we've had snow.  Unusual for us, but we've had two different snow storms, followed by ice.  Cold and frigid - I prefer everything about it to rain, except for the driving part.  My new little car though, seems to do very well.  I've not slipped a wheel.  Loving that.  And those heated seats...

Yesterday was the winter solstice.  The shortest day of the year.  I'm so happy to be turning this corner and looking forward to longer, warmer days.  For now though, we just keep trudging along, taking care of the horses, keeping them warm and dry and keeping the home fires burning.

Tis the season for spending more quiet and reflective times.  Enjoying a hot cuppa something, a good book by the warm fire, and gazing outside and pondering all that we have to be thankful for.  Always. So much for which to give thanks.  And this season reminds me that life is a circle, and that for everything in life there is a season.  And completion.  I am quiet and content, for now.

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Our little homemade wreath on our front door...including my washing machine, which I just realized was included in this shot.  What would a professional say?  :)  Perfection was, and never will be high on my priorities list.  I yam what I yam in the infamous words of Popeye!  No truer words...

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Evidence of our cold (and early) winter weather.  Ice on the apple.  It's beautiful, but can be deadly. We don't often get the chance to become accomplished in treacherous driving around here, and when it happens, boy what a fiasco ensues.  Entertaining, but worrisome and frightening for so many - not to mention, expensive.  The snow's not a real problem to most, but when it's followed by ice, that's a whole nuther ballgame.  Power outages, trees and branches falling, people getting cold and many, stranded.  Stress is never something that any of us are needing more of.  Especially around Christmas when so many are already feeling the pressure of "to do" lists and doing more.  But today finds us all thawed out, snow all gone and a cold front with fog and likely rain to follow.  December in Oregon is all grey, soft and fuzzy around the edges.  Christmas...

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This is frequently how the dogs spend their time in the afternoons and evenings.  Not unlike us, really.  Lounging by the fire and soaking up its' warmth.  Feels so good to the body and soul.

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Little Charlotte loves the snow.  She frolics and plays, and delights in the cold, running in huge circles in the orchard next door.  Sheer exuberance and delight!  Oh to be a child again and feel that kind of pure and simple joy at life!  Wouldn't that be wonderful?  But, that circle of life. Every stage is unique and has a beauty of its' own.  We just need to seek, in order to find.

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And this is how we spent last Sunday.  We had Christmas carols playing and we baked cookies!  All day long.  It was warm and cozy, and smelled absolutely wonderful in our homey, little kitchen.  We did get a break when we headed to the barn to do the horse chores.  It had been a very cold and snowy day, and the horses were more than willing to come inside for some food, warmth and relaxation.  I just love how our barn comes alive with all those soft nickers and sweet horsey smells.  Does my heart good to care for them, and spend time in their presence.  Truly.  We've said it often, and it's still the case; when we bask in their glow, we become quiet and peaceful ourselves.  I believe that horses make us better people.  What a gift they are!

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And here's another way Charlotte spent some of her snow day...
She isn't satisfied to just lounge on the bed, but instead prefers to be in the bed.  But then, so do we! Such a spoiled puppy.  The rest of her time was spent in the kitchen with us - helping.  Ruby, on the other hand, prefers to go upstairs to her room, and sleep in her chair.  She reminds us of a moody, teen-aged girl who doesn't want to be around mom and dad, but needs her alone time.  :)

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With the bittersweet memories of Christmases past, and of this one too, I couldn't help but post a few more pictures of my beautiful girl.  She's been on my mind so much this month and has been such a big part of our lives for so very long, how could I not?  I will miss her so much, but simply cannot think about her and our wonderful times together, without smiling.  I will be forever thankful for this horse coming into my life.  As you may, or may not remember, Kadie is Ladde's mom.  The above picture of the two of them was taken within the first few days of Ladde's life.  Her only colt, we still say that she outdid herself.  Big and bold, what else did we expect?  I remember my first thought was that, I didn't know what to expect, but Ladde wasn't it.  We were amazed at how big he was, and at just how big he became!  Standing 17 hands and weighing around 1500 pounds, our petite little mare had given it her all.  Just the way she lived her life.  Giving us her all.  I still laugh when I remember what Kadie had done just before I took this shot.  I had been trying to feed her a carrot, and instead she grabbed the entire bag from my hand, ran off with her precious baby and ate them all.

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Good times, and one of the last pictures of Kadie that I have.  She looked great still, at almost 35 years old.  She's in the bottom right corner, likely willing me to go get her alfalfa.  She was the reigning queen of our barn for so long, we always said that we "live to serve and serve to live".  We all were her subjects.  Every horse did her bidding and protected her always.

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This is me and my girl out on a trail ride in central Oregon many years ago.  To me, she's a real beauty.  She might not be a "classic" beauty like a shiny, dark mare; but to know her, was to love her. The other thing this picture brings to mind is just how much I look like my dad in this shot.  Oh my gosh!  Not only my face, but my scowling expression because of the sun.  That was one of my dad's trademark looks.  :)  Gone, but never forgotten.

Whatever you have planned for Christmas, my wish is that you'll all be surrounded by those you love and hold dear to your hearts.  May there be love and laughter, memories shared and wistful tears for those who are no longer with us.  And as always, give thanks for the One, true and meaningful gift given to us by our loving Father.  For without that gift of eternal life, we would have no hope and there would be no grace.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The best horse in the world

I'm feeling a wee bit empty of cheer.  You see, one week ago today we lost a very dear and precious member of our family.  She had lived a long, adventurous and much-loved life, but still.  I find it so hard to say good-bye to someone who's meant the world to me.  She came to us when she was a young gal of 7.  I'll never forget my first impression of this bright-eyed, wild-haired, skinny little Appaloosa mare my husband had gifted me with.  My first thought was, "this is not the horse I would have picked".  Just goes to show you what I know...or don't know.

She turned out to be the absolute best horse in the world.  I can truthfully say that in our entire nearly 28 years together, the only thing I ever remember her doing wrong was stepping on my toe.  Once. She had a feisty, sassy side which I always found endearing.  Opinionated?  Absolutely.  Spirited? You bet.  Smart?  Too smart for her own good, or for my good.  But their wasn't a mean bone in her body and she was the most sensible and trustworthy, fun horse I've ever ridden.  Truly.  She was a precious gift and one of my most beloved blessings in my life.  I was so blessed to have loved her!

I cannot think of her now without tears streaming down  my cheeks, but also with warm memories forcing me to smile through those tears.  Kadie did not know a bad day.  Not to my knowledge anyway.  She lived a good life.  A full life.  I will miss her so very much.

If I had one single wish today, it would be to have the chance to do it all over again.  Oh, what a wish...

Rest in peace my beautiful girl.  I will love you always and forever...and I will not forget.

Thank you for always taking such good care of me, and for getting us home when I got us lost.


May 25, 1984 - December 7, 2016


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Monday, November 21, 2016

Week of Thanksgiving

And Fall rolls on...this, the week of Thanksgiving and we have much to be thankful for.  We are to have dinner with my side of the family at my nephew and his wife's home.  As always, should prove to be - interesting.  I pray that besides eating a meal together, we can share some love and emotion. Those things are commonly found to be somewhat lacking at our holiday table.

Since my sister's stroke a few months ago, and the small tumor they found on her brain, she hasn't been able to hear very well and because of that, finds conversations frustrating.  She also has trouble with balance and was told to use a walker for stability, but because of her pride, she refuses.  Oh how quickly circumstances can change.  There is much I could say, but I will not.  I choose to be thankful because I know the situation could have been so much worse.

Other than a week of respite from the rains, this Fall continues to be one of the wettest on record.  We truly are, in monsoon season.  Our grass has grown thick and lush, and is so vibrantly green as to be shocking.  In between downpours, we continue with our winterization projects.  Thanks to those few days of dry weather, we were able to let the deck furniture dry out and move everything inside for winter storage, just got the barbecue moved inside the shed yesterday and all the firewood that we'll need is neatly stacked inside the woodshed.  Our camper has been thoroughly cleaned, has been removed from our truck and is tarped and sits where it has protection from the southerly winds that blow this time of year.  My favorite time of the year has been foregone for an early winter.  That is, what we call winter around here.  I know compared to many, our winters are extremely mild.  We rarely get snow or cold weather, but more than our share of rain.  So, we are in full blown winter mode.  We bring the horses inside each evening and let them out to pasture each morning.  They are wooly and oh, so very muddy.  Unless we find time to haul to an indoor, riding is but a distant memory now.  To me, it seems like such an abrupt change.  The days are short now, it's dark before I leave work and just having got light when I rise in the morning.  Long evenings, for me, are the worst.

So far, my goal of riding my horse once a week has not happened, but once.  When the wind is blowing and the rain is pelting down with such force, it takes so much sheer will just to walk outside if you don't have to, let alone groom my horse, haul the tack into the trailer, load the horses and drive to the arena.  And then when we're finished, all the tack must again be hauled back inside because anything left outside in the barn or the trailer will be covered in mold in just a few days.  Have I mentioned lately just how much I detest living where I do when it rains so much?  Well, hate it I do. And this fact is becoming more and more apparent the older I get.  I enjoy four seasons, and definitely not all the rain we get.  It isn't like this every year, but time is short and I question our motives for staying.  I don't mean to sound so depressing, but I guess maybe I am a bit lacking in joy lately.

Here's my Christmas cactus that was blooming just before Halloween.  It used to be a darker, vibrant pink but something must be lacking in the soil because now it's always this light pink color.  The blooms were a welcome site in our home, and now the flowers are declining.

And my Chrysanthemum is finally blooming!  I kept waiting and waiting for the flowers to emerge, but because it's on the north side of our home, it gets very little sunshine.  I'm thankful for this beautiful color near our front door.  This photo was taken about a week ago and already the blooms are fading because of relentless rains pelting on the flowers.  The only thing that seems to thrive with all the rain is the grass.

This is how the dogs spend their time.  We let them come out to the barn with us during evening chores so they can get some exercise and play time, but they suffer when we come back inside because of "muddy paws".  Even though this doesn't exactly seem like torture, to them it's imposed confinement and they die a little each time they're told to lay on the rug.  Rough life huh?

During this week of Thanksgiving, I will try to remain focused on all the good in our lives.  I will acknowledge so many blessings that have been bestowed on us, and give thanks to God for keeping us within His protection and Grace.  We are richly blessed, and I do know that.  My hope is that all can count their blessings and are thankful as well.

Draw your loved ones near and enjoy a long and peaceful holiday.

Until next time,
Lorie and all, here in our little corner of the world.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Deep breaths feel good

Nature's master weavers' handiwork:

Can you feel it?  Tension so thick, it really does feel like you could cut through it with a knife.  Not necessarily a good way to go.  In these times of what feels like chaos, uncertainly, frustration and even real fear, we can all slow down, look up and be thankful for the day, the opportunity, the beginning; and just breathe.  Just relax and take a deep breath.  We're all okay.

Feelings can spiral out of control.  Just like a tornado, things take on a life of their own and build.  To get back to neutral, regain our balance, we have to just stop.  Take stock and don't give anybody else our power.  Breathe.

We've all seen the changes going on all around us.  Crazy behavior from so many!  The part for me that's so hard to understand is the genuine fear.  I just do not understand that kind of fear.  Just seems like for that much fear to exist in ones' head, must be like turning all your logical power of reasoning and personal choices right over to another person.  Just don't go there.

Personally, I am so thankful the elections are over.  It is what it is and the only way we can move forward and progress is to bind to one another.  Find the commonalities and work with each other.  Be kind and considerate, especially when we disagree.  Passion is one strong emotion.  Don't try to squelch it in someone else.  My prayer is for a good outcome and for our country's success.  Our success.  Regardless of your political affiliation, we truly all want the same things in life.  It's not that complicated and we just need to move forward in love, and in hope.  Try wishing someone who really ticks you off, well.  Wish them well.  Say a prayer for our leaders so that they might help us.  We want it to work don't we?

It's been almost a week since it's rained.  We've even had a couple of days where the sun was shining.  Wonderful to behold!  But mostly we're enshrouded in grey.  Foggy and damp, but warm.  Feels rather fitting actually.

We had our last load of firewood delivered and plan on stacking it in the wood shed this Sunday.  Looks so good all stacked up, very artistic.  I love wood.  No news on the horse front, too dark to do much when I get home.  Winter mode is upon us.  I feel like Fall just skipped right over us this year.  Summer ended and winter (monsoon season) took over.  Not much I can do to change it, so I just go with it.  Blows my mind that it's nearly the middle of November already!  Seriously...

May we all indulge in something that brings us joy and find a measure of contentment in this day.  It is a gift after all.

Find the good.  Drink in the beauty and just take a deep breath.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tripping down Memory Lane

dueling selfies

They say we're #3 in the running for wettest on record Octobers...with a good chance of becoming #1. Oh boy.

October remains one of my three favorite months of the year.  In many cases when summer ends and the temperatures drop to a crisp, dry and cool phase - oh my!  Just glorious!  And if we're really fortunate, we get a good frost and enjoy what we call Indian Summer.  But that doesn't happen very often in Oregon and I really don't recall in recent years when it has.  So, what we have going on now is the opposite.  We're warm and wet.  Very wet.  Not much to do about it, so we just roll with what is.
We haven't really been doing much lately it seems.  Nothing exciting anyway.  But we did have a load of wood delivered last week and spent some time Sunday morning stacking it in the wood shed.  It looks great!  Satisfies that primeval need of mine to store this time of year.  It's mostly fir with a little bit of maple for good, hot fires.  In a week or two, we'll get another cord delivered, but this time it will be a mix of Maple and Alder, harder woods for slow burning and banking fires overnight. Hmmm, I love heating with wood, there's really nothing quite like it.  Our pellet stove is still on the fritz and is in need of one of two fans, which costs roughly $250 to replace.  This will be fan #3 if we decide to go that route.  However, we've been eyeballing those electric fireplace/media centers for a while now.  For an average 500-600 for a good one, that heats about 400 sq. ft. we could just replace the pellet stove and not have to buy wood pellets anymore.  One less thing.  Besides, if the power goes out (which is rarely does), the pellet stove doesn't work either.  Both require electricity, which is why we initially installed the wood stove.  We always have a source of heat, light and a cooking surface if we're without power.  And like I said, nothing feels better than wood heat.  It's the best.  But for the living room area, it feels a bit on the chilly side without the addition of something more in that room.  I would love to have one with a mantle look that could be decorated for Christmas.  I'm not really much of a seasonal decorator, but I do enjoy Christmas.  Anyway, we'll see.  There's never an end of ways to spend our money.  :)

Took Eags to the inside arena Tuesday evening for a ride and once again, he really didn't want to get in the trailer.  This has been going on for a while now, and started when we tried to load him behind Ladde the first time.  Ladde was making a racket, spooked Eagle who made a hasty exit, and since then he's decided the trailer is not his happy place.  Hoping this is just a phase...another phase.  He doesn't do anything silly or dangerous, just decides he'd really rather not load, and makes you ask over and over, and really convince him that it's in his best interest to load up.  You can tell from his actions - he only does it because I keep asking.  He does it for me.  So I can hardly get mad, we just keep asking and then all of a sudden he just steps in.  Certainly slows things down though.

So anyway, we arrive and Eags is a bit jumpy.  We saddle up and do a little warm-up on the ground and then I mount up.  We did a lot of walking around, bending and flexing, backing and direction changes.  We also did a fair amount of just sitting there watching this mean girl ride her poor horse.  Around and around and around the arena galloping full speed while asking for a lot of collection.  It was all I could do to keep my mouth shut, and not yell out, was she preparing for a marathon or something with all that galloping when her horse was obviously tired, very winded and kept asking for a break?  Yes, asking and quite respectfully in my opinion.  But the dumb, ruthless, young and clueless gal just extends her arms out to the side like airplane wings and repeatedly and with a fair amount of force, jerks her horse into submission by way of the mouth.  Too much collection and too much speed.  Not a good combination for the mare.  God, I seriously could have whacked her across the head for the way she was treating her horse!  Just chaps my butt to see harsh and very poor horsemanship in practice, with absolutely no consideration for the animal who's carrying your big butt all around the arena.  Pretty much distracted me for the better part of our time there.  I just couldn't focus on doing anything with that person galloping around and around and around the arena like that.  I did watch her intently though, hoping that through mental telepathy, she'd get a clue and have some compassion on her mare.  Stupid, mean girl!

That was the first time I've been on Eagle in over a month, and I was feeling rather timid.  He didn't do anything that should have worried me, other than rooting with his nose at the probable boredom of our walking around without much intent.  I've pretty much figured out that when this happens, it helps a lot just to encourage more forward with my legs, and when he quits, we relax and go back to walk.  It's his choice, root and move.  Not root, relax.  But like I said, I was completely distracted and just could not focus on my horse.  So after maybe 45 minutes or so, I'd had enough.  We left the arena with mean girl still galloping mindlessly around in circles.  Ack!

I have a confession.  I haven't been doing my yoga either.  I want to, but I just don't seem to have the motivation to get my lazy butt out of the warm bed and do it.  I know.  It's a pitiful excuse.  I haven't given up the idea of it just yet, and hope to get back into it.  I kinda suck at it.  *sigh*  And it's been warm enough to sleep with my bedroom window open at night, and listening to those raindrops falling gently outside just lulls me back to dreamy land...

How's that for an excuse!?

I know.  Pretty bad huh?

My hubby spent a little time tripping down Memory Lane the other day, so I thought I might share just a few of the pics he sent to me on my phone...why not?  It's still raining outside.  I got nothing better to do and it's always good to remember those we've loved who are no longer with us, and all the good times we've shared.

Kadie and me at Joe Graham, near Timothy Lake

Harley and me at a Ray Hunt clinic in Newberg, Oregon
Ray was answering my question below.

Harley, me, Ray and my sister Lilly

Aahh, the beautiful Harley as a weanling, Ladde's butt and our little dog, Toby.
This is where our barn now stands. 

Ladde and me in Central Oregon near Sisters & Sheep Springs.  Same area we just visited recently.

Ladde & me.  Ladde was a yearling here.

Kadie & Ladde...few days old here.  My how he's changed!

Ladde's good life

Britt on Bo...and my precious daddy in the background

My dear friend Kelly and her kiddos with Bo at Flying M.
Both kids are married now, Brittney has 2 little girls of her own.  Time flys!

Ladde as a big weanling.  Maybe 7 months and already 15 hands

A long time ago, at least 35 years ago.  Flex on the right, my childhood horse who I lived on, and her beautiful daughter, Bo.

After a bad forest fire near Sisters, Oregon

Beloved Scooter, Harley's pretty momma, and Ladde's paternal grandma

Whoa dude!  Some cowgirl huh?  Kadie at 7-8 years old.

Lots of good horses, good times and good people.

Wonderful memories!