Wednesday, August 20, 2014

She who barks at periwinkles


Yes indeed, my little girl turned 4 years old on the 3rd of August!  I can't believe I forgot her birthday...will definitely have to make it up to her.  :)

I love my dogs so much.  They are a huge part of my life - of our lives.  Simply put - they make life so much better, and I simply cannot imagine going through this life without a dog, or two.  My little Ruby...rotten rotten.  And yes, she earned that nickname honestly.  

Last weekend when we took the dogs and the horses and went camping to the Flying M, it was hot.  So very hot.  Out of sheer desperation we spent a big chunk of our afternoon in the creek, with the dogs.  We found an amazing swimming hole that was chest deep on me and was absolutely perfect for the dogs to swim to their hearts' content.  Puts a smile on my face every single time.  Yes, indeedy!

We learned a little somethin' somethin' new about Miss Rubes.  Yep!  She does indeed, bark at periwinkles.  :)  At first, I thought she was just barking at a stubborn stick or the like, that she was having difficulties prying loose or something, but after watching her stare at the creek bed and then bark, and even give a little startle - we figured out what she was doing.  She'd watch the little critters move around and then bark at them.  *sigh*  She's so stinkin' cute!!  Guess it was the first time she's actually taken the time to really see what's going on at the bottom of the water.  

Anyway, I can hardly believe that my sweet, little puppy that we brought home at seven weeks of age; is already 4 years old.  *sigh*  Makes me wish, again, that time would just slow down a little.  Only a little...


Dogs get older, people get older, I'm getting older too...


She's a mouthy little broad.  Quite independent and opinionated.  Enjoys her quiet time by herself, but loves to socialize and play.  Hmmm, sounds like her momma!  


She's a great snuggler.  Loves to take naps...another thing we've got in common.  


What can I say?  She's a free spirit.


For my Ruby, life has always been a beach.  

And if I have anything to do with it...it always will be.

Happy Birthday Ruby!!!  


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

La di da da de


La di da da da

And the heat goes on...and on.  We weren't able to take that extra day last weekend, nor were we able to find caretakers for our horses, so; we went to a nearby location where we went home twice a day and took care of them ourselves.  We parked the truck and camper, set up our camp and brought our car along to make things easier.  It wasn't ideal, but it worked.  Despite some hurdles, we enjoyed ourselves - mostly.  

It was hot.  So bloody hot.  Saturday we took a short walk with the dogs and spent some time playing in the creek cooling off while the dogs swam.  That brought a smile to my face. Our dogs are Labs, and you know what that means?  They love the water!  They enjoyed themselves so much, that I couldn't help but enjoy myself too.  

The rest of the time was spent lazing around, reading, taking some pictures and a little napping.  It felt so good to unplug.  From everything.  


On Sunday there was a poker ride going on, so we thought it a perfect opportunity to take a little ride and check out some old trails that we haven't ridden in years.  We didn't participate formally, but just rode the trail, spent time letting the horses splash around in the creek and enjoyed being in the woods.  The smell of the summer woods is just incredible...truly one of my favorite smells of summer.  That warm evergreen scent mixed with ripening wild berries...hmmm.  

As the afternoon wore on, and the heat became relentless, we made a quick stop at the creek once again and then headed back into camp.  We had to sponge the horses off to remove at least some of the copious amounts of drying sweat and mud that had ran down their sides and legs.  They were hot, tired and I'm sure, feeling particularly nasty.  Afterwards, they relaxed in the shade with a flake of hay, a big drink of cool water and then napped contentedly under the trees with a slight breeze blowing on their damp coats.  When they're comfortable, I'm happy.  



The remainder of our day was spent lounging in the shade, trying to keep somewhat cool.  We were both hot, tired and cranky.  I had a nagging headache, probably from too much heat that wouldn't quite go away.  I read some more, and just relaxed with my eyes closed for a while listening to the birdsong and no traffic, no phones, no worries.  



Yesterday at the clinic was long and monotonous.  I think there were 3 phone calls all day long, and one was a wrong number.  My boss is out of town for the week, family vacation, and there's really nothing to do except refer clients (if they call) to another veterinarian.  It surely would have made more sense to let me have Monday off, it would have extended our weekend by one more leisurely day and made our trip less rushed.  *sigh*  The joys of dealing with a boss who relies too heavily on me to cover for him.  I'm still quite upset with him over the fact that I asked for 1 vacation day, 2 weeks prior to the day I wanted to have off, and I'm certain that he didn't try to find a person to cover me, at all.  When it's not important to him, he just forgets about it.  It really shouldn't be my responsibility to find a replacement when I'd like a day off.  It should be his responsibility, it is his business after all.  He, however, can take any day or days off, whenever it suits him.  grrrrrrrr...oh well, karma or whatever you want to call it, has a way of coming around.  Always does.  

Anyway, in other news, we enjoyed our first big tomato from the garden last night.  So good!!  And my cherry tomatoes pretty much exploded over the weekend.  There are so many I need to pick.  The apples and pears are ripening and it's a full-on race between us and the horses as to who gets to them first.  :)  I dare say, the horses are in the lead...

My neighbor gave me the name of a young gal who lives near us who is interested in helping us out with horse/cat caretaking responsibilities.  I haven't talked with her yet, but left her a message indicating that I'd like to meet her, and discuss everything, and of course introduce her to our horses and show her around our place.  If she seems responsible, and we like her, hopefully, we'll have a new hired weekend/vacation caretaker.  *fingers crossed*  That would be such a relief, as that is the single, biggest obstacle to our travelling on weekend trips or vacations.  

And, I'm already on the lookout for the next weekend trip away...this time, maybe without the horses, or not.  We'll see!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Ho-hum


We've had some hellishly hot weather recently, nearing 100 F.  Everything about me withers in heat like that.  Once upon a time, I absolutely loved it, but after experiencing heat stroke twice before, those days are gone.  Don't get me wrong!  I'm still a sunshine-loving gal, love to soak up the rays and watch my skin turn a golden brown and my use of make-up disappear.  :)  But as I get a little older, I seem to enjoy everything in moderation - not too hot, not too cold, not too wet.  Especially, not too wet!  Nothing in life is ever perfect - right?

We're planning a camp-out this weekend.  In our new camper.  :)  We picked it up last week and it's just lovely.  It's on the small side for a camper, doesn't have tons of storage, but for us, it's perfect.  I'm a whiz at organization and packing in small spots. Got the bed all made up last night, and I'm so looking forward to trying the it out...I haven't been sleeping well at all lately.  And if it's one thing I don't do well without, it's sleep.  

We had hoped to go camping with friends, with our horses, but our hitch broke, then hubby got that fixed.  Now, I can't find caretakers for the horses we'd need to leave at home, so no go.  That is why I'm usually not a big planner.  We never seem to know from one day to the next, just what we'll be doing, and when.  Another benefit of aging is that I'm learning to go with the flow...don't sweat the small stuff and all that happy crap.  

But we're going.  Just changed our strategy and our destination to a much closer to home location.  Still hoping to find someone to fill in for me on Monday at the clinic, or it will really be a short trip.  It's always a challenge to take time off from work, but sometimes it becomes a necessity.  We've been away from home once this summer, and time just keeps slipping by.  Seems like all we ever to, is go to work, and then catch up on the work at home.  

I enjoy completing projects and seeing accomplishments, but sometimes a person really needs to get away to really relax.  That is where I'm at.  Mentally, I'm at the point of breaking, physically I'm exhausted from lack of sleep and dealing with so many things at the clinic, and at home.  Enough already!

Sometimes, you just gotta get out of town.  

I will get to ride my horse tomorrow!!  Hallelujah and happy dance!!  I'm also planning on taking naps, reclining in my lounge chair with a good book and a cool drink.  Taking hikes with my dogs...snapping pictures and get this.  No phones.  No computers.  No people needing, needing, needing...

I'm hoping the weather remains cool, because time spent with the horses is always so much more enjoyable when it's not hot.  If not, guess we'll play in the creek...

whatever, we'll just roll with it.

   

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Through my lens - a country life

I did a little walk-about the other evening when it was too dadgummed hot to do anything else.  It would have been too hot to walk around, but I was dripping wet from a dip in the pool.  :)  

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy our little backyard pool?  Yes? Oh, well alrighty then! (I do!  I really, really do!)  

Anyhoo, it was after the horses were fed, the dogs were lying around panting, hubby was watching the tv, dinner was done and I decided to grab my camera and head outside for a little lookey loo.  See if the neighborhood had changed...



Look who I found slithering along in the grass, very near where I'd just been traipsing about in my bare feet!!  Yee-gads!!!  It's a good thing I didn't see this little guy until after I'd put my shoes on.  Seems he may have been thinking of joining me for a little dip in the old swimming pool.  *gulp*  

No worries really, we don't have any snakes that are harmful in any way around here, but STILL - it's a snake we're talking about here!!  I can admire their beauty, marvel at their unique coloring and artful patterns, but the fact remains that I do not enjoy being in close proximity to any kind of snake.  Period.  Still, he's kind of a cute little guy, don't you think?  He was kind enough to pause, take time out from his busy schedule, and allow me to photograph him.  Very considerate.



That's when I noticed the evening sky starting to change, and develop some lovely colors.  *sigh*  So beautiful!  I have no idea just how many times over the years that I've photographed this same scene; but it still captures my heart.  Our grand old, twin oaks.  I've always dreamed of building a house on that hill.  It's such a lovely view from up there.


We are fortunate to enjoy some very beautiful sunsets from our yard.  This is looking at the Coast Range...just beyond that is the Pacific.  So near, but so far. Speaking of dreams - one day I hope to be able to live on the beach again.  I always feel so much more peaceful and relaxed when I'm there.  To breathe in that fresh ocean air, feel the cool mist upon my face, hear the seagulls calling in the distance?  Such peace.  

Imagine a little beach cottage overlooking the ocean, white lace curtains fluttering in the breeze, cozy little fire in the wood stove...me in my rocking chair on the back porch.  Oh ya, I can see it.  *sigh*  

A girl's gotta have her dreams.



This is our view to the South, overlooking our neighbor's fields.  White fences, wheat field and pastures, horse barn and twilight.  After living so long in the country, I cannot imagine living anywhere else.  Well, unless it's the beach of course.  So ideally, we have the house in the country; and the cottage on the beach.  Yes, that's it!  You must be careful what you dream, or pray for, so get it right.


Our neighbor's old barn and his spectacular garden.  The guy definitely has a green thumb.  Probably two of them.  He's a very nice man and a wonderful neighbor.  Shares produce with us, comes over with his big tractor and helps us out whenever we need it.  People are so friendly in the country.  And...he takes lots of our prime, grade A horse poop.  He's worth his weight in gold for that alone!


Look at that.  Don't you just love sunflowers?  Now, that is what a country landscape is all about!  I have one, and it started to die.  So, I replanted it in a much bigger container.  It's looking a bit pekid still...and they say sunflowers are so easy to grow.  They are so hardy, even a child can grow them.  Hmmph!  I beg to differ.  I can't wait to sample some of that corn.  It's looking good!  




A twilight sky, a sliver of the moon.  There's something quite romantic about this time of evening, don't you think?  


Our stately old Black Walnut.  I dearly love this old tree.  It provides shade for us and a home for several different birds, also a perfect perch for the neighboring pair of Red-Tail Hawks who sit atop the tallest branches and scour the field below for a tasty morsel.  On this evening, when I was in the pool and didn't have my camera handy, I watched a pair of Falcons having a bit of a squabble, at first only vocal, but it soon escalated to a real tift.  They fluttered and fought down through the branches, then the male flew off and the female remained.  She voiced her objections and displeasure quite loudly before flying off in the opposite direction towards the twin oaks where they make their home.  Such aerobatic birds, and such lethal hunters!  Even in the most perfect pairing, squabbles will happen.  Such is life!


My own little rose garden.  I've never had much luck growing roses, but this year they seem to be thriving.  Oh joy!!!


This lonely little Nasturtium came up from last years' seed.  This flower bed was full of these lovely little blooms last year, but I opted for different annuals this year.  So this is a gift!


And this is our own tiny little garden.  It has graced us with lots and lots of lettuce, a few Walla Walla onions, several zuchinis, some grape and cherry tomatoes and several herbs so far.  Soon we'll be savoring big, fat beefsteak tomatoes, more zuchinis, onions, brussel sprouts and of course more herbs.  
At least I'm hopeful about the brussel sprouts.  This is my first try at growing those.  



And here's Mr. Wonderful with those glowing eyes of his!!  He's wearing his eternal "dirty summer face", caused by his fly mask.  :)  It's better than having flies in his eyes and all over his face.  And truth be told, this dirty face does seem to perfectly match his grubby boy personality.  I just can't help but love this horse!!  


And here's our sweet boy, Harley.  *sigh*  I still cry over the loss of my awesome trail horse, but he does amazingly well sightless.  If it were me, I do believe I'd live with a lot of self pity.  No so, with this guy.  I pray for his protection, as well as all the horses, daily.  So far, so good.  

I have to keep reminding myself that he's still here, and I still get to love on him and enjoy him every single day.  And that is a blessing!!  He is a blessing.  God bless you Harley Horse!!

So that's our little piece of heaven, or at least some of it.  We're thankful to live where we do, it's a nice place to come home to.

In other news, we do believe we've finally got our truck repaired.  Big Grey is running like a top, just like it used to!  My car's back to normal too.  Our dear friend Claudia gave us over a cord of firewood that she wasn't going to use this year (Bless her heart!), and we've put some alfalfa in the barn for the two older horses to enjoy come winter.  Our eldest grandson Jack spent a week with us before returning home this week, and that was fun.  We watched some fireworks, ate too many cheeseburgers (Jack's favorite), spent time in the pool and got all the tansy pulled (again) from the pasture, unloaded and stacked all that wonderful firewood from Claudia and are looking forward to a camping trip soon.  We may be camping without the horses though.  My hubby noticed the hitch on our truck was at a funny angle to the ground, and had a look underneath...thank God he did, because our Class 5 tougher than nails hitch is ripping out.  So, looking back at our last camp trip when we borrowed brother Paul's truck to haul our horses was really a blessing we were unaware of.  We'll definitely need to get that repaired before we haul any horses anywhere.  

But...we bought a new-to-us camper!!!  It is totally awesome and perfectly clean, and as good as new.  We're planning on picking it up this weekend.  I can't wait!  We got a really good deal on it and were able to pay for over half in cash from our savings.  Of course we've officially wiped out our savings account now, but oh well! We got a very small loan and we'll have that paid off in no time.  Hopefully in less than a year.  

With the rest of my vacation time, we're hoping to take a trip to the beach, and if we stay in our camper, we'll reduce our expenses there significantly.  We'll see...either way, I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of this summer.  So far, it's been pretty awesome!  And as always, we remain thankful.

Blessings everyone,
Lorie

Monday, August 4, 2014

This I know...

* I love weddings... a celebration of love, life, commitment, family, and friendship. What could be better?  

Mary looked beautiful and her groom looked dashing on this day of celebration.  It was so hot!  Aren't they always?  My only concern was that the most important guest of all, wasn't even invited...God wasn't included in the ceremony.  At all.  That saddened me.  My friend is very spiritual, considers herself very "enlightened" in all things, but my heart tells me she looks for guidance in all the wrong places.  Whatever...I hope and pray they'll be happy.



They had a bar at the wedding.  No alcohol was served, but there was absolutely everything else you could possibly imagine available.  They even had a barrista - I had the most delicious iced, blended chai tea ever!!  Yumm!!  

*  Summer.  I absolutely love it!!!  I wither a bit in the heat - don't we all?  But overall, it's my favorite season.  Except fall of course.  :)

*  Horses.  I simply cannot live without them.  

*  Backyard pools are heaven-sent.  Truly.  

*  My favorite summer sandwich is a BLT.  I can go with or without the lettuce.  But crispy, smoked bacon with big, fat, garden-fresh, juicy tomatoes with mayo on white or sourdough?  To die for!!

*  My favorite summer drinks have to be unsweetened iced tea or icy real lemonade.  Color me happy!!

*  Brightly painted toenails is a summer-time must.  No doubt about it!!

*  My best go-to summer outfit is without a doubt - bare face, bare legs, bare feet and a golden tan.  Oh, and probably a pair of shorts and a cool, breezy top.  For safety sake - when one rides a horse, add boots.

*  The beach is my happy place.  

*  My dogs are my best friends.

*  I love my honey and my honey loves me.  


Jessie and my handsome hubby

*  Jesus loves me...  

*  I am very emotional.  I used to blame hormones, but I can't keep using that old excuse.  

*  Fresh blackberry pie with vanilla ice cream is the world's best dessert.  Bar none.  Ok, except my momma's homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream.  I hope she can make me one in heaven someday.

*  I cry very easily...(see previous comment)

*  I love my family, but I don't always like my family.  I have my doubts whether they love, or like me at all.

*  Life just wouldn't be good without a dog.  Or two.  Two words - best friends.

*  I am completely infatuated with linens of all kinds.  But especially, bed linens...I'm a junkie and my name is Lorie.  

Gage, Jessie and me

*  I love coffee.

*  I kind of have a problem with shoes too...they speak to me.

*  I am a very strong-willed, opinionated and sometimes rebellious person who knows in my heart what I believe.  Truth is one of those things that can't be argued...it just is.

*  I am stubborn.  Sometimes, to a fault.

*  I can be judgmental.  I don't like it, but there it is.  

*  I usually don't care what people think about me.  This has taken a lot of work, but sometimes the hurt still creeps up on me.  

*  I hate people who abuse animals, children and old people.  

*  I hate people who are cowards (see previous note), and people who don't know what they stand for.  

*  Flowers always make me smile.  



*  I love trees...but I especially love my God who created them.  

*  I believe.

Not that you asked.  Probably not that you care.  But there you have it.  

I'm sure there's plenty more where these came from, but it's a start.

These things I know...

Lorie

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A reason to celebrate



July 21, 1984 - July 21, 2014

Yesterday was our 30th wedding anniversary.  Wow!!  I can hardly believe it myself.  We were so young...hahaha...I'll bet that's what everybody says!  But it's so true.  Looking through our pictures, we were so young and hopeful for our future together.  We're still hopeful, and thankful, but we're older, wiser and fatter.  *sigh*  I hate it when that happens.  Don't you?  Oh well, whatever.  I'm much more comfortable with myself, with who I am and I'm content.  Well, most of the time anyway.  I never, ever could have said that about myself 30 years ago.  Not even.

So, we celebrated by going out to dinner and eating too much.  But, boy was it good!!  News flash -  that's how that happens!  Getting fatter, I mean.  :)  Totally worth it.  Dinner was delicious.  Company was delightful and cozy.  Yes, cozy.  That's how it feels when you've been married to your best friend for 30 years.  I love that.

Life is good.

Last weekend we were busy.  A dear friend gave us her firewood that she wasn't planning on using.  Score!!  I'm guessing we got about a cord of fir...we'll definitely use it!  And we got a little over a ton of 2nd cut alfalfa for our older horses.  Last winter was the first year we added a flake of alfalfa to their evening ration and they blossomed.  Now they expect it...and of course, they deserve it.  It's a simple little thing that gives them so much pleasure.  How could we not?  It smells so good!  Our alfalfa farmer says that in 2-3 weeks he'll be putting up the 3rd cut, and we plan on getting maybe up to a half ton of that too.  He's only charging $7 a bale for the pure, leafy stuff so I can't resist getting a little bit for my Kadie girl.  She had her 30th birthday on May 24th of this year and I say, why not?  It's only money...

Our truck is in the repair shop.  Again.  We've never been able to truly figure out why it's running so roughly.  It doesn't want to idle and will die unless you pop it into neutral and give it the gas.  Such a pain!!  This time, it's at the Dodge service shop.  Time for the big guns.  To date, we've done a tune-up, new plugs, oil and filter change, new battery, new idler actuator and maybe that's it.  I forget.  Now they're replacing the EGR valve and OC sensor which together are supposed to adjust the air/fuel mix and hopefully, that will do the trick.  It obviously has a vacuum leak and the mpg has taken a serious dump; I can smell strong gas fumes when it tries to idle, so...fingers crossed.

My car though, is running like a top again.  And my sweet hubs gave the old gal a thorough detailing the other day and she is looking good!  Well, as good as a '97 Taurus can look anyway.  :)  My mom's old car.  I called it the granny mobile and my mom didn't like that.  At all.  She said,  it's "sporty".  Well okay, I guess it's a little sporty.  It has a rear spoiler after all.  :)  I concede momma.  You were right.  You usually were.

So between the auto repairs, the home renovations, paying for a year's hay/alfalfa supply, taking a week of vacation and paying for the caretakers...our savings account is all but gone.  Finito!!  Easy come - easy go right?  Well, truthfully?  It goes a heck of a lot easier and faster than we can save it.  Oh well, what's a person to do?

I choose to look at the silver lining.  Our vehicles are old, but they're paid for.  Everything requires maintenance, right?

Our horses are happy, healthy and fat.  Their years' supply of food is safely tucked away in the barns and it's all paid for.

Our humble little home is looking wonderful.  I'm loving the new and improved look.  We still need to finish installing the trim board around the bottom and re-install our pellet stove in the living room...but hubby's bringing home pictures of granite selections tonight for a decision on the hearth.  That is a perk of the trade.  Free is a very good price.  :)  See what I mean?  Always be thankful.
I seriously doubt we finish this project until the weather turns bad.  Summer time is just too short not to enjoy.  We have better things to do right now.

Then...on to our bedroom!!!!!!  In my mind, it's already done.  My breezy, coastal retreat awaits...

I'm thinking of getting a quote on having a small front porch built on our house too.  Right now there's nothing, and that would be a nice improvement.  My hubby's gonna kill me if I don't stop.  :)

This coming weekend we're attending the wedding of a friend, and it promises to be a heckuva shindig!  Ceremony, food, music and dancing.  I love weddings!!  What to wear????  So many decisions!!

And then the first weekend of August, we're going camping.  Just the hubs, our horses, our dogs and me.  My favorite - just us.  Not sure where we're going yet, but that's another entertaining little chore.  And with my last week of vacation time, I'm thinking maybe the beach...oh, how I love spending time at the beach.  *sigh*

Summer is so fleeting...must enjoy...

Blessings all,
Lorie

p.s.  winter is the time for saving money - summer is the time for spending.  Am I right?

:)










Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cowboy Camp Meeting 2014


We spent a week in a glorious meadow at the base of Mt. Adams in Washington state.  Fellow members of NW area riding clubs joined for a time spent in the wilderness, with our horses, friends, family and for spiritual renewal.  It was wonderful.  Just went way, way too quickly.  *sigh*  Whether times are wonderful or routine, the days and weeks blur one into another for me.  Sometimes I believe that the hand of God has turned up the speed on the passing of time.  Like that old song goes..."it might be hard for the devil to do, but it'd be easy for You".  

My missy in her little space

Putting up the tent

Our glorious view

The ladies watching our men work.  :)

My honey relaxing in camp and Annie enjoying ball time

Little Ella heading back to her camp site

Annie, pleased she has Buddy's ball

Up goes the first flag

Up goes the second flag

My guys at the "big tree"

The station we judged for the trail competition

Good job of turning her horse in a box, using 1 hand & a snaffle bit

Sunset over Mt. Adams/Buck Meadow

Yummy breakfast omelette - boiled in a bag.

Out kitchen

Ella on her "decked out" lady

On the trail

My girl listening to me...

Ladde and my honey

Me & my girl after a long, dusty ride in the mountains

Nice trails and cool trees



Sabbath morning worship

Some of our musical entertainment

My hubby in his new hat



feeling peaceful and thankful


our club's banner

cherished friendships were forged

lives committed to Christ

showing happiness from within


baptism #3

Sweet little Ella lovin' the cute (and patient) pony

super cute!!


We really had an enjoyable time.  Trails were abundant and most were cooled by the dense forest of trees.  The weather was just about perfect; sunshine, a few clouds and a glorious breeze.  My only complaint is that it ended all too soon.  We left late morning on Sunday and I had to be at work the next morning, followed by a dentist appointment that same afternoon.  Good grief - am I glad that's finished!  It always amazes me just how long it takes to prepare for a trip like this...and poof!  It's over before you know it.

So, it's back to life as usual.  I've started regularly combing the homes for sale again...life is just too darn short to have so little free time.

Oh, and Ladde and Missy couldn't have been more perfect.  I think they enjoyed themselves as much, or more, than we did.  :)

Hope you're taking advantage of every single minute of this glorious summer!

Lorie