Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Making summer memories

One of our favorite summer pastimes is spending a leisurely day on the beach.  It not only quiets the soul and soothes the mind, but refreshes both body and spirit.  There's just nothing like it...

And of course the dogs enjoy it immensely.

Seems like anywhere we go, Ruby meets old, dear friends.  She has such an open and amicable attitude, that people and animals find her inviting.  This day was no exception.

Strangers but only a moment ago; playmates and pals forevermore.  If only people were so open and welcoming in spirit, our world would be a much more pleasant place.

What fun!

With the mild climate and ample moisture, flowers grow with wild abandon.  Aren't they beautiful?

My precious little family.  :)

My desire is to as closely as possible, duplicate some of these soft, tranquil beachy colors for our bedroom and use the same creamy white for the trim as I've used in other rooms of our house.

Yes, one more of those many projects that are continually swimming around in my head.

My beautiful girl.  How I love this dog!

Isn't this a great shot?  Oh, how I would love a little beach cottage with a trail leading down to the beach, just like this one!

We love to take walks through little beach town neighborhoods admiring the cottages, the gardens and the ingenious and whimsical decorative ideas people come up with.

These two friendly fellows were just quietly watching us on our stroll...aren't they just adorable?  :)

Beautiful hydrangeas!  I do believe they grow better at the beach than just about anywhere.  Just incredible!!

And then of course, we always find beauty right in our own backyards.  This familiar site always gives my heart a flutter, and a reason to whisper a little prayer of thankfulness.  Our wonderful ponies, safe and sound.

With our summer drawing to a close, and the touch of cool autumn breezes beckoning, I always feel a sense of urgency.  The deep inward need to hurry and enjoy, before our days shorten and the fall rains arrive.  I want to take in all that our summer has left to offer and not waste one precious moment of it.

Already my thoughts are turning to cozy fires by the wood stove, making sure our stockpile of firewood is aplenty, storing the flavors of summer for our enjoyment later, securing bedding for the horses and of battening down the hatches in preparation for the shorter days and colder temperatures.  My tendency to "squirrel" for the winter is beginning...

Last night a friend and I canned peaches.  24 beautiful quarts of summer sunshine.  Applesauce and zuchini won't be far behind.  We're thinking about buying either a quarter or possibly a half of a beef from another friend.  With more concerns about our nation's food supply and the safety of it, purchasing from small, organic farms and people we know personally, is just a little more insurance that what food we put into our bodies is a healthy and safe choice.

What end of summer traditions do you have, or do you?  Do tell...

Blessings all,
Lorie @ Cingspots

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Enjoying the bounty of harvest

Officially we're 2/3 of the way through summer.  This is what's commonly referred to as, "the dog days of summer".  I'm not sure why exactly, but I've always thought that by this time a lot of people are a little tired of the heat and the dryness that accompanies this time of year.  I absolutely love fall, it's my favorite time of year, but...I'm not quite ready to let go of summer just yet!  So despite the school calendar, I'm officially and unapologetically going to relish these long, hot days and warm nights while they last.  And besides, I've only begun to harvest my garden tomatoes!  Such a short growing season for my favorite garden crop...

The other day I caught Ladde doing a little harvesting of his own...

Diving in for a thorough assessment of exactly where those apples are to be found.

Then the look of non-nonchalance.  More than likely, for my benefit.  :)

Then when the coast is clear - go for it!


And maybe just one more...a little bit higher this time!


I missed the really good shot of when he was actually standing on his hind legs alone going for the choicest apples; way up high!  He's quite the horse.  The other day I saw him actually schooling Lil Missy on the finer points in how to pick plums.  Then he stood guard and watched her, while she put her lessons into practice.  Quite the team!  They are a match made in heaven.  :)

As for me, I'm not doing any jams this year.  We still have plenty of strawberry, peach, marionberry and wild blackberry to last us a while.  I did put sliced strawberries and some blueberries in the freezer, along with some peaches.  This weekend we're canning our favorites.  Peaches!!!  I absolutely cannot face a long, wet, cold and dreary winter without freshly canned peaches.  Yum!  Frozen peaches are alright for cooking with, and for smoothies, but nothing beats my home-canned beauties.  Nosiree!

Blessings and prayers for some dear friends who continue to face troubling times...love you Miss B!

Friday, August 9, 2013

A little of this and a little of that

Whew!  Summer is just buzzing along isn't it?  We've been busy, busy, busy and I've been MIA from my blog for about 2 months now!  How time flies just continues to amaze me!  I've no good excuse really, just haven't been around much lately on the old computer.  As my grandma used to say, I've been busier than a one-legged man in an ass kickin' contest!  :)  I'll bet so many of you can relate to that sentiment.

I've been horse camping, working with my horses around home, working at the clinic, spending time with my grand kids, taking the dogs swimming, hiking, gardening, got all our winter's supply of hay in the barns, going to summer fairs and spending glorious time at the beach.  We're taking Eagle to a horsemanship clinic tomorrow and then we'll be heading to the beach for another one-nighter and heading home Sunday afternoon.  The last couple of summers we've done very little besides work, so we're determined to make up for it this summer and enjoy the warm days while we can.  The work will always be waiting for us when we return.  Thankfully, we probably won't have to do any wood cutting this year because we have pretty much enough wood in our storage to last this coming winter.  That's a blessing!

Rather than prattle endlessly on about our recent activities, I'd rather show you a sampling of what we've been doing.  Pictures say it so much better than my words ever could.

 My new front door.  We're hoping to build a cute little porch right here before winter comes...so many projects, so little time.  That reminds me, I don't think I've ever posted the before and after pictures of our kitchen/laundry room remodel.  Another time...

 A beautiful team of horses pulling an antique fire truck.  This was at the Newberg Old Fashioned Day Festival parade.

My sweet great-great niece, Lilly.  She is a lovely child, just 3 years old, but much more mature and wise than her age...she carries on full, adult-like conversations with just about anybody.  I'm anxious to introduce her to the wonderful world of horses.  She's quite the animal lover...

The fireworks display in Newberg was once again, nothing short of incredible!  We had front row seating on the grass.

One of the trail heads where we were horse camping last weekend at Santiam Horse Camp.  Quite the Cadillac of horse camps.  I rode Lil Miss (Sugar), and she is one fun little mare to ride

 I'm pretty sure Ruby and Annie were saying, "we're quite comfortable, thanks!"  "where are you guys gonna sleep?"  :)  These are our current sleeping accommodations since we sold our big, cushy horse trailer last April.  I have to admit that I miss that wonderfully luxurious bed we used to enjoy, but these fit the bill quite nicely.

My precious and beautiful Ladde.  My hubby rode him and he was as usual, nothing short of perfect.  As usual.  I love this horse!!

 A tree growing out of a stump!  This was in our camp.  Pretty cool huh?

Just hangin' out in our camp...Ruby and my guy.

Ladde and the love of his life schmoozing - again.  Sugar, or as we now call her, Lil Miss are in love.  Truly.  I'm so happy that Ladde finally has exactly what he's always wanted.  A little woman of his very own.  Sweet!

The whole gang at our camp-out last weekend.  Members of our AHA riding club L-R, Michelle, Biff, me, Stevi, Ron, Rick and Brian.  Jeannine was taking our picture.  This was our Sabbath potluck meal, and it sure was delicious!  We had a wonderful time and missed all the other people who couldn't attend.

Getting very snoozy with my Ruby
after a long day in the sun with the grand kids.  Boy, they can sure tire a body out!

 Out little hometown festival - Yamhill Derby Days parade...how adorable is this little guy?

I wouldn't mind having this little Bug to run about town with - cute!!

But then again...maybe I'd prefer this one.  Camaros always were an old favorite of mine.  Nice!

This little girl was so cute.  She had the poor chicken on a leash, and she (the hen) was obviously tired and started refusing to walk.  After a short dispute, the chicken won out and the little girl just scooped her up and carried the hen in her arms for the duration of the parade.  One smart chicken!

Hot dog!!!

And this is our horse shoer's barbecue.  He calls it his "Q".  Whatever you call it, I'm telling you that this may quite possibly be the best BBQ I've ever had!  Soooooo good!!  Beef tri-tips sliced paper thin and piled high on small, slider buns served with your choice of sauce or not.  YUM!!!  For $5 you got 3 sliders, a wedge of watermelon and a can of pop - you can't beat that with a stick!

Not sure how this picture got in here, but oh well...my reading spot in the wood stove room with my new flooring.

Wading in the creek...looks like I may have been spacing out.

The dogs always have fun.  Wherever they go.

First toe-maters from our garden.  I picked these a few weeks ago.

My hunny...

I look a bit like a peeled onion.  We got a pool and put it in our backyard.  We spend a fair amount of time in there.  It's not very big, but it sure cools a person off in a hurry.  Good investment!!

I've got lots more pictures to share with you all, but maybe that's enough for one posting.  We've been enjoying this summer a lot.  Our weather has been fairly hot and dry.  We haven't had any rain that I can remember since sometime in June.  That's fairly unusual for us, but then again, where weather is concerned, exactly what is normal?  It is, what it is!  And I'm loving my summer and hope you are too.  My house is a disaster, a fine layer of dust pretty much on everything, dandelions about a foot tall in the yard and morning glories threatening to take over my garden.  But you know what?  I don't care!  We're going to enjoy and visit and do this summer, rather than work every weekend we have off.  Life is just too short to work all the time!  Am I right?  I can clean my house when it starts raining...maybe by then I'll have new carpet, or freshly painted walls or that new porch I mentioned, or that brick patio just waiting to be laid...or not!!!!  :)

Blessings all,
Lorie @ Cingspots