Thursday, April 19, 2018

Welcome spring!

Amidst all the rain we've been having this month, we have days like this...

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And I have to admit that I'd be happy to have this weather about 6 months of the year.  I enjoy all the seasons, for each one has its' beauty and its' unique joys...but this is just about perfect for me.

I got my new saddle.  It's well used and has been lovingly cared for, obviously.  I've only sat in it on the saddle stand, and still haven't tried it on Eagle.  I think it will fit him just fine, it's wide in the gullet and is cut back in the flank area.  It's a slick fork and has a Wade tree, which puts me in a completely different position for riding.  I'm sure I'll enjoy that.  It's going to take a while to adjust to the slick forks, for there's just nothing but the horn in the front, and the cantle is much higher, which will feel different going down hills.  We'll see...

Sorry I've been absent for so long.  Life has been about as busy as is usual, but I haven't felt the desire to sit and write about it.  Life ebbs and flows and I just go with the flow.

I was fortunate to be able to attend a women's retreat at the beach last weekend.  I had a 4-day weekend, which is rare for me.  It was awesome!  Wonderful ladies and fellowship, an engaging speaker, good food and amazingly stormy seas to admire.  Lots of rain and wind, but I enjoyed a couple of leisurely walks along the ocean side and was completely drenched on the last one.  It was absolutely fantastic!  I think everyone thought I was crazy to be out walking in the rain, but it wasn't cold and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  When I got back, I had a nice soak in the hot tub and then sat in the sauna, and finished with a nice, warm shower.  I haven't felt that relaxed in a good, long while as I enjoyed a hot cup of Chai tea in a cozy spot looking out over the ocean from the comfort of my room.  *sigh*

My sweet hubby stayed home and made sure the horses and the dogs were well cared for in my absence.  I couldn't have gone without him, and I certainly want to pay back his generosity.  There are several vintage sailing ships in Newport this weekend, including the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean and the ship used in the Goonies movie.  There are a couple others, but I forget the details.  I'm sure my husband would enjoy that, and they offer both tours and adventure sails which are reasonably priced.  That and a nice dinner out might be just the ticket!

I know that in many places around the country winter seems to be hanging on with its' icy grip.  Around here it's been cooler than usual and very wet, but spring is in full bloom.  Flowers are everywhere, the grass is startlingly green and growing fast, and the horses are shedding like crazy!  Riding season has arrived, and I'm anxious to get back into it before the temps heat up too much for my comfort.  Like I mentioned before, if the weather stays like this for a good, long while, I'll be a happy gal.  Just a wee bit less of the water falling from the sky and it would be perfect!

Blessings and sunshine heading your way...

Lorie @ Cingspots

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Seeing the tail end of winter

...and am I ever glad to see it.  I'm looking forward to warmer weather, longer days and spending more time outside.  I noticed on my calendar that the arrival of spring is but two weeks from today.

Hallelujah!

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Cougar Hot Springs - not my pic, but we soaked here a few years ago...lovely

Honestly I can't say that this has been a terrible or even unusually long or cold winter.  We've had some cold days, a wisp or two of a snow dusting, some beautiful sunshine and yes of course, plenty of rain.   Better than some, worse than others, but nothing to complain about.  But, I am so ready to get outside and enjoy outdoor pursuits!  With the longer daylight hours, the dogs and I will resume our walking, and I am really looking forward to riding my horse again.  I haven't ridden Eagle in over a year.  I can hardly believe that myself, but it's the case.  Last early spring he suffered the wire cut from an apparent tangle with the fence.  The wound location was one that flexed and stretched with every step, making it a slow healing process.  But it has healed and with no ill effects, and for that I am so grateful.  My horse has had a very long vacation and we were just hitting our stride, or at least making good progress when it happened; so we'll just begin again.  Hopefully it won't take very long for me to feel comfortable with him again.  I just want to sit astride a horse and feel the wind in my face and enjoy that peaceful, easy feeling that only comes when I'm riding.  *sigh*

I'm paying the last installment on my new saddle this month and we've got plans to take a weekend trip in April to pick it up.  :)  I can't wait to try it out!  And I have to admit that I'm a bit apprehensive because I've never actually sat in it before.  It's a 15-1/2" smooth seat with rounded forks, a higher cantle and very wide, angled stirrups.  It looks super comfortable but I really have no idea.  I just hope it sits as good as it looks.  I've ridden in the same saddle since 1982 and I still love it.  Entire different style saddle though.  My old one is a Western Pleasure style with a built up swell and a suede seat.  The new one, (new to me) is a Wade style tree, Ranch saddle with closer contact with the horse.  That I know I will love.  If I don't like it, I'll just resell it.  But I'm hoping to love it!  Oh, and I sure hope it fits my horse too!  Such a risk taker right?  :)

Remember I mentioned that we'd recently become aware of another granddaughter?  Well...she and her mom came to visit with us a few weeks back.  We spent several hours visiting and getting to know each other, looking through family photo albums and introducing them to our herd.  They are wonderful people and it's very obvious to us that Anita has enjoyed a good life and has always been loved.  Her mom said that she's a blessing, always has been.  I really like her mom.  She's a couple years older than I am and just last week retired from her job as a physician's assistant.  She and her husband plan on selling their home in the next couple of years and building their dream home on an acre of land they have in Sunriver, Oregon...also our dream location area.  We found that we actually have a fair amount in common and look forward to occasional get-togethers in the future.  It was a great day and we really enjoyed getting acquainted.  We feel blessed too.  Such a gift!

As always, we remain busy with day to day obligations of work, care-taking, keeping the home fires burning and such.  Life is never dull and although we dream of grander adventures, we feel grateful for everything and everyone in our lives.  The horses are all doing well and we're looking forward to the mud drying up soon - and of riding!  I so. want. to, ride.   It's been way too long.

Hoping winter bids you all adieu sooner, rather than later. 

Blessings from our neck of the woods, to yours!
Lorie @ cingspots

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Always asking why, without ever seeing the obvious

I'm sharing this blog post because it seems appropriate for now, again and for so many times in the past we've asked "why".  I think we all, or most of us, already know the answer.  We've been told times are going to become worse and worse, in fact, worse than has ever been in history.  That's unimaginably bad.  These things must take place.  It's so simple, it's difficult for people to understand, or accept.  These mimic my thoughts and so I'm sharing this message with you today.  Hopefully it's food for thought, worth considering and worthy of making some changes.  There's so much more that I could say, but this writer does a nice job of explaining what is painfully obvious to me. 




Is Satan Stealing Our Families?


This past year I read a book with my daughter called Little House in the Big Woods. You may be familiar with it. It’s the first book written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and it began the popular Little House on the Prairie series. I don’t recall reading it before, and as I read it to my five year old, I think I enjoyed it even more than she did. Something about the way the family lived, it intrigued me. I love my internet tremendously, but the simplicity and closeness this family shared sounded really wonderful to me. The idea of working together for each other drew me into their little world. Many times as I read the pages aloud I yearned for such a time as the ones described.
I look around today and I wonder if we wouldn’t be better taking a step back in time where we could focus more on important matters, and less on trivial ones. I see the things around me that cause so much unneeded stress, and I truly believe that the principalities and powers of darkness wish to destroy what God has created. God favors families. He favors love, time together, and focus on cultivating those relationships. What I see today is in direct opposition of that, yet those things have developed slowly over time, so much so that we don’t even notice them deteriorating the fabric of family.
Our pre-teens and teenagers are so absorbed in their Snapchat and Instagram that they can’t even come up for air. Not that we notice. We’re buried in our Facebook newsfeed or hottest new game app.
The normalcy of public school education with its ever increasing curriculum demands are swallowed like good medicine. The school year gets longer, testing increases, and hours of homework creep into the family time. So children that already spend 8-9 hours away from home are spending their evening hours doing more projects, reports, and extra credit assignments.
Mom and dad are too exhausted to help much. They’re tired because they’re putting in more hours. Dual working parents are the majority. And while the cost of living has definitely increased over time, I wonder how much of our “necessities” are truly that? We work more to be able to buy more, yet we hardly have time to enjoy all our purchases. We save all year long for a week long vacation that leaves us exhausted and in need of a day off from our off days.
A lot of our hard-earned money is spent on activities. So. Many. Activities. We spend more time driving to activities, purchasing gear, costumes, and accessories for our activities, or working on our off days to raise funds for our activities. Activities where we watch other people teach, coach, and mentor our children. Is this the time together we’re craving? Makes you think.

 If you had to sit down and add up how much quality time you spend alone with your spouse, what would it be? What about your children? And not time doing and going. Just time. Is it less time than you spend on your weekly commute to work?
It makes you wonder if divorce is more prominent today because it’s become socially more acceptable, or could it be because we’re spending less time enjoying the company of our spouse? Would children get in less trouble if they had a present parent/parents available to guide them? They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I’m wondering if we’ve taken that too far. Now we just want the village to take care of them. And then when our children fall down and fail we can have teachers, coaches, and the church to blame for their demise.
This is hard stuff to think about. It’s taking everything we’ve called normal over the past few decades or more and realizing that it’s actually destroying the family unit. Our kids are playing ball 3-5 times a week until 10pm, and the parents are working 60 hours a week to keep designer duds on the kiddos lest they get bullied for wearing WalMart brand clothing. Everyone has a TV in their room, a cell phone in their pocket, and a brand new car in the drive-way yet none of that will go to Heaven with us. We’re working very hard providing material possessions for our children, when in all reality we should be on our knees with them leading them to a closer walk with Jesus. Eternal life is what we should want for our kids, not the best education money can buy. And while I’m all for giving them a bright future, I don’t want to give them the world if it forfeits their soul. When my grown children look back on life I want them to have memories of time well spent rather than spending all the time. I gotta work on this! I don’t have it all figured out either, but I’d like to think my eyes are open enough to see that Satan wishes to destroy us.
Satan wants us tired, worn thin, and stressed. He wants us in debt up to our eyeballs, and our health failing because we can’t sleep enough, eat right, or handle our stress effectively. He wants husbands and wives fighting over finances, disrespectful teens who learned how to treat their parents based off Nickelodeon sitcoms, and thousands of young children sexually abused by the adults we’re so quick to place our trust in. He wants us busy, but not productive. He wants our plates full, but our tank empty. He wants us looking to society for what’s best for our families, not God’s word as a lamp to our feet. He wants the family unit ripped apart, and many times I look around and see us letting him. We’re not even trying to take a stand.
I’d like to believe that it’s not too late. We can still fight to save our families. Perhaps it all comes down to stepping out in wisdom, courage, and truth for our family. In a world that’s so busy Keeping Up With the Kardashians, maybe it’s time to be a Little House on the Prairie. What do you think?

Blessings all,
Lorie

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

You just never know



Life is full of unexpected happenings.  Surprises when you least expect them.  Some are extraordinary and life altering; others are just a welcome change to the routine. 

We had a beautiful, warm weekend.  Yes, the sun was shining!  Oh my goodness, did it ever feel good!  All of us, horses, dogs, cats, chickens and people alike turned our faces heavenward and just reveled in the warmth beaming down upon us.  It was so nice. 

Just what we needed to lift our spirits and remove some of the gloom that has been cloaking our world lately.  The horses were dropping like flies.  They ate breakfast and then were sprawled out all over the pasture, just basking in the warmth.  It felt so much like spring, temps were in the 60's and I even saw a honeybee.  The flowering tree in our back yard will be budding soon, as will the daphne bush by the deck.  One of the most heavenly scents imaginable!  I love to pick a bouquet and place the vase on my night stand...sweet dreams.  :)

As I looked around I noticed signs of spring everywhere.  Daffodils are pushed through the soil, tiny buds on many trees and the horses are starting to shed a bit.  And the days are getting longer!  It's no longer dark when I leave the clinic in the evening.  Oh man, what a blessing.  Just thinking that winters' end is near, makes me feel so much lighter.  I know I can't complain, because we really haven't had much of a "winter", but the rains all through January just seemed to be never ending and even the horses seemed depressed.  For whatever reason, this year I seem to be struggling with the endless grey skies, rain and mud.  But, knowing the end is in sight helps me so much. 

Another true surprise happened to us recently.  Something so unexpected, but very cool.  Shortly before Christmas I received a private message from someone I didn't know.  She asked if I knew someone (name withheld for privacy), and I said yes, that's my husband's son.  She said she was searching for long-lost relatives.  Curious, I asked her if she thought she was somehow related to him.  She said yes, he's my biological father.  You could have knocked me down with a feather!

We had a fairly long correspondence that day and I got the feeling she was a very nice young lady.  Apparently, unbeknownst to us, JP fathered a baby with a girl years ago when they were in high school.  The infant was given up for adoption and she was raised within an hour of where we now live.  What a small world, huh?  Last year she graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Civil Engineering and now works for Oregon Dept. of Transportation in The Dalles, which is several hours from here in the Columbia Gorge area.  I really enjoyed visiting with her and so did my hubby.  He was even more excited than me, since this is another granddaughter he was unaware of.  This Sunday, Anita and her dad are coming to our home for a visit.  We're really looking forward to meeting her in person and the chance to get acquainted with her.  As far as looks go, there's no doubt that JP is her biological father.  She's the spitting image of him, same complexion, hair color, smile, everything.  Pretty amazing huh?  We're ready for all the questions she's likely to have, although we've already covered some of the basics earlier.  We've got lots of pictures we can share, she's an active outdoorsy type, loves animals, has a dog and seems very down to earth.  I'm sure we'll get along just fine.  She used to be a horseback rider, took English riding lessons for years and loves to dance.  In her spare time, she teaches Hip-hop dance and has several videos on You-Tube. 

I'm actually a little bit nervous, but I'm sure that will pass as soon as she walks through the door.  The dogs will assault her, we'll try to get them under control to no avail, and the ice will have been broken.  As far as meeting our horses goes, the timing couldn't possibly be worse.  They are shaggy, muddy and fat, but will welcome the attention from someone new.  Ladde will do his best to give her kisses, and Eagle will work his wiles and seduce her just like he does all the ladies he meets. 

Eagle doing what he loves best

Should be an interesting day.

Until next time,
Lorie @ Cingspots

Friday, February 2, 2018

A stitch in time

That's what I keep telling myself.   That loosely translates to, "this too shall pass".  *sigh* 

I'm pretty much over my cold, with just a bothersome occasional cough that produces a very small amount of hmmm, yuck.  That works, hopefully without being too graphic for you sensitive ones. 

However, my overall condition this winter seems to be genuine lackluster.  I'm feeling tired, disinterested, cranky, and at times, bordering on having the outright blues.  So many rainy days and so very much mud creates so much extra work, muddy paws, muck boots, difficulty dumping the poop wagon, on and on.  I'll have to be careful or I'll pass my depression on to you.  :)  Sorry...

Seriously, not much going on really.  Shad was off his feed for a short time, had a very foul odor coming from his mouth and generally looked like I felt.  Maybe it's not just me after all.  So, my vet came out and had a look in his mouth, we were thinking likely a bad tooth, or a gum pocket causing him discomfort.  But when the speculum was just starting to open, he went straight up and there was a serious pain response, even with detomidine on board.  Poor guy.  From what the vet could see, it looked like a wound in the mucosa of the inside of his mouth, with hanging tissue, or maybe a tumor-like growth about 3/4"  long with a white tip.  ???  Who knows what it really is though.  We're guessing here, you know the "practice" of medicine.  A pressure smear was sent in for a cytology which didn't show anything abnormal, normal mouth bacteria and all that.  Good news.  So, we decided on a week of antibiotics and a small dose of banamine twice a day.  Mainly we wanted him to eat.  Being an old Thoroughbred (28 years this April), with the metabolism their breed is famous for, he drops weight very fast.  He was also a bit dehydrated because his water consumption was down and we needed to keep his caloric intake high.  No food, no energy to fight off whatever was ailing him.  So far, so good.  Last dose of both meds tonight.  The bad smell seems to be gone, so it's cold turkey to see how he responds.  While he's been medicated, his appetite has been great, we've been pouring the feed to him and that seems to be working.  His energy levels have improved and he's much more bright-eyed and back to his old, but child-like, playful self.  :)  We're just hoping whatever the thing was, it's healed up and he maintains when drug free.  We're hopeful, because there's really not much else to be done.  Anesthetization would be too risky for the old man and we're just not willing to risk it. 

This whole situation was reminiscent of what happened with Kadie, and had me worried.  We let her get too weak and weren't able to get her eating again, which I think, was why she just quit.  I wanted her to keep trying, but I could see it in her eyes.  She was too tired.  What a precious soul she was, but I know what a huge blessing she was to me.  I'll probably miss her forever, but I wouldn't have changed a thing.  When you love a good one, you just want forever.  So, I'm hopeful we have a better outcome with my hubby's sweet boy. 

I recently had a birthday.  I'm 58 years old, and just keep wondering how that happened.  I mean, it's gone so fast.  I can't believe how close to 60 I am.  And retirement.  Good grief. 

Can you hear it?  That old Rolling Stones song, time waits for no one, and it won't wait for me...

My hubby took me out for brunch on my b-day.  Yum!  Was a nice day.  I got to get up when I wanted to, enjoyed a leisurely morning and actually got to view a very brief sunrise, but a sunrise nonetheless.  That was cool.  Then the torrential rains began.  January birthdays are usually best enjoyed from the comforts of the inside, preferably by the fireside.  Like mine was, so I was a happy birthday girl.  Man, I really am getting old.  Sounds like a granny birthday for sure, doesn't it!? 

My dogs are going stir crazy too.  So much rain and mud, seriously curtails our walking adventures.  Such a bummer, but sometimes you just gotta go for it, stop worrying about the muddy paws, and get outside anyway.  Fresh air, exercise and wide open spaces help all of us so much!  Then let the cleaning frenzy begin...and the depressed doggies suffering on the blankets.  I'd switch places with them anytime.  Yesterday morning, Ruby came running towards me when I was standing with my car door open.  I thought she was running to me, but oh no, she jumped straight into my car, through and over the center console and onto the back seat!  Oh my gosh, I could have killed her!  Mud was everywhere!  Had it been blood, you'd have thought it was a major (and totally gory) crime scene.  Amazes me how many different places mud spots go in such a short amount of time...did I mention that my car has light grey interior?  Yeah...what was I thinking?

Hubs and I were dreaming and scheming again the other day.  We found this absolutely perfect home on 7 acres of gorgeous land with big, fir trees and pastures.  The home was situated on top of a gentle rise overlooking the pastures and the Grand Ronde river down below and across the driveway.  It was at the end of a dead end and very private private lane.  This is the first place I've fallen in love with since years ago when we first started looking at properties in Central Oregon.  I mean, the house was gorgeous, amazingly peaceful views from every window...sigh.  But alas, there were 2 serious drawbacks.  The rail line ran next to the private lane.  The train goes through there several times daily, and just below that, was the 4-lane highway.  Apparently, noise travels up.  I just couldn't imagine living somewhere, that all that peaceful serenity is marred by constant noise.  Nope.  Not going there.  We'll keep dreaming and scheming.  If it's meant to be, we'll find that perfect place; and if not, we're pretty happy where we are.  Always has been fun to dream though. 

Gives us damp Oregonians something to do...

Blessings all.


THE ROLLING STONES - time waits for no one

Thursday, January 11, 2018

All quiet on the homefront

The sun peeks through

And that's the only way I can handle it right now.  I've been sick again.  This cold hit me with a vengeance.  So quickly and within 24 hours, I was flat on my back and could no nothing more than sleep.  And sleep I did, all night, all the next day and all night again.  Ventured forth, had a long soak in a hot tub of water and made it to work yesterday.  I felt so much better than the previous day.  Very weird.  I've been sick more often in these past couple of months than I've been in the previous 5,6,7 ?? years?  Not sure, but this is totally uncharacteristic for me. 

I'm still not feeling anywhere near to normal.  But to work I must go, I really have no choice.  I'm just thankful that business this time of year is usually slow.  If it weren't, I don't think I could manage.  So I come in and do my best, but that's not saying much.  I slept very little last night and am feeling exhausted today, and cranky.  I don't do well without sleep.  Good news is that I dropped 6 pounds in 2 days.  YAY me!  Probably water weight and will come back quickly, but hey, I'll take it.  Gotta find that silver lining.

Weather wise we're very warm, 50's and oh, so very wet.  Blustery winds, grey skies and too much water falling from the sky.  Totally befitting my demeanor these days.  I did spend about a half hour in the barn last evening schmoozing with the horses and trying to help with the chores.  Mentally, I was renewed, refreshed and felt alive once again.  Physically, it nearly killed me.  I felt as weak as a kitten, legs and back aching.  Like I'd been physically working hard all day long.  Pitiful really.  Just amazes me how quickly things can change.  But, never fear.  Like my momma always said, this too shall pass.  Tomorrow is another day.  I keep those words near to my heart.  So very thankful for my dear husband who just takes everything on and nudges me back to bed to rest.  In times like these, I don't know how I'd manage the caretaking of the horses without him. 

So, now you see why I've been avoiding any new posting here.  I'm rather glum these days.  I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Actually thankful our weather matches my mood, for if the sun was smiling, I'd be seriously piqued.  Something else my mom used to tell me, "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all".  Wise woman.  So I do apologize for my lack of enlightenment and brevity, but life does sometimes throw us curve balls, does it not? 

New year is here.  There was a lot of negative, lots of anger, upheaval, political unrest, natural disasters and so very much suffering in this world.  My heart is heavy thinking about it all.  I know it has to be, but it's not easy seeing it, hearing of it.  So much pain in the world.  I can't help but hope for a better year ahead.  May we all look up in times of trouble, put our faith at the forefront of our lives and glean that peace that surpasses all human understanding.  That is my prayer for us all. 

So looking ahead, I've given precious little thought to my chosen word for 2018.  It instead, has chosen me.  It's the only word that keeps popping into my mind and I can only take it as a sign.  Shouldn't surprise me, not really.  I'm a chatter box and need to learn to practice this more, and so I hopefully shall.  Listen.  That will be my mantra, my lesson for the coming days, and with God's help, I hope to practice the beautiful art of listening so much more than ever before.  And not just with my ears, but especially with my heart.  And that goes for all who enter my life, whether they be person or animal.  Because Lord knows, I've still got a lot to learn. 

"Be still, and know that I am God"  Psalms 46:10

No worries. 

My best wishes for you all in this coming new year 2018.  May we all be blessed and therefore, bless.