Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out With the Old and In With the New!!

Greetings to my fellow blogging buddies. Wow, I can hardly believe that another year is coming to an end. My momma always used to tell me "stop wishing your life away" and that "the older you get, the faster time goes". I have to admit that at the time, I thought she was crazy; that just had to be one of the most silly things that I had ever heard. But, you know what?? The older I get, the more I realize just how smart my momma was. Darned if she wasn't right! Yeah, I know, it just doesn't make a lick of sense - but it is so true - so very true. Because the older I get, the faster time does go, that's a fact jack!!

I haven't been around much lately, with all the snow and ice we've had and not being able to make it in to work for several days and now with year-end details at work and well, just life. I feel like I've been gone for a very long time. And, I miss it. I miss writing down my thoughts on this little screen and reading all those thoughts of so many other people out there. I feel so much better when I write. I never thought that I would be saying that, because until the last couple of years, I've never been much of a writer, but I am so addicted to it now. I find it oddly therapeutic and refreshing and, yes even liberating in a way. I've found that maybe, just maybe, I'm not so very different after all. I have similar thoughts and worries and notions as a whole lot of other folks in this world. And, I find that comforting too. You all out there have come to mean a whole lot to me. I feel connected in a way that I never thought that I would.

Amazing isn't it? You just never know what's going to happen next...and that's actually quite exciting. Gives us all a whole lot to look forward to. You never know what might be just around the corner or coming up on the next horizon. Maybe you'll do something that you've always wanted to do, or go someplace you've never been before, or meet that special "someone" that you've been longing to meet. Ya never know, just keep on fighting the good fight and putting one foot in front of the other and you just might be surprised where all those steps lead you. It sounds fun to me...wanna come along? I'd love the company.

Well...come on, let's get started! When we all wake up tomorrow morning, it's gonna be a brand new day in a brand new year and change is definitely a'comin...don't you just feel it in your bones?? I know that I do. I just hope that I'm ready. Oh well, ready or not, here we go!!!

Happy New Year!!!!

Many blessings from Cingspots

This is my sweet boy Harley. I was never able to get a good picture of him doing it, but he kept sticking his face deep in the snow up to his eyeballs. He does the same thing in creeks or lakes and comes up with a mouthful of sludge. Silly boy...oh, and he snorkels in the snow - anything new or different, he snorkels at it. Like mother, like son. He sure is looking fuzzy. and fat.
Come to think of it, I'm looking a little fuzzy and fat too; hmmm, must be something in our water. You think?
That's my story. Yep, and I'm stickin' to it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Twas the Day After Christmas

Well, Christmas is finished for another year. I have to admit that I'm so glad it's over. Don't get me wrong; I like Christmas, I just don't love Christmas. Not like I used to anyway. I really enjoy the Christmas Season before Christmas, like the decorating and the baking and the socializing and all the anticipation. Seems like people are generally a little happier. But, when it's all said and done - I'm always relieved.

We had a nice holiday, fairly quiet and uneventful except for the mass quantities of snow that fell and continued to fall - day after day after day. It was spectacularly beautiful!! All 2 feet of it!! And that's a lot of snow for our area. People around here just don't quite know how to handle more than a few inches of snow - and then when it sticks around for...oh 10 or more days, we all tend to become a little edgy - enough already!! I never thought I'd be saying this, but I am looking forward to nice, warm rain and yes, even the mud that accompanies it.

Today is the first day that I've made it to work all this week. For my hubby too - in fact because he uses mass transportation, he even missed a few days last week. Our paychecks are just gonna bite this month. *sigh* That's not going to be fun. Oh well, we had our beautiful White Christmas and it was truly magnificent. I can't remember having this much snow and especially over Christmas in a long, long time. Probably since I was a very young child even.

We spent Christmas Eve with family and it was very low-key. Christmas Day my hubby's son and his soon-to-be wife and the three grand kiddos were with us. They spent the night and we had present opening Christmas morn. We had a wonderful baked ham and cinnamon swirl french toast with homemade strawberry jam. Yummy!! Plenty of hot coffee and hot chocolate for the kiddos completed our breakfast. And after all the cookies we had consumed the night before, I was definitely ready for a little protein. We took lots and lots of pictures, watched The Nativity Story late Christmas Eve night and welcomed Christmas morning with the true story of the birth of Jesus. I didn't even bother to get out of my pajamas until the middle of the afternoon. It was nice and relaxing. But, like I said - I'm relieved once again that Christmas is finished for yet another year. Farewell, good-bye, adios amigos. I'm ready for some normalcy again. And....I'm definitely ready for some good old-fashioned Pacific Northwest rain. Yep, I am so serious here. I am so tired of all this beautiful, picturesque, pain in the patootie snow that we've had for almost 2 weeks now. Put a fork in me - I'm sooo done!!

And the horses are so tired of being cooped up in the barn too. They want to go outside and have a good roll in the mud, breath in the warm, wet air and do whatever it is that they do all day long while they're outside. You know, just be a horse. And, I want them to poop outside!! Thank you very much!! I am also tired of having double-duty on the poop scooping machine!! It truly amazes me how much poop five horses can produce in a 24-hour period of time. Sheesh...a bale of hay is somehow, magically transformed into 2 bales worth of poop!! I'm not joking around here, if you have horses and you feed them extra hay while they're cooped up inside the barn all day long, then you know just what I'm talking about here...poop. and. lots. of. it.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Looking forward to a wonderful 2009. Wishing all your Christmas memories were full of heart-warming merriment and peace.

Blessings from Cingspots

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter Wonderland

This is my most favorite barn in my neighborhood and is quite picturesque in the snow. The hills in the background are the foothills of the Coast Mountain Range. These shots were taken by my hubby on our way into the clinic yesterday. He just held the camera out the window while I drove.

This is the same barn and homestead from a different angle. I thought the shot was quite lovely with this tree in the foreground.

The two shots above are just a bit closer in towards town. I thought this view of the snow covered hills and trees was very pretty. Quite the winter wonderland. I just wish those trash bins were in a different spot. The building on the right is one of the hundreds of local wineries in the area. The entire area is going to the grapes. Everywhere you look, farm fields and hay crops are being planted in grapes and wineries seem to pop up overnight. One reason why our hay prices have skyrocketed in recent years.

This shot is the small town that I pass through each morning on my way to work. It looks so pretty all blanketed in the snow. Small town America. I had no trouble driving, but my top speed was about 30 mph and I did have the truck in 4-wheel drive just to be safe. I don't have very much experience driving in snow and ice, but it just seems to be a matter of common sense to me. I drive slowly, make no sudden movements with the steering, avoid using my brakes and leave plenty of space between vehicles. And...I sing. This morning my song of choice was Silent Night...all the way to the clinic. Helps me relax.

This shot here is from our back door on the deck. It was a beautiful sunrise. Do you see all the kitty tracks in the snow? It always seems so very quiet when the world is covered in snow. Maybe we'll have a white Christmas this year...that would be a nice change of pace.

This last weekend was a very quiet and relaxing couple of days for my hubby and me. My kind of weekend to be sure. Friday evening we got a pizza and watched a movie on tv after the horses were all fed, watered, blanketed and tucked away in the barn as snug as bugs in rugs. Sabbath morning we went to church. The service was lovely and we sang bunches of beautiful Christmas hymns. Truly one of my most favorite parts of Christmas. Then in the afternoon, my niece Shelley came over and we baked Christmas cookies and made candy all afternoon. But, wouldn't you know it, I was so wrapped up in what I was doing, I completely forgot to get any pictures of our labors. We made oatmeal-chocolate chip, no-bake chocolate coconut cookies, peanut clusters, rice krispie treats with peanut butter and chocolate, Thumbprints with strawberry jam, Snickerdoodles and butter cookies with homemade butter frosting. Yum!! This coming weekend I hope to finish up with my baking projects and begin assembling my homemade goodie baskets. And...on the way home from church, guess what we found?

This absolutely gorgeous Golden Retriever!! She's so friendly and probably about a year and a half old. She narrowly missed being hit by both our truck and someone else coming in the opposite direction. She was soaked to the bone and disoriented acting, as though she were lost. There were no houses in the nearby vicinity and we felt that we couldn't just drive away and leave her there looking so forelorn. So...softies that we are, we loaded her inside our truck and brought her home. Shoowee, she stunk too!! My hubby gave her a bath and she and Annie had a grand afternoon. These pics were taken Sunday afternoon shortly after the snow began falling.

See those two - what a pair!! They had a blast frolicking in the snow and playing with Annie's beloved ball.
Here is Buttons making snow angels. Every time we would let her out in the snow, this is what she wanted to do...silly girl!! Yep, we did indeed find her owners and they had been missing their beloved "Buttons". She has a family complete with two little boys of her very own. A happy ending to be sure!

I know that Annie enjoyed playing with her newfound friend, but I can't say that she was upset when Buttons went home either. What a jealous dog we have!!
Hope everyone stays warm and toasty in this beautiful, but frigid winter wonderland.
Blessings from Cingspots

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just One Wish

This has been a bit of a topsy turvy day for me. It's snowy outside and quite lovely. A true winter wonderland. The temps are hovering in the upper 20's and the sky is blue and the sun is shining. Truly beautiful. One minute I'm all smiles and the next the tears won't stop streaming down my cheeks.

On December 16th, 2005 my beloved momma died. I was fortunate enough to be with her when she went, but I'm not sure she knew I was there. In fact, there were quite a few of us there with her. A couple of my aunts and uncles, a cousin and his wife, one of my sisters and one of my nieces. Momma had fallen asleep in her chair in the living room and everyone was having quiet conversation and checking on her every so often. I was making chilli in the kitchen. One minute she was just sleeping and the next, she was gone. I am eternally thankful for that. She died peacefully in her sleep. But, if I could have but one wish right here and right now...I just want her back. I want to call her up and talk to her again. I want to hear that familiar voice asking me if all the horses are alright; and what are you having for dinner tonight? I want her to say something to irritate me again, so I can say "oh mom" in that tone that was probably all too familiar to her. She knew just how to get my dander up, and in a hurry. I'm sure she enjoyed it. I was always way too easy and she knew just how to push my buttons. I loved her...and I miss her. I wish I could wrap my arms around her and tell her just how much she always meant to me. I'd tell her thanks for all those great lunches she used to pack for me and Shelley when we had to go strawberry picking. And, I'd tell her just how proud of her I was that time when my friend and I got stuck up in the apple tree by the neighbor's mean dog Shep and she just yelled at him and chased him off with a stick. None of the other kid's moms could have done that. And all those times that she drove me and Kelly to the 4-H horse shows and sat in the bleachers freezing in the winter or sweltering in the summer when she could have been at home or doing something that she wanted to be doing. Oh, dear God how I do miss her! She used to scratch our backs for what seemed like hours while we layed over her lap. Nothing in this world ever felt so good. And if I ever needed help - doing anything, all I had to do was call and she'd be on her way. Never any hesitation, she'd just come and help. She could do anything. And, her apple pies. Nobody in this world could bake an apple pie as good as my momma's. Yeah, that's surely what I'd wish for; even for a few minutes just to hug her and let her know that I still miss her. I'd surely try to be more patient with her and overlook some of those things that used to get under my skin. There's just so many things that I'd like to tell her, stuff that's happened since she's been gone, places we've went and good times we've had. It is true about life. It just keeps going on. And there's one thing I know for sure...when a loved one dies, you never truly get over it. The pain does lessen with time, but it never really goes away. I will always miss my mom and wish that she were here, alive and well.

My mom always loved my horses, and I surely do miss having someone ask me about them. She was the only one, besides my dad who really understood just how much they've always meant to me. On a beautiful day like this, we'd probably go for a little walk and end up in the horse barn. Or at least go out to the pasture and watch the horses for a little while and then head back into the house for a hot cup of coffee and get warmed up. And then, she'd probably notice my cobwebs or something and tell me to go get my vacuum and let's get those down from there.

On her worst day, she had more energy and ambition than I usually have on some of my best.

She was a real gem and I was truly blessed to have her as my momma. I just don't think I had her long enough.

Rest in peace sweet momma and when you wake up in the mornin', you'll be smiling with the angels. I'll be seeing you again and we'll have a good time then. Yep, we'll go for a little ride or something. You pick this time. Remember, I'll always love you.

Always and forever,

Your Lorie

Friday, December 12, 2008

Shocking Dog Torture and Other Fun Stuff

Seriously, just look at her face. Did I lie?? This weekend I hope to torture the horses with some similar stuff.....ooowaaaa (evil laugh) I can hardly wait - what fun!!
Ahhhh, come on mom - do I HAVE TO???

Yep, sorry there Annie Banannie - there's always gonna be things in life that you just gotta do.

And this little poochie here is Tiley. She's our friend's little dog. We were dogsitting for the weekend; so we tortured her a little bit too. Mean, aren't we?? Isn't she cute??
I wonder what she was thinking...

Last Sunday afternoon I went up to my very dear friend Betty's house and we had loads of Christmas fun! She has this awesome little barn that her husband converted into her very own workshop. I just love it! It's reminiscent of a Santa's workshop, complete with a little woodstove and a workbench and a desk and all sorts of stuff. It's her very own little personal space for when she needs some personal quiet time. She can walk out there and make a cup of coffee and work on her latest project, or read a book, or take a nap or just veg out for hours all alone with no one to bother her. Ooh, I wish I had my very own little workshop like that!! Just take a look and see for yourselves.

Cool huh? This is her workbench where we proceeded to create masterful works of art in the form of Christmas wreaths. She had all kinds of tree boughs from which to choose. We had Douglas fir, Cedar, Grand and Salal. We also had pine cones and dried flowers and wheat and all sorts of stuff that my friend has collected.

Can you read this sign??? I will give you a little hint, but so far not one person that I know of has been able to figure out what this sign says without being told. Okay, so here's your one hint. You need to be thinking of an old Norwegian guy with an accent like someone who's from Minnesota. Years ago Betty gave us one of these signs and we have it proudly displayed in our barn. hee hee - it's soooo fitting. Well, come on...what's it say??

Give up??? Okay, I'll give you another little hint...


Ha!! Cracks me up!! Have you got it??? NO???? Come on you guys!!

Okay, I'll tell ya... Why is there so many more horse's asses than there is horses?? Now, you must say it using an old Norwegian/Minnesotan accent or it just won't make sense! I love this sign. Stumps everybody, but then everybody laughs. And like I said - very fitting, wouldn't you agree?

Here's the little woodstove which we of course had a fire in. It was pretty cold that day and quite wet too. We were all fogged in and it was very Christmasy feeling.

Here's my little friend now. She's making us some hot coffee so we can warm up a bit. Yummy!

And this is a beautiful etched glass portrait that my talented friend made. Isn't it just lovely?? I'm telling you guys, she is one very artistic lady. She makes a mean buttermilk bisquit too!

See those two mossy looking things up there? Those are pieces of bark that my friend has tied together to form a vase of sorts. We later turned those into artistic little treasures too. Oh, and see that rusty barbed wire up there on the wall??? Yep, that's right, it's rusty barbedwire. My little friend has a "thing" for all things rusty and especially barbed wire. She's got quite the collection!
The inside walls are all lined with old barn wood and the interior of the whole place is very rustic and quite homey. With all my friend's treasured collection of delightful goodies, the atmosphere is of comfortable yesteryear. A cowgirl's dream!!!

And speaking of days gone by, this photograph is of my lovely friend and her handsome husband many years ago. They are as much in love today as they were back then. I dearly love them both. In all my years, I've never met more beautiful people than these two. I am truly blessed to count them among my most treasured of friends.

Everywhere you turn, there are more objects of cowboy art.

And of course, we had music!! Christmas songs to sing along with. What kind of a Santa's workshop would it be without Christmas music??

And looky here - she's even got a little sink with real running water! I just love , love, love this workshop!! So much you think my hubby might make me one for Christmas?? hmmm, now there's a thought...

Sssshhhh!!! This is my friend's "other" boyfriend. She just loves John Wayne. See, I told ya she was a cowgirl!!

I just love all of this stuff!

And here is my wreath. All done with a little raffia bow and some dried red roses. I now have it hanging just outside my door at home. Thanks Betty!!

And here is Miss Betty's gold star that she made out of paper. I think it's beautiful, don't you?

And this is the dried floral arrangement made out of some of the stuff that Betty has in her vast collection of collected goodies. Remember that shot earlier of the bark tied into a vase - well here it is all finished. There is wheat, larkspur, roses, oats, oregeno and all sorts of stuff thrown in for fun. What do you think?? Should we quit our jobs and start up one of those little cottage industries?? Do you think we've missed our callings??? Yeah, you're probably right - we'll keep the day jobs. But, we had a blast making these and laughing and singing and drinking wine oops, I mean coffee and walking in the woods with our poochies and...oh, I almost forgot the dog torture!!

Yep, here they are - the two tortured dogs!! This is the active part of their jobs. The rest of the time they were sleeping. Lazy hounds!! That's Annie on the left and Gus on the right. Aren't they a pair?? They are trail walking fools those two!!
So... this, is my kind of Christmas. Time spent with good friends - talking, laughing, eating, drinking and generally enjoying the simple pleasures in life. Yep, I had a blast and I'll always remember our afternoon spent together in my friend Betty's delightful workshop in the woods.
Thank you my dear friend. I love you, have a very blessed and wonderful Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Quickie and passing on of Awards

I'll just bet that I got a few of your attentions with the quickie part there, didn't I? Well, get your minds out of the bedrooms will ya? That's not the kind of quickie I'm referring to here. I have been very busy here this week and really haven't had a chance to try out the link project or the passing on of that award that had rules attached to it. I love receiving awards, as many of you probably do also. It's a little bit of recognition that someone out there reads and maybe even appreciates our thoughts and the time we've taken to put them into words.

So, here goes nothin'. At the risk of offending the blogger police and some of my fellow readers, I am going to do something here that goes against the grain. I am going to change the rules on the passing on of this "Superior Scribbler" award that Karen aka gtyup of Life at the Rough String gave me last week. Thanks so much!! If you have'nt already, get on over there and check her out!!
But, in order to do this properly I need more time than I have now, or possibly in the forseeable future, so I am going to give a list of my five recipients without providing links directly to their blogs. Hopefully, most of you have already seen their blogs anyway, but if you haven't, their addresses can be found on my blog roll. I am apologizing in advance if this offends anyone, but I always have been a bit of a rebel and have never, not even once in my life done well with rules. (sorry mom and dad) So without further adeau, here are 5 of my favorite blogs to read, and in my humble opinion, definitely worthy of receiving this award:

1) Fern Valley Appaloosas - I just love her and her wise and heartfelt style of writing. Her stories always find a way at touching my heart. She also has spotted ponies, which I am terribly fond of as you all probably know.

2) PonyGirl Rides Again - She always makes me laugh and she is one heck of a good teacher and is stupendous at narrating her beautiful pictures. She also has a spotted pony who is a "ham".

3) Lisa at Laughing Orca Ranch - She is a fellow horsewoman, has a beautiful and brightly colored Paint horse and is a wonderful mom. She is very unique in both her writing style and her never-ending choices on a variety of subjects. She is also the first person to ever follow my blog.

4) Melanie at The Knutson Family - She is another fellow horsewoman and she has beautiful Arabians with those big, soulful eyes that I love and admire. She is an amazing mom and has also returned to school to further her studies. My hat is off to you Melanie! You have more on your plate than I would ever want to try and attempt.

5) Kacy at All Horse Stuff - Here is yet another fellow horsewoman (see a pattern here?) and she rides an amazingly beautiful Thoroughbred mare named Wa. She is a true dyed-in-the-wool Oregonian who rides in any kind of weather and is extremely brave. I admire her on many levels, as an amazing woman, as a wife to her beloved hubby and to her kind and generous heart.

And since I'm breaking the rules here, I'm going to throw another winner into the mix (what the heck)!!

6) Gail at On the Farm - Gail is a most unique individual and her sense of style keeps me in stitches much of the time. She has a couple of beautiful ponies herself, and like me doesn't get to ride them nearly as often as she would like to. I enjoy her writing very much and appreciate her honesty, her down-home values and her obvious love of much of what I hold dear to my heart.

To pick up your award, check out my post from last week and copy to your blogs. Congratulations to each and every one of you!! You all brighten my world and soothe both my heart and my spirit. I am humbled to be included in your social circle of Blogdom. With God's good grace and some luck, may we all meet face to face someday and have a cup of coffee and a great conversation! Maybe we'll even get to ride together - now wouldn't that be a hoot!?

Have fun girls!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Moved by the Spirit

Hi again. I realize that I've been a bit lax in my writing of late and feel the need greatly. However, I have no internet service at home on the weekends and so far this week, there has been no time. I also need to get to work on the passing on of an award that I received last week and put to use my hopefully, newfound knowledge of links. Thanks so much to everyone who helped me out. Without you, I'd surely have been at a loss.
However, I have just read something in my monthly church newsletter that I feel I must pass on for your reading contemplation. Reading the following words surely did move me, and I hope you find peace in reading them as well.

In contemplating the incarnation of the Son of God, Ellen White wrote the following words:

"In contemplating the incarnation of Christ in humanity, we stand baffled before an unfathomable mystery, that the human mind cannot comprehend. The more we reflect upon it, the more amazing does it appear. How wide is the contrast between the divinity of Christ and the helpless infant in Bethlehem's manger! How can we span the distance between the mighty God and a helpless child? And yet the Creator of worlds, He in whom was the fullness of the Godhead bodily, was manifest in the helpless babe in the manger. Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet wearing the garb of humanity! Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and man and God became one. It is in this union that we find the hope of our fallen race. Looking upon Christ in humanity, we look upon God, and see in Him the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person." - The Signs of the Times, July 30, 1896

And in response to having read this, this is what our minister asked us to think about:

"As we enter the season of Christmas, spend the time in reflection on what it means that God became man, that God came to live with us and reveal Himself in the flesh. I for one need to reflect on the truth that I need Him every hour, every minute, every second of my days."

And just now, for me personally, I do believe that these words represent the meaning of Christmas and what it's really all about. I need to slow down, be quiet, and let the Holy Spirit speak to me and spend some peaceful time of my own reflecting on the true and everlasting reason for the season. Have we all forgotten? Or is it just that we tend to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the material side of the holiday that we bury it somewhere deep down where the true joy doesn't get to shine? Please ponder these words, and remember even for just a moment what we really have to celebrate, will you?

May you all feel peace and unadulterated joy at the pure and sweet truth of this Christmas season.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fried eggs again - boy howdy!!

Fried eggs or Friday is what my high school Spanish teacher used to say...he was a crack-up, that's for sure! But for some reason, it's stuck. I more often than not will refer to Friday as Fried eggs!! So yippee everybody, it's Fried eggs again!! Hope everybody has a fantastic weekend.

And just guess what else?? Miss Karen of Life at the Rough String has given me an award!! Hot diggity dog and hot fried frog's feathers!!! I'm so humbled and honored that she has graced me with this wonderful award. I'd like to thank my writing staff and my family and my amazing fans for putting up with me (blush). oh ha ha hee hee ha ho !!! Just kidding...I don't really have a staff...just a little fantasy I entertain ever so often. Seriously though, thanks Karen, I sincerely do appreciate the thoughtful gesture. If you haven't already checked her blog out, get on over there and do so, because she lives in eastern Oregon (the dry side) and has some beautiful horses, some cute donkeys, humble poochies, a good-lookin' cowboy hubby and a cat too. She's one very busy and interesting gal.

Will ya just looky here!!

Don't that just beat all!? Shucks! I'm sooo humbled. Oh no, there's just one teeny weeny little problem - you know...that little nagging, won't go away issue I have about LINKS!!!!!

There rules associated with this award:

1) Name 5 other superior scribbles

2) Link to the author and name of the blog that gave you the award

3)Display the award on your blog with this LINK, which explains this award

4) At the bottom of that link, add your name to Mr. Linky's list

5) Post these rules for your recipients

Here are my 5 Superior Scribbler Award recipients:'ll just have to wait until some kind and generous fellow blogger somewhere out there feels sorry enough for me to take pity and show me how to do those dadburned, stinkin' links!!!


See ya later alligators!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Spirit of Christmas Reborn

Absolutely!! Today is the first day that I feel some excitement about this Christmas season. Hallelujah and it feels good!! I have my lovely and very dear friend Betty to thank for this. So...thank you Betty!! For whatever reason, my enthusiasm comes and goes, for whatever reason - or more correctly, for many reasons. But today, I read my friend's most recent post and she talked about how she said good-bye to summer and now embraced fall with the putting to bed of last summer's vegetable garden with leaves. Then she went on to say that she and her dog, Gus went for a little walk in the woods near her home and she gathered greens for her Christmas wreath. She gathered douglas fir, cedar, grand fir boughs and salal. She talked about the wonderful scent they emitted as she cut and arranged and created her wreath. Man oh man, I can just imagine the heavenly scent of those beautiful gifts from the forest! And then, I started to imagine some other familiar Christmas scents - like the burning of cinnamon/spice candles and freshly baked cookies. There is something very nostalgic about smells for me. With just a whiff of a certain scent, I am immediately transposed to a certain moment in time; and with the vividness of my imagination, I am there. I picture the beautiful tree all decorated with brightly colored lights and the angel on top, just so; and she's looking down upon the beautiful collection of treasured ornaments from top to bottom. Each one with a special memory of their own. And the fire in the woodstove giving off not only heat, but that woodsy, smokey smell. Ah, delightful and so cozy and homey.
Oh yes, and the Christmas carols. My most favorite part of the season is the beautiful music and all the old hymns and the 40's classics sung by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Judy Garland and The Fontaine Sisters to name just a few. I just love it! And, the gathering of friends for baking Christmas goodies. I love it all! Then there's all those Christmas specials and the wonderful old movies that I love. Like...It's A Wonderful Life - truly one of my all-time favorites!! I still can't help but cry like a ninny toward the end where all the friends and family come together and bring all their monies to help George out, and finally, Clarence gets his wings. Oh, a tear-jerker for sure!! But, there's plenty of other classics too, like Miracle on 34th Street and How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Frosty the Snowman and countless others!! Priceless gems one and all. They sure don't make 'em like they used to...

This year, I am going to try and do as little shopping as possible. I will send out my usual store-bought Christmas cards and mail them to friends and family both near and far. But, I want to make most, if not all of the actual gifts. You know, like home preserves, cookies, candies, specialty drinks and such. My hubby is quite handy at creating western-themed works of art out of old horse shoes. They are amazing and everybody just loves them. So, for the first time today the "bug" has finally hit me and I've started working on my very own Santa's List! I'm so excited!! Here I go again...expectations and all.

So, tell me about your Christmas dreams and traditions. What do you like especially? What's your famous - just wouldn't be Christmas without it favorite goodie? Do you open presents Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning? Are you a get it done before Halloween kind of person - or do you live for the thrill of last-minute hustle and bustle of the crowded shopping malls? Do you love to stay at home or do you visit family? Come on, share your dreams, your traditions and your special passions for this wonderful holiday season.

If you could do one special thing that you've never done before for Christmas - what would it be? I've always had two dreams that I've yet to do: 1) to ride in a horse-drawn sleigh, complete with blanket on lap and jingle bells - you know, the works! And, 2) to spend several days with my hubby and a couple of special friends away from it all in a secluded mountain cabin, complete with snow, a blazing fire in the fireplace and go out and chop down the tree on Christmas eve and then spend the evening decorating, visiting and relaxing. Then on Christmas morning, sleep in and enjoy a wonderful home-cooked breakfast and dawdle the entire day away with whatever came to mind. Oh, that sounds just delightful to me!! And...I'm still dreaming that someday they'll both come true.

So, just what do you dream about? What could Santa bring you that would just twinkle your toes and bring a big ole smile to your face? Come on, tell momma all about it. It's okay, you're never too old to dream...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Awards and Such

My little friend Lisa over at Flying Orca Ranch in New Mexico has honored me once again with a beautiful award. Hey thanks Lisa!! You're such a sweetie and you have a very nice way of making me and others in Blogland feel very special. I think it's beautiful and it just makes my day!! Now, if I was a very clever blogger like everybody else out there...I would be ever so gracious and provide a link here to Lisa's blog...but, I don't know how to do a link. Several people have tried to explain to me just how to do this, but I still don't know how. *sigh* Some things just escape me, and technology and *&!*# links are a couple. I refuse to go into all the details here and now describing just how many things out there in this big old world that "escape" me - you know, I just don't get it! I am not a scholar or something - not a rocket scientist either. So there! I've admitted to everyone out there in the whole stinking blogsosphere just how totally inadequate I am at soooo many things. sheesh! I actually feel better that I've admitted some of my shortcomings to you all. A confession, if you will. I feel so much better!, like a hundred pounds lighter or something...okay, I am totally full of it here - I only wish I could feel like a hundred pounds lighter. Now I really digress...actually I'm starting to feel a little bit depressed here; or something...heck, I just don't know what I'm trying to say here at all. Did I take my meds this morning??? hmmm...just can't remember.

Oh well, I am just going to change the subject. Yeah!! That's it, let's discuss something new, shall we? Am I scaring you yet??? Well, just try and imagine how it must feel to actually be me and have to live with this brain and this imagination and this body all the time. Oops!! There I go again with the digression thing. (deep breath) I feel better now. Forgot what I was going to say...oh, I don't even know where I'm going with this here.

So, I shall post a couple of pictures here for your viewing enjoyment and try to move along.

Here's Ladde making a funny face - guess he didn't approve of something on the menu that night. hmmm, silly boy.

Here's Kadie looking ever so sweet, but kinda spooky with those eyes...

Here's Merlin, our llama dude. I don't remember what he was doing, but he was probably contemplating doing something to annoy Ladde or maybe Harley whose stall is right next door. He's pure ornriness, that llama!

Now, you see this look? I know this look - I've seen it before - many times. She's saying in an irritated tone: "Just put down the food. and back away. slowly. Dadburned fool human always foolin' around when she knows I'm starving here!! I'm the one who deserves the award! That's right! An award for all my patience, that's right...dagnabbit it all to heck anyway!! *sigh* " I'm tellin' ya - it sure must be tough being Siri and havin' to put up with my tomfoolery every day. Look at those cute little polka dots on her lips - ain't she so cute??

And this picture is an example of Llama dude showing no patience at all and helping himself to the food straight out of the roach coach!! Impatient old cuss anyway!! And you know what else?? He don't smell so good. Nope...and when it rains and he gets his wool all wet - shooowee!! He just plain stinks!! I mean goodness all to gotion, that boy smells like a moldy old frito chip done gone bad...or something like that - it's plain hard to describe, but trust me - it ain't purdy.

And would ya just look at this??? The picture of sweetness and as innocent as the pure driven snow!! Pffft!! And if you believe that!?, well then, have I got a deal for you! Seriously though, I love this guy - he's my baby boy - I watched him be born. Tis the truth!! I spent about 30 minutes kissin and a-lovin' on this face when his back half was still inside his momma! Yep, Scooter decided this giving birth business was a whole lotta work and she was gonna take a break! So she did. And me and Harley took some time gettin' to know each other so to speak. He will always be my adorable baby boy! Ahhh, sweet memories to be sure!!

What er you lookin' at??? I didn't do nothin'!! I was just gonna look at the hay alright???'s my sweetheart Annie. I think she's so beautiful - I just love my dog, my little moochie poochie. She's a momma's girl...nobody else's, just momma's doggie. She goes to work at the clinic with me everyday. When I go to bed, Annie goes to bed. When I'm getting ready for work, Annie is always right at my heel; or watching...wherever I go. Watching tv, yep you got it - her bed's right beside my chair. My forever and ever-so-loyal pal. And right here, she's got something else on her mind...the ball. Her one prized pocession - that derned ball. See that concern on her face, and the little worry crease over the eye...the ball must have rolled near the cat. Annie is very careful around the cats. She's learned that sometimes you just can't trust the cats. Yep, she's learned the hard way about them cats. Never trust a cat.

Playing with the ball. What in the world could possibly be better??? It takes so very little to make this dog happy. I sometimes fear for her well-being because this ball is showing it's age, starting to look a little ragged around the edges and new ones are simply ignored. Nope, they're just not the same. At all.

Oh how sweet!! This is one of our many cats, Mister with his arm around TJ. He's a very loveable cat and every single cat we have absolutely loves Mister. Heck, even the horses don't mind him. He's a pretty cool dude. And this is the only cat that Annie almost trusts...almost.

And here's Harley again. He's looking a little sleepy, and probably wishing we'd finish up already and turn out the lights and just go away...he gets all sweet and syrupy and loveable when he gets sleepy. I just love this guy. The story's not the same in the morning when he wants to go out though...nope, not the same at all. He's had all night to dream up mischevious plans and is eager to set his plans into motion. Just open the door and get out of his way - there are many pots to be stirred and miles to go before he sleeps...

Well, I guess I've rattle on long enough and probably scared the daylights out of any readers who might happen along. I do tend to be somewhat scattered in thoughts sometimes...I've long ago accepted it and just learned to go with it. It's much more fun that way!! And anyway, it's simply not my fault - far from it dahhlings!! It's Lisa's fault over there at Laughing Orca Ranch who gave me an award today and got me all excited and...and...and...!!!

(((((Hugs to all from that crazy woman at Cingspots))))