Thursday, December 20, 2012

We're Not in Kansas Anymore!

Early this morning I felt a little like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz as she felt when the tornado was coming and she was heading for the cellar.  About 4:00 in the morning a norther blew in here.  It woke Ikey and I up from a deep sleep.  The wind was blowing so hard it sounded a little like a freight train was fixing to come through here.  I was not sure the wind was not going to just pick the house right up and carry it off in a whirl just like on the Wizard of Oz.  It sure sounded and felt like it.   I've been in many a wind storm out on west Texas, but this was different.  Being in a little house out here on the prairie, not a condo complex weighted down by tons of brick, made all the difference in the world.  It's the kind of wind you can hear the weather change without ever being outside.  You are absolutely sure, when you step your feet outside the door, you better be bundled up!

Baby Gray and I are hanging out today.  I bet when he shows up he's got his knitted cap, cowboy boots and a heavy coat on.  He and I are headed to the grocery store to finish up my "cooking" shopping which I have to find time to do before Tuesday, and to Walmart for anything else last minute (like Christmas stocking stuff).  Don't remember exactly how to shop secretly with a toddler in the basket but I'll figure it out.

In the meantime, blow Mr. Winter...I've missed you!

Genesis 8:1
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Won the Lotto and I Didn't Even Gamble

Extraordinary!  That is what my last 7 days were.
First, I spend Monday through Wednesday with my daughter in Las Vegas.  We didn't gamble really.  We didn't even know exactly how.  We shopped and walked and watched the National Finals Rodeo twice!  We got massages in a fabulous spa.  We dined like princesses.  We had filet minion in our hotel room for breakfast.  We drank mimosa's and champagne.  We laughed and we cheered.  It was a great week.  I was a bit disappointed that I did not get to connect with my friend Lee Ann, but I "snapped out of it" and moved on.

Our only set back was my daughter came home to a family full of stomach virus and a house full of germs.  She got it too several days later.  All are recovering now.

Then today I got a phone call from T-Paw who said "I've hired a helicopter.  What are the kids doing this afternoon?  Want to come over and ride in it?"  Well, yeah!  Consider me there.  I've never ridden in a helicopter.  Never really given it a lot of thought, but it sounded awesome.  Baby Gray and his dad were headed over too but my daughter unfortunately was still not feeling quite up to par so she stayed home.  BG, my SNL and I headed out first in the Ranger while T-Paw stayed at the house continuing to finish up some cake baking he had started.  Our Ranger group headed off into the pasture looking for deer and hogs.  BG was able to sit on my lap and drive the Ranger almost by himself.

We were fortunate enough to see deer and hogs on our drive.  When we went to find the horses for Baby Gray, we found Mosey with a couple of big cuts along his forearms and legs.  We got him back to the barn and doctored him up some.  There was nothing to stitch up, and it was really too old anyway, but a couple of pretty big jagged scrapes.  BG even had time for a little "giddy up Mosey".

About that time the helicopter showed up.  BG, his dad and I were on the second leg for going up.  BG had not brought a coat along and they told us it was cool up there so we had to make do with one of T-Paws old jackets.  BG looked sort of like a Pac Man.

BG had a great time.  He was not scared not one bit, of the helicopter or riding in it.  What a big brave courageous boy!!

After Baby Gray's short ride I was able to go with some other folks for a longer ride over the ranch.  It was so so cool.  This particular type of helicopter had no doors or anything, just open sided.  I was brave and courageous too!


What an amazing week.  Within 7 days I did two phenomenal things I had never done before...attend the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and rode in a helicopter.  This week did feel sort of like winning the lotto!  And Baby Gray did two things he had never done before...drive and fly!

A big shout out to JT/T-Paw for making those two things possible!  He's got a generous spirit for sure.  Here's to a week of once in a life times and hope I get to do that agains!  Blessings abounding for me for sure!

Ephesians 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Friday, December 14, 2012

NFR Post #6 The Thomas and Mack...It's All Different When You Get Inside



Amazing, that's what I can say about the NFR.  The excitement of the crowd just oozes out of everything.  Eyes wide open.  Oh my!



But what I want to say is when you get on the inside of the Thomas and Mack, it's all different.  When  you walk down to the floor and you look at it up close, it's small; it's so small, no, it's tiny!  The arena is tiny.  The four walls are all so close together. There is very little room to turn around.  I do not not know how they get those horses turned around in ANY event.  It's near impossible.  But the barrel racing pattern has got to be the smallest most of these BIG horses have ever run.

The Crowd:
The crowd is beyond excited.  They've been waiting for days for the first event.  They are donning their cowboy hats and boots.   It's finally here.  They are pumped!  Their hearts are racing.  They are on their feet.  A rider rides in on horseback and posts the American Flag in the center of the arena.  The crowd is quiet.  A prayer is said.  The Star Spangled Banner is sung.

The Contestants:
Huge anxiety for some; just another day at the office for others; they said so in their interviews.
The announcer calls their name.  Then, two heart rates shoot off the charts.  A prayer is said by the believers.  The horse cannot wait to get inside the arena to do his job.  He's bouncing off the walls and his front feet are off the ground.  The rider waits.  She holds him back until just the right moment.  Then she releases his reins.  The bit falls loose in his mouth.  The cowgirl spurs him on.  She lets him go.  There's an explosion.  He's off.  The horse runs in at the speed of sound; the rider kicks, whips and sometimes hollers.  Then everything slows to almost a stand still.  The crowd takes a deep breath.  The racers turn.  The crowd breaths, cheers.  Again the rider kicks, spurs, and whips, and the horse blasts off like a rocket for 3 more seconds to the second barrel, slows to an almost stand still, turns, on a dime, and then they do it all AGAIN.  Seriously!  After the last turn at the third barrel, if their run is clean and no barrels are down, the crowd goes wild, screaming, clapping, hollering, cheering the horse and rider on to victory.  Again the rider kicks and whips as they race out of the arena.  As she races down the alleyway, the cowgirl listens for her time if she ran out with all three barrels standing.  If she didn't, she's shaking her head in disbelief.  They slow.  They stop.  They take a breath.  The rider gets off.  The horse drops his head and heaves.  They are finished.  In 14 to 15 seconds it's all over...until tomorrow night.

Mark 10:27
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

NFR = $14.95

                                 

The NFR vs TV

For years I used to go to bed and set my alarm for about 12:45pm to watch the barrel racing at the NFR.  I'd wakc up from a dead sleep to watch the girls run.  I just couldn't wait til morning.

For years I have set my VCR/DVR for the NFR!  It is set again....but I had to pay.
The NFR is only on GAC (Great American Country) this year.  I didn't have that channel on my channel line up.  So for the month of December I have upped my TV to Premium Choice!  Seriously!  $14.95!  I figure it is less than the price of one ticket and I get to watch all 10 performances.  It is also LIVE vs taped.  So I'm pumped.

Round 1 tonight!  9:00p.m.  Consider me there!

Go Team Lee Ann.

Stay tuned!!!


Isaiah 40:27-31

New International Version (NIV)
27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love!

Who's on Your Team?....God

You may be a little tired of my going on about the NFR.  However, it's still holding lessons for me.  This is a piece of an interview I saw with Lee Ann Rust on Barrel Horse News...


Photo: Lee Ann Rust


Who’s on your team? Shelly Fair – her job description is to take care of me and babysit me. I’ve got Gena Franklin – her job description is to take care of Harley and babysit Harley and Mule. Gena rode Harley as a 3-year-old; she’s got as strong a bond with him as anybody. I’ll have Kathy Butkovic, she’s got Equi-Sports Therapy, and Kelley Mills.

This time right now is so critical for me, soaking up and developing an excess and a reservoir of mental preparedness, because there’s not going to be any one-on-one time for me and Rhonda Byrne and the Bible. I’ve never been to Vegas, I’ve just heard about it.

With all of the emotions that come with making it to the Thomas & Mack, is there anything about it that scares you? I know I’ll come up against things that are new, probably some things I hadn’t considered or thought about. But I’ve got this deal about fear, it just don’t hang out around me much. I don’t know what it is, but they say that perfect faith casts out fear. My faith’s not perfect, but I have a pretty even spoonful of it.
What’s your strongest emotion? Gratitude. I’m so thankful for where I’m at, and like I said, there may be some people in awe of what I got done, but there ain’t none of them in as much awe as I am. But for the grace of God, where would I be? What would I be doing now? There’s no such thing as a self-made man, in my opinion, and I sure won’t ever claim that title. Maybe if I had a fear, and I wouldn’t call it a fear, but my concern would be disappointing the people that are looking at what we’re doing. There are a lot of people on Facebook, and I don’t know where they get it but the word “inspiration” keeps coming up. I guess my greatest concern would be letting them down. But that’s secondary, because if I let them down I’ve let Harley down first. I’m not going to let them put an undue amount of pressure on us. When I came out of the arena at Albuquerque last year, I knew I’d missed it. My ex-husband called me, and said, “You’ve worked hard, gone above and beyond the call of duty, and busted your tail. Not making it to the NFR, I can understand your sadness. I’m going to give you one hour for your pity party, then I’m going to call you back and you can go on and be grateful for what you did get done.” Harley has taken me places I didn’t think I could hang with him to get to. I’m going to shoot for the moon and if I miss, I might hit the side of the barn. Just getting there is big, but every round is another rodeo, and I know how I am, when I hit the alley at the rodeo, it’s really hard not to try to win something. I’m going to go out there and do the best I can by Harley, uphold my end of the deal, expect him to uphold his end of the deal, and let the chips fall where they may.

I felt kind of bad that she spoke of folks thinking of her as an inspiration as putting undue pressure on her.  That was not my intention at all.  In my previous post which does call her an "inspiration", here is the way I meant it.  I meant she makes me want to be a better person.  It's not so much what she did, it's how she did it.  She's just a person who makes her mind up and finds a way to get it done.  I know I should be more like that, have a little more drive, a bit more ambition.  I'm just sort of a fly by night and by the seat of my pants kind of girl, and make very few commitments.  She's not.  She sets her mind to something and then she gives 100 till she gets there.  No matter what happens to her in the NFR, she will not be letting me down.  She has already achieved a goal...to do all she could and do her best to qualify for the NFR, to get there...that deal is done.  Truly I do not know if her goal was or is to win it.  I suspect it is to do the best she can and give it everything she's got.  I know that she will do that.  I couldn't be any prouder for her probably than I already am.  Along with me, I think the folks she's referring to on FB are happy for her, want her to have fun, to do well, to stay healthy both she and Harley, and have the time of her life.  
Lee Ann my friend...
Leave those three barrels standing and the dirt flying and you and Harley just soak all that in like a sponge.  We'll be watching!

1 Thessalonians 1:3
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Encourage One Another, Continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love to you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Head 'Em Up, Move "Em Out" ...NFR/Vegas Bound!!!

Can you say speechless?  That's what I was last night when I opened up a little  paper bag with four NFR rodeo tickets in it and a note that said ....  "Surprise, your going to Las Vegas to the NFR!"

Christmas early this year will be two round trip tickets to Vegas, one for my daughter, one for me, two nights stay at the fabulous Bellagio, two nights and great seats at the NFR rodeo, a visit to "Fanfest", and some shopping at the famed "Cowboy Christmas"....ultimately, an all expense paid trip to the National Finals Rodeo!  That's a big ole "CHECK" off my bucket list!
Oh, and did I mention a very beautiful "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" outfit which included this Free People Antique Rose Cardi and raspberry top for Monday night which is the TEtoWP night!


OK, on top of an unbelievable trip, I get to spend three full days with my daughter.  She's been busy the last couple of years raising my grandson, Baby Gray, so we have not been able to get away to do much together by ourselves.  I'm as excited about that as I am the rodeo.  We took many vacations together when she was little and since she's been grown we've been to NYC three times together.  We do make good travel companions.

I'm excited...I'm beyond excited!  Next step is to shop my closet for other outfits that'll be perfect to take and to start thinking about packing.  

I'll have to let Lee Ann know I'm coming.  I've already thought about what to put on the sign we'll make for her...maybe--

"LEAVE YOUR THREE BARRELS UP AND THE DIRT FLYING LEE ANN"
(her motto is "three barrels and dirt".  

Oh and Gotta get a pupsitter for Ikey!  Anyone want to volunteer?  

Right now if you drove by you'd just see me sitting on the front porch...smiling!

Psalm 23-26
The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
Though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
I was young and now I am old, 
Yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.  

Encourage One Another

Blessings and Love to you...

Previous blog link   

http://thegoodlife54.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-inspiring-story-and-lesson-learned.html

AND

http://thegoodlife54.blogspot.com/2012/10/updatean-inspiring-story.html

    





Sunday, November 25, 2012

Me vs Pinterest...please vote!

I saw this really cute fireplace box (or I wanted to put it in my fireplace box since the fireplace does not work as far as I know).

So I re-created it.

Please vote for photo #1 or #2 in a comment.  I'll let you know which one was theirs and which one was mine in a few days.

Photo #1


Photo #2


Thanksgiving decorations are put away and Christmas decorations are starting to come out.  The tree is up but not decorated, the wreath is on the door, the "box" is in the fireplace and the stockings are hung. Lots to still do.  Looking in the boxes marked Christmas in the storage room I'm wondering what I kept and what I left behind in the move.  I am hopeful that there are some things I still love, some things that belonged to my mom and my grandmother and my daughter.  I'll let you know what I find.

Until then, I'll be watching for your votes!  PS, I won't have my feelings hurt if you pick the "other" box!!

Matthew 1:21
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Encourage One Another, Continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love to you.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Photo Op

Blessing abounded the last few days as we gathered for Thanksgiving.  Friends and family alike came together for a good time.  I love my family so much and I love it when we are all together.  I am so thankful for my parents and how they taught us to love God, our family and our country.  There are no holidays when we do not think of them.  Love you mom and dad!!

I took a few photos while all together for TG.
These are the people I love most in my life!

So cute!

"I wanna run!"

This makes my heart happy!

Thank you Jesus for  another perfect day filled with love, family and thanksgiving!

Psalm 69:30
I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey with fresh paths.

Blessings and love to you.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


Psalm 128:2
You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.


Blessings and love to you!

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

He Came Running With His Arms Wide Open

Wow, talk about a heart (mine) overflowing with love.  Indescribable!

Last night I met my daughter for dinner, along w/ Baby Gray.  She was walking across the parking lot with BG's hand in hers.  When he saw me I heard him say "I want to run".  She let him go.  He came running to me with open arms and his face beaming with a big smile and let me sweep him up in my open arms and my smiling face and he gave me a big hug.



I've been waiting for that moment.  My wait is over.  It was well worth the wait.  Priceless!



My heart overfloweth....Psalm 45:1!

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these islove.

Happy Thanksgiving.  May your blessings abound!

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love from me to you!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ikey was MIA

Luke 15
New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Last week I made a trip out to Midland to do some contract work.  I drove so I took Ikey with me.  We stayed in my previous condo which my sister bought from me.  Ikey felt like he was "home".  The doggie door was there and the best thing he found was that my sister put the bed on the ground for him.  It had not yet been put on the rails.  The box springs and mattress were just on the floor.   He could get up on it with no problem!  My bed is really I and I have to lift him on it every day so he can sleep with me.  He was a happy boy.  I sent my sister a photo of the every so happy Chihuahua who had gotten in the bed all by himself.


We had arrived on Tuesday.  Wednesday morning I headed out to the facility where I would be working that day until evening.  Ikey had the doggie door to go in and out so I did not worry about him.  All was well.

When I had finally finished with the last home visit of the day, about 8pm, long after dark, I called my brother in law, who was also staying/living at the condo, to ask if he wanted me to bring him/us something home to eat.  I said "whatcha doing?"  He said "looking for your dog".    I said "what???"  He said "well, he was here, running in and out barking at the neighbor dogs.  After a bit I didn't see him any more.  I had left the gate fixed so you (me) could get in and he must have snuck out the gate".  My heart stopped.  I felt sick.  He said "I have called him, looked upstairs in his bed, looked all around the complex and am driving around the neighborhood looking for him".  I said "I'm on my way".  By the time I would get home he would have been looking over an hour!

That was the longest 20 minutes EVER!  I prayed the whole way.  All kinds of thoughts went through my head.  As I got closer, about 1/2 mile from the house, I called my friend Felicia, who lives close by and said "I need your help...Ikey is missing".  She said "I'm on my way; we'll drive around".

As I got almost to the condo I drove around the block calling him, loud, often!  I came up the alley, calling him, loud.  I got out of my car and was going to go inside, get my jacket and comb the complexes (there are 3 right next to each other).  I walked into the gate, calling him.  I looked into the sliding glass door and THERE HE WAS, just sitting there looking up at me like "what...what do you want...why are you calling me all the way up the alley?"  I pushed the door open and swooped him up in my arms, hugging and kissing his little face.  I immediately called my brother in law and said "he's here, he's in the condo".  He said "no way".  I said "yes, he's here, he's ok".  I called Felicia just as she was driving up to the condo.  She and her daughter had been driving around the cemetery where we used to walk.  They were so glad to see him.  I thanked them.

I met Larry back at the house.  He told the story again.  He had looked and called and come back to the condo twice calling him.  We were both just thankful he was home.  We did not know if someone had found Ikey and put him in the yard or what.  We were just relieved.

Latter that evening I went upstairs.  I looked around the bedroom for Ikey but did not see him.  He was not in his crate or his little fuzzy bed.  I felt a bit of a panic.  However, I found him.  He was burrowed way beneath those warm covers of that bed my sister left on the floor for him!  "Warm and toast and happier than most".  And safe and sound.

God is good!
Encourage one another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.
Blessings and love from me to you!
Margaret Wise Brown and Miniature Book Collection (Library of Congress) - The Little Fur Family Reviews

Margaret Wise Brown and Miniature Book Collection (Library of Congress) - The Little Fur Family

"Warm as toast and happier than most" is a saying inside this book that I read to Jolie for years as she grew up.  It's a great book!  

Friday, November 9, 2012

House Work

No, not the kind your thinking of.
The kind where your working in your house to make it a better house.  I'm referring to the "box" room. The room filled with boxes and furniture and stuff that still has no place in this little house.  I'm referring to the room I've been so looking forward to...MY room!
Here are some photos from a couple of weeks ago.



I've been doing lots of house work in this room and shuffling it around other places as it was FULL of boxes and stuff, literally almost no carpet was in sight when I moved in.  So I've "come a long way baby" believe it or not since I moved in.  Lately I've been a little stuck or overwhelmed with how in the world I was going to make it all come together or even where to START.

Yesterday I woke up with a couple of ideas of where to put stuff (there were boxes of linens, clothes, photos, etc that were not going to end up in the room along with the boxes of art stuff) in mind and I "hit it" most of the day.  Everything needs a home except what's going to stay in there.

Here is the look after yesterday.


Still work to do.  Still working.
Here is what it looks like after working in there today.



This is going to be the room for Baby Gray and my family and friends when they come to stay.  AND it's going to be my room, my studio where I go and create and draw, paint, glue, sew and just do what I love!  It's got to have a sleeping space (futon or trundle/daybed), the chest of drawers and cedar chest need to stay (no other place for them) and then a work space for me.  I need to decide what's going to go where as I figure out what's going in there!  At least now I can see a little bit of the walls and windows and the floor.  It's a work in progress.  With the sun going down so early, much more time is spent indoors...I need to be creating!!!!

So if you have any ideas how to pull it all together or where to look for stuff, I'd love to know.

1Thes 4:11 "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands."

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessing and love.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jen, She Was NOT Cancer

Recently, like this week, while reading blogs, I was directed to another blog, Paige Knudsen Photography.  Loved it and started following it.  Yesterday, this was Paige's blog...go to...

http://paigeknudsen.com/jen/

Jen Burgess Thompson
If you have ever been touched by cancer, or even if you haven't...YET, you will be moved by Jen's video, her spirit, her faith and her determination.  After you see her video here go to her blog and read her story.

http://www.amistillagirl.com/jens-story-the-background/

I wish for her that there had been a different ending to her story, however, I'm sure God has a plan for her now where she is.

I wish blessings and peace to all who loved her.

Thanks to Paige for sharing Jen's story.

EFF Cancer!!!

Psalm 23

King James Version (KJV)
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessing and love.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

No Photo Op Here!

Last night Ikey asked to go outside.  He was anxious and barking like he always does when it's time for him to go out.  As he's right at the door barking, I always make him wait and back up and let me go or at least look out first just to be sure there are no dogs or concerns out there before I let him out.  I generally do not put him on a leash or anything, as he does not run off...so far.
So I turned on the outside light (it was already almost 9pm) and opened the door.  I immediately saw a SKUNK on the second step appearing to be leaving the porch as I think I was seeing the back end.  YIKES!  I shut the door quickly. I turned on the other front light and cracked opened the door again....GONE!  Praise God.
I went out and didn't see him so I started to clap, softly at first.  I wanted him to leave the yard (I didn't see him but sensed he still had to be pretty close because all they do is waddle as they walk).  I got louder and louder with my clap then wanting to chase him off into oblivion!  I made a lot of noise.  I  never did smell anything that smelled like a skunk, thank goodness.
After a few minutes I sensed the coast was clear and went in to get Ikey.  I did put him on a leash, just in case he ambled back by.  As Ikey walked over that second step his nose never even hit the ground.  He never even knew the skunk was there.  Blood hound he is not!  He went out, did his business, bounced back up the steps and into the house. He never missed a lick.  Glad I don't depend on him to hunt for our dinner!
No photo op this time...and hopefully there will be no next time!
                                                                    
Hebrews 13:2
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love.

Monday, November 5, 2012

One of Those Mornings


There are mornings on the porch I wish there was someone here to share breakfast with, to drink tea or coffee with.  This is one of those mornings.  It's just so peaceful.  The sun is rising, just like always.  The birds are singing, the crickets are chirping and there's a slight roar of the traffic in the distance, just like always.  Having someone to share our plans for the day with would be fun.  Comparing notes, brainstorming, coming up with good ideas could be done over peanut butter toast or cereal.
Today, is one of those mornings!  Wish you were here!

Isaiah 32:18
"My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest."

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Post Script to "And They Lived Happily Ever After" 10/30/12 Post

Wonders still abound here in the country!

Post    http://thegoodlife54.blogspot.com/2012/10/and-they-lived-happily-ever-after.html

My true hope was that those 2 little doves would live happily ever after and for a long time.  I do know today that they are still alive and well.  SEVERAL times this week I have come home and found them relaxing on my front porch.  They flutter off to the tree they were raised in when I walk up the stairs and see them, but they stay close.

In fact, they were on the porch when I walked out this morning. (Tomorrow morning I need to look out the window first to see if I can photograph them still on the porch). They flew into the tree.  Here they are.


They always eventually move closer together.
I believe they are still fledglings, still getting the feel of life on their own and I suspect mom is still around close just to be sure.  They have yet to "fly the coop"!  I don't know how long they will be around, but I will enjoy them until then.

Back in September I was watching a dove roost on her nest...  http://thegoodlife54.blogspot.com/2012/09/nesting-dove.html

Her nest did not make it through a wind storm and I never got to see those little doves grow up.  However, God has shown me how the life cycle does exist in the life of these two little doves.  He has shown me that through a difficult time you can come out on top.  He has shown me that you can make it through and live a good life.  He has not only shown me that in the life of these two little doves, but in my own life as well.  So the cycle goes on and on, and through my life living in the country I will continue to be blessed by wonders of nature and wonders of life.  May your life too be truly blessed.

Job 5:9
He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

And They Lived Happily Ever After

I love living in the country, more and more every day.

Once upon a time....

I woke up yesterday morning to take Ikey out for his morning jaunt. Before I got out the door with him, I spotted two little baby doves laying on my porch.  They were right above the steps, right in the way!  They were laying facing the same direction, looking onto the porch, about 10" apart.   I thought "oh my word...now what".  I grabbed my camera and snapped a couple of photos trying not to disturb them.

To take care of Ikey I took him out the back door.  Curious and fascinated, I then went out the back door again with my camera and snuck around the front to take some closer photos.  They were still as posts, only blinking their eyes.  They did not seem to be bothered by me.  Oh mercy, I didn't want anything to happen to them.  I didn't know what to do.
I called my sister.  My sister said "I think it's best you just leave them alone" (easy for her to say 80 miles away, not watching them, worrying).  I called the vet.  The vet's receptionist said "we don't have anyone we know of that can help you" (easy for her to say, she wasn't seeing them, lying there alone).  When I called the game warden he said "what we tell people in situations like this, is that the best thing to do is just let nature take it's course", (easy for him to say over the phone because he didn't see the stray cat in the pasture next door earlier this morning).  Seriously, are these folks kidding.  How am I going to just watch these little guys wither away to nothing while I just "leave them alone and let nature take it's course!"
So what did I do?  Prayed and then I left them alone.
I did go up and down the stairs on the opposite side of them however, several times after that and they never moved.  I took a few photos.







They had gotten together and were snuggling in opposite directions.  "Huh", I thought.  I left the house about 3 pm and headed to town for the rest of the day but only after refilling the birdbath with water.

When I arrived back home about 9:30, they were no longer there.  I got the flashlight and looked around a bit on the ground for them and found nothing.  "Praise God", I said "the mom came and got them and they are gone.  No need to worry about them anymore."  I was so relieved.  Can I hear a hallelujah?

This morning I woke up and began one of my newest rituals when the weather is colder outside...getting on my computer with my tea and toast in bed!  (Ikey loves staying in bed longer).  Out of the corner of my eye I see a dove land on the rocker outside on the porch.  "Huh"?  I think.  "What in the world.  No birds ever fly up on the porch like that and sit in the chair."  Then I think, "Oh my.  Could it be?  Could it be that those little birds are still up there on the porch somewhere and she's come to check on them?"  I get up and go to the window, peer out, and sure enough, much to my "oh no" feeling, there they are, all huddled together under the rocker!  Good grief, what to do now?  Take more photos!
I call the vet's office back and tell them the story.  It's a different person.  She says "bring them in. We'll see what we can do.  We can't promise you we can save them.  If you've seen the mother she will keep coming around looking for them".  Oh great, I'm thinking of stealing her babies.  She'll be heart broken.

I call another friend who recommends calling an animal refuge in Kendalia.  She gives me the number and I call them.  A nice gal answers.  I tell her my story.  She asks some questions about them.  She says they are "fledglings" and that they are probably just not quite old enough to fly yet.  She says once they fall out of a nest a mother will continue to come and feed them for up to 2 weeks until they are old enough to fly.  She tells me I can put a little box out there to see if they will get in it to protect them from the weather.  She says I don't need to put water out or anything.  She says the dreaded "for now, let nature take it's course".  But she also said if they started to look lethargic and I no longer saw the mother coming around, the refuge would take them in.  Much relief on my part.  Turns out Mom's truly gonna do her thing.  I mean, right?  I've already seen her close by this morning.  Could my sister and the game warden have been right?

Then the coolest thing happened.  As I'm looking out the window from my bedroom at them, the little birds start moving around.  I put my iphone on record.  I'm videoing them.  They start ruffling their feathers and holding their wings all the way out.  They start picking at bugs and scratching themselves.  They get perky.  I don't have a good view with my phone but it is taping.  Then out of the corner of my eye, I happen to see a dove out on the birdbath getting I drink.  I think "could it be her?"

She flew!

Next thing I know I hear this weird sound, like mumbling, singing, calling.  They little birds get up and start moving toward the center of the porch.  It's MOM!  She's come.  She starts feeding them!  They are all over her.  They are so tightly knit and touching it looks like they are all connected.  They crawl up on her back.  They nuzzle her neck.  They talk dove talk back.  They're SO HAPPY!  I'm so happy!  I've got this all on video!  Wow, Mother Nature you are amazing!  Mom flies off and they stay on the porch.  However, they start moving toward the edge of the porch by the steps.  I'm worried.  I decide to go around the house and shut the little gate on the porch to keep animals off the porch.  I had left it unclosed last night.  I got as close to them as I had yesterday when they did not move.  However, this time the both gave me the eye, spread their wings and off they went, one after the other, flying into the tree just over the fence.  The mama bird is there too; I can see several small doves in there.  "Could they be siblings?"

Wow.  Great.  Praise God, they are flying! All this is happening right in front of me as I stand in my night gown in my front yard.  Is God good or what?

I go around the house and walk in the back door.  As I'm headed back to the window to look out again, I hear this ruckus.  From the window I can see Mom has brought them back onto the porch.  She feeds them AGAIN!  They are all over her, mouths open.  Oh my, I would have not have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes.  There are three of them again.  Then, two fly away and one stays.  A tiny one.  And then, he flies off too, into the same tree just outside the yard.  As he is sitting on the branch, I snap his photo.

And they lived happily ever after!

Genesis 1:22
God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”

This is truly a lesson in leaving things up to God.  He really does know what he's doing.  He really does have a plan.  You don't see Mother Nature trying to do it herself.  She lets God lead her.  He shows her the way.  If we follow Him, he will do the same for us.  Praise God!

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love to you.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Imminent Storm Sandy

Hurricane Sandy

Today's weather was absolutely "stunning" (my sister's word), phenomenal, gorgeous here where I live.  It was a day you could do almost anything; go to church, walk, play in the park, fish, fly a kite, swing, read, relax, you name it, you could have done it.
I chose to ride.  As I was horseback in the pasture feeling so blessed by the incredible weather here and by just the opportunity to have a horse and have a great place to ride him, my thoughts went out to the folks being caught in the middle of "Sandy".  The weather forecast, the threats, the predictions regarding the hurricane headed for the east coast are all terribly frightening.  It's likely that if your not in the wake of this storm, you will know someone who could or will be affected by it.
Mine and many other prayers are going up and out for those of you who will be touched one way or the other.  Stay safe, stay warm and dry, and keep God close to your heart.

MATTHEW 8

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Encourage one another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love