I can see it from my house

Not Russia, silly….but the moon.  I can see it from my house.  Not tonight…the sky is brown from the blowing grit and dust.  But last evening, the Texan came inside (from working in his shop) shouting...’Your camera…..git it!’  Expectantly, I swooped up the Nikon and jogged to my backyard.  We both pondered the welcome, glowing moon.

It was already a little too high in the sky to get an interesting ‘harvesty’ moon shot, so I improvised. What would the Texan say about this shot?
‘Git the Polaroid. Hot damn !...Roswell doesn’t have anything on us….the aliens have landed!’

The Texan’s matter-of-fact take on this next capture, “Bring the tweezers and the flashlight darlin’!! Put on yer bifocals an’ take this cactus thorn outta my backside.”

For the following creepy moon vignette, he might say, “Call the sheriff. I just found a corpse layin’ under this light post…now don’t you look…

The Texan’s not much for dilly-dallying around, or fancy-schmancy stuff. This photo would totally baffle his down-to-earth sensibilities. ‘Girl, you been grazing too long in the loco weed? You smokin’ somethin’ you wanna tell me about? Skies ain’t never bright orange, sweetheart. C’mon, now let’s go back inside….”

Next month, the Texan and I will have looked at the moon together for 34 years. We’ve watched that orb wax by the ocean and in the mountains: we’ve seen it wane on the plains and in the valleys.  Don’t know what we’ll do to observe the occasion.  Maybe the very best thing we can do is keep looking up.

ridin the fence

The precious daughter-in-law doing what she loves best. Looks like a scene from Louis L’Amour, doesn’t it? We are privileged to live in a harsh, rugged and very scenic country.

Been experimenting in photoshop elements with some of the ranch pictures. Made me re-appreciate (is that a word??) the landscape around here. When I first moved here from verdant Oklahoma (in the late 1970’s), I couldn’t believe there were NO trees!

OK, I take that back….we have some trees, but they come equipped with very nasty thorns. If the trees are thornless, they are gnarly and usually tilt strongly one direction because of the relentless winds.

Not having trees gives one an expansive soul. Better to see what is going on in God’s gorgeous sky.

Giving myself props for attempting to grow a vegetable garden in this landscape.  Please note the word ‘attempting’.  I’m one of the hardy, optimistic souls. I also understand the importance of amending this soil.

Hope you take time to look up today….wherever you are. See what’s going on in God’s grand sky. You’ll feel better for it.

friday’s window

Here is the beautiful view from my kitchen sink.  Our house snuggles up to a hill (translation:  rattlesnake habitat) and it makes for some great wildlife viewing.

This morning I found myself pondering some recent events while looking at the about-to-bloom irises.

I was thinking about recent news of South Park (the crude TV show on Comedy Central) being targeted with jihad. Seems the show’s creators poked fun at the prophet Mohammed and it didn’t go over too well with certain radical Islamic groups. Never mind that South Park pokes fun at virtually EVERY religious and social group in the world. They’ve done horrible things with Jesus, the Pope, Tom Cruise (and Scientology), Buddha….if it’s a religious group, they’ve absolutely, tastelessly skewed it. To my knowledge, none of the other groups have issued a fatwa and pledged death to the creators of this show. Comedy Central caved to the jihadist pressure and bleeped the last episode of the show every time Mohammed was mentioned. All I can conclude is the powers at Comedy Central have no cajones and don’t understand the concept of free speech in America. Radical Muslims have NO sense of humor.
I was also thinking about Franklin Graham (son of Billy) being dis-invited to the National Day of Prayer because he criticized elements of radical Islam for their attacks of 9-11 and for their abysmal treatment of woman in their culture. It doesn’t matter if Reverend Graham speaks the truth:   we must be careful to not offend.
Lastly, I was remembering the crazy shooter at Fort Hood. All the evidence pointed to the fact this guy was part of a radical Islamic group and he had relationships with jihadists. He gave LOTS of signs as to his true agenda, but political correctness kept many, many folks in the military from speaking up about the impending danger.  Many of our fine military men and women (plus some of their innocent families) needlessly lost their lives.
Sorry to be such a downer, but I must conclude free speech is under terrible assault in the USA.
Here’s what bugs me. If I visit or immigrate to a country….let’s say Indonesia…I would go there with the knowledge that Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country. I wouldn’t be shocked to see women in burqas nor would I be surprised at the calls to prayer several times a day. That’s the way they roll in Indonesia. I would have to adjust to fit in.
In the U.S., we are a predominantly Judeo-Christian country. Our Founders believed in a Creator and our system of laws have deep Judeo-Christian roots. Being free in America means that those of other religions and cultures are welcome to settle here. They are welcome to practice their religion freely. They are welcome to live their lives in peace. But….here is where I differ from the current mind-set….we are not required to CHANGE and give up OUR traditions to accommodate our immigrants. Most especially, we won’t give up free speech. You come to America, you are going to hear and see free speech. Don’t be surprised by that fact. It might offend you, but that’s how WE roll.
Sorry…I’m shouting, but this is important to me.  It would be dishonest of me not to talk about it.

On a more pleasant topic.  Kept the in-laws’ bichon frise for a few days.

Lucy was an absolute angel from heaven! Doxy had mixed emotions, at times.

I tried to teach her some tricks, such as the famous bichon ‘wave’ or shaking hands. She was having NONE of it. She was perfectly content in her role as doggy angel. She snuggled on my lap, licked my wet ankles when I exited the shower, played a little doggy tug-of-war, and generally lovingly gazed at me.

Everyone should have to suffer such adoration! That is my wish for you this weekend-that you are the object of pure adoration.  Yes, you’re worth it.   Blessings and love to all.

5 things I don’t get

#1.  You can’t miss this face. It’s plastered everywhere…TV, supermarket, internet…this young mop-head is red-hot.

I saw him sing a while back on DWTS. I’m not saying he’s not talented, but I just don’t ‘get’ him.  Whassup with the frontally-swept hair??   And why aren’t there MELODIES in music any more? It’s all just computerized rhythms and repetitious phrasing.  Doesn’t anyone craft a meaningful melody anymore?? OK, I’m old and now I’m ranting. My cousin, Darrell Brown, is a mighty talented songwriter and HE is writing songs with great melodies-like Why Don’t We Just Dance? sung by Josh Turner….or What I Cannot Change sung by LeAnn Rimes. Go Darrell!! We need more melodies! As I was pondering my misunderstanding of Justin Bieber, I remembered these guys.

Oooops….nevermind.

#2.  Pajama Jeans

They’re not fooling me. Pajama Jeans is just another term for ‘sweat pants’. If you can’t starch ’em and crease ’em, you aren’t allowed to call ’em JEANS!!  There are sartorial rules, people.  These are for folks who have given up on life. You can include ‘jeggings’ in the same category.

.
#3.

OK, OK, I admit to being a political ‘righty’. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion and I try to read things (especially on the internet) that are classified as more left and some more right. I figure the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. What I object to is the arrogance and downright…….yes, nastiness…that Keith emanates. This guy has similar karma.

I’m not hatin’ on them. This is America and they can think and proclaim their own truth…I just choose not to listen.  We live in a great country!

#4.  Miniature Horses

I’ll be straight with you…I wanna be the grandma with the pony. I’m all about naughty, fat ponies to parade the grand kids around. I know miniature horses have lots of fans, but there is something about a dog-sized horse that creeps me out.

#5. KFC Double Down Sandwich

Being a free-market minded person, I think it’s KFC’s right to sell any type of sandwich they care to create, and it is your right to buy it and eat it. We’re all free Americans (unless you live in NYC where you can’t eat trans-fat or salt) entitled to eat what we please. Being in the ranching business, I’m an unapologetic meat-eater. Won’t catch me observing meatless Mondays, nosssirr! I think beef is an important part of a healthy diet and a good hamburger or steak is a little bit of heaven on earth. But this creation? Why would anyone want to eat this? The reason totally escapes me. Give me one reason.

Being an optimistic-type person, I hated to end this blog post on a negative note.  I’ll tell you about something I LIKE.  The Texan asked me to look for this product and I just now found it at walmarts.  Presenting……

Batter Blaster!!  I just made a tasty pancake with this concoction.  Makes waffles, too.  Pancake/waffle batter in a spray can….for those times when you want just one or two pancakes.  It’s organic although I don’t claim to know what that really means.
Is this a GREAT country, or what?!

speak no evil, hear no evil

Once a week I take Mom on a trip to the local walmarts.  I pick her up at the retirement village, drive her to walmarts where she basically terrorizes fellow shoppers with her nifty motorized cart.  Me and the ‘greeter’ are on a first name basis…could he be in love with me?  Our friendly relationship annoys Mother.  After obtaining sustenance, I unloaded her groceries from my car, and caught the elevator to the second floor.  A lovely lady (in her own motorized vehicle…they are de rigueur at the home…or heaven’s waiting room, as I fondly call it) smilingly wheeled up to us. (This is my mom, and this is the must-have scooter)

                                                   

“O, Kath…..this is my best friend, Z!  I’ve been wanting you to meet her.”  I immediately remembered Z from a harrowing story Mom related to me a couple of months back.

One icy winter day, Z was riding in her cart near the dining room.  She was looking out the large windows at the lovely frozen lake.  (At this point you should know, Z suffers the debilitating effects of a stroke.  Her speech is impaired-she speaks few words.  The left side of her body is paralyzed and she has a nasty scar on the left side of her skull.  She’s lost some skills, but she has one of the brightest smiles at the ‘home’.)  As she was gazing out, she noticed a lady ‘walker’.  Mom and I refer to some of the pre-Alzheimer’s or early dementia folks as ‘walkers’.  For reasons unknown to us, these are the most energetic of retirement home residents and they continually stroll the halls, the sidewalks and the paths around the facility.  On this cold day, Z saw the lady ‘walker’ drop her purse near the side of the lake.  As the lady leaned to pick up her purse, she stumbled and fell totally into the frigid lake.
Z helplessly looked around.  No one else saw the incident.  No one was there to help.  That’s when determined Z took action.  She wheeled that cart around and sped back to the closest retirement home employee.  Being unable to communicate verbally the frightening incident she had just witnessed, she did the only thing she could.  She gripped the questioning employee by the hand and dragged her (with her functioning hand) back to the large windows and pointed to the lady in the lake.  All hell broke loose……the lady was retrieved from the lake, the ambulance was called, her blue body was wrapped in warm blankets and she was whisked to the hospital.  It was a rough time for the ‘walker’, but she recovered and is back at the retirement home.  It was the talk of the town for days and days.  Mom and I appreciated the irony that the ‘walker’s’ savior was a paralyzed mute.  Black humor is right up our alley.
I spoke to Z in the hall that morning.  I told her Mom had told me her courageous story.  Z took my hand and placed it on the hollowed-out scar on her skull.  “So Z…..you’ve had a stroke AND brain surgery to boot!”   A dazzling smile and a uncomfortably loud “YES” with a nod of her head.  “Mom tells me you are her favorite person to visit with…..you can’t talk and Mom can’t hear.”  Giggles all around and another shouted “YES”.  My mom and Z touched hands, exchanged glances and pointed and laughed at one another.  “Well Z, that’s quite a story…..you’re my hero for finding and rescuing that walker.  Unbelievable…..good for you!”
Z gave me her toothy grin and with sparkling eyes she proudly proclaimed…..too loudly……”I FOUND HER!!”
Indeed you did, Z.  Thank God you did.

take a closer look

Think I vastly overestimated my brain’s learning capacity by purchasing a Nikon d3000 SLR camera.  Some days I’m getting it, other days…..well, not so much.  There are mulititudes of details involved in operating this camera and then throw in processing the shots in Photoshop Elements!  It’s lots of new stuff to learn and I’m the type to beat myself up for not understanding how to operate these things.  Oh, the struggles and travails of attempting to be a life-long learner…….

Instead of flogging myself with a wet tube sock or sorrowfully eating boatloads of mini-marshmallows, I’ll share some of my recent photos with you.  I’ve been concentrating on macro shots.  Pioneer Woman is having a macro photo contest.  My pics never make it among her favorites.  However, this photographic endeavor has forced me to slow down and look at things more closely.  The joy is the journey….remember?  Truly observe.

Here is a macro shot of a hibiscus. See what beauty lies within?
The youngest sprout played with these small, magnetic beads on a recent trip.
My horse’s ears. We’re off the road for now. He has an injury and needs time to heal. Bummer….I love riding this horse. Lord willing, we shall return!!

This shot is full of loveliness and grace. It makes me happy.
Doesn’t get any more beautiful than this…..my nephew’s baby!
This next subject has a considerably different profile. Wiener dogs have the funniest shapes and angles.  What was the Creator thinking?!
I’m not so proficient with my photoshop skills, but this is one of my favorites. This is my grand-dog, Rose. The color and the processing remind me of photos from my childhood.  Wish I could remember how I achieved it.  Sort of a 1950’s or 1960’s dog shot. My daughter-in-law says the angle makes Rose look like Wile E. Coyote.  What do you think??
OK, so sue me. You KNEW there’d be more dachshund shots, didn’t you?? This photo captures Roxy-Doxy perfectly. It just reeks of EARNESTNESS, don’t you think?  Wiener dogs are supremely earnest creatures.

Thanks for looking at the photos. They may not be award-winning, but they inspire and remind me to keep taking a closer look and appreciate the loveliness of the small things. Exceedingly wonderful things surround us. I’m enjoying my journey.  Hope you are enjoying yours as well.

2 groups of people

More observed signage

One of these doors was propped open with a rock.

A small, polite sign didn’t get the job done, hence the barricade.
Is there a ‘cool down’ arena?

Well, what about Union county, or Quay county….huh?  Braggard.

Don’t you dare put urine or dixie cups in this pile!! Or urine in dixie cups.

This driver is in love with his corgi. I’d need a stretch limo for my dachshund sticker.
OK, here’s the important sign. I think you can divide the world into 2 groups of folks.  Those who find this bumper sticker highly humorous.

And those who say, ‘What the….’
I’m thinking about starting a SCD group and writing a theme song for the cause such as, We Are the World. Oh, and a ribbon....I need a ribbon on my hat or collar to promote the SCD cause.
Join me, won’t you in stamping out SCD?  We don’t need any more (or less) continents anyway-it’s difficult enough to remember….is it a country or a continent?  Be one of the original movers and shakers in this earthy group.  Perhaps there will be a speaking role for you in the upcoming documentary When  Cantankerous Continents Collide.  Can we say No-bel…..?