Friday, May 29, 2009

Amazing Days

Any other way of assessing the recent couple of weeks would seem disrespectful. I have been feeling really good lately, and I'm uncertain just where to give credit. Could be the weather, for the sunshine has been wonderful, even a little too warm the last several days, almost summerlike, but generally quite nice. Could be that Annie and I have resumed regular walking and physical exercise always helps my mental attitude, could be the sense of accomplishment at having completed several rather large and imposing projects at home. I'm just not sure, but I'm feeling happy and fairly energetic and blessed. Oh yes indeedy, above and beyond everything else, I'm feeling the blessings. Plus, I've been riding. That right there is enough to put a smile on my face.

That's about all I have to say today. Just wanted to touch base with all my blogging buddies, wish you all well and give thanks for feeling good.

Here's a few blessings in my life...or I could just say that I'm feeling very random and have decided to post a bunch pictures for no particular reason at all.

This is our horsetrailer, well the new one anyway. We have an older stock trailer which we use for many different things rather than just haul horses. We bought this one about 3 years ago and it is our camper as well. I love it.

My roses have started blooming. This one is a climber and the majority of the blooms are on the inside of the fence in the deck area this year. Smells heavenly.

Same rose bush from the opposite side of the fence, taken from the deck. I just wish the blooms were ever-blooming. This particular rose blooms for a few weeks at best, but with the heat we've had this past week, I'm sure they won't last long. It's felt positively summer-like, instead of spring.

A couple of very dear and beloved old friends who are no longer with us. Molly died 3 years ago this coming August. She's the blond girl on the left. And, Toby who also passed away 7 months after his beloved Molly died. We miss each one greatly, but feel forever blessed to have had them as long as we did. Our lives are all the richer for having shared time with these two beautiful and loving souls.

A pretty sunset from one evening last week. I took this shot from down our driveway.

My beautiful Ladde boy and my sweet Harley peaking over Lad's rump. These two are blessings I count every single day of my life.

My loyal and lovely Annie. The bestest buddy ever.

Pretty purple posies. Violas are one of my favorite flowers.

My precious daddy who would have turned 89 this coming June 3, if he were still living. I do believe that I will miss him until the day that I die. He was a dog lover for sure. Here he has his loving arms wrapped around little Miss Molly when she was just a puppy, and our beautiful and extremely intelligent and protective Susie. My hubby and I have had a total of 5 dogs since our marriage almost 25 years ago, and each one has been an exceptional animal and a blessing in our lives. Susie was without a doubt the smartest dog I've ever known. She was the best guard dog ever and the best babysitter of little children ever. We've gotten each of our dogs as a pup, and they are just treated like part of the family. No obedience classes needed or required. Molly was smarter than she liked to let on, she used her intelligence or the lack of, however it suited her fancy best. Molly was the most kind-hearted dog we've ever had. She never met anyone she didn't love...or for that matter, any type of food that she didn't love. Molly loved her food! And, it showed. She died in her sleep at the ripe old age of 14, but our sweet Susie was hit by a car and never reached old age.

Beautiful and fragrant Crimson Clover growing in our neighbor's field. I love this color of red. So pretty!!

"Patch", my husband's cat sitting amongst the roses. He is blind in his right eye, and we usually refer to him as One-Eyed Patch. He's a good old cat who showed up at our house one day with his 1 eye, a broken hind leg and was very thin and bedraggled looking. Have I ever mentioned that one of the things I love the most about my hubby is his kind heart?

Yeah, another shot of the crimson clover. I'm a sucker for a pretty flower.

Ladde is always thinking of food, and you know what they say about the grass is always greener...right?

Oh, our truck is back on the road. Yippee!! Turns out it had a bad oil sending unit and the radiator was, including the cost of the waterpump that we replaced earlier in May, 600 smackeroos later...Big Grey is back!!! Could have been a lot worse. We're happy. So, once we get our hay supply for the coming winter in our camping here we come!! Seriously. I. can't. wait. :)
I am a happy camper.
Feeling the love.
Hope you are too.
Can I get an Amen?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Difficulties with our truck prevented us from attending our first scheduled camp-out with our riding club to Mt. Adams last weekend. We could have wallowed in self pity because we were grounded but we chose to instead enjoy the beautiful Memorial Day weekend weather and accomplish many things at home.

Speaking of our truck, here's a picture of Big Grey looking good after all these years of loyal use and many miles of hauling us and our horses across the country. It's been a good truck and has never broke down and left us stranded - not even once, in all the times we've used and abused it.

Hopefully, quite soon we'll get it into the shop and diagnose exactly what the problem is. After we know what we're dealing with, then we can make an educated decision on how to approach the next step. If it's not terribly expensive, we'll probably have the repairs done and continue driving it until the wheels fall off. Having no truck payments is a very good thing. However, if it's serious and the repairs are extensive...well then, that's another story. We'll probably have to replace Big Grey with a newer model. If that's the case, we'll go with a diesel and get a truck with a back seat. More space is always nice. The payments won't be quite so easy to get used to.
We'll see.

Here's Ladde enjoying some leisure time doing what he enjoys most...munching on green grass.
I've been trying to ride Lad and Harley every day for a short time of about 30-40 minutes. Next week, I'll probably alternate and ride each one every other day since I don't always have the time to ride them both. Since their appointment with the farrier a week ago, they're much more level and comfortable. Troy put the steel natural balance shoes on their front hooves this time. This type of shoe causes a quicker breakover and I do notice each horse being lighter on the forehand. They're doing amazingly well considering neither one has been worked since last October. Excellent horses - I'm truly blessed!!

And, here's Harley savoring his free time too. Come to think of it - these boys have quite the life. During our evening schooling sessions, we've been working on suppling exercises, a lot of moving off the leg, diagonals and smooth transitions. I've noticed especially a marked improvement in Harley since last year. I'm quite impressed and very proud of my boys!!

We accomplished a lot of yard work. The mowing and trimming is all caught up once again. The weather was perfectly glorious and the temperatures were in the mid 70's with a pleasant breeze. Perfect for hanging the laundry outside in the fresh air. We got the raised bed cleaned out and new dirt added. We planted 6 tomato plants in all. I chose a SunGold, which is a mild cherry variety, an heirloom tomato called a Brandywine, a couple of Beefsteaks and a couple of Early Girls. Fresh tomatoes from the garden is one of the best things in the whole world!! Sliced up and put in a sandwich with smokey bacon is a treat to be sure!! Yummy!!

This is a neighbor's crimson clover field. I drive by this field every morning on the way to work. It's just stunning this time of year.

Hubby taking a break. And the ever hopeful poochie wanting him to throw the ball for her.

The ivy has really grown a lot since we planted it several years ago. We may have to start cutting it back because it's almost halfway up the wall on the front of the house. I kind of like it in this corner though. Gives the deck a corner of interest.

Here's my berry garden. This picture was taken before I had all the plantings completed. Now however, I have 4 boysenberries planted, 5 bush variety red raspberries, and 2 marionberries. This week I will try to find some strawberry plants that will go along the front. I'm probably over doing the plants, but will make adjustments if and when they become necessary. My hubby still needs to sink a couple of posts at each end and string two horizontal wires for the cane berries to climb. There's time for that though. We can probably expect a good first crop in 3 years. Right now, that seems like a long wait, but I'm sure the wait will be worth it.

We've been using the riding corral for over a week now, but here's my wonderful neighbor performing his magic with his amazing tractor. Sure makes short work of the job! And of course, no project gets done without the great and powerful Merlin overseeing things!

In our 3 day weekend, we accomplished a lot of projects. Besides the yard work, garden plantings, horseback riding and usual household stuff, we also got to borrow our other neighbor's tractor and pile up our last winter's manure into a nice mountain where it can compost for years to come, and got our fields mowed. We got one hay barn cleaned out and have one more to go. Tis the season for cutting hay and all around us there are hay fields being mowed and before you know it, we'll be filling our barns with this coming winter's hay supply. Whew!! So much little time!! There's always work to be done when you live in the country, but it feels wonderful accomplishing things and putting in a good day's work in the sunshine and fresh air.
This whole coming week is supposed to be in the 70's and lower 80's without a drop of rain in sight. I am loving it and looking forward to much fun in the sun.
Hoping you are all enjoying this beautiful spring and experiencing the goodness that life has to offer.
Blessings from cingspots!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Accomplishments, Pleasantries and Bugs

Truly a feeling to relish! After Mother Nature's spectaular display of springtime perfection this past weekend, I'm feeling positively frisky. Tis so true. It felt like we were going from sunup to sundown, but it wasn't all work. Mixed in between, there were plenty of opportunities for the savoring of a beautiful day. White, billowy clouds floating across a sky of the most delightful blue. And the glorious sunshine was just warm enough to cause a sweat across the brow, and give one the chance to pause and savor the cool breeze. Absolutely delicious!! My shoulders feel mildly sensitive and there's a blush to my complexion that I haven't seen in quite some time. It feels so good to be warm!! I couldn't ask for anything more.

And yes, I absolutely did get to ride - both the boys. And it felt good. I felt at home in the saddle and there was a peace of mind that's been missing for quite some time. Aaahh, truly a gift to be astride a horse. Yes indeed, what a blessing! Now, some people might not know just how I'm feeling, but it's not something that can be explained. It just has to be experienced. It's truly one of the best feelings ever...without a doubt.

Since it's been a while for all involved, I put Ladde in the round pen first. Perfection. Simply couldn't have asked for anything better. Attentive, calm and happy to be schooled. My big boy performed like a professional. So, I hopped (actually climbed would be a better word) aboard and we walked around for a while both directions. We worked on some flexing and some suppling exercises, we backed, we rode some diagonals. Then we stood, well he stood and I sat, and watched the sunset, felt the cool breeze on our faces and contemplated the universe. It was good. Then we called it a day, I groomed him, gave him a treat and let him back out with his buds. That's when I noticed it. The left front foot is totally out of balance. Farrier's going to be here this Wednesday, so no more riding the Laddster until his feet are levelled and balanced. I'm not taking any chances with his soundness. Then...all bets are off. Conditioning 101 here we come!

Then it was Harley's turn. As usual, he was pleased with coming in for a nice grooming session and a little one-on-one time. He's all sleepy and doe-eyed. So sweet sugar wouldn't melt in his mouth. At least until I asked him to move out in the round pen. Then the little sucker dropped his head to the ground, rounded his back into the perfect arc and took to bucking!!! Little beast!! All I could do was stand there in the center of the ring and laugh at the theatrics of it all. His eyes were all drooped like a cocker spaniel's and the red interior was prominent. He looked like one of those rodeo broncs - it was classic style!! Obviously he wasn't impressing me, so with a look of complete and utter disdain directed towards me, he stopped. Just like that. Quit and gave me the look. I asked him to move out once again; and he was Harley again. My sweet boy. *sigh* Ya just gotta love 'em. I mounted up and we rode and practiced all the same stuff as I'd just done earlier with Ladde. Good as gold.

We got lots of yard work done this weekend too. My hubby finished building my 20 ft. long raised cane berry planting bed and our neighbor loaded the box with dirt from our supply in the pasture. Oh wow, am I ever impressed with equipment!! My wonderful neighbor got our riding corral all tilled up and powdery beautiful, and loaded the raised planting bed in about an hour. You just can't beat that with a stick!! The planting box alone would probably have taken us all weekend, just to haul the dirt. I love my neighbor...and his tractor. We are blessed because even if we can't afford to buy our own tractor - at least we have well supplied neighbors!! Could be worse.

Our weekend wasn't all roses though. Hubby and I had went out for breakfast and on the way back, made a stop at the local fossil fuel emporium for some gas in our truck. Remember the truck that my hubby had just repaired the previous weekend by replacing the water pump? Yes, that one. Well, long story short. The problem remains. It was hot and we had the air conditioner on and the blasted engine overheated again. And, what's worse, this time when it was all hot and bothered, the oil pressure dropped to zilch. That's not a good sign. I don't know a heckuva lot about engines...but I'm pretty sure that's a bad sign. I could be wrong, but probably not. So...this coming Memorial Day weekend when we had planned to go to Mt. Adams and go horsecamping with all our friends??? Yep - we're not going anyplace. It's just not worth the risk of breaking down alongside the road with the horses. Nope. Not this time.

Oh can't win 'em all. Some days you're the windshield - and then some days you're the bug.

How do my wings look anyway??



Remember to be thankful for all things...even those dadburned tribulations!!

Hope you all have a great week.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

All the pretty posies

When the sun is shining, all the world's a much happier place. At least this is true of me and my little world. My sweet Annie and I returned to a favorite pasttime today; and I gotta tell ya, it felt grand.

On the springtime breeze is the delightful scent of flowers, and there's abundant birdsong in the air. Fresh air, sunshine and a wonderful friend. A truly wonderful way to wile away an hour.
The time does fly by, but it does a body and the mind, not to mention one's frame of mind - a world of good.

Yes, our rain has disappeared for a while and we're supposed to have sunny skies and warm temperatures for the next several days. A recipe for delighting the senses...and accomplishing projects, hopefully. I talked to my neighbor with the tractor this morning. He will definitely work up the riding area this weekend. I am so excited! My friend Shannon and I are going to ride the boys, Ladde and Harley tonight when I get home. This will be the first time I've been on my horse since last fall. Shame on me!! It's hard to believe that it's been that long. Used to be, I could hardly manage to get through a single day without riding my horse. Times sure have changed; and in more ways than one. In my opinion, I would like that to change that. Beginning tonight. Wish me luck.

I realize that today's pictures have absolutely nothing to do with my topic here, but the flowers are so beautiful and so colorful that I just couldn't help myself. Hope you all approve. Spring in Oregon really is beautiful and I just wanted to share what Annie and I experienced today on our little outing. This picture above is an especially lovely and large, Pink Dogwood.

I have no idea what this is, but the lady whose yard I was photographing said that it was some kind of a bulb which she thinks starts with an "S". Hmmm, anyone know what this flower is called. It's quite unusual, but so pretty. See the little pods before the flower opens up? Mother Nature sure can produce some interesting specimens.

This is quite possibly the most pansies I've ever seen in one location other than a park. This is just a small section. Happy little faces!
So, back to riding my horses. Obviously, I need to work on conditioning - both the horses and me. I plan on wrapping Ladde's lower legs just as a precautionary measure. If you remember, last November he had a torn suspensory in his left front. He's been sound for months but I just want to be cautious. We will work on lots of walking and maybe a little trotting. I just want him to be relaxed, soft and supple. Speaking for both of us of course. That will be a good place to start. I probably won't wrap Harley's legs, but will adhere to the same level of work for him as well. And since I'll be riding with my good friend, we'll get to visit as well. Sounds like a very nice way to spend an evening.

This is a rhododendron. Not sure if I spelled that quite right, but you know what I mean. Rhodies grow wild in the forests around here, and there are literally hundreds of different species and colors. They can grow to be huge, tree-like bushes if left on their own.

I realize this is the second time that I've posted this particular picture, but I just loved this little garden spot with the bamboo fencing in the background. It's so serene. I can imagine having a comfy little chair and reading a book here.

These tulips were quite tall, probably nearing 4 feet or so. Not sure what variety of tulip this is, but it's a fairly late bloomer. Most are already gone until next spring.

These are violas. I love violas even more than I love pansies. They're tiny and adorable.

Again, I have no idea what this particular flower is, but I think it's beautiful the way it's trailing over this fence. I would love to have something like this in my yard. Looks all English countryside to me.
Well, that's about all I have today. For once, I'm pretty much at a loss for something to say. Enjoy it, for that doesn't happen very often. I've been told all my life that I need to talk less and listen more. *sigh*
I try, really I do.
Until tomorrow then,
Blessings to all, cingspots

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Day in the Life...of me!!

Well now, how's that for a catchy title?? Hellooooo!!! Anybody out there!? Yeah, I know...not terribly exciting, but that's okay with me. I'm just ducky with it!! Am I ever!!

So, our lovely springtime weather is playing foul tricks on us, yet again. Have you ever wondered just exactly why it's so very, very green in Oregon? No? could be because it rains all the bleep bleep time!!! Sorry. But, enough already. I'm so ready for warm, sunny, dry days that I could just ...spit or something!! I know, I know if we don't get the rain now, then it will get all dry and brown in the summer - and this country will just burn up!! I've heard that particular one all my life. Seriously. I've never seen this part of the country burn up yet. Okay, enough about the weather except to say that our weather has taken a slight detour, shall we say southward - no, that's not working, let's just say it's dipped - yes, that'll do it, it's dipped to a lower range on the old thermometer and the liquid sunshine is aplenty. I know that I'll be lighting a fire in ye old wood stove again tonight. *sheesh* Things could always be worse. Yes indeedy they could. So I shall stop my complaining and just be thankful that I don't have to water the outside plants or the lawn. Nope - not tonight. The silver lining again.

This week at the clinic, except for today has been quite busy. Business has definitely picked up lately, and that's a good thing. I've also contacted my neighbor with the tractor and he's hopefully coming this weekend to do the tillwork in the outside riding area. I don't call it an arena because that's not exactly what it is. It's really a corral. My hubby and I built it shortly after we moved to our house about 14 years ago. At the time, I got a really good deal on the lumber because it was...shall we say, aged. Yes, somewhat aged. But, despite that the corral has held up over the years and we've seen many a good ride there. But, she's looking a little tired these days. Many of the boards are so rotten, they are slowly disentegrating around the nails that hold them in place. The horses don't know that though. Let's just keep that our little secret shall we?? It is what it is. And it's what we've got. And frankly, I love the way it looks - all westerney and worn, very cowboyish...quite fashionable actually. Why, for all I know we're the envy of all our friends and neighbors. How's that for a little suggestive thinking? See how I survive in this world? I'm really quite impressionable. Kidding!! I'm a rock!!

So far this spring, the weather has been somewhat less accomodating for such projects like, gardening. But that hasn't stopped me from thinking about it, or making my mental plans and such. Just last weekend, my hubby built a very lovely raised growing bed for me. It's about 20 ft in length and 3-1/2 feet wide. It's going to become my berry patch. I love berries!! My thoughts are to have a row of cane berries in the back. These will include boysenberries and marionberries. Along the front side will be a row of strawberries. And somewhere, maybe equally spaced in front of the strawberries will be the bush variety red raspberries. I haven't got that perfectly defined yet. We'll have to see how it all pans out. But the box itself looks great, and we've sprayed the grass growing inside and will line the bottom with newspapers and weed prevention fabric. Then we will bring in load after load of our beautifully composted horse manure and sawdust that's been aging to perfection for the last several years. It really is beautiful stuff!! The horses should be proud!!

In another smaller raised bed will be my precious tomato plants. I've decided to forego the large and timeconsuming vegetable garden that I've planted in years past and concentrate on just a few of our most favorite summertime pleasures. That will leave more time for enjoying our summer and less time (hopefully) spent weeding and watering. Anyway, that's the plan for now. We'll see how things end up.

Here's a picture of my lovely sister. We all gathered at her house weekend before last for a celebration of my sis and her hubby's 47th wedding anniversary. They had been gone for the last couple of months down in sunny Arizona enjoying their retirement.
See the lovely color of her skin? That's what happens when the sun comes out and stays for more than a day at a time. Sorry, I digress...again.

And below is my favorite poochie...Annie. Always happy and lively no matter what.

Whoever said that, " it's a dog's life", definitely did not mean that in a derrogatory manner. I'm pretty sure...
If so, the guy was nuts.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Momma got a new toy!!!

Yippee!! Now I can be current like everybody else out there in Bloggerville!! No more uploading my photos to the laptop at home, creating a CD and then bringing it to work and uploading my pictures onto my blog using my computer at work. No sirree Bob (who is that anyway?), because as you can see...I just took this photo of my new little toy, stuck the card into my new little netbook and uploaded the photo directly onto my blog. Hot diggity dog!! Am I too cool for my boots or what!?

Sorry about the messy desk!!

And yes...just in case you were wondering...I can wear boots again. Yep - or any other pair of my shoes that my little ole heart desires. Real shoes! How totally exciting! Have I ever mentioned that I'm very easily pleased...and entertained ? NO??? Well, it's true - and I am. Very thankful too.

Yes, it's so true...about the little things being the most important things in life. *sigh* I am sooo very thankful that I can wear my shoes again, and ride, and walk, and squat down, many other little things that I take for granted every single day, and forget to be thankful for. So...just for the record - right here and right now, I'll say it - I am thankful for my toes. Not to mention many, many other little things (some not so little) on this body that I am thankful for. I digress...might want to mention here that another personal little thing about me is that I get distracted rather easily too...nobody's perfect, right?

Onward and ever upward folks!

So, without further adeau, let's get to the pictures shall we?? This, amongst many other things is what I did this past weekend. Cruised around shooting photos of some more of my blessings.
Great fun!!

A very sleepy and obviously relaxed group of ponies...Siri on the left, then Harley sprawled in all his glory, Shad in the center, and Ladde on the right. Acting as resident "watch mare", is Kadie.
This is what I saw upon awakening yesterday morning. Sure put a smile on my face.

Sally and a couple of her crew...the pudtats.

The grand dame of our little herd...Frosted Siri L. She is a direct descendant "ghostwind mare".

My momma's most favorite flower - the Lilac. This bush is at bleast 20 feet tall and easily 4 times wider. Gorgeous!!! And no, it's not mine sadly.

My little studmuffin Harley. More formally known as Ahkunkenekoo. Can you say that with me? A little's the Nez Perce Indian name for the land know, heaven.

Our other grand lady - Wag's Pride - Ladde's momma, my sweet Kadie.

Wish I could have gotten some better action shots of these two screwballs!!

My hubby's horse...Affermative Shadow, otherwise known as Shad. I just found out that his grandsire is the infamous Triple Crown winner...Affirmed. Cool! No wonder he runs so fast.

The one and only... who for whatever reason holds the key to my heart, Ladde. Formally known as Wagtail Ladde. My pride and joy!

This branch is very highly regarded by each and every one of the horses. You can't tell in this picture, bit it's rubbed as smooth as polished gold. Another one of those small, but infinitely important blessings for sure.

Harley's adorable butt. I just love this butt.

The llama dude..."Merlin's Magic". There's many names he goes by...
Here's to another wonderful week in the life...