Friday, September 27, 2013

Never a dull moment

This is the view from about halfway up the hill.  They could have run for miles down the other side
Well, we had plans to go on our last of the season horse camping trip this weekend.  I'd gotten a replacement to cover me at the clinic (4 day weekend), had a caretaker lined up for the horses at home, bought new and very warm sleeping bags (mountain temps in the lower 30's), done the grocery shopping, and was really looking forward to going.  But the planets weren't lining up or something...

Firstly, hubby realized we had no working brakes on the horse trailer.  Huh?  They had been working when we'd used it recently.  So, he stayed home from work to get them working again.  He calls me late afternoon, saying he'd tried everything and it wasn't working.  Apparently we need to replace the actual squeezing mechanism on the trailer itself, our old trailer is a 1995 model and we've never done that.  Guess we got our money out of those brakes.  Anyway, we have to order the parts and we weren't prepared for that.  So, no go over the mountain pass without working trailer brakes.

Alright, plan B...we decided that although it's been raining a fair amount the past couple of weeks, we would still go camping, just stick closer to home and bring tarps and such.  The weather forecast had been predicting a nice weekend with temps possibly reaching 70, with no rain in sight.  That's alright.

Yesterday, everything changed.  There was this little typhoon near Japan that's affecting our jetstream and now we're to expect monsoon type rainfall this weekend.  No sunshine in sight.  Winds.  Rain.  A real doozy of an early fall storm.  Batten down the hatches and all that.  *sigh*  Guess who's not going camping now...

So, I made the phone calls.  Cancelled the caretaker.  Cancelled the relief clinic worker.  Told my boss I'd see him Friday morning.

Fast forward to this morning...I'm almost ready to walk out the door and head to work.  Just putting a little finishing touch on my make-up and hair when I hear Harley call from the pasture.  I stop and listen...I heard him call out again, this time a more distressed calling.  I drop everything and run out the door...

to see the entire herd (sans Harley) out in the neighboring and newly planted hazlenut orchard.  Heads up.  Tails up.  Looking alert.  I try to walk quickly, but serenely to the barn to grab a bucket of grain.  They're suckers for grain.  Uh huh.  Not today momma.  Off they flew, tails up over their backs clear to the twin oaks at the top of the hill in the field beyond the orchard.  Oh no, not good.  I run back inside to remove my clogs.  Clogs are not an appropriate shoe for chasing horses through a bumpy farm field.  I grab my phone, change my shoes and offer up a quick prayer for some help, and sensible horses to stay away from the highway.

About a minute later, my angel in camo shows up in my driveway.  Do you need some help he asks?  A huge wave of relief washes over me, I offer a thank you to my Caretaker :) and off we go.  He flanked them from the off side of the hill and I approached from the front.  Ladde and Sugar trot right to me (always easy where grain is concerned) and I get the halter on Ladde.  Thank you God.  Off we go, at first I thought the entire herd was going to follow, but they had other notions.  Ladde was a real handful walking all the way back to the barn with the rest of the herd galloping back over the other side of the hill.  *sheesh*  I swear he grows about a foot or two even bigger when he gets all amped up, adrenaline pumping through his veins and all.  At one point, he was air-hoofing and his front leg was higher than my head.  Bad horse.  I scold him and keep moving, like I could do anything if he didn't want to comply.  Good horse.  Got him locked in his stall alongside the frantic Harley in his stall.  Closed the big sliding door on my way out and proceeded my trek back out to the north 40.  Again.  I'm already hot, wet from the knee down (tall grass) and my hair is all wet and sweaty.  Oh good.  Angel in camo (apparently his name was Brian) had managed to herd the horses back as far as the creek.  I kept calling Shad and Kadie's names while holding up the grain bucket...there's always hope that they'll come to me.  And they did!  Slowly, but they started heading towards me.  I dumped a couple of little grain piles to keep Eagle and Sugar occupied while I quietly approached Shad.  The big red horse let me put the halter on him.  I offered a little grain and off we went...Kadie in tow.  That was what I had hoped would happen.  :)

Before we'd gotten too far up the orchard, Eagle and Sugar decide they don't want to be left alone in the big, scary field all alone, and here they come a running!!  Big smile on my face.  I knew we had the battle won!!  Got all the horses safely locked in their stalls, with Merlin in the alley for the day.  I saw where someone (Sugar) had most likely been naughty to Harley and spooked him through the 3-rail wooden fence.  He took the post out and 2 sections of fence leaving a 16 foot gaping hole where the horses strolled through.  *sigh*  Back to the barn to do a once-over of Harley.  Sure enough.  A 5-6" long scarf down the bridge of his nose, but nothing else that I could see.  Again, thank you God, it could have been much worse.  A little ointment on his wound, a flake of hay for everyone and into the house to change my clothes so I could head to work.  I was an hour and 15 minutes late, my hair was soaked and I looked like something the cat dragged in, BUT I made it and all is well.

Despite everything.  I am feeling overwhelmingly BLESSED and thankful today that everybody is safe and sound.  Happy that I was home and able to get everybody back in, and absolutely, reassured that God listens to and answers our prayers.  And sometimes He sends angels named Brian dressed in full camo, driving big, Ford trucks.  :)

How's your Friday going?

p.s.  For a brief moment, when I saw all the horses standing proudly at the top of the hill, partially cloaked in the morning mist, I stood in amazement at their beauty, their speed and their grace...and wished I had my camera.  But then I came to my senses and started running.  It was going to take me a lot longer to reach that hilltop...

Blessings everyone!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thankfulness through adversity

Did you notice that beautiful full, harvest moon last evening?  Just incredible!  My camera really doesn't do it justice, but I wanted to remember how truly spectacular it was.  Another sign of fall...

Those crazy nasturtiums threatening to overtake house and hearth again this year!  If you're ever wondering where to plant these hardy flowers, I'd suggest the Western facing and hot side of your garden.  As you can see, they thrive there.

I've been doing more thinking about evolving lately, seems to be my theme of this past week.  None of us enjoy adversity, right?  But we're told to be thankful for all things, even those times in life that cause us to feel pain.  I try to see adversity (growing pains) as a chance to learn from the experience, be grateful that we're probably going to become a stronger, possibly even a better person because of having survived the situation. There's probably a good reason for that old saying that, "whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger".  I believe it's true.

Suffering through adversity, trials in life, emotional pain, whatever you choose to call them, undoubtedly molds us into more emphatic people as well.  It allows us to feel other people's pain, and we're better able to offer comfort, advice, understanding, when we've experienced similar experiences in our own lives.  We learn compassion by feeling the pain firsthand.  We evolve into a more wise and well-rounded person with more tolerance of pain when we recognize it in others.

I also believe that by contrast, the sweetness in life becomes all the sweeter because we've been down in the valleys.  If all our days were filled with nothing but good, that would become rather mundane, and human nature would have us take everything for granted.  If we were in a perfect world, I don't believe we would take anything for granted, we'd live in a continual state of gratitude...but, we don't live in a perfect world.  Our world is full of emotional pain, physical pain, stress, sin, anger and so many other descriptions of unhappiness that we have plenty of opportunities to learn from our trials.

These adversities also give us need of a comforter.  We all need to have comfort, guidance, understanding and love to survive this merry-go-round we call life.  *sigh*

Sometimes it can feel overwhelming...sometimes we offer help and understanding to others when our days are going alright.  We all grow stronger by reaching out and comforting one another.

Sometimes we just need to be still and know that everything's gonna work out in time...learn to ride out the storms of life and be thankful each and every day for so many blessings that we tend to overlook and take for granted.  All those little things that make life so special...and good.

Have a great weekend everybody!

It's supposed to be a wet one around here, so we're battening down the hatches, hubby got the grass mowed and the pool boxed up for the season (how sad!), and we'll take things as they come.  Just maybe, I'll get to see my rain chain in action.  :)

Lorie @ Cingspots

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Filling the storehouse

One day just seems to flow into the next.  Nothing much has been happening lately, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and preparing...I guess I'm preparing for winter.  That's what it feels like, filling the storehouse, filling the wood shed, filling the barns...storing, storing, storing.  I am a squirrel.  

I like this one.  An old wood stove for a belly.
 On the way back from picking apples last weekend, we happened upon a small town festival.  The Dayton Harvest Festival.  So, we stopped by for a little peak...first thing we noticed was the scarecrow contest.  Perfectly appropriate for a harvest festival, don't you think?
From that show on cable, Duck something ??

Cute, but he's no Johnny Depp
 The horseshoer was out yesterday. The horses were due for their pedi's.  I was at work, but my hubby took care of business and said that all the horses were perfect gentlemen and ladies.  Doesn't surprise me in the least.  :)  Kadie got skipped because Troy said her feet were perfect and in light of her arthritic hocks, we could skip this time and trim her next time.  He also skipped Sugar.  Now that surprises me.  Last appointment was 8 weeks ago, and Troy wanted to fit her with new front shoes because the aluminum toes were so thin he was afraid they would break.  Since they'd only been on for 8 weeks and I'd only ridden her lightly, I balked and asked that he re-fit her with the same shoes to save money.  They have been fine.  Apparently he forgot what he'd said about the shoes last time, because he chose to leave them in place for another 8 weeks.  Hmmmm....that doesn't settle real well with me, but we'll go with it.  This is the last time I'd planned on putting shoes on Sugar for this season.  After that, I'm going to leave her barefoot through fall, winter and probably put the shoes back on in mid to late spring next year.  That will give her heels a chance to expand, nail holes to grow out and just let her hoof relax.  My other theory is this:  despite what most vets and shoers say to expect, I don't necessarily agree that navicular has to always result in continuing bone degeneration.  If her shoes are pulled, she's allowed to go barefoot and we add some pea gravel or sand to promote good circulation in the hoof, why can't bone degeneration be abated, or even possibly re-generated?  With all the research I've done and the many, many articles I've been reading on this subject, it just makes sense to me, to try and increase blood flow to her hoof by increasing the frogs' contact with the ground.  It will be vital to keep her hoof angles aligned, proper balancing of the hoof and to provide a good medium for the horse to regularly walk on to promote ground contact and get that frog pumping like it was intended to do.  I believe it's worth a try.  I understand the argument in favor of wedge shoeing and placing the shoe back to increase breakover, reduce the pull on the ligaments and tendons that attach to the bones in the hoof and all that for cases of founder.  But this is bone degeneration of the navicular bone.  Completely different ailment.  It was also brought up that we were thinking of putting in some pea gravel in the muddy zones leading to the shelter and around the water trough.  Many hoof care specialists recommend this as a good choice for promoting circulation in the sharp edges, doesn't pack like some rocks and good drainage too.  Troy didn't like our choice, he said that pea gravel will crack and then get stuck in the hooves.  He recommended sand or larger round river rock instead.  *sigh*  Guess I'll have to keep doing some  research, but if pea gravel would crack, why wouldn't larger round rock?  Just doesn't sound logical to me.  I've got no problems with sand, but the main theory is to use something that will help toughen up the sole and provide good contact with the frog.  I'm not sure if sand will do the job as well.  Any ideas or experience with this anyone?  I'd appreciate your insight...

 This was our dinner last night.  I found a recipe online and wanted to give it a try.  I didn't follow the recipe completely, but as is common for me, it gave me a good general idea and I did my own thing.  It's called pasta with pesto cream sauce.  I used spaghetti because that's what I had on hand, bottled pesto because I had no fresh basil, half and half because it's less fattening than heavy cream, and half the recommended butter.  I also added 3 fresh tomatoes from the garden because it sounded good.  It was.  Delicious, in fact.  The sauce was initially a little runny, probably from those juicy tomatoes.  We'll eat the leftovers tonight along with andouille/beer sausages cooking in the crock pot.  I took a peak and overnight the pasta soaked up all that wonderful sauce.  Should be even better tonight.  Yum!

 After dinner, this is what happened...Ruby was a total snuggle bunny.  My hubby had worked hard cleaning out our wood shed and reorganizing it for winter.  He and Ruby promptly fell asleep.

 She caught me taking pictures, and gave me one of her famous "looks".  Pretty much says, "go away mom".

And as is usual, Annie was quite content to have her end of the couch.  These dogs lead a rough life.  *snort*

Comcast guys just showed up to give us new telephone/broadband service, so I gotta go.

Blessings all,

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rhythms of life

Webster's dictionary defines rhythm as originating from the Greek word, "rhythmos".  "Any regular recurring motion, symmetry", generally means a "movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions."  This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time can apply to a wide variety of cyclical natural phenomena having a periodicity or frequency of anything from microseconds to thousands of years.

I've been thinking a lot lately about life, about aging, about the passing of time, death, changing of the seasons.  To me it all feels very much like a circle...with everything in perfect rhythm, reoccurring over and over and over as in the seasons.  Rhythmos.  Seasons.  The circle of life.  An ever changing, evolving and refining process until we reach our end.  It's really beautiful.

I've reached middle-aged.  Over the hill status.  A woman of maturity.  Well, physically anyway.  I'm not at all sure about the maturity of the mind.  After all, I still feel like a child in some ways, in awe of so many things in the world and in my surroundings.  I still dream.  I still have hopes.  And I still have fears.  Insecurities really, rather than true fear.  But my point is, that we never really lose that inner child where we started out.  I carry her with me all the time.  She helped create the woman that I am today.  We're all a product of our genetics, of our environment, of our experiences, our unique personalities and I believe, by the path we've chosen.  Who we have chosen to become.
My Annie...beautiful, mature lady
We're greatly inspired by whom we've chosen to follow, and from whom we choose to learn.  The people we admire, where we go, who we talk with and what we see.  The Bible tells us, "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."  I believe this so strongly.  Our thoughts are a huge part of who we are, and who we become.  We become what we think and who we think we are.  Our minds have great power to mold us.  Sometimes (more often than I'd like to admit) I struggle with this.  Maybe everyone does, I don't know, but I'm always trying to "lighten" my thoughts, to speak kindly to myself.  It's more of a challenge to show myself kindness and patience than it is to show others.   I have a strong tendency to find fault with myself.  To be overly critical of not only my physical appearance, but of my shortcomings and my inadequacies.  I chastise myself for having fears, whereas if it were someone other than me, I would willingly offer support and encouragement.  I really struggle with this, and have for as long as I can remember.  I'm getting better.  It's high time, don't you think?  Like I said, I've passed that summit and I'm clearly going down the other side now.  I'm not old.  I don't feel old, but I've reached the status of mature woman.
Another mature lady  :)
Maybe that's why I'm loving this season of my life so much.  Seriously.  I am so much stronger than I once was.  Okay, I'm mentally, much stronger, not physically.  I'm more confident in my abilities, I'm more competent, self-assured and much more comfortable with who I am as a woman, as a human being.  Like an onion, I have many layers, there's much more to me than meets the eye.  I'm complicated, I'm passionate and opinionated, I'm emotional, moody, spiritual, earthy, creative, humble, prideful, sensual, sensitive, quick to anger and highly imperfect.  *sigh*  And so many other things.  I am so thankful for this life.  I wouldn't want to go back to that insecure, carefree, young, inexperienced young woman of 20ish for anything in this world.  Oh, well maybe to have that physical body that I once had would be nice, but not even for that.  Nope.  Not even.  I'm so happy and secure and comfortable with who I am today.  That is much nicer.  I have wisdom now.  :)  Well...some wisdom; but He's still working on me.  And, I don't have periods anymore.  That's pretty cool.  It is all so worth it.  As the poet, Robert Frost (?) once said, many more miles before I least I hope.

Which leads us to the end of seasons...that part of life which was never in the plan...death.  That part sucks.  Totally and seriously sucks.  My boss, who is also my dear friend, had to lay to rest his beloved horse today.  Sammy.   Beans, as he was lovingly called because of his tendency to "pass gas" at any and inappropriate times.  He was Rick's dream horse.  His quick and fleet-footed cutting horse.  Whoa to any cow that crossed his path horse.  The better have respect for me and my opinions, cold-backed, hang on, bucking horse.  The horse who dared present his position on things and give you a run for your money, argumentative Sammy.  Rick had met his match with him.  He loved him, and now he's broken-hearted to have to let his dear friend go.  My heart breaks for him.  I've been there and I can say from experience, that it hurts.  It hurts a lot.  Having to make that decision isn't anything that any animal lover ever wants to have to do.  But, when you are a caretaker of animals, large or small, it happens.  And when it does, nothing makes it better, except for maybe a loving and understanding hug from someone who understands.  So, I hugged my friend today and I cried on his behalf.  I'm so, so sorry my friend.  But thank you for being kind to an old friend.  May you never forget those rides and those arguments.  Remember and smile.  Rest in peace little, red horse...

Another change in seasons, our weather has mellowed out greatly.  Two days ago we hit 97 and it was miserably hot, yesterday was upper 80's and today I'm wearing jeans and a sweatshirt.  Go figure.  We have rain in the forecast and temps in the 60's next week.  Fall is definitely in the air.  I'm actually looking forward to it.  Jeans.  Boots.  Sweaters.  Cozy fires in the wood stove.  And of course, my squirreling tendencies over which I seemingly have so little control.  Life does go on...

Making applesauce and a BBQ at my brother and sis-in-law's are on tap for this weekend.  I also hope to spend some time with Eagle.  He seems to be feeling rather dejected and left out lately.  He received a little reminder about electric fencing last night.  Those free-wheeling days of going under the wire and helping himself to my once-thriving fruit orchard are history.  So many lessons in this life...

Maybe I'll also get the chance to see my rain chain in action.  That would be cool.

Blessings everyone,
Lorie @ Cingspots

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Maybe it's the heat...

but I've got all these crazy and entertaining thoughts rambling around in my head!  They just gotta get out.  So, I'm going to put them into words here, and just let it all hang out.  :)

Firstly, summer is throwing her best heatwave at us right now.  We've been in the 90's the past two days and today, we're already at 97 at lunch time on my deck, in the shade!!  Hot diggidy!!  I went home at noon to bring the horses inside the barn where it's cooler.  They have privacy, their own space, shade, a beautiful breezeway, relief from the flies (nasty buggars), and a spot of lunch.  This means they're happy campers.  And that makes me happy.

The other day Harley ran into our pump house.  Poor building will never be the same.  Rocked off its' foundation, it was.  And poor, poor Harley horse.  :(  He apparently hit the building with his head, I'm guessing, apparent from the gash above his eye, the abrasion on his eyelid, a myriad of small cuts and scurfs on his neck and down his body, and the worse of it seems to be a rather nasty gash on his left front leg, just above the fetlock joint.  He may even have pulled a tendon in the back of his pastern because there's an awful lot of swelling and heat to be just from the cut.  *sigh*  But thank you Father, it certainly could have been, I cold-hosed last evening, wrapped his leg in an ice pack afterwards and then put neosporin on his cut and bandaged his leg (again, nasty flies).  I also gave him a gram or so of bute because I'm pretty sure he had a headache.  That left eye and surrounding area had a fair amount of swelling too.

Photo of Harley from last November, before his shrinking left eyeball
I pray for guidance because I just don't know what else to do to keep him safe.  He would not be happy separated from his herd-mates.  I cannot have cross-fencing because we've been there, done that and it wasn't pretty.  I will not have a horse who lives in a box.  Other than being blind, he is perfect.  Healthy, happy, content, easy-to-please, playful, and a joy to have around.  He's very loving, very laid-back and appreciates any and all attention he gets.  I do not want to send him to an early grave because we've run out of options.  That would seriously suck.  I suppose there's some lesson here, in all of this; but for the life of me, I cannot figure it out.  So, I'm thinking we have have to invest in some sturdy, strong, thick boards and strong posts for a short fence to enclose a small winter pasture.  Every day we could rotate a pasture buddy.  Except for Sugar.  Harley's afraid of her.  And maybe not Ladde either.  Maybe it's the fact that they've been raised together, and Harley's kind of like a younger brother to Ladde, but the big guy doesn't have much patience with Sir Harles...aka the "fly in the ointment".  That's what we used to call him anyway.  Our little pot stirrer.  Always trying to get something going, liven up the party and all that.  Used to be.  Not anymore.  That's a sad thing, because he has such a playful nature, buddy to everyone and always kind.  Now he has to hang with the old gal and Shad.  They are his lifelines.  When they're gone, then our options really will be limited.  But for now, we'll do what we can do, to create a safe zone where he can move around freely and be a horse.  Even if his space has to be limited.  Life isn't perfect for any of us, right?

In other ramblings, the word inspiration has been in the forefront of my mind lately.  Don't ask me what that means, because I just don't know.  But it's a beautiful word, in and of itself.  Really.  Think about it for a minute.  Inspiration is something that gives life interest.  It's the color in an otherwise drab day, it's the rainbow after the storm that causes us to reach for our camera.  The joy on a child's face when they meet a furry puppy for the first time.

I felt inspiration while viewing all the beautiful and colorful canned fruits and vegetables that I saw at the fair.  Such beauty from nature.  I wanted to rush home and see what I could do.  I'm inspired when I visit the ocean.  I'm inspired when I gaze upon all the glorious colors everywhere around me in nature.  I'm inspired and so thankful that God is a lover of all things beautiful.  And that he recognizes that we have that need of beauty as well.  And for me, inspiration leads to emotion.

I'm not sure why I'm such an emotional person.  Sometimes I laughingly blame it on hormones, and attribute it to my age and where I'm at in my circle of life.  But, then I look back over my life and remember....I think I've always been an emotional being.  Tears have always come so easily for me.  And for so many reasons.  Not just in sadness, but in happiness, in joy, in experiencing beauty, the miracle of birth, seeing my horses happily grazing in the pasture, a baby bird's mouth flying open when its' mother approaches with some food.  So many things inspire emotion in me.

There have been times that I've cursed at God for making me this way.  It's not easy feeling so much.  I've been angry and blamed God for so many things that have caused me pain, for so many of the injustices that I see in this world.  I wonder why He lets them happen and rage at His allowing them to happen.  I want justice in the world.  I want the wrongs righted.  I want people punished for the evil and the suffering that they cause.  And then I'm thankful that I know of only a tiny slice of the pain and suffering that He alone sees, and I realize how much pain and suffering that this world causes for Him.  How does He do it?  Have you ever wondered?

In His time.  Not mine.  His will.  Not mine.

I've never been much on patience either.  *sigh*

So, another day in the life...

this beautiful journey.

Growing, evolving, refining.  It's an awesome thing, isn't it?

There.  I feel better.

When in doubt, say a little prayer for me   :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Snippets of summer...

One of my rain chains and copper bowl
Or what's left of summer.  Is there anybody else freaking out about this ! ?  Seriously, let me off the merry go round!  Time is going waaay too fast for this gal - and I just can't seem to get my head wrapped around that.
Too fast for me.

So.  I can't believe how fast last weekend went.  It came and then it was gone.  Yust like that.  We picked apples.  Mmmmm.  Honey Crisp apples.  Think they just might be my new favorite apple.  So tangy.  So juicy.  And so so so good.  Just like an apple should be.  The old guy who owns the farm gave me a ride on his golf cart to the Golden Delicious rows.  He pointed me to all these beautiful, slightly bruised, yellow, dirty, and beautifully imperfect, but still perfect apples on the ground.  Nobody wants the ones that have touched the ground.  For our horses.  We got 2 big, fat buckets full for the ponies!!!!!  Cool huh?  For free.  Nice old guy, he said he's 97 OR something.  Told me the cure to having a bumper crop of orchard fruit one year and a scimpy crop the next.  Yep.  When the fruit gets to be quarter-sized, you pinch some of the fruit off and throw 'em on the ground.  That's it.  Evens out the crop so you have a decent to good crop every single year.
Apple orchard farmer guy wisdom.


I'm hoping to make applesauce this week.  I don't can the sauce, I just put it in the freezer.  I leave all kinds of big ole chunks in the sauce and that way it doubles as pie filling.  It is so good.

Sunday we went to the beach again.  That wasn't in our plans, but brother-in-law and sis-in-law must have been bored.  They called like 3 or 4 times asking if we were coming down...I was actually content to stay home but, oh well, it's the beach.  When you get the chance.  Take it!  Am I right?

We left at dusk and missed the sunset.  I'll bet it was a beauty too, but it was so warm when we got there.  Must have been a really nice day.  Chatted a while and then went to bed.  Went for breakfast the next morning, then took a nice long walk down the beach, got doused by a sneaker wave and headed back so Chris could change her pants.  :)  I saved her hat.  For like the 4th time.  Twas a bit windy.  Anyhoo...the dogs had a blast (of course) and we all felt refreshed.

I just went online and ordered a new phone (what a hassle!)  I use my phone as an alarm clock so I leave it on the windowsill above my head at night.  Well...remember that nice summer rainstorm that blew through last week.  Yeah.  That one.  Well, apparently it breezed the rainwater right in on my phone and now she's experiencing some malfunctions.  The old gal's going through the change so to speak.  I just do regular phones.  I don't have a smart phone.  I refuse to be one of those people who are seen continuously staring at their stupid electronic devices!  My phone is a phone.  Ok, and maybe occasionally in a pinch, for a camera.  But that's it.  I don't want to pay over a hundred dollars a month for a data plan.  Good grief!  I am totally old school.  And frankly, I like it that way.  Anyway, they've done away with the new in 2 program they used to have and now require a $30 upgrade fee, regardless of the device/phone you choose.  I complained.  I threatened to ditch Verizon and go shopping elsewhere.  I was put on hold.  :)  The kind lady came back and told me she'd credit the upgrade fee.  Sometimes it pays to be a bitch.

Hope everyone of you are enjoying these last delightful morsels of our summer.

Get out there and do something fun!!!

We're planning one more long weekend with our ponies soon...can't wait!!

Lorie @ Cingspots

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Shades of late summer

Just a few of some of the magnificent handmade quilts that I admired at the fair.  I love them all...

Well, the kiddos are back in school, and we're enjoying our post-Labor Day remaining summer days...days to be savored for sure.

Hubby and I had a 3-day weekend for the Labor Day holiday and we kept ourselves pretty well occupied.  Our riding club traveled to central Oregon east of Prineville and camped and did some riding in the Ochoco National Forest.  We really would have liked to have gone, but opted to stay off the busy highways with our horses and stick closer to home.  I have 3 days of vacation time left and we're hoping to get in one more extended camping trip before the rains begin, but we'll pick a quiet, unassuming weekend and hope for less people in both the campgrounds and on the road.

So, we started our weekend with a trip to the local drive-in, watched a couple of movies and enjoyed a take-out pizza and popcorn.  We drove our truck so the dogs could go, but they were in the back giving us a lot more room.  They love going almost as much as we do.  Our little drive-in theater is one of only a handful left in the entire state.  It's sad to see so many of them going away, and becoming nothing more than history.  It's a great family-oriented place.

We also went to the state fair.  It was a very hot day, so much of our time was spent inside the air-conditioned buildings and in the animal barns away from the glaring sun.  Many less attendees, vendors and competitors than in years past.  Every year we go, we think the fair's gotten smaller.  I sure hope this isn't another event that fades into history.  But, it was fun...and of course we ate fair food.  I had Yakisoba noodles with Terryaki chicken and later a strawberry milkshake.  Yum!!  I took quite a few pictures of the quilts on display, the baked goods, canned goods and fiber handmade items.  Besides the animals, and especially the horses (of course), the agricultural aspects of the fair is always my favorite.

We also took the horses to Perrydale Trails.  An old friend that I've known since my days as a 4-Her has built all kinds of trail obstacles on her property for people to enjoy.  There are 4 sections with everything imaginable for people and their horses to try, from simple to challenging.  We took a few pictures, and Rebecca took some as well, but we were too busy riding to take many.  Little Missy was such a delightful girl.  She did pretty much everything I asked of her.  She's cautious and careful, but very willing.  I'm finding her to be a joy to ride, and just be around.  A very nice little mare.

Biff & Ladde coming up out of the ravine

Ladde, however...was not.  He was having a very bad day, and had a serious case of his knickers being in a twist.  Big time.  He was consumed with where Sugar was, her proximity of the other two geldings that were there, and everything possible but what he should have been focusing on.  *sigh*  My poor husband.  Poor Ladde.  To say he was a challenging ride is putting it mildly; but my hubby prevailed and was an overcomer.  I'm afraid he had his hands rather full though, and a relaxing ride it was not.  It's been a very long time since I've seen Ladde that upset mentally, and that sweaty and dirty.

Yesterday, we slept in and then went out for a late breakfast at our local casino with a dear friend.  My husband and Claudia both have September birthdays and she treated us to breakfast.  It was so much fun and as always, the food was delicious.  I ate so much that I needed a walk afterwards...not good.  We took the road less traveled back home, winding our way through scenic farmland and vineyards snapping pictures as we went.  We stopped at a quaint little farm market, bought some raw, blueberry honey, sweet onion/jalapeno pepper jelly and a boysenberry pie.  Good grief, as if I hadn't eaten enough already!!  But, in my defense, this lady bakes absolutely amazing homemade pies of so many varieties, that it's very difficult to pass them up.  It was a glorious day.  When we got back home, we took a leisurely nap.  Wonderful.  When we woke up, it was nearly time to do the evening chores.  We had pie for dinner and watched the horses eat theirs.  A peaceful end to a delightful weekend.

Ladde after being rinsed off

So, that was our weekend in a nutshell.  How did all of you spend your long, holiday weekend?  The last official hoorah of summer.  :)

Lorie @ Cingspots