Thursday, September 27, 2012

Prayer request please

Hi friends,  I have to ask for help in the prayer department.  I've been praying like crazy since very early this morning, but I have the most awful feeling in the pit of my stomach.

My husband's beloved horse, Shad is in the throes of a colic right now.  It's not looking very good, and I'm scared that the outcome might not be a good one.  I've not given up hope, but my gut tells me to be prepared.

My husband found him cast very early this morning and came running for my help in getting him up.  We managed to get him flipped over and onto his feet, but he immediately began looking at his sides, as if in pain.  We gave him a dose of Banamine for the pain, and I called for my boss/vet to come attend to him.  The bad feeling was there from the beginning.

Shad is 24 years old and had a colic surgery when he was a 3-year old.  Neither he, nor our budget can afford another at this time in our lives...

He's a gentle soul and has never, ever been anything but kind to everyone, whether human or another animal in his entire life.  He sure doesn't deserve this.  We're doing what we can to control his pain and make him comfortable, but ultimately we're placing our boy in God's hands.

Please join me in prayer on Shad's behalf.  Also my husband's behalf, for he's been in love with this horse since the moment he first laid eyes on him over 21 years ago.  If today is Shad's day to go, it's going to be really hard on my poor husband's heart.  And there will be a huge hole in our lives.  He's the leader of our herd, and has been who they look up to forever.

Thanks so much,


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Glimpses of Autumn

Well, I guess it's official.  Summer's over, and we've a new season in Fall to appreciate.  A season of beginnings, it always feels like to me.  A time to savor the remaining days of sunshine, the cooler and more temperate days in which to accomplish those tasks that need completion before the short, unaccommodating days of winter.  Here in northwest Oregon, fall always seems like the shortest of seasons to me.  All too often, our days quickly turn into rainy days, forcing us inside all too early for my preference.  
But while those Autumn days are here, in all their glory and perfection...they just beg to be relished!

There is no more perfect time for a leisurely walk with the dogs.

 The is the second feather that I've found lately.  The other day while hiking up to our twin oaks in the neighboring field at home, I came across a Red Tail Hawk feather.  Of course, I took it home with me.  This one I left, and have only this image to remember it by.

Come on mom!!!

Sorry for the blur...Annie was waaaay up ahead on the trail, and patiently waited for me when I called out to her.

Remember my nasturtiums that I planted in late spring?  Well, they practically took over the front porch, covering easily half of the doorway and overtaking virtually every other flower that I had planted in this bed.

Our first taste of rainfall.  For a change, it felt refreshing and blissfully cool, cleaning the air and dampening the dust.  Our deck is much in need of a good cleaning and a coat of stain or sealant.  This is the before picture.  Day before yesterday my husband spent all day long cleaning and scrubbing the wood in preparation for the new stain we've got.  I have had the natural cedar tone for all of the 14-15 years that we've enjoyed this deck.  I just love the natural greying process that occurs with cedar.  But alas, everything must eventually change...I've purchased a semi-transparent stain in the tone of "brick red".  Hopefully it will look good with the aged brick patio we're still in hopes of getting done before winter pushes us indoors.

 Ladde and Kadie enjoying breakfast.  They seemed to find the rainfall refreshing too.

 What ya got mom???

Eagle, Harley and Merlin in the background...hopeful for some pears to top off their breakfast.  Even the abundance of pears we've enjoyed this summer are now dwindling.  Much to the chagrin of the horses, I might add.  :)

The tomatoes are ripening in abundance now.  I've got quite a few in the freezer for our winters' enjoyment.  This is one of the things that I always miss the most - the dying out of my summer garden...for everything there is a season.

These are a few of my flowers awaiting planting.  My plan is to rip out the nasturtiums in the front flower bed and plant these chrysanthemums so we can enjoy them before the frost will send them into dormancy for another year.  I'll miss my flowers too...

A sure sign of fall...the changing of the colors, and the loss of the leaves on all but the evergreen trees.  I forget what type of tree this is, but I just love it.  I planted this tree about 7-8 years ago, and it is big enough now that it provides some much-appreciated shade in the front part of our house.  One of the last to leaf out in late spring and one of the first to lose its' leaves in early fall.

The old, Black Walnut changing colors ans shedding his leaves.

Our twin oaks looking a bit forlorn this morning in the marine layer blanketing our valley.

Ruby loves her daddy...

And one final look at the wild and crazy nasturtiums trying to take over this little part of our world.  Last evening I began the arduous task of ripping them out by their roots.  There's these little tiny, black bugs all over the under sides of the leaves...totally creepy.  I have no idea what kind of insect they are; but they gotta go!  My chrysanthemums await...

Oh, our kitchen countertop project is finished!!!  It turned out beautifully, and I just love it!!  Many, many thanks to my super talented and patient (with me) husband for his many hours of hard work.  Thank you honey!!

Blessings, Lorie @ Cingspots

p.s. if any or all of you are of the praying kind - please include my friends Betty and Michelle, and their families...they are experiencing troublesome times and prayers would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Where there's smoke...

This is a picture I took from about a quarter mile away, across the farm fields of my husband taking Ladde for an early morning ride last weekend.  This horse is so beautiful to me...I think he's majestic.   This is a picture of two of the most important guys in my life.  

Notice how hazy it is?  There are several forest fires in our Pacific Northwest, none really close, but near enough to affect our air quality.

My guys are headed back home, unaware I'm watching them through my lens...

Looks like they're taking a moment to gaze over at the neighbor's horses.  Such beauty...
I might be a little, tiny bit prejudiced.

A view heading over the Willamette Pass last weekend...trees as far as the eye can see.  

This is the viewpoint at O'Dell Lake that the dogs and I hiked to.  It's a really big lake and was a beautiful day.  You can't really tell from this picture, but we were probably about 150-200 feet above the water at this point.

I only saw one boat with a couple of fisherman on the lake that day.  Sure would have been a perfect day for a little boating or fishing.
 Almost made it to the top...Annie's feeling the burn right about now.  I'm not sure, but I think this trail may go around the whole lake.  Now, that would be an enjoyable hike to do someday.  This was very near the point of my "little episode" when I was making my trek back down this trail...sshh.  Note to self:  next time, bring a walking stick and do not stop!!

These pictures are in no particular order, but they're of the Pole Creek Trail forest fire in Central Oregon.  It's still not contained, and these pics were taken last Saturday.  This one is just coming into Sisters from Bend.  The smoke and haze was very dense, and the air quality was hazardous.

 Just outside Sisters...

The quality of the pictures are not great because they were taken from the car while we were driving down the highway.  The sun was amazing though; much more blood red than these photos represent.

Looking eastward from the other side of Sisters just above Blue Lake on the Santiam Pass.

Same location, looking eastward towards Sisters, but zoomed in...

Pretty trippy huh?  Living on the wetter side of the Cascade Mountains, I'd never really thought much about living with the possibility of this happening in my back yard before, but it does happen.  Everywhere is so extremely dry right now, it's amazing there aren't more fires than there are.  This is another good reason to have the sage brush cleared from rural property, and smaller trees thinned.

This is my beautiful Kadie and Jules.  She's the young gal that's been coming over occasionally for lessons on horsemanship and she's just beginning to ride.  Kadie at 28 years old, is the kindest, most gentle horse I've ever had the pleasure of spending time with.  The perfect horse to learn from...

Jules is in love.

Since Kadie has arthritis in both hocks, she can't be, that's where Harley comes in.  He may be blind and unsuitable for mountain riding, but he does perfectly fine in a safe, enclosed environment.  This was Jules' first riding lesson on Harley.  He was a little rusty, but came around in no time.  I think he really enjoyed having a job and being pampered by a little girl again.  Being brushed, loved and fed treats...what's not to enjoy?

Since this post has gotten a little photo heavy, I'll save the pictures of my dream home in LaPine for another time.  We're still experiencing warmer than average end-of-summer weather.  We hit 91 the other day, but it's cooler and a bit overcast today.  My tomato plants are producing like gangbusters, zuchini, yellow crooknecks, green beans and cucumbers are dwindling.  Marions are drying up on the vines, but the pears and apples are in their prime.  Summer's nearing its' end, but it's going out with a bang this year.  I'm always a little melancholy about the passing of another summer, but I'm looking forward to fall and all that lovely season has to offer.

Blessings all,
until next time...Lorie @ Cingspots

Monday, September 17, 2012

No, it can't be Monday!

The weekend went so fast, I'm not even sure if I had one.  *sigh*  Monday is not my favorite day.  I accomplished so little of my expectations that it's mind blowing.  Not that I had my two days off all pegged out, but still.  I've always got projects, know, in the back of my mind that I'd like to do.  More often than not, it seems, I don't get to half of them.  I live for the day when my time is my own...

So, anyway Saturday morning arrived and I got the wild hair to take a road trip.  Yep, drove down south to Eugene and then East over the Willamette Pass to LaPine.  It was a beautiful day for a drive.  We stopped at   O'Dell Lake for a short walk.  The weather was beautiful, and there was a brisk breeze blowing.  Perfect hiking weather.  What a huge lake!  The dogs and I took off up the trail, up a rather steel hill to a vista point and looked out over the lake.  I took a few pics and then headed down the trail.  I was doing fine, until the trail narrowed and I made the mistake of stopping.  Panic engulfed me.  Crap.  I had to crouch down and hang on to some bushes for a while and regain my composure.  I have this horrible fear of heights, and I was doing ok, thought I had it made, but I never should have stopped.  So, I crouched there panicking for a few minutes before I sternly told myself to just breathe deeply and relax.  The trail was very narrow and there was a fairly steep descent to the rocks and water below.  I felt dizzy.  Ruby bounded off down the trail back towards our car, but Annie stayed with me.  Dear, sweet, Annie...she gave me a gentle nuzzle of encouragement and that enabled me to get hold of my emotions and actually stand up.  Good grief, my legs were so shaky, and that dizziness just makes me feel weak, even a little nauseous.  But, I said a little prayer and took a tentative step, then another...down the hill we crept.  After a few minutes of this, the trail wasn't quite so steep and I walked on and back down to the car.  How I hate that!  But, at least I made it back without having to stay crouched on that trail waiting for my hubby to come and rescue me.  And Ruby, she went back, found my hubby and kept running back up the trail towards where we were waiting...good girl, she really hadn't abandoned me after all.  :)  My hubby was headed our way, but he didn't know about my little panic attack.  He just mentioned Ruby's actions, and that she really wanted to go back the direction from where she'd just come from.  I love my dogs.

Once in LaPine, we met up with the real estate lady who drove us to view two properties we've had our eyes on for almost a year.  One was an older manufactured home and I didn't like it at all.  The property was really nice, but no way on the home.  The other one was gorgeous!!  It's been my favorite all along, and seeing it in person just started my imagination soaring!  The house is perfect!!  Huge master bedroom with a huge master dream!!  A nice sized living room with lots of natural light and high ceilings and a huge woodstove.  Slate entry area with beautiful oak flooring throughout the main living areas, carpeted bedrooms and a slate floors in both bathrooms.  A sliding door off the dining room area onto a huge deck with a hot tub and a nice sized, fenced back yard.  Perfect!  It even had lots of windows and a skylight in the kitchen with a cozy eating area with a laundry room behind the kitchen.  The front entrance also has a covered deck, smaller than the back, but nicely sized.  The home sits about a half a block back from the road and has beautiful Ponderosa and Jack Pines between the front yard and the road.  The entire front part of the property is fenced, it has a 36 x 40 shop with a woodstove and a one room guest residence with a woodstove, kitchen, bath and living area.  Just adorable!  The property is 10 acres and needs clearing and some tree thinning, plus fencing would all have to be done before horses could live there.  The property also has no barn.  Not perfect, but the home is.  *sigh*  Good price too, very affordable.  The home has been on the market for nearly a year and the family needs to move soon, so they may be renting the place out, which would be unfortunate, but that's what they need to do, or sell it quickly.  If our home was sold, I'd move there in a heartbeat.  Aah, dreaming is fun, but I think we'll actually make the move someday.  Where we live is perfect, except the winter months where it just rains too much for my tastes.

We then drove on into Sisters where there was a spectacular forest fire going on.  The usually picturesque drive from Bend to Sisters of the 3 Sisters Mountains, Mt. Bachelor and Mt. Washington were completely shrouded in smoke.  Very surreal, and spooky.  We stopped for an early picnic dinner before heading back along the Santiam Pass towards home.

Yesterday morning began with Jules and her mom coming over for a lesson with the horses.  That ran a little longer than usual, which seriously cut into my last day to get anything around home done.  After they left, I went inside and scrambled some eggs for a late breakfast and my sister and niece stopped by for a visit.  I hadn't even made my bed yet...anyway, it was nice to see them and catch up. We picked some veggies from the garden, enjoyed cool drinks on the deck in the sunshine and when they went home, I cleaned up my kitchen and managed to get about 40 pounds of tomatoes blanched, peeled and into the freezer.  I got 9 quarts of tomatoes total.  Finally made my bed and it was just about time to feed the horses and think about dinner.  Whew!  We had taco salads and lemonade, fed the horses, doctored Merlin's eye and headed inside.  I ran a nice, warm bath and felt much better after relaxing in the tub for a while.  Watched a little TV and went to bed...that's my weekend in a nutshell.

I never got to work with Eagle or Ladde all weekend.  Bummed about that.  But, my hubby did manage to get a very early morning ride in on Ladde.  At least that's something!

I've been noticing how very, very dry everything is around home.  Central Oregon was even drier and with the smokey air, it actually made me a little nostalgic for some rain...can you believe I'm saying that?  It would be refreshing though.  Just a little rain to dampen everything and freshen the air...then cooler weather and an Indian Summer until November.  That's all I'm asking for...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Beasts of Burden

You remember that song by the Rolling Stones don't you?  I walk for miles, my feet are hurtin'...nice song.

 Anyway, the term "beast of burden" is what a client of ours at work referred to horses as being, the other day.  Well, I guess so...but so are we all.

This gal said that she and her mom were riding their horses and they came to a very steep and long hill, so she got off and decided to walk her horse.  Her horse was huffing a bit, and was somewhat out of shape and overweight, so she decided that a walk up the hill would benefit both of them, and ease her horse's burden.

A gesture of kindness, I thought.  However, her mom laughed and said she was silly to get off and walk up such a steep hill when her horse could so easily carry her up.

Now get this; the mother's horse is older, has serious respiratory issues, extreme difficulty breathing when under exertion and still, the old bag forces her horse to continue on up the steep hill, huffing and puffing with effort carrying not only his own burden, but her extra weight as well.  I asked why would her mom do this to her horse?  And she replied, because horses are beasts of burden.

I suppose they are, but I had to comment that we are too.  She didn't agree.  My argument of course, is that the Bible tells us that for 6 days you shall labor, by the sweat of your brow and do all your work.  On the 7th day, you shall rest.  It even stipulates that our animals shall have a day of rest.  If that doesn't classify us as beasts of burden, I don't know what would.

And regardless of your opinion on this subject, I still say that we should all be compassionate and kind to our animals, and others, no matter what their classification in life may or may not be.  An animal of any kind, and all people are still emotional beings.  We all have feelings, sensitivities, likes and dislikes, opinions about things in general, and that warrants a thinking, feeling being of being worthy of, and deserving of, kindness.  Simple, compassion and kindness.  It costs us nothing, save a little effort perhaps on our part, but still..."do unto others as you would have them do unto you".  The Golden Rule does not stipulate your age, sex...or your genotype.

If ever there was a rule that encompasses all, it is that one.  Period.

People can be so dense.  Or maybe it's just an excuse to be mean, or their pitiful attempt at believing they're superior.  Whatever...

The Bible does give us authority over the "beasts"...but remember, when given authority over anything or anyone else, there comes great responsibility.  And accountability.  Even if only, eventually...

for everyone will reap that which they have sown.  A beautiful reminder for us all.  We're given so many gifts in this life, not the least of which are our beautiful animals.  They truly are worthy of our love, respect and kindness.  As we all are.

Blessings everyone,
from a fellow beast of burden on this day, in this life of mine.

May your be wonderful!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Winding down of summer - Labor Day

Summer time is sweet.  Long days, warm nights, sunshine and so much to do!  For much of my life, summer has always been my favorite season - hands down.  However, as I age, I find my tastes like so many other things, are changing a bit.  I still love summer, and all those lovely gifts that it has to offer.  But, I'm really looking forward to fall.  I actually believe that fall has, or is fast-becoming my favorite of the seasons.

Firstly, I love the crispness in the air, especially mornings and evenings.  Throw on a sweatshirt, or wrap up in a blanket and savor the warmth.  The cooler days are invigorating!  I seem to have a lot more energy and ambition to accomplish tasks that I wasn't quite up to, in the heat of a summer's day.  Horseback riding!  Need I say more?  Fall is the perfect time of year for trail riding, or any activity in the outdoors.  Camping, riding, hiking, yard work, campfires, fall burning, so many things.  School starts back up, maybe that's why I always feel like fall is a new and fresh beginning.  An early opening into the holiday season.  The changing scenery, beautiful autumn colors and the bustle of getting projects finished up before the long, wet and colder winter weather arrives.  Whatever it is...I love it!  And, as is becoming normal for me, I am looking forward to everything that is fall.  Hmmmm, sweaters, favorite blue jeans, boots, fires in the wood stove on a crisp weekend morning.  I'm so looking forward to all of it.  Apple pies!  Dinners in the crockpot!  Too many amenities to mention...

Now that Labor Day weekend has come and gone, and the kids are all back in school, I look forward with anticipation that "squirreling" that always comes over me.  Canning fruits, freezing vegetables, stocking up my pantry and freezer, filling the wood shed with freshly cut, split firewood, bedding for the horse stalls and savoring the sunshine-filled days before the rain comes.  I'm looking forward to taking some time off work either this month or in October and spending some time camping in the mountains, or some time at the beach.  Whatever it is, I'm anticipating a little end of summer vacation time.

 Labor Day weekend, we were graced with the presence of a breakfast guest.  I guess I should say that the horses were graced with a intruder, more likely.

 Apparently his name is Lil Bear; and judging from the way he interacts with our horses, this isn't the first time Lil Bear's been over for a visit.

 He and Eagle especially, seem to be on friendly terms.

Snip, our cat, doesn't really see any humor in Lil Bear's visits.  He makes himself quite at home, partaking of meals, eating berries off the wild vines and lining up for the evening hand-out of pears at the fence line.

 He's actually pretty cocky.  For a squirt, I mean.  Walks around like he owns the place.

 Whether he's exceptionally brave, or just foolhardy, I haven't quite decided yet.  But, as you can see, he's accustomed to making himself at home in our pasture, and with our herd of horses.  The neighbors say they've enticed him home with grain many times, and he always finds his way back.  Cute little turd.

 We went to a BBQ on Labor Day at my hubby's brother's house.  This is what we had on the grill.  Hmmmm...chicken and steak kabobs.  They were delicious!!  Little bro Steve, also made potato salad and corn on the cob.  And since it was my hubby's birthday, we also had chocolate cake with chocolate icing.  Sooooo good!!!!  My hubby got a box of Cheez-it crackers for his birthday.  His favorite all-time cracker.

 Little bro, Steve with yet another "gadget" he's found.  He's King of the Gadgets.

 Quite ingenious, actually...just what everybody needs.  No backwash!!  I'm sold!!

Relaxing after eating too much...  Steve with Bailey on his lap, Chris with Bella on her lap, and my hubby.  Looking rather smug, I might add.  You'd think it was his birthday or something!

 And they thought I should have to get my picture taken too....fine.  We had a lovely afternoon, and it was so good to relax and do nothing but eat and visit.

Enjoy and savor these last couple of weeks we have of summer.  Fall is just around the corner...