Saturday, June 27, 2009

Oklahoma in June or How Will I Survive Texas and Louisiana?

It is a constant roar. We speak in volume to be heard and often get lost in our own little worlds, sweltering as they are, because communication across the aisles isn't possible above the din. We are living in a world of fans, fans, swamp coolers and even more fans... Needless to say - It's hot down here!
Home for about a week...
We try in desperation to cool ourselves in the aisle ways with fans layered up on fans that only seem to move about the same sticky, heavy air that threatens to hold us in our chairs and stick us to each other. My kids are desperate for some affection because they feel so uncomfortable and yet when we touch, they instantly pull away. "Ugh! We are hot!"
We find solace in bigger fans... Ones with water inside!
And then there is the retreat to the air conditioned insides. Ahhhhh. If only for that moment while your body finds relief, you are comfortable. Then begins the battle of the "too colds!" I cannot tell you how much I enjoy our home climate in Colorado. I often wonder what folks find so wondrous about the southern states. I know the flowers are beautiful, the culture is rich, the food very comforting... But my goodness! The heat is something I don't know if I could get my head wrapped around!

And I think about the horses! What must they be thinking? Their lives are utterly at our human mercy and when we decide to do something like this, they are there to follow along.

Houston Shine, horse owned by Sheryl Mease

So as we get our gear ready for the second and third legs of our southern US trip, I am hoping God will see fit to acclimatize our systems even more. That we will be able to breath through the pea-soup thick air and not suffocate in the swampiness. And likewise, that we can deal with folks who know the finesse of air conditioning well. We are such amateurs at it...

All in all, the trip has been a good one. The horses were great, the owners spectacular and the rider was in fairly good spirits the whole time. We are blessed, truly to have had this opportunity. Even if we weren't blessed with notable success in the show pen, we are counting our blessings in other ways, a little wiser and maybe a titch subdued. Thanks to all who have made this life possible for us. We are truly grateful. We are also thankful we don't have to live our lives here, in Oklahoma... Where it's HOT!

Kenna Sue and Don Pablo, aka Freckles Quintana

Sheryl and Houston, aka Houston Shine

Our hearts go out to Emily, who is at home with a broken ankle. It was a shock and very hard to grasp when we got that call! A horse tipped over with her and fell smack on her ankle, breaking that little bone on either side, you know - the one that sticks out and makes those little bumps? That is broken off of both sides of her foot. It took the surgeon twice as long as he thought it would to repair and it was by far one of the worst breaks he had ever seen. Good news? Well, we are trying to find some in the fact that she will only be in recovery for about 6 weeks. Emily is an invaluable part of our training operation and will be sorely missed for those weeks. She will also be welcomed back with open arms when she is ready, no matter how long it takes!

In these times, when our world seems so upside down, it is perfectly understandable to see that those who travel around us bring a piece of home with them.

I am grateful that we have our home separate from the road. We long for our home, but we don't bring much of it with us. We wait until we take that drive up the entryway, reveling in the relief and the clarity it brings. It is absolutely the best feeling EVER! While I am very excited to see our family down south, I am also looking forward to that drive up the entryway. The drive that ends in a big hug from my Hullabaloo and a night in my own bed!

Any place that needs something named Muck Itch is NOT somewhere I want to live!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mama always said...

I love that song... Mama said there'd be days like this - And there were! I love that thought. That somehow your mom could let you know, in a subtle and comforting way, that this is just one day. It might be a tedious day, filled with mundane tasks and errands and laundry, or it might be a wonderful day... One that catches the light just right and makes you smile at every turn. That's the wonderful things about Moms... They know that you need a little encouragement at critical times to keep going. My mom is pretty good at that!

My mother is a very special person in my life. She doesn't know it and she is often plagued by worries that she somehow did it all wrong. But she didn't. She got most of it so very right. There isn't anything about who I am that I don't owe to my mother in some fashion and that can't be anything but the right answer.

My mom is strong. She weathered things in her life that I hope I am never, ever, ever faced with. She not only weathered them, she was victorious over them! She rose from the rubble, pulled up her boot straps, brushed herself off... Whatever cliche you want to insert here - She survived and then she flourished! I am very proud of her for never giving up, never allowing life to frighten her into submission. She simply stood up and took the next step, giving me the definition of strength as she did it.

Mom was a single working parent for many years, before it was cool. She didn't complain about it, she just did it. There were two children (at the time) to feed and clothe and rent to pay and bills to meet. She had an obligation where men failed. She couldn't or simply wouldn't walk away. I get that. I do that too. Where there is a need, I meet it when I have the ability. Because it is the right thing to do, and it needs done. Not doing just isn't an option.

I have often reassured her that I am who I am today, that person that she loves so much, because of how I grew up. She didn't get it wrong. She got it all right! I am responsible because I earned my privileges. I am loving because I learned love from her. I am loyal and honest because she taught me sometimes your word is all you have. I am strong because I learned being weak and whiny isn't an option and it damned sure isn't effective! I am also opinionated, quick tempered and sometimes easily offended. I take it all, because it makes me a part of her too.

We share a lot of each other, Mom and me, and I am glad. I worry only that I won't get it right with my own children. I want them to know want, so that the getting is sweeter. I want them to hurt a little so that the healing is appreciated. I want them to have heart break so that they will know what true love really feels like. I say that, but I don't know what I will do when it comes for my own. I hope that I am strong like my mother and I can be the one to give a solid example to them in their trial.

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Happy Faddas Day, Daddio!

Went by Dad's today to give him his FD card and a big hug. Also wanted to let the kiddos run around Gramma/Grampas and check out the new swing set. As usual, Dad was wonderful! I was nice and didn't take any pics of him... He hates that, especially when he has been working in the yard! He he eh! But that was what I found him doing and he was quite content! Was exactly what he had planned to do with his entire day... Me? I woulda milked the day a little more, but I'm not him. He was wiring up a fountain in the back yard along a retaining wall he has been working on as well. Looked like heavy work to me.

The parental units' back yard is coming along quite nicely and is something I aspire to... Doubt I will ever get to this point, but it is a dream. (Heck! I would just like to get tomatos this year!)

Are those not just the most adorable bird abodes???? I love the way Mom (or Dad) has them arranged. Struck a chord with me today, seeing as how their nest is an "empty" one at this time. At least it isn't empty all the time! I come by way too often for that!

Patted my favorite Yorkie, Bella and then skeedaddled outta there to run home and mow the lawn. In a wonderful roundabout way, I kinda do have my own flower garden!

I just couldn't mow down this impromtu garden amidst my back yard. Afterall, they had fought hard through all the tall grass to set out their own little oasis! I have mowed around all of them, and alas, some have been clipped, but I have a small garden out there. A garden of volunteers!

Indian Paintbrush

Haven't got a clue... But they are PURPLE!!!

That Sagey kinda stuff... I dunno! I just found it incredibly soft and wonderful!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's a GIRL!!!!!

I cannot explain it to you! But I am the most excited I can possibly be right now! I am going to be an auntie!!!!! And an auntie to a little girl! My sister is now 20 weeks preggers and I am counting down the days until I get to see her and her baby bump!baby bump at around 12 weeks...
I have been getting regular updates on Sis as she has been extremely generous with her pictures and information.

My niece at 20 weeks!
I am absolutely enthralled with the thought of being the best Auntie ever! I am making plans in my head to fly out when she arrives and can be hugged outside Sis' body... Cuz I still plan on hugging her inside too! (That I get to do in about a week or so...)
I have loved my Sis in a special way for a very long time. I don't know if she even knows how much. We don't really get all squishy like that... Well, not often, anyway, and not without Vodka!
She is such a rock in my mind. I admire her for so many of her choices and her life. She has been that person in my life that is so pragmatic and practical. She has a killer sense of humor and a magnificent sense of style. She is akin to my opposite - She is dark and exotic looking, I am fair and freckled. She is tall(er), I am not. She has traveled more (mostly for work, but it still counts), I am leashed to the ranch (which I love... mostly). She lives in Mandeville, LA (across the "lake" from New Orleans) I live in Elbert, CO - a difference of about 7500 ft in elevation!
With all our differences we are similar in ways too. We grew up in the same house, it was bound to happen! We have a fierce sense of family loyalty, we have similar tempers (although I am still certain she could kick my butt!), we both dote on our baby Bro, our birthdays are national holidays (thanks Mom!), and we are both incredibly busy. I am sure there are more... But I am quite distracted! (I am making announcements in my head and birthday invites and an inordinate amount of little lovelies that she will just have to have.)
Sis, if you read this, know that I am so proud! I cannot wait to hug you and do that stupid half cry, half laugh thing we do... I miss you terribly and I am counting down the days with my kids until we can see you again!
(Apologies for the creepy spacing! Blogger is totally screwing this part up!!!!!! Leave it to them when the post is about my Sis the teacher's teacher... You know, the one in the family who hates grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and all that stuff!)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Molly's Meme Post

I have been lurking again... But this was fun and I wanted to share what Molly at Oh For the Love of Blog created here:

My Five Favorite things...

Five Favorite Songs:
  1. The Climb - Miley Cirus (I have a pre-teen daughter and I am trying to love what she does!)
  2. Boom Boom Pow! - Black Eyed Peas (Because I am NOT ready to grow up yet!)
  3. I Saw God Today - George Straight
  4. Georgia - Jerry Lee Lewis (Hubby would grin...)
  5. Kryptonite - 3 Doors Down (one of Boy's favs)

Five Favorite Films:

  1. When Harry Met Sally
  2. Fried Green Tomatos
  3. Crash
  4. Gone With the Wind
  5. Gone in 60 Seconds (Remake)

Five Favorite Books:

  1. Charlotte's Web - E.B. White (My grandmother read this to me as a kid)
  2. Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
  3. The Dream Giver - Bruce Wilkinson (changed my life!)
  4. The Lady Elizabeth - Allison Weir
  5. Johnathan Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach

Five Favorite Crushes:

  1. Mel Gibson (before anti-semetic rant)
  2. Patrick Demsey (I know... McDreamy)
  3. Shemar Moore (woof!)
  4. Hugh Jackman (Who doesn't dream about Wolverine????)
  5. Hubby (Gratuitous, until you learn he doesn't read my blog... He is just my perfect crush!)

Five Favorite Random Things:

  1. An after dinner drink... Or before dinner drink... Or just drinking!
  2. My Front Porch
  3. My BlackBerry Curve
  4. The sound of Hubby's truck pulling down the driveway, home from a long trip
  5. Mondays after the lady who cleans leaves.... Hmmmmmm!

And playing along with Julochka too:

Five Favorite Foods:

  1. Fresh berries and cream
  2. Med-rare steak with a baked sweet potato
  3. Caramel corn
  4. Vodka (it does too count as food!)
  5. Lobster Bisque (I could drown a happy woman in a tureen of this stuff!)

Thanks, Molly, for opening up the meme front! I really enjoyed this one...

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Montage

Wendy at On The Front Porch had this post that intrigued me. I have lots of random moments that crash in on my life during the week that I can't make into an entire post, so I have collected them here... Thanks, Wendy! Great idea!
  • I'm in one of those incredibly obnoxious warehouse stores the other day, extremely relieved that I have only one more aisle to go, when I happen upon them... Two ladies in hair nets, obviously sample ladies, having an incredible conversation. Sample Lady #1 is firing questions at a rapid pace at Sample Lady #2, all the while sputtering around her station, tidying this, straightening that...Literally not standing still and not listening for any answers from Sample Lady #2. And Sample Lady #2 is following her around, almost as frantically attempting to answer each question as it comes, stopping mid sentence to start another response! Both women's bobbing hair nets crossing the aisle multiple times before and after I passed them. I actually smiled and giggled as I rounded the corner, relieved to know that when I become that obnoxious lady who is too impatient to wait for answers, there will still be a friend for me.
  • When did I become such a facinating person that enthralls my pre-teen daughter? Girl has been so desperate for what she deems "Girl Days" she even came to town with me today to run errands and go grocery shopping! Shocking - And incredibly wonderful!
  • Why is it that when I actually take the time to make dinner on a night before a horseshow am I ever surprised that Hubby will change his plans and run off to do stuff until the late hours of the night leaving the dinner cooling on the stove and his wife fuming on the couch?
  • I am incredibly excited and distracted by the looming trip I leave for on Tuesday... I am also realizing that I have inherited my mother's penchant for panicking right before a trip and making myself miserable with all the mental preparation! Seriously! I WANT to do this trip - I need to act like it!
  • I watched as Boy used the weed whacker today and realized that my little boy is no longer little. He is now a power tool using young man. He was covered by shredded vegetation and is tonight a weary soul. A couple of hours in the sun did more to his mom's heart than he will ever know!

Those are my pieces... Some little more than rant and ramble, but that's them!

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My new favorite place...

I have these things I do... I get all wonky and I clean one room. That's right, one room. I get crazy and go all Martha on just one room and then I set up camp in there! It is a reaction to feeling very depressed at times and needing a safe place to escape to. Usually, it is here...

I am a sucker for a nice hot bath and a great book! I can sit for an hour or so, until I get so hot I can't stand myself any longer, sipping wine to stay "cool" and just escape...

Well, needless to say, my husband would like me to be a little less pruney! I have been escaping A LOT! So yesterday, in open defiance of Hubby (he has this odd aversion to patio furniture), I bought a little set that I am hoping helps me get that zen-zone feeling without being waterlogged...

It is already a new favorite place! (The tomato plants are a desperate hope for a small garden yield. Up this high, that can be very challenging!) But this little carved out space is so restful. I have been listening to the birds sing all morning, drinking my two morning cups and blogging away. Only the buzz of the crop dusters are slightly irritating.

From my view I can see the horses being turned out for their morning free time and bask in the incredible blue skies with those very wispy white clouds. It is absolutely heavenly. I can still see my computer screen although I have to put up with the reflection of myself in my kind-of-jammies, hat (I have a migraine today... sun=BAD), and sunglasses. Not so appealing, but hey! I'm in a new favorite place!

What do you deem your favorite place?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Am I happy?

Got to thinking about this... Julochka had a post about how happy Danes are, and there was some commentary at the bottom (and throughout the post, I think) about how Americans perceive happiness and how we seem unhappy. I have to admit, I am incredibly untraveled so it made me think about my own life and if I am "happy" with it.

I want to say, very quickly without really getting too deep, yes, I am happy. Now, that said, I need to think about what it looks like when I am happy. Obviously, since there is a trend over the last couple of decades that puts Americans in the low end of the happy-meter there must be something missing. But then, Julochka intimated that Danes don't look particularly happy... So what makes it different?

I think that there is definitely something to the rushed feeling we have here. I am often so overwhelmed by all that needs done and the fact that once I complete that list, there is still more to do. And all that pressure of the "American Dream" - What in the world is that and how do I measure up? I remember as a kid that I was always worried that I wouldn't ever get that figured out. Would I measure up as an American, or would someone come along and say, "Hey! You are really pulling us down! Don't you have a dream? Something marvelous about you that can contribute? No? Well, you need to leave us then..." Silly, but that was what I faced as a child, in my head.

Since it has taken me 40 years to wind up to what I really want to be when I grow up, I can say I do have a dream. Not the Martin Luther King kind of world recognition dream, but a soft, want to be remembered as a loving mother, a superb wife and an amazing help-meet kind of dream. I want to know that on my death bed my kids have found their worth and know that their dreams are not only possible, but can be miles down the road without being threatened with disappearance. You don't have to have all of life accomplished before you turn a certain age. In fact, I know friends that have set these goals only to throw themselves into deep depressions when those land-mark days come and go without realization of the goal... That, I think, is what makes us as Americans seem so sad.

The crushing weight of always looking to the next thing often shadows what we have accomplished not 5 minutes ago. There isn't time allotted to revel in the glory of the present. I am trying to take that time. Make those moments last. I am dismal at it, I must admit. But the fact is, I am trying. Blogging has somehow changed that part of me that wants to rush on, rush on... I contemplate more, forgive more, wait to hear the whole story more. I fight the urge to be insulted because having perspective is more important than being understood. I can think on the perspective, develop my own response and voice it or not. Really, who cares?

I look at my life often and am absolutely amazed at the incredible balance and blessing it has brought me. I am floored by the fact that I don't struggle with health issues, my family is healthy and well cared for, we eat regularly (in fact, maybe too regularly), we go out to dinner often, we see movies and have lots of entertainment options. We have... There are plenty here in America who have not. We donate and take a hands on approach to dealing with that in our small community.

Counting my blessings, I would say that I am truly a happy American. I complain, I strive for more, I want, I am generally a princess. But I am happy where the rubber meets the road. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love my country and my surroundings within it, I love my choices here. I know there are plenty who would call me naive. I am - no denying it. But I am also very grateful I live in a land where I can be.

Wisdom of old

As a child, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. It was an arrangement of necessity as my mom was a working woman and a single parent for a large part of my growing up. I say large part - that is how my mind perceives it, but it can't be all that accurate.
Anyway, in those days while mom worked, I was able to loose myself in the surroundings of my grandparent's home. It was an absolutely wonderful way to grow up. Not only was I safe, but I spent more time with my grandma (being a grandma, not a surrogate parent) and grandpa than most kids ever get to. I was there at least 10 hours a day, spent many nights there and came away with a love and respect for my grandparents that I cherish deeply.

In their way, they imparted a certain wisdom to me that I couldn't have gotten any other way. And because I received it from them directly, I have held it close to my heart as each has passed on.

My grandfather used to tell me with a seriousness I didn't truly understand until much later, "Poor folk have to buy the very best things they can. Don't skimp on price!" It wasn't until later in my life (after all, Grandpa died when I was 16 and knew it all) that I understood fully what that meant. When you don't have "extra," make those important purchases once. Spend the money once to get the very best, so that you don't have to spend money multiple times to replace shoddy equipment. This goes for cars, homes, appliances, furniture-just about anything you can buy. I have assimilated this philosophy into my life and sometimes have to roll my eyes loudly at Hubby to get him to apply it as well.

My grandmother was a resourceful woman who lived through the depression gaining all kinds of knowledge about how to make ends meet. It is from her quiet example that I learned to learn. Nana made it plain that all things are not possible if you are poorer, but the library was a wonderful place to start researching how to do it yourself! I learned how to type at her dining room table, I learned to heat soup on the stove, I learned that the library was a vast, unexplored paradise that could take me away and bring me down to earth all at the same time! I could learn how to make cookies, explore other countries, travel back in time or just sit at an old library table and people watch. The library was only a two block walk from her door and I was almost always allowed to go there. In fact, I think I only remember one time that she grounded me from the quiet, cool building one summer, and I am pretty sure I deserved every bit of my punishment.

Grandpa was unaware of the next thing he taught me, as most men blissfully are. I learned to try to leave a little bit behind for the next person. It might shock you that a man grown up during the depression era would leave anything behind, but my grandfather always left me a little something in his black metal lunchbox. He would pick me up as I ran to meet him, returning home from working at the Transit Mix plant. He worked hard and drove a concrete truck in the days when that was not a safe endeavor. He could have easily snarfed down his entire lunch every day, but he didn't. He always sat me on the metal counter of the rolling cabinet in the kitchen with that round-top box and smiled as he kissed his wife and watched me dig in. It was rare that there wasn't something saved back for just me. A cookie or two, a slice of apple, some sweet crackers... And always the smell of oranges. He always had an orange in the box, but he always ate that. The peels would be there, stacked up neatly in a corner, scenting the box with a sweet citrus smell that still wafts me back to that counter top.

My grandmother also contributed one more nugget of information that I cannot leave here without telling you. She often told me, "There will always be another load of laundry, another sink of dishes, another phone call to answer... Your kids will grow up and move away and you won't get that back." She reminded me often, before her death, that taking care of my family was paramount to any other endeavor I could possibly take on. The memories I leave my kids with are lasting, even the things I think are small. They can be good memories, or I can leave them with that empty spot that has those troubled memories in them. I can take time out of my day to hug and cuddle and talk, or I can spring for therapy later. She used to say, "Unless you are going to walk around naked and very thin, those things will always be there waiting for you." And so, my house is not a clean house, but like my daughter says, "It looks like a family lives here," and isn't that what I'm aiming for?

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm ok!

We are doing fine! I know some of you may have heard that we were in the wind yesterday... Literally! But with some prayer, a lot of preparation and about 15 minutes in the well pit, God saw fit to turn that nasty twister in another direction.

I do swear that it was headed right for us! Hubby took a short video from his phone (please excuse the quality, with 40 head of horses to batten down, there was no time for a better camera). As you can see, it was very close, and VERY large! All of the ponies were moved in, we all got in the well pit or under the house and we did great.

It did give the kids a scare and it gave them some odd comfort as well. The fact is, now they know Mom really does have a plan for disasters and it's a good one! Even the dogs fit into the well pit, although they were definitely confused!

Thanks for all the emails, calls and prayers!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Filling my cup

Yesterday was one of those days... A day that I am coming across more often and luckily have become old enough and wise enough to stem the flow of the deep darkness that threatens to overtake me. I know when this hits me I must get out! Fly to the farthest recesses of our property and reset. Fill my cup again and start over with a new attitude.

I could have sat inside and eaten the entire plate of brownies I made (gluten free, of course.), or had one more martini and just slipped into a nap. But my bestest friend was with me... And in her eyes I also saw a need to escape for a minute or two.

Admiring what isn't visible from an office chair

And so, I filled my cup with the good things instead. I opened my mind to the possibility that I was choosing the better thing by taking an hour in my back yard to remember what it was that so enchanted us four years ago when my husband and I walked the property line.

To start the process that fills me back up so quickly by remembering that God is truly in control. After all, if he can create such amazing beauty, he can certainly make a beautiful thing out of my life too.
Even puppies can contemplate the vastness...
Life isn't meant to be lived inside pouring over the computer screens. (Forgive me blogosphere!) I love my blog-worlders! But I cannot exist only here... I need those RWP's that help me fill my cup. Those entities that reset my perspective and remind me that existing in the real world is sometimes incredibly beautiful.
my beautiful Jewel is feeling much better!
It was a joy to lay on our backs and watch the dogs play on the rocks, to toss the pine cone for Jewel, who is all but recovered. It reminded me that sometimes the most simple things can be the most effective. The natural beauty of my surroundings can help me simply find zero again, and maybe even find better than zero. The sound of my best girlfriend's voice, the sound of two giggling girls and one sword-swooshing imaginative boy all brought me back to where I need to be to start over for another week.
The view from my spot where we lay

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Simple Things

As listed here... Here are my ten things that make me happy.

  1. A tidy house. Since I rarely have one, this makes me very happy and sigh-ful. I seem to sleep much better too!
  2. New Technology... I am a sucker for the latest new phone, a new computer, new software. I just love it all!
  3. Sitting in my card room to while-away the hours creating until my cup is completely full!
  4. Stolen "ice cream moments." Ice cream doesn't have to even be involved. These are those times that you almost feel guilty for enjoying the particular moment, usually alone, as much as you are. I get this feeling eating ice cream by myself, wandering around a stamp store/scrap booking store, or an office supply store...
  5. Orange/citrus smells remind me of my grandfather. I used to sit on the counter top when he got home from work and rummage through his lunch pail (the metal kind with the half-round top) for something yummy he saved me. He always had an orange and the peels made the box smell sweet... It is still a huge comfort to me to smell oranges... (I should really get some Bergamot, huh? Muse?)
  6. When my hubby gives me a hug unsolicited.
  7. Martinis and impromptu parties on a Saturday night with folks that stayed the whole day at the barn and want to remain into the night.
  8. The day AFTER billing is done for Hubby's business.
  9. An extravagant bubble bath with a good book.
  10. The great night's sleep I get the day after I pay the mortgage and our car payment. I know I have another month to come up with that ridiculous amount of money again.

My Bro rocks!!!!

I have said before that my brother is an absolute genius with computers! He is so amazing to my addled brain! He has now figured out a way to set me up with a repeater that allows me to have actual wireless in my house... Before, mind you, I had to hook up what I have deemed the Red-Neck Antenna (see here) in order to enjoy a very limited leash at the kitchen table. And when I was online, it meant that the kids could NOT be online, since my machine kicked them off. Now even they can be online when I am! (maniacle giggle inserted here!)

My Bro took an old router I had and made it into a repeater that actually works with my N router! The Router that is hard-wired is actually 600+ feet away from the kitchen window... But wait! There's more! I can not only have access to the internet at the kitchen table - I can venture into the living room! SAAAWEEEEEET! Only someone who has dealt with rural internet issues can fully understand this freedom! I have a very unique situation where DSL isn't possible, Satellite is slow and my microwave connection sometimes deals with interference from some maniacal signal in the general direction of the neighbors... I can now put away the antenna's and quit having to explain why we poked holes in perfectly good collandars to get internet service! SCORE!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


> Why is it I cannot seem to start and finish a task all in the same day? I am often frustrated by the fact that every room I visit is littered with tasks I started, wandered off to find a completing item, and didn't return to until days later... I'd like to chalk it up to my creative brain, but I think I may just be ADHD - Oooooh! Look! Shiny!
>When did Girl get to be so darned smart? And funny? And aware? I do not recall being that present when I was 12 years old! Heck, I don't know that I am that present now!
>When did Boy get that eye-roll down pat? And is it considered abuse to roll ones eyes back while hollering at the top of one's lungs that I hate eye-rolling????
>If I enjoy the card making so much and cannot seem to exit a scrap booking store without buying at least one more item, why is it that I cannot seem to complete the orders for cards I have in now? They were splendid fun to mock-up... I am blogging about it, instead of doing it! You know, that part that makes it a job - One that I actually make money at...
>Why is it when one gets married one suddenly looses the ability to make a decision? Why is it also, that one seems to change ones mind after a card maker has already started the process of purchasing very challenging-to-find paper, causing the said card maker to look rather foolish with her suppliers?
>How is it that although I find I am a very independant woman who likes to have her house to herself, I am also the same woman that frets when hubby is always away at a meeting or a show or traveling to some remote corner of the land?
> Why does icecream taste best when it is consumed driving pell-mell down the freeway, alone and a little guilty for having stopped by oneself?
>Why is blogging so much easier than all the other things I have to do on my neverending list?

I am sad..,.

A very good friend of mine has lost a very good friend of hers. Her dog was diagnosed with cancer a couple of months ago and she did everything she could to send it into remission. She fed him a completely organic and time consuming diet, she watched him regularly, she did it all right. The cancer grew anyway and she has been told the best thing for him is to put him down.

He is uncomfortable at times, but for the most part, he looks the picture of heath. That is by far the hardest part of saying goodbye to him now. It would be different if, when our furry friends aged, they looked the part of a dying animal. Often, they don't. Often we have to make that decision when it is the hardest to make.

My heart goes out to my friend today. She is being a grown up in the very hardest sense... And being a grown up sucks!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I finally found it!!!!!

As a person who does not deal well with anything containing flour, or gluten in general, I have been relegated to the land of never having a sandwich again. It is a sad little land... One where a soft, chewy PBJ is never heard from... A BLT is non-existent! And forget chicken or egg salad - It is just not happening! If you feel particularly brave, you can toast most gluten free fare and choke down a dry and very unsatisfying sammie. Unsatisfying because once upon a time, I had two bread makers in my home. I made home made bread almost every day. I made pizza dough, cheddar bread, beer bread and plain old table bread. And the absolute best was hot bread with melted butter! It has been over a year since I have had such a thing! Until today!

I know, most of you folks are thinking I'm crazy - but imagine your most average day without bread... Seriously, fix yourself a quick meal on the go in your head... Or go to a fast food place and order... NOW you pickin up what I'm layin down??????

But today - TODAY is a different day! Today I discovered a bread maker mix that came out like, um - well, actual bread! No more eggy, tough, rough consistency loaves. Today, I cut into a loaf of gluten free bread that made me so happy, I actually started hyperventilating! It looks like real bread and more importantly, it tastes like real bread. It is soft like sandwich bread! To test it out thoroughly, I made an egg-salad sammie with it. ABSOLUTELY MARVELOUS! I actually was able to bend the bread into a taco like shape and it didn't break! (Imagine having to eat a sandwich on bread the consistency of banana bread... It is fine in a pinch, but not something you want to do regularly!)

The mix is pricey, but very worth it! I will buy it again! (Pamela's Wheat Free Bread Mix for those who may need this information.)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

If money were no object...

That is something I have always thought about... If money were no object, what 5 things would you like to do? Here is my list... Leave yours in the comments if you like, email me or Skype it over...

  1. If money were no object I would get my husband a brand new hauling rig that held 12 horses. We are always limping things along and he does an amazing amount of work keeping our equipment going... I would love to take that burden away and have him really enjoy driving the country, showing to his heart's content.
  2. If money were no object I would travel to see my family more often. I truly miss my sister in Louisiana and family back east and my in law sis, recently moved to Texas. I value our ties so much and feel as though that pesky cash flow stops me from really being able to support them like I want. I would fly to my sister's on every birthday and special occasion, spoiling my soon to be here niece with little baubles from around the states! I would be there when things were hard and when things were easy... I would be there... Physically to hug it out!
  3. I would landscape our property and fix all the fence. In fact, I would rip out all this vinyl crap and put in powder coated pipe fencing and rejoice in the fact that I don't need to electrically wire the entire ranch! I would plant flowers in the spring and decorate the whole ranch for Christmas with little white sparkly lights, even though we live way out in the boonies and no-one but us would see them! I would cater to my artsy side and make this a haven with flair!
  4. I would send my husband to the Spanish Riding School in Austria where the Lipizzaner (massacred that spelling!) stallions are to learn from the best and then on to Shawn Flarida's to seal the deal!
  5. If money were no object I would find myself another horse to show. I miss that camaraderie the barn has together and I miss the feel of a horse that I truly love and adore. I would travel with my husband and not do the billing in the office because it makes me a bear to deal with and I would learn to ride better because it makes him proud.

What would you do???? If money were no object...

Sparkling Jewel

Yay! My dog is back! Wolfing down soft dog food like I starved her for weeks, my friend is back in stride! And I need more soft dog food! Which is absolutely splendid!!!!!! This calls for a list!

Things Jewel has taught me:
  • Border Collies are the most OCD dogs on the planet, which is also why they are the smartest. And cats are the best herding tool ever... Just be really careful not to hiss while Jewel is locked on to one of the house cats as this generally ends in a very miffed cat with a bit of dog slobber on it's head from the love-bite she has bestowed like a good-morning kiss.

  • Sleeping in whatever position you desire is generally the best reward to a glorious day.

  • No Whining! Ever! Even when your tooth is about to kill you... Life is better lived and not regretted. Eventually the human will figure it out...

  • Don't let metal slow you down. Jewel has alot of metal in her back legs from multiple mishaps. Doesn't keep her from running, stalking, playing ball or frolicking in the tall grass. Again, I think the no whining part applies here...

  • Loyalty is key. Despite the amazing pain she must have been in, and has been in in the past, Jewel has never offered to bite us. She has stoically and patiently waited while we poked and prodded and made her ever more uncomfortable in order to determine her ailment.

  • Make it worth their while... Jewel has been such a loyal friend that a $500 vet bill for a rotten tooth, antibiotics, two car ride trips totalling over 100 miles, multiple trips to the store to find just the right dog food and four sleepless nights just don't seem like a bother.

  • When you have to make a mess, try to make it in the least disruptive way possible. I know you may not believe this, but when Jewel has an accident, she generally tries to make her mess in the bathroom, and on occasion has actually done it in the tub itself. Lineoleum is so much easier to clean than carpet!

  • Keep your expectations in line. A good ball toss, a meal in your bowl and a good belly rub now and then is all you really need to make it through the day. The rest is icing on the cake.

  • Have a job. No matter what the time of day or where they might be, Jewel always knows where the cat is. It has been a saviour when we have lost cats our daughter cared terribly for. She has always been able to find them, be it under a bed, way up under an aging deck behind a house, in a closet... She has found them all when asked!

  • Take time to let them know you care. I have never doubted the love she has for her family. Always there by your side or waiting patiently for your return... She is just the best dog I could ever have hoped to own.

Thank you Jewel! You are simply the best pup ever! Keep on ticking... Shoulda named her Timex!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

We dodged a bullet...

My wonderful, if aging, border collie Jewel is hopefully on the mend. She had refused to eat the last three mornings and today was finally seen by our vet. She has a very infected back molar that is being treated with antibiotics and will hopefully come out on Friday.

I am so very relieved! At first, I feared the worst (so unlike me...) and was afraid we were in renal failure. She is, after all, 14 years old. But after learning that my baby is a mere 29 pounds, we drew blood on her and ran the tests... She is normal in every aspect! It seems only the tooth is the culprit! I have breathed a sigh of relief, purchased wet dog food (a very rare treat indeed) and am praying for her to gain a little weight so that we can yank that tooth on Friday and start Jewel back on the road to recovery!

Monday, June 1, 2009


Remember... I like Mondays??? I know, so antithetical - but true! I have been up, had half a cup of coffee, done my Wii-Active workout and read the blogs I follow. I am now listening to Daddy holler at the Wii-Fit trainer. He is trying to stretch using Yoga and while I know it is hilariously entertaining, I should stay right where I am in order to keep him doing it! He would surely quit if I was in there laughing at all the face and complaints he logs!

I am heading out this evening for an appointment with a Boulder-ite for a wedding invitation job. I really need to do some serious brainstorming to come up with some very fresh ideas. I want to make this a memorable wedding for her and maybe get my name out there with something other than just a card. Not that I don't really enjoy making just cards... They are a wonderful way for my creative side to take center stage and FEEEEEED me. Anywhooooo.... I am currently doing a baby shower invitation that is really cute... Barn doors... So fun! And then there's the announcement waiting on the arrival of the Bebe... So really, I am very excited!

Shane leaves on Wednesday for Pueblo and the Sagebrush Slide... Trying desperately not to get blue over him being gone again. I have lots to work on, so that might help... And the kiddos are excited to be able to get to the show since school is out.

Lots to do and just a little time to do it! Hopefully things get a little evened out since the billing is done, the summer is starting to pick up and I have some "refreshment" planned with the trip to OKC/TX/NO! It isn't Africa (Hi! Sheryl!), but it is a much needed visit to family and friends! And I am very excited to spend time with my sis. I miss her very much!

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