Thursday, January 21, 2010

50's a pretty big number...

That's right! I am 50 years old today! I can hardly believe it myself. Just where in the world has the time gone? I guess I can honestly admit to being middle-aged at last. Ha! In a lot of people's opinions, I'm surely a lot older than middle-aged depending on just what you think of as old...or when you expect to kick the old bucket! But...I'll let you in on a little secret. Just don't tell anyone...kay? I plan on doing a whole lot of livin' in the next half of my life. That's right! The next half! I've decided that as of today - I'm middle-aged and I need to get busy livin'. Uh-huh, that's right! Like Morgan Freeman said in the Shawshank Redemption..."Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'". This gal's gonna get busy livin'!! So, I have no idea what is the acceptable protocol for ones' 50th birthday, so I'll just do what I wanna do. Sounds good to me!

As might be expected, I'm feeling a little retrospective today...about a lot of things. I've got a lot of memories stored up and a lot of adventures in my memory banks. Some are amazing, some are funny, some are sad, and some are just plain enjoyable. So, in honor of my 50th birthday I have decided to ignore the fact that it's January and only about a third of the way through winter...and reminisce about some wonderful times I've experienced just this past summer.

There are a lot more pictures here than words. You see, I happen to enjoy taking pictures and because of that...I have a quite a few photos to choose from, and it's no easy task just picking one or two; and if I were to add everything that I could or wanted to say about each one, well it just might be the longest blog posting ever. I could have called this post "blessings" because every single picture here, to me, represents a blessing that I have enjoyed or still enjoy immensely...and, God willing will never forget and with God's blessing, will have a whole bunch more to add to my ever-growing list of life's beautiful and bountiful experiences.

Last summer my hubby and I got to go to Hawaii. A dream come true for us. And while in Hawaii, we got to go swimming with dolphins and snorkeling with turtles and all kinds of amazing ocean critters. It was phenomenol!!! And, I will truly never forget it...and hopefully will get to do it again someday.

Like totally cool old do you think this guy is? Turtles are actually kind of shy, but if you're respectful and quiet, they let you get pretty close for a really close look. Amazing!!!!

Spinner dolphins that we got to swim in the ocean with and respectfully observe. This was so cool that I was brought to tears...and nearly drowned because I forgot to remain expressionless so as not to let water into my snorkeling mask. Oops!! Very, very cool. I actually had a family of dolphins swim right in front of me, about 6-8 feet away and they turned and looked right at me! I felt so honored! And, in their eyes I saw so much intelligence. Not at all like a fish, but indeed an intelligent and compassionate animal. I will never forget this as long as I live.

A beautiful whale. I can't even imagine being in the water when one of these big guys swims by.

More spinner dolphins. These shots were taken about a half mile off the coast of Oahu near the southern tip of the island towards the west coast or the leeward side.

My hubby snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean. Way cool. I'm very thankful for this guy.

Some pretty fishes doing what fishies do best in the coral reef of Oahu.

This picture was taken on the boat just before we headed out. My hubby looks great. Me? Not so great. But, what the heck...I am after all a 50 year old mature woman. I cannot be expected to look like some perky, skinny-assed little teenager. Am I right? Still. This picture does indeed cause me some pain.

Pineapples growing in the beautiful, red, volcanic soil of interior Oahu. This is part of the very large, Dole Pineapple plantation. We were on our way back to our beach cottage after having spent the day on the eastern shore of the island...where the big waves are. The surfers hang-out. I met a gal working in a shop there who was from a tiny little town in Eastern Oregon. Very small world we live in.

This is actually the moon shining through a palm tree just outside our beach cottage. I thought it was pretty.

A sunrise shot taken from "our" beach, just down a sandy little path from our cottage facing towards Molokai.

This is another shot taken just a few moments later, still looking towards Molokai. You can rent kayaks and paddle out to the Molokai islands. I stood there on the beach in total amazement at the beauty and the gorgeous colors that just kept changing...beautiful!

Same beach in the daytime. We were taking a little stroll. The Molokai islands can be seen in the distance behind us. This is Kailua Beach. The water is always a very comfortable, warm temperature...just right.

This is a gecko. Flighty little things. This little guy let me get quite close because I moved very slowly and quietly. They were everywhere...not on the beaches, but in the yards and one morning when I was in the outdoor shower rinsing my hair, I opened my eyes to see a little, tiny voyeur watching me. Eeeks!!

An orchid from the yard of the beach cottage.

This was our beach cottage where we stayed on Kailua Beach. The bed is straight ahead in the loft. At night we could crank open the skylights and let in the cool, ocean breeze and watch the stars. You can't see it in this picture, but on the left is the kitchen area and a wall of windows that faced the ocean.

This picture is taken from up in the loft looking out at the mountains.

From the deck of the beach cottage looking out at the mountains of Kailua town.

This is a sunset shot taken from the cottage. The ocean was on our east side, so the sunrises were more spectacular. I still like this shot though, there had been a torrential downpour shortly before.

This is a beach shot taken from the car. Sorry, it's a little blurry. We had gone from Kailua town along the shore to Hanauma Bay and spent the day snorkeling and sunbathing on the beach. This was taken on our way back to the cottage. What a gorgeous drive with spectacular ocean shots!

Here we are after our day of snorkeling and baking in the sun with Hanauma Bay in the background. The pictures just do not do justice to the exquisite beauty of this place. It truly is breathtaking. There is a rather steep walk down to the bay from here. We were fortunate and got a ride back up and were thankful that we didn't have to make the climb carrying all our stuff. We look a little fried huh? Fantastic snorkeling though...although my preference would have to be from a boat out in the ocean. The coral reefs are torture on the knees!

Another ocean shot somewhere between Hanauma Bay and Kailua town. Gorgeous color!

Arriving back home at our little cottage all tuckered out. Ready for a shower and a little relaxation (nap) before heading to Kailua town for dinner.

I forget the name of this beautiful bay, but this is maybe 10-15 minutes south of Kailua. I just loved the way the sun was streaming through the clouds and upon the water. Again, the camera cannot convey the beauty of real life.

Here we are back in port at Ko'Olina after our adventure of swimming and snorkeling in the ocean with the dolphins and turtles and fishies. To say we had a blast is an understatement. And, don't you just love our hair!? That's one thing I would totally love about living in one gives a rip about their hair. You just put it up and go!! My kinda place!!

Day 4 of camping at the Flying M Ranch over the 4th of July weekend 2009. We are lookin' good!! Probably smelling pretty good too...just be thankful that there is no smell in pictures!!

A pretty sunset seen from our campsight at the "M" - I remember wondering if we were in for a little of God's fireworks that night. Those clouds look a little imposing...

Relaxing after a long, dry, dusty and very hot day of horseback riding in the Cascade Mountains at Flying M Ranch outside Yamhill, Oregon. We are very thankful to be able to load up the horses and in 30 minutes time be up here in complete wilderness, camping and enjoying nature. We love it up here.

Here's my beautiful boy and trailhorse extraordinaire...Harley.

Looking out from our campsite. 4th of July weekend and we had the entire place to ourselves. Ya just can't beat that!

Me and my boy returning from a ride. Those are Ladde's ears you see in the foreground. My hubby is my favorite trailriding partner. Again, one of my blessings that I'm eternally thankful for.

The little creek that was just behind our camper. What a great place to soak hot tootsies after a day of horseback riding. Annie spent a lot of time in the creek playing. That's her favorite place!

I'm very thankful for these spots!! This is Harley. He's a totally adorable package!!

And...every cowgirl knows to give thanks for their boots, right? My toes have been spared more times than I can count because of these boots.

Here's the boys. Ladde and Harley. They are the best of buds when they're on a camping trip. At home...not so much. I count these two as some of my most very special blessings ever. You just couldn't find better horses. We love these guys!!!
Well, I guess that's it for now. It's been a nice birthday. My friend Beth took me out to lunch today at the Thai restaurant. Yummy!! Thanks Beth!! I've gotten many wonderful birthday wishes from some treasured friends, and what's better than that? This weekend my hubby and I are celebrating my birthday with my family at Marco Polo in of my favorite places to eat, and then are finishing up with dessert at Konditerai's in Salem. If you've never visited there - you need to. They have nothing but desserts and trust me, there's no wrong choice at this place. Everything is to die for good!!! 50 is a pretty big number alright, but's just a number. I'm thankful to have made it this far, and God willing, I'll be honored to see what's lies around the next 20 or 30 or 40 or...
Happy Birthday to me!! I'm 50 years old today and absolutely okay with it!!
Blessings everyone from cingspots!! :)


Maria said...

Happy, happy birthday - you look great

Lea and her Mustangs said...

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you Happy birthday happy birthday, happy birthday to you.

Michelle said...

I didn't know, or I would have sung Happy Birthday to you when I called today! (Now, aren't you glad I DIDN'T know then? :-)

Dusty Devoe said...

What beautiful pictures! Happy Birthday to you!

Laura said...

Happy birthday!!!

Great Hawaii pictures - it's on my list of places to visit...!

Leah Fry said...

Happy birthday and welcome to the second half of your life. Like you, I have made the decision to stay busy LIVING.

And I think you look just fine :-)

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Here's wishing you a very happy birthday and a great year ahead!

Heck, fifty is the new 35, remember?

Love all your photos!! That was a trip of a lifetime, wasn't it?

Grey Horse Matters said...

Happy Birthday!

Love your pictures, hope you had a great day celebrating!

panthercreekcottage said...

Happy Birthday my friend. Those photos? Fantastic. Hawaii, so beautiful. So glad you guys did that. Horse camping looks like a great time too. Love you lots, and dang you steal those boots from a 10 year old?!

Kate said...

What a lovely set of photos and stories! (and by the way, you look fabulous - like someone who's loved and loving) - the best is yet to come, and a very happy birthday! I'm about to turn 56, and I'm just getting in gear!

Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind said...

HAPPY B-DAY!! You dont look a day over thirty :)

I LOVE your room!!! DB and I are just looking at going to Hawaii in Feb... your pics have me looking forward to it all the more... lovely!

fernvalley01 said...

Ahh nuts! how did I miss this? HAppy Birthday Lori!!! Wonderful pictures and memories! And All I see in your photos (all of them) is a beautiful heart and a world class smile !!! you are beautiful my friend ! inside and out

Molly said...

It's never too late to wish a Happy Birthday! You are truly lovely inside and out. Your radiant smile tells the world how happy you are.
Wonderful pictures.

Dunappy said...

Great photos! Hope you have a great birthday also.

Maery Rose said...

You have totally convinced me to take a trip to Hawaii. My brother lives in Maui and I have a standing invitation. But you know how it goes with animals - can be tough to get away on a big trip like that. Hope you had a wonderful birthday!

Growing Up A Country Girl said...

Happy Birthday - beautiful Hawaii pictures and yes I love your apps! Looking forward to visiting more often..

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Happy belated birthday!

Such amazingly beautiful pictures!!!

I have never been to Hawaii, but my husband was stationed there in the Marine Corps. He said it was fabulous(they just didn't pay them enough to "really" enjoy it-LOL).

greymare said...

Happy Belated 50th Laurie, Aw Hawaii, Your pictures brought back so many memories. We stayed at Makaha on the island of Oahu many years ago. Loved it. You both look so happy and content. As to what we look like when we reach 50! I too am there and to me beauty is the cover but what is in the book that counts. We older more learned women must stick together and enjoy our lives the way we want. Go for it. do as much as possible that's what I say.

Tracey said...

Sorry I am late......but HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!
What beautiful pictures of your wonderful experiences and travels!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!! I'm sorry I'm late to wish you a special day.
You look radiant and relaxed in your own skin. We all strive to look and feel the same way!

I adore that photo of your and your hubby snuggling in that close-up. Too sweet! You're so blessed to have a hubby that enjoys horses and riding, too.
My hubby told me today that he'd like to start riding with me (??!!). I was so surprised and so happy!
Except now I have no horses at all, not even my Baby Doll. I'm so envious that you have such wonderful horses in Ladde and Harley. I hope to find a couple of horses just as special one day soon.

And how lucky you were to visit Hawaii! My hubby and I had a trip planned to Hawaii after we got married, but then I got prego with twins and was considered high risk, so we had to cancel.
Maybe one day we'll be able to manage a trip like that.
We'll be married 20 yrs this May and I hope we can do something more special to celebrate than just dinner.

I've always wanted to swim with dolphins, too. There is a place in Florida that offers private sessions to swim with their dolphins. I have a dream to do that someday. And look at YOU! You got to swim with wild dolphins! Did you know they're not fish? They are actually mammals, just like humans. So it's no wonder you saw so much intelligence in their eyes, much like humans. :-)

Yes, my friend, you have many blessings. And it looks like you are living life BIG! You go girl!


C-ingspots said...

Thank you so much everyone for your kind and wonderful comments. I love them all!!

Donna said...

Delightful pictures and a delightful post!

日月神教-向左使 said...