Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Signs of Spring

Well, so it's been a mixed bag of happenings lately it seems. I've finally managed (with hubby's help) and the use of a borrowed external cd read/write been able to produce a copy of the pictures that I've been taking over the last several weeks. So, be prepared for a medley of subjects to be on display here for a while! It seems that the cd drive in our laptop has officially gone belly-up.

These beauties here are but a sampling of what's going on in my yard right now. The daffodils are blooming like crazy!

This is a shot of Mt. Hood taken from a country road on our way back from the horse expo in Albany weekend before last.

A familiar snout...seems like this particular snout follows me wherever I go.

Aahh...I tot I saw a puddy tat. This little girl and a whole host of others is available for adoption in case anyone's interested. They are as cute as a button, come in a variety of colors, sizes and sexes. Takers will be handsomely rewarded...

This was a Friday evening sky as I drove home from work. I love those sunrays coming through the clouds. God's art is something to always be appreciated.
Well, that's it for today. Business here at work has begun to pick up and I am way late in starting for home to do the chores and prepare dinner.
In case anyone's wondering, this is day 5 of the 37 Day Challenge and things are going splendidly!! Annie Banannie and I completed our 45 minute walk today at lunch time. We've done the same walk two days in a row, we just reversed our direction today...you know, look at things from a different perspective. We are feeling good!!
Blessings to all from cingspots...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Signs of Spring

Spring in Oregon can be a whole basketfull of goodies - or like Forrest Gump says..."like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get".

Last week was pretty nice: temperatures were mild, sun peaked out some, and we had a shower or two, along with a few days of overcast and cloud-filled skies. Nothing extreme. Heavenly compared to what some of the country's having right now.

So, all in all absolutely nothing to complain about...again.

This morning, the showers showed up in earnest and we fed the horses breakfast in their stalls instead of outside in the pasture. The rain falling on the metal barn roof lulls them into a peaceful mood while they munch their hay. Nice.

Last night I shot a few pictures while there was still some good light and I've finally managed to download all my pictures from the last couple of weeks onto a CD. Now, I can post some pictures today and show you some signs of spring around my home and familiar territory.

Or not...plugged the CD in and none of my pictures would open. Aagh!! So, no pics today...will try again later.

So, the 37 Day Challenge is going well. Saturday, I spent over 2 hours out in the barn with the horses. I groomed all 5 of them, picked all their feet, cleaned Ladde's stall and cleaned the aisleway. I had enough shedded horse hair to weave a rather large and colorful blanket, I'm pretty sure. Found each pony's special itchy spot and gave them their one-on-one personal massage too.

Sunday, hubby and I slept in and then turned the horses out and fed them their breakfast in the pasture. No rain today - only glorious sunshine, and it is warm too!! Nice, very nice.

So, we went out for breakfast and then afterwards headed to the wooded park on the far side of town and went for a nice, long walk. It was just beautiful! We even encountered a little pair of ducks swimming on a beaver pond. They were so cute!! And, no I didn't have my camera with me, so no pictures - sorry.

Soon...if the fates are kind and the computer gods comply, I'll be posting some of my pictures of the signs of spring. *sigh*

Friday, March 27, 2009

37 Day Challenge (2 posts in 1 day - oh my!!)

Okay, so this morning in my meanderings through some of my favorite haunts, I happened to find myself over at Carolyn's blog "A Glowing Ember" and she had a link to someone else's blog (who I've forgotten the name of, sorry), but this gal has the most brilliant idea!! She has posted this 37 Day Challenge. It can be absolutely anything of your choosing and varies greatly within her readers. It's an interesting read of everyone's ideas, if nothing else...but anyway, I've decided to give it a go! As some of you may or may not know, we are scheduled to go to Hawaii this coming September. And the fact of the matter is this - I am absolutely terrified at the prospect of donning a swimsuit. I would frighten the small children and probably everyone else for that matter. So, my challenge is this, and has been for quite some time if I'm honest, I need and want to lose some weight and get myself into better physical shape. I realize that I'll never be a long-legged, willowy beauty, but what God has given me can sure use some improving. So, without further adieu...

37 Day Challenge
37days challenge March 27 – May 3, 2009
I, ____Lorie aka Cingspots________________, being of kinda sound mind and body, have willingly decided to try to do one thing consistently every single day for the next 37 days. C’mon, self, it’s just 37 days. The one thing I will try to do every day is this: any physical activity for no less than 30 minutes straight, hopefully longer.
I’m not going to pick two things or nine things because that will dilute my focus –- just one thing. One. One simple action. An action, not a goal. An action, not a value. An action, not a wish. Something I can DO.
I’m doing this challenge at this time because: I want to lose some weight and get in better shape.
I’ve chosen this particular daily action because I believe if I do it consistently for 37 days with no (NONE, ZERO, ZIP) exceptions, I will: look and feel better - maybe even in a swim suit!
If I should fail, I won’t blame anyone but myself (not even my partner, that idiot with 29 items in the express lane at the Piggly Wiggly, the IRS (so needy!), the people who make frosted Pop Tarts and Lofthouse Cookies, or Fate).
I also realize that this contract is solely with myself and carries no rewards, penalties or punishments other than those associated with the reflection of the strength of my character.
New things will happen for me.
I’m ready.

Cool huh? This gal who thought this up, is similar to me in several ways it seems. Big dreamers, procrastinators, great ideas people, fantastic starters...poor finishers, no follow through, great at keeping promises to others, not so great at keeping promises to ourselves...hmmm I see a familiar pattern here. This is just one of the reasons she came up with this idea; if she could make a promise or a committment to herself for a mere, say 37 days...and actually keep it - why, who knows just what might happen. Serious things could take place. Very interesting.

So...there you have it! I'm making a promise to myself to commit to this for 37 days, and hopefully it will lead to some very positive changes in my life...or at least, my body. :-)

Couldn't hurt, right?

Feel free to harrass me if you find out that I've even thought of faltering...

Have a great weekend everyone!!


Hey everybody - Happy Preparation Day!! That's another term for Friday for Sabbath keepers. We do things to prepare for the Sabbath, so that we can enjoy our day of rest when it comes. I usually don't do a lot of preparing because I'm always at work, but I do try and honor the Sabbath.

So, anyway I've got several things on my mind today and the first one is a bit of a "beef" or a pet peeve if you will. It begins with my family...it usually does. I am quite different in many ways from most of my family members. I'm not saying that I'm any better than them, just different on so many levels. I won't even bother going into details, but suffice it to say that we are vastly different.

As most of you know, I am definitely an animal lover. I have no children of my own, therefore my animals are that much more special to me. But, even if I did have children it wouldn't matter because I have always been a lover of animals of all kinds...but especially horses. No one who knows me is not aware of this. They would have to be living on another planet not to be aware of this. So, having said that...why would one of my family members presume to think that I would find even the slightest bit of humor in an e-mail "forward" that portrays a horse's back end sticking out of the windshield of someones' car along complete with emergency vehicles with a funny ha-ha joke. To me it was upsetting and absolutely non-humorous. Call me a stick in the mud, or whatever you like...but I find it in poor taste, bad judgement and if nothing else...a lack of respect for my feelings. Maybe I'm overly sensitive, probably am...but then again, you would think that my family would know this perhaps better than anyone else - right? Correct me if I'm wrong...tell me that I am being ridiculous or something, whatever. But tell me, how would you feel? Because I would really like to know why my family continues to send me stuff, political or otherwise that they should know, I am offended by. I just don't understand some people.

If any of you out there are readers of my little blog here, and have been around for a while; you probably already know that I am a fan of our newly elected President Barrack O'Bama. And, if not, now you do. I am. I admire him as an individual who has accomplished a lot in his fairly short lifetime, I admire him as an individual who has similar opinions as myself in a lot of different areas, I admire him (so far) as someone who seems to be holding steadfast to his political promises, and lastly if for no other reason, I admire him for his forward-thinking ideas and his God-given ability to speak eloquently and passionately to his fellow Americans and build in us something for which I believe we are in dire need of...and that is hope. He seems to speak forthrightly and honestly and from his heart. I respect him for that.

Okay, so having said these things...my sister knows this about me, she knows how and why I admired and voted for O'Bama. She also continues and has in the past, to send me those politically-inspired "jokes" through the internet disrespecting our new president. Some of them I just delete, but some of them cut straight to the core and tell me something about my sister (and the rest of my family) that I do not like. They are prejudice, and they really have no reason to be. I don't understand prejudice. I don't understand hatred of someone or a group of someones who you do not personally have a reason to hate. Now, even though the Bible teaches us that to hate isn't right and that we shouldn't hate, but instead love and pray for our enemies...this remains a challenge. I have to be honest and admit that there are some things and/or people who I feel hatred for at times. I too, am only human and I fall very short of perfection...but hatred without personal vindiction remains a mystery to me. I can hate people who are abusers of children, or animals, or old people. I'm not saying that is okay, but it hurts when I hear of abuse taking place and that's my reason for hating. It is vile to me. But prejudice because of skin color? I don't get it.

I don't really know where I'm going with all of my ranting here, but sometimes I just don't understand people, and especially my family members. We were all raised by the same people and we used to be a very tightly-knit family with a good and solid set of core values. We have digressed. I try very hard and yet still fall short in so many ways of Godly behavior, but I can honestly say that I am on the right path and am committed to continually staying on that path. The Bible teaches us that the path of righteousness is difficult and the gate is narrow, but the path leading to destruction is easy and the entry is wide. That statement scares me, for it says that many fail and will perish. I can only pray that God recognizes those with good hearts and continues to help those who pray and who try to follow His ways.

We are all so very, very far from perfection. My personal list is quite lengthy and probably contains many sins that I'm not even aware of. I will step down from my soapbox and "give it a rest" for now. Sorry for venting.

I have quite a few pictures in my camera that I've taken over the last couple of weeks, but keep forgetting to download them onto a CD. I can't upload my pictures directly onto my computer, so it always seems like such a complicated task for my little brain to accomplish.

Spring has definitely arrived here in the Pacific Northwest. My daffodils are blooming like crazy, my large shade tree in the back yard is covered in beautiful, white blooms, hubby mowed the grass for the first time last weekend and it's already in need of another trimming. Also, for the first time this year, on the way back to the house last night after doing the chores, I smelled the lovely scent of flowers on the breeze...lovely.

Breathe deep and maybe you can smell spring too.

Blessings to all,


Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Pinch of this and a pinch of that

I'm feeling somewhat scatterbrained this morning. My stepson and our two grandsons Jack and David spent the night last night and we were all up before the crack of dawn. Hubby got the stalls cleaned and the horses fed while I cooked breakfast. We had whole wheat muffin and fried egg sandwiches, orange juice and coffee - yummy!! We don't usually have a breakfast like that mid-week, but since the kiddos were here, I got the urge and gammy fixed the vittles! Grandpa had help from David, the youngest with the chores. That kid is obscessed with the horses and the llama and the cats and the dog and just the farm in general. He loves to spend time with us and he goes full throttle all day and grudgingly dies in the bed at night...then we relax. We're just not used to having little ones around that much, and you know what? They are exhausting!! But, it is fun once in a while - keeps us young I guess.

And speaking of food, I had some Thai food for lunch yesterday. I've found a delightful new favorite. Oh my!! It is so good and so very simple. Now, I know what we can have for a treat when we're in Hawaii. It's called sweet rice with mango...and that's exactly what it is. Cooked white rice with some butter and sugar and topped with an entire fresh mango cut in slices. Oh my, the flavors are magical! You just gotta give it a try - you won't be disappointed, I promise! One thing I'm looking for in a rental in Hawaii is fruit trees on the property. I want to try tree-ripened fruit like mangos, bananas, pineapple and whatever else grows in Hawaii. Good grief, I'm making myself hungry all over again, better give it a rest.

Last weekend was the annual Canby Tack Sale. It's a big deal around these parts. Everyone and their brother sets up a booth and sells whatever you can think of in the horsey department. They have saddles, all kinds of tack, clothes, jewelry, purses...just about anything you can think of to be sold, bought or traded. They have new and used stuff and stores and individuals alike show up and show off their wares. It's a huge affair and has been going on for years and years. They hold it at the Canby, Oregon Fairgrounds each year in March and it's grown huge over the years. We would have loved to go, but alas it was only a one day event and was on the same day that the annual Horse Expo in Albany was being held. Now, that's something we've been to lots of times, but this year along with all the other clinicians and demonstrations and vendors and such; they had the Extreme Mustang makeover finals and auction. The last day was on Saturday and that's what I wanted to see. I had seen one of the mustangs that had been in training with a gal in Estacada and he was gorgeous. A 16+ hand bay gelding that had beautiful, fluid movement and would have made a spectacular dressage prospect. Oh, that's right, I don't ride dressage do I? But, I could always learn!! I wanted to see him especially, along with all the others and was very curious to see how much they sold for at the auction. So, we get up early and get showered and dressed and hit the road. Of course, we have to stop for breakfast along the way, but we had plenty of time (or so I thought) and head on down to Albany. We got there around noon and the auction had been held at 11:00 and was completely over by the time we got there. I was so disappointed! We had a good time looking at everything else, but I had really wanted to see that mustang demonstration. Guess that's what we get for thinking of our stomachs and not getting their earlier. Oh well, maybe it's a saving grace because if he would have been a really super cool horse and went cheap enough...well, you just never know what might have taken place...I can be weak, very weak where cool horses are concerned. *sigh* Maybe I should count my lucky stars and just be satisfied with my way cool new leather and western-inspired purse that I got there. I don't have a picture of it but trust me - it's a great little handbag...and I just had to have it!! I was looking for another vest, but couldn't find one that I couldn't live without, so there's always next time. My hubby says that I am obscessed with vests, and maybe he's right - so...what's your point!? A girls' gotta have something to get excited about right?

Well, the boss is out of town for the remainder of the week and I'm here all by my lonesome, so guess I'd better get to cracking and try to make my final decision on just which beach cottage to rent when we go to Hawaii...yeah, it's a tough job...but somebody's gotta do it - am I right???

Guess it's time to count my blessings again...

That's it for now from cingspots!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Ladde!!! It's been grand so far...

Today is Ladde's birthday. He's 13 years old. Happy Birthday big guy!! Wow, I can hardly believe that 13 long years have gone by since the morning I found this funny-looking, bony colt lying on the top of a pile of very large rocks we'd piled in a corner. Of all the places to take a nap - sheesh!!

This horse is "Sir Ladigo" He's gorgeous in my book, and he is Ladde's sire (proud papa).
He's also our beloved Scooter's first-born. I looked at a lot of stallion prospects before deciding on this guy. Funny thing was, he was one of the first and I just couldn't get him out of my mind. You just can't improve on perfection.

My beautiful little mare "Wag's Pride" also lovingly called Kadie. This was taken shortly after my husband gifted me with her - she was 7 years old in this picture, and she'd never been ridden. She's Ladde's momma.

Day 1 - not more than a few hours old. March 20, 1996

I had no idea just what I had expected...but this wasn't it. He was kinda funny looking.

Kadie thought he was beautiful.

Little did we know, this would become a very familiar site.

And this is how Ladde spent the first few weeks of his life...in flight.

Practicing his sidepass. What a good little student.

I feel good! dadadadada!

Kadie made me cry that day. I'd brought her some carrots, and little brat that she was...she stole the whole bag out of my hands and ran off!! What a brat!

Gonna get me those dogs, ah huh...

First parade. July 20, 1996 - Ladde was 4 months old and fearless. Nothing scared him - absolutely nothing. He was in awe of everything that day! When we'd finished, we took our spot on the sidewalk and watched the rest of the parade with the other spectators. Wow, what fun!!

Can you dance in unison? They'd choreographed their steps for weeks...

6 weeks old. The stallion owner's wife was a photographer and came up to our house to get these shots.

He sure was getting cute!

Oops, this is the same parade in Yamhill Derby Days. July 20, 1996

First bath - just look at those skinny little legs... you can't tell, but Ladde's skin is all covered in polka dots on his skin and they only show up when he's wet. So cute!

His first birthday and we gave him a carrot cake with carrots instead of candles. Of course, he loved it!!! There's not much that Ladde doesn't love.The punk.

The first telltale spots fortelling the coming change in color.

Near Sheep Springs outside Camp Sherman, Oregon. Another one of those "nanook" adventures. Life is good.

Summertime when Ladde was a yearling, you can see how much bigger he was than Harley, who can be seen on the far right. Harley is 1 year younger and was a few months old here.His mane and forelock changed along with most everything else. It used to be much longer and actually layed down.

The first show at McKay Creek Farms near Hillsboro, Oregon. Me and Lad on the left. Ladde was a yearling and took a second place out of a large group of much smaller yearlings. I forget how many times the judge asked me, "how old is that colt?". I screamed and wrapped my arms around Lad's neck and gave him a big ole kiss because I'd not expected to win anything. Happy! On the right is my mom with Harley. Harley got a 4th place in the weiner class out of a very large class. Neither boy had ever been to a show before, and it was Harley's first time ever being away from his momma. Pretty good for a couple of pasture punks.

I'm not afraid that old flag!

Feeling his oats...the stud muffin!

Ladde has done so much groundwork - I think he could now teach me a few things.
And below is a picture of our mentor and hero - Mr. Ray Hunt. These following pictures were taken in July 1999 in Seneca, Oregon at the colt class where I started riding Ladde the first time ever. Ladde and I both have much to be grateful to this special man for. Thanks Ray!
Go catch your colts. Lad had already picked his very own harem. The little paint mare and Ray's grandson's gelding. They were his dammit!! This proved to be a huge challenge the next 4 days for us.

We were like flys on their backs. Riding in halters with strict instructions not to direct them at all, or the halters would be removed. Ray flagged the colts while we rode. Very interesting. Me and Ladde on the far right...little paint mare very close by.

I think I see a pattern developing here...
Steve Rother in background on the left. (he's a clinician now)

This was a blast to watch. I had saddled Ladde many times at home, but some of these youngsters had obviously never even seen a saddle before. Let the games begin!!

My friend Mary who went to the clinic with me is the photographer. Thanks for everything Miss Mary!! She knows all the things I'm thankful to her for. I wouldn't have made it had it not been for Mary. What a friend!

Me and my boy. In case you're wondering, that lovely big spot on his side there is poop.

Back off boys - these two are mine!!

Uh-oh, what now? Ladde's about to get flagged by Ray and learn how to cross over in the front end. Later we got to ride them while Ray did this. It was all fun, but scary at the time too.

Isn't Ray's little mare a cutie? She was the perfect girl the whole weekend. I've never seen Ray ride a horse who seemed even slightly bothered about anything. They're just calm and relaxed. Ladde, the big brute later kicked Ray's horse when Ray positioned himself between Ladde and the little Paint mare...mistake. So, Ray slapped Ladde in the face with his flag. I grabbed horn and held on for dear life while the Laddmonster spun on his haunches and lit out at a full gallop for the opposite end of the arena - yeehaw!!! To add insult to injury, (thanks Ray) over the loudspeaker Ray yelled at me, "don't fall off and teach your horse that you can fall". Thankfully, that was not something Ladde learned that day. This might be a good time to mention that I did a lot of talking to the Father that weekend.

It was a challenge for this short woman to climb aboard this big colt. At 3 years and 4 months old, Ladde stood a hair under 17 hands high already. I refuse to measure him anymore because he has grown since then...I don't even want to know.

This working cattle ranch where the clinic was held was in a valley about halfway between Burns and John Day in a tiny little town called Seneca and was nestled in a valley about 7000 ft. altitude surrounded by the Strawberry Mountains on one side and some other mountain range on the other side. Absolutely beautiful!!

First day riding in the big arena. Oh boy. Sorry for the tiny pictures, this was before we had zoom lenses so Mary was pretty far away.

I can just hear Ray yelling at me over the loudspeaker - "get Appy turned around!!". I heard that a lot that weekend.

It's hard to see, but Ladde's tail is sticking straight out behind him - little sucker was feeling a might too spunky!! This was the last day of the clinic, and did I mention that I got heat stroke?
I finished but when I got off my horse, my legs wouldn't work and I just keep melting to the ground. Mary rescued me with cold water and a cold cloth for my face. Thanks Mary!!

There's Carolyn Hunt riding just ahead of us. I think I was attempting another turnaround to bring Ladde back down to earth.
Squirrely little sucker - he would have enjoyed flying across that great big old arena and seeing me go dirt surfing I believe. I rode him though.

Whoowee!! I am one happy and heat stroked gal here. The clinic is over - day 4 and I have lived to tell the tale. Thank you for everything Ray!!! We've had a blast!!! I will never, ever forget this clinic. One of my best (and most harrowing) ever!! July, 1999 Seneca, Oregon

Me and my boy at Sheep Springs.

Ladde loves to play in the water in the good old summertime. Life is good.

Taking life easy...

My honey and Ladd and Harley on the banks of the Metolius River just outside Camp Sherman, Oregon. Drop dead gorgeous river and country. We would love to move here.

He always listens to me...I love this expression of his. My sweet Ladde-boy.

Taken near Joe Graham Horse Camp by Timothy Lake in Mt. Hood National Forest. Ladde is still too young to be ridden here, but we took him along for one of his infamous "Nanook" adventures in the wilderness. We allowed him to run free while we were riding. Needless to say, he had grand adventures!!

Canyon Creek - cooling down the tootsies. Near Sisters, Oregon

Always the schmoozer. Cowboy Camp Meeting either 2004 or 2005 at Buck Creek Meadows at the base of Mt. Adams near Trout Lake, Washington. One of our most favorite places to go horse camping. Our beloved "Molly" was by my side. Rest in peace my beautiful queenie.

Kadie enjoying a roll in the dirt in the background. Must feel soooo good...

It's always a good time for a little snack -

Me and the Laddmonster riding in the Deschutes County Forest near Sheep Springs Horse Camp. Camp Sherman, Oregon

3 generation photo - Kadie (momma) on the left, Ladde in the center and beautiful Scooter aka Mis Star of David (paternal grandma) on the right. Scoot is also Harley's momma.

Ladde has never had any problems relaxing...wherever he goes! Back in camp - siesta!

Near "The Big Tree" Mt. Adams in Washington state.

Schmoozing and fraternizing with the boy and his hat. I remember this was the campout where Ladde escaped his rope corral and got into our fruit basket. He ate everything except the oranges and bananas - if you do not like it, stomp it into the dirt. (note to self)

Must be nap-thirty again...

Cool and confident...this shot was taken going over Buck Creek near Mt. Adams in Washington state. Ladde leading the pack with our friend Greg aboard, followed by Harley with my hubby aboard. You can't see it, but the creek is rushing through a narrows at this spot and it's beautiful, white water...and the water is cold.

Just another day at the office. This boy is livin' life large...and lovin' every minute of it!!
God Bless you Ladde!!! Hugs and kisses for your birthday big guy...and may there be many, many more to come.
No, I won't forget the cake!!!
Blessings to all, Cingspots